So's your grandma

This is a piece I wrote because I was so upset about the incredible attacks on the TIFF protesters and in particular on Naomi Klein who played a major role in getting Hollywood stars to sign on to the Toronto Declaration .  It was published today in the National Post with the headline "Naomi Klein vs Angry Jewish Males."

Petropolis, art meets activism

Last night I went to see the final showing of Petropolis, Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands directed by Peter Mettler and produced by Greenpeace.   It was an extraordinary experience that I will never forget.

 

September 11 1973 and 2001, we should remember both and say never again.

I am old enough to remember September 11, 1973 and young enough that the terrible coup in Chile had a lasting effect on my life despite the fact that I was far away in Vancouver at the time.  Hundreds murdered that day and thousands over all , killed, tortured, exiled and disappeared. 

Judy Rebick on TVO's "The Allan Gregg Show"

See below for the entire video from Judy's talk on the Allan Gregg Show. Judy discusses "Transforming Power", and how globalization and communications technology are changing democracy.
 

Stand with Van Jones

"Martin Luther King didn't become famous saying I have a complaint," said Van Jones speaking to the Network of Spiritual Activists.  As you have probably heard one of the most eloquent environmental justice activists in the U.S. has resigned from Obama's White House under a relentless right-wing assault of what he calls "lies and distortions."  You will get some idea of what a visionary he is by watching this short video from Fierce Light

Sign On: The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation

Below is an open letter to TIFF.  You can sign on by sending an email to tiff.letter@gmail.com

As members of the Canadian and international film, culture and media arts communities, we are deeply disturbed by the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv. We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.

Bravo to John Greyson who has pulled his film from TIFF to protest their tribute to Tel Aviv

Every once in a while the act of an individual can make a big difference to a struggle.  Yesterday, Toronto film maker and long-time gay activist John Greyson wrote an open letter to the directors of the Toronto International Film Festival pulling his short film Covered out of TIFF in protest of their spotlight on Tel Aviv.  His courageous action and eloquent letter, reproduced below, is a significant contribution to the Palestinian solidarity movement and the Boycott Divestment and Sanction strategy that it has adopted to shine a light on the inexcusable aggression of Israel against the Palestinian people.  Please read the letter below, watch the film and write to TIFF in protest of their decision tiffg@tiff.net

The Power of No

“We have a choice. We still have fresh water, clean air, and forests. We can still hunt and fish and trap and we will never give up the right to protect our traditional lands and our traditional way of life.” Sam McKay,  KI spokesperson
 
Yesterday, we heard the tremendous news that the First Nations led protest of Dump Site 41 to stop the spoiling of a pristine watershed by a dump site had succeeded.  The Tiny Township City Council voted for a one year moratorium.  Initiated by a peaceful sit-in of women from the Beausoleil First Nation, the protest grew to include many local townspeople, support of the Council of Canadians and a growing chorus of environmentalists.  
 

KI protesting Platinex incursion on their land again

On the left are Sam McKay and Chief Donny Morris at last Spring's rally for KI and Ardoch at Queen's Park
 The courageous people of  Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwugis (KI)  are out on the land in peaceful protest once again against mining on their lands  without their permission.  Despite promises from the province last Spring when the KI Chief and Council went to jail for just such a protest, mobilizing support from around the province and across the country, letters to Premier McGuinty sent unanswered.  Today they issued a press statement, excerpts appear below
 
 

Is the Party Over? What's the hope for the NDP?

Today I was on The Current  to debate the proposed name change of the NDP. The name is the least of their problems is my view.  David Michael Lamb, the guest host, asked me why I wasn't going the NDP convention.  I answered, "I've kind of given up on the NDP."  Frankly, it didn't even occur to me to go.  I have been involved in efforts to change the NDP since the 1980's in Ontario and with a few exceptions (getting them to support the Morgentaler clinic), it has been almost impossible to get them to change.  Their response to opposition from the Waffle , a powerful youth opposition reflecting the new politics on the 1960's until now has been to crush it.