Thursday, June 29, 2006

Opinion: Gender Construction

Some conception of gender has existed in the various cultures around the world. Contrary to western belief systems not all of which have preached female subservience. Many others have had an acceptance of even more then two genders. However, due to the colonization of indigenous societies the ideals of a strict gender binary without deviation and the subservience of the female sex has proliferated.

The views of male dominance largely came from Ancient Hellenic (Greek) society. In Ancient womyn were expected to stay within the private sphere of the house and to leave it was blasphemy. Husbands had the power over wives as chattel to the point where a husband abusing his wife or even killing her was simply considered family business and his right as a husband. Roman society which laid the groundwork for the major European powers was heavily influenced by Hellenic society in their views on womyn, but were tempered by Etruscan influence. Later in the Empire womyn had many rights to own property, and most could make decisions for themselves. The views on gender were still strict however, and womyn were considered subservient. The Roman empire spread Christianity which later would become, the major instrument of persecution of anyone who did not conform to a view of society as heterosexual, monogamous and, patriarchal. The use of Christianity was also used to persecute the major Pagan religions which preached equality and female or androgynous divinity. This set the basis for the major colonizing powers the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Germans and, Italians.

Other regional non-European powers also developed strict gender binary and patriarchal views including Arab powers, Russia, China and, Japan. Some colonized powers were also patriarchal and those views were simply reinforced. Many other societies that were matriarchal, egalitarian, or included more then two genders were deconstructed by the colonizing powers mainly in the Americas, Africa and South-East Asia. Instead a rigid view of gender roles and sexuality were enforced upon these societies and, concerted efforts were made to take away their cultures.

Modern Western society still works upon gender roles based upon not even simply sex, but genetalia. Those who are born with a penis are labeled as male and those without are labeled as female despite their genetic or mental make up. This results in a M or an F on identification which is supposed to dictate how you act. In Canada the most significant diversions occur in two-spirited people, intersexuals, transsexuals, androgyns and everyone else who does not wish to conform to set gender roles.

The concept of a two-spirited person is quite old as it comes from many of the indigenous people of the Americas. It is a third gender classification for Native Americans who are seen as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit. It has been long used to describe LGBTQI people within Native societies. They were seen as having a gift instead of being considered disordered. As gifted members of the community they have often been the shamans or healers.

Intersexuals are people who are biologically born as a combination of male and female biology. The chromosomes and at times genetalia of intersexuals differ from the standard conceptions. There are many chromosomal variations including XXY, XXXY, or even may have a regular chromosomal pairing such as XX, but have the opposite genetalia. Those intersexuals with ambiguous genetalia are often surgically altered at birth by doctors sometimes even without parental consent or knowledge. Some intersexuals live out their lives without ever knowing however, others have medical problems, and others go through gender confusion due to a rigid system which they do not fit within.

Transsexuals are another section of the population whose physical body does not represent how they feel about their gender. Many transsexuals go to ends to change their physical body into the sex they would feel most comfortable about. Some of which will use hormones and surgery, while others may only use one route or decide on neither. Some research which has been done shows that transsexuality stems from the size of the BSTc section of the brain. Yet, transsexuals are still labeled as having a disorder which is unfortunately one of the only ways of being able to receive effective health care. Within the transsexual community there are varying views on gender, some see it in terms of the gender binary where you go simply from one sex to another, many others however, view gender in more fluid terms accepting that there are many genders.

Androgyns are people who identify as male and female or possibly non-gendered. The society clamps down upon androgyns for going out of the defined roles based on their sex and, additionally for not choosing to identify within the binary. The clamp down on deviance of from traditional roles negatively effects everyone in the society by enforcing guidelines on a gender binary code based upon historical arbitration on whether something is considered masculine or feminine. This even impacts the non-oppressed section of society by forcing them to deny any instinct in themselves that deviates from that set norm as well as turning them into monsters to enforce gender roles upon the rest of society.

The enforcement of a strict gender binary has been a use of patriarchy for thousands of years as a means to dominate society. This is one of the oldest forms of oppression in our society which, only now is being slowly reunderstood. This system cuts across our society and is used to reinforce other forms of oppression including the cultural oppression of non-patriarchal or non-gender binary societies as spread by the rise of Western colonial imperialism. Today small gains are being made towards a more gender fluid and egalitarian society such, as the introduction of a bill in Canada to include gender identity and expression in the Canadian Human Rights Act. However, our society is still fundamentally governed by a gender binary which although, not as strict still enforces the 'M' or the 'F' and ridicules and abuses those who deviate from that.

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Ottawa: Triangle Trash Plans a Radical Takeback of Pride

Triangle Trash a group of radical queer anti-discrimination activists are planning a take-back of Pride in Ottawa to its roots. There has been division within the Queer community over the use of corporate sponsorship during Pride. Ottawa Pride has generally had a lot less due to its size in comparison to large Pride festivals such as Toronto.

The Ottawa-Gatineau Pride committee over the past few years has run itself into the ground financially despite some corporate sponsorship and will only be able to continue by getting funding from the city, which has already once been denied, and by changing Pride from a free event to admission only to curb their $150,000 debt. Other festivals such as the Tulip festival have been granted $100,000 from the city and the Franco-Ontarien festival received $50,000, but it is unlikely the Pride Committee will receive funding.

Triangle Trash has pulled on this opportunity in order to bring Pride more back to its roots of being more a free protest. They will be meeting next week to plan a free non-corporate pride, their call-out is here. The idea would reintroduce the highly political element that Pride comes from which was marches and protests for Queer rights as well as having a party alongside it.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Montreal: Evidence of Bad treatment of Afghanis by Canadian Soldiers

The Montreal French language newspaper La Presse has gotten footage of Canadian soldiers abusing Afghanis. There has been documentation of widespread abuse of Afghanis especially by US soldiers and regional warlords or druglords. This footage however, is the first major evidence of Canadian soldiers joining in that abuse.

In the footage there is the breaking down of civilians doors, which is a common tactic used by US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. When actually around civilians or inside the homes there are insults and death threats lodged at the civilians including the elderly. In one section Canadian forces try to bribe a civilian to show them where the 'Taliban' are. The civilian instead refuses saying its their land that they will defend. Due to this footage the paper called it the 'End of Innocence' for Canadian soldiers.

This comes right on the heels of a new largely increased defence budget of an additional $15 billion over the next few years. [1] The increase of military funding and extension of the occupation will only continue the control of Kandahar, a city which is along a route for the trans-Afghan pipeline. With the continued presence of Canadian forces more evidence of abuse may become exposed in the future. US forces have been documented in Afghanistan arbitrarily detaining people, using forced entry at night as well as the use of torture and rape. [2]

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Opinion: Queer Pride

Well I'm off to the Pride Toronto Festival and I thought it would be important to reflect on the issues of Pride. Today Pride festivals in cities like Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, and Sao Paulo are big tourist attractions bringing in money to these major cities. Pride in some places and historically has been in many respects a protest against the oppressive systems of homophobia, biphobia and, transphobia that permeate our societies.

The roots of the Gay Pride movement in the West came out of San Francisco and New York. In 1966 in San Francisco there was a violent gay uprising at Comptons Cafeteria against the oppressive system of the day. The most famous uprising in 1969 that really became the birth of the movement was a small gay bar known as the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Police as was usual at the time raided the bar. The community had enough of the constant oppression simply for what they were and fought back. A few thousand people fought the police for a few days to stop the injustices that were occurring. Although, publicized as a 'gay male' uprising it also included lesbians, trans-people, and bisexuals. The aftermath led to the creation of many Queer rights organizations and in 1970 San Francisco and New York held the first Gay Prides.

In Canada the Gay Rights movement was sparked by the occurrences below the border. Despite that the idea of Pride took a decade to get functioning in Canada. In Toronto it came after police raided a gay male bathhouse. In response the creation of Toronto Pride was born in 1980 for many years the city would not recognize it. Now 26 years later one of the founding members of Pride is a councilor, politicians gleam at being able to get the publicity, it is one of the biggest Pride Festivals in the world with hundreds of thousands of people and, has a plethora of corporate sponsorship.

The movement has taken time to accept different parts such as bisexuals and trans-people who suffered a lot of discrimination within the community and without. Over time organizations have added letters to their acronyms starting at just Gay and Lesbian working their way up to what I used in the high school Gay-Straight Alliance I started in my grade 12, GLBTTTQQIAAA (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Transsexual, Two-spirited, Queer, Questioning, Intersexed,Asexual, Androgynous, and Allies). Most organizations now use LGBT or LGBTQ.

As a trans-person I have a special reflection on Pride. I see it as a venue to be myself without worry of insults or threats. Some people don't agree with Pride because, they say it separates the society. I disagree Pride is a way of being proud of the fact that you can accept yourself in an intolerant society. Pride is a way of celebrating who you are and adding to the society instead of retracting from it. Pride give people an opportunity to feel alright about the way they are and a safe place to celebrate that. There is nothing wrong with acceptance. Happy Pride Everyone.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ottawa: USA Patriot Act Considered a threat to Canadians

The USA Patriot Act which severely takes away US Citizens' civil liberties in the name of security is coming under scrutiny in Canada. There is a worry about how much the Patriot Act can take away Canadians' privacy. Canadians have a natural worry about anything that would take away their rights to privacy and this is reflected in Canada's Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. A new report has come out lead by her which calls for amendmants to the Canadian Privacy Act to better guard Canadians. The report even directly takes aim and states "The USA PATRIOT Act has become the symbol of the increasing concern of Canadians about the security of their personal information when it leaves Canada."[1]

This comes in a month where Quebec has introduced new legislation for the protection of Quebeckers privacy. Quebec however, is only following similar legislation to that introduced in British Columbia, Alberta and, Nova Scotia already. The legislation would limit the ability of companies from passing on information about citizens of those provinces. Companies passing on information to the US government has become famous due to a domestic spying program where companies such as AT&T and, Verizon which passed on telephone information to the NSA.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Iraq: Japan to Bring Military home

The Japanese government has made the decision for withdrawl from Iraq right before the Japanese Prime Minsister visits Washington. Japan joined the US lead coalition to invade Iraq with a small contingent of troops. They have been working in the south alongside British command. Not a single Japanese troop have been killed or wounded, but Japanese civilians have been taken captive.

Despite the relatively small force of less than a thousand military personnel, the mission was very significant to Japan who hasn't deployed since World War 2 in such capacity. Although, the move may have been favourably seen in the halls of Washington and London, many Japanese opposed the move. With the removal of Japanese troops this will leave American, British, South Korean, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Georgian, Danish, Australian, El Salvadorian, Azerbaijan, Mongolian, Albanian, Latvian, Czech, Lithuanian, Slovakian, Armenian, Bosnian, Estonian, Macedonian and, Kazakhstani forces in Iraq. The rescue of the Christian Peacemakers Team disclosed that there are also Canadian forces in Iraq, but how many and doing what is unknown.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Opinion: Why Ignatieff Should Not be Liberal Leader

Michael Ignatieff is one of the ten people running for the Liberal leadership and one of the better known. He is higher then most people in the polls especially seeing as most candidates are either obscure, wrapped in scandal, or simply not a good candidate for political leadership. Ignatieff is also a renowned writer and former Harvard human rights professor. However, this human rights professor seems to care little about human rights and should not be leader of the Liberals or even worse Canada.

Usually political leaders are someone who know the culture of the country and lived there most of their life (either from being born or immigrating). Ignatieff seems to have neither. Any candidate for Canadian leadership should be bilingual because, it is a bilingual country. Our current Prime Minister is even from out West yet, learned French because, without it you exclude a sizable section of the population concentrated in Quebec and New Brunswick. Ignatieff and the majority of the other contenders need to seriously brush up on their French.

There is also the question of residency. Ignatieff has not lived in Canada that long. He may have been born and raised in Canada, but basically for the significant part of the rest of his life he lived in the United States teaching at Harvard. He was parachuted into a riding despite a local candidate and a significant Ukrainian population. Many Ukrainian-Canadians have opposed him for passages in his book Blood and Belonging as being prejudiced against Ukrainians. His riding that he was parachuted into has a significant Ukrainian-Canadian population, but regardless he won the seat and now is consistently referred to as the rookie MP.

This rookie MP and former human rights professor seems to not care about certain human rights and, is a pro-war advocate. When Ignatieff was still at Harvard in the lead up to the Iraq war he was strongly in favour of it. He said he supported it due to the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein, but by that time Saddam had stopped his vast murders and, there were much more awful conflicts such as the genocide in Darfur that nothing was being done about. Now by most accounts Iraq is in worse condition then under Saddam and the United States also uses torture. But, even at a time when he was referring to himself as an American [1] he was chastising Canada on not joining the war. At his March 30th, 2006 speech at the University of Ottawa he tried to defend that position saying that at the time he supported it to uphold human rights, but now he is a MP and has to think of his constituents.

Yet, when it came to a vote on the extension of the Afghanistan occupation until 2009 on May 17th, 2006 he voted in favour. He and a small number of Liberal MPs propped up the Harper government's position despite most Canadians being against the continuation of troops in Afghanistan [2]. Harper even crossed the floor in order to shake Ignatieff's hand after the vote.

The most biggest controversy surrounding Ignatieff however, is his position on torture. Ignatieff says that he is against torture, but is for coercive interrogation. He states in a 2004 New York Times article " Permissible duress might include forms of sleep deprivation that do not result in lasting harm to mental or physical health, together with disinformation and disorientation (like keeping prisoners in hoods) that would produce stress. What crosses the line into the impermissible would be any physical coercion or abuse, any involuntary use of drugs or serums, any withholding of necessary medicines or basic food, water and essential rest."[3] The keeping of prisoners in hoods, with sleep deprivation, and stress position are forms of torture just not in the conventional sense. Those techniques do result in lasting mental and physical harm. His campaigners try to convince people of otherwise yet, his position is shown well enough.

Someone who has not lived in Canada for the majority of their life, are lacking French, write prejudiced passages, chastises Canada on not joining an illegal war, proports the continuation of the Afghanistan occupation and, condones coercive interrogation is not who should be leading Canada. Ignatieff may be able to win over certain votes, but he is an American by his own acknowledgement. Canada should be run by a Canadian who protects what the majority of Canadians believe in equality and, peaceful not aggressive foreign policy.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

History: JFK President and the Press Speech

"The President and the Press" April 27, 1961

This is one of one of the most important speeches people should listen to. John F. Kennedy talks about the issues of war and press freedom. He says about how although national security may be imperitive, but that American values of press freedom, and openness in society and government are needed to the continuation of the Republic. JFK also mentions about how secret societies need to be guarded against.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ottawa: Non-'Puppet' Harper

Prime Minister Harper is certainly good at one thing bringing up odd comments or issues at random times. The latest was him on Radio-Canada that he exclaimed "I'm nobody's puppet." He also said that, "I see from time to time that the Liberals and members of the Bloc say that I am George Bush's puppet and other things like that."

Unlike the comedic image beside, no Prime Minister Harper I don't think your George Bush's puppet either. I simply think that you have very similar political beliefs as Bush, and are influenced by big business. I may not like you, but it is obvious that you have your own ways. I mean the surprise few day visit to Afghanistan was I admit classy. Bush recently visited Iraq for the first time, but only for six hours. However, throwing temper tantrums at the national media, about the Liberals and the Bloc calling you names and, bringing up topics that should be closed like Same-sex marriage are not going to get you votes or confidence. Instead more people may believe that you are a puppet.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

USA: Detaining Indefinately due to Religion, Race Ruled Legal

Just as the case against Security Certificates began on wednesday in Canada, on the other side of the border a similar case was being held. The Center for Constitutional Rights had filed a case against the government due to the holding of supects after 9/11 for indefinate amount of time. All the suspects were Arab or Muslim non-citizens which mimics the Security Certificate Five in Canada.

Unlike Canada, in the United States the amount of security detainees is in the thousands. They have been held without charge without fair trial. The Federal Judge presiding over the case ruled that it was legal to do so. The basis for holding can be due to religion, race, or ethnicity and the Judge said that "...the executive is free to single out 'nationals of a particular country' and focus enforcement efforts on them."

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Quotes: Bush vs Nietzsche

"You are either with us or against us." - George W. Bush Nov. 2001

"How to have all men against you. --- If anyone dared to say now 'Whoever is not for me, is against me," he would immediately have all men against him. --- This Does our time honor." - Frederich Nietzsche 1880

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Ottawa: Security Certificate Case Continues

Today will be the third day of the trial in the Supreme Court of Canada about the constitutionality of Security Certificates. Tuesday was the first day with Adil Charkoui, who was the first Security Certificate member who was released on bail on strict conditions. He was allowed to travel to Ottawa for three days for the trial, while usually he is unable to leave the island of Montreal. To see pictures and a report go to YaYaCanada who was actually in the courtroom for part of the trial.

I was however, able to get to 'Camp Hope' on the lawn of the Supreme Court. Not many people were outside as most were inside the Supreme Court, but a handful were handing out leaflets to those who went by and banners from across the country were streached out across the lawn. Most people on the street seemed pretty responsive towards the issue. Maybe the ideas of fair trial are part of the 'Canadian Values' many politicians talk about. One person even stopped their car and reached over as hard as possible past their passenger to get me to run and give them a flyer. When I was there only one person vehemently disagreed with us. This person exclaimed "No I don't agree with it! They are terrorists they should be locked up and done away with!" I posed the question that "How do we know if they are terrorists if they do not have a fair trial?" Yet, she just stormed away without answering.

The main issue with Security Certificates the lack of fair trial. Do I know if the Security Certificate Five are guilty or innocent? No, I don't, but is the responsibility of a fair and democratic system for people to be innocent before proven guilty. They also need to have access to the evidence being put against them and, they should not be apprehended on merely a suspicion to be put in jail. Especially not a jail with bad conditions and little access to their families as, the new Guantanamo North in Kingston is.

Yesterday, Hassan Almrei was the one in the Supreme Court. He is one of the three still being held in Guantanamo North and, is one of the three hunger strikers. Today is the last day of the trial with Ottawa resident Mohamed Harkat who was just released on bail with extreme strict conditions. He is only allowed to leave the house three times a week for four hour periods which he has to get federal approval for, he always has to be with either his wife or mother-in-law, he must wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times and, there are other conditions.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

USA: South Central Farm

The largest urban farm in the United States is under threat. The farm has been worked for many years by local families and feeds over 350 families in the Los Angeles Area. made a short video of the farm which is available here. The owner of the land Horowitz wants the South Central Farmers off the land and has been making large claims for the land to be bought. The farmers were able to raise the money at which point Horowitz raised the price again. The farmers were able to again raise the new summ of $16.5 million for the land however, Horowitz wouldn't take it and wants to sell it to someone else to build warehouses. Although, the area around the farm is already littered with empty warehouses and the farm acts as a vital resource for the community. Yesterday, police in riot gear swarmed the farm at 5am PST to evict the farmers. About 50 people were arrested and some buldozing of the farm is underway. A fellow blogger The Sappho Manifesto lives in Los Angeles and has been reporting on site.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ottawa: Security Certificate 'Camp Hope'

On saturday night a group of activists who live in Toronto and the subsequent cities between Toronto and Ottawa arrived in Ottawa giving an end to the Freedom Caravan and a beginning to Camp Hope. The group organized by Homes Not Bombs are in Ottawa this week in protest of Security Certificates. The constitutionality of Security Certificates is being taken to the Supreme Court of Canada this week by Adil Charkaoui, Hassan Almreiat and, Mohamed Harkat. Outside of the Supreme Court Camp Hope has been set up by Homes Not Bombs, Justice for Mohamed Harkat, Justice Coalition for Adil Charkaoui, as well as NOWAR-PAIX.

The five men under Security Certificates have been held for years without fair trial. Outside of Kingston Canadian taxpayers have paid for a new facility that has been dubed by many as Guantanamo North. Adil Charkaoui was released on bail with strict conditions about two years ago, while Mohamed Harkat was also released recently on bail with strict conditions. The three remaining men in the Kingston facility Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohammad Mahjoub and Hassan Almrei have gone on hunger strike to protest their conditions.

Throughout the week in Ottawa there will be events happening as listed below. The first major event was yesterday where the group marched on the Prime Mininisters Office as well as Canadian Immigration. Today the group will be camped out on the lawn of the Supreme Court for Adil Charkaoui's challenge with banners from around the country. Then tonight the son of late Prime Minister Pierre Eliott Trudeau, Alex Trudeau will having a panel discussion with members of the Security Certificate Five's families, which is a change from the release of his new movie Secure Freedom about Security Certificates.

Tuesday, June 13. 9 am-5pm. Camp Hope Vigil and banner display Supreme Court Lawn. Support Adil Charkaoui in Court!

Tuesday, June 13 - 7 pm. - Panel discussion featuring Alex (Sacha) Trudeau, members of the Secret Trial Five families, short video screening St-Paul's University Amphitheatre, 223 Main Street.

Wednesday, June 14. 9 am-5pm. Camp Hope. Vigil and banner display Supreme Court Lawn. Support Hassan Almreiat in Court!

Thursday, June 15. 9 am-5pm Camp Hope Vigil and banner display Supreme Court Lawn. Support Mohamed Harkat in Court!

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Ottawa: Bilderberg Conclusion

Well some of the most powerful people on earth, came and went from Ottawa with nothing happening. They met in private to discuss the future of international foreign policy. The interest for demostrations against them was dismal and didn't really happen, the media coverage was not very good, and the entire weekend left me with a bad taste.

Though there was coverage of the conference by media, there was only local and independant reporting. None of the national networks really touched on the issue. Neither or had articles on it other then a short article in the CBC ottawa section. Any other meeting of such high level people would be covered properly with news trucks and television coverage on site. The only mainstream sources that showed up that I'm aware of was Ottawa Sun and Ottawa Citizen reporters for short periods of time. However, if you want some unfiltered videos of outside the conference Hour of the Time has some.

The list of people who attended was released however, as Infowars was able to get a leaked document. I am surprised not to see Conrad Black on the list however, as he was spotted in town. I am also suprised not to see Stephen Harper on the list as, Harper was at the 2003 Bilderberg Conference and the conference happens to have been held in Ottawa the year of his election. People on the list I'm not surprised to see however, are the Bilderberg Regulars David Rockefellar, Queen Beatrix, Henry Kissinger and, Richard Pearle.

Below are a few more pictures from outside the Hotel on Friday:

And Here is the round up of Posts I made:
Ottawa: Bilderbergs Arrive Tomorrow
Ottawa: Some Bilderbergs Arrive
Ottawa: Bilderberg Tickets and Researchers
Ottawa: Bilderberg Site and Article Round Up
Ottawa: Bilderbergs at Brookstreet Report
Ottawa: Pictures Outside the Bilderberg Conference

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ottawa: Pictures Outside the Bilderberg Conference

There wasn't much we could see as we obviously weren't allowed in or even to approach further then the sidewalk without getting surrounded by security. I had binoculars which you could see a lot more then you can with the camera however. This is the hotel with what looks like lack of security, but really is not. The area was fairly deserted, but there was certainly quite a bit. Below you can see the Ironhorse guards, some police, the infamous black sedans, and the layout. We weren't able to get any closer.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Ottawa: Bilderbergs at Brookstreet Report

The scene was bleak. The tall hotel gleamed under the dark rain in the sky. Private security roamed the grounds with about 10 stationed outside on posts and another two at the door. One Ottawa police cruiser sat in the parking lot with two police inside, two more stood by the door and, another two walked the grounds. A ambulance also sat on the premises next to ten golf carts.

About a dozen independent reporters stood outside in the rain on the curb. To step on the grass resulted in security coming to talk to you even if you just stood there and didn't advance. The only outsider who was able to get close was one lone Canada goose.

The hotel is around the corner from Lockheed-Martin while behind the hotel is the Marshes golf course. The area is fairly deserted and although, technically available by bus, it still happens to be far out. The hotel is far enough to be away from many watching eyes.

One reporter said that he might have seen Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Who was spotted earlier at the airport according to the Ottawa Citizen. The Citizen mentions her, David Rockefeller, Frank McKenna, Jorma Ollila, Egil Myklebust, Richard Perle, James Wolfenson though as I reported Conrad Black has also been spotted. They also report that "attendees will also include New York Governor George Pataki, deputy prime minister of Iraq Ahmad Chalabi, the heads of Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse, the Royal Bank of Canada, a number of media moguls, and cabinet ministers from Spain and Greece."

At the hotel there were only black sedans and, Brookstreet hotel vans which came through the barricades. One sedan had someone in the back seat who ducked down and only came up once he had cleared our sight. Other sedans came and went however, one of which had diplomatic plates and others had members who were rushed inside while their luggage was unpacked from the trunks. Some members came outside to smoke, only one of which I was able to get a good look at. He was Mediterranean, but I was unable to recognize him directly. None of important names came outside during the period though. Pictures of the hotel and security are on the way from my photographer.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ottawa: Bilderberg Site and Article Round Up

Here is a round up of sites, articles and, videos covering the Bilderbergs.

Sites: - Has live reports from Alex Jones from Ottawa
American Free Press - Has articles about the Bilderbergs - A personal site compiling data on the Bilderbergs
Center for Media and Democracy - Has a wiki on the Bilderbergs
Hour of the Time - Has some video and reports on it. One of the cohosts was on site

Undernews - "Why the media isn't reporting the Bilderberg Story"
Globe and Mail - "Secretive, powerful Bilderberg group meets near Ottawa"
Ottawa Citizen - "Ottawa to host top-secret meeting -- or maybe not"
Ottawa Citizen - "Elite firm to guard top-secret meeting in Kanata"
Ottawa Citizen - "Bilderberg-bound filmmaker held at airport"
Ottawa Citizen - "VIPs' arrivals marked by a discreet 'B'"
Ottawa Citizen - "Secretive Bilderberg over but was world domination discussed?"
Ottawa Sun - "A conspiracy with no limits"
Ottawa Sun - "Secret meetings set? Theorists insist Bilderberg here"
Ottawa Sun - "Elite are ever elusive"
BBC - " Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group"

PrisonPlanet - Alex Jones talks to Jim Tucker
History Channel - Bilderbergs Part 1, Part 2
CNN - The Bilderberg Group 2005
Google Video - Bilderberg 2005 meeting exclusive footage

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Ottawa: Bilderberg Tickets and Researchers

It seems on the internet tickets for the saturday of the conference are circulating. I certainly have my doubts about the tickets as they look extremely simple and the group likes its secrecy. I may go to report in person that day even if I cannot get in, I'll write what I see from the outide.

There is also a buzz that Alex Jones and Jim Tucker are in town to cover the event.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ottawa: Some Bilderbergs Arrive

Spark of Freedom has an anonymous source covering the Bilderberg's movements. According to the source David Rockafeller and Conrad Black have been spotted. The two came in at the airport early this afternoon.

Check back here for continuing coverage.

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Ottawa: Bilderbergs Arrive Tomorrow

The highly secret organization of powerful people known as the Bilderberg group are set to arrive in Ottawa tomorrow. They will be meeting until Saturday at the Brookstreet Resort though, the hotel denies any mention of the Bilderbergs they do have the hotel fully booked for that period of time. The group has in the past tried to avoid attention as much as possible which has sparked many conspiracy theories about them. They say the privacy associated with the meeting agenda is so that participants are allowed to speak freely. But, due to the lack of transparency from representatives of democratic countries many people have taken issue with them. Even the BBC called the Bilderberg group "The ultimate conspiracy theory."

The Bilderberg group was started not long after World War Two in 1954. The group name comes from the original meeting location at the Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands. The group only allows around a hundred people each year to attend by invite only. All members come from either North American, Europe or, Israel no other members of foreign governments have been allowed to attend. The stated purpose for it's creation was to strengthen ties between Europe and North American in opposition to the growing Soviet power. The Soviet union dissolved, but the Bilderbergs did not. They have continued to work as a group and, to talk about current foreign policy issues. Which specific issues have been talked about due to the secrecy is unable to say for sure. However, according to a Bilderberg researcher and a accredited journalist Jim Tucker that Iraq was a issue of debate a few years ago and, there was a diversion between the group on what to do, but the mainland European Bilderbergs were able to convinced others to stall the invasion by a few years.

According to the American Free Press the major topics at the meeting this year will be oil, Venezuela and, Iran. Venezuela and their President Hugo Chavez has been an issue of contention for Bilderbergs. Venezuela has large reserves of oil, which under Chavez have been used for the funding of other Latin American countries as well as social programs in Venezuela. Chavez suffered a coup d'etat in 2002 funded by Americans and wealth Venezuelan business owners, but he was quickly restored to power due to public support. Chavez has also created a new trading alliance with Cuba and Bolivia which has effectively ruined hopes of an FTAA. Chavez along with Iran have also threatened to switch trading in oil from US dollars to Euros. Such, a move could devastate the US economy. Iran of course also has major oil reserves and there is some evidence that military operations are already underway.

Another issue will be the Bilderberg's new important member Stephen Harper. Stephen Harper was seen at the 2003 Bilderberg meeting, but has since become Prime Minister and wields more power then before. The meeting has only twice before been held in Canada Toronto in 1996 and, Montebello in 1983. The meeting being held in Ottawa, the year of Prime Minister Harper's election may be more important then it seems.

Some previous members of the Bilderberg group has included David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, John Kerry, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Chuck Hagel, Conrad Black, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Tony Blair, Angela Merkel, Romano Prodi, Pascal Lamy, Natan Sharansky, CEOs, and many more influential people. Some people will be blockading the hotel this weekend, but with little notice and strict security the scene will not be easy. The Bilderbergs are overwhelmingly powerful and, their secrecy only leaves things less democratic.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Canada, US and UK: Same-Sex Marriage

The three close allies Canada, the United States and, the United Kingdom are all debating the issue of same-sex marriage. Canada has same-sex marriage, the UK has civil unions and, the United States federally has neither. The debate for or against has been flaring in all three countries in the past week.

Canada became the fourth country in the world to have same-sex marriage last year after federal legislation was passed although, many provincial courts had ruled that a ban was unconstitutional under the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms. The main opposition came from the Conservatives and their traditional values base. Although, many religious groups in Canada came out against the legislation some such as the Unitarian Church supported them. Now that the Conservatives hold the government Prime Minister Harper has said he will hold a vote later this year about reopening the debate, despite even some Conservative Members of Parliament coming out against it.

In the United States however, President Bush has promised to go one farther. Bush will be introducing legislation to put a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Currently the Federal Constitution does not address same-sex marriage, but individual states have different laws. Some states have bans on same-sex marriage, others don't address the issue, some provide same-sex benefits, a couple have same-sex unions and, Massachusetts has same-sex marriage.

The United Kingdom has civil partners federally, but the move towards same-sex marriage is being pushed in the courts due to Canada. Canada unlike other countries does not have a residency requirement for same-sex marriage. Some couples have come from other countries such as the United Kingdom in order to get married in Canada then to go back home. One couple Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson who were married in Vancouver three years ago have taken the issue to court in order to get their marriage recognized. Both are university professors who are pressing the issue in order for that word marriage as British civil partnerships give the same rights to same-sex couples as marriage does, but with another name.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Ottawa: Support for Afghan mission continues to Wane

The mission in Afghanistan by Canadian troops according to public opinion polls continues to loose public support. According to a recent poll by Decima Research only 41% of Canadians support the two year extension of the occupation. Only 11% said they strongly supported it as compared to 54% opposed 24% of which said they were strongly opposed.

The polls have showed a slow but steady decline in support of the continuation of Canadian troops overseas in Afghanistan. In April 46% opposed while 45% supported it which was down from the month before by a poll by The Strategic Counsel which showed at the time 55% supported and 41% opposed the mission. As Stephen Harper becomes more and more intertwined with a military occupation started without a vote by the Liberal party it seems to have been losing support.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ontario: Freedom Caravan begins

In Toronto yesterday a group of human rights activists started the treck to Ottawa. The group in taking a week to get to Ottawa stopping at every town along the way gaining people. They are calling themselves the Freedom Caravan who are on the way to Camp Hope. Camp Hope will be formed on the lawn of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. They will be camped out on the lawn for a week in protest of Security Certificates.

A week of activities are being planned and many other soldarity protests are being held around the country for the 13th of June. From the 13th to the 15th three of the Security Certificate detainees Adil Charkaoui, Hassan Almrei and, Mohamed Harkat will be challenging the constitutionality of their Security Certificates. Though other cities will be holding vigils on the 13th, in Ottawa there will be the film screening of Secure Freedom a documentary on Security Certificates made by Alexandre Trudeau the son of late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

USA: Is the Draft Returning?

During the Vietnam war due to a constraint on military forces the United States instituted a draft. There had been previous drafts during the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWI, WWII and, the Korean war. After the draft was ended the military rebuilt itself from Vietnam which had decimated the US forces. They rebuilt it as a all volunteer army and, have had overwhelming dominance since.

The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have weighed heavily on US forces. There has been declining enlistment rates, rapidly declining reenlistment rates and, a strain on the overall military. Some soldiers have been redeployed to Iraq multiple times and, there has been growing rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and soldiers going AWOL. In a way to try to counter this the US has a stop-loss program and has increasingly lowered its standards for military duty and, now even recruits at some high schools.

Despite all this the public eye for a draft is heavily opposed both by the government and the majority of citizens. A bill for mandatory military service was introduced to the house in 2003, but was overwhelmingly defeated. At the time there was a lot of media coverage of the event. Earlier this year in February 2006 another bill has got fairly little attention other then for a few online sites. The bill is the Universal National Service Act of 2006 introduced by Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel that would require mandatory military service.

The Act would require all Americans aged 18 to 42 to serve two years of mandatory service, which could be extended by the President if they so wish. The only exceptions of that group are students in full time secondary school who may first finish high school, people with disabilities, volunteer members of the armed forces, and conscientious objectors. If their objection is approved they will have to serve civilian service in compensation. The last time a Conscription bill was introduced it was overwhelmingly defeated, but with a strained military in Iraq and Afghanistan and, no foreseeable timetable for withdrawal the results of the bill may be different.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Ottawa: Status for All March

Last Saturday across the country there were vigils and marches for immigrant and refugee rights. The protests have mirrored a wave of protests for immigrant rights across the United States, but on a much smaller scale. The Canadian protests which were held in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Peterborough, Fredericton and, more. An image of the Montreal demonstration is to the left.

It was estimated that there are upwards of 800,000 illegal immigrants in Canada. Though the providing of status to the illegal immigrants was the core issue of these demonstrations three other related issues were brought up the Security Certificate Five, Israeli boycotts and, American War Resistors.

The Security Certificate Five of course are the five Muslim men detained on anti terror legislation that take away the right to fair trial. Mohamed Harkat an Algerian born, Ottawa resident was recently granted bail, which was taken away by an appeal by government lawyers. Only one of the Security Certificate Five is out on bail the other four are at a prison in Milhaven Ontario which opponents are calling Guantanamo North.

Boycotts of Israel are not a new invention. However, being an apartheid state it has created huge amounts of immigrants and refugees fleeing the country. Many have made there way to Canada as a refuge as well as many other places. Canada historically has voted against helping Israel, but the last two governments have changed that record. Originally votes in the UN were changed to abstention and now outright support of Israel. On the same day as the Status for All protest CUPE Ontario a union which represents 200,000 workers vote in favour of a boycott of Israel. They have since received a lot of hate mail for such a bold stance. You can send you opinion to them here.

The third related issue of American War Resistors were touched on and, in the Ottawa crowd was one of the War Resistors that I have previously met. There are twenty War Resistors openly applying for status in Canada. Campaign members believe there are about 200 underground. Canada took in thousands of War Resistors during the Vietnam War with Pierre Elliott Trudeau's proclamation that "Canada should be a refuge from militarism." Thirty years later Canada is participating in a war in Afghanistan, a coup against the democratic government of Haiti and, is the sixth largest producer of arms in the world.

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