Canada: ‘Rainbow’ ruckus hits Catholic high school

From Parent Central Ca.:

By Kristin Rushowy and Louise Brown
June 7, 2011

Is it the end of the rainbow in Catholic schools?

Rainbows — both in images and words — are being discouraged in some Catholic schools because they are seen as too politically charged for the anti-homophobia clubs that want to use them.

One Mississauga school told students not to put up a rainbow flag at a recent anti-homophobia event, so the students at St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School baked rainbows into their cupcakes instead.

“I thought it was unfair,” said student organizer Leanne Iskander of not being allowed to display the rainbow flag or other such signs.

“Rainbows can represent anything — you can’t just ban rainbows.”

Rainbows — first billed as an Old Testament sign of God’s promise to Noah, then a tag for a 1980s American political coalition and also used by Nelson Mandela to describe the South African nation — are now used often to signify a gay-friendly stance.

The Dufferin-Peel Catholic board says the rainbow flag wasn’t banned outright, but that a bookmark designed in the school was preferred, with coloured stripes that referred to events for the entire social justice week, not just the Friday anti-homophobia day.

The rainbow ruckus is the latest example of the tension facing Catholic schools directed by Queen’s Park to help schools fight homophobia while seeking to uphold the Vatican’s stand against gay sex.

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The Labor Movement’s Classic, Forgottten Tactic—and Why It Must Be Revived

From In These Times:

By Carl Finamore
Jun 8, 2011

Reviving the Strike is a primer for every trade unionist tired of being the victim

A new book by labor attorney and veteran union negotiator Joe Burns, Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power And Transform America, is a valuable contribution to resurrecting fundamental lessons from the neglected history of American labor.

As the title suggests and as Burns emphasized to me, “the only way we can revive the labor movement is to revive a strike based on the traditional tactics of the labor movement.” But he doesn’t stop there. Burns—whose book is excerpted on Working In These Times here—reviews for the reader the full range of tactics and strategy during the exciting, turbulent and often violent history of American labor.

Refreshingly, he also provides critical assessments normally avoided by labor analysts of a whole series of union tactics that have grown enormously popular over the last several decades. For example, he examines and reviews the mixed results of boycotts, very  short temporary strikes and corporate campaigns. Even organizing the unorganized membership drives come under his scrutiny for a bit of criticism, especially when they are mistakenly cast as the main formula for reversing labor’s rapid descent.

Membership will only increase, Burns believes, once labor adopts a more militant strategy, outlined in the book, which successfully leads to substantial economic gains for workers.

He details the experience of the 1930s when millions flocked to fledgling unions only because they were seen as immediately capable of improving the everyday lives of working people. It will be similar victories, Burns strongly emphasizes, and not any secret-weapon ingenious organizing techniques that will boost union membership.

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US South still celebrating Confederacy

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Civil War Still not Civil

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“Bradley Manning: Way OUT for Justice” in the Honolulu Pride Parade

From World Can’t Wait:

Tuesday, 07 June 2011

Our contingent to support Bradley Manning in the Honolulu Pride Parade on June 4 was a great success! Our brilliant banner, glittered photos of Bradley Manning, Bradley Manning masks, chants and drumming made us impossible to miss and we had tremendous support along the route.

As our truck rolled out of Ala Moana Park and into the Pride celebration we wondered whether people would know who Bradley Manning is, and whether there would be support, opposition, or merely puzzled faces. As we reached the first crowds of people the questions disappeared. A group of soldiers along the route pumped their fists in the air. Japanese tourists read the signs and clapped in approval. People turned to each other asking: “Who’s Bradley Manning” and others in the group would explain. All along the route hundreds of cameras and cell phones snapped pictures, flashed us their shakas, and gave us the thumbs-up. We’re sure more than a few headed to google to find out more. World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i has organized numerous small events to support Bradley Manning, but this was by far the best. Until now we’ve been disappointed by how few people know about his case so we were surprised to see how many people showed quick recognition and support. It was especially heartening to see the response of many Japanese tourists who lined the parade route. We suspect that even if they didn’t immediately recognize Bradley Manning’s name, they supported Wikileaks and are aware of the case.

In addition to having a big presence in the parade itself, our contingent was also seen on TV coverage of the celebration that evening.

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Cops arrest journalists in Wisconsin

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Women in Advertising Presentation

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