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The Human Aspect

10 Aug

Occupy began with the ideal of equality for all. Equality of men and women, rich and poor, racially, socially and legally. It started out with the idea that we all share the same rights and responsibilities, that the rich man is no less accountable for his crimes than the poor man. That we all have the right to be treated with kindness and respect, be we sane or mentally challenged, sober or drug addicted.

When the camp was in Olympic Plaza all were welcome; wealthy banker or drunk homeless person. At least on the surface. The truth is, prejudice and judgement are deeply ingrained in each of us as human beings.

I have witnessed racism, sexism, defamation and character assassination by those who fly the banner of equality under which this movement was founded. I have seen a man hounded for months by people he tried to help, for the offence of poor communication and self expression. His life has been deeply affected, his reputation ruined, friends turned against him.

I have heard the cry of racism from people sheltered and loved by a multicultural community; people treated with great respect despite personal flaws as glaring as the man who is even now being persecuted intolerably.

We can never succeed if, each time some person speaks or acts in a way we don’t personally like, we cast aside the values that form the foundation of this movement. It must be more than words, for the great change humanity so desperately needs must start within each one of us who claims to care.

If we behave in the very ways we find repugnant in others, what right have we to protest the behaviour of others? If we slander, accuse, persecute and generally alienate even one person, how on earth are we to grow towards the welcoming, loving equality that is our goal? If we are willing to hurt or harm any person to satisfy our prejudices or paranoia we have failed. This failure is our greatest one, and it has always been with us. It must be overcome or we have lost already.

That’s right. You are no better than those you criticize and neither am I. Look into the eyes of the human being before you and see yourself reflected there. He or she is your equal and deserves your respect no matter who they are, as you deserve theirs. But it starts with you.



Earth Day 2012

25 Mar

For Immediate Release

Earth Day Canada announces two action campaigns for Earth Day® 2012

Actions that are good for the environment are also good for our health
Toronto, ON (15/03/2012)—Earth Day Canada is issuing action-based challenges urging all Canadians (kids, classrooms, groups, businesses, individuals and families) to make positive changes to their daily habits. The challenges run from April 1 to April 30, 2012 and encourage participants to take up a new action for 21 days, a period long enough for the action to become a part of their daily routine.
For kids, classrooms and schools

Through the kid-friendly campaign, Act for the Planet, Earth Day Canada’s EcoKids program, with prizing from Sony Canada, is offering kids a chance to get involved on their own terms. Kids will have all month long to do something good for the planet (and remind their parents to do their part, too!)

Fun and easy actions include
•Creating window decals to prevent bird crashes
•Making planters to clean inside air
•Bringing their own water bottle
•Making something new out of something old.

For youth, adults, families and businesses

For the rest of us, lifestyle choices are typically based on convenience, complacency and habit, but these come with a price. Earth Day Canada’s Take It Up for Earth Day campaign can help you make better decisions about what you eat, drink and what resources you use. Try something new that’s good for you and the planet!

Take up one (or more) of these pro-environmental behaviors
•Eat and prepare plant-based foods at home
•Drink tap water and get water wise
•Care: Detox your personal care routine
•Move: Activate your lifestyle with outdoor, unplugged activities.

“We know that beyond air, food and water quality, the types of products we use on a daily basis, as well as the amount of activity we get, can have substantial effects on our health and the environment,” says Jed Goldberg, President of Earth Day Canada. “These campaigns help inform people about the environmental and health impacts of the decisions they make on a daily basis, while encouraging them to adopt behaviours that will improve the health of their families and communities.”

The 2012 Earth Day challenges also offer
•Step-by-step guides that kids, teachers/group leaders can use
•Tips and activities for individuals, groups and businesses to work together to keep commitments
•Information about the health and environmental benefits of actions
•Chances to win great prizes and rewards.

Feel ready? Visit, register your commitment(s) and join other Canadians this spring to make change a habit!

About Earth Day Canada

Earth Day Canada (EDC), a national environmental charity founded in 1990, provides Canadians with the practical knowledge and tools they need to lessen their impact on the environment. In 2004 it was recognized as the top environmental education organization in North America, for its innovative year-round programs and educational resources, by the Washington-based North American Association for Environmental Education, the world’s largest association of environmental educators. In 2008 it was chosen as Canada’s “Outstanding Non-profit Organization” by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. EDC regularly partners with thousands of organizations in all parts of Canada.


For media inquiries, please contact:
Keith Treffry
Director of Communications
Earth Day Canada
416.599.1991 × 107 |

Follow us on:!/EarthDayCanada

©2012 Earth Day Canada.

The word mark “Earth Day” and the Earth Day logo are registered trademarks of Earth Day Canada (1991) Inc. Charitable registration # 13195 1378RR0001. Use of either of these trademarks for mercantile, promotional and communication purpose is strictly forbidden without the written approval of Earth Day Canada.


Occupy Calgary Receives William Irvine Award at the Unitarian Church of Calgary

25 Mar Reverend Debra Faulk - Unitarian Church of Calgary

Reverend Debra Faulk - Unitarian Church of Calgary

Reverend Debra Faulk - Unitarian Church of Calgary

We are most gracious to the Unitarian Church of Calgary for presenting this award to Occupy Calgary. Thanks for your consideration and hospitality today! For those who weren’t able to attend, you may watch below.

Collecting Rainwater Now Illegal in Many States as Big Government Claims Ownership Over Our Water

23 Mar

Many of the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. are quickly eroding as the nation transforms from the land of the free into the land of the enslaved, but what I’m about to share with you takes the assault on our freedoms to a whole new level. You may not be aware of this, but many Western states, including Utah, Washington and Colorado, have long outlawed individuals from collecting rainwater on their own properties because, according to officials,that rain belongs to someone else.

Read more:

Anyone who thinks we are whining needs to read this article.

18 Mar

9 Mar

Justice in Conflict

As we speak, one of the most pervasive and successful human rights based viral campaigns in recent memory is underway. Invisible Children’s ‘Kony 2012‘ campaign has taken Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and every other mainstream social media refuge by storm. In many ways, it is quite impressive. But there’s one glaring problem: the campaign reflects neither the realities of northern Ugandan nor the attitudes of its people. In this context, this post examines the explicit and implicit claims made by the ‘Kony 2012’ campaign and tests them against the empirical record on the ground.

Before jumping into the fray, however, I should preface the post by noting that, in many ways, Invisible Children have done a fantastic job in advocating for the rights of northern Ugandans, highlighting the conflict and providing tangible benefits to victims and survivors of LRA brutality. Indeed, this post is not intended to take aim…

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Richard Hazen – Videographer

4 Mar

We Are The Future: The People United Will Never Be Defeated

THE EXPRESSOR’S REPORT — Ep. 1 Brent Talbot Speaks

21 Feb

Occupied Palestine | فلسطين



GAZA CITY (IRIN) — An energy crisis is currently hitting the Gaza Strip’s public services hard and could lead to a severe humanitarian crisis if a sustainable solution is not found soon.

“If the power plant does not resume its work in the next days, some hospitals will be left without electricity,” Mahmud Daher, officer-in-charge of the World Health Organization in Gaza, told IRIN.

Gaza’s only power plant was forced to shut down on Tuesday due to a lack of fuel, which has previously been imported in amounts of up to one million liters a day from Egypt.

“The current crisis is a political problem that started six years ago. The Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to provide the Gaza Strip with funds, and the policy of Egypt which is dealing with Gaza out of security calculations, have all contributed to the…

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The rot of our political culture – Daniel D. Veniez

16 Jan

Published first in


On Saturday the Globe and Mail published a column by Bruce Anderson, a pollster with National Public Relations and a regular guest on CBC’s “At Issue”. Under the headline “Van Loan’s defense of dirty tricks debases Tories and degrades democracy” Anderson said there are certain “moments of great clarity” that answer the question as to why people don’t vote and are so detached from the political process.

Anderson was referring to the fact that the Conservative Party has been phoning Montreal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler’s constituents, falsely suggesting that he is leaving politics. And this, a mere six months after they won a majority mandate, albeit with the support of only 30% of eligible voters in Canada.

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan admitted that the Conservatives are behind this political hit job. Anderson called it “A sad, cynical moment in Canadian politics. This is wrong. Not clever, not amusing, not evidence of a more sophisticated political machine that works all the angles while others are asleep at the switch. Just wrong on every level.”

Indeed it is. But it scratches the surface of what goes on and how far we have descended.

Examples abound and there are far too many to mention here. Is it a coincidence that a few days before the last federal election (when it could do the most damage) we found out that many years before Jack Layton had visited a massage parlour that offered a few more specialized services? Or that former backbench Liberal MP, Blair Wilson, finds his life story splashed in a Vancouver Province “investigation” that subsequent court testimony reveals is largely false, and the work of political operatives?

A great many Conservative “black-ops” are currently under investigation by Elections Canada. In some cases, they are before the courts. The point is that none of this should come as a shock to any observer of politics and governance. And it is not limited to the federal realm. Just look at recent municipal and

provincial campaigns in British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada. What truly puzzles me is how elected office seems to have fundamentally transformed in the past thirty years. And what truly troubles me is how the Canadian public has thrown up their hands and given Mr. Harper a free pass on these flagrantly sleazy tactics.

Bruce Anderson refers to them as “grime”. Political practitioners tell you that “this is the game of politics” and all is fair in love and war. These are the people that look you straight in the face, and without a hint of regret or guilt, spin implausible stories that fit their narrative. Never mind that these mind-numbing and stomach-turning contortions are profoundly destructive to our democracy. For them, of course, that’s not the point. Political power and survival is. As Stephen Harper advisor has famously said: “It doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be plausible”.

We blame the structure of our institutions for the state of our politics and government. Wrong. The problem is the people in them, and for that there is plenty of blame to go around. Peter Van Loan is a symptom of a much larger – and deeper – problem. The Jean Chretien and Paul Martin regimes were no better. Neither was the NDP under Jack Layton. But in the case of this parliament and this government, the rot extends from the head down. And the head is Stephen Harper.

If there is no freedom in your workplace, there can be no freedom outside your workplace – Aaron Doncaster

15 Jan
Tyranny, oppression and exploitation are the antitheses of democracy. The amount of tyranny, oppression and exploitation in a society, depends upon the society that you have and the society you have depends upon what model you use to organize production.
In todays late stage capitalism the dominant work place is the fascist dictatorship known as the multinational corporation. There may be some choice involved when it comes to working at a state controlled company, a worker run co-op or a collective, but these choices are made with strings attached. The dominant workplaces, the multinational corporations will allow you to make these choices so long as your modus operandi is the continuation of the status quo(working within capitalism). If the modus operandi of building differently structured workplaces is to create a qualitative break with the status quo, then the state and capital will take that choice away from you. Anything like cooperation, collectivism and non-hierarchal organizing in the workplace that bites into the profitability of capitalism will be met with brutal suppression by capital and the state.

An example of this is when the physical workplaces of the Occupy movement (the tent villages) were destroyed by agents of the state while the agents of capital,(the media) assisted them. The initial stage of the occupy movement(the tent village) is not only a strategic tactic and a crucible,but is a workplace without bosses, where workers organize themselves in a non-hierarchal fashion and produce collectively. The workers produce, information,governing structures based on the consensus decision making process and most importantly a process of engagement with your fellow citizen whereby the myth that the individual exists separate from there environment, is smashed.

Not only is the surplus labor of workers stolen in a work place based on the corporate model, also stolen is the workers ability to build their collective moral compass. Once stolen from the workers, this ability to build a moral compass then is sold back to the workers in the form of ignorance. This ignorance breeds more oppression than was originally created by the capitalist mode of production. From what has been stated above, I think it can be clearly deduced by most readers that we cannot have freedom outside work if we do not have freedom inside work! Workers of the world unite! The only thing we have to lose are our chains!