My nearly 30 years of experience as a social activist in Saskatchewan immediately attracted me to the NPI 10 years ago: I had despaired for years over the deep and irrational divide between NDP party politics and the active social movements which characterized Saskatchewan political culture. The two should have been working together -- at least informally -- yet they existed as two solitudes. The NDP establishment detested social movements (and distrusted the labour movement) as naive and uncontrollable troublemakers because when the NDP was in power they persisted in criticizing the NDP government and making things uncomfortable for the ministers. Roy Romanow once told me he thought social movements were "totally useless."
The protests in Turkey from May 2013 began in opposition to development plans for Istanbul's Taksim Square-Gezi Park . Massive sit-ins, protests, strikes developed and spread across Turkey soon encompassed questions of freedom of speech, social inequalities, women's rights, issues of secularism, and others. Gezi Park became another moment of the "movements of the squares" that have formed around Europe and the Mediterranean in political opposition to neoliberalism and authoritarian governments. Again, innovative political tactics of camps, street humour, graffiti and many others symbolized the new protests. So, too, did the political repression and police violence which followed.
Land Rights, from Turtle Island to Palestine
Lee Maracle and Nadia Ben Youssef
Moderator Zainab Amadahy
Idle No More has re-centred the issue of Indigenous Sovereignty in Canada. It is the latest chapter in a long struggle by Indigenous peoples to have control over their land and resources. From Grassy Narrows to Ipperwash to Oka to the struggles of the Elsipogtog First Nation in Rexton, New Brunswick, to the deplorable Tar Sands in Alberta. It is a struggle for the dignity of the peoples of the land and for the land itself.
By the time Hurricane Sandy crashed up on the shores of New York City in October 2012, pundits had long-declared Occupy Wall Street 'dead.' But with its eviction from Zuccotti Park, the global movement had in fact begun to grow roots that would support the city's hardest hit communities through the difficult days and months that followed the worst storm the city had ever seen.