If you're having trouble viewing this message, open it in a browser window.
This Issue: Homophobia, Liberation Theology and Cultural Appropriation
This issue of Other Voices features a wide range of issues. The
topic of the week is homophobia, the hate that led to 49 deaths in
Orlando last week, but which is present in greater or lesser form in
every part of the world.
We are always concerned, not only with what is wrong with the world, but what to do about it.
This issue carries an excerpt from Umair Mohammed’s book
‘Confronting Injustice: Social Activism in the Age of Individualism’ in
which he warns against the pitfalls of individualist and
consumer-oriented approaches and argues in favour of collective action
to build an effective movement.
Derrick Jensen considers some of the arguments in favour of
pacifism and finds them wanting. He agrees that creative approaches to
social change can oftentimes make violence unnecessary, but that
sometimes violence is a necessary response to violence.
Another article looks at the decline of liberation theology,
targeted as a threat by both the Vatican and secular power structures.
Kenan Malik considers the issue of “cultural appropriation” and
asks why so many on the so-called left are more interested in
criticizing Justin Bieber’s hairstyle than in fighting capitalism.
From the Archives we present ‘Suffragetto,” a 100-year-old board
game from Britain, which allowed players to imitate real-life battles
between suffragettes campaigning for votes for women, and the police.
The book of the week is “Canada Since 1960s: A People’s History”
which presents a left perspective on 50 years of politics, economics,
and culture, seen through the eyes of contributors to Canadian Dimension
As always, we invite you to share this newsletter with your friends. You can forward this email, or send them the link to the Other Voices home page on the Connexions website at www.connexions.org/Media/CxNewsletter.htm.
If you'd like to subscribe and receive this newsletter by email every two weeks, please use this form.
Your feedback is appreciated - and so are donations to keep us doing what we're doing!
Topic of the Week
The horror of Orlando reminded us that homophobia, including its most
extreme and deadly forms, is still very much with us. There are 77
countries in the world where homosexuality remains illegal; in ten of
them, it is punishable by death. In the United States, hate-filled
politicians affiliated with right-wing Christianity have said that,
while the killings in Orlando were ‘wrong’, of course those killed are
now burning in hell because they were gay. The Connexions Subject Index
has many resources on homophobia, and on the struggles worldwide to
overcome it. See more
Can we shop our way to a better world?
In this article excerpted from his book ‘Confronting Injustice: Social
Activism in the Age of Individualism’ Umair Mohammad argues that
lifestyle change and ‘ethical consumerism’ are not bridges to effective
social change, but barriers to it. To build effective social movements,
he says, we must begin by rejecting individualist approaches. Read more
Keywords: Lifestyle Changes - Strategies for Social Change
Pipeline Rights vs Private Property Rights
At the dawn of the shale gas revolution, private property was
held as sacred by natural gas producers. A major reason why the shale
gas revolution was stronger in the United States than in other
countries, according to experts, was because the private ownership of
subsurface rights in the United States provided an incentive to property
owners to lease their land to gas producers. But when the harm caused
by fracking and pipelines became clearer and property owners started
refusing to allow access to their land, the corporations began to see
private property rights as an obstacle. Now government agencies, along
with federal and state courts, are responding to industry pressure by
granting pipeline companies permission to confiscate private property to
build pipelines. Regulators, at the request of pipeline companies, are
classifying proposed pipelines as in the “public interest,” and the
courts are threatening private property owners with fines and prison if
they refuse to allow pipeline companies access to their property. Read more
Keywords: Pipleine Construction - Property Rights
Top Shale Fracking Executive: We Won't Frack the Rich
Fracking companies deliberately keep their wells away from the "big
houses" of wealthy and potentially influential people, a top executive
from one of the country's most prominent shale drilling companies told a
gathering of attorneys at a seminar on oil and gas environmental law.
Wealthy people might have the money and resources to fight fracking
operations in court, which in turn might set precedents that could be
used to block fracking operations more widely. Read more
Keywords: Anti-Fracking Protests - Fracking
Away with the gatekeepers!
Malik reviews some recent controversies over 'cultural appropriation'
and what they reveal about the degradation of contemporary campaigns for
social justice. The campaign against cultural appropriation, says
Malik, is part of the broader attempt to police communities and
cultures. Those who most suffer from such policing are minority
communities themselves, and in particular progressive voices within
those communities. The real fight against injustice begins with ridding
ourselves of our self-appointed gatekeepers. Read more
Keywords: Cultural appropriation - Identity politics
The Rise and Fall of Liberation Theology in Latin America
Liberation Theology in Latin America has been an integral part of
progressive movements. The Vatican, with the support and guidance from
the United States, has sabotaged Liberation Theology in Latin America.
Their aim has been to maintain the status quo and stop the progressive
forces from taking control. Read more
Keywords: Christian Social & Political Analysis - Liberation Theology
Excerpts from Endgame: Pacifism
Derrick Jensen looks at the main arguments normally presented by
pacifists and examines them to see if they make any sense. He thinks
they don’t. Read more
Keywords: Pacifism – Nonviolence
Book of the Week
Canada Since 1960: A People's History
Edited by Cy Gonick
A Left Perspective on 50 Years of
Politics, Economics and Culture, seen through the eyes of Canadian
Dimension magazine. When Winnipeg's Cy Gonick started the magazine
Canadian Dimension in 1963 to provide a home for the thinking and
analysis of mostly young leftists engaged in Canadian economic, social,
cultural, artistic and political issues, he had no grand plan. But
Canadian Dimension was welcomed by intellectuals, scholars and students,
and it proved enduring. Hundreds of Canada's leading figures of the
left have contributed to its pages over the years, writing about every
major topic in Canadian public life.
This book offers an account of the
most important developments in Canadian history from the sixties until
today, as seen and interpreted by writers on the pages of Dimension.
Each chapter reviews a major theme, such as Canada's relationship to the
U.S., the development of our health care
system, the dynamics of Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal relations and the
role of Canadian cultural work in shaping Canadian society. Taken
together, the book provides a unique and broad perspective on virtually
every significant event and development in recent Canadian history.
Readers who know the magazine will
find this book a compelling summary of how Canada changed in the past
five decades, and how the Left saw those changes and challenged them.
Readers who discover Canadian Dimension through this book will find a
multitude of compelling voices who challenge the dominant neoliberal
thinking of mainstream Canadian intellectual life. Read more
Keywords: Canadian History - Left History
Film of the Week
Based on a true story, the film depicts a group of lesbian and gay
activists who raised money to help families affected by the British
miners' strike in 1984, at the outset of what would become the Lesbians
and Gays Support the Miners campaign. See more
Keywords: Gay & Lesbian History - Strike Support
How Propaganda (Actually) Works
Propaganda is far more complex and problematic than lying about
the facts. Certainly propaganda is designed to look like facts that are
true and right, but not in a way we might think. What’s more, the
consequences are far worse than most people consuming and even producing
it realize. Understanding propaganda is the key to stopping it. Read more
Keywords: Propaganda – Framing Issues
The bookseller saving Jerusalem's Palestinian identity
Stripped of their rights, the last wall of Palestinian resistance is culture, says the owner of a Jerusalem bookshop. Read more
Keywords: Bookstores - Palestine
'Suffragetto': a Suffragettes vs. Police Board Game Rediscovered After 100 Years
The Bodleian Library's
recent Playing With History exhibition featured, among many other
interesting historical games, the only known playing set of Suffragetto;
a board game based on the battles between radical suffragettes and
police constables in London during the early 20th century. Read more
Keywords: Suffragettes - Games
Your support is needed to keep Connexions going
All of the
work of the Connexions project is done by volunteers, but our expenses
include rent, phone and computer costs and technical support, as well as
expenses related to our ongoing project of converting printed archival
materials into digital formats. You can make a one time or regular
monthly contribution through the donate page on the Connexions website.
Many of us have made working for
social justice a lifetime commitment. If you are thinking about leaving
a legacy for social justice that will live on, you might want to
consider leaving a bequest to Connexions in your will. If you'd like to
discuss this option, please contact us: Connexions Archive and Library,
812A Bloor Street West, Suite 201, Toronto, ON M6G 1L9, 416-964-5735 or
see the Bequest page..
June 20 – International
World Refugee Day
The United Nations General Assembly
decided that 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day,
coinciding with Africa Refugee Day, after the 50th anniversary of the
1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
June 20 - 24 – Winnipeg
Peace Building Through Community Development
This course will provide an overview
of the development field, emphasizing approaches to development that
are based in holistic, culturally-centered, and participatory
National Aboriginal Day
June is Aboriginal History Month. The 22nd annual National Aboriginal Day celebration is on Tuesday, June 21, 2016.
June 22 - 26
Torture Survivor Awareness Week
Join us at our yearly celebration to
learn about current human rights issues such as torture, U.S. policy on
human rights, and the long wait torture survivors face before they are
July 1 - 3 – Canso, Nova Scotia
Stan Rogers Folk Festival
An annual three-day music festival held in Canso, Nova Scotia.
The Connexions Calendar is an
online calendar that exists to advertise events that support social
justice, democracy, human rights, ecology, and other causes. We invite
you to use it to promote your events. Adding events to the Connexions
Calendar is FREE. We'll give you a username and password which you use
to log on. Use the contact form to arrange for a username and password. Read more →
June 18, 1935
The Battle of Ballantyne Pier
Dockworkers who have been locked out by the shipping
companies march towards Vancouver’s Ballantyne Pier, where scabs have
been brought in to unload ships. As they approach the pier, they are
attacked by a massed force of hundreds of city, provincial, and federal
police. Police also attack the union hall, and a first aid post set up
by the women’s auxiliary.
June 18, 1934
The Battle of Orgreave
Striking coalminers and their supporters confront police who
have been sent to help British Steel in its attempt to break the miners’
union. Between 4,000 and 8,000 police are deployed against the
picketing miners. They are helped by intelligence provided by the
British security service, MI5, which has infiltrated the miners’ union
in order to gather intelligence to be used in defeating the strike.
Police repeatedly charge the strikers. They arrest 95 workers, but all
the trials collapse after it becomes clear that police have lied and
June 21, 1919
Bloody Sunday in Winnipeg
RCMP charge into a crowd of strikers in Winnipeg, killing two men and injuring 20.
June 23-26, 1848
Insurrection in Paris
The people of Paris rise in insurrection. The revolt is a
response to a series of reactionary actions by the “Party of Order”, the
dominant faction in the bourgeois government. On June 21, the “Party of
Order” shuts down the National Workshops, initially created to provide
work for unemployed workers. On June 23, 170,000 workers come out into
the streets of Paris in protest and begin erecting barricades.
June 25, 1967
Mohammed Ali found guilty
Heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed Ali is found guilty of
refusing induction into the armed forces of the United States. The
boxing authorities pile on as well: they strip Ali of his title and take
away his boxing license.
June 27, 1905
Revolt on the Battleship Potemkin
Rebellion breaks out on the Battleship Potemkin. It begins
spontaneously when sailors refuse to eat a meal of borscht made from
rotten meat infested with maggots.
Trying to change the world? We can help.
Getting your story across can be an uphill battle when your group is challenging the status quo. Our partner organization SOURCES can help you get your message out. As a SOURCES
member, you have an array of media relation tools at your disposal to
promote your events, books, articles, videos, etc. as well as tools to
get you in contact with those who can help you achieve your goals. The SOURCES news release
service is especially valuable for groups wants to inform the media
(and the public) about their issues. For more information about Sources please click this link.
Follow us on twitter to stay up to date with company news and other information.
Like us on Facebook to keep up with our news, updates and other discussions.
Connexions 2015. Contents are licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution Non-Commercial License. This means you are welcome to share
and republish the contents of this newsletter as long as you credit
Connexions, and as long as you don’t charge for the content.
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter, is available online here
This issue was edited by Ulli Diemer.
812A Bloor Street West, Suite 201
Toronto ON M6G 1L9 Canada
Enjoy this issue of Other Voices? Want to share with friends and family? Then we encourage you to share this link. All issues of OtherVoices are available on the Connexions website at www.connexions.org/Media/CxNewsletter.htm
If you don’t want to receive emails from us anymore, click here to unsubscribe.