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We’re wrapping up another year – one that saw a major shift in Canadian politics with the federal election that allowed Stephen Harper to gain an absolute majority in Parliament. The provincial election saw the liberals gain the skimpiest of majorities with a one seat edge over the other parties.
As well, this year marked the intensification of global state terrorism with drone attacks, primarily by the US in Pakistan and Afghanistan killing civilians, the Egyptian revolt leading to the Arab Spring, the NATO assault in Libya, the so-called austerity measures around the world leading to huge demonstrations, especially in Greece, England and Spain, and of course the Occupy Movement which is a response to the economic and political global order and the power of the few over the many.
Locally, the downtown core has been the subject of much discussion as the city elites prepare to move parts of the university campus downtown, build a $77 million aquatic center, and move the main branch of the public library into the Art Gallery of Windsor.
I think the common theme in this very partial list is the power of the state backed by the corporate media to, at the least, exclude the majority from decision making if not killing people outright or subjecting people to police violence. State violence on a scale so vast and horrific is the order of the day thanks to Barack Obama turning the lives of so many people from Afghanistan and Iraq, to Pakistan and soon Iran into living Hells? And what about the revolutions in Libya and Syria? What role has NATO really played and has there been a true popular uprising in Libya, and ongoing in Syria? The latter point is one we’ll talk about in a January program. From the local to the global is the theme of this last program of 2011.
In the studio with me was Tewodros Asfaw, a Windsor based Marxist observer on the global situation, and Ken Lewenza Jr., former city councilor and a community/labour activist. We had a very lively and heartfelt discussion on the year we’re wrapping up and on what 2012 holds for us.
The ShakeUp 2011 Year in Review
Here’s a partial list of what we covered in 2011:
Jan 7: Martin Luther King with Abayomi Azikiwe and Radical History Conference with Jae Muzzin
Jan. 21: The New University with Wilma van der Veen
Feb 4: Mohammed Hagag and Mohammed Nour were in the studio with personal reflections on what is happening in Egypt.
Feb 18: Michelle Soulliere & Dr Lee Rodney – “How to Forget the Border Completely”
March 4: Coalition Opposing the Arms Trade; International Women’s Day at The University of Windsor
March 18: Phyllis Bennis on Libya and in-studio musical guest Keats Conlon
April 8: Samuel Mulafulafu, Director of Caritas Zambia
April 22: BP oil disaster with journalist Dahr Jamail and Mississippi resident Shirley Tillman
May 13: David Camfield and the Canadian Labour Movement; Tewodros Asfaw and structural adjustment programs in the global south.
May 20: Windsor city council vs. the neighbourhoods and a crisis of democracy
June 17: Cathleen Kneen of Food Secure Canada; Lynne Phillips, founder of Windsor/Essex Food Advisory Group
June 24: Tamara Kowalska of the Windsor Youth Centre; musical guest Anna Atkinson
July 1: Michael Skinner and the Afghan detainee report; Wendy Goldsmith and the Canada Boat to Gaza
July 29: Jennifer Nalbone (Great Lakes United) and Asian carp; musical guest Rayven Howard
August 12: Tzazna Miranda Leal and upcoming Caravan for Freedom; Pablo Godoy and Students Against Migrant Exploitation
August 19: Valerie Kaussen and Haiti reconstruction; Noa Mendelsohn Aviv and Bill C-4 and refugees to Canada
September 2: Julia Putnam and Detroit’s Bogg’s Educational Centre; Melina Laboucan-Massimo and tar Sands protests
September 30: John Restakis & co-ops for economic and social change; Peter Cameron and the Ontario co-op movement
October 7: The Occupy Movement comes to Windsor/Detroit: Tam Espin in Windsor and Mike Shane in Detroit
October 21: Occupy continues: Joe McGuire in Detroit; Mohammed Almoayad and Criss Crossroads in the studio – be sure to listen in as Chris sings an ode to Occupy!
October 14: Yusef Shakur and Ocuppy Detroit; Tyler Sommers of Democracy Watch and Ontario’s election.
November 11: David Heap: Freedom Flotilla II & Israeli jails; report from Occupy Detroit.
November 25: Author Al Sandine ( The Taming of the American Crowd) & the Occupy Movement; Zack from Occupy Detroit.
December 2: Sudbury based Chris Dixon and Occupy’s anarchist roots.
December 9: Russ Diabo and First Nations’ relationships with Canada; a statement on why Occupy Windsor left the park.
December 23: Joanna Duarte Laudon and the Participatory Budgeting Project