Afghanistan War veteran Paul Szoldra:
In Afghanistan, we patrolled in big, armored trucks. We wore uniforms that conveyed the message, “We are a military force, and we are in control right now.” Many Afghans saw us as occupiers.
And now we see some of our police officers in this same way. “The militarization of law enforcement is counter-productive to domestic policing and needs to stop,” tweeted Andrew Exum, a former Army infantry officer.
If there’s one thing I learned in Afghanistan, it’s this: You can’t win a person’s heart and mind when you are pointing a rifle at (Read more…)
Angela Davis does the “perp walk” after her arrest in New York City in 1970. The “perp walk” – discredited, but still popular with the Calgary media and Calgary Police Service – is designed to make the suspect look guilty. Ms. Davis was acquitted by a jury just the same. Below: A disgraceful image apparently created to carry the implication of a perp walk, ginned up from more than one image for the Edmonton Sun, shows the power of the meme; the most famous perp walk in history; a real, recent, perp walk in Calgary, one of hundreds of such (Read more…)
Translink is “being evasive on exactly how much money is being spent on this.”
via Compass Card program delayed again by TransLink – British Columbia – CBC News.
How’s that for not surprising.
Translink is notorious for its taxation without representation: taking municipalities’ money without providing democratic representation to municipalities. This was a gift from the provincial government years ago to keep local communities from directing their transportation infrastructure.
And now, Translink continues to be evasive about how much money they’re spending on the Compass card system and turnstiles, in place ostensibly to stop fare evasion. They’ve always been (Read more…)
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…)
In Davos, the 1% rule the world. Literally. They also have the guns.
The 1% are claiming we have it out for them; that if we don’t tone down the rhetoric and stop calling them names like “the contemptuous rich,” we might end up starting a class war. But they already know there’s a class war, and it’s been going on for generations. Today, the rich are winning because they have more solidarity than we do. The year 2014 is a battleground and the currency is solidarity. If we don’t start organizing together, quickly, and far more effectively, the contemptuous (Read more…)
Seeking some climate justice and labour justice?
You’ve come to the right place. Here’s how Denmark and Germany are showing us that it isn’t brain surgery. Why re-invent the wheel; just steal ideas from people who already get it. Simple!
Someone once told me that Starbucks stores in Safeway grocery stores need to hire staff based on the unionized rates in the Safeway. The prices are the same and Starbucks isn’t going bankrupt.
It turns out that in Denmark, strong unionization has led to $21/hour wages at…wait for it…McDonald’s. That’s higher than Vancouver’s new 2014 living wage of $20. (Read more…)
A little bit of civil terrorism keeps the population docile, afraid of irrational and unjust behaviour from law enforcement [sic] but hey, it helps us all live more peacefully because if you’re not a terrorist, you have nothing to fear from police terrorism via unconstitutional and racially discriminatory persecution. Right?
“We’re going to go out there and violate some rights.” Hear the secret police recordings that will take your breath away. In a bad way.
via Meet The 17-Year-Old Who Blew The Lid Off Racial Profiling With His iPod.
And if you’re in NYC, check out the NY (Read more…)
Journalists protest the erosion of freedom of expression in Canada on Feb. 27 in Toronto. Photo Credit: Hiba Zayadin
When I write about soft fascism, I sometimes feel too Canadian. I don’t want to be impolite and talk about hard or old school or 20th century fascism because frankly, when people read that word, they think, “hey, is he talking about Hitler kinda stuff? Ok, then, so it’s not fascism.”
It is though. You don’t have to start a genocide for someone to consider your actions fascist.
It’s a kind, gentler, Canadian-style fascism with a hit of Tom Horton’s (Read more…)
Do you feel lucky, punk? Well… do you?
Every day, four Canadians will die as a result of a workplace accident, injury or industrial disease. If you make it home from work today, you are one of the lucky ones.
Statistically speaking, 1000 Canadian workers die annually as a result of workplace fatalities. This number is unacceptably high, despite Canada having some of the best health and safety laws in the world.
Employers continue to fail to ensure:
That their workers are safe on the job-site, with the right tools for the right job in the right place; (Read more…)
A panel of three Supreme Court Justices has decided that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the SFL et al case against the Government of Saskatchewan’s Bills 5 and 6 – so-called “essential services” legislation and amendments to Saskatchewan’s Trade Union Act. On May 16th in Ottawa, the Federation, along with the plaintiff group and intervenors, will present the case for the highest court in the land.
Though no organization ever wants to be in the position of taking its own government to court, Bills 5 and 6 represent significant infringements upon the fundamental rights of Saskatchewan working people. (Read more…)
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…)
Emperor Stephen Harper and his double double.
Interesting times indeed.
8 Conservative senators have decided that Emperor Stephen Harper has no clothes. The Emperor has whipped and intimidated his backbench, cabinet and senators for a long time. Senator Hugh Segal stood up to him on bad legislation. Though he left the senate.
Jim Flaherty stood up to him on how bad a public policy that family income splitting would be. I think he quit politics to avoid the idiocy of Harper firing him from his finance ministry to replace him with the lacklustre lapdog Joe Oliver.
Now we have 8 (Read more…)
“When Centennial’s students found out Seymour couldn’t hold a pyjama day because many students didn’t have pyjamas, they fundraised to buy every Seymour student a pair last Christmas.”
- When the Field Trip’s Too Pricey, Students ‘Self-Exclude’
BC’s disgusting and preventable child poverty crisis. Let’s stop coddling the rich!
When parents receive letters from their kids’ school asking for donations for playground upgrades or library books or technological devices, a certain segment of the population sighs, grows a few more grey hairs and dies a little bit inside.
Parents who are struggling financially cannot afford the luxury of even (Read more…)
It’s now Friday, April 4, 2014.
Greetings, world, the reboot of the Occupy Movement, the Worldwide #WaveOfAction [follow it live in Twitter here], has begun in a variety of places around the world! And it will last for 3 months while it evolves its next phase.
But as it turns out, Vancouver will be fashionably late.
Here’s what’s up:
Crickets, as far as I can tell.
Now, granted, I haven’t beaten down doors checking out ALL the usual suspects involved in mobilizing Occupy Vancouver 2.5 years ago. Though I do know that a few of them are (Read more…)
In this TED talk, Daniel Reisel examines how neuroscience backs up the (already obvious) reasons that restorative justice works better than punitive justice.
We need to think about two things for this Friday’s Occupy Movement reboot in the Worldwide #WaveOfAction:
When thinking about pursuing social, political and economic equality, what is the list of things we need to change, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally? Who do we need to build coalitions with to listen to them, support them, empower them; and who will convene the meetings?
And instead of wondering who’s got your back, figure out whose back you need to protect.
There are two days left. No rush, because Friday is just the start of the 3-month Wave that culminates on (Read more…)
Work should be liberating, not enslaving!
It’s Saturday so it’s the weekend so you’re not working.
But that’s just an incorrect hypothesis. Lots of people are working this weekend. In fact, weekends don’t mean much to billions of people. They are a luxury, relatively speaking.
But your job may be bullshit, in the context of how our society could/should be operating. We should have way more leisure time if we managed human economic activity more intelligently.
Instead, “we” [well, the 1%] are busy maximizing shareholder wealth instead. This is why we don’t have a sustainable 15 or 20 hour work (Read more…)
Five police beat and kill Luis Rodriguez.
You know you’re living in an increasingly terrorized state when the police kill for no good reason. Sure there are extenuating circumstances, but that should lead to caution, not an impulse to deadly violence.
That impulse marks the increased tendency/willingness of the police to kill for no good reason, and an increasing tone of terror that emanates from those in authority.
Read who the police have unjustifiably killed lately:
In Vancouver, the RCMP killed a distraught man who at times was brandishing a stapler. But mostly he was just distressed. There have been (Read more…)
Now, stop tolerating ignorance! And smile, TGIF.
For many people it’s TGIF. But for many people who aren’t even teenagers, the work week isn’t ending today.
We often THINK minimum wage is for the new entries to the job market. Maybe it was one day. Maybe just for one day.
But today? If it isn’t a living wage, it’s exploitative.
And if it is just minimum wage, we are likely not too accurate on who is suffering with these low wages.
Let’s take a peek:
It is not the stereotypical pothead living in their parents’ basement.
by: Canadian Human Rights Commission | Press Release
OTTAWA, March 4, 2014 – Fear of retaliation is among the top reasons why Aboriginal women in Canada won’t come forward when they experience discrimination, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) says in its Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today.
The report presents key findings from a series of roundtable discussions the CHRC held with Aboriginal women from across Canada in 2013. During the discussions, the women were invited to share their experiences. Many of their stories cited the complexity of the human rights complaint process, language barriers, lack of awareness, (Read more…)
If the 1% has Russell Brand killed, we will see it in the corporate media as a drug OD relapse, or a freak accident.
He is dangerous because he fearlessly tells the truth and challenges pretence.
Let’s examine this in some detail here [with video]:
His brain works twice as fast as most brilliant people I’ve encountered in my life. He is the socio-political heir of George Carlin. He speaks truth to power AND the masses. And frankly, WE’VE FORGOTTEN THAT THE MASSES ARE THE POWER. He is sober, so no one can credit his speedy speaking style on (Read more…)
“The goal was to touch upon the fear of becoming numb to crises that don’t affect you directly.”
With a myriad of crises in the world, we fear becoming numb to their severity and how they can make us so depressed.
I think on a large scale, political, environmental and other crises can be overwhelming. But if we frame crises as struggles of individuals in situations, it’s easier to relate to our human need to help others, and seek justice.
This Norwegian experiment proves we have what it takes as a species: plus, 7.4 million views IN JUST (Read more…)