Archive for the ‘social justice’ Tag

Okay, Toronto. It’s up to you   Leave a comment

There are times in life when I need a bit of inspiration.

The recent provincial election in Ontario brought me to one such time. However, the antidote arrived unexpectedly in the form of a blog posting by Joy Connelly. Chicago in April 2011Joy Connelly began with the following words:

“As I watched last Thursday’s election results, I was reminded of the motto printed on housing hero Steve Pomeroy’s letterhead: focus on what you can do, not what you cannot.”

Joy then proceeds to illustrate the powers that are available to the City of Toronto to deal with our housing crisis. Yes, there are things that can be done! To read an inspirational posting about what we can focus on doing, read Joy Connelly’s blog at:

https://openingthewindow.com/2018/06/11/okay-toronto-its-up-to-you/?

 

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Posted June 13, 2018 by allanbaker in Canadian society

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Come and witness First Light   Leave a comment

Easter, 2018 is about to arrive.

What does that mean to us in the 21st century? A thought-provoking video from KAIROS Canada provides one possible response.

See you at sunrise on April 1, 2018.

Canada has yet to begin the process of reconciliation   Leave a comment

 

Tina Fontaine (left) and Colten Boushie (right).

We now have a responsibility to Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie to face our structural racism and work toward decolonization together. So says columnist Stephanie Strachan in her column in the UC Observer.

http://www.ucobserver.org/society/2018/02/tina-fontaine-colten-boushie/

 

We have been grieving a long time   Leave a comment

There were several vigils across Canada last week following the acquittal of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley. He had been charged with the murder of Colten Boushie, a First Nations man.

Senator Murray Sinclair wrote the following reflection, and posted it on his Facebook page. These are words, I believe, that apply in many of  our current situations in Canada.

 

Today I grieve for my country.
I grieve for a family
that has seen only injustice
from the moment a farmer with a handgun
(why does a farmer need a handgun?)
killed their son.
I grieve for a mother
who saw the police raid her house
and treat her like a criminal
and not the victim she was.
I grieve for other mothers
with empty arms
who are reminded of their own loss
at the hands of others.
and the lack of answers that haunt them still
I grieve for the youth
who now see no hope,
and whose hunger for justice
gives rise to anger.
I grieve for the children
whose lives now have
one more jeopardy.
I grieve for the elders
who have seen this before.
And whose wisdom holds no means
to get through this evenly.
I may grieve for some time.
But then again…
we have been grieving a long time.
This is why
we can’t “just get over it and move on”.
My country won’t let me.

2017 Nobel Peace Prize   Leave a comment

ICAN wins 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

peaceprize1-620x350The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on October 6th to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN):

…for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.

This was a true collaborative effort of ICAN, Costa Rican Ambassador Whyte Gomez, who chaired the negotiations, and 468 partners (governmental and non-governmental) in 101 countries — which finally succeeded in achieving the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons despite all the obstacles and challenges faced by civil society, states, and diplomats.

In addition to Costa Rica, three other states and one international organization deserve particular mention for the leading roles they played: Norway, Mexico, Austria, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

It is essential that the momentum from the Nobel Peace Prize and the achievement of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) be maintained as this is one of many steps to be realized in achieving the total abolition of nuclear weapons.

For Canadians, there is an urgent need to encourage the Government of Canada to begin a long overdue dialogue on disassociating our country from NATO’s nuclear doctrine as an essential step toward NATO itself abandoning its retrograde and counterproductive reliance on nuclear weapons. – Peggy Mason, Rideau Institute President.

And for those that ask how we can talk about nuclear disarmament when North Korea and the USA are engaged in threat and counter-threat, we say this is  precisely the time to engage in dialogue, to reduce tensions and lay the groundwork for broader disarmament negotiations.

Photo credit: ICAN

Original post is on: www.ceasefire.ca

Charlottesville, Empathy and Love   Leave a comment

Philosopher Charles Taylor has labelled our time as, “A Secular Age”, while Jeremy Rifkin has described our time as moving towards, “The Empathic Civilization”.

How does what happened in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 fit with these descriptions, and with the deep-in-the-heart human desire to love each other?

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Sunrise at Cape Spear – a new day begins in North America!

Vancouver journalist  Emilee Gilpin spoke with local anti-racist artists and activists Carol Martin, Harsha Walia, Kim Villagante, Jaye Simpson and Adrian Long about Charlottesville, and a planned counter-racist rally at Vancouver City Hall, which could see over 3,000 attendees. Gilpin asked them how they access empathy and love amidst violence, chaos and rage.

The uplifting responses of these west-coast activists can be found on the website of The Tyee at: https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/08/18/Five-Activists-Artists-Fighting-Racism-Outrage-Empathy/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=180817

 

Non-military responses to global challenges.   Leave a comment

i-remember-for-peace

Buffy Ste. Marie’s song, Universal Soldier, was probably not a part of the playlist when the U.S.A. was commissioning a new aircraft carrier this weekend. As I remember the song, Buffy sings that “this is not the way to put an end to war“.

Ceasefire.ca has published the following post encouraging Canada to take an alternative road towards attaining peace on earth:

Jul 21, 2017 03:52 pm

With the USA ramping up its global military activity and eschewing UN-led peace and security efforts, Canada must restore and expand its leadership on war prevention and peaceful conflict resolution.

http://www.ceasefire.ca/?p=25208

Posted July 23, 2017 by allanbaker in Canadian society, Peacemaking, Politics

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