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Education Crisis




Social Economy Centre – Fall Workshops

Friday Oct 12 & 19, 2012:
Instructor: Kunle Akingbola

Friday, Nov 2, 2012:
Instructor: Vic Murray

For more info:


Fighting Austerity in Quebec, Ontario & Beyond

Sunday, Oct. 14
2 pm
OISE, room 5-260
252 Bloor St. West, Toronto

Guest speakers:

– Marianne Breton-Fontaine, leader, Young Community League of Quebec; activist in the student strike movement; candidate for Quebec Solidaire in the 2012 election
– Liz Rowley, leader, Communist Party of Canada (Ontario); former public school trustee; candidate in 2012 Kitchener-Waterloo by-election


David Rovics Touring Canada this Fall

Indie singer-songwriter David Rovics has criss-crossed North America and Western Europe many times over the past two decades. The roving troubadour has witnessed scores of local struggles against the capitalist system, and he’s documented and celebrated many of them with finely-crafted topical songs.

This fall Rovics is touring Canada, with concerts in Quebec (October 12), Ottawa (October 13), Toronto (October 16), Brandon (November 9), Winnipeg (November 10), and Victoria (November 23). Also in the works are shows in Montreal (October 14) and Vancouver (November 24).

David’s new album “Meanwhile in Afghanistan” will be released in December. Unlike most of his recordings, this project is rock-oriented. Guest artists include lefty guitar hero Tom Morello. Readers can download an acoustic version of the album by making a donation of any size to David’s publicity fundraising campaign.

For more info:


Social Planning Toronto (SPT) Member Forum: 2013 City Budget

Friday, Nov. 30
Doors open 9am, 9:30am to 12pm
2nd floor auditorium, Metro Central YMCA (space is wheelchair accessible)
20 Grosvenor Street (Yonge & Wellesley)

Join us for our annual City budget forum! Come and learn about:

– the City of Toronto’s 2013 staff-recommended operating budget
– what the budget means for our communities
– opportunities to participate in the budget process

The forum will include a presentation on the 2013 City budget, remarks from our community panel, and a question / answer and discussion session with participants.

Details on speakers to follow. All are welcome!

To register, click here:


Conference: A Living Wage in Ontario – Why It Matters

Thursday, Oct 11-Friday, Oct 12, 2012

Cara Commons, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
7th Floor, 55 Dundas Street W., Toronto

October 11th, 7:00 pm – Evening keynote address:
The History and Potential of the Living Wage Movement: The B.C. Experience, featuring Seth Klein, Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives–BC.

Friday, October 12th, 8:30-4:30 pm – Full-day workshop
The workshop will draw on real-life examples of living wage successes and it will provide space for participants to consider what a living wage could mean in the context of reducing income inequality in Ontario.

For more info:


2012 Ontario Campus Activist Assembly

Friday, October 12th, & Saturday, October 13th
University of Toronto
27 King’s College Circle, Toronto, Ontario

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest student organization, representing over 500,000 college and university students who are members of more than 85 campus students’ unions. The Federation’s Ontario component, the Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario, is hosting a unique assembly of student and campus activists from across Ontario to build a fighting student movement.

The Ontario Campus Activist Assembly will bring together hundreds of rank-and-file student and youth activists, campus labour activists and community activists. This assembly will feature a variety of issues-based sessions and skills training workshops aimed at providing an interactive opportunity to develop strong local and inter-campus organizing capacities.

The deadline to register for the Assembly has been extended! Please register by Wednesday, October 3, 2012. Visit for more details.


La Danza del Venado—A play by Ari Belathar

Staged-Reading Thursday October 11th
Theatre Direct, Wychwood Arts Barns
601 Christie Street, Toronto

Inspired by my own experience of illegally crossing the border into the United States as a child, to reunite with my father, LA DANZA DEL VENADO is a multidisciplinary play exploring the frightening nature of leaving one’s home, to walk into the unknown, through theatre, dance, and poetry. It tells the story of a group of migrants whose clandestine journey into the north is thwarted when they find themselves lost in the middle of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona—a harsh and desolated area that for hundreds of years has stolen the souls of its travellers.

The title of the play is based on the ancient dance of the same name celebrated by the Yaquis, a native community from the Mexican side of the Sonoran Desert. The dance, called Maso Yi Ihua (Deer Dance) in Yaqui language, narrates the life and death of the deer, the sacred animal of the Yaquis.

In Yaqui cosmology the deer represents the first member of the tribe—the oldest brother, who offers himself in sacrifice to feed the tribe with his own flesh. In this multidisciplinary play, the ancient dance serves as a metaphor to narrate the story.

General tickets $15, Students/Seniors $13, Festival Pass $29
For tickets and information call 416-652-5442 or visit

For The 2012 De Colores Festival of New Works full programme visit:  



Video – Book Launch: Social Democracy After the Cold War

Toronto — 19 September 2012

Edited by Bryan Evans and Ingo Schmidt, published by AU Press. Guest speaker: Leo Panitch.

Offering a comparative look at social democratic experience since the Cold War, the volume examines countries where social democracy has long been an influential political force – Sweden, Germany, Britain, and Australia – while also considering the history of Canada’s NDP, the social democratic tradition in the United States, and the emergence of New Left parties in Germany and the province of Québec. Once marked by redistributive and egalitarian policy perspectives, social democracy has, the book argues, assumed a new role – that of a modernizing force advancing the neoliberal cause.

The book is available as PDF download here:



The CAW-CEP Merger: New Union in a Difficult World

by Herman Rosenfeld, the Bullet

Just about everyone in and around the union movement in Canada is talking about the upcoming merger between the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP). The new union being formed will be the largest private sector union in Canada.

While bigger is not necessarily better — as numerous other examples of larger mergers have shown — in this era of general unions, the new union should become a positive force on the Canadian labour scene. Both the CAW and CEP have strengths in different but complementary sectors and geographical areas; their pooling of resources should help address some of the membership losses in each (a problem throughout the entire private sector) as well as provide needed collective resources for research, education and organizing.

Read more:


The U.S. Democratic Party and the Left

A conversation with Ingar Solty and Max Bohnel on the labour movement, the Occupy movement and its crisis, and the challenges of history

Max Bohnel lives in New York and is the U.S. foreign-correspondent for German-speaking public radio networks and progressive newspapers. Previously he worked as a Middle East foreign correspondent in Jerusalem. His conversation with Ingar Solty is a slightly reworked and unabridged version of a piece published in the German monthly journal Analyse & Kritik: Journal for Left Debate and Praxis (September edition, Sept. 21st, 2012).

Ingar Solty is a PhD candidate at York University in Toronto, an editor of Das Argument, and co-founding member of the North-Atlantic Left Dialogue. He is the author of The Obama Project: Crisis and Charismatic Rule (2008) and The USA Under Obama: Charismatic Rule, Social Movements and Imperial Politics in the Crisis (forthcoming in February 2013) as well as co-author of The New Imperialism (2004) and Imperialism (2011), all published in German.

The conversation was translated by Sam Putinja from Toronto.

Read more:


Memories of Work

by Richard Mellor, Facts for Working People

I have been retired for almost nine years now.  I am a retired public sector worker.  I started working for the local water company as a laborer in 1976. It was the job of a lifetime.  Prior to this I was working for a private contractor busting my ass for $3.00 an hour. That was in construction. I also worked for $3.50 an hour as a teachers’ aide in the Oakland schools, which I loved, and that taught me to have a serious respect for teachers in urban schools.

My retirement I am told is what is destroying the US economy. I can live on my retirement so far, of course, this is the US, and if I get sick who knows?  Most bankruptcies in the US occur because of medical expenses.

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Mitt Romney Blurts Out the Truth About Neo-Conservatism

by Linda McQuaig, Common Dreams

Ironically, in the now-famous video that seems likely to end his political career, it could be said that Mitt Romney was speaking truth to power.

Of course, “speaking truth to power” is a phrase normally used to describe courageous souls who risk their own hides to take a principled stand challenging those in power — not exactly what Mitt was doing.

Rather, assuming he was speaking privately to like-minded multi-millionaires, the Republican presidential candidate told the $50,000-a-platers what they wanted to hear: that he hasn’t any intention of helping the 47 per cent of Americans too poor to pay income tax. “My job is not to worry about those people.”

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Is the Attack on Public Sector Workers Justified?

from Leftwords for the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions

Dwight Duncan has justified the government’s proposal to remove collective bargaining rights in the broader public sector by suggesting that the private sector has had it much worse. Earlier, I looked at wage settlements as likely the best test to determine if this was true (it wasn’t).

But one could argue that jobs are also a key measure.

So, has the loss of jobs been much worse in the private sector than in the public sector?

Read more:



Professional Telephone Fundraisers

Progressive Metrics is a fundraising, communications and political consulting agency. We specialize in assisting trade unions, worker organizations, grassroots campaigns, political advocacy organizations and progressive candidates to work for social change.

Progressive Metrics is currently seeking telephone representatives for its Toronto-based call centre. Primary responsibilities are fundraising for various political advocacy organizations, NGO’s, and progressive political parties and candidates.

Please note that Progressive Metrics call centre is in part virtual. Successful candidates must be reliable and able to work independently. Strong computer skills and dedicated internet access are essential. Starting wage is $14/hour. Positions are 20 hours a week with variable, 4-hr shifts including evening and weekends. Additional shifts may be available to select candidates. This is a non-commission position.

Application deadline: 5 PM Tuesday, October 16, 2012. To apply, send CV to with “Representative” in the subject line.



Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education. For more information about this project, visit

For more information about CSEW, visit:




‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:


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Ilana Verdansky


The unlikely entertainment career of an unabashed leftist: a serial memoir

My name is Frank Fried. In the middle years of the 20th century I produced concerts and tours for some of the most influential and profitable musical acts of the day, such as Pete Seeger, the Beatles, Frank Zappa, Miriam Makeba, the Chad Mitchell Trio, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.

What a lot of people didn’t know (not that it was such a big secret) is that this pop music impresario had started out as a socialist revolutionary — a heritage I tried to honor throughout a tumultuous show business career.

On this web site, I do my best to tell you what happened.

To see more on Show Biz Red, check out:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Dear friends and colleagues

We are pleased to announce the launch of Reviews in Cultural Theory, a new journal that will be publishing reviews and review essays every two weeks at Our website will also maintain an announcements section that will be updated weekly with new CFPs, job postings, and other relevant news from the field. The journal emerges from our sense that the rapid growth of work in cultural theory over the past decade demands new forums for tracking the development of this field. Focusing on the distribution of short and timely reviews contributed by scholars working in a wide array of fields, Reviews in Cultural Theory was conceived as a way of responding to the dynamism and pace of the contemporary theorization of culture.

Published online bi-weekly and collected into issues twice yearly, Reviews in Cultural Theory hopes to foreground new work in this field as well as the emergent community of scholars who share an interest in the complex and changing problems of culture today. Reviews to be published in the journal’s first year chart the contemporary shape of cultural theory, touching on Visual Culture, Gender Studies, Geography, Queer Theory, Marxism, Postcolonial Studies, Cultural History, and Sound Studies, among other fields and subjects, established and emerging.

We invite you to take a moment and flip through our first handful of reviews. Please subscribe to our RSS feed, or check back in the coming months for updated news, announcements, and upcoming reviews of Susan Buck-Morss’ Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History, Jody Berland’s North of Empire: Essays on the Cultural Technologies of Space, Enrique Dussel’s Twenty Theses on Politics, Michael Fried’s Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before, and Cary Wolfe’s What is Posthumanism?, among others. We welcome you to contact us if you have recent work you are interested in reviewing or having reviewed.

The editors: Sarah Blacker and Justin Sully

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Neil Southwell



It’s Christmas Time!

Neil Southwell has updated his music website for Christmas! He has written two new Christmas songs: one for the pre-Christmas period and another one for the post-Christmas timeframe. There is also the snow song from when we had the unusually large amounts of snow last February – which is a bit Christmassy too! One of the Christmas songs can be downloaded, and, obviously, you can listen to the others.

See Neil Southwell’s band website at:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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