Late last year, activist and economics professor Kshama Sawant was elected to Seattle's city council, the first socialist candidate to do so since Anna Louise Strong in 1916.
Sawant's election was not the result of wishful thinking and a weak belief that, eventually, North America would come to its senses and swing left. It was the result of grit, sweat and hard-fought organizing around courageous, anti-capitalist stands on corporate power, rent control, income tax and, famously, a $15 minimum wage.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru's arrival in Vancouver, which sparked a challenge to anti-migrant racism in Canada -- a struggle that continues today.
During the earlier part of the 20th century, most immigrants to Canada were from Europe, predominantly from Great Britain. Canada had very racist laws that selected against Asians when it came to immigration. On January 8, 1908, the Canadian government passed a law called the "Continuous Journey Regulation," which was the government's attempt to restrict people from Asia from entering into Canada.
The Mainlander has been covering municipal politics from a critical perspective for four years, and our last year has been spent digging deeper into the politics of the housing crisis in Vancouver. We're hosting our second annual fundraiser on May 23 to allow us to continue our coverage of the overlapping issues of colonialism, racism, gentrification and policing in our city.
Last year's fundraiser was a seriously good time, and we used the money we raised to provide stipends to a wide range of writers, to editors for administrative work and to fund the costs for a series of free public panels.
This year's event features:
The City of Vancouver issued a formal apology for its role in the 1942 internment of Japanese Canadians.
The statement, passed unanimously Wednesday by Vancouver City Council, reads in part:
"With humility and respect, the City of Vancouver formally apologizes for its complicity, its inaction, and for failing to protect her residents of Japanese descent ... the City of Vancouver pledges to do all it can to ensure such injustices will not happen again to any of its residents, thereby upholding the principles of human rights, justice and equality now and in the future."