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WEEKLY ROUND UP: MAY 6

May 6th, 2016     by Ronak Ghorbani     Comments

Illustration: Erin McPhee

Afeni Shakur, activist, former Black Panther, and mother of Tupac Shakur, passed earlier this week. The National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party released a statement honouring Shakur’s decades of activism and community work:

“Afeni had a deep and profound love for the community and a passion for the people that made her a dynamic organizer and dedicated activist. She embodied the spirit of what it meant to be a Black Panther, waking up at 5AM to cook for the free breakfast program, coordinating the day to day office duties and personally being in the field.

Afeni’s organizing laid the seeds for a legacy we still bear witness to today. While working with tenant organizations, Afeni led numerous rent strikes, resulting in several tenant owned buildings, some of which still exist today. She was instrumental in organizing health care professionals and patients at Lincoln Hospital and Harlem Hospital to develop the first patient bill of rights, a fore runner of the patient bill of rights now posted in every hospital.” Full statement.

Toronto-based drop-in choir, Choir! Choir! Choir!, performed “When Doves Cry” in tribute to the legacy of Prince who passed last week.

As wildfires continue in the area of Fort McMurray, Alberta, displacing thousands of residents, Fort McKay First Nation has welcomed 5,000 people seeking shelter after evacuating their homes. It should be noted that the Alberta provincial government recently cut approximately $15 million from their wildfire management budget. Colonialism No More, the solidarity camp at INAC Regina part of the #GroundZeroINAC actions has released a statement of solidarity to the communities impacted by the Fort McMurray fire:

“There are people here in the Colonialism No More camp who have close family members who have been displaced and had their homes destroyed by the Fort McMurray fire. Our hearts and prayers are with all the communities who have been affected by the historic climate violence of recent days.

We understand only too well that for Indigenous Peoples the displacement and dispossession caused by the Fort McMurray fire follows generations of ongoing displacement and dispossession caused by colonialism, capitalist resource extraction, and the legal and political structures that uphold them.

We mourn for the lives and communities that have been shattered by this historic fire. We share updates from our loved ones in northern Alberta here at camp. We know it is possible to build relations of mutual respect across the divides that have been imposed on Indigenous and settler people.” Full statement.

Black Lives Matter-Toronto’s fundraiser for their Freedom School educational resources wraps up in two days.

Toronto-based author Olive Senior has won the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

Check out the amazing work being done by the Traditional Inuit Tattoo Project.

For all of you Bugs Bunny and basketball fans, rumour has it, Space Jam 2 may actually happen!

Tags: activist report, art, environmenal issue, indigenous, music, race and racism, recommended reading

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