Canada is facist?

Our receives a lot of critism about our stance on decolonization. See picture below.

So the logic here is that people who chose to fight and die for this country and its freedom only did so for people who are nationalist sycophants! All those that do not feel the same should be shamed for not being proud of that. This sounds like the suppression of critiguing the state, sounds like nationalism, sounds like facism! Also sounds like Canadian nationalism that often is synonymous with assimilation. Those people fought and died for our freedom of expression, which includes opinions of dissent, so to the people that posted this note on our wall, it is in fact you that should be ashamed for dishonoring their forfeit of life for our freedom to recognize that this country is founded on genocide, and assimilation, and a military and police forces that are the enforcers of those limited freedoms. And let us not forget that the miltary and the police are the state enforcers and chose who to apply those beloved freedom upon. Indigenous communties are targets of the violent state appararus who tote the aspects of freedom and democracy around in one hand while carrying out the colonizing effort with the other. #fuckthe150

We ask you to listen

Listen: Lament of Confederation
Today, and everyday, we ask that you listen. Listen to the voices reaching out from these lands. If you are a settler, as many of us are, listen to the voices of those whose lands we occupy, continue to occupy, and continue to colonize with the instruments of government and settler law. Humble that pride and regonize the continuing violence and genocide on which this nation stands without conscience.

Lament of Conferation (text):

How long have I known you, Oh Canada? A hundred years? Yes, a hundred years. And many, many seelanum more. And today, when you celebrate your hundred years, Oh Canada, I am sad for all the Indian people throughout the land.

For I have known you when your forests were mine; when they gave me my meat and my clothing. I have known you in your streams and rivers where your fish flashed and danced in the sun, where the waters said ‘come, come and eat of my abundance.’ I have known you in the freedom of the winds. And my spirit, like the winds, once roamed your good lands.

But in the long hundred years since the white man came, I have seen my freedom disappear like the salmon going mysteriously out to sea. The white man’s strange customs, which I could not understand, pressed down upon me until I could no longer breathe.

When I fought to protect my land and my home, I was called a savage. When I neither understood nor welcomed his way of life, I was called lazy. When I tried to rule my people, I was stripped of my authority.

My nation was ignored in your history textbooks – they were little more important in the history of Canada than the buffalo that ranged the plains. I was ridiculed in your plays and motion pictures, and when I drank your fire-water, I got drunk – very, very drunk. And I forgot.

Oh Canada, how can I celebrate with you this Centenary, this hundred years? Shall I thank you for the reserves that are left to me of my beautiful forests? For the canned fish of my rivers? For the loss of my pride and authority, even among my own people? For the lack of my will to fight back? No! I must forget what’s past and gone.

Oh God in heaven! Give me back the courage of the olden chiefs. Let me wrestle with my surroundings. Let me again, as in the days of old, dominate my environment. Let me humbly accept this new culture and through it rise up and go on.

Oh God! Like the thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man’s success-his education, his skills- and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society.

Before I follow the great chiefs who have gone before us, Oh Canada, I shall see these things come to pass. I shall see our young braves and our chiefs sitting in the houses of law and government, ruling and being ruled by the knowledge and freedoms of our great land.

So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation. So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations.

COMMUNITY SAFETY NOTICE: Man who filmed women in Third Space women’s centre

COMMUNITY SAFETY NOTICE

Please be advised that a man named Tristan Harris (pictured below), along with another unknown man, recently filmed two women in the UVic Women’s Centre without their consent or knowledge. Tristan Harris then posted an edited version to Youtube shaming the Women’s Centre for standing against white supremacy. One of the women noticed his camera in hand and asked if he was filming them, Tristan Harris explicitly told them he was not filming them.

On Wednesday evening, June 21st, 2017 a man that has been identified as Tristan Harris  came by the Third Space women’s centre looking to discuss our poster board outside our space. Our poster board is currently featuring an anti-colonization campaign(for more on this refer to the appendix at the end of this article). If you see this man near the Student Union Building please contact the UVSS Third Space at 250-721-8353 or contact UVic Campus Security at 250-721-7599. More details on the incident below.

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Tristan Harris found two women who were studying in the Third Space women’s centre and approached them to ask questions about the poster board. He identified himself and added that he serves in the Canadian Armed Forces, and that he came to UVic to see this board after viewing a post on Facebook. Later our centre was informed from a member that a video had been posted on Youtube by Tristan Harris of the women in our space. A video that was edited and visibly showed the faces of two of our members, as well as the conversation that Tristan had engaged them in, along with his own text commentary being displayed on the screen. Our centre has assisted our members in reporting this incident to the University of Victoria Campus Security, the Saanich Police, and the Military Police.

The women were studying and trying to answer the man’s questions regarding our board. UVic, and the student society building are on private property, and regardless, we have the right to express ourselves. Tristan posted the video and incited aggression against our centre. The real irony here is that Tristan Harris serves in the Canadian Armed Forces, an organization that is intended to defend Canada’s values, interests and sovereignty at home and abroad. They support human rights around the world, including our own charter, specifically section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication”. So it is hypocritical that a soldier with the oath of service to protect those rights, the right to express ourselves and form our own opinions, one of the essential features of a supposed democracy, desires to vilify people who are enacting those rights! Freedom of expression is an essential part of the right to dissent, and a basic feature of personal development. Now, although freedom of expression is protected, there is a delicate balance with aspects of harm. Our board is our own opinion and people may be upset by what we say, or celebrate it, or have discussions about it, but we are calling out an ideology, a polity, a social and cultural issue! We are not, as Tristan Harris has done, inciting harm against individual citizens because of their beliefs.

Among the replies on Tristan Harris’s facebook feed were people inciting that acts of arson against our centre, or a good beating! So is this what Canadian soldier’s do? Read it for yourself below.

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Appendix

Anti-colonization: As a university and advocacy group we feel it is vital to provide critical thought and lenses to things we see in our society. Canada 150 is billion dollar party for Canadians to show pride in this nation. How can we be proud of a nation that leaves so many people in disparity, a nation with an increasing disparity between the wealthy and poor, a nation that does not have clean drinking water, housing, education, employment, mental health services, health services for all? How do we support a nation that is founded on white supremacy? How do we support a nation that still benefits from the exploitation of people around world, and on its own stolen lands? Canada, as a colonizing power continues its legacy of violence, and institutions, such as this university, indoctrinates students into these contemporary colonial thinkers. Our student society is also complacement and fails to act in meaningful ways, other than boiler plate territory acknowledgements, which are rushed through at meetings.

UVSS: Why you always lying?

The June 7 Third Space Meeting had 9 collective members present. I was one of them. At the start of the meeting, the chair discussed that this meeting would be confidential and similar to an in-camera meeting because of the confidential nature of information that would be shared.

The 3 UVSS Directors in the room agreed to stay in the meeting, and the room door was closed immediately after. We went on to share personal details about our experiences in the Women’s Centre. We talked about sensitive information like on-campus safety, disability, reproductive health, and things of that nature. We were asked to put our concerns in writing so it could be further investigated, and we said no. This information is confidential and should stay here. We only wanted to alert the executive directors about issues that concern us as students.

2 days later, we were told that this information was not confidential because it happened in a public space. We consider this a breach of our confidentiality and trust. Mackenzie’s response showed a disregard of confidentiality, and a lack of consent and accountability.

It deeply saddened me to read in the Martlet on June 15 that the UVSS claims that we mentioned that the meeting was confidential halfway through. Like I mentioned earlier, this was mentioned at the start of the meeting, and there are 8 other collective members as witnesses, excluding myself.

The Women’s Centre and UVSS both acknowledge that it was mentioned that the meeting was confidential. Mackenzie Cumberland then disclosed this confidential information to management and other members of the UVSS without our consent. Instead of being accountable for her harmful actions, Cumberland has chosen to tell lies to the Martlet about what took place during the meeting.

Regardless of when we mentioned that the meeting was confidential, it should not make a difference. Sharing sensitive information about members of our collective is not okay. It’s worse that we asked Mackenzie not to and she still disregarded our requests. We were not informed that our stories and concerns would be forwarded to another UVSS committee. She did not inform us until after this process started. She then told us that we have no right to confidentiality because we are not a legal entity. This is unacceptable. You do not have to be a legal entity to have a right to ask for sensitive information to be kept confidential.

Mackenzie Cumberland claims she was carrying out her fiduciary duty, forgetting that she also has a fiduciary duty to members of the student funded organization that pays her salary. Mackenzie’s poor ethics also speak to her inability to do her job as the Director of Finance and Operations.

We will not stop protesting her unethical actions. In the meantime, don’t let Mackenzie’s breach of our confidentiality distract you from the fact that she gets paid over $30,000 per year from your student fees. Our student fees are going to a financially failing organization, with a board member who has questionable ethics. If she cannot respect confidentiality, she certainly cannot represent my best interests as a student.

 

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UVSS: unaccountable bias!

How your student fees go down the drain

An account of the meeting with UVSS Board of Directors

**note this was not written by the Women’s Centre, but by a collective member who prefers to stay anonymous. This is the opinion and experience of one of our members.**

On Wednesday June 7, the Women’s Centre invited Board Members of the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) to our 5pm collective meeting. 3 UVSS Directors (Director of Finance & Operations, Director of Events, and Director of Campaigns & Community Relations) were in attendance. At the start of the meeting, the chair informed everyone in attendance that due to the confidential items to be discussed, the meeting will be a closed door one. The Board of Directors agreed. We told them that this meeting is to be considered to an in-camera.

During the meeting, Women’s Centre members raised issues about the UVSS and other road blocks that have been put forward that affects the day-to-day operations of the Women’s Centre. Some of these issues that are public include effects of the closure of our space last year. Our space was closed by UVSS with zero consultation of collective members. Due to this closure, members were unable to access the study space, lunch room, free menstrual hygiene products, free pregnancy tests, etc. In addition to the we raised specific concerns around SUB profitability and the fact that the SUB has shitty food, and is generally a boring place to be. This is something we felt directly concerned the Director of Finance & Operations, Mackenzie Cumberland

As the meeting came to a close, the board members asked for written documentation of our grievances with management. Women’s Centre members unanimously agreed that we would not be submitting written documentation at the time because we were not interested in an investigation, but were only interested in letting the board members know our concerns with the UVSS. We felt like it was best for this information to stay confidential, and for UVSS board members to treat the meeting as an informational session. The reason we felt like we didn’t want a formal process to ensue was because we felt like this would jeopardize our relationship with UVSS management whom we interact with everyday.

We were thanked for bringing these concerns to their attention. They told us that they would respect the confidential nature of the meeting, and would collectively debrief, with the hopes of meeting with the Women’s Centre at a later date.

On Friday, June 8 AT 5:57pm, Mackenzie Cumberland sent an email to a Women’s Center volunteer’s personal email address. The email was not sent to the Women’s Centre email. The email essentially said that since the meeting was in a public space, it essentially cannot remain confidential. She added that the Wednesday conversation is being reviewed by UVSS personnel committee, and that the committee is recommending that the board takes no further action.

We feel like we were lied to. The meeting did not take place in a public space. An investigation is being conducted about our grievances, and we were not allowed to sit at the table. Nobody from personnel committee has contacted us to hear our side of the story. What sort of investigation only hears from management, without hearing from students whose fees pay their salaries? The personnel committee is also chaired by Cumberland who is clearly biased in favour of UVSS management. We cannot rely on Mackenzie Cumberland’s retelling of our stories as she has proven herself to be BIASED.

At the UVSS Board Meeting on Monday, June 12, Cumberland informed the Women’s Centre that we are not able to have a conversation in camera, and cited legal reasons that allwoed her to share the details of our meeting. After the email, we were informed by a lawyer that this is false. As an elected student representative being paid a salary from student fees, Cumberland should know better.

I was at the June 12 meeting in Vertigo, and sat outside Vertigo during the UVSS Board in camera session. During the meeting, 3 previous board of directors were invited to the in camera session. Based on the conversation I overheard outside Vertigo, it seemed like they were there to give a performance review of UVSS management. Nobody from the Women’s Centre was invited to provide an account of our experiences. Among those in attendance was former Director of Finance & Operations, Kevin Tupper. It is a known fact that Tupper is currently dating MacKenzie Cumbaland. Tupper was seen in the SUB earlier that day making plans to play golf with UVSS management.

Who invites their boyfriend to an in-camera session to provide a performance review of a person they are playing golf with? Seems like a clear CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

FYI, your student fees go towards paying MacKenzie Cumberland an annual salary of over $31,000.

She’s advocating for UVSS management, not student’s interests. Your student fees are going down the drain.

**Image courtesy of University of Victoria twitter(2017).

UVSS Dir. of Finance ethics?

Recently our collective had a meeting with a few executives from the University of Victoria Student’s Society. In order to create a safe space for our members to share their stories we told the visiting UVSS execs that the meeting was confidential, a closed door meeting. The executives agreed and began our meeting. During the course of the meeting our members shared their thoughts and stories with the executives who sat quietly and listened. After the meeting we had our regular scheduled collective meeting.

A couple of days after the collective meeting one of our coordinators received an email from Mackenzie Cumberland, a UVSS board executive who had attended the closed door session stating that our meeting, our stories, were not confidential since the meeting took place in a public space (our women’s centre), and that since we are not a society, but a group within the student society, then we have no legal ability to enforce confidentiality.

Our collective is incredibly upset at this breach of our trust, and although there may not be a legal instrument to enforce confidentiality of our meetings, the principle still stands that Mackenzie Cumberland sat in our meeting, agreed to confidentiality, without any intention of maintaining that spoken agreement. This, in our opinion, is not only unethical, but is malicious, and tantamount to professional misconduct! Mackenzie Cumberland entered a verbal agreement with our collective to maintain confidentiality and she chose to disclose that information publicly without our consent. The UVSS board is aware of Mackenzie Cumberland’s actions and has yet to take any action on this matter. Mackenzie Cumberland reminded members of our collective that asked questions to the board at the last UVSS board meeting (June 12th, 2017), that the women’s centre collective has no right to expect confidentiality in any of our meetings! In essence, we were reminded that our rights are secondary to privilege of those in positions of power.

Summer 2017

Well, summer is fast approaching and it certainly feels hot and balmy today. The next meeting is on May 24th, at 4:30pm, and we will be discussing our summer meeting schedule and fall workshops.

Qian has finished her workstudy. Qian delivered our donation to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. We are very happy that we were able to provide such a donation thanks to the hard work of Qian.

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Our baby bunnies have left the den weeks ago, however, we still have one that is seen often outside in the bushes and it appears happy and healthy.

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We will be getting a usb hub that will allow all our computers to print. We are also discussing getting a new printer that can do duplexing(double sided) as many students have been asking to print double sided.

Tessa is away for the summer, but Daphne, Michelle, and others will be maintaining the centre. If you have any requests for bus tickets or other necessities please let us know at thirdspace@uvic.ca.

Sincerely,

Third Space

Beware of fake social media

For a little over a year now an unelected person(s) have been operating social media accounts as UVIC Women’s Centre. Beware that these accounts are operated by person(s) who are;

  • Not elected to speak on behalf of our centre,
  • are racist, anti-sex work, and transaggressive,
  • seek to incite violence and harm upon our centre and its members,
  • they are not students,
  • and they are ignorant to the how the UVSS functions.

The claims they make are outrageous and obviously misinformed. So let us do a little myth busting here.

Firstly, our centre is run by students who together form a collective of people. The collective uses a consensus based decision making model to operate, including election of volunteer unpaid coordinators.

Secondly, the Third Space has no bank accounts or access to funds directly. Every single financial transaction has to be approved by the collective, attached to funding request forms with receipts, signed by two signing authorities, and submitted to the accounting department whereby it is scrutinized by the accountants, signed by three executives, and then given to the collective.

Third, the recent UVSS Annual General Meeting voted in favour, with zero against, for changing the UVSS policies on how our space defines its membership. During the motion there was opportunity for people to speak about the motion, every single speaker spoke in favour, and not one person presented an argument against the motion for our centre to define our own membership. The UVSS AGM has a minimum quorum of over 100 students. Further, the name change of the centre was work that was ongoing in the centre for year’s before Daphne was even a member of the space. Also, the survey that was distributed had overwhleming support for the change, despite what lying rad femmes might say.

Fourth, our unpaid coordinators are elected. The implication that someone can take over the centre is an absolute fabrication that is intended to incite violence and harm.

Fifth, these people claim they were banned. This is simply not true, as they have never made themselves known, been to a meeting, or participated in the space at all. All of their claims are made in the absence of fact.

Lastly, the changes in our membership, and the name change have been the hard work of many of our members that has occurred over the last few years. No one member is responsible for these changes, it is a collective process, and a collective decision. We stand by all our members! Please come and see us if you have any questions.

Panty Drive 2017

Imagine being marginalized by your sex or gender, race, sexuality, economic status and being in need of shelter, with no access to clean undergarments and sanitary products ( tampons/ pads). Sadly, this is a real problem many people in this predicament face. For most shelters in Canada that serve feminine or female/intersex-specific essentials are in high demand. The UVic Third Space is organizing a Panty Drive to collect donations for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and  P.E.E.R.S Victoria. Both organizations provide vital practical services for those who are socially and financially vulnerable. They are seeking much needed donations of:
new panties
new bras
new socks
blankets
chocolates
tampons and pads.

All of these essentials can significantly impact the lives of real people living in these circumstances!

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Deadline for donations drop-off is April 16th, 2017. All donations can be brought to the following locations:

– UVic Third Space located in the Student Union Building Room B107
– UVic Clearihue Building B115 Women’s Studies Reading Room
– UVic Students’ Society Centre located in Student Union Building
– UVic Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group located in the Student Union Building Room B120 & 122
– Caffe Fantastico Specialty Coffees and Sparkle Brite Launderette 965 Kings Rd

We also have a Panty Drive Bake Sale on March 2nd, Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in SUB hallway.
If you have any questions about the drive, contact the Third Space at thirdspace@uvic.ca or visit us at SUB Room B107.

Third Space Intersectional Feminist Collective