For the Freedom Fighters

We must acknowledge those who stand for social justice.

As we journey down our path of existence, there come moments where we are uplifted and enveloped with a feeling of grace and “freedom.” It might be when we are on a walk in nature, or visiting a special place. This feeling is often fleeting, and as we return to our duties and civic responsibilities, the feeling lingers and eventually fades into the mundane routine of societal obligation. Despite this, we can seek the feeling again, and find new ways to capture that feeling for a time. This makes it a great goal to have, however endless like a dog chasing its tail.

Is the feeling of “freedom” misleading? Because, true freedom would have no end, and true freedom would grant us everlasting peace – would it not?

My take on freedom is that we can associate feelings to the word, but true freedom is beyond our emotions because freedom is often determined by physical space. The word “utopian” may come to your mind and, somehow, we associate this word with dreamers and rebels. But, if we look at the world and the structures which restrict freedom or enslave us, whether through dependency on oil, sugar, streaming media, or other things, we may very well be our own captors.

If there is freedom granted to only those who hold the power and money, then is it really freedom? And can the people and the planet under the rule and weight of imperial and capitalistic regimes, in the end, even have freedom of breath and life?

This is why we need to acknowledge those who stand up against the systems and oppressors. To the First Nations people who are tirelessly working to preserve and rebuild the ways of their people, to the workers who dedicate their lives to helping those less fortunate, to those who have never had the means or supports to get beyond the claws of poverty, to the advocates and activists who put their lives on the line, to the individuals who know and see the imbalance and try to do something about it, to the single parents; to the young people in foster programs and systems, to those who speak out, to those who listen – thank you for the fight. You are proof that there is hope.

“Righteousness will someday prevail… “ – Bob Marley

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • New Mural in Chinatown – A new mural on 97 Street near 107 Avenue was unveiled in February. It was created by artist Kris Friesen with the full support of McCauley Revitalization/City of Edmonton. Paula E. Kirman

  • More Music from Musical Mamas – The Musical Mamas, a group of women singer/songwriters who meet and mostly live in or near the area, released their second volume of original music in March. Pictured is performer Sylvia Khoury. For more information visit Shauna Specht

  • Welcoming the Year of the Dog – Lunar New Year celebrations took place in Chinatown on February 17, organized by the Chinatown and Area Business Association. Pictured with Lion Dancers, from left: Kerry Diotte (MP Edmonton Griesbach), Frankie Lee (Director with the Chinatown and Area Business Association); Brian Mason (MLA Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood; and Mayor Don Iveson. Paula E. Kirman

  • London Villas Hub Grand Opening – London Villas Hub’s grand opening on March 14 featured food, entertainment, and the chance to experience the new space for the first time. It is located in the former church at 9620 109 Avenue. Paula E. Kirman

  • Mercury Opera’s La Traviata in McCauley – A scene from Mercury Opera’s production of La Traviata at one of the matinees at Studio 96 during March. The opera also played to sold-out audiences at Chez Pierre Cabaret. Cecilia Ferreyra

Around the Neighbourhood

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We are always looking for new writers and photographers, as well as ideas for future stories. We also regularly need block carriers to help with the delivery and distribution of the paper. Email Paula with your submissions, feedback, ideas, and availability. We also ask that contributors read our Editorial Guidelines and that all volunteers read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Next Issue . . .

Our next issue is September. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also encourage submissions of poetry, and cartoons (in JPG or PDF format). Deadline: August 12. Send submissions to: Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.