Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Toronto town hall protest about arts cuts now to promote electoral activism

The protests against the federal arts and culture funding cuts are revving up; the Toronto town hall meeting this Wednesday, organized by Fuse magazine, has evolved into something bigger and more sweeping. It focuses not just on the arts cuts but on social issues and activism in the imminent federal election, including unseating key Conservatives in the greater Toronto area and across Canada.

Speaking at Wednesday's event (Wednesday, September 3 at 7 p.m., The Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen Street West, (South East Corner of Queen and Dovercourt) will be Claire Hopkinson, Toronto Arts Council, Susan Swan, former president, The Writers Union of Canada, Lisa Fitzgibbons, executive director, Documentary Organization of Canada and Naomi Klein, writer and political analyst.

A new website called departmentofculture.ca explains the thinking behind the movement.

This event is as much about funding cuts to women’s groups, youth training programs, harm reduction programs, food inspection, environmental organizations and health policy, as it is about cuts to arts funding. It should not be too much to expect a decent society to live in, one that prioritizes the welfare of it citizens before the wealth of a few. We are placing the issue of defunding arts and culture in relation to vast cuts to Canada’s social safety net made by a socially irresponsible Conservative government....

This meeting is intended to articulate the issues and organize a plan of action. If an election is called, we will establish swing teams to unseat Conservatives in every city across the country. If there is no election, the same teams will be organized to criticize, challenge and creatively pressure the government to change their policies

People wanting to RSVP to the town hall meeting may do so on Facebook.

[UPDATE: As of late Tuesday afternoon, almost 500 people had rsvp'd to Facebook saying they might attend.]

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