In the early morning of October 16, student activist and future human rights lawyer, Alexandra Dodger, lost her life in a tragic accident in Ottawa. Alex had just finished her legal studies at McGill and was articling at Amnesty International.
I met Alexandra in March 2002 when she first ran for the board of directors of the University of Toronto Students’ Union. Despite being only 18, she immediately impressed all those around her. She could carry a room with her articulate arguments, quick wit and glowing personality. She was an icon on the university campus and her strong socialist and feminist convictions provided a beacon of confidence for so many women in the activist community.
During her time at U of T, Alexandra was instrumental in the campaign for undergraduates to join the Canadian Federation of Students and was a founding and leading member of Students Against Sanctions and War in Iraq. She was also involved in winning students a discount on their TTC pass and a two-year tuition fee freeze in Ontario.
She later served as Ontario Representative on the national executive of the Canadian Federation of Students. She was president of the New Democratic Party’s Trinity-Spadina riding association, went to the West Bank in Palestine in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, and helped in numerous capacities with the War Resisters Support Campaign.
While at law school, Alexandra involved herself in the Radical Law Club and the McGill Human Rights Working Group. She was also a contributor to the McGill Law Journal. She was part of the mooting team that came in second in the prestigious Jessop Moot in international law. Most recently, she clerked at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and worked for a human rights firm in Paris.
In light of all Alexandra’s ability and accolades, one might assume she would forget about all those she worked with over the years, but one of the most amazing things about Alexandra was how she always made that extra effort to keep in touch. She had always made time for a coffee or dinner, a chat online or a phone call. Whenever one needed advice about politics, education choices or just plain life, she always provided her insight and encouragement.
I have never been so sad to lose someone before. We have all lost a wonderful anti-war and social activist, whose bright future as a human rights lawyer has been taken away from the world. Most of all we have lost a friend, whose laugh and smile and funny stories made the struggle for a better world all the more enjoyable.
You will be sorely missed, Alexandra. We will continue the struggle with your spirit in our hearts and your convictions on our mind.