Alice Walker on Encountering the Horror

From the Voices Education Project

Alice Walker is one of my favourite American poets and political activists. She is, I believe, a role model for all poets and all citizens of the world. In her recent essay, OVERCOMING SPEECHLESSNESS: A Poet Encounters “the horror” in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel,” she details the horrors of hatre,d and the amazing capacity of women to survive, with references to each of those locations, most particularly Gaza.

There is no hiding what Israel has done or what it does on a daily basis to protect and extend its power. It uses weapons that cut off limbs without bleeding; it drops bombs into people’s homes that never stop detonating in the bodies of anyone who is hit; it causes pollution so severe it is probable that Gaza may be uninhabitable for years to come, though Palestinians, having nowhere else to go, will have to live there.

She reminds us that Israel fed the South African Apartheid government a diet of arms and expertise,  but that regime fell thanks to worldwide pressure.  She encourages each of us to take action, to speak out, to make our voices heard so that we bring down the Israeli regime.

UDP: Saskatchewan’s biggest scam

Saskatchewan Premier, Brad Wall, is attempting to pull off the biggest scam in the province’s history.  He called together a cabal of his cronies, an all-male group posing as a panel of experts, and named them the Uranium Development Partnership. Their report, “Capturing the full potential of the uranium value chain in Saskatchewan” is, quite simply, a propaganda piece on behalf of the nuclear industry.  It tries to sell the idea that “nuclear industry is enjoying a global renaissance” when, in fact, it is dying.  According to The Nation,

The fact is, nuclear power has not recovered from the crisis that hit it three decades ago with the reactor fire at Browns Ferry, Alabama, in 1975 and the meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. Then came what seemed to be the coup de grâce: Chernobyl in 1986. The last nuclear power plant ordered by a US utility, the TVA’s Watts Bar 1, began construction in 1973 and took twenty-three years to complete. Nuclear power has been in steady decline worldwide since 1984, with almost as many plants canceled as completed since then.

Wall Street will not invest in the nuke industry.  Forbes magazine says it’s a “managerial disaster.”  Still, Wall’s 12 Disciples of the UDP say we need a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan.

We can Go Green, they say, even though nukes are definitely far from green.

We can Make Money, sell the power to the USA, they say, even though nukes always cost more than expected.and the USA may not buy “dirty energy.”

We can make medical isotopes and Save Lives, they say, even though there are alternatives to the nukey isotopes.

So why the hard-sell for a nuclear reactor? What are little Bradley Wall and his buddy Billy Boyd really up to?

Most agree that it’s all about fueling the Tar Sands, the most destructive project on Earth.  The tar sands have prompted Alberta writer, Andrew Nikiforuk, to write the award-winning, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, in which he declares a political emergency:

A business-as-usual case for the tar sands will change Canada forever. It will enrich a few powerful companies, hollow out the economy, destroy the world’s third-largest watershed, industrialize nearly one-quarter of Alberta’s landscape, consume the last of the nation’s natural gas supplies, and erode Canadian sovereignty.

A coalition of Saskatchewan residents and organizations has taken up the call.  The Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan (CGS) has worked hard to bring the real issues to the public eye and, if participation in Wall’s so-calledconsultation process” is any indication, CGS has been very successful!  In all, almost 2,000 concerned citizens turned out to the consultation meetings across the province.

I was not one of them.  I could not bring myself to legitimate this scam by participating in it, though I did participate in the Elm Dance outside the Regina meeting location.  Call me what you will; I can take it.  But I have to live with myself when this is all said and done.  Thank goodness for those who were able to move beyond the illegitimacy of the UDP and make their views known.  I suppose this post is my meagre contribution to that.

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