- Maude Barlow offers some background to the Common Causes protests happening across Canada this week:
Over the last two years, we have witnessed amazing organizing and mobilizing in Canada -- from student movements in Québec, to the “Defend Our Coast” struggle against tar sands pipelines in British Columbia, to scientists speaking out against the “Death of Evidence,” to the environmental community standing together through the “Black Out Speak Out” campaign. Courageous doctors have stepped forward to challenge the attacks on refugee benefits, and librarians and archivists have marched to save our collective history. Workers are fighting for their rights. First Nations have taken direct action through the “Idle No More” movement, and Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation launched a hunger strike to protest unjust omnibus bills.- And if we're looking for reasons to protest, the Cons have offered up a couple of noteworthy ones - including their suppression of details about oil spills caused by neglect in oversight, the presumably-related departure of an environment commissioner who found no apparent value in highlighting issues for a government which wouldn't listen, and their advertising to tell potential Roma refugees in Hungary they're not welcome in Canada.
The time has come for Canada-wide coordinated action against the Harper government's agenda, which is fundamentally changing our society and our country. Common Causes will work to support the many mobilizations and campaigns that already exist, but also to create a strategic, coordinated plan to ensure that the Harper agenda is stopped at the next election and replaced with a progressive alternative. Common Causes will work cross-sectorally, locally, provincially and nationally to create an extended network for solidarity, resistance, action and change. Through this coordination, we will shape priorities for common action and maximum impact.
- But while taking to the streets, we should make sure to focus on what we can plausibly accomplish. And Murray Dobbin seems to be headed in entirely the wrong direction - demanding a one-time electoral reform pact with little prospect of success, while ignoring the reality that a two-year gap in progressive work on substantive policy will only facilitate the rightward drift he takes as a given.
- Finally, it's good to see plenty of much-needed pushback against the City of Regina's plans to shut down the pool and recreation facilities which actually allow citizens to gather and keep fit while pouring millions upon millions of dollars into a new site for passive viewing purposes.