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Mid-Week Round Up: October 22

October 22nd, 2014     by Jessie Hale     Comments

Illustration: Erin McPhee

The Rebels with a Cause film festival starts next Monday and runs until Friday in Toronto. The fest features short films that showcase “artistic reflections of social justice issues.” This year, the festival’s annual Red Riot program, which highlights films by and about Indigenous people, focuses on Inuit communities and cultures. Best of all, all five nights of the festival are free!

In fact, it’s a good week in Toronto for film festivals: imagineNATIVE, the Brazilian Film & Television Festival, the Sikh International Film Festival and the Macedonian Film Festival are all upcoming!

The Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic, New Brunswick’s only abortion clinic, closed in July due to a lack of provincial funding. Now, abortion providers in Maine report that they are seeing far more clients who travel from across the border for abortion care; one clinic reports seeing five New Brunswick patients a week. The need to travel to the US makes abortion access unobtainable for pregnant women who can’t afford to travel or don’t have passports. Recently elected premier Brian Gallant has vowed to remove abortion barriers for New Brunswick women.

October 27 is Election Day in Toronto. It’s been an ugly campaign: as we highlighted last week, mayoral candidate Olivia Chow has faced a steady stream of racism and sexism; Ward 2 councillor candidate Munira Abukar had her campaign signs defaced with racist messaging; 19-year-old candidate Morgan Baskin (whom we interviewed earlier this month!) battled sexist advances; and earlier this summer a group of Ford supporters launched homophobic slurs at rainbow-decked Ford Fest protesters (they were “looking for trouble,” says Doug), to name just a few examples.

Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, Director of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, argued in August that Black voters should spoil their ballots in protest of the candidates’ reluctance to engage with them and the issues that affect them disproportionately, such as affordable housing, accessible transit, police programs like TAVIS which target Black communities and youth, to name a few. In response, Dr. Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Associate Professor in the Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, urges Black voters to stay politically engaged by choosing a candidate and making their voices (and votes) heard.

And finally: Sleater-Kinney, 90s riot grrrl band, is back!

Tags: activist report, arts, media savvy, news flash, race and racism, recommended reading

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