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Bullet #1387: Women Rise Up Against Gender Violence in the Caribbean

by Justin Podur interviews Joan Joy Grant Cummings | March 23, 2017

On March 11, survivors of violence against women and their allies and supporters held marches in six Caribbean countries. Started by two Barbadian women, Ronelle King and Allyson Benn, the movement had the hashtag #LifeInLeggings. In Jamaica, one of the groups marching was the Tambourine Army, a movement of activists dedicated to eradicating sexual violence against women and girls. Some of the Tambourine Army are survivors themselves of sexual violence.



What's New: Saskatchewan Speaks: Policy Recommendations for Transformational Change

by SaskForward | March 22, 2017

In December, SaskForward began an online public consultation process that asked people across the province to answer the question, 'What ‘transformational change’ would you introduce to make Saskatchewan a happier, healthier, and more prosperous place for all?' After receiving over one hundred submissions from individuals and organizations and hosting a policy summit and discussion with over 120 participants, SaskForward releases this report which puts forward a series of policy recommendations based on the ideas and suggestions Saskatchewan people shared with us.



Bullet #1386: Building Solidarity through Standing Up for Truth

by Caglar Dolek and Gulden Ozcan | March 22, 2017

The fate of the neoliberal Islamist project of authoritarian restoration in Turkey will be determined by an upcoming referendum on April 16 of this year. The referendum will be held under the conditions of a state of emergency in effect since the July 15 coup attempt last year. The regime's use of the putsch attempt to suppress all forms of dissent has quickly evolved into an overriding choice to make the state of emergency the permanent form of governance in Turkey. In this sense, the April 16 plebiscite on constitutional changes marks a defining stage in the politics of violent polarization and oppression under way for more than a decade.



What's New: Dark history of Canada's First Nations pass system uncovered in documentary

by Stephanie Cram | March 21, 2017

Very little is known about the pass system. It was a troubling piece of Canadian policy, put in place in 1885 to control the movements of First Nation people, and enforced until the 1940s. It required all First Nation people living on reserve to get written permission from an Indian agent when they needed to leave their community If caught without a pass, they were either incarcerated or returned to the reserve.



What's New: Trudeau backs C-23, armed US border guards in Canada

by Brent Patterson | March 21, 2017

The Trudeau government is moving forward with C-23, a controversial pre-clearance border security bill. CBC reports, 'U.S. border guards would get new powers to question, search and even detain Canadian citizens on Canadian soil under a bill proposed by the Liberal government. The bill would enshrine in law a reciprocal agreement for customs and immigration pre-clearance signed by the governments of Stephen Harper and Barack Obama in March 2015.'



What's New: We need popular participation, not populism

by Hilary Wainwright | March 21, 2017

The struggle for the vote for workers and for women was resisted at every stage, and when universal suffrage was finally won, every effort was made to blunt and control its impact through institutional devices. These included second chambers, disproportional electoral systems, executive powers and, most importantly, a rigid separation of politics from economics.



Mike Constable cartoonWhat's New: Pass the Hat

by Mike Constable | March 20, 2017

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8:00pm, Thursday March 23, 2017
Eative's Film Cafe, 230 Augusta Ave, Toronto.



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FilmSocial: Poverty and the Welfare State, Then and Now

Poverty and the Welfare State, Then and Now
Ken Loach’s award winning newest film I, Daniel Blake (2016), brilliantly exposes the discipline, humiliation and frustration which people who rely on welfare benefits are subjected to in contemporary Britain. To coincide with its Toronto release, we are showing Cathy Come Home (1966), Loach’s first great film on this subject, made exactly 50 years earlier.

Cathy Come Home is the story of Cathy, a working class woman who loses her home, husband and her child as result of an inflexible British welfare state. Ken Loach’s hard hitting realist drama takes on the social problems of poverty and homelessness in mid-sixties London. At the time of its launch, one critic described the film as “an ice-pick in the brain of all who saw it.”

Half a century on, poverty and homelessness persist in cities all over the world. These problems are acute in Toronto, the “inequality capital of Canada.” Campaigns against regressive government policies that adversely affect the working poor and homeless are urgent and growing.

What does Cathy Come Home tell us about capitalism, poverty and the welfare state, back then, and now?

Discussant: John Clarke, from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

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