Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ottawa: Rally Against Unborn Victims of Crime Bill

Over a hundred people met today in front of the Women's Monument in order to denounce the Unborn Victims of Crime Bill. Bill C-484 is a private members bill introduced by a Conservative Party MP. It passed the house of commons overwhelmingly in its first reading. The bill is created to pass extra sentencing on violent offenders who attacked pregnant women and cause problems or even death to the fetus.

At first glance of the bill most people would be favourable towards the bill. However, a better understanding of Canadian Law and looking more closely of the content of the bill may change that. Canadian Law already has provisions in the Criminal Code for pregnancy or spousal abuse to be aggravating factors leading to harsher sentences. The bill would however, give fetuses legal rights.

Many pro-choice advocates worry that to give the fetus legal rights would lead to the erosion of the legality of abortion. Abortion has only been legal in Canada for 20 years, it was made legal thanks to the work of Henry Morgentaler. Despite it being legal it is not very accessible with on 15% of Hospitals and a minority of clinics that do. All of these Hospitals and clinics are in urban centers and, one province P.E.I. has no where that abortion is available.

The speakers at the rally brought up that no one is happy about having abortions and, that it is unfortunate that women have to go through them. However, they said being pro-choice means that women actually have choices. These choices stemmed from a need for proper sex education, proper health care, proper child care and, a need for real pay equity. They condemned the current government as having not done any of these things nor, protected the rights of women to be free of violence.

The crowd included the Pro-Choice Coalition of Ottawa, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, University of Ottawa Women's Center, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Ottawa-Center NDP MP Paul Dewar, Ottawa West-Nepean NDP candidate Marlene Rivier, multiple violence against women campaigns, The Raging Grannies and, more. The event was closed off by a rendition of Bread and Roses and a moment of silence while everyone stood in a circle around the Womens Monument. It was supposed to take the street afterwards, but the rally was denied a police permit "due to the nature of the protest."

Note images are my property. First was drawn on the path in Minto Park. Second is of one of the many speakers at the back of the crowd is Paul Dewar and Marlene Rivier of the NDP. Third was part of the circle of the closing, rocks shown are the side of the women's monument

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

USA: Palin's Witchhunting Pastor

Despite all the major things going on in US politics right now the Economy crashing and, the Presidential debates last night there is something about Sarah Palin that fell through the cracks but worries me. Normally I wouldn't focus as much on a US VP candidate though, the possibility of Sarah Palin being President of the United States I have to admit scares me. The latest in the scandles surrounding her is her witch hunting pastor.

When I say witch hunting that is not a euphemism. Sarah Palin was blessed by Kenyan Bishop Thomas Muthee who stated "In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, every form of witchcraft is what you rebuke. In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, father make away now." while behind then Mayor Palin with his arm on her. Bishop Muthee got his start actually persecuting a woman in Kenya as a witch. He and his wife after six months of prayer were told by God that a local woman was the cause of crime, deaths and, what he referred to as "spiritual warfare". He led his congregation in praying against the woman and convinced most of the town that she was a witch and needed to be run out of town. When three people died in a car accident in front of the woman's residence, the residents wanted to stone her to death in retaliation. Police entered her home and shot what they thought was a demon, which was actually her pet snake. After that the woman left town for her own safety.

This incident however, became a bragging point for Muthee who said that crime afterwards went down and that he did God's work. Independent reports however, note that there was no change in crime due to the woman leaving town. Palin's church the Wasilla Assembly of God also took note of this and saw it as a major shining point of Muthee's career. For those who thought witch hunting was gone, apperently that was a mistake. Sarah Palin believes has called US soldiers going to Iraq as "God's Soldiers" and, was prayed into office by a witch hunting Bishop. That cannot bode well for the division of Church and State, let alone those of other religions in the United States especially actual Pagans and Witches.

Below is the video of Muthee praying for Sarah Palin.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Ottawa: Women Take Back the Night

Last night in Ottawa hundreds of women as well as some male supporters took to the streets to demand an end to violence against women. The event Take Back the Night has been running for 30 years now in opposition to to the lack of safety women had at night on the streets of Ottawa. Now thirty years on, the issue of violence against women still rages on in Ottawa and around the world.

The event was organized by the Women's Events Network, but included all forms of groups including student groups from Carleton University, University of Ottawa, Sexual Assault Support Groups, Homeless shelters, Immigrant Groups, Queer Rights groups, Pro-Choice groups and more. Both English and French communities were involved shouting chants in both official languages. The issue of looking at where women have come in thirty years was stressed, but also looking to the future.

Statistics about violence against women are still quite high. According to the Sexual Assault Support Center of Ottawa (SASC) 1 in 2 women have been sexually assaulted, 80-90% of women with disabilities are assaulted within their lifetime and, only 6% of sexual assaults are reported to police. Of those 6% of sexual assaults very few are found substantiated and go to trial, less then any other type of assault and, women are not treated with respect by the police.

The march started at the women's monument with a few speakers and went up Elgin to Wellington, into the market and, eventually to the University of Ottawa where entertainment, refreshments and, information was held. Responses from the public were mixed a few men along the way yelled offensive obsentities at the crowd, while other people joined the march, some people clapped or honked their horns, while other stood in confusion at the massive crowd. Chants were shouted such as "Women Unite! Take Back the Night", "La Rue, La Nuit, Les Femmes Sans Peur!" and, "Hey Mister, Get Your Hands off my Sister!" The mood was strong and, empowered in opposition to the violence that many women in the march had faced. They marched in solidarity into the night.

Note images are my property.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Canada: 3 BC NDP candidates withdraw

It seems the NDP is having trouble with its candidates in British Columbia. In the past week three NDP candidates in the ridings of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast, Vancouver-Quadra and, Saanich-Gulf Islands. The first candidate Dana Larsen dropped out of the race last week due to being in Pot TV video where he was on LSD and was doing marijuana. Mr. Larsen though now a member of the NDP was the cofounder of the BC Marijuana party. The second candidate Kirk Tousaw dropped out of the race two days later also for being seen in a video smoking marijuana. Marc Emery leader of the Marijuana Party has come out and stated that the NDP and the Marijuana Party made an agreement, which Jack Layton denies.

The third candidate who dropped out of the race this week has a very different story. Julian West candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands has now dropped out of the race over allegations that he had stood naked in front of a group of 14 to 17 year old girls while aroused at an environmental retreat in 1996. He was formerly a Green Party candidate and had been removed from the party. Now running for the NDP the allegations have come up again resulting in him dropping out of the race. Though, West dropped out too late, so his name will still be on the ballot and may still garner quite a number of votes.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Video:We Become Silent The Last Days of Health Freedom

International award-winning filmmaker Kevin P. Miller of Well TV announced the release of a new documentary about the threat to medical freedom of choice. 'We Become Silent: The Last Days of Health Freedom' details the ongoing attempts by multinational pharmaceutical interests and giant food companies — in concert with the WTO, the WHO and others — to limit the public's access to herbs, vitamins and other therapies. 'We Become Silent' is narrated by Dame Judi Dench, the noted UK actress who has won multiple Golden Globe awards, an Oscar, and a Tony for her on-stage work, in addition to dozens of other honors throughout her prestigious career.

Other sections Part 2 and, Part 3.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Video: Sarah Palin is Bush in Drag

This is too amusing for me to not post. Oh Naomi Klien. From Real Time With Bill Maher on Friday September 19th, 2008.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ottawa: Prof. Denis Rancourt Banned from Own Trial

Last week Science Professor Denis Rancourt the author of U of O watch and founder of uOttawa Cinema Academia was put on trial within the university, but the Professor, Media and students were barred from entry. The basis of the trial was to suspend Prof. Rancourt due to his use of images from the University of Ottawa site on the blog U of O watch. The University regulation states that:
The University of Ottawa has a stated policy of allowing professors to use its copyrighted images from its web site “for the positive promotion of activities related to the University of Ottawa.” (See Legal Counsel’s letter to Denis Rancourt dated August 28, 2007.)
The argument is that the blog is not positive towards the University. The blog exposes corruption in the University and, is entirely factual. Below is a video of the argument and Prof. Rancourt being locked out of the discussion.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Canada: Polling and the elections

I used to work on doing polling so, I'm always interested in looking at polls especially when it comes to our election season. Those of us who work in politics put a lot of stock in polling. However, those who have also worked in polling and follow them closely see how inaccurate they are. Below is an example of three different polling firms from the same day from

Within the same day the range of the Bloq is 7-8%, Conservatives 36-39%, Green 6-12%, Liberal 24-30% and, NDP 16-18%. Though we get rough estimates in cases such as the Greens and Liberals there are large margins of discrepancy.

The methods of polling are also generally inaccurate. Depending on the poll the question of "Will you vote on October 14th?" isn't asked. The questions asked are usually along the lines of "If the election were today which party would you vote for?" Instead of "Who will you be voting for October 14th?" and allow for undecided voters.

Another major factor is, that most polling uses only home phones. This usually biases questions towards older homeowners as many youth use cell phones instead of a home phone. How they decide on who answer the questions can also skew the survey. Homes of one adult will always be chosen and, where there are multiple people in the home they may not be in political agreement.

Polling is quite unreliable and should be understood as such. I'm not saying do away with them completely, but be aware of the inaccuracies within them.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ottawa: Police 'A Few Bad Apples'

Earlier this week I was talking to Ottawa Police Services at a conference on GLBTTQ youth. Two of the members in my break out group were police. In my critique of the police services they took it as a personal attack on them as individuals simply due to critiquing the services as a whole. The Ottawa Police are one of the most progressive services when it comes to GLBTTQ issues, but there have been many cases of police abuse especially against youth and more specifically street youth.

My critique included asking about the ability for Police to actually be youth-friendly in any way. Another police officer came up to me privately and stated that in fact many police officers view a group of youth as potential trouble and are not respectful of youth. The police at my table gave the argument that there were simply "A Few Bad Apples".

The "Few Bad Apples" argument is something that has been heard of in many organizations of coercive power. The best example in recent history would be the Abu Gharib scandle in Iraq where torture was being enacted by US military on Iraqi prisoners. CBC did a documentary on it by the same name. In reality the situation was not just "a few bad apples," but the system itself which was in place.

A famous experiment was done by Phillip Zimbardo in the 1970's about the corrupting influence of these forms of power positions. It was known as the Stanford Prison Experiment and it took regular males and put them in a simulated prison with who was to be guards and prisoners randomly chosen. The result was terrifying where the guards started to truly be violent and the prisoners becoming very subservient.

In the case of the Ottawa Police certain issues are not just an issue of a few bad apples. Police brutality against homeless people in the downtown core is a systemic problem. Under the "few bad apples" analogy we would find proper reprimands, criminal proceedings and, more sensitivity training then one day to cover all marginalized groups. How sexual assault victims are treated with utmost disrespect is not due to a few bad apples. And, that tasers are still considered acceptable despite the evidence of the serious harm they cause. These are systemic and institutional problems in this power system, problems with decisions from the top down as well as not truly dealing with those who abuse their power.

Second image from Ottawa Indymedia of Ottawa Police at Bush Protests 2004

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ottawa: September Activist Event Round Up

It has come to my attention that a number of events are coming up this month in Ottawa. Here is a list of the major ones I have been told about.

Taxi to the Dark Side
Fundraiser for Nowar-Paix.
Thursday, September 11, 7pm
Bytown Theatre (downtown on Rideau near King Edward)
* This Iraq War documentary won the 2007 Oscar for best documentary

Human Rights Rally:
Bring Abousfiam Abdelrazik Back To Canada!

Friday, 12 September, 12 Noon
Human Rights Monument (Elgin at Lisgar)
Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, is currently in limbo in the Canadian Embassy in Sudan, with the Canadian government obstructing every effort to bring him home. His lawyer, Yavar Hameed, needs public support in his effort to bring Abousfian back. Please join the rally. Speakers include Paul Dewar, Monia Mazigh and Yavar Hameed. They will indicate the extent to which the government is repeating the same shameful behaviour as in the Mahar Arar case!

uOttawa Cinema Academia
Every Friday, MacDonald Hall auditorium (MCD 146), 150 Louis Pasteur Street.
Doors open at 7pm, film starts at 7:30pm.
Friday, September 12th
Film: DOGVILLE(USA / 2003 / 178 minutes / English)
Organized and facilitated by professors Claude Lamontagne and Denis

Stop The Deportations: Let US War Resisters Stay in Canada
Saturday, September 13
2pm: mass leafletting session at entrance to Byward Market (on Rideau & Williams)
3:30pm: march to the Prime Minister's Office
5pm: film screening at Cafe Nostalgica (University of Ottawa)

Feminist Discussion Group
Sunday September 14th, 1-3pm
Umi Cafe 610 Somerset St. West
This will be the second of what will hopefully become a bi-weekly feminist discussion group. For a possible discussion topic, we had decided on the following question: "What role do men and people of other genders have to play within the feminist movement?" People of all genders, orientations, races and (most importantly) opinions are welcome!

Indecent Sex Acts On Parliament Hill
Thursday September 18th
5-6pm Parliament Hill
POWER (Prostitutes of Ottawa / Gatineau Work Educate & Resist) -- cordially invites you to witness...
Please join us in this call to protect sex workers’ rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights law by repealing Sections 210-213 of the Criminal Code!

Take Back the Night!
30 years- A March to end Violence Against Wimmin
Thursday, September 25th
6:30 pm: Rally at the Women's Monument at Minto Park (Elgin and Gilmour) with speakers and aboriginal drummers.
7:00 pm: March to the University of Ottawa
MAKE NOISE! Feel free to bring whistles, horns,
tambourines, drums, pots, pans, etc!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Opinion: Community Organizing

Last week Barrack Obama US Democratic Party Presidential nominee was criticized for being a Community Organizer. It was if it were a joke by both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin who made fun of his community organizing during their speeches. This just shows how out of touch they are with real people. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities"(Palin). Perhaps Sarah Palin doesn't understand the value of community organizing due to being the mayor of a remote town of 9000 people, but to those of us who live in major centers community organizing is a major part of life.

It is through community organizing that people have been able to advocate for rights. Community organizers work on a direct level to help alleviate the barriers to those who are disadvantaged well being. It is through them that people fight to keep jobs, that we protect local environments, that programs are implemented to help the homeless and those struggling with addiction issues. Community organizers work to improve society and help those who are truly in need at their level. US Community Organizers started a blog:

As a Social Worker I have a particular bias. That bias comes with the origin of social work which was with organizing new immigrants and eventually expanding into all sections of society. Community Organizing is the legacy of Martin Luther King jr., Ghandi, César Chávez, Abbie Hoffman, and more. Especially for Ms. Palin as has been stated by many before Jesus was a community organizer, the person who ordered his death was a Governor.

Here is a rebuttal by Obama:

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Canada: Let the Greens in Already..

There has been an argument over letting the Green Party into the federal debate. In Canada with our plurality of parties, allowing the Green Party to participate makes a lot of sense. Last election the Greens were not even added to the CBC website as one of the federal parties. I can understand not allowing every party in existence into the federal debates with 16 political parties currently registered ranging from the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, to the Marijuana Party, to the Western Block Party, to the Neo Rhinos who actually state they don't have a platform they have a happyform it would be slightly absurd to include all parties. The Greens however, have become a viable party.

The Greens unlike the many interesting other parties do compete and organize on a national stage like the Conservatives, Liberals and, NDP. The Greens put viable candidates in pretty much all ridings across the country and in certain ridings are even more organized then some of the other parties. Last election they brought in 6.6% of the popular vote and are currently polling closer to 9% on a national scale. However, due to our first-past-the post system it is difficult to have enough regional concentration to win proportional seats.

The Greens now have their first MP Blair Wilson-West Vancouver. Wilson was formerly a Liberal but left the party and became an independent just recently joining the Green Party. Some see this issue with contention however, the switching of parties has become more frequent within Canadian Politics.

With candidates across the country, their first MP, an established and recognized leader and, a viable National party platform the Greens should be participating in the debates. They are being barred from participating most likely due to the work of the Conservatives and NDP. The Conservatives cite that they shouldn't be allowed because, of a promise of by the Greens and Liberals to not run candidates in their leaders' ridings, something that has actually happened before in Canadian Politics. The NDP essentially have cited the same incident but it is more likely due to a worry of lost votes of left-leaning voters who would "go Green" so to speak. It is even reported that the Stephen Harper and Jack Layton told stations they would refuse to participate in debates if Elizabeth May was included. To me any party that viable should be included. The Bloc despite not running outside Quebec is included and the Progressive Conservatives when they lost all but two seats were included. What are you really scared of about including the Greens.

Elizabeth May talking about the Election Debates:

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Activist Video: Killing in the Name of..

Rage Against the Machine taking the street after the police shut down them from playing on stage at the Republican National Convention.

The Original Video

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Canada: Canadians going to the Polls Oct 14th

It seems Canadians will be going back to the federal polls on October 14th for another election. To many of us this is not at all a surprise. I started to see a new wave of political advertisements and in my district the Conservatives were already building their campaign office as early as at least 10 days ago.

Unfortunately due to apathy and none of the parties truly being innovative or standing out we will probably wind up with another minority government with the seats shifted slightly. The Conservatives according to polls are doing the best currently, but with many Canadians distrustful of their social policies as well as economic it is unlikely they will get a majority. The Liberals are still a fractured party with a leader who does not capture the majority of Canadians. The NDP will probably stay relatively where they are. A major fight will be for the Greens who now have their first member of parliament and are trying to get Elizabeth May included in the leaders debates.

So, Canadians here we go again. Will anything be accomplished by these elections? This independent doubts it.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Ontario: Six Nations being targeted by OPP

On this day in 1877 Crazy Horse was killed. After he had been arrested for leading the rebellion of the Lakota against the United States government, he was taken into a dark building and bayoneted while still tied up. Now years later First Nations on both sides of the border are still treated without dignity and respect. It can be shown by the disregard when Aboriginal womyn go missing, or in the sad state of reservations or, through police violence.

Here in Ontario, the Six Nations are the most systematically targeted group. For the past few years in Caledonia blockades have gone on and off the most extreme of which in 2006. The most recent set of attacks by Ontario Provincial Police happened over the weekend. According to Mohawk Nation News:
[Sunday], a man was grabbed by the cops from his van and held incommunicado for hours. His 14 and 16 year old sons were arrested. The cops ransacked another van looking for something to charge the driver with. Eventually they charged him for driving without a license. Two more youths were arrested. None of the parents were allowed to speak to their children.

Today, at 7:00 am. Labor Day, the OPP raided the demonstration at the illegal construction site of the Irish company, Kingspan. This had been shut down by Six Nations defenders. Two more youths were arrested, according to sporadic reports.
These blockades result in three groups on the highway, the Six Nations blocking the section on their land, Ontario Provincial Police surrounding them and, on the other side caucasian Caledonian residents. In the past this has resulted in a lot of violence being committed by the OPP on the Six Nations as well as, increasing racism from Caledonian residents.

As we saw the brutal violence by police on demonstrators in St. Paul this past week, we forget that, that type of police brutality occurs in Canada as well. However, it is targeted at those who are already disadvantaged like the homeless, poor, and sexual or racial minorities. The worst of which First Nations experience. As is stated in the article:
Canada must start listening to our legal reasoning. The violence against Indigenous peoples has got to stop. We know what’s right and wrong. The more they beat us, the more they make it clear that they are wrong.
The Six Nations want to take these claims to a true court of law. The truth of the matter is though in international law the Six Nations would win. The Government of Ontario and despite the residential schools apology neither does the Government of Canada.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ottawa: Professor Steps in for Cinema Politica

Just Tuesday I reported about the shutting down of Ottawa Cinema Politica a free weekly movie night at the University of Ottawa which shows free documentary films. Another professor at the University has come to the aid of Prof. Denis Rancourt who organizes the event. After a summer of fighting for the movie night Professor Claude Lamontagne has now booked the same auditorium and the two are renaming the series uOttawa Cinema Academia (uCA). This Friday will be the first event in the series:
The first event in the Fall 2008 series is therefore this Friday
September 5th, MacDonald Hall Auditorium (MCD 146). Doors open at 7pm. Event starts at 7:30pm.

The first film is “no film”. Producers Professors Claude Lamontagne and Denis Rancourt will be present for the screening.(Canada / 2 hours or more / any language)

We invite you and the media to come out and hear the story of the battle for academic freedom and a political venue on this campus, including town hall style discussions as usual.(Prof. Denis Rancourt)

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Opinion: Abstinence Education

Abstinence education has had a new wave of movement in the world mainly due to the rise of right-wing Christian evangelical movement which has swept throughout the United States and the world over the past 10 years. Most of the pressure for abstinence education is in the United States where the right-wing evangelicals have political sway due to the up to 2006 Republican Congress and, until today President George Bush who is very openly born again. Due to this political control sex-education has mostly been toward abstinence education.

Abstinence education teaches that the best way to go about keeping someone safe is to not have sex until monogamous marriage where the partners can be free of problems such as STIs and unwanted pregnancy. Which for some people is a very good and viable choice however, the problem is generally abstinence education enforced as the only form of sexual education. This policy has been forced on developing countries especially African countries who are looking for international aid to help for AIDS funding. Uganda for example was making a large amount of progress on AIDS due to their ABC's abstinence, be faithful and, use a condom. In order to get funding from the United States however, for AIDS the US demanded on a purely abstinence program. This has resulted in AIDS exploding again in Uganda.

The abstinence movement here in Canada is much weaker, but US organizations such as Focus on the Family have moved north to join with the small amount of right-wing evangelicals in Canada. South of the border however, in order to teach this abstinence education a growing wave of "Purity balls" have been spreading. During a purity ball daughters get dressed in fancy dresses or even wedding dresses and go to the ball with their father. Their fathers give them a ring and they pledge their purity and abstinence until marriage to their father.

Many of these organizations will even lie to say that condoms are unsafe and not effective. Which unless you are putting them on incorrectly or poking holes in them this is entirely untrue. Not to mention the organizations often are homophobic and teach nothing about any type of sex other then heterosexual vanilla sex. Leading to those who do engage in other forms of sexuality as both dangerous position because, they don't know how to protect themselves not to mention the feeling of guilt for going against the will of your family, community and, religious faith.

It has been studied by the American Psychological Association that comprehensive sex education is overwhelming better then abstinence-only education. To quote:
Based on over 15 years of research, the evidence shows that comprehensive sexuality education programs for youth that encourage abstinence, promote appropriate condom use, and teach sexual communication skills reduce HIV-risk behavior and also delay the onset of sexual intercourse.
Not only does it protect people in them having safer sex it actually delays the onset of sex which abstinence-only programs are trying to do. They go on to say that abstinence-only programs increase the risk of pregnancy and HIV infection.

Promotion of abstinence-only programs is in my opinion reckless and dangerous. It prevents youth from knowing how to properly keep themselves safe when having sex. It should also be noted that having sex is a natural and enjoyable act. I say its about time we as society see sex as sacred instead of shameful. Teach about how it can be enjoyable and most importantly teach how to truly be safe.

Image of a Purity Ball from SCWC.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ottawa: University of Ottawa Censors Movie Night

Since September 2005 every friday night around 100 students, activists, University staff and, community members would get together to watch a movie and provide discourse afterwards. The series Ottawa Cinema Politca was a free movie night which brought in underground political documentaries for whoever wished to come. The movie night was held on the University of Ottawa campus and attempted to be as accessible as possible.

The movie night was run by activist Professor Denis Rancourt, a tenured physics professor. He was the Professor who ran the famous Activist Course which talked about political activism and brought in high profile speakers such as Malalia Joya outspoken Afghan MP, political experts as well as, community workers. It was a extremely popular course needing the largest auditorium in the university. However, the university administration stopped the course from running again despite widespread student and public support.

The new University of Ottawa President Allan Rock has come in with a stance against the free movie night cancelling it and refusing allowing it to occur on the University of Ottawa Campus. Dozens of letters have been sent directly to the President demanding the reinstatement of the movie night. The University's position is that Cinema Politica failed to provide Deaf access to the events. Prof. Rancourt had tried to apply for interpreters from the University who refused to provide them. Prof. Rancourt did eventually find deaf access provided by the student federation.

To read more about what is happening read U of O Watch. To contact President Allan Rock email or

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Monday, September 01, 2008

USA: St. Paul Police Arresting People without Cause

Throughout St. Paul where the Republican National Convention is convening Police services have been arresting, detaining people, breaking in doors with guns drawn without any real charges. They are taking "pre-emptive" raids on protest organizers and even media members. Many of these raids have been done without warrants or correct warrants as well as using automatic weapons. Breaking into private homes without warrants is obviously illegal, but that hasn't stopped police and FBI members having done so.

Groups that have been targeted are Glassbead Collective, Food Not Bombs, the RNC Welcoming Committee, I-Witness Video, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Permibus and Democracy Now!. Democracy Now is an independent news organization which is on over 700 tv and radio stations. The host Amy Goodman and two producers were unlawfully arrested tonight while legally reporting and filming the protests. The incident was caught on film as shown by submedia.

For more information see the Democracy Now! report from before Amy Goodman was arrested, the newsweek blog by Starhawk on the PermiBus as well as submedia who has three reports. DNC Dispatch #3 RNC EMERGENCY DISPATCH #1, RNC Dispatch #2

UPDATE: Democracy Now Host Amy Goodman and producers were released last night. For full coverage watch their report. In the same series of arrests a Associate Press Photographer and other press were also violently arrested.

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