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#J28 Day of Action: It's time to send Harper a message he can't ignore

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 Our country is at a crossroads. Inspiring social movements are meeting a wall of Conservative spin. The incredible power of the Idle No More movement is being belittled in the mainstream media. Conservative forces are attempting to divide Indigenous voices, and paint the grassroots as out of touch and politically naive.

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Toronto exists because of a swindle of epic proportions

A map of the Toronto purchase. 1860. City of Toronto Archives, James Salmon coll

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Toronto exists because of one of the biggest swindles you can think of.

In 1787, the British Crown first made what was known as the Toronto Purchase from the Mississaugas who were the Indigenous Peoples in the region. However, this was no tidy real estate transaction, the deed for the original purchase was left blank, the exact size of land was unclear and the names of Mississauga chiefs were attached to it by separate pieces of paper. Payment for this dubious purchase was some small arms and tobacco.

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Time for an Idle No More style campaign to confront climate change?

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If climate change is such a serious danger but action through the Harper economy preoccupied government is impossible, could an Idle No More style grassroots disobedience campaign be effective in creating change?

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Reversing the flow? Quebec says 'no' to tar sands pipelines

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When Enbridge shelved its Trailbreaker project due to the 2009 economic downturn, Quebecers heard right through the company’s talking points.

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Racism, hunger and laziness: A First Nations youth perspective on Idle No More media coverage

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As Chief Theresa Spence has demonstrated since December 11th, there is supreme hunger in this country. For too many First Nations people, that hunger is literal, as they struggle to find a way to feed themselves despite the wealth that is being extracted from their lands. For others, this hunger is more abstract.

As a Kanien'kehá:ka and Anishinàbeg woman (that’s Mohawk and Algonquin) who was raised off-reserve, I have been sustained throughout my life by strong connections to my home communities and my First Nations identity.

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How 20 tents rocked Israel: Palestinians take the fight to their occupiers

Photo: Lazar Simeonov / Al Jazeera

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When the Palestinian leadership won their upgrade to non-member observer status at the United Nations in November, plenty of sceptics on both sides of the divide questioned what practical benefits would accrue to the Palestinians. The doubters have not been silenced yet.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has done little to capitalise on his diplomatic success. There have been vague threats to "isolate" Israel, hesitant talk of "not ruling out" a referral to the International Criminal Court, and a low-key declaration by the Palestinian Authority of the new "state of Palestine".

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Idle No More and the lessons of history

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Apparently decolonization happens when you are busy taking other stands.

As activists in Canada this fall struggled to defeat a tuition hike in Quebec, to defy anti-union legislation in Ontario, and to block pipeline and other colonial and capitalist development on Indigenous territories in the West, four women from Saskatchewan -- Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Jessica Gordon, and Sheelah McLean -- sparked the grassroots Idle No More movement to raise awareness about the potentially devastating effects of Bill C-45 for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the territories today known as Canada.

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Why one meeting won't end the Idle No More protests

December Idle No More rally in Vancouver. (Photo: Kim Elliott / rabble.ca)

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Those who expect one meeting to halt the protests don't understand the Idle No More movement.

Canada's Indigenous peoples have endured a generation of betrayed promises of change and missed opportunities. We are not about to waste another. The stakes are too great, for us and for Canadians. We are drawing a line in the sand.

History shows that prime ministers have always underestimated our will to survive as peoples. More than 40 years ago, Pierre Trudeau put forward his White Paper, the culmination of a hundred years of previous government policy.

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Then and now: Journalists on the wrong side of history

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One of the great hazards of journalism is that a writer may come down commandingly on the wrong side of history. The Idle No More movement provides just such an opportunity, for the risk is most pronounced when a marginalized group undertakes to struggle against some social or political orthodoxy. Thankfully, some writers possess a special kind of superhuman resolve which enables them to resist the temptations of prudence and generosity in the face of social change. At least for a while.

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What Jason Kenney doesn't want you to know about Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Photo: Vincenzo Pietropaolo

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