Category Archives: Canada

The United States-Led Propaganda Attack on China Will Prove to Have a Limited Shelf Life

A story much favoured in western media has been about China’s alleged genocide of its Uyghur population. The origins of the story are unclear, although it has often been attributed to the work of the Newton Institute for Strategic Policy and to a German propagandist who works for a markedly anti-Chinese organisation based in the United States.

The Uyghurs are based in the Xinjiang autonomous region, a large and strategically located region of China’s Northwest. The statistics provide absolutely no support for the propaganda. The Uyghurs constitute approximately 90% of the region’s population.

The report claimed that President Xi has launched a campaign against the Muslim Uyghurs. Apart from allegations that the men were to be rounded up, the women were alleged to be forcibly sterilised. The intent of the alleged policy was to eliminate the viability of the Muslim Uyghur population.

The official statistics, however, provide absolutely no support for the lurid claims. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, was quoted as saying that over the past 40 years the population of the Uyghurs had increased from 5,500,000 to 12,800,000 and the average life expectancy had increased from 30 to 72 years.

In the period from 2010-2018, the Uyghur population of Xinjiang increased from 10,170,000 to 12,720,000, which is an increase of 25.04%. This was the highest growth rate of any region of China. The Han population, which represents China’s dominant Group, rose by only 2% over the same period.

Neither is the area disadvantaged. From 2014 to 2019 average economic growth rose at a rate of 7.2% per annum. The Chinese government has invested approximately 2.35 trillion yuan into Xinjiang over the past 70 years since the Communist government came to power. Primary school enrollment stands at 99.91% which makes it equal to the highest anywhere else in the world and in particular on a par with the most highly developed western nations.

Recently, a group of 40 western nations lead by Canada (whose own history is less than admirable as recent revelations indicate) issued a statement condemning China’s alleged ill-treatment of its Uyghur population. This fact was widely publicised in the western media. Given almost no coverage was the fact that 90 nations released a statement in response to the Canadian missive, supporting China, in condemning both the fabrication of statistics of alleged genocide and the western attempts to blatantly interfere in China’s internal affairs.

This is a pattern repeated time after time, with adverse comments about China given wide coverage and almost no coverage at all to reporting the facts.

The question to be asked is: why the adverse concentration on Xinjiang? The answer to that question lies in Xinjiang’s extraordinary wealth and natural resources. Oil, natural gas and non-ferrous metals, including copper and gold, are the most important resources. Oil is estimated to exceed 30 billion tons, and those of natural gas exceed 10,000 billion cubic metres.

The rapaciousness of western conglomerates is well known and they would dearly love to get their hands on these resources. That is unlikely to ever happen.

The second major reason for western interest in the region is geography. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It is therefore uniquely well placed to be in a position to influence precisely those countries which the Americans have long sought an influence.

The United States is currently in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan after 20 long years of attempting to change that country to more accurately reflect United States interests. In that they have failed miserably. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that they have lost interest in Afghanistan or the region. The great unasked question, for example, is what will happen to the enormously lucrative heroin crop, With Afghanistan representing more than 80% of the world’s supply, as well as providing billions of dollars in additional revenue for the CIA, the chief organiser and distributor of the heroin on the world market.

It is a topic which most western commentators have been assiduous in avoiding. Attempting to safeguard that crop will be one of the main tasks of the approximately 10,000 United States mercenaries whose withdrawal from Afghanistan has been conspicuously absent from discussions to date.

Of Xinjiang’s other neighbours, India has been a particular interest for the Americans. It has recently resurrected the four-nation grouping involving itself, India, Japan and Australia to form part of its confronting China policy. The Indians are frankly ambivalent, with a long- established relationship to Russia competing with their distrust of China for their attention.

The Australians for their part seem determined to pursue policies designed to maximise conflict with China, their largest trading partner by a significant margin. For the Australians, it seems that maintaining their slavish adherence to the Americans overwhelms what by most objective standards is their own self-interest in the Asian region.

The United States propaganda war against China, and especially over Xinjiang will not die soon. The support shown by China’s non-western friends indicates yet again that the American ability to carry the rest of the world in its anti-China crusade has a limited shelf- life. China and Russia will continue the relationship building through the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and similar vehicles, proving yet again that the United States’ days as a vehicle of influence are progressively waining.

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More Attacks on Palestine Solidarity from Green Party Leadership

Annamie Paul’s team have once again smeared Green MPs and party members as anti-Semitic for opposing the dispossessing of Palestinians. These ongoing attacks are part of the Green leader’s broader commitment to Canadian imperialism.

Last week Paul appointed Richard Zurawski to her shadow cabinet. Three weeks earlier the new party critic for Green Recovery publicly denounced “BDS terrorists” and strongly implied Green MP Paul Manly and now former MP Jenica Atwin were anti-Semitic. On Facebook Zurawski wrote, “she [Paul] makes the hard choices Shimon, and that is why I support her. She is pushing hard against the anti-Semitic factions, like the BDS terrorist group, within the GPC [Green Party of Canada] that is using the Middle East as a wedge to isolate and spread misinformation, hijacking the GPC mandate. It is sad to see their agendas being promoted by Manly and Atwin.”

In 2016 when Green members voted for a resolution supporting the long-oppressed Palestinians, Zurawski was quoted in numerous media outlets disparaging the party. He said, “when we specifically single out Israelis, I worry about the buzzwords and subtext and code language, which is anti-Semitic.” Zurawski also told the press that the members’ democratic decision was “destructive for the party”.

Appointing Zurawski to her shadow cabinet after he called Greens “BDS terrorists,” follows on the heels of her senior adviser, Noah Zatzman, repeatedly smearing Green MPs, members and other politicians opposing Palestinian subjugation. Paul has also attacked Green members in a similar fashion. During and just after the leadership race Paul was quoted by GlobalTimes of IsraelHa’aretzJewish IndependentCanadian Jewish Record and others labeling party members as anti-Semitic. In a July 2020 Canadian Jewish Record commentary she wrote, “My loyalty to Canada has also been called into question, and I have been accused of taking bribes from Israel, leading a Zionist take-over of the Green Party of Canada and of spreading hasbarah.”

Paul’s anti-Palestinianism appears to be motivated by familial ties, religious conviction and careerism. But, it is also part of her broader imperialist worldview. As I detailed a month ago in “Annamie Paul’s failure to confront international racism”, she backed the coup against Bolivia’s first ever indigenous president Evo Morales and has stoked Sinophobia. Ten days ago Paul met Latvia’s ambassador to Canada Kārlis Eihenbaums. According to his account of the virtual get-together, “Paul stressed the importance of international organisations like NATO, the significance of Canada’s international engagements and role.” In the discussion Paul apparently endorsed Canada’s role in the nuclear armed NATO alliance and stationing 500 Canadian troops on Russia’s border as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia.

But, after an unpopular Canadian-backed tyrant was recently killed in Haiti, Paul claimed to be committed to “nonviolence”. On Wednesday Paul tweeted, “as the leader of a party committed to non-violence, I strongly condemn the assassination of Haitian President Moïse, and urge local authorities and international partners to do all they can to prioritize the protection of civilians and to prevent further casualties.” To the best of my knowledge this is Paul’s first public comment on Haiti. She was quiet when reporter Diego Charles and activist Antoinette Duclair were killed on June 29 in Port-au-Prince. She also ignored a recent Harvard Law report documenting a couple hundred killed in “brutal attacks” by government-backed gangs. Paul was also quiet about Moïse ruling by decree and his lack of constitutional legitimacy. Paul failed to raise her voice five months ago when Green MP Paul Manly, environmentalists David Suzuki and Naomi Klein, as well as Stephen Lewis, Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, George Elliott Clarke and other prominent individuals called on Canada to “stop propping up a repressive and corrupt dictatorship in Haiti.”

In response to Paul’s tweet about Moïse a number of individuals highlighted the hypocritical nature of her message considering her indifference to Israeli violence against Palestinians. “I wish you demonstrated as much concern for the murder of Palestinians as you do for the murder of a dictator”, noted one. A more perceptive commentator noted Paul’s status quo outlook: “Why is it that every time Trudeau tweets something about global affairs, you tweet the same exact message?” A former Global Affairs Canada employee, Paul’s resume demonstrates rock solid support for the US led global order.

On July 20 the Green Party’s federal council will vote on whether to give members the opportunity to decide if Paul should continue to lead the party. The federal council should allow the members to vote. My bet is that the vast majority of Greens are fed up with attacks from Paul and her team on members who promote the Green party’s official policy on Palestine.

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Blessed is the Flame of Retribution

As Churches go up in flames in and across the nation and colonialist statues, venerated by the State, are splashed blood red, ripped from their foundations, and smashed to pieces, it is crystal clear that liberal-centrist institutions are the major culprit of cultural, economic, and real genocide. The Church and State are power-tools, machines of ideology. They are designed to perpetrate mass surveillance, discipline, and punishment of any type upon the general-population and/or any specific social group; all the while, they mask their inhuman activities in an instantaneous legality manufactured by their very own institutional apparatuses. And, of course, this so-called legality is always a legalized oppression orchestrated by the Church and State themselves, namely, the very same institutions engaged in various forms of repression, both ideological and real.

The fact of the matter is that people require the abstraction of the State-apparatus and/or an apparatus like the Church to absolve themselves of responsibility and culpability as they partake in cultural extermination. In fact, the slimy tentacles of the State-apparatus and the Church, which snake throughout the social fabric of our communities infecting everything and everyone with the venom of docility and passive acceptance, continually pontificate that whatever is told to us from the pulpit of the Church and/or the parliament of the State is the word of God and the law of the land. Throughout history, the State-apparatus and/or the Church have always offered Janus-face civil servants and priests the unique Ubermensch ability to act with legal impunity and a good conscience, regardless of how vile their acts may be because, in the end, they are doing God’s will, or in the case of the State, the people’s will.

There are no rules or laws when it comes to the Church and State in the sense that the Church and State will say and do whatever is necessary to retain their supremacy and stranglehold on the people and the land. Indeed, the Church and State will perpetrate genocide in one era, hold onto their bigoted convictions tooth and nail for over 100 years, and as soon as the winds of illumination change, just as quickly they will denounce their former genocidal activities in order to remain in step with the enlightenment of the people and retain State-power. And, we the people, bombarded daily by a litany of mainstream State-approved propagandists, are meant to swallow once again the manufactured tripe feed to us by the very State and Church who bureaucratically colluded together in covert acts of systematic extermination.

So let the Statues fall and the Churches burn.  I encourage it.  There is nothing wrong in tearing down the opiate of the people in the sense that it is high-time that people stand on their own two feet, without the aid of their spiritual and political painkillers. We, the people, must hold the Church and State accountable by burning them down since they are un-reformable apparatuses, both are cancers and cesspools of liberal-reformists, conformists, and careerists, who only say and do anything when the media-optics dictate as such. Then, instantaneously, out of the blue, they offer up ridiculous half-hearted apologies when new information comes to light or they are caught with their bony hands in the people’s cookie jar.

The Church and State are amoral and have always been so. They have no backbone or genuine principles. In reality, they both will flip-flop back and forth on any and all social issues, depending on which way the wind blows. And the manner by which they accomplish all these feats of hypocrisy, back-peddling, and double-dealing is by adhering to liberal-centrism, or more specifically, the middle and the center, which enables them to pivot and twirl at a moment’s notice so that they may slip-out of the tight-knots of real responsibility and/or culpability.

In fact, power and decision-making-authority in and across the Church and State are constantly being shuffled around from apparatus to apparatus, from department to department, from committee to committee, from personnel to personnel etc., wherein responsibility and/or culpability pertaining to any State-policy or Church activity is diluted in and across multiple State-sectors and/or multiple sets of Church and State-apparatuses, whereupon, in the end, no-one is truly responsible and/or culpable for any outcome the Church and State-policies may have incurred. And this lack of responsibility and/or culpability is no accident. It is designed and encoded in the functions, operations, and/or institutional mechanics of both the Church and the State, shielding their executive branches and upper-level personnel from any real accountability.

Ultimately, the end result of all these power-shifts is that no-one is specifically responsible and/or culpable for anything and/or any policies the Church and State enacts and/or exercised in its past, since no-one, except maybe the personnel at the very top of the echelons of power, truly knows what the Church and the State’s real agenda is and/or was in the past. And even then, responsibility and/or culpability is limited and/or non-existence for most and/or all top personnel, in the sense that the Church and State’s real agendas are constantly subjected to reformulation, reordering, and reorganization, which constantly raises the spectre of plausible deniability for any Church or State bureaucrat, as well as for any of their dysfunctional apparatuses.

Subsequently, the back channels and hidden corridors of power undergirding the Church and State are, for the most part, shrouded in mystery. All of which is designed to conceal the real centers of power embodied in the Church and State, which, in the end, gives the Church and State carte blanche to perform all sorts of egregious activities, since blame or guilt is always diluted or delayed in and across many sets of Church-State institutions. Case in point: the institutional-apparatuses of the Church and State are specifically designed to quash or put a lid on any disturbing activities the Church and State may have perpetrated in the past. Facts are smothered, victims are ignored, documents are burned, grave-markers are removed or lost, while any presiding State or Church officials are moved along to other departments or apparatuses, and/or are conveniently retired to cushy pensions, where their troubling memories slowly fade into oblivion.

In effect, bureaucracy conceals. And bureaucracy also absolves the agents of bureaucracy, Church or State, of any wrongdoing. Thus, the reason why the State-sanctioned horrors of the Church-run residential school program have been kept bottled-up and underground for many decades, having only recently surfaced, after more than 100 years.

Lest we forget, the Church and State have always been partners in arms, victimizers and abusers of indigenous populations, their abusive natures and bigoted ideologies are encoded in the bureaucratic processes and the apparatuses of the State and Church themselves, regardless of who holds power. And ironically, these are the very same apparatuses most people now look upon to mitigate and rectify the horrors of this State-approved genocide. Do not be fooled by the bleeding hearts and talking heads paraded before our eyes by the State and the mainstream media eager to regurgitate the State-approved politically sanctioned message on cue. They are only cajoling us; i.e., we the people, to buy into the notion that the Church and State are now born again, having finally seen the light and the errors of their ways. And with flowing tears in their eyes and endless apologies on their devilish tongues, we the people, are repeatedly told to faithfully trust the bureaucratic process again, to trust the very same abusive institutions once again to right things; that is, the very same institutions who would in all intent and purpose do it all over again given massive public approval and similar circumstances.

So let them burn, let them burn black, red, and orange into the night, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. As the Church is a rotten institution and the State as well, hence, why they have made excellent bedfellows for the last 154 years in all sorts of nefarious endeavors against their perceived enemies, the indigenous populations. In truth, both institutions have always promoted the most mediocre and pliable types into the upper-echelons of their apparatuses; i.e., all those degenerate moderates filled with State-approved ideologies and the spirit of Christ, whom we always find in the public square positioning themselves as champions of the greater good, but when silently behind closed doors are always willing and ready to do anything for God and country, that is, a morsel of power by any means necessary.

To quote Max Stirner, “the State…calls its violence ‘law’; that of the individual [it calls] ‘crime’”.1 And the systematic cover-up of dead indigenous children and all the traumas of residential schools are just another set of examples on a long list of atrocities perpetrated by the Church and State, hand in hand. Ultimately, the State is beyond the law, because it is the arbitrary judge, jury, and executioner of its own legal framework. In fact, the State writes, enforces, changes, and enacts its own laws. As a result, the State is beyond the law in the sense that it is stationed over and above bourgeois-law as the author and upholder of its own manufactured legality. Therefore, as the sole and rightful author of the law, due to its monopoly on legal and illegal violence, the Church and State are inherently impervious to their own legal arbitrary creations and, thus, simply brush aside any inconveniences with the simple phrase, “the lord works in mysterious ways”.

In short, it is this paternalistic imperviousness that permits State-officials and the Church to exercise genocide, in the sense that they both have a monopoly in manufacturing societal laws with little or no genuine oversight, whether it is State-laws and/or God’s law. Therefore, let the Churches burn and the colonialist statues fall, retribution and grieving take many forms, blood for blood, an eye for an eye etc.

Violence is subjective. And, contrary to bourgeois-law, people cannot be violent towards property or institutions, since, property and institutions as concepts are inanimate objects, devoid of life and/or any ability to feel pain. As a result, people can only deconstruct or demolish property and senile institutions by smashing them in various ways, they can never be violent towards them, insofar as violence is only done unto persons, living human beings.

In fact, as a concept, violence can only be perpetrated directly against another person, by infringing violently and directly upon his or her realm of freedom and/or his or her right to exist, but, when it comes to smashing property or burning down institutions, there is no violence, only deconstruction. In the sense that property and institutions are devoid of any sense of freedom or the ability to feel pain, since, freedom and pain are  human attributes, not institutional or structural ones. Consequently, to burn down and/or demolish decrepit institutions and colonialist statues is a valid legitimate human response to an inhuman set of corrupt institutions, institutions that have engaged in forms of State-sanctioned systemic-violence against an unsuspecting segment of the population. Thereby, to destroy the Church and colonialist State property, or more specifically, any rotten apparatuses, structures, systems, processes, mechanisms, statues etc., is legitimate, valid, and a genuine human response to the inhuman horrors of any covert systematic institutional-violence.

In brief, when the target of deconstruction or demolition is property and/or defective institutions, then deconstruction or demolition is not violence, but self-defense, namely, an assertion that people are more important than structures, institutions, and all the property in the world. It is a reassertion of the egalitarianism, freedom, equality, and humanity that stirs in all human beings when faced with the incomprehensibility of Church and State-sanctioned genocide.

In sum, as Abraham Lincoln states, “institutions belong to the people. [And] whenever they shall grown weary of the existing government [or the Church], they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it”.2  In consequence, burning down churches and/or tearing down State-approved colonialist statues is nothing but an affirmation of our innate revolutionary right to dispose of any and all senile inhuman-apparatuses, whether these are religious-apparatuses and/or degenerate liberal State-apparatuses. All told, we will tear your cherished statues down and burn your sacred Churches to the ground, with cold callous precision, joyful smiles, and dancing electric Pow-Wows!

Live, Laugh, Loot! Blessed is The Flame of Retribution!

  1. Max Stirner, The Ego and His Own: (The Case of The Individual Against  Authority), trans. Steven T. Byington, Brooklyn, New York: Verson, 2014,  p. 182.
  2. Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.
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The Canadian Greenhouse and Genocide

In February I wrote,

As a rule, basic decency would require that one clean up one’s own yard (except in Canada’s case, the yard was stolen from its Indigenous peoples) before criticizing someone else’s yard.

This was in response to a plurality of members of parliament in Canada condemning China for committing genocide in the country’s Xinjiang province. It was flabbergasting, given that Canada is a state erected on the territory through a dispossession of its Original Peoples by European colonial-settlers. The dispossession was — and is — genocidal.

Canada’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Garneau, issued a statement:

The Government of Canada takes any allegations of genocide extremely seriously. We have the responsibility to work with others in the international community in ensuring that any such allegations are investigated by an independent international body of legal experts.

This investigation must be conducted by an international and independent body so that impartial experts can observe and report on the situation first-hand.

That action would come back to bite Garneau and the MPs.

Forensic Evidence of Genocide

To those who listen to First Peoples and study how settlers came to rule over the First Peoples, the news announced on 27 May of 215 individual graves of children from the Kamloops Indian Residential School, while jarring was not surprising. The school, which operated from 1890 to 1969, had its hidden past revealed by ground-penetrating radar used by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in BC.

“To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir said. In a press release she said:

We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children.

Many thought the discovered bodies to be the tip of the ice berg. That was in late May.

Less than a month later, the Cowessess First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, using the same ground-penetrating radar, announced with certainty 600, but possibly 751, unmarked graves in its community cemetery.

The graves belong to children from the Marieval Indian Residential School said Chief Cadmus Delorme. The school operated from 1899 to 1997.

Both schools were run by the Catholic Church. The Pope has yet to apologize.

Chinese officials who have welcomed everyone to come to Xinjiang were quick to notice the forked tongue of Canadian officials. China spokesperson Hua Chunying recognizes what genocide looks like.

Meanwhile Xinjiang has seen a noticeable bump in visitors to the autonomous region.

*****

I emailed Kevin Annett who early on, as a United Church minister, spoke to atrocities in the logging town of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. Annett, it must be stated, is a very controversial figure. But just because someone is off base or wrong on certain topics (and who is always correct?) does not mean that everything a person says should be dismissed. In a 2008 Tyee article he was ridiculed by a detractor: “Annett is busy with another one of his crusades against church and state, with new claims about a network of mass graves across Canada containing the remains of perhaps thousands of aboriginal children, murdered by priests and nuns.” The detractor, Terry Glavin, even went so far as to write that “the story of secret residential-school mass graves is an urban legend.” Ouch!

In Annett’s documentary Unrepentant, First Peoples spoke to abuse, trauma, torture, and deaths in residential schools. The number that specifically stood out was a woman holding a sign that read 50,000 killed. I asked Annett if he expected ground-penetrating radar to adduce the deaths at the residential school in Port Alberni?

Annett replied: “The general problem is that the serial killer is in charge and the truth works around the edges of the ‘mainstream’. GPR surveys have already been done at the Alberni death camp and the records are public info, also held in our ITCCS archives. They indicate sinkholes and massive soil dislocation.”

What about the churches — Catholic, Anglican, and United — how can they atone for the crime of genocide?

Annett: “The churches can only atone by being shut down and having their property and assets seized as criminal organizations – a requirement under international law; and having their officers arrested and jailed under standing warrants from our 2013 court action.”

Annett spoke to the role of the governments of Canada and its RCMP in the entrenchment of colonialism on First Nation land.

Annett: “But as long as they’re protected by ‘crown’ jurisdiction that won’t happen, hence the need for a new political arrangement – the Republic of Kanata (www.republicofkanata.ca).”

Idle No More, the Indigenous rights movement, stated:

We will not celebrate stolen Indigenous land and stolen Indigenous lives. #​CancelCanadaDay. Instead we will gather to honour all of the lives lost to the Canadian State – Indigenous lives, Black Lives, Migrant lives, Women and Trans and 2Spirit lives – all of the relatives that we have lost.

Victoria (Camosack in Lekwungen language) city council voted unanimously to cancel Canada Day celebrations. Several jurisdictions in Canada have followed suit canceling celebrations slated for the first day in July.

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Racist, misogynist, militaristic, imperialistic, homophobic, white Christian supremacy

Canadians like to think of ourselves as less racist, less right wing and especially less violent than Americans. But two recent events coming after a previous series of mass murders has shaken this belief.

Four members of a Muslim family were murdered in a hate crime while out for a stroll last Sunday in London, Ontario; two weeks earlier 215 First Nations children were found buried on the grounds of a Kamloops, B.C. Indian residential school; one year ago 22 died during a shooting spree by a Nova Scotia wannabe cop with a severe anger management problem after a fight with his girlfriend; four years ago 26 people, mostly women, were mowed down by a misogynist on a Toronto sidewalk leaving 10 dead; a year before that, six worshippers were shot and killed by a young man in a Quebec City mosque. All murders motivated by right wing hate.

This isn’t the real Canada, some people say. But it is. And always has been.

The truth is Canada, the British colony that preceded it, and the French colony before that, were all founded on racist, misogynist, militaristic, imperialistic, homophobic, white Christian supremacy. This is a history we share with the USA, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, all members along with Canada, of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance.

Our countries have proudly glorified white male warrior, racist colonialism and participated in it at home and abroad. Our laws, our institutions, our foreign policy, our culture have all been affected by these vile practices and ideologies, and they continue to infect and influence us today.

And this is not ancient history.

Born in 1953, I have lived in a Canada with genocidal residential schools, racist laws and immigration policies, that forbade people from voting based on their ethnicity, that ensured property could only be sold to white Christians, that jailed people for their sexuality, that had quotas for Jews in universities, that criminalized women’s reproductive rights and taught me in Catholic school that men were the head of the family and to be proud of the British Empire. The legacy of all that remains alive in me and my country.

These are historical facts that, if acknowledged, can be confronted, and overcome. But you can’t build a better world on a foundation of lies or ignorance, only on concrete reality.

And confronting our past is not just “virtue signalling” or part of “woke” culture or some academic exercise or ritual self-flagellation to earn forgiveness for our sins. There are those who revel in and glorify this past and would return us to it, whether we like it or not. Ignoring or whitewashing our history empowers the right-wing extremists who today wish to create something very much like Margaret Atwood’s Republic of Gilead. It is not only our neighbours to the south who are at risk of an authoritarian fascism built upon making America great again. There are people in all the “Five Eyes” who promote racist, colonial, imperialistic, misogynist, militaristic, homophobic white Christian supremacy and will use violence to achieve their goals.

Having spent the past four years researching and writing about the extreme right in the FAKE NEWS Mysteries, including my latest, American Fascism, there is no doubt in my mind that more violence is coming.

Fascists are conservatives in a panic. They are panicked because they see the victories of women, people of color, First Nations, anti-racists, the LGBTQ+, unions, socialists, peace advocates, environmentalists and internationalists as threatening. They are funded by some very wealthy people who use fascists as the tip of the spear against economic democracy. At its root fascism is a violent defence of economic and social privilege.

To combat those who would inflict Gilead upon us, we must understand who we were, who we are and who we would like to be. As many self-help books posit, knowing yourself is the first step to change. That’s exactly why conservatives and fascists glorify the past, defend statues of racists and insist history should focus on instilling patriotism instead of telling the truth.

To combat them we must educate ourselves and especially our children. Only then can we build a better world, one where all people can live together in respect, dignity and equality. One that is not afraid of positive change. One that can resiliently resist right wing extremism.

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Anti-Palestinian Bigotry Overshadowed by Anti-Semitism Uproar

In response to the recent upsurge in pro-Palestinian activism basically every major Canadian media outlet has published stories about rising anti-Semitism. B’nai B’rith claims there were more anti-Semitic incidents in May than all of last year. The government recently acceded to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) demand for an emergency summit on antisemitism, which will be led by staunch Zionist Irwin Cotler.

But comparatively little attention has been devoted to anti-Palestinian bigotry despite the publicly verifiable evidence that suggests Palestinian Canadians or those identified with them have faced greater discrimination and violence. And once again, CIJA and B’nai B’rith muddy the waters of understanding racism by conflating criticism and actions against Israel with anti-Semitism.

Let’s take a look at the record over the past few weeks:

  • On May 13 a group of Israeli flag waving individuals in Thornhill, Ontario are on video trying to fight and threatening to “run over” a small group of Palestinian activists. At one-point police pull their guns apparently fearing an Israel supporter was going to hit them with his vehicle in a bid to reach the Palestinians.
  • On May 15 a Jewish Defence League (JDL) supporter interviewed prior to the pro-Palestinian rally said he was looking to brawl. He then tells a passerby, “I used to rape guys like you in prison, bro.” Subsequently, a pro-Israel individual is caught on camera swinging a stick wildly at someone. At another point an older JDL-aligned individual is caught on camera with a knife and bat.
  • On May 16 a Zionist was photographed with a hammer in his hand at a protest in Montréal. At the same pro-Israel rally an individual rips a Palestinian flag from the man’s hand and the crowd cheers.
  • A Palestinian family in Hamilton that put up a sign on their lawn with a Palestinian flag saying: “We support human rights. #FreePalestine #OngoingNakba” had it stolen on May 24 and a note was left saying: “KEEP YOUR POLITICS AND ANTI-SEMITIC RACISM OUT OF MY COUNTRY AND MY NEIGHBOUR-HOOD. IF YOU DON’T LIKE MY COUNTRY, GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM!” The theft was not caught on camera but there is a photo of the note and stolen sign.
  • On May 25 a recent immigrant from Gaza in Calgary with a Palestinian flag in his rear window films his car being cut off and stopped by a pickup truck. The motorist slams on his window, demanding to fight as he yells “terrorist fuck”, “terrorist ass” and “I have a picture of Mohammed in my car Alah”. He then laughs manically as he rips off the Palestinian Canadian’s windshield wiper.

These instances don’t count individuals — such as a social justice teacher in Toronto put on home assignment, McGill students on a blacklist, a doctor in Toronto smeared and threatened with being fired — for standing up for Palestinian rights. Nor do the above-mentioned examples count anti-Palestinian police racism. In Halifax, Windsor, Calgary, Hamilton and possibly elsewhere the police ticketed dozens of individuals simply for attending Palestine solidarity protests. A report from Windsor suggests — though I have no recorded proof — that cars playing Arabic music were specifically targeted by the police. There’s also a report from Hamilton suggesting that women with Hijabs received eight of 12 tickets given out at a rally.

Before detailing/evaluating the main purported incidents of anti-Semitism it’s important to mention both the discrepancy of resources the two “sides” have to document abuses and their impulse to do so. B’nai B’rith, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, CIJA and the Jewish Federations’ operate hotlines to tabulate incidents of anti-Jewishness and have significant capacity to communicate perceived acts of discrimination. They send individuals to video and photograph pro-Palestinian protests with the express purpose of discovering “proof” of anti-Jewish acts.

Not only does the official Israel lobby have greater resources to document perceived abuses and promote them through the media, it has a greater interest in focusing the discussion this way. As Israeli oppression of Palestinians has become ever more difficult to defend, the lobby’s emphasis on driving the discussion towards anti-Semitism has grown. For its part, the pro-Palestinian movement is more focused on discussing the violence meted out against Palestinians.

With that in mind, let’s look at the most high-profile incidents of “anti-Semitism” cited by supporters of Israel:

  • After massive Palestine solidarity demonstrations on May 15, a knife and bat wielding JDL aligned individual was beaten up after apparently picking a fight (his photo was actually on the cover — subsequently removed — of a May 16 press release titled “CIJA Concerned by wave of violence and antisemitism connected to conflict in the Middle East”). But, even if CIJA’s showcased victim had not been associated with the violent JDL, swung a bat or held a knife would his beating have been an act of bigotry? When a counter protester fights with someone on the other side is that a political disagreement that elevates to violence or an act of bigotry? (During protests against Israel’s brutal 2014 assault on Gaza that left over 2,100 Palestinians dead, I was shoved, spat on, had my bike damaged and lock stolen by members of the JDL in Toronto. Were those acts of bigotry or would it only have been an act of bigotry if I had punched or spat back?)
  • On May 26 Global News did a two-minute video report and accompanying article on a Vancouver restaurant owner who claimed to have been a victim of discrimination. Israeli immigrant Ofra Sixto took to Facebook and the nightly news to cry discrimination, but according to credible accounts she was the racist. When a Palestinian solidarity car caravan happened to pass her Denman street restaurant, she yelled some variation of “this is how they are in their countries”, which was heard by a white male, sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, walking past and another woman sitting with her family at a cafe next door heard. They objected. The man later left a negative review of Ofra’s Kitchen online saying that the owner was racist. There’s a variety of screenshots and corroborating evidence suggesting the owner instigated the racism while Sixto hasn’t provided any external evidence, screenshots or other proof of her claims. (And it’s also not exactly clear how anyone was supposed to know the restaurant was Jewish owned).
  • On May 16 — a day after thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters took over downtown Montréal — a small pro-Israel rally was held downtown. Pro-Palestinian counter protesters reportedly threw objects (rocks according to some) at the pro-Israel group. I could not find video of objects being thrown but there is video of minor scuffles between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian individuals and, as I mentioned above, a photo of a Zionist with a hammer and an individual snagging a Palestinian flag. There is also a great deal of video of the Montréal riot squad trying to disburse Palestine solidarity protesters, which suggests they were treated as the aggressors.
  • On May 18 the Montréal municipality of Côte-Saint-Luc, which is heavily Jewish, robocalled all residents to tell them not to be worried about an upsurge of anti-Jewishness (In other words, they frightened people by telling them not to be worried!) Aside from the massive pro-Palestinian demonstration on May 15 and clashes at the May 16 rally, the reason for the robocall was that two men allegedly drove through the municipality yelling anti-Jewish slurs and an Israeli flag flying on a municipal building was removed. I could not find any video evidence of the vehicle though the police detained two individuals.
  • In Edmonton Adam Zepp told Global News he was walking out of his parents’ driveway at 9 p.m. on May 16 when a car drove by with young men yelling “Free Palestine”. Forced to loopback due to the neighborhood layout, Zepp says the men subsequently said, “are there any Jews here? Any Jews live here? Where do the Jews live?” There’s no indication Zepp took down the car’s license plate or recorded the incident. In an interview a representative of Edmonton’s Jewish Federation claimed rather vaguely that others also saw a car passing by.
  • Another widely cited act of discrimination is a TikTok video of two young Arab women, reportedly students at Laurier University, dancing as they burn an Israeli flag, flush it down the toilet, puke over it and fake stab it. Purported outrage over these students “promoting violence” is extremely cynical. The groups calling this “anti-Semitism” frequently justify Israeli violence and often promote the Israeli military in Canada.
  • Many of the lesser incidents presented are placards that in one way or another link Israel to the Nazis. (Of course Nazi comparisons are generally in poor taste, but the Israel lobby regularly invokes the Nazi Holocaust so it’s hypocritical of them to complain about that.)

While all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, must be condemned, readers can judge for themselves who are the primary victims of hatred and discrimination in Israel, as well as here in Canada.

The post Anti-Palestinian Bigotry Overshadowed by Anti-Semitism Uproar first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Media Hides Canadian Support for Israeli Apartheid

The dominant media permit only a narrow spectrum of opinion regarding Canadian foreign policy. Their refusal to report critical information about this country’s foreign policy can be startling. Even journalists who uncover illuminating internal government files put the information down the memory hole.

Recently Canadian Press journalist Lee Berthiaume reported on Canada’s military mission in the occupied West Bank in “Canadian troops, Mounties get front row seats to Israeli-Palestinian clashes”. The story reports that there are 23 Canadian troops and 3 RCMP members currently part of Operation Proteus, which trains Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces as part of a mission led by the Office of the United States Security Coordinator.

Strangely, the puff piece ignored how Canadian military trainers and aid have supported the creation of a Palestinian security force explicitly to enforce Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, a fact that Berthiaume previously reported.

In a 2013 story Berthiaume quoted an internal 2012 note signed by then Canadian International Development Agency president Margaret Biggs that read:  “There have been increasing references in the past months during high-level bilateral meetings with the Israelis about the importance and value they place on Canada’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority, most notably in security/justice reform.” He further quotes Biggs stating, “the Israelis have noted the importance of Canada’s contribution to the relative stability achieved through extensive security co-operation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.” The heavily censored note suggests the goal of Canadian “aid” was to protect a corrupt Mahmoud Abbas led PA, whose electoral mandate expired in 2009, from popular backlash. Biggs explained that “the emergence of popular protests on the Palestinian street against the Palestinian Authority is worrying and the Israelis have been imploring the international donor community to continue to support the Palestinian Authority.”

Surely this is important background information for a story about the recent work of Canadian troops and police in the West Bank.

In my 2016 book A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and exploitation I cite Berthiaume’s 2013 revelation as an example of how critical information is reported on and then ignored. “Even when dissidents’ claims are proven by leading reporters through access to information requests,” I wrote, “the result is often sent down the memory hole. Internal government documents unearthed by foreign policy journalist Lee Berthiaume about Canada’s $300 million, five-year aid program to the Palestinians is a prime example…. Berthiaume effectively confirmed that Canadian aid money was used to train a Palestinian security force to serve as an arm of Israel’s occupation. While Berthiaume’s article was reported in a number of Postmedia papers, there was no commentary in a major paper or follow-up stories about Biggs’ internal note or Operation Proteus, Canada’s effort to build a Palestinian security force under the US military’s direction (with the exception of stories in small town papers covering individual police or soldiers leaving for the mission).”

At the time of writing this I was unaware of the depth of the suppression. Apparently, the information was so efficiently sent down the memory hole that the journalist who uncovered the internal documents won’t even mention it when reporting on the subject!

And this is not simply a matter of historical interest. Canada continues to plow significant resources into PA security forces. In 2019-20 the military allocated $5 million to Operation Proteus and millions of dollars more in Canadian “aid” supports Palestinian security forces. In 2018 the Trudeau government initiated the $1.25 million “Empowering the Palestinian Security Sector” and the $1.365 million “Security Sector Capacity Building in the West Bank” projects. According to Global Affairs’ description of the latter initiative, “these activities complement the ongoing institutional capacity-building efforts by Operation PROTEUS, Canada’s contribution to the United States Security Coordinator.”

More recent research continues to demonstrate who this this “aid” is designed to help.

Drawing on previously classified materials, Carleton criminology professor Jeffrey Monaghan details Canada’s role in turning Palestinian security forces in the West Bank into an effective arm of Israel’s occupation. In Security Aid: Canada and the Development Regime of Security, Monaghan describes a $1.5 million Canadian contribution to Joint Operating Centers whose “main focus … is to integrate elements of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces into Israeli command.” He writes about Canada’s “many funding initiatives to the PCP [Palestinian Civilian Police]” which “has increasingly been tasked by the Israeli Defence Forces as a lead agency to deal with public order policing, most recently during IDF bombings in Gaza and during Arab Spring demonstrations.”

In a 2019 assessment of 80 donor reports from nine countries/institutions titled “Donor Perceptions of Palestine: Limits to Aid Effectiveness,” Jeremy Wildeman concludes that Canada, the US and International Monetary Fund employed the most anti-Palestinian language. “Canada and the US,” the academic writes, “were preoccupied with providing security for Israel from Palestinian violence, but not Palestinians from Israeli violence, effectively inverting the relationship of occupier and occupied.”

A great deal of Canada’s supposed “assistance” to the Palestinians — who have less than one-twentieth their occupier’s per capita GDP — is, in fact, explicitly designed to aid Israel. This is information Canadians need to know to judge what the government does with their taxes. But the dominant media largely ignores this and the other innumerable ways Canada supports Israeli apartheid.

The post Media Hides Canadian Support for Israeli Apartheid first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Land Governance: Future

The third video in the “Land governance” series explores potential paths toward just systems of land management that honor Indigenous rights and responsibilities, including implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, inclusion of Indigenous systems of governance and stewardship, potential mechanisms to recognize Indigenous land ownership and the need for meaningful relationships to serve as a foundation for moving forward.

See:

  • Land Governance: Past
  • Land Governance: Present
  • The post Land Governance: Future first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    Land Governance: Present

    The second video in the “Land Governance” series highlights the current crisis in land management in Canada, which has sparked, among other initiatives, the Indigenous-led Land Back movement. It explores what happens when two systems of law and governance come head-to-head, on land, and about land, highlighting the move toward activism and the need for difficult conversations.

    See:

  • Land Governance: Past
  • Land Governance: Future
  • The post Land Governance: Present first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    Land Governance: Past

    The first video in the “Land Governance” series examines the historical context of Indigenous Peoples’ dispossession from the lands that sustain them within Canada, and identifies the legal and policy landscape that created the conditions for today’s environmental and social crises. It explores the need to build on the rights and responsibilities of Indigenous Peoples, which are rooted in inherent governance of their territories.

    The post Land Governance: Past first appeared on Dissident Voice.