Letter to the Editor – Toronto Star
by Ajamu Nagwaya
Published on Sun Jul 25 2010 here
It is very unsettling, yet not unexpected, that Caribana is being treated like a cultural outsider and a barbarian at the gate by the different levels of government. Why is it that the largest festival in this country with the greatest economic impact is being treated as the cultural Cinderella within the family of Canadian festivals? Read more…
“This has always been the way”
Tara Atluri – BASICS Issue #21 (July 2010)
“They do not know it, but they are doing it.” So said Karl Marx in Capital, describing how capitalist ideology is seamlessly threaded into our everyday lives and thinking. It appears so unfettered and uninterrupted; it has become as basic as breathing. This is nothing new.
June Jordan said it in her poem, “Message from Belfast for justice and for Jerry Adams.” Relating war to the everyday experiences of poor racialized people in America she writes, “This has always been the way.”
Today at the rally we scream and march against flagrant abuses of state power, violent police brutality that has caused mass amounts of people to be unlawfully arrested, detained, and tortured.
by Derek Rosin – BASICS Issue #20 (July/Aug 2010)
The British graffiti artist known as Banksy recently paid his first visit to Toronto, hitting our city with some of his signature stencil pieces.
The visit coincides with the release of a new film about the artist, Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Stylistically, Banksy’s work is quite different from the culture of hip-hop graffiti that has been the dominant form of street art for the past few decades. But like the paintings of his hip-hop cousins, Banksy’s work retains its subversive quality, partly because the very act of making this type of art is considered to be a crime.
By J.D. Benjamin – BASICS Issue #20 July/Aug 2010
Footage is released on the internet of fully armed police raiding a working class rooming house, brutally beating and terrorizing anyone in their path, and rounding up members of a minority group. It ends with a scene of unbelievable carnage and gore.
The latest Wikileak from Iraq or occupied Palestine? Nope. It’s the new music video for the song Born Free by M.I.A., an artist know for mixing radical politics and social commentary with her music.
Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, aka M.I.A., is a British musician, record producer, fashion designer, activist, and visual artist of Sri Lankan Tamil refugee origin. She blew up in 2008 when her song Paper Planes was used in the trailer for Pineapple Express and the movie Slum Dog Millionaire. She has been nominated for 2 Grammies and an Academy Award and placed on Time Magazine’s 2009 list of World’s Most Influential People.
by Sarah Fournier – BASICS Online – May 2010
It was lively at Café Lurin Tapas (St. Clair Avenue West) on the evening of Friday, April 30th. Community members gathered around food, drinks, and music to celebrate May Day and raise funds for Toronto’s new left progressive Latin American newspaper America Latina.
America Latina is a monthly Toronto-based newspaper. The first issue was released in November 2009. The subjects presented in the newspaper are diverse and the articles are written by various contributors as well as correspondents from Latin America and the Caribbean.
By Makaya – BASICS Issue #20 (July / August 2010)
Live on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Gil Scott-Heron told the audience that he “hates war” and in a lengthy monologue went on to tell his fans that his Israel concert would be cancelled.
Scott-Heron is best known for his ‘70s classics ‘The Revolution will not be Televised’ and ‘The Bottle’ as well as his involvement in the 1980s South African anti-apartheid movement. His music and poetry have been consistently anti-racist and extremely critical of government regimes all over the world for over 30 years. He has influenced a whole generation of artists and activists, who were more than surprised when they learned of his Tel-Aviv tour date. Audience members at a previous concert crowded the artist, urging him to change his mind by reminding him that his decision to play in Israel was contrary to everything that he has stood for. Security had to be called in to stop the hecklers from disrupting the show.
by M. Cook – BASICS Online
The Toronto Premiere of the award-winning Filipino film “Dukot” (Desaparecidos) packed the Nat Taylor Cinema at York University on the afternoon of Saturday, May 22. The film is one of the first to focus on the political killings currently taking place in the Philippines.
“[The film] is not a collection of stories from a distant past” said Bonifacio Ilagan, the screen writer. “This is what is happening in the Philippines since 2001. When outgoing president [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] assumed power, extra judicial killings, abductions, illegal detentions have been increasing.”
Since 2001, over 200 cases of enforced disappearances and more than 1,000 cases of extrajudicial killings have been documented by the human rights organization Karapatan. Last November 2009, the Philippines made headlines worldwide for the Ampatuan massacre, a gruesome massacre in Mindanao that killed 57 people, including 30 journalists (see BASICS Issue # 17).
Caravan of Hope raises $1300 to purchase ambulances
Danny Cota – BASICS Issue #19 – May/June 2010
Great music, local talent, drinks-a-plenty, and all for a great cause. On April 1, the Caravan of Hope hosted a fundraiser at Mitzi’s Sister (1554 Queen West), raising over $1300.The Caravan of Hope is currently raising funds to purchase 13 decommissioned ambulances from the City of Toronto. These ambulances will be driven by volunteers to El Salvador, to be used as mobile medical units serving the general public and helping Salvadorians who would otherwise be without access to basic medical care.
New play to address the gentrification of Queen St. West
Varrick A. Grimes – BASICS Issue #19 – May/June 2010
The rising price of housing and commercial real estate in Toronto demonstrates a certain set of values taking hold of our city. These are the values that drive developers and decision-makers, and have an enormous and ongoing impact on communities in this city.
Exploring the theme of how traditional working-class neighbourhoods change over time into the “hip” and moneyed neighbourhoods, FIXT POINT theatre, in association with Theatre Passe Muraille, is creating a performance about the strip of Queen Street West between Bathurst Street and Spadina over the last 30 years. This performance, called “Tale of a Town,” will be playing above the Pizzaiolo at 609 Queen Street West between April 30 and May 16 (south side, just east of where the fire was in 2008).
On Friday, March 26, 2010, BASICS Editor S. da Silva caught up with G1 and Rodstarz of the South Bronx Chilean hip-hop group Rebel Diaz. Rebel Diaz was in town to perform at Barrio Nuevo’s benefit concert ‘Chile Can Rise’ – a fundraising initiative to raise money for grassroots people’s organizations in Chile rebuilding their society after the February 27 earthquake.
BASICS: Thanks a lot for agreeing to this interview with BASICS.
G1: Always man – thanks for having us. It’s not the whole crew – it’s two-thirds of Rebel Diaz, but it’s a pleasure for us to be here. We’re from Chile, so it’s important for us to be here supporting the grassroots efforts to help the people out in Chile.
Rodstarz: Blessed to be here – we always down for community radio.