Showing posts with label occupy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label occupy. Show all posts

Friday, April 12, 2013

Unrest and direct democracy: white paper for People's Assembly


How do we understand the recent tide of indignation in the province? It is something of a conundrum to Kathy Dunderdale (listen to her 11 April call to VOCM, if you enjoy the feeling of being spoken to as though you are a small child) but to other commentators as well. It has something to do with the recent budget and its associated cuts and layoffs, but this era of austerity in the province is understood to be less severe than previous iterations of the same (one of the questions Bill Rowe puts to the premier on the call).

Of course, this needs to be framed alongside Muskrat Falls and the price tag, which through some form of economic acrobatics, is nothing to do with the financial situation of the government, and therefore nothing to do with the necessity of cuts and layoffs.Granted that this is somewhat difficult for thinking people to accept, let us assume, for argument sake, this is so. Nonetheless, the proliferation of protest and resistance to the project, notably by the NCC, as well as potential corruption and political manipulation, impacts the way cuts, layoffs, and other austerity measures are perceived.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fracking Awareness Group Media Release

Port au Port/Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group

Media Release
March 19, 2013

Re: Port au Port /Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group is asking Government to take a Precautionary Approach  in the Regulation of Fracking for Oil and Gas.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Letter from MP Gerry Byrne Regarding Proposals for Hydraulic Fracturing on the West Coast of Newfoundland

Dear Dr. Simpson:

Thank you for your email regarding the process of hydrocarbon extraction
through the process of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’. While most oil
exploration and commercial production activity in Canada occurs exclusively
under provincial management and regulation, the federal government does
regulate offshore activity and that which takes place in the Canadian North.
Toxic chemicals, however, are under federal jurisdiction and the process of
fracking is understood to involve the introduction of various chemicals
including various acids and abrasives into the targeted rock formations and
is, therefore, very much under federal oversight.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On the current Revolutionary Wave

One way to subvert or stifle a movement is to compartmentalize it.

In a recent CBC interview sociologist Robert Brym compares Occupy and Idle No More:

"The Occupy and Idle No More movements share two characteristics. They both have relatively diffuse demands and decentralized leadership. ... The Occupy movement's demand for greater economic equality seems to have resonated with a large part of the Canadian population, which has experienced growing income disparity and slow growth in real income for decades … In contrast, I believe the public has more mixed feelings about the Idle No More movement."

Movements are often defined in terms of demands, and more rarely tactics. This is what this group is all about, what they want and specifically who they have a beef with. Characteristics are mapped out and then the thing can be known, compartmentalized, and (in some ways) caged.

A somewhat different understanding (though undoubtedly a kind of caging as well) is of the revolutionary wave. Revolutionary wave theory suggests that to understand Idle No More you first have to connect it back to Mohamed Bouazizi and the Arab Spring.

The recent freedom of information release of FBI files show that even before the Occupy movement became "official" it had been anticipated by security forces as building on a revolutionary wave:

"Various online communities and groups have dubbed 17 September 2011 the 'US Day of Rage' and are planning organized protests and assemblies throughout the United States. ... Referencing the demonstrations of the 2011 Arab Spring, the 'US Day of Rage' desires to mimic the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests which have occurred in the Arab world."

States know that revolution knows no borders. Indeed, US intelligence admitted a failure to have been caught so off guard when the revolution emerged. From the evidence of infiltration and subversion of Occupy in the FOI release, it is clear security forces took the potential of this revolutionary wave very seriously.

Other states also took preemptive actions to stem the revolution before it could take hold (legal, constitutional, censorship, subversion, repression, etc.). States try to do this in an organized and focused way because revolution means unrest and in the extreme case the collapse of the state itself. This last outcome is more terrifying for the state than losing a war.

A great number of states all over the world are experiencing unrest. Even in countries where protest is generally a bureaucratic thing (Canada) there has been significant unrest (Quebec student movement, Occupy, and now Idle No More). No one should doubt that the state has monitored and tried to subvert expressions of unrest in Canada. No one needs to have a degree in sociology to anticipate the communities that will offer the clearest expressions of unrest.

Many states have made sweeping concessions, held snap elections, installed revolutionary governments, done whatever it takes to just make unrest stop. However, even in countries where the revolution has toppled governments unrest persists. There is no reason to expect this level of unrest will subside any time in the foreseeable future, as this revolutionary wave, and its myriad if sometimes difficult to identify characteristics and demands, just so happens to be taking place against the backdrop of a particularly easy to identify pyramid scheme of capital and power.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Just a Game OR The Sheep and the Wolves

     With all the crap going on around the world (Israel decimating Gaza; the ongoing insurrection in Syria; General Strikes across Southern Europe, turning violent when police intervene; Unions in Spain organizing raids on super markets and then distributing the food freely, etc. etc. etc...) it seems a bit surprising that nothing major (that people are noticing and talking about) is happening here in North America (the coming Black Friday events excepted). But then again, the majority of people in Canada and the United States are completely indoctrinated from birth to think that if it isn't affecting them then it doesn't matter. So because of this I end up thinking of the population that they are asleep, as they are not seeing what is going on in the world.
    To use a favourite quote of mine: "The Sheep will be slaughtered, or turned to Wolves." Now at first glance it doesn't look good, but let me explain it. I'll break it down into two parts: 'the sheep will be slaughtered,' & 'or turn to wolves.' To understand the first part of the quote two things must be known: Who are the Sheep? & How will they be slaughtered?

    As to who are the sheep? The sheep are the 'sleeping' population that doesn't realize where 'their' politicians are taking them, and doing in their collective name (destroying the ecosystem through allowing systematic exploitation of all our natural resources in the name of 'profit'). Now as to how will they be slaughtered? I just explained part of it.

   What about the second part of the quote: 'or turn to wolves'? what does that mean? Who are wolves?

    Wolves are the people in society who are informed on what is going on and can see what is happening as well. As compared to sheep being 'asleep' wolves are 'awake'. What kind of change can be made in society with people changing to 'wolves'? Any kind of world and society we as humanity want; a more humane society. Where instead of an economy with a focus on profits, we could have an economy where its main goals and focus is to provide for every person's needs.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

How and Why Occupy Died

Some of you may have looked at the title of this post and thought, “What do you mean Occupy died? People are still calling themselves Occupiers.” Yes, it may be true that people are still calling themselves occupiers, but here’s the thing:

1. What are they occupying?
2. What actions have been taken lately?
3. What kind of numbers and support do they actually have?

To answer the first question, nine times out of ten they are not occupying anything. Do you see any encampments in public parks in major metropolitan areas in Canaduh? NO, you don’t, because everyone is too damn scared of the cops. It’s civil disobedience; you are going to HAVE to deal with the cops, and if you are just going to go along with what the cops say, WHY ARE YOU EVEN COMMITTING THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!?!?

For the second question: What actions have been taken lately? As far as I can tell there has not been anything done in Canaduh under Occupy’s name for at least a few months. Everything that has happened in Canaduh has been done either under the Quebec student movement’s name, or in solidarity with the students in Quebec.

As for what kind of support and/or numbers do they actually have, not much at all.

Why is this?

This is because people have become disillusioned with how things turned out with Occupy. How so? It’s simple. People wanted to SEE ACTIONS HAPPENING, NOT JUST A BUNCH OF PAPERWORK. Which has driven me to create a new portmanteau: “activistocrat”—Activist and Bureaucrat—the definition being someone who thinks of themselves as an activist but doesn’t actually suggest any actions, just bitches about the lack of action while creating a bureaucratic nightmare for those people who actually want to get something done.

For example, at Occupy Newfoundland the activistocrats wanted to formalize the process of how we did GAs and came about to a decision (known further as the “code of conduct”). Sure it sounds good when stated like that, but what it actually entailed was writing a 3-page long document describing how our general assembly process worked. It was written with every detail accounted for and about 20-30 different articles (within 4 main sections) with EACH & EVERY ONE having to be passed by the GA. This process started about the middle of November and still wasn’t done by the time people were starting to stop going to the GAs in May. Almost every GA, some part or another of the code of conduct was brought up. With that one topic, “Code of Conduct,” almost the entire GA was taken up by a 2-hour discussion going in circles on some stupid little semantic detail with nothing else being talked about the rest of the night.

That meant for the ENTIRE winter we were dealing with this one document, which took energy away from other actions or protests that could have happened.

So how did Occupy die? ACTIVISTOCRATS.


Part 2: Saving the Revolution: What can be done?
Read Ken's previous blogpost: Why Occupy Used the Tactics It Did

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bill 29 Protest, Saturday June 16th, 1pm at Confederation Bldg

Occupy NL is calling on concerned citizens to protest against the provincial government's Bill 29. This Saturday at 1 pm we will meet up in front of Confederation Building to voice our discontent.  Bring a sign (and maybe even your pots and pans) to show how important government transparency and accountability is to you!

View Facebook event HERE.

Download Access Denied protest PDF here. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Message from InterOccupy Canada

Here's a message from our friends at InterOccupy Canada:

"Dear friends, family, sisters, and brothers of the Occupy movement,

A few of us in Interoccupy Canada have taken it upon ourselves to do research across the board into the diverse visions, missions and meanings that hold true to Occupy. We are interested in connecting and working together with all of the groups in our nation for the common goals of the 99%. In order to move forward with co-operation on this front in a strong manner, we would like to compile a list of these definitions and find common ground to work together on. Together we stand strong. Separated we are weakened. We are the 99%. Let us build a community of hope together.

If you are interested in helping us with this idea, please provide us with these details (They may be snappy sentences or novels - give us everything you think will help):

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The future of Occupy NL

**Join the Facebook event here!**

GLOBAL CONTEXT: May 15th is a global day of action for the Occupy movement. The Indignados from Spain are celebrating their one year anniversary and hundreds of thousands of people have re-occupied squares all over Spain and continue to hold the space. Occupy Wall Street and a broad affiliation of organizations will join together for a sit-down strike and mass assembly in Times Squares at 6 PM.This action will focus on the Banks and their role in the Global Economic Crisis. Occupy NL stands in solidarity with the global movement against austerity and seeks to move towards economic justice worldwide during this day of global action.

We will be evicted from Harbourside Park today, May 15th. Despite all odds, Occupy NL has lasted through the winter, but now that Spring is here the City of St. John's is preparing for tourist season. Read another important blogpost on the subject.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The They

You may sometimes hear it said that "they" are responsible for the erosion of our democracy, or "they" burglarized our society from the inside out, or "they" are calling all the shots. They did this... they did that... they should pay for what they've done.

This expression of "they" is, on the one hand, no more than a turn of phrase,  a pronoun intended to express a collectivized concept of the power-brokers (politicians, banksters, etc.) one comes to recognize as the parts of an oppressive and corrupt system. On the other hand, this formulation of "they" illuminates an image of the oppressive system as a kind of cloak and dagger organization, something like a demonic cult or twisted college fraternity that sets out to destroy the world.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Occupy May Day -- May 1st, Harbourside Park

UPDATE: Click here for a RECAP of the day's events!

Occupy NL invites you to a day of events at Harbourside Park on May 1st as part of international May Day celebrations. From noon until midnight there will be music and entertainment from local artists and performers, a potluck picnic, discussion forums, and (potentially) a march in downtown St. John's. Wandering Brush will also be doing some face/body painting!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Do you notice symptoms of economic inequality? A call from Occupy NL

Occupy NL wants to hear from citizens of the province who are negatively impacted by foreclosures or evictions, unemployment, substandard living conditions, and other issues related to economic and social inequality. Come to an Occupy NL general assembly and share your story, or get in touch with us by email at

The Occupy movement, from its inception, has been motivated to raise awareness of growing inequality in society. Economic inequality, and its symptoms of social injustice, has been growing in Newfoundland and Labrador as well. Regardless of the apparent "progress" in the province, there are many people being marginalized, silenced, and left behind. We must stand together to resist the injustice in society and voice our concerns. Add your voice to the chorus... we are the 99%

Saturday, March 31, 2012

#Robogate protest 2 -- March 31, 2012

On March 31, 2012, as part of nation-wide protest against electoral fraud and voter suppression in the last election (the robocalls scandal), Occupy NL and concerned citizens congregated at Colonial Building in St. John's.

Check out our press release for more info. And download our Postcard to send to your MP.
Find your MP here.

People came out, despite a blizzard, to voice their concerns against questionable and potentially fraudulent tactics (#robocalls) during the last Canadian federal election, and to call for a full public inquiry. This is an issue that cuts to the core of Canadian democratic values. The attack on civil society must be stopped!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Get Fraud out of Parliament! -- Protest #2

When: Saturday March 31, 12-2pm (the rally is still happening despite the storm)

Where: Colonial Building, St. John's (and cities across Canada)

Why: Protest against fraud and voter suppression during the May 2011 Federal Election

Occupy NL has organized a second protest against questionable and potentially fraudulent tactics (#robocalls) during the last Canadian federal election. Come out and make your voice heard... Join in the call for a full public inquiry... This is an issue that cuts to the core of Canadian democratic values. The attack on civil society must be stopped!

For more information, and to see a recap of the last protest, check out our earlier post or the facebook event page.

Download our Postcard to send to your MP (printing instructions here)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

#Robogate protest in St. John's, NL

On March 11th, as part of nation-wide protest against electoral fraud and voter suppression in the last election (the robocalls scandal), Occupy NL and concerned citizens congregated at Colonial Building in St. John's. Much of the sentiment, regardless of individual political belief, was disgust at flagrant disregard for democratic processes Canadians hold dear. For more information and background on voter suppression, please see our press release and the facebook event page.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Get Fraud out of Parliament! March 11th, noon at the Colonial Building

On Sunday, March 11th, Occupy NL will take part in a co-ordinated, nationwide protest against the perversion of Canadian democracy in the last election (the robocalls scandal). For more information, please see the Get Fraud Out of Parliament! event page, which brings together a comprehensive list of background links.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Solidarity Package from Occupy Berkeley

On March 1, the coldest day of the year so far  here in St. John's (-14 Celsius), a solidarity package arrived at Harbourside camp from Occupy Berkeley. And as serendipity goes on a chilly night in Newfoundland, this gift was just in the nic of time...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Occupy our Food Supply -- #F27 (Feb 27)

Food has been incorporated and turned into big business. Occupiers have come to see that we must reclaim our food by demonstrating ways that production and supply can be localized, emphasizing fair practices and sustainability. We all need to eat, but we don't need to eat corporate sh#t.

On February 27, the worldwide Occupy Movement has called for a day of action, Occupy our Food Supply (twitter tag #F27). Occupy NL's food and camp supply committee will take part by hosting a vegan dinner at Harbourside Park (complete with entertainment) at 5pm.

What can you do? Think about the ways corporate food functions based on profit motive, rather than based on the health and well-being of consumers. Consider the food you buy (and where you purchase it) as a political decision. Most of all, get informed and join us! Below are some links to Occupy our Food Supply related sites:

Occupy our Food Supply Blogger

Occupy our Food Supply Facebook

Food Freedom post on #F27

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Occupy Art - International Day of Creative Action - Feb 12 #F12

***updated post with images and video from OccupyNL event as well as photos from our Aussie friends... if you have photos, videos, poetry, etc. that you would like added to this post, please get in touch with us!***

Occupy Newfoundland and Labrador begins a day of events in solidarity with Occupy Art #F12: international day of creative action. Occupy Art events kicked off in Australia, the US, and other Canadian cities. It's a beautiful summer day in Aussie from the look of some wonderful images coming out. If you're going to the events here @OccupyNFLD today, be sure to bring a camera and whatever other artistic supplies you need to get creative! Follow along on facebook and on twitter as the day goes on.

Check out the excellent Telegram article by Justin Brake on Occupy Art day. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What would John Lennon say to Occupy?

This wonderful video was created out of an audio interview with Lennon in 1969. The interview itself is an interesting act of citizen journalism in a way, given that the 14 year old Jerry Levitan snuck into Lennon's hotel room in Toronto to get it.
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