In the Blog
Mid-Week Round-Up: May 28
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Check out what’s been making our headlines this week:
Beloved poet, author and activist Dr. Maya Angelou has passed at the age of 86. Click here to read about her books and here for a five-part interview with Dr. Angelou to learn more about her prolific life.
May 24 marked the international march against Monsanto (check out the marches in Toronto and Edmonton). The movement against Monsanto is fighting against genetically modified foods and the company’s increased control over seed production which has led to devastating repercussions for farmers across the world.
On May 21, thousands gathered in Ottawa to demand a public inquiry into the files of missing and murdered Indigenous women and to protest against the proposed First Nations Education Act, which many argue will grant more federal governmental control over Indigenous education.
Students in a Brampton, Ontario high school have banded together to fight back against an anti-immigration flyer which was distributed by “Immigration Watch” in their city. As a response to “Immigration Watch,” the students created a counter-flyer highlighting unity over hate.
Demystifying sex work starts with challenging the lies about sex work. As author of the article “Nine Lies We Have To Stop Telling About Sex Workers” Cyd Nova writes: “As a sex worker of 10 years who has been involved in activism and policy work, I have heard the full gamut of assumptions people make about the industry, which is easy to do — the media does not allow much room for nuanced portrayals of the lives of sex workers.”
May 23 marked the 100 year anniversary of the Komagata Muru, in which a chartered ship from Japan with 376 immigrants from India arrived in Vancouver and 352 were denied entry into Canada and forced to return to India. As award-winning film maker and visual artist Ali Kazemi writes in his Toronto Star op-ed, “the Komagata Maru ‘incident’ was not, as is claimed repeatedly, a dark chapter in Canadian history, nor was it incidental. It was a manifestation of a ‘white Canada’ policy — a set of selective legislations, regulations and agreements that effectively prevented non-European immigration to Canada for a century.”
On the eve of the anniversary over one hundred South Asian and advocacy organizations released a national statement highlighting how we can see the legacy of Komagata Maru take place today in the treatment of migrant workers, in the Refugee Exclusion Act, and in the general anti-immigrant, anti-refugee sentiment occurring in federal policies.
The shootings in Santa Barbara, California by Elliot Rodger which resulted in the loss of six lives has been described by many media outlets as a “rampage” by a “madman,” while glazing over the fact that Rodger targeted a sorority house. In response to the generalizations, several articles have been written outlining the links between misogyny and violence against women and the shootings by Rodgers:
The Men’s Rights Movement Taught Elliot Rodger Everything He Needed to Know
Elliot Rodger and Poisonous Ideals of Masculinity
Elliot Rodger and America’s ongoing masculinity crisis
What Elliot Rodger Said About Women Reveals Why We Need to Stamp Out Misogyny
‘The True Alpha Male’: Elliot Rodger and Aggrieved White Male Entitlement Syndrome