Putting faith into action

  • A photo taken from bird's-eye view. In the center, copies of an alt-weekly newspaper called The Grind are fanned out. The cover of The Grind shows a person standing in a subway station and the words
    Magazine

    The case for large-scale workers’ media in Canada

    Unions, union members, and people with access to wealth need to think big about shifting the media landscape in Canada.

  • The covers or posters of four pieces of media, against a dark blue background: the book
    Magazine

    A reading list on labour’s role in a just transition

    A transition to a sustainable economy is a monumental task that will require transformative change. Whether this transition is just, democratic, and reflective of the scale of the crises we face is still to be determined.

  • A photograph of gravestones on the grounds of Huronia. The gavestones are long, thin gray stones with only a number at the top. They are set into a concrete pad close together, nestled next to each other on the ground.
    Magazine

    Class inaction

    Survivors are speaking up about the abuse they endured in Canada’s government-run institutions for disabled people. Class-action lawsuits promise them justice – but can they deliver?

  • A digital illustration of a tree planter in a coal mine surrounded by green hills. The sky is blue and cloudy. The tree planter is standing to the left of the image, wearing blue pants, a red and orange shirt, and a yellow hat. They have a beige bag with plants inside slung over their shoulder. They're looking at the coal mine and three of their colleagues at work planting trees in the distance.
    Magazine

    Planting trees in a coal mine

    Reclaiming mines is touted as an essential part of a just transition. But in Teck’s B.C. coal mines, two tree planters were left asking: were they part of reclamation, or greenwashing?

  • A photo of people marching on a road in Brampton. Two people in the front are carrying a large banner that says
    Magazine

    “With our own hands”

    Workers and international students in Brampton are fighting back against wage theft, naming and shaming employers to recover over $250,000 in stolen wages. 12 workers share the lessons they’ve learned in the fight.

  • A black and white digital comic with three panels. In the first is four women workers in a factory assembly line. They are all wearing collared shirts, aprons, and bandanas. In the second panel is two workers unloading goods from a ship. The ship is behind them, and they are in the foreground pushing dollies with large rectangular crates on them. The third panel is a close-up of a construction worker suspended in the air. He is wearing a hard hat and a collared shirt. He is holding a rope and grimacing. In the background are half a dozen large buildings.
    Magazine

    Indigenous labour struggles

    From leading one of British Columbia’s earliest strikes to fighting against low wages and racist bosses, some pivotal moments in Indigenous labour history.

  • A black-and-white digital line drawing of five men in wheelchairs, each of them with someone behind them pushing their wheelchair. Behind them are indistinct figures holding a banner that reads
    Magazine

    How Quebec workers won – and kept – anti-scab laws

    If anti-scab legislation is to be extended across Canada, the NDP’s best efforts and the Liberals’ reluctant co-operation might not be enough. The history of the Quebec labour movement can show us how to fight for anti-scab legislation.

  • A digital illustration of two farm workers at work. The farm workers are in the center of the illustration, and both are wearing black rubber books, marine blue pants, and plaid sweaters. They are fist-bumping while holding a crate overflowing with vegetables. Pumpkins, corn, swiss chard, and other vegetables surround them. Plant roots are visible below them.
    Magazine

    Building farm worker power

    Across Canada, farm workers are facing hotter summers and extreme weather, while being denied basic labour protections like a minimum wage. The farm workers organizing within the National Farmers Union want to change agriculture’s unsustainable conditions.

  • Three portraits are side-by-side. Rana Nazzal Hamadeh, a Palestinian woman, is standing in front of a blurred city landscape. She is wearing a black ribbed v-neck sweater and her long, black hair is tied back in a sleek ponytail. She has a small gold nose ring on her left nostril and she's wearing eyeliner, mascara, and red lipstick. Jessica Johns, a light-skinned Cree woman, stands in front of a blurred fall backdrop and is looking straight at the camera. She has shoulder-length, wavy, light brown hair and blue eyes. She is wearing a navy blue collared jumpsuit accessorized with a black leather bolo tie with silver embellishments. She has a silver, triangular septum piercing and colourful tattoos of plants on her left arm.  Randy Lundy, a Cree man, is tilting his head to the right. He has short, black, recently buzzed hair, brown eyes, and a clean-shaven face. He is wearing a grey t-shirt. In the background is a clear blue sky, trees, and a wooden fence.
    Magazine

    “We inhabit a land; the land inhabits us”

    An interview with the judges of Briarpatch’s 12th annual Writing In The Margins contest: Rana Nazzal Hamadeh, Jessica Johns, and Randy Lundy.

  • A digital illustration. On the left half of the illustration is a desk and folding chair surrounded by beige crates. On the right half of the illustration is a path with sunflowers and a blue sky. The person, who has brown skin and is wearing a red leather jacket, is walking through a revolving door that separates the two halves, exiting into the right half.
    Magazine

    Exiting the revolving door

    Sheltered workshops for disabled people allow employers to evade labour standards and pay workers below minimum wage, all under the guise of never-ending “training programs.”

  • A copy of Briarpatch's Nov/Dec 2022 issue on a yellow background.
    Magazine

    Keeping justice in a just transition

    As the term “just transition” gains traction with policymakers and fossil fuel companies trying to paint themselves green, the articles in this issue remind us that a just transition means justice for workers, migrants, and Indigenous Peoples.

  • The cover of the book
    Magazine

    Kids review “We Move Together”

    Five kids, from ages 6 to 13, review “We Move Together”, a children’s book about disabled people navigating their neighbourhoods and making friends along the way.

  • An abstract red line drawing of two figures. The first figure is crouching, reaching its arms out in front. The second figure is in the same pose, facing the opposite direction, and is partially overlapping the first figure, on the same level.
    Magazine

    The ghostwriter

    A short story about a mysterious ailment

  • Three black-and-white illustrations, done in pen and ink, of the three roundtable participants. Each participant is shown from the shoulders up and is slightly smiling at the camera.
    Magazine

    Roundtable on long COVID in Canada

    Three people living with long COVID discuss government responses to the pandemic, what doctors need to know, and how people can support long haulers.

  • Two brown hands draw on a zine with a yellow pencil on a busy desk that is strewn with craft materials. Handwritten text on yellow blocks in the centre spread of the zine says:
    Magazine

    “There are disabled people in the future”

    An interview with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha about “crip doulaing,” the future of the disability justice movement, and understanding access and care as joyful.

  • Three photos of unappetizing-looking food: a cheese sandwich made from untoasted bread and unmelted cheese; petrified scrambled eggs and a pale hash brown; and unidentifiable green and brown gruel.
    Magazine

    “We are fed the same way caged animals are”

    To understand what life is like along the “continuum of confinement,” three people living in prisons and long-term care homes share the food they have eaten and eat every day.

  • Digital illustration of a hospital room with the focus on a pornographic scene playing on a wall-mounted television, from the perspective of a viewer next to the hospital bed. Also shown is the lower half of a person's body covered in blankets on the bed, a window with lowered curtain, a closed door, and a vital signs monitor.
    Magazine

    Fighting for the right to fuck

    For more than a century, eugenicists have tried to eliminate disabled people through sexual sterilization. Today, disabled people’s sex lives are still surveilled, suppressed, and punished in institutions.

  • A digital illustration showing assistive devices – a wheelchair, a cane, and a blood glucose monitor – floating against a light blue background.
    Magazine

    Care without institutions

    Four case studies of projects that are meeting disabled people’s needs through community care.

  • A vase holding many long stems sits on top of a decorative pedestal. Some stems have bright green inked leaves at their ends while others have hot pink inked anti-depressants at their ends. The anti-depressants are printed with the letters “VX” to represent their name, Venlafaxine.
    Magazine

    The pressure to be cured

    Both professional and popular psychology are focused on “curing” individuals of distress. But without looking at a person’s social and political context, the pursuit of a cure can do more harm than good.

  • An illustration of a brown skinned woman standing with crutches on either arm, looking at the viewer sadly. Black text at the bottom says,
    Magazine

    Migration has always been a disability justice issue

    An interview with Ameil Joseph about the history and present of Canada’s discriminatory treatment of disabled migrants

  • A digital illustration of an older Black woman crossing the street. She wears a purple dress and is looking off into the distance. Close behind her, two bright yellow car headlights loom. In the background, city skyscrapers and smog crowd the sky.
    Magazine

    Walking with my mother

    In 2017, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The city she once navigated with ease became dangerous and confusing, and I learned that it was worsening her symptoms. As a daughter and an urban planner, I wondered: what would a city built for disabled people’s safety and ease look like?

  • Dark purple and black ombre background with white stars. In the foreground are yellow pills and red and blue capsules across the length of the image. A range of objects are floating around the page which include (from left to right); a mask, a prescription bottle of pills, a handheld nebulizer, two cannabis buds, a joint, nasal spray, an asthma inhaler, and a needle.
    Magazine

    What we need to be well

    There’s a big overlap between communities of disabled people and illicit drug users. A safe supply of drugs should be considered a fundamental part of disability justice.

  • A woman in a wheelchair with dark skin and curly black hair is in the foreground, wearing dark clothes and holding a sign that reads
    Magazine

    Terry Fox, the Freedom Convoy, and disability politics

    Terry Fox is the most famous disabled person in Canadian history, a figure who “united the country” during his cross-country marathon. Now, Fox’s iconography is being used to support the Freedom Convoy’s anti-vaccine, anti-mask agenda. What kind of unity does Fox really represent?

  • An array of military weapons fan out to create a Rorschach test, including artillery shells, bullets, guns, planes, and surveillance cameras. Smoke billows behind them on an orange background.
    Magazine

    Disability and war

    Across the world, people are disabled in vast numbers by war, occupation, and imperial violence. How can disability justice confront the U.S. and Canadian war machines?

  • Circular photos of each of the five members of DJNO's Youth Action Council – all of them young, disabled, Black or brown people – against a brown background.
    Magazine

    What is disability justice?

    Members of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario’s Youth Action Council discuss the present and future of the disability justice movement.

  • The cover of Briarpatch's Disability Justice Issue on a light blue background. On the cover, someone with light brown skin, who is wearing a mask and a black hoodie, is seated and looks ahead into the distance. On their right arm, just above the elbow, is a tourniquet. A person with light brown skin, curly brown hair, and a mask stands over them, inserting a needle into their arm.
    Magazine

    Disabled leadership and wisdom

    When we say we want disability justice, we don’t just mean wheelchair-accessible buildings and sign-language interpretation. We mean an end to the systems and structures that disable and debilitate us and a future where there is enough care, community, and support for everyone to thrive. 

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    反人口贩卖政策运动的剖析

    在过去的一年里,新市的低收入亚裔女性一直在与镇议会进行激烈的斗争。议会一直努力关闭她们的按摩业务,声称这些工人既是不光彩的罪犯,又是性交易人口贩卖的受害者。

  • Magazine

    A progressive response to transport costs must undo “the social ideology of the motorcar”

    Mobility is not just how we get from A to B; it is about social justice and health, housing and democracy, and the climate crisis.

  • Magazine

    A reading list for building transformative movements in so-called Canada

    Designing and building cohesive, disciplined, and transformative mass movements isn’t easy. This reading list is an offering to anyone committed to that effort.

  • Magazine

    B.C.’s climate adaptation disability crisis

    In B.C., 2021 was one of the most extreme weather years on record. Each new crisis pulled the curtain back on an ugly truth about the province’s climate adaptation strategies: they leave disabled residents behind.

  • Magazine

    The growing struggle to access gender-affirming health care in rural Canada

    Demand for gender-affirming health care is surging across the country. Already facing the brunt of a primary health care crisis, small provinces and territories struggle to meet the need.

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    The People Who Own Themselves

    A grassroots collective is putting forward a different vision of a Métis future – one based on reciprocity, good governance, and anti-colonialism.

  • Magazine

    Stopping the Big Sprawl

    In southern Ontario, Doug Ford plans to convert farmland and natural areas into suburban housing. But a coalition of farmers, environmentalists, and Indigenous activists are fighting back, and asking: “Do we need sprawl at all?”

  • Magazine

    To save the bees, we must confront capitalist agriculture

    Honeybees pollinate millions of acres of monocultured crops and produce vast amounts of honey for sale. They have become workers in the landscapes of capitalist agriculture. But they’re dying at a terrifying pace, plagued by mites, pesticides, and poor nutrition.

  • Magazine

    Reflections on winning the Fight for $15 in Saskatchewan

    In some ways, winning a $15/hour minimum wage by 2024 is a truly hopeful sign for Saskatchewan politics – and shows that even the most right-wing governments will bow to movement demands. In other ways, it’s deeply inadequate. 

  • A group of Asian community members wearing masks and holding up signs in multiple languages with anti-trafficking messages written on them.
    Magazine

    Anatomy of an anti-trafficking policy campaign

    In Newmarket, Asian massage workers have been engaged in a battle with the town council, which is intent on shutting down their businesses by claiming that the workers are both disreputable criminals and sex trafficking victims.

  • A photography of a crowd from above, listening to someone speak through a megaphone. One member of the crowd holds a sign that says
    Magazine

    radiant incipience

    the revolution will need savvy / party planners, capable / of seeing / how the carnival’s already here.

  • Magazine

    Indigenous persistence reading list

    These books and films represent an unflinching critique of colonialism from a perspective where the personal and the political cannot be separated.

  • Magazine

    The birds shall return: Imagining Palestinian feminist futurities

    Envisioning a liberated Palestine means imagining liberated Palestinian women. What is a Palestinian feminist future, and how do we get there?

  • Magazine

    The right to return to work

    At the beginning of the pandemic, the Pacific Gateway and Hilton Metrotown hotels laid off their workers – then refused to hire them back. Hotel workers are fighting for their jobs, and for the future of the hotel industry after the pandemic.

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    “Safe supply is the future”

    From drug users in Vancouver to opium poppy growers in Mexico, activists across borders say safe and legal drugs will save lives.

  • Magazine

    The myth of police as “embattled heroes”

    The Winnipeg police union says officers are constantly under attack by everything from “gang members” to video games to bedbugs. It’s a strategy to persuade the public that the only solution is more police and more money.

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    Building feminist, anti-racist unions

    More strategies for challenging patriarchal white supremacy in labour

  • Magazine

    Divestment and beyond

    Lessons for the climate justice movement from the University of Toronto fossil fuel divestment campaign.

  • Magazine

    Feminist imagination

    Mainstream feminism’s wildest dreams involve women being represented at the top of their fields. It’s a depressingly bland and narrow dream. This issue of Briarpatch thinks bigger, asking: how can we ensure all women are safe, healthy, cared for, and free?

  • Magazine

    Talking consent

    An interview with Chantelle Spicer and Tashia Kootenayoo on rooting our movements in consent.

  • Magazine

    The debt engine

    Canada’s predatory lending crisis is no accident.

  • Magazine

    Administrative sabotage

    The archives of Canada’s security state are being strangled by secrecy, censorship, and years of delays.

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    Research for transforming the world

    An interview with Chris Dixon on doing research with social movements.

  • Magazine

    On creativity and commerce

    How do we avoid a world in which human creativity and knowledge becomes just another occasion for commerce?