Solidarity Week – Building a Culture of Revolution

Posted: January 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

Building a Culture of Revolution

Solidarity Week is a grassroots endeavour at the University of Alberta initiated by various campus and community groups. Our aim is to create a space and an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to come together and to learn about each other’s struggles against colonialism, imperialism, and various forms of domination and oppression. The first Solidarity Week at the U of A was held in March 2010. Through a number of panel discussions and other activities, the week highlighted issues of gender, colonialism, and leadership. These broad issues were also linked to current local struggles in Edmonton and Canada as a whole.

One of the main goals of Solidarity Week is to make the links between “the local” and “the global”. We live in a world shaped by more than 500 years of colonialism and neo-colonialism, globalization of neo-liberal policies and a system of capitalism, and an extreme form of power imbalance and inequality. Policies that are made by a few rich countries and a handful of military, political, and financial organizations like NATO, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank affect the lives of people all over the world and especially the Third World or the periphery.

Our world is also shaped by the struggles of people who in the face of injustice, inequality, patriarchy, white supremacy, economic marginalization, racism, brutal dictatorships, and other forms of oppression, have resisted relations of domination and subordination. As Noam Chomsky and many others have pointed out, the people of the world are the World’s second superpower, and any challenge to the status quo would have to come from the people. In a world that is increasingly interconnected, resistance against a global system of oppression and domination requires solidarity among various struggles: from the anti-globalization struggle in Canada, to resistance against Free Trade Agreements in Colombia, and the fight against privatization of natural resources in India; from the anti-apartheid movement in occupied Palestine, to the movement for civil and political rights in Iran.

Just as several other grassroots initiatives around the world, such as the World Social Forum have brought people together to discuss common issues and common struggles, the organizers of Solidarity Week hope to do the same here in Edmonton and at the U of A. Solidarity Week is a small step in a local scale. But it is a step in the direction of forming a common front of people against all forms of oppression and domination. The theme of this year’s Solidarity Week is “Reclaiming our Spaces, One Campus at a Time.” Throughout the week we hope to highlight some of the ways in which people from around the world have fought to reclaim their lands, their resources, their rights, and their lives. In the face of a new effort by the Canadian government to deny and violate the basic rights of its citizens, as we saw in the violent crackdown against the anti-Olympics and anti-G8/G20 protests, it is increasingly important and absolutely necessary to take back our public spaces in this country.

Solidarity Week Organizing Committee

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