Former MP Libby Davies’s autobiography Outside In (Between the Lines 2019) is excellent. Davies is the nearly 20 year veteran NDP MP for Vancouver’s downtown east side. Before becoming an MP, she cut her teeth on civic politics — and was elected 5 times as a municipal councillor in Vancouver. She and her late partner, Bruce Eriksen who was also a city councillor, waged many campaigns for improving rooming houses for the poor on Vancouver’s east side, to safe injection sites, to treatment facilities and much more. Davies’ position on Palestinian human rights and her push for the NDP to embrace what was right — not just what was expedient — was telling. She also evaluates people such as Jack Layton, Olivia Chow and even her interactions with prime ministers including Paul Martin and Stephen Harper — as well as other “big men” on Parliament Hill. Outside In is a book which makes you sit up and understand what’s right, but mostly what’s wrong with parlimentary politics. Davies is a force of nature — a person who has committed her life to social justice and to an ongoing battle against the rich and powerful. She writes convincingly and accurately about personal issues and political ones. The book is a breath of fresh air.
For a great romp, you want to watch What to Do in Case of Fire — a German film from 2002. Six anarchists who were serious East Berlin activists at the time of the tearing down of the wall — are thrown together once again, years later. The relationships among the six are sharply drawn and clever. Through a series of incidents, one more dangerous and provocative than the next — the anarchists go on a mission to show that though line between Left and Right might be blurring, there are some people still willing to fight the neoliberal regime. I got the DVD at the library– worth watching.