A History of Activism at Concordia

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[audio https://ia601509.us.archive.org/10/items/HistoryOfActivismAtConcordia/History%20of%20Activism%20at%20Concordia.mp3]

Click here to download audio

On November 19th the group Concordia Against Austerity invited members of the Concordia community who participated in pinnacle moments for political and social justice initiatives, which helped shape activism on campus and the world at large, to share their stories.

Concordia is a breeding ground for activism. From the computer riots, to the G20 organizing, to the Printemps érable mobilizations, activism has always been a big part of the Concordia community.

At the event six panelists shared a 10-15 minute story of an activist venture they took part in while they were at Concordia (for their full bios please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/936197736461860/).

First speaker, Rodney John, who was active during the 1960s computer riots at Concordia (audio at 0.05).  Second speaker, Laith Marouf, who is half-Palestinian, half-Syrian and was involved in shutting down a scheduled speech by Israeli PM Netanyahu at Concordia University in Montreal 2002 (audio at 15.43).  Third speaker, Alex Matak, an activist who was deeply involved in the 2011-2012 student strike (audio at 40.12).  Fourth speaker, Yves Engler, “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left today” (Briarpatch) (audio at 57.24).  Fifth speaker, Dr David Bernans, one of the founders of two unions on campus (audio at 1.09.00).  Sixth speaker, Robert Green, a former CSU president (1.18.00).  After the discussion there was a period of audience question time (audio at 1.32.00).

 

 

 

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26th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre: Panel Discussion

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Image Credit: rabble.ca

Click HERE to download the Mp3 of the panel.

In commemoration of the Montreal Massacre that happened on December 6th, 1989 in École Polytechnique, CKUT’s Off the Hour hosted a panel discussion to analyze the event once again and the impact it had on the feminist movement and gun control laws.

CKUT’s Rose Woolhouse, Kateryna Gordiychuk and Emily Enhorning had a chance to speak to Maureen Bradley, a filmmaker, who produced a short documentary in 1995 titled “Refraiming the Montreal Massacre”; Rose Marie Whalley, a community radio programmer and a board member at Center for Gender Advocacy; and Kevin Vowles, a Community Engagement Manager for the White Ribbon in Toronto, that empowers men and boys to take a stand against violence directed at women and girls.

The panel tried to unveil the social circumstances within which the crime against women occurred by addressing the issues of gender violence in general and the work done to prevent it in the aftermath of the event.

Although, the speakers said that the issue receives much more acknowledgement nowadays, they emphasized the persisting facts of violence against women and girls in modern society.

83% of all police-reported domestic assaults are against women. This pattern is consistent for every province and territory across Canada.(Canadianwomen.org)

A big part of discussion was dedicated to the media portrayal at the time of the massacre and how the news reporting consequently framed the public’s reaction to the crime. Maureen Bradley, one of the speakers, produced a documentary “Reframing the Montreal Massacre” two decades ago to address this issue.

The matter of violence against women is not an issue for feminists only, but it must be recognized and acted against by all societal structures. Kevin Vowles, one of the speakers, talked about his extensive educational work with White Ribbon, an organization that teaches boys and men to react to gender violence.

What I see when engaging men and boys is that they are willing to come forward, stand up, and say something when they see violence and rape culture happening. White Ribbon encourages men and boys to move away from harmful gender norms.  When men and boys start truly getting in touch with their emotions (transcending toxic masculinity), moving away from straight anger, we can end violence against women.

– Kevin Vowles shared with CKUT after the panel discussion

Listen to an insightful discussion on the framework in which the Montreal Massacre occurred and its consequences. Rose Marie Whalley, one of the panelists, also provides a live account from the feminist demonstration held soon after the crime.