Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ottawa: Dyke March on its way

Ottawa's Third Annual Dyke March is well on its way. The collective has been working hard to bring the best grassroots Dyke Day events that this city has ever seen. The group is bringing four events all accessible, and by donation.

Dyke March is a tradition first brought into place in San Francisco in 1992 as a way to give Queer Womyn a way to step out and speak out about oppression. Being under a patriarchal, homophobic, and heterosexist society Queer Womyn face oppression on many fronts. Early Dyke Marches were mainly acting as a protest, but now its more of a way of Queer Womyn affirming their right to be on the street and safe. Many Dyke Marches now are also intregal parts of Pride Weeks around the world.

The Ottawa Dyke March started in 2003 acts as a way to bring light to Queer Womyn and Trans-People of all types. It also acts as a completely grassroots, accessible, non-discriminatory safe space for Queer Womyn and Trans-People. Last year Dyke March Ottawa decided to start to honour one group per year for the work they've done in the community. This year the honoured group is AGITATE Ottawa the Queer Womyn of Colour Collective.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Opinion: Politics and Apathy

Somehow in our society the word politics has become a dirty word. Worse then those 'four letter words' in use in daily life. There is a definite feel of apathy which runs through much of the society with the feeling 'I have enough to deal with in my own life'. This may be due to an oversaturation of the idea of democracy. We say yes we've been a democracy for over a hundred years and were better then other political systems because of it. Yet, in especially single member plurality countries such as the United States and Canada which have long been democracies voting rates in recent years are only in the 60 percentiles and the traditional discussion of politics at the family dinner table and within the home have lessened. To the point where people are told 'oh don't talk about that'. There is obviously a feeling that nothing really can be changed, that all major political parties are similar and, its fairly useless to try otherwise. That is not a functioning democracy.

The majority of people only tend to get involved when they feel they are being directly affected by the situation. Even though in reality all people are always being affected by politics in some form or another. But, unless the people consciously realize this and feel they can do some good nothing happens. Some examples are the famous water rights uprising in Cochabamba Bolivia, Gay rights activists working for the right to marry, or international Palestinian and Lebanese communities protesting the current war crimes by Israel (by international law what they are doing is war crimes). Yet, lets take the last example Arab communities for the past few years had fallen away from the anti-war movement, but with this latest offence either endangering the lives of or killing relatives has spurned the community to become active again.

There is one more major community though that becomes apathetic about politics, the activist community. I know that myself there are times when there is only such much that I can take. Being an informed activist allows you to see the overwhelming injustice in the world where you might not have known before. At times people will just have to break out of activism for a while for their own sanity. Social Psychologist say that those who most accurately view themselves are more likely to be depressed, I think this goes to viewing the world accurately as well. All communities need to work on their political apathy if we are to have any type of real functioning democracy.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Poem: The Game We Played

I've been fairly distraught lately with current international affairs. I feel people are being slaughtered in what is close to a genocide in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Not to mention the real genocide still going on in Darfur. I wrote this poem to get out some of that pain about the world. It is in the perspective of a American Iraq Veteran who has PTSD and is starting to loose their sanity. It is fairly jagged in structure on purpose.

My sleep is disturbed
By the dropping bombs
From far away
That break in my slumber
Like a Giant
Swinging an axe by my head

The visions grow stronger
And my rest grows weaker
As I start to loose control
From the horrors that haunt me

The burning bodies
The deformed children
And my dead friends
Still speak to me

I break at the edge of my existence
Wanting to just sleep forever
To have been on the opposite
End of that gun I fired

To be the victim
Not the murderer
Spurned on by my training
To be a murderer and a hero
All at the same time

Wretched nights continue
And even more wretched days
As people say they are proud
Of what I have done

What have I done
Been a pawn in an oil man's game
To kill the poor
For the rich and their black gold

Kill Kill
Is the name of the game
And with childrens bodies
We play
And with childrens bodies
We play
Kill Kill
Is what we play
By: Aurora Jade Pichette
Date: August 6th, 2006


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Movie: Peace, Propaganda & The Promised Land

This is an excellent movie. It shows the other side of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and how it is falsely portrayed in the American Media.

"Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites--oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others--work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.
Through the voices of scholars, media critics, peace activists, religious figures, and Middle East experts, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land carefully analyzes and explains how--through the use of language, framing and context--the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied terrorities appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one. The documentary also explores the ways that U.S. journalists, for reasons ranging from intimidation to a lack of thorough investigation, have become complicit in carrying out Israel's PR campaign. At its core, the documentary raises questions about the ethics and role of journalism, and the relationship between media and politics."

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Opinion: Middle East Conflict

I haven't written much for a while out of pure apathy. The situation in the middle east has not been improving instead only more innocents have been killed. I know at least one of the two people I know are out of Lebanon, but yet more die. This is a tragedy, to call it anything less would be false.

What angers me most is that the different sides are shown as if they are equal. Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel are by no means equal and should not be compared as such. Israel is one of the most powerful military powers in the world. It is one of the select club of nuclear powers and, they are backed up the most powerful country the United States. Israel kills many more Palestinian and Lebanese civilians then could be even fathomed by the other side. Israel is a militaristic apartheid state, to call it anything else would be false. That it clings that its merely defending itself and that it clings to the Jewish religion is a farce and a disgrace. Murdering civilians is not defence, using apartheid on a people is not defence, annexing others territory is not defence. It is a war state.

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