The title of this page is in quotes, because a CSIS (Canada's Security and Intelligence Service) spokesperson once referred to this city as such, in reference to a wave of sabotage directed towards suburban housing developments, big box stores, and an upper class golf course.
Healing the Earth is a weekly radio show based out of Guelph, Ontario, through the community radio station, CFRU. I'm on the air each Wednesday from 12-2 eastern time, and if you live in the area you can listen in on 93.3fm, or online at www.cfru.ca.
Guelph is a city that was once a city that felt like a small town, that is fast becoming a city that feels like every other corporatized, toxified, big-boxified wasteland. In a story that is all too familiar to those who have had the misfortune of meeting industrial civilization, we have been taken over by ignorant and arrogant politicians, developers, planners, industrialists, businesspeople, and other soulless consumers of the living.
Yet despite this cancerous growth, there remains an amazing, beautiful community of people, composed of many smaller circles of communities, all maintaining a distinct subculture and counterculture that makes Guelph a very special place. I can't think of any place I'd rather live.
If you have any information you would like to share with me, be it information about an upcoming event, a resource for learning more about the aforementioned topics, or anything else, please email me at email@example.com.
The Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters on Policing, Harm Reduction, Poverty and Mental Health, and More
The Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters (GUTS) is a local grassroots anti-poverty group that works on a multitude of projects in Guelph. These include weekly free picnics at a downtown location, supporting people in their interactions with landlords, welfare and disability support officials, promoting and initiating harm reduction programs for drug users, and challenging police brutality. One of their members, Aaron, spoke with me in depth about their various campaigns, illuminating some very interesting and disturbing facts pertaining to how the city of Guelph and the Guelph police deal with marginalized people, including people with mental and physical health issues, people of low-income, street youth, drug users, and more.
Ryan Newell from Burnt Oak Records
Ryan Newell is a musician and songwriter, among many other things, who lives in Guelph, Ontario. He has helped develop the indy record label Burnt Oak, which has been active in the region in their work to promote the work of various musicians who share a similar ethos. Ryan and I talked about the politics within his music, primarily the influence the Six Nations land reclamation had on him, and we also talked about life in Guelph, activism, his attempts to infuse politics into the indy music culture, and a lot more.
Nicole Freeborn from the Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters
Nicole is a veteran of the Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters (GUTS), which is an anti-poverty and housing advocacy organization in Guelph. At a protest to shutdown the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, which facilitates the evictions of people who are unable to afford their rent, Nicole was sexually assaulted by police officer Brian Welsh. After an investigation by the Special Investigation Unit (a so-called civilian body made up primarily of ex-cops), they decided that there were no grounds on which to charge Brian Welsh.
The Guelph Free School - The Free School was set up as a way to coordinate free classes for anyone in the community, facilitated by whoever wishes to organize a class. Students are not forced to learn anything, and teachers/facilitators are seen as resources of knowledge rather than as authoritarian figures. Classes are held in free public spaces. It's a great chance to get together with others in the community and discuss important and underrepresented topics.