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uoft 16/12/2013 - 09:00AM

INSURGENCE City

INSURGENCE -- Film Graphic

Hello folks!

Well, our Fall Season of CP UofT is at an end and boy, what a great series of screenings! I’d like to thank everyone who came out and everyone in the UTGSU’s Equity and Advocacy Committee for supporting the project (especially, Natasha, our Vice-Chair for filling in for me on hosting duties while away here and there). As well, we can’t forget our hosts at First Nations House, who’ve provided us with a lovely space to work in.

So, we’ve had some excellent screenings with Invisible City at First Nations House and with INSURGENCE in partnership with CP Bloor and a whole slew of other awesome folks. Now, as I often do on this blog – let’s lay down some resources for folks interested in these topics.

Invisible City

When watching Invisible City, folks around our screening had a lot of questions about the ongoing ‘revitalization’ project that is changing the face of the city’s Regent Park. Now, as someone with little context to do justice to an explanation on this topic (being only two-and-a-half-years into my Toronto sojourn), I thought I’d point out some articles that might give light to the ongoing debates:

Pro-Revitalization:
Reimagining Toronto's Regent Park - By Daniela Costa – Toronto Xtra.
The New Regent Park – By John Lornic – UofT Magazine.

Questioning Revitalization:
Is Regent Park Revitalization Crumbling? – By Anna Mehler Paperny – The Globe and Mail.

Anti-Revitalization:
The Gentry and Their Flames – A Letter by Some Residents of George Street – Toronto Media Coop.

One critical note I keep in mind from these articles is the implication – for ill or good – of our University in the changes at Regent Park, from the consistent commentary of our academics on the issue to members of our community making up many of those who are at the forefront of the project. Indeed, then, for ill or good, we collectively bear responsibility to consider this project and to act (in allyship with the community) where we can, as led by said community.

INSURGENCE

On the second film, folks were treated to a visceral sights-and-sounds immersion into the Quebec Student Strike and its widening into a broader social struggle. However, one comment I’ve heard made about the films – from those new to the topic and those part of the student movement – is the need for the film to be watched with a taste of context to give viewers some sense of the why events played out as they did. So, with that in mind, here are some more resources:

CLASSE – Stop the Hike
The central English language page for l’CLASSE (la Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante). Now, CLASSE has dissolved, but ASSE ( l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante) remains – CLASSE was an ASSE-based coalition, bringing together aligned and non-aligned student organizations for the Strike. For ASSE’s current anti-austerity campaign, see here.

Translating the printemps érable
The single best English-language translation site for all things Strike and Quebec student movement related.

Free Education Montreal
A great research and documents hub on the Strike and the concept of Free Education.

We also have to keep in mind that the fight for free education is an international struggle, with linked groups working for this very fight in the United States, United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Heck, due to the long-standing student protests that have rocked Chile over the past number of years, they’ve been able to influence the incoming President to promise to move towards free education!

And, let’s not forget about bringing the fight here. The UTGSU is working on its “Free From...” campaign, as we feel that Free Education – outright – has to be back in the discourse on University and College education.

Anyways folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed our last screenings and will be able to join us – today at 7 PM in the UTGSU Lounge (16 Bancroft Avenue) – for our Screening Party! We’ll be choosing our whole next set of screenings for the coming year. And when we do, we’ll get back to our work of challenging conventional narratives!

All the best,

- Brad, CP UofT Organizer.