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Category Archives: Resistance through movements and art

Back in BC Supreme Court next week: So what’s next? Ask the “rule of law” judge!

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April 11, 2018, many water and coast defenders went to a first BC Supreme Court appearance for their roles in resisting the Kinder Morgan — Texas oil giant’s current BC/Albert boondoggle.

One particularly interesting observation by an arrestee was the presence of KM undercover, plain clothes security who were allowed into the courtroom otherwise denied to those who were not part of the actual proceedings.

Meanwhile across the country, the games being played between governments increased with the day while they collectively ignore the the leadership strengths and presence of BC’s Indigenous Peoples,  leaders like Grand Chief Stuart Phillips and Chief Bob Chamberlin go virtually unmentioned with focus being instead on interloper governments and ignoring sovereignty.

Thanks  go to CBC On the Coast’s Louise Elliot for a good interview with Chief Chamberlin on the topic of general First Nations leaders absence from mention in the media or among the Ministers — prime and not so prime of Alberta and BC. Unfortunately CBC The Current decided that the Vancouver Sun’sVaughn Palmer was the best journey to represent BC on the tar sands topic.  As with most mainstream journalists in BC they love to describe the polls as reflecting that most British Columbians are in favour of the KM project.  Speak up people and let your voices be heard!!!

Interesting to note that unlike the Canadian and Provincial Governments the Chiefs speak respectfully of each other — even those who have signed with KM. And that came out loud and clear in the interview.

Settler community people involved in the resistance to KM and Site C and fracking and the poisonous fish farming are learning so much from the relationships with these leaders, matriarchs, dancers, singers, story tellers and keepers of traditional knowledge. Respect, prayer and ceremony have taken on so much more meaning to those of us who have become active resisters.

Remember this? Substitute KM … !

 

One 0f 200 arrested for taking a stand against tar-filled pipelines coming to the coast

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On March 22, I became the 140th person to be arrested standing at the gate to the Kinder Morgan disaster that is happening on Burnaby Mountain.  Although i’ve been involved in many and various activities during my more than 50 years as a feminist, labour and cultural activist, I’ve never been arrested before.

Tomorrow about 170 of us have been summoned to court to find out how the system will deal with our refusal to accept Justin Trudeau’s order to let the Texas-based Kinder Morgan proceed with completing a pipeline to transport dirty,  heavy and chemical-laden bitumen through forests and neighbourhoods to the Fraser River and beyond.

I’m proud to have taken a stand.  I will continue to do so.  I’m grateful for the leadership of the Indigenous Coast Protectors (@coastprotectors), for all the Indigenous Matriarchs and for the thousands who have stood up for First Nations rights and the rights of all people to live and breathe without being poisoned.

Thanks to Arthur Manuel for encouraging so many in the settler communities on this journey.

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Many thanks to Ta’ah Amy George, Tsleil=Waututh Matriarch, UBCIC Grand Chief , Stuart Phillips with Naomi Klein  (@NaomiKlein) and Chief Bob Chamberln (@ChiefBobbyc). This is national and international leadership!

 

 

 

Action through Art: Christi Belcourt

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The BC Government Budget did not diffuse the Site C debt Bomb

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Some wonderful things happened with the B.C. budget this February, except for the big Site C debt bomb that did not get defused, instead receiving an additional $2 billion.

Full commentary by Rita Wong  at:  https://www.straight.com/news/1045821/rita-wong-connecting-dots-between-bc-budget-and-solidarity-economy

 

Rita Wong supports the work of Fight C, the Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative, and Poets for the Peace to see justice in our times. A poet-scholar who has written several books of poetry, she has also coedited, with Dorothy Christian, an anthology entitled Downstream: Reimagining Water. She lives, works, and strives for water justice on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, where she has pledged to #ProtectTheInlet.

Peace River Solidarity Night: We all have a stake in the Peace!

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We all have a stake in the Peace River

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Louiseleclair.com

Media Release

Peace River Solidarity in Vancouver

First Nations and Farmers Working Together to Save the Peace

March 21, 2018—Imagine the outcry in Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland if the B.C. government decided to flood the Fraser Valley to produce cheap hydro for Washington and Oregon.

Now imagine flooding Indigenous territory, equivalent to the distance between Maple Ridge and Hope, protected under the Treaty 8 agreement of 1899, and doing so without the consent of those who have lived there for thousands of years.

Imagine flooding some of the most fertile agricultural land in B.C., when proven sustainable alternatives for hydro production are available.

That is the danger facing the Peace River Valley.

On Monday, March 26, between 7:00 and 9:00 pm, First Nations speakers will join with representatives of the Peace Valley Environment Association to share stories of what is happening up north. The event, open to everyone by donation, takes place at the Native Education College, 237 East 5th Avenue in Vancouver.

The evening’s message is “We all have a stake in the Peace River,” and the evening will be one of sharing, learning, solidarity and support. Music, storytelling and more will give attendees a full picture of what’s at stake for British Columbians and Canadians if the Peace River is flooded once again.

Presenters include Connie Greyeyes-Dick, a member of the Treaty 8 First Nations from Bigstone Cree Nation; a grassroots activist from Fort St. John; and a spokesperson from Amnesty International, as well as Ken and Arlene Boon, farmers and members of the Peace Valley Environment Association, a group that has worked tirelessly to protect B.C. from the destructive Site C dam.

The event is a fundraiser to support three Indigenous groups fighting legal battles to save the Peace — the West Moberly First Nation, the Prophet River First Nation and the Blueberry River First Nation — as well as the Peace Valley Landowners Association. To donate online, go to http: www.stakeinthepeace.co

Information:   Rita Wong — 604.653.4006

mailto:rita_wong@shaw.Ken Boon — 250.262.9014 mailto: pvla@xplornet.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theatres of Resistance

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Dario Fo, the great Italian playwrite, director and actor, died a on October 13, 2016.  He was 90 years old. Fo was an agitator.  He was someone who fought and was sympathetic to others  who fought for the working class and the poor. Dario Fo worked with his partner, the Italian actress Franca Rama.

Even though I have  had limited opportunity to see Fo’s work, although I was on the Board of the Great Canadian Theatre Company, GCTC when Fo’s play Open Couple (titled for the GCTC production Open Marriage (Wide Open) was presented in the 1986/87 season I have always admired the personality of these two people who devoted the full force of their creativity to fighting for the liberation of working people.

So when I heard about Fo’s death  ( Franca Rama died in 2013 ) I started thinking about who Canada and in particular, Vancouver’s Dario Fo &Franca Rama would be.

Here they are right in my back yard.  Terry Hunter and Savannah Walling, founders and on going Executive and Artistic Directors respectively of the Vancouver Moving Theatre, home of Vancouver’s Heart of the City Festival

In the West Coast Canadian context, I can’t help but think of Terry and Savannah when I read about Dario Fo and Franca Rama. Both couples have built their relationship and their theatre practice over the last 30 years working in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver with ideas born there and in similar communities and with people who live and work there. Together they use theatre, music  and all forms of art to tell stories of the people and communities who make up the downtown east side  (DTES).

The DTES really is the heart of Vancouver–its historical centre.

The DTES forms part of the traditional territories of the SquamishTsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations.[8] European settlement of the area began in the mid-19th century, and most early buildings were destroyed in the Great Vancouver Fire of 1886.[9] Residents rebuilt their town at the edge of Burrard Inlet, between Cambie and Carrall Streets, a townsite that now forms Gastown and part of the DTES.[9] At the turn of the century, the DTES was the heart of the city, containing city hall, the courthouse, banks, the main shopping district, and the Carnegie Library.[9] Travellers connecting between Pacific steamships and the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway used its hundreds of hotels and rooming houses.[10] Large Japanese and Chinese communities settled in Japantown within the DTES, and in nearby Chinatown.[11] So, too was it a centre for Vancouver’s Jewish, Ukrainian and Russian Communities — citizens who were very involved in supporting the thousands of unemployed who fought the injustices brought on by the depression and its itinerant poverty and racism.

In 1942, the neighbourhood lost its entire ethnic Japanese population, estimated at 8,000 to 10,000, due to the Japanese-Canadian internment. Most did not return to the once-thriving Japantown community after the war.[14]

The stories of the historic communities of the DTES as well as more contemporary issues including poverty, gentrification, community, neighbourhoods and reconciliation are the focus of the the community-engaged art of Terry and Savannah and the Vancouver Moving Theatre (VMT)!  They definitely work in the spirit of Dario Fo & Franca Rana not to mention the many artists and activists from the communities with whom the VMT works everyday.

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