• Magazine

    Freedom of (hate) speech

    A new generation of anti-choice groups is establishing a reputation for itself on Canadian campuses, with increasingly visible tactics that many pro-choice activists call discriminatory, harassing and hateful. In response, student unions and pro-choice groups have mobilized to prevent anti-choice presentations from taking place on campus and anti-choice groups from gaining club status.

  • Magazine

    A border runs through it

    At midnight on May 31, 2009, the guards who manned the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) station on the Mohawk (Kahnienkehaka) reserve of Akwesasne, near Cornwall, Ontario, abandoned the Canadian side of the U.S.-Canada border and went home. The guards were to be issued 9-mm Beretta pistols on the following day as part of Canada’s border security policy, but had been warned by Akwesasne community groups that armed agents of the Canadian government would not be tolerated on their land.

  • Magazine

    Exiled for love

    Arsham Parsi is a tireless organizer for queer rights, both internationally and in his native Iran. He is proud to call Canada home, but in the wake of proposed changes to Canada’s refugee status determination system and the elimination of any reference to gay rights in the new version of Canada’s citizenship guide, some wonder whether Parsi would be admitted to this country if he claimed asylum here today.

  • Magazine

    Immigration double jeopardy

    Imagine you were born in Honduras and spent your childhood days on the dusty streets of Tegucigalpa. When you’re 12, you and your parents emigrate to Canada. You’re granted permanent residency and the stability it offers. By the time you’re 20, Canada is home and Honduras a distant memory.

  • Magazine

    Creative class struggle

    Two downtown neighbourhoods in Hamilton, Ontario – James St. North and Landsdale – have recently been the site of several skirmishes in a gentrification war waged in the media, art galleries and on the streets themselves.

  • Magazine

    Sex work, migration and anti-trafficking

    Nandita Sharma is an activist, scholar, and the author of Home Economics: Nationalism and the Making of ‘Migrant Workers’ in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2006), and “Anti-Trafficking Rhetoric and the Making of a Global Apartheid” (_NWSA #17, 2005).

  • Magazine

    The Aeolian Recreational Boundary Institute

    Barbed wire fences are ubiquitous on the prairie landscape. They symbolize domination of the land, ownership, entitlement and control. Wire fences are a western settlement paradigm that was brought to North America by settlers and land surveyors who sought to tame the limitless territory with mathematical delineations of latitude and longitude and monetary measures of land value.

  • Magazine

    Finding our own voices

    Jocelyn Dulnuan, 27 years old, was murdered on October 1, 2007, at the mansion in Mississauga, Ontario where she worked as a live-in caregiver. Dulnuan had lived in Canada for just under a year, working at the $15 million, 30,000-square-foot mansion for two months to serve the needs of her employer Dr. Jaya Chanchlani, her husband, Vasu, and their three children.

  • Magazine

    Taking stock of Canadian mining

    Marcia Ramírez hopes to set a precedent in Canadian courts that will benefit peasant farmers and indigenous peoples across the Global South. A community leader in her mid-20s, Ramírez is one of three Ecuadorian plaintiffs suing the Toronto Stock Exchange for over $1.5 billion.

  • Magazine

    “An attack on Israel would be an attack on Canada”

    “It’s hard to find a country friendlier to Israel than Canada these days” far-right Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman remarked last June. Indeed, in its recent actions the Canadian government has only reaffirmed and intensified its full-fledged support for the state of Israel, while conducting itself with what seems like a total disregard for public opinion both internationally and at home.

  • Magazine

    Forging ahead

    Even after the doctors had left, the Peruvian alpaca sweaters lay neatly folded in the large suitcase near the entrance. The clothing had been carefully selected, packed and transported to the edge of town the previous day in the hope that a group of foreign doctors who were passing through the area might take an interest. After perusing the collection, however, the foreigners purchased the inexpensive finger puppets in lieu of the pricier sweaters, hats and mittens.

  • Magazine

    The Honduran Committee for Peace Action

    When I asked Dr. Almendares about the legacy of COHAPAZ, he explained how instrumental these grassroots women’s organizations have been in Honduran human rights movements. “The women have learned a lot about natural medicines, first aid, and birthing through their community organizing.” Pursuing health may not necessarily seem revolutionary, but he says, “health is directly linked with the ability of these women to participate in political action that benefits their communities.”

  • Magazine

    The blind leading

    Over the past decade, much has been written about female literacy and how access to even a basic education can reduce poverty and improve the lives of women and girls. But for millions of women in the Global South, it is access to eye care that they need most.

  • Magazine

    No one answer

    Marilyn Waring’s decades-long career has been as varied as it has been influential. She was the youngest woman elected to the New Zealand Parliament, is a long-time activist for lesbian and gay rights, and has tended her own goat farm for many years. Waring recently spoke with Briarpatch about the state of women’s rights in the Global South and how women in the North can support southern resistance to economic inequality.

  • Magazine

    Letter from the editor

    As this issue goes to press, three thousand rallies are taking place in communities around the world calling for action in Copenhagen on climate change. In February, anti-poverty and indigenous rights activists will take to the streets of Vancouver to protest the Olympics.

  • Magazine

    What the right does right

    Progressives in Canada today have no shortage of ideas. What we lack is movement — any movement. There is no women’s movement, no labour movement, no peace movement. The antiglobalization movement fell apart in the wake of 9/11. Copenhagen notwithstanding, even the environmental movement has become more an exercise in individual consumer choice than a demand for systemic change.

  • Magazine

    Selling the Olympics in the schools

    In the name of education, British Columbia has spent at least half a million dollars teaching wee ones the awesomeness of the Olympics. In response, Olympics opponents are trying to counteract what they call “pro-Olympic propaganda” by introducing classroom workshops of their own.

  • Magazine

    When we were feminists

    The day after the reunion, the subject line of Kelly’s email reads: “Did you hear?” On August 4, 2009, the same night as four university girlfriends and I had gathered for a 20-year reunion, a man walked into a gym in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, and opened fire. The coincidence is surreal. My undergraduate girlfriends and I had planned the reunion as a memorial of sorts to mark the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

  • Magazine

    Mass protests and the future of convergence activism

    Ever since tens of thousands of people converged on the streets of Seattle and successfully shut down the World Trade Organization in November 1999, convergences have been the tactic of choice for confronting global capitalism.

  • Magazine

    From invisibility to stability

    The first step toward addressing an issue is to make it visible. An alcoholic will fail to get sober until he or she admits to having a problem. Slapping around one’s wife was not a punishable offence until it became socially and legally recognized as domestic violence. Visibility is gained through definition, and with visibility comes the power to create social change. Transgender and gender nonconforming people are just beginning to shed the cloak of invisibility that has shrouded their participation in social and political life.