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Mar 23, 2017
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Social Justice News

March 23, 2017


NOTE: you can view the complete list of ongoing news, events and articles on our Community page. Make a donation to the CSJ.


Help to bring Hassan Diab Home
Petition to the Government of Canada
* Canadian citizen and academic Hassan Diab was extradited to France in 2014 in a case widely viewed as a wrongful conviction in the making;
* Hassan has been detained since then in France for questioning based on anonymous “intelligence” allegations, possibly gleaned from torture;
* Hassan was extradited based solely on a widely discredited handwriting report that the Canadian extradition judge described as “illogical”, “very problematic” and “suspect” and even though Hassan’s fingerprints, palm prints and physical description do not match those of the suspect...

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to work towards the immediate granting of bail to Hassan and securing his urgent return to his family and home in Canada.



Mar 23, 2017 - Silent Vigil at Queen’s Park
When: Thursday, March 23rd, 11:30am to 1:30pm
Where: South of Main Entrance at Queen’s Park

Sub-contracted cafeteria workers at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus are ON STRIKE to end poverty-wage jobs on campus at UTSC!

On strike since February 9, UNITE HERE Local 75 have been negotiating with Aramark over what is deems as unfair wages. According to the union’s press release, most of the Aramark employees at UTSC make $11.50 per hour with little to no benefits. The living wage for Toronto was determined to be $18.52 per hour by a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report. Sub-contracted cafeteria workers working at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus are fighting to end poverty wages on campus.

Facebook photo

Mar 23, 2017 - Mass Mall Leafleting Against Privatization
When: Thursday, March 23rd, 4:30pm
Where: Eaton Centre, 220 Yonge St

The We Own It Campaign is making a difference. The campaign is ramping up its outreach to the public through leafleting events, public meetings, advertising and information pickets. Support our public services and halt privatization, outsourcing and the use of public-private partnernships.

We Own It Canada has set March 23rd as the date for a province-wide outreach to our communities, to hand out leaflets and ask members to sign the "Public = Better" pledge cards to their MPPs.

Facebook event

Mar 23, 2017 - Poverty and the Welfare State, Then and Now
When: Thursday March 23rd, 8pm
Where: Eative's Film Cafe, 230 Augusta Ave

Ken Loach’s award winning newest film I, Daniel Blake (2016), brilliantly exposes the discipline, humiliation and frustration which people who rely on welfare benefits are subjected to in contemporary Britain. To coincide with its Toronto release, we are showing Cathy Come Home (1966), Loach’s first great film on this subject, made exactly 50 years earlier.

Cathy Come Home is the story of Cathy, a working class woman who loses her home, husband and her child as result of an inflexible British welfare state. Ken Loach’s hard hitting realist drama takes on the social problems of poverty and homelessness in mid-sixties London. At the time of its launch, one critic described the film as “an ice-pick in the brain of all who saw it.”

Half a century on, poverty and homelessness persist in cities all over the world. These problems are acute in Toronto, the “inequality capital of Canada.” Campaigns against regressive government policies that adversely affect the working poor and homeless are urgent and growing.

What does Cathy Come Home tell us about capitalism, poverty and the welfare state, back then, and now?

Discussant: John Clarke, from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).


Mar 24, 2017 - Movie Night for Solidarity with Academics in Turkey
When: Friday, March 24th, 6pm
Where: Robert Gill Theater, 214 College Street

In January 2016, 2,218 scholars from Turkey signed a petition to draw the public’s attention to the brutal acts of violence perpetrated by the state in the Kurdish regions of the country. The petition, entitled “We will not be a party to this crime,” is also known as the Peace Petition. The signatories, acting in accord with their responsibility as public intellectuals, hoped to urge the government to end the massacres and acts of destruction that have affected the lives of millions of Kurdish children, women, and men.

However, immediately after the release of the Peace Petition, the signatories (“Academics for Peace”) were subjected to harassment and persecution by the government. Hundreds of them have been subjected to criminal and disciplinary investigations, detention, imprisonment, and violent threats. Unfortunately, the situation has grown even more dire and unacceptable since the failed coup attempt, which took place in July 2016. Welcomed as a ‘godsend’ by the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the coup attempt has been used as a convenient excuse to establish a more authoritarian regime. A state of emergency was declared and has so far been renewed three times. Under the state of emergency, the president and the cabinet can bypass existing laws and international conventions in order to rule the country by arbitrary governmental decrees. These have been used to target opposition groups, chief among them pro-Kurdish parties, labour unions, civil society associations, media outlets, and leftist organizations.

On March 24, 2017; we –as a group of academics and activists from Turkey based in Toronto- will screen the movie Bûka Baranê, inform guests about the current situation in Turkey and discuss ways of showing solidarity. Please join us and feel free to invite anyone who might be interested.

Facebook event

Mar 27, 2017 - Better Transit for Scarborough
When: Monday March 27th, 6:30pm
Where: Scarb Village Rec Centre, 3600 Kingston Road

Panel discussion and Q+A session featuring City Councillor Paul Ainslie.


Mar 27, 2017 - The Specificities of Indigenous Spaces at U of T
When: Monday, March 27th, 7pm
Where: University of Toronto - OISE, 252 Bloor Sreet West
This event is free, and the space is wheelchair accessible. Gender neutral washrooms on site.

This special event aims to explore Indigenous people’s designs for campus space. The evening was organized with The List in the spirit of building coalition, and as a step towards the reparative work the TRC process demands of the University and its many communities. The event will involve Indigenous faculty, staff, fellows, and students - and others who might take up these roles if our institutions had already undertaken the work of decolonization. Indigenous knowledge keepers, artists and educators will come together to share ideas for what campus space could look like. The event will take the form of a ‘fishbowl’: invited participants will begin in the middle of the space with the audience around them listening. People from the audience will then be invited into the middle of the fishbowl to share back what they heard.

WITH: Eve Tuck, Susan Blight, Julie Blair, Michelle Murphy, Karyn Recollet, Jonathan Hamilton Diabo, Connor Pion, James Bird, Jarrett Martineau, Anna Flaminio, Tara Williamson and Bonnie Maracle.

Facebook event

Mar 27, 2017 - What's that all about?
When: Monday March 27th, 7pm
Where: Bain Co-op Community Centre, 100 Bain Ave, 29A The Lindens

For decolonization to begin, we must first listen to the Indigenous peoples of this land.

* Metis-Swedish Sue Enberg, a dedicated human rights advocate for indigenous communities, is currently producing and directing a series of documentary films on First Nations issues in Canada. Sue will begin the discussion followed by

* Crystal Sinclair, a Nehuyaw (Cree) woman from Manitoba, is an Indigenous Rights Activist and the Founder of Idle No More Toronto. A Residential School survivor, Crystal works as a Co-ordinator in the mental health courts at Old City Hall and works with the OPSUE team on Indigenous affairs.


Mar 27, 2017 - Palestine’s Right to Education: The Politics of the Academic Boycott
When: Monday, March 27th, 7pm
Where: 100 St. George Street, Sidney Smith Building, Room 2117 Amphitheatre

Speaker: Prof. Vijay Prashad (George and Martha Keller Chair in South Asian history and International Studies at Trinity College)

Israeli universities have long denied Palestinians their right to education, freedom, equality, and self-determination. They have a crucial role in maintaining occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. They have played a critical role in Israel’s war crimes in Palestine and Lebanon through their military research and development of weapon systems and military doctrines. Israeli universities continuously theorize and justify the ongoing colonization and annexation of Palestinian lands. The call for an academic boycott of complicit Israeli academic institutions is a call for universities, academic associations, student governments and unions to refuse to be complicit in and normalize Israel’s war crimes, ongoing occupation, oppression and apartheid.

Facebook event

Mar 29, 2017 - Syria: Past, Present, Future
When: Wednesday March 29th, 7-9pm
Where: Room UC 152 of University College, 15 King's College Circle, Toronto

Paul Kingston - Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto.

This event is part of a weekly series of talks entitled: Vital Discussions of Human Security.


Mar 30, 2017 - Trade Unions and Populist Politics
When: Thursday March 30th, 5pm
Where: Music Room, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle

Join Woodsworth College and the Centre of Industrial Relations and Human Resources for our Annual Sefton-Williams Lecture on March 30th, 2017!

Speaker: Richard Yeselson, Labour Journalist
Title: Trade Unions and Populist Politics: What the Trump Presidency Truly Means for Labour

Sefton-Williams Award for Contributions to Industrial Relations: Elaine Bernard, Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School



The Crisis in the ATU: Labour Shoots Itself in the Foot
By Sam Gindin and Herman Rosenfeld

A sign of the tragic disarray of the Canadian labour movement is the extent to which its misadventures keep piling up. As the turmoil within the union representing the Ontario government's unionized employees (Ontario Public Service Employees Union -- OPSEU) hits the press, the chaos continues in Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). The 10,500 members in that local -- over a third of the ATU's Canadian membership -- operate and maintain Toronto's transit system, North America's third largest public transit system, behind only New York and Mexico City. As with OPSEU, the acrimonious story is not about a tough strike or a response to an anti-union government. Rather, at a time when the union should be leading the charge to address popular frustrations with the failures in the city's transit system, the local is preoccupied with a messy internal battle.

Source: The Bullet No. 1382

Reactionary Working Class?
By Asbjørn Wahl

Large parts of the western working class now seem to gather around right populists, demagogues, and racists. They vote for reactionary and fascistoid political parties. They helped to vote the UK out of the EU and to make Trump president of the world's superpower number one, and they vote so massively for the far right political parties that the latter have government power in sight throughout several of Europe's most populous countries. Since working people traditionally are expected to vote for the left, this creates unrest, insecurity, and confusion among experts, as well as commentators and mainstream politicians -- particularly in the labour movement.

Source: The Bullet No. 1383

Ignoring Chicago, Toronto Has a Big, Stupid Idea
By Joyce Nelson

Two weeks ago, the good folks of Toronto, Ontario learned that their elected officials at City Hall are considering selling off the Toronto Parking Authority -- which operates dozens of municipal parking lots as well as on-street parking. It's a big, stupid idea that indicates our "city fathers" apparently don't read, but also that they can't see through the latest scam being sold by some corporate lobbyist. It's as though the Innocents in Toronto City Hall have never heard of the parking meter scandal that ate Chicago and has become an unmitigated disaster -- even though more press has likely been given to that fiasco than to any other public-private partnership (P3) undertaken in recent U.S. history.

Source: The Bullet No. 1384

150 Years of Marx's Capital
It is 150 years since Karl Marx published the first volume of Capital: A Critique of Political Economy in 1867, with the two subsequent volumes coming out under the editorship of Friedrich Engels over the next decades. As its subtitle suggests, Capital is a masterful appraisal of the ‘vulgar’ defences of capitalism focused on exchange and markets and the more ‘scientific’ accounts of classical political economy highlighting the production of an economic surplus and its distribution between the social classes. Capital is, however, foremost a dissection of the historical social relations and mode of production of capitalism.

Source: LeftStreamed No. 343


Administration & Program Support
The Ontario Employment Education & Research Centre (OEERC) is seeking an Administration & Program Support worker to complement our team. The OEERC delivers its programming by working closely with our community partners who share the same vision – Workers’ Action Centre, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, Caregivers Action Centre to name a few. Our workplace is dynamic, multi-purpose and constantly evolving - a place where organizers and community members work together to support and protect workers’ rights in Ontario.

Hours: Full-time 35 hours per week
Salary range: $42,767-$53,267 based on experience
Occasional evening and weekend work will be required.
Employer RRSP and health benefits after successful completion of 6 month probation.
Approximate Start Date: May 1, 2017
Submit cover letter and resume to OEERC Hiring Committee by FRIDAY, MARCH 31 at 5 pm.




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