On the streets in New York City, popular protests are on the move, speaking to the dreams and demands of so many across the world.
Today, the Occupy Wall Street movement is on fire, from the thousands marching down Manhattan's boulevards demanding economic justice, to the inspiring voices practicing direct democracy in popular assemblies at Liberty Plaza.
Editor's note: This article was written before Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, the youngest son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, was reported killed in a Nato air strike on April 30, 2011. Three of the elder Gaddifi's grandchildren were also reported killed by the strike on the family compound in Tripoli.
As Canada enters the final days in 2011 election campaigning, politicians streaking across the country have offered little more than resounding silence on Canada's military role in Libya.
Artists play a galvanizing role in shaping popular opinion on the defining issues of our time.
Historic struggles for justice are often remembered at a grassroots level not by campaign slogans or political speeches but via artistic symbols. Art can capture both the human emotion and political energy of critical moments in history, etching cultural expression into our collective social conscious.
Gaza's humanitarian crisis is alarming the world and accordingly many artists are standing with Palestine in unprecedented ways, including poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron.
Under fluorescent lights at the U.S./Canada border, south of Montreal, questions on the war in Iraq and the Palestinian Intifada were fired towards me by officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
It quickly became clear after arriving at the border and presenting my passport to U.S. customs officials that crossing into the U.S. would include an unwanted inquiry. After scanning my Canadian passport, gruff American officials hastily directed me to sit in the waiting area. Shortly after, an armed U.S. official called my name, directing me toward another section of the border crossing station.
Haitian hip-hop artist Vox Sambou offers an inspiring mix of powerful music and social action, pointing to the great possibilities of blending the arts with community activism. A key hip-hop figure in Montreal, Vox is a member of the celebrated ensemble Nomadic Massive and assisted in launching the Solid'Ayiti initiative after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti last winter.
A month ago, thousands of chanting voices echoed between downtown towers in the core of Canada's largest city, with people reclaiming the streets, facing down thousands of armed police -- a dignified challenge to the closed-door G20 summit.
Brightly coloured protest flags flew in the summer winds, people confronted a billion-dollar security machine aimed at stifling dissent. Behind multilayered razor security walls, far away from street protests, technocrats crafted global policy in an armed fortress at a distance from public accountability or media scrutiny.
Two Montreal activists, Freda Guttman and Stefan Christoff, say they and their friends have been targeted by CSIS in the run up to the Huntsville G8 and Toronto G20 summits. Both write exclusively for rabble.ca on what they are experiencing.
Stefan Christoff's story is below. Read Freda Guttman's by clicking here.
Over recent months, phone calls to me from friends across Montreal have been filled with a distressing tone, a request to meet me in person over coffee, and vague references to unwelcomed visits by Canadian government intelligence officials.