Naomi Klein: The Montreal Massacre
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and #1 international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. In 2008 it won the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and is longlisted for the inaugural 2009 Warwick Prize for Writing (UK). The six minute companion film, created by Alfonso Cuaron, director of Children of Men, was an Official Selection of the 2007 Venice Biennale and Toronto International Film Festivals and was a viral phenomenon, downloaded over a million times.
Her first book No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies was also an international bestseller, translated into over 28 languages with more than a million copies in print. A collection of her work, Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate was published in 2002.
Naomi Klein writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s Magazine won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Also in 2004, she co-produced The Take with director Avi Lewis, a feature documentary about Argentina’s occupied factories. The film was an Official Selection of the Venice Biennale and won the Best Documentary Jury Prize at the American Film Institute’s Film Festival in Los Angeles. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia.
Naomi Klein: There was a moment where I became involved in politics as a university student, and that was . . . It was a moment that I think Americans won’t remember, but Canadians do, which it’s known as the “Montreal Massacre”. And it was a . . . It was a school shooting, but it was a very political school shooting. It happened . . . It happened at the University of Montreal, and I’m from Montreal so it affected me a lot. And I was in first year university, and it was a shooting at an engineering school by a man named Mark Lepine who had tried to get into this school but he hadn’t gotten in. And he decided it was because there was affirmative action for women, so he went into the engineering department and he separated the men from the women and said, “You’re all a bunch of fucking feminists,” and killed 14 women . . . just gunned them down. So this was an amazing political awakening for a lot of women because the politics were just so clear, and we felt really vulnerable as women in universities at that point. So up until then I had really decided, you know, I didn’t wanna be involved in activism and I didn’t wanna follow in my family’s footsteps. But that was like a wakeup call. Recorded on: 11/29/07
A critical moment in Canadian history pushed Klein into politics.
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