I’m not a cynic or a fatalist, I am a realist. There’s no evidence whatsoever that climate change can be reversed at this point. Exponential increase is what defines this process and the clock can’t be turned back. However, global realization of the interconnectedness of all matter is also growing exponentially, and that is changing the whole game. Our governments will not save us, but maybe we will save us. “Save”, as in, adapt to the new realities of existence—not as in, return to some Eden from back in the day (more…)
Archive for the ‘Politics & Activism’ Category
I rode the Rail Runner from Santa Fe to Albuquerque (with bike), then Amtrak to Gallup, New Mexico. To visit Ruth-Claire on the Navajo rez, just over the state line in Ft. Defiance, Arizona. In Albuquerque I pedalled the sturdy Diamondback over a long red bicycle bridge spanning the wide Rio Grande, spectacular in fall colours with the Sandia mountains rising up behind. Before I left Santa Fe someone told me the place was “an armpit” – and such is the view, of most any place, from behind the wheel of the cage. Albuquerque is really a rad town, as only a town explored by bike can be.
And the train through the desert, well!—isn’t that just the way. No billboards or strip malls or gas stations, no interstate monotony. Just me in my glass spaceship gliding along the rails, fully exposed to the horizonless mesalands and the intimate backsides of cities and towns. Children waving, dogs barking, horses and graffiti and laundry flapping on lines. Blues guitar soundtrack with low trainwhistle and steel wheels soft chunkachunk. Flying free.
Once when I was a child, I went on a car trip with my parents. We passed through miles and miles of pine forest between Toronto and Montreal. Looking out the window I was mesmerized by the endless, depthless green. I leaned over to the Oldsmobile’s front seat and said “one day i’m going to go live in the woods.” “You can’t,” said my mother. “It’s all Crown land, or else it is owned by people. You can’t just go there and live.”
I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. When we got to my grandmother’s house in Montreal I lay sobbing on the bathroom floor, my face against the cold tiles. The idea that the forest was owned–a place I could not go–was bigger than I could process. (more…)
Hungry ghosts live in the hell realm. Depicted in Hieronymous Bosch paintings and graphic Tibetan Buddhist texts, they have huge gaping mouths and swollen heads. pencil-thin necks and emaciated bodies with round distended bellies. Or they have tiny mouths the size of a needle’s eye and giant unfillable stomachs. They live in a torment of rage and dissatisfaction, where their all-consuming desires can never be satisfied.
In June in Vancouver and now in cities throughout England, the hungry ghosts have taken to the streets . They are looting stores, setting fire to cars, smashing stuff up. Most of them are young. Most are men, but in Vancouver, young women strode down Granville Street and onto the SkyTrain, their arms loaded with designer handbags. In England many (not all) appear to be of the lower income bracket, but in Vancouver they cut a broad socioeconomic swath, and the most high-profile rioters were comfortable suburban youths in $200 Canucks jerseys. (more…)
Tabling or flyering can be a very effective way to promote your issue, organization or event. It’s also a fun way to participate in events, with a cozy place to hang out and enjoy the action. But, you have to do it right or you will waste valuable time, space, and money. Here are a few tips gleaned from my many hours of tabling, for your use and pleasure – please feel free to share. (more…)
Camped in the mud in a construction site overlooking the Fraser River, with trains roaring past, freighters loaded with crushed cars headed out to china and freighters full of new cars headed in, and eagles gliding overhead. Holding down the Direct Action camp in Delta for 2 weeks has been a mind-bending experience. Surreal, and sublime.
The really humbling part, that part that makes me cry, is the diversity of the people united only by a passion for truth. I watched my own prejudices and preconceptions melt, as the same process was mirrored between everyone around me. The black-flag East Van anarkids, the solid Council of Canadians activists, a few funky hippies, the Ladner and Surrey moms and dads and just…everybody…sitting in circle, standing together. Who would ever have thought.
After two weeks of occupying the site, the construction company served notice that they were going to file an injunction to force us out. (more…)
Rumour has it that tomorrow they may come with an injunction to take us away. I am gathering courage to be in this place, where the past five years have led me – to stand my ground with all the motley superheroes i have met along the way. At South Fraser Protection Camp. Smack in the middle of the roadbed for the South Fraser Perimeter Road, we have planted our trees and we will not leave. It’s time to speak truth to power.
So I am walking down the Drive (as per usual) and I come upon one of of those little knots of Italian guys, shooting the shit in front of a café. The way they do this is, they line up on both sides of the sidewalk, keeping up a lively conversation. People walking on the sidewalk have a choice: to walk through them, or to walk around them, off the sidewalk, and sometimes right off the curb. It always makes me feel kind of prickly. (more…)