I Stand With Standing Rock #NoDAPL!

the regina mom is more than a little concerned about what’s going on in North Dakota. Indigenous people who witnessed the graves of their ancestors being dug up so that a pipeline can cross a river, a pipeline that will endanger their water and the water supply for millions downstream, are being terrorized.

The brutal and barbaric attack by a militarized police force acting on behalf of the failing and flailing oil and gas industry was over the top! the regina mom watched the live feed coming in  on Sunday night.  When she heard the police defending it, saying they didn’t use water cannons or grenades, that they were putting out fires, she was enraged!  And now a young woman may lose her arm because she supported the water protectors, was there praying with them.  Not only are there witnesses to the grenade attack but there’s also video footage.

There’s also this, from Wab Kinew, a musician, author, broadcaster, educator and an NDP Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, Canada.  He reminds us all that the action taken by the Indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock is a spiritual one.  A spiritual one.  In their cultural and spiritual traditions, water is sacred.  Mni wiconi.

“Traditional Indigenous people do not see Standing Rock as activism. For people who have heard the words ‘mni wiconi’ since birth, this is simply answering the call of duty,” Kinew said.

He added that while everyone may not agree on how to fight climate change, the situation in North Dakota is a “powerful lesson for us in how not to pursue reconciliation.”

On Saturday, November 26 at 3 pm CST the regina mom will Pray With Standing Rock.  From Wikipedia:

Prayer (from the Latin precari “to ask earnestly, beg, entreat”)[1] is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication.

For the regina mom prayer is poetry, meditation, and song.  She invites you to join in the global prayer in your own way.  Register at praywithstandingrock.com so that they have an idea of the numbers, read the great information they have posted there, and keep abreast of ongoing activities at www.facebook.com/unify.

Mni wiconi

 

Canada creeps toward becoming a closed society

Nick Fillmore asks a question the regina mom has been grappling with for years: “Is Stephen Harper displaying fascist-like tendencies?” Ever since Naomi Wolf published “Ten Steps To Close Down an Open Society” at the Huffington Post in April, 2007, an essay has been brewing on trm‘s computer.  (Yes, trm admits to being a slow writer.)

Wolf’s research for that article became the book, The End of America, which documents “how open societies become closed societies.” Her family’s friends, Holocaust survivors, urged her to explore a few texts and the result was what she called a “blueprint” that has been adapted by several societies when making a shift from an open to a closed society.  In the HuffPo piece she named ten significant pieces of the blueprint and showed how they were at work in the USA at that time.

To complement Nick Fillmore’s work, trm thought she’d finally share, in point form, what she discovered by placing Wolf’s blueprint on Canada.

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

  • What’s more terrifying to a parent than ‘child pornographers’?  According to Vic Toews, the regina mom’s opposition to Bill C-30 — the Snoop and Spy bill — means that she stands with “the child pornographers”.  How does that make a mother feel?
  • Women should be used to it, perhaps.  Years ago, the Prime Minister suggested women’s groups are of the “left-wing fringe.”
  • More recently, as trm has noted, on the eve of the Joint Energy Board’s hearings on the Northern Gateway Pipeline, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver had choice words to describe those in opposition to the proposed pipeline.  He painted “environmental and other radical groups” as those wanting to “block this opportunity to diversify our trade” regardless “the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth.” The groups have a “radical ideological agenda” and will “exploit any loophole they can find” to “kill good projects” with “funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest.”

2. Create a gulag

3. Develop a thug caste

  • The Fifth Estate‘s documentary, Out of Control, about the suicide of Ashley Smith when she was improperly incarcerated in a penitentiary and allowed to die. [Warning: It is difficult to watch.]

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

  • Since 9/11 Canadians have witnessed an alarming increase in surveillance measures.  Are the new airport scanners and procedures are part of the scheme?

5. Harass citizens’ groups

  • Forest Ethics supports its former employee in his allegations that the PMO is trying to “to silence and intimidate non profit organizations like ForestEthics, and the thousands of citizens and civil groups who, like us, are concerned about the direction this country is taking and are speaking out.

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

  • G20 protests were an exercise in arbitrary detention and release and suspension of civil rights, as pieced together by CBC’s The Fifth Estate.
  • Saskatoon’s “Starlight Tours” as highlighted in the NFB film Two Worlds Colliding, about the freezing death of Neil Stonechild at the hands of Saskatoon police officers.

7. Target key individuals

  • Franke James is a visual artist with a strong ecological leaning whose federal government funding for a show in Croatia was “suddenly cancelled by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa, with the words, ‘Who was the idiot who approved an art show by that woman, Franke James?‘”  She has asked and is currently awaiting a meeting with her MP, Joe Oliver, who announced he would meet with environmentalists if asked.

8. Control the press

  • Early on in the Conservatives’ mandate the PMO set in motion new ways of co-ordinating and disseminating of news and information by the government of Canada.

9. Dissent equals treason

  • Item #5 above identifies ForestEthics as a harassed citizens’ group. It’s former employee Andrew Frank maintains that he and other employees were told the PMO considered them to be enemies of the state.
  • Recently, Canadians were advised that they may be placed on counter-terrorism watch lists if they are involved in “the promotion of various causes such as animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism” activities.

10. Suspend the rule of law

  • The conservative government has twice prorogued Parliament while critical debates and actions were underway that may have toppled the Minority government.

 

 

As you can clearly see, dear Reader, Canada is active in every area of the blueprint Wolf found.  And, up against Nick Fillmore’s piece, there is definitely overlap.  Canada is creeping towards closing down as a society, to becoming a fascist state.

Our democracy is very fragile.  Hold onto her tightly.

Violent Repression & the Agenda of the Elite – A Collection of Important G20 Stories

Further to yesterday’s post about what some women have endured at the hands of police while detained by Toronto’s horrific police force during the G20 demos in Toronto, here is a compendium of links put together by my friend, Pete Garden, who runs Turning the Tide Bookstore in Saskatoon.

Dear friends, fellow community members and supporters of Turning the Tide Bookstore,

As many of you know, 20 of the most powerful people in the world and their respective entourages gathered in Toronto and Huntsville, Ontario for the G8/G20 meetings. Protecting them was a $1 billion dollar security apparatus including a 6 km long security fence and thousands of police and private security. Mobility of the entire city was limited by the security presence and in many areas of downtown Toronto, Charter rights were suspended before the meetings even began. The events which unfolded over the weekend saw thousands (some say upwards of 25,000) of protesters taking to the streets to bring their challenges and concerns with the policies of this elite group of leaders to the attention of the world. The weekend also saw militant protesters in the black bloc attack corporate property and police vehicles followed by the largest mass arrests of protesters (nearly 1,000 people) in Canadian history.

While black bloc tactics of property destruction were a divisive issue within the movement and public at large, protesters were united in one voice against the draconian police crackdown on overwhelmingly peaceful protests. According to long-time social justice activist an author Judy Rebick who as at a press conference with police representatives today, the Toronto police have admitted to receiving stand-down orders while property destruction took place and many people suspect that police cars were abandoned in the middle of streets as decoys to attract vandalism and were let to burn for over 30 minutes for media photo-ops. Many believe that the police used this situation as a pretense to brutally repress protesters not involved in property destruction (about 50 to 100 people were involved in the vandalism while nearly 1000 have been arrested).

Meanwhile, independent media journalists and social media tools were used to document what happened over the weekend and what thousands of people around the world are seeing is quite shocking. Other independent and a handful of mainstream were providing substantial critical coverage of what was going on within the G8/G20 meetings.

Many of us have been glued to our computers watching as our friends in Toronto bravely challenged the security apparatus and felt brunt of the violent crackdown of the state. We hope that once you have seen and read about what happened over the weekend that you will take action both to support the protesters who were arrested and do what you can to hold our governments and the police forces responsible for their actions.

What we hope to provide here is some of the most important coverage and analysis of the events that unfolded on the streets and behind the fences at the summit.

Taking Action:

Stay tuned for the announcement of a Saskatoon fundraiser for the G20 arrestees.

http://movementdefence.org/G20appeal
Appeal for broad political support for the G20 arrestees.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canadians-Demanding-a-Public-Inquiry-into-Toronto-G20/131026933597789
Facebook group demanding a public inquiry into the actions of the police in Toronto

Call your Member of Parliament, write a letter to your local newspaper, call in to radio shows, mobilize your friends.

The Issues:

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/6/28/toronto_police_arrest_over_600_in
Democracy now! has produced the best video piece overview of the summit and the issues of the protesters were raising.

http://www.rabble.ca/rabbletv
Rabble livestream rebroadcast of “Shout Out for Global Justice Teach-in” on June 25th with Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Vandana Shiva, Leo Gerard, Maude Barlow, Pablo Salon, and Clayton Thomas-Muller

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/g8-g20/opinion/sticking-the-public-with-the-bill-for-the-bankers-crisis/article1620729/
Naomi Klein’s analysis of how the G20 leaders are sticking the public with the bill for the banker’s economic crisis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3vRNBeMwVA
An interview with Vandana Shiva about the (il)legitimacy of the G20

http://www.metronews.ca/edmonton/canada/article/564338–harper-rejects-advice-to-eliminate-production-subsidies-for-oil-sands
Harper refuses to eliminate subsidies for the tar sands

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/free-market-stealth-economics-g20/3867
Free Market Stealth Economics at the G20 – An analysis of the threat of bilateral trade agreements

Police repression and the security apparatus:

Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Heb9BXjYcII
Peaceful protesters singing O Canada rushed by a line of riot police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiLt40d_AbU
Police attack a peaceful group gathering outside the jail to support their fellow activists

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7OA920pbv8
Journalists attacked, deaf man arrested for failing to hear police orders

http://vimeo.com/12925239
Independent journalist Amy Miller describes detention including rape threats, strip-searches of women by male officers and touching that could be considered sexual assault.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZgjX5vHt2o
A young man embarrasses police before protests by demanding his Charter rights while entering a public park

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaYbq484abs
Police surround protesters and attack at Queens Park on Saturday

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/fr/video/compilation-videos-about-police-violence/3897#comment-4727
Compilation of videos on police violence

Articles:

http://www.thestar.com/article/828876–porter-when-police-stick-to-phony-script
The Miami Model – the blueprint used by Toronto police for repression during summits.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/828367–g20-law-gives-police-sweeping-powers-to-arrest-people?bn=1#article
Secret law passed to give police powers to violate charter rights and arrest.

http://rabble.ca/news/2010/06/challenging-toronto%E2%80%99s-corporate-security-walls
The link between the security fence construction and Canada’s arms industry

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829921–i-will-not-forget-what-they-have-done-to-me?bn=1
“I will not forget what they have done to me” – 20 people arrested at the G20 tell of ‘inhumane’ treatment at the hands of police

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/world/americas/28security.html
A New York Times article critical of the police crackdown.

http://transformingpower.ca/en/blog/toronto-burning-or-it
Toronto is Burning! Or is it? By Judy Rebick – a look at the media distortions in the coverage of Saturday’s events.

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/%E2%80%9Ci-woke-gun-pointed-me%E2%80%9D/3836
“I woke up to a gun pointed at me” – Pre-G20 house raids target activists and neighbours

The Black Bloc

http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com/2010/06/g20-capitalism-is-attacked-in-streets.html
Agree with them or not, it is important to understand the black bloc and why people engaged in more militant tactics.

http://vimeo.com/12920201
Professor David McNally discusses the political ideology of Anarchism and the black bloc tactic.

Thank you for reading and please forward to your networks

UppityUpdate: TorStar editorial re the “brutal spectacle”