Archive for February, 2010
With nothing on the Friday night apart from registration, today was Day 1 of SoundCheck 10. SPEAK’s annual conference is in its 10th year and continues to provide an important forum for faith and activism. My first workshop today was on the theme of Shalom activism, and turned up a surprising number of fairly laid-back, positive references to anarchy.
Advertisements penetrate every corner of our modern lives. As my body clock settles back from Canadian to UK time, I’m recovering from the ad-fest that being host country to the Olympic Games always inspires. But is advertising an art form? Can an advert actually be worth watching just to see the advert? And if so, what does this say about the arts as we now experience them?
Something has been bugging me lately with regards to Christian Pacifism. Its very much the tough position to take, and relies on literal reading of several bible passages, and yet, generally speaking, its far more common amongst “liberal” Christians than “conservative” Christians.
Today I took a trip into downtown Calgary with a difference: I spent most of the trip inside or on top of a mix of office, shopping, hotel and other buildings. Calgary has an excellent network of first floor/level 2 passages connecting many downtown buildings in a wonderful maze designed to help you get around. What’s surprising is just how happy big businesses (inc several oil companies) are to have you walk through their buildings.
The English Defence League have begun 2010 with a splash, making appearances in a couple of different places, including their strong showing in Stoke on Trent. That this is bad news for communities across the UK is not up for questioning. But the debate on how to tackle the EDL is far from over, and many of the solutions being proposed need re-examining.
Away from the lens of media coverage, the crackdown on migrants in Calais continues, but amongst the failure to respect human rights and the clamp downs on all charitable work in the area, a group of highly motivated and skilled activists has re-opened its sheltered space after violent police actions closed it down.
A friend asked online for explanations as to why the presumed-deliberate crashing of a light aircraft into a tax office doesn’t count as an act of terror. There’s a couple of obvious reasons; the guy who is alleged to have been the pilot is white, American, etc. – but the American Security Services had a predominantly white group of environmental activists who hadn’t killed anyone at the top of its Threat list for years before 9/11.
Almost 3 weeks ago, there was a small protest in York calling for urgent debt relief for Haiti, and I thought that now might be a good time to write up my thoughts on the matter. I should say that I did a lot of the work on the protest, which meant criticism wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to hear at the time, but there’s a few loose threads of discussion worth picking up.
I realise I’m on a bit of a roll with posts in the Women category, but lets keep going… and return as well to the topic of Religions speaking out. A month ago I picked this out, but never got to writing about it; 34 Islamic Scholars in Mauritania have joined in issuing a Fatwa, an opinion or decree, against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
One of the many things I love about being in a “strange country” is that I’m bombarded with alternative responses to situations that arise in society every day. Yesterday you all witnessed the Tories get a decimal place wrong on Teen Pregnancy, whilst here I saw a policy that just made me go “wow”.