upcoming events

Dear Friends of SJS,
Please join us this Friday, Oct. 13th for the SJS Annual Lecture:
Restoring the Circle of Life in this Region: Indigenous Perspectives for Social and Ecological Justice
a talk by Paul Cheoketen Wagner
W̱SÁNEĆ activist Paul Cheoketen Wagner discusses the movement for social and ecological justice in the Salish Sea bioregion. He draws from cultural work as a Coast Salish story-teller and his community organizing work encouraging the transition to the post- petroleum economy.

7 p.m.Hickman Building Room 105
Free and open to the public

This lecture coincides with the opening of the Common Vision, Common Action conference, taking place from October 13-15 at the University of Victoria. To register for the weekend conference, visit:www.CommonAction.ca.

This event is accessible to people with diverse abilities and is taking place on the territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.


Oct.... 12:

The Rojava Social Revolution-Public Lecture by John Restakis

  • clockThursday at 16:0017:303 days from now
  • pinUVic MacLaurin Building D288
Join us for a fascinating look into a little-known social revolution inside Syria. Humanizing the Economy author John Restakis will share with us the inspiring developments taking place in Rojava, a Kurdish enclave in Syria whose inhabitants have fashioned a place of security, gender equality, economic cooperation, and a unique form of localized direct democracy that has no equivalent elsewhere. Organized by UVic School of Environmental Studies Alternative Economies Speaker Series 2017-18. All welcome. Free admission. Co-sponsored by the UVic Academic Women's Caucus, the Centre for Global Studies - CFGS, the Critical Geographies Research Lab, the UVIC Gender Studies Department, and the UVIC Graduate Students' Society
UVic School of Environmental Studies: https://www.uvic.ca/socialsciences/environmental/index.php
UVic Academic Women's Caucus: https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvic.ca/awcaucus/
For more information about John Restakis, visit http://johnrestakis.net/about_john.html

Throughout October:


What: heArt space pop-up art show
Where: 821 Fort St.
When: Tuesday Oct. 10 to Oct. 31
Information: facebook.com/groups/Heartspacevic/

A new exhibit in downtown Victoria pays homage to the art and lives of people who have died in the overdose crisis.

“In talking to people who’ve lost family, friends and to frontline workers, it became clear there is a lack of place to grieve,” said Marion Selfridge, one of the co-ordinators of the heART space pop-up art gallery on Fort Street.

Selfridge, a former youth outreach worker and doctoral student, said the project came together with the help of street-involved youth, frontline workers and others affected by the crisis, which has killed more than 300 people on Vancouver Island this year and last.

“Art and culture gives us an opportunity to be with our grief,” said Selfridge.

“It’s really important to offer space, physical space, for people to let down the work and stigma, to create and observe.”

Selfridge said the curated art show is funded in part through the Centre for Addictions Research B.C. A call for submissions has yielded an interesting mix of sculpture and two-dimensional artworks, she said.

Victoria muralist Kay Gallivan transformed an awning from the previous tenant, Alpine Market, into an artwork for the temporary gallery.

Selfridge said the graffiti-style mural uses peaceful imagery of camas, lavender and nature, “to ground us in the space and land.”

The exhibit opens on Tuesday with an evening reception and will host workshops and events throughout the month, including a spoken word open mic on Oct. 26 as well as an acoustic song circle and overdose-prevention and naloxone training.

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**********************************************************************Oct. 18:

Town Hall Meeting - Let's Ban the Bag!

wednesday october 18th

If you care about the environment, this is one event you need to attend! The City of Victoria is so close to banning single-use plastic bags in Victoria but they need to hear from you! This is such a crucial moment in our fight to eliminate single-use plastics.
You can come in-person to show your support just by being there and you can also step-up to the mic with a message for City Councilors as simple as, "I support a ban on single-use plastic bags!"

OCT. 19:

Exhibition Opening

Disobedient Women: Defiance, Resistance and Creativity Past and Present

Thursday, October 195:007:30 pm

Maltwood Gallery, Lower Ground Floor, MacPherson Library, University of Victoria

You are invited to the opening of the exhibition Disobedient Women: Defiance, Resistance and Creativity Past and Present. This exhibiton includes a selection of stories, images, quilts, puppets, installations, collages, videos and many other types of artworks by and about women from Vancouver Island and beyond. It captures the energy and imagination, spirit and courage, of women who respond overtly or covertly to patriarchal and colonial authority and power and gender injustices.

Exhibition Hours:

Weekends: 9 am until 9 pm

Weekdays: 10:30 pm until 5 pm

October 19 – December 10

RSVP – Darlene Clover (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

***********************************************************************Oct. 19:
Friends of Cuba Social Justice Film Night
7pm Thursday, Oct. 19
2994 Douglas in the BCGEU hall.
With this event we will be paying our tribute to Che Guevara.

Oct. 25:

Professional Women and the Justice System Panel Discussion, St Ann’s Academy

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – 7.00pm – 8.30pm

The second Women in Leadership Critical Conversations panel discussion of our current series will take place October 25th at St. Ann’s Academy. The Panel is sponsored by the Society of Friends of St Ann’s Academy (SFSAA), and the Faculty of Education, University of Victoria. Drawing from feedback from the sold-out Women in Leadership Conference held in October, 2016, it was apparent that the community needs to continue the conversations of gender justice and change.

Eva Silden, an Instructor and former Chair of the Criminal Justice Department at Camosun College will Chair the panel discussion on real and perceived gender bias and progressive change. “Most of us, who work in and study the justice system, recognize that it is largely a system built by and for men. It is only within the last 40 years or so that women have begun to work in policing, law, corrections in any perceptible numbers. As such, it should not come as a surprise that women working in the justice system continue to face inequalities and discrimination. A key starting point for exploring some of these issues is to come from a place of curiosity. I hope this conversation with our panel members and audience will help to shed some light and learning on these issues”.

The panel will include Shannon Perkins, Sergeant Victoria Police Department; Paula Donnachie, Crown Counsel; Treena Smith, Parole Supervisor with Correctional Services Canada; and Holly Craig, Probation Officer.

Lifecycles Project Society will provide light refreshments made from fresh produce. Admission to the panel discussion is by donation.

To register, for general enquiries or more information about the series, write to Satty Virdi, Executive Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Oct. 26:

CCPA-BC 20th Anniversary Fundraiser

Dear friends,

We hope you can join CCPA-BC director Seth Klein, associate director Shannon Daub and resource analyst Ben Parfitt for a special 20th anniversary fundraising event in Victoria on Thursday, October 26.

Help celebrate and support the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' vital work in BC, and get their take on openings for progressive change in relation to:

  • The political moment in BC,
  • The rise of the far right, and
  • The climate challenge.

Shannon, Seth and Ben will also reflect on the CCPA’s role and highlight their plans to shine a critical light on public policy. There will be refreshments served after the talk and a chance to connect with other members of the CCPA community.

WHEN: October 26, 2017 at 7pm

WHERE: First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Rd, Victoria

Buy tickets online at ccpabc.ca/hope2017

Please forward this email to your networks, and share the event page and attached image on social media. If you have any questions, please contact our supporter engagement specialist, Leo Yu, at 604-801-5121 ext. 225 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for your support. We hope to see you on October 26!


The CCPA-BC Team


Alliance for Global Justice Call for Support:

Massacre in Tumaco - US pushes for more repression

Colombian National Police fired on a gathering of rural families in the
municipality of Tumaco, Nariño in Colombia on October 5, 2017. They killed
between eight and sixteen persons and wounded more than 50. Peasant
farmers want to participate in the voluntary eradication of illicit crops
per the peace agreement ending Colombia's civil war. They are demanding
that the government fulfill its commitments on this point.

On Sunday, October 8, 2017, the National Police attacked an international
delegation sent to investigate the massacre. Representatives of the United
Nations and the Organization of American States, as well as a Colombian
journalist, were repelled by the police firing bullets in the air and by
stun grenades when they tried to approach the area where the massacre took
place. This is an example of the policy the Trump administration is
pushing in Colombia. White House and State Department officials have made
several statements recently saying they will not support voluntary
eradication programs, calling instead for Colombia to focus on forced, and
therefore violent, eradication. The result? More dead Colombian farmers
and their families....

•Demand that Colombia's government end the violence and fulfill
commitments to crop substitution programs in Tumaco

•Demand that the White House support voluntary eradication and stop
encouraging violence against rural Colombians


Massacre in Tumaco - US pushes for more repression

by James Jordan

The Colombian National Police massacred between 8 and 16 persons, wounding
more than 50, in the municipality of Tumaco, Nariño on Thursday afternoon,
October 5, 2017. The attack was directed against protesting coca growing
families demanding the government fulfill its commitments to voluntary
eradication programs.

Additionally, on Sunday, October 8, 2017, the National Police attacked an
international team sent to investigate the massacre. The police used tear
gas and stun grenades to disperse representatives from the United Nations,
the Organization of American States, and a journalist from the Colombian
weekly, Semana. The National Police and Colombia's military are both under
the direction of the Ministry of Defense.

Initially, the Colombian government claimed that the massacre was the
result of an attack by dissident insurgents who oppose accords between the
Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -
People's Army (FARC-EP). However, eyewitnesses from the community concur
that the violence was perpetrated by the police. Since the implementation
of the accords, Tumaco has been the site of several assassinations of
local leaders and attacks against protesters by the armed forces and

Colombian peace accords were implemented as the law of the land in late
November 2016. They include provisions for crop substitution and
infrastructure development to create a viable alternative to illicit
crops. Under the National Comprehensive Program for Illicit Crop
Substitution, the Colombian government has signed 105,000 crop
substitution pacts with rural families and it is estimated that its goal
of crop substitution programs for 50,000 hectares will be reached by the
end of the year. The government has also forcibly eradicated another
50,000 hectares during the same period, often in the same areas where it
has signed substitution agreements.

Even when substitution pacts have been signed, they have been beset with
delays in payments and infrastructure and road improvements. Some peasant
families complain that they must travel through areas of paramilitary
activity to access benefits. Another difficulty has been that some
communities requesting to participate in the voluntary program have been
ignored and subjected to forced eradication.

The Trump administration is pressuring Colombia to abandon the voluntary
program in favor of forced eradication which frequently results in state
violence. The White House is also urging Colombia to return to aerial
fumigation of illicit crops with Monsanto’s RoundUp Ultra. Vice President
Mike Pence, Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker, and William Brownfield,
the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement Affairs, have all declared that the US will not
support voluntary eradication programs because they are the result of
accords signed between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP. The fact
does not seem to matter that these accords have brought an end to a
52-year civil war that left more than 220,000 persons dead; 92,000
disappeared; and 6 million rural families displaced. Nor does it matter
that the FARC-EP no longer exists and former insurgents have disarmed. The
new FARC, the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force, is a legal,
nonviolent, and civilian political party that is integrated into civil

The White House justifies their position by repeating the myth that the
now defunct FARC-EP have been and continue to be major narcotics
traffickers. However, both Colombian and US government studies have
debunked this assertion. It is generally recognized that the FARC-EP had
levied a tax on narco-traffickers, but had not been major producers or
merchants of narcotics. A 2001 Colombian government study found right wing
paramilitaries to be responsible for more than 40% of the cocaine trade
and the FARC-EP for no more than 2.5%.

Donnie Marshall, the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency under Pres.
George W. Bush has gone on record saying, “…there is no evidence that any
FARC or ELN units have established international transportation, wholesale
distribution or drug money-laundering networks in the United States or

According to Rafael Suarez, who was a military advisor to the Uribe
administration, “if you reduce the FARC to just a drug cartel, you make
the possibility of negotiating a political settlement more difficult.” Of
course, if the goal is not peace, but the consolidation of stolen lands,
then the strategy works well of branding the FARC-EP as major drug
traffickers and carrying out a “War on Drugs” that is really a War of
Displacement and a War against Farmers.

On the other hand, Colombia’s former president Álvaro Uribe was on a
Defense Intelligence Agency list in 1991 as one of Colombia's top
narco-traffickers. His administration received billions of dollars in US
funding via Plan Colombia.

William Brownfield first came to the State Department in 1979, under the
Carter Administration. He was promoted to his current position as an
Assistant Secretary of State under Pres. Barak Obama and continues in the
job under the Trump administration. Before that, he had served as
Ambassador to Colombia during the Uribe administration, and as Ambassador
to Chile and to Venezuela. He has had assignments with the State
Department and the Pentagon's Southern Command in El Salvador, Argentina,
Panama, and Honduras. He is accused of helping cover up an incident in
which four Honduran community members, including two pregnant women, were
killed with shots fired from a State Department helicopter in 2012. He has
announced his imminent retirement.

But given his long background as a promotor of the US Empire, his
pronouncements against voluntary eradication programs in Colombia are
chilling. On August 2, 2017, Brownfield reported that, "The United States
is not currently supporting the Colombian government's voluntary
eradication and crop substitution program because the FARC is involved....
In 2016, 675 attempted eradication operations were cancelled in the field
due to restrictive rules of engagement that prevented security forces from
engaging protestors."

We of the Alliance for Global Justice are intimately familiar with
circumstances facing rural Colombian families who are forced to cultivate
illicit crops such as coca, marijuana, and poppies. We have a close
relationship with FENSUAGRO, Colombia's federation of agricultural workers
and peasant farmers unions. We have traveled extensively with FENSUAGRO on
barely passable roads to villages where families are trying to raise and
sell legal crops, especially in coffee growing areas. They do so against
incredible odds. We have traveled roads that have required us to stop
every 15 to 20 minutes to make repairs just so we could keep going. We
have trampled in the rainy season to villages like Maracaibo, Tolima,
where we were laboring through paths so muddy that we were covered up to
and past our knees. We have seen again and again rural villages that lack
schools and teachers (or that have schools with virtually no supplies),
health services, electricity, or any viable way to get crops to markets.
In such cases, families turn to the cultivation of illicit crops because
narcotraffickers are the only economic interests who will travel to these
villages to make purchases.

For the United States government to demand forced eradication over
voluntary programs constitutes nothing less than a cynical call for bloody
repression of Colombian farming families. The Trump administration does
not want peace in Colombia. It wants more death and displacement so that
access to natural resources is cleared for transnational corporations. It
wants Colombia to exist first and foremost as an outpost of Empire and a
threat to the stability of the entire region. We who love peace and
justice want something very different. We know that a Colombia at peace
and rooted in justice would be a major step towards peace, justice, and
liberation from Empire throughout Latin America and, indeed, the world.


Margo MatwychukDirector
Social Justice Studies ProgramUniversity of Victoriaweb.uvic.ca/socialjustice/@UVicSJS on TwitterUVicSJS on FacebookUVicSJS on YouTube
We acknowledge and respect the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and whose relationships with the land continue to this day.

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