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 retaliate.

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

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Topic of the week

Indigenous Struggles

The 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

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.
Read more

Keywords: Indigenous StrugglesPolice 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.
Read more

Keywords: Oil & Gas IndustryOil & 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.
Read more

Keywords: CottonGenetically 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.
Read more

Keywords: Nuclear WeaponsWeapons 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.
Read more

Keywords: Militarism Military/Environmental Impact

Website of the Week


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 StrugglesIndigenous 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 of resistance.”
The book is online here

Keywords: Anti-PsychiatryMental 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 StrugglesPolice 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.
Read more

Keywords: Direct ActionNon-violence

People’s History

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 parliamentary reform.

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.”
Read more

Keywords: FilmmakersWorkers’ 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

Seeds of Fire

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.”

Nature Shrinks as Capital Grows

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This issue was edited by Ulli Diemer.


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