Connexions Calender

July 4 – 6, 2014
Mariposa Folk Festival
Orillia, Ontario

July 4 – 6, 2014
Stan Rogers Folk Festival
Canso, Nova Scotia

July 9 – 13, 2014
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Winnipeg, Manitoba

More events

Seeds of Fire:
A People’s Chronology


July 4, 1776
Rebellious American colonists declare their independence from Britain. Their Declaration of Independence asserts the right and duty of a people to “alter or abolish” any government which is abusive and unjust.

July 4, 1829
Speaking at Boston’s Park Street Church, newspaper editor and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison speaks on “Dangers to the Nation.” Garrison decries the hypocrisy of celebrating the Declaration of Independence, which asserts that “All men are created equal” while two million African Americans are in bondage.

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. For more information about Sources please click this link. 
About Us
The Connexions Archive is an unique resource for the grassroots in Canada, and internationally. For the last 39 years, Connexions has worked tirelessly to preserve records of grassroots activism and make them available in living, breathing form using modern tools to make it instantly accessible to and by, everyone.
Your support is needed to keep Connexions doing its work
Most 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, Toronto, 416-964-5735.

Other Voices

The Connexions Newsletter
July 3, 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We are pleased to introduce Other Voices, the new bi-weekly Connexions newsletter.

This newsletter is intended to be a means for keeping Connexions’ friends informed what’s new at Connexions, as well as to provide news about the broader world of progressive archives, people’s history projects, and social justice news generally. 

Each issue will spotlight some new additions to the website – including materials from the Connexions Archive & Library that have been digitized and made available online – as well as a selection of publications, resources, websites, and news items.

We’ll also let you know what’s happening with the Connexions project itself. Speaking of which: we’re still precariously housed, and still on the lookout for an affordable – or better yet, free – space  for the Connexions Archive & Library and the people who work on it. If you have any leads or ideas, please get in touch.

You’re invited to contribute to this newsletter. If you know of news or resources you’d like to share, please get in touch via or 416-964-5735. If you’re a former volunteer or intern who helped out in the past, and you’d like to let other Connexions folks know what you’re up to now, we’d be happy to share that information too.

We hope this first issue interests and informs you. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions on what you'd like to see in this newsletter. 

This issue of Other Voices is available on the Connexions website here. We’ll also be posting content from it on the Connexions  Facebook page, here

Subscribe: If you’d like to have this newsletter sent to you via email, use this link to Subscribe

This week on 

Climate politics must be as radical as the climate crisis
Currently featured on the Connexions homepage is an article by Simon Butler, a member of the Socialist Alliance in Sydney, Australia. According to Butler, if the climate action movement allows its goals to be shaped by what is permissible in a capitalist economy then it is bound to fail: to respond to the climate emergency, revolutionary change is needed. (For more resources on Climate Change, see here.

Twenty-first Century Land Grabs
Also featured on the home page is this article from Monthly Review by Fred Magdoff. Magdoff explains why land grabs – whether initiated by multinational corporations and private investment firms emanating from the capitalist core, sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East, or state entities such as China or India – are now in the news constantly. (For more resources on Land Grabs, see here.)

Treasures from the archives  
Issues # 39 to # 67 of  Press for Conversion, the invaluable magazine published by Ottawa-based Coalition to Oppose Arms Trade ( COAT) are available online on the COAT website as well as through and Hard copies of these magazines are also housed in the Connexions Archive. These 28 issues now have been catalogued, subject indexed, and included in the Connexions search interface. They're an amazing resource for anyone needing solid background information about militarism, the arms trade, and peace activism and we’re happy to help more readers become aware of them. 

Topic of the Week: Surveillance

Looking for resources on Surveillance? Check out the Surveillance page in the Connexions Subject Index. You will find articles and books documenting government spying, from the RCMP spying on the Canadian left from the 1920s onward, right up to the Snowden revelations. Connexions features a powerful subject index designed to help you find resources and groups on the issues that concern you. You can browse or use our search feature. 

Website of the Week: Medialens feature a directory of more than 1,000 progressive groups and websites. This week, we’d like to spotlight Medialens, which consistently documents and challenges the bias of the corporate media. When the mainstream media become unbearable, a visit to Medialens can be a cleansing experience.

People’s History and Grassroots Archives News

The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives have started a collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History to include LGBTQ+ histories in the Museum’s new Canadian History Hall which opened on Canada Day 2014. See: (Source). The current exhibition at the CLGA home in Toronto is “Imagining Home: Resistance, Migration, Contradiction”. The exhibition deals with questions about the meaning of “home” in a world that keeps refining homophobic and racist oppression. Included in the gallery is the video “Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights” which follows LGBT activists in Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Jamaica, Guyana, Belize, Saint Lucia and India. Also showing is “Queer and Muslim: Finding Peace within Islam”. See:

Lawrence & Wishart, a British publisher which claims the copyright to the collected works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, has instructed the Marxist Internet Archives (MIA) to remove digital version of the Marx and Engels Collected works, and any works derived from them, from their website. MIA has complied. Lawrence & Wishart, formerly affiliated with the British Communist Party, call themselves a socialist publisher but insist the move was necessary to protect its sales of the 50-volume Collected Works. The takedown order has created a storm of protest, and a number of mirror sites have sprung up where the texts removed from the MIA website can still be found online. 

Residential Schools inquiry documents may be destroyed
The chief adjudicator of the Indian residential schools claims process, Dan Shapiro, has called for all documents from the hearings be destroyed. He argues that destroying the records is the only way to preserve the privacy of the survivors who told their stories. He rejected other options commonly used in similar situations, such as redacting the records to remove individual names, or placing a time limit on their release.
His proposal has sparked widespread opposition. A number of survivors have said that destroying the records would be comparable to destroying the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. “The records that hang in the balance are irreplaceable and comprehensive”, said Ry Moran, director of the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. “If that information is destroyed, as sensitive as it maybe, we have to ask ourselves: What happens to the truth? What happens to this huge collection of the voices of survivors?” said Moran. A court is to hear arguments on the proposal to destroy the documents on July, 2014.

Dismantling Canada’s Science Libraries: An Update
In an act of shameful vandalism, the Harper government has been systematically destroying world-leading environmental, scientific and fisheries and oceans libraries. Collections have ended up in dumpsters and have been sent to landfills. Irreplaceable information is being lost forever.
In the case of Environment Canada, the 
ministry's libraries have now been “consolidated” into a handful of offices and many books have been thrown away, including many "grey works" – materials that have not been widely published with as few as one or two copies in existence.
Eighty percent of Parks Canada libraries have closed, leaving only one in Cornwall, Ontario. There are now only two Fisheries and Oceans libraries with much historical literature and data recycled in a “green fashion” according to Gail Shea, Minister of 
Fisheries and Oceans.
The only Health Canada library – created after the closure of many branch and small libraries in 2008 – was scheduled to close in 2013 with all remaining books transfered to the National Science Library on the Ottawa campus of the National Research Council. This collection is difficult to access according to many researchers and some have even had to borrow Student Library Cards to gain access to the documents.
The Harper Government claims the libraries were underused and the cuts saved taxpayers money. In reply, scientists have said the underuse was deliberately engineered by restricting access to the libraries, thus preventing many researchers from using the facilities. 

More about grassroots archives and people’s history: features an annotated list of grassroots, radical, labour, women’s, and social history archives. Find out more about these archives here.

Copyright Connexions 2014. 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

Thanks to Tahmid Khan, Zsófia László, and Ulli Diemer for their work on this newsletter.  

Contact Connexions:
Connexions Archive and Library
812A Bloor Street West, Suite 201
Toronto ON M6G 1L9


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