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Struggle in the Suburbs

Struggle in the Suburbs

By Michael Speers
A leftist podcast examining how the scars of capitalism are experienced in Canada's small cities and towns. Also news and stuff.
Email Michael at
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IHRA Working Definition Won’t Work

Struggle in the Suburbs

IHRA Working Definition Won’t Work

Struggle in the Suburbs

A People’s Model for Media
Part of the struggle to build a better world is how the stories of those struggles are told. Mainstream media emphasizes the voices of the powerful, while changes to the media landscape are forcing many journalists to focus more on quantity over quality. Barrie Community Media wants to do things differently. Joining Michael Speers to discuss how they are going to do that are Brandon Rheal Amyot and Sam Gillett.
January 30, 2021
Don’t Agonize ... Organize!
Landlords continue to wage war against working people. The only way to stop them is to organize, which is exactly what Emina Gamulin has been doing. On this episode, we speak to her about the power of organizing and the lessons we can learn that can help tenants and working people everywhere.
November 14, 2020
Supervised Consumption Sites Save Lives ... Period!
When it comes to the fact that supervised consumption sites save lives, there really shouldn’t be any debate. But opponents - be they politicians, business owners or residents - still argue with the experts and dispute their effectiveness. On this episode, Sarah Tilley from The Gilbert Centre joins Michael Speers to discuss drug use, the intersecting issues created by capitalism and why an SCS is needed ASAP.
October 16, 2020
IHRA Working Definition Won’t Work
Antisemitism is on the rise, so we need to do everything we can to end it. But the fight against antisemitism must be joined to the struggle for equality and human rights for all people. On this episode, Corey Balsam from Independent Jewish Voices Canada joins Michael Speers to talk about the IHRA definition of antisemitism and why governments should say no to adopting it. Learn more at Contact Barrie council by visiting
September 16, 2020
Why Ranked Ballots?
Barrie council is currently taking a look at whether or not the city should move to a ranked ballot system. On this episode, Dave Meslin and Jennifer Van Gennip join Michael Speers to discuss why making that change is the right thing to do.
June 11, 2020
Black Lives Matter
After two massive protests and days of action, Barrie and other towns and cities are ready for a revolution. But just saying Black Lives Matter isn’t enough. We are hearing a call to action, and we need to answer it. Joining Michael Speers this week is community activist Shelly Skinner. Check out her new initiative on Facebook at or through Making Change Across Simcoe County at
June 07, 2020
Class in Session
Brandon Rhéal Amyot joins Michael Speers to talk about the concerns of students in Canada, lacklustre support initiatives, and why politicians keep ignoring the needs of students despite the broad economic benefits of their education.
May 08, 2020
What Is To Be Done? Working People and Class Consciousness in Canada
As we mark another International Workers’ Day, activist and organizer Pam Frache joins Michael Speers to talk about the unity and power of workers, reform and revolution, and how socialists can connect with all working people as we journey along that path together.
May 01, 2020
A Muskoka Movement
At first glance, cottage country may not seem like a place where the fight for fair and decent workplaces would take root. But Diana McConnell is putting low-wage and precarious workers’ issues front and centre in the small communities and waterfront homes of Muskoka. She joins Michael Speers to talk about organizing, educating workers and putting the pressure on politicians and the public.
April 24, 2020
Working-Class Power and Politics
Jessa McLean is a community activist with a bold vision for working people. The former federal NDP candidate in the riding of York-Simcoe is a proud socialist who has been fighting for years to end capitalism’s exploitation of workers. She joins Michael Speers to discuss class consciousness, amplifying socialist voices and building a political party that truly represents the interests of the working class.
April 17, 2020
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Activist
Victoria Butler is a young writer full of insights and perspectives well beyond her 23 years. In this interview, we talk about her poetry and what inspires it, the role of the artist when it comes to creating change, how capitalism seeks to silence artists, and why art must be more available and accessible to everyone.
April 11, 2020
BONUS: Universal Basic Income - Yea or Nay
Michael Speers and Keenan Aylwin debate the concept of a universal basic income. Is UBI a pragmatic solution to the problems of capitalism or is it just another market mechanism that ignores the need to dismantle capitalism altogether?
April 05, 2020
The Courage to Fight
In this special interview, Michael Speers speaks with Keenan Aylwin - a democratic eco-socialist and Barrie city councillor - about what motivates him, where he finds the courage to stand up to establishment politicians and what needs to be done to create a better city and society.
April 01, 2020
Building a Better World After COVID-19
Michael Speers looks at government responses to the Coronavirus pandemic and how recent reforms can be a springboard to our socialist future.
March 24, 2020
Being Left in the Middle of the Right
What’s it like being a socialist in a region many people consider to be a conservative stronghold? What are the obstacles and opportunities? Joining Michael this week are Sheetal Rawal and Holly McDaniel. Sheetal is an elder millenial living in the exurbs of Toronto. A lawyer by training, she is an aspiring lady of leisure who has, on occasion, put the Champagne in "Champagne socialist." Holly is a hermit who loves nature, animals, and humans who protect nature and animals. These days she can usually be found yelling at her partner about why we need to do a better job protecting each other, our nature, and all its biodiverse glory. Want to reach Michael? Email him at
March 17, 2020
So, how exactly does a liberal become a socialist?
Yes, liberals can become socialists. Join host Michael Speers as he opens up about his political transformation and how socialism can begin to take hold outside our urban areas.
March 10, 2020
Welcome to Struggle in the Suburbs
Struggle in the Suburbs is a new podcast that looks at how socialism and leftist politics are defined and experienced outside of our urban areas.
March 03, 2020