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Politics, Re-Spun: What Yoko Ono Knows About Fracking

Today we are fresh off the tar soaked heels of Enbridge’s lie and spin machine in Kitimat, leading to a vote AGAINST their toxic future.

In Kitimat, in a non-binding plebiscite, the people of Kitimat, but not the first peoples who live outside the town boundary, voted about 60-40 to kick out Enbridge.

They’re liars, don’t you know, making up a fake map of BC’s coast to pretend that oil tanker risks are lower than they are.

But it also turns out that Yoko Ono knows a thing or two about fracking and carbon energy.

And we also know (Read more…)

Art Threat: Painting, Resisting, Giggling: An Interview with George Littlechild

I first stumbled upon George Littlechild’s art at the Comox Valley Art Gallery in my hometown of Courtenay, British Columbia. After reeling from the emotional turmoil and historical reopening, rapprochement and reordering rendered in his bold and colourful brush strokes and integration of collage through archives, I was delighted further to learn that Littlechild resided right there, in my little town. After several years run by a city council dominated by career politicians and land developers, Courtenay has come to resemble the big box subsidiary that many other communities in Canada have become after non-local retailers move in to newly (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Women Who Inspire Us

Pam Palmater, getting it done!

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

For three decades of activism I have been inspired by a great number of wise, engaged women.

Carleen Pickard, for instance. I first met Carleen when she was the B.C./Yukon organizer for the Council of Canadians. En route to becoming the executive director of San Francisco-based Global Exchange, she was part of their human rights campaign in Mexico, and she has testified before the House of Commons (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Canada’s Growing Income Gap Between the 99% and the 1%

The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer, and the gap between them is growing.

This is the test of whether we can be content in our complacency. Here’s why.

In 2010, a tax filer required an annual income of $201,400 to be in the top 1%. This was 37% higher than the threshold value of $147,500 in 1982, when the data series began. (All dollar figures in this text are expressed in 2010 constant dollars.)

The income gap between the top 1% and the rest of filers has widened over time. In 1982, the median income of the top 1% of filers was $191,600. This was seven (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Jesse Ventura Is On Our Side On Racist Team Names

More support for changing the name of the NFL team in Washington comes from Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Yesterday, I wrote about how incredibly easy it would be to change the racist name of any kind of team. It’s really not that hard. Imagine the reverse, though. Imagine changing the Vancouver “Canucks” to the Vancouver “Insert racist slur here.” Somewhat inconceivable, so it should be easy to do the reverse, and fix the Washington NFL team name, as well as the other racist team names.

Now, hear how Jesse Ventura puts it:

 

Just as the N word (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s With Pipeline-Loving Old Men?

High 5′s to people are aren’t old men! [on average, 19 times out of 20, +/- 3.6% of the time.]

My apologies if you’re a man, or over 55, but those two demographics love the Big Oil, and they’re giving you all a bad name!

Here’s why.

I know lots of men and people over 55 who know that moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure is the only sustainable future. The problem is convincing their peers that getting rid of their Lexus [it used to be Hummer] is in everyone’s best interest.

Maybe it’s because some of those (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Harper Invitation Only Meeting In Mill Bay Met With Significant Opposition

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Word of PM Stephen Harper speaking at a ‘Invitation Only’ meeting at Brentwood College in Mill Bay travelled quickly throughout the Cowichan Valley.

Up to 200 protesters representing a real cross-section of the community from young to seniors, trade unionists, environmentalists and strong colourful representation from the Native community made it clear that opposition to Harper’s push to ram Enbridge through and risk our coast was not on with this crowd.

Organized by Peter Nix’s ‘Carbon Busters’ protesters arrived prepared to ride out the weather and made sure that their message was seen and heard.

PM Harper (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Yesterday’s Climate Justice Protest #SpinAlert

Sean Devlin, of ShitHarperDid.ca, had the temerity to interact with our employee, Mr. Stephen Harper.

Yesterday, we saw a new level of action against climate destruction policy. In the style of co-conspirator Brigette DePape, two protesters crashed Harper’s contemptuous public appearance. Harper holds the media and the general public of the nation of Canada in open contempt: he won’t talk with the press except under extraordinarily tightly controlled circumstances, and he actively avoids any opportunity to mingle with his 35 million employers. He must think we’re stupid or dirty.

Even at the event at Vancouver’s Board of Trade yesterday, (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Yesterday’s Climate Justice Protest #SpinAlert

Politics, Re-Spun: Just How Lazy ARE Indigenous People, Anyway?

It’s a trick question.

And let’s not forget how many of us are told we are inherently lazy because we are native. Hard to shake that.

via Twitter / apihtawikosisan: And let’s not forget how many ….

And if you want to read one person’s analysis of destructive, racist stereotypes, try this on, from Frank Assu, also known as Tlakwatsi, a member of the We Wai Kai First Nation of Quadra Island.

December 4, 2013 Are We Good Allies to First Nations? (0) July 25, 2013 Why We Must #HonourTheApology to Residential School Survivors [#INM] (1) December 17, 2013 (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Idle No More 2.0

Several hundred members and supporters of Idle No More gathered at the centre court of the Polo Park Mall in Winnipeg Friday evening to sing and to dance. Some are calling it Idle No More 2.0. Idle No More Manitoba spokesperson Michael Kannon explains why in this video report.

Filed under: Aboriginal Peoples, Winnipeg Tagged: aboriginal rights, idle no more, Idle No More Manitoba, Winnipeg

Politics, Re-Spun: Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight

Some breaking news occurred yesterday, the Joint Review Panel of the National Energy Board approved the Enbridge pipeline, but with 209 conditions. To quote a teenager from 1994: “Big whoop.” Also, big whoop goes out to the awesome pictures of soon to be decimated pristine wilderness on the report cover.

What do you think of the Enbridge approval and where things will go?

What do I think of the approval? Disappointed and hardly surprised. When Joe Oliver starts talking about something being “science-based,” I remember how his party has people who believe dinosaurs and humans walked the earth (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: ACTION: Illegal Israeli Settlement Goods Sold at London Drugs

SodaStream boycott informational picket

Saturday, Dec. 21, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

London Drugs, Broadway @ Cambie, Vancouver

Below is a notice of an important event happening on Saturday in Vancouver. If something is labelled as “Made in Israel” but is really made in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank of Palestine, where does it really come from? Nowhere that I would want to buy from. You?

I’m only as free as everyone is free. Don’t tolerate occupation. The boycott alternative information is here.

Nelson Mandela has died, but the memory of his commitment to universal freedom and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fried Squirrels

It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.

The male and female co-facilitators move briskly through the agenda with the help of the nodding volunteer maintaining the speakers list. There are sporadic jazz-hand gestures, common from the Occupy Movement, as well as a strict yet comfortable group norm of only one person speaking at (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are We Good Allies to First Nations?

This is what solidarity looks like; make sure it’s authentic!

Lots of us care about deepening relationships with and social/economic/political justice for first peoples. It’s hard to come in, though, sometimes as a person from an oppressor or settler class. But there is a good checklist to make sure we’re actually contributing effectively.

It’s hard to know how to live humility, sincerity and really really good listening to make sure we are not a hindrance, but this Ally Bill of Responsibilities does a good job of helping us be mindful of humility, and maintaining a sincere focus on assisting those (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Noam Chomsky in Montreal: Canada on fast track to "destroy the environment"

 Chomsky in Montreal/ Tar Sands/ Syncrude upgrader plant north of Fort McMurray

Noam Chomsky was in Montreal last week on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Canadian Dimension magazine. While in the city he delivered a speech.

In an interview covered by the Guardian, Chomsky took direct aim at the energy policies of the Harper government. He warned that the exploitation of the tar sands and the drive to develop shale gas resources will speed up the degradation of the environment.

A timely warning. The Harper government has undermined environmental protections, muzzled federal scientists and is looking to (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: What If Everyone Wore Harper Masks?

Paul S. Graham: Video: The five main threats to Lake Winnipeg

October 26, 2013: Diane Orihel, founder and director of the Coalition to Save ELA, speaks to a workshop in Winnipeg on water quality sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Diane Orihel is a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta and the founder and Director of the Coalition to Save ELA.The Coalition to Save ELA is a nonpartisan group of scientists and citizens concerned about the future of Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area.

Located in northwestern Ontario, the ELA consists of 58 small lakes and their watersheds that have been set aside for research. Since 1968, (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Fracking in Manitoba

Winnipeg, Oct. 26, 2013: Retired scientist Dennis Le Neveu spoke at a forum on the environmental hazards of fracking, sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Fracking is a process used to extract oil and natural gas. It involves drilling horizontal wells into rock formations and injecting a mixture of fresh water, chemicals and sand under high pressure to fracture the rock and release the oil and gas.

Fracking has been linked with contaminated water aquifers, air pollution and earthquakes.

In Manitoba, the gas extracted with the oil is hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas that is lethal (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: No Prairie Pipeline

TransCanada Pipelines’ proposed “Energy East” pipeline project, which is intended to transport Alberta tar sands crude to eastern Canada, is meeting growing opposition from First Nations, environmentalists and citizens who live along the planned route.

The Winnipeg chapter of the Council of Canadians, along with Idle No More and the Boreal Forest Network held a public forum on the issue on October 22, 2013. Speakers included Maryam Adrangi, the Council of Canadians’ Energy and Climate Campaigner, and Crystal Green, Michael Kannon and Nina Was’te of Idle No More. The forum was moderated by Susan McCrea of the Boreal Forest (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Canadian Broadcast Standards Council Dings Ezra Levant Again!

From the release:

The host of The Source, Ezra Levant, showed videoclips of a protest that had occurred outside the Sun’s Toronto office.  The protestors objected to Sun Media’s coverage of the Idle No More movement.  A few days later, Levant replayed the clips, saying that, following their initial broadcast, he had received information from viewers about who some of the protestors were.  He identified one couple by their names, stating that they were “professional protestors” who had engaged in other protest activity.

The CBSC received a complaint from the identified woman, who asserted that she was not the person (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Speak Up For Democracy

October 8, 2013 – Green Party leader Elizabeth May, speaking at the Speak Up For Democracy Town Hall Meeting in Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Canadian democracy ain’t what it used to be and what it used to be was far from ideal. Still, fewer of us are voting and even fewer are satisfied with the outcome.

In recent years, voter turnout has declined precipitously. Of the 24.2 million citizens eligible to vote in the 2011 federal election, only 14.8 million, or 61.1 per cent did so. Of those who voted, 39.6 per cent, or (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Idle No More Global Day of Action October 7 2013

by: Idle No More | Press Release

Idle No More protest on Parliament Hill. Dec 21, 2012. (Photo: Obert Madondo)

October 7, 2013-Ottawa, Canada: Today marks the global day of action of Idle No More, the Indigenous Peoples social movement. On October 7, 1763, King George III of England signed the British Royal Proclamation, an historic document that legally mandated Canada to recognize Indigenous land rights.

Today, two hundred and fifty years later, at over 55 actions and events taking place across Canada, the United States, and in countries across the planet, thousands of Indigenous Peoples and our supporters (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Idle No More Global Day of Action October 7 2013

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Cowichan Conversations: Dorothy Field has returned from another visit with the Unist’olen Clan’s Blockade

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes-Political Blogger

Dorothy Field is an artist, writer, poet and world traveler. She has once again attended the Action Camp of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.

Dorothy brings us clarity through her writing and story telling skills.

Her insights and on the ground experience combined with her deeply rooted believe in humanity is reassuring.

I am grateful that she has made this post available to Cowichan Conversations readers.

This article first appeared in Victoria’s Focus Magazine.

Dorothy Field

I recently returned from my second trip up to the Action Camp hosted by traditional elders of the Unist’ot’en clan of the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Justin Ling reports on the federal government’s covert surveillance of Idle No More: Sitting in her teepee on Ottawa’s Victoria Island in December 2012, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence was officially starting her hunger strike, breathing fire into the Idle No More movement and setting off a chain reaction that would eventually force Ottawa into talks on the nature of Canada’s relationship with First Nations. Meanwhile, five blocks away as the crow flies, the federal government’s security and emergency nervous system was ramping up its efforts to keep tabs on the movement. Just (Read more…)