Acting in solidarity means supporting people in their struggle: being there for them. Sometimes, though, it feels like we're not really present when we're being there: we could have been there, or we could as easily have been somewhere else. Or, we think we're present, but others perceive us, actually, as being quite distant. There's a cookie-cutter quality to a lot of solidarity - today it's Palestine, tomorrow it's Six Nations - that often bothers me. Can you begin to build a full and equal relationship without learning what makes each of us, as individuals or collectives, what we are?
I dedicated my last book Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution to Norma Scarborough, a fierce and committed pro-choice fighter and an unlikely friend to me. Norma died last week, as she lived, making her own decisions. She had been in paliative care long enough and refused to take any more medication. Her daughter let me know but the day I was supposed to visit and say good-bye I was felled by food poisoning so this will have to be my good bye.
As I suspected my post on violence had a lot of reaction, see below. Also thanks to Michelle Langlois for posting it on babble, where it produced an excellent discussion. Below is a great article on the G20
There was a pause, and an eerie silence, just before he did it. A green scarf masking his face, the man held a large piece of scaffolding above his head and, surrounded by photographers, eyeballed the unprotected window of the Royal Bank of Scotland's branch on Threadneedle Street.
In that split second, one voice amid thousands in the crowd broke the silence. "Don't do it," she screamed. He did.
Thanks to Ryan Varga, a student at Ryerson, above is the video of the Toronto book launch
Today I leave for Calgary and Edmonton in the next leg of the book tour. Calgary has gone all out as they usually do with two events on April 2. Book Launch and Discussion 7pm: Arusha Centre, #106, 223 - 12 Ave SW And at Noon: Central Library, MacLeod Trail S. Tickets $10 at the door, Info: action.arusha.org, 270-3200
United in a group called Put People First, a massive march in London kicked off a week of protests planned across Europe against G20. The Guardian reported the protest under the headline The Revolution Starts Here You can see a map of the week's protest in my last blog and watch a TV clip of the protest on the BBC No doubt the protests will grow over the week combined with the massive anger in the US at bank bailouts and obscene bonuses, the million strong march in Paris March 20 and the years of organizing document in Transforming Power, it seems that a real mass movement for progressive alternatives could be on the rise.
Activism is breaking out all over this week. In Europe activists are getting ready to protest the G20 meeting on April 2 in London. An astonishing spoof of the Financial Times reporting the end of capitalism as we know it appeared today ft2020.com/ There are more than 20 actions all over Europe to protest the G20. You can see the map and read about them here in French www.stop-g20.org/
If Jason Kenney doesn't bar me from crossing provincial borders, the eastern leg of my book tour starts this Wednesday March 25 in Montreal. The Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy in collaboration with the School of Community and Public Affairs at Concordia are sponsoring the launch and it will be held at 5 pm in The Samuel Bronfman Building, Concordia University, 1590 Dr. Penfield. Putting aside the irony of having the launch of Transforming Power be at the Samuel Bronfman Centre, it should be a great event.
This morning I got an e mail that lifted my spirits and made me believe again in the possibility of a better world. It was a letter from the wonderful film maker John Greyson on his recent decision to join the boycott against Israel.
March 7, 2009, TLVFEST / Yair Hochner, Tel-Aviv Cinematheque, 2 Sprinzak St, 64738, Tel Aviv, Israel
After much wrestling with these difficult issues, I’ve come to a decision: I can’t show
Fig Trees in your festival, and I can’t go forward with my proposed film shoot in Israel. This choice has been very difficult to make. As I’ve said before, I have great respect for thework you’re doing, and know what a struggle your festival faces to keep going. I want to be very clear: my decision isn’t in opposition to your festival, which has done much to promote the voices of global queers, or to you, who have done much to get queer films made and shown in your city.
What is going on in this country? First we have a major campaign from the coalition of mainstream Jewish organizations, the National Post and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney (hereafter called Minister of Truth) to shut down Israel Apartheid Week. That failed. So now the same triumvirate is supporting the decision of custom officials to refuse entry into Canada to British MP George Galloway, a strong critic of Israel on the absurd notion that he is a threat to national security.