Alternative News

Articles from non-mainstream as opposed to corporate for profit sources.

10 years later, schools like this pose a huge threat

Boa Sr died 10 years ago today, and an entire language died with her
Boa Sr, India

Today is a sad day: It marks 10 years since the death of Boa Sr. As the last of her tribe, an entire language, culture and knowledge system died with her.

Boa Sr lived in the Andaman Islands, off the coast of India. Her tribe was decimated by the arrival of the British in 1858.

Most of her people were killed or died of diseases brought by the colonizers, or by the disastrous and cruel policy of taking children from their families to be raised in a children’s home. Of 150 babies born in the home, none survived beyond the age of two.
Today, a new danger threatens the survival of many tribes in India – one which will completely destroy their identity.

This month Survival revealed that an Indian mining company has opened a new residential school for tribal children in Odisha, in an effort to “transform” them.

Read more: 10 years later, schools like this pose a huge threat

Peace & justice stories - Quaker Concern newsletter

r1 Quaker Concern

We're kicking off a new decade in style with a new look for our digital and print newsletter Quaker Concern. Let us know what you think!

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The Messy Work of Seeking Justice

by Matthew Legge

Have you ever changed your mind on an issue you cared deeply about? If so, how did that transformation happen? If not, why do you think that is?

Seeking justice and peace—the mission of Canadian Friends Service Committee—only seems easy when we’re overly confident...

Read more: Peace & justice stories - Quaker Concern newsletter

700 days of picketing for rights and recognition

700 days of picketing for rights and recognition r1 mailchimp_cover_solidarity_EN.jpg ...

Read more: 700 days of picketing for rights and recognition

Climate emergency

Australia is on fire -- but corporations from around the world are still planning to dig up more climate-wrecking coal there for a quick profit.

Germany’s Siemens plans to sell rail signalling equipment for a gigantic new coal mine in Australia, literally giving a green light to a project that will spell disaster for our planet.

Tell Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser to quit the Adani coal mine contract!

Sign the petition


Australia’s Prime Minister has acknowledged that human-caused climate change is partly to blame for the bushfires. But he’s still in lock-step with the coal industry -- and so is Germany’s Siemens, which plans to provide signalling equipment for a massive new coal mining project there.

Siemens is literally giving a green light to a fossil fuel project that will spell disaster for our planet.

A, public pressure on Siemens is spreading across Germany, led by young climate activists who’ve been...

Read more: Climate emergency

Free Public Transit in Canada?

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1985 ... January 26, 2020

Free Public Transit in Canada?

Madelin Burt-D’Agnillo

In the last year or so, a debate about the merits of free transit (or more accurately, fare-free transit) is making its way into public discourse in Canada. While fare-free transit is a model that has served international cities (many based in Europe or South America) for years, its a model that has only recently started to gain substantive consideration in North America.

Increasingly, community groups advocating for fair fares, fare-free transit, and even organized fare-evasion are growing in number and visibility. But those in opposition to fare-free transit are also voicing their concerns about the practicalities and costs of implementing free transit, especially when many transit systems face huge repair backlogs (cough cough Toronto) or embarrassing failures of new infrastructure (cough cough Ottawa).

And cities are not the only jurisdictions that have entered into this conversation. In the last Canadian election, the federal NDP ran on a platform of supporting municipalities in transitioning to fare-free models of public transit. In Ontario, a provincial Liberal leadership...

Read more: Free Public Transit in Canada?

Re. Save Australia from this mega mine

Hi A, just want to make sure you see this.

We’re so close to raising enough money to send busloads of young activists to the Siemens shareholder meeting in just 10 days.

Can you chip in now to help put pressure on Siemens and stop this mega mine?

With your help, we can guarantee a seat on the bus for every young person who wants to fight for our future.

If you’ve saved your payment information with SumOfUs, your donation will go through immediately:

Donate CA$92 nowDonate CA$138 now Read more: Re. Save Australia from this mega mine

Coke just said people still want plastic

You won't believe what Coca-Cola just claimed: consumers still want plastic bottles.

Let's prove them wrong.

Tell Coke we say 'NO' to more plastic waste and to clean up its plastic problem!

Take Action!

Sign the petition


Are you the cause of Coca-Cola’s plastic problem?

Coke’s own head of sustainability thinks so. At the World Economic Forum this week, she told billionaire conference-goers that the soda corp won’t stop producing new plastic bottles because consumers still want them.

This is just the latest in a long history of Coca-Cola trying to pass the buck to consumers. Nobody asked for the 3 million tonnes of plastic that Coke admits it produces every year, or for the unspeakable harm those bottles have done to our oceans and rivers.

But we are asking Coke for something now: responsibility. With enough pressure from you, the company will take meaningful...

Read more: Coke just said people still want plastic

Climate Activists Cant Afford to Ignore Labour

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1984 ... January 24, 2020

Climate Activists Can’t Afford to Ignore Labour:
A Shuttered Refinery in Philly Shows Why

Mindy Isser

In the early morning hours of June 21, 2019, a catastrophic explosion tore through the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) oil refinery in the southwest section of Philadelphia. The training and quick thinking of refinery workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, averted certain disaster and saved millions of lives. One month later, on July 21, PES declared bankruptcy -- their second in as many years -- and began to close down the refinery in the following months, laying off almost 2,000 people with no meaningful severance. According to workers who spoke with In These Times, the refinery stopped running crude oil in early August, although there are fewer than 100 workers who were kept on as caretakers for the waste water and steam generating units.

The fire on June 21 and the mass layoffs that followed impacted more than just the physical site of the refinery and the workers who made it run. It also ignited a debate...

Read more: Climate Activists Cant Afford to Ignore Labour

A pivotal time

A pivotal time r1 ...

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Disabled People Under Attack

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1983 ... January 23, 2020

Disabled People Under Attack

John Clarke

In December, Ontario’s Auditor-General, Bonnie Lysyk, issued a report that offers the province’s right wing Tory government an opportunity to attack disabled people living in poverty. Her report paints a picture of an Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) that is handing out money hand over fist to the questionably disabled, without any realistic checks and balances. With this little effort, Lysyk has produced a masterpiece of selective reasoning. She simply assumes that an increase in ODSP caseloads in excess of population growth is an indication of something improper. Competent advocates immediately responded by pointing out the flaws in her logic. The growth of caseloads can be attributed to a range of legitimate factors, such as the driving of injured workers off of their benefit system, an ageing population and the considerable efforts that have been put into ensuring ODSP is more readily available to those with a very genuine need for it.

The AG’s report emerges just as the Ontario government is looking for a way forward with...

Read more: Disabled People Under Attack

Help shape our work for 2020

Take this 5 minute survey to help shape our climate work for 2020 r1

Dear Paov,

With Australia on fire and parts of Indonesia under water, the start of 2020 is a wake up call for the world to make climate action a top priority.

This decade, Canada needs to break its toxic ties with fossil fuels and build a 100% renewable energy economy that centers justice and Indigenous sovereignty. 350 Canada is committed to keeping up the pressure on policy makers to make climate action and a Green New Deal top priorities. But we need your input to help shape that work. Fill out this survey to help us understand what matters to you.

Around the world, people are rising up after years of injustice and inaction on the climate crisis and inequality. That's why millions of us across Canada went on climate strike and voted for a government ready to tackle the climate emergency.

In 2020, we need our elected leaders to stop dirty fossil fuel projects, like the Trans Mountain pipeline and the Teck Frontier mine, and deliver a Green New Deal. What do you think we should include...

Read more: Help shape our work for 2020



On a sunny Tuesday morning in December, SumOfUs joined nearly 100 people at a meeting of Florida water officials to deliver over 380,000 petition signatures demanding that they stop Nestlé from draining Ginnie Springs.

And your signature was one of them, A.

After handing over the massive box of signatures, townspeople and local activists spent two hours making passionate public statements against Nestlé’s water grab. Many of them had driven three hours just to be there. Some were even missing school for the day.

After the meeting, SumOfUs and our partner Our Santa Fe River kayaked down the Santa Fe River to bring a powerful protest directly to Ginnie Springs.

Ginnie Springs petition delivery video

Watch on YouTube

Your petition signature helped us make a big splash. Water officials were paying close attention, and even thanked us for our passion.

But the fight isn’t over yet.

Nestlé is already bottling a small amount of Ginnie Springs’ water using an expired permit. And in the next few months, officials will decide whether...

Read more: Nestle

This mega mine is a ticking time bomb

1 billion animals burned to death in Australia’s worst ever wildfires. If a giant new coal mine is built, these terrible fires will become the new normal.

One company has the power to pull the plug on this mega mine: Siemens.

With your help, we can push Siemens to do the right thing. Can you chip in CA$91 to send young climate activists to its upcoming shareholder meeting?

Donate CA$91 now


Australia is burning and a new coal mine is set to make the situation even worse.

If the Adani coal mine is built, it would mean more devastating fires, more floods, and famine in the years to come. And it would destroy the beautiful Great Barrier Reef.

More than 60 corporations have refused to help build or finance the mine. But not Siemens. The corporate giant has just decided to go ahead with supplying critical infrastructure to make this time bomb of a mega mine happen.

That's where you come in. Siemens' shareholder meeting is in just two...

Read more: This mega mine is a ticking time bomb

South Africa: Climate Justice Charter

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1982 ... January 22, 2020

South Africa: Climate Justice Charter

Co-operative and Policy Alternative Center and South African Food Sovereignty Campaign

We care about the climate crisis and its implications for all in South Africa as well as for all life on planet Earth. With a 1-degree Celsius increase in planetary temperature since before the industrial revolution, extreme weather shocks (droughts, floods, wild fires, tornadoes, heat waves), eco-system collapse, sea level rise, together with major stresses on the Earth’s systems, everything is changing fast. Irreversible changes to the Earth’s systems are not locked in yet and climate science confirms that action is critical to prevent further planetary heating, catastrophic climate breakdown and ensure climate justice, for those least responsible but who will be most affected. We need to address the root causes of the problem through unifying, all-encompassing and deeply transformative action. It is time for a common vision, clear goals, guiding principles and alternatives from below to lead the climate justice movement to secure a different future, where all human and non-human life is sustained. A Climate Justice Charter...

Read more: South Africa: Climate Justice Charter

The Two Souls of Veganism

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1981 ... January 21, 2020

The Two Souls of Veganism

Benjamin Selwyn

Veganuary 2020 in the UK is set to be the biggest ever. Last year over 250,000 people pledged to go vegan in January; this year the numbers are greater still. In the backdrop, more than 800,000 people gave up eating animal products in the UK last year, and ever greater numbers of the population -- around 6 per cent or 3.5 million people -- identify themselves as vegan.

This dietary shift reflects an increasingly popular awareness of the need for food systems that enhance human health and animal welfare, without destroying the planet. It is particularly popular among young people who are more likely than their older counterparts to be politically active and concerned about the global climate crisis.

While veganism is often portrayed in the mainstream media as another dietary fad, the reality is that it embodies two distinct approaches to our place in the world.

Continue reading

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[E-News] Iran, Wetsuweten, and welcoming a new staff

Download the CFSC E-News in PDF.

Calling for diplomacy with Iran

Canadian Friends Service Committee is deeply concerned about the prospect of war with Iran. CFSC Clerk Lana Robinson has sent an open letter to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence Minister.

The letter notes: "Opposition to war is not advocating doing nothing, it is advocating actively investing in and pursuing the many viable and effective alternatives, rather than imagining that alternatives must be impossible although they haven’t yet been fully tried." Read...

Read more: [E-News] Iran, Wetsuweten, and welcoming a new staff

The People of Colombia Are Cracking Up the Walls of War and Authoritarianism

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1980 ... January 20, 2020

The People of Colombia Are Cracking Up the Walls of War and Authoritarianism

Justin Podur

The protests that started with the national strike called by Colombia’s central union on November 21 to protest pension reforms and the broken promises of the peace accords have persisted for two months and grown into a protest against the whole establishment. And the protests have continued into the new year and show no signs of stopping.

The end of the decade has seemed to bring an unstoppable march of the right wing in Latin America as elsewhere. The 2016 coup in Brazil that ended with fascist Jair Bolsonaro in power, the 2019 coup in Bolivia, the continuously rolling coup in Venezuela, all showcased the ruthlessness of the US in disposing of left-wing governments in the region. Right-wing victories at the ballot box occurred in Chile in 2017 and in Colombia in 2018, where the electorate rejected the left-wing Gustavo Petro and embraced Iván Duque, a protege of the infamous former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez. But with the new...

Read more: The People of Colombia Are Cracking Up the Walls of War and Authoritarianism

SEA Reminder of AGM this Tuesday January 21

SEA Reminder of AGM this Tuesday January 21 r1 ...

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Concentration camps. Millions of lives destroyed.

Apple is collaborating with the government of China, putting profit above principles.

Will you demand Apple takes a stand?

Sign the petition


Apple is helping the government of China spy on phone calls and text messages by taking down apps that people use to stay safe. Anyone the government finds suspicious is likely to be sent away for “re-education” and often torture.

Over one million people are in camps right now.

Apple’s AGM is coming up in a few short weeks -- can you please sign this petition so we can show it the global outcry is surging?

We'll take your name directly to Apple’s HQ, to demand it stops helping the government of China spy on people.

Yes, I'll sign now to demand Apple help keep people safe.

The government of China is persecuting ethnic groups like Uygher Muslims. People in concentration camps are cut off from family. Every detail of their lives is...

Read more: Apple

Book Launch: On This Patch of Grass /w Matt Hern

LeftStreamed — Recorded in Toronto, 14 January 2020

Book Launch: On This Patch of Grass /w Matt Hern

A discussion based on the new book On This Patch of Grass: City Parks and Occupied Land (Fernwood Press, 2019), with author Matt Hern, and respondent Cheryl Teelucksingh (Ryerson University), Joce Tremblay and Andrea Bastien (Indigenous Climate Action and the Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle). Moderated by Greg Sharzer.

Parks are importantly fertile places to talk about land. Whether its big national parks, provincial campgrounds, isolated conservation areas, destination parks, or humble urban patches of grass, we tend to speak of parks as unqualified goods. People think of parks as public or common land, and it is a common belief that parks are the best uses of land and are good for everyone. But no park is innocent. Parks are lionized as “natural oases,” and urban parks as “pure nature” in the midst of the city – but that’s absurd. Parks are as “natural” as the roads or buildings around them, and just as political. Every park in North America is performing modernity and settler colonialism everyday....

Read more: Book Launch: On This Patch of Grass /w Matt Hern

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