Events around the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Anarchist Bookfair in Baltimore have already kicked off, and tonight is a night of music and spoken word before the actual bookfairing will begin tomorrow. It’ll be an event not to be missed!
Tonight,Thursday June 29th, in cooperation with Sonar (407 E. Saratoga St.), the Bookfair is proud to present an evening of spoken word performance with Jello Biafra(Dead Kennedys, Alternative Tentacles). Tickets are $12 in advance. Doors open at 6PM. Check the Sonar website for more information.
Right after the Jello Biafra performance, celebrate the start of the Bookfair with a night of Radical Hip-Hop, featuring Baltimore's Son of Nun, DJ Malatesta and Drowning Dog of Entartete Kunst(anarchist hip-hop from the bay area, appearing for the first time on the east coast), and DC's Head-Roc, plus DJ's in the lounge all night. Doors open at 9PM - free admission if you have a Jello Biafra ticket. Check the Sonar website for more information.
The 2006 Mid-Atlantic Radical Bookfair will take place from June 30 - July 2 in Baltimore, Mayland. The Bookfair brings together radical and independent publishers, distributors, bookstores, and authors for a weekend of workshops, panel discussions, and performances engaging with a variety of topics from radical approaches to social services, to anti-war activism, to political art and aesthetics. Co-organized by volunteers from the Red Emma's collective (B'more), Wooden Shoe Books (Philadelphia), and the Alternative Press Center (B'more), and a whole host of others, the 2006 Bookfair promises to be an engaging and exciting celebration of informed resistance in the Mid-Atlantic area!
The 2006 Mid-Atlantic Bookfair will take place at CENTERSTAGE, one of Baltimore's most beloved independent theaters, located just 3 blocks away from the center of the Mount Vernon district, and just a block away from Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse.
Center Stage: 700 North Calvert Street (in the Mount Vernon neighbourhood) – for directions click here
Red Emma’s: 800 St Paul St. (just a block away from Center Stage)
This is not just a bookfair, but also an anarchist gathering, with keynote addresses from Ward Churchill and Christian Parenti, and dozens of workshops dealing with all manner of interesting issues. For a list of workshops and conference schedule, click here.
Lest you hadn’t guessed – i’m planning on tabling at this event, so drop by and say hi if you’re there!
(For a list of everyone else tabling click here)
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Events around the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Anarchist Bookfair in Baltimore have already kicked off, and tonight is a night of music and spoken word before the actual bookfairing will begin tomorrow. It’ll be an event not to be missed!
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Some good news for a change:
For the past two months, Community Friends for Peace and Understanding with Six Nations, a new organization that includes local Caledonia residents, members of the labor movement, community activists and representatives from Six Nations has been meeting every week in Caledonia to figure out ways to build support for Six Nations land rights and to pressure the Canadian government to negotiate with Six Nations on a nation to nation basis.
The group has been working within the Caledonian community to overcome racism and hatred directed against Six Nations people by peacefully engaging Caledonians within anti-native demonstrations, bringing information about Six Nations door to door within the community, and leafleting within town. The group is also working to build political and financial support within the trade union movement for the people of Six Nations and is networking with other community organizations and progressive networks regionally, nationally and internationally to share information and resources in support of the Six Nations struggle.
As Jan Watson, a Caledonia resident and spokesperson for the group states: "many Caledonians support the land rights of Six Nations, and we believe that the only way the tensions between Six Nations and Caledonians can be overcome is by the federal government negotiating in good faith on a nation to nation basis."
The group has had representation and participation from native and non-native Caledonia residents, Six Nations residents, as well as members of CAW 707, CAW 555, CUPE 3903, CUPE 3906, CUPE 5167, USWA 1005, USWA 1998, the CUPE National Aboriginal Council, the McMaster Indigenous Studies Program, the Six Nations youth group “Spirit of the Youth”, the Niagara and District Labour Council, and the McMaster University Community. (Note: the listing of these organizations does not imply that the organization as a whole supports or is a member of the coalition, but identifies the organizational affiliation of those who have been present at our meetings.)
Jan Watson, a spokesperson for the group is available for comment and can be contacted at smiley100 [at] mountaincable.net or by phone at 289-284-0154. The webpage of the group is available at www.honorsixnations.com
The following is the basis of Unity for Community Friends for Peace and
Understanding with Six Nations
firstname.lastname@example.org 289-284-0154 www.honorsixnations.com
Who we are: We are a group that includes local Caledonia residents, members of the labor movement, community activists and representatives from Six Nations who have joined together to support the reclamation of the Douglas Creek Estates. We believe that the Six Nations people have been cheated of their land rights, and that the Canadian government needs to honor existing treaties with Six Nations and deal with them on a nation to nation basis.
Our Political Stance: We unequivocally support the people of Six Nations and do not view the tensions that have developed in Caledonia over the past month as having been caused by the people of Six Nations. The Six Nations people have legitimate grievances stretching back hundreds of years and their rights have been consistently ignored and misrepresented by Canadian authorities, the mainstream media and the education system. On April 20, 2006, the OPP conducted an early-morning raid on peaceful protesters occupying the Douglas Creek Estates. It is our understanding that the OPP guaranteed that the people occupying the land would receive fair warning and an opportunity to elect to leave the property. This promise was not upheld by the OPP. The blockades established by Six Nations on Highway 6, Argyle Street, and the railways were erected after they were physically attacked by the OPP. With these barricades, the Six Nations people have had their just claims noticed and recognized by the Canadian government and the Canadian public. The blockades and power outages may have been inconvenient for the people of Caledonia but they pale in comparison to the racism, colonialism and dispossession that the Six Nations people have faced for the past 200 years.
Our Goals: The goal of our coalition is to build a broad spectrum of support to pressure the Canadian provincial and federal governments to:
1. Immediately return full title of the Douglas Creek Estates to the Six Nations people.
2. Drop all criminal charges against all Six Nations people stemming from the resistance to the unprovoked April 20 OPP raid on the reclamation site. Furthermore we believe that the government should not lay any new charges on Six Nations people for defending their land and their rights.
3. Immediately begin full negotiations on a nation to nation basis with the Six Nations people to swiftly, fairly and peacefully resolve all outstanding land claims concerning the Haldimand tract.
4. We will work to educate people in Caledonia and elsewhere about the issue of Six Nations land rights and the wider issue of indigenous sovereignty on Turtle Island / the Americas.
5. We look forward to a future where the people of Caledonia and the people of Six Nations can heal the divisions within our communities and come together in peace and understanding.
The focus of our work will be to develop and build the widest possible solidarity and action in support of the reclamation of Douglas Creek Estates through the following initiatives.
What we will do:
1. We will work within the Caledonian community to overcome the racism and hatred which has been whipped up against Six Nations people. We will do this by peacefully engaging Caledonians within the anti-native demonstrations, bringing information about Six Nations door to door within the community, organizing within the high schools, and by encouraging community dialogue and discussion within public forums and events.
2. We will work to build political, financial, and active support within the trade union movement for the people of Six Nations. This will include encouraging trade union locals to pass motions of support and to send solidarity donations and delegations to Six Nations but will also involve encouraging unions to organize within their own locals to educate their membership about the issues and take political action in support of initiatives to meet our goals.
3. We will work with other community organizations and progressive networks regionally, nationally and internationally to share information and resources in support of the Six Nations struggle.
Our coalition currently has representation and participation from native and non-native Caledonia residents, Six Nations residents, as well as members of CAW 707, CAW 555, CUPE 3903, CUPE 3906, CUPE 5167, USWA 1005, USWA 1998, the CUPE National Aboriginal Council, the McMaster Indigenous Studies Program, the Six Nations youth group “Spirit of the Youth”, the Niagara and District Labour Council, and the McMaster University Community. (Note: the listing of these organizations does not imply that the organization as a whole supports or is a member of the coalition, but identifies the organizational affiliation of those present at our meetings.)
We can be reached at smiley100 [at] mountaincable.net or by phone at 289-284-0154. Our webpage is available at www.honorsixnations.com
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
QUIT! activists who formed the Estee Slaughter team at LGBT Freedom Day in San Francisco. (QUIT!)
The following article is just another reminder as to why i do not normally participate in Queer Pride events… the rightwards turn of the queer community over the past ten years just makes the experience alternately nauseating and painful.
The following report on an action against human rights abuses in Palestine which of course got kicked out of this year’s San Francisco Pride:
Estee Slaughter Kicked Out of LGBT Festival
2500 lucky festival-goers at today's Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans Freedom Day celebration received samples of a hot new product from Estee Slaughter Inc. In the first appearance by the San Francisco-based cosmetics shrimp at the LGBTFD celebration (aka San Francisco Pride), volunteers distributed thousands of the "Realityfold TM" sleep mask. The black mask, tastefully emblazoned in gold with the ES logo and "Make the Occupation Disappear," bears this explanatory text on its flip side:
Going to Jerusalem for World Pride?
Worried the sight of so many Walls and Checkpoints will keep you from getting your beauty rest? Estee Slaughter's Realityfolds will protect you from the harsh glow of Occupation so you can party in virtual peace.
Estee Lauder heir Ron Lauder, the president of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) is a vocal supporter of illegal Zionist settlements on Palestinian land. The JNF was founded in 1901 to buy up Palestinian land for use by Jews only. Since 1948 it has partnered with the Israeli government to expel over 1,000,000 Palestinians from their land and deny the refugees their right to return.
World Pride will be held in Jerusalem in August 2006. 10 minutes away from the march site, Israeli bulldozers are demolishing Palestinian homes to expand the illegal settlement of Maaleh Adumim.
Distributors, wearing the ES logo on newly minted t-shirts, had scarcely begun the giveaway when parade security monitors descended and told them they could not distribute the masks at the festival because they had not paid for a booth. The Slaughter reps responded that this was free speech activity and that they were not disrupting the event. Soon thereafter, the police arrived and said that they work for the parade committee, that the parade committee, by acquiring a permit for the event, had managed to make the entire ten-block area of the festival "private property" and the unauthorized distribution had to stop.
Policewomen told one member of the group that the problem was that rival company, Estee Lauder had a booth at the event and festival organizers were afraid the similarity in products would cause some confusion.
The group eventually agreed to leave, because police were threatening to confiscate the remaining masks (handmade in a very labor-intensive process). They attempted to locate someone in charge of deciding which queers can hand out what literature at the festival, but never could get to talk to anyone. They were repeatedly told to go to the "free speech area," which they never were able to find.
"Do you think anyone at Stonewall paid for a permit?" one activist asked event staff.
Estee Slaughter is a division of Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!). QUIT! plans to challenge this ultraregulation of communication among queers in a variety of legal and grassroots ways.
QUIT! is a grassroots Bay Area queer direct action group challenging Israeli apartheid in creative ways. QUIT! has been around since early 2001, and initiated the call to boycott World Pride Jerusalem almost two years ago.
- Call to Boycott World Pride in Jerusalem 2006, Press Release, QUIT! (18 May 2006)
- All Eyes on Jerusalem as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allied Groups pepare for WorldPride 2006, Press Release, World Pride (10 May 2006)
- U.S. Gays Launch Boycott of Jerusalem Gay Pride, Report, QUIT (13 May 2005)
- Boycott World Pride
- Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT)
Categories: anti-imperialism, israel, palestine, queer
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat, by J. Sakai, is one of the best books i have ever read. It is a no-holds barred examination of capitalism’s crimes in North America and the complicity of even the white working class – from the genocide of the First Nations and slavery right up to the 1970s.
I don’t agree with anything i read 100%, but in terms of education i have never learnt so much from one book. And it is well written, actually history that is exciting to read!
While Sakai is dealing with the American white working class, and to the best of my knowledge nobody has undertaken a similar study in the Canadian context, i think his argument and observations are broadly applicable here too. Indeed, my guess is that they are sadly relevant in settler societies around the world.
Specifically, in thinking about Caledonia (or Chateauguay fifteen years ago), it is difficult not to make those connections.
So, if i only post one thing today i want it to be this: somebody has scanned in Settlers and uploaded it as a PDF! That’s right, you can download this book and read it for free!
The book is up on the Indybay site (where you an also check people’s comments, which kind of mirror the range of opinions expressed whenever anarchists discuss this book) or you can just click here to get the pdf. (i am mirroring it on the Kersplebedeb site here too)
(i should also point out in this regard that some other writings of Sakai’s are already up on my site – you can check them all out here).
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
As i have mentioned previously, i’m in a work crunch right now so i am unable to post regularly, even though stuff keeps happening worth posting about!
(i hope you’re all keeping up to date on the SISIS site!)
But i do have to just put this note here, as i am aware that a new site dedicated to opposing indigenous sovereignty and stirring up anti-Native sentiment has added a link to me describing Sketchy Thoughts as a “Native blog”.
Now, it’s obvious whose side i’m on when it comes to anti-colonial struggles, including the struggle going on at Six Nations and Caledonia at the moment. Nevertheless, as i keep on repeating, i am not indigenous… for better or for worst (and ninety nine times out of a hundred, i’m sure it’s not for better…) i am a white guy in Montreal who is sympathetic to the Haudenosaunee struggle for national liberation and self-determination.
In other words, i am an impressed onlooker, jealous of the level of political consciousness that exists in the First Nations. Wishing that those oppressed people within the corrupt and morally bankrupt imperialist nations (like the one i belong to) might learn something from this much-more-advanced liberation struggle.
Call this a “white anti-racist blog”, a “metropolitan leftist blog”, even an “anti-authoritarian anti-patriarchal communist blog” if you must, but for the sake of accuracy you shouldn’t confuse the First Nations people with all of us non-indigenous folks who are inspired by their struggle.
It’s not an important point, but i gotta make it anyway or next thing you know some right-wing bloggers will be using stuff i say to discredit other people.
at 7:03 PM
Friday, June 16, 2006
Breaking news from CTV:
Updated Fri. Jun. 16 2006 12:18 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
The Ontario government has made a deal to buy out the developer who owns the land currently occupied by Six Nations protesters in Caledonia, moving the two sides closer to a possible solution to the months-old standoff.
The development was announced today in an Ontario Superior Court hearing in Cayuga, Ont. by Dennis Brown, the lawyer representing the province.
"In his submission this morning, he announced Henco (Industries) the developer, and the province of Ontario have come to an agreement in principal for the purchase of the land," CTV's Denelle Balfour told CTV Newsnet.
"So the province is going to purchase Douglas Creek Estates, the contested area, and the development will come to a halt."
Under the agreement the province will hold the property in trust, while discussions continue about the ownership of the property.
There is no word on how much the province has agreed to pay for the property.
By late morning about two dozen lawyers were hammering out the details of the agreement in the courthouse, while protesters continued to occupy the site, Balfour said.
"The development will come to a halt. The roadblocks are down, but the native protesters are still on the property and there was no information in court as to whether or not that occupation will end."
After the announcement, Balfour spoke with one of a handful of natives who were in attendance at the hearing. There was no indication that protesters would be abandoning the occupation.
"They maintain, and still do, that this land is their land and should have never been sold in the first place," Balfour said.
The key players in the simmering land dispute were back in court to explain why a judge's ruling that ordered them off the land they have occupied since February was ignored.
The decision was issued in March by Ontario Superior Court Justice David Marshall.
So far, they've stayed put, and in recent weeks the standoff with police and local non-native Caledonia residents has become tense.
Earlier in June, Marshall ordered a hearing into why the court injunction hadn't been followed, and heard suggestions about how to resolve the impasse.
He adjourned the hearing until Friday, so that he could get in touch with the federal Indian Affairs Minister and the attorney general of Canada.
Aboriginal representatives -- who have continually maintained that they are subject only to their own laws -- were notably absent from the proceedings.
Meanwhile, separate negotiations to end the dispute resumed on Thursday after being put on hold Monday by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
He called off the talks after tempers boiled over following allegations that natives had attacked two camera operators and confiscated their tape.
Following that, an angry group of several hundred non-native Caledonians confronted the protesters, and riot police had to keep the two sides apart.
Those negotiations will continue Friday with a conference call between provincial and federal negotiators, and Six Nations representatives.
The protesters are trying to prevent construction of a housing development on land they claim as their own and have vowed to stay on the site until there is a resolution to the dispute.
Protesters argue that the site of the Douglas Creek Estates housing project was part of a large land grant in 1784, but the provincial and federal governments insist the land was surrendered in 1841 to help build a major highway.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Now, the fact that i have not blogged anything about the recent “anti-terror” arrests in Canada, it is not because i don’t think they’re important. It’s just a matter of only having so much time and so many things are happening.
I did read the following article today, though, which i think does a very good job of summing up the situation. This is, of course, something we should all be keeping an eye on…
(The article comes from Socialist Voice, which is basically the result of a split from the Canadian Communist League (the local franchise of the American SWP). Two years ago two CL members (John Riddell and Roger Annis) were expelled for criticising the SWP/CL's abstention from the movement against the invasion of Iraq… they formed "Marxist Perspectives for the Workers Movement" and Socialist Voice is its online newsletter. According to the explanatory email i received earlier today, “since then it has attracted participation from a variety of people, including unaffiliated Marxists and members of various Marxist groups in Canada and internationally” – all of which to say (for those who like me fetishize these genealogies) that SV is within what i would call the Anglo-Canadian Trotskyist orbit.)
The article originally appeared here; and i am reposting it here:
The Toronto ‘Anti-Terror’ Arrests: An Attack on Muslims and Antiwar Opinion
by Ian Angus
On June 2, a combined force of local, provincial and federal police arrested 15 young Muslim men, including five minors, in the Toronto area. Those 15, and two others who have been in jail since last August, are accused of plotting terrorist attacks on various targets in Ontario. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.
These arrests were conducted in the name of "stopping terrorism," but a close look at the facts suggests that they were actually the opening salvo in an intense propaganda campaign to divide the Muslim community, build support for the federal government’s draconian "anti-terrorism" laws, and push back the considerable opposition in Canada to Ottawa’s war policy in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East.
The arrests were carefully orchestrated to ensure that the stories concocted by police received maximum publicity. The arrests took place on a Friday evening. This meant the men could be held incommunicado through the weekend, giving the police maximum opportunity to get their story out.
Friendly journalists and politicians were briefed before the arrests took place. Details of the police allegations were made public at a press conference the following morning, before the accused and their lawyers received any information at all.
Trial by media
All normal standards of decency or concern for accuracy were abandoned by most journalists in the following days. Most reports were based on a police-prepared eight-page "synopsis," a document normally given only to defense lawyers. Prominent criminal lawyer Julian Falconer told CBC Radio that such synopses are "notoriously acts of fiction" that seldom bear any resemblance to the evidence eventually presented at trial. Despite that, newspapers across Canada reported every lurid accusation. Most devoted several pages a day to the "plot."
No allegation was too nonsensical to get front-page treatment. The men were said to be planning to take over Parliament, hold MPs hostage, and behead politicians one at a time until Canada withdraws from Afghanistan. Other reported targets include the CBC, the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the Toronto offices of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The Globe and Mail raised fears of a 9/11-style attack by reporting that the accused were taking flight training — in fact one of the men took one semester of an aircraft maintenance course that involves no flying at all.
The media coverage reeked of racism: article after article featured references to the arrested as "Canadian-born" (rather than simply "Canadian"); to "brown-skinned young men"; and to sinister goings-on in Muslim mosques.
Meanwhile, the 17 accused, five of whom are minors, were held in isolation cells with the lights on 24 hours a day, denied the right to consult lawyers in private, denied visits from their families. When they were taken to court, the police put on a show. Over 30 officers with machine guns surrounded the building while sharpshooters patrolled nearby rooftops. The accused, none of whom has been accused of committing a single violent act, were brought in wearing leg irons.
There is no reason to believe any part of the police story. Less than two years ago, Toronto Police arrested 19 young men from South Asia, and the press was filled with charges that they planned to blow up the CN Tower and the Pickering nuclear plant. The entire story was false: no charges were ever laid. Bear in mind also that these latest arrests in Toronto occurred just before police in the UK were forced to apologize for a heavily publicized raid on a London apartment that they wrongly claimed was a storage site for chemical weapons — a young Muslim man was shot and seriously injured during that attack.
But even if every word of the bizarre police synopsis is true, it’s clear that this was not a sophisticated terrorist cell plotting to rain devastation on our "pluralistic western society." What the synopsis actually describes is a group of devout young Muslim men, angry at Canada’s increasingly active role in the international war against Islam, venting their frustration in wild online chat and "plots" that were mostly fantasy. They may have wanted to strike out, but they had no skills, no realistic plans, and no resources. As Toronto-area imam Ally Hindy told Newsweek magazine, "I just think these people were bullshitting."
The police say they have been watching these young men for nearly two years: tapping their phones, reading their emails, interviewing friends and employers. Until now the RCMP and CSIS have claimed that their policy is to break up groups like this before anything actually happens. Such heavy-handed police interventions have long been standard procedure against political activity the cops regard as threatening — an RCMP/CSIS briefing paper presented to the new federal Cabinet in February bragged that they have carried out 12 such disruptions in the past two years. (Globe and Mail, June 7, 2006)
But this time the cops changed tactics. Someone, undoubtedly with Cabinet approval, decided that rather than simply intimidating the young dissidents into inactivity, they should arrange for an anti-terrorist propaganda coup.
So they orchestrated a sting, setting up the young men to buy fertilizer from an undercover cop, allegedly to build giant bombs. It’s not yet clear to what extent the cops used agents or provocateurs to promote the purchase. Entrapment is standard police procedure in this type of case, and there’s no reason to think that the RCMP and CSIS have clean hands now.
In any event, it’s not illegal to buy fertilizer in Canada, so the police have fallen back on charges of "plotting" and "conspiring" — the usual resort of prosecutors when hard evidence is weak or non-existent.
These young men are being used as pawns to promote Ottawa’s pro-war, anti-immigrant policies. The evidence against them is virtually non-existent; the media coverage is a blatant witchhunt; and the police propaganda campaign has so poisoned the atmosphere that they are unlikely to get a fair trial.
The weakness of the police case was demonstrated on June 12, when the prosecution sought (and a judge granted) a complete publication ban on court proceedings, over the objections of defense lawyers.
"After they’ve had 10 days with the media, feeding the media whatever they want to feed the media, denying us disclosure of any evidence and doing what they need to do to conduct a trial in this parking lot of this courthouse, they now have the audacity to request a blanket publication ban of all proceedings from today’s date," said Rocco Galati, lawyer for one of the accused.
The cops were eager to get their unproven "synopsis" allegations out to the widest possible audience, but when it comes to court-tested evidence, well, that’s different. It’s hard not to conclude that the actual evidence is even less convincing than what we’ve seen so far.
The police could have moved against this small and poorly organized group at any time. The decision to move now was driven by the cops’ political bosses, who wanted a dramatic event they could use to build support for the government’s pro-war and anti-immigrant policies. Defense lawyer Galati told reporters that the government’s goal is "a show trial for political ends" designed to influence the Supreme Court’s review of the legality of security certificates under which five Muslim men have been held without trial for as long as five years.
He also said that the arrests and publicity aimed to build support for Cabinet’s plan to renew the Anti-Terrorism Act, which eliminates important civil rights, including the right not to testify. That law, which was rushed through Parliament in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, will expire this year unless Parliament votes to extend it.
But the number one goal of the June 2 arrests and the subsequent propaganda campaign is to intimidate opponents of Ottawa’s growing war in Afghanistan, where 2,200 Canadian troops are participating in the NATO occupation force.
On May 18, a motion to extend Canada’s "mission" until 2009 passed in the House of Commons by only four votes, and antiwar sentiment has been growing across the country. The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expanding Canada’s partnership with Washington’s imperial war drive, but it fears that growing domestic opposition will block its ambitions. The war is not going well in Afghanistan for the Canadian invaders, and large numbers of people at home are opposed to it. With these arrests, Canada’s rulers are renewing the fraudulent claim that the illegal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is somehow connected to stopping terrorist attacks in Canada.
The anti-terrorist propaganda barrage has had a short-term impact on antiwar sentiment. In May, a Strategic Counsel poll found that 54% of Canadians opposed Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, while only 40% were in favour. Three days after the arrests, the same polling company found 48% in favour and only 44% opposed. That’s a substantial shift — but 44% opposition is still very strong, and support for the war will certainly erode again as people realize the destructive effects of the war on both Afghanistan and Canadian society.
Opposition to the war is particularly strong among Muslim Canadians, most of whom correctly see Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan as part and parcel of Washington’s war in the Middle East. The June 2 arrests and the subsequent propaganda campaign are part of a concerted effort by the government to isolate the Muslim community, to split that community itself by pressuring "moderate" Muslims to condemn "radicals and extremism" — and to block the developing alliances between Canadian Muslim organizations and antiwar activists, particularly in Toronto. The message is very clear: support the government, refrain from criticism, and keep your head down — or you might be next.
But the government’s campaign of intimidation can be countered. Opponents of the war must defend the right of everyone in Canada to speak out against the war, against "security certificates," and against all attacks on civil rights. We must condemn every attack on immigrants and refugees, and ally ourselves unconditionally with the Muslim community in their fight against discrimination and religious or racial profiling by the police.
And we must build the antiwar movement, which opposes Ottawa’s imperial ambitions in the Middle East. Canadians are dying in increasing numbers in Afghanistan, and working people at home are suffering as the government diverts money from education, health care and social programs into increased military spending. Ottawa’s demagoguery about "supporting our troops" must be countered with an unequivocal demand that Canada end its participation in the occupation of Afghanistan now.
Categories: anti-terrorism, canada, islamophobia, police, propaganda
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Sago from Grand River.
Well, the news tonight while it sits heavy on the hearts of some, is a decision that was felt to be the best for all concerned. The remaining barricades around Kanestahton have been removed. The confederacy council has asked the people to support them on this decision. While there wasn't a consensus of the people, the majority of the people felt that it was a decision that we should support.
First of all I have to assure everyone that this does not mean we are giving up our position on the land. The people are not leaving the land, nor do we intend to. We are calling Canada's bluff. The federal and provincial governments all along have stated that they will not negotiate on the issue of land while the barricades remain intact. Now we will see how honorable these people are.
For the people on the site, this is a hard pill to swallow. Continuously throughout history it seems that it is our people who always have to take the high road and it is we who have to give in to the threats and demands of the colonialistic government. They peg us as the criminals but it is they who have the guns, they who stole the land and they who created the barricades in the first place by sending in the riot squad and refusing to talk. We know that the only reason the true Onkwehonweh government is at the table is because the barricades were up. Will Canada continue with the talks now that the barricades are down or have they played out their hand in order to pull the rug out from under our feet?
At this point it is the trust in our confederacy and in our Creator that is what we are holding on to. It is the trust and knowing that we are upholding the Law of Peace and our responsibilities that lie within that Law. It is the belief in our Sovereignty and our obligation to protect the land for the generations to come. Our negotiators believe that in order for talks to continue, this is the only position that we can take.
For the people on the site, it is the distrust of the canadian government and their ability to speak with truth that concerns us. Who is to say that this isn't another trap and we're playing into their hands. I hope for Canada's sake that this isn't the case. While I write to you, I have just been informed that the police build up around the site has increased. Ambulances are on stand by. Have we made a mistake, or are they merely continuing to keep a presence to prevent the continued racial discrimination, hate crime's and violent actions recently displayed by some of the residents of Caledonia.
This week in the media we have been portrayed as lawless and through the continued efforts of the government to incite a violent reaction, it has resulted in 7 of our people with warrants out for their arrest. These individuals have been brought before our clanmothers and chiefs to be held accountable for their actions according to the protocol of the Kaierenekowah. They will be dealt with according to our Law, and Canada has to be reminded of the fact that they do not have the jurisdiction to enforce their laws on our people.
The charges to say the least are an exaggeration of the truth. For instance, the beating of the CHTV 11 cameraman that resulted in his having to get stitches, was confirmed on their own sister radio station CHML that the injury was a result of his being hit in the head with a police billy club during the attempt by the opp to diffuse the situation. Yes, the opp did try to intervene. But that is not the way it was led to believe. It was made to look like our men violently beat this man and that the opp stood by and let it happen. I've seen picture's myself taken by one of our local newspaper reporters that showed clearly that the opp did step in to physically stop not just our men, but the CHTV men from throwing punches as well.
It has also been reported that our people swarmed the car of an elderly couple who were only out "sight seeing". They did not report that the racial discrimination and insults that were directed at our people at the front gate of the site or the dangerous driving that resulted in one of our men being hit by this same car and why our men originally followed them to the Canadian Tire parking lot. It was not reported that while they state that they drove to the nearest place to seek help from the police that they drove right past the opp officers who were stationed only yards from the area where the incident occurred. Yes, our people did follow the couple to the Canadian tire parking lot. But that was because for some strange reason, they thought that they would somehow see justice given and that the deliberate action of trying to run one of our people down would result in charges being laid against the driver. How naïve of our people to think that this was even a possibility.
Attempted murder charges have been made against another of our men who reacted violently at seeing the United States Border Patrol vehicle lurking around the site, having our people under surveillance, with the support and assistance of the opp. This agent, who was learned to be of the ATF (alcohol, tobacco and firearms) had to have been given government clearance to be near the site, not just for the day, but evidence shows that they have been in the area since early April. The ATF agents normally are mandated to deal with terrorists. Obviously the government is trying to build a case against our people as terrorists to justify bringing in excessive force to physically remove us from the site. The government of Canada has yet to explain why, if they are seeking a peaceful resolution to this situation, have they enlisted the services of the United States government agencies to discredit the political positon of the Onkwehonweh on this land and try to peg this reclamation as a criminal activity rather than the political position that it is.
Furthermore, the government has yet to come to the table to deal with the real issues of the Onkwehonweh. The issues are not the barricades, the issues are the Land, Our Sovereignty, Our Treaties and OUR responsibilities to the Kaierenekowah. It is not whether THEY understand them or even believe them, this is about US and who we are as a people. A NATION long before Canada even existed.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
my apologies that this post is not formatted us mine usually are... blogger seems to be workinge exceedingly badly these days, the word plug in hit or miss, and half of the time it seems that i cannot connect to the site...
The main news in Caledonia/Six Nations over the past couple of days is that the Canadian State is clearly freaking out over what went down last Friday. While sensationalist reports of First Nations people “attacking innocent elderly” and robbing reporters have been bandied about in the media, in a sense that’s just window dressing for public spin.
The real slap in the face to the State is that a joint Canada-US surveillance team of cops was caught spying on the Reclamation Site, was successfully chased off, chased down, and (the best part!) had their spiffy SUV borrowed for just long enough for copies to be made of their log book, contact list, etc.
Ontario Premier McGuinty has basically issued an ultimatum, demanding the remaining barricades be taken down and that the Six Nations people cooperate in tracking down/turning over the seven individuals the Canadian police are charging with Friday’s action. Until then, McGuinty claims all negotiations are off.
This comes at the same time as settler media across Canada is calling for another armed intervention to “clear the natives” off of their land.
And now… the media report:
Top secrets in native hands, Hamilton Spectator June 13th
OPP files stolen in Caledonia, Toronto Star June 13th
The rule of law in Caledonia, London Free Press June 13th
OPP papers stolen in Caledonia, Toronto Sun June 13th
How long must Caledonia boil?, Hamilton Spectator June 13th
Ontario's premier calls off talks in Caledonia over violent skirmishes, Ottawa Citizen June 13th
McGuinty cuts talks with Caledonia protesters, CTV June 13th
Protesters get ultimatum, Globe & Mail June 13th
McGuinty sets ground rules for more talks, London Free Press June 13th
End standoff, Ottawa, Ontario say, Globe & Mail June 12th
Soldier home on leave sees hope for Caledonia, London Free Press June 13th
Caledonia class action lawsuit launched, CHML AM June 13th
Canadian Professional Police Association Supports OPP in Caledonia, Calls for Federal Government to Join Negotiatons, CNW Telbew June 12th
Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs Supports Six Nations, June 12th
Joint statement by Minister Jim Prentice and Minister David Ramsay, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, June 12th
Aboriginal protester facing attempted murder charge, National Post June 12th
Seven sought in Canada land row, BBC June 12th
Protesters face arrest in standoff Calgary Sun June 12th
Caledonia suspects may be holed up on reserve, CBC June 12th
U.S. agents swarmed in Caledonia dispute: police, CTV June 11th
Native Protesters Hijack Border Patrol Car, Houston Chronicle June 11th
This morning there are also reports that the people at the Reclamation Site are dismantling more barricades. If true, this is presumably yet another act of good faith to try and get the State back to the negotiating table:
Natives begin to dismantle barricades, Edmonton Journal June 13th
Native blockades come down, CHML AM June 13th
Sunday, June 11, 2006
The following from the Six Nations Confederacy Council:
Attention News EditorsA note of commentary, not in any way reflecting the views of the Confederacy or even of anyone else but myself – a white guy who happens to be sympathetic.
CALEDONIA, ON, June 10 /CNW/ - The actions which occurred at the Six Nations Reclamation site and within the town of Caledonia today are very disheartening. The Haudenosaunee are a people of peace and do not condone violence of any form. Our prayers and concern are with those who were injured during the outbreaks today. A peaceful co-existence with our neighbours and the safety of all remain at the paramount of our concerns.
The Haudenosaunee/Six Nations have been working with the Provincial and Federal government to find a peaceful resolution to this tense situation. The negotiations have been promising as a way to work towards a peaceful resolution. The land rights of all our people are of great concern and are at the heart of this situation.
Our people follow the Great Law of Peace and are not a people of violence. An investigation has been launched and the Six Nations police have been asked to assist in this process. The individuals who were involved in these incidents have been removed from the Reclamation Site until our investigation is complete. The findings from this situation will be raised before our Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council tomorrow. The Haudenosaunee are committed to ensure that Great Law of Peace is respected and followed at the Reclamation Site. Today's incidents are reflective of the misjudgment and reactions of a limited few. Those individuals will be dealt with in a manner harmonious with the Great Law of Peace. We are committed to working with the Ontario Provincial Police to de- escalate this situation.
The bottom line for me is that this is an internal matter for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to deal with. Whether the individuals alleged to have beaten up US and Canadian cops and reporters did so or no, and whether they are sanctioned or not, should not be up to the colonial government to decide.
(My own two cents worth: sounds like regrettable though nevertheless justified actions taken to protect the Reclamation Site…)
The Canadian State has no legal jurisdiction here, but equally importantly for me anybody acting to defend a legitimate liberation struggle (including of course, but not limited to anti-colonial national liberation struggles) gets my vote of support.
That said, here’s the day’s media reports (note the U.S. press is glancing this way now that some of their border cops got involved):
Saturday, June 10, 2006
And here we have it – what looks like “mainstream media” confirmation that there were United States Border Patrol cops driving around with the OPP taking photos of the people at the Reclamation.
Hear that deafening silence coming from the Canadian nationalists on this one?
Ontario police seek arrest warrants after Caledonia violence
Caledonia — Police are looking for seven people who face several charges, including attempted murder, assault and forcible confinement, after a string of violent clashes at the scene of a long-standing aboriginal blockade in southern Ontario.
An Ontario Provincial Police officer suffered serious injuries Friday after angry aboriginal protesters surrounded a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle and dragged out its three occupants.
The injured officer was pulled out of the path of the stolen vehicle as it was driven deliberately at him, OPP Constable Doug Graham said Saturday.
"They were forcibly removed after they were swarmed," Constable Graham said.
Constable Graham said the officer was treated and released. The stolen vehicle was recovered but no arrests were made.
Other charges police expect to lay include theft of a motor vehicle, robbery, intimidation and assault causing bodily harm.
The incident was just one of several altercations with protesters on Friday.
Several hundred angry residents of Caledonia confronted police in full riot gear to protest police inaction after two CH-TV news cameramen were injured in a scuffle with angry protesters. One of the victims, who needed stitches to close a head wound, said police officers were nearby, but took no action during the attack.
Police say they will also be laying charges in relation to an incident Friday involving an elderly couple whose car was surrounded by protesters. The man in the car, who suffers from a heart condition, was taken to hospital for observation, but no one was injured, police said.
The rash of violence was just the latest flashpoint in the clash, which is now more than 100 days old.
A blockade was erected more than three months ago as protesters from the nearby Six Nations reserve took over a housing development they say was being built on land they have claimed as their own.
In announcing the warrants on Saturday, deputy OPP commissioner Maurice Pilon said his greatest fear was that someone would be hurt over the course of the standoff.
"Unfortunately that has occurred," Mr. Pilon said. "And I don't think that's acceptable."
Premier Dalton McGuinty said Friday he's angry about the way some people at the blockade are behaving, and said he hopes they don't destroy efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the dispute.
Critics are blaming the legacy of the Ipperwash standoff, where aboriginal protester Dudley George was killed by a police bullet in 1995, for the reluctance of police to crack down on unruly protesters.
I pinched this from the ildikos blog:
First of all I have to tell you that I am experiencing a great deal of interference with getting this e-mail out. I am sending it directly to MNN first, and I will try to send out individually because every time I attempt to send it out to all, it comes back undeliverable. Sorry for the delay.
Update from Grand River
Today has been a day of unrest at the land reclamation site. While I won't go into great detail on what has happened today as a press release is being prepared, it is suffice to say that the intimidation tactics and pressure from the outside has worked to the point that 1000 opp officers are being dispatched to the area surrounding the reclamation site, and the Caledonia residents are up in arms, demanding the removal of our people from the site, and even going so far as to setting up a barricade on the recently opened plank road (argyle street) leading into Caledonia. It is important for all of you to understand that the intimidation tactics leading up to day were constant..... including army helicopters and others flying overhead all hours of the day and night; including hovering overhead between 2 and 4 in the morning with their lights off , and then on occasion, shining high powered lights down onto the people on the site. This has been going on constantly. Our people are being faced daily with people driving by, hollering racial remarks including "go home you f'n Indians", "get a job", "you're gonna die" etc. Garbage is constantly being thrown at us, and besides the "flipping of the bird" there have been times where firecrackers are being thrown out the window toward us. These incidents however, are not followed up on by the opp because they are not breaking any laws.
today a united states border patrol vehicle was retrieved with high powered surveillance equipment in it. The first story from the opp was that the "A.T.F. Officer" was just visiting friends in the neighbourhood and was taking pictures "kinda like a tourist", when spotted just down from the the front line barricade and then followed to the back door of the reclamation site. then later when we questioned further what the United States ATF was doing snooping around taking pictures of our people with the opp riding in the back with them, they changed the story saying that they had been invited in by the opp. Our question as to what they were doing there, what is their mandate, and the fact that obviously these people have gotten high government official clearance to be so far out of their jurisdiction was unanswered by the opp representatives. an opp officer was hospitalized as a result of this incident, and a ch tv. Newsperson/cameraman had to get stitches as a result of a previous run in with our people. This situation is not good.
What needs to be understood is that the incidents of today, are a direct result of the constant intimidation tactics of the opp and others of the military, the continued racial discrimination being shown, not by us, but by the Caledonia people, including the recent blocking of our children from using the arena for lacrosse games; the back tracking by the provincial government at the negotiating table; all of which lead up to the ultimate goal of the government. To justify stopping the talks at the negotiating table. From what we have been told at the fire tonight, this is the position of the government at this point. Canada does not want to deal with the Onkwehonweh people because they know we are absolutely right in our position with respect to the land, our sovereignty and upholding our Law. The violence that occurred is not something that we are proud of, but it is something that we completely understand knowing and understanding the underhanded and direct attempts at inciting the action required to justify another attack against our people, and to make it look like we are uncontrollable. Why else have they been playing the "terrorists in Canada in court in Brampton" back to back with the "six nations land reclamation in Caledonia" on all of the news stations Canada with the help of corporate media, is making sure the mental brainwashing of its citizens against the Onkwehonweh people continues. How convenient that CHTV 11 was there even before this all started. How coincidently that the couple who sparked the violence with their racial attacks drove straight to the Canadian Tire parking lot, and how convenient that a "by-stander" happened to have a video camera across the road at tim hortons video taping the whole scene and directly reporting to CHML radio who happens to be co-owned by chtv 11. Was it a co-incidence! or were these people already on standby knowing that a story was about to break. It is unfortunate that our people fell for it, and in hindsight we can all wish it didn't happen, but the reality is, unless you are in the situation, dealing with the constant mental emotional and physical intimidation of the corrupt bureaucRATS; and the racial violence that has been directed at our people on a constant basis, none of us can truly say how we would have responded if in the situation ourselves.
The potential for violence occurring on the site in the next little while is tremendous. The Caledonia people are wanting to come in to take us out. The opp are maintaining a line between the Caledonia residents and the reclamation site. It is unknown how long this is going to continue. Our people need to be on alert. Again, we are on the site unarmed, we are trying to maintain the peace, and we are keeping the people toward the inner perimeter of the site. I will forward further updates as soon as I get them. Please forward to others.Stay Strong and keep the Peace.
For those of you who don’t know, things have flared up at Caledonia (again). I'm also passing on the following reaction i received on an email list to the Hamilton Spectator reporting on last night's settler violence, from someone who was there:
Yesterday there were two violent incidents which have sparked renewed calls from sections of the settler population for military intervention against the Reclamation Site.
In one case, there are claims that two reporters were beaten up and had the film removed from their camera when they refused to stop filming some First Nations people. In the second case, it seems that some First Nations people surprised US law enforcement (that’s right, George Bush’s puppy dogs straying from their kennel!) officers who were taking photos of people at the Reclamation Site. Here too it is alleged that these “off duty” cops (some reports say border patrol) got the worst of it.
A few points i would like to make before the links to relevant news stories.
Some people like hearing stories about other folks getting beat up, especially if they’re people “on the other side”.
For better or for worst, i’m not one of those. It doesn’t make me happy to hear that people – even people i may really disagree with – are getting hurt.
I do not know the details of what went down yesterday – as soon as i have word from people at the Reclamation Site i will post it – so i must stress that these reports are all from the capitalist media, amplified by the right-wing blogosphere to be sure. So what follows is by no means an official statement from the Reclamation Site or people at Six Nations, it’s just my sharing what i consider common sense advice:
If you’re hanging out in a tense situation, if you’re witnessing people taking considerable personal risk to protect their land, if you find yourself in the midst of a confrontation like the one happening in Caledonia… please respect people’s request that you not take their photo.
Or at least think twice about your decision to not to so.
Remember: the Canadian State and its police guard dogs have been progressively militarizing the media, by seizing video and other material in order to mount criminal cases against individuals. This occurred in the Caledonia standoff as recently as May 20th, when CH TV (the same station whose reporters were injured yesterday) had a tape seized by police who wanted to use it to identify individuals - the station had been given the tape (which was shot by a Caledonia resident) on condition of confidentiality and that the faces of individuals would be obscured.
As the group Canadian Journalists for Free Expression has noted, this is a reoccurring phenomenon in Canada. In June 2001 the RCMP seized videotaped belonging to Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) correspondent Todd Lamirande – the footage included part of a confrontation between indigenous people protesting the Sun Peaks ski resort development and local supporters of the project. Furthermore, “on 15 June 2000, Toronto police seized video footage of an anti-poverty protest at the Ontario legislature on the grounds that they needed media photographs and videotape to help identify participants, as media were able to get closer to the demonstrators than police. Similarly, on 5 April 2000, police in Montreal demanded that television stations Radio Canada and TVA hand over recordings of a protest at which violence had broken out, according to Reporters sans frontières (RSF).”
As the CJFE notes: as a result of such seizures “journalists risk being perceived as adjuncts of the state.”
Again – the above is just plain common sense, and a bit of context for those who wonder why anyone would object to being filmed by the media. I’m not guessing at what the people from the Reclamation Site will say about this – once i hear i will pass it on.
Oh yeah, and US cops got hurt. Ain’t it telling that none of our Canadian nationalists – you know the ones wrapping themselves in the maple leaf and demanding the army come in – twigged to the fact that there were American border patrol cops doing surveillance at the Reclamation Site?!?
OK, so all of that said – here are some storied from Thursday that may give some added context to this:
The above reports – all of which appeared a day before yesterday’s events – suggest that there may be more to reporters’ claims that “the police just stood by and let us be beaten” than may be initially apparent. On Thursday the cop union announced “We need to take a tougher stand – we’re being prevented from doing our job – we need the tools to get the job done” and then… voilà! on Friday two reporters get roughed up and the police make a point of doing nothing.
Some may say this sounds a tad stage-managed…
And now Friday’s events:
While the [Hamilton Spectator] doesn't hesitate to mention that the natives were throwing objects over the fence, it makes no mention of the overtly racist caterwauling coming from the Caledonians. Also, the rocks and beer bottles that were flying through the air came from the settlers, not the natives. The Six Nations people were, once again, remarkably restrained in the face of over-the-top disgusting behaviour by the Caledonians.
I'm also passing on the following reaction i received on an email list to the Hamilton Spectator reporting on last night's settler violence, from someone who was there:
Friday, June 09, 2006
As a note of explanation: a work crunch.
Several projects are nearing completion, and that means lots and lots of work with little time left for blogging. It’s a productive phenomenon, but i still do hope that i’ll have a chance to spend a few hours writing and updating you all on things soon.
In the meantime – one thing i had meant to write about if not for the lack of time was the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair a few weeks ago. It was a great event – i had more fun at it than i have at previous bookfairs for years – and i was happy to attend three great workshops, one on Anti-Authoritarian Approaches to Dealing with Sexual Assault (put on by Philly’s Pissed and Philly Stands Up – my only complaint about this workshop is that it was so promising and god but really could have been a day long presentation/discussion, rather than a rushed 1 or 2 hours first thing in the morning), one by Dan Berger on Anarchist and Anti-Imperialist Lessons of the Weather Underground and…
a truly worthwhile workshop by Mike Staudemeier about the Sojourner Truth Organization and its influence on modern day anarchism (the STO was a Marxist-Leninist organization that existed from 1969 to 1983).
Mike’s workshop was fascinating on a bunch of levels – for one i really appreciated hearing the exchange he had with members of NEFAC about trade unions and workplace organizing, and for two i found the way in which this discussion dovetailed with questions of anti-fascist organizing to be very promising. (In fact, i am really hoping that it is a discussion that will be continued.)
I was struck by just how promising – and relevant – these questions were when over the next days racist violence erupted in Caledonia, but also as i got to spend a very enjoyable evening with some comrades from the Maritimes, who recounted the joys of being the only anarchists to come from their small white dirt poor town where publicly calling yourself an anti-racist can be a dangerous thing to do.
Not the first time i’ve heard either kind of story, but it says something about Mike’s presentation (and also the political level of discussion that NEFAC comrades were engaging in) that within 48 hours of the workshop i kept on stumbling over so many relevant connections to what had been discussed. And this was a workshop about a small group which had ceased to exist over twenty years ago!
So i am happy to be able to point you all to the actual text of Mike’s presentation. Missing is the great discussion afterwards, but i think it easily retains its value… and there is a specific invitation on his blog to both partisans of what he dubs the “Chris Crass line” and the “NEFAC line” to take up the debate.
I certainly hope that they do!
Links of interest:
- The Legacy for Anarchists (Mike’s talk about STO at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair)
- The Sojourner Truth Organization: Notes Towards a History (Mike’s blog, which i believe is a kind of precursor to what he hopes will be a book about STO)
- Sojourner Truth Organization internet archive
Monday, June 05, 2006
And designing buttons is a pleasure (if you have an idea and you'd like me to make it - get in touch!)... in fact my only real problem in that department is that i often have too much of the computer work or t-shirts or folding & stapling or whatnot so actually making the time to design them can be difficult.
Recently - in part thanks to some customers who had suggestions/requests, and in part inspired by the exemplary struggle at Six Nations - i've happily made time to make some new designs, for the first time since this blog is up and running. Here they are - with, where required, an explanation/commentary.
(Remember if you would like to order any of these email me at email@example.com - they cost $1 each - or else go straight to my New Stuff page!)
satire is much better than "constructive criticism"
& the nice thing about pretending to be a right-wing moron
is one can avoid the perils of being a middle-of-the-road moron
no explanation required -
but it reminds me of yet another
reason for my next button:
not to mention Afghanistan, Kelowna and all the rest of it...
"Destruction of all political power is the first duty of the
-Errico Malatesta was an Italian anarchist (you can read more about him here)
"He asked me to eat him... so I did"
the scan of this button doesn't come out to good, but the actual button is fine -
a friend asked me to make this so i did
hammer & pickle
"Go Hayley Go!"
i really did like the movie Hard Candy, but never had the
time to write a post about it (my fellow settlers with their wacked out psycho racist tendencies have given me plenty of other stuff to blog about) So seeing as i couldn't write a review, i made a button... (by the way, if you get a chance see the movie!)
somebody has pointed out that the nuclear issue
is "beside the point" so the button would be better
without mentioning it...
perhaps, but i still see one of the most galling parts of
Amerika as World Cop being the fact that these
crusaders are sitting on the world's biggest
WMD stockpile, they're the only ones to have ever
used nuked against civilians in wartime (unlike France which
has nuked the South Pacific for years but only in peacetime!),
and yet they pretend to be genuinely shocked at
the idea that someone else may be able to even the odds.
my contribution to exposing/opposing
Canada's counter-insurgency war
ditto the above re: Canada's neo-colonial "peacekeeping" racket
ditto the above re: the war that started them all -
the war on the First Nations
same sentiment, different words (and button size, FYI)
in case anybody hadn't gotten the idea
at which point one assumes one is being clear enough
and of course anti-colonial struggle
is international - this is a Leila Khaled button
using a quote and image from the
Revolutionary Women Stencil book
on to a new topic...
the vast majority of radical leftists are
anti-homophobic, but this is a reality
which had to be fought for.
So it's worth remembering...
of course some of the folks who
finally figured they'd better support homos
nevertheless get all weird with trans people,
and the left as a whole still has a few inconsistencies
on this question, though i'm betting they'll get ironed out
some customers requested i
make this button, doesn't it look pretty?
Lucia Sanchez Saornil (1897-1970
was a queer anarchist poet who
fought against the fascists in the
Spanish civil war - this image and quote
from one of her poems is another
migration from the
Women Stencil Book
Groucho Marx and John Lennon...
"I'm a Marxist-Leninist"...
seeing as John got mentioned,
remember "all you need is love"?
and let's not forget:
some think this is a derogatory word,
but the way i see it it can also mean
anyone who refuses to be penned in by
what our culture says you should or should not feel;
to everyone who may take exception to the above,
and who wishes we'd all stay on the
straight and narrow, remember:
Press Release :
For Immediate Release
June 4, 2006
KANENHSTATON, GRAND RIVER TERRITORY OF THE SIX NATIONS- Six Nations Haudenosaunee, in an effort to support continued peaceful negotiations, averted a major altercation between OPP, Caledonia residents and the Haudenosaunee Sunday night, that had been sparked by an Ontario Provincial Police incident, unrelated to the reclamation site.
At about 8 p.m. Sunday night, an OPP cruiser was found on 6th Line near Cayuga Road. The cruiser had apparently been following a car down 6th Line when it was spotted by Six Nations people who surrounded the cruiser. Six Nations police were called to the scene. Two OPP officers were found inside the cruiser with a female constable telling Six Nations people, from the neighbourhood, she was "lost."
The two officers and the cruiser were released to OPP after Six Nations Police charged the officers with trespassing. Six Nations Police and OPP have a mutual aid agreement. However, OPP are required to seek permission to enter Six Nations territory. That did not happen in this incident.
The OPP incident led to a standoff on Argyle Street, between Haudenosaunee and Caledonia people who had once again gathered blocking Argyle Street behind an OPP line. The Caledonia residents carried placards and signs reading "Bring in the Army." The stand off continued until about 11 p.m. when Six Nations people, again, moved back onto the reclamation site, leaving the Caledonia crowd blocking the roadway.
"There were concerns that a barricade may go back up, but we want to make it clear, that the incident involving the OPP officer had nothing to do with the reclamation site," said reclamation site spokeswoman, Hazel Hill. "The people at the reclamation site fully support our negotiating team and efforts to reach a peaceful resolution that will see the reclamation lands returned to the Haudenosaunee.”
For further information, contact:
Spokeswoman Hazel Hill
OK, i most likely don't have to provide much background information for readers of this blog, so i'll just get right to it. I'm very happy to announce these two recent additions to the Kersplebedeb catalog, both dealing with and documenting the ongoing struggle at Six Nations.
Please note that the PayPal payments are preset for US prices - anyone without PayPal or not from the US may prefer to email me about ordering copies. (Ditto for those interested in bulk orders)
Struggle for the Land: Interviews with Participants at the Six Nations Reclamation (April-May 2006). This 90 minute DVD consists of a series of interviews with First Nations activists occupying the site and video of the protests and counter protests concerning the reclamation of the Douglas Creek Estates. In what ranks as one of the most significant indigenous confrontations with the Canadian State since the 1990 Oka crisis, participants speak in their own words about what is at stake in their struggle. Includes videos with reclamation site spokesperson Jacqueline House, Six Nations resident Robin Williams, supporter Mike Desroches, a member of the Mohawk Warrior Society, kitchen organizers Gene and Ruby, footage of the racist anti-native protests and a variety of interviews with Caledonia residents. All footage filmed and produced by Tom Keefer. Proceeds of the sales of this video will go to supporting the Six Nations struggle at
Douglas Creek Estates.
$15.00 US / $18.75 Cdn
Documents Regarding the Struggle at Six Nations, May 2006.
This document - produced anonymously by “some people” - includes
background material and documents regarding the struggle at Six Nations itself, as well as a useful chronology up until May 12th. Includes Canada is a Colonial Country by Andrew Orkin, Caledonia’s Mohawks Have Plenty Of Reason To Mistrust the Law by Kenneth Deer, the Statement from the Clan Mothers, a report from the day of the police attack by Hazel Hill, and much much more. All funds from sales of this pamphlet go to support the Six Nations’ Reclamation.
Please note that this publication can also be downloaded free of charge from the Frigo Vert website.
$4.00 US / $5.00 Cdn
Bit by bit, piece by piece, i have added things to Kersplebedeb over the years. As a way of keeping abreast of these additions, i periodically publish a “What’s New” page listing all new additions since the last update.
Well, i have just posted my June 2006 “What’s New” page, and in an experiment in cross-platform versatility i’m going to try and see if i can upload the actual contents here to Sketchy Thoughts over the next little while. Please tell me what you think…
Locked down for more than a lifetime; Soliciting letters of support for U.S. political prisoner Robert Seth
Robert “Seth” Hayes is a U.S. political prisoner and former member of the Black Panther Party who has been imprisoned in New York state for more than three decades. When Seth was convicted in 1974, his sentence was 25 years to life. The implicit understanding at the time of his sentencing was that Seth would serve 25 years as a minimum, after which time he would be eligible for release based on his record and conduct in prison.
In July, 2006, Seth will be going before the parole board for the fourth time. At each of Seth’s previous parole hearings, he was denied release due to the serious nature of the crime he was convicted for and given another two years in jail. The refusal of parole for the serious nature of the crime seems contrary to the spirit of the law, for it is something that a prisoner can never change, and the giving of parole is based upon the prisoner's behavior while behind bars.
Seth is not the only one being subjected to these unfair rules. This has become common practice for the New York state parole board, who, by denying parole based on the seriousness of the conviction, are defacto re-sentencing many prisoners to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Seth’s prison record is exemplary, and if a decision about Seth’s parole were to be based on his conduct and personal growth, he would have rejoined his family and his community years ago.
Please write a letter to the parole board to let them know that you think Seth deserves to be released. Write your own letter, or use the sample letter that has been included in this document.
If you have a personal relationship with Seth, please consider writing about this relationship in your letter. If you work with a community organization or union, have a professional job, or are a rock star, please consider mentioning this in your letter (or writing on letterhead, etc.).
If you decide to personalize your letter, you may choose to include information drawn from the short biography also included in this package, where some of Seth’s accomplishments are highlighted.
More information about Seth can be found on a web page that has been put together by his supporters at www.sethhayes.org
All letters should be mailed or faxed to Seth’s lawyer, Susan Tipograph, by no later than June 30th, 2006 as Seth's parole hearing is taking place on July 15, 2006. Please send all of your letters to:
Susan Tipograph Attorney At Law
New York, NY
fax (212) 625-3939
Re: Robert Seth Hayes #74A2280
Dear Senior Parole Officer of Wende Correctional Institute,
I am writing on behalf of Robert Hayes who is scheduled to appear before the parole board for the fifth time in July of 2006.
Robert Hayes' application for parole was denied when he last appeared before the board two years ago. At the time of that appearance, his record was excellent. However, since that time his record is outstanding. Mr. Hayes has continued to work to help others and improve himself. While at Clinton Correctional Facility, he facilitated in the HIV Educators program to assist others as well as becoming a member of the Lifer's and Long Termers Organization whose primary goal is to educate and instruct newly arriving inmates in adjustment to and preparation for final release from incarceration. Since his transfer to Wende Correctional Facility, he has coached basketball and participated in a local restorative justice project. These are but a few of his many accomplishments over his years of incarceration. I am confident that were he to be released, he would be a great asset to the community and to society at large.
There is no question that the crime for which Mr. Hayes was convicted was a serious crime. However, he has shown remorse and takes full responsibility for his acts. I am sure that you will agree that after serving almost 33 years Mr. Hayes’ release at this time would not so deprecate the seriousness of the crime so as to undermine respect for the law. Moreover, if you examine all of the factors that are used to predict whether person is most likely to recidivate, those factors indicate that Mr. Hayes will not engage in any criminal activity. His disciplinary history during his incarceration indicates that he obeys the rules in prison; he has a supportive network of family and friends on the outside available to assist him in his reintegration back into society and he had an extensive work history prior to being incarcerated in addition to obtaining marketable skills in prison that will help him to obtain employment. Nothing is gained by his continued incarceration, and much is lost, as he has much to offer the community upon his release.
By the time that Mr. Hayes appears before the parole board, he will be 58 years old – more than 30 years older and considerably wiser than the man who was charged with committing the crime. He is a compassionate, caring individual and deserves a second chance. Please grant Mr. Hayes parole and give him that second chance.
Robert Seth Hayes was born in Harlem, New York in October 1948. His father, John Franklin Hayes, was the child of sharecroppers and came to New York City from South Carolina; his mother, Francine Washington Hayes, moved to New York from Pittsburgh. Both of Mr. Hayes’ parents worked for the U.S. Postal Service, trying to provide a better life for Seth and his four brothers and sisters. They also instilled in their children the desire to work for the betterment of their community. Seth writes, “My mother taught me to visualize family universally, not individually.” Seth’s father was a World War II veteran and a member of the United Negro Improvement Association, the Black Nationalist organization founded by Marcus Garvey.
Growing up in New York City, first in Harlem, later in the Bronx and Queens, Mr. Hayes saw one Black neighborhood after another suffering from neglect, despair, anger and defeat. During 1950s and 1960s with the growing rise of the civil rights and Black power movements Seth recalls witnessing over the years a birth of hope and determination to overcome these conditions.
After his schooling in New York City, Mr. Hayes worked as a psychiatric aide at Creedmoor Hospital. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Vietnam. He saw combat, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
In the armed forces, Seth underwent a change of consciousness. After the death of Martin Luther King Junior in 1968, Seth’s troop was ordered to patrol the city streets with fixed bayonets to put down the rebellions resulting from Dr. King’s assassination. “It was the saddest day of my life,” Seth remembers, “and I could never identify again with the aims of the armed forces or the government.”
Upon returning to the United States from Vietnam, Seth was swept up in the Black Liberation movement and joined the Black Panther Party. He worked in the free breakfast for children program and began dedicating his life to the betterment of Black people. His knowledge of the effects of racism on the Black community convinced him that the Black Panthers’ program of community service ad community self-defense was what was needed. His work, like that of so many others, was disrupted by COINTELPRO. Fearing further attacks, he went underground, believing it to be the only way to protect the work of the Black Panther Party and the Black movement in general.
Robert Seth Hayes had two children prior to his arrest and imprisonment, and he has remained closely involved their lives and upbringing, despite the difficulties presented by his long incarceration. His son, Chunga, lives and works in Atlanta. His daughter, Crystal, herself mother of 14-year-old Myaisha, is a student at the Smith College graduate school of social work in Western Massachusetts. Seth calls his family “the loves of my life.” He describes his relationship with Crystal this way, “She has had the most intense impact on my life, always questioning, full of joy and insight, grasping lessons and maintaining her own dreams. She has kept me striving always to expand my knowledge and illuminate my principles, as I struggle to stay abreast of her questioning mind.”
Seth has been diagnosed with Type II diabetes and Hepatitis C. He has been extremely ill and had great difficulty procuring the necessary healthcare and has needed the help of his lawyers and some state political leaders in order to get adequate treatment.
While in prison, Seth continues to work for the betterment of the community in which he lives. He has participated in programs with the NAACP, the Jaycees and other organizations and has worked as a librarian, pre-release advisor and AIDS counselor. Whenever possible, he has taken college courses. He is also a longtime advisor and collaborator in the annual “Certain Days” Political Prisoner calendar project. He is dedicated to continuing to work for social justice when he gets out of prison. At Wende correctional facility where he is currently incarcerated, Seth is working to put together a "lifers program" to help rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them to reenter the community. Seth also coaches basketball and works on assisting a local restorative justice project taking place in Buffalo.
For more information about Seth, please check out www.sethhayes.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.