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Nov 16, 2017
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Social Justice News

November 16, 2017


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Stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia
A bloody conflict has been raging in Yemen for more than two years – but largely ignored by the rest of the world. It is fuelled by arms sales from a dozen countries including Canada. Evidence of possible war crimes is mounting.

Nearly 5000 civilians have been killed, including hundreds of children, since a Saudi-led military coalition launched airstrikes against Huthi armed groups in Yemen in March 2015. Some 3 million people have been displaced.


Diab's 8th Release Order Overturned
Numerous High-Profile Canadians Urge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Help Bring Diab Home

For the eighth time, the French Court of Appeal quashed a release order for Canadian academic Dr. Hassan Diab, as he marks three years in pre-trial detention.

The French investigative judges in charge of the case found that there is “consistent evidence” that Dr. Diab was not in France at the time of the 1980 Paris bombing outside a Paris synagogue that tragically killed four and injured dozens. Official documents as well as several witnesses confirmed that Dr. Diab was studying and taking his university exams in Lebanon at that time. Four French judges have repeatedly ordered his conditional release. However, each time the Paris prosecutor filed an appeal, and the French Court of Appeal overturned the release decision because of the climate in France.

Dr. Diab’s lawyers in France, William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, and Amélie Lefebvre, remarked that “this is an absolutely exceptional situation: Four judges have decided eight times that Dr. Diab should be released. The Paris prosecutor’s obstinacy in this case is not judicial but rather political”.



Nov 16, 2017 - Community Rally for Bill 148
When: November 16th, 11am
Where: Queens Park

Bill148 has passed second reading and the Finance Committee has completed consultations. On Thursday this week, they begin clause by clause review of the proposed legislation updates. This is the final stretch before it goes to legislature for the 3rd reading.

Join Voices of Scarborough, UFCW, TEEILS and the Tamil Workers Network on November 16 at 11am at Queens Park asking for Bill148 to be adopted as law this year! This action will send a powerful message that Ontarians want a stronger Bill148.

Call your MPP TODAY and ask them to support and improve Bill 148. Click to make the call: www.makeitfair.ca/call.

Facebook event

Nov 16, 2017 - Social Housing: Don't Board it Up, Build it Up!
When: Thursday, November 16th, 6pm
Where: CRC at 40 Oaks, 40 Oak Street
Free event with a meal, childcare, wheelchair access and tokens

What is the history of public housing in Canada? How has it come under attack? How can we win it back?

Join us as we discuss these and other important questions that will help us understand the current housing crisis and talk about the upcoming National Housing Day of Action.

Speakers: Beric German, Gaetan Heroux & Yogi Acharya | ocap.ca

Nov 16, 2017 - [Hamilton] The Future of Work: Is Inclusive Growth Possible?
When: Thursday, November 16th, 6:30pm
Where: McMaster University Centre for Continuing Education, 1 James St N, Hamilton
Free and open to the public. Reception to Follow.

The work that humans do, both paid and unpaid, is being reshaped by digital technology. But technology is not the only reason work is changing, profoundly and structurally. Come join in the discussion about this evolution in how we make our livings, and what we can do to shape it.

Armine Yalnizyan is a leading progressive voice in Canada's economic scene. She helped define the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Inequality Project from 2006 to 2017. Armine is well-known for her weekly business commentary on CBC Radio's Metro Morning, the most listened-to radio show in the Greater Toronto Area; and nationally on The Big Picture panel, a popular feature of CBC TV's premier business show, On The Money. Armine is economic adviser to the federal government's foresight department, Policy Horizons, on the future of work and the economy. She is also President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics.

Facebook event

Nov 16, 2017 - Balfour at 100
When: November 16th, 7pm
Where: OISE, Room 5250, 252 Bloor Street West
Tickets: $5 or PWYC

Cornerstone of the Zionist settler Colonialism of Palestine - A Film Screening followed by a talk and Q&A with Yves Engler

On November 16, 2017, join us in resisting 100 years of the Zionist Settler Colonialism of Palestine. We will be critically addressing this shameful and ongoing stage of history with a film screening and a talk by Yves Engler.

November 2, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Balfour Declaration. With this declaration, the British government authorized the establishment of a Zionist settler colonial project in Palestine. Promising their imperial support of a Jewish national home on Palestinian land was rooted in an arrogant colonial attitude towards Arabs and antisemitic notions about the "global power of the Jews."

Organized by OPIRG-Toronto, the Women's Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu, and Actions4Palestine.
Endorsements include: Stop the JNF-Canada, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-Canada | Facebook event

Nov 17, 2017 - Free Transit: Demands, Promises, Challenges
When: Friday, November 17th, 3pm
Where: Sidney Smith Hall - SS2125 (100 St. George Street)

Stefan Kipfer + Herman Rosenfeld

Transportation harbours more than transportation questions. It alerts us to all sorts of urban problems, connects us to people's daily rounds, and reminds us of the role of state and capital in making our world unsustainable. Demands for free transit, too, can help us connect concrete demands (for fare-free transit access) to broader aspirations for a different, joyful, decommodified, egalitarian and ecologically sustainable world. In this talk, Stefan Kipfer and Herman Rosenfeld will discuss Free Transit Toronto within the context of Toronto politics as well as in relationship to free transit experiences and experiments elsewhere. A thorny problem in radical planning traditions - the relationship between social mobilization and the state - will also be debated.


Nov 18, 2017 - Health Action Assembly and Conference
When: Saturday, November 18 – 10am – 4pm Assembly
Sunday, November 19, 9am – 1pm Conference
Where: Sheraton Centre Hotel, 123 Queen Street W.
Fees: Assembly $0 – $40 sliding scale, Conference $0 – $40 sliding scale.

At the Assembly we will discuss and debate our action plan for the next year. At the conference we will set our platform for reform leading into the provincial election. Topics include the following:

-Set the strategy to highlight key health care issues leading into the provincial election and win commitments on these key issues
-Protect public health care from cuts and privatization
-Restore and revitalize our local public hospitals
-Win key protections for residents and staff in long-term care
-Build a public home care system
-Protect non-profit community care and improve primary care
-Uphold the Canada Health Act, stop privatization and expand Medicare to cover needed medications


Nov 18, 2017 - Concert by Edgardo Moreno
When: Saturday November 18th, 7:30pm
Where: Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave
Ticket: $10

Edgardo Moreno is a Chilean born musician and composer. His musical and video work deal with issues of exile, nostalgia and the longing for a lost home.

His Firefly project, which includes video and live music, has been shown in film festivals in Toronto and Vancouver as well as in the Museo De La Memoria in Chile.

He has created compositions for documentaries by NFB, CBC, OMNI. He has collaborated with indigenous contemporary dance choreographers from across Canada. He has been commissioned to compose music in Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, England, Sweden, and the USA.


Nov 22, 2017 - National Housing Day of Action
When: Wednesday November 22nd, 12noon
Where: Allan Gardens (Sherbourne/Carlton)
Lunch Provided. Access van on-site. ASL-English Interpretation

There is a severe shortage of social housing in Canada, a direct result of the federal government's failure to fund new housing projects over the last 24 years, and its gradual strangling of funding to maintain the existing housing stock. The situation has reached a point where buildings are literally crumbling for the want of repairs and thousands of units are being boarded up. Vacancy rates are at zero and wait-lists in major urban centres have grown so large that many people have to wait for over a decade for a unit to become available.

Meanwhile, even as most people's real incomes drop, speculation in the private housing market has elevated rents to absurd heights. The combination of the two factors, coupled with poor provincial rent control, has sent poverty and homelessness on an upward spiral. Housing has been transformed from a basic human need to a commodity that is bought and sold solely for maximizing profit.



The Revolution Party
By Leo Panitch

A fresh and compelling new account of the Russian revolution to mark its centenary concludes by paying tribute to the Bolsheviks for acting as history’s switchmen, a term derived from the small booths that dotted the railway tracks across the Russian empire, where local revolutionaries had long gathered for clandestine meetings. Against those so-called ‘legal Marxists’ who in 1917 used the term as an epithet to scorn those who would try to divert the locomotive of history on its route from the feudal to the capitalist political station it was scheduled to arrive at before it could depart for its final socialist destination, China Miéville asks: ‘What could be more inimical to any trace of teleology than those who take account of the sidings of history?’ What makes October 1917 not only ‘ultimately tragic’ but still ‘ultimately inspiring’ is that it showed it was possible to act decisively so as to engage ‘the switches onto hidden tracks through wilder history’.

Source: The Bullet No. 1507

Unions and the Gig-Economy: The Case of AirBnB
By Steven Tufts

The so-called gig-economy is celebrated, maligned, fetishized, and qualified by analysts. Whether it is called the collaborative, platform, crowd-sourcing, or sharing-economy, the rise of peer-to-peer exchanges does raise important questions for workers. Do emerging ‘sharing-economy’ platforms such as Uber and Airbnb mark a significant shift in production and distribution systems? Are they emancipatory or exploitive? How can they be regulated across multiple jurisdictions and multiple platforms (e.g., Airbnb, Homestay, Uber, Lyft)? These and other questions have been raised by those emphasizing the platforms as a growing source of employment for contingent workers and their power to transform waged work into different relationships such as dependent contracts.

Source: The Bullet No. 1508

Balfour at 100: A Legacy of Racism and Propaganda
By Dan Freeman-Maloy

The coming months mark the centennial of Palestine’s forcible incorporation into the British Empire. In November 1917, British foreign secretary Lord Arthur Balfour declared his government’s support for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people"; in December, Jerusalem fell to British troops. One hundred years later, the effects of these events continue to reverberate. This should be a time of sombre reflection about international responsibility for the unfolding tragedy in Palestine.

Source: The Bullet No. 1509

New Mass Resistance as Spanish State Jails Catalan Ministers
By Dick Nichols

Judge Carmen Lamela of Spain's National High Court -- direct descendant of the fascist Franco-era Court of Public Order -- took the war of the Spanish state against the Catalan pro-independence government to a new level of judicial violence on November 2. It was not enough that the two leaders of the Catalan mass pro-independence organizations the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Catalan cultural and language association Omnium Cultural, were already in jail. It was not enough that the Catalan government had been sacked on October 27 under article 155 of the Spanish constitution. Now the deposed ministers had to be humiliated.

Source: The Bullet No. 1510


Young Activist Canadians
I am conducting research on social movements in Canada and I would appreciate connecting with young Canadians (born between 1980-2004) who self-identify as activists for social transformation. Your activism can take any form including, but not limited to, work on the front lines of economic, climate, food, or water justice. I would like to hear stories from young people working in all different parts of Canada. Interviews would likely last about an hour. If you are interested, please email me at jgingras@ryerson.ca. Thank you!


Jacqui Gingras, PhD
Associate Professor
Dept. of Sociology, Ryerson University
Tel: 416-979-5000 ext. 7726


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