No to MexAmeriCanada: Vancouver Protests the SPP


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Tearing up the Magna Carta

We are witnessing the dismantling of the Magna Carta with the North American Union, The Security and Prosperity Partnership [SPP] and the North American Competitiveness Council.

Almost 800 years ago we somehow wrestled the elites of the British monarchy to issue the Magna Carta, a bill of rights for humanity, optimistically anyway.

Business elites in government and the corporate world are now taking over, completely unapologetically, in an almost Taoist spin. The SPP, against which there was vigorous protest today across the country, is a secretly negotiated international agreement/treaty designed to harmonize and integrate the NAFTA countries. It is not being ratified by the “democratically” elected legislatures in the three countries, nor are citizens able to provide input into its design. There is no national election or referendum on our embrace of it.

This is the height of arrogance, and people are mostly in the dark, thanks to highly concentrated corporate media that fails to exercise its free press responsibilities by ignoring much criticism and playing down its threats to democracy and sovereignty.

With rallies across the country, at times up to 250 people marched and rallied in Vancouver in a coordinated effort to educate the largely oblivious pedestrians surrounding them about the SPP and its threat to democracy.

The North American Union, or Security and Prosperity Partnership, moved one step closer to its anti-democratic formation today as Prime Sinister Stephen Harper decided to not receive an anti-SPP petition with over 10,000 signatures:

The Council of Canadians is demanding that the Harper government cease all SPP talks until the agreement is brought before parliament and the public.

“If they are unwilling to accept paper petitions, how credible is the claim that leaders will view or hear, through video feed, the message of protesters outside the summit?”

I have no faith that the “Three Amigos” will respect democracy. In fact, Mexico’s Fox wasn’t an original amigo as he preceded the newly “elected” Calderon and Paul Martin was Canada’s first friendly representative to this cabal. This is a strong indication of how similar the Liberals and Conservatives are in selling out democracy.

Even the moniker “Three Amigos” has the happy benefit of painting the trio as a group of benign beer buddies shooting pool, having some good clean fun. Maybe watching some NASCAR, perhaps.

So as the Amigos of MexAmeriCanada meet to rubber stamp what their ministers have been hacking together for months now, all in secret with no legislative oversight or sanctioning, we get the odd happy, grinning, hand-shaking announcements from the goodfellas now and then.

Meanwhile, the toxic, parasitical plague virus that is capitalism is Borg-ifying North America with the massive North American SuperCorridor, a quarter-mile wide stretch of movement from Mexico to Canada containing car, truck, rail, data, oil and water transportation. Resistance is futile. You will become one with the Borg. It will be a secure zone like behind the metal detectors at airports and it will convert the pathetic 20th-century attempts at efficient transportation into a highly assimilated movement system. Click to see the images in their full glory!

The top point of the highway is Winnipeg, which will extend north to Churchill and West to Vancouver. And oh, do they have plans from the Winnipeg node. Note the flourish of movement out west and to the Asia-Pacific. This is special because the recent treaty signed between BC and the Tsawwassen First Nation allows land to be sucked out of the Agricultural Land Reserve for parking intermodal containers at DeltaPort.

And Churchill allows us to go polar to trade with Asia.

The Face of Vancouver Protest

The almost 200 marchers flowed through downtown Vancouver late this afternoon from Canada Place to the Robson Street steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, stopping and blocking key intersections for up to 15 minutes for speeches and chants. The occasional burst of horns lasted only 20-30 seconds at most.


Speeches in intersections reflected how much the SPP is becoming a focal point for broad social protest. First Nations activists, anti-imperialists, Marxists, socialists, civil society advocacy groups, nationalist groups and scores of individuals came together to reject various elements that the SPP is entrenching in our new North American Union.

The march took a winding tour of some of the corporations who now belong to the NACC’s Corporate Legislature: Manulife, Scotia Bank, Bell Canada.

They stopped at the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre to protest our military partnership with US imperialism, smearing red paint on the sidewalk, walls and windows, laying symbolic corpses, and posting large stickers. When protesters and police came too close to each other at times, dueling video cameras from members of each side appeared to document each other.


Some semblance of democracy still exists in Canada, albeit over 2,000 kilometres away from Montebello as Vancouver city policy on bikes and in cars blocked traffic while the protest occupied streets. They also blocked the entrance to the CF Recruitment Centre and other targets of protest, all the while filming elements of the protest and taking notes like the mostly non-corporate media present.

The march ended at the Art Gallery with the Raging Grannies, the Carnival Band, representatives from MAWO, StopWar.ca, and the Council of Canadians supporting a garish effigy of George w.Caesar dangling a Stephen Harper puppet behind a security barricade.

Signs reflected the general mood of the rally: “SPP is Treason”, “Stop the North American Union, We’d Rather Be Canadian, Eh!”, “Harper=Sellout”.

While corporate, government and media elites in North America continue to smooth over the neoliberal globalizing western imperialism introducing us to a well-marketed Soft Fascism, the hundreds of millions of North Americans need to get aware, educated and mobilized.

The Canada-US Free Trade Agreement ended up being the subject of the 1998 federal election. The federal Liberals seized power in 1993 on a promise to not sign NAFTA. They did anyway. MAI died in the late 1990s because citizen groups objected to corporate rights trumping democracies. The lesson? Democracy is bad for business.

After the MAI, though, the corporate neo-feudalists just got craftier by negotiating these agreements in secret, often under the cover of post-9/11 hysteria, ignored legislative ratification and began to alter our whole social, economic and political landscape regardless of citizens’ thoughts.

Democracy is something to fight for, something wrestle away from the grasp of the government, media and corporate elites whose 21st century neoliberal, neo-feudal imperial agenda is now marching almost effortlessly over the dying corpse of our democratic institutions. If we don’t fight for our democracy, perhaps we deserve to have it euthanized while we’re watching American Idol and checking out the best price on plasma TVs at Future Shop.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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4 thoughts on “No to MexAmeriCanada: Vancouver Protests the SPP”

  1. i must have left just around when you arrived, stephen – stinkbombing scotiabank just isn’t my style, and not exactly how you build a wider social movement – oh well.

    did you see if it got any media coverage?

  2. yeah, there’s promoting a wider movement and opposing tyranny with radical tools to meet the radical threat.

    an eternal debate.

    some media coverage, not much. i didn’t see any corporate media at the rally or during the last half of the march.

    http://nowpublic.com has coverage beyond mine.

  3. man, when stinkbombs are seen as radical tools – that’s when we are in real trouble ;).

    there were some bigger media types floating around at the start of the rally – and i did see a mention of it in one of the free craprags – metro, i think.

  4. SPP Protesters deliver petition at Montebello Maude Barlow and members of the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Labour Congress and others attempt to deliver 10,000 petitions to the leaders at the Montebello summit for the SPP (Security Prosperity Partnership). They had an arrangement to deliver the petitions to the gate but at the last hour the government reneged on that agreement and the petitions were met by the riot squad instead Aug 20

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