LET FREE EXPRESSION LIVE
We take for granted our right to express our opinions, but when a government denies funding to an artist or group because it doesn't like what they're saying, we learn how fragile that freedom really is. Canadian Artists for Civil Liberties, a project conceived by musician Nathan Lawr, launches at a benefit for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association on Saturday (December 1) at Lee's Palace (529 Bloor West). Hear Ohbijou, the Minotaurs and others, encouragement from activist Judy Rebick, spoken word by Dwayne Morgan and more. 9 pm. $18, advance $15. ticketmaster.ca.
STOP THE TRAFFIC IN PEOPLE
It happens below the radar, but the forced transport of people for the purpose of exploitation, and the use of fraud and deception for the same purpose, are alive and well in Canada. The forum Human Trafficking: What's Going On? looks at the sex trade and other forms of coerced migrant labour. It features Melissa Ditmore of the Sex Workers Project in New York City, migrant justice activist Harsha Walia, Analee Lepp of the Global Alliance against Trafficking in Women, and U of Hawaii migration expert Nandita Sharma. Friday (November 30), 7 pm. Free. Ryerson U, Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas West. ryerson.ca.
TOASTING GRASSY NARROWS
It's the longest-running blockade in Canadian history, the decade-long fight by the Grassy Narrows First Nation to protect its ancestral land. The community northeast of Kenora that fought mercury poisoning in the 70s continues to prevent the destruction of its way of life and the clear-cutting of the surrounding ecosystem. Celebrate 10 years of the blockade at a gathering Sunday (December 2), 2 to 6 pm, at Queen's Park, on the legislature's front lawn. Earth Justice Action hosts a sacred fire, speeches and snacks. Free. facebook.com/events/421077091292974.