Nelson Mandela

Mandela: Five Lessons for Canada's Activists

As I watch the procession for Nelson Mandela, I feel a great sense of loss. I was grateful to learn more about him and the anti-apartheid struggle while in Durban, South Africa for the 2011 UN climate conference. His name carried hope when spoken in the southern townships, as much as it did in the halls of the UN conference. He is great inspiration to our movement. Nelson Mandela is no longer with us in this world, but when celebrating his life's work, we can find lessons that can guide those striving for social change in Canada today. Here are five:

Harper's hypocrisy

In 1989 Harper was among the founders of the Far Right Northern Foundation among whose main goals were concerted opposition to the release of Mandela, rejection of the policy of sanctions against the Apartheid regime, and support for pro-Apartheid, Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazi groups operating in Canada. The research in Murray Dobbin's book 'Preston Manning and the Reform Party', University of Lethbridge sociologist Trevor Harrison's studies and Warren Kinsella's 'Web of Hate: Inside Canada's Far Right Network' is instructive in this regard.

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Stephen Harper Should Stay Away

It's so hypocritical of the Harper regime to say that Mandela was a human rights leader when Harper was an organizer in a pro-Apartheid organization and a supporter of Thatcher who also supported Apartheid. How can the media not point out the hypocrisy and lies. It was never the Conservatives that opposed Apartheid here in Canada or there in South Africa.

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