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No justice, no peace. Revolutionary advocacy is everywhere, but D.C.

There is a shift occurring, and it is not a passing of the torch. Rather, it is a struggle between our mothers generation of civil rights activists, which posits that federal legislation is the answer to the problem of institutional racism, and a younger generation, which believes that the end of racism will only occur through consistent uprisings paired with direct actions and radical demands.

This tension was particularly clear at the Washington D.C. National March Against Police Violence.

Recent news that grand juries in Missouri and New York would not indict Ferguson and Staten Island police officers for their use of fatal violence against unarmed black Americans has been met with a flurry of reactions and actions by both groups.

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Climate talks face a long, hard road to crucial Paris meeting next winter

Photo: flickr/America's Power

With yet another United Nations high level conference making very little, if any, real progress on slowing climate change, a near miracle will be required if countries are to reach a meaningful and binding global agreement on carbon emissions in Paris next December.

The "Lima Call for Climate Action" document, agreed to on Sunday by 194 countries, is not a new "deal" for the climate, as conference observer Green Party Leader Elizabeth May pointed out. It is a 12-month work plan leading to the final meeting in Paris.

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Hundreds in downtown Toronto protest systemic, state-sanctioned violence

For the second time in less than three weeks, hundreds of people marched through downtown Toronto to protest the systemic abuse experienced by Canada's Black community.

About 300 people gathered at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday Dec. 13 for the action, which was organized by Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) in response to state-sanctioned violence and racism, including that of the Toronto Police Service and other local police forces. The group also organized a Nov. 25 protest outside Toronto's U.S. consulate following the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown.

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Across Canada, worker compensation systems are in crisis

Photo: flickr/luxomedia

Across the country, worker compensation systems are failing injured workers, say injured workers and their advocates.

Ontario's compensation system has received a lot of attention in recent weeks, after an Ontario Federation of Labour study revealed that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is rebating millions of dollars to companies that have been found guilty of safety violations that resulted in workplace fatalities.

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Tensions run high as Nova Scotia's Bill 1 arbitration hearings come to a close

Photo: flickr/ Phalinn Ooi

After a week of presentations, arbitration hearings over Nova Scotia's controversial health-care Bill, Bill 1, will come to a close tomorrow.

The Bill proposes to merge the number of bargaining units in acute care from 49 contracts to four contracts and re-assign union members to unions not necessarily of their choosing.

The four major health care unions - Unifor, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union (NSNU) - would each be assigned to represent one of the units.

On the first 2 days of the hearing, arbitrator James Dorsey heard from 3 of the 4 unions who say that the newly institute Health Authorities Act violates the Charter rights of their members.

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Parliamentary roundup for the week of Dec. 8-13

Photo: flickr/ Vince Alongi

Members of Parliament are getting ready to pack up and leave for the holiday vacation on Friday. Parliament will resume in January. However, the impending holidays didn't slow down the discussion in House of Commons this week, as MPs tackled major issues that will surely be re-assessed in the new year.

As we enter 2015, an election year, the major parties are sure to kick into pre-election mode. In the meantime, here's a roundup of the big issues in the House of Commons this week.

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New jobs at EI centres not about helping the public service but saving face, says union

Photo: flickr/Vitor Lima

People waiting for employment insurance (EI) benefits may get their questions answered sooner than before, as the federal government has promised to add around 400 new public servants in order to deal with a high number of complaints.

On Tuesday, Minister of Employment Jason Kenney confirmed to The Globe and Mail plans to bolster Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) with more staff as nearly 10,000 Canadians complained about poor service, unanswered phone calls and long waiting times for EI inquiries.

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Latin Americans pay the price for corporate climate destruction

Photo: flickr/Development Planning Unit

Information contained in a new report that details how multinational corporations are destroying the environment and causing serious climate damage in Latin America brings attention to an important area not being discussed at the UN COP 20 climate negotiations being held in Peru.

The report describes in detail how the destruction caused by three European multinational corporations is typical of the damage caused by multi-nationals throughout the continent.

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New research helps advocate for a national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Image: generously donated by www.jonlabillois.com

What does it take to protect Indigenous women from violence?

Tina Fontaine was a young woman who should have had her whole life ahead of her. She was a much loved daughter, niece, sister and friend. She was also a citizen of the Sagkeeng First Nation and member of an Indigenous community with a rich cultural heritage. However, this past summer she also became another number in a shameful statistic: one of over 1,100 Indigenous women and girls to have gone missing or been murdered in Canada since 1980.

Responding to Tina's death, vigils were held, bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups in a renewed call for a national commission of inquiry into the appallingly high numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

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Toronto is now home to world's first harm-reduction workers' union

Image: THRWU

Toronto is home to the world's first ever harm-reduction workers' union: THRWU.

On November 11, workers at South Riverdale and Central Toronto Community health centres told their employers that they had joined the Toronto Harm Reduction Workers Union (THRWU) and demanded recognition.

With 50 members and counting, the union represents a wide range of professions including HIV/AIDS workers, workers involved in the distribution of safe usage tools, overdose prevention workers, peer workers, Hepatitis C workers, and nurses -- to name only a few.

While some THRWU members work in paid positions, others work as volunteers or are unemployed. 

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