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Activism Under Lockdown: Anti-Colonial and Racial Justice in COVID Times

On Thursday June 11, the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO)-Toronto and the Noor Cultural Centre co-sponsored a panel to address how we resist colonial and racial violence in these Covid times.

From the Facebook page: The coronavirus pandemic has been marked by an intensification of colonial and racial violence in Canada: violations [] of Indigenous sovereign territories, police killings [] and brutality, migrant exploitation [] and exclusion [], and the racialization [] of poverty and lack of access to health care. The current uprisings and protests against anti-Black racism across Canada and the United States further highlight the urgency of addressing long-standing systems of racial injustice. While many modes of activism have been disrupted by the pandemic, it also provides an opportunity to imagine and build a radically different “new normal.” Please join us for this panel with organizers, thinkers, and activists from different movements to discuss how we resist colonial and racial violence in these Covid times.

Speakers and Moderator:

· Courtney Skye: Mohawk, Turtle Clan, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory; Research Fellow, Yellowhead Institute

· Syed Hussan: Migrant Rights Network

· Yasmine Hassen: academic and community organizer, Climate Justice Toronto

· Yogi Acharya: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

· Desmond Cole: journalist, activist, and author of The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power

· Moderated by Azeezah Kanji: legal academic and journalist; Director of Programming, Noor Cultural Centre

Over 1000 people attended via Facebook Live. Before even the speakers were confirmed, the event page was shared without any prompting dozens of times. This is the zeitgeist. Clearly we are, as many have said, in a different time. That other possible world that Arundhati Roy so beautifully conjured is whispering at us. Let’s hope we listen this time.

Here is a link to the recording of the webinar: and here is a link to a document of organizations that non-Indigenous and non-Black allies can support: (pictured below).

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