Finding a way in a globalized world: Paul Chislett

The following post is a slightly revised version of a talk I gave at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit on December 28. I’m a member of the congregation and a Board Trustee. Edits are in brackets: [  ] Comments, critiques, questions?

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I want to start first by saying I know this congregation doesn’t take things at face value and there is a whole lot of wisdom and truth seeking here – so I hope I to bring something, if not new, to your attention then perhaps something familiar but from a different angle. As I see it, I’m speaking on the basis of the [UU] 4th principle: A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning. Rev. Paige Getty of the UU Congregation of Columbia, Maryland wrote in part as a reflection on the 4th principle that “As a faith tradition, Unitarian Universalism makes sacred the right and responsibility to engage in this free and responsible quest as an act of religious devotion.” So thank you for the opportunity to address you and allow me to engage in a public quest of some sort of truth behind finding our way in a globalized world….

Click image for more on Seven UU principles
Click image for more on Seven UU principles

I must also say that what I talk about is influenced by my privileged position as a – I want to say middle aged white male – but that would mean I’m living till 116 – so as a, perhaps, “mature” white male with life experiences devoid of racial profiling, gender violence, sexual discrimination and so on. I cannot know first-hand the experiences of African-Americans not only because of my position as a white male but also as a Canadian – and here I do NOT imply some sort of moral superiority; rather, I come from a different history with our own forms of racism – and of course I do NOT presume to speak on behalf of the entire country! I do feel that I have been influenced and inspired in a positive way by the struggles for justice that are ongoing by minorities in this country and my own. I see the world from the – I hope – enlightened white male vantage point as I strive to understand as best I can the reality of those who don’t look like me – so let me start there; and I think it’s important and necessary to signify that starting point.

It’s also increasingly customary in Canada in progressive circles to recognize that a speaker is on traditional territories of First Nations peoples and I recognize that now as well. [Please visit this link for a clarification on terminology regarding First Nations]

I am not credentialed in the formal sense to talk about globalization and internationalism. I speak from my own experience as a somewhat observant formerly waged worker, and now as an unwaged social activist/advocate with the Windsor Workers’ Education Centre where we see non-union workers in low wage precarious work; many of whom are established immigrants and newcomers, and of those they are primarily women. Increasingly we are, at the workers’ centre, drawn into working with migrant and temporary foreign workers and exposed to the fact of their second class citizenship. Probably exposure to such people causes me to consider borders and globalization as much as crossing the border myself on Sundays. Workers cannot sustain themselves in their own countries because those economies are linked to global market needs not domestic ones- and here I’m thinking of food sovereignty as a good example where more and more farmland – especially in Africa but also elsewhere – is being grabbed up by corporations, and also especially by China – a country short on both fresh water and arable land. The farmland is used to grow food for consumption in China, [for example] while creating low wage work on industrial farms.

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Click image for more info on book

In Canada there is a growing concern over internal migrant workers, although they probably wouldn’t describe themselves that way as they are middle class highly skilled workers traveling from Windsor and the east coast to work in the Tar Sands. You see manufacturing has collapsed in southern and south-west Ontario – I see figures published of job losses in the 100’s of thousands – manufacturing jobs lost since free trade leaving the country hugely dependent on non-renewable resources i.e. the environmental disaster that is the Tar Sands. No work at home so they fly out west – internal migrant workers and it’s slipping up on us so quietly because of policies that make it so at the highest levels of government and corporate power – policies that strengthen globalism at the expense of local communities. So I am “credentialed” out of what I have observed as a privileged waged worker and what I have been exposed to as a privileged recipient of a decent pension with benefits allowing me to do unwaged advocacy work. I read a ton of stuff online everyday as well as subscriptions to the Monthly Review – a socialist publication for over 50 years based in New York, the New York Review of Books, Canadian Dimension, The Monitor that is a publication of the excellent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. On the campus/community radio program I host I also try to examine with interviews social justice and environmental issues

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Click image for more on CD

From a political point of view it’s a little harder for me to clearly describe where I am coming from – there are a lot of anti’s in my vocabulary: anti-capitalist, anti-war, anti-poverty…to the point today that it’s really crucial – for me and others – to also describe what I am FOR and what I want to do to get to someplace else more just socially, economically and politically. My political thinking is socialist, working class, and collectivist – seeking a society based on mutual aid and cooperativism. Also, increasingly, and I’m no expert, but my thinking too is influenced by the First Nations experiences in Canada especially around the Idle No More movement which began with the implementation 2 years ago or so of a series of omnibus bills – I’m not sure if you have experience here of this – bills provincial and federal governments craft that encompass unrelated legislation and run for hundreds of pages forcing the opposition and the media to take quite some time to figure out the ramifications, so news trickles out for days about the effects of the bills. In this case with Idle No More, environmental protections for rivers, lakes, and streams were removed in what was a budget bill I believe, and clearly the federal government was trying to make an end run around its constitutional requirement to consult with First Nations [FN] before enacting legislation that would affect them. Just on Wednesday a court ruled the government breached its responsibilities, but of course the legislation stands. It is quite likely that our version of Ferguson will involve Indigenous peoples and their allies in the struggle against pipelines and other issues on the relationship between First Nations and the federal government.

Click image for more on INM
Click image for more on INM

So…: finding a place in a globalized world. I’m still fairly new to Windsor/Detroit and it’s a big deal – that is to say not routine – to cross a border as regularly as I do; and here I am reminded of my white privilege since crossing is anything but routine for people of colour and/or are newcomers to the US or Canada. So I think of borders in general that delineate nations and how borders have been drawn by victors of wars and by colonial powers in Africa, North America and elsewhere – those borders are not voted on – they’re drawn by someone in power and the rest of us learn to live with them! They just are…

Globalization was sold as the solution to international rivalries that led to such horrors of the wars in the 20th century. A globalized economy was supposed to lift all our boats: jobs in the global south, the knowledge economy for the so called developed nations, and an end to history with ideology fading into the mists history. Globalization makes borders disappear – for Capital and the super wealthy, but they sure exist for ordinary people. The market – the unseen hand of the market – would ensure there was something for everyone and the human race would be better off. Except…except…rivalries are clearly escalating, why was there 9/11 in a globalized world economy? What happened to the knowledge economy? Where are the jobs? Why are tuition fees through the roof? Education was the solution right?

Herman E. Daly, Emeritus Professor at the University of Maryland, School of Public Policy wrote in 1999 in an article comparing globalization vs. internationalization that “Globalization … is frequently confused with internationalization, but is in fact something totally different. Internationalization refers to the increasing importance of international trade, international relations, treaties, alliances, etc. Inter-national, of course, means between or among nations. Globalization refers to global economic integration of many formerly national economies into one global economy, mainly by free trade and free capital mobility, but also by easy or uncontrolled migration. It is the effective erasure of national boundaries for economic purposes.” He continues: “… the conventional wisdom seems to be that if free trade in goods is beneficial, then free trade in capital must be even more beneficial! In any event, it no longer makes sense to think of national teams of labor and capital in the globalized economy. Instead, we have global capitalists competing with each other for both laborers and natural resources, as well as markets, in all countries.” He wrote this 15 years ago but critics of globalization and the free trade agreements that make it happen were sidelined. I’m going to quote at length here his conclusions of 15 years ago because we can now see how bang on he was:

For all the sins historically committed by the nation, it is still our basic locus of community and unit of policy. The nation, along with international federations of nations, must not be sacrificed to the unexamined ideal of “globalization” which, when examined, turns out to be unfettered individualism for corporations on a global scale. Paradoxically, globalization even undercuts our ability to deal with irreducibly global problems such as climate change, because nations with porous borders are not able to carry out any effective national economic policies, including the ones that they agreed to in global environmental treaties. We must learn to distinguish internationalism from globalism and abandon the latter in favor of the former.
Globalization prolongs the industrial country’s illusion of unlimited sources and sinks, and postpones the shift from “empty-world” economics to “full-world” economics that all nations must eventually make. The worsening condition of labor is met by cries for still more growth based on cheaper resources, and paradoxically, cheaper labor as well, in order to be competitive in global markets.
Free traders say we should become less self-sufficient and more globally integrated as part of the overriding quest to consume ever more. This increased interdependence, they believe, will also help avoid war. Free trade, specialization, and global integration, mean that nations are no longer free not to trade. Yet freedom not to trade is surely necessary if trade is to remain mutually beneficial. War, as well as corporate police action, is more likely to be avoided if nations learn both to consume less and to become more self-sufficient.

Herman E Daly, 1999…..

He is best known for his books and research on steady-state economics, referred to often as slow growth and we’ll hear that term a lot around debates on global warming where the “developed” countries need to curtail emissions by slowing our economies and live within limits, while the rest of the world “catches up” in terms of increasing their standard of living. As we know, that argument is ongoing, and is what is likely at the heart of the increasing conflict in the world.

Most worryingly – well, in the top 10 of worries certainly – is that globalization has made primary the “economy” in the form of The Market where society is best shaped by the ‘rational’ economic decisions of equally informed consumers. This is absurd. No one has all the knowledge they need to make these rational decisions and if we are all acting as individuals in pursuit of our economic ends how can we actually create a better society? Margaret Thatcher gave the answer to that one with her famous wonky remark that there is no such thing as society! Such a notion ignores the realities of racism, class, discrimination and so on that no market economy is designed to change. Globalization has been the biggest con job in human history! It’s a political neoliberal ideology disguised as economic policy. What’s happened is that in general – and here let me stick to Canada, people are de-politicized. I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say ‘oh, you’re just playing politics’ or you’re politicizing an issue’ if poverty, racism, discrimination and so on are brought up. But it’s ALL political! This is the heart of the con game: make economic policy, efficiency, and austerity the primary feature of public life while at the same time denouncing any resistance as simply playing politics. I think the essence of this in the U.S. is the Tea Party, that invention of the super wealthy, a grassroots guerrilla army that seeks to blunt any opposition to the dominant ideology and we have our own version in Canada as well. The de-politicization of society has prevented too many people from being able to analyze what has happened and the media plays a huge role in this. The media has always provided distractions for the times, but the rise of right wing commentators who cry free speech as they promote hate and inequality is utter propaganda and inflames people and polarizes issues preventing real organizing around the economy, work, and growing inequality.

It’s pretty hard to think ourselves out of the political corner we are in. I believe this is why some are turning to violence in our countries: because there is anger at the joblessness, the violence deployed by the state, the obvious lies and dis-ingenuousness of leaders, the utter unfairness! A good example: torture is now ‘enhanced interrogation’. Canada is not immune here – our soldiers handed over captured Afghans during our time there to certain torture and the government covered it up. The Prime Minister – a committed neoliberal market politician – dissolved Parliament in 2009 to avoid having his minority government fall over the allegations of complicity in torture – a still unresolved stain. So there is anger – and righteous anger – if people aren’t angry today they are not paying attention – but where to channel it? While there is certainly organizing going on in Canada we were reminded that marginalized people who seem to have no way of expressing themselves in forums to discuss political and economic issues become so-called lone wolf gunmen and the perfect unwitting tool of the state which is only too happy to impose surveillance and more police because the state has been co-opted by neo-liberal market ideology – the state has been transformed into an agent of corporations and mega millionaires; it does not serve the needs of working people. Our populations are adrift in a utopian nightmare created by cliques of market ideologues who play politics all the time – but the dirtiest kind where power is gained and held at all costs because they have no more ideas, no more markets in a closed planetary loop. They’re done: global warming, the destruction of land air and water and the saturation of markets spell doom for the globalization experiment, while we are all heavily invested in it whether we like it or not.

And here’s the thing – globalization was supposed to end the isolation of traditional societies where women are second class citizens without rights and economies cannot provide for the people and dictatorships abound siphoning off wealth that should be redistributed to the people in the form of services. And here I must be blunt – U.S. governments with the backing of Canadian governments have backed ugly dictator after ugly dictator in an effort to combat nationalists in the Middle East and elsewhere – nationalists, usually socialists who could have secured their own national economies and harnessed them for the service of the people. The globalized world has been led by the U.S. and its western allies. Ostensibly, yes, it is desirous to have countries respect the rights of women, to see an end dictatorships – it’s just that it’s all too selective. Some dictatorships have to go but others fit into the global scheme of things. I’m angry my government counts as its best friends Saudia Arabia, Egypt, and Zionists in Israel who illegally occupy Palestinian lands and so on, but I’m not going to go out and shoot up Parliament…Globalization has been a disaster and a fleet of a million drones ain’t gonna fix things… Globalization has caused Canada to focus on the Tar Sands, attack Indigenous rights and treaties, and made enemies out of political opponents – Stephen Harper has an enemies list – sound familiar? As prime minister he is as autocratic as they come and committed to neoliberal ideology which is at the core of the global economy – nothing is more important to him and his policies show it. B.C. author Donald Gutstein has written the book “Harperism: How Stephen Harper and his Think Tank Colleagues have Transformed Canada” and he wrote that Harper is “gradually moving the country from one that’s based on democracy to one that’s based on the market, which means that the decisions are not made by our duly elected representatives through the laws that they pass and the regulations that they enact,” and he mentions a couple of examples including the temporary foreign workers program where it is actually employers who decide on who comes into the country to work in a market-based society. This is occurring without the knowledge of most Canadians, yet it is a fundamental shift in how government is supposed to work. Market forces are changing the very nature of the country to a closed, racist autocracy.

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Click image for more on this book

One thing I love about Canada is that we set out in the post war years to be a nation among nations, and Canada was front and centre with the formation of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Canada was committed to internationalism and to the idea of government redistributing wealth in the form of a universal health care plan and a system of federal payments to the provinces to run health care and other services – there was/is a power sharing agreement between the federal government and the provinces, and with nationalist Quebec in the mix, a recognition of two founding nations and languages. Someday, if the neoliberal market economy can be sent to the dustbin of history, full recognition of Indigenous rights will come about and even [perhaps] a third level of government which would give equality to First Nations.

Which brings me to interesting writing by John Ralston Saul on Canada and First Nations. In “A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada” Saul “… argues that Canada is a Métis nation [mixed ancestry of First Nations and Europeans], heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed.” He adds that “Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn’t believe in Canada.”

Click image for a contarian view of A Fair Country
Click image for a contarian view of A Fair Country

 

Saul has just written “The Comeback” a short book in which he argues that all Canadians are treaty people not just First nations people, and “When  it comes to Aboriginal peoples, sympathy from outsiders is the new form of racism. It allows many of us to feel good about discounting their importance and the richness of their civilizations. Sympathy is a way to deny our shared reality. Our shared responsibility. Sympathy obscures the central importance of rights.”

So I bring up First Nations because the globalized neoliberal world is closing in on any hope of establishing Canada as not only a nation among nations but as a nation composed of nations. Already China owns mines in B.C. and has a huge stake in the Tar Sands industry. It’s not hard to see that foreign corporate ownership in a de-politicized, rights denying, neoliberal globalized economy will eventually erode the nation to nation relationship that should be developed with First Nations in order to strengthen the national character of Canada. I will step out on a limb and say most Canadians are not aware of this and may even welcome foreign investment because they buy into globalization. I also bring up First Nations because of what Saul has written about our national character that has been shaped more than we know or our children taught, by aboriginal values that Canada absorbed: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence. This is the kind of nationalism I want to live by and the kind of Canada that could be an example in a fractious world.
Egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are values that are the antithesis of the neoliberal global economy.

Click image for more on this book
Click image for more on this book

So let me take stock at this point: the neoliberal global economy is raping the earth, exploiting workers, leading to more conflict, creating an ever widening gap between rich and poor by destroying the middle class; and the state that should be serving the needs of citizens is now in the service of the global economy, reserving for itself powers of surveillance, policing an increasingly unruly and angry populace, and deploying military force against a panoply of shifting enemies who won’t submit to the approved global script: the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS and so on. Our leaders are technocrats and increasingly defensive and belligerent, and if that isn’t bad enough – they’re out of ideas. We teeter on one hell of a precipice…

A turn to an internationalism I have attempted to describe seems unlikely any time soon, and frankly I believe there will be a collapse and that things will get worse before they get better. Detroit however has already seen that future globalization has wrought and is in the thick of the struggle between neoliberal development: and citizen led revival: whose city is it indeed. Most Windsorites – out on a limb here again – don’t see the similarities yet with Detroit because we still have enough of a vestige of government that redistributes wealth. However another 4-5 years of Stephen Harper (we have a federal election next year) and our country will be toast – I really believe that. The regions won’t hold with a weakened federal government.

So as I contemplate these things from my white male, working class, socialist perspective I find myself on common ground with the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership here in Detroit where they say ‘we are the leaders we are looking for’. I find myself pulled toward the New Work New Culture movement which is the life work of Frithjof Bergmann in Ann Arbor. From his website: “New Work, New Culture is a philosophical, political, and informational response to our current, dysfunctional job system. With increasing automation, the number of jobs decreases. Instead of relying on economic growth to churn out more jobs, New Work proposes that we instead reconsider the central role that jobs play in our culture, and pursue practices that will free us.”

Generally I avoid the word ‘job’ and use instead ‘meaningful work’ which I thinks speaks to Bergmann’s idea that the ‘job’ system is not the answer but work producing what a community needs is what’s at hand. At a conference here in Detroit in October the themes of NWNC were explored with people from across North America – mostly young people to explore the uses of technology, urban agriculture, permaculture, time sharing and so on in meeting the needs of people: community production using digital fabricators is now possible to meet many of our material needs but the challenge is how to organize ourselves around new thinking of work outside the corporate driven profit model.

Click image for more on Incite Focus Fab Lab
Click image for more on Incite Focus Fab Lab

A herculean task and one not made easier by the status quo: where schools replicate the existing hierarchical social order, and the power of those with money control the agenda using the propaganda model of the corporate media (well documented by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman). It’s very intriguing stuff and while not the answer to all problems NWNC is certainly part of the solution. Even if all the jobs exported to China and elsewhere came back there would not be enough of them because of automation. And speaking of privilege as I have, the NWNC conference was as diverse a gathering as it could be and questions of access to technology were important points since the very communities and persons marginalized by the mainstream economy will need access to the technology that can transform their lives. Someone like me can assume I’ll be able to use digital fabricators, for example, but what of young African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, women, First Nations, or people I know on social assistance where having a cheap cell phone on a cheap plan is barely achievable? Those in complex times who’ve not been included in discussions of race, poverty, privilege and so on need access to the dialogue on NWNC.

On our side of the river there are numerous farmers in the county who are growing and selling locally, people investigating micro-financing and those including myself trying to keep a local lefty bookstore and community newspaper going by forming a non-profit social enterprise or worker co-op with some kind of cafe or shop that could make enough to sustain the paper and bookstore. From there we hope to attract young people who do want to ‘get political’ and maintain an active government while creating our own version of NWNC.

Points to ponder in closing

• Globalization and the destruction of local economies we never owned in the first place: we work in a global economy but live locally: June of last year in Northern Ontario Business: “Rayon maker Aditya Birla of India signed a three-year partnership deal with Pays Plat First Nation [on Lake Superior ]to harvest wood from the Kenogami Forest to the company’s Terrace Bay mill. The company is in the process of converting the mill on the north shore of Lake Superior into a dissolving pulp operation used in textile manufacturing. The company plans to employ 350 once the conversion is complete in 2016. Pays Plat is one of a number of suppliers selected to feed the mill’s daily fibre needs of 2,000 tonnes. Birla purchased the mothballed pulp mill in June 2012.” I imagine that pulp sailing right by us in the unemployment capital of North America: that’s global capitalism for you:
• meaningful work, family, culture, connectedness to nature & each other = community: Windsor motto: “the river and the land sustain us” and Detroit’s: “We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes” seem to call us to action in resistance and building something new.

Click image for more on theis First Nation community
Click image for more on this First Nation community

• Large scale manufacturing is disappearing in Windsor/Detroit: In a major report [on Dec 27] the Windsor Star newspaper posted that “Over the past ten years, more than 30,000 people between the ages of 15 and 29 have left Windsor and Essex County. They are migrating out of a region where household incomes have been dropping in sync with the shrinking number of good paying jobs in the dominant auto industry. The result: the number of 25 to 44-year-olds in Windsor’s workforce declined by more than 6,000 from 2007 to 2012.” The thing about this article is that it is devoid of any analysis of WHY people have to fly out west to get work, nor would the paper dare to call these workers internal migrant workers, but that’s what they are [in a globalized economy that wrecks local communities.]
• The numbers are even more staggering in Detroit of people who have migrated out. Windsor may not look like the worst areas of Detroit but take a look at Indian Rd on the west side by the bridge in Windsor and you’ll see a version of Detroit’s reality thanks to global millionaire Matty Maroun who bought up streets of houses that stand derelict today – community renewal means affordable housing and that means land trusts for the common good, not empire building for millionaires.
• What must we do? Re-building community means re-imaging new social relationships because those relationships are largely formed by the work we do, waged or unwaged… Maybe not ‘new’ social relationships so much as ‘Re-newed’ as we come together in a common cause instead of being driven apart and estranged from each other as we see happening – the inequality gap creating rich and poor.
• A recent email yesterday from the Boggs Center speaks to what I’ve been describing: “We … recognize that we are in an emerging revolutionary period, demanding much deeper thinking and organizing from us. In October, our New Work New Culture Conference brought together activists, artists, and intellectuals to advance our thinking about decentralized production and encouraging local economies. Local production for local needs is not abstract, but emerging in our city. Urban gardens, fish farming, new forms of education, art, and consciousness are visible among the cracks in the corporate order.”
• Coming from northern Ontario which can seem light years away from this area – but it’s not – I keep thinking of the connectedness of Lakes Huron and Ontario and the rivers that connect them – I already mentioned the astonishing fact of pulp being shipped in Indian factories where rayon will be used in the textile industry thousands of miles away…national boundaries, political realities, and a public reeling from the historical upheaval that is occurring cannot get organized quickly enough to capture the agenda for a local, national economy that can restore the idea of nations among nations built on strong resilient and organized communities. But we can start with where we are with what we’ve got as Detroiters are doing. One thing that always terrified the power elite was the organization of the masses in a common cause. The common cause I’ll say is fairness, equality, egalitarianism, freedom of expression and a willingness to accept our responsibility to each other – this I believe is our greatest challenge. We all seem to know our rights, but as those rights are whittled away by an increasingly authoritarian state out of ideas but armed to the teeth it’s our shared responsibility to each other that will save us.

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Republishing: You are welcome to share/republish this post at will as long as proper attribution is made. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and in the case of the audio segments, the views expressed are mine and those of my guests and do not necessarily reflect the views of OPIRG Windsor or CJAM radio.

Oct. 5, 2012: Aaron Handelsman & the North End Woodward Community Coalition; local photojournalist Doug MacLellan & trip to Zimbabwe

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Listen to entire program here:

We had a great discussion with Aaron Handelsman, a Detroit resident and representative from the North End Woodward Community Coalition (NEWCC) on community organizing in that city and the struggle over, literally I think, who owns Detroit. The State’s imposed  “consent agreement’  means the state of Michigan has all the power to decide what really happens, virtually stripping city council’s mandate to govern by those who elected it. Community groups like the Building Movement Project in Detroit and the North End Woodward Community Coalition have been involved in trying to get Community Advisory Councils off the ground, and those councils presumably at this point are seen as the most democratic means for the people who live in Detroit’s core to have real decision making power – a struggle is underway and has been for many years over who owns Detroit. 

In this clip Handelsman out lines the competing narratives of Detroit and the struggle to build people power:

Click image for Voice of Detroit article on NEWCC

In the studio for the second half hour of the program and on incredibly short notice was my friend and local photojournalist, Doug MacLellan.  He is embarking later this month to Zimbabwe, a country he has visited and documented several times in the past. He is traveling to expose a crisis at the Howard Hospital and in this clip he explains why:

Click image for a moving article about Dr Thistle by Dr Tinashe Gede

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Featured CD:

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Sample track:

 

Announcement

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April 6: Art Sterritt and the Northern Gateway Pipeline; Elena Herrada and the “Consent” Agreement in Detroit

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Listen to entire program here:

The last program fell on Good Friday heading into the Easter holiday weekend – a weekend full of a message of peace and transformation; yet, with the Ontario and federal budgets this country and province are being transformed into ruthless dog eat dog places that place people and the environment dead list in a list of priorities meant to satisfy the global investor class.

 In the budget was $7-8 million earmarked for Revenue Canada to go after charities that receive funding from abroad. It is commonly understood that this move is a way to silence critics of the Tar Sands and the planned Northern Gateway Pipeline to the BC coast.

With me on the phone from his home in British Columbia was Art Sterritt, Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative and an opponent of the Northern Gateway Pipeline. The First Nations that comprise the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative “occupy the Northern and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii areas of B.C., from the Alaskan border in the north to Vancouver Island in the south. This region is the unceded Traditional Territory of more than one dozen First Nations.”

Click map image for more on the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative

If you’re looking where the fight is against the Harper regime look to Art Sterritt and the Coastal First Nations who are opposing the Northern Gateway Pipeline. In this audio clip Sterritt outlines the scope of the pipeline, the studies the communities he represents have carried out and the bullying tactics of the Harper regime. He also points out that any agency, government or otherwise, charged with protecting the environment are affected by funding cuts in the last federal budget. the environment is at stake; any semblance of democracy itself is at stake:

Proposed route of Northern Gateway Pipeline

In this segment, Sterritt explains that it is not pipelines that are the problem, it’s the crude oil, or in this case, the bitumen from the Tar Sands. The BC economy is self-sufficient and thirty thousand jobs rely on a healthy environment:

The illogic of the pipeline, coupled with a lack of a national energy policy leaves Canadians victims  to the whims of unaccountable global energy conglomerates:

The fight against the pipeline is one we should all be willing to take on. The Harper regime’s move to silence dissent is reason enough to take action. In this clip Sterritt also explains that past disasters must be avoided because the social costs as well as the economic costs are too great:

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For the oceans:

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In the second half hour I spoke with Elena Herrada, a Detroit community activist and school board trustee about the “consent” agreement giving the State governor, and in reality, corporations control of the city:

According to Herrada, the decision to implement the consent agreement is illegal and racialized as it is cities with majority Black populations and Black leadership that are “under an emergency manager of one form or another”:

In this clip, Herrada explains the effects of the consent agreement with some context around the realities of the tax base which depended on a residency requirement for city workers – that they actually live in Detroit – a requirement lifted ten years ago setting the stage for the state/corporate takeover of the city. She aptly describes how the inner city has been further eviscerated and become the playground of those living in the suburbs while inner city residents struggle to survive without  representation or the power of taxation:

Click image for Rachel Maddow segment on Emergency Manager Law at the 6:13 minute mark.

Click on image to learn why Detroit may be down but NOT out. (Thanks to Rich Feldman for this)

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Cry Cry Cry:

June 3: Abayomi Azikiwe in Detroit and the extension of the US Patriot Act; Detroit fightback campaign

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We were unable to connect with Richard Sanders of the Coalition Against the Arms Trade, and will have him on the program June 10 to catch up on the CANSEC  arms bazaar recently held in Ottawa.

In the first half hour we welcomed new OPIRG volunteer Victoria Townsend who will help produce the program, and went through local announcements:

Windsor Bicycling Committee

The Windsor Bicycling Committee is hosting a FREE BREAKFAST at City Hall, to kick off Bike To Work Week and promote cycling as a viable commuting option. The breakfast will be served from 6am – 10am by members of the committee and members of city council on June 6th, 2011, and the breakfast will take place at City Hall Square (University Ave. East, across from Charles Clark Square).

Bagels and cream cheese, coffee, juice and fresh fruit will be served to cyclists commuting to work or running errands by bike. Information about the various cycling clubs in Windsor, as well as info about Windsor’s current and future bike lanes and trails, will be available for those interested in learning more about cycling in Windsor. Free bike lights and bells will also be available for those looking to increase their safety while riding.

There will be a  Promotional Draw- one lucky winner will score a $300 gift certificate to a local bike shop! Tickets for the draw will be available at all of the Bike Month events happening in June… the more events you attend, the more chances you have at winning! The winner will be chosen on July 2nd, 2011, at the Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market, at 10am.

 Bike to UWindsor, get breakfast!

June 7, 8 and 9th • 8:00am – 10:00am

Breakfast will be available for all campus participants from Tuesday to Thursday from 8:00 to 10:00am. There will be tables set up at the bike shelter directly in front of the main entrance to Essex Hall.

 OpenMedia.ca is preparing two major initiatives to help make the Internet in Canada open, accessible, and affordable.

July 11th – July 16th is the CRTC hearing on Internet metering. OpenMedia.ca will be appearing at the hearing to strongly oppose Big Telecom price gouging and will be encouraging all Internet loving Canadians to continue to sign the Stop The Meter petition.

In addition, in concert with the pro-Internet community we are preparing a major pan-Canadian campaign opposing a proposed “Lawful Access” crime bill. Internet Service Providers would be forced to create a blanket digital surveillance system, which law enforcement official would be able to access without a warrant. It would be akin to Ottawa setting up surveillance cameras in every home in the country that police would be able to turn on whenever they deem appropriate. It’s a serious affront to the open Internet.

To indicate how you would like to help stop Internet metering and warrantless digital surveillance visit:

http://openmedia.ca/skills

In the second half hour we caught up with activist Abayomi Azikiwe in Detroit for his view on the extension of the US Patriot Act in the US. He also announced a fightback conference:

How the Banks Destroyed Detroit and How We Can Fight Back!

Saturday – June 11, 2011 – 9 AM to 3 PM

UAW Local 22 Hall 4300 Michigan Ave., Detroit (west of W. Grand Blvd.)

Lunch will be served – $5 donation; unemployed, students-$1; no one turned away

Sponsored by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions, and Utility Shutoffs.

Music Featured:

Click on image for more on this Windsor artist

April 29: Susan Gold Smith and MayWorks 2011; Ameen Hassan: the election and social networking; Abayomi Azikiwe: view from Detroit

Click image for more information

Listen to entire program here:

My opening remarks for the program were as follows:

The election campaign is in the final stretch and polls suggest a so-called orange tide as the NDP is, as they say, surging in the polls. This could mean a Harper majority as the liberals and NDP split the vote or that the NDP will be so close to power as to have a defining role. The spectre of not only Bob Rae but of Obama’s call for change throws a shadow over any idea of real change in this country even with an NDP majority or head of a minority government. The austerity agenda will come to Canada as surely as elsewhere and the NDP will not challenge it anymore than Obama did in the US.

We let the election be on this program with the exception of an interview with Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association on open governance and freedom of information – concepts not embraced by Stephen Harper. His government fell because it refused to provide parliament with proper information on spending – it fell because it is a criminal enterprise, whether it is handing over Afghans to certain torture, denying climate change, and allowing the Tar Sands project to function are all matters that are harming people directly. Party platforms are superfluous in the face of Harper’s flagrant disregard for the people, yet the election campaign got underway, and as always, has had little regard for substance. After Monday, we will continue to struggle over the real issue facing the working class: a global economic system in collapse and the trend toward authoritarianism to keep populations disempowered and cowed. The struggle to confront and transform this dismal state of affairs will be continue to be the focus of this program after May 2, and even a Jack Layton majority will not change the challenges before the working class.

Today, in the first half hour, Professor Susan Gold Smith, professor in the Visual Arts program at UWindsor will take us through the itinerary of Mayworks 2011 which got underway yesterday, actually, with the Workers’ day of Mourning, and continues this weekend with a Mayday parade and rally. And Ameen will take us through his thoughts on the election campaign and social media.

Susan Gold Smith and Mayworks 2011

Later in the program we’ll hear from Abayomi Azikiwe in Detroit and catch up on what has been happening across the river.

Music featured on the program:

Click on image for more info.

Opening night of the Abilene Paradox:

Susan Gold Smith and opening night. Click on image for more info.
Abilene Paradox opening night at Artcite



April 28, 2010: Clayton Thomas-Muller

Click here to listen to the interview with Clayton Thomas-Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network: 68-The_Shake_Up-20100428-1200-t1272452400

Clayton Thomas-Muller Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign – “Clayton Thomas-Muller, of the Mathais Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada, is an activist for Indigenous rights and environmental justice. He has been on the front lines of stopping industrial society’s assault on Indigenous Peoples lands to extract resources and to dump toxic wastes. Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Clayton is involved in many initiatives to support the building of an inclusive movement for Energy and Climate Justice. Recognized by Utne Magazine as one of the top 30 under 30 activists in the United States and as a “Climate Hero” 2009 by Yes Magazine, Clayton is the tar sands campaign organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network. He works across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states with grassroots indigenous communities to defend against the sprawling infrastructure that includes pipelines, refineries and extraction associated with the tar sands, the largest and most destructive industrial development in the history of mankind.”

ABOUT the INDIGENOUS ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK

“Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.IEN accomplishes this by maintaining an informational clearinghouse, organizing campaigns, direct actions and public awareness, building the capacity of community and tribes to address EJ issues, development of initiatives to impact policy, and building alliances among Indigenous communities, tribes, inter-tribal and Indigenous organizations, people-of-color/ethnic organizations, faith-based and women groups, youth, labor, environmental organizations and others. IEN convenes local, regional and national meetings on environmental and economic justice issues, and provides support, resources and referral to Indigenous communities and youth throughout primarily North America – and in recent years – globally.”

SEE ALSO:

Brazen Posturing


Marathon Oil to Expand Refinery in Detroit for Tar Sands

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Annual Rug Event – May 7 to May 16, 2010

Springtime Sale of Fair Trade Oriental Rugs

Cherish the exceptional appeal of fairly traded oriental rugs with sumptuous natural fibres; singularly timeless designs; hand-knotted by gifted artisans. The high quality of fairly traded oriental rugs is born out of the principle of allowing artisans the freedom to design and craft their rugs allowing them to create their own patterns, choose their colors and determine the number of knots per square inch for each rug. The designs and quality are not often found in stores in the Windsor area, so you are invited to take advantage of this special limited time event at Ten Thousand Villages.

Rugs 101 – Friday, May 7, 2010 – 7:00 pm

Our Rug Seminar – Introduction to Oriental Rugs

Spend an evening learning more about this fascinating process, from dyeing the wool to tying the fringes, and hear how Fair Trade works to produce high quality products while still offering competitive prices for North American consumers. Seminar leader, Lori Sager from Ten Thousand Villages Canada. Lori has visited Pakistan and met with our artisan partners who make these rugs.
An event not to miss! Take time to learn more about how Oriental rugs are made, how fair trade impacts quality, different designs and styles, frequently asked questions and more. Enjoy!

World Fair Trade Day May 8, 2010

YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE LIVES

World Fair Trade Day is your day. Join millions of people celebrating and become the change you seek by voicing your support for Fair Trade. Help to spread the message around the world, and participate in the Ten Thousand Villages Windsor BIG Bang World Fair Trade Day event on May 8th, 2010, 12 noon until 2:00 pm.

Mothers’ Day, Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Ten Thousand Villages Windsor store has some great fair trade gifts for Mom, there is lots of choice in all price ranges. You can get some ideas by clicking here >> Mother’s Day | Ten Thousand Villages Canada . Better still why not drop into the store now, while the selection is still good? Our knowledgeable and friendly volunteers and staff can help you find something special.

Ten Thousand Villages Canada – 2010 visit to Peru & Columbia

Ten Thousand Villages’ Learning Tours are semi-annual trips undertaken by selected Ten Thousand Villages personnel to gain a better understanding of the social, economic, political and environmental context in which our artisans work.

It is the goal of the Learning Tours to provide both insight and motivation to our staff for the work we perform on our artisans behalf.

This year’s learning tour started last week, on Friday, April 23, 2010 and is taking twelve Ten Thousand Villages employees from across Canada to South America … to Peru and Colombia. The purpose of the blog is to capture some of the stories, sights and sounds we are experiencing during our travels and share them with you.

Follow this interesting journey here>>Learning Tour 2010: Peru and Colombia

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MAYWORKS WINDSOR 2010 (from www.artcite.ca)

For May 2010, Windsor Ontario’s labour and arts communities will join
with other cities across Canada to present our first labour-focused cultural
MayWorks festival in Windsor.

Artists, workers, and students have met over many months to organize
a collection of exhibitions, projects, events, a rally and a parade, to celebrate
our creativity as a community, our dedication to the values of workers’ solidarity,
social justice and human rights.

Our various activities will highlight our support for our city core,
our old Sandwich Towne community and our history of solidarity,
concern for social justice and our trasition of labour arts.

MayWorks Windsor 2010
A Festival of International Workers’ Solidarity,
Social Justice and Community Cultural Projects

(all events listed are free)

28 April -Day of Mourning; honours workers injured or killed on the job,
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 834 Raymo (and Wyandotte), 5:30 PM

29 April – Stitch & Bitch; Last Chance to make ATCs for MayWorks’ Artist
Trading Card Big Trade, Windsor Workers’ Action Centre, 328 Pelissier,
6:30–9 PM.

1 May – Building Bridges; Group Exhibition, Common Ground Gallery 12-4 PM
reception Bar-B-Q, Mackenzie Hall, 3277 Sandwich St.

1 May – May Day Rally and March; down University,starts at 4:30 PM, City Hall Square;
speakers’ box and musician Travis Reitsma

1 May – SmogFest; opens at Milk Coffee Bar, 68 University Ave. W. Silent bidding
on art throughout the month of May. Submit artwork to Citizens Environment Alliance
1950 Ottawa St. before April 27th (ceaadmin@cogeco.net.)

1 May – Windsor Workers Action Centre Open House; open before and after the
MAY DAY Rally, 2– 7 PM for coffee, tea and sign making, 328 Pelissier.

1 May – 3rd Annual May Day Celebration; dinner and entertainment, 8 PM
CAW 444 Union Hall, 1855 Turner Rd. (contact: bmcnamara4@cogeco.ca)

1 May – Windsor Fights Back; Exhibition opening reception,
Bringas, Fall-Conroy, Howe, Moores, Seoane, Smith.
7-10 PM , Artcite Inc., 109 University West.
Exhibition runs throughout May (www.artcite.ca)

2 May – MayWorks Artist Trading Cards’ Big Trade; 2-4 PM
reception and local trading, Ten Thousand Villages, 624 Chilver off
Wyandotte. (sgold@uwindsor.ca)

2 May – Cuban Labour/Arts Solidarity event;
“From Crisis to Alternatives; The Example of Cuba.”
12 noon – 2 PM, Art Gallery of Windsor. 3rd floor Rodzik Gallery.
The Consul General of Cuba at Toronto, Jorge Soberon will discuss Cuba’s experience.
(ccfawindsor@yahoo.ca)

6 May – Château des photos: a community pARTnership; 7-9 PM reception,
Château Park Nursing Home, 2990 Riverside Dr. W. Unit B, Lindsay
Hanaka, Linda Renaud Fisher, Sandi Wheaton. Music by No One Special.
(Note: exhibit only open to public for the reception)

7 May – Unity in the Community BBQ; Music from Kero and Flow,
Art from D3N1@L and others, 12–5 PM, Print House, 510 Pelissier Street Gallery

7 May – Working on Foreign Land; exhibition, stories about work
from the perspective of students who are recent immigrants to Canada
and are enrolled at Catholic Central High School, 7-10 PM closing reception,
Artspeak Gallery, 1942 Wyandotte East; exhibition runs one week prior to
closing reception
.
8 May – Radical Slam; open mike poetry, 7 PM
Windsor Workers’ Action Centre, 328 Pelissier.

8 May – Not To Train in Vain; students of the University of Windsor
School of Visual Arts envision positive retraining options for Windsor’s
workers in a public art project, 7-10 PM reception, 400 block of Pelissier.

8 May – Resonation II; Installation by Dong-Kyoon Nam and Paul Breschuk,
400 block Pelissier, reception 7-10PM.

8 May -Remorse; Text work by Amin Rehman on view on 400 block Pelissier,
reception 7–10PM.

9 May – UFCW Agricultural Workers Alliance Band; playing in Leamington,
Details TBA

12 May – The New Normal exhibition; Wednesdays are free at the Art Gallery of
Windsor, exhibition runs throughout May.

14 May – MayWorks Film Night and discussion; WWAC, 328 Pelissier, 7PM.

17 May – International ANTI Homophobia Day; “Homophobia and Me”
postcard project on Artcite Inc.’s windows, Music at Phog,
Poetry Slam at Milk Coffee Bar.

20 May – Broken City Lab:How to Save a City; http://www.brokencitylab.org/savethecity.
22 May – Artists’ Parade; starts at 9 AM through Olde Sandwich Towne.

22 May – Live Graffiti Painting and Music; 12–5 PM, Print House, 510 Pelissier
(behind the Gallery in the Alley)
.
22 May – Art Show, Sandwich Towne Art Festival; 11 AM–6 PM.

23 May – Art Show, Sandwich Towne Art Festival; 11 AM–6 PM.

26 May – Art Gallery of Windsor and the 16th Media City Experimental Film and
Video Festival present Friedl vom Göller (Kubelka);
Wednesdays are
free at the Art Gallery of Windsor.

May 26 – 29 Media City 16th Experimental Film and Video Festival;
Pay what you can. Performances at 7:30 and 9:30 each night, Capitol Theatre.

27 May – Materials Trade. ReUse. ReCyle; MayWorks Stitch&Bitch and Artist
Trading Cards, Windsor Workers Action Centre, 6:30-9PM, 328 Pelissier.

29 May – SmogFest LAST GASP; closing reception at Milk Coffee Bar, 7:30 PM, 68
University West, silent bidding on Smog Fest art work all during May.

Individual artists:
Sasha Opeiko, “Education Patchwork”, hand made book
marks made from unwanted paper collected from students
and academic institutions, will be given away at several
MayWorks venues, Artcite Inc., Common Ground, Windsor
Workers’ Action Centre, Ten Thousand Villages and Art Speak.
Amin Rehman, “Remorse”, Pelissier store front window
text works on view through May on 328 and 400 block
Pelissier
Dong-Kyoon Nam and Paul Breshuk , “Resonation II”, on
400 block Pelissier, reception 8 May 7-10PM

MAYWORKS WINDSOR 2010 Facebook Group page:
You can keep up with last minute Mayworks news,
see pictures and discuss activities HERE
or search in Facebook for “MAYWORKS WINDSOR 2010

MayWorks is brought to you by the following
participants & supporters:

CAW Local 444
CUPE Local 543
CAW Local 444 Retirees Committee
SCOOP
University of Windsor Labour Studies Programme
WWAC (Windsor Workers Action Centre)
Artcite Inc
Art Gallery of Windsor
Common Ground Gallery
Arts Council Windsor & Region/ Artspeak Gallery
WUFA (University of Windsor Faculty Association)
Windsor Peace Coalition
Canadian Cuban Friendship Association – Windsor
Print House
Olde Sandwich Towne Business and Improvement Association
CARFAC Ontario
Windsor Artists for Social Justice
Citizens Environment Alliance
Windsor Pride
16th Media City Experimental Film and Video Festival
Milk Coffee Bar
Phog Lounge
Ten Thousand Villages
Château Park Nursing Home
UFCW Agricultural Workers Alliance
Broken City Lab / Save a City
OECTA
ETFO
Save a City Project
Legacy Benefits Project

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From FedUp

http://fedupwindsor.blogspot.com/

2. CEA and Smogfest at MayWorks 2010
The CEA is proud to announce our ninth annual Smogfest Art Exhibition will take place during the month of May at Milk Coffee Bar. This year Smogfest will be part of MayWorks 2010 (more on that at a later date). Currently we are putting out a call for submissions for Smogfest. If you or someone you know is interested in art, please get in touch with the CEA by checking heir website for specifics and contact info: http://www.citizensenvironmentalliance.org/.


3.
CLUCK begins working to bring urban chickens to Windsor
Steve Green, whom many of you know from WECSA, has spearheaded a movement to bring chickens to Windsor. As Steve says, “It’s time to step up the pressure on the City of Windsor and put our voice where it needs to be heard! On the web, in the city council chambers, on the street and in the yard!”.  Join him by participaing in the Windsor-Essex chapter of CLUCK, the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub – more info is available through CLUCK’s facebook group, or by contacting Steve at wecsa@ymail.com.

4. Get Growin’ Classes and Workshops
“Passionate gardener, horticultural educator and yoga instructor” Mary-Jo Rusu will be facilitating a series of spring and summer courses and workshops at the Bloomin Gardener, located at 6673 8th Concession RR 1, Oldcastle.  Cash or credit card payment is accepted – you can contact Mary-Jo at 519-737-6548.  Topics, dates, times, registration deadlines, and costs are available from Mary-Jo, but the first course (on spring herbs) begins April 26.

5. ChangeCamp
Members of FedUp are invited to Windsor-Essex ChangeCamp on Saturday, May 8th, at the Windsor Public Library.

ChangeCamp started in Toronto in 2009 as a grass roots unconference led by citizens to create change. Since then, ChangeCamps have been held across Canada. The Windsor-Essex ChangeCamp is a free, day-long event in which we attempt to answer the question, How can we re-imagine Windsor-Essex as a stronger and more vibrant community? More information and registration for WEChangeCamp can be found at http://www.wechangecamp.ca/

While the day’s conversations and connections will ultimately be decided by the people who are in the room on May 8th, we are hoping that this event will bring people from all around Essex County.We already have people registered who have interests in strengthening Windsor-Essex’s food and agricultural heritage including Adriano Ciotoli from WindsorEats.com and Victoria Rose from http://mylocalfoodblog.com and we are hoping for more.


6. Campus Community Garden Project update

The CCGP at the University of Windsor is moving full-steam ahead, and has been featured in spots in the local media.  For those who are interested in taking part, Rita Haase (haaser@uwindsor.ca) is the person to contact, and she has asked to pass on the following info about upcoming events, projects, and needs:

  • CCGP’s next general meeting is on Thursday, April 29 @ 4:30 pm on campus (Chrysler Hall South, room 263)
  • Anyone who is interested in gardening an individual 5 x 12 ft plot (or share one) besides working on the communal plot, should contact Rita asap
  • CCGP needs more help with preparing the soil, constructing composters, and other tasks, and needs somebody with a truck to get top soil from Essex county as well – volunteers please contact Rita
  • The first planting/sowing event will be on Saturday, May 8, starting at 10 am.


7. Canadian Social Forum

Just a heads-up that the Canadian Social Forum will be held in Windsor June 18-21. The tagline for the event is “ANother World Is Possible / Another Windsor Starts Here,” and it will include input, events, and workshops from several grassroots community organizations from Windsor and beyond.  Please check the website at http://socialforum.ca/wordpress/ for more info and registration information. And on FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=109185655766760

Brought to you by FedUp Windsor:

Sanctions-busting Telethon

in solidarity with Abousfian Abdelrazik and against oppressive “national security” logic.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

From anywhere, between 7pm and 9pm EDT:

Call toll free 1 877 737 4070

Tune in to live-broadcast on Rabble TV, www.rabble.ca

In Montreal:

Free dinner from 6pm; Telethon begins at 7pm

Georges Vanier Cultural Centre, 2450 Workman St. (metro Lionel Groulx)

Wheelchair accessible. Free childcare on site.

ALSO, tune in to Amandla on CKUT 90.3 FM for live reports.

Project Fly Home is organizing the first ever “Sanctions-busting Telethon” on April 28th to call people to donate to Abousfian Abdelrazik in open defiance of the United Nations 1267 regime, challenging the fear, racism and isolation it creates and feeds on. The evening will include a free spaghetti dinner and a host of poets, musicians and performers, including Hasan Abdulhai, Kader B, Al and Jess Blair, Ehab LotayefNorman Nawrocki and Jou Jou Turenne !

Two years ago, on April 28th, 2008, Abousfian Abdelrazik went public with his story of detention, torture and exile and claimed refuge in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum. He lived in the Embassy for fourteen months, unable to leave the grounds, until the Canadian government was forced to bring him back to Montreal in June 2009. Now he is home, but still not free. Background on Abelrazik’s story.

In 2006, without his knowledge, Abdelrazik’s name was placed on the United Nations “1267 list”. The 1267 regime imposes financial sanctions that prevent Abdelrazik from earning a salary, receiving any money, or maintaining a bank account. This makes rebuilding his life impossible. It’s like “living in a prison without walls” – indefinitely, without charge or trial. There is little recourse. As the Federal Court of Canada wrote, “There is nothing in the listing or de-listing procedure [of the 1267 regime] that recognizes the principles of natural justice or that provides for basic procedural fairness.” (Justice Russel Zinn, 4 June 2009). Background on the 1267 regime.

Despite its official position that Mr. Abdelrazik should be removed from the 1267 list, the Canadian government has made no serious attempt to have him delisted. Nor has it made any move to lift sanctions from Mr. Abdelrazik in Canada, although it is within its power to do so immediately.

Under federal law, anyone who contributes money to Mr. Abdelrazik risks prosecution. Canadian regulations state that no Canadian shall “provide or collect by any means, directly or indirectly, funds with the intention that the funds be used” by someone on the 1267 list.

We did it before! In early 2009, a group stretching from Vancouver to Halifax, including people from all walks of life, banded together to buy Abdelrazik a plane ticket home for April 3rd, despite federal government insistence that financially supporting Mr. Abdelrazik could violate the law (see complete list). This powerful act of solidarity reflected a groundswell of support for Mr. Abdelrazik as well as growing outrage at the government’s abusive treatment of him.

We are calling on you to do it again! Restate your solidarity or join the long list of people who have defied the 1267 regime by contributing money to Mr. Abdelrazik as an act of solidarity.

On April 28th, between 7pm and 9pm, come out to the Telethon in Montreal or call 1 877 737 4070 to make a donation to Abousfian Abdelrazik. Tune in to watch the telethon live-broadcast on www.rabble.ca or listen to Amandla on CKUT 90.3 FM for live reports.

Your donations will help challenge the oppressive “national security” logic which endangers all of us.

Build the pressure! Break the sanctions!

Sponsored by:

CKUT 90.3 FM

Rabble.ca
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Project Fly Home

projectflyhome@gmail.com

www.peoplescommission.org/en/abdelrazik
—————–
This telethon is part of a six-month campaign launched by Project Fly Home leading up to the first anniversary of Abdelrazik’s return to Canada. The six-month campaign demands that Canada: immediately free Abdelrazik from the 1267 sanctions; put pressure on members of the 1267 committee to delist Abdelrazik; and pull out of the 1267 regime. For more information, to download postcards and flyers, or to get involved:
www.peoplescommission.org/en/abdelrazik.