On March 23-24, 2019, more than 130 activists, academics, lawyers, and other community members gathered for a conference dedicated to deconstructing the myths of the 1969 criminal code reforms.
This two day event opened with an introduction by Gary Kinsman of the major critiques of 69 reforms (Anti-69 101), followed by a plenary session dedicated to evaluating the "Just Society" as outlined in the late 1960s by Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
This session was captured on video and has been published by the Anti-69 Network with permission from the speakers.
Fore more information, check out the Anti-69 FAQ.
- Gary Kinsman - Anti-69 101
- Laura Hall - "White Settler Homonationalism and the Roots of Heterosexist Patriarchy”
- Christo Aivalis - "P.E. Trudeau, the Just Society, and Attacks on Workers' Rights"
- Danielle Normandeau - "Disability and Resistance: Intersections of Disability in the 1969 Criminal Code Reform"
- Rinaldo Walcott - "The Black 1960s: Black Life after Sir George Williams & Other Stories of the Nation"
Gary Kinsman - "Anti-69 101"
Anti-69 101 explores the various critiques against the 1969 criminal code reforms. Gary Kinsman is a long-time queer liberation and anti-capitalist activist, author of The Regulation of Desire and co-author of The Canadian War on Queers, and member of the Anti-69 Network.
Laura Hall - "White Settler Homonationalism and the Roots of Heterosexist Patriarchy”
This presentation explores the implications of white-settler homonationalism in a Canadian-colonial context. White-settler homonationalism obscures the roots of settler and state colonialism as a heterosexist and patriarchal project. The focus on same-sex marriage and legislative change, as well as more recent activism around sex-ed curriculum repeal in Ontario, has shaped a movement that obscures the lives of Indigenous Two-Spirit people while failing to understand the roots of homophobia and heterosexist patriarchy in settler and state colonialism. For example, the AIDS crises as it impacts 2SLGBTQ/Indigenous folks including sex workers, survivors of trafficking, and those walking with addiction, are muted in the larger movement to address the crisis. Recent arrivals of LGBTQ refugees to the United States, now facing militarized opposition, also demand attention as the boundaries between colonial states continue to obscure Indigeneity among refugee populations and therefore the unique voices of those individuals. This presentation will situate homonationalism in the project of white-settler nationalism and encroachment on Indigenous lands and rights. My presentation will then present the antitheses to this problem, rooted in Indigenous concepts, conversations and worldview.
Laura Hall grew up on Anishinaabe territory in N'Swakamok (Sudbury), raised by a Mohawk mother and English/Canadian father. Laura's research emphasizes the importance of Indigenous Knowledge and the influences of Haudenosaunee knowledge in feminist, anarchist and environmental theories, with an emphasis on intersectionality and social and environmental justice.
Christo Aivalis - "P.E. Trudeau, the Just Society, and Attacks on Workers' Rights"
One of my book chapters explores the limits of the Just Society when it pertains to taxation and a guaranteed annual income. I also explore how some workers used the rhetoric of the Just Society to attack Trudeau on his hypocrisy and inaction on these core issues. But beyond this, my book goes into how Trudeau used both legislation and his public addresses to put forward a vision of society which deemed working-class expectations as unreasonable and decadent. He thus, throughout his time in power, used these means to attack unions and social programs under the idea that if Canada wanted to be lean, mean, and globally competitive, it had to become more friendly to employers and investors, and the benefits of this would eventually trickle down to the working people.
I will go over the 'highlights' of Trudeau's attacks on workers and the limitations of the Just Society.
Christo Aivalis is the author of The Constant Liberal: Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Organized Labour, and the Canadian Social Democratic Left.
Danielle Normandeau - "Disability and Resistance: Intersections of Disability in the 1969 Criminal Code Reform"
This paper employs a critical disability studies lens to identify and examine the ableist contours of the 1969 omnibus Criminal Code Reform bill. At first glance, it would appear that disability was not a point of focus for the reform, which claimed to decriminalize homosexuality, abortion, and contraception, while in actuality, re-criminalizing them upon new grounds. However, the discourses embedded in the bill are fundamentally rooted in ableism and saneism, and, much like those deployed in the White Paper, state multiculturalism, and “Just Society,” were directed towards the production of the normative white, male, cis, heterosexual, property-owning citizen, who is still at the heart of contemporary legislation—albeit in new ways. Ultimately, this paper demonstrates that a critical disability studies lens provides both a fruitful approach for analyzing the intersections of cis-heterosexism, settler colonialism, racism, and ableism underlying the bill, as well as a social justice framework for organizing across identifications to challenge these oppressive systems.
Danielle Normandeau is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. Their doctoral research more broadly resides in the fields of critical disability studies, Mad studies, critical trans studies, and social philosophy. They are also a member of the Anti-69 organizing committee.
Rinaldo Walcott - "The Black 1960s: Black Life after Sir George Williams & Other Stories of the Nation"
This paper puts the 1969 Criminal Code Reform in conversation with Black movements for liberation and their intersection in Canada. The paper grapples with unspoken and unaccounted for confluences of social movements and the resulting silences as well. The paper asks the question: what if the 1960s is read through Black Canada what might we learn, what might we have to rethink? The paper takes the Sir George Williams Affair (1968-69) as the starting point to offer a different account both theoretical and empirical of the (Black) 1960s in Canada.
Rinaldo Walcott is Professor, Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto. He is co-author with Idil Abdillahi of BlackLife: Post-BLM and the Struggle for Freedom (2019 ARP Books).
Video capture and editing by Tom Hooper