I would like to start this weeks rant with a slightly different tack– tar sands and the ongoing war on Gaza. The Israeli state is currently trying to eliminate resistance and ultimately the people of Gaza entirely; the “war” is not about rockets, nor kidnapped teenagers or anything similar to that, but a combination of forced submission attempts and punishment for Palestinian refusal to simply disappear from the planet and surrender their homeland. In this sense, what Gaza is enduring now is roughly the equivalent of what happened to indigenous peoples with events such as the Trail of Tears, the forced dispossession of children from families to residential schools, and the attempt to crush spirits to the level needed to build a “new” country where other people have lived and always will.
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
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.
Resistance is Warranted
by Macdonald Stainsby
Originally written for
November 22, 2004
The warrants are being drawn up, and the people are all a buzz. The seats on the buses are being reserved to converge on Ottawa, Ontario in the northeastern half of Turtle Island to meet American President George W Bush. People whose passport reads as Canadian — every bit as affected by the recent election in the United States but like the rest of the planet were denied a vote — have other means and methods to express themselves dancing in their heads now. It has been almost exactly seven years since the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation arrived in Vancouver, in what later came to be known as “Spraypec”. Though you could be forgiven for thinking that the only thing that happened was the pepper-spraying of a bunch of kids, in actuality General Suharto (then leader of Indonesia) was a participant in the days of discussions, and activists who were opposed to his record in Indonesia and East Timor (circa: 1,000,000 killed) drew up a warrant and attempted to arrest him. This was problematic on several levels. One: Bill Clinton, the president of the US, was in attendance after sending troops into Bosnia; Chinese President Jiang Zemin was in attendance, and the list goes on. Further, beyond domestic law and the “theory” of international law, there was little in the way of a case to arrest the General.