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The Canadian Progressive: Making our movements work for kids and families

By providing child care for protesters, racial justice organizers shift the public’s understanding of “front line” work, and make protest movements work for kids and families.

The post Making our movements work for kids and families appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Cowichan Conversations: Trudeau Government Approves Site C Dam Permits

Dear Mr. Trudeau, Ms. Wilson-Raybould, and Ms. McKenna, I could scarcely believe my ears and my eyes at the news that your government has OKed the Site C dam permits. I am stunned, disappointed, Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Trudeau Government Approves Site C Dam Permits

A Different Point of View....: Protest against Kissinger/Peres like the ‘70s; maybe it’s time for some new tactics

One afternoon last week I took part in a protest against former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres being allowed into Canada. Both spoke at a Simon Wiesenthal Centre fundraiser deep inside the bowels of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The protest was staged by the group Actions4Palestine, but, as someone who was a regular at protests 40 and 50 years ago, I was disappointed by the small size of the protest crowd, and that our group made no attempt to explain their cause to passers by.

The protest was definitely justified. Kissinger, who turned 93 last week, is one of the worst living war criminals. In 1973, he masterminded a U.S. scheme to help a brutal military dictator overthrow Chile’s democratically elected government, and supported brutal regimes in a number of other countries.

Shimon Peres supported several Israeli actions against Palestine, include serving in the Haganah, a Zionist Militia that massacred Palestinians during 1948-1952.   He was involved in the massacre of Jenin and gave the green light for Israel’s violent incursion against besieged Gaza in 2008.

The Canadian Jewish News reported that almost 2,500 people attended the fundraiser, which raised more than $3.75 million for the Centre.

While some 130 folks said on Facebook they would come out for the protest, fewer than 70 showed up.

A bullhorn was used to blast out slogans that were repeated by placard-carrying protesters as they walked back and forth on the street and later stood on the street in front of the Metro Centre.

The demonstration reminded me of any one of a number of protests I took part in during the 60s and 70s, except perhaps more people would have shown up in those days.

Our group had no intention of trying to disrupt the meeting by getting into the building, perhaps by a back entrance. Many of them were long-time protest warriors who have experienced police violence.


Police not taking chances

For their part, the police were taking no chances. On hand were about 15 police officers, all with big black batons, a paddy wagon, three police cars, and a dog barking viciously from the paddy wagon. When protesters moved beyond where they were supposed to be, police asked them to move back.

We didn’t see Kissinger or Peres, but I hope the two war-hawks were told that our group was out there. Kissinger is dogged everywhere he goes, and he could be arrested for war crimes in some countries.

If one of our group’s goals was to inform the public about what was going on, we failed badly. Folks walking along the street awkwardly passed us by.

Early in the protest, three small groups of people were gawking at us from in front of the Metro Centre entrance. I decided to walk over and talk to them. I asked a group of four female lawyers taking part in a law seminar if they knew what was going on. “No, we have no idea,” said one of them, as they gathered round. They could hear the word Israel being blasted out from the bullhorn.

I explained to the group what Kissinger had been involved in. After a brief chat, heads started nodding. Now that they understood, they agreed the protest was a good idea. I moved on to talk with three businessmen, and they had a similar reaction.

I wondered if I would have the same luck with the police. I strolled past the paddy wagon with the vicious dog, and stopped in front of four policemen. They didn’t know what the protest was about. After I explained what was going on, two of the officers seemed sympathetic.

Even though the protest didn’t accomplish very much, I don’t want to belittle those taking part. Some of them and/or their families had personally experienced the wrath of the brutal Israeli regimes. They have no doubt tried different ways of protesting without much success.

Nevertheless, with such a small turnout, and failing to communicate with people, the protest seemed it was pretty much a wasted activity.  The kind of event we staged alienates everyday people.
If groups want to be effective, they need to change their methods.

First of all, perhaps the groups that stage protests should meet and make plans to support each other’s campaign better. Old rivalries should be put aside. Forming a co-ordinating committee would be a good idea. Some unions officially support the causes groups are campaigning on, so they should be expected to support activities.

Small protests should be cancelled

Protests that attract fewer than 100 people probably should be called off.

In terms of confronting the likes of Kissinger, without tipping off anyone, three or four people could have tried to meet his airplane. Where was he staying? Picket the homes of the people who brought him to Toronto.

A bullhorn can be effective if used in a way that passer bys understand what’s being said. Union-style moving picket lines can be effective if they are more friendly than aggressive.

Whenever there’s a protest, three or four people should try to talk with passers by and gawkers. This is a chance to politely convince folks of the importance of the demonstration.

I don’t know what other actions are taken by groups these days. But with the Internet such a powerful tool now, skilled techies can disrupt communications and close down websites. Actions4Palestine has an excellent Facebook page:

The organization behind the visit, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, also should have been targeted.

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Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Protest against Kissinger/Peres like the ‘70s; maybe it’s time for some new tactics

Politics and its Discontents: This Is What Real Protest Looks Like

All Canadians could learn a lot from the Brits: London, United Kingdom – Activists and trade union leaders have called for a general strike and a mass campaign of civil disobedience to bring down the country’s new right-wing government as hundreds of thousands took to the streets of London and other cities to protest against . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: This Is What Real Protest Looks Like

The Canadian Progressive: First Nation group and allies resist re-opening of Mount Polley mine

Secwepemc Woman’s Warrior Society leads a strong movement against the re-opening of Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mines following catastrophic 2014 spill.

The post First Nation group and allies resist re-opening of Mount Polley mine appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

bastard.logic: “You can’t win a person’s heart and mind when you are pointing a rifle at his or her chest”

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 . . . → Read More: bastard.logic: “You can’t win a person’s heart and mind when you are pointing a rifle at his or her chest”

drive-by planet: Global Day of Rage calls for sanctions against Israel – photos: Barnaby Raine speech – "Jewish Bloc Against Zionism"

August 9 saw Day of Rage demos around the world protesting Israeli actions in Gaza and calling for sanctions. Behind the fold I’ve posted a selection of photos.

I’ve also posted a video from the London Day of Rage featuring a speech by a nineteen-year-old British activist named Barnaby Raine who has been involved . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Global Day of Rage calls for sanctions against Israel – photos: Barnaby Raine speech – "Jewish Bloc Against Zionism"

somecanuckchick dot com: Nyms win Google+ Nymwar

3 years ago, I deleted my Google+ account in protest of its real name only policy.

At the time, I stated that if Google+ were to reverse its real name only policy, I would re-consider the deletion of my Google+ account, as well as my Google profile…

Today, Google+ has announced what amounts to a . . . → Read More: somecanuckchick dot com: Nyms win Google+ Nymwar

somecanuckchick dot com: Dear Ontario: Section 53 is not the answer!

If you go to your polling station on June 12th and decline your ballot, you have not voted for anyone, or anything.

In fact, you have forfeited your right to vote and your vote has been suppressed.

REMEMBER: Voter suppression is a strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging, or preventing . . . → Read More: somecanuckchick dot com: Dear Ontario: Section 53 is not the answer!

drive-by planet: ‘Revolt of the rich’ – the privileged face of US-backed Venezuelan opposition: Bolivarian achievements

When reading corporate media coverage of the wave of protests that have roiled Venezuela you could be excused for thinking  a massively popular revolution is sweeping that nation. This version of events is more about political spin than reality. The protests have in fact been limited in scope and mostly specific to affluent areas… . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: ‘Revolt of the rich’ – the privileged face of US-backed Venezuelan opposition: Bolivarian achievements

Writings of J. Todd Ring: What is happening in Venezuela? It’s certainly not what the mainstream media is telling you

“Much of the reporting by the mass media gives the impression that Venezuela faces a national rebellion. The reality, says Miguel Tinker Salas, is that the protests have been restricted to mostly middle and upper middle class neighborhoods, not entire cities.” – Truthout, What is happening in Venezuela?(Many, many thanks, to the honest journalism […]

. . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: What is happening in Venezuela? It’s certainly not what the mainstream media is telling you

drive-by planet: Ultra-nationalists and fascist thugs – tools of imperialist designs in Ukraine

The protests in the Ukraine that began last November in Kiev’s Independence Square – the Maidan – were staged to protest president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to back out of a plan to join a trade agreement with the EU, in preference for joining the Eurasian Customs Union.

As with most political protests on . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Ultra-nationalists and fascist thugs – tools of imperialist designs in Ukraine

drive-by planet: As Turkey explodes Erdogan claims he is not ‘a dictator’ – rather a ‘servant of the people’

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims he is not a dictator… not even a master… but rather “a servant of the people.” Not many Turkish citizens are convinced because following the Gezi Park protest, the treatment meted out to demonstrators by Turkish police has been a total horror show. It quickly became evident . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: As Turkey explodes Erdogan claims he is not ‘a dictator’ – rather a ‘servant of the people’

The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s Environmental Activists “Threat To National Security”: Harper Government

RCMP and CSIS treat peaceful protest actions and questioning the Harper Government as ‘forms of attack’, label activists involved “national security threats”, documents reveal. By Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 22, 2013: The Harper Government is intensifying its attacks on environmental and other activist movements in Canada, according to documents released under freedom . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s Environmental Activists “Threat To National Security”: Harper Government

Politics, Re-Spun: Attawapiskat Audit is Merely a Distraction

Green Party leader Elizabeth May published a well-thought out and clear article on Wednesday, breaking down the reasons why the ongoing media banter about Attiwapiskat fund mismanagement and Chief Theresa Spence are merely distractions from an ongoing legacy of government failure to protect indigenous people and the environment. Twitter and Facebook have become virtual battlegrounds . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Attawapiskat Audit is Merely a Distraction

Slap Upside The Head: Meanwhile, In France…

If you speak French, you’re in for a real treat from this group of protestors in France. And if you don’t, I think you’ll find that the clip transcends language into something that is universally mockable.

Progressive Proselytizing: From Chick-fil-A to Muslim World protests

By the time Chick-fil-A quietly announced that it was no longer donating to political groups with anti-gay agendas, the cacophony of attention given to the back and forth over the Chick-fil-A controversy has been dwarfed by protests in the Muslim world sparked by a previously unknown Islamophobic amateur film produced in the US. In . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: From Chick-fil-A to Muslim World protests

Life...A Small Spark Between Two Eternities: Montreal Student Protests

Progressive Proselytizing: Solidarity with Quebec Student Protesters

Quebec students, outraged over a 75% tuition increase, have sparked the largest protests in Quebec’s history and have already managed the rare achievement of achieving genuine, if minor, concessions that would have almost certainly not happened were it not for the protests. As is common when protests rise up, there have been many attempts . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Solidarity with Quebec Student Protesters

LeDaro: Anti-coal Mark Jaccard, a Nobel Peace Prize winner arrested

Harper government is letting us down on many fronts and his policies on the environment are one of the major let downs. Harper is in the pocket of oil, gas and coal companies. People are left with no choice but to protest.

Professor Mark Jaccard was arrested along with other protestors.

A handful of . . . → Read More: LeDaro: Anti-coal Mark Jaccard, a Nobel Peace Prize winner arrested

Slap Upside The Head: Anti-Gay Protest In Ontario

A crowd of about 200 appeared in Queen’s Park, Ontario yesterday, protesting provincial legislation that will help eliminate anti-gay bullying in schools. This rally also marked the unveiling of some brand new terminology to be used by the anti-gay lobby, as a spokesperson began referring to Gay-Straight Alliances as “homosexual sex clubs.” The protesters then . . . → Read More: Slap Upside The Head: Anti-Gay Protest In Ontario

Driving The Porcelain Bus: List of Toronto G20 Lawuits

The following is a partial list from The Toronto Star: G20 Summit: Cop Unmasked As Protest Couple File Suit (Read the Star article for all the details)

March 7, 2012: Toronto police settle a human rights claim filed by a paraplegic man arrested during the G20 summit. Terms are not public due to a . . . → Read More: Driving The Porcelain Bus: List of Toronto G20 Lawuits

Molly'sBlog: Molly’sBlog 2012-03-13 21:09:00

CANADIAN POLITICS ONTARIO: DENOUNCE AND DEFEAT DRUMMAND’S DREADFUL DIRECTIONS: Always on the lookout to squeeze the poor even further the McGuinty government of Ontario has recently received a commission report of a plan to tighten the screws from former bank executive Don Drummond. It was all that could be expected. Here is the reaction . . . → Read More: Molly’sBlog: Molly’sBlog 2012-03-13 21:09:00

Molly'sBlog: Molly’sBlog 2012-03-10 00:16:00

CANADIAN POLITICS TORONTO: KEEP THE SCHOOL HOUSE SHELTER OPEN: Here’s another callout from down Ontario way and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). This is an appeal and petition to keep a downtown homeless shelter open. Here’s the story: &&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Hello everyone, The fight for the School House Shelter and services AND housing in . . . → Read More: Molly’sBlog: Molly’sBlog 2012-03-10 00:16:00

somecanuckchick dot com: Stop Bill C-30

Did you know that aside from its short title, the words «children» and «predators» do not appear anywhere in Bill C-30?

Once again, the Harper government’s PR machine is revving up to defend another idiotic piece of proposed legislation — and when I say idiotic, I mean pathologically idiotic!

There is absolutely nothing lawful . . . → Read More: somecanuckchick dot com: Stop Bill C-30