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Feb 15, 2014

Contents

Crab Park Women’s Memorial Longhouse Project

Crab Park Women’s Memorial Longhouse Project

Fred Arrance, community activist, and the organization West Coast Aboriginal Network on Disabilities (WAND) call on all levels of government and the community at large to endorse the construction of a Women's Memorial Longhouse in Crab Park. This space would pay homage to the large number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, and could be used as a gathering place for Aboriginal and other community groups across British Columbia.
The Native Women's Association of Canada has compiled 582 cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls. In 2012, the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry put forward strong recommendations to address the systemic violence and neglect toward Aboriginal women in Canada. Cultural connectedness and reconciliation featured heavily in these recommendations, especially in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES).
The WAND society was formed 20 years ago by a group of individuals who noticed a lack of attention paid to Aboriginal people dealing with addiction, alcoholism and disabilities. WAND coordinates cultural, recreational and spiritual programs and activities, and an Elders Council for Aboriginal people with disabilities, and those at risk of becoming disabled. Strengthening community and connections to the natural world are key components of this organization.
Crab park is proposed for the location of the longhouse because it is a traditional gathering space on unceded Aboriginal land. Musequeam, Salish and other coastal Aboriginal people would travel across the water by canoe and potlatch on the shore where Crab park is today. Crab Park is now considered part of the DTES and is still a significant location for Vancouver's urban Aboriginal community.

Call for Support
WAND is seeking letters of support from government and community organizations, to be compiled and presented as a proposal for the construction of this longhouse.
Contact information:
For more information, or to express your support,
 email WANDlonghouse@gmail.com

  Fred Arrance has a long history of grassroots activism in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Among many things, he was a key organizer of the Women's Memorial March, worked as a cultural development worker for the City of Vancouver and is one of the founders of the WAND society.

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It Is Time



                 It Is Time

Spirit Woman of all nations
Hold and protect your children
Your grandmas
No women, No life
Just like Mother Earth nurtures all her creations
We must start obeying the spiritual laws
Of not only Indian people
We must come together to support
Women who find their spirit
In the traditional longhouse on the waterfront
For all women
Take note that women
are the most sacred resource we have

                            All my relations

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Stephen Harper and Bob


              Stephen Harper and Bob      

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper went to Israel in January. "After generations of persecution," Harper told the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, "the Jewish people deserve their own homeland and the right to live peacefully in that homeland."
      Bob is a longtime friend of mine and like me is Jewish. He agrees with the Prime Minister that Jewish people deserve their own homeland but that they may not be going about it the right way if they want to live in peace with their Arab neighbours.
       When I first met Bob (which isn't his real name) over 50 years ago, he was a gung-ho Zionist. He grew up on the island of Montreal in a middle class Jewish neighbourhood some ways west from the downtown area. In his early childhood he lived near the famed Saint Urbain area where Montreal novelist Mordecai Richler set his novels. But in the early 1950's Bob's family moved west.
      As a young boy Bob read books like 'They Were All Jews'. This book profiled famous Jews like baseball star Hank Greenberg, Jonas Salk, the doctor who found the polio vaccine and the Bronfman family who built a liquor empire. Bob lapped all of this up. He really believed that Jews were the chosen people.
      At the age of 15, Bob went with a lot of other youngsters on a two month trip to Israel. He had a great time there. After that, Bob supported Israel through thick and thin. In his late 20's, he went back to Israel and lived for a time on a kibbutz. Soon, he spoke Hebrew fluently.
     But then along came some problems. Bob caught hepatitis  and had to come back to Canada. He moved to Toronto and stayed there. Soon the news that came out of Israel showed a great shift in Israeli politics.
     In 1976 Menachem Begin and his right wing Likud Party swept aside the centre-left  Israeli Party that had ruled Israel since 1948, the year of Israel's birth. As a conservative Prime Minister, Begin launched his country on a new course. Bob by the way has always leaned slightly to the left in politics.
    Israeli government services were downsized or privatized. Begin's government cut money going to the quasi-socialist kibbutzim again and again. Labour unions fell out of favour and the percentage of people in trade unions fell.
     Now the Israel armed forces became far more aggressive. In 1982 Israeli forces invaded Lebanon and killed over 20,000 people. During the invasion, Israeli troops surrounded two Palestinian refugee camps and allowed anti-Palestinian troops of the Lebanese Phalangist army into the camps. The Phalangists killed all of Palestinians they could find.
      "I don't support the Israeli invasion of Lebanon," Bob remarked at the time. Nor did he favour the Israeli settlements that were going up on Israel's West Bank. Still , by 2000 he still supported  Israel and its hawkish Prime Minister, the former general Ariel Sharon. Then something happened to Bob. For about ten years later Bob, who was now in his 60's didn't support Israel anymore.
      What had happened to Bob? Perhaps he read accounts by the Israeli historian Benny Morris about the birth of Israel in 1948. Morris claims that Israeli soldiers threw 750,000 Arabs out of their homes to make way for Israeli settlements. Possibly Bob read again the work of the Polish-born and Jewish historian Isaac Deutscher."The Arabs cannot go on denying Israel's right to exist," said Deutscher in 1967 right after Israeli forces had won a sweeping victory over Arab armies. Yet Deutscher refused to justify or agree with what he called, "Israel's war against the Arabs."
       Maybe Bob just got tired of the endless clashes between Arabs and Israelis. In any case, Bob no longer defends Israel. "israel just didn't turn out the way I thought it would," he said in 2011.
      Bob's journey from defending Israel to indifference isn't shared by most Canadian Jews. More than half of Jewish voters cast their ballots for the Conservatives in the federal election of 2011. In the next federal election that number may climb to two in every three. There are about 330,000 Jews in Canada. Jewish voters could decide who wins in 11 or 12 seats in the house of Commons.
     So Prime Minister Harper continues to woo Jewish voters. But he hasn't convinced me or Bob to vote for him. And I don't think he ever will.
                                                              By Dave Jaffe

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New in the Library …

New in the Library …

Life as art / by Duane Pasco
How did an alcoholic, blue-collar laborer become one of the pre-eminent figures in the revival of the Northwest Coast Native American art tradition, without being a Native American himself?  Artist Duane Pasco tells that very story in this informative and visually appealing book.  Life as Art is filled with vibrant full color plates of the artist’s work -masks, totem poles, hats, helmets, containers and more— with Pasco’s lively accounts of the stories behind them.  Together, these stories reveal his development as an artist, and explore his influence on the rise of contemporary Northwest Coast native art.  
Dream Catchers: Legend, Lore and Artifacts/ by Cath Oberholtzer
According to Ojibwe traditions, dream catchers were intended to intercept negative dreams and diseases from sleeping children, while letting positive dreams slip through the holes and trickle down the feathers to reach the child below.  In the late 20th century, dream catchers exploded in popularity, particularly within the New Age movement, and made the transition from an indigenous craft into a collectible available all over the planet.  Anthropologist Cath Oberholtzer uses rich text and full-color photographs to explore the explosion of the dream catcher into a worldwide marketing venture and continued symbol of Native spirituality.

Native Spirit  and The Sun Dance Way  (DVD) / directed by Jennifer Casey

Native Spirit & The Sun Dance Way are two feature-length documentaries selected from the “American Indian Film Festival” and “Montreal First People’s Festival.” Native Spirit movingly tells the story of the struggles and triumphs of Native American people to keep centuries-old traditions alive, despite the efforts of the US government to destroy their culture and spiritual traditions.  The Sun Dance Way uses photographs and video footage of sun dances, from as far back as 1903, to reveal the symbolism and mystical beauty of the ancient and sacred ceremony which remains at the center of the Plains Indians’ lives today. This 2-disc DVD set is enhanced with an additional 90 minutes of special features.
The Voice of Rolling Thunder: A Medicine Man’s Wisdom for Walking the Red Road/ by Sidian Morning Star Jones and Stanley Krippner
Rolling Thunder (1916-1997) was an inter-tribal medicine man who rose to popularity in the 1960s and 70s through his friendship with artists such as Bob Dylan and as the inspiration for the Billy Jack films.  This book contains never-before-released talks preserved by close friend and member of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart.  The teachings of Rolling Thunder are represented through his own words, as well as through inspiring interviews, anecdotes and eyewitness accounts from those who knew him well.  This book invites you to incorporate a little bit of Rolling
Thunder’s wisdom into your own life.  
  We have many more new books and DVDs, please come and see us!
Stephanie (Carnegie Librarian) and Elizabeth (Mondays & alternate Saturdays)

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Our healing journey

Our healing journey

Let us remember the ones we lost
Pray to the Creator to heal us
Let us all find closure one day
Let us find peace + harmony in our hearts.
We will meet our loved one in heaven
To all the women & men who are missing
I hope we will meet them again.
Have a healing circle and help each other
Let your emotions go
    -it will lighten your heart
So my dear friend
I will keep you in my prayers.

                     All my relations,
                             Bonnie E Stevens

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Premier Christy Clark's Speech
Premier Christy Clark's Speech

    When I became Premier of British Columbia, I said that two of the things I wanted to accomplish were supporting families and listening to people. Today is BC Family Day, which I established as part of this commitment. This is the 2nd year of BC Family day and I wanted to use today to share some important news with the families and the people of BC.
    I know that many families are unable to enjoy fully Family Day because they cannot afford to take their family to places like Science World here or the Aquarium. These families love their children as much as I do.
These are families whose lack of finances is not their failing:
* they may be working hard at their job or even two jobs;
* they may have lost their job;
* or they may be living with a disability due to a serious illness or an accident.
    I know from the Annual Child Poverty Report Card from First Call that when I became Premier I inherited a sad record of BC having some of the worst Child Poverty in Canada. These children are in poverty because their parents are in poverty.
    I have said before that when people are not working we have to support them through those times of crisis. It is a stressful time worrying if you can make your mortgage or rent, and the stress of wondering whether or not you can send your child to school with a full lunch box.
    I do not want to the Premier of the province with the worst child and adult poverty in Canada.
    I have been listening to the people of British Columbia. Over 75% of the people of BC want a provincial poverty reduction strategy  My friends in local government have made their views clear. I know from conversations with local municipal leaders that they are forced to respond to many of the immediate problems caused by poverty in their communities.  At last year's convention of BC Municipalities, they unanimously passed a resolution calling for the province to "provide adequate and accessible income support for the non-employed, and improve the earnings of the low-wage workforce" .
    The government has to balance many genuine demands and pressures. We have to think carefully before we act and we always have to think about the economic impacts of our actions. I had hoped that with the BC Jobs Plan people would be able to find well-paid jobs. However, it is clear that this is not enough. The reality is we are now living in a world where economic growth is slow. Our Jobs Plan has hit a rough patch and we cannot rely on exports alone. Much of our economic strength and vitality comes from our homegrown economy; one of the best ways to strengthen our economy is right here in British Columbia. There is a strong economic case for tackling poverty. I have listened to the Surrey Board of Trade and others in the business community who want action on poverty.
    I have listened to the medical experts and dietitians who explain that people cannot live a healthy life on social assistance. The health professionals have told me that poverty costs the health system alone over $1 billion every year. That is a lot of money that could be much better spent. The last increase in Social Assistance was in 2007. Therefore, in real terms it has fallen 10% in value since then. I wrote to Raise the Rates last year and stated "I promise you that the fight against poverty continues". It is now time to make that promise a reality.
    I have gone to help at Food Banks. When I was at the Food Bank in Port Moody I praised the work of food banks in helping people in hunger, and for showing such tremendous community leadership. The community is doing its part to help. I have said it before and I say it now, I want to be in a province where government does things with people.
    My government needs to do its part. I am determined that we will do our part. My government will do the right thing. We will take action to tackle poverty in BC.
* It is the right thing because everyone woman, child and man in BC should have a decent standard of living.
* It is the right thing because it is what the people of BC want.
* It is the right thing because it is what the health experts and dietitians say is needed.
* It is the right thing because it is what local government says is needed.
* It is the right thing because it is good for the economy and many in the business community say it is needed.
    I cannot give details before the budget speech but I wanted today, on Family Day, to give an assurance to the people of BC that change is coming. I promise the 153,000 children in poverty and the 700,000 people in poverty that change is comming.
1. We will take action immediately to raise Social Assistance starting with the budget in just over a week.
2. We will then roll out ideas for a full plan to tackle poverty in British Columbia.
3. We will talk with and listen to the people of British Columbia and
4. We will bring forward the best poverty reduction plan in Canada.
5. We will share the prosperity of British Columbia with everyone.

First Question: You have said that raising welfare and tackling poverty will be good for the economy, but how will you afford to raise welfare and tackle poverty.

We know that the total costs of poverty - in health, in the criminal justice system, in education and in the wider economy - all add up to an astonishing $8 to $9 billon dollars every year. I have been told that a comprehensive strategy to tackle poverty in BC would cost around $4 billions a year. Tackling poverty would save every woman, child and man in BC around $900 a year.
Of course, in the short term there will be up-front costs. Like every investment, there is a short-term cost to win long-term benefit. To cover the initial investment we will review some other expenditures and increase taxes on the top earners.
After all, the community is doing their part and government is joining in, so the well-off can afford to contribute. Due to the tax cuts of the last few years, the richest 1 % of people are, on average, $41,000 per year better off. This is more than many people in BC earn in a year. IfBC's income taxes were comparable to the average of Canadian provinces, this would generate $2.4 billion a year. We also know that the vast majority of people in British Columbia support fair taxes where the richest people pay their share.
Raising the income of people on social assistance and on lower wages would mean they would spend that money in their local stores, in their local communities. Some of it would even come back to the province in tax revenue.
The increased income for people, and the savings on expenditure due to poverty would flow through the economy.

Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwqRiJIpijU&feature=em-upload_owner
Background sources:
·     Poverty Rates in BC: http://worstincanada.org
·     Public opinion on poverty reduction plan: http://www.bchealthyliving.ca/hungry-change-poll-shows-british-columbians-want-action-poverty
·     Public opinion on taxation: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/majority-british-columbians-support-higher-income-taxes-100k-poll-0
·     Dietitians on Healthy Eating: http://www.dietitians.ca/News-Releases/2012/Cost-of-Eating-report.aspx
·     Tax Changes in BC: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/bc-tax-shift
·     Cost of poverty and a poverty reduction plan: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/costofpovertybc
·     UBCM Resolutions: http://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/resolutions/resolutions/resolutions-responses.html
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect


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Lamentation for the Downtown Eastside

[This is from Signs of the Times, poetry by Bud Osborn
 and prints by Richard Tetrault. (2005; Anvil Press)
]

Lamentation for the Downtown Eastside

she who was a child
beloved of life
has now become a slave
who screams at night
she raves during the day
and among all her men
there is none to comfort her
all her friends have betrayed her
they have become like enemies
and after this affliction
and harsh servitude in the Downtown Eastside
she is going into exile
she is being driven out
and will find no resting place
all those who greedily pursue her
have overtaken her
in the midst of her suffering
and no one comes to celebrate life with her
all her streets are cruel
her representatives fight among themselves
her advocates grieve
and she is in bitter anguish
her real enemies have become her masters
her real enemies are taking it easy
her children have been stolen from her
her beauty has been corrupted
her dreams of life are like eagles
that find no nests
in weariness they have flown away
but in these days of her affliction and drunkenness
she remembers the hours of joy and moments of peace
that were hers in the past
before she and her people
fell into enemy hands
and there was no one to help her
her enemies now look at her
and laugh at her destruction
she herself commits crimes
she herself makes choices that bring death
instead of more life
but she has been brutalized
she has been stripped naked
and thrown into the streets
where she is mocked and dishonoured
as one diseased and unwanted
she herself groans
and turns her face from the mirror
she did not take this day seriously enough
her destruction is astounding
her destruction is an abomination
and there is no one to comfort her
“look at me! see my face!” she pleads for help
but the enemy has triumphed
the enemy is laying hands
on her heart and her soul and her flesh
she sees predators of all kinds
enter her streets
all her people groan
as they search for bread
they barter their lives for what they need
to relieve their suffering
to keep themselves alive
she says “look at me and please consider me
for I am despised and forsaken and abandoned”

she who was a child
beloved of life
has now become a prostitute for her enemies
and she says
“am I nothing to you, you who pass by?
Is my suffering any less deserving of relief
than others?”
this suffering that a cold inhuman system
has inflicted upon me
allows epidemics of death
in my blood
it has made me think of suicide
day and night
it has kept hope far from me
and this is why I act desperately
this is why my eyes burn with fear
and my eyes are dark and disturbing
with anger
and my eyes are crushed
with despair
and my eyes pour down painful tears
for there is no one near to comfort me
no one is here to restore my life
and my children are becoming destitute with me
because the enemy has prevailed
and the Downtown Eastside stretches out her hands
but there is no one to comfort her
the Downtown Eastside has become
an object of loathing and derision
to her neighbours
and to those who would rescue her
and what is worse
to herself

the visions of politicians
are self-seeking and destructive
to us
their words are worthless
their meetings are humiliating
the advice they give
and the questions they ask
their seeming concern
are deceitful and hypocritical
and they laugh at us
they pass through the Downtown Eastside
and shake their heads
but
were we not once children
born beloved of life
and now become no better than
objects to be kicked and manipulated?
social failures to be whipped by this cruel system?
And our good friends
our enemies
they say 'we are swallowing up the Downtown Eastside
we will drive the low-life out
this is the day we wait for
to make our city a city for tourists and corporations
this is the day we work for
when we drive out the bad poor
and drive out their agencies
except for the good poor
who will live quietly and intimidated
in enclaves of social housing'
and our enemies gloat over how easy it is
to destroy our community
how easy it is
to divide our community
how easy it is

the hearts of the people of the Downtown Eastside
cry out
oh hard-pressed homes of the
economically poor and politically powerless
let your tears fall like November rains
day and night
give yourself no distraction or sedation
give your eyes no rest
arise! come alive! resist!
Cry out in the night
as the pressure on our lives increases
pour out your heart like hail
so that all will hear and feel and see
let us life up our lives
for the lives of all of us
who walk hungry and oppressed
at every street corner
look oh city of Vancouver
look oh politicians and planners and bankers
and developers
whom have you ever treated like this?
would you tear your children away
from their mothers' breasts
would you deny life to them
as you do to the Downtown Eastside?

people all over have heard my suffering cries
but there is no one to comfort me
no one to comfort the community of the poor
in the Downtown Eastside
all my enemies have heard my pleas and anguish
but they are satisfied
at what they are bringing about
so may they experience
what is happening to me
may their lies and greed and politics and manipulations
and their hardness of heart
and their abandonment of the Downtown Eastside
come back to haunt them
come back to tear their 'communities' apart
come back to drive them to acts of desperation
come back to make them objects of scorn
come back upon them to destroy their lives
with no one to comfort them
no one to help them
for my pain is immense
and my heart is racing
and my heart is weary

This poem was written in 1997 when the situation in the Downtown Eastside was literally as horrific as described. As a director on the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board, I was able, in 1997, against bureaucratic opposition, to have a motion passed declaring Vancouver's first-ever public health emergency, because of the pandemics and over-dose deaths besieging the Downtown Eastside. Since then, residents of the Downtown Eastside and people in Vancouver and elsewhere have indeed responded to inhuman suffering with concrete initiatives intended to relieve it. Though many battles are yet to be fought, the preservation and strengthening of an immensely important community of economically impoverished, brutally afflicted  and extraordi-arily creative and committed human beings, is much closer to enduring than it appeared 8 years ago.[in 2005].
While the poem specifically names the Downtown Eastside, the circumstances expressed prevail throughout the world, and will intensify unless neo-liberal socio-economic ideology and its institutions, so ruinous of all that is human and natural, is turned upside-down to fully respond to the needless suffering and destruction of authentic community this system produces.  -Bud

[top]

Canadian Housing & Renewal Association

Canadian Housing & Renewal Association

  Support for affordable housing and homelessness missing in action in the 2014 federal budget Today's federal budget does not outline a plan to further invest in affordable housing or in additional measures to end homelessness.
  Instead, initiatives and consultations announced in previous budgets were reiterated for public consumption. "While we recognize the many fiscal priorities facing this government, we are disappointed that this budget was effectively silent on affordable housing, given so many Canadians remain in need, and given that having an affordable, safe home is so closely tied to having a more productive, stable life," said CHRA President Phil Brown. "With over 1.5 million households unable to afford a decent home and far too many Canadians going without a roof over their head on any given night, more support from the federal government is needed" said Brown.
  The government also announced its intention to review the income tax exemption for all not-for-profit organizations, including non-profit housing providers. The Budget says, "Some organizations claiming the NPO tax exemption may be earning profits that are not incidental to carrying out the organization's non-profit purposes. . . or maintaining disproportionately large reserves;" the review will see whether the tax exemption remains "properly targeted" and whether "sufficient transparency and accountability provisions" are in place.
  In the face of declining federal funding, many not-for-profit housing providers and other sector-serving organizations rely on ancillary revenues such as parking and roof rentals or revenues from such social enterprises as catering or renovation companies to provide deeply subsidized housing, below-market rent and client-centered services.
  Further, with the aging of Canada's social housing stock, providers have worked to build reserves whenever possible so they can make the capital repairs they need to keep their aging buildings safe and properly maintained for their residents. CHRA will work closely with other not-for-profit stakeholders to educate the federal government on the critical importance of our members' tax exempt status in offsetting the high costs of support to the vulnerable individuals and families they house.
  While the budget references social housing, and the original CMHC provision of $1.7 billion in support of almost 600,000 Canadian households with low or very low incomes, the budget fails to illustrate that the funding is declining every year, without any announced replacement for the lost support. The federal government supports fewer and fewer households in social housing - 10,400 fewer households in 2012 and another 8,000 households expected to lose federal support in 2013.  "These are vulnerable families that are being impacted" said CHRA Executive Director Jody Ciufo.  "If providers of social housing can't pay their bills because they receive fewer federal dollars, they risk having to shut their doors or increase rents for those who can least afford it. Families and individuals in social housing may face eviction, or worse, homelessness.  We strongly urge the federal government to ensure that further cuts are not made on the backs of those who can least afford them," said Ciufo.
  Two specific housing initiatives, renewed in last year's budget, were re-announced. The Investment in Affordable Housing framework, renewed without any additional investment, helps alleviate housing need by funding the construction and repair of affordable housing units and by the provision of subsidized rentals, often through rent supplements.
  The Homelessness Partnering Strategy, renewed at lower annual funding, enables communities to address shelter and support needs for individuals experiencing homelessness. While the program renewals were welcomed news, they aren't the main event.  These programs do not offset the lost funding for social housing and do not address the growing affordability crisis in the rental housing market, where low-income, working families are struggling to hold onto a home.
  Ciufo continues, "We hope that the federal government will seize the opportunity to address the bigger, pressing issues surrounding the affordability of rental housing and recognize that current investment levels are insufficient when compared to overall need. Without further federal support, time will run out on Canadian families."

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THE ICEBERG AND THE MONEY BRANCH
  THE ICEBERG AND THE MONEY BRANCH
 
Just awoke from a dream someone carved a swastika in Justin Bieber’s forehead as everyone laughs I ask is this true? The list of people giggling is the size of all the Missing posters of kids & the old about the size of earth’s circumference around the sun Will We Miss him? Like asking which war World War Two was and its importance so back to sniffing glue a friendship of much importance is dead, now these things don’t come cheap years of learning what’s in common with said parties then secrets and finally lending money well a 150 dollar transaction has destroyed another money fucks up everyone’s head, new definitions of insanity are created by our greed and our mistakes and everyone loses nothing to bring this back together I am Switzerland in this fascist state of democratic decay and I am stuck, people work hard for their money they find a need and fill it I'm not talking Hollywood bullshit with their sex, lies and bullets by day’s end the chalk outline workers have another job or 2 or nine another piece of hatred that makes this world suck,
Now look at Harper making Jewish friends with Palestine enemies or is it the other way around he could not get it right if he was on his knees his fake friends’ cheques are always on us from beginning to end, from bad to worse so many being driven to or away from but always in a hearse man and his kind drip stillborn friendships like an arsonist and his cigarette
(the lit end)
I am that gift that never surrenders I am that garden every truth remembers I am the structure people will flock to when the next holocaust turns life into embers and to me friendships are real and pure and as long as forever – this I shall never surrender.
A friendship is built over troubled waters that extrapolate our globe, friendships take time to thaw out from the inner demons that try to dictate absolute control, financial difficulties are a test to see who is weak and can be bought or sold, when you’re camped out near death’s door whose hand if any will be there for you to hold…
PS: A one month death for all Methadone exchange from 10 parts to one to one to one is about to start. Carry those bodybags – we are going to need them. Kill us off… well we shall see.
                              By ROBERT McGILLIVRAY
PS: I am that gift that never surrenders, I am that garden every truth remembers, I am the structure people will flock to when the next holocaust turns life into embers and to me friendships are real and pure and as long as forever this I shall never surrender.
                                               -Robert McGillivray

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Quits

               Quits

Call it a day I guess
two kindness given to me today
one just a ceasar
from the ol’ girl never
makes me feel like the pest I am
one ceasar not too much to ask in a way
all the luck you get in one day
and then walkin to the 44
someone I see as an elder
gave a smoke just like the old cliché
a gift of tobacco
I didn’t take it that way
another idea about honesty
but I choose to believe
in his sincerity
in his realness of intent
so now I'll go
to my sleeping bag where in my sleep
my heart will pulsate
with the same energy
as our Mother Earth

                                       R Kilroy

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Corruption: Escalating Habit of Neoliberal Savagery
Corruption: Escalating Habit of Neoliberal Savagery
                                                                                                                                     By Rolf Auer, 28 January 2014
In Brazil, police have been going into poor neighbourhoods and murdering people. From 2003 to 2008, in Brazil’s two largest cities—Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro—more than 11,000 citizens were killed by police. Brazil’s leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 44 is homicide; many of those people were killed by police (1).
   Of approximately 1,000 favelas (poor neighbourhoods) in Rio, 45 per cent are run by organized crime police militias, 37 per cent are run by drug gangs, and 18 per cent are run by the official and legal police force – the UPP (Unidade de Policia Pacificadora).
  The primary duty of police is to protect the population. That Brazilian police are instead murdering the population is nothing less than corruption of that primary duty. This corruption is passed down from the political hierarchy. Everyone knows it is becoming worse, due to the World Cup, which begins in June, and the 2016 Summer Olympics. The police are under orders to “clean up” or “pacify” the favelas, to make sure that sports tourists are safe. “Pacify” is code for “torture” and “brutal murder.”
   The current President of Brazil is Dilma Rousseff. The Mayor of Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, is Fernando Haddad, who was former Minister of Education in Rousseff’s cabinet. The Mayor of Rio is Eduardo Paes, the “Mayor who brought the Olympics to Rio…” (On 12 August 2012, at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Paes received the Olympic Flag, via Jacques Rogge—then-President of the International Olympic Committee—from London Mayor Boris Johnson.)(2)
   According to Christopher Gaffney, a visiting professor at the Universidade Federal Fluminense, the police violence due to the preparations for the World Cup and Olympics is about a larger issue: the transfer of wealth and land from the poor to the rich under the guise of sports mega-events (3).
   The economic enabler of these all too common wealth transfers upwards is neoliberalism, which is merely modernized 19th century laissez-faire capitalism. The cruelty of this transplanted old-style capitalism conflates increasing corruption as well, made all the more apparent by modern high-speed communications and technology. One of Naomi Klein’s books, The Shock Doctrine, documents this cruelty in detail. A hallmark of corruption is wrongful death, & with amoral neoliberal savagery, there is no shortage of that. Case in point: the 11 Sept 1973 murder of Chilean democratic leader Salvador Allende, usurped by the ruthless dictator Augusto Pinochet, subsequently followed by his bloody repression of thousands of citizens of Chile, all in the name of neoliberalism (4).
   Decades of neoliberal corruption of democracy has resulted in plutocracy, wherein neverending wealth transfers from poor to rich manifest as rampant inequality and people no longer notice the bodies of the economically injured whom they step around on their way to their comfy quasi-sinecures bought with their silent acquiescence to the status quo. Instead, complaints abound about these unsightly homeless impediments to progress, and it is commonly accepted as a fact of life that “the rich get richer” without questioning the hows or the whys of systemic classism and classist exploitation, currently aided and abetted by neoliberal doctrine masquerading as economic rationalism, itself merely a hackneyed excuse for forsaking one’s neighbour as a “cost cutting exercise.”
   I claim that the emphasis of competition over cooperation, of hierarchy over networking, of secularism over spirituality all contribute to the exacerbation of Social Darwinist tendencies exalting such crudities of human behaviour as neoliberalism, corporatism, and persecution of belief.
   A first step in combating these is to be aware of these. Having achieved this, what should one do then, might be the logical response. Whatever one can is my answer. I like the following story: a stranger encountered a man on a beach. Washed up on shore were hundreds of tiny starfish, dying in the hot sun. The man was picking these up one by one, and throwing them back in the water. “Isn’t that rather futile?” asked the stranger. The man replied,
“Each one that I throw back is one more that lives.”
More information about protests in Brazil can be found at the Twitter hashtag: #NaoVaiTerCopa
(1) The Enemy Within, 18 January 2014, article (Toronto Star, Declan Hill)
(2) www.wikipedia.org 19 January 2014
(3) op.cit.(1)
(4) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, 2007, book (Naomi Klein)

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ANARCHY

ANARCHY

Life becomes poetry
words evolve to action
ain’t no fiction   all true bro’
lissen what I'm tellin’ you
for your information it was
Edward Abbey back in ‘56
wrote a book called Brave Cowboy
‘bout two dudes, friendship
versus The State, way back
system thought it wasn’t even conceivable
Ed created “The Environmental Movement”
tree-huggers worldwide owe a debt of thanks
to Edward Abbey, inscription to read
“back in ’56 when me and _______
thought we were the only living, breathing
anarchists on Earth”
went into a bookstore today, hadda T-shirt
“I'm a better anarchist than you”
sorry, I’ve been there and you need a powder

                                                     Al

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Sidewalks

Sidewalks

buddhas walk among us
just passed one
on the steps of a church
reading a book   looked like a journal
more comfortable there
than the walnut-paneled rooms
the elite need
to think profound things in
there he sits, content in his blankets
the rainbow ‘round his head
battles fought   won & lost
he sleeps the sleep of the innocents
sent his demons packing
and now has nothing
except peace of mind

love this ghetto; most folks
are nuthin’ but fine
you gotta be kind
dodge the psychos
those outta their mind
start out smiling
and you’ll be just fine

                 Chuck Whyte

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It's that time of year!!

It's that time of year!!  

  We have just received word from the Vancouver Foundation that funding is in place for 2014!  We are looking for people who would like to get involved in their community by sitting on the Neighbourhood Small Grants / Greenest City Advisory Committee.  
 The Committee reviews applications and makes recommendations for funding.  Committee work involves attending meetings (not too many, I promise), conducting grant writing workshops and attending events that are funded.  You will also assist in planning, organizing and attending the Year End Celebration in November.  Transportation, childcare, lunches and/or dinner are provided.
 If you are interested and have approximately 3 hours a week in March & April, and are interested in attending the many great events we fund, please let me know.  
   YOU WILL STILL BE ABLE TO APPLY FOR A SMALL OR GREEN GRANT!!!

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February 15, 2014