HAT Forum
Sat July 23rd 2016
11 a.m. To 1 pm
519 Church Street Room tba or 304
Topic:Humanist perspectives on modern Turkey
Proposer: Jon Aldridge

--How does the failed coup d'état in Turkey on 15-16 July 2016 affect the prospects for secular institutions and citizens in the country?

--To what extent does Turkey's human-rights record, for instance imprisonment of journalists and judges, functionally undermine the country's official status as a democracy?

--What motives could have pushed the coup plotters in to action?

--How might instability in Turkey impact upon military actions in Syria and Iraq and the on-going refugee crisis?

--In what ways could other countries, including Canada, conduct foreign relations with Turkey in order to support constitutional democracy?

HAT Forum
Sat July 16th 2016
11 a.m. To 1 pm
519 Church Street Room tba or 304
Topic:"Black Lives Matter"
Proposer: Gary Higgins

Background:
* At this year's Gay Pride parade in Toronto, Black Lives Matter was invited, but held a sit-in protesting the participation of police contingents. After 30 minutes, the Pride organizers signed an agreement accepting BLM's demands, and the parade continued. This has been controversial. The organizer who signed the agreement subsequently resigned and disclaims the authority to speak for the organization.
* In Dallas last week, at a Black Lives Matter protest, a black ex-reservist shot and killed 5 police officers and injured many others, both white and black.

Questions:
1. If you were black, would you be involved in confrontational behaviour? Would you pull back from these situations?
2. What role do cameras (cellphones, dashcams, bodycams) have in these events?
3. The (black) police chief in Dallas has appealed to African-Americans to apply to join the police force. Would hiring more African-Americans help the situation?
4. In Toronto "carding" has been controversial. Overall, has it been beneficial?
5. In your own life have you experienced racism or reverse racism? What strategies do you have for dealing with it?
6. Does the promotion of our ‘ chosen-ness ‘,, our individualism, our ‘ group identity ‘; e.g., nationalism, skin color, religion, sex, wealth & class; sometimes go beyond pride, and bordering on the exclusion of others?
7. What do you think about driving around with a gun?
8. Discuss these statements/slogans: "Black Lives Matter!" "Blue Lives Matter!"

Some quotes to consider:
“ Tolerance is never sufficient,
Humanity must learn to love our differences “
-       Justin Trudeau, signing the guest book,  Auschwitz-birkenau state museum

“ So if you want to deal with this on the black side, you’ve got to teach your children to be respectful to the police, & you’ve got to teach your children that the real danger to them, 99 out of 100 times is other black kids who are going to kill them; that’s the way they’re gonna die”
-       Former new York city mayor Rudy Giulliani on the increasing violence between white cops and black citizens

"Never forget our common humanity “
-       Bertrand Russell

HAT Forum
Sat June 25th 2016
11 a.m. To 1 pm
OISE, 256 Bloor Street West Rm 8-201
Topic:"The Hounding of Vladimir Putin"
Proposer: Isobel Foot

Sometimes it seems the military class has to be constantly pushing for war with Russia. Constantly threatening.  One thing, it probably makes some people a lot of money!
In the Middle East, Russia is seen as the enemy when it supports the beleaguered Assad. We want him out - I’m not sure why it’s our business. In my opinion Putin has been sincere in trying to help that bleeding region.  We have a hard time to accept anything he does as good (e.g. dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons.
Now we’re being asked to build up NATO forces around Russia. The US and all are continually fomenting color revolutions and making war to challenge Russian influence.  They impose economic sanctions, rag about human rights.  Why?