#93 - Three Cs of Human Rights: China, Colombia, and Canada

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

In this podcast: How a Canada-Colombia FTA affects trade union activists in Colombia, Denise Chong about an activist's life in China, and preserving the history of resistance in Canada's Africville.



(2:01 - 7:47) The Canadian Union of Public Employees has been working to prevent the implementation of a Free Trade deal between Canada and Colombia, because of the human rights abuses in that country against labour activists and indigenous peoples. Berenice Celeyta is a human rights activist in Colombia, and the director of NOMADESC, the Association for Social Research and Action in Southwestern Colombia. She is a winner of the Robert F. Kenedy human rights award, and has faced death threats and imprisonment for her work with labour activists and the displaced people of Colombia. Earlier this month, she took mic at CUPE’s national convention in Montreal to tell the conference delegates what support from CUPE means for activists in her country. She spoke to the crowd in Spanish, with simultaneous translation. Here is part of what she shared with the crowd.

(8:40 - 12:08) This episode’s second C: China. During the Tienanmen Square protests in 1989, Lu De Cheng (Lou Deh-Chung) was one of three young men who showed their anger at China’s communist government by filling eggshells with paint and launching them at the portrait of Chairman Mao that presides over the square. That single action led the three of them to a life of imprisonment and harassment. After serving 11 years of a 16 year sentence, Lu De Cheng escaped to Canada. Writer Denise Chong has documented his story. Meagan had the opportunity to speak to Denise Chong about her book. It’s called Egg On Mao: The Story of an ordinary man who defaced and icon and Unmasked a Dictatorship. Here’s part of their conversation.

(12:43 - 17:32)We’ll start by heading to Montreal, where Lillian Allen and Anne Healy were a surprise treat at the CUPE National Convention. Allen is known for bringing dub poetry to Canada, and Healy is part of the folk duo Healy and Juravich.

(18:15 - 28:46) African people were bought and sold in Nova Scotia, but after the war of 1812, many of those who escaped slavery or had been freed settled at the northern tip of the Halifax peninsula. The settlement became known as Africville. Lack of services, racism, and poverty made it infamous for being one of Canada’s worst slums. But Africville was also a place of resistance until the 1960s, when black families were evicted to make way for industrial development by the city of Halifax. In this documentary, Adam Bemma speaks to some of the activists who are preserving the history of oppression and resistance that is embodied Africville.


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.