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Art on the move: Train of Thought explores treaties and decolonization in cities across Canada

Photos: Liam Coo Jumblies Theater (used with permission)

Train of Thought, an artistic journey across Canada consisting of Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices, pulled into Toronto last week. 

On Wednesday, I found myself sitting cross-legged in Ange Loft's workshop -- described as 'quick theatre creation using audio' in the program.

I had my brown sheet of paper in front of me and my blue oil pastel in hand, ready to be inspired by the interview with Lee Maracle playing on the speakers.

The interviewer asked Maracle how she felt about treaties.

"It's sort of like this," Maracle begins. "You had a house, and the neighbour moves into your house. Pretty soon he kicks you out. It's still your house, and you will always believe it's your house."

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Francine Pelletier: 'Violence against women is the Western world's dirty little secret'

Photo: Elvira Truglia

Not even one headline calling out an "attack on feminists" or "assault on women or equal rights," remembers award-winning journalist Francine Pelletier as she speaks about the 1989 Montreal Massacre.

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Television wants you to love bad cops

Photo: flickr/Paul Townsend

Television shows and movies about the police have been a huge part of my popular culture consumption since I can remember; Dexter, Brooklyn 99, CSI, and 21 Jump Street are just a few of the many. No one enjoys settling in with Froot Loops, some knitting and a Netflix more than me. That said, it’s important to examine what we’re consuming. I believe cop shows provide a strong example of how entertainment can be used to affect public opinion about policy issues.

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Heartwood Community Café provides social change through social space in Vancouver

Photo: Heartwood Community Cafe facebook

Radical social change initiatives can form just about anywhere, inspired by a complex set of interlocking barriers and systems, designed to keep us apart. But these initiatives grow in more depth and with so much more light, when they have elements of community gathering to replenish and refill our human need for care.

Enter: social spaces, such as Heartwood Community Café in Vancouver, that act as a satellite for social movements and all forms of organizing to bloom.

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Citizen Marc: Narcissistic megalomaniac or selfless activist?

Photo: flickr/Cannabis Culture

In the venerable Canadian TV show Trailer Park Boys, Ricky points out the prevalence of marijuana in Canadian culture: "Everybody does [marijuana], all right? Carpenters, electricians, dishwashers, floor cleaners, lawyers, doctors, fucking politicians, CBC employees, principals, people who paint the lines on the fucking roads, get stoned, it'll be fun, get to work!" It's a part of Canadian identity that separates us from our southern neighbours and yet hypocritically remains prohibited.

Roger Evan Larry's new documentary Citizen Marc is at once a portrait of a singular figure of marijuana activism, Marc Emery, and a study of Canadianness more generally.

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rabble.ca interviews Preempting Dissent co-director Greg Elmer

Photo: movie still Preempting Dissent

Do we ever need you! Please help rabble.ca amplify democratic movements. Become a monthly supporter.

Ever since the G20 summit in Toronto four years ago,  the question of policing and governance has been a hot topic. Tonight, a documentary focusing on the way police and protesters interact is under examination as the documentary Preempting Dissent screens in Toronto.

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'Dinner with Goebbels' and the power of propaganda

War requires self deception and someone is always there to provide it. In Red Sandcastle Theatre's production of "Dinner With Goebbels" we get to spend time and share wine with modern history's most infamous purveyors of the cruelest commodity. 

The play, by psychiatrist and Physician Against War activist Mark Leith, gives us a short history of public relations (when you're doing it), otherwise known as propaganda (when it's a bad thing).

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'Honor Diaries': Breaking silence on violence or reinforcing stereotypes?

Photo: flickr/Miquel Angel Pintanel Bassets

On International Women's Day 2014, the Clarion Project released its latest cinematic offering: Honor Diaries, which purports to be "the first film to break the silence on honor violence." The movie is staged as a "dialogue about gender inequality" between nine "courageous women's rights advocates with connections to Muslim-majority societies" (although one of the nine -- Jasvinder Sanghera -- is actually a Sikh woman of Indian origin from Britain).

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Alltime TV unbundles cable, hires disgraced politicians

image: flickr/Kevin Simpson

Taking its cue from the continued popularity of On Demand services, an innovative startup called Alltime TV is launching a new set of programming for the watch-now, on-demand crowd. It's pay-per-episode cable, but that's not all this new broadcaster has got up its sleeve.

Alltime has taken the extraordinary step of hiring a number of Canada's embattled or disgraced politicians -- including Patrick Brazeau and the Ford brothers -- as political pundits, reality stars and actors in a move to capture the disgruntled cable viewers that make up much of Canada's television consumerscape.

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On using homophobic slurs: Yes, you're being oppressive

Alec Baldwin is not a homophobe. He's just a progressive, tolerant person who happens, sometimes, to use words like "cocksucker" and "queen" in anger to insult straight people. That was the gist of the first half of Baldwin's diatribe in New York Magazine last month, his defense against allegations that he had called a paparazzo a "faggot." And, while Baldwin has taken a fair amount of heat for his hair-splitting approach to homophobic terms, his rationale is really nothing new or unique.

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