The Canadian Information Sharing
During the past year C.I.S.S. changed the name of its publication
to CONNEXIONS and hopes to become more identifiable through this
simpler name. We originated as a means for deepening understanding
and solidarity by providing a forum through which minority organizations,
citizens groups and grassroots movements might communicate their
concerns and discoveries more directly with one another.
The impetus arose initially from expressed needs of those who felt
isolated or who recognised they were powerless apart from a broadly
based movement. CONNEXIONS does not try to circulate or store original
documents. Nor do we attempt to centralize information or decision
making. In every respect we use a decentralized model for our operation.
No information is to be found in the office of the project that
is not placed in the hands of those who are our readers and contributors.
Information is solicited from every region and there is high priority
given to developing local and regional editing processes so that
no regionalized bias enters into the final publication. Responsibility
for the project rests with a volunteer collective whose membership
is drawn, as much as possible, from various national networks dedicated
to social change.
After three years of operation we have developed a strong, shared
collective process. We meet every two weeks and rotate responsibility
for every aspect of the project. A small staff of part-time people
chosen from the collective provide some coordination. Subscriptions
can sustain the ordinary costs of the project apart from staff salaries
and project development.
CONNEXIONS has identified well over three hundred social change
organizations, networks and individuals in Canada and has provided
almost 1000 summaries of their work. Most of these groups are virtually
unknown to the general public and many are not known by social activists
outside their own region. Organizations have begun to recognise
they can turn to CONNEXIONS to find resources for responding to
new issues they must face or to find support for their own on-going
ventures, Regular readers are gaining new insights into the structures
of oppression in Canada as gleaned from the experience of those
most directly affected. And there is a hopefulness apparent from
the imagination and dedication of those in every province (and the
territories) who are in fact standing up to and moving the immense
power of government and business.
CONNEXIONS believes the real power for humanizing society rests
with those who must struggle along at the bottom of the social strata.
But resistance is demanding and isolation can lead to tunnel-vision
and despair. Strength comes through clear forms of solidarity: a
solidarity which must begin with awareness of each other and of
what each struggles with. What CONNEXIONS
hopes for and what it is working to support is the strengthening
of those ties which weld the response into an informed, mutually
supportive and effective movement which will find ways to effect
fundamental, structural changes in our society at local, regional,
national and international levels.
Collective Members: Wally Brant, Joan Cowderoy, Margaret
Hughes, Wendy Hunt, Gwendolyn Jenkins, Roseann McInroy, Paul McKenna,
Larry Peterson, Dick Renshaw, Sam Serrano, Marie Tremblay, Terrance
John Lee, Montreal
Bryan Teixeira, Vancouver
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