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Stephen Lewis's eulogy makes Harper stand up for 'social democracy'

In a powerful eulogy, Stephen Lewis brought mourners to their feet repeatedly, and even forced Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stand and applaud Jack Layton's last letter as a "manifesto for social democracy."

Lewis praised Layton's desire for "a more inclusive and generous Canada" and his campaigns for the homeless, for gender equality, for HIV/AIDS, and the environment.

Harper and the many Conservative MPs in the audience, some smiling uncomfortably, stood with the thousands of NDP supporters as Lewis invoked the manifesto. But they sat unmoving as Lewis reminded the listeners of the ridicule Layton had received as "Taliban Jack," calling for negotiations that are now "conventional wisdom."

On Twitter, Stephen Lewis became a rapidly trending hashtag, and other hashtags reflected the funeral as well: #Laytonfarewell, Steven Page, Rise Up, and Lorraine Segato.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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