Category Archives: Deep Integration

Crossing the 49th: Dangerous for the Majority of Canadians Now

Alison Bodine had it right when she explained the intimidation intent of the Canadian Border Services as they nabbed her the other day: “This was a bit of a test, to see what happens when they arrest someone who isn’t agreeing with their current foreign policy.”

Carrying literature opposing Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan and an extremely threatening book of Ansel Adams photos, she was detained by Canadians. Her possessions were confiscated a few days ago when she was entering the country. When she returned to claim them, they arrested her with no intention of releasing her before her September 17th hearing. After a significant impromptu rally and her participating in radio interviews from jail, it appears the feds’ red faces found the gumption to actually release her.

Since the majority of Canadians oppose our presence in Afghanistan, driving south then returning with literature critical of our mission there may land any of us in the pokey.

Border Services claim she was misrepresenting herself. Perhaps she was. Perhaps it was all just a misunderstanding. If it wasn’t, it is intimidation…and a warning to us all to toe the line.

And after the agents provocateurs in Quebec last month, the establishment doesn’t have a great deal of goodwill to waste here.

No to MexAmeriCanada: Vancouver Protests the SPP

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.

Police States ‘R Us

A 25 km security perimeter is fascinating, as is turning away cars with more than 5 people in them.

But forcing a public centre to not rent space for a public meeting is astonishing.

Essentially, the right to free public association is arbitrarily over.

This is the context in which the new North American Union is being negotiated. Democracy and transparency and civil rights as variables. Welcome to the New World Order.

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2007

RCMP, U.S. Army block public forum on the Security and Prosperity Partnership

The Council of Canadians has been told it will not be allowed to rent a municipal community centre for a public forum it had planned to coincide with the next Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit in Montebello, Quebec on August 20 and 21.

The Municipality of Papineauville, which is about six kilometres from Montebello, has informed the Council of Canadians that the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the U.S. Army will not allow the municipality to rent the Centre Communautaire de Papineauville for a public forum on Sunday August 19, on the eve of the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership Leaders Summit.

“It is deplorable that we are being prevented from bringing together a panel of writers, academics and parliamentarians to share their concerns about the Security and Prosperity Partnership with Canadians,” said Brent Patterson, director of organizing with the Council of Canadians. “Meanwhile, six kilometres away, corporate leaders from the United States, Mexico and Canada will have unimpeded access to our political leaders.”

As well as being shut out of Papineauville, the Council of Canadians has been told that the RCMP and the SQ will be enforcing a 25-kilometre security perimeter around the Chateau Montebello, where Stephen Harper will meet with George W. Bush and Felipe Calderón on August 20 and 21. According to officials in Montebello, there will be checkpoints at Thurso and Hawkesbury, and vehicles carrying more than five people will be turned back.

Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. The organization works to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, safe food, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians.