Matthew Behrens

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Matthew Behrens is a freelance writer and social justice advocate who coordinates the Homes not Bombs non-violent direct action network. His column "Taking Liberties" examines connections between national security and civil liberties. Behrens has worked closely with the targets of Canadian and U.S. "national security" profiling for many years.
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Trudeau's bombing carries on Canada's 25-year war against Iraq

Photo: Alex Roy/flickr

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The blacklist was a many-gendered affair

Photo: IMLS Digital Collections & Content/flickr

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In most history of the left, 52 per cent of the population tends to disappear. Until fairly recently, for example, the U.S. civil rights movement histories were completely male-dominated, though that neglect is slowly being reclaimed as activists like Diane Nash, Ella Baker, Amelia Boynton, and Fannie Lou Hamer, among many others, become long-overdue subjects of studies on the era.

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Canada's deluded wars of November

Operation Trident Juncture. Photo: Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum/flickr

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A question on torture for Canada's new national defense minister

Photo: flickr/ ResoluteSupportMedia
Canada's new national defense minister, Harjit Sajjan, was a high-level intelligence officer in Afghanistan. Did he know about Canada's complicity in torture?

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A question on torture for Canada's new defence minister

Photo: flickr/wikimedia commons

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Rideau Hall's glorious fall foliage produced the perfect backdrop for a series of memorable photo-ops during the Trudeau government's swearing-in ceremony, from the most diverse cabinet in Canadian history to the large crowds who waited patiently for selfies with the photogenic PM.

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Corporate and military plunder in the Philippines

Photo: Keith Bacongco/flickr

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For many in the Global North, certain countries only appear on our radar screens as discount winter vacation hotspots. Other times, when natural disaster strikes, these countries serve as empathy-building backdrops to raise millions for charities that, after skimming some off the top, may distribute some of the contributions for the clean-up effort.

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Democracy beyond voting: We are the ones we've been waiting for

Photo: Francis Mariani/flickr

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While the 2015 federal election featured many firsts, one new electioneering element stood out baldly in the social media age.

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Intolerable suffering of refugees' limbo in Canada

Al Rayyan family. Photo courtesy of Matthew Behrens.

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As thousands continue fleeing war and persecution in a desperate attempt to find safety in Europe and North America, media and NGOs alike have improperly termed the daily stories of suffering, heartbreak and death at sea a "refugee crisis." Such language improperly places blame on those seeking asylum, and shifts attention from what even Stephen Harper ventured earlier this month were the "root causes" behind the mass movement of humanity.

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The crimes of summer unaddressed by the federal election

Photo: Jamie McCaffrey/flickr

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As the leaders of Canada's major political parties descend on backyard barbecues, kiss babies, and glad-hand supporters, there appears to be little interest in addressing Canada's role in war crimes and dangerous military escalations committed half a world away this summer.

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Thirty-seven per cent of Canadians think torture could be justified

"If the Canadian government used torture against people 'suspected' of terrorism, do you think this could be justified?" Thirty-seven per cent of people polled said yes.

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