Radio — Activist seniors raising a ruckus in Edmonton


On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Carol Wodak and Noel Somerville talk about the Seniors Action and Liason Team, or SALT, a grassroots group of older adults in Edmonton that organizes around seniors’ issues and around social justice issues more broadly.

Grassroots effort to change the world is often portrayed as exclusively the province of the young. Notwithstanding the crucial role that youth do in fact play in many movements the world over, this stereotype manages to combine being wrong with being dismissive of almost every element it contains. The way it is usually intended gives a flavour to both activism and youth of being a bit foolish and both things that one outgrows. And while at the more obvious level it contrasts that with the wisdom of age, it also implies a certain incapacity and a certain disengagement that are hardly complementary to older adults either. And as I said, none of these things hold up to scrutiny.

SALT has been around since the 1990s and has tackled a wide range of issues in a wide range of ways, and Wodak and Somerville have both been involved with the group for around a decade. They spoke with me about SALT, about some of the issues it has tackled — including the woeful state of elder care in Alberta and the general erosion of democracy in this country — as well as the tactics they have taken up, from pamphleteering to public education to a successful occupation of an MLA’s office earlier in the year.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit the recently revamped website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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