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The government shutdown: is this really an anarchist dream?

Image: flickr/Kashfi Halford

In his complaints against the wing of the Republican Party that engineered the present government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derided his opponents as "Tea Party anarchists."

It’s hard to decide who should be more annoyed -- the Tea Party or the anarchists.

In any case, Reid’s remark is revealing of how the long tradition of anarchist philosophy has been thrown under the bus of U.S. political discourse, then rolled over, then dragged along in mangled form so as to be pointed at when doing so seems expedient.

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Re-exploring activist burnout: Finding common ground and breaking the silence

It's been almost a year and a half since I last touched on activist burnout, specifically in the youth demographic.

In that time I've been fortunate to have my perspective expand and evolve, thanks to an abundance of, often late night, conversations with close friends. Finding common ground in burnout experience makes it easier to break that silence.

For the past while, my focus has been on community building.

What does that mean? What is a progressive community composed of? How does one use an intersectional approach in community and selfcare?

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Canada's address to the UN by John Baird, Minister of (truth is) Foreign Affairs

Photo: DFATD | MAECD/flickr

On the last day of September, John Baird delivered Canada's address to the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. Though the speech had much to say that was admirable about violence against women, when it came to violence against Syria and Iran, the speech traded in unverified assumptions, omissions and deception.

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Solidarity Halifax: Statement on the Nova Scotia provincial election, voting and organizing

Image: Solidarity Halifax

1. As members of Solidarity Halifax we believe another world is possible. Capitalism is not the best humanity can do.

2. We believe that deep, meaningful change in our society can only come from below through collective action of masses of people. Change cannot come from on high by a queen, politician or bureaucrat.

3. This kind of change, eliminating capitalism, will never come as a result of an election to the provincial legislature. It can only happen when the working classes, the marginalized, the 99 per cent, take power and control of our lives, our workplaces, and our communities from the ruling class, the 1 per cent.

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Omar Khadr in Court: Eight ways the mainstream media missed the real story

Omar Khadr's first appearance before the Canadian public last week sparked considerable interest. In the Edmonton courtroom his lawyer, Dennis Edney, presented legal arguments why Omar should be released from the maximum-security institution where he is currently detained. Over one hundred supporters were present and at least a dozen reporters witnessed the day's events.

In the resulting press coverage several images were repeated and the reporting largely consistent. What most reporters didn't mention is the real story of Omar Khadr.

1. Omar glanced around the courtroom...

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Terrorism and war in Africa: Canada's hands are not clean in this cycle of violence

There are no shades of grey, no nuance or even cause and effect in the simplistic world view proclaimed by the current Canadian government.

The Conservatives response to the horrific attack in Nairobi's Westgate Mall has been to thump their chests and proclaim their anti-terror bona fides.

"The fight against international terrorism is the great struggle of our generation, and we need to continue with the resolve to fight this," bellowed Foreign Minister John Baird. For his part, Stephen Harper boasted that "our government is the government that listed al-Shabab as a terrorist entity."

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Canadian government needs to do more to help free Tarek and John from Egyptian prison

Once again Conservative ideology has trumped what's right.

Prominent Toronto filmmaker/professor John Greyson and London, Ontario, physician/professor Tarek Loubani have been locked up in an Egyptian jail for nearly 40 days.

After a prosecutor recently extended their detention by 15 days, these two courageous individuals launched a hunger strike demanding their release or to at least be allowed two hours a day in the fenced-in prison yard.

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The Harper government's war on science and knowledge

For years now, the federal government has been censuring, muzzling, de-funding, and laying off scientists, librarians, archivists, statisticians, and researchers in its efforts vacate government involvement in core research, and to shift its focus to industry-specific needs.

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Canada's rejection of inquiry into violence against Aboriginal women is a national disgrace

In 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva conducted a Universal Period Review of Canada's rights record and concluded its need to address the concerns of indigenous populations -- particularly, Aboriginal women.

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Vancouver's Insite celebrates 10 years as threat of Conservatives' Bill C-65 looms

It's ironic, and typical, that as Insite celebrates its 10th anniversary of successful operation in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the Conservative government in Ottawa is still railing against Safe Injection Sites and no doubt has Bill C-65 ready to go when Parliament returns October 16.

Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, was the last bill to be introduced before parliament recessed in June. It's a nasty bill, couched in anti-harm reduction rhetoric, full of misconceptions, and designed to shut down any attempt to open a safe injection site in Canada.

The bill is a shining example of Conservative ideology trumping evidence-based health and science.

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