Vandalism against Liberals

October 8, 2008

The following letter was sent to me by a friend who is outraged at the dangerous vandalism targeted against people displaying Liberal candidates’ signs on their properties in some GTA ridings and the lack of action by police to catch the perpetrators.  I would like to add that on a less dangerous level, I have noticed numerous Liberal signs broken and trashed in my riding and around the rest of Brampton.  This is turning out to be a very nasty campaign!

Vandalism

The cons are getting desperate. The evidence comes from the targeted vandalism of people’s property for supporting the Liberal Party. Our present government treats this as slightly unfortunate and nothing much to worry about. But think about it my fellow Canadians. If you cut someone’s break line it should be a criminal matter. IN FACT IT IS A CRIMINAL MATTER, OUTSIDE OF THE ELECTION PERIOD, YOU WOULD BE CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER. Why is it that there is no media blitz to stop this? How is it possible that we allow the innocent public to be intimidated for exercising their democratic right to vote? This is what freedom is all about, this is why we hold elections to control our government to keep us safe and have it work for our welfare and not against us. With this current government the only reason for calling this election is to gain a majority to allow them to wreck our country and blend us seamlessly into the US. Every day we see Harper controlling the media, the environment groups and all organizations in need of federal funds and muzzling the voices of concern and reason. Like in Nazi Germany the end justifies the means. The whole propaganda blitz here as in the US was the original brainchild of Goebbels in Germany, happily copied by the Bush administration and now by Harper. The Fuehrer principle is alive and well. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that we have a Parliamentary system not a Presidency. All of Harper’s plans point to his dictatorial tendencies and he wants power no matter what else is there. Intimidation and vandalism belong in totalitarian countries and so far Canada is not one of them. But the danger is very grave. We are being taken over by stealth and our last chance is this election to stop this travesty from occurring. Naomi Klein wrote a book a couple of years ago, called the Shock Doctrine. The premise of the book is that the Bush Administration and before the ultra right wing neo-con movement created artificial and premeditated chaos to demoralize a population and destroy its civil society. (Iraq and New Orleans come to mind). In its place they aim to put a marginalized poor and voiceless population to be totally dependent on government largesse. Big business prefers a population working for slave wages so they can make obscene profits without having to share the bounty. In the last depression in the 30s, 85% of the people owned land and were mostly farmers. That scenario has been destroyed and replaced by city folk who are unable to fend for themselves in an atmosphere of great upheaval. The coming depression will be worse than the last because people were self-sufficient then, now they are at the mercy of fate. In this election, which is downplayed by the media as having no real issues, the real threat is the collapse of the global system of finance and the accompanying chaos that will follow. We need a government that will help us weather this storm and not allow us to become destitute. The Con plan is the mantra that we are on our own, they only help their rich friends and the small elite that rules the banking system. Even the corporations are a part of the financial scam that is inundating the world. All the countries in Europe and Asia are bailing out their failing banks courtesy of the gift from the US initiated massive financial fraud of unprecedented proportions. What is coming may not be preventable anymore but a benevolent government, personified in Dion will do its level best to protect us from the coming calamity. Please consider voting for any one but Harper and vote strategically for whichever candidate is ahead in your ridings. Without exaggeration this is our last chance. I come from Europe and seen this movie before. Do not let it happen here because of ignorance and apathy. Vote because your future well-being depends on it.

Janet Smithe

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Toronto: Special Screening: Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

September 23, 2008
Press Release:

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Special anniversary screening in HD with filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin

Toronto, September 15, 2008
– The NFB Mediatheque and DOC Toronto are pleased to welcome Alanis Obomsawin for a special anniversary screening in HD of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance on Friday, September 26 at 7 p.m.

Alanis Obomsawin, a member of the Abenaki Nation, is one of Canada’s most distinguished documentary filmmakers. In May 2008, Obomsawin received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

For one special evening we invite you to meet Alanis as she shares her personal insight about the making of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance.

Behind Mohawk lines during the summer of 1990, Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 days and nights filming an armed standoff between the Kanehsatake Mohawk people, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. A powerful feature-documentary emerges that takes you right into the action of an age-old aboriginal struggle. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades, providing insight into the Mohawks’ unyielding determination to protect their land.

This is the first of four films that Obomsawin would make about the Oka crisis, an event that galvanized Aboriginal resistance across North America.  The four films have been re-released by the National Film Board as a commemorative DVD box-set, 270 Years of Resistance, complete with a booklet of essays, available for sale at the NFB Mediatheque.

For further information on how to purchase tickets for this event please visit the NFB Mediatheque website at www.nfb.ca/mediatheque.

About the Mediatheque and the NFB

The NFB Mediatheque is a state-of-the-art multimedia facility in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District. A public access point for groundbreaking films from the NFB and around the world, the NFB Mediatheque’s digital viewing stations, educational programming, and special screenings have attracted more than 500,000 visitors since it opened its doors in 2002. www.nfb.ca/mediatheque

Canada’s public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada produces and distributes bold and distinctive social issues documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and innovative digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. Since its founding in 1939, the NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. For more information about the NFB, or to order films, go to www.nfb.ca/ or call 1-800-267-7710.

– 30 –

Media Contacts:

Melissa Wheeler, Promotions & Community Relations Officer, (416) 973.0896, m.wheeler@nfb.ca
Jennifer Mair, NFB Publicist, (416) 954.1384, j.mair@nfb.ca

Office National du Film - National Film Board
For one exceptional evening we invite you to meet Alanis Obomsawin for a special anniversary screening in HD of
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
The camera of Alanis Obomsawin does not simply see. It speaks. And it listens. What it hears are North America’s First Peoples — the Aboriginal voices so often cast aside and overlooked in official history.
Alanis will share insight into the making of this powerful, feature length documentary that takes you right into the action of an age-old aboriginal struggle.

Friday, September 26 at 7 PM

BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE
$6 | $4 students, seniors, NFB members
150 John street (corner Richmond)
For more information 416.973.3012
www.nfb.ca/mediatheque
Office National du Film - National Film Board

Toronto: Paul Croutch Memorial – Sept 15

September 6, 2008

PAUL CROUTCH MEMORIAL

12:00 Noon, Monday, September 15

MOSS PARK (North of Queen, between Jarvis & Sherbourne)

***FREE MEAL***

Paul Croutch, a homeless 59 year old psychiatric survivor, was beaten to death by military reservists next to Moss Park Armoury on August 31, 2005. The reservists also assaulted an under-housed woman who attempted to intervene to defend Paul.

Paul’s death is remembered as a symbol of ongoing human rights violations against homeless people, who continue to die at a horrifying rate in Toronto and across the Canada.

At noon on September 15, at Moss Park, we will remember Paul and others who have died as we continue to struggle for justice for all.

Those who know Paul and would like to speak are welcome.

*FREE MEAL*

*CHILD CARE AVAILABLE AT EVENT*

(please let us know ahead of time if possible)

Download the poster & see info on other upcoming events:

http://tdrc.net/index.php?page=upcoming-events

For more info, or for accessibility needs, contact TDRC:

TORONTO DISASTER RELIEF COMMITTEE (TDRC)
416-599-8372 | housingnotwar@tdrc.net
| www.HousingNotWar.ca
http://www.housingnotwar.ca/


Walk for Justice FRIDAY 6:30 PM, welcome women to Toronto – TOMORROW

August 29, 2008

Walk4Justice (a 4,700-kilometre trek from Vancouver to Ottawa) Arrives in Toronto to Raise Awareness About Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

Welcome Reception: Friday August 29th, First Nations House (563 Spadina Ave.)
A meal will be served and the walkers will address the public & the media beginning at 6:30pm.

Hope to see some of you there!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Walk4Justice (a 4,700-kilometre trek from Vancouver to Ottawa) Arrives in Toronto to Raise Awareness About Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

(August 27, 2008) Hundreds of Indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada over the last decades. These tragic deaths received little public attention until Amnesty International took the unprecedented step of investigating a host country, Canada. The organization linked the disproportionate levels of violence experienced by Indigenous women to governmental polices and called the situation a human rights tragedy. While the public is well aware of the horrors that were committed at a Port Coquitlam Farm few know that one third of the women killed were Indigenous. Recently, in one weekend in Toronto the Native community lost Carolyn Connelly and Katelynn Sampson who was only 7 – both murdered.

The Walk4Justice publicly addresses the key issues faced by marginalized, missing, and murdered Indigenous women and their families. They will present a petition to Parliament Hill on September 15th and demand a national inquiry into these deaths and disappearances.

The Walk4Justice is organized by Gladys Radek, whose niece Tamara Chipman went missing on BC’s Highway of Tears, and Bernie Williams, a front-line worker in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, where many Aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered. The Walkers left Vancouver on June 21st and arrive in Toronto on August 29th.

The media is welcome at the following public events, organized to welcome and honour the Walk4Justice as they pass through Toronto:

Welcome Reception: Friday August 29th, First Nations House (563 Spadina Ave.)
A meal will be served and the walkers will address the public & the media beginning at 6:30pm.

Public Send-Off: September 2nd, 9am at Allen Gardens (across from the Native Women’s Resource Centre, 191 Gerrard St.). The Walkers will be continuing on to Tyendinaga on September 2nd, and arriving in Ottawa on September 12th. They will be on Parliament Hill September 15th.

A full day of events has been planned at Six Nations, where the Walkers will be welcomed by Bev Jacobs, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. They will also visit the Six Nations Polytechnic, where a tree has been planted in memory of Tashina General, murdered last Spring at the age of 21, and her unborn son, Tucker.

For more information, please contact:

− Audrey Huntley, No More Silence Network Toronto: 416-508-8632
− Gladys Radek, Walk4Justice Organizer: 778-839-0072
− Norma General, Grandmother to Tashina General (Six Nations) 519-445-4238
− Bev Jacobs, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada: 613-878-6922


Toronto Emergency Rally: Stop the Deaths – Wed, Aug.20th, 1pm

August 20, 2008

STOP THE DEATHS

Wednesday August 20 – 1pm
Outside the Coroner’s Office
15 Grosvenor Street
(West of Yonge, North of College)

Frank Julian, Carolyn Connolly, Dennis Bowen, Robert Maurice, Biniyam Selleshi…

In the last month, two more people in our community have died. We don’t want to have to bury another person from the neighbourhood. People are dying on the street and in shelters. People are dying in their apartments alone in the far corners of the city, with only a few dollars left a month
after their rent is paid because they were shipped out of the neighbourhood by Streets to Homes. No more people should have to die because the City has abandoned them to struggle and suffer in poverty. The City has to stop telling the public everything is okay. How can everything be okay when we have already lost four people this summer?! Why does the mayor and the City remain silent on our deaths?

We Need:

Decent Housing
Adequate Income
Food and Shelter

We must demand that the City take action to address these deaths and the daily hell and conditions people are experiencing.

Come out:

Wednesday August 20 – 1pm
Outside the Coroner’s Office
15 Grosvenor Street
(West of Yonge, North of College)

**
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
416-925-6939 ocap@tao.ca www.ocap.ca


A message to Toronto by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba

August 6, 2008

Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba has sent a special message to Toronto by video for the opening of an exhibition of photographs from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and drawings by atom bomb survivors that opens today inside Toronto City Hall at 5:30 and runs until August 11. The exhibition will be opened by the Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow. Phyllis Creighton is the MC. The Toronto
Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemoration will take place at the Toronto City Hall Peace Garden August 9 at 6:30 pm.


A MESSAGE TO TORONTO BY HIROSHIMA MAYOR TADATOSHI AKIBA:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am more than happy to send this message to Toronto, an important ally in the struggle against nuclear weapons.

I am aware that Toronto holds a ceremony every year to commemorate Hiroshima Day, and I thank Mayor Miller, a Mayor for Peace, for his support in maintaining this tradition.

I want to thank Setsuko and James Thurlow who have been instrumental in the Toronto commemoration from the beginning. And I thank the people of Toronto for your ongoing support and concern.

Setsuko has been a vital presence for decades, one of the few A-bomb survivors with the ability and devotion to travel throughout Canada and the U.S. to communicate the horror of the atomic bombings and Hiroshima’s message that it must never happen again.

James has worked closely with Hiroshima since the 1970s to build and reinforce the relationship between Hiroshima and Toronto. He has spearheaded A-bomb exhibitions, essay contests and the transfer of our peace flame to your Peace Garden.

The Thurlows, the City of Toronto and many of you have been doing more than your duty but the danger is still with us. In fact, it is growing and unfortunately we need you now to work like never before.

I understand that you will soon be hearing my peace declaration for this year so I will not repeat that message here. Instead, let me get straight to my request:

Today, we will ask Mayor Miller to sign an appeal in support of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol and I am asking all of you to sign our on-line petition. Please go to our website to learn the content and strategic importance of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol. All I want to do now is to assure you that no public document is more important to your future.

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol is the way a world leader can express his or her unequivocal commitment to a nuclear weapons-free world. It is our collective task now to demand that all our leaders make this commitment.

Nuclear weapons are cruel, inhumane and cannot be limited to the battlefield in either time or space. They are obviously illegal under the Geneva Conventions and they should have been banned decades ago. In addition, we face the immanent danger that the so-called “war on terror” will go nuclear.

It is time for the international community to take action. We face a critical moment. In the next two years, the human family will decide whether to eliminate nuclear weapons or to let them spread and be used. To ensure that we make the right decision, the people of this planet need to stand up and demand clearly and forcibly that our leaders liberate us from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Please google “Mayors for Peace” and the “2020 Vision Campaign” to find our website and sign our online petition. Finally, please do everything you can to support our 2020 Vision Campaign. With your help, we can be rid of nuclear weapons by 2020 and bequeath to our children a safer and saner and more co-operative world. Thank you very much.

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor of Hiroshima
President, Mayors for Peace
http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/outlines/index.html

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol:
http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/citiesappeal.pdf


Neoliberalism and the State

July 28, 2008

Left Streamed – A 10 minute Production:

Neoliberalism and the State

An Interview with Bryan Evans and John Shields

An assessment of the Left today must begin with an analysis of neoliberalism. Over the past two decades neoliberalism has come to dominate public discourse and the modalities of the state in one country after another. The ascendancy of neoliberalism has occurred through a series of interconnected transformations that began with the economic turmoil of the 1970s, the rise of New Right governments across the 1980s, and the deepening internationalization of the circuits of money and industrial capital, modes of communication and governance structures in the 1990s.

Neoliberalism has come to mark an historic turning-point in the balance of power, the social forms of economic and political power and the patterns of everyday life in capitalist societies. Bryan Evans and John Shields, from Ryerson University in Toronto, here discuss some of the features of neoliberalism, particularly as it relates to Canada and North America.

www.socialistproject.ca/video/#ls1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(((( Left Streamed ))))~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Produced by the Left Streamed Collective. Viewers are
encouraged to distribute widely. Comments on the video and
suggestions are welcome – write to info@socialistproject.ca

For more analysis of contemporary politics check out
‘Relay: A Socialist Project Review’ at www.socialistproject.ca/relay
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~