Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Atrocities in Gaza

Photo: In Solidarity at the Peace March

There is a solidarity protest rally scheduled in Calgary on Wednesday, December 31, 2008, at noon, in front of Calgary City Hall (800 Macleod Trail SE).

The following is a report from a source I personally trust within Palestine. I’ve omitted a few personal details to avoid identifying specific individuals to minimize chances of them being targeted for reprisal.

Over 287 people dead in Gaza. The massacre started on Shabbat, most stores are closed in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, no one driving, ya know its a holy Jewish day. I guess the Israeli Army is exempt from that and no day like Shabat to start murdering civilians.

287 dead, 700 + injured, and that’s just the people they have found. An international observer is reporting that the military is targeting first responders — they bomb a place and then re-bomb it 20 minutes later while folks like medics and other by-standers are trying to help the wounded and dig out bodies from the rubble, often they don’t last that much longer. The Israeli army is now amassing tanks at the Gaza border — why? This is a full scale invasion, this is not a defence attack — they are bombing the shit out of the cities and towns in Gaza, bombing the tunnels which were being used to smuggle in supplies during the Israeli blockade of the borders, they bombed a mosque earlier and the blast blew out all the windows in the neighbouring hospital. Reports have been coming in from the few remaining international observers that they are targeting houses and medical centre as well. In the testimony of one eye witness:
“I was woken by an incredibly loud explosion that felt like it was on top of us. We ran for the door, but the blast had welded it shut. The windows had been blown in so we crawled out through them. As we came on to the street, everyone was out. The medical centre next-door had been hit. Medical equipment was strewn over the road. Equipment here is so low anyway due to the Israeli siege, to see it wasted on the street was heartbreaking”
Jenny Linnel (Britain) International Solidarity Movement speaking from Rafah.
The bombings started yesterday, just as kids were coming home from school. There are so few hospitals, they are lacking equipment and medical supplies. There are not enough doctors, not enough beds, 35% of the injured in the hospitals are women and children. Several medical and pharmaceutical centres treating civilians were hit by Israeli missiles throughout the night, including Al-Shifa hospital and the pharmacy in Hi Alijnina, Rafah.

Last night thousands of Palestinian residents of Gaza were subjected to calls from the Israeli Ministry of Defence saying that “any house that has guns or weapons will be targeted next without further warning or any announcement.”

And the media is showing Israeli politicians saying they have no choice and Israeli civilians saying its about time that Israel “wipes out the terrorists, wipe them off the face of the earth”. Not necessarily the types of things you would expect to hear from the Jewish people, a people who once someone else thought would be a good idea to have wiped off the face of the earth. They are painting a picture that it is all Hamas’ fault, the Israeli government is pulling some fucked up shit by saying that “sorry people of Gaza, we don’t mean to hurt you, but you understand that really Hamas is hurting you, we are your friends, you brought this on yourself, oh bad bad Hamas” — Are you fucking kidding me?

Israel speaks of Hamas not wanting to renew the cease fire — why would they? Israel never really stopped the shut down of Gaza, so why would Gazans hold up their end of the bargain? Food and medicine supplies blocked, borders shut. They’ve been relegated to an open air prison, stuck between sea and a hostile military, how does peace grow in that climate? The lies coming out of the Israeli government and military is sickening to anyone living here or who has been here long enough to see the bullshit, baiting and injustice of it all. And at the end of the day, the Israeli government is talking combat and freaking out its people with warnings of Hamas retaliation, but actions speak louder than words and at the end of the day, you still have 287 dead and 700 wounded in Gaza, as well as some casualties from demonstrator clashes in the West Bank, and 1 Israeli is dead and 6 injured.

My friend gets a text message from her friend in Gaza, a 23 year old Palestinian girl. The text message reads: “There are shelz everywhere. So many dead. I dont know where my family is. The bombs won’t stop. Its horrible here.”

The Palestinian Authority is for shit — Abbas has shown over and over again that he and the PA aren’t willing to stand up for the people and seem to be taking some pretty serious direction from Israel — they don’t even have the courage to speak out against Israel as they murder their own people. Abbas is a puppet, put in power to inoculate the Palestinian resistance, that’s what I’m hearing here from a lot of people in the West Bank. The PA in the West Bank has been slowly extinguishing resistance here, arresting fighters, disarming the populace, which normally I’d be for, but when it’s just to make them easier targets for the Israeli Army, that’s just insane and shows they’ve full on sold out and forsaken their people in the interest of power.

The Israeli Foreign Minister says Israel has tried everything to calm the region...I guess when “everything” which means blockading Gaza and keeping people from freedom of movement, food, family and terrorizing them fails to achieve “peace” (or maybe surrender?) then you move on to full on bombing them to shit? The saddest thing is folks in Gaza have nowhere to go, nowhere to fucking flee — the Israelis have the border locked down, the Egyptians are letting only the injured through, and the tanks are rolling in and the fighter planes keep coming.

And the whole world keeps condemning Hamas and justifying Israeli action — justifying a massacre on a people and country that had already been terrorized and fucked with far too much. They don’t seem to understand that all their talk of hitting hard at terrorists misses the obvious point that terrorism is the collective punishment of a people for its government, and that is what Israel, and all countries that stand with Israel and do nothing to stop the killing, do. Oh yeah, and big change YES WE CAN Barack Obama who speaks of peace and change is golfing in Hawaii as the folks in Gaza are being blown to shit, holding back his comments, not so outspoken when it counts, but we know where he stands from past statements of how the USA will find better ways to export military equipment to Israel and to continue to support Israel’s right to “defend itself”.

In the West Bank, shit is strange. Yesterday, there were some clashes as demonstrators marched to the major checkpoints. Burnt tires, some injuries. In Hebron and Nilin, things have been the worst — live ammunition has been used in both places in clashes between army and protesters. In some cases, like in Hebron, the Palestian Authority fired on its own people,shooting 2 men. A friend of mine gets a text message from another International Solidarity Movement volunteer in Hebron, in the West Bank, where shit is getting fierce between Palestinians protesting in solidarity. The Palestinian Authority opens fire, with live ammunition on the protesters, on their own fucking people — shows where their loyalty is or who is owning their ass. He writes of seeing the two men shot, one right next to him, and of then being pushed around by Palestinian Authority Police as they take his camera away. In Nilin, the village where there have been some strong protests against the Israeli Separation Wall, 2 people were shot, 1 is now dead and 1 remains in critical condition.

In Nablus, things have been eerily quiet, especially for since it’s known as a fighter city. There have been some demonstrations, but no one is confronting the soldiers, no stone throwing, nothing fierce. Today there was a demo, which ended as people marched to a local hospital to give blood, hoping it would somehow make its way to Gaza although many not sure it would. There have been some clashes in the nearby villages of Azzun and Jayous, the young men (the Shabab) throwing stones, the Israeli military closing off the villages.

Sitting in a relatively peaceful place while good people are being killed feels like a hole being punched in my chest, especially every time the phone rings and new news comes in. …

In the end, with the world leaders, including the full on lame that is the Arab League, holding the rink and Israel proudly declaring that “this is only the beginning”, there is only despair, anger, frustration, shock and horror here in Palestine, as well as in the hearts of Israeli people who are standing in solidarity with the people of Gaza. In Tel Aviv last night there was a demonstration called immediately after the bombings started where 500 people turned out. It’s also hopeful to see people standing in solidarity with the people of Gaza from all over the world, and standing fierce, cuz candlelight vigils aren’t going to cut it on this one. It brings a lot of hope to people here that people are getting feisty and furious in London, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Iran and Iraq (and elsewhere I hope).

If you are wondering what you can do, organize solidarity demonstrations in your cities and towns, attend ones that are already happening, help the truth get out there and refuse to buy the full on lies coming from the media (unless its Al Jazeera cuz they are actually doing some pretty fine reporting on this one), boycott all Israeli goods, and call your Prime Minister or President and demand they take action to stop the Israeli invasion and massacre in Gaza immediately.

If you are interested in some good sources of what’s happening on the ground...
In the 20 minutes it took me to write this, the death toll in Gaza went up to 292 people, and by the time you receive it, it probably will have risen a lot more.

Thanks for reading (sorry if it was too long)

DECEMBER 29th morning — Death Toll up to more than 300 people with now over 1400 wounded!

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Conservative Party of Canada truly hates democracy

Conservative Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, is proposing the elimination public campaign financing. The Minister is expected to announce that he is withholding the $1.95 that the government pays political parties for each vote they receive. The cut is expected to significantly hinder Canada’s opposition parties.

Yes, the federal campaign finance system is quite suboptimal and there are much better systems that could be put in place (particularly for electoral reform). However, the current campaign finance system is better than nothing — and nothing is what the Conservatives hope to leave Canadians with.

Unless a better system is put in place, we need the current system to be maintained.

What you can do:

  • Please call your MP today to protest this attack on Canadian democracy.
  • Contact the opposition parties in Parliament and ask them to vote this down, even if it means bringing down the government.
  • Contact the media to let them know you think this is an important story and that you oppose the cut.
  • If you’re on Facebook, you can join the group I Support Public Campaign Financing.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Green Party of Alberta controversies — 2008 AGM

More than a month later (sorry), I have finally posted a detailed overview, analysis and commentary on the issues around the 2008 AGM of the Green Party of Alberta.

I would like all Green Party supporters in Alberta to renew your memberships today, please (or take out a new membership if you’ve never formally joined), so you can contribute to the critical decisions the party is facing. It’s only $10 and you can join online right now with a credit card. (Sorry if that comes across as marketing-speak. We really need to make sure as many interested voices are heard on this as possible.)

The issues coming out of the AGM mess (including the contradictory statements of who is the leader of the party, and who forms the party executive), remain unresolved. It’s my guess that it will get pushed to the courts which is a “very bad thing” in my view.

I’ve also posted a bunch of background documents, including some of the emails that went around from the various sides in the issues, and links to all sorts of related information, articles and documents.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

May the Canadian Media Consortium, Stephen Harper and all the old-boys, rot in Hell

A little earlier today, for the first time in my life, I made a very angry and expletive-riddled (by my standards) public posting on the net. I have a personal policy of not posting when angry, and going to extremes to avoid profanity, but I’m violating that because our alleged democracy has been viciously violated today.

Stephen Harper, now confirmed as the Canadian king of anti-democracy, has — along with new arch-minions of anti-democracy Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe — successfully pressured the broadcast media consortium to exclude the Green Party from the national election debates.

I genuinely wish I believed in Hell so I could believe that this very evil politician and his lackeys would end up rotting in eternal damnation.

Please Take Action Right Now — I have

Please take a minute every day for the rest of the election to join me in calling the [expletives deleted] media responsible for this travesty and utter unkind words (but no threats of violence, please) to them. They should suffer for this crime.

It’s time to boycott all of the media who caved-in to Harper’s anti-democratic pressure. I’ll post more when I have more details (such as which networks are part of it, and how best to bombard them with our message of discontent).

The “consortium” members (contact links & phone #s):
  • CBC 1-866-306-4636 (toll-free).
  • CTV 1-416-332-5000.
  • Global 1-877-307-1999 (toll-free).
  • TVA (not sure of how to contact them — anybody understand French?).

The political ‘leaders’ who oppose democracy:
This stinks of old-boy cronyism. The boys are afraid of a woman spoiling their fun so they threaten to take their toys and go home unless she is kept out of the clubhouse.

In what way is it democratic to let opponents of a candidate decide whether that candidate should be allowed to participate? Shouldn’t it be the voters who decide?

Oh — pardon me. I ever so briefly forgot that we are a democracy in name only. All hail Overlord Harper and his corporate masters.

This is a most shameful day in Canadian political history.

Update: Afterword

One note of optimism in all of this occurred to me a moment ago, for Elizabeth May and all Greens:
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
—Gandhi
They ignored the Greens a couple elections ago. They laughed at the Greens last time. They’re fighting now.…

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prohibition still doesn’t work

People who know me well know that I abhor alcohol and other addictive drugs and mind-altering substances. If it actually worked, I would be a major supporter of prohibition. However, prohibition doesn’t work no matter how people try to justify it. Prohibition actually makes the problems worse.

danah boyd has a post worth reading about lowering the legal drinking age and opening up — in moderation — alcohol access to youths. In the post, boyd talks about the Amethyst Initiative, which is headed by “chancellors and presidents of universities and colleges across the United States” who are calling for a re-evaluation of the U.S. drinking age.

Regulating and mitigating, but not prohibition, are the most effective ways we have available to curb substance abuse.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Encouraging involvement by local politicians

It’s one thing for politicians to be meaningfully involved in their communities before getting political, it’s quite another for them to maintain that involvement after “ascending to power.”

There are three of the Alberta MLAs in Calgary who I had worked with on social change projects before they got elected: Harry Chase with Friends of Medicare and the Council of Canadians, David Swann with various peace activism and Sudan issues, and Kent Hehr with the Calgary Housing Action Initiative. What’s encouraging for me is that I still see them out at community and activist events — they didn’t leave that behind with their move into political office (although they obviously aren’t able to attend quite as often as they did before).

What prompts me to be thinking about this today is that I was in a small meeting this morning, discussing advocacy for provincial action on AISH and living wage policies, with all three in attendance. It stood out for me that Swann, now in the midst of a leadership campaign, is still showing real commitment to this work.

This should not be taken as an endorsement of their political party (my role as past president and candidate for the Alberta Greens should make clear my leanings), but I do appreciate and respect the work these individuals are doing to push for positive social change.

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Social norms harm relationship health

A friend of mine was recently in an intimate relationship with someone who was notably older. In addition to the challenges of navigating potential power imbalances in that circumstance, they faced harassment when in public. My friend told me about a couple of times when they were out at restaurants together (in typical dating fashion) where people actively discouraged their relationship through derogatory remarks.

The following is somewhat expanded and modified from my remarks in an online chat I had with my friend about all that:


I don’t know the extent to which external social pressures contributed to their eventual breakup, but it’s certainly quite different from the constant pressure to partner that accompanies the standard cultural expectation of a near-age, heteronormative, same-class, same-ethnicity, mating pair.

It’s unfortunate how arbitrary social norms restrict the range of relationship choices people have. Heteronormativity, ageism, classism, racism, etc., all serve to keep people apart when there is difference beyond just “boy-girl”. Additionally, the mainstream definitions of what is and can be a “relationship” and the expectations of what is to occur in a “relationship” also limit the range of emotional interactions in people’s lives.

Fundamentally, people need a diversity of emotional relationships in their lives that is not at all addressed by the extremist focus on the “traditional” nuclear-family model.


The stereotypes of what it means for an older male to be in a relationship with a younger female are definitely harmful to those who have found (or are seeking) a genuinely healthy relationship in that circumstance. It’s prejudicial and sexist to assume that a younger woman is just in it because of his ‘wealth’, prestige or power, or that she has some sort of “daddy complex”. It’s as if her role in such a relationship is necessarily immature and her only contribution can be her youth and sex.

While there certainly are no shortage of deeply unhealthy relationships in our society where older males use their position to exploit younger females, it is viciously belittling to paint all inter-generational relationships with that brush. (My friend’s response at this point in the chat: “Completely. What do they know? It's insulting to us both.”)

Here’s the thing, unless there is a lack of meaningful consent (such as in a relationship between an adult and a minor), no relationship should be looked down upon, and no assumptions should be laid about the values of those involved.

Consent is key.

Consent is challenging to achieve in a meaningful sense in this society due to the wide range of power imbalances. That is a big part of why I always recommend caution and a commitment to continuous work in relationships with significant age differences. Age difference does not preclude the possibility of a healthy balance in a relationship, but it does typically require more work to build and maintain that balance.

The abundance of adult relationships in our society which have sufficient power imbalances as to be non-consensual (as exemplified by the number of clients of women’s shelters) do not preclude genuinely consensual relations across socially defined divides such as age, class, culture, etc.

Even if — as seems to be the case — the majority of inter-generational relationships are not fairly consensual, it is wrong to assume that any given inter-generational relationship must therefore be non-consensual. Assumptions like that only make it harder for those relationships to find and maintain a healthy balance.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Defiling Horton

Many folks have heard me tout Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! as “the activist bible.” It carries the message I consider most critical for anyone to understand to be able to work for social change: Every voice (literal or figurative) counts, even the tiniest. The smallest contribution can be the one that puts things over the top to “save the world”.

Sadly, I’ve just read about the new movie adaptation of the story. They have apparently ‘added’ new elements to the story to make it merit feature-length. Among the changes is a massive nod in favour of gender inequality.

This is the kind of excrement that makes me wish I believed in Hell so I could hope the Hollywood hacks who perpetrated this evil would be going there.

In the words of Public Enemy: Burn Hollywood, Burn.

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Monday, March 31, 2008

is Pro-Choice!

 Not sure if this is an actual net-meme already or just an interesting coincidence — but I noticed a couple of my friends changing their Facebook status this morning to “is pro-choice!” (with or without the punctuation).

So, I’m encouraging everyone to update their status that way this week. This can be done on all sorts of internet sites and services — not just on Facebook: Twitter, instant messaging, whatever.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rereading Valerie Solanas: Destroy the male gender?

Valerie SolanasThe S.C.U.M. Manifesto has, for me, long been a favourite work of extreme writing that holds some good analysis on community and education, among other things. The Manifesto is probably best known for advocating the extreme position of destroying the male sex.

A week or two ago, I was talking with a friend about Solanas’ writing when it occurred to me that a rereading of the text could be done where we substitute “gender” for “sex”. With the notable exception of the advocacy for genetic engineering, this one — admittedly substantive — change brings an even stronger relevance to my own thinking on feminism and patriarchy.

Now, I should make clear that I’m not calling for rewriting or casting aside Solanas’ work as it stands. It is really important to approach (and exceed) the extremes of ideas and positions advocated in society. By presenting what was previously seen as a inconceivably extreme call for the eradication of men, Solanas “moved the centre” of what had been open to general dialogue in feminist and mainstream analysis.

These are some initial thoughts I have on a gender-focused reading of the Manifesto. I intend to reread Solanas’ book in detail to explore these ideas in depth, and reserve the right to come to completely different conclusions from what I’ve written below.

Abolishing Gender

In taking a gender rather than sex focused reading of the Manifesto, I see a reinforcement of a position I have held for some time now: the abolishment of gender (which is an entirely social construct).

Most, if not all, of the ills Solanas’ attributes to the male sex are, in my view, actually attributable to the application of gender roles — especially as a construct of patriarchy. Rather than a biological consequence of the Y-chromosome, it has been the holders of socially constructed male(gender)-power who have created and imposed the harms Solanas’ describes — harms that have been reinforced by those who have been socialized into female(gender)-roles in patriarchy.

Sex, Gender

The distinction between sex and gender is really critical here. The traditional reading of the Manifesto can be seen to point to, or at least hint at, this in identifying women(sex) who have not escaped their patriarchy-defined roles as distinct from women(sex) who have formed a complete female(sex) identity independent of patriarchal constraints. Where Solanas’ seems to put the focus on biological femaleness, I see the distinction as being between gendered and non-gendered identities.

Gender is used to arbitrarily divide people — just as with other social constructs including (but not limited to) race, class, nationality, age-groupings (“child”, “senior”, “too young”, “old enough”, “too old”), etc. It can be made clear that the roles defined for the different genders are social constructs and not biological imperatives when we identify the variances in gender roles across communities and cultures (especially across generations) as well as identifying cases where individuals successfully adopt or are put into a gender role that does not match their biological sex (e.g., Margaret Thatcher).

Imperatives

Given that separating people into gender roles is not a biological imperative, we might ask the question of whether it is a social imperative — whether it is possible to have a human society that can function and survive without arbitrary social divisions. However, I would like to turn that around and suggest that we cannot function and survive in the long-term with the arbitrary social divisions that have been constructed under patriarchy (and probably not with any arbitrary social divisions).

The social divisions in our societies are what has created the ability of our species to wage wars, to tolerate poverty, to commit untold atrocities, and to risk annihilating life on this planet (and thereby ourselves).

So, yes, I am seeking to destroy the male gender — and all other ways our species has come up with to divide each other.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Support our troops? Give them a living wage!

All this propagandistic hyper-patriotism demanding that we “Support Our Troops” continues to intensely offend me. I just read that:
“General Rick Hillier says soldiers overseas ask for very little, other than government support, the right equipment to do the job, and to occasionally be remembered back home.”
What I find particularly ludicrous in its extreme irony is the next line in the article:
“Hillier made the comments in Winnipeg, where he spoke at a fundraising dinner for a centre to help military families.”
Why the frack does this overpaid bureaucrat think it’s perfectly okay to need to have fundraisers for military families?!?

I wish every one of the “patriots” who get on their high horses about “supporting the troops” would get off their asses and demand that our federal government actually support the troops by paying them a living wage! Instead of shoving substance-less yellow ribbons down everyone’s throats, why not put that effort into ensuring that military workers and their families have enough food to go down their throats — instead of having to go to food banks?

It is criminally shameful that our government provides so little in the way of real support for the troops. It is deeply offensive to have so many in the community giving lip-service to supporting the troops while ignoring the realities of the immense lack of support we are actually giving them.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Howard Zinn quote on government, voting and democracy

Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war.
Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.
—Howard Zinn, “Election Madness” in The Progressive, March 2008

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Attention Calgary candidates — I want to interview you

A group of us are trying to produce interview videos of as many of the Calgary candidates in the election as we can.

We’re distributing the videos online through sites like YouTube, Facebook, Viddler, etc. We also are trying to get Shaw Cable to run them, and maybe also do some community screenings and DVD distributions. Candidates are welcome to freely make use of the interview videos (such as on their own websites).

This is a chance to bypass the 20-second soundbyte format of the media and actually speak to voters. The videos typically run between 7-10 minutes (we limit it to that because any longer and we can expect most folks to tune out). That’s still long enough to really answer the core questions voters have about why the candidate is running, where they stand on key issues, and why people should vote for them.

See the video project page for full details.

If you are a candidate, or part of a campaign team, please contact me to make arrangements for the interviews.

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Calgary Democracy is up and running

There is a ton to say about the Calgary Democracy project, but if I waited for a chance to write all of that, I’d never get around to posting anything. So this is a quick post to let announce that the website now has comprehensive lists of the candidates and parties for the March 3, 2008, Alberta provincial election.

I ended up including all candidates in the election — not just the ones in Calgary.

Users who register on the site can add information links for candidates. I encourage folks to do this because there is no way I’ll be able to handle everything on my own (with almost 400 candidates already announced, and more expected by the nomination deadline on Monday).

The website I did for the municipal election in Calgary back in October received a very positive response. My favourite feedback was from the two separate people who told me that the reason they voted at all was because they were able to find useful information on the candidates through my website. I’m hoping to repeat and expand on that success this time.

So, please add what information you can, and give me feedback about the site (suggestions for changes, improvements, additional info, etc.). Thanks!

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Alberta Provincial Election — Lots of work to do

It has been just over two months since my last post. I have, frankly, been both very busy and pretty tired. Now, however, I’m putting a big burn on with the provincial election.

There are a number of non-partisan projects I’m looking for people to help out with…

Calgary Democracy Website

For those of you who remember the website I did for the municipal election, Calgary Democracy is the project that emerged out of that.

The initial purpose is to provide a comprehensive point of access for all information available on the candidates in elections Calgarians can vote in.

You can help: It is a massive job gathering all of the links. Over the next few days, I am planning to have a new set of forms working on the website which will allow people to directly submit new weblinks (and any candidates I’ve missed). Please contact me if you’re interested in helping out.

I’ll post an announcement to this blog (and the front page of the Calgary Democracy site) when the link submission form is up and running.

Candidate Interview Videos

The handful of videos I managed to get done during the municipal election were well received. So, I’m hoping to expand that project to get videos done of as many of the candidates as possible (from all parties and independents).

You can help: This is another massive undertaking. So, I’m looking for people who can:
  • record the interviews,
  • edit the videos,
  • and handle internet distribution (upload to YouTube, Facebook, etc.).
None of these require anything fancy (it doesn’t require “high production values”).

The project will also need some support in terms of borrowing equipment:
  • video cameras (basic consumer cameras are fine)
  • microphones (lapel mics make a big difference to the sound quality)
  • tripods
  • blank tapes and dvds for recording on
Financial donations to help cover costs of equipment rentals and blank media would be helpful, too.

Please refer to the video project’s info page for details and get in touch with me to get involved.

Poverty Talks

One of the things that’s been significantly contributing to my being too busy to blog has been the Poverty Talks project. During the election, the project is trying to put together a couple of candidate forums to highlight poverty issues — and to push for political action — in our communities.

You can help: We need people to help with organizing and various tasks involved in putting on the forums. Please contact me to get involved.

We’re having a planning meeting this Wednesday, February 6, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, at the Heartland Café in Sunnyside (940 – 2 Avenue NW; just about a block from the Kensington LRT Station, in Sunnyside). There will be a free drink — e.g., coffee, tea, juice — and some food for participants who RSVP. Please contact me or use the Facebook meeting signup if you plan to attend.

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