Saturday, August 25, 2007

To All Survivors of "Indian Residential Schools"

Public Announcement
To all survivors of "Indian Residential Schools" and "Indian Hospitals", and their families and descendents:
An Invitation to make History
The time has come for the full truth of the crimes of the residential schools to be shared before the world, so that those responsible can be brought to justice, and the spirits of the departed can be laid to a final rest.
Commencing on September 5, 2007, a travelling human rights Tribunal will visit many indigenous nations across Canada to hold public and private sessions where you can share your story and other evidence regarding what actually went on in the residential schools and hospitals - and how these crimes against our people are continuing today.
Convened under the land law jurisdictions of the Anishinabe, Cree and Metis Nations, this Tribunal has a simple mandate: to gather the proof that genocide of indigenous people occured and is occuring across Canada.
One of the primary aims of the Tribunal is to identify the fate and buried location of the more than 50,000 children who died in residential schools and hospitals, and arrange the repatriation of their remains to their traditional territories for a proper burial.
The Tribunal will open in Port Alberni, British Columbia, on September 5, 2007, and will travel eastward over the following three months. It will include international human rights observers from indigenous nations around the world, local tribal elders, and members of the media.
Before the end of this year, we plan to present our findings to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City.
We, the founding elders of the International Human Rights Tribunal into Genocide in Canada (IHRTGC), personally invite you to to welcome us onto your territory and to fully participate in our work and sessions. We need to hear your stories and gather the evidence that will make justice a reality.
We ask you to circulate this notice to your friends and families, and to encourage your own elders to welcome us and participate in our work. Please contact us at the numbers below if you can help us.
We look forward to working with you to end the suffering and bring a true and lasting healing to all our peoples. The truth shall set us all free.
With warmest regards and in the spirit of our Creator,
Louis Daniels - Whispers Wind, Elder, Anishinabe Nation
Jeremiah Jourdain, Elder, Metis-Cree Nation
Co-convenors,
The International Human Rights Tribunal into Genocide in Canada (IHRTGC)
c/o 260 Kennedy St.
Nanaimo, B.C. Canada V9R 2H8
ph: 250-753-3345
(after September 4, leave a message at 1-888-265-1007 or email us at these addresses: genocidetribunal@yahoo.ca
Issued under the authority of our Hereditary Land Law Jurisdiction from unceded Coast Salish Territory, Turtle Island, 23 August, 2007

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Prosperity Partnership Summit Denounced In Nanaimo

At 7;30 this morning at least 30 of us were strung in several lines along the Pearson Bridge in Nanaimo. There may have been more as some workers stopped to participate for half an hour or so before heading to their jobs. We bore signs denouncing the Prosperity Partnership (sic) Summit, that latest act of corporate state graft and empire building. A great many people driving to work waved or beeped their horns in support. I saw only one negative response. Most people took the leaflets. Participants involved included the Green Party, the Canadian Action Party, the NDP, Council of Canadians and the Popular Participation Movement (a radical youth movement) Since this demo was organized word of mouth and Nanaimo is relatively a small town, I think it was a success.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Michael Nerenberg - Songwriter

Morin Heights is a picturesque little Laurentian town about 45 minutes from Montreal. But it is well known for something else besides cuteness. Morin Heights, and the surrounding area, is home to some of Quebec's best musicians and songwriters. For folk, you have the McGarrigles and the late Wade Hemsworth, jazz the incomparible bass player, Normand Lachapelle, the sax man, Reez Soudre, and in rock, the legendary Robert Charlebois. There is one really outstanding songwriter/composer, who other than among his fellow musicians, has remained virtually unknown. Michael Nerenberg is part Dave Van Ronk, part Tom Waits, part Tom Lehrer and part Jelly Roll Morton, but at the same time, all and uniquely himself. His songs are hilariously funny or poigniant, joyous or sad, but always socially aware and intelligent. I am so pleased to discover that Michael now has a web site and that it is possible to download some of his songs. He has also started an organization called Committed Music and I quote from the site, This site is meant unabashedly to serve as a forum for message music, a warring site against ignorance as much as a spot for fine sounds.

For Michael Nerenberg's songs and Committed Music see

http://www.committedmusic.com/Michael%20Nerenberg/index.htm

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Right Wing Pedos Once More!

More evidence that the authoritarian mentality and pedophilia are connected. See

http://www.armchairsubversive.org/

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Manifesto of solidarity with Venezuelan Anarchists and Social Movements

One disturbing aspect of the article below are the disputes within Venezuelas small anarchist movement. There are, as I pointed out on a number of occasions in this blog, anarchist groups which give a certain amount of critical support to the Bolivarian Revolution. El Libertario is highly critical of the Chavistas. This article denounces El Libertario's anarchist opponents as “ fictitious groups paid for by the state” and considers them an aspect of Chavista repression against themselves. The critically pro-Bolivarian anarchists in turn call them “liberals” , “anti-working class tools of the right” etc. To me this all smacks of sectarianism and hence any articles coming out of the Venezuelan anarchist milieu have to be taken with a grain of salt. (1)



The newspaper Tierra y Libertad, mouthpiece of the Iberian Anarchist Federation, published in edition 227 of June 2007 this manifesto of the International of Anarchist Federations (IAF-IFA; www.iaf-ifa.org) in support of those who in Venezuela today confront the bureaucratic capitalist project of the Chavez government as well as their social democrat and right wing opponents.

In the first three months of 2007, 23 popular demonstrations were repressed by the Venezuelan government and 99 activists were detained. This fact speaks of the growing unease as well as the criminalization of social struggle in this Latin-American country, in a reality masked by the propaganda and mystification of a regime that paints itself as the vanguard of ‘21st Century socialism’ with the support of different groupings and persons associated with the authoritarian left throughout the world.

However, those who are concerned with the real situation of the oppressed and exploited in Venezuela know the inconsistencies and contradictions of the populist government led by the militarist Hugo Chavez. Far from structurally advancing the reduction of inequalities and the increase of possibilities of social development, the government in power in Caracas continues to maintain one of the most unjust systems of distribution of wealth in the continent, further deepening the role assigned to the country by economic globalization as a secure and trustworthy provider of energy to the global market, with trans-national oil corporations as pampered partners and principal beneficiaries of the actions of the Venezuelan state. After eight and a half years of a government relying on high oil prices with the highest financial income in national history, the social results of Chavez’s politics are mediocre, the most notable being the apparition of a new parasitic bourgeoisie of the client state, the ‘bolivarian bourgeoisie’.

According to recent government reports and statistics, over 5 million workers, 46.5% of the labour force remain in the informal sector of the economy, 43% of workers receive a salary under the legal minimum wage, a little less than 200 dollars per month, 2.5 million people lack suitable housing, 18% of the population suffer malnutrition, the network of public hospitals displays needs and limitations of every type, 90% of the indigenous population live in poverty, more than 400 people die violently each year in prison and there is an average of 15 people assassinated every month by repressive organs of the state.

The Venezuelan government has maintained over the last five years an inter-class dispute with certain traditional sectors of the local bourgeoisie which, in the midst of a strong political-electoral polarization, has allowed the division, immobilization, and recuperation of the country’s social movements. Any critic of the corrupt, inefficient and wasteful official bureaucracy would immediately qualify it as being ‘at the service of imperialism’, and with the excuse of confronting possible ‘coup’s and ‘reactionary provocations’, they have announced diverse laws that penalize with greater vigour street actions and strikes in the basic state industries. These are part of legal mechanisms that since 2006 have been used against popular mobilizations which, trying to recuperate their own demands, demonstrate every week for the right to personal security, decent housing, work and decent working conditions. The response of the government has been with tear gas grenades, gunshots and arrests.

Faced with the deceitful polarization experienced in this country, and specifically as a response to the presidential mandate to dissolve previously existing parties and groupings in order to integrate them in to the single party of Chavism, with the acronym PSUV, diverse Venezuelan organisations are trying to create autonomous spaces for the social movements. Amongst these are the efforts of the anarchists who from separate initiatives, such as the publication El Libertario (www.nodo50.org/ellibertario) are building an alternative that is as removed from the social democrat and right wing opposition as it is from the capitalism of the Bolivarian state. This effort by the anarchists to construct alternatives and routes that are consistently autonomous implies risks: El Libertario, for example, must face a systematic campaign of recriminations and disrepute from fictitious groups paid for by the state, thus there is a growing harassment of anti-authoritarian activism.

This manifesto wishes to remind our libertarian brothers and sisters inside Venezuela, as well as the various grass roots autonomous organisations that they have our appreciation, support and solidarity. Our anarchist organisations and initiatives will denounce, in every way they can, the incoherence and demagoguery hidden behind the alias of the ‘bolivarian revolution’, activating the necessary support mechanisms in response to every government attack against the concrete aspirations of social justice and liberty of the Venezuelan people.

1. Just how vicious sectarianism can be within the anarchist movement can be shown by the splits within the Spanish CNT back in the 1980's. The old guard attacked the group which later became the CGT as “traitors,” “anti-anarchist” and the two groups physically attacked each other. In the 1990's, the minority split-off from the French anarcho-syndicalist CNT slandered the majority as “fascists”. The International Workers Association (AIT) to which the Spanish CNT belongs, forbids its members from attending conferences sponsored by non-AIT anarcho-syndicalist unions. The AIT is notorious for its sectarianism. It is believed that El Libertario has some connection to the AIT. I should point out that only a minority of anarchists engage in this sort of thing and that most try to work together.

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