On a warm spring day in May of 2012, some 300 people, mostly women, gathered in Washington Square Park, Manhattan, to hold the First Feminist General Assembly.
At the time, a mere two and a half years ago, the Assembly movement was relatively new to North America, so this was truly an historic moment. It was also significant because that year May 17th was the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and the date marked the 181st anniversary of the first Women’s Anti-Slavery Convention in 1831.
The powerful roles women play in the labour movement go too often unreported. Perhaps nowhere has this been more evident than in coverage of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) convention held in Montreal in May of this year. Although the CLC has previously had a female national president, with the election of Shirley Carr in 1986, and has had gender parity in its executive body well before most non-labour entities, the stereotype of a macho labour movement has persisted. In reality, that image has been changing dramatically as labour reflects the diversity of its members and the workforce overall.
“My personal view is that these pipelines are a joke. I mean they are not pipelines, they are spill lines. Every single one spills." -- Shannon McPhail, Executive Director of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition.
Veteran activist Tzeporah Berman refers to Energy East as "Energy Beast" and for good reason.
"The Energy East pipeline poses unacceptable risk to Canadian communities," says Berman. "We don't need this dangerous pipeline unless we're making a decision to dramatically expand the tar sands. We need a conversation in Canada about whether or not we're going to expand the tar sands, how quickly and how we're going to address climate change."