Saturday, December 01, 2012

I updated the sidebar!

Hello.  I just updated this blog's template.  Now the sidebar includes links to many of the groups who are supporting the Unis'tot'en blockade of the Pacific Trails Pipeline!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

From graduate and undergraduate students at McGill University's Macdonald campus:

The Unis'tot'en Blockade is a rallying point, or a convergence point.

The Wet'suwet'en are, among the west coast First Nations who have – over and over – been vocal and visible – and they have been heard all over the continent. They resist the destruction of the land and their home. In the past the Native Youth Movement was a good example, like the Mohawk Warriors, of what could be an anti-colonial Warrior ethic. This is very exciting.

Not just pipelines, but Natural Resource Industries threaten forests with clearcutting and threaten unceded First Nations land with hydraulic fracturing, but also open surface mining and other fossil fuel extraction projects. These threats could impact our atmosphere, which, by virtue of its turbulence and fluidity, could extend the threat to further endanger the ancient, established ways of life of all creatures on the land and in the ocean (owing to reprecussions upon ocean currents and pH).

Therefore, the threat to Wet'suwet'en land is, in fact, a threat to us all, not just to the trees, or the coast of BC!

We have to resist these projects! We have no disagreement yet in our assertion that we should resist all projects of the fossil fuel industries. Furthermore, this resistance ought to be globalized.

Here, in Ste Anne de Bellevue, it is cold, it's snowing, and it's Winter. We are not resolved to invite the undergraduate students at Macdonald College to protest outside, under these conditions. Besides, recently, other kinds of actions have shown to be effective to raise awareness, draw the attention of Society, and seemingly effect change.

So, we are going to follow the Unis'tot'en callout, but act in the electronic realm.

We will contact Encana Corporation (@encanacorp), Apache Canada, Enron Oil and Gas Resources (partners of Pacific Trails Pipeline), Royal Bank of Canada (@RBC_Canada), and Jarislowsky Fraser Limited. We will also find contacts for the Enbridge Northern Gateway (@NorthernGateway) and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, and the Pembina and Spectra projects, etc. We will contact all these groups with the message: "There will be no pipelines on Unis'tot'en lands. These pipelines are harmful to the land and the community. These extractive projects are based on a fundamentally destructive colonial and capitalist model that forces profits ahead of Indigenous self-determination and stewardship, destroys, and exploits the land and ecosystems, and disregards the safety and health of communities including those who have to work the poisonous jobs in these industries."

We will copy these messages to the Unis'tot'en camp, Francis Scarpaleggia (@ScarpaleggiaMP), and west coast politicians, or include their twitter names in our tweets.

We will "like," follow, and join the organizations that endorsed the Unis'tot'en campaign and make them aware of our electronic campaign:


Friday, September 28, 2012

The latest study showing human health effects of GE foods

Séralini, G-E., E. Clair, R. Mesnage, S. Gress, N. Defarge, M. Malatesta, D. Hennequin, J. Spiroux de Vendômois. 2012. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chem Toxicol.

For further insight into this study, and the controversy that inevitably surrounds it, check out

FAQ – From CRIIGEN research Team

E. Ann Clark, September 2012. 5 pages. Discussion of reaction to Seralini's GM corn study such as the use of "red herring arguments".

For more discussion about the human health effects of GE crops, click on the label below...

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Nightmare

I am going to try, such as I am able at this time, to express part of the whole realization that dawned upon me after waking from a dream.  I hope I can communicate this simply and clearly to you, without any undue emotionalism.

I had a strange dream last night. In the dream, I was at home for the Winter Break. The mild December weather, green grass, and leafy trees weren't what was strange about it, though. I was unsettled by the development around my mother's house. My mother's house used to be my great aunt Ruth's house, and it was built and rebuilt near the long, forested peak of the Hill of Boisdale. The house and the whole community of Upper Leitches Creek is surrounded by fens and the so-called "Appalachian Forest," although it is located on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.

I believe all attempts to certify her family's hectarage to be thwarted by topography. My mother's family would have lived out there on the Upper Leitches Creek Road for seven generations, but in reality, she has sold the house since moving down to Halifax. She sold the house, but kept the land.

In my dream, there was another asphalt road or two cleared from where trees had been, and there were new houses.  They were tacky and pretentious, in contrast to the typical Nova Scotian home, which is a monotone box, with tiny rectangular windows, that lacks pretension intentionally, consciously, and by design.

The steep slope between the new roads was covered with turf. This unsettled me. Even though I was not lucid in this dream - even though I didn't know that I was dreaming - I could feel the wrongness of it all inside. Like worms or being inhabited by demons.

I spoke with two old women in my dream (without any lucidity). I said to them that, although it was so sad that the forest was cut down, it was good that there was a bus to town, for my mother to visit her children, who work in the city. I type these last words with horror, because that isn't how I think about things! I really love the forest dearly. I could say that, more than any other thing, I want it protected.

The real horror of this dream unfolded, however, as I woke up. Although my eyes opened and I sat up in my bed, a mysterious understanding dawned upon me.  The objects of my bedroom surrounding me seemed to be thrust forward, each proof of the nightmarish totality of our "evolutionary trap." I saw a box of Tobasco Sauce on my desk, and it seemed like an artifact of a degenerate, spiteful, and careless industry.  And of course it really was and is.

Development, and what could be called progress, and the establishment in which we live, immerse us spitefully in artificiality that is only the reassembled defiled and dead remains of eliminated landscapes, eliminated homes, and communities of living things that have been erased from existence. This is the nightmare that industrial capitalism makes of our desires for development and career ambitions.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Protesting austerity measures is dangerous everywhere, even in Sudan

[I have long since ceased to post my Amnesty International letters.  That said, let me immediately contradict myself by posting this appeal for the freedom of another anti-austerity activist.]

Your Excellency,

Magdi Aqasha, leader and spokesperson of the Sharara and member of the Sudanese Conference Party, was arrested on June 24th, at the scene of a traffic accident, by Sudan's National Security Service. I am only writing to you to request that you exert your power to release Magdi Aqasha immediately and unconditionally. Please ensure Magdi Aqasha is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, and ensure that, regularly, he has access to his family and a lawyer of his choice.

The harassment by Sudan's National Security Service of peaceful activists and journalists must stop. Sudan must honour its commitment to freedom of expression as enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which you are a party.

Sincerely & Respectfully,


Monday, June 04, 2012

Bill 78

[I didn't write this, I'm just reposting it.  I agree with it wholeheartedly.]

This is a half-page flyer written about 'special law' and Bill 78, the anti-protest law 
passed by Quebec as part of a crackdown on the student movement. This was made to be 
distributed in Ontario at the 'casseroles,' or pots and pans demonstrations, inspired by 
and in solidarity with the struggle in Quebec.
Reading version available for download at Zine Library.
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep 
under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread. Anatole France 
"Violence was the law, and with the cannons in the hands of the whites,
 the law was white." Sunera Thobani 
The social struggle in Quebec, grown out of a student movement against 
tuition, has inspired many. But perhaps the central issue causing people to take the 
streets with pots and pans across the country is Bill 78, known as the 'special law.'
It criminalizes demonstrations not approved by police and imposes heavy fines for 
political activity on school campuses. It has been accompanied by a crackdown that has 
seen more mass arrests than the FLQ Crisis of 1970, at last count over 2,500.
But the special law is not special. It is a predictable response to a special 
mobilization, a struggle that is unprecedented in its size, popular support and ferocity 
in recent Quebec history. In Ontario, we got a taste of 'special law' in 2010 at the G20 
Summit, where government and police collaborated to create a 'no-go zone' around the 
security fence protecting G20 leaders. Rights were thrown out the window as downtown 
Toronto was transformed into a police state. Middle class white people were especially 
outraged, and will have their day in court now that the threat has temporarily subsided. 
But for people already criminalized under this system, this only represents an 
intensification of an everyday experience of targeted harassment. We see this same process 
happening in long-term ways on a federal level, with sweeping crime bills and specific 
laws aimed at pre-empting dissent, such as the anti-mask law with penalties of up to 10 
years in prison.
[Here I would have written also that whether or not such a law is in place,
the police use force to disperse gatherings that challenge the status quo, in any case.] 
This is about the interests of government and capital, not the evil conspiracies of 
Charest or Harper.
[I would have written "... and the evil conspiracies..."]
If we exceptionalize Bill 78, we ignore the fact that the law is a set of tools and 
weapons governments use to entrench the interests of the powerful, control and regulate 
the general population, and wage war against the ungovernables. The Canadian state is 
founded on the genocidal conquest of indigenous nations and land, and concessions such as 
the Charter are desperate attempts to create legitimacy where there is only a ruthless 
violence underpinning 'Canada'. So we shouldn't be shocked when we see these same rights 
instantly evaporate in a 'crisis'. And in these times of social upheaval and economic 
austerity, we are approaching perpetual crisis.
Focusing on a particular law or appealing to rights risks going on the defensive and 
getting drawn into a conversation with our enemies. It paints the movement as powerless 
victims. We should be inspired to action not just by images of police brutality, but also 
by images of masked rebels chasing riot police. Now is the time to build our grassroots 
power, prepare for repression, support those targeted by the state, but most importantly 
to go on the offensive.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Translating the printemps érable

Here's the link to the tumblr blog that's posting translations into english of french articles about the Quebec student strike:

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

For the anonymous student

From Mont-Royal
four vultures
circled over McTavish and Sherbrooke.

In the McGill Bookstore
the women said Notre-Dame
withheld the name
of the student in surgery
who was beaten by police,
and the sociologist said
Le Village Gai
was the “perfect storm,”

but the rainclouds blew off
and orange clouds sprayed
from out of his fractured bone
to drench the island with his spirit.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hey look I'm in the news:

and I just want to say that the student strike today in Montreal, 200,000 people, was just beautiful!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tangled Roots: Dialogues exploring ecological justice, healing, and decolonization

Matt Soltys is writing a book. It's a collection of interviews he has done through Healing the Earth Radio, titled Tangled Roots: Dialogues exploring ecological justice, healing, and decolonization. It's coming out this summer.

As of today, Matt's launching his book's website and a fundraising website to sell advance copies. His website is, and there's a fundraising website where you can buy copies in advance to raise money for printing at

Check it out! And it would be a huge help if you could pass this on to anyone you can possibly think about who may be interested in supporting this project by getting a copy. It's a book that Matt hopes will appeal to a range of people, including left-leaning and enviro-minded folks, and those who are already fairly radicalized.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Poem to post on Macdonald campus walls during the strike

Have you listened to Jim Nicell
referring to himself as “we?”
Nice, hell, Jim's a fuss about
institutional emergency.

Jim has told us that he has
a response team who decides
to send us emails, to communicate
with the rest of us. Besides,

He advises we avoid Sherbrooke Street
and the people waiting there.
He wants you to know about those things
that might unsettle, disturb, or scare
Of unlawful students you ought to be
especially aware.

While it is safe to leave buildings
(sometimes it is quite quiet)
Jim warns us to be cautious
of downtown's simmering riot.

He warns us specifically
of the south and east,
because that's where the students clash
with Montreal police.

That tricky bureaucrat!
Shall we let him decide
to manipulate us, saying
“For the moment, stay inside”?

Friday, February 24, 2012

How very long it has been since I posted 2 things in 1 day


Dear Editor of The Montreal Chronicle: I'm disappointed by the Public Safety Minister's comments in the House of Commons last week. He accused Francis Scarpaleggia - and perhaps all of us - of "siding with the child pornographers." In any case, as can be seen by the perpetually hacked status of the FBI and Interpol websites by Anonymous et al., law enforcers simply aren't as savvy as they are frequently & fictitiously portrayed. In any case, according to a poll by the government's privacy commissioner, 8 out of 10 Canadians oppose legislation that would grant authorities warrantless access to our private information. Such detailed surveillance of the citizenry would require an enormous number of spies, and as such it would necessarily be prohibitively expensive. More than mere apology for his comments, which would be warranted, I would like to see Minister Toews resign. (In my opinion, Harper's Conservatives ought to be drummed out of town altogether.) At the very least, the Canadian government ought to commit to abandon any online spying legislation. They ought to commit to removing the warrantless access provisions in the legislation, insert privacy safeguards and enforcement, and provide a clear plan to offset the estimated $80,000,0000 this will cost Canadian families and businesses. I encourage everybody to join the 112,000+ people who have already voiced their opposition to Bill C-30 by signing the Stop Online Spying petiton at


This is Arturo's blog! Check it out!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Reposting my post from McGill University's discussion blog

[posted here]

I'm sure people with positions in the McGill University hierarchy will want to protect their gains and the comforts of their elevated positions.

However, we need to abandon the insensitive & rigid traditional hierarchical structure.

We have been disappointed too many times by the collusion of elites in the hierarchy with economic and military actors who have been too destructive and too guilty of the chaos into which our society, economy, and ecology are descending.

We need an adaptive and intelligent institution that receives information from its members, by sensitive and non-hierarchical communication. This means that what have been institutional decisions at the highest level must be made non-hierarchically, collectively.

We need Reason to chart our course and not Capital.

We need an institution that doesn't merely purport to be ethical, but actually IS ethical.

If McGill doesn't become more sensitive and adaptive in this way, it won't have much of a future.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health

de Vendômois, J.S., Roullier, F., Cellier1, D., Séralini, G.-E. 2009. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. Int J Biol Sci 5(7):706-726

We present for the first time a comparative analysis of blood and organ system data from trials with rats fed three main commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize (NK 603, MON 810, MON 863), which are present in food and feed in the world. NK 603 has been modified to be tolerant to the broad spectrum herbicide Roundup and thus contains residues of this formulation. MON 810 and MON 863 are engineered to synthesize two different Bt toxins used as insecticides. Approximately 60 different biochemical parameters were classified per organ and measured in serum and urine after 5 and 14 weeks of feeding. GM maize-fed rats were compared first to their respective isogenic or parental non-GM equivalent control groups. This was followed by comparison to six reference groups, which had consumed various other non-GM maize varieties. We applied nonparametric methods, including multiple pairwise comparisons with a False Discovery Rate approach. Principal Component Analysis allowed the investigation of scattering of different factors (sex, weeks of feeding, diet, dose and group). Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded.