Rob Robinson on the international fight for housing!

Rob Robinson is a homeless and housing rights activist based in Brooklyn, New York, and does national and international organizing work with the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, NESRI. Rob was in Montreal last week for the World Social Forum and sat down with CKUT’s Aaron Lakoff for an in-depth discussion on gentrification, the global right to housing, and taking back the land.

Spatial Justice & Community Engagement: The Right To The City Project

Based on watching interviews, students from oral history and theatre classes embody, perform and discover the identities of Point St. Charles community residents in a speed-dating exercise. Photo Credit: David Ward.

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On Saturday December 5th masters and bachelors students from four different departments at Concordia University participating in the Right To The City course showcased their final projects and performances at Share the Warmth/Partageons l’espoir in Point St. Charles. Share The Warmth is a citizen-led resource founded on the principles of social economy, education as a right, food justice, and community self-determination. The RTTC course project is founded on the concept of spatial justice and accessibility, addressing industrialization and gentrification both within working class neighbourhoods and within the ever-changing urban landscape.

Off The Hour discusses with organizers and students about the significance of using arts-based methodologies, insights, and play to create shared intentionality for social change. We also consider the movement away from the charity model and towards a social economy model in community support organizations.

MemoryScape Project Map:
Right To The City Website:

Special Thanks to RTTC’s Community Partners:

This interview was produced by Claudia Edwards.

A very CSA picnic: Montreal’s Autonomous Social Centre celebrates its 5-year anniversary

One of the CSA's most important achievements: getting the city to give them Batiment #7 in 2011
One of the CSA’s most important achievements was to get the city to give them Batiment #7 in 2011 (photo by La Pointe Libertaire)
Five years ago, on May 29 2009, a group of a few  hundred people occupied a disused factory near the Lachine canal. Together, they hoped to reclaim this space and transform it into an Autonomous Social Centre, a building that would represent the community spirit of Pointe Saint Charles. Pointes Saint Charles is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the borough of Le Sud Ouest in Montreal. Today, it is one of the most affected areas by gentrification in the city.
An Autonomous Social Centre is different from a community centre in that it is completely separate from the state; a space created and sustained by the people, for the people. This is exactly what activists celebrated at the end of May, when they held a picnic on the banks of the Lachine Canal. We were there to talk to a few participants who have been involved since day 1, and understand their motivations.
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Panel on community resistance to gentrification on the island of Montreal


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CKUT brings you a panel on community resistance to gentrification on the island of Montreal. Residents of several different neighborhoods met for the A Qui La Ville assembly, an initiative to begin coordinating neighborhood-based activism to fight austerity, rising rents, and the commodification of public space. You’ll hear from some of the organizers of the assembly about what their plans are for the future.