For now, this blog is on an indefinite hiatus. It may never return. It may return with a different focus. However, it is not open to a new editorial group taking over. Some group could start their own blog, but there are probably better things to do.
Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
This blog has now come to its end, so it won’t be updated anymore, unless a different editorial group decides to take over. But there are probably better things to do. Bye bye.
Jay Phillips living up to dad’s example: Assault victim taught to stand up for himself
Swarming victim’s dad taught his son to be proud and stand up for himself
By Sam Cooper, The Province [British Columbia]
July 12, 2009
Many people were shocked by the video that surfaced recently of three young Caucasian men apparently swarming a lone black man in a strip mall parking lot on a hot summer night in the Vancouver Island city of Courtenay.
But having to fight because of his skin colour was no surprise for that black man, 38-year-old Jay Phillips. It was just history repeating itself.
His father also had to defend himself in B.C. because he was black.
On Friday, David Samuel White, 19, Adam David Huber, 24, and Robert William Rodgers, 25, were charged with assaulting Phillips on the evening of July 3, in an apparent racist attack captured on video and broadcast on the Internet.
The trio were allegedly involved in a separate attack on a young Caucasian man later that evening, RCMP Const. Tammy Douglas told The Province.
Phillips and his mother, Kirsten, who is Caucasian, responded to the charges in separate interviews with The Province.
Both remembered Jay’s father Reginald Phillips, who died before Christmas, as a man who taught his son to be proud of his colour and to defend himself.
Reginald and Kirsten first started dating in the 1960s in Prince Rupert.
“He was the only black man in town, dating a white woman, so of course he had to fight plenty,” Jay Phillips said with a laugh.
Racially-motivated fights continued in various B.C. towns, Kirsten said.
Reginald taught Jay Phillips to box from a young age, both mother and son recalled. Those skills are apparent in the July 3 video, as Phillips, a 210-pound man who can bench press 300 pounds, fought three men to a draw at the very least.
But it’s the way Jay has acted after the fight that Reginald would most appreciate, Kirsten said.
“He’d be extremely proud of the way Jason is handling this with his brain.” “He’d be beaming; he’d be so proud that I did this the right way,” Jay said. “My dad told me stand up for yourself — don’t be racist. Don’t take s— from anyone.” The family is well aware that the video of Phillips repelling three brawlers has become an Internet sensation. But the ugly incident can be used to teach and spark dialogue, they say.
Initially, Kirsten felt the gut-wrenching emotion of a mother watching her son on the pavement getting hammered by six fists.
“My heart stood still and I still choke up when I watch the video,” she said. “But I had to cheer when Jason got up and they started to scatter like little flies.” “It shows racism is alive and well,” she added. “First and foremost, people are talking about it.” Phillips says the media sensation around his actions has led to offers to teach in classrooms and even run for politics, as he proves he can “speak well” with his message against racism and gang-up attacks.
“I was at a rally [in Courtenay against racism] and eight mothers came up to me and said the same thing has happened to their kids,” he said.
“There’s a mentality bubbling up [with bullying and fighting in Courtenay] and I don’t want to see it explode.” Phillips says he will eventually show the now-famous fight video to his baby son, Malik. And like his father taught him, he’ll teach the boy to box.
“I’ll let him know racism is out there. I just hope he doesn’t have to go through this.” Before they were charged, the alleged attackers appeared in a TV interview with faces obscured under hooded sweaters. They admitted to racist language easily heard on the video, but claimed racial motivation in the fight was “blown out of proportion.” “We’re not white supremacists,” one said.
Police have presented evidence to Crown prosecutors and if the three are convicted, a judge will decide whether hate-crime law is warranted during sentencing, RCMP say.
Phillips told The Province he’s convinced he was the victim of a hate crime, but he’s not at all interested in vengeance on the three.
In fact, he hopes they get proper instruction — in the justice system.
“They’re young and stupid, so hopefully they’ll learn from this,” Phillips said.
“You start running around and doing this kind of stuff and sooner or later, someone loses their life.”
Guelph: Road Blockade in Solidarity with the Mohawk Nation
[Contributed by Anonymous to news.infoshop.org, June 20 2009]
In the morning of June 17th 2009, a few people dressed in black blocked the Hanlon Highway at Paisley Road during rush hour.
Fallen trees and branches were pulled across the southbound lanes and two smoke bombs were set off to draw attention to the banner, which was dropped from the railway overpass. The banner read: “PARK YOUR CARS! Solidarity with the Mohawk Nation.”
This action was done to disrupt the transport of goods and people, especially those belonging to the Linamar Corporation. Linamar is a member of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, which works to improve the efficiency of North American trade. Amongst its plans is the militarization and fortification of the borders and their guards. Like in Awkesasne, Tyendinaga and Peru, we too stand against the SPP and its projects.
Solidarity with the Mohawk Nation means ATTACK!
Vanoc/AFN Olympic Promotional Event Disrupted in Toronto
[Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympics = VANOC / Assembly of First Nations = AFN]
[Posted March 14, 2009, to no2010.com]
On March 8, 2009, a promotional event for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Aboriginal torch bearers was disrupted in Toronto [Ontario] by 2010 Solidarity. Here is a video link to the action:
Read more at: http://no2010.com/node/864
Resistance 2010 Banner Drop, Halifax, Nova Scotia
[Submitted by anon on March 12, 2009, to anarchistnews.org]
Just before the sunrise at the beginning of the work week we unfurled a huge banner off the CN rail train bridge above Chebucto Rd., a main thoroughfare for daily commuters. The banner read;
FUCK THE CORPORATE CIRCUS
Solidarity with the social rebels across Turtle Island (Canada).
Fight back 2010! Fight back now!
Canada: Anarchists Sabotage Bank
[Submitted by anon on Sun, 2009-01-25 to anarchistnews.org]
On the 19th of January we sabotaged a Scotiabank location in Canada. We inserted glue and pins into two of the locks and poured glue over the keypads of the ATM machines and glued the cardslots after inserting homemade blank plastic cards. Scotiabank is a sponsor of the Security & Prosperity Partnership(SPP) which will be ratified in the year 2010 along with two other Capitalist Spectaclesthe G8 meetings & Olympic games taking place the same year.
The present/future they seek for us is one of complete social control through the use of “intelligent surveillance systems”, “biometric technoligies”, and hyper militarized borders. The city streets/buses/subways/work places are always under the watchful eye of the state/cops/bosses. This prison society we live in is not so different than the warehouses of cheap labour millions of people have been forced into across North Americas prison systems.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our most heartfelt solidarity with all those fighting this poisonous system and to make a proposal that we use the lead up year to these events as an opportunity to inspire a renewal and intensity of actions that we saw throughout Canada the last two years. It’s not that we think excuses for action are necessary considering the state of things but a coordinated year of creative & diverse actions could be a powerful expression of our collective anger and desires for a brighter future. We hope this call reaches you in good spirits and look forward to your responses.
Never let the fuckers rest!
Halifax: Coordinated attack on political offices
[Submitted by anon on October 7, 2008 to anarchistnews.org]
On the night of October, 5th two simultaneous attacks happened against the Liberal and Conservative candidate headquarters. Both offices had their windows smashed and one was covered in graffiti.
This action was carried out because we have nothing but contempt to show towards this system of representative democracy that is forced upon us. Regardless of who wins these elections the only thing that will change is who will get to make our decisions for us. All these parties/politicians/governments are implicit in the intensification of capital through iniatives such as the G8 and SPP(Security and Prosperity Partnership) as well as the Olympic games taking place on unceded First Nations land in British Columbia during the winter of 2010. Complacent are we when we think a piece of paper in a box is true democracy. Our vote has been cast.
Arrests spark tension in Caledonia
Natives, residents take turns erecting blockades
September 02, 2008
The Hamilton Spectator [Ontario]
With files from Elisabeth Johns
CALEDONIA (Sep 2, 2008)
The arrest of a prominent Six Nations spokesperson and two others in Brantford triggered a chain reaction of events yesterday that led to parts of Caledonia being shut down for hours.
The event is the latest in a series flareups since the occupation of the former Douglas estates 2 1/12 Years ago.
The blockades started yesterday around 9 a.m. when Six Nations protesters set up barricades on Argyle Street South and blocked the Highway 6 bypass.
After the barricades were removed, angry Caledonia residents refused to let traffic resume on Argyle Street South. The bypass was open sometime during the afternoon, but Argyle was not fully open to traffic until nearly 6 p.m., after a brief standoff between residents and about 50 OPP officers.
“I cannot stress enough our priority is to preserve the peace and maintain order, not to resolve land claims issues,” OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said in a statement.
Yesterday morning, Stephen Powless, 43, and two teens were arrested in Brantford for allegedly being on the construction site at the Hampton Inn on Fen Ridge Court, next to the Kingspan Insulated Panels development site from which they are barred.
Kingspan, the Ireland-based company, is building its North American head office and a factory on the property.
Powless has been the spokesperson for the Brantford actions.
Police said the trio are under a court order to stay away from the land and were all charged with breach of a court order and mischief.
Clyde Powless, a spokesperson for Six Nations, said the arrests were a “catalyst” for the blockades, but that the community is also frustrated by the slow pace of land claim negations with the provincial and federal governments.
“Our fight is not with this town, (nor) is it with Brantford or any other town within our (Haldimand) Tract,” he said of the 10 kilometres on either side of the Grand River to which the natives lay claim.
“Our fight is with the government and that is where it will remain, with the government at the negotiating table.”
Powless said Six Nations leaders were working hard to keep the community calm.
In response to the Six Nations blockades, frustrated Caledonia residents gathered on Argyle about a half kilometre from the former DCE site.
“Something happen(ed) in another town and we get held hostage again,” shouted William Romberg, a resident for 12 years.
Residents were separated from the rest of the street by a single line of OPP officers spaced across the road.
In addition to the blockades, traffic was also slowed because of ongoing work on the town’s main bridge.
Progressive Conservative MPP Toby Barrett said Caledonia seems to have become “a whipping boy” for issues that have nothing to do with the town.
At one point, OPP met privately with Romberg and Caledonia resident Dana Chatwell, whose home abuts the DCE land.
Shortly after, police asked residents to leave the road. That was followed later with another request, an ultimatum and a stronger show of force by officers.
Residents complained police were being heavy-handed with their blockade, while not showing the same force to native actions.
Eventually, police and residents agreed to leave the road, with officers exiting first and residents following.
A young man from the residents’ side was arrested and has been charged with mischief and resisting arrest.
It’s alleged he ripped a native flag from the antenna of a car trying to cross the residents’ blockade.
Six Nations spokesperson Hazel Hill said a tentative date of Sept. 11 had been set to resume negotiations with the provincial and federal governments, but she had not received word if the meeting would go ahead.
Youth vandalism cancels Behchoko summer festival
Last Updated: Friday, August 22, 2008
CBC News North
[Tlicho/Dene Nation territory, North West Territories]
A popular summer festival in Behchoko, N.W.T., has been cancelled this week due to an ongoing rash of youth vandalism in the community, local officials say.
The annual Happy Days Festival was supposed to start Friday night and run all weekend. The festival normally includes a Saturday night dance, a softball tournament, children’s sporting events and other activities.
But Craig Yeo, a spokesman for the Behchoko community government, told CBC News that local officials decided earlier on Friday to cancel the festival.
“The community government is worried that if things are put up to support the event — equipment and things — that it won’t be there in the morning when they go back,” Yeo said.
Yeo said a vehicle was set ablaze in Behchoko on Tuesday morning, and about a dozen young people broke into the local Northern Store on Wednesday. Seven were arrested Thursday night, in an alleged attempt to break into the community’s cultural centre.
The problem of vandalism and violence among young people has escalated to the point where a community watch group has started patrolling Behchoko’s streets between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. every night.
The volunteers’ nightly patrols made for another reason the Happy Days Festival was cancelled — Yeo said there was a lack of volunteers available to help stage it.
Group lobbies for proper youth centre
Many residents in the community of 1,900 have blamed the problem on a lack of proper facilities for young people.
A former youth centre is housed in a building that currently does not meet safety codes, while construction continues on a big, new sportsplex.
Appearing at a community government meeting Wednesday, a group of youth representatives said they need a place where young people can feel comfortable being in.
“It’s all controlled by the youth. It’s better,” said Marvin Apples, 20, who was at the meeting.
“Some youth can’t talk to people. But if you have, like, a close best friend, like us, we do everything according to our rules. You know our youth, we follow the rules. That’s why we wanted to have our own facility.”
The young people have been offered space at the local friendship centre, but the group said not all young people would feel comfortable going there.
Apples said his group is looking at possibly leasing some land to build their own centre.
Resident Jane Weyallon, who showed her support for the youth at the meeting, said the group has already demonstrated that it can look after its own facility.
“They’ve been paying for electricity and the fuel through doing bake sales and doing a cookout, a community cook out,” she said.
“The community, they hire them. And then that money that they make goes back to maintaining the building.”
Wednesday’s community government meeting started at 6 p.m. and lasted all night. The meeting, and the youth discussion, is expected to resume on Monday.