Posts Tagged ‘resistance’

Financial Fools Day

April 1, 2009

Today the TILMA agreement comes into effect. If you’ve never hear of it, that makes two of us. But there’s a campaign underway to get the information out. Tonight at SFU Harbour Centre, the Council of Canadians organized a panel discussion. The panel was a diverse group of interests, that hold in common our social well being. Here are some notes and links. (There is another meeting Wednesday April 22 7pm at the VPL Downtown to discuss the harmful effects of privatization. “What You Should Know Before You Vote On May 12” (no link yet))

These agreements are about corporate access to resources and restructuring economies to facilitate profiteering.

The Panelists:

Caelie Frampton (BC Stop TILMA Coalition) -From NAFTA to TILMA: Re-examine trade agreements.

Proma Tagore (No One Is Illegal) – Bilateral Trade Agreements: Canada displacing communities in the Global South.

Kyla (SFU Students against corporate education) – Reduction in public funding, privatization of education

Colleen Fuller (PharmaWatch and the BC Health Coalition) – Neo-liberal agreements, corporate lawsuits and the healthcare system.

Gord Hill (Olympic Resistance Network and No2010.com) – Looking back to Seattle 1999 and forward to Vancouver 2010.

How does neoliberalism affect our lives?

Caelie Frampton (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) Why are we seeing agreements? The Bilateral agreements (Canada and Colombia, Canada and the EU, etc.) are a response to collapsed talks at WTO level. There has been an increase in trade agreements. The government in power has a deregulatory agenda. TILMA (Trade Investment Labour Mobility Agreement) is an agreement on Internal trade. It’s main thrust is “No obstacles to investment” and it sets up a “Private Courts Systems” to deal with disputes. This agreement threatens to block any social and political alternatives to capitalism. It was signed and passed behind closed doors. Why doesn’t the government want any public consciousness? In the past anti-trade agreement activists have talked about saving Canada. What? Save a colonial and imperialist nation?

Proma (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) – No one is illegal – “The people may or may not use the word, but they live globalization.” – Trade Agreements are form of Colonial and Capitalist Expansion – Free flow of capital – white settler state – 1994 NAFTA Implemented – displaced farmers from Mexico move north into low paying work. – Immigrant detention industry is the fastest growing industry on the west coast – Global racism – directly and actively – states role in perpetuating global racism – “Israel’s values are Canada’s values” Paul Martin

Kyla (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) – SFU Student – shaping social, who has access good jobs, power is moved from accessible institutions to private business models – offer degrees – labour market preparation

Colleen (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) Pharmawatch NA is becoming increasingly integrated – Insurance is a NA industry – BC government undermined access to health care – People are fighting to maintain health care. Health care and education – link HC to housing, social assistance, disability, – fight to expand not simply defend. Develop allies across the spectrum of society.

Gord Hill (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) organizing against the 2010 Olympics Antiglobalization protest time line – 1989 – state communism collapses, the triumph of a straight global capitalist system. 1994 Zapatistas develop language of neo-liberalism and anti-capitalism – re-inspired social movements – 1999 Seattle – convergence of social movements, mass mobilizations “Resistance within the belly of the beast” – anti-globalization anti-capitalist – Trade agreement impacts are so widespread workers – poor – even middle class – 2001- the movement gains momentum – Quebec Security fence taken down – movement reinvigorated. – War on terror – chilled social movement – climate of fear – movement set back – 2007 re-emergence of strong movement – militant campaign against G8 – Scares the ruling class. They don’t even want to see people taking action!! – Unemployed , crisis, – (there is a contradiction here.) – Public Direct Action No 2010 Olympics. There has been an increase in homelessness in Vancouver since the Olympic bid was won – Sea to sky highway is having detrimental environmental effects – fight social and environmental impacts of Olympics/Capitalism. The resistance is promoting an anti-capitalist ideology. Why? Capitalists don’t care about people. Thousand of people involved – Alternative media helped build the movement – civil disobedience – show respect for diversity – there’s no one correct way to do things – anti-colonial aspect housing homeless – movements are diverse – Will show the impacts.

Discussion: solidify our movements so that regardless of government (and corporate rule) we can be a force. Taxpayers and parents – holding government accountable. Converge on the Olympics – want to see more people there after the Olympics – bringing people together for after the olympics all these cmovements came together for one big coalition Save the CBC Unionized workers – Appeal to the mainstream – take advantage of this crisis. Socialism for the rich is fundamentally unjust – Lou BC Health Coalition – on behalf of patients? What? right to challenge, right to a need (health care)– legal strategies? – rethink how we organize – how are we organizing? – Saul Alinsky – Do something good – tactics – sport medicine for-profit clinics will be legacy of Olympics – housing – oppose the olympics – So was a different time the 50s – door to door – Current media is better for seniors and writing letters – language translation for cross-cultural coalition building – talk to people for organization – old school union union style: small, workspace, simultaneous organizing – The government plans to use the Olympics to promote their economic plan – indigenous issues, education, race, sexism, work, all together – Olympics a springboard for continuing to organize. – AND FINALLY – STV Win and we won’t have a majority government ever again!

Review: RIP! A remix manifesto

March 20, 2009

Who should see this film?
Although it’s a manifesto, which carries some radical undertones, the documentary is more of a journalistic piece that explores our human connection. Anyone interested in development in the areas of health and science should see this film. If you’re interested in developing nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), Empire, American trade policy/strategy, and understanding why North American manufacturing jobs are disappearing, you should see this film. If you like to party, if you like to get down, you should see this film. And finally, if you’ve ever heard, read, or seen anything produced for your consumption and thought it could have been done better, you should see this film.

In Vancouver it’s playing at the Ridge starting tonight. I saw it last night at District 319. If you’re in Vancouver and you like film, you should check out this venue. There’s a bar area where you can talk before and after the film, even the theatre area is licensed. Canada Screens has a line-up of films at this venue.

The review
The documentary starts with a personal reflection, and I had a sinking feeling. I’d seen My Winnipeg, and although I liked that film, I wasn’t really in the mood for another deep piece of Canadian-artist narcissism. But this didn’t happen at all, in fact the initial personal piece went no where, and the “artist” seems to lose control, or disappear, or maybe the subjects themselves take over. The history of the copyleft movement takes over. The whole issue of copyright, intellectual property rights, opens up as the film goes on, and remain open. The film maker’s intentional practice urges us to continue the discussion, to actually become creative in the process of discovering our world.

Before the film, Brett Gaylor, in a video introduction from Montreal, said our viewing experience should be participatory. We were to boo the bad guys and cheer for the good guys. Very little of this happened, but the participatory ethos of the filmmakers, was embedded in the subject of the film. You can remix the film on line. It’s an interesting experiment in a resistance movement against corporate control of what we can do with our experiences, how we can express ourselves in a mediated language that surrounds us, speaks to us, and is owned and controlled by corporations.

The good
The scene in the boat with the Clinton administration wag. This was good. This was intelligent, brilliant documentary work. This guy told us the strategy of the american government when it came to intellectual property, the information economy. WTO. The american government gave up its manufacturing sector, by allowing free trade, opening up its borders to imports with the agreement that all its trade partners would follow its patent and copyright laws.

And the Brazil scenes were all great. Brazil copies AIDS treatment, messing with pharmaceutical corporations. The business model, the profit paradigm, is not fair. It’s inhumane and wrong. That a government chooses to resist corporate domination to give medicine to citizens who need it. It’s a start.

And the scenes dealing with science, the idea that ideas that could be beneficial to the public were locked away in a corporate hold. This was good informative stuff. It’s current and gives us an argument here in Canada for fighting funding cuts for science.

The bad
As a manifesto for a resistance movement, I’ve got a complaint against the filmmaker. There was a rave scene where kids are dancing and the narrator says something like (I need to see the film again to make this a little more accurate) “the dancing kids are exercising their right to culture” or some such thing, it was a complete fabrication. Kids are mindlessly (and this isn’t a value judgement) dancing (is a liberating experience, fuck, let loose) and the narrator imposes some form of the manifesto on them. As far as propaganda goes, sure that’s fine, look at the numbers on this side of the copyleft movement. But for organization, for creating a movement, there needs to be a more strict measure of reality. It does no good to create illusions.

I’ve been complaining for years about the quality of journalism. Paper, television and radio news, lack a quality of depth, a quality that I think is necessary for understanding our world as opposed to being confused by the news of it. Yes. I do realize that I should be making this quality journalism myself if I’ve got such a problem with it. I understand that. But do you understand how hard it is to do the type of work I’ve got in mind? I’m talking journalism that illuminates. Journalism that goes to the root of a problem, finds connections with other problems. A journalism that digs to understand the complexity of our problems and then explores possible complex solutions. This isn’t pyramid style journalism. This isn’t segmented journalism. This is journalism with a memory, an open archive, and collaborative practices. This is the exact opposite of corporate journalism as it’s practised today. And this is why, if we want a better press, we need a revolution. RIP! A remix manifesto is the kind of journalism we need.

The conclusion
We need the RIP! kind of journalism because it’s open and freely exploring, and is given to us as a starting point where we can begin our exploration. It’s a practice of journalism that allows us to take the weak stories, closed stories, and add depth, find connections and explore solutions. Who is working on this problem and what are they doing that we can do? What are our alternatives?

Not knowing when to stop…
Here’s an example of good journalism. This is Robert Scales on Vancouver’s housing crisis. Something like this could be the start of a movement to understand the root of the problem. Speaking of housing, There’s a march this April 4. Details to come.