Time and time again, we’ve seen large online movements with immense promise not translate in the real world. This time around, it was #ShutDownCanada, a virtual movement that aimed to 'shut down' public infrastructure in protest of political elitism. While the online reach was vast, only a small fraction of the movement’s online supporters showed up to real-life rallies. Krystalline Kraus on why hashtag activism needs real world strategy in order to make a real impact.
By now, we’re all pretty familiar with the phrase 'war on terror,' a political aphorism that has come to signify so much while meaning very little. The media and politicians homogenize terrorists by grouping them into a single category and assuming the same tactics are appropriate to combat them across the board. Christopher Majka on why this so-called 'war' is an ideological fallacy, and what social factors we need to consider when facing terrorism.
Speaking of irrational fear surrounding terrorism, how are we doing on the Islamophobia front? Not well, it seems: Shawinigan, Que., mayor Michel Angers said this week that his council’s decision to not allow a mosque to be built in his town was motivated by the Islamophic outcry of people across the province. Yes, it seems that bigotry still very much dominates Canadian politics. Michael Laxer weighs in.
Of course, we all know that a violent act is only a terrorist act when it is committed by Muslims – or, at least, that seems to be the flawed logic most politicians follow. The Conservatives have been careful not to label the foiled mall-shooting plot in Halifax 'terrorism,' but recent developments in the investigation seem to suggest that the plot had neo-Nazi undertones – is it time to rethink this semantic strategy? Gary Shaul sheds some light on the situation. J. Baglow, meanwhile, illuminates the absurdity of relegating terrorism to solely the ideologically-motivated.
More irrational fear-mongering! The RCMP recently labeled the growing anti-petroleum movement a 'security threat' – huh? A threat to Big Oil, maybe? In the wake of Bill C-51, it seems the Harper government has gone a little vigilance-happy. Brent Patterson on this story.
Canadians are not generally a patriotic bunch, so we can be forgiven for not properly marking the 50th anniversary of our flag. But one forward-thinking man would not have let the day pass by: Ed Nelson, an NDP MP who long ago proposed Flag Day in the House of Commons. His nephew, Rod Mickleburgh, tells his story.
Think queer women are safe from the socially-constructed baby pressure straight women are inundated with once they reach the big 3-0? Think again! Laura Brightwell tells her experience of being 33, queer, and not pregnant.
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