We are all Tamil

Take a minute right now and email your MP to ask him or her to support the demand that Canada use its influence to pressure the Sri Lankan government to call an immediate ceasefire and stop the slaughter of Tamil civilians. 

A tribute to a fierce loving mother

 I don’t usually pay much attention to Mother’s Day. It isn’t just the commercialism. All holidays are commercialized.   If the truth be told, I’ve never really valued motherhood all that much.   I come from the generation of women that fought for women to be recognized for qualities beyond being mothers and wives. I grew up wanting to be the opposite of my mother who I saw as subordinate to a man who was unworthy of her. In the fierce battle to claim women’s ability to do whatever men could do, many of us denigrated the importance of what mothers contribute to the world.

Two New Reviews of Transforming Power

Two great reviews of the book have just come out today. The first is by Cathi Bond writing for the Globe and Mail and can be found here. The second is by Derrick O'Keefe of the Georgia Straight and can be read here. Please don't forget to leave your feedback of the reviews or click here to leave your own review on this site.

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Documentary film and social transformation: some thoughts from a recent convert

It's the week of Hot Docs, as I have heard at every screening, the largest documentary film festival in the world.  And it is great.  I'm a movie lover but I've always been more of a TIFF fan.  The love of documentary films is more recent for me, partly from my friendships with Monique Simard, now the Director of the NFB in Quebec and Velcrow Ripper, a director whose extraordinary new film Fierce Light is in Hot Docs and opens in theatres in Toronto and Vancouver on May 15 but also because documentary films have become so important to social change.

BC-STV referendum critical for women and electoral reform across Canada

 On May 12, British Columbians will vote in a referendum on electoral reform that will have an enormous impact across Canada. They are raising money online to put the ad on TV

A reader's response

Just got this amazing response to my book from a colleague at Ryerson

Tranforming Power" in my opinion is one of the most significant Canadian publications of the new millennium. I feel tremendously privileged and grateful to have had the opportunity to read it. The book has had an absolutely transforming impact on me personally. I cannot think of social work, social justice, and education in the same ways anymore.

Prominent Canadians ask Ignatieff to put human rights before trade with Colombia

Prominent Canadians ask Ignatieff to put human rights before trade with Colombia -

Over 50 prominent individuals and organizations have sent Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff a letter urging him to help stop the ratification of the proposed Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement until a full and independent human rights impact assessment can be carried out.

Solidarity with the Tamils now to stop this "brazen openly racist war."

Yesterday I visited the Tamil sit-in in front of the US embassy.  After a couple of months of protesting in Ottawa and Toronto in the largest demonstrations in memory with little response from the government,  the Tamil community has decided to block University Avenue demanding that the Canadian and US government pressure Sri Lanka to stop killing civilians and allow humanitarian aid into to assist Tamils trapped in the war zone.  More than 6,500 ethnic Tamils are already dead according to the UN.

Jesse Hirsh comments on Transforming Power

Jesse Hirsh ubergeek and internet columnist for CBC wrote a brief review of Transforming Power that he sent me today.  Here's his view, post yours:

Judy Rebick's book Transforming Power provides both a vivid history of the social movements of the last 30 years and a framework for understanding the origins of social media. While the democratizing potential of the Internet is often alluded to, Judy demonstrates how it can manifest, by connecting the values of the online world with the movements active on the ground, all across the globe. The power of dialogue should not be underestimated, and Judy's insights demonstrate how it can be applied to all sorts of contexts, creating processes and outcomes that are both socially just and personally empowering.
 

There are alternatives to savage capitalism: The Declaration of Cumaná

This declaration appeared nowhere in the mainstream media but it is an important statement of an alternative direction to the desperate attempts to save the failing system of corporate capitalism.  There is almost no debate of these issues north of Mexico but we need to learn from the reinvention of a real social economy and deep democracy in many Latin American countries.  This is statement is a good summary of the values underlying this reinvention.  Here is an excerpt