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Day at Court: Athabasca Chipewyan Head to Vancouver to Appeal Federal Decision on Shell’s Tar Sands Expansion

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Vancouver to Appeal Federal Decision on Shell’s Tar Sands Expansion Approval


October 14, 2014

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) leadership and Elders will be in Vancouver on Oct. 15th, 2014 to defend their appeal of Federal approval of Shell’s Jackpine Mine Expansion tar sands project.

ACFN and local groups organized a solidarity rally/press conference outside the courthouse prior to hearings. Leadership from various First Nations opposing proposed tar sands pipelines in BC, and local environmental organizations will join ACFN reps to speak about wide scale impacts of tar sands expansion projects.

October 15, 2014
8:30 – 9:30 am
Federal Court of Canada
Pacific Centre, 701 West Georgia Street 
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1B6 
Press Conference with speakers from the ACFN and British Columbia First Nations, and local environmental groups.

Speakers include:

Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Chief Ian Campbell, Squamish First Nation
Rueben George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust
Shamentsut Nahanee, Greenpeace
Ta'Kaiya Blaney, youth activist

In its case filed before the Federal Court, ACFN alleges that: Canada breached its duties to consult and accommodate ACFN with respect to the Project and the manner in which the Project will impact ACFN’s constitutionally protected section 35 rights.

ACFN further alleges that the process, and mitigation offered, was inconsistent with the Species at Risk Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, as well as several international agreements and conventions to which Canada is a signatory.

Blame Canada: Democracy's Global Allure Fading

The Lost Hope of Democracy
by John Chuckman 
I read and heard about Hong Kong’s students putting themselves at risk demonstrating for democracy, and my first instinct was sympathy, sympathy for their passionate idealism, but sympathy in another sense too, for their sad illusions.
I ask myself, and it is not a trivial question, what is it exactly that they believe they fight for? Democracy has become such a totemic word, we all are trained to revere it, unquestioningly, almost the way 16th Century people were expected to behave in the presence of the Host during Communion.
But just where in the West do we see countries who call themselves democracies behaving in democratic ways, indeed where do we see genuine democracies? And if it is such an important concept, why should that be?
In Canada, to start where I live, we have a serious democratic deficit. A Conservative government today, elected to a parliamentary “majority” with about 39 percent of the national vote, behaves for all the world as an authoritarian government in many things at home and abroad.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Tom Engelhardt, Richard Atwell, Janine Bandcroft Wed., Oct. 15, 2014

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -
If you feel there's a disconnect between the kind of values we in the West espouse and the actions our agents in government take to protect and project those values it's important you know a couple of things: First; you are not suffering cultural dissonance, and secondly; the government you see is neither yours, nor what you think it is.

Lurking below the waterline, more ominous than any iceberg, lay the real power running this country, that country, and perhaps every country.

Averse to the light, and invisible at night, it's the Shadow Government that rules you, and it doesn't share any of the values its daytime doppelganger maintains.

Listen. Hear.

Tom Engelhardt is an educator, journalist, news and book editor, co-founder of the American Empire Project, creator of the Nation Institute's news website,, (where his too numerous to iterate articles appear) and author whose book titles include: 'The American Way of War,' 'The United States of Fear,' 'The End of Victory Culture,' 'Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050,' with Nick Turse, the novel, 'The Last Days of Publishing,' and his latest, 'Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.'

Tom Engelhardt in the first half.

And; local elections are looming with contests for municipalities, city councils, mayoral and CRD board positions just a month away. Though not on anyone's official radar screen, amalgamation so far seems to be one of the key talking points on the stump.
In Victoria, incumbents will have to face the electorate and answer for massive infrastructure project cost overruns - any buyers out there for a nearly designed blue bridge? - while the CRD and myriad municipalities try to explain why the lower island can't get its shit together on a sewage treatment solution stagnating for years now.

Richard Atwell knows all about that debate, he's director of STAG, or the Sewage Treatment Action Group, a collection of citizens promoting the R-I-T-E solution for our daily pollution; one that is: Respectful of communities; uses Innovative technologies; is Taxpayer friendly; and, Environmentally sound., and campaign organizer for, the group most responsible for the CRD's about face last year on its plan to locate a biosolids plant in a Vic West neighbourhood. Now the software engineer and Saanich resident has entered the race to unseat Saanich's near perennial mayor, Frank Leonard.

Richard Atwell changing gears to change the old guard in Saanich in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things going on on the streets of our city and beyond there too. But first, Tom Engelhardt and lighting the corners where the Shadow Government lives.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: And now heard at Simon Fraser University's . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Organizing Resistance to Canada's Militarists

Meeting against Canada’s participation in new Mideast war at York University
13 October 2014
Wednesday, October 15 @ 4:30 PM
York University (main, Keele St. Campus)
Ross Building, Room N 120

Canada’s Conservative government is again taking the country to war, this time in Iraq and Syria.
Under the facade of a “humanitarian intervention” against the extremist group ISIS, the Canadian military is participating in a major US-led war whose real aims are: the shoring up of the pro-US regime in Iraq; the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is a close ally of Russia and Iran; and the strengthening of US imperialism’s military-strategic hegemony over the world’s most important oil-exporting region.
Like the 2003 Iraq war, the current war is being sold to the public through a pack of lies.

Getting German Guns Back in the Great Game

German Social Democrat leader plans to expand arms industry
by Gustav Kemper - WSWS
13 October 2014

On Wednesday, Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel held a long-announced speech at the German Society for Foreign Policy on the principles of Germany’s arms trade.

Packaged as a list of ethical considerations and legal restrictions, the speech culminated in a call to place the arms industry at the service of German foreign policy and the creation of a powerful army.

“Foreign and security policy must be the starting point and aim of a strategy for arms policy for Germany—and as far it is achievable, for Europe,” Gabriel demanded.

The economy minister, who is chairman of the Social Democrats (SPD), intends to reorganise the arms industry and focus it more strongly to this end.
“It is the stated goal of the EU (European Union) and German government to reconfigure the deeply divided European defence market, and strengthen the technological basis of Europe’s arms industry. Germany’s strong and competitive industry could significantly benefit from such a development,” he told the assembled audience from the arms industry, military, and political establishment.

Welcome to Kuwait on the Prairie, Welcome to America's Oil Boom

A Trip to Kuwait (on the Prairie)  - Life Inside the Boom
At 9 p.m. on that August night, when I arrived for my first shift as a cocktail waitress at Whispers, one of the two strip clubs in downtown Williston, I didn’t expect a 25-year-old man to get beaten to death outside the joint. Then again, I didn’t really expect most of the things I encountered reporting on the oil boom in western North Dakota this past summer.
“Can you cover the floor?” the other waitress yelled around 11 p.m. as she and her crop-top sweater sidled behind the bar to take over for the bouncers and bartenders. 
They had rushed outside to deal with a commotion. I resolved to shuttle Miller Lites and Fireball shots with extra vigor. I didn’t know who was fighting, but assumed it involved my least favorite customers of the night: two young brothers who had been jumping up and down in front of the stage, their hands cupping their crotches the way white boys, whose role models are Eminem, often do when they drink too much.
One sported a buzz cut, the other had hair like soft lamb’s wool.
The rest of the night was a blur of beer bottles and customer commands to smile more. It was only later, after the clientele was herded out to Red Peters’s catchy “The Closing Song” -- “get the fuck out of here, finish up that beer” -- and the dancers had emerged from the dressing room in sweatshirts, that I realized everyone was on edge.

First Refuge: The "Patriot" Game

Patriot's Game
by William T. Hathaway
patriot fingerOnce again in election season the drums of patriotism are being beaten. Politicians on the stump and their Madison Avenue flacks are exhorting us to rally around the tattered flag. Their drumming sounds feeble and hollow, though, like cheerleaders trying to rouse the fans while our military team goes down to defeat, bringing the economy with it.
The drummers persist because their patriotic noise drowns out the voices of those asking disturbing questions: Why are we playing this losing game to begin with?
Why are we bankrupting the country with endless war?
How can we love a nation that slaughters millions of our fellow human beings? These questions endanger the game, and the game must go on.
Patriotism keeps us in the game.

Killing the Messenger Still: Is America Ready for Gary Webb Yet?

Can MSM Handle the Contra-Cocaine Truth?
by Robert Parry  - Consortium News
The mainstream news media’s reaction to the new movie, “Kill the Messenger,” has been tepid, perhaps not surprising given that the MSM comes across as the film’s most unsympathetic villain as it crushes journalist Gary Webb for digging up the Contra-cocaine scandal in the mid-1990s after the major newspapers thought they had buried it in the 1980s.

Not that the movie is without other villains, including drug traffickers and “men in black” government agents. But the drug lords show some humanity and even honesty as they describe how they smuggled drugs and shared the proceeds with the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, President Ronald Reagan’s beloved “freedom fighters.”

By contrast, the news executives for the big newspapers, such as the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, come across as soulless careerists determined to maintain their cozy relations with the CIA’s press office and set on shielding their failure to take on this shocking scandal when it was playing out in the 1980s.

So, in the 1990s, they concentrated their fire on Webb for alleged imperfections in his investigative reporting rather than on U.S. government officials who condoned and protected the Contra drug trafficking as part of Reagan’s Cold War crusade.

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Universal Failure: United Nations, Vouchsafer of Empire

The UN Is A Colossal Fraud: Just ideas—or disaster—will triumph
by Fidel Castro - Granma
un logoAbsolutely no one has the right to destroy cities; murder children; pulverize homes; sow terror, hunger and death anywhere.
If today it is possible to prolong life, health and the productive time of persons, if it is perfectly possible to plan the development of the population in accordance with growing productivity, culture and development of human values, what are they waiting for to do so?
Global society has known no peace in recent years, particularly since the European Economic Community, under the absolute, inflexible direction of the United States, decided that the time had come to settle accounts with what remained of two great nations which, inspired by the ideas of Marx, had achieved the great feat of ending the imperialist colonial order imposed on the world by Europe and the United States.

Making Monsters: From Killing Fields to the Islamic State

From Pol Pot to ISIS: “Anything that flies on everything that moves”
by John Pilger
As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery - including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields - I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again.

As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger's murderous honesty.

In transmitting President Richard Nixon's orders for a "massive" bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, "Anything that flies on everything that moves." 

A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

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Divestment UVic Airs a Meme Balloon

Divestment Gets A Lift: Students use helium to send UVic a memo on climate change
by Divest UVic
10 Oct 2014  - This week students from Divest UVic used a lot of paint, fabric and helium balloons to tell UVic to ditch its dirty investments.
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