Connexions works to connect people working for social justice with information, ideas, groups, and with the history of social change movements. The heart of Connexions is an online Library/Archive organized by subject with thousands of resources on a wide range of issues. Each topic page features resources about democratization, economic justice, ecosocialism, civil liberties, and community.
Recent & Selected Articles
The Mandela Years in Power South Africas democratization was profoundly compromised by an intra-elite economic deal that, for most people, worsened poverty, unemployment, inequality and ecological degradation, while also exacerbating many racial, gender and geographical differences.
Nelson Mandela Mandela was not alone. The struggle to liberate South Africa was a collective effort. Moreover it was the power of the most downtrodden, the workers in the factories, the poor in the community, working class women and youth that brought the Apartheid government, if not completely to its knees at least to negotiate the terms of the end of their racist system.
Nelson Mandela: A Dissenting Opinion It is an indication of what Mandela was up against that the man who fought so hard and long against a brutal apartheid regime was so completely defeated when he took power in South Africa. That was because he was no longer struggling against a rogue regime but against the existing order. As I suspect Mandela realised only too well, one cannot lead a revolution when there are no followers.
Who was Nelson Mandela? We should treasure the memory of the Mandela our rulers hated: the lonely, courageous, unbowed political prisoner, condemned for his resistance to racial oppression.
Working To Honour Nelson Mandelas Legacy As the world mourns the passing of South Africas first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, his close friend and political stalwart Tokoyo Sexwale says much needs to be done to honour his legacy.
Lobbying Elites: The Fast Track To Extinction As we evaluate the outcomes of the recent UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, one lesson that we are invited to learn, again, relates to our strategy for getting effective action taken on the ongoing climate catastrophe and other critical environmental.
Burning History in San Salvador On Thursday, Nov. 14, three armed men broke into the offices of Pro-Búsqueda. The attack on Pro-Búsqueda was not a random crime. We should be worried about what is happening in El Salvador.
Extraordinary Violence at 500 Pearl Street On Friday, November 15, 2013, extreme violence with malicious intent was meted out by Federal District Court Judge Loretta Preska in the sentencing phase of 28 year old hacktivist Jeremy Hammond before a chamber packed with friends, family, supporters and others.
Cops Are Now Less Cautious Than Soldiers In Iraq Police militarization is a hot topic lately, but American police are beyond anything contemplated by the American military. American police today appear unwilling to accept any risk whatsoever and seem willing to kill anyone and anything that could possibly be seen as a threat.
Flooding the Zone with Bullshit on Syria In recent weeks, the Obama Administration has been embarked on a massive propaganda campaign they call flooding the zone. We hope to provide the most direct and systematic refutation of the Administrations case for war in Syria.
The End of the Leaderless Revolution When movements dont have (or claim not to have) ideologies, agendas, demands and leaders, they can go in two directions: they can dissipate (as did Occupy), or serve the agendas of others. The end of the leaderless revolution does not mean the end of the Egyptian revolutionary process. But it spells the end of the fallacy that the people can take power without an agenda, an alternative platform, an ideology, and leaders.
The Servility of the Satellites Recent revelations confirm the completion of the transformation of the Western democracies into something else, an entity that as yet has no recognized name. The outrage against the Bolivian President confirmed that this trans-Atlantic entity has absolutely no respect for international law, even though its leaders will make use of it when it suits them. But respect it, allow it to impede their actions in any way? Certainly not. And this disrespect for the law is linked to a more basic institutional change: the destruction of effective democracy at the national level.
Eavesdropping on the Planet Like a mammoth vacuum cleaner in the sky, the National Security Agency (NSA) sucks it all up: home phone, office phone, cellular phone, email, fax, telex satellite transmissions, fiber-optic communications traffic, microwave links voice, text, images captured by satellites continuously orbiting the earth, then processed by high-powered computers if it runs on electromagnetic energy, NSA is there, with high high tech. Twenty-four hours a day. Perhaps billions of messages sucked up each day. No one escapes. Not presidents, prime ministers, the UN Secretary-General, the pope, the Queen of England, embassies, transnational corporation CEOs, friend, foe, your Aunt Lena
If U.S. Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different? The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed a U.S. corporate media system at war with independent journalism. Many of the same outlets that missed the Wall Street meltdown and cheer-led the Iraq invasion have come to resemble state-controlled media outlets in their near-total identification with the government.
Spying by the Numbers Thanks to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden many more people in the US and world-wide are learning about extensive US government surveillance and spying. There are publicly available numbers which show the reality of these problems are bigger than most think and most of this spying is happening with little or no judicial oversight.
The Corporate State and Manufactured Dependence The resistance is futile mindset that supports plutocrats and the global corporations they own assumes the existing order is the only possible order and the costs of resistance are too great because they have state power and unlimited economic resources on their side.
Surveillance USA The government is merrily going about its business of keeping tabs on you in virtually every conceivable way.
Turkeys Urban Uprising In Turkey, a wave of urban uprisings had spread across the country, involving hundreds of thousands of protesters, in dozens of cities, met with massive state repression and violence, resulting in a few deaths and thousands of injuries and arrests.
Humanity Imperiled: The Path To Disaster For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. Thats been true since 1945. Its now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence.
Social Networking and the Death of the Internet Social Networking is, by its nature, a capture environment. The companies that offer the services, particularly Facebook, host your site and control all the information on it. Facebook a group of linked pages on a giant website is constraining and not very powerful. In order to use it, you have to use it the way they want you to and thats not a whole lot of using. But there is a comfort in having ones options limited, being able to use something without learning anything about it or making many choices about how you use it. That alluring convenience is a poisoned apple, however.
Just the Beginning of Canadas Filthy Tar Sands The technology used in Canada's tar sands will be used to open up other potential oil deposits that could more than double all know oil reserves. The disaster threatens to keep expanding.
Librarians and Palestine Working to preserve Palestinian records and memory in the face of deliberate destruction by Israel.
May 5, 1818: Birth of Karl Marx Marx breathes dialectics and revolution. For Marx, radicalism means going to the root, and Marxs radicalism seeks to go to the root of capitalism, to comprehend its essence dialectically, to understand its inherent contradictions and the seeds of revolution it contains.
The Case for Grassroots Archives Grassroots archives play a valuable role in what has been called "the battle of memory". People's history projects such as grassroots archives preserve and share stories of resistance, hidden histories, and alternative visions.
The BBC's 'Bogeyman' Narrative on Hugo Chavez The changes in Venezuela, and throughout Latin America, over the past decade: the development of peaceful, democratic alternatives to the policies of neoliberalism; standards of living improved for millions of people following a process that has had popular, democratic support, are at risk of being written off as simply the actions of another 'anti-American' 'bogeyman' due to the media's relentless negative treatment of the Venezuelan government.
Seeds of Fire Recalling events that happened on this day in history. Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.
The Chavez Legacy Chavez was a leader who, in unity with the people, was able to free Venezuela from the grips of US Empire, brought dignity to the poor and working class, and was central to a Latin American revolt against US domination.
Preparing for a Post-Chávez Venezuela Hugo Chávez is no more, and yet the symbolic importance of the Venezuelan President that exceeded his physical persona in life, providing a condensation point around which popular struggles coalesced, will inevitably continue to function long after his death.
Aaron Swartz and the Assault on Open Information The great corporate-supported push to hide essential, publicly funded information behind private firewalls and government secrecy, represents a breathtaking breach of the basic tenets of democracy.
The Power of Idle No More The remarkable Idle No More movement is the biggest and most important national outpouring of grass roots aboriginal anger ever seen in Canada.
The Ice Melts Into Water Last month, climate scientists announced that Arctic sea ice had shrunk to its smallest surface area since satellite observations began in 1979. An ice-free summer in the Arctic, once projected to be more than a century away, now looks possible just a few decades from now. Some scientists say it may happen within the next few years.
The Rain On Our Parade O rancid sector of the far left, please stop your grousing! Compared to you, Eeyore sounds like a Teletubby. If I gave you a pony, you would not only be furious that not everyone has a pony, but you would pick on the pony for not being radical enough until it wept big, sad, hot pony tears. Because what were talking about here is not an analysis, a strategy, or a cosmology, but an attitude, and one that is poisoning us. Not just me, but you, us, and our possibilities.
Volunteers/Interns with computer skills needed Connexion is looking for volunteers and interns with solid computer skills to help us develop our databases and online search capabilities. Areas where we need help include SQL databases, PHP, Linux, and HTML.
The Evil of Humanitarian Wars The Wests duty is not to intervene more but to intervene far less. We already massively arm tyrannies such as those in the Gulf so that they can protect the oil that we consider our birthright; we offer military, financial and diplomatic cover for Israels continuing oppression of millions of Palestinians, a major cause of political instability in the Middle East; and we quietly support the Egyptian military, which is currently trying to reverse last years revolutionary gains.
Strike Wave Sweeps Brazil Workers in Brazilin heavy industry, services, the public sector, and agricultureare involved in a series of strikes and mass protests such as the country hasnt seen in decades.
Rebuilding the Left in a Time of Crisis The type of organizers we need to develop need to be those who have developed the skills and capacities and depth that allow them to be good at taking a defensive struggle and saying we can both fight it, and maybe fight it more effectively, if we can link it to a set of demands that are forward looking. They need to be visionary in terms of a socialist strategy.
Connexions exists to support individuals and groups working for freedom and social justice. We work to maintain and make available a record of the theory and practice of people struggling against oppression and for social change. We believe that the more we know about the struggles, victories, and defeats of the past, and about those who took part in them, the better equipped we will be to bring a new world into being.
We are internationalist in our orientation, but as a Canadian-based project we feature an especially extensive collection of Canadian documents and profiles of Canadian activist organizations.
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The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based resource centre dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a home. Founded in 1975, Connexions exists to conserve documents and resources created by citizen activists. By digitizing them we make them available to a wider national and international public. We need a space to house the library itself, as well as the people who work on it (scanning, cataloguing, indexing, digitizing, etc.) More...