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The Peoples' Social Forum is coming to Ottawa and why you should go

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The Peoples' Social Forum -- and I need to sneak in a grammar lesson here, it's not People's it's Peoples' -- is coming to Ottawa at the end of August.

This is your chance to go stand on Parliament Hill and make mean faces at Stephen Harper...                                                                

As it seems this Forum's secret main objective is to gather as many people who hate Stephen Harper as possible, harness and control this energy, and blast it towards the 2015 elections. Yes, hating Stephen Harper is about as hipster as growing a beard outside of hockey playoff season (I've been so far unsuccessful in growing a beard, perhaps that is why the Leafs' never win the Stanley Cup!) but the mission against kitten-eating Harpie is big enough for everyone.

Anyway, if the next federal election is coming up in 2015 and it is now 2014, we do have a lot of work ahead of us.

But I also want to state that there have been detractors to this mass gathering in Ottawa who say that  it focuses everyone attention on to federal and parliamentary politics; is too large in scope to pull  together different NO QUARTER ultimatiums against the Prime Minister; and all this focus on Harper draws attention away from equally important local issues.

That said, it's pretty much up to everyone to find a schedule of workshops that flows with them, and maybe take this knowledge and report back to their home communities. With over 100 workshops, it is assumed by the organizers will have something to offerr anyone arrenting.

Within Federal politics, and thus within parliamentary politics, there are a diversity of issues that need to be looked after. Everything from the right to smoke pot; to bringing an end to the number of murdered and Missing Indigenous woman; to why is Justin Trudeau running as the leadership of the Liberals in the first place; coming around around to discuss will the winning-Trudeau really legalize pot. (and yet again, the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women gets boxed it again and forgotten).

But ... back to the Forum. It starts August 21 at 8:00 am and runs to August 24 at 6:00 p.m.  They have a real simple message of introduction: Build together, Win together! The Future is Ours!

A grassroots, historical gathering of progressives from Québec, Canada and First Nations, The Peoples' Social Forum wants to stimulate debate, discussion and further our sense of community and collective action. [Here is the seed of paranoia that all the sessions will be maneuvered into an Anti-Harper lessons on how the public must defeat him

That said, with over 100 workshops to attend, you're almost guarentee you'll find something you'll like -- even if you are here to bring down Harper, I'm sure there are one ort two groups about that.

Registration for the forum is here  http://www.peoplessocialforum.org/

There are 17 different themes participants can choose from

Climate: justice - responsibility - action /  Communication: media - language - arts /  Community: race - access - place  / Control: criminalization - surveillance - prisons/ Earth: land - air - water / Economy: capitalism - crises - alternatives / Food: sovereignty - access - production / Gender: sexuality - patriarchy - socialization /Governance & Democracy: representation - organization - decolonization / Impoverishment: austerity - cuts - privatization / International: solidarity - peace - justice / Knowledge: education - access - alternatives / Migration: mobility - borders - displacement/ Movements: intersectionality - alliances - solidarity /Public services: quality - universality - access / Spirit: ceremony - traditions - identity / Work: precarity - deindustrialization - scarcity 

To find out more about each theme, click here for the long-around version for all these schedule:

These themes are supposed to help you stream-line your flow as you move through a calendar that has over 100 choices. For example, if I were going, the theme that I would be most interested in is #16

Spirit: Ceremony -- Traditions -- Identity From the larger sense of topics, here is a great explanation of what #16 entails. 16- Spirit: ceremony – traditions – identityHow does spirituality intersect with activism? How can people of different faiths work together to end religious-based conflict? How do we foster respect for each other in multi-faith societies? What are our peoples' and movement's ceremonies and traditions? How do faith communities serve the most excluded? How do we work through trauma? What can be done to heal our spiritual connection to each other and to the earth? How has religion been used to further colonialism and what can be done to reverse this? How were Indigenous people's ceremonies, traditions, and identities targeted for extermination and how are they being revived today? How can we spread a spirit of empowerment, mutual aid, and revolution? "

And now that you're on plan #16 Spirit, you follow the #16 Spirit line through the handy guidebook once you get there so you'll never miss a beat.

If you want more information, the location for the forum is University of Ottawa, 75 Laurier East and a few events need tickets, you can reach them at the Peoples Social Justice Forum www.thepeoplessocialforum.org

The main website is: http://www.peoplessocialforum.org/

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