2008 in review: The Top 10 on the nice list

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rabble's been making some lists, checking them twice. Now you're going to find out who we think has been naughty and nice in 2008. With the economic crisis we were short on candy canes, and because of the ecological crisis we wanted to set a hard cap on the distribution of lumps of coal - so we have kept this to a Top 10 format. We want your feedback and list-making suggestions, so join the discussion on babble...

Here's the nice list for 2008:

Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who was awarded the Order of Canada for a lifetime of service to the cause of women's right to abortion. There's still work to do, of course, and that's why we are encourage by . . .

The new generation of feminist activists, who served notice in 2008 that reports of the death of the women's movement in Canada have been greatly exaggerated.

Barack Obama. (The President-elect made the naughty list too.) But his victory was historic, and was made possible by generations of courageous and determined activists for equal rights. Obama energized new voters, and raised the hopes of millions for substantive change from the Bush years. And his win came in spite of thinly veiled appeals to racism and myriad smear campaigns - and all of that just from the Clintons.

Toronto's Good Jobs for All Summit. Admittedly it's rare for a conference to make a list like this, but this one could not have been more timely and important. A vibrant, multi-racial labour movement pushing for 'green jobs' is exactly what is needed in the face of the economic crisis.

Bolivia's poor, Indigenous majority
, who mobilized in defence of their historic democratic, social revolution. Evo Morales won a decisive win in a referendum on his presidency, while the popular movements took to the streets in response to violent rightist gangs who, on behalf of the country's small, racist elite, attempted to destabilize the Bolivian government.

Media Democracy activists across Canada, who made sure that Media Democracy Day was marked properly in a number of cities.

John Cusack
, for making a film of anti-war political satire, and taking the financial risk that such an undertaking entails. Cusack knows his stuff, too, as he demonstrated in this conversation with Naomi Klein.

Mother Earth Protectors. Some of the most successful organizing of 2008 was done in solidarity with Indigenous struggles - something that has historically been paid too little attention by the Left in this country. A week-long campout at Queen's Park was a culmination of sorts for some of this work, and coincided with the release from prison of Bob Lovelace and the 'KI-6'.

The new and improved rabble.ca. OK, so it's a little shameless to pat ourselves on the back like this but, hey, it's been a year of significant developments for rabble. First, we launched rabbleTV; then we unveiled a beta version of our new, redesigned website. With your help and feedback, we will continue to improve our multi-media site in 2009.

Danny Williams. Who could have predicted that a (Progressive) Conservative premier would make this list? But Williams deserves the praise he is getting for standing up to forestry giant AbitibiBowater and revoking their forestry and water rights.





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