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September-October 2011

Poem: “The Death Car Rides On” by Carolyn Smart

Carolyn Smart

with the gore and the glass and the reek it is towed to town, the wrecker breaking down before a schoolyard and the children all come running forth to see the dead within: Bonnie’s lip near severed from her mouth, Clyde with his head blown open, the hum of heat and the insects never yielding […] More »

A brief history of Canadian nudity laws

Lauren McKeon

In Canada, public nudity is allowed so long as you don’t “offend against public decency or order.” In fact, nudity is considered a political crime, one of the few offences that requires the Attorney General’s approval to lay charges. So, letting it all hang out among thousands of like-minded souls at the Pride Parade? You’re […] More »
September-October 2011

Fiction: “A Few Words About the Youth Gang” by Pasha Malla

Pasha MallaWebsite

“It has been some time now that I have wanted to speak to you about the youth gang. Since July there has been much conjecture about how the youth gang started, and when, and where, and what exactly the youth gang is, and who belongs to it, and whether its members wear ‘colours,’ and which […] More »
September-October 2011

Does an RCMP-CSIS snitch line threaten our civil rights?

Jason TushinskiWebsite@chimcham49

Dear Progressive Detective: I heard police arrested a man at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto after receiving a tip from Canada’s Suspicious Incident Reporting System, which alleged the man intended to join a Somali terrorist group. I’m concerned: what is SIRS, and how might the Government’s security efforts affect my civil liberties and right […] More »
September-October 2011

Why mandatory minimum sentences cost billions—and don’t reduce crime

Graham F. Scott

“We do not use statistics as an excuse not to get tough on criminals.” That was federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson’s astonishing response to Statistics Canada’s finding in July that crime rates in Canada now stand at the same level they did in 1973. Don’t bother us with the facts, was Nicholson’s meaning, our minds […] More »

After Vancouver’s riots, how to tame social media mob justice

Navneet AlangWebsite@navalang

After the sheer surprise of Vancouver’s Stanley Cup riots had dissipated, Canadian commentators tried to figure out what it all meant. Most beat their usual political drums—months later we’re blaming the pinko anarchists, capitalist pigs, and beer companies for making their products so darn tasty and portable. But this being 2011, many who broke windows […] More »

Canada marks 35 years since abolition of the death penalty

peter goffin

The camera rolled as a three-drug cocktail was shot into Andrew Grant DeYoung’s arm, there in a prison in Jackson, Georgia. It captured De Young as the injection reached his veins and killed him, thus carrying out his sentence, and granting him a spot in the history books as the first man in America in […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Judith Parker on U.S. war-resister defence lawyer Alyssa Manning

Judith Parker with Kelli Korducki

Not every punk-rock high school dropout grows up to become a refugee lawyer, but Toronto-based attorney Alyssa Manning isn’t exactly ordinary. Barely into her 30s, Manning has made a professional niche for herself by working with U.S. war-resister files, defending such high-profile clients as Jeremy Hinzman, James Corey Glass, and The Deserter’s Tale co-author Joshua […] More »

The sinister power and deep historical roots of the word "slut"

hilary beaumont

Weighing in with 57,184 votes, the most popular definition of the word “slut” on Urban Dictionary is “a woman with the morals of a man.” If we strip away the male punchline, hasn’t “slut” always meant that? A woman who pursues her own pleasure in spite of a pervasive double standard? The SlutWalks are challenging that […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Arif Noorani on Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Arif Noorani

I’m sitting in a room surrounded by hundreds of people, kindred spirits, a number of whom would normally not cross paths. Chiselled-faced anchors sit side by side with journalists who have been exiled from their homes around the world. Then a series of startling images jolt me up in my seat. Footage of riot police […] More »
March-April 2011

Progressive Detective: Could I be criminally charged for transmitting HIV?

Victoria SalvasWebsite

Dear Progressive Detective: I’m an HIV-positive Canadian, and I’ve heard troubling stories about people being criminally charged for transmitting the disease. Can that happen here? What are my rights and responsibilities under Canadian law? Under Canadian law, criminal charges can be laid if an individual does not disclose his or her HIV-positive status prior to […] More »