Update…

Sorry for the break. Short of a substantial posting, here’s an update on what I’m up to these days.

* Working with Colombia solidarity groups against the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The best source right now I’d say is the Canada-Colombia project of La Chiva.


Sorry for the break. Short of a substantial posting, here’s an update on what I’m up to these days.

* Working with Colombia solidarity groups against the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The best source right now I’d say is the Canada-Colombia project of La Chiva.

* Working with CAIA and others on their free expression campaign. Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, when he’s not organizing mass deportations, finds time in his busy schedule to make false accusations against campus lecture series, members of the Arab community, and anyone else with a shred of conscience on Palestine. Free expression is protected in Canada, but not from the gang that’s in power, who seem to think of the government and the country as their own private plaything.

* Reading Gerard Prunier’s new book on the Congo, “Africa’s World War”. I don’t agree with Prunier’s every point, but I have to admit this is by far the best informed account of what’s gone on in this crucially important part of the world that I have seen.

* Watching the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum’s newswire, which is as good as I can find on what’s going on in this other crucially important and often-forgotten conflict.

* On March 28 I did a workshop on media for the Students for Medicare conference, which gave me the chance to meet a bunch of great activists. I talked about how the private media present health care as if it’s either broken, in crisis, or problematic but what we’re stuck with. The result of presenting the issue in these frames is, as I’ve learned, an erosion of public support for medicare, which, (I learned at the conference because I got to attend some of the sessions) while it still has an overwhelming majority, is widely misunderstood and therefore at risk.

* Working on a few papers and articles: one on Canada in Afghanistan and the conflict between development and humanitarian goals and counterinsurgency goals (with the former giving way to the latter). Another on Canada and Colombia, which I’ll hopefully get to present at the conference on Undermining Sustainability on April 26. A workshop on imperialism (the specifically economic aspects) for the Popular Education and Action Project (PEAP) day school on April 25.

* Watching (several times now) Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Che’, both parts. And then revisiting the biography by Paco Ignacio Taibo II, looking up youtube video of Che, checking on the historical depictions, etc.

* Reading “sustainable energy without the hot air” by David Mackay, which seems pretty good, though I still like George Monbiot’s “Heat” better. Mackay disagrees with Helen Caldicott on nuclear power – Mackay’s not an advocate of nuclear power but Caldicott unequivocally says that Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. I’m halfway through the latter, and I go back and forth between the two. I must investigate further. George Monbiot’s worried about people losing interest in wind, and I tend to share his worries.

* Preoccupied with the Indian elections, and Advani in particular. Advani as PM at this critical moment in history would be as bad a thing as I can imagine.

* Reading Johann Hari, who I don’t normally like, on the Somali piracy issue, and finding that I agree.

Hopefully some of the above activities will become substantive articles or blog posts. See you back here soon.

Author: Justin Podur

Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.