Sunday, 29 May 2011

TorontoTheBetter members part of Bike Month 2011

Several TorontoTheBetter members are participating in Toronto's 2011 Bike Month...

- Janet Bike Girl is having an Open Studio May 30, 2011; 11:00 AM to 06:00 PM:
Come and visit to see a variety of bike stencil artwork..

- Bike Sauce is hosting a Coffee House June 4, 2011; 12:00 PM to 06:00 PM:
Come out and visit BikeSauce's brand new location, 235 Broadview, just south of Dundas. We'll be having tea, coffee and baked treats throughout the day!

- Bike Pirates is presenting three events...

Sweeets for Cycles! happens on June 4, 2011; 12:00 PM to 07:00 PM:
Our annual Donate a Bike event - with a twist! Bring in your old, neglected, well-loved or outgrown bicycle to donate to Bike Pirates and we will reward you with sweets! Bring in a bike and we'll give you something baked! At this non-profit community space your old bike will get a new life either by being build by a community member, or being refurbished for sale by our volunteers.

Their Annual Back Alley Bike Wash is on June 11, 2011; 2:00 PM to 06:00 PM:
Join us for our Annual Bike Wash! Sometimes your bike needs a bit more loving (and scrubbing) than you can muster. If you've just dusted off an old steed, or you recently went on a muddy ride in the Don, come to Pirates and we will clean your bike, pump your tires and lube your chain, all for a small donation.

And finally, their Third Friday Event is on June 17, 2011; 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM:
Please join us the third Friday in June for a community bike ride to visit Toronto's West-End community gardens. We will end the ride back at Bike Pirates for a low-key social.

- Urbane Cyclist's Urbent Event is happening June 4, 2011; 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM:
Learn about recumbent bikes and recumbent trikes!

- Mountain Equipment Co-op's 20011 MEC Bikefest takes place June 25, 2011; 1:00 AM to 06:00 PM:
Along with fun and festivities, MEC Bikefest is a hub of knowledge where cyclists new and old can make connections and get the information they need to pursue their passion.

Friday, 27 May 2011

PALESTINE: A people in Resistance

PALESTINE: A people in Resistance
Report from Palestine and from Algeria

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Theresa Wolfwood made her second solidarity journey to Palestine in 2010. She was part of the Canadian delegation to the Bil'in conference on communities in non-violent resistance in April, 2010.

She visited with Palestinians in their homes, schools, farms and projects. She participated in non-violent resistance to the Apartheid Wall, the destruction of homes and lands and was tear-gassed ad threatened by Israeli soldiers. She has also been to Lebanon and Jordan to meet with Palestinian communities and groups in those countries. In December 2010, she was an invited participant to the Algiers conference on Palestinian political prisoners.

In her powerpoint presentation Theresa shows how the Palestinians struggle daily under occupation and how they work together in resistance. With the words of Palestinians, her own observations and telling photographs, Theresa presents the lives of people who are steadfast - sumoud - in their determination to achieve security, peace, and self-determination while preserving their precious heritage and culture.

Theresa reports on international actions and strategies to support Palestine including the growing global boycotts, sanctions and divestment (BDS) movement.

A local and international activist, Theresa is director of the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation in Victoria, BC and is involved in many social justice organizations. Her prose and poetry have been published in Canada and abroad, in English, French, Spanish, German, Danish and Arabic. Theresa has been a tireless worker for peace and justice on four continents. To see examples of her admirable work, writing, book reviews, poetry and collection of justice banners from all over the world, please visit

Need to know:
- Doors open at 6:45
- PWYC / Donation
- Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible

Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) and Zatoun oliveoil+za'atar dipping.

Beit Zatoun
612 Markham Street (by Bathurst subway)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

May 2011 Edition of Dirty Laundry Standup Comedy Show

Toronto's Eco Laundry Room is hosting quite a cool and, I think, unique PWYC event here:

WHAT: Dirty Laundry Stand Up Comedy Show - May Edition

WHEN: Friday, May 27 · 8:00pm - 11:00pm

WHERE: The Eco Laundry Room on Danforth
2741 Danforth Avenue (Main Station Stop next to the Canadian Tire)

WHAT: Comedy, coffee and Nickel Brook Beer $2.50 plus cake!

See their Facebook event page for more information...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Another Story Bookshop: Homophobic Bullying in our Schools-A Conversation

On Thursday, June the 2nd 2011, Another Story Bookshop is hosting:

A Conversation about Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying in Our Schools

Thursday, June 2 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Bullying in schools has garnered significant attention recently, but despite this, little has been said about the occurrence of homophobic and transphobic bullying in Canadian high schools. Get That Freak fills that gap by exploring the experiences of bullying among youth who identify or are identified as queer. Challenging the familiar image of these youth as helpless victims, this book also recognizes positive outcomes: moments of resistance, friendship and inner strength. The authors make recommendations for challenging homophobic and transphobic bullying in high schools and supporting students who experience this form of harassment.

Join Queer activist and trans ally Rebecca Haskell in this timely and essential conversation. All parents, educators, youth and other community members are invited to this free event!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Bike Pirates Movie Night, 20th May 2011

Well, Bike Pirates has come us with a grand thing...

Bike Pirates Presents: A Bike In Movie Night featuring the film "The Bicycle Thief"

...Meet at Bike Pirates for a leisurly bike ride to Trinity Bellwoods park for the out door film screening. The movie will be on the stage in the Dog Bowl, starting at 9. There will be sleeping bags to sit on, but bring a cushion if you like!

See the Facebook Event page for more info...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Wheelchair Access @Beit Zatoun

I recently received a Facebook message from Beit Zatoun House which I think deserves some wider distribution:

"...Having wheelchair access has been an important feature missing at Beit Zatoun. We are very pleased to announce that we have purchased a portable ramp which can be used on an as-needed basis. Unfortunately, the washrooms downstairs remain inaccessible..."

Monday, 9 May 2011

West End Food Co-op to open store in Parkdale

Promising news from the West End Food Co-op: they plan to open a store, in partnership with the Parkdale Community Health Centre, by the end of 2011.

See Unique Food Co-op Partners with Community Health Centre for details...

Sunday, 1 May 2011

[MSN] Mainly women garment workers get half of living wage!

From the May 1st, 2011 Maquila Solidarity Network wire:

Asian Floor Wage Alliance calls for Global Day of Action on May Day

According to the Asia Floor Wage (AFW) Alliance, minimum wages in Asian garment producing countries are at best half of the living wage necessary for garment workers in the region to meet basic needs for themselves and their families. 

The problem of poverty wages is particularly acute for women workers. According to the Committee for Asian Women (CAW), a member of the AFW Alliance, "Women workers in the garment industry make up almost 80 percent of the export manufacturing workforce in the developing world...A strategy like Asia Floor Wage will be a solution in attenuating women's unequal bargaining power, gender wage gaps and in improving their well being."

This May 1, International Worker’s Day, the AFW Alliance is releasing new minimum wage demands for 2011 in the national currencies of major garment producing countries in Asia. The AFW Alliance is urging brand-name companies who source from Asia to open a dialogue with labour rights organisations in Asian countries to address poverty wages.

ITGLWF report slams precarious employment, abuse in sportswear supply chains

On April 20, the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF) released a damning report, which found precarious employment, sexual harassment and abuse, anti-union activities and forced overtime in Asian sportswear supply chains supplying major brands like adidas, Gap, Nike, Speedo and others.

The report surveyed conditions in 83 factories in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia which together employ over 100,000 workers. Researchers found scores of workers’ rights abuses, including rampant and sometimes illegal use of short-term contracts which rob workers of job security and often deny them their legal benefits.

Women, who represent approximately three quarters of the workforce studied, were more likely to be employed on short term and temporary contracts, were subjected to sexual harassment and abuse, and often were not paid proper maternity benefits. Four of the 17 factories studied in Sri Lanka were found to have forced prospective female employees to take pregnancy tests before hiring.

Raging Grannies (and others) protest at Barrick Gold AGM - April 27, 2011