Tags – Labour
A historical photo essay
Farm workers and their unions have always been at the forefront of the battle to reduce the toxic pesticides served on our fruits and vegetables, fighting for environmental food standards before most consumers were aware of the concept of organic food. Yet today, many food activists seem concerned solely about directly supporting their local farmer, with farm workers’ conditions absent from the seasonal garden tour map.
The proliferation of hands-on educational opportunities for wannabe farmers
Farming, in my experience, is too rich, too complex, too full of pleasure and agony to be learned from a distance. You need to wade ankle deep into mud, gorge on warm berries, toss bales until your fingers bleed.
Organic grocer Rick Morrell on commerce as activism
After years of working for cash-strapped environmental organizations, Rick Morrell founded an organic grocery store in 1996 with the goal of directing profits into the environmental movement. Fifteen years later, Morrell is still struggling to find those profits, but the store has become a mainstay in Regina’s activist community.
The single desk is a source of justice in a volatile industry
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have declared they will end the Canadian Wheat Board single desk in August 2012. Recklessly turning the clock back a hundred years, this move will leave farmers at the hands of the robber barons of the grain trade who are already more powerful than ever before.
Imperial intervention has pried Afghanistan open for foreign investment
Afghanistan, and the surrounding region, has been in the crosshairs of imperial expansionists for centuries. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I set the East India Company on its march northward through India. This expansion of the British empire was confronted in Afghanistan in the early 19th century by the southward expansion of the Russian empire, instigating a series of wars known as the “Great Game.”
A conservative majority and the coming wave of austerity
The Conservatives won a majority in the recent federal election with a very simple core message. On the basis of their economic agenda and tough-on-crime program, Stephen Harper presented his party as the safe choice in difficult times.
The case for decriminalization
“In my view the law plays a sufficient contributory role in preventing a prostitute from taking steps that could reduce the risk of such violence.” With these concluding remarks by Justice Susan Himel, the laws that kept sex work illegal in Ontario were struck down in November 2010. The ruling, however, has been stayed, pending an appeal by the federal government that’s scheduled to begin in June, 2011.
Crisis and collective action
This summer marked the 75th anniversary of the Regina Riot, a landmark in the history of Briarpatch’s hometown and an event with political reverberations well beyond the city itself. On June 3, 1935, at the height of the greatest crisis of capitalism in the country’s history, 1,200 striking workers departed relief camps in British Columbia aboard eastbound boxcars to deliver demands for employment and fair wages to the federal government of R.B. Bennett
How the mobile workforce is mobilizing
Globalization has propelled neoliberalism across borders, not just as an ideology or system of commerce, but as the primary determinant of the daily realities of where people live, what they eat, how they work, and what rights they enjoy.
Welfare, workfare, and the punishment of the poor
The dream of a benevolent welfare state may live on in social work theory, conference papers and mission statements, but as far as front-line bureaucracy goes, welfare is dead. Only its image remains, as faint as chalk on a sidewalk. No longer even pretending to be a right or social safety net, social assistance has mutated into a series of manipulative tactics to prod and intimidate its clients into jobs that no one wants. In other words, welfare has become workfare.