Stacey Gomez, Asaf Rashid, Jessica Tellez and Wanda Thomas explain how racist immigration policies keep migrant workers temporary. “In Nova Scotia, approximately 2000 migrant workers arrive each year through Temporary Foreign Worker Programs, to plant and harvest crops, and to process our agriculture, as well as seafood products. Abuse of migrant workers is rampant in Nova Scotia and across Canada. The recently released report Unheeded Warnings includes accounts from migrant workers in Nova Scotia about being coerced into speaking positively of their employers during a government inspection under threat of deportation. Other workers report having racist slurs used against them when they spoke out about poor conditions. We’ve also received reports of migrant workers being unlawfully prevented from leaving Nova Scotia farms.”

The current protests against police brutality and systemic racism are about more than individual misdeeds by racist cops. Calls for abolishing and defunding the police are entering the mainstream, indicating that people want the underlying systemic causes addressed. We talk with Errol Sharpe of Fernwood Publishing and Dr. Lynn Jones to understand what is new about the protests.

Letter: The state of emergency recently declared in Nova Scotia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic raises many concerns, in particular that Black, Indigenous, and other racialized peoples, people living in poverty, and homeless, the mentally ill, and other vulnerable groups will not be disproportionately targeted.. We must embrace this crisis as an opportunity to develop and implement practices that produce inclusive and equitable public health and safety practices,

Activist and poet Angela Bowden reflects on the urgent need to start talking about reparations to the Black community in Nova Scotia. “The evidence and framework for reparations is already embedded in the wisdom and trauma of our elders and our youth, we require all of you to get this job done,” she writes.

I had a great time at SMU last week, digging through box after box of newspaper clippings, minutes posters, and brochures related to well over forty years of civil rights, labour and social justice struggles here in Nova Scotia and beyond. Lynn Jones has scissors, and she isn’t afraid to use them. Eighteen boxes of documentation have found a home at the St Mary’s archives.