Drug Prohibition and Health | rabble.ca

Drug Prohibition and Health | rabble.ca.


People’s Health Radio looks at the current prohibition of illicit drugs, its impact on health and alternative approaches to drugs and drug use.  Guests include UVic Professor Susan Boyd talking about the the history of drug prohibition in Canada and Dave Murray an ‘alumni’ of the North American Opiate Maintenance Initiative (NAOMI).

If you are in Vancouver check out this upcoming forum, ‘Beyond Prohibition,’ being put on by a coalition of groups in the Downtown Eastside.


Housing, Homelessness and Health | rabble.ca

Housing, Homelessness and Health | rabble.ca.

Housing is a major determinant of both physical and mental health.  Yet in Vancouver and many other cities across Canada housing has become unaffordable even for people with ‘decent’ jobs.

This week People’s Health Radio looks at the health impacts of living in Vancouver’s shelter system and in ‘hotels’ in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with Roland Clarke and Ivan Drury, organizers from the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council (DNC).


Charity v Justice: Can the charity industry save us from capitalism? | rabble.ca

Charity v Justice: Can the charity industry save us from capitalism? | rabble.ca.

At its best charity is about the practice of unconditional loving-kindness towards our fellow human beings.  This practice happens in lots of small ways in and between communities all over the world every day.  However, the charity industry has nothing to do with this ideal – its chief function is to legitimize a structurally unjust system.  This is true of the global ‘health and development’ charities that pretend that the damage of colonization and continuing national oppression can be rectified by vaccine and micro-loan programs.  It is equally true of the domestic charity industry which, particularly around Christmas time,  gets all warm and fuzzy about doling out to the needy.  These programs legitimize the unequal and unjust division of wealth and power in our society, both for the giver, who can be absolved of any sense of guilt for benefiting from the system, and for the receiver who is made to feel that the system is actually benevolent and they have a ‘fair chance’.  It keeps us from looking at the fundamental problems of an economic system that reproduces poverty and extreme inequality every single day as a core part of its basic logic.  In the words of the outstanding Canadian communist Norman Bethune: Charity should be abolished; it should be replaced with justice.

Ghetto Palestine: Challenges and Possibilities for Resistance with Jon Elmer | rabble.ca

Ghetto Palestine: Challenges and Possibilities for Resistance with Jon Elmer | rabble.ca.

Today on People’s Health Radio we bring you a lecture on “Ghetto Palestine” delivered by Canadian writer and photojournalist Jon Elmer at UBC on December 2, 2011. Jon’s perspective is based on 10 years of reporting from the West Bank and Gaza. His on-the-ground experience of events such as the second intifada and the Fatah-Hamas clashes in Gaza inform an analysis absent from mainstream media narratives.

On our show today we bring you Jon’s lecture in three parts. First, Jon explores the meaning of ghetto Palestine; what this looks like on the ground and the implications for Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation. In the second part of our show Jon discusses the potential for new forms of Palestinian resistance in light of the Arab Spring. Finally, he looks at how the changing dynamics on the ground in Palestine create both opportunities and challenges for Palestinian resistance and national liberation.

Featuring music by Shams and Maisa Assi and Rafeef Ziadeh. Rafeef’s CD “Hadeel” is available for purchase online through CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/RafeefZiadah.

A full audio transcript of Jon’s lecture is available online through the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign (Vancouver): http://www.boycottisraeliapartheid.org/2011/ghetto-palestine-jon-elmer-b…

Photos taken by Jon Elmer. More from Jon available at http://jonelmer.ca/.

Ala Dal’ona
Recorded by Shams & Maisa Assi

‘Ala Dal’ona ‘Ala Dal’ona
We listened to you, now listen to us
We played together as children
We walked together along the path of struggle
Together we sacrificed our valuable blood
And the darkness remained in the light of our eyes

I want you to listen to me, please my brother
Just as he brought you, my father birthed me
Our story is a common story of humanity
Eve is our mother, and Adam our father
You are the son of nine months,
and I am the daughter of nine months
The spring was created for us both
We will reach it together on Thursday and Friday
We will not thirst and you will not make us thirsty


Ever since I was a suffering child
I have wanted to realize my dreams, to be educated
To reach, with you, the highest rung on the ladder
To be the best I can
My older sister was raised oppressed
Our neighbor wanted to be a doctor
She was hit with marriage while young
Beaten and controlled, she lived humiliated


My tender grandmother,
during the height of the harvest,
Was wounded in the heart
and wounded in the hand
My grandfather married another
and divorced her
She found neither protection nor law
Men like my grandfather still exist now,
I swear sister
I could be a copy of my grandmother
But I do not accept it,
neither would you accept it
Nor would anyone accept it,
and we shouldn’t care what other think


It is my right to study an honorable career
To choose my partner, to build our life
It is my right to work any job
We must protect women’s rights
The rights of the women
and the rights of the children
Are hidden in the shadow of the law

Rally for Public Dental Insurance; Care and the Welfare State

Smile with Dignity Rally & Lecture on Care and the Welare State | rabble.ca.

This week we bring you reports from two recent events in Vancouver: a rally organized by the ‘Smile with Dignity’ campaign for universal public dental insurance, and a lecture at UBC by Professor James Struthers on trends in health care delivery.

On October 29, 2011, organizers and supporters of the Smile with Dignity campaign, an initiative of the Vancouver-based Alliance for People’s Health, rallied at Premier Christy Clark’s constituency office with the message that “the lack of dental coverage in BC is scary.” The Halloween-themed protest included giant teeth costumes, a play, an open mic session and the delivery of a set of demands to the Premier’s office.

In the second part of our show we bring you excerpts from Prof. James Struthers’ November 21 lecture at UBC entitled “Care and the Welfare State: Past Patterns, Future Prospects.” Prof. Struthers’ details the meaning of ‘care’ in a disintegrating welfare state, and the impact of health care privatization for patients and their families.

People’s Health Radio is out and about!

Hi all!

People’s Health Radio Programmers are coming out from behind the control board over the next week!

If you’re local to Vancouver, come check us out as part of the Organizing Centre’s table at http://crafts4acause.wordpress.com/:

Crafts for a Cause is a craft fair that supports social justice struggles.

Crafts for a Cause 2011It’s a fundraiser, and it happens in three ways:

  • Community groups working for social justice sell art and crafts to support their organizing work,
  • Table fees from individual artists are donated to these groups,
  • Finally, the $2 entrance fee supports Rhizome Cafe, an amazing community-centered space in the city.

The Mass Incarceration Agenda | rabble.ca

The Mass Incarceration Agenda | rabble.ca.

Incarceration is bad for health.  It is unhealthy for the people who are locked up, for their families and dependents, and for the communities that they are integrated into.  Currently poor people, Aboriginal people and people who are addicted to illicit drugs are massively over-represented in prisons across the country, and their numbers are growing.

This show looks at the mass incarceration agenda from the ‘ominous’ crime bill and mandatory minimums to prison construction and privatization in BC to targeting of poor people who use illicit drugs in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. The show includes interviews with Caleb Chepesiuk from the Canadian Students for a Sensible Drug Policy; Stephanie Seaton a blogger from Summerland BC, who has done extensive research on prison construction in BC and Brookfield, the private partner in BC prisons; and Laura Shaver of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users about her experience of prison.