OTTAWA TOMORROW: #WMWCanada 4 #WomensMarchOnWashington @ #HumanRights #Monument #Ottawa City Hall @ 11 am

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington DC

Tweet  #WMWCanada #WomensMarch & #WomensMarchOnWashington to @CdnWomenMarch @womensmarch

FROM THE FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: 

Solidarity/Sister March with Women’s March on Washington #WomensMarch. The Ottawa gathering @wmwottawawomenmarch is one of many local events taking place in Canada and also serves as the official Canadian Sister March #WMWCanada.

Route: Starts at the Human Rights Monument, proceeding via Lisgar to Laurier and then marching to the Bronson Centre at 211 Bronson ave for indoor rally!

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On January 21st, 2017, we will march.

We will march the same day as hundreds of thousands of women in Washington as they take to the streets – all with a common goal but each with a diverse voice.

We will stand in solidarity with people gathering all over Canada and the world that day in support of women’s rights as an integral part of recognizing human rights. We will rally against the divisive words, attitudes and actions sparked by the events of the last year.

We will take a stand and support the rights of ALL women.

**SPIRIT AND ETHOS OF THE MARCH**
The purpose of this *non-violent*, *inclusive* and *intersectional* protest is to take a stand for and support women’s rights — the rights of ALL women — with women from all races, all religious communities, all political affiliations, cis or transgender and all sexual orientations. Violence, whether from or against the right-wing, left-wing, centre or independents, is not welcome and will not be condoned. We are unabashedly committed to intersectional feminism and inclusion:

  • Women & Girls & Femmes & Gender Non-conforming & Gender fluid
  • Men & Boys
  • Families
  • People of Color
  • Immigrants
  • LGBTQI+ Community
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Sex Workers
  • ALL religious communities
  • Climate Change Advocates
  • Anyone else who wants to come out in support!

This North American event was sparked by Trump’s election to the White House and is a response to the hate-inciting, divisive, discriminatory attitudes, messages and actions that emerged and have been normalized in political discourse around the globe. We also recognize that even in Canada, we still have so much work to do. Domestic violence, workplace harassment, gender bias in education & derogatory attitudes towards sexual assault survivors are all real and pressing issues here at home. This march will serve as a platform for these women in our most marginalized communities to speak and be heard.

To date, there is no country in the world that has yet achieved gender equality, but that does not mean we should give up striving towards it. We will not tolerate any discrimination or victimization of women or any violation of women’s rights, whether through words, actions or policies. We will not allow our hard-won rights to be trampled on and we will not be stopped in our pursuit of intersectional, substantive equality for women rights and human rights that have yet to be recognized!

“Equal enough” is NOT enough!
We hope to see our brothers, fathers, sons, husbands and other male allies marching with us — women’s rights are a crucial part of human rights!

This event is just the beginning. Unite with us. Stand in solidarity.

NATIONAL AND LOCAL MARCHES IN CANADA
Canadian Contingent going to Washington D.C
Vancouver BC
Okanagan Valley/Kelowna BC
Nanaimo BC
Kamloops BC
Edmonton AB
Calgary AB
Winnipeg MB
Toronto ON
Ottawa ON
Montreal QC
Halifax NS
Gabriola BC
Grand Forks BC
Kingston ON
Lethbridge AB
Happy Valley/Goose Bay/North West River Beach LAB
Niagara/St.Catharines ON
St.John’s NL
London ON
Hamilton ON
Bowen Island BC
Fredericton NB
Victoria BC
Whitehorse YT 
Saskatoon SK
Kootenay Bay BC @ Yasodhara Ashram 
Saint John NB
Sutton QC

US Page is here, with links to other States’ pages:https://www.facebook.com/events/2169332969958991/

OTTAWA: Tonight “The Mask You Live In” Doc screens at the Bytowne

The Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) presents The Mask You Live In

WHEN: Wednesday, April 6 @ 6:30 pm (Doors open screening at 6:45 pm)
WHERE: Bytowne Cinema 325 Rideau Street
COST: $10 (pre-purchase tickets on Eventbrite)

From the Facebook Event Page:

The Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women is hosting a film fundraiser of the documentary The Mask You Live In at the Bytowne Cinema on April 6th at 6:45pm.

All proceeds toward the I Can MANifest Change program to teach boys and men how to prevent and stop violence against women.

You can buy tickets on Eventbrite or buy them at the door for $10 each. Tickets may also be purchased to allow young males to attend the screening for free.

” Listen to boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.”

THE KILLING OF MICHAEL BROWN: An Aunt’s Response to Fear for her Nephew

woman blowing bubbles with little boy

Another young black man shot, Ferguson, Missouri, America, home of the free.

This post is about the love of my life, my nephew, and my fears for him as his aunt. My nephew and I don’t have the same colour of skin. His DNA is the sum total of multiple ethnicities but he will grow up to viewed as a Black Man. His cousins, those who are “mixed race,” may not be viewed the same. His pigmentation gives him away though. As a grandson of Jamaican immigrants it is an unspoken fact that part of his genetic makeup has come from ancestors brought to the Caribbean, from long established nations in Africa, as slaves.

Last year, as the Travyon Martin verdict came out, this little soul, that I love so deeply, moved to America. He is far from me. Although I know he has good and loving parents I wonder how much they can protect him if he is to grow up in a place that is hostile to young black men.

woman blowing bubbles with little boy

I wonder how having to be ever-conscious of his skin colour will change him psychologically – even spiritually. He can’t hope or dream the same way a white boy can. Or even the same way a boy, whose physical appearance is less contentious with dominant culture, can. How is that ‘passing for white’ is still necessary as a social strategy to ensure that you won’t be the one targeted?

In urban centres like Toronto we have entered a time where several generations of racial / ethnic mixing has occurred. Children with a daddy who is white and a mommy who is black or any other combination are no longer visual anomalies. We take it for granted and forget that in my parents’ lifetime, in parts of America, interracial marriage was illegal. In my own lifetime apartheid existed in South Africa and in this lifetime I witnessed it being dismantled. Change was a long time coming but when it did interracial marriages happened fast. You can almost believe racism, like making mixed marriages illegal, is a thing of the past.

woman blowing bubbles with little boy

Until you read the news. Another black boy murdered. Another body upon which violence seemed like an acceptable, justifiable, even heroic act. Here in Canada, in Toronto, we have a city leader who feels using racially charged language is an acceptable form of humour.

I haven’t found anything out there that talks about how multi-racial families deal with the reality that within a family some individuals will face discrimination – discrimination that can even lead to their death.

And with children, speaking about life lessons becomes complex and fraught with anxiety. It’s just not going to be the same game for everyone. And how do we ensure that some family members are not acting, even subtly, with racialized behaviour?

woman blowing bubbles with little boy

The #IfTheyGunnedMeDown twitter campaign is reaction to the image the media chose to use for Michael Brown. The images that were selected pander to white fear – ‘the kid looked thuggish.’ In the social media campaign people tweet the image they think would be used if they were gunned down by cops and pair it with another image of themselves in service with their uniform on, graduating from college, happy poses with their family, etc.

For young white boys, the clothing they chose to wear and their choices of hand gestures in photographs may only be viewed, at worst, as a typical teenage phase they are going through.  For young black men, clothing choices and body language become an indicator of criminality – a justification for murder.

After the Travyon Martin tragedy I started to notice that I watched my nephew more closely. How is he being socialized? What traits in his personality are becoming more pronounced? Will those traits put him at risk? What about the way he walks, the music he likes, his lifestyle choices? What if one day he makes the wrong choice?

Not only do I not know how to protect him from this I don’t know how to talk to him about this. As he grows into a man I may not have the right words.

I dread a future moment when I have to say to him that where he lives white men can make mistakes but he, being ‘Black’, can’t.

Change can’t come soon enough.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES ON RACE & BLACK MASCULINITY:

Black Girl Dangerous
Black Girl Dangerous is the brainchild of writer Mia McKenzie. What started out as a scream of anguish has evolved into a multi-faceted forum for expression. Black Girl Dangerous seeks to, in as many ways possible, amplify the voices, experiences and expressions of queer and trans* people of color.”

Colorlines
“Colorlines is a daily news site where race matters, featuring award-winning investigative reporting and news analysis. Colorlines is published by Race Forward, a national organization that advances racial justice through research, media and practice. Colorlines is produced by a multiracial team of writers who cover stories from the perspective of community, rather than through the lens of power brokers.”

Cracking the Codes
“From Shakti Butler, the director of “The Way Home: Women Talk About Race in America” and “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible” , comes a new film that asks America to talk about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity.”

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS, NATIONAL NARRATIVES: The Tales We Tell Around the Celebration of Nation States

On Canada Day & Independence Day what are we celebrating? 

I spent Canada Day around the landscape of Quebec just a short drive from Ottawa. It was in an effort to escape the masses that descend upon the Nation’s Capitol for the July 1st holiday.

Many Canadians, especially Torontonians, are fresh off the high of the successful celebration of #WorldPride14 in Toronto (complete with a rainbow that hugged the skyline after the parade). A massive crowd came out to show support for diversity around sexual orientation and gender. Businesses, banks, church groups and regular folk take a certain amount of ‘pride’ in Pride because it demonstrates that Toronto is a city that isn’t just about tolerating differences but rather it has created an entire bombastic celebration around those differences!

Ottawa is no different. Canada Day on Parliament Hill draws an exuberant multiculti crowd celebrating the fact that everyone can feel safe and thrive here in Canada no matter the cultural background of their parents and ancestors.

That’s the story Canadians love to share on July 1 and in America on July 4 it’s much the same. The legends of Manifest Destiny and the enterprising people who populated the Wild West occupy a lot of historical real estate. As the story goes, both nations were built by the hard work of immigrants so in the spirit of continuing that history most people would agree there is always room for more!

The trouble and the truth is that each wave of immigrants arrived to racism and discrimination – the Chinese, Vietnamese and even the Portuguese communities in Canada, the Japanese during World War II in both countries; the Irish and Jewish communities. The Ukrainians, Italians, and Mexicans; the Pakistanis, Somalis, and Arabs…the list goes on. Everyone at some time has been the outsider and placed into the unfortunate role of the societal scapegoat.

The cult of Multiculturalism, for all its talk of inclusivity, has created its own scapegoat – the First Peoples. In both America and Canada waves of migrants have washed over the detail that North America was not only built on the backs of slaves but on the bones of its Indigenous populations.

You can see it in the comment section of Facebook, the online sections of national newspapers and blogs – the hate speak when there is an article that calls out the fashion (mis)statements made by headdress hipsters or when there is a blockade on occupied land that inconveniences the occupier.

National stories are powerful but destructive if they are, in essence, tale tells.

On July 1 and July 4 when celebrating the creation of two colonizing nations it is important to think about how those stories exclude. Multiculturalism, with all its focus on providing a safe and welcoming space for newcomers, has created a blind spot obscuring how the focus on rights for immigrants can often be at the expense of the rights of the First Peoples of Turtle Island, the original word for the continent of North America.

The Civil Rights movement was about addressing the shame of White America and calling out how the Jim Crow laws and state supported segregation created a culture of scapegoating, one result being the most ugly of human expressions – public lynching.

Scapegoating is a mechanism that allows an individual or a society to deflect shame. There is shame in making another human being your chattel; there is shame in killing off a population of people to make room for your own kind. We are spiritual beings and on some level, even if it’s buried so deep our waking minds can make peace with our justifications, the soul sees the deception.

So on days of celebrating nationalism it’s also a good time to reflect on those stories mythologies about who we are as citizens.

Anishinaabe writer and Ryerson University professor Hayden King writes:

“…thinking about what Canada could become (or, “what is in us to be?”) I think about understanding. Not the same old discourse of peaceful acquisition, armchair policy expertise, or a Norval Morrisseau on the wall, but substantive understanding among Canadians of Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee and Mushkegowuk perspectives (as well as the other 50-odd nations)…Indigenous languages can have official status, but more importantly, be seen and heard on the land and in cities, known by everyone. We can be honest about the birth, life and times of Canada. If all of this is in us to be, we might have something to celebrate.”
Read more in his article for the Toronto Star…

Great reasons for national celebrations!

The year 2014 saw the formation of the Cowboys and Indians Alliance created to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. The delegates rode onto the Mall in Washington, DC and called on President Obama to “Reject and Protect” – reject the project and protect the earth.

For more information on the Cowboys and Indians Alliance visit www.rejectandproject.org.


“This is the moral challenge of our age”

2014 also saw the formation of the Healing Walks initiative where people came together for the sake of the land, water, and air as well as the people and animals who depend on the area around the tar sands to be returned to health.

“The Healing Walk was organized by Keepers of the Athabasca, a network of First Nation, Métis, and settler communities along the Athabasca River.” Read more…

For more information on the Healing Walks visit www.healingwalk.org



Images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.