By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive:
During my 85-day hunger strike against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s New Jim Crow-style crime Bill C-10, the deceptively christened “Safe Streets and Communities Act”, a prominent opposition MP told me hunger protests weren’t part of the process of democratic engagement in Canada. I was shocked and disappointed.
First, during our conversation on the steps leading to the Parliament building, the individual mentioned that he was associated with social activist and former senator, Jacques Hébert. Twenty-six years ago, Hébert completed a 21-day hunger strike protesting former Tory prime minister Brian Mulroney’s decision to nuke the Katimavik project. Second, until this moment, I’d assumed that the individual would know that Ghandi’s hunger strikes facilitated the demise of British colonial rule in India.
by Cora Currier | ProPublica
Dr. Rahmatollah Sedigh Sarvestani is dying. The Iranian sociologist, recently retired from a long teaching career at the University of Tehran, suffers from prostate cancer and a pelvic tumor. With his kidneys failing after chemotherapy, doctors in Tehran have stopped treating him.
If there’s a more beautiful and quintessentially-Canadian moment, please let me know. A moment of love. Compassion. Understanding.
The story begins in London, on August 11. Our men’s Olympic 4×100 relay team came third behind Jamaica and the U.S, only to be disqualified. And lose their bronze medal. Meanwhile, back home, a 10-year old boy from Newfoundland, Elijah Porter, saw something special in the ruins of this national heartbreak. Something most Canadians who have decried our 18-medal haul failed to see: unbreakable heroism.
Elijah decided that the four athletes, Oluseyi Smith, Justyn Warner, Gavin Smellie and Jared Connaughton, are still Canadian heroes. He wrote to them to share his undiminished love and compassion. He said: “When I heard what happened on Aug. 11, I knew it was wrong. The rules were not right. But at last I realized how good you were. We’re Canadians. We persevere.” (Hope you can read the rest of the letter above).
But the kind message wasn’t enough for Elijah, who also has Asperger’s syndrome. He decided the team still deserved a medal. He donated his Timbits soccer medal.
Elijah, you’ve touched my heart. And that of Canada. You’re our Olympic gold medalist. Thank You!