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THE CANADIAN PRESS/JUSTIN TANG
By looking at social inequality in context, we can see opportunities for clear and long-term change.
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Why do we need to protect people who want to upstage or interrupt our celebrations, or other public gatherings?
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The White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism. As Holocaust historian Professor Deborah Lipstadt put it, "what we saw from the White House was classic softcore denial. The Holocaust was de-Judaized."
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In a flagrant violation of the agreed-upon ceasefire, the Syrian government launched a heavy offensive on rebel-held Wadi Barada valley in the final days of December. Residents have been deprived of running water and electricity and are being bombarded by hundreds of missiles and barrel bombs.
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Hundreds of peaceful protesters have been arrested, assaulted and dehumanized. People, horses and journalists are being shot by rubber bullets and attacked by private security dogs for being completely peaceful. Protesters are reporting being arrested and held in dog cages and disturbingly, the police have not denied this.
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Over the last few years there has been a steady stream of disturbing videos showing minorities being gunned down by the people meant to protect them, most without any sort of criminal consequences for the shooter. Add all this to the horrible history of racism in America and it's no wonder that someone from that community would want to take a stand. Yet it happens so rarely.
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As it happens, inconveniencing people, being rude, screaming in their faces and generally pissing them off is not very successful in rallying them to your side. Funny how that works. Yet, in Ontario, three very passionate groups have used these tried-and-failed techniques in an attempt to force public opinion.
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Critics of the international movement have called it discriminatory and racist, citing it as an attempt to prioritize black lives over all others ("It's not just black lives -- all lives matter!"). And perhaps most significantly, many have accused the organization of inciting hatred and violence against police. Though these assumptions are completely false, the discovery of a co-founder's tweet talking about killing white people does nothing to quell these criticisms. Rather, it simply adds fuel to an already raging fire.
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This isn't about whether hunting is good or bad, and at this stage, it can't be. This is about whether Canada is prepared to allow sanctimonious activists to have the absolute right to tell everyone else how to live their lives, and run their businesses, issue by issue as they see fit.
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As momentous an occasion as it is when an oil jurisdiction actually puts limits on growth, 100 million tonnes of carbon a year at a time when science is demanding bold reductions is still far too much. While historic, the government's cap needs to be viewed as a ceiling rather then a floor.
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I'll be honest, when I first heard of plans for a global day of climate marches on November 29, I rolled my eyes. In some ways, I still feel like that might be the case, but after recent events in Paris and Beirut, the global mobilizations matter in a way they never could have before.
Keystone was a fight that no one thought we could win. When the pipeline was first proposed, every energy analyst, every journalist and every politician either had never heard of it or thought the same thing -- the pipeline was a virtual certainty and its approval was imminent.
Both Trudeau and his new ministers have their work cut out from them when it comes to really getting Canada back on course on climate. That's why today, I'm outside of Trudeau's home with dozens of other people kicking off what could be largest act of civil disobedience on climate change in Canada's history.
People are just tired of being at the wrong end of an equation that rewards established wealth while hollowing out the opportunities for the average citizen. It's not so easy to govern anymore behind the veil of complexity and secrecy, and that's just as it should be in a democracy.