“After a week of student protest, the University of Cape Town’s vice-chancellor has given the clearest indication yet that he believes the controversial statue of Cecil John Rhodes should be moved from its “pride of place, at the focal point of the campus”. But this will do little to quell the spread of protests against the lack of transformation to other campuses, write Reitumetse L Pitso, Shaun Smillie and Poppy Louw for Times Live.
Using the hashtag #Rhodes So White, students in Grahamstown also staged a demonstration last week about the slow pace of transformation and lack of inclusiveness at Rhodes University. The chairman of the Higher Education Transformation Network, Lucky Thekisho, said racial equality was an issue at other universities. He singled out the North West and Stellenbosch universities.
UCT students began protesting 10 days ago after political science student Chumani Maxwele threw a bucket of faeces over the statue of Rhodes. Maxwele has told The Times he wants to end the division between black and white students at UCT and to eradicate the eurocentricity he claims is still rampant at the institution. University of Cape Town, or UCT, vice-chancellor Max Price has said he is in favour of the relocation of the statue, which he described as a symbol of UCT’s colonial past, and announced intensified student participation in the process in the next four weeks.”
Full report on the Times Live site
via Rage against Rhodes heritage shifts up a gear – University World News.
Research over the last 100 years of resistance movements shows that when just 3.5% of the public mobilizes to support a movement for social, economic or environmental justice, it always wins. Many win with a smaller percentage, but no government can withstand 3.5% of the population working for transformative change.One way to look at the movement is like an archery target, a series of concentric circles. At the center is the core group of people who feel strongly about a particular issue, often those directly affected. There are many who have been working on police abuse, racial injustice and militarization of police long before Ferguson, just as there have been Michael Brown-like incidents across the country. There are many Ferguson’s throughout the United States. With Ferguson, a whole new group of people joined, the circle grew as people were horrified that an unarmed teenager could be killed by police and his body left lying in the road for 4.5 hours. As publicity about the case grew, more people joined the circle of concern seeking Justice for Mike Brown. Then, there were more police killings in additional cities throughout the country and the circles grew larger; and after the grand jury reached its decision, more people joined. When people heard of the grand jury decision, and now as they learn about how the grand jury was manipulated to protect the killer of Mike Brown, more joined.
via Glimpses of Our Power – NationofChange.
In September, heads of state are going to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line, we will take a weekend and use it to bend the course of history.To make this moment count, we need to act — together.All around the world, people will be coming together for a weekend of historic action on climate change. Our collective demand is for Action, Not Words: take the action necessary to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet.Find a Peoples Climate Mobilisation event near you and join.Want to host an event? Click here.Find an event near you:City/ZIP/Postal & CountryShare on FacebookTweetLINK:
via Peoples Climate Mobilisation – Join – 350.
In a push that sees Canada move one step closer to a state where being constantly watched, catalogued, and data mined is the norm, the Conservative government recently decided to expand its public surveillance policy to include all protests and demonstrations. The Government Operations Centre sent an email to all federal departments that requested information on even the most mundane social movements. The email then leaked to Postmedia news and opposition parties are now crying afoul, calling the plan a clear blow to democratic freedom.NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison believes the government’s play is a smack in the face of basic democratic rights and freedoms. Though he doesn’t feel we’ve quite moved into a Big Brother state in Canada, he says this issue is proof that the country is undoubtedly heading in that troubling direction under the strong arm of the Harper Conservatives.
via The Harper Government Is Expanding Their Surveillance Policy to Treat Every Protester as a Potential Threat | VICE Canada.
Ranchers, farmers and tribal communities from along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route, called the Cowboy Indian Alliance, rode into Washington DC and set up camp near the White House to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline.
More than 100 academics have condemned an attempt by the police to spy on the political activities of students at Cambridge University. The academics said such \”highly invasive and unjustifiable\” covert surveillance would deter students from joining political groups, writes Rob Evans for the Guardian.
The condemnation comes after the Guardian revealed secret footage recording how a police officer tried to recruit an activist to become an informant and pass on information about demonstrations. The activist wore a concealed camera to record the police officer asking him to feed him the names of students involved in demonstrations, their Facebook postings and the vehicles they used to travel to protests. The officer said the police needed information about \”student-union type stuff\”, citing as examples demonstrations against education cuts and tuition fees.
via Academics condemn police attempt to spy on students – University World News.
First, it is critical to acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples have rights to their lands, territories and resources that predate the creation of the Canadian state. These pre-existing rights are affirmed in the Peace and Friendship Treaties, in the Royal Proclamation of 1763, and in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as in authoritative international human rights instruments including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada’s failure to protect these rights has been repeatedly condemned by international human rights bodies, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which found that the comprehensive claims processes fall below international standards of justice. Your government can make a meaningful contribution by communicating clearly that these rights exist and must be respected.Second, the inherent land rights of Aboriginal peoples cannot be ignored in the day-to-day operations of the government. Doing so is both discriminatory and contrary to the rule of law. Canadian courts have set out a mandatory constitutional duty to consult with Indigenous peoples with the goal of identifying and substantially accommodating their concerns, before any decisions are made that could affect these rights. For such consultation to be meaningful, Indigenous peoples’ knowledge and perspective must be part of the determination of whether or not a particular proposal could have a harmful impact on their rights and use of the land. Furthermore, the duty of consultation and accommodation, and the inter-related obligation for governments to deal honourably with Aboriginal peoples, cannot be met if there is a predetermination that projects will go ahead regardless of legitimate concerns raised by the affected communities. Accordingly, our organizations urge your government to retract statements indicating that the province is already committed to shale gas development, regardless of opposition.
via Open Letter concerning anti-fracking protests at the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq Nation.