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Year in review: Features

The Daily looks back


Click on each quote to read more.

“I, for example, do not believe in the concept of nation, but would undoubtedly vote ‘yes’ if there was a referendum tomorrow.”
Mathilde Michaud, former McGill student and current Université du Québec à Montréal student, on separatism

in “Monolithic? I don’t think so,” March 17, 2014
“We can co-exist, but never touch.”
Bethany Douglas, a Mohawk from Kahnawà:ke and a graduate of Concordia with a Bachelor’s degree in History, on the meaning of the Two Row Wampum Treaty

in “Another idea of sovereignty,” March 17, 2014

It’s impossible to talk about Quebec without talking about separatism. In two parallel pieces, Graham MacVannel and Mathilde Michaud looked at the complex concept of separatism from two completely different angles. In “Monolithic? I don’t think so,” Mathilde laid out the wide variety of ideologies that exist under the banner of separatism, including her own, anarchist brand. Graham investigated the implications of separatism for First Nations and indigenous peoples in his piece, “Another idea of sovereignty.”

“Do you ever feel, or have you ever felt, self-conscious of your race?”
“A better question would be, ‘Do you ever not feel self-conscious about your race?’ and the answer would be — fucking never. I feel self-conscious in classes. I reflexively worry about being ‘too Asian’ when responding to questions I know the answers to.”
Amina Batyreva in conversation with a U3 Biology student who identifies as Chinese

in “Colouring the conversation,” September 16, 2013

Many students at McGill deal with racism on a daily and permanent basis, and although the conversation surrounding race is seldom easy, it is an important one to have. Amina Batyreva compiled several accounts of racism on campus, giving students of colour a voice and debunking the myth that North American society has finished talking about race.

“[Calling prostitution violence against women] names the experience for us without asking us.”
Amy Lebovitch, current sex worker, executive director at the Sex Professionals of Canada, and one of three women who brought forward the landmark case Bedford v. Canada

in “A legal void,” January 27, 2014

When the Supreme Court struck down three provisions that regulate (and criminalize) sex work in Canada, the country exploded with speculation about what will happen to sex work when the provisions lapse a year from December 20, 2013, the date of the ruling, and leave sex work in a legal void. If Parliament doesn’t pass any new legislation before that time, sex work will become completely decriminalized in Canada. Janna Bryson spoke to activists all over the map to get a picture of who was advocating for which model of sex work legislation, and why.

“It’s bullshit, it’s a cop-out. You know, unintellectual. It’s fearmongering, it’s childish.”
Aaron Lakoff, Palestine solidarity activist and anti-Zionist Jew, on anti-Zionists being characterized as anti-Semitic

in “An eye toward Zion,” January 20, 2014

Ralph Haddad reported on dissent in the Jewish community, and how it’s often repressed and/or dismissed as anti-Semitic hate speech, specifically when it comes to anti-Zionism or critiques of Israeli policy toward Palestine.

“[As for] my personal practices, I don’t eat children, I don’t burn babies (I have a baby, thank you) [and] I don’t fly on a broom, but that would be cool.”
Robyn, member of the Montreal witchcraft community for over 20 years, on stereotypes of Wiccan practice and the importance of maintaining the sanctity of her personal practices by keeping them secret

in “Ding-dong! The witch is not dead,” October 28, 2013

With Halloween around the corner and the usual proliferation of stereotypical images of witches, Grace Harris and Samantha Shier explored the connection between feminism and witchcraft to understand what it truly means to be a contemporary witch. After interviewing several Wiccans, the authors learned that Wicca and witchcraft are all about fluidity and constantly redefining one’s identity and beliefs without letting external societal structures impede their own self-realization.