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Written by Malissa Phung
March 21, 2010 marked the 50th year anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre when sixty nine South Africans were killed by the police for peacefully protesting against the apartheid “pass laws.” The apartheid government passed legislation that forced coloured and black South Africans to carry passbooks for racial identification, a daily process of surveillance and racialization that restricted and segregated their geographical mobility, place of residence, and labour conditions on the basis of race. This day has since been declared by the United Nations General Assembly to be the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in order to commemorate the Sharpeville massacre and to mobilize a global effort of struggle against racism and discrimination.
On March 21, 2010, Gary McHale and his followers in Caledonia attempted to co-opt this day and organize a so-called “Anti-Racist Rally,” in order to claim that white residents in Caledonia are the victims of “reverse racism” at the hands of people from Six Nations and the provincial government. Some of us from CUPE 3906 joined the CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group to protest McHale’s so-called “Anti-Racist Rally,” effectively transforming his rally into a peaceful demonstration that fostered a productive dialogue with the remaining Caledonia residents: as a result, McHale’s “reverse racism” arguments were debunked.
If you would like more information about the contentious topic of “reverse racism” or about the rally in Caledonia, check out the following blog links:
Blog posting that addresses the probematic discourses of some white anti-racists: http://resistracism.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/why-i-hate-white-anti-racists/
CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group: http://3903fnswg.wordpress.com/
And this link to their blog to showcase the ways in which they redeploy the discourse of anti-racism and anti-oppression to protect their white privilege and colonial land claims: http://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/join-merlyn-kinrades-anti-racism-rally-in-caledonia-on-march-2110/
In Nov. 2009, I was invited to speak on the status and the culture of Contract Faculty at a conference at the University of Guelph. Several terrific panels and conversations occurred (and I gave my paper, too). One of things arising from the conference was a strong desire and pressing need to improve the data collection on Contract Faculty. Effectively, this is an invisible workforce. Stats Canada, for instance, stopped collecting data on these workers in the mid-1990s. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that data collection stopped just as universities, especially in Ontario, decided on faculty non-renewal policies and turned to contract workers instead. CAUT is only now including them in their surveys. They can’t be blamed for an oversight because only two locals from CUPE have been allowed to affiliate with CAUT and the faculty associations that include contract workers typically only worry about tenure-track postings. Our own MUFA can be held as a shining example. They fiddled away when CLAs were cut to the sound of promises of tenure-stream hires even as the last provost announced a moratorium on such hires.
So, CUPE research and members from York, Athabasca, Carleton began compiling a survey to be released nationally to finally track the workload, the distances travelled, the number of locations worked, etc, of Contract Faculty. In short, the goal is to compile a thorough statistical picture of the day-to-day issues facing these workers. As OUWCC Vice-Chair and as a member of the original discussions, I’ve been lucky to be included in the process. The questions have been developed and the final edits are underway. It will be a web-based survey (using Survey Monkey or a similar engine) and we’ll post a headline and a link as soon as we have it.
To find out what items are included on the agenda, please contact the CUPE office.
Start Time: 17:30
Title: Movie Night “The Take”
Location: BSB 104
Link out: Click here
Description: Part of the Projecting Peace: A social justice film festival.
Start Time: 7:00