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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!

 

 

 

For those who think young

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Before its too late. Harper ’s got to go!

I’m concerned that many young folks in my own family, particularly my great-nieces and nephews, don’t understand what a serious threat Stephen Harper and his Conservative government in Ottawa pose to our way of life in Canada.

Since Harper became Prime Minister, his government has screwed up things up in every important area of our lives, from health, education, workplace security and the environment to the cost of housing.

These days, how many of you can afford to go to college or university, learn a trade, or develop a technical or creative skill without applying for a giant bank loan that will take years to pay off? And given what is happening in the work force today, do you think you’ll have enough money to support your own kids over the course of their education? For the first time in Canadian history, you will likely have a lower income than your parents did.

How many of you today have health plans through your workplace that pay health premiums, with or without extended health? Who pays for your dental work? Can you afford to go to the dentist on a regular basis?  How many of you—or your parents or grandparents—need  prescriptions you can’t afford to fill?

Right now, the government in Ottawa is looking for ways to make the oil companies richer while they gut the Canada Health Act. Our tax dollars used to support one of the best health care systems in the world. No more! The Conservatives today are cutting  $36 billion dollars from Canadian Medicare. Every person who buys anything from books to shoes to a muffin and coffee has to pay the GST.  But how come banks get bailed out, corporations squirm out of paying taxes, and those who have money make more money as a result?

The next federal election will be held sometime in 2015. We’ve got one year to make some choices about who is going to manage our country. Think about it carefully. What kind of future do you want for yourself and for your kids and grand kids?

I’ll be blogging about these issues in more detail over the next few months.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawings from the Children of Gaza

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VANCOUVER – A Child’s View from Gaza comprises startling and courageous works on paper using crayon, paints and markers by children who survived the 22-day Operation Cast Lead military attack on Gaza in 2008-9. The travelling exhibit opens Friday, March 9 at 7:30pm at the Unitarian Church at 949 W. 49thAve.

In the words of curator Susan Johnson, the exhibit provides a chance “to learn what a child in Gaza has experienced – what they feel and why. It’s an opportunity for the viewer to learn, to put prejudice aside. When,  asks Johnson, “have you ever heard the voice of Gaza’s children?”

The Vancouver tour launch will feature two important speakers whose work with war-scarred children in the Middle East is world-renowned. Barbara Lubin, Executive Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) has just returned from Gaza and will speak on the current conditions there.  MECA is a non‐governmental organization working for peace and justice for Palestine, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq, focusing on the rights of children. The reception will also feature a video interview with Dr. Eyad el-Sarraj, President of the Gaza Community Health Program.  Dr. el-Sarraj works with children suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has also appeared before international panels investigating the impact of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.   His interview with journalist Pam Bailey will provide an up‐to-the-minute account of the situation facing the children of Gaza. Vancouver showings at the Interurban Gallery, Simon Fraser University, UBC, Langara and People’s Coop Books will provide an opportunity to see some of these poignant drawings.  A larger exhibit of this work became the subject of controversy when its presentation was cancelled by the Oakland Museum of Children’s art last fall. While the show did open at another venue nearby, the controversy created broader international interest the art – work that was called “dangerous” by opponents of the show. See the exhibit in Vancouver and in your city if it travels there: childsviewfromgaza.org Support projects aimed at helping the children of Gaza:  Gaza Community Mental Health Program gcmhp.net Support an organization doing work in support of children throughout the Middle East:  Middle East Childrens’ Alliance mecaforpeace.org  

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