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The Peoples Social Forum: A convergence of activists

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Thousands of activists from across the country gathered in Ottawa from August 21-24 for the 2014 Peoples Social Forum.  Labour organizations joined groups advocating for aboriginal rights, water sovereignty, environmental protection, public services, workers’ rights and more.

The Unity March on Thursday afternoon was a highlight. Led by Idle No More, several thousand flag-waving activists with drums, megaphones and whistles took over the streets of Ottawa and brought their message to the steps of Parliament. Key activist leaders spoke of the power of solidarity among different movements as we fight together against austerity and the neo-liberal agenda.

Strategy sessions, panels, workshops and arts performances numbered more than 500 over the four day event and included such keynote speakers as writer Naomi Klein, aboriginal rights activist Clayton Thomas Muller, student movement leader Gabriel Nadeau Dubois, and Hassan Yussuff of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Canada’s aboriginal rights leaders and activists were central to the Forum, which was held on the land of the Algonquin Peoples.

OPSEU activists Edie Strachan and Morgen Veres together with International lesbian gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Association led a session titled “Through the Courts, into the streets & Back to the Bargaining Table: An overview of LGBT rights in Canada and how they were gained by unions.”

Rabble.ca provided reporting and live-streaming at the event, and filmed many of the sessions and highlights. These can be watched online at www.rabble.ca

For more information visit http://www.peoplessocialforum.org/