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UPDATE: Council of Canadians at the General Assembly for the Peoples Social Forum

The Council of Canadians — including executive director Garry Neil, Board members (Abdul Pirani, Fred Wilson, Steven Shrybman), staff members (Brent Patterson, Anil Naidoo, Dylan Penner) and chapter activists (including Bill Kavanagh from St. John’s, Newfoundland) — attended this past weekend’s General Assembly for the Peoples Social Forum.

The General Assembly saw more than 150 activists from across the country come together to form a consensus that a Peoples Social Forum should take place in August 2014. While a location has not yet been determined, suggestions have included either Ottawa or a location near the tar sands in Alberta. For an excellent overview on the weekend, please this blog by Ethan Cox,

The Council of Canadians supported this historic gathering of individuals, movements and organizations through a contribution for the overall costs of the General Assembly; the booking and support for the travel of the Idle No More keynote speakers at the meeting; the covering of the travel costs for two Indigenous activists to attend the General Assembly; and help in booking the meeting space at the University of Ottawa (necessary on short notice after it became clear that attendance would outnumber the room capacity of the room originally booked). We have also been participating in Social Forum planning meetings dating back to October 2011.

Along with the Social Forum process, the Council of Canadians is pleased to be participating in at least three other key movement spaces at this moment: 1) we have been working as the secretariat to help launch Common Causes, a new network dedicated to defending democracy, the environment, and human rights; 2) activists with Idle No More/ Chief Spence have been working out of our Ottawa office since December; and 3) we are supportive of the Port Elgin process/ Red Hand Coalition initiative (which has been described as the Quebec social Left reaching out to movement activists outside of Quebec to further build grassroots resistance).

For more about the Social Forum, please see