Politics

A memorable criticism in Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward’s Poor People’s Movements: Why they Succeed, How they Fail alleges that organizers often miss their opportunity because the use the moment of chaos in which the common people are prepared to rebel as an opportunity for institution-building instead of revolution or immediate large-scale reform. The […]

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A frequent criticism of climate change policies like the Leap Manifesto and the Green New Deal which seek to accomplish a number of labour and social justice objectives alongside controlling climate change is that the policies don’t have a logical relationship with one another, framing the effort this way reduces the emphasis on climate change […]

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Louis Sobol recently wrote a piece in the National Observer about university divestment organizing in New Brunswick: Lessons from campaigning for divestment at Mount Allison University. It covers some themes of the movement: the sense of ecological threat motivating people to take action, the dominant perspectives within the movement about intersectionality and progressive allyship, an […]

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Our main point, however, is not simply that efforts to build organizations are futile. The more important point is that by endeavoring to do what they cannot do, organizers fail to do what they can do. During those brief periods in which people are roused to indignation, when they are prepared to defy the authorities […]

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John Fraser, former head of Massey College, has an article in today’s National Post: Canada’s First Nations and the Queen have a kinship like no other. I’d like to see a rebuttal from someone like Pamela Palmater. Personally I think it’s rather questionable to be upholding the idea that the crown has behaved honourably less […]

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A bit of good news: Supreme Court rules energy companies cannot walk away from old wells. The fossil fuel industry has huge future cleanup costs, including the UK’s North Sea platforms, and of course Canada’s bitumen sands. The CBC story notes: Alberta has been dealing with a tsunami of orphaned oil and gas wells in […]

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I am preparing to present a preliminary version of my research results at the Power Shift conference in Ottawa, which takes place from February 14th to 18th. It’s an unusual venue for presenting academic research. The website says that it will “convene hundreds of young people from across this land to build a powerful and […]

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An increasingly frequent media line from supporters of the bitumen sands and the fossil fuels industry generally is that if oil isn’t produced in Canada it will be produced in Saudi Arabia instead, and that is undesirable because the conduct of people in Saudi Arabia is unethical while Canadians behave ethically. As more morally worthy […]

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After [redacted by the CIA] left, Boris had to keep introducing harsher and harsher methods, because Abu Zubaydah and other terrorists were trained to resist them. In a democracy such as ours, there is a glass ceiling on harsh techniques that the interrogator cannot breach, so a detainee can eventually call the interrogator’s bluff. And […]

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Some less-than-encouraging news today: Nearly 6 in 10 Canadians call lack of new pipeline capacity a ‘crisis,’ poll suggests Trump replacement for Obama climate plan worse than doing nothing – study The first story about the poll has some room for interpretation. Seeing pipelines as a “crisis” doesn’t necessarily mean supporting them, though the article […]

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