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Politics, Re-Spun: What I Am Thankful For

This weekend, I am thankful for folks in Seattle who know how to transform the imperialist Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

May we all learn this for next year!

“We are all citizens in a democracy, we are all here to work with each other, and by making this Indigenous People’s Day, we are adding something, we are not taking something away. We can both recognize our strengths.”

“We are not reveling in the pain of our past, but rejoicing in the celebration of a triumph—the voice of the indigenous people who are saying ‘we are still (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Industrious immigrant vs idle Indigenous meets reality

Here’s a familiar trope: immigrants are industrious and hard-working. Here’s another, opposite trope: First Nations are idle and lazy. And here’s a graph that beautifully calls into question this neat pair of stereotypes.

Source: Angella McEwen, Progressive Economics Forum.

It turns out that off-reserve First Nations workers and recent immigrants face the same unemployment rate – one that is much higher than that faced by workers born in Canada. As Angella MacEwen, who posted this graph, points out it highlights that “there are systemic barriers that need to be addressed” in the labour market.

On the one hand, there is (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Class Warfare CAUSED Income Inequality, Not the Opposite

Horatio Alger mythology is designed to make us leave the 1% alone and shut the fuck up.

If you haven’t yet seen John Oliver’s amazing rant about the perils of inequality and how the rich shame us out of talking about it by suggesting we’re trying to invoke class warfare, you can see it below.

The truth is, income inequality doesn’t just happen one day, then the classes fight each other. Class warfare is what creates the conditions for income inequality.

But as long as the 1% can keep us from talking about class issues, we can say income inequality (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Tsilhqot’in Land Title Ruling Can Help Kill Enbridge

Watch Pam Palmater’s response to the SCC ruling. Click above.

Stephen Harper had about a week to enjoy the glory of his remarkably understated whispery notification that the Enbridge climate killing pipeline will proceed.

Yesterday the Supreme Court shut down the prime minister, which they have a tendency to do because he so flagrantly intends to violate it. So they keep slapping his hand.

With the Tsilhqot’in ruling, our hope that first nations are our last line of defense against more climate killing tarsands development, has been greatly augmented.

In the coming weeks we will see how this may be (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Neera Tanden points out that a wide range of citizens rely on a strong safety net at one time or another – and suggests that it’s long past time to start discussing how important social programs have been in our own lives: I believe we have a historic opportunity to address poverty today, because the interests of low-income people and the middle class are converging. Median wages—the wages of middle-income earners—have been stagnant for twelve years. People recognize there is growing inequality in this country and that something is amiss when companies are (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Soft Fascism Look Like These Days?

We don’t see brown shirts and jackboots, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing the de-democratization of our society.

In Vancouver this month, armed police with guns drawn, raided a house because they suspected people inside not of being terrorists, but of spray painting “No Pipelines” all over the place.

Read Police raid house in East Vancouver, with guns drawn, on pretext of anti-pipeline graffiti | Warrior Publications.

But in Harper’s Canada, opposing pipelines is deemed by the climate change deniers as an act of economic terrorism, which we will likely see in a far more pronounced fashion if in (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Control Freak PM Steve Harper Is Monitoring Anti Fracking Protesters

Richard Hughes

 

With our paranoid PM Steve Harper it is all about control and with this reality in mind we head into what promises to be a hot summer of discontent.

He has empowered his ‘Government Operations Centre’ to monitor all anti fracking protests.

Monitoring is really just a polite term for spying. Canadians have come to expect this from a desperate PM Harper who is under ever-increasing pressure to deliver on his promises to Chinese government investors as well as major oil and gas corporations who have invested heavily in what can properly be described as the worlds (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy Vancouver Reboots Tonight!

Occupy Vancouver reboots tonight to join the worldwide #WaveOfAction that began on April 4 and runs [at least] to July 4, 2014.

We will meet in Grandview Park on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories.

615pm is the start time, though honestly, I’ll be there a bit early. With my Occupy Vancouver sign taped to my hockey stick. In some convenient part of the park, since there will be a May Day march arriving there for a rally at the same time.

Things to consider:

Inspiration for this venue came from funkypenzz. Vision [mine anyway]: Seeking equality (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Play Cowboys and Indians

Why not?

It seems to be working in Washington, DC.

And you know what? They’ve got our backs.

When ranchers are farmers and tribal communities realize that the tarsands and their toxic pipelines threaten us all, it’s pretty easy to figure out how working together gets things done.

They’re even occupying the Mall in DC. With teepees. See? Look:

#Sacred Indigenous Activists return to the #RejectAndProtect encampment on #NationalMall @WaveOfAction #WaveofAction pic.twitter.com/FISKVCQjNG

— NYCCamp (@NYCCamp) April 24, 2014

You can watch a simple summary of the Reject and Protect campaign to encourage the White House to stop delaying (Read more…)

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…)