Posts from our progressive community

Republican Death Notice

Northern Reflections - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 04:39


Brent Rathgeber writes that the Republican Party is dead. It's been replaced by The Donald Trump Show:

This is no longer the Republican Party; it’s becoming the Trump Party — bombastic, obnoxious and playing deliriously on the fears of white America. Trump has dumped the conservative Republican playbook — he favours brick walls over free trade, a police state over smaller government. His appeal is based almost entirely on xenophobia and many Americans (mostly, but not entirely, Republicans) seem to believe what he is saying about Mexicans and Muslims.

The only constant coming out of the Trump Convention has been the sustained, visceral and vicious attacks on Hillary Clinton. I’m no fan of the former Secretary of State, but one should rely on facts when attacking a political opponent — not wild hyperbole and unhinged fantasy. Given the lack of anything like substantive policy in his campaign, Trump’s strategy seems to be limited to malicious, often reckless, character assassination.

And that may be the most alarming thing about Trump — nobody really knows what he wants to do as president. His speeches are generally too incoherent to allow for inferences about whether he stands for anything apart from racial prejudice and misogyny. He is unpredictable, offensive and a blowhard. He is one of the most polarizing figures to aspire to high office in a western democracy in ages.
Trump represents Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy in full fruition. His supporters are seething with resentment and not very bright. All they bring to the table is a long, hard hate. And Trump -- who has transformed the party into a cult of personality -- has focused that hate on Hillary Clinton.

Last night Ted Cruz refused to support Trump. He urged Americans to vote their conscience. Rethgeber understands Cruz' message. That's why he left the Stephen Harper Show.

Image: blackquillandink.com

The Day Donald Trump Was Totally Humiliated

Montreal Simon - Thu, 07/21/2016 - 04:25


It was already the most bizarre political convention in modern American history. A third rate Nuremberg rally if ever there was one.

But for Donald Trump yesterday had to be the worst day so far.

For first he had to try to defend his wife, for the way she stole parts of her speech from Michelle Obama.
Read more »

from the front line, day 17

we move to canada - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 18:39
I am very pleased to announce that we had an encouraging afternoon at the table -- enough that we are meeting again tomorrow. So finally, something hopeful to report.

Maureen O'Reilly, President of 4948, TPL Workers Union, and Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario, were instrumental in breaking the impasse and getting us back to the table. I am so grateful for their help! And even more so for how much I've learned from them.

Change of Plans

Tomorrow and Friday, we are only picketing at Central, and only from 8-12. It's supposed to be scorching, and none of us should be out for extended periods.

Members who need the afternoon or evening shift can make their way to our new union hall, where everyone can call councilors, Library Board members, and/or 311. You might want to come up with a script together, to make sure you're all on the same page.

A contingent of socialists from TO were supposed to come to the line tomorrow. (They have all visited our line and donated things over the course of the past three weeks, but this time were all coming together.) Because of the weather, I've asked them to hold off. If we're striking next week, they'll visit then.

More support from CUPE Ontario

Starting tomorrow, three CUPE members from different library locals will be booked off for a few days, drawing out support for 1989 and 2974, the Essex Library Workers. One person will be calling CUPE members asking them to: (1) call the City, (2) reach out to their own networks and get commitments from others to call, and (3) have their local make donations to both locals' strike fund.

Two other people will be organizing special events for both picket lines, to generate media and help boost morale. From our great day with the Dufferin-Bloor kids, which brought the CBC to Celebration Square, you can see how that works.

The organizers of this effort have included me in their plans, so I've been able to read over what they are saying, and give feedback about what works or doesn't work for us.

All this, and every time I thank them, they say, "No, thank YOU, ALL YOUR MEMBERS, for having the courage to fight."

Reports!

Erin Meadows

A Gentleman said that he used the library to prepare for his exams. Another guy said that he was a teenager using the library lab. A young lady said her mom had been picketing with us yesterday -- and her mom emailed the the Councilors. She took a flyer and said she'll also email, because she remembers going to the library for Summer Reading Club.

Another man wanted more details from us, about wages, and what we're asking for. It began as a negative conversation, but in the end, we encouraged him to email the politicians who can answer his questions about the City budget.

Overall, many people took flyers and promised to email or call.

Two of our Meadowvale customers came to Erin Meadows to see if it was open. They said this was "disgusting" and that they are disappointed with the Mayor and the City, because kids are stuck at home watching TV all day, instead of going to library, which they love and miss so much. They support us.

Another construction worker came with his 6-year-old son for swimming lessons. He told us he is disappointed because the library is closed. He said he would call Sue McFadden, Ward 10 Councilor.

What a wonderful afternoon we had! As a picket captain. I would like to thank the eight members of my team for their cooperation.

Port Credit

We had another very productive day at Port Credit. Managers left us alone, there was no sign of security, and even Shadow the puppy dozed off. We covered the park, the playground, and many businesses along Lakeshore Road, leaving pamphlets at businesses for their customers. There was a lot of support, with the exception of only a few. I think everyone was glad to see familiar faces. Port Credit Arena staff wished us good luck.

Fair And Balanced Reporting, Or Craven Corporate Pandering?

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 08:51
I just finished reading Rather Outspoken, a memoir by Dan Rather, former anchor of CBC News who was essentially fired for reporting the truth about George Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard in lieu of going to Vietnam. While there was plenty of evidence to support the fact that Bush was absent without leave for about a year, the CBS report on it, truncated by 'the suits,' made it seem that the veracity of the claims rested solely on one series of disputed documents, known as the Killian documents.

The book is worthwhile as a reminder of the noble ideals of old-school journalism, the crucial role a free press plays in a democratic society, and as a warning about what happens when news becomes a fungible commodity; in the case of CBS, it became merely one element in the corporate drive for profit and expansion. That it can no longer be relied upon to 'speak truth to power' is made despairingly evident in Rather's book.

I don't have time to go into much detail, but essentially the problem Rather outlines is that government wants something from the media (good press and a means to promulgate its version of 'truth') and the corporate behemoths want things from government. In the case of CBS, Viacom, its parent company, wanted an easing of restrictions on how many stations a network could own. In the past, they were limited to six, but, at least in part due to its willingness to pull stories, apologize for segments aired that offended the administration, etc., that number, at least in 2012 when the book was published, is now 39. The quid pro quo should offend all critical thinkers.

It is a book I highly recommend, and I make it the subject of this post for one reason. Last night I happened to catch the CBS Evening News coverage of the Republican Convention. While they did not shirk from the Melania Trump plagiarism, they did offer ample opportunity for the Trump side's spin, culminating in something that I feel merits some scrutiny.

If you advance the video to about the 8-minute mark, look at the curious perspective offered in the name of 'balance':


View More: Politics News|Live News|More News Videos.cbs-link {color:#4B5054;text-decoration:none; font: normal 12px Arial;}.cbs-link:hover {color:#A7COFF;text-decoration:none; font: normal 12px Arial;}.cbs-pipe {color:#303435;padding: 0 2px;}.cbs-resources {height:24px; background-color:#000; padding: 0 0 0 8px; width: 612px;}.cbs-more {font: normal 12px Arial; color: #4B5054; padding-right:2px;}

Fair reporting or corporate pandering? You decide.Recommend this Post

Making Sense of the Republican Fiasco

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:33

Like many observers I have watched the Republican presidential race with a combination of astonishment and horror. As Donald Trump won his party's nomination I struggled to make sense of it all. Then it dawned on me. I was watching unfold something I never before imagined could even exist - political incontinence.

The Republican Party truly lost control of its bowels. It crapped its political pants. The worst part is that it's sitting in the corner with a sheepish grin on its face, unsure of what has just happened.

Not all Repugs are happy. Some recoil from the indignity inflicted on their "Party of Lincoln" and wonder how to go ahead in the runup to the November elections. Should they vote for Hillary? Should they stay home, not vote at all? Can they put party ahead of country?


Light blogging ahead

accidentaldeliberations - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 06:26
Off hither and/or yon for a few days. Try to entertain yourselves.

Wednesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 06:25
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Lucy Shaddock offers a response to the Institute for Fiscal Studies' report on poverty and inequality in the UK, while McKinsey finds that hundreds of millions of people in advanced economies are seeing their real incomes stagnate or decline. And Mariana Mazzucato and Michael Jacobs provide their take on what the UK needs to reduce inequality:
Can May succeed in building an economy of broadly shared prosperity? Only if she is willing to govern with the revolutionary zeal seen in that speech. To address the problems she identified will require a complete departure from Osborne’s failed plans. But more than that, it will require a departure the orthodox economics that shaped them.

Policymaking over the past half-century has relied on a narrow school of economic thought, dominated by a simplistic idea of “markets” and “market failures”, of “competition” and “shareholder value”. May’s new agenda will need to draw on a much richer palette.

...(M)arkets are not external forces that bind firms to inevitable choices. They are created by the decisions made inside private and public institutions, as well as pressures from civil society. So not only can policymakers fix “market failures”, but they can also actively reshape and create markets for better ends.- Andre Picard rightly argues that global targets to reduce the spread of AIDS can't be met without a thorough effort to fight poverty and prejudice.
 
- Chris Hatch weighs in on the need to revamp how Canada evaluates and regulates pipelines and other environmental risks. Will Horter notes that there's no reason for optimism based on the Libs' attempt to paper over the National Energy Board's failings. And the Toronto Star criticizes the Libs' lack of follow-up on a loud announcement about removing and banning asbestos.

- Jim Bronskill reports on the Communications Security Establishmen's newfound refusal to provide even statistical data about the sharing of information which may lead to torture.

- Finally, Marc-André Miron, Marie-Claude Bertrand and Cym Gomery point out that the typical talking points against proportional representation lack any basis in reality.

Blind Stupidity

Northern Reflections - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 05:26
 
Andrew Nikiforuk writes that we falsely assume we can clean up oil spills -- because we believe we have the technology to do it:

In many respects, society's theatrical response to catastrophic oil spills resembles the way medical professionals respond to aggressive cancer in an elderly patient. Because surgery is available, it is often used. Surgery also creates the impression that the health-care system is doing something even though it can't change or reverse the patient's ultimate condition. In an oil-based society, the cleanup delusion is also irresistible. Just as it is difficult for us to acknowledge the limits of medical intervention, society struggles to acknowledge the limits of technologies or the consequences of energy habits. And that's where the state of marine oil spill response sits today: it creates little more than an illusion of a cleanup. Scientists -- outside the oil industry -- call it "prime-time theatre" or "response theatre."
Technology has its limits:

Part of the illusion has been created by ineffective technologies adopted and billed by industry as "world class." Ever since the 1970s, the oil and gas industry has trotted out four basic ways to deal with ocean spills: booms to contain the oil; skimmers to remove the oil; fire to burn the oil; sand chemical dispersants, such as Corexit, to break the oil into smaller pieces. For small spills these technologies can sometimes make a difference, but only in sheltered waters. None has ever been effective in containing large spills.

Conventional containment booms, for example, don't work in icy water, or where waves run amok. Burning oil merely transforms one grave problem -- water pollution -- into sooty greenhouse gases and creates air pollution. Dispersants only hide the oil by scattering small droplets into the water column, yet they often don't even do that since conditions have to be just right for dispersants to work. Darryl McMahon, a director of RESTCo, a firm pursuing more effective cleanup technologies, has written extensively about the problem, and his opinion remains: "Sadly, even after over 40 years experience, the outcomes are not acceptable. In many cases, the strategy is still to ignore spills on open water, only addressing them when the slicks reach shore."
The only way to avoid oil spills is to avoid oil. Yet the word from Cleveland this week is that the Republicans plan to revive the Keystone XL pipeline. It's called blind stupidity.

Image: thetyee.ca

Horror Show: When Ezra Levant Teams Up With Jason Kenney

Montreal Simon - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 04:34


At first glance they may seem like an odd couple. And it's not a pretty sight. 

But if you think about it, it really is a match made in Con heaven.

Because as we all know Ezra Levant and Jason Kenney have a lot in common.

Both are bigots, Kenney loves appearing on Levant's hate mongering show.

And as for the ghastly Rebel Commander, he can't do enough to help his buddy Jason "liberate" Alberta.

Read more »

from the front lines, day 16

we move to canada - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 19:29
Picketing Today

I received great reports from our members who said Good Morning at the executive garage. Picketing at Central in general is going very well. Don't forget to make leafletting and speaking to the public your top priority.

In addition, we hit two locations today: Meadowvale and Courtneypark.

Meadowvale

"Fun Times at Meadowvale today!

"The managers were playing Pokemon Go, as they tried to chase us around and find us. We could not stop laughing.

"We had so much fun as we split up and they couldn't keep track of us. They had to chase us around the mall sidewalks, the transit terminal and even the new branch. I wonder how they liked being out today. They even asked us where the other people went when they couldn't see us all ... but we wouldn't tell them.

"All in all we had a productive few hours, talking to many members of the public who showed support for us.

"Negative news: we did learn that we cannot distribute flyers at the transit terminals. I double checked the bylaws."
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(Thanks to Azmat for the photo.)

Also from Meadowvale:

"I was coming out of Shoppers when Amy hailed me and started chatting. She must have thought I was with the picket team today. I told her I had been at Central all morning. She said she was trying to round up the seven members of the team and appeared to be frustrated that she could not find any of you. I do not think Amy had fun today in the sun.

"I also spoke to a lot of people in Shoppers and Metro. So many people miss us. Truly heartwarming. So many said keep on fighting."

Courtneypark

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to hand out flyers to customers and the public picking up their kids from summer school.

"We had a very successful morning and met quite a few of our regular customers who were very happy to see us. They were supportive and said that they missed us and would email the mayor.

"We were able to talk to the kids attending summer school at break time and explain why the library was not open. Many said that they could not get the books or resources they needed for summer school and took the flyers be able to email the mayor and councillors.

"Parents commented on how their children could not borrow books during the summer break and missed coming to the library."

A second report from Courtneypark:

"We were very successful at reaching out to our customers today at Courtneypark. Everyone did an amazing job interacting with the public.

"Students were extremely supportive and immediately posted our flyer on social media and some emailed the Mayor right away. They also told us that they missed us and needed our resources to help them with their assignments.

"Faithful customers coming for our programs were very upset to learn that all libraries were closed. They had to make other arrangements and find programs for their children to attend at last minute. One customer mentioned that he has been using our library for the last three years in order to complete his work license and he was horrified to learn how we are being treated by our employer.

"We received lots of support from our customers and hopefully they will pass along their thoughts and concerns to our Mayor and Councilors."

Mail from the Mayor

Many of you have received the generic form letter that Mayor Crombie's office sent out. 1989 members are expressing all the disgust, anger, and head-shaking I would expect. If you haven't gotten this letter yet, you soon will. Tone deaf is an understatement.

Calls to 311

I have heard from several people that calls to 311 are not being put through to the Mayor's office. This may be so, but I promise you that every call to 311 is logged, and every opinion is tallied. Every pro-strike message is being counted. We can -- we must -- continue to urge the public to call in support.

Support

From a former member:

"I just discovered the CUPE 1989 website last night & was so impressed with the reports, the outdoor storytimes (!) & it pulled at my heartstrings seeing those familiar faces amidst all the pink, looking confident & cheery for the cause. I feel I should be there picketing with you (which I would if I was anywhere near Miss. even for a day, which I'm not) but I would like to make a donation to the strike fund asap if you could tell me how please."

Teen Volunteer Hours

A Mississauga resident and CUPE member (different local) emailed asking if his teenage daughter can volunteer to work on the strike and earn volunteer hours. The answer is yes! If you know someone who might be interested, let me know.

Random Notes

Did you know CUPE 1989 has a YouTube channel? It's a fledgling effort so far. If you have videos of our strike, can you please upload them to Dropbox or elsewhere, and give me access? I will post them.

More than 80 "Dear Valued Employee" letters were returned to Library Director Rose Vespa today. Sorry, but our landlords don't accept form letters in lieu of rent.

To everyone who is working so hard on our strike, to everyone who is on the line, to everyone who has visited us, written letters on our behalf, called the City, brought us water, sent supportive emails, or honked their horns: thanks for being out there!

The Real Threat of the Melania Moment

Montreal Simon - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 18:19


I got back home just in time to watch the New York delegation push Donald Trump over the top.

And make him officially the Republican party's candidate for President.

And while it was no surprise, and it was some consolation to know that everybody was talking about this.
Read more »

True Believers Speak

Politics and its Discontents - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 14:48
And as they do, my faith in humanity continues to erode. Watch what Mother Jones has uncovered:

Recommend this Post

Gordon Campbell..back in the Soup…

Left Over - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 12:25
Ottawa announces diplomatic shakeup with 26 new appointments Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion removes high-profile Harper-era appointees

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Jul 19, 2016 11:27 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 19, 2016 3:02 PM ET

It’s about time, by any standards of  political heel-dragging, that  the Harper appointees go gently into that  good night, but look out,  BC,  Gordo  “three martini” Campbell  will be back in town, very shortly..you remember, the guy with the  9% approval rating, the guy who created the reno-viction  plague, the guy who made  ‘leaky condos’ a  phrase for the ages in BC, the guy who dismantled the trades apprenticeship program  and  made  elevator inspectors, hairdressers and others mere  wage slaves  with no training necessary…that  guy, the one  who got arrested for  driving  drunk in Hawaii while still Premiere of this province..who  wept  like a Southern televangelist on TV begging for forgiveness for his sins, but who refused  to  do the  honorable thing and  quit..you know,  the  abject liar who swore he wouldn’t implement  the HST, pre-election,  and did just that anyway…his reward from his  overlord Harper?  Why, a plummy job in the UK as a  ‘commissioner’  at  Canada House..whatever it is that   the position entails, I would bet it pays well…I could go on and on, but, you get the drift…

Yep, that guy..and now he’ll be  back, and  we have to wonder how  Christy  Clark is gonna feel about that…she’s  sunk almost as low in the  polls, and his  imminent return will  make it so  easy to do a comparison between them.., and I thought the RNC  was the only excuse I had for popcorn….


Tuesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 08:06
This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Armine Yalnizyan points out the choice between a basic income and the provision of basic services, while making a strong case to focus on the latter:
At the federal level, the cost of raising everyone’s income above the poverty line is an estimated $30 billion a year. The Alternative Federal Budget shows we could permanently expand the stock of affordable housing, child care, and public transit; and almost eliminate user costs for pharmacare, dental care and post-secondary schooling for half the annual cost ($15 billion).
After a decade, we would have expanded access to more high-quality, affordable necessities of life, not just for the poor but for everyone.
A little more, and you could have free access to community and recreation centre programming, expanded mental health services, universal access to low-cost internet, and more legal aid. The net result: greater participation, greater mobility, greater potential, greater health.
Both a basic income and a basic service model put more money in people’s pockets, one with a cash transfer, one by offsetting the costs of necessities.
Basic income requires everyone to pay more to provide a small number of our most vulnerable neighbours more choice and more dignity. Basic service also requires we pay more, and also helps the most vulnerable, but benefits everyone by making incomes and markets matter less. It builds both potential and solidarity, and is a far easier sell in an era of slow growth.
Basic income talk has fired imaginations across the globe. Mr. Segal’s exercise offers a unique opportunity to test whether we’re better off when we have more income, or need less of it.- Meanwhile, Susan Prentice, Linda White and Martha Friendly offer a useful outline to build a national child care system. And Bill Curry reports on this week's health care summit - though there's reason for concern in both the Libs' unwillingness to negotiate funding with the provinces, and their apparent inclination to eliminate universality in favour of means-testing. 

- And in case we needed a reminder as to the importance of shared knowledge of problems, Elizabeth Payne reports on how a week of management eating the meals previously served to patients at the Ottawa Hospital led to a revamping of the menu.

- Larry Elliott reports on the Institute for Fiscal Studies' report showing that the insecurity now facing middle-class families in the UK is comparable to the burden on households recognized as living in poverty a generation ago. But on the bright side, Jessica Elgot writes about Labour's plan for a national investment bank to both spur economic development, and give the public a greater stake in prosperity.

- Finally, Andrew Mitrovica points out why we should be skeptical of the security state's attempts to proclaim itself essential in the wake of attacks which it can never prevent.

Melania Trump's plagiarism and Ersatz politics . . .

kirbycairo - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 05:22
Is anyone surprised at Melania Trump's plagiarism of a Michelle Obama's speech?


It was a painful speech to watch. Besides Melania's strange, eerie, almost robotic manner, everything she said seemed forced and empty. Let's not forget that Michelle Obama is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University and, of course, Harvard Law School. She is also a life-long activist, starting notably with her involvement in the Carl A. Fields Center at Princeton. To hear Melania Trump steal Obama's speech is pure farce. Melania Trump, on the other hand, is a model who dropped out of her first year of college who represents little but ostentatious wealth, a wealth that she has because of her marriage to a mean-spirited, racist whose only activism is the effort to make himself richer and more powerful.

To be fair, I suspect that Melania Trump is not directly responsible for the plagiarism of Obama's speech. Mrs. Trump is probably not bright enough to even be aware of Obama's words, let alone steal them. It was probably one of the speech writers who, like some college freshman, thought by changing a word or two here and there he/she would technically not be guilty of plagiarism.

But putting the words of an accomplished woman like Michelle Obama into the mouth of a rich, awkward woman like Melania Trump, is indicative of the entire Trump phenomenon. The Trumps are an empty mockery of everything we should value. There is no content here, only a vacuous self-aggrandizement, a kind of ersatz politics which attempts to take rhetoric devoid of real meaning and turn it into an empty political victory without real goals. It is like something out of a Sinclair Lewis novel. Trump is like Elmer Gantry without the style, craftiness, or charisma.

People without insights of their own are compelled to steal the thoughts of others. And if your only goal is to make yourself richer and/or more powerful then the only content and meaning of your words is the raw ambition which motivates them.

There is no question of plagiarism here; it is too blatant and obvious and is there for everyone to see. It makes sense though. If you are not that smart yourself, if you have no actual accomplishments to build upon, it makes sense to pattern yourself on someone who has the smarts and/or the dedication to actually do something.


"Great" Means "White"

Northern Reflections - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 04:47

As the Republican Convention unfolds, certain Republican loudmouths are given the stage. One of them is Steve King, a member of the House of Representatives from Iowa. Consider the following story from the New York Daily News:

One Iowa congressman may not know history, but he’ll go down in it for his ignorance.Rep. Steve King, known for his racially charged remarks, said Monday that non-white “subgroups” have not contributed to civilization.

Responding to writer Charlie Pierce’s MSNBC panel comments about “old white people” running the Republican Party, King preached his own race’s supremacy.

“I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?” the Republican said.

“Than white people?” moderator Chris Hayes interjected.

“Than Western civilization itself that's rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where Christianity settled the world," King replied.
And, as a corollary to that thought, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan sent out a picture of himself yesterday, with what he figured were "the most number of Capitol Hill interns in a single selfie." You'll notice that there is not one person of colour in the photograph.

When Donald Trump proclaims that he will make America great again, there is a clear subtext. Great means white. He'll build walls to keep non-whites out. It's those folks who drive Republicans crazy -- because they know that white people are well on their way to minority status in the United States.

Trump and modern Republicans forget that it was their hero, Ronald Reagan, who urged that The Wall be torn down. And it was another Republican president -- Dwight Eisenhower -- who said, "Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him."


Image: theguardian.com

Kindergarten reunion

Dawg's Blawg - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 04:38
How loose can the connections be that permit a social network to be called a network? Let me suggest a kindergarten reunion as the limit case. Out of the blue a few months ago I received a phone call. John... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

Michelle Rempel and the Hideous Hypocrisy of The Cons

Montreal Simon - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 03:28


When Michelle Rempel was a screeching cog in the Con regime, she used to spend a lot of time trying to stop refugees from coming to Canada.

But since she was evicted from power, she now spends a lot of time accusing the Liberals of not accepting enough Yazidis, a Kurdish minority group in Iraq that has been singled out for particularly brutal treatment by the ISIS crazies.

Claiming that while the Harper regime cared passionately about their fate.

The Liberals aren't doing enough to save them.
Read more »

from the front lines, day 15

we move to canada - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 17:52
Libraries Rock!

What can you say when 50 schoolkids march to your picket line holding signs they made to support us, chanting "Kids Say: "LIBRARIES ROCK!"??? What a day!

The Dufferin-Bloor Hub camp does one social justice lesson each summer, and this summer, that lesson was US! The kids learned about labour rights, a little about the labour movement, what a strike is, and so on. They made signs -- and were each given a free book -- and came out to Mississauga to support the striking library workers.

Also on hand were the executive of CUPE Locals 4948 (TPL Workers Union!), 416, 79, and 5180. They all brought us donations of money and water, along with their support on the line.

Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario, and Yolanda McClean, CUPE National Diversity VP, arranged the whole day. When their storyteller fell through at the last minute, I told her, "Don't worry. We got this." And we sure did.

After a rousing rally, our programmers swung into action. We all took a break for the 75 pizzas CUPE Ontario had delivered, then back to more programs. With a special visitor: the CBC!

Many many thanks to: Hayley, Olivia, Jason, Fiona M, Emily, Maria C, Ylana, Fiorella, Natalie, Sumera, Abbey, Joan C, Helen, and Alene for their awesome programs - to Shane, Stella, Jayanti, and Chelsea for assisting - and especially to Kunwal to pulling the whole thing together. 1989 is one amazing team.

If you missed it, there will be lots of pics on Facebook and our website.

Media!

We had some great coverage today from CBC, both online ("Striking Mississauga Library Workers Say Some Wages Are Below Poverty Line") and on TV. (You should be able to find the video on our Facebook page.)

Almost all media coverage of our strike has been very favourable. And why not? Our demands are very modest and reasonable, and our working conditions are outrageous.

CUPE Ontario

CUPE Ontario, the political wing of our union, has already made a $5,000 donation to our strike fund, plus thrown us a big barbecue, plus today bought us pizza. But that's not all...

- We are receiving a gift of a cooling tent! It will be ours for four hours a day, so we can walk in and get misted to cool off!

- Fred Hahn and Candace Rennick are holding a telephone town hall this Wednesday night, to tell all CUPE locals in Canada to support the strikes. Two strikes have settled, two are still out (1989 and 2974 Essex Public Library), and several more are on the verge of striking. CUPE Ontario is making supporting us a high priority.

- Fred is heading up a working group to help us plan for the near future. We have been scrambling to bring special events to the line. This would map something out more long term. If we get a fair contract and no longer need the plan, all the better.

- Fred is also making a special pitch for us... not for public eyes yet. More soon, I hope!

We rock!

Today was an awesome day! I was so proud of all of us. Thank you all for standing up for yourselves and each other! And thanks to everyone who is reading this for all your support.

Celebration Square

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On The Line

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