The Toronto G20 Summit of June 26-27, 2010, hosted by Stephen Harper, was an incredibly expensive undertaking that resulted in massive human rights violations against members of the public at the hands of the police. Despite this, politicians refuse to call a full public inquiry and hold police—as…
They call us now. Before they drop the bombs. The phone rings and someone who knows my first name calls and says in perfect Arabic “This is David.” And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies still smashing around in my head I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?” They call us now to say Run. You have 58 seconds from the end of this message. Your house is next. They think of it as some kind of war time courtesy. It doesn’t matter that there is nowhere to run to. It means nothing that the borders are closed and your papers are worthless and mark you only for a life sentence in this prison by the sea and the alleyways are narrow and there are more human lives packed one against the other more than any other place on earth Just run. We aren’t trying to kill you. It doesn’t matter that you can’t call us back to tell us the people we claim to want aren’t in your house that there’s no one here except you and your children who were cheering for Argentina sharing the last loaf of bread for this week counting candles left in case the power goes out. It doesn’t matter that you have children. You live in the wrong place and now is your chance to run to nowhere. It doesn’t matter that 58 seconds isn’t long enough to find your wedding album or your son’s favorite blanket or your daughter’s almost completed college application or your shoes or to gather everyone in the house. It doesn’t matter what you had planned. It doesn’t matter who you are Prove you’re human. Prove you stand on two legs. Run.
By many accounts, the corporate presence at last weekend’s gay pride parade in New York City was greater than any other year in the parade’s history. TD Bank, one of the parade’s platinum sponsors, went so far as to distribute necklaces with the rainbow flag and a small TD logo emblazoned on the front, which many attendees wore as they marched or chanted or danced. For some, the omnipresent TD Bank logos bore a strange and special pain. TD Bank, after all, has provided the largest corporate loans for Transcanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline, the infamous tar sands pipeline that has been proposed as a means of transporting toxic, climate ravaging tar sands oil from the fields of Alberta for refinement and distribution here in America. Former NASA scientist James Hansen has called the pipeline "game over for the climate" and articles on the pipeline can be found here, here and here. In this context, it was not simply poor taste to have the TD logo slathered all over everything at the pride parade - it was a direct betrayal of the parade’s purpose. It was a betrayal because climate change is fundamentally an LGBTQ issue, and queer liberation demands action on climate change.
The movie LUMINAWA tells the story of a family and their commitment to the preservation of the cultural heritage of their tribe, the Kalinga. The Bawer family lives in Lubuagan, a village in the mountains of the Philippines. As a result of the missionaries and the influence of globalization, they, poor rice farmers in the Cordilleras, lost many of their identity-forming traditions. The former teacher Sapi Bawer cares, with the help of his family, to revive not only the Kalinga’s artistic traditions, like weaving, ancient chants and dances, but also their sense of community life. He sees the artistic traditions as an important identity-building power for his people and hopes thereby to stop the exodus of mountain farmers to the big city.
With recent media scandals about the abuse of temporary foreign workers and the subsequent outrage about migrant workers stealing Canadians’ jobs, Minister Jason Kenney has announced a number of changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program on June 20, 2014.
But these reforms are band-aid measures that maintain the legal exploitation of migrant workers. Coupled with increased Canadian Border Services Agency funding, migrant workers can now be removed more quickly – within two years. Such reforms cater to reactionary sentiments to privilege Canadians and ‘get rid of migrant workers’ without addressing the structural abuse inherent to the program. The fanfare about stricter penalties for employers is a PR stunt since employer sanctions will be based on workers’ complaints to the government (totally unlikely!) Migrant workers will continue to be indentured to a single employer, won’t have guaranteed access to social services or labour protections, and will not be granted permanent residency upon arrival.
“Letting down your guard can be really difficult, especially when you are black or brown and have been taught that letting down your guard is a sure way to not survive in a world that wants to kill you. Still, somehow we find ways to do it, to let each other in, to allow friends and lovers into the deepest parts of our hearts. We get hurt, terribly hurt, by each other. And still, we keep trying.”—Mia McKenzie: Love, QPOC Style. (via tierracita)
“Something changes the moment you decide you’ve found a person you are ready to reveal parts of your soul to. Something stands out and makes the moment unique. A profound multidimensional clarity resembling a piece of carefully gathered stardust; As if you are whispering “finally” and your eyes fill with light and spontaneity. As if you do not care whether your heart will melt or crumble in the process because your brief courage undoes your tremendous fear of disbelief. You live for these moments; For you are, maybe for one second or more, sweetly forced to surrender yourself to unconditional intimacy. A moment of psychological reward smashing all self-imposed disciplines founded on terror. This is all you need.”—
Trigger/content warnings: references to rape (including corrective rape), discussion of abusive relationships, victim blaming
There isn’t space to talk about non-normative relationships failing, because there’s a relentless pressure (often from people who aren’t even in relationships!) to present non-normative relationships as the way to fight against compulsory sexuality, a haven from the evils of the sexual world, and basically composed of rainbows and magic. I’m sorry if this bursts your bubble, but they’re not. Non-normative relationships don’t work for everyone, and even if they do happen to work for you, they are relationships between human beings and thus have the same messiness and potential for hurt as any other relationships between human beings.
“Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says. ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now. So I love you. Go.’”—Maya Angelou (via dillondean)
Pets can be surprisingly temperamental creatures despite having almost nothing to complain about compared to majority of animals in the world, and a recent series of photographs of a scorned Pomeranian shows exactly how far certain pets are willing to go to make a statement.
“True love is a different story. When it happens, individuals usually feel in touch with each other’s core identity. Embarking on such a relationship is frightening precisely because we feel there is no place to hide. We are known. All the ecstasy that we feel emerges as this love nurtures us and challenges us to grow and transform.”—bell hooks, all about love: new visions (via weaveadream)
“A long time ago, when you were a wee thing, you learned something, some way to cope, something that, if you did it, would help you survive. It wasn’t the healthiest thing, it wasn’t gonna get you free, but it was gonna keep you alive. You learned it, at five or six, and it worked, it *did* help you survive. You carried it with you all your life, used it whenever you needed it. It got you out—out of your assbackwards town, away from an abuser, out of range of your mother’s un-love. Or whatever. It worked for you. You’re still here now partly because of this thing that you learned. The thing is, though, at some point you stopped needing it. At some point, you got far enough away, surrounded yourself with people who love you. You survived. And because you survived, you now had a shot at more than just staying alive. You had a shot now at getting free. But that thing that you learned when you were five was not then and is not now designed to help you be free. It is designed only to help you survive. And, in fact, it keeps you from being free. You need to figure out what this thing is and work your ass off to un-learn it. Because the things we learn to do to survive at all costs are not the things that will help us get FREE. Getting free is a whole different journey altogether.”—