The Centre for Social Justice, Global Labour Research Centre at York University, Socialist Project, York University Departments of Geography, Social Science, Political Science cohosted me for a book launch on December 1st at the Steelworkers Hall in Toronto. The talk was moderated by Mark Thomas of the Global Labour Research Center, with discussants Stephanie Ross, School of Labour Studies, McMaster University and Michal Rozworski, OCUFA, and blogs at Political Eh-conomy.
In early December, I headed to Canada to give a talk to thousands of teachers who are all members of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto, the biggest union of teachers in the Ontario Province. I’ve been working with this union for over a year on how to build a more high participation union. Some of the references I make to the “speaker before me” are referring to Prime Minister Trudeau, who opened the annual Federation Day.
In August, I was in Canada twice to work with two different unions, each of whom was laser focused on how to end the regime of Canada’s seriously rightwing Prime Minister, Steven Harper. Though few imagine life will be easy for climate campaigners, working people and more under the new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, sending Harper and his party packing was a really good start to restoring Canada to, well, Canada.
In this picture, I am giving a keynote address to the national organizing conference of Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union. I am holding a copy of the New York Times in my hand, with the page turned to a terrific story called “The Closing of the Canadian Mind,” by Stephen Marche, about how devious and secretive nature of the Harper era. Glad it is over, now there’s much to be done!
I gave one of several keynote speeches at Alberta, Canada’s premier progressive policy and research operation, called the Parkland Institute. I zero in on the different between mobilizing and organizing in this talk and discuss how we will only be able to build sufficient power to challenge the elites when we return to deep organizing. I argue we have to put the agency for change back on ordinary people, not professional staff.