So I put together a little sheet on Canada-Israel extreme extraction links below. Why did I do that? Well, it’s been a strange week for tar sands developments, if you’ll pardon that pun. Almost a week ago, and during his Honor the Treaties tour, Neil Young was revealed to currently have booked an upcoming trip that will include playing before an apartheid audience in Tel Aviv. Young’s incredibly successful, powerful concerts and fund raising endeavor on behalf of legal defense for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation concluded on Sunday, which not at all coincidentally now kicks off the second Neil Young, solidarity with indigenous resistance campaign– this time, without him.
The possible damage to the struggle in Palestine is already being celebrated by various advocates for Israeli colonialism. Titles such as “Neil Young Proves the Failure of BDS’s “Cultural Boycott” with screeds denouncing people such as Roger Waters or Alice Walker (who wrote an excellent appeal to Alicia Keys, who played Israel last year in defiance of the boycott) have flooded out already. In one of the initial reports, in fact, Israeli apartheid apologists couldn’t conceal their glee in what was supposedly a simple news story at the Jerusalem Post: “With reports of shows by The Rolling Stones, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga still in circulation, 2014 is shaping up to be one of Israel’s most active for musical imports. Did someone mention boycott?” Continue reading
The story of Neil Young and his advocacy on behalf of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s challenge to tar sands supremacy has garnered a lot of attention, and in itself this must be seen as a good thing. To have an entertainer of his caliber take on the Gigaproject can only bring an overall rise in attention to the suffering caused by tar sands. As but one of a myriad of people who have enjoyed his music, this deserves thanks. I just hope that this part of what Young is saying does not get going as a regular part of tar sands resistance:
“It’s all marketing. It’s all big money. This oil is all going to China. It’s not for Canada. It’s not for the United States.” Yikes. Well… then Young goes on to say: “It’s not ours – it belongs to the oil companies, and Canada’s government is behind making this happen. It’s truly a disaster.” And it seems clear to me that his focus is on the tyranny of tar sands development and the decimation of self-determination at the hands of the oil companies. But I still think it needed to point out that the oil is not going heavily to China, there is no yellow peril threat to Canada, and that the US already gets the bulk of Canadian oil.
Combining revolution with art
| September 9, 2004
Originally published in Rabble.ca
When the world learned of the death of Aisha El-Zaben, 55, a participant in the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners held by the state of Israel, it was a sobering reminder of the tragedy of the struggle in the Middle East. So too, is the music of Al-Awda, a band from Palestine whose members were on a North American tour when the death was announced.
Having just recently finished the Canadian wing of the tour — to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto — the traditional as well as modern musical band is enthralling audiences with powerful songs from Egypt, Jordan and of course, Palestine itself from across the history of the 20th century. Once they began to play the audience was hooked with powerful rhythm, even before a note was sung.