Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy Toronto and the Patient Revolution

When I wandered through the Occupy Toronto campground today it was quiet, like most places in the city on a lazy, chilly, Sunday afternoon.

But there were more tents than ever. The food tent was busy...

So were the sign painters...

Even on a lazy Sunday, the little community was humming like a bee hive. There may be divisions.  

The question of trade-offs with authority keeps arising as an irritant. I was a little antsy Monday night when some speakers wanted to ignore the Parks Department’s request to remove the straw now covering the ground to keep the mud down. “If we allow ourselves to live with bureaucratic bullshit and this petty tin-pot dictatorship,” the demands will keep on coming, was one comment in a line of similar others.

But they are being talked out, the protests remain peaceful, the camp is clean (apart from all that straw)  and superbly organized...

(click pic to enlarge)

It still looks a lot like Woodstock to me, a wonderful little progressive oasis, in the heart of a cold, grim, Money City. And its small band of mostly young and poor inhabitants seem so innocent about the beast they are facing, I fear for their hopes and even their lives.

But their numbers are growing. For every one of them there are 50-thousand sympathizers. And together with all the other occupiers all over the world, they are making a difference.

Two weeks — or six weeks, in the case of the original Wall Street occupation — does not a movement make, but there is no doubt the Occupy campers have already made a difference.

Not to the extent that the ubiquitous Michael Moore claimed in a rallying speech to the Oakland protesters Friday, when he claimed the protesters have killed despair and apathy in his country.

Apathy is a tougher foe than that.

But Moore was right when he said the protest camps have already altered the public discussion.

Even if to me that discussion sometimes seems too slow, too vague, and too scattered....

At the Gazebo today this guy was rambling on about the glories of the sixties, and how they were for peace, and against the "neutrino bomb." And how the media should belong to the people, and why we didn't need the pharmaceutical industry because we had herbal remedies the natives used before the white people came to Canada.

But the only applause he got from the crowd, which included quite a few homeless people and street kids, was when he said he didn't like to use the word homeless because "we are all nomads."

Which is when I wandered away.

But then I'm an impatient guy. I have no time for the mindless babble of pompous poobahs or street prophets. I hate every minute of every day I have to live in Harper's Canada. I want to see a simpler message. I want to channel all this energy into a drive for political power. I want to start changing the world TOMORROW.

So although I'm glad the unions are going to give the occupiers special tents to help keep them warm in winter.

I wish they could also send in organizers to help them focus their message sooner rather than later.

The occupiers however, have other ideas. They don't want to be packaged, or co-opted, or rushed. They seem determined to get there, THEIR way, and in THEIR own time.

This it appears will be a peaceful and PATIENT revolution...

And who's to say they're wrong? Not me.

Not when in just two weeks they have started a whole new debate in this country. Not when they are using campgrounds as an incubator of new ideas, engaging the young, the old, the poor, and the marginalized, many for the first time. Not when they are taking their protest to the streets. In a country as smug and complacent and democratically lazy as this one.

So what now ? I guess I'm going to have to wait and see. Damn.

But what I can say is that whatever is happening, may not be happening fast enough for me. But something new and different is definitely happening.

And it just might change the world...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rob Ford's Horrible Halloween

Oh no. I'm sorry to report that Mayor Rob Ford is having a horrible Halloween. First he was terrorized by a 59-year-old comedian in a Princess Warrior costume.

Then he called 911. And ran for his life drove to the office. Before the police arrived.

Then he put on his halloween costume, but people were STILL scared of him.

Then he forgot to ask his family business to engrave "I'm the f***ing Mayor of Toronto" on his fancy business card.

Then a well known city columnist called him Toronto's C-Lo Green.

We have known all along what he is like.

He flips the bird at citizens when he talks on his cell in his truck. He called one of his council mates a snake and a weasel. He said another was a waste of skin.

He spewed drunken profanity, and drunken inanity, at a couple of fans at a Leafs’ game, and then he denied having been at the game, and then he retracted his denial.

And now the whole world is watching. And laughing their asses off.


Of course I don't really agree with Olbermann. To be a really Worst Person you have to be at least half intelligent. And Ford isn't. He just does what his brother Doug tells him.

But please don't tell the Americans that. Because if they find out Toronto is being run by an idiot AND his brother, they'll NEVER come and visit us.

And as for C-Lo Green ...I can only imagine what he's going to say when he hears he's been compared to Rob Ford...

And who can blame him eh?

Gawd. Could this story get any worse, or more embarrassing?

What? You've got to be kidding me.

You KNOW it will...

Try fooling yourself into thinking it's just a nightmare. I find it helps.

The nightmare that never ends. Or the gift that keeps on giving.

Happy Halloween everybody....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Conrad Black Endorses Herman Cain

Good Lordy of the Hot Crossed Buns. I see Conrad Black has gone looking for Ronald Reagan.

And found the Lord of Godfather Pizza Herman Cain.

Herman Cain is a self-made African-American, well-educated, keyed to opportunity and not victimhood, a successful fast-food executive and management buy-out financier, and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He is a likeable and even stirring speaker, though slightly unserious at times, and he has transformed the race with his advocacy of a 9-9-9 tax (a 9% tax on each of personal income, corporate income and retail sales).

The American public is so (justifiably) disgusted with its political leadership — executive and legislative — that Cain’s lack of political experience could be a political plus point.

But why I ask? It can't be his 9-9-9 tax proposal, because Connie is an intelligent man and even he must know that's RIDICULOUS. 

And it can't be the Godfather pizza, because apparently it SUCKS.

“It’s the most unappetizing,” said Nellis after just one bite. “The cheese is really sour! The crust is like a sponge.”

So I can only conclude it's because Cain is such a "stirring" speaker...

Baked Potato moths ??????

OMG. What are they feeding poor Connie in jail? Stop it I tell you !!!!!

Golly. Do you think I could order one of those spongey pizzas and have it delivered to the penitentiary? I would you know.

But what would I say if the evil warden told me, like he told Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to COMMUNICATE?"

Answer: tell that to Connie.

The Godfather for President.


The Occupy Movement and the Hippie Bus

I'm not surprised at the way the Occupy movement in Canada has been attacked by our corporate media. Or the way it has been mocked by the Con klowns at Fox News North.

But I must admit I was a bit surprised by this one.

I just couldn't understand how ANYONE could be impressed by Coren's oily and absurd rant.

Or what Red Tory...

I have to admit to experiencing a considerable amount of cognitive dissonance being largely in agreement with his withering assessment of the protesters involved in the Canadian version of this movement.

And JJ, the Unrepentant Old Hippie...

What little sympathy i may have been able to muster for the Canadian protests vanished abruptly last week when I read some of the “occupiers” on Twitter, discussing how they define “the rich” — and it turned out that their definition would include ME.

Could possibly have in common with that smarmy, limey, religious fanatic.

And then I remembered. Maybe that guy was right. Some boomers just don't get it.

I am, in other words, part of what could be called the Clueless Generation. The Clueless Generation is made up of middle-aged, professionally successful people, who grew up in a nation that featured a mostly thriving economy, low-cost higher education, and some minimal commitment to economic justice. As a consequence, we graduated from school with little or no debt, got good jobs that featured real possibilities for advancement, and have on the whole ended up doing very well for ourselves.

Can't understand that THEY were the entitled or the lucky ones, while young people in the U.S. and Canada face a future of high unemployment, poor jobs, and no benefits or pensions.

On a crowded, burning planet that most boomers won't live to see. Can't understand that Occupy Canada, as humble as it may be, is part of a global movement from Toronto to Tahrir Square.

You know it's funny eh? Every time I wander through the Occupied Toronto campground I can't help feeling that this is what being at Woodstock must have felt like. The peace signs, the music tent, the earnest, innocent idealism.

And on the Occupy Toronto website recently, somebody actually posted this song...

Which of course blew my mind eh?

Because I LOVE boomer music. And those pictures look soooooo familiar.

But sadly, the train hippie bus is leaving the station, bound for the future, and a lot of boomers won't be on it.

The good news? The best and most progressive ones WILL be riding with us. Which is a good thing because innocent idealism needs to be tempered with experience. So we can forge a movement that will really change the world. 

And because, quite frankly...

We need more songs like this one...

Hey boomers. There will always be room on my bus for you.

But I'm driving eh?

OK. Who forgot the bong?

Have a great weekend everybody...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Have You Ever Seen a Gay Kid Being Attacked?

Just for being gay.

Oh well. Now you can...

Wasn't that brutal? And isn't this horrible?

The teenager’s mother adds that no one did anything — everyone stood around and watched. Only one person took any action — which was to record this video.

Where does that savage hate come from? From a vestigial lizard brain, or the words of holy monsters? Or do you require both to be a bigot and a bully? 

When will the hideous Cons do something to fight bullying and homophobia? Instead of just mumbling hollow words.

Probably never. So we'll have to do it ourselves.

Bullying is bad.

And homophobia is EVIL...

The Fordzilla and the Princess Warrior

I didn't really want to write anything about this surrealistic confrontation, between Rob Ford, the grotesque Mayor of Toronto, and the Princess Warrior.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is apologizing for using the "f-word" during a 911 phone call but denies a report that he called dispatchers "bitches."

After being attacked in my driveway, I hope I can be excused for saying the f-word. I never called anyone any names. I apologize for expressing my frustration inappropriately."

I mean what more can you say about that eh? Except that the whole world is watching.

And that's a bitch. Because now they must think we're all IDIOTS.

And this:

(1) Any person who would tie up a 911 line, not once but twice, because he felt threatened by a well known elderly comedian, is either an irresponsible maniac, a moron, or a coward. Or all of the above.

And a public official who abuses a 911 operator should resign. Immediately.

(2) From the moment Rob Ford was sworn in as Mayor he has acted like an absolute jackass...

And the damage he is doing to this city, and its reputation, will take a generation to heal.

(3) The Ford Nation who elected him should stay in their suburbs grave yards...

And never show their faces in public again. Until well after midnight. The stumbling, bumbling, zombie CRETINS.

(4) If Stephen Harper could enthusiastically swap spit with Marge...

The Fordzilla could have at the very least offered her a friendly ear. Or let her fondle his ample buttocks.

(5) His Homophobic Monstrosity should definitely release this tape. So we can see whether he's squishing the truth. Again. And have a good laugh. Because he owes us eh?

(6) Could somebody please buy the moron a big bubble machine? To limit the damage he might do to the city, by distracting him for the rest of his term in office.

Because I understand he's easily distracted.

And it worked for these guys...

And they're MUCH smarter than him.

Oh more thing.

It turns out you CAN put lipstick on a pig...

But it's STILL a ghastly sight.

Oh no. Poor Toronto.

It was almost a world-class city.

But not anymore...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Oakland and the Power of Peaceful Protest

The backlash against the Occupy Movement has begun.

With this assault on Occupied Oakland...

And tonight the wounded protester in that video, Veterans for Peace activist Scott Olsen, is in critical condition in hospital.

And here in Canada, the writing is on the wall.

So it's important to remember this: if the police are ordered to clear a campground, the protesters must remain peaceful. So any violence inflicted on the occupiers, will reflect badly on those responsible.

And for every person arrested TWO will take their place.

For we will appear more human than them. so will our pets...

And the more peaceful our protest remains, the more powerful it will become. The more they hurt us, the more they will hurt themselves.

The occupiers should also remember that if they get kicked out of one space, they can always occupy another, and keep taking their message to the streets.

The message that more and more people are getting.

The people involved share one belief: that the currently dominant “neo-liberal” or “free market” version of capitalism is not working for the vast majority of people. While it creates wealth for some, it is also the destructive global engine behind massive and growing inequality, the current fiscal and economic crisis, and climate change and environmental collapse.

Even if some of the talking heads like Andrew Coyne still don't:

Asked whether the rallies currently sweeping the globe could bring about real change in Canada, Coyne could barely contain himself:

“Even in the U.S. where people have far more problems to actually worry about, it’s not clear that these people represent anybody other than themselves,” he frothed. “There’s always a constituency that doesn’t like capitalism (or) rich people … They just decided to get together and shout about it some more.”

Can you believe it eh? Andrew Coyne, the son of a former Bank of Governor, yapping away on the Con Broadcasting Corporation. With a silver spoon in his mouth.

Yup. Rest easy my gentle occupiers. All we have to fear is fear itself.

All we want is a better world.

Today the forces of darkness threaten us.

But tomorrow will be brighter...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Canada and the Bully Nation

I don't know why Canada is such a bully nation. What I do know is that it infects our country like syphilis, from our Parliament, to our hockey rinks, to our schools.

A 15-year-old hockey player in Manitoba was forced to parade around the dressing room with water bottles tied to his genitals, the teen's parents alleged Wednesday in an effort to end hazing rituals in minor hockey.

But after the incident became public, the 15-year-old was forced to apologize to his teammates — some as old as 20 — and his coaches suggested that he take some time off from playing, the parents said.

A country where the bullied must apologize to their bullies.

What I also know is that while bullying hurts all kinds of kids, from shy ones, to chubby ones, to disabled kids like Mitchell Wilson.

LGBT kids are particularly vulnerable, and even gay teachers can't protect them.

Early in my teaching career, I recall confiding to an associate that I was gay; she implored me to keep it quiet, as students might not react well. If an adult can be held hostage to the bigotries of 14-year-olds, what hope is there of creating any sort of safe space for LGBT teens? Who, if not everyone, will protect our struggling youth?

And what I'm absolutely sure about is that in a country where 300 kids kill themselves each year we have run out of excuses.

It's time to hold bullies accountable, it's time to embarrass their parents, it's time to tell governments to do more to stop this slaughter of young Canadians.

It's time to break the silence...

You know I like the tone of Rick's message, but asking more gay people to come out won't stop bullying. Does he seriously suggest that John Baird could be anybody's role model? 

We need to put the onus on straight people and governments to do more about the problem.

And while he's at it, he might point out that the CBC  National News has never, to my knowledge, done ANYTHING about the homophobia in our schools, and didn't even bother to cover Jamie Hubley's death.

Oh yeah. Canada is a sick country.

And it's time to make it better...

Requiem for the Long-Gun Registry

If you've followed my little blog over the years you know how I feel about the long-gun registry. So you can imagine how I feel tonight.

Stephen Harper has begun the process of shuttering Canada’s long-gun registry, tabling a bill to scrap a database on firearms owners that for rank-and-file Conservatives stood as a powerful symbol of everything that’s wrong with big government.

Determined to drive a stake through the heart of the registry, which cost more than $2-billion to establish, the Tories are going so far as to destroy the data.

And I'm SURE you know how I feel about Candy Hoeppner...

“They’re upstanding citizens who work hard. They take their kids and grandkids out hunting and shooting and those kids, by the way, probably aren’t involved in gangs in the streets,” she said.

“These are good salt-of-the-earth people and for so long they have had really nobody in government who has been able to make any changes on their behalf.

As if they're upstanding citizens and those who live in cities i.e. most Canadians, are criminals. As if we should feel sorry for those too cheap, too dumb, or too paranoid to fill out a form. And register a gun like they register so many other things.

As if it was all about criminals instead of helping to protect the lives of police officers and paramedics. As if it was all about farmers and hunters instead of mental illness.

Or domestic abuse:

Or protecting the lives of women.

As if the Cons aren't the real criminals for endangering the lives of so many Canadians.

As if their decision to destroy the data wasn't an outrage against democracy.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said today that all the records of the gun registry are being destroyed for one reason -- to thwart future, more gun-registry-friendly governments.

And Stephen Harper wasn't a crazed authoritarian.

From last week, in the House of Commons:

(Stephen Harper) Mr. Speaker, the law of our constitutional system is extremely clear. A previous government cannot bind a future government to its policy.

Or a lying maniac who would do ANYTHING to change Canada beyond recognition.

But of course what bothers me the most is the way those misogynistic Cons are defiling the memory of the murdered women of the École Polytechnique...

And all those who worked so hard in their name to make Canada less of a gun-friendly society. A gentler, safer place.

How soon people forget the horror of gun violence...

But I won't forget. I vow tonight that however long it takes, however hard the struggle, that I will work to unite progressives, defeat the Cons, bring back the registry, and take back my country from those rabid teabaggers who would turn it into Amerika.

Oh boy. Tomorrow I'll be angry. Tonight I'm thinking of those poor murdered young women, and all those who loved them.

And I'm just so sorry...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jamie Hubley, the Cons, and the Cycle of Hate

It's been about a week since Jamie Hubley killed himself. And although for a while I was so sad I could hardly write about this tragedy, now I'm feeling better.

Because now I've seen how many young Canadians have been moved to action.

I have been encouraged by the amount of attention his death has received in the MSM, after so many years of shameful silence. And this was a pleasant surprise.

But here's the thing eh?

When it comes to the Harper Cons words are not enough.

Dan Savage, the Seattle columnist who started the “It Gets Better” movement, wrote that Canada’s Conservatives who have made it worse for gays and lesbians in the past can have evolving views.

“But it’s going to take more than a video to undo the damage done by Vic Toews and Canada’s conservatives,’’ Savage wrote. “This was, quite literally, the least Vic and his conservatives could do. The very least.’’

Because in five years in power they have done NOTHING to fight bullying and homophobia. Nothing to break the cycle of hate.

Like my beautiful province is doing.

Now is the time for the Harper government to redeem itself by supporting a national strategy to fight bullying and homophobia in our schools. If they did that I still wouldn't vote for them, but I would be the first to applaud them.

Because I believe in the power of redemption, and protecting children, gay or straight, should not be a partisan issue, just the right, decent, and HUMAN thing to do.

So I never have to watch a Canadian kid cry out for help.

And have his or her words fall on deaf ears.

Like Jamie's did...

Jamie called his YouTube channel Catch me Blondy.

But nobody caught him in time.

Let his death move us ALL to action.

So it never happens again...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why the Occupy Movement Can't Fail

I went down to the Occupy Toronto campground yesterday, just as the protesters were setting off on a march to City Hall. So naturally I followed them, and had a great time.

Only to discover later, much to my surprise, that according to some in the MSM I was marching with a dying movement.

Miserable weather for camping and public apathy appears to be taking a toll on the "occupy" movement in Canada, even as protesters in Toronto took to the streets for a march and rally at City Hall on Saturday.

Which sort of echoes what the old Con Andrew "Silver Spoon" Coyne had to say the other day, when he dismissed the movement saying more people had lined up for the latest i-phone.

Now it's true that the core group is still a small one. A coming together of young and old activists, community groups, the poor, and the marginalized.

But what Coyne and the other cons don't seem to understand is that this movement has spread all over the world in a matter of weeks. Its message is resonating with millions, and framing a new debate. The global consensus has finally been broken.

These people have not come to protest just against a bad law or a single issue, but the system itself. They are putting capitalism in the dock. The photograph powerfully captures this moment because it so vividly shows the symbols of the order of things that inhabitants of western economies have up to now accepted.

The monster finally exposed.

Occupy Wall Street and the global movement it is inspiring may yet prove to be an effective call for change, or a flash in the pan. That is not the point. Nor does it even matter if the protest is right or wrong. What matters is that unfettered capitalism, a force for economic dynamism that seemed unassailable, beyond reproach or reform, a monster we learned to be grateful for, suddenly finds its ugliness widely commented on, exposed among the lights of Times Square. The emperor of economics has no clothes.

Yup. The Occupy movement can't fail, because it has already won.

And an idea doesn't need a campground to continue to grow, until it eventually changes the world...

As this one must. For unless the capitalist monster is tamed, or replaced by a better system, it will destroy us ALL.

The writing is on the wall...

As economic conditions deteriorate more people will understand that, and more will join the movement.

So even if the campgrounds go down, the light will burn on. It may be necessary to occupy a physical space right now, as Alice Klein says here.

As long as Occupy Toronto manages to sustain its presence in the park, it will have that vital ingredient of time to work through the kinks. Time is needed to get the logistics together, to build community, to forge links with the larger community of supporters, to develop even more powerful means of communication and group process. And finally, time is needed to coalesce around more specific messages and bigger, even more inclusive actions.

But one way or the other, time is on our side.

And the struggle will continue...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Tragic Death of Jamie Hubley

I know a lot about suicide. Ever since I saw a young straight couple jump in front of a train at the McGill Metro station I have tried to do what I can to prevent it.

I have worked as a volunteer in the mental health system in Montreal and Toronto. In the last few days I have been too tired to blog because I have been visiting a colleague who tried to kill himself, and the experience has left me physically drained, and emotionally numb.

I wanted to write so badly about the awesome Occupy movement. But I just couldn't. So the last thing I needed to read tonight was this sad story.

Another gay kid murdered by bullies. In a country that doesn't care enough about this crime against the young.

Another last entry in a blog full of teenage pain.

Being sad is sad : /. I’v been like this for way to long. I cant stand school, I cant stand earth, I cant stand society, I cant stand the scars on my arms, I cant fucking stand any fucking thing.

I dont want my parents to think this is their fault either… I love my mom and dad : ) Its just too hard. I dont want to wait 3 more years, this hurts too much. How do you even know It will get better? Its not.

So tragically similar to so many others...

The slashed arms, the bandaged wrists, the cries for help that were never answered. I know them all. I know that about 95 percent of the young people who try to kill themselves are suffering from some kind of mental illness like depression or schizophrenia. I know the warning signs.

I know we need to invest more money in our mental health system. I know we need to smash the stigma and talk more openly about mental illness and the problem that is killing so many Canadians. From native teens to men in their eighties.

And above all I know that bullying can drive a depressed kid to suicide. And it must STOP.

It will get better. But only when we as a society MAKE it better.

You know....I support the Occupy movement because I want a kinder, gentler, world where bigotry and bullying and cruel things don't happen. Where people come before profits and war machines.

And that day can't come soon enough.

Poor Jamie Hubley. Another gay kid murdered by homophobia.

Going out lonely.

Singing this song...

Born this way.To die at fifteen.

When will the slaughter end? What kind of country are we?

When is enough ENOUGH?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy the World: The Uprising Has Begun

I missed the march to the park.

But when I saw the pictures on TV at work, and I saw how the Occupy movement is spreading.

I knew that I was right when I said the other day that this is a movement that could change the world, and save it from destruction.

Then tonight on my way home I went to the park and the mood was electric...

A large group of demonstrators had just finished a noisy march around the block, escorted by a contingent of cops on bicycles.

And in the dark park, a wild drumming party was in progress...

But what struck me was the incredible level of organization. Food, water, and other supplies were pouring into the park, and a logistics committee was running around barking out orders with almost military precision.

Don't be fooled by appearances. These people are serious, and they won't be easily moved.

And the dumbos in the MSM shouldn't be confused by their seemingly disparate demands. Because as far as I can see most of them have one thing in common. They are all complaints about a decaying economic system.

Companies, Roubini said, are motivated to minimize costs, save money and stockpile cash, but this leads to less money in the hands of employees, which means they have less money to spend and flow back to companies -- [thus] weakening the capitalist system.

Now, in the current financial crisis, consumers, in addition to having less money to spend, are also motivated to minimize costs -- to save, to stockpile cash and to pay down debt -- thus magnifying the effect of less money flowing back to companies.

They can fix the banking system in Europe, but it won't bring the good jobs back. Without those jobs, and with high levels of debt, consumers can't keep consuming.

And if capitalism can't grow, or magically morph into a low growth version.

So far governments have responded to the renewed crisis of capitalism by frantically seeking to invoke the old magic again, to start the engine of creative destruction once more. The means to do so no longer exist. Even if they did, they would only delay and enlarge the underlying problems.

But now, in the wake of the English riots and faced with possible collapse, we are at last beginning to talk about the issues ignored while the illusion persisted: equality, exclusion, the feral rich and the discarded poor and, in WH Auden's words, about "what the god had wrought / To please her son, the strong / Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles / Who would not live long."

It will DIE. It's really that simple.

Yup. The conditions for a movement like OWS to grow have never been more favorable.

The time is NOW.

And the message couldn't be clearer...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Canada: Now It's Our Turn

As the Occupy Wall Street Movement goes global.

Protesters worldwide geared up for a cry of rage on Saturday against bankers, financiers and politicians they accuse of ruining global economies and condemning millions to poverty and hardship through greed.

In just a few hours it will be our turn.

What started online in Vancouver, with the rallying hashtag cry of #OCCUPYWALLSTREET — will materialize Saturday in rallies and camp-outs in at least six cities across Canada — Ottawa, Victoria, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and of course, Vancouver.

I know some Canadians think that an Occupy movement won't take root here. Because Canada is different eh?

But they are wrong.

"We have the same dominant ideology in Canada, in terms of really prioritizing the interests of large corporations, of the big banks, of the wealthy over the interests of the majority of the population," she said. "That's what I think this movement is really a response to.

And besides this movement is bigger than Canada. Because it must be a global one if we are going to be able to save the planet for all the humans who will follow us. And all the other living things that call earth home.

Right now it's more about how than what. But at least it's asking the question that really needs to be asked:

“They are not protests that are making demands; they are protests that are aimed at having discussions amongst people and taking the space and time to do that: ‘What sort of world do we want?’”

I know I want a better world.

I believe in the power of peaceful protest.

And that now is the time everybody must ask themselves these questions:

Do I really want to save to save the planet? Will I let fear or greed blind me?

Am I a rebel or a slave?

And of course, which side am I on ?

See you at the party.

Go Vancouver. Go Montreal. Go Calgary. 


The battle for the future has begun.

And we can change the world...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: We Are Not Afraid

I see that New York's monkey police are threatening to crackdown on Occupy Wall Street.

A possible confrontation between New York police and hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protestors loomed Thursday after a Canadian company requested police help while cleaning up three weeks' worth of garbage at the movement's base in Zuccotti Park.

And that a Canadian company is to blame. Just in case anyone still thought that corporate Canada was different.

Or that the Canadian hogs weren't getting fatter and fatter. Or that it couldn't happen here.

How can the Occupy movement not touch a chord? Put plainly, there is something completely screwy about a society in which, to take a current Canadian example, airline attendants, some of whom barely make $50,000 a year, are being challenged on their legitimate right to strike while, as Toronto Life magazine recently reports in its hot-off-the-press Who Earns What issue, certain fund managers in Toronto raked in salaries up to $34-million last year.

Now they know better.

Just like those corporate hogs should know that we are not afraid. They can't stop a movement that has the survival of the planet as its banner. They can't arrest or kill an idea.

They don't stand a chance against this kind of  call to action.

There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.

And the power of peaceful protest.

Yup.This is a movement whose time has come.

You can't arrest an idea.

I'd rather be a poor rebel than a rich slave.

And together we shall change the world....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Missing Women and the Ugly Truth

I'm glad the inquiry into the case of Vancouver's missing women has finally begun.

But this makes me so angry.

Because it only makes worse the ugly truth at the heart of this tragedy.

The fact that the killing went on for so long because city officials and the police didn't care enough about the missing women, because they were aboriginal, poor, and marginalized.

So their voices, and the voices of those who loved them, fell on deaf ears.

Women like the beautiful and gentle Sarah de Vries were treated as less than human...

And went like lambs to the slaughter.

Robert Pickton was the bestial murderer, but as I once wrote, indifference was his accomplice, and that was the other horror of the pig farm massacre.

Yes. The ugly truth was known long before this inquiry even started. But it can't be repeated enough.

And ALL voices must be heard.

So the whole country can hear the message.

So those poor murdered women can finally rest in peace.

So it never happens again...