Pete Seeger's life, like the arc of the moral universe famously invoked by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., bent toward justice. He died this week at 94. Pete sang truth to power through the epic struggles of most of the last century, for social justice, for civil rights, for workers, for the environment and for peace. His songs, his wise words, his legacy will resonate for generations.
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Nelson Mandela's passing last week at the age of 95 has been met with a global outpouring of remembrance and reflection. A giant of modern human history has died. Mandela is rightly remembered for his remarkable ability to reconcile with his oppressors, and the political prescription his forgiveness entailed for the new South Africa. "Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another," Mandela said in his inaugural speech in Pretoria, on May 10, 1994.
Sexual liberation was a core principle of the social movements of the 1960s. The desire to emancipate desire was central to the belief that a new society and a new experience could be created. The United States' LGBTQ (lesbian/gay/bisexual/trans/queer) movements are often described as having begun with the Stonewall Revolt in Greenwich Village in New York City. The rebellion consisted of hundreds of gays resisting a police raid over the course of three days. In The Power of Identity, the sociologist Manuel Castells notes that there were 50 organizations for sexual minorities throughout the U.S.
Last fall some seventy activists, progressive writers and political analysts gathered at the CAW Family Education Centre in Port Elgin Ontario.
The gathering, sponsored and financed by the CAW, was intended to address a question that has faced the left for many years but has clearly now become urgent: What are we doing wrong?
Deep values studies in Canada reveal with absolute consistency over a period of forty years that two thirds of Canadians support strong government, robust social programs, human rights and economic equality. So why is it that for almost 25 years we have had governments at the federal and provincial level that have deliberately set out to dismantle those things?
How do we explain the wave of rebellion occurring around the world since the financial crisis of 2008? In his typically brilliant recent article "Trouble in Paradise" (London Review of Books, July 18, 2013), the social theorist Slavoj Žižek notes that analysis of the demonstrations occurring around the globe face both an epistemological and an ontological dilemma. First, it is not obvious how to interpret the mobilizations. Second, and the second leads to the first, the marchers themselves are not entirely clear on what unifies them.
From the ballot box to the street: Exploring the tensions between electoral politics and social movements
In the lead up to the upcoming provincial election, Solidarity
Halifax invites you to a panel discussion exploring how the left, and in
particular the anti-capitalist left, should orient itself towards electoral
politics in these times of crisis.
Roger Rashi, Québec solidaire
Jackie Barkley, Solidarity Halifax
Roger Rashi is a founding member of the political party Québec solidaire and
sits on the steering committee of the riding of Mercier which first elected
Amir Khadir to the Quebec National Assembly in December 2008 and reelected
him with a bigger majority in 2012. The party, which was formed in 2006,
currently holds two seats in the Quebec legislature.
Canadian progressives are in a crucial period as we build towards the 2015 federal election. Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, an organization at the heart of the Obama coalition, spoke at a recent Broadbent Institute event about how American progressives are building a movement -- and winning. Watch Neera’s speech to learn more about what it takes to unite progressives.