Archive for the ‘Main Blog’ Category

Jailed for Reading 1984

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Grad Student Marilyne Veilleix shares a riveting encounter with Montreal law enforcement during her own personal protest of the F1 Grand Prix. Her plan was to ride the metro back and forth while reading George Orwell’s 1984, a novel describing life under a totalitarian regime known as Big Brother. Seems harmless enough, right?

Unfortunately the mere act of nonviolent civil disobedience is enough to get you incarcerated now that a police state has descended upon Montreal.

Riding the subway, reading her provocative book while sitting across from a police officer, someone took her photograph. This was enough to incense the cop, who promptly called for backup. The troops summoned, Marilyne and others were placed against the wall and then escorted out of the metro. They were told that if they returned they would be arrested with no explanation as to why they were kicked out in the first place.

Marilyne describes what happened next:

I committed a terrible act of civil disobedience by going back down into the station and returning to read in a subway car.  When the police officers saw me eating my apple, they shouted at me that they recognized my tattoos and came after me.  I asked them what I had done wrong, other than peacefully reading, and they said that I had disobeyed police orders.  I asked my question again, asking what was wrong with reading in the metro, and I got no answer.  I was put under arrest and the two police officers did a high five to congratulate themselves on their good work.

I was transported, as if I were a criminal, to the SPVM detention centre in downtown Montreal, where they took mug shots.  After confiscating my personal belongings, the officers took me took cell 52, where there were already three other women.  I spent the day behind bars, in a cell with a dirty toilet, sleeping on a bench, without knowing when I would be released.  All this for reading in a subway car, and then repeating this revolutionary act.  Around 3:30 PM, I was released with a citation telling me that all this circus was for a charge of refusing to circulate.

Now you just know some people, upon hearing this story, will feel like that damn hippie got what she deserved. Not only did she antagonize the officer initially with the book, she went on to clearly defied a police order. Lock that bitch up!

But, here in Canada where education ranks amongst the best in the world, you better believe that most of us see something terribly wrong with what happened to Marilyne. It has taken so little for freedom to evaporate and for society to decay into a police state. And look just how quickly law enforcement snatch up any opportunity to exercise authority over their fellow humans.

A few months ago, a college aged person reading a book on the subway would not provoke a response. But now that police have the pretense that there is a war of sorts going on, anyone who fits the bill as a potential threat is fair game. Young? Check. Engaged mindset? Check. Sporting a red square or maybe just some tattoos? Check. Okay, release the Kraken!

If there’s anything to be learned is just how important it is to keep police powers in check right now. Sure, during peace time when everything is relatively calm, law enforcement will keep a low profile. But given a green light, these same personnel can become a free society’s worst enemy, cracking down at the slightest sign of dissent.

This is why we need to speak out against the ham-handed use of police force in Montreal. Just like we need to follow through on punishing cops who overstepped during the G-20 summit. The more we hold power-tripping law enforcement accountable to the public, the less abuse will happen in the future, and the better protected will our freedoms be.

Bill C-38: A Mockery of Democracy

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Conservative ethos tends to embody efficiency, which can be highly effective in the business world. When it comes to handling democratic rule, being too efficient brings the people on par with dictatorship.

Why even waste precious time debating and voting on issues when it’s so much easier to just have one guy make the final decision? Way less red tape that way.

The Tories Omnibus bill is a fine example of this mentality. Slash environmental protections, supersede food safety, gut the fisheries act, bilk old age security, change dozens of laws, then wrap it all up under the pretense of pertaining to the budget. Fast track it through parliament and voila! A more corporatist Canada without all the fuss.

Over the next few days, something like 1000 amendments will be voted upon – the oppositions’ vain protest over the bill – while we get to watch as they all get shot down one-by-one by the majority government, our democracy violated with every silenced critique.

But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to none other than Stephen Harper himself, who in 1994 criticized the use of Omnibus bills saying:

I would argue that the subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles. How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and on such concerns?

The bill contains many distinct proposals and principles and asking members to provide simple answers to such complex questions is in contradiction to the conventions and practices of the House. Dividing the bill into several components would allow members to represent views of their constituents on each of the different components in the bill.

Eloquent words. If only Harper would listen to his younger self.

 

Big Brother in the Great White North

Friday, June 8th, 2012

We protested. We rallied. We petitioned. They didn’t care. No matter how vocal we Canadians have been against ludicrous surveillance bills and privacy eroding legislation, corporately-owned politicians like Vic Toews refuse to quit their attempts to force unwanted rulings into Canada’s law books.

What is it this time, you ask? None other than our old nemesis Bill C-30. Except now that it’s been reanimated, it has extra ghoulish powers, like giving warrantless surveillance not just to Canadian agencies, but also to US authorities who would then have access to our private information.

The bill is not without it’s dissenters. According to OpenMedia.ca, “nearly two-thirds of opposition MPs” stand against Bill C-30, a number sure to grow the more noise the public makes.

Still, as Law Professor Michael Geist points out in a lengthy yet insightful posting, the Intellectual Property Lobby tends to ignore facts in favor of ideology, looking at counterfeiting and piracy as vile evils to be fought at any expense.

But, as pointed out by myself and others, the fight against file-sharing stems from a few behemoth media companies sporting archaic business models that won’t adapt to today’s market. So they do the only thing they can: try to pass laws that protect their bottom line no matter the greater cost to society.

It’s sad and scary to think our elected officials are working so feverishly to screw us all over. Worse still, if the public keeps shutting down individual bills, the Tories might just cram them all together into next year’s omnibus budget bill and then ram it through parliament.

Just 3 more years. 3 more years? Oh man.

Syria, Don’t Give Up on Peace

Friday, June 8th, 2012

United Nations monitors have been fired upon following yet another brutal massacre in Syria. Kofi Annan’s peace plan has been declared a bust. But that is no reason to give up on peace for Syria or the world.

The nation of Syria has long been in turmoil. High levels of poverty and corruption run rampant throughout the authoritarian regime, starting at the very top with President Assad. Attempting to forge a lasting peace would be a daunting task at the best of times, let alone while the country teeters on the brink of civil war.

Plus now that Syria has captured the international spotlight, who really knows what forces are behind the slaughter of civilians. The Military Industrial Complex would love another invasion to grow fat off of, and sending in ruthless hitsquads to take out a bunch of innocents is one sure fire way to drum up enough support for an armed intervention. It certainly worked in Libya.

And despite the fact that Libyan rebel forces bolstered by NATO were complicit in war crimes, or that Gaddafi has now been replaced by equally despotic tyrants, if the world’s people have to endure too many more photos of child sized corpses next to empty shell casings, Syria could very well be the West’s next disastrous military endeavor.

The Un-Daily Show

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Over a year ago, I set a goal to blog everyday. I knew it would help me as a writer and artist. And it has.

Still, the time has come for my blog to evolve. Now, instead of updates coming a set seven times a week, they will come frequently. So if you came here seeing one of my promotions promising daily posts, first, thank you, and second, sorry for the deception by obsoletion.

What I’m hoping to happen is for new ideas/insights/rants to continue to arrive often, albeit without forcing it. So instead of putting up a video or picture to fill in the blanks, I will only post when there’s something I have to say and yelling it to my screen just isn’t enough.

On a positive note, I’m better informed and increasingly in tune with the world more now than ever before, and nothing has dissuaded me from my rationally founded believe that world peace is coming. If anything, I grow more optimistic by the day. The signs are here for all to see.

Cheers and thank you for making my site one of your destinations.

United States Committing Mass Murder with Drones

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Identify a target based on spuriously gathered intelligence, and then blow them up. When people hear the explosion and come running to help, blow up the would-be rescuers. Then, over the next few days, should any funeral processions be held, blow all those people up too.

It sounds like the actions of some sadist playing a sims game, but it’s not. Unfortunately, these unconscionable tactics are being used right now by none other than the United States government in their clandestine war on humanity.

As Glenn Greenwald reports, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that after the U.S. kills people with drones in Pakistan, it then targets for death those who show up at the scene to rescue the survivors and retrieve the bodies, as well as those who gather to mourn the dead at funerals. Classy, right?

The New York Times summarizes these findings, stating how: “at least 50 civilians had been killed in follow-up strikes after they rushed to help those hit by a drone-fired missile” while “more than 20 other civilians [were] killed in strikes on funerals.”

Unbelievable. No wonder the US establishment is so intent on keeping these wars quiet. If Americans (and much of the world) knew what was going on, there would be so much of an outcry it’d never be allowed to continue.

Fortunately for us (and equally unfortunate for the Military Industrial Complex) the human race is uniting like never before. Disgusting acts of terror, like the US’s use of drone strikes, will no longer stay hidden from the mainstream consciousness.

Soon enough of us will see these strikes for what they are – blatant acts of murder – and those deemed responsible will finally have their feet held to the fire.

 

Worth Watching: War Should be Obsolete

Monday, June 4th, 2012

A nicely put together video for your personal enrichment and thought provocation needs.

Tories to Tax Dancing

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

(The prudish townsfolk from Footloose approve of this new legislation.)

The Copyright Board of Canada has initiated new fees to play recorded music at large gatherings, like weddings and parties. If there’s fewer than one hundred people, the fees start at $9.25 per day.  400 guests will cost $27.76.  And get this… if dancing is involved that fee doubles to $55.52.

What an asinine load of horse manure. Why would the crowd’s reaction to the music being played have any impact on the royalties owed?

Not that artists are likely to see a dime from this new tax. Nope, any money reaped is sure to go squarely into the hands of recording industry executives, helping them to fund another round of ludicrous litigation against the entire population.

On the bright side, it’s crap like this that is fueling humanity’s uprising against corporate rule. A few more encroachments might be all it takes for society to snap, forever ousting these cronies from power.

Americans Want Wars to End, Congress Not Listening

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

A consensus has been building within the American population: the vast majority of them want less war and they especially wish the invasion of Afghanistan was already over.

However, in a recent vote of 303-113, US Congress decided to prolong the occupation of Afghanistan through 2014. If the United States is supposed to be a representative republic, who the hell is Congress trying to represent? Certainly not the people.

Instead, Congress, much like the rest of America’s two-party dictatorship, caters to whoever holds the most sway. Which in this case are corporations entrenched within the war industry, flourishing off the massive military endeavors they pay Congress to authorize.

This charade cannot continue for much longer. The American people, much like the world’s people, are awakening to a new reality.

Corporations may be able to buy most of the US’ political spectrum, but there is still something money cannot buy: the power that comes from millions of pissed off humans coordinated into action.

We saw it in Egypt. We see it with Occupy. And, at this very moment, it is happening in Quebec. Regular people are the new power, all we need is an effective way to work together in large numbers.

Soon, enough Americans will realize that wars are killing their own country and they’ll accept that their government has failed them. Using the same tools as those in Egypt and Montreal, they will rise up in opposition the Military Industrial Complex, growing in size and strength until peace ultimately prevails.

More on Montreal’s Magnificence

Friday, June 1st, 2012

(The new face of power.)

If you caught yesterday’s post listing a few reasons as to why the world ought to watch Montreal and Quebec, you may have noticed that I missed what is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of all: the median age of those who started this movement is about 21 years old.

While the crisis in Quebec is not the first youth movement in history, it’s the first time I’ve seen one this close to home. I don’t remember my generation making anywhere near an impact when we were that age. It’s not that we weren’t equally motivated. It’s that technologies that exist today for the masses weren’t around 10 years ago.

Now, the younger generations – those who’ve been immersed in the Net and social media for most of their lives – are showing the rest of us how to truly harness the real power we’ve been unleashing.

With an even more immersed and interconnected generations on the horizon, along with the proliferation of these new tools to even the oldest generations, uprisings like those in Montreal and on Wall Street are sure to be dwarfed by the revolutions yet to come.