This Issue: Taking a Stand
Psychologists call it cognitive dissonance. George Orwell called it double-think. Some of us might call it organized hypocrisy.
Call it what you will, it surrounds us. The government proclaims its
commitment to ‘reconciliation’ with indigenous people, and says that its
relationship with them is its most important relationship. At the same
time the RCMP, following an order by a colonial court, invades unceded
indigenous land and arrests people for occupying their own land.
Governments mouth platitudes about the importance they place on dealing
with the climate emergency while at the same time they build new
pipelines and approve massive new tarsands projects. The biggest
polluter on the planet – the U.S. military – meanwhile receives constant
increases in its budget, even while it pursues demented schemes to take
us to the edge of war, mostly recently by deploying a new generation of
“low-yield” thermonuclear weapons on submarines. The theory,
presumably, is that if the U.S. drops a few “low-yield” nuclear bombs on
Russia or China, the Russian and Chinese won’t mind too much, and won’t
All this is business as usual. Fortunately many people across the
country, and around the world, are saying no to business as usual. They
are taking a stand and disrupting business as usual.
In this issue of Other Voices, we spotlight the actions of people who are taking a stand and, in many different ways, are insisting on change.
– Ulli Diemer
As always, we invite you to share this newsletter with your friends.
You can forward this email, or send them the link to the Other Voices page on the
Connexions website: www.connexions.org/Media/CxNewsletter.htm
Please consider sharing Other Voices via social media.
If you'd like to subscribe and receive this newsletter regularly by email,
please send an email to: email@example.com
Your feedback is appreciated - and so are donations to keep us doing what we're doing!
blockades, occupations, and protests that have erupted across Canada
this month are part of an ongoing resistance that has gone on for
decades. The Indigenous Struggles page in the Connexions Subject Index
leads you to articles, books, and films related to current struggles,
and to the history that they form a part of.
Find it here
Outpouring of International Solidarity as RCMP Arrest Land Defenders
The arrests of Wet’suwet’en land defenders have sparked protests across
Canada, and internationally. Rail lines continue to be blocked and
people have poured into the streets, banks, and government offices to
show their support for indigenous struggles.
Keywords: Indigenous Struggles – Police Raids
Wall Street Invading Wet’suwet’en Territory
While protesters have rightly condemned the RCMP actions against the
Wet’suwet’en, they (and the corporate media) have largely overlooked the
role of a major player in this whole debacle: Wall Street titan
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., better known as KKR. As Joyce Nelson
explains, KKR not only has a primary position in the midstream natural
gas industry of Western Canada, it has also partnered with a company
well-versed in stopping indigenous protests. KKR Global Institute’s
Chair is David Petraeus, the former Director of the CIA, exemplifying
the close connections between the oil industry, finance capital, the
military, and the state security apparatus.
Keywords: Oil & Gas Industry – Oil & Gas/Environmental Issues
Bt Cotton: Cultivating Farmer Distress in India
In India’s increasingly commercialised countryside, independent
cultivators have become dependent on corporate products, including
off-farm commodified corporate knowledge. In the past, they cultivated,
saved and exchanged seeds; now, as far as cotton cultivation is
concerned, they must purchase GM hybrid seeds (and necessary chemical
inputs) each year. In the brave new world of neoliberalism that India
began to embrace in the early 1990s, says Colin Todhunter, responses to
the ‘invisible’ hand of the market, the performance of questionable
on-farm practices and financial distress have therefore been
internalised and have become associated with a notion of personal
responsibility, which can result in self-blame, shame and even suicide.
Keywords: Cotton – Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Another step on the road to nuclear war: US Puts ‘Low-Yield’ Nukes on Submarines, spins it as a ‘de-escalation’ strategy
The United States has announced that it has deployed so-called
“low-yield” nuclear weapons on its submarines. It is spinning this
escalation of military confrontation as a way of reducing the risk of
nuclear war. As former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter explains, there
is no such thing as a ‘limited’ nuclear attack. Any use of weapons of
mass destruction, on no matter how “small” a scale, would almost
inevitably escalate into a planet-destroying nuclear holocaust.
Keywords: Nuclear Weapons – Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Military's Carbon Bootprint
There is no question that, across the planet, the biggest user of
fossil fuels is the military. All those fighter jets, tanks, naval
vessels, air transport vehicles, Jeeps, helicopters, humvees, and drones
burn massive amounts of diesel, and gas daily, creating vast carbon
emissions. And that’s not counting the huge portion of the ‘civilian’
economy that is devoted military production. So you’d think that
discussions about the climate emergency would focus on the military’s
carbon bootprint, or at least place it at the top of concerns. But,
writes Joyce Nelson, you would be wrong. The military is simply ignored
in mainstream discussion of climate change.
Keywords: Militarism – Military/Environmental Impact
The Unist’ot’en are the original Wet’suwet’en Yintah Wewat Zenli
distinct to the lands of the Wet’suwet’en. The Unist’ot’en recent
history includes taking action to protect their lands from Lions Gate
Metals at their Tacetsohlhen Bin Yintah, and building a cabin and
resistance camp at Talbits Kwah at Gosnell Creek and Wedzin Kwah (Morice
River which is a tributary to the Skeena and Bulkley River) from seven
proposed pipelines from Tar Sands Gigaproject and LNG from the Horn
River Basin Fracturing Projects in the Peace River Region.
Find their website here
Keywords: Indigenous Struggles – Indigenous Peoples and Mining
Book of the Week
Resistance Matters: The Radical Vision of an Antipsychiatry Activist
By Don Weitz
Don Weitz writes, "Antipsychiatry organizing saved my life once, and
has always given it meaning. This book is an invitation to join me and
other psychiatric survivors (and our allies) in exposing psychiatry’s
coercive, life-destroying practices and utter lack of scientific
validity; and creating and promoting life-affirming alternatives."
He adds, “Collectively, the rants, poems, letters and blogs in this book
span more than forty years. I like to believe they’re still relevant.
My writing asserts a powerful personal and political message: the value
The book is online here
Keywords: Anti-Psychiatry – Mental Health & Social Justice
Film of the Week
In this era of “reconciliation”, Indigenous land is still being taken
at gunpoint. INVASION is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp,
Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation standing up to
the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence
against Indigenous people.
Watch it here
Keywords: Indigenous Struggles – Police Raids
From Nukes to Occupy: The Rise and Fall of the Non-Violent Direct Action Movement in the United States, 1976 - 2012
Robin J. Cartwright looks at the challenges, successes, and failures of the anti-nuclear, global justice and Occupy movements.
Keywords: Direct Action – Non-violence
An interview with Mike Leigh
In this 2018 interview, director Mike Leigh talks about his film
‘Peterloo’, which depicts the events surrounding the Peterloo Massacre
of 1819, when troops attacked a peaceful crowd in Manchester demanding
Answering the question of whether he is thinking about his next film,
Leigh says “Of course, I am, all the time. I get out of bed in the
morning and I live in the ordinary world, I live in the middle of
London, I travel on the Underground and all the rest of it. I read the
paper. You can’t help but be motivated to want to tell stories about
now, and ‘it,’ on all sorts of levels. I know there are people and some
filmmakers who run out of steam, but you don’t run out of steam if what
you do, by way of a job, is to literally hold the mirror up to nature.”
Keywords: Filmmakers – Workers’ History
From the Archives
Photostorm: Women and Their Many Worlds
An album curated by Binaifer Bharucha for International Women's Day for PARI – The People’s Archive of Rural Index.
View the album here
Keywords: Rural Women – Rural Living
February 21, 1848
The Communist Manifesto
An obscure German-language printshop in London prints 1,000 copies of a
23-page political statement issued by a small revolutionary
organization called the Communist League. With the whiff of revolution
in the air, the manuscript has been hurriedly written by two young
members of the League, 29-year-old Karl Marx and 27-year-old Friedrich
Engels. In that spring of 1848, revolts start to break out across
Europe. The original press run rapidly sells out, and the pamphlet,
known as the Communist Manifesto, is quickly reprinted and translated
into other languages. It goes on to become one of history’s most
influential and widely-read political statements.
February 22 – 25, 1986
People Power revolution in the Philippines
A series of massive popular demonstrations against the Marcos
dictatorship in the Philippines, originally starting in 1983, and
reaching a peak in early 1986, with millions of people in the streets.
On February 25, with support for his regime crumbling, Marcos decides to
flee the country.
February 25, 1941
Anti-Nazi resistance in the Netherlands
Dutch Communists call a general strike in response to the first Nazi
raid on Amsterdam’s Jewish population. Though the strike is put down
within a few days, it marks the first large-scale resistance to Nazi
occupation in the Netherlands, a resistance that later goes on to
encompass underground armed resistance.
February 26, 1851
Anti-Slavery Society of Canada
The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada is founded “to aid in the extinction of slavery all over the world.”
Your support is needed to keep Connexions going
All of the work of the Connexions project is done by volunteers, but
our expenses include rent, phone and computer costs and technical
support, as well as expenses related to our ongoing project of
converting printed archival materials into digital formats. You can make
a one time or regular monthly contribution through the Donate page on the Connexions website.
Many of us have made working for social justice a lifetime commitment.
If you are thinking about leaving a legacy for social justice that will
live on, you might want to consider leaving a bequest to Connexions in
your will. If you'd like to discuss this option, please contact us: Connexions Archive and Library, 401 Richmond St. West, Suite 410, Toronto ON M5V 3A8 Phone: 416-964-5735 or see the Bequest page.
Copyright Connexions 2020. Contents are
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
This means you are welcome to share and republish the contents of this
newsletter as long as you credit Connexions, and as long as you don’t
charge for the content.
This issue was edited by Ulli Diemer.
401 Richmond St. West, Suite 410
Toronto ON M5V 3A8
Enjoyed this issue of Other Voices? Want to introduce friends and family?
Then we encourage you to share this link.
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter, is always available online: