Articles Lists

Selected Topics


What is really destructive of the integrity of the group is a situation where one person or a handful of people are able to block the desires of the overwhelming majority. When such a situation arises - and it does frequently in consensus-model groups - it makes a mockery of the assertion that "consensus... allows each person equal and complete power in the group". On the contrary, in a situation where 100 people want to do something, and one person doesn't and refuses consensus, consensus ultimately hands over all the power to one person, and totally disempowers everyone else.
One Vote for Democracy

Direct Line - Photo by Ulli Diemer

Circumstances changed partly because people's consciousness changed. People who one day were sitting at home, politically passive, were suddenly in the streets in their thousands and then hundreds of thousands. Something happened in their consciousness - they suddenly felt it was possible. A mental burden lifted, they felt able to go out into the streets and started to believe change was possible. And because so many other people felt the same way it suddenly became possible. And in the course of a few months those regimes just toppled.
Interview - The overthrow of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe


Compilations & Resources

Words of Wisdom

  • If you expect to see the final results of your work you have not asked a big enough question.
  • – I.F. Stone


Like a routed army, battered by the defeats it has suffered in recent years, much of the left seems to be in wholesale retreat, indiscriminately abandoning not only the useless dogmas of Leninism and social democracy, but the principles and analytical tools it will need to re-group in the future.
Thinking About Self-Determination

The inefficient socialistic health care system sends him off for treatment within ten minutes - not too shabby, most of us might say - but it takes a lot more than efficiency and high-quality appropriate care to please a National Post columnist.
National Post columnist traumatized by having to wait his turn

Seven News articles by Ulli Diemer
A selection

Seven News was a community newspaper published in the east-of-downtown area of Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s. I was involved in Seven News from 1975 to 1984, including six years as editor. Seven News has been archived on the Connexions website: find the archive here, and a complete list of all articles published in Seven News here. Some of the articles I wrote for Seven News are listed below.
- Ulli Diemer

Local NDP Fights to Keep Waffle Movement in Party - The NDP’s St. David provincial riding association is working to find a way of keeping the Waffle movement in the party, challenging Stephen Lewis’s move to expel the Waffle. (August 26, 1972).

Regent Park Sets up Youth Employment Service - An employment referral service for unemployed teenagers is being set up in the Regent Park area, where the lack of jobs for young people is being felt very severely. (March 6, 1976).

People vs expressways battle is on again - After being beaten back five years ago, the expressway proponents are crawling out of the woodwork with their old plans, with only the tactics and the terminology changed. (June 26, 1976)

Riverdale resident protests bank addition - “Health Before Wealth”. That’s what one of Morris Silber’s picket signs said as he walked back and forth in front of the Bank of Nova Scotia at the corner of Broadview and Gerrard.. (August 7, 1976).

Local schools perpetuate inequality - The more money your parents earn, the better you are likely to do in school. (August 28, 1976).

Survey shows varying prices at drug store - It pays to shop around before you decide with which drug store to do business. This is the conclusion of a survey of Ward 7 drug stores carried out recently by Seven News staff. (August 28, 1976).

Don Vale Centre fights to survive - The Don Vale Community Centre is fighting for its life. On October 21st [1976], the Centre was informed that the United Church, which owns the community centre building at 80 Winchester Street, intends to terminate the lease on the building effective December 31. (November 20, 1976).

Norm Browne leaves Seven News - Long-time editor Norman Browne departs. (November 20, 1976).

Seven News news - Staff and board changes. (November 20, 1976).

More than one way to cover an election - City Dweller newspaper carries biased reporting to new depths. (November 20, 1976).

Sewell and Howard re-elected; Barr and Holmes for education - Results of the December 1976 municipal elections in Toronto's Ward 7. (December 18, 1976).

Barr to be Board Chairman - Ward Seven school trustee Doug Barr seems certain to become the next chairman of the Toronto School Board. (December 18, 1976).

Sewell, Howard returned; Stamm loses decisively - The difference between the campaigns of John Sewell and Janet Howard, on the one hand, and Garry Stamm, on the other, was apparent as soon as you walked across the street from the one headquarters to the other on election night. (December 18, 1976).

Bain Co-op hit by rent strike - Minority of residents launch rent strike while majority pursues co-op ownership. (February 12, 1977).

Bain Co-op OKs evictions - Residents refusing to pay their full rent are to be served eviction notices. (February 26, 1977).

Spring sprung, grass riz, wonder where birdies is - Whether we’re ready to believe it or not, spring is upon us, and if we go out and look for it, we’ll come across signs that establish that fact much more firmly and decisively than the passing moods of the weather. (April 9, 1977).

Workshops airs youth problems - About 100 people came together at an all-day workshop on youth and agency problems in Regent Park. (April 23, 1977).

Wellesley report sharply critical - The Wellesley Hospital has come in for strong criticism in a brief written by a group of local residents, and presented to the hospital May 13 [1977]. The brief documents numerous complaints about the hospital, including Emergency Department staff attitudes, treatment of patients and their relatives and friends, follow-up and aftercare. It charges that although the hospital is a public institution, there is no visible or publicly known means of access to its policy makers, and no accountability to the community it is supposed to serve. (May 21, 1977).

He who pays the piper... - Community groups have become dependent on government money resulting in an erosion of their community base and their independence. (July 2, 1977)

Death on Yonge Street - This city, which usually seems far too cynical and hurried to care very much about anything any more, has been deeply shocked and violently angered by the murder of the little shoe-shine boy, Emmanuel Jaques, on Yonge Street. (August 13, 1977).

This book explains why things don’t work (book review) - There a lots of guides explaining how things work. This one explains how they don’t – and why they don&’t. (August 1977)

Make the Don a Museum of Horrors - The true horror of the Don Jail is not the ancient, decrepit, but guiltless building on Gerrard Street, but rather the philosophy it represents. (December 1977)

OHC tenants get mad - Fed up with the attitudes and policies of Ontario Housing, some Regent Park tenants have been meeting since late last fall to try to find ways to pressure OHC to recognize tenants’ rights. (January 14, 1978)

Dow complains - Dow Chemical writes to 7 News complaining that one of its trademarks has been misused. 7 News editor Ulli Diemer responds. (March 11, 1978)

More than one way to strike - Rather than simply walk away from their vehicles, drivers could keep driving, but refuse to collect fares. This puts pressure on the employer without inconveniencing riders. (August 26, 1978)

A few decide where we live - We have to abolish a system whereby a tiny handful with a lot of money can decide how thousands of other people are going to live, how thin their walls are going to be, how much sunshine they’ll be able to get, where their children will play. (September 9, 1978)

Drug strike long and nasty - A strike by 400 workers against a Ward 7 company is entering its ninth week with no end in sight. (September 23, 1978)

Ward 7 NDP campaigns - After having avoided the civic arena since the 1969 municipal election, the Metro Toronto NDP is throwing itself into local politics in the 1978 municipal election. (October 7, 1978)

Democracy loses out - The people can say what they want, they can vote how they want, but the bureaucrats make the decisions. (November 4, 1978).>

Seven News: Principles & Purposes - 7 News’ statement of principles, adopted in 1978.

Stop TTC fare increase - Governments apply a double standard. They demand that public transit pay for itself and that health care and education be judged by ‘cost-benefit’ analyses. But they apply no such standard to industrial policy where billions of dollars are shelled out. (February 24, 1979)

Legal decisions threaten press freedom - Press freedom in Canada has been significantly undermined by a series of recent legal decisions. (March 1979)

Profits: now you see them, now you don’t - A private developer seems to be moving quickly into the non-profit housing field. (October 5, 1979)

Not guilty means not guilty - The gay news magazine, The Body Politic, is organizing a public campaign to make Attorney General Roy McMurtry withdraw an appeal against the magazine's acquittal on obscenity charges. (January 11, 1980)

The Canada Metals Story: A chronology - The ongoing struggle against lead pollution in South Riverdale. (February 1980)

Ten Years of Seven News - A brief history + What is 7 News? + 7 News and the Community. (May 23, 1980)

By the people, for the people? - A tiny group of appointed politicians is ignoring the what the people have said they want. (July 11, 1980)

Something has to give - Emotional issues are potent. Left-leaning and reform candidates can be very vulnerable if right-wing groups are able to seize on emotional questions and make them issues during the an election campaign. (November 21, 1980)

STOL lands again - The proposal for a major commercial airport on the Toronto Islands appears to be back on the agenda. (December 1980)

Toronto’s finest - Too many cops seem to enjoy intimidating people and smashing things. (February 1981)

Why vote? - What difference will voting make?. (March 1981)

The police vs. the law - In a democracy the police have to obey the law. In a police state, they don’t. (September 1981)

The Bomb won’t go away on its own - Our task is to break out of this closed self-justifying system by depriving governments of the passive populations they need, by refusing to accept the choices we are offered and instead becoming active participants pressuring them to accept our proposals. (June 1982)

Foggy fireworks don’t flop - A special evening watching fireworks in the fog. (June 1982)

Toronto’s ravines — our to preserve - Toronto’s ravines are a treasure; it’s up to us to preserve them. (July 1982)

Marguerite has come a long way - Literacy student writes her own story. (April 1984)

Teaching adults to read - Becoming literate is an important way for people to gain more control and power over their lives. (April 1984)

150 Years of Dirty Water - Toronto’s water has been polluted pretty much since the city was founded – but that doesn’t mean we should put up with it. (April 1984)

Soil Removal a Possibility - It may be necessary to remove lead-contaminated soil in the South Riverdale area. (May 1984)

Chemicals in Your Water - There is reason to be concerned about the increasing amounts of chemicals in our water. (June 1984)

Community branch bank closes doors - Royal shuts down experiment in presenting a friendlier, more accessible face. (July 1984).

Worthington provokes election controversy - The Committee to Defeat Peter Worthington stirs things up in the Broadview-Greenwood election campaign. (August 1984).

Politics of Illusion - Elections have become a contest to determine who is the best actor. (August 1984)

The Capital Punishment Debate - The cold-blooded killing of a human being is horrifying. The existence of capital punishment make us all complicit in killing, and degrades us as a society. (Nov. 1984).

Does OHC care? - Ontario Housing Corporation policies threaten long-term tenants with eviction.

Seven News, Volume 7, Number 16