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 Connexions.org
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.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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 Connexions.org
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,
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 Connexions.org and Sources.com.
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
Connexions.org 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: www.clga.ca
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
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
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
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.
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
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
More about grassroots archives and people’s history:
Connexions.org features an annotated list of grassroots, radical,
labour, women’s, and social history archives. Find out more about these