The McGill Daily: Vol. 112, Issue 15

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Volume 112, Issue 15 | Monday, January 23, 2023 | Mouth-to-mouth since 1911 Published by The Daily Publications Society, a student society of McGill University. The McGill Daily is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory.
2 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily Table of ConTenTs table of Contents 6 FEATURes Occupation at the New School Compendium! 11 Crossword! Horoscopes! 4 News SSMU General Assembly False Negative HIV Tests Editorial 3 Confronting Canada’s Opioid Crisis Culture 9 Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Guide to Secondhand Stores in Montreal

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le délit Leonard Smith

Confronting Canada’s Opioid Crisis

Between January 2016 and June 2022, a total of 32,632 opioid toxicity deaths were reported in Canada. While the opioid crisis was reported to be most severe in the provinces of BC, Alberta, and Ontario, Montreal has observed a 50 per cent increase in opioid-related deaths from 2019 to 2021. In addition, the pandemic exacerbated existing factors that contributed to a high opioid overdose rate such as an increasingly toxic and unpredictable drug supply, feelings of isolation, and a limited access to health and social services.

Opioids exist in both prescribed and illegal forms. Medical opioids, such as codeine, morphine, and oxycodone, are prescribed most often to treat pain.

The prescription of opioids in Canada has declined in recent years in an effort to reduce the harms associated with prescription opioid use. Still, Canada is one of the world’s largest consumers of prescription opioids.

High rates of opioid-related harm result from unregulated drugs that can be tainted with alternative substances without the user’s knowledge, leading to a high rate of overdoses and deaths. Fentanyl, for instance, is an especially insidious synthetic opioid that is nearly impossible to detect without a test kit. Fentanyl’s high potency is often able to exceed a habitual user’s tolerance of other opioids, such as morphine or heroin, when consuming a similar dosage.

The opioid crisis disproportionately affects Indigenous communities. While there is a lack of national statistical data, provincial data reveals the particular harm that Indigenous peoples face. Reports published by the governments of BC and Alberta in 2018 highlight that First Nations people were five times more likely than their non-First Nations counterparts to experience an opioid-related overdose and three times more likely to die from one. Despite composing 2.6 per cent of the total population in 2018, Indigenous peoples accounted for 10 per cent of overdose deaths. Furthermore, in Alberta, First Nations people were twice as likely to be dispensed an opioid as non-First Nations individuals, and they tended to be at least five years younger at the time the drug was dispensed. Mechanisms of ongoing colonial violence – including but not limited to the residential school system, poverty, child apprehension, and involvement in the child welfare system – increase vulnerability to drugrelated harms for Indigenous peoples. Health care in Canada fails to care for the needs of Indigenous patients, as demonstrated both by cultures of racism and discrimination as well as a lack of Indigenous-specific health initiatives. Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare noted, “governments need to correct the underfunding that has been occurring for years to make effective progress on addressing the overdose crisis in First

Nations communities.” Unhoused people – some 20 to 50 per cent of whom are Indigenous – are especially at increased risk of opioid-related harms.

From June to October 2020, Montreal saw a steep increase in opioid overdoses, as well as an increase in the number of interventions with naloxone – a drug that temporarily reverses an opioid-related overdose – by paramedics as compared to the summer of 2019. Jean-François Mary, executive director of the harm reduction organization CACTUS Montréal, told CBC that he doesn’t believe the province is taking the crisis seriously, advocating for greater support to drug users through decriminalization and increased regulation of opioids. In contrast, this past summer BC decriminalized the possession of up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamines, and MDMA. Montreal’s public health director, Dr. Mylène Drouin, has noted that decriminalization is also needed in Montreal. Drouin stated, “we believe that [decriminalization] could allow consumers to use drugs in much safer contexts and avoid all the prejudice associated with judicialization.” Drouin and Mayor Valérie Plante agree that Legault’s opposition to decriminalization goes against Montreal’s public interest. Louis Letellier de St-Just, an advocate with CACTUS Montréal, which offers a supervised injection site for drug users, also supports decriminalization. He noted that “it will lower the pressure on drug users. It will give us much more impact on services and help that we could give to drug users here in Montreal.”

The provincial and federal governments must adequately respond to the opioid crisis by decriminalizing drugs and ensuring safe supplies. Support Indigenousled organizations like the Black and Indigenous Harm Reduction Alliance, Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction, and the First Nations Health Authority promoting Indigenous-centred approaches to harm reduction. In Montreal, resources are available at organizations like ConsumAction, a McGill student-led organization that promotes safe drug use education and awareness. CACTUS Montréal, a community-based harm reduction organization, provides programs such as Checkpoint that provide free and confidential drug testing. Further, naloxone kits are available for free and without a prescription at any pharmacy. A step-by-step instructional video by the Montreal Gazette explains the physical signs that can indicate a potential opioid overdose, how to administer naloxone, and provides information on naloxone kits. Finally, attend naloxone training workshops to learn how to administer the drug in case you ever need to prevent an overdose. Check the Facebook page for McGill Nurses for Community Service for information on any future harm reduction and naloxone training workshops.

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Volume 112 Issue 15
All contents © 2018 Daily Publications Society. All rights reserved. The content of this newspaper is the responsibility of The McGill Daily and does not necessarily represent the views of McGill University. Products or companies advertised in this newspaper are not necessarily endorsed by Daily staff. Printed by Imprimerie Transcontinental Transmag. Anjou, Quebec. ISSN 1192-4608. EDITORIAL January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
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Published by the Daily Publications Society, a student society of McGill University. The views and opinions expressed in the Daily are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of McGill University.The McGill Daily is not affiliated with McGill University.

Low Attendance at SSMU GA Motion for Uyghur rights and McGill divestment from genocide moved to Council

content warning: genocide

On Monday, January 16 SSMU held its Winter 2023 General Assembly (GA) over zoom, in addition to being live streamed on Youtube. Yet, the ongoing issue of low engagement and participation in student affairs permeated the meeting. As was the case at the Fall General Assembly – which became the Fall Consultative Forum due to low attendance –the student attendance rate was far from what was necessary in order to reach quorum. Less than 30 students were present, thus failing to meet the 350 members required to meet a quorum.

Members of the GA started by raising the question of how to improve attendance and engagement and asked if there were any kinds of specific plans that were being put forward by SSMU. President Risann Wright responded that “plans include having a comprehensive communication [...] with online and virtual communication as well as posting around campus to promote the GA’s.”

The meeting continued with discussion of the Motion Regarding Uyghur Rights and the Uyghur Genocide Divestment, moved by Samuel Massey and seconded by Leo Larman Brown. This issue was also brought forward when SSMU hosted an event on Uyghur Rights along with the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project. McGill’s implications in the Uyghur Genocide were discussed by Kyle Matthews and MP Sameer Zuberi, amongst other pannelists. During the GA, the motion was presented by Samuel Macy as a “call for McGill to divest from the companies implicated in the Uyghur Genocide.” Responding to the recent report written with the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project concerning “McGill University’s Endowment Fund Complicity in Uyghur Genocide,” the motion moved is an attempt to expand the motion regarding the adoption of the divest for Human Rights Policy, which was voted to be approved back in the 2021 GA. The report states that out of its 1.9 billion dollar endowment fund, McGill invested more than 115 million dollars in 111 companies with potential implications in the Genocide of the Uyghur population in the Xinjiang region in China. In addition, the report categorized the different complicit companies

in which McGill invests, from “low complicity companies” to “medium complicity companies” to “High complicity companies.” The latter involves 26 companies, amongst which

“15 are partnered with the XPCC (Xinjiang Production and Construction Company), seven are reported to have participated in labour transfers, eight are reported to be involved with surveillance in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and six companies appear on U.S. sanctions lists.” The XPCC is under four different sanctions in the US because of its connection to serious human rights abuses, which reportedly include “mass arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse, among other serious abuses targeting Uyghurs” as indicated by the US Department of Treasury in a 2020 statement. It is also the only Chinese company to be sanctioned in Canada, under the Special Economic Measures Act. This short list includes companies such as Alibaba (in the textile industry), Tencent (in the tech and surveillance industry), and Daqo New Energy.

The members present at the GA expressed unanimous support for the motion. One member highlighted that “as a university and as members of our university we have the responsibility to make sure that the endowment fund goes towards good causes and not towards genocide.” Adding on to that, another member expressed that “human violations shouldn’t be sponsored by our endowment fund.” A few students expressed their concerns about the effectiveness of this motion and continued to draw attention to the lack of responsiveness from the McGill administration since the beginning of calls for divestment from harmful entities such as fossil fuel companies, or in this case, companies complicit in human rights abuses. One of the members recalled to the assembly that “we all know that for many years McGill has been ignoring everything that SSMU has been doing to divest from these companies.” To add on to this, a member spoke about the necessary caution SSMU needs to take when implementing this kind of motion since “there is a slim possibility that McGill may have a similar reaction to this as they did to the divest boycott and sanction motion which was successfully passed by referendum which resulted in McGill threatening SSMU’s existence.”In response to the comments made by attendees,

Larman Brown underlined that the “difference with [their] movement was that there is broad political support for divestment from investments in [the genocide in] China.” Indeed, the matter has been taken to the Canadian Parliament, and numerous companies related to the Uyghur genocide are on Canada’s sanctions list. He added that “this is the first step in our long process, we [have] research to back us and we are looking to bring this right to the center of the administration.”

As indicated in the motion, once adopted, it “would clarify SSMU’s commitments to solidarity with the victims of human rights abuses by establishing a well-defined set of criteria for divestment from entities tied to human rights abuses against Uyghurs.”

After the statements, the motion was voted unanimously with 28 in favour. However, 28 is far from the 350 needed to reach quorum and therefore the meeting was established as a consultative forum. Subequently, on Thursday, January 19, the motion regarding Uyghur Rights and Uyghur genocide divestment was presented to the Legislative Council, and was passed with 17 votes in favour, one vote against and no abstentions. Some concerns were raised during the session about postponing the motion in order to wait and have the approval of the student body. Thus, the motion will be presented to the next Administrative Council. While it was not passed through direct democracy, it will retain the same legislative power as if it had been passed during the GA.

When the Daily asked Larman Brown about the next steps of this new initiative that is part of the “clean universities campaign,” started in collaboration with URAP, he mentioned the continuation of research especially concerning the “division of investments between mutual funds and direct investments,” and emphasized the “need to raise more awareness.” Most importantly, he highlighted the fact that the movement “doesn’t want to alienate [themselves] from the McGill administration” and that it is most important to establish a “dialogue with the McGill administration.”

Monday’s GA continued with the Report of the Board of Directors presented by President Wright, followed by the Reports of the executives. Wright highlighted the work on the

Equity Diversity and Inclusion working group policy audit, a new Sustainable Development Goals policy draft which is scheduled to be released soon. They have also been working on different advocacy and representation campaigns including an initiative around housing and accommodations. In addition, the SSMU External Affairs is developing a permanent grocery program to aid students.

Overall, student engagement during GA’s gives students the opportunity to bring forward motions and amendments that they feel are important. Furthermore, when successfully ratified, a motion can have greater symbolic significance because it is the result of direct democracy and therefore could be more convincing to the administration — specially for motions such as the one presented on Monday. As one student mentioned during the GA, “it is our duty as a Canadian and International

News 4 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
university to pass this motion.”
One member highlighted that “as a university and as members of our university we have the responsibility to make sure that the endowment fund goes towards good causes and not genocide.”
Rasha Hamade | Illustrations Contributor

HIV Tests Recalled from Montreal

9,000 patients could have received false negatives

This past December, CTV News Montreal reported that the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) had identified approximately 9,000 patients who might have received false negatives from recalled HIV tests. Although it is “extremely unlikely” that any false negative tests will be discovered,

spokesperson Gilda Salomone told the Montreal Gazette, it was “theoretically possible” that a patient tested in an early stage of HIV infection (i.e., within the first two to three weeks after infection) could have obtained a false negative result.

Between December 2021 and September 2022, around 9,000 HIV tests were analyzed using a chemical reagent manufactured by Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, an in vitro diagnostics company. According to the MUHC, the company was forced to recall the reagent on September 2, 2022 after another laboratory in Canada reported a discrepancy during a routine evaluation.

In a statement to CTV News, spokesperson Sandrine Pelletier of the MUHC described “a problem with one of the components” in two batches of the Ortho Clinical tests distributed across Quebec and Canada, but she noted that “the component of the test that detects established infection,” meaning antibodies against HIV, was not affected.

The laboratories that conducted the analyses between December 2021 and September 2022, which include St. Mary’s Hospital and Lakeshore General Hospital, are overseen by Optilab Montreal-MUHC.

The MUHC has not been able to provide a complete list of the clinics, doctor’s offices, or hospitals from which patient samples might have been taken before they were sent to the labs. At the time of writing, the only location from which patient samples have been confirmed is Lasalle Hospital.

Once the recall was issued, the MUHC says it notified Quebec’s Ministry of Health, but neither

organization announced the news to the public. The MUHC decided instead to send letters to patients’ doctors, but these letters were not received until December – a full three months after the recall.

One woman wrote to CTV News to express her frustration: “I’m furious. I’m absolutely livid about this whole thing. Thank God I’m all right, but there are 8,999 other people walking around who may or may not have HIV, and that’s concerning.” This woman was able to get retested, but she says she doubts “that they have been able to reach all 9,000 people before and during the holidays to warn them.”

Dr. Rejean Thomas of the clinic L’Actuel, which specializes in the treatment and prevention of HIV, was similarly distressed by the MUHC’s delay: “For me, it’s completely insufficient, unethical for a disease as severe as HIV is.” Now matter how low the risk of a false negative, he told CTV News that the recall

should have been communicated to the public immediately.

“It’s a very serious diagnosis,” Dr. Thomas explained. “You could infect many other persons believing that you are HIV negative.”

According to Quebec’s Ministry of Health, some samples from the Ortho Clinical tests have yielded false negative results. The supplier has assured users, however, that false negatives have been reported only “very rarely” and that “the offending batches are no longer in use.

The state of HIV testing in Canada

Last August, at the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, the Canadian government announced a $17.9-million investment to increase access to HIV testing in remote communities and among hard-to-reach populations. Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the government would put $8 million toward the distribution of self-testing kits, which can be acquired anonymously and used at home, and $9.9 million toward expanding HIV testing in remote and isolated communities.

Meeting the needs of Indigenous peoples either living with HIV or at risk of HIV is a priority for advocates. Although Indigenous peoples represent just five per cent of Canada’s total population, they accounted for one in ten HIV infections in 2018. Studies from Ontario have found that Indigenous peoples living with HIV tend to be diagnosed later and that stigma and discrimination inhibit ease of access to services for Indigenous peoples.

However, the government’s announcement did not meet the expectations of some advocates and health care professionals who focus on HIV/AIDS.

Jody Jollimore, the executive director of the CommunityBased Research Centre, a Vancouver-based organization that works to promote the health of people of diverse genders and sexualities, told reporters at a news conference that “this was not what we were hoping for.” Jollimore’s organization is part of a coalition of community groups calling on the federal government to increase funding for HIV from around $73 million per year to $100 million per year.

“Communities affected by HIV continue to face stigma and discrimination that put us at an

elevated risk of HIV infection and act as a barrier to testing treatment and care,” Jollimore said. He also noted that access to prevention tools such as preexposure prophylaxis, which can reduce the risk of contracting HIV from sex by about 99 per cent and from drug injection by about 74 per cent, remains inconsistent across Canada.

Advocates have also raised concerns that Canada’s health care facilities and long-term care homes are not equipped to treat older adults living with HIV. In an email to CTV News, Ken Miller, the executive director of the Canadian AIDS Society, explained that medical staff “are not being trained properly in the complexities of caring for people living with HIV,” while support workers “are usually trained even less.”

At AIDS 2022, the International Coalition of Older People with HIV announced ten calls to action to increase the lifespan and quality of life for older adults living with HIV. Their priorities include lowbarrier access to care, healthy living conditions, targeted research and empowerment, combatting ageism, and considering sexual health a part of overall health.

news 5 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
“[T]here are 8,999 other people walking around who may or may not have HIV, and that’s concerning.”
- CTV News
Genevieve Quinn | Photos Editor

Student Occupation at The New School Occupiers found the “One New School Coalition”

Part 1: The Occupation Begins

On November 16, the parttime faculty union of The New School in New York City went on strike to advocate for increased compensation and protection of benefits. Classes were cancelled over the three-and-a-half-week strike, as part-time, untenured professors make up almost 90 per cent of the university’s faculty. Twenty-two days into the strike, students from The New School announced their occupation of the University Center building on the picket line.

During the strike, some students reached out to the group Student Faculty Solidarity (SFS), which had been coordinating student support for the strike, and raised the idea of an occupation. “The actual heavy lifting work of figuring out how it would look happened about two days before” Sam*, one of the students who approached SFS, said in an interview with the Daily . “As soon as [the occupation] started, it was a matter of, well, now it’s not up to us because we’re just the catalyst for this in a sense. We were

occupation of the New School cafeteria explained that during that occupation students held a general assembly every evening. Sam recalls: “I remember thinking, ‘oh, that’s like … crazy’ or something. But cut to now – we had like two [general assemblies] every day for nine days. Some of them lasted like six hours plus.”

shocked by the turnout.” Sam estimates that on the first night, approximately 100 students slept over, and over the nine days of the occupation, upwards of 1,000 students interacted with the occupation in one way or another.

The organizational practices of the occupation coalesced spontaneously, but they were informed by years of precedent. The New School has been the target of four previous student occupations since the first in 2008. “It kind of just happened,

to be honest” said Sam. “The planning really went up to the point of going inside the building, and like the first hour inside. We were like, ‘this is the thing that we will figure out when we walk inside.’” Sam remembered that when they first went inside the University Center which they would be occupying, someone who had participated in previous occupations at the school asked, “When is general assembly?” Sam’s friend, who had participated in the 2018

It was during one of these assemblies, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9, that demands were proposed and discussed. The occupiers discussed one demand at a time until they reached a consensus. Then, at 11:00 p.m. the following Saturday, it was announced that the union and the administration had reached a tentative agreement, and the strike ended. “It was a very charged night,” said Sam. “The evening of getting the call and talking to the union people was very emotional and really complicated because it was a matter of feeling like we lost a really big moment to change a lot of things because it was already being resolved.”

A new, longer list of demands was finalized at 6:00 a.m. the next day. These demands reflected the changing situation now that the strike had come to a close.

“We’re now in a situation where the students have grievances,” Kirk Anderson, a student at the New School, said in an interview with the Daily . “Their semester has been completely steamrolled. They’re really appalled by the university’s behavior. That stage of the occupation really became about students building community across campus, stepping up into leadership roles, and addressing some of the more systemic issues of the school.” These new demands encompassed immediate concerns like an updated grading policy for the semester of the strike, deadline extensions, a tuition and fee freeze, and more. There were also demands targeting structural issues like increased financial transparency; the resignation of the President, Provost, and Vice President; and the disbandment of the Board of Trustees. “We acknowledge that we need a board of trustees,” said Anderson. “We acknowledge that those trustees need to include wealthy investors. But we would prefer that those wealthy investors be vetted by the larger New School community. Ideally, they would be involved in education, and they couldn’t just

be appointed or bought in – that the New School community could say, ‘no, we don’t like that person, get them out.’” Concerning increased transparency from the administration, Anderson commented: “We want meetings

features 6 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
Maya Pack Features Contributor
“[The students were] really appalled by the university’s behavior. That stage of the occupation really became about students building community across campus, stepping up into leadership roles, and addressing some of the more systemic issues of the school.”
– Kirk Anderson
“We acknowledge that those trustees need to include wealthy investors. But we would prefer that those wealthy investors be vetted by the larger New School community.”
– Kirk Anderson

between students and leadership to be accessible to everyone and not be behind closed doors. And we want financial transparency and for the larger community to be involved in creating the budget and managing the budget.” Regarding upper administration, Anderson said: “President, provost, and vice president of operations would be elected by the community. It’s not necessarily pulling apart all leadership and administration and replacing it with a student governing body. But we want the community to be able to vote on who gets put in those positions and be able to recall them or reschedule that appointment.”

On Monday, December 12, occupiers held a vote of no confidence for the current administration and the Board of Trustees. Anderson estimates that roughly 500 people attended the event where the vote was held. This number included students, staff, faculty, alumni, and parents. The vote coincided with the founding of the “One New School Coalition.”

“This vote, the successful founding act of this coalition, expresses that we have no confidence in this current administration and the trustees. We rather have confidence in ourselves as ONE NEW SCHOOL to continue the fight for returning the university to community self-governance,” reads the One New School website. Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and parents participated in the vote, whic produced a result of 421 for and ten against.

“I think the way it operates now, it’s not an organization, it’s the school” said Sam. “It’s everyone who’s not an admin and who has a stake in this. It doesn’t really have clearly defined borders, and different people take it up and do things with it.”

“We’re still very much in the beginning of everything,” said Sam. “So it’s a matter of also figuring out what [One New School] looks like, and if it will dissolve very quickly because it

sometimes we go way off the map. And we’re there for that too, right?” Medeiros said. “There’s not a lot of places where you can walk in off the street, be handed a plate of food, and a microphone.”

served its purpose, or if it will solidify into what school will end up becoming.”

Part 2: Community and Solidarity

The occupation did not only consist of the general assemblies. Between these, occupiers were holding a variety of events, including musical performances, reading groups, panels, lectures from New School professors arranged by the graduate students of the New School for Social Research, visits from other New York City-based student activists groups, and more. “There were always more things happening than I knew were happening,”

AJ Medeiros, a student at the New School, said in an interview with the Daily . Even though they had been among the the original planners of the occupation, they noted that “all of a sudden there’s like five things happening on the same day, at the same time, that I did not even know about.”

“It was cool because you really got this spirit of not needing to know anything to pull up into those spaces, and you really can just walk right in off the street,” said Medeiros. “This is, again, the advantage of the horizontal consensus model – everyone’s on the same page. We’re like, ‘yeah, no, we want you here. We’re going to let you in.’”

Medeiros talked about other advantages of a horizontal model – in which participants make decisions together without establishing an organizational hierarchy – describing how the fact that anyone with questions about the occupation and its objectives could have the opportunity to speak and could receive better answers to their questions: “The fact that it’s a more open space for communication allows those questions to get answered in a more full way.”

“It’s not really often, even in a seminar space, that you get as much space as you need to say what you need to say, and

“There were so many people from different schools that everyone was kind of using their thing to do some stuff,” Sebastian Johnson, a recent graduate of the New School’s Jazz program, said in an interview with the Daily Like McGill, The New School is organized into multiple colleges and schools (the equivalent of faculties), and according to Johnson, there is not usually much cross-interaction between students in different schools.

“Most people are always just like, man, it’s really weird how there’s no community at [The New School],” said Johnson. He said many people realized for the first time that they were not unique in the fact that they did not know people from other schools. “Then [the occupation] pulled us all together. So there was a lot of cross interaction, and then that illuminated a ton about how [The New School] works because you really only had a good analysis of your own program and you really didn’t know of the school as a whole, or of other programs, and you suddenly got that.”

This new understanding between different segments of the school was not restricted to the student population. According to Johnson, most students rejected the idea that it was their professors’ fault that they were out of class for weeks: “Students deciding to go and support the faculty was a big shift in development of consciousness for a lot of us. All the faculty were always super surprised. They kept talking

about how supportive students were,” said Johnson. “Support was really strong. And so I think when the strike ended, people participating already had this consciousness that there was this kind of solidarity. Anti-upper administration [sentiment] at New School is so high right now.”

Johnson said that previously everyone had been complaining about their own problems with the administration and that, after, people came to understand how their issues were entwined with those of others at the university.

“Suddenly it was like all students were exposed to what part-time faculty were dealing with and they were aware of what they were dealing with. And it just was kind of this realization that it was a shared issue, shared struggle.” When it came time to determine how the occupation would move forward, and after participants formed the One New School – which is meant to represent all non-administrative segments of the school instead of just the students – it did not feel like a strange concept. “I think that we were already all primed to be like, there has to be faculty student connection

and solidarity because it was just already on our minds.”

Part 3: Student Space and Self-Reliance

The One New School’s founding statement reads: “The One New School Coalition — at its founding on December 12, 2022, amid increasing global labor mobilization — wishes to affirm confidence in ourselves, in each other, rather than the current University Leadership, and to bind us into an active political body, and to hold ourselves accountable for continuing the emergent struggle for a renewed, more just New School.”

Occupiers felt that “holding themselves accountable” meant more than just expressing a lack of confidence in the administration. It also meant creating spaces that the university’s leadership – for one reason or another – was not creating. In this process, there was a general focus on community building, education, and accessibility.

Johnson said that the goal of the occupation was to “make a

features 7 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
“It’s not necessarily pulling apart all leadership and administration and replacing it with a studentgoverning body. But we want the community to be able to vote on who gets put in those positions and be able to recall them or reschedule that appointment.”
– Kirk Anderson
“[...] all students were exposed to what part-time faculty were dealing with and they were aware of what they were dealing with. And it just was kind of this realization that it was a shared issue, shared struggle.”
– Sebastian Johnson
Genevieve Quinn| Photo Editor

space which is way better than the space the university made” so that occupiers could communicate to the The New School (TNS) community: “‘Hey, look, we just made an amazing space with free food and community and teaching events and actually getting to talk to the crazy professors who teach here. We made that here and you can come and see it. The university can’t do that, but we can do that.” He said that rather than a purely subversive or disruptive action, the occupation became “almost the opposite.” He said many of the occupiers’ attitudes towards the administration was: “‘Okay, we’re just going to ignore you, and we’re going to use the space to just do something better here. Even though we don’t have the administrative power, we’re going to find ways that we can do stuff better or do our own thing here, with the goal of having people come to us because we’re doing it and you’re not.”

Making this kind of space within the occupation involved a lot of considerations. Medeiros talked about an increased level of community, openness, and consensus among students, as well as practical concerns like accommodations for disabled students. They explained that many disabled students who felt shortchanged by the university’s disability services led an effort to commit the occupation to greater inclusivity. This involved creating sensory rooms and establishing the practice of using hand signals to show agreement instead of clapping at occupation meetings.

Another important consideration was food accessibility. Free food was provided to occupiers through individual donations and funds from the student senate. Johnson explained how the focus on food accessibility tied into the larger problem of a lack of “spaces for community” at TNS. He described how the cafeteria in the University Center was really only used by students living in dorms, who are required to be on the meal plan, because it is prohibitively expensive. “The cafeteria should be [a space for community], but it’s not

because nobody can go there.”

“We don’t have student spaces,” said Medeiros. “The only comparable [student space] –and it is not comparable – is the underground box that is like, the people of color students space, right? No one even knows that’s there.” Medeiros thinks the lack of space is caused by infrastructure and the fact that the school is located in downtown Manhattan.

“Maybe a walkway between two buildings is the closest thing we have to a place to sit down and not be either in a classroom or on the sidewalk. Right? We can’t even sit on the stoops. Even that’s technically illegal.” They said students get so accustomed to the lack of space caused by infrastructure that they stop looking for spaces to call their own and assume they will not find any. “It becomes internal and we

walk around with it. So even though it’s in the infrastructure, nobody thinks to maybe just turn any stair set into a place to hang out. Because it’s not something we’re thinking about as an option. We’re not thinking about the spaces [in the university] as ours even though we pay for them out of pocket.”

When asked if they believe it’s the TNS administration’s responsibility to provide those student spaces, they said: “Yes, it’s their responsibility, but will it be their work? Maybe not.” They pointed out that in some cases the administration should handle these issues – specifically requesting that the POC space be moved above ground – but they also emphasized the importance of students leading the charge on determining the spaces they need. “We can’t necessarily rely on upper leadership to understand the type of spaces that we need to get together in. I think there’s a lot of willingness to negotiate between student-led power and infrastructural moves from the administration. And I think a lot of those [negotiations] could be done by now, actually.”

The idea that the nonadministrative TNS community can begin to achieve a new version of the university without waiting for the administration to enact change shaped the culture of the occupation, and it is also shaping future plans.

“One New School will now start conducting school like we believe school should be conducted,” said Sam. “That means making participatory processes for decision-making in classes, in entire departments, student and faculty involvement in curriculum building, transforming what the pedagogical structure looks like and

where and how and what it means to do things.” The occupation demands, said Sam, to serve as a signal for how this process can begin, a “horizon of what we want the university to be.” While some of the document demands concessions from administration, “some of it is signalling to particular people in those positions to actually conduct those things, to do those things.” An example is the grading policy demand, which Anderson said initiated a process in which students and the part-time faculty union communicated with professors to encourage them to adopt the grading policy proposed by students. Of course, not every professor agreed, but many of them did.


As of now, the students feel that the occupation was a success, especially in raising consciousness, building a sense of community and solidarity between different parts of the university, instilling faith in their own potential, and creating a vision for a version of the New School that is more responsive to the needs of the community.

Medeiros described the experiece of having first-year students approach them to talk about the sense of community they felt at the occupation. “I never felt any semblance of community other than the ten people I know, at any point up until now. And I’ve been here for four years.” said Medeiros. “So that really touched me because I was like, ‘right, we’re also just trying to make a more complete life here.’”

Of their time at the occupation, Medeiros said: “I didn’t intend to enjoy being a student so much. I

like the idea of being an educator. If we made this sustainable, if this could be an actual way to live a life, I would love to be here.”

“It was more of an educational experience than I’ve gotten in four years of jazz school,” said Anderson. “I was put in a community where I was learning more and meeting more people and having the kind of university experience that is idealized when you imagine what it’s going to be like going to college, or when colleges tell you what it’s going to be like to come to their school. This is the ideal times ten. It was really overwhelmingly positive, and it’s such a stark contrast to the actual lived experience and reality of what it’s like to be at the university. And we made it happen without the administration. We used their building and that was it.”

He added: “I think whatever campus you’re at, there are way more opportunities for students to be involved, for students to come together. Maybe it’s true that it takes some kind of catalytic event like a strike or an occupation for that much involvement to happen, but there’s potential there that’s not being accessed. I think most schools have a student senate probably, but I think also most schools would acknowledge – like our school – that the student senate is kind of symbolic and they don’t really represent the needs and the desires of the student body, at least in a diverse sense. So there can be more participation and perhaps that’s a way to start. For me, it got the wheels turning of, like, ‘oh, it could be different. It doesn’t have to be this way.’”

*This name has been anonymized.

Features 8 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
“[...] many of the occupiers’ attitudes towards the administration was: “‘Okay, we’re just going to ignore you, and we’re going to use the space to just do something better here. Even though we don’t have the administrative power, we’re going to find ways that we can do stuff better or do our own thing here.”
– AJ Medeiros
Genevieve Quinn| Photo Editor

What Makes a ‘Real’ Boy?

The Implications of Obedience in Guillermo del Toro’s Fascist Pinocchio

Spoiler warning

Most of us were probably introduced to the charming wooden boy with an extendable nose in Walt Disney’s 1940 animated classic. A lonely old woodcarver wishes on a star for one of his puppets to come to life and the ensuing trials and tribulations that await Pinocchio determine his fate. If this puppet, Pinocchio, follows the rules, listens to his father, and behaves as a good boy should, he will be rewarded with a body of flesh and blood. Should he misbehave, his limbs will remain wooden and stiff forever. This version of Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s tale follows the original didactic tone to a tee. Obedient children are rewarded while rebellious children are punished.

Guillermo del Toro’s 2022 Pinocchio turns this moral on its head. The opening scenes revealing the idyllic Italian countryside are marred by uniformed Podestà roaming the streets. Swooping aerial shots of antique buildings and ancient Roman ruins are peppered with propaganda posters. This adaptation of Pinocchio does not take place in a distant, faraway land of fairy tales; it is grounded in the chilling reality of fascist

Italy in the 1930s and ’40s. Del Toro’s decision to anchor Pinocchio in this setting changes the message and tone of the entire story. For how can we celebrate the original moral of obedience in a world defined by authoritarianism?

Del Toro casts a shroud of doubt over the tradition of rewarding “good” children and punishing “bad” children. His Pinocchio behaves much in the same way as his Disney and literary counterpart: boisterously handling Gepetto’s belongings, running away from school, and prioritizing fun and play over obeying the will of adults.

Traditional iterations of this story frame Pinocchio’s actions as reprehensible and his selfish, childlike urges as something that he must overcome. Del Toro’s tale paints Pinocchio in a different light: in an interview with the BBC, del Toro stated, “I really wanted to make a disobedient Pinocchio, and make disobedience a virtue.”

In a world under the influence of surveillance, violence, and compulsory loyalty, Pinocchio’s naïvety provides a breath of fresh air. Del Toro highlights this positive take on Pinocchio’s “flaws” through juxtaposition with the Podestà’s son, Candlewick. The two boys are set up as foils of one another, as Candlewick desperately attempts to become the perfect,

obedient Italian soldier at every turn, while Pinocchio marches to the beat of his own drum and only follows the rules he deems most appealing. If the moral of Carlo Collodi’s original tale were applied to the pair, one would assume that Candlewick, the obedient boy, should be rewarded, while Pinocchio, the naughty boy, should be punished. Yet in one of Pinocchio’s most

that mirrors the ideology they have imposed on his outer self, Pinocchio’s rebellious spirit cannot be broken. Instead, del Toro frames the pressure to acquiesce to the wishes of adults as a stifling, oppressive force. In this Pinocchio, the concept of obedience is magnified to a national scale to the point where it is made equivalent to the mindless cruelty of fascism. This theme

Viewers are encouraged to strip away their ideas of the rules and laws that govern our world and instead immerse themselves in a setting as boundless and disobedient as Pinocchio himself.

heartbreaking scenes, the fates of the boys are reversed. Despite his tireless adherence to the rules, Candlewick wins the approval of neither his father nor his nation, and dies a pointless death in an Allied air strike. Pinocchio survives. What did del Toro intend with this storyline? In his BBC interview, del Toro speaks on his goal to celebrate Pinocchio’s childish nature:

“I wanted everybody to change but him. As the movie progresses, the cricket learns from Pinocchio, and Pinocchio learns very little from the cricket. I was being contrarian in a way, but it was more truthful to what I felt as a kid. I felt all this domestication was daunting and scary.”

Perhaps the most disturbing representation of such domestication is Pinocchio’s forced indoctrination into fascism. After the puppetmaster Count Volpe learns of Pinocchio’s desire to be seen as a “good” boy by Gepetto, he forces Pinocchio to perform skits propagandizing Mussolini’s regime. Volpe and the Podestà both interpret the rigid indestructability of Pinocchio’s wooden frame as emblematic of Italy’s nationalist persona. When the Podestà recruits Pinocchio into the military, it is with the assumption that he will be the perfect soldier. No matter how many times Pinocchio is killed in battle, his wooden body will always reanimate.

Although the adults of del Toro’s world attempt to morph Pinocchio’s inner self into one

is not isolated in del Toro’s repertoire. His other two most critically acclaimed works, Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and The Shape of Water (2017) both feature main characters defined by their childlike innocence whose free spirits are stifled at the hands of fascist forces.

Del Toro’s films frequently grapple with what it means to be truly alive. In Pinocchio, he equates being alive with being childlike. Pinocchio is not granted life because he rejects disobedience but

motion, because I thought that way, the humans and [Pinocchio] exist in the same world. The most difficult element of design to solve in a Pinocchio movie is that Pinocchio and the humans need to feel like they belong in the same universe, and of course, the stop-motion solves everything.” This choice of medium requires that all the puppets, even the ones representing humans, be given life by the animators. The very making of the film mirrors the journey of the wooden boy himself. As a result, del Toro creates a world that visually equalizes all the characters, thereby drawing attention to the personal qualities that set Pinocchio apart rather than his physical differences. One of the most heart-wrenching scenes occurs when Pinocchio compares himself to the wooden crucifix that adorns the town church. Pinocchio gazes into the eyes of the audiences both inside and outside the film and asks, “He’s made of wood, too. Why does everyone like him, not me?”

The crux of del Toro’s Pinocchio centres on the question of whether or not it is always right to teach children obedience. Carlo Collodi’s original tale and Walt Disney’s famous adaptation both indicate that this is the case.

because he embraces it. The stop-motion medium of the film adds to this idea that life begins where rules lose their power. The impossible movements of the puppets, the sheer breadth of their expressions, and the exaggerated lines of their character designs create a world that resembles our own – but with a fantastical twist. Viewers are encouraged to strip away their ideas of the rules and laws that govern our world and instead immerse themselves in a setting as boundless and disobedient as Pinocchio himself.

In an interview with Polygon, del Toro explains, “The first idea I had when I was a kid was to do it in stop-

Good, obedient children are rewarded while bad, disobedient children are punished. The very transformation of Pinocchio from a wooden puppet to a real boy hinges on this moral. By positioning the story of Pinocchio in the midst of fascist Italy, however, del Toro pushes the concept of obedience to its extreme. In this version, Pinocchio cannot achieve life by following the rules and being a good boy. In del Toro’s story, to be curious about the world, to play without abandon, and to indulge in childish desires is to be truly alive. That is what makes a “real” boy.

culture 9 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
Olivia Shan | Managing Editor
Pinocchio is not granted life because he rejects disobedience but because he embraces it.

A Second Chance

A non-exhaustive list of Montreal’s secondhand hidden gems

Whether it be flea markets, vintage bazaars, thrift stores, or antique shops, Montreal is a city rich with options for secondhand clothing and items. Shopping secondhand is an excellent way to shop more sustainably. By opting to extend an item’s life rather than rendering it waste, we can minimize consumption of newly manufactured items that generate harmful environmental consequences. Plus, secondhand items typically cost less, and by purchasing them from the vendors listed below, you are supporting a small, local business. As a bonus, secondhand clothes and items are typically more unique, eclectic, and one-of-a-kind than new ones; no more of the same IKEA lamp or Uniqlo sweater that everyone else has!

So without further ado, the Daily presents a non-exhaustive guide to secondhand shopping around Montreal’s downtown and Plateau neighborhoods!

Bazar Vintage du Plateau : Hosted monthly, this bazaar boasts over 30 local vendors and is a great place to find eclectic vintage homeware, kitchenware, books, records, lighting, knicknacks, and just about any other item you can

think of. The event has no entrance fee, and it takes place from 10:00 to 5:30 on Saturdays, announced by the group’s Facebook page. It is located in the basement of Église Saint-Denis, across from the Laurier metro station in the heart of the Plateau. Many of the vendors are cash-only, so be sure to account for that when you go. Also keep in mind that organizers ask that you bring your own bag. Be sure to check out their next event coming up February 11.

Bazar Vintage Montreal : This is another pop-up style event. Organizers boast that you can find “the thousand and one” finds collected by the vintage and antique enthusiasts present. The event is hosted once a month over one weekend with over 35 vendors. It’s open on Saturdays from 9:00 to 4:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 4:00. These weekend events are often hosted at Église St. Jean Berchmans around the Rosemont neighbourhood. They also host smaller pop-ups on an irregular basis at different locations throughout the city. You can follow their Facebook page for details on future events.

Chaînon Magasin : Le Magasin du Chaînon, located at the intersection of St. Laurent and Marie-Anne in the Plateau, sells a multitude of donated clothing, furniture, and homeware at a very

affordable price. Furthermore, the store is run by the organization Le Chaînon, which provides women in need with safe accommodations, assistance, and support. Revenue from Le Chaînon is the main source of income for this organization’s operations. They are also accepting donations of gently-used items in excellent condition. All you have to do is drop them off at their donation reception at the back of the store on St. Dominique.

La Boutique des Petits Frères: This boutique is located on the corner of Gilford and Garnier, near avenue Mont-Royal. The store boasts “treasures at friendly prices,” including clothing, shoes, jewellery, accessories, books, records, and more. The upstairs section is particularly fantastic for finding antique home items and furniture at a great price! Proceeds of the store go towards the organization Les Petits Frères, which aims to support single elderly folks living in Quebec. You can also donate your used items at their collection box located outside the store.

Vintage Parc : This antique store in the Plateau boasts beautiful secondhand antique furniture. Most of their items are higher-end antiques, with genuine vintage pieces in art deco and mid-century styles. While

many of these pieces tend to be more expensive, certain items go on sale for reasonable prices, and in my experience, the owner is generally open to negotiation and cutting a deal where he sees fit. Plus, delivery is offered for a nominal additional price for larger items.

Arté: Located in Griffintown, Arté is a depot where locals leave their unwanted wares. A spot frequented by artists, sculptors, and prop and set designers, the space can be intimidating at first, but it’s full of vintage accessories,

furniture, and knicknacks. There are a range of price points for items, but sellers are generally open to negotiation.

Facebook Marketplace: Looking for a specific item? Looking for a good deal? Looking to pick up an item within walking distance? When in doubt, Facebook Marketplace is the place to go. The search tool on Marketplace is great for finding that one specific item that you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying new. There are some things you just don’t want to spend time hunting down in the thrift store – like a keyboard, an essential oil diffuser, or an S.A.D. therapy lamp. It’s a great platform for individual sellers, so you know that the money goes directly into their pocket. Plus, if you’re looking to resell your items, it’s a great way to ensure they get a second life. There are many buyers and sellers around the Plateau, Milton-Parc, and downtown areas in general due to their high student populations. Milton-Parc and the Plateau on May 1 : Foraging the sidewalks of Montreal’s student neighbourhoods on moving day is one of my personal favourite ways to accumulate gently-used items – and it’s completely free! Just be sure that items are sanitary. Happy scavenging!

culture 10 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
By opting to extend an item’s life rather than rendering it waste, we can minimize consumption of newly manufactured items that generate harmful environmental consequences.
Sarina Gupta | Photos Contributor



5. Russian figure skater Valieva accused of doping in


7. DQ treat

9. No one is the same shape

10. American word for 30-across

11. Sweet romantic gift

12. Romantic mo.

15. Frozen weapon without evidence

16. Give the _____ shoulder

17. 1998 Olympic figure skating medalist Kwan.

18. Compass dirreción

20. Olympic Gold Champion Nathan Chen said:

“figure skating is a _____ dominated sport”

23. Popular QC ski destination

24. Popular US ski destination

27. Hockey player’s essentials

30. Hat for low temperatures

31. Nickname for the Canadiens

32. Popular fur lined boots

33. Thick furred dog


1. BC popular ski destination

2. Outdoor clothing brand.

3. Famous poet Robert

4. “Froid” au Québec

6. Early morning winter-y vehicle

7. “Im cold right now”

8. Hit song by rapper SaWeetie

13. Montreal Ice Hub

14. Musical artist with a chilly name

15. Montreal outdoor winter music festival

19. Ice on a wrist

21. The last sign of winter

22. UNIQLO winter line

25. Often improvised with a lunch tray by students

26. 2021/2022 NHL MVP Matthews

28. Maple _____

29. Car window inconvenience

Compendium! 11 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily

Aries (Mar 21Apr 19)

In: cabbage rolls

OuT: tinder dates


Taurus (Apr 20May 20)

Gemini (May 21Jun 20)

In: clamato

OuT: rare meats

In: tea with biscuits

OuT: not doing the dishes

Cancer (Jun 21Jul 22)

In: disco music

OuT: brad pitt

In: pomelo

Libra (Sept 23Oct 22)

OuT: wallowing

Capricorn (Dec 22Jan 19)

In: taking naps

OuT: espresso martinis

Leo (Jul 23Aug 22)

In: colorful eyeshadow

OuT: anything “kafkaesque”

Virgo (Aug 23Sept 22)

In: ice skating in parc la fontaine

OuT: skipping class

Scorpio (Oct 23Nov 21)

In: getting enough sleep

OuT: lactose intolerance

Aquarius (Jan 20Feb 18)

Sagittarius (Nov 22Dec 21)

In: reading on the bus

OuT: business casual

Pisces (Feb 19Mar 20)

In: meet cutes

OuT: oatmeal

In: washing your bedsheets

OuT: energy drinks

last’s week crossword answers!

compendium! 12 January 23, 2023 | The McGill Daily
1. carrell 2. centineo 3. rudd 4. paul 5. twain 8. shakur 9. harris 12. crenshaw 15. craig across: 5. trudeau 6. rupaul 7. dali 9. holland 10. lalonde 11. kardashian 13. kitt 14. coolidge 16. garfield