Archive for the 'Canada' Category


Canada has a Responsibility to Protect?

According to the biography page on the Liberal Party website, Dr. Michael Ignatieff: was appointed in 2001 by then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, as one of Canada’s representatives “on the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, a groundbreaking effort to help shape future United Nations actions in response to humanitarian crises.”

Canada’s own imported/domestic “new imperialism” advocate will have us join preemptive military actions so that unruly Third World countries who fail to follow the Canadian model can be taught a lesson. Read here for more…


Vancouver: A Van Covered in Protest

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vehicles captured my attention on several occasions while I was in Vancouver, with its “sky train,” compact taxis, cruise ships, yachts, and buses — most were vehicles for commerce, tourism, and leisure. During my first night I was drawn to loud music blaring several stories below from what must have been the longest stretch limousine I have ever seen, easily at least twice as long as the regular stretch limousines one can see, and this one was apparently a stretch Hummer. Young men in tuxedoes, followed by young women in ball gowns, all stepped in, coming out of what may be Vancouver’s most expensive hotel. I then realized that some of the windows of the limousine were in fact LED screens, projecting psychedelic patterns to the beat of the music, with graphic equalizers at two points on the side of the car. As it filled with about 20 young people, the lights at the front and the back of the vehicle began blinking and pulsing brightly. This must have been a group going to a prom, an American import in a country of mimics living the American Dream in Canada. The whole production, between hotel suites, clothing, and the car must have been in the many thousands of dollars, all to celebrate four years of feigned attention in class. If this is a recession, it is not hitting nearly hard enough, or, as we know is the case, it is not hitting all classes with equal ferocity.

Next, the Norwegian cruise ship. I had not seen a cruise ship since I was in Dominica, and it was “good” to know that I was back in a place that hitches its economic fortunes to the perceptions of others. Apparently I missed the disgorging, as few people were to be seen in the vicinity of the ship. I then headed to a district called Gastown, mostly to see why others have made such a big deal about it (and having seen it now, I still have the same question). On the way there, a very captivating sight, a refreshing change: the protest van. It really put the “Van” in Vancouver for me.

There was no sign of its owner, this blog on wheels. It occupies a prominent position in a central parking space, bordering a sidewalk that all tourists must pass when walking from the cruise ship terminal toward Gastown. Indeed, several were there photographing and videotaping it, quietly, and without comment. The signs are fixed to boards that are themselves screwed into a supporting structure that is itself fixed to the sides of the van, all sides of the van. A canoe sits on top of the van because, after all, this is still Canada, eh.

As one can see from the slide show, the persistent theme of the signs is imperialism and occupation (so right away my eyes turned sympathetic, needless to say). The main topics have to do with Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, oil, and torture. There is a fair amount of artistic work — hands that stick out of the van pointing at the viewer, small auxiliary signs jutting out from the corners of the van, individual words decorated (frequently with dripping blood, the Star of David, or the American flag). Yet, a quote that should have been attributed to Hunter S. Thompson, was instead erroneously attributed to Thomas S. Hunter (a good sign, perhaps, that someone has not fully learned American cultural references). Less forgivable to the pedant was the fact that the designer forgot to run a spell check on his van — again, just like a blog.

Another persistent theme across the signs was “Google ->”. On almost every sign there is a recommendation to the reader to look up a particular phrase in Google. What irony for “the real world” that the extracts from the “virtual world” staked a space in it. More irony, with this slide show that pulls the van back into the virtual world, where one will soon be able to Google “protest van” and come up with images of the van referencing Google. Our distinctions between the real and the virtual seem evermore threadbare.

If one needs a van for physical representations of what would otherwise be recognizable as blog posts…then you realize what is coming next? The Twitter protest bicycle, with short tweet-like statements affixed to each spoke on the wheels, to the frame, along the handle bar. If anyone sees the Twitter bicycle anywhere, please drop me a line, preferably 140 characters in length or less, and I promise to RT you.

In the meantime, here is a small sample of some of the images used in the slide show, at higher resolution:


B’nai Brith and the Canadian Government: Against Academic Freedom and Democratic Free Speech

Not only has the ruling party,

but now Minister Goodyear also directly intervened to try to stop funding awarded for a conference, purely on political grounds, and at the behest of the Zionist lobby, and in a clear violation of academic freedom. This is the situation we are dealing with now. These actions and statements have been in public and are documented for anyone whose ideological blinkers are not so firmly nailed into their skulls that they cannot see any of this….



Drafting Social Science Research for Canadian Counterinsurgency

See these posts for more:

News: Militarizing the Social Sciences and Humanities in Canada

Canadian Responses to the Militarization and Securitization of Anthropology: Report #2 from the CASCA-AES Conference in Vancouver


Canada’s Failure in Afghanistan and its War at Home


NATO and Afghanistan’s Shia Marriage Law: The Collapse of a Master Narrative


Next Demonstration Against the War in Gaza: Montreal, January 25, 2009

Why we resist…

Of related interest, a very poignant presentation on Guanaguanare:

click on…

My Country, Right or Wrong

••••••• ••••••• •••••••


Demonstration: End the siege on Gaza!

    13h00 carré Cabot
    corner St. Catherine | Atwater
    (metro Atwater)
    Montreal, Quebec

Around the world, major demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine are taking place, from Europe, to the Middle East, to Latin America. In response to the Israeli military invasion into the Gaza Strip, the grassroots movement in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for liberation has been reignited.

Since December 27th, over 800 Palestinians have been killed and approximately 4000 injured, the majority civilians, sparking international outrage against Israel. Israeli military actions have consistently targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure throughout Gaza, a war crime under international law; from U.N. schools, to apartment buildings, nowhere in Gaza is now safe from Israeli military aggression.

Join us for a major demonstration building on previous protests which have united tens of thousands in Montreal in solidarity with Palestine and against Israeli apartheid. Join us to denounce the ongoing Israeli occupation in Palestine and to continue to build the solidarity movement with Palestine.

On the streets in Montreal we will call for an immediate end to the ongoing assault on Gaza, and to the direct complicity of the US and Canadian governments with the Israeli war crimes currently taking place.

The complicity of the Canadian government has been extremely clear, outlined in statements from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, who have consistently defended Israel’s war crimes, whether against civilians in Lebanon in 2006 or in Palestine in 2008.

Both the governments of Quebec and Canada stand in direct complicity with the Israeli apartheid system, which systematically discriminates against the indigenous Palestinian population. The Quebecois and Canadian governments have recently heightened bilateral relations with Israel, increasing bilateral economic, military and political links. This fall, Jean Charest’s Liberal government inked a bilateral trade deal with Israel, an action which stands in stark contrast to the growing international calls for an economic boycott of the Israeli government in light of ongoing Israeli war crimes and systematic discrimination in Palestine.

At this moment, we must instead reaffirm our commitment to continue mobilizing friends and allies in progressive social movements to respond to the call by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations for a comprehensive international campaign of boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS).

Join us on the streets in Montreal in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza and to call for an end to Israeli apartheid!

Initiated by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and Tadamon! Montreal

SPHR is a non-profit, student-based organization that advocates on a strong social justice platform to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of human rights violations and all forms of racism, discrimination, misinformation and misrepresentation. Through awareness raising, advocacy work, non-violent direct actions, solidarity building, and the promotion of Palestinian identity, culture and history, SPHR works to support and protect Palestinian human rights both locally and internationally.

Tadamon! (Arabic for “solidarity”), is a Montreal-based collective which works in solidarity with struggles for self-determination, equality and justice in the ‘Middle East’ and in diaspora communities in Montreal and beyond. Tadamon’s ongoing political campaigns operating in Canada include the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid. Tadamon! is a working group of QPIRG-Concordia and QPIRG-McGill.



More Gaza Solidarity Protests Against Israel, in Canada and Worldwide (Jan. 10, 2009)

Saturday, January 10, 2009, was a global day of action to show solidarity with the people of Gaza and to protest the Israeli invasion and its murder of hundreds of civilians. See the Stop the War Coalition site for some more details. Today, (Sunday, 11 January, 2009) more protests continue in London: see here for more. Update: According to AP, many tens of thousands of protesters have gone to the streets today in cities across Europe and Asia, in what is quickly becoming a massive global movement against the Israeli slaughter in Gaza. As if to dismiss world opinion altogether, today Israel promised to escalate its offensive against Gaza, where already at least 400 civilians have been killed.

Let’s start with some videos of actions held across Canada:

International Day of Gaza Outrage in Toronto

Montreal Solidarity with Gaza, 10 Jan. 2009

Montreal Demonstration for Gaza

Montreal Solidarity with Gaza

Montreal Protest Against Israel

Vancouver Free Palestine, Protest Against Israel

Frederiction: Informative Protesters Against the Gaza War, at the Farmers’ Market!

Winnipeg: Stop the Genocide in Gaza

Winnipeg Demonstration to End the Gaza Siege

Victorians in Solidarity with Gaza (Victoria, BC)

Other Protests Around the World:

Global Gaza Peace Protests
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Global Gaza peace protests“, posted with vodpod

London Gaza Protest

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “BBC London Gaza Protest 10 Jan 2009“, posted with vodpod

London: Stop the Gaza Massacre

London, Hyde Park

London Gaza Demonstration: George Galloway MP Speaks

London Gaza Demonstration: Tariq Ali Speaks

Washington D.C.: “Let Gaza Live” Solidarity with the Palestinian People

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