Social Injustice Week: Clayton Thomas Muller

My first shift working as an Aboriginal Peer Support was spent learning and listening to Clayton Muller from the anti-Tar Sands Coalition give a talk as one of Ryerson’s Social Injustice Week activities. It was a very enlightening experience. Muller is quite articulate on social and environmental injustices in Canada and connected the dots between Steven Harper’s decision to ban Air Canada employees from striking as a result of many people flying from the Maritime provinces, where the Fisheries Industry has collapsed, to Alberta where there oil mines are in operation. He highlights that much of the land surrounding the mines are Indian Reservations and a source of sustenance but it is being polluted by the mining. He highlighted some names I shouldn’t foget, Eloise Colbert, the woman responsible for discovering the Canadian government’s negligence in respective aboriginal land claims and Tom Flanagan, Stephen Harper’s mentor and anti-aboriginal to boot.

I’ve noticed a lack of activism among my friends to get into politics and I can’t help but feel this is a loss. Maybe it’s the jargon, the confusing new taxes, bills, all the name dropping. I’m not sure but it puts me at a distance and every time I try to read-up on the latest bill change, there are a million little arrows pointing to previous events, people, movements. Politics is a cobweb. It doesn’t help that news articles follow and interpret politician’s every move which makes the whole scene seem like voyeurism or stalking. Either too much information or confusing information. Watching political talks sets my defense mode on hiatus because I sense brainwashing, cautioned words and hidden truths. It is not a scene for improvisation.  I find when I am weighing my own moral judgments, it is no longer what I think is right, it is a matter of taking into consideration of the million things that are affected by my actions and researching into whether I have thought about everything. It is not about what is right and wrong because the world is not black and white, it is about connecting the dots and taking aim towards a long-term goal that is the best for… who? me, you, family, friends, city, province, country…? At any point there could be a contradiction and then what… sleep probably, avoidance. And we are back to what keeps me and my friends form getting involved in politics.