• Magazine

    On to Ottawa in marvelous, meandering prose

    In June 1935, hundreds of unemployed men took to the rails in what was dubbed the On to Ottawa Trek. The Time We All Went Marching is the story of one woman on the cusp of change.

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    Letter from the editor

    Our efforts to organize more co-operatively must go beyond inclusivity. For power to be truly re-distributed, we must pay particular attention to the voices that have been most silenced by global capitalism.

  • Magazine

    Meeting austerity with creativity

    In the face of drastic social service cutbacks, community organizers and volunteers are stepping up to fill the void. For the optimistic, this represents opportunity for building the capacity of communities to become more independent of the state. Others critique the impact this offloading has on longer term organizing for social change.

  • Magazine

    Reimagining revolution

    The Occupy movement has demonstrated a tenacious and effective commitment to non-violent, collaborative tactics. These photos, from various photographers, capture some of the ways in which the Occupy movements have helped us to reimagine how we organize and relate to one another within our collective struggle for justice.

  • Magazine

    ‘One of the girls’

    As the sport gains popularity and leagues attract increasingly diverse members, the question of how to include trans women has sparked important conversations and at times led to divisions.

  • Magazine

    Decolonizing together

    Given the devastating cultural, spiritual, economic, linguistic and political impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people in Canada, any serious attempt by non-natives at allying with Indigenous struggles must entail solidarity in the fight against colonization.

  • Magazine

    Stepping up for future generations

    In summer 2011, several people from communities in northern Saskatchewan walked 820 kilometres from Pinehouse to Regina to raise awareness about the storage and transportation of nuclear waste in the province, and to oppose a proposed nuclear waste dump near Pinehouse. This is an excerpt from their radio interview with Don Kossick following the walk.

  • Magazine

    Canadian mining on trial

    As a court battle ensues between the Salvadoran government and Canadian mining company Pacific Rim, the disappearances and murders of anti-mining activists are a tangible manifestation of the lack of respect for individual and collective rights in the face of highly lucrative development projects.

  • Magazine

    The next generation of land defenders

    Meet the youth at the heart of a movement to raise awareness about a proposed nuclear waste dump near their communities. These five young people participated in an 820-kilometre walk from Pinehouse to Regina, Saskatchewan to oppose the storage and transportation of nuclear waste in the province.

  • Magazine

    Community organizing

    Those of us who are active in our communities, whether dealing with issues like homelessness or fundraising for a high school basketball team, have much to learn from the thoughts and insights of Joan Kuyek, whose experiences as a community organizer span some 30 years.

  • Magazine

    From the jaws of defeat

    Whether we are planning a short-term campaign or the theoretical work of long-term, widespread and systemic social change, the process of strategy development is the same. To begin developing a winning strategy, we must first ask ourselves: what does victory look like?

  • Magazine

    Letter from the editor

    Necessary for survival and intricately intertwined with our emotions, spirituality and culture, food holds major power. As such, the systems that govern its cultivation, distribution and consumption are fertile battlefields for controversy, domination, generosity and resistance.

  • Magazine

    Fair trade and empire

    Fair trade marketing and advocacy rely on the idea that fair trade increases connectedness between Global South producers and Global North consumers. But while fair trade does reduce the number of intermediaries in the supply chain as compared to the free trade system, it also serves to reinforce racist and colonial distinctions between the poor Global South farmer and the benevolent Global North consumer. While it may channel slightly more income into agricultural communities, it ultimately fails to address the colonial capitalist structures that produce the impoverishment of farmers on an ongoing basis.

  • Magazine

    Propagating the food movement

    Rhizomes are horizontal, underground plant stems with the ability to create complex root systems. They can expand relentlessly underground, often lying dormant for years, and re-emerge as healthy plants in different locations when the internal and external conditions are right. Each new plant created is connected to the parent but exists as its own independent, flourishing entity. The rhizome can serve as a metaphor for the Canadian food movement – a decentralized network of diverse, self-organizing, interconnected initiatives with no identifiable beginning or end.

  • Magazine

    20 food initiatives to get excited about

    A recent study on the Canadian food movement found it to be uniquely decentralized and self-propagating in comparison to other social movements. Through phone and e-mail conversations with foodies across the country, Briarpatch learned about dozens of inter-connected but independent food-related initiatives that together are crafting a network of more sustainable, democratic and inclusive food systems that challenge our current corporate, industrial model. What follows is a small sampling of the most exciting initiatives we came across.

  • Magazine

    Feeding the revolution

    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.

  • Magazine

    Peak oil for preteens

    Claudia Dávila’s debut graphic novel, Luz Sees the Light, sets Luz and her friends on a path to transform their fossil-fueled world.

  • Magazine

    Turning the tide

    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.

  • Magazine

    Lebanon rising

    Farah Koubaissy lifts a megaphone to the cheers of a crowd in downtown Beirut. The 24-year-old student, blogger and community organizer sports a calm smile, a keffiyeh scarf and a camera.

  • Magazine

    Living among us

    On June 26, 2010, while the G20 summit was under way amid mass protests on the streets of downtown Toronto, a startling revelation was made that would reverberate through activist communities for months to come. Two undercover police officers had joined protest groups and been living among activists as part of a large-scale investigation that began more than a year earlier, in April 2009.