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Archive for the ‘Montreal’ Category

Pierre Falardeau (December 28, 1946 – September 25, 2009)

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Pierre Falardeau died of cancer this morning. He was 62. The man who brought us Elvis Gratton, the short film based on Michèle Lalonde’s poem ‘Speak White’, and the ode to les Patriotes 15 février 1839 was never at a lack for words and provoked controversy over the years, particularly with comments about David Suzuki and the role of the “ethnic vote” in Quebec politics. But he also believed in the power of popular resistance and self determination, expressing admiration for Palestinians in their struggles as well. Whichever side of the Quebec sovereignty question you stand on, Quebec lost one of it’s icons today.

Falardeau on Tout le monde en parle (Oct. 2008)

Elvis Gratton – Canadien français québécois… whatever

UPDATE: Just got this in my email. A succinct tribute to Falardeau from the Calendrier Militant:

Voici notre hommage personnel à Pierre Falardeau

Le coeur de Pierre Falardeau vient de cesser de battre.

Une voix libre, forte, dénuée de l’hypocrisie de la langue de bois que nous impose la rectitude politique et les manuels de politesse et de bienséance de la bourgeoisie vient de se taire.

Contre vents et marées, il a toujours gardé l’intégrité de ses positions, pour une nation québécoise libre, française et progressiste. …

Son oeuvre cinématographique ne doit pas occulter son travail d’écriture.

Il disait lui-même “écrire comme un pamphlétaire du XVIIIe siècle, ce qui ne se fait plus”!

Dans notre société conformiste au concensus mou qui refuse les débats tranchés, il a eu raison de renouveler le genre.


Written by Tim McSorley

September 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm

From Manila to Palestine

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Campaign signs for the 2007 mid-term elections fly amidst improvised electricity wires in Tondo, Manila.

Campaign signs for the 2007 mid-term elections fly amidst improvised electricity wires in Tondo, Manila.

I have to be honest and say that while I have been aware for several years now of the situation facing Philipino immigrants to Canada – particularly those who come to work as migrant workers – I maintain very little knowledge of the history or current political situation in the Philippines itself.

That all changed a little when I had a chance to see a new exhibit at Sablo Kafé, On Movements in Manila, put on by Stefan Christoff (full disclosure: he’s a friend and colleague on several projects). Christoff visited the Philippines in 2007 as a journalist and election observer. The photos he took in and around the capital explore both the intense levels of poverty, but also the community organising and push-back that has developed. The exhibit is timed with a call from the Centre for Philippine Concerns in Montreal (which is co-sponsoring the exhibit) and the International Philippine Election Oberservation Team 2010 call for volunteers to help observe the upcoming 2010 presidential elections. The need for outside observers are clear. There are a large number of reports of military intimidation during the last election, which some believe will only increase this time around. Christoff wrote a two part series on the topic upon his return in 2007 as well. There are also reports of up to 1000 political killings of progressives and leftists in the country since 2001.

The exhibit runs at Sablo (50, St-Zotique East, corner Boul. St-Laurent) until the end of September, and while small is definitely worth seeing; while Christoff is more of a hobbyist photographer, the images in this exhibit are thought provoking and blend artistry while shedding light on violence, repression and movements against it.

I can also hardly mention Christoff without also reminding people that DAM, an incredible Palestinian hip hop ensemble, are coming to Montreal for the next installment of Artists Against Apratheid – the ninth if you can believe it. It’ll be going down on Sept. 28th at Café Campus (57 Prince Aurthur East). Also performing that night will be Montreal Iraqi-Canadian hiphopper the Narcicyst. To give you a little taste of what to expect, here’s Narcy’s latest video…
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Narcicyst- P.H.A.T.W.A. (Official…“, posted with vodpod

Written by Tim McSorley

September 21, 2009 at 11:22 am

Audio from Hoodstock ’09/Fredy Villanueva memorial

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Today was the second and last day of Hoodstock ’09, to commemorate the death of Fredy Villanueva, to remember his life cut too short, and to discuss the questions that his shooting still brings to mind. Questions of racial profiling and police brutality, but also of community response & organising.

Below is some quick edits of audio from the event. More to come, and cleaner version will follow… Feel free to use them for your own work; attribution to myself & CKUT 90.3FM radio would be nice, though.

Aujourd’hui marquait la fin de Hoodstock ’09, évènement pour commémorer le mort de Fredy Villanueva, de s’en souvenir de son vie coupé trop court, et pour discuter des questions que cette tragédie soulèvent. Des questions de profilage racial et la brutalité policière, mais aussi de la réponse de la communauté et comment on s’en organise.

Ci-dessous sont quelques pièces audio de l’évèment, monté assez vite… D’autres clips s’en viennent, et des versions plus ‘net’ suivront sous peu… Utilisez les clips pour votre propre travail, mais SVP attribuer-les à moi et à CKUT 90,FM

Patricia, soeur de Fredy Villanueva:

Manon Massé, travailleuse communautaire et candidate de Québec solidaire:

Mohamed Bennis, père de Mohamed Anas Bennis abattu par des policiers du SPVM:

Written by Tim McSorley

August 10, 2009 at 3:32 am

Who’s afraid of Hoodstock?

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logo-hoodstock-091Hoodstock ’09 is this weekend – two days to mark the passing of Fredy Villanueva, shot dead by a Montreal police officer one year ago this coming Sunday (Hoodstock, by the way, is a combination of the slang term for neighbourhood and, of course, Woodstock). It will allow for a space to discuss the issues that this youth man’s death has raised: poverty, racism, racial profiling by police, gang violence. But it will also be a space of coming together around music and memories. Sunday will see a memorial walk from the site of Hoodstock. The march, scheduled for 5pm Aug. 9th, was called for by Fredy’s family.

All in all it presents itself as a sober, thoughtful and thoroughly necessary event for a neighbourhood, and city, still dealing with the issues that Fredy’s death has raised.

Which made the words used in last week’s Montreal Gazette article all the more frustrating to read:

At first glance it seems a little like the entertainment equivalent of a time bomb.

While the riots that followed Fredy Villanueva’s shooting last year and the fact that emotions could run high this year as well are both valid topics to cover in a piece about this weekend’s events, I find it incredible that a story would be lead off this way. In it’s opening lines it plants the assumption that there is a real threat of violence this weekend, and leaves it to spokespeople for the event to start on the defensive.

The rest of the article gives ample room to event organisers to explain the event, and the question of violence never comes back up. No quotes from residents who fear for their safety, no police saying they will be beefing up security in the area. So where does the introduction come from?

The piece is anonymous, so no way to contact the author to get an explanation. I can only see two possibilities: either a journalist with an agenda, or – maybe more likely given the tone of the rest of the piece – an attempt at a flashy, grabbing opening line.

A journalist with an agenda is arguably the more concerning of the two scenarios. But the second points to a carelessness just as problematic and misleading to readers.

La Presse, on the other hand, has a piece that deals with all the same issues, but manages to eschew the inflammatory first line.

Written by Tim McSorley

August 5, 2009 at 1:46 am

Thursday/Jeudi: La fin du néandertal

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This Thursday at 8:30pm, Bruno Dubuc will be screening his latest film at Club Social in the Mile End (180 St-Viateur East). Three years in the making, La fin du néandertal is an exploration of Montreal city politics, activism, and the hope for a better city friendly to pedestrians, cyclists and all residents, and devoid of cars: a city that has moved outside of the age of the neanderthals. In particular, it follows both the municipal party Projet Montréal and the Maison Aurore Traffic Committee, a community organisation in the Plateau, as they both set out to change the city in their own way. I had a chance to interview Bruno at the end of June just before the premier screening of the film at Cinéma du Parc. Below you can listen to the unedited director’s cut. I haven’t had a chance to see the film yet, but in a year where we are in line for a heated municipal election – and a possibly strong turn out for Projet Montréal – the film is a must-see, based on the topic alone.

Ce jeudi, Bruno Dubuc présente son nouveau métrage La fin du néandertal au café Club Social dans le Mile End (180 St-Viateur est). Un exploration qui à durée trois année, ce film chronique les changements dans le militantisme urbaine à Montréal depuis 2006. Entre autre, ça suit le développement de deux organismes – le parti municipal Projet Montréal et le comité de circulation de la Maison d’Aurore, une organisme communautaire – qui s’engage à changer comment nous vivons ensemble en ville. J’ai eu la chance de parler avec Bruno en fin juin, juste avant la première de son film à Cinéma du Parc. Vous pouvez écouter ci-bas l’entrevue en entier. J’en ai pas encore eu la chance de visionner le film, mais j’en suis certain que dans cette année qui annonce des élections municipaux chauds cet hiver, c’est une film à voir.

Bruno Dubuc: La fin du néandertal/Le lendemain de la veille/25 juin 2009/19min23sec:

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Written by Tim McSorley

July 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Sunday: Alt Media Open House

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logosAnother quick post about an event this weekend. CKUT 90.3FM and The Dominion Newspaper have teamed up to host a series of Alternative Media Open Houses in Montreal.

Tomorrow – Sunday, July 26th – we’ll be setting up a table at the Maison de l’Amitié (120 Duluth St. East) at 1:30 and will hang around until 4pm to answer your questions and hopefully recruit a few of you to our groups. (We’ve done two open houses so far; special thanks to the Immigrant Workers Centre and St-Columba House for hosting us). Free food will be provided by McGill’s wonderful Midnight Kitchen.

Both organisations are constantly on the look our for talented and interested folks who want to get involved and help provide an alternative perspective to the corporate dominated mainstream media. We’ll also be joined by folks from Montreal’s Independent Media Centre, a great resource and hub for indie media organising in Montreal.

Part of the goal is to get a bit more visibility for both these outlets, sure. But it’s also to demystify and open our media outlets to folks who don’t necessarily consider themselves journalists/media makers/writers/producers… While there’s a strong emphasis in both organisations on quality of content, there’s just as much emphasis on training, workshops and openness. So stop on by, ask a few questions, and learn a bit more about althernative media in your community…

And while you’re at it, stop by the new Sunday farmers market, Marché Duluth, a little further down the street, at the corner of Laval & Duluth St. East.

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Written by Tim McSorley

July 25, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Car wash for a cause: Hoodstock Lav-o-Thon

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timthumb.phpIf you wake up tomorrow morning and decide that your car needs a wash, or even if your car doesn’t really need one – take a drive up to the Super C at the corner of Lacordaire and Henri-Bourassa. That’s where the lav-o-thon fundraiser for Hoodstock ’09 is taking place.

What’s Hoodstock, you ask? There will be more to post about it soon, but Aug. 9th will mark the one year anniversary of the shooting of Fredy Villanueva by a Montreal police officer. Hoodstock will be two days of music, discussions and workshops to reflect on a senseless death and what we can must take from it.

While I don’t like the ‘ticking time-bomb’ metaphor used by the journalist, Hoodstock co-organiser Will Prosper gives a good rundown of the event in the Montreal Gazette.

Written by Tim McSorley

July 25, 2009 at 12:53 am

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