Elections in the United States are all about money -- lots of it, increasingly from untraceable, "dark" sources. Ultimately, though, history is not made of money but of movements. The Republican sweep in this week's midterm elections has been widely described as a wave, a bloodbath, a shellacking. Beyond the hyperbole, beneath the pronouncements of pundits, strong currents are moving, slowly shifting our society. One movement that shined through the electoral morass demanded an increased minimum wage. It prevailed, even in some of the reddest of states.
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The Peoples Social Forum was held in Ottawa August 21-24, 2014. The following includes reports from the 17+ movement assemblies that took place over the week-end.
Social movement leaders Clayton Thomas Muller, Brigette DePape and Harsha Walia came together to discuss how to bridge our movements.
Harsha is a social justice activist, journalist, and co-founder of the Vancouver chapter of no One Is Illegal and author of the book “Undoing Border Imperialism”. Her work has appeared in over 50 publications.
Clayton is from mathias Colomb Cree nation in northern manitoba. He works tirelessly as an activist, writer, public spea-ker, facilitator for Indigenous self-deter-mination and environmental justice. He is the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign of the Polaris Institute.
The climate crisis is worsening faster than predicted, by every scientific measure, and is paralleled by another crisis: the failure of the UN climate negotiation process. "You have been negotiating all my life," student activist Anjali Appadurai said as she addressed the formal climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, back in 2011. The climate negotiations have been in a virtual gridlock, with nations, most notably the United States under President Obama, blocking progress and protecting their national interests while the planet heats up, potentially irreversibly.