Canada

Using a Restaurant to Smash HIV Stigmas

In November 2017, June’s HIV+ Eatery opened for three nights to break the stigma surrounding people living with HIV in Toronto. Operating under the slogan “Break Bread, Smash Stigma”, all of the food served at June’s was prepared by HIV positive individuals-turned chefs. All of the seats at the pop-up restaurant sold out within two weeks, and the event garnered widespread worldwide media attention.

Using a citizen search and seizure operation to pressure the gov­ernment to release public documents

Operation SalAMI used what it called a “Citizen Search and Seizure Operation” to pressure the Canadian gov­ernment to release a secret draft treaty that members believed could undermine human rights. The group was able to generate public condemnation of the secrecy used to shield the government and the treaty from public scrutiny.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Promoting discussions on disability to generate a holistic and inclusive human rights dialogue

Currently many groups working in the disability rights movement, and even the broader human rights movement, compete among each other in political debates and institutions in order to gain recognition, funding and policy changes.  Instead of recognizing their common goals and challenges, human rights groups often isolate themselves along victim hierarchies where, for example, someone living in poverty may be better off than someone who is physically disabled, experiences politically-motivated torture or lacks access to clean water.

Involving the community in determining offenders’ sentences and helping to rehabilitate them

Peacemaking circles use traditional circle ritual and structure to create a respectful space in which all interested community members — victim, victim supporters, offender, offender supporters, judge, prosecutor, defense counsel, police and court workers — can speak openly in a shared attempt to understand a crime, to identify what is needed to heal all affected parties and to prevent future occurrences.

Informing potential victims of their rights when there is a time limit on protecting their rights

The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) in Ontario, Canada, contacts tenants at risk of eviction and gives them the information they need to avoid eviction. Canadian law limits to five days the time tenants have to dispute evictions, and many people do not have the information or resources to react quickly enough to prevent eviction.

The Dilemma Demonstration: Using nonviolent civil disobedience to put the government between a rock and a hard place

Man with a keyWhen the Canadian government refused to make public draft documents in their negotiations over the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, Operation SalAMI organized hundreds of citizens to show up holding “Search and Rescue Warrants” for the release of these draft documents. The government responded by arresting one hundred citizens for requesting their right to information.

Art Spaces Hosting Activism: Using surplus resources to provide individual assistance and strengthen community engagement

Screenshot of a freeDimensional videofreeDimensional (fD) has developed a creative and collaborative process for using surplus resources to provide assistance and safe haven to culture workers in distress. fD’s worldwide network bridges what are often considered two different worlds - art spaces and human rights organizations. fD’s model inspires ideas for bridging other seemingly incompatible groups and networks in order to further their respective missions while maximizing resources available from each.

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