Sudbury Social Justice News - March 12, 2012

Mar 12, 2012

Sudbury Social Justice News - March 12, 2012

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1) March 4-13: 3rd Annual Israeli Apartheid Week at Laurentian University

2) Tuesday, March 13: Cars, Capitalism, and Ecological Decay with co-author Yves Engler

3) Wednesday, March 14: Planning meeting for the March 23rd "Solidarity Against Austerity" Rally, March, and Free Meal

4) March 14-15: Fifth Annual Dr. Jennifer Keck Lecture Series on Social Justice featuring Grand Chief Stan Louttit

5) Thursday, March 15: ReOccupy!

6) Thursday, March 15: Film Showing of "Blue Gold: Water Wars"

7) Thursday, March 15: Local Paddlers & Paddling Films for Wolf Lake

8) Tuesday, March 20: Meeting of Justice and Freedom for John Moore

9) Friday, March 23: "Solidarity Against Austerity" Rally, March, and Free Meal

10) Thursday, March 29: 2012 Heath & Safety Activist Awards Dinner

11) Saturday, April 14: Northwatch Spring Meeting



1) Mayworks Sudbury Call-Out

2) "KI First Nation mobilizes to block Mining on their sacred land" by Tim Groves




March 4-13: 3rd Annual Israeli Apartheid Week at Laurentian University

Israel Apartheid Week is a global week of educational and cultural events designed to inform people about the Palestinian struggle against Israeli state occupation and the apartheid - that is, separation and subordination - policies of the Israeli state directed against the Palestinian people.

Final event:

Yves Engler - "Prime Minister Lester Pearson and Canadian State Support for the Israeli Occupation of Palestine"

Tuesday, March 13th

1pm Room L-516

Former Vice President of the Concordia Student Union, Yves Engler is a Montréal activist and author. He has six published books: his just released Lester Pearson's Peacekeeping, the Truth May Hurt, Stop Signs - Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay (with Bianca Mugyenyi), The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (Shortlisted for the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non Fiction in the Quebec Writers' Federation Literary Awards), Playing Left Wing: From Rink Rat to Student Radical and (with Anthony Fenton) Canada in Haiti: Waging War on The Poor Majority and Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid.


Israeli Apartheid Week is organized by the Palestine Solidarity Working Group and sponsored by the Sociology Department and the Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy. 



Tuesday, March 13: Cars, Capitalism, and Ecological Decay with co-author Yves Engler

Time: 11:00am

Location: Room L-239, Laurentian University, Sudbury

In North America, human beings have become enthralled by the automobile: A quarter of our working lives are spent paying for them; communities fight each other for the right to build more of them; our cities have been torn down, remade and planned with their needs as the overriding concern; wars are fought to keep their fuel tanks filled; songs are written to praise them; cathedrals are built to worship them. In Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay, authors Yves Engler and Bianca Mugyenyi argue that the automobile's ascendance is inextricably linked to capitalism and involved corporate malfeasance, political intrigue, backroom payoffs, media manipulation, racism, academic corruption, third world coups, secret armies, environmental destruction and war. When we challenge the domination of cars, we also challenge capitalism. An anti-car, road-trip story, Stop Signs is a unique must-read for all those who wish to escape the clutches of auto insanity.

"At a time of growing global awareness and support for climate justice, Stop Signs is a key read for anyone looking to gain knowledge and insight into the contemporary crossroads faced by societies increasingly dependant and shaped by the automobile. Although factually and footnote heavy, it's an engaging and quick read."

- Stefan Christoff,

Sponsored by the Sustainable Earth Club and the Sociology Department



Wednesday, March 14: Planning meeting for the March 23rd "Solidarity Against Austerity" Rally, March, and Free Meal

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Location: Little Montreal, 182 Elgin St., Sudbury

The new Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (SCAP) decided, as part of a province-wide campaign by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and the Raise the Rates campaign, that we will initiate with other supporters of Raising the Rates in Sudbury a "Solidarity Against Austerity" rally and march on Friday, March 23rd. (See below for the full announcement of this event.)

To organize for this event, we are inviting you to a planning meeting on Wednesday, March 14, from 6:30-8:30pm at Little Montreal.



March 14-15: Fifth Annual Dr. Jennifer Keck Lecture Series on Social Justice featuring Grand Chief Stan Louttit

Fifth Annual Dr. Jennifer Keck Lecture Series on Social Justice will feature Grand Chief Stan Louttit as the keynote speaker. The Jennifer Keck Lectures will be held on March 14th and 15th.

All are welcome at three free events:

Wednesday, March 14th 2012 at 7pm

the Laurentian University Fraser Auditorium

Thursday, March 15th 2012 at 10am

N'Swakamok Native Friendship Centre

Thursday, March 15th 2012 at 2:30

University of Sudbury's Canisius Hall

Stan Louttit currently serves as the Grand Chief of the Mushkegowuk Council. He is well known for his commitment to improving the quality of life and raising awareness around issues affecting the people of the Mushkegowuk territory. His lectures will address issues such as the housing crisis and situation in Attawapiskat and other Cree communities, as well as the historical events (residential schools, treaties) impacting on the lives of First Nations people.

The Council of Mushkegowuk Chiefs is the voice of the Cree communities on the James Bay Coast and those within the southern traditional inland boundaries of the Cree people. The First Nations communities of the James Bay coast include Moose Cree, Attawapiskat, Fort Albany and Kashechewan. Stan Louttit has been active in local and regional issues both as an administrator and elected politician for over 25 years.

This lecture series commemorates the late Dr. Jennifer Keck, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, Laurentian University. A committed social activist, she had a tremendous impact on her colleagues, the School and the community.

For more information please contact:

Carol Kauppi

Professor, School of Social Work and

Director, Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy

705-675-1151, ext. 5058

This event on Facebook:



Thursday, March 15: ReOccupy!

Time: 8:00-11:00am

Location: Memorial Park, Minto St. & Brady St.

March 15th is the International Day of Re-Occupation!

We have been occupying all this time, whether in public spaces in the cold, or in the political and social spaces of our communities! But on March 15th we shall make a new reinvigorated public stand! Join us, brothers, sisters, comrades, neighbours!

Occupy is assembling at the Memorial Park on the morning of March 15th, at 8:00am. At 9:00am Occupy will march through downtown Sudbury, announcing the re-Occupation, and then return to the Memorial Park to set up tents and accommodations.

Please attend the next two general assemblies for planning. The GAs will be held every Thursday, at 7:00pm at Myths' & Mirrors' downtown location. During the next two weeks we will be planning, making signs, assembling resources, coming up with slogans and chants, drafting media statements and so on.

We encourage everyone to invite friends to this event. However, we do not want to alert the media and the city authorities of the re-Occupation before the day of the action. And seeing how Occupy Sudbury facebook page has been infiltrated by trolls and media personnel, we ask that you exercise discretion over whom you invite. Please invite only people you know personally. The media will be notified on the day of the reoccupation.

For further information and the event calendar please visit Occupy Sudbury webpage at:

Inquiries can also be made by calling Dave Sylvester at: 705 665 6997

Do what you can. Where you can. Keep it local. Help make it global.

Keep it peaceful. Occupy!

This event on Facebook:



Thursday, March 15: Film Showing of "Blue Gold: Water Wars"

Time: 7:00-9:00pm

Location: Rethink Green, 176 Larch Street, Sudbury

Blue Gold documents the environmental issues behind why we are rapidly losing our fresh water supplies, the politics behind water ownership and distribution that are worsening the situation, and the scenarios of what will happen as water becomes increasingly scarce.

This event on Facebook:



Thursday, March 15: Local Paddlers & Paddling Films for Wolf Lake

Time: 7:00-8:30pm

Location, Rainbow Cinemas, 40 Elm St., Sudbury

Please share this event! Benefit for Coalition to Save Wolf Lake- Sudbury's ecologically treasure! TIX are limited---- $10!

Local Scientist/Biologist Franco Mariotti will speak to why Wolf Lake is a national treasure in our backyard.

Revel in Rob Nelson's beautiful pict...orial tribute to Wolf Lake.

Enjoy Laurentian's Outdoor Adventure Leadership student's video of their PONTAX Canoe trip in 2011....

and BAM North's award winning documentary shot on Wolf Lake- "Does This Canoe Make Me Look Fat? "

This event on Facebook:



Tuesday, March 20: Meeting of Justice and Freedom for John Moore

Time: 6:30pm

Location: Little Montreal, 182 Elgin St., Sudbury

Matters to be discussed include upcoming educational events in Southern Ontario, producing an informational pamphlet about Moore's struggle for justice, and fundraising.



Friday, March 23: "Solidarity Against Austerity" Rally, March, and Free Meal

Where and When:

• 3pm: Rally and Snacks at Memorial Park

• 4:15pm: March

• 5:30pm: Free Meal at Memorial Park

Join the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (S-CAP) and supporters of the Raise the Rates campaign for free food, entertainment, a rally and a march on Friday, March 23rd, in the lead up to the 2012 Provincial Budget.

The McGuinty government (which includes Sudbury cabinet minister Rick Bartolucci) has hired former head of the TD bank, Don Drummond, to propose and provide the basis for massive social cutbacks in their 2012 budget. It is being drafted as the Provincial component of the austerity agenda that is gathering force across Canada and internationally. Queen's Park and Ottawa are delivering austerity, but clearly it is being cooked-up on Bay Street by bankers like Drummond for the benefit of their rich friends.

We have to stop the cuts and fight for what poor and working people need!

The measures they intend to hit us with will fall on top of the losses we have already faced:

-Social assistance rates have lost at least 55% of their spending power since the days of the Harris Tories; the base amount for welfare today is a despicable $599/month

-The minimum wage has been reduced in real terms and more and more workers are forced into low wage jobs with E.I, employment standards and protection for workers being steadily eroded

-The fastest growing numbers amongst the poor in Ontario are racialized people without status; forced in to an economy that benefits from their massively underpaid and exploited labour, but fails to provide even basic services

-Waiting lists for social housing across this province are decades long

while people are priced out of the private housing market and homeless shelters are overcrowded

-Access to affordable childcare is almost non-existent while thousands wait for limited subsidy spaces.

For poor people and workers in this province, it has been a constant state of crisis. McGuinty and Bartolucci are now preparing to make this situation much, much worse.

On March 23rd, after gathering for food and speakers in Memorial Park we will take our message to a number of locations where decisions are being made by and for the '1%'.

We will be marching to oppose austerity measures but also to demand the reversing of previous cutbacks, the right to a living income, the right to affordable and accessible housing, and for good quality public services for all! We will be marching against the kind of society Drummond and the rich are creating, and for one that meets the needs and improves the lives of all of us!


-Organize a contingent: bring a group of people from your organization, neighbourhood, city or union local to this demonstration - bring your needs and demands

-Drum out Drummond: bring drums, noise makers, pots and pans

-Banners, flags and signs: Organize a 'banner making day' in your area, bring your banners to the march

-Help fund food and materials for the day: if you or your organization or union local can make donations of money or in-kind, please help us make this day as participatory and accessible as possible

-Food donations for the Rally can be dropped of during office hours at Rethink Green (176 Larch Street #101) looking for ingredients for chili, bread, buns, butter, coffee, beverages, etc. Will accept all donations gratefully.

-Build the movement: add your organization's to the list of endorsers for this day of action

-Get the word out: help us get the message out about this day of action, forward this announcement far and wide, contact us if you would like to help with postering, flyering, etc.

Join us!

On Friday March 23, 2012 FIGHT POVERTY AND DEMAND:





- Occupy Sudbury

- The Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy

- Sudbury and District Labour Council

Who are we:

S-CAP is a direct-action anti-poverty organization based in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. We provide direct-action support work for individuals against welfare and ODSP, housing, employers, and others who deny people what they are entitled to in order to meet their needs. In addition, we mount campaigns against and support educational work about regressive government policies as they affect working people and people living in poverty. We believe in the power of people to organize themselves.

We believe in the power of resistance!


This event on Facebook:



Thursday, March 29: 2012 Heath & Safety Activist Awards Dinner

Time: Doors open at 6:00pm, dinner at 6:30pm

Location: Steelworkers Convention Centre, 66 Brady St., Sudbury

Keynote Speaker: Nancy Hutchinson, Secretary-Treasurer, Ontario Federation of Labour

The Sudbury and District Labour Council, in partnership with the Workers Health and Safety Centre, invites you to the 2012 Health & Safety Activist Award dinner. This evening is an opportunity to recognize the efforts and achievements of health and safety activists in our workplace.



Saturday, April 14: Northwatch Spring Meeting

Time: 9:30am-5pm

Location: 4th Floor Resource Room, St. Andrew's Place, 111 Larch Street, Sudbury

Please join us for Northwatch's Spring Meeting in Sudbury on April 14th. Presentations and discussions will include:

* Nukes: Nuclear waste and the industry's search for a "willing" host

* Forests: Wolf Lake and getting mineral exploration out and protection in for this ancient red pine forest

* Rivers: what's in store for the Vermillion River and others on the list for hydro-development

* Mines: what's burning in the Ring of Fire with Cliffs Resources and Noront Minerals

* Community: eating local, acting local, organizing local

9:30am: Coffee, muffins, settling in

10am: Open space, introductions, fine-tuning the agenda for the day, morning sessions (rivers plus more!)

Noon: Lunch, free time

1pm: Afternoon sessions, including Wolf Lake

4pm: Session wrap-up, review of action plans and next steps

4:30pm: Closing and good-byes


+ Childcare is available but must be requested no later than Saturday, April 7th

+ A suggested donation of $15 per person will cover the costs of the meeting room and lunch

+ Pre-registration - no later than April 12th - is required for those staying for lunch - please do!

+ Pre-registration by April 7th is requested to assist with meeting planning

Northwatch's meeting agendas are developed using an "open space" meeting method, which includes participants in allocating time according to interest, availability of resource people, and urgency of the issue. The agenda items noted above have been identified in advance, and resource people will begin the discussion with a brief overview to provide background information that will enable everyone to participate in the discussion. The meeting approach includes the option of break-out groups and concurrent discussions, and encourages active planning and problem-solving. For more info email




Mayworks Sudbury Call-Out

Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts is a multi-disciplinary festival that celebrates working class culture.  Celebrated in many communities acrossCanada, this festival is the largest and oldest labour arts festival.  It is built on the premise that workers and artists share a common struggle for decent wages, healthy working conditions, and a living culture.  This culture can be found in art, music, drama, and the spoken word.

Mayworks Sudbury and theSudburyand District Labour Council are pleased to announce northernOntario's first Mayworks Festival.  On May 3 and 4, 2012 the Windsor Feminist Theatre will present "Riveter", a play written and directed by Joey Ouellette.  Riveter is set in a period of time when men were leaving their jobs to fight overseas during WW2 and Canadian women (including women in Sudbury) assisted in the war effort by working in those jobs and the new ones created by the demands of the war.

As a way of drawing attention to and showing appreciation for the creative expressions of work and labour issues, Mayworks Sudbury and the Sudbury District Labour Council are encouraging submissions from Sudbury's artists/photographers.  These submissions should be reflective of the artist's identify as a worker and their experiences in the workplace.  This art will be displayed for viewing and for sale on May 3 and 4, 2012 before and after the play.

If you are interested in obtaining additional information about Mayworks Sudbury, you want to buy tickets, or you would like to find out more about submitting artistic pieces to be shown at Mayworks Sudbury Festival, please contact one of the people listed below.

Jo-Anne Marshall (705-673-8802)

Bryan Obonsawin (705-560-3330, Ext. 223)

Shelley Condratto - Sudbury and District Labour Council (705-674-1223)



KI First Nation mobilizes to block Mining on their sacred land

By Tim Groves

On March 6th over 120 people gathered to protest mining on the sacred lands of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation. They held a boisterous rally across the street from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, which is hosting the words largest mining industry convention. 

KI is currently mobilizing to prevent gold mining company God's Lake Resources from prospecting or mining on their homelands. The Ontario government has indicated that the company plans to begin prospecting this month. 

"We want the Government to recognize we are a nation, we are a government, we have our own sacred laws" said KI Councilor Cecillia Beggs, addressing the crowd.

Supporters carried placards, flags and two giant 25ft banners, one reading "Protect Sacred KI Lands" and the other "No mining abuse."

Several speakers from KI addressed the crowd in Oji-Cree and English. There were also speakers from the Ontario Federation of Labour, and NGOs including Mining Watch Canada, the Council of Canadians and Greenpeace.

"Canada needs to respect KI's leadership including our right to say no," Beggs told the Toronto Media Co-op, explaining that government and industry "need to respect our ancestral lands, our indigenous laws and our sacred burial sites."

Beggs was one of six members of the community who were jailed in 2008 for opposing a previous gold mining company, Platinex, from operating on their land despite a court injunction.  The campaign against the company eventually led the Ontario Government to pay Platinex over $5 Million in 2009 to abandon their mining claim.

Beggs said she would be willing to be arrested again to prevent God's Lake Resources from mining on their land.

God's Lake Resources released a statement on March 1st saying that they were "canvassing security companies to ensure the smooth completion of the drill program." 

On March 4th, the Ontario government responded to the escalating tensions between KI and God's Lake Resources by releasing a statement, saying it had "withdrawn" 23,181 square kilometers from prospecting and mining.

However, a press release from KI Cheif Donny Morris says the withdrawn land "does not include Gods Lake Resources' (GLR) claims and leases at Sherman Lake in KI Homeland, a sacred area known to have KI burials and other cultural values."

The media release expressed concern that the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Rick Bartolucci, had made the decision without consulting KI or considering their leadership over the land.

"I challenge the Minister to come to KI for an historical event where we sit down, come to agreement, and sign off together to make this withdrawal permanent under KI Indigenous protection.  And that should include our land that Gods Lake Resources is trying to access. Come to KI to sign together in a true spirit of cooperation."

While several leaders from KI attended the rally in Toronto, Chief Morris traveled to the Sherman Lake region in which God's Lake Resources hopes to prospect for gold.

"As long as there is breath in me I will defend our land," said KI Councilor Randy Nanokeesic, addressing the crowd in Toronto. "I grew up on the trapline, I live from the land and I will live to defend it."

 "We have people supporting us, and with greater awareness and support I am sure that we will be successful," said Beggs.

Beggs and Nanokeesic were among the speakers on a panel at the Steel Workers Hall the previous night. That event also saw the launch of a new film on KI and its struggle to protect its lands. 

You can watch the film here: