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Watchdogs and gadflies : activism from marginal to mainstream / Tim Falconer.


Public Safety Canada Library


Books & Reports

Call Number

JL 148.5 F35 2001




277 p. ; 24 cm.


Includes index.


Canadians have a long and storied history of activism. This book examines the current generation of activists, and charts some of their successes. Through interviews with both veterans and relative newcomers, the author explores the grassroots community and individual agendas motivating people to work for what they see as the greater good. What he finds is that, far from the "left-wing nuts" label critics would pin on them, activists come in all shapes, sizes, and political stripes: from lawyers like Craig Jones (who first came to prominence during the APEC demonstrations) to scions of respected families like Duff Conacher and privileged housewives such as Priscilla De Villiers (who pushed for gun registration after her daughter was shot). All have one thing in common – the desire for change and a concern for what they see as injustice in the world. The broader picture is looked at in chapters about globalization, methods of communication and publicity-grabbing, and the demonization of activists.



1. It’s the end of political as we know it (and I feel fine). -- 2. When the going gets tough, activists turn pro. -- 3. Walter Robinson and the rise of conservative activism. -- 4. Education: activists will happen. -- 5. Globalization: the young and the idealistic. -- 6. Environment: tools for radicals. -- 7. Health: the demonization of cranks, zealots and left-wing nuts. -- 8. Poverty: fighting frustration with small victories. -- 9. Justice: the secrets of success. -- 10. Duff Conacher and the drive for democratic reform. -- 12. Reveille for citizens. -- Appendix: Activist web sites.


 #Call NumberStatusLocation
1JL 148.5 F35 2001On ShelfPS-Circ
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