rn: Bush & Canada’s PM, McHypocrisy


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,

Carolyn Ballard (cf. Richard's RN posting of Dec. 12) wrote to me recently
that she figured I must be pretty involved with local activist stuff since
I'm posting so rarely to this list. Well, she's right! 

I'll give you some flavour of what's up below;) But first, a couple comments
on the recent US election from other RN contributers.

all the best, Jan
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 21:29:37 -0800
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fraud W. Bush

So, it looks like on Inauguration Day (20 January 2001), we'll be singing 
Hail to the Thief for President-"elect" Fraud W. Bush. I can hardly wait...
From: •••@••.•••
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2000 15:19:18 EST
Subject: Milestones of American Democracy

At a post-election party in Hillary Clinton's hotel suite in NY, after Bill 
Clinton listed the states where Nader was hurting Gore, a guest exclaimed: "I 
want to KILL Nader!"
"That's not a bad idea!" said Hillary with a big grin -- immediately followed 
by a collective cry of "That's off the record!"
Washington Post, November 9, 2000
subject: Chrétien saw us at the Liberal pep rally! (+ amazing Bush/Poutine

Dear  Sustainable Maritimes people,

The other day I overheard some students talking about how they had been
invited to what sounded like a Liberal pep rally, where Jean Chrétien was to
speak, at the Saulnierville legion.

I thought of friend and fellow activist, Aaron Koleszar, who helped "pie"
(entartiner) Chrétien because of Liberal support for companies producing
GMOs... I realized this was an opportunity not to be missed!

As anyone who has tried to communicate with the Prime Minister about any
serious issue will find out, the man is incredibly insulated from our
concerns. The pep rally was expressly organized not to allow any questions
from the floor. ... People act as if it is an honour to have the prime
minister visit us, but what kind of an honour is it if he goes to great
lengths to avoid hearing anything but cheers?

Unfortunately, while there were media there, we missed them. But I've
written a couple letters-to-the-editor for local papers. I think you might
enjoy reading them!

all the best, Jan
PS Yesterday I spoke with another local activist, Trudy Bengivenni. She said
she would have liked to have gone too. Her question to Chretien would have
been: Do you intend to negotiate any more global trade agreements (like
FTAA, GATS, WTO agreements) with a US president who thinks your name is Jean
Apparently Rick Mercer (sp?) of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" went up to George
Bush, Jr. and asked him what he thought of Canada's prime minister, Jean
Poutine. Good ol' George replied that he knew Jean Poutine and liked him
well. :)
Breaking Through the "Unconscious Civilization"

Dear Editor,

We "crashed" the pep rally the Liberals held with Jean Chrétien in
Saulnierville last week. We'd like to explain why.

We brought along signs asking when we will get a nuclear phase-out and
protesting GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The organizers found out
we had signs before the speeches and tried to get us to leave. They made it
clear that if we started heckling, we would be escorted out. Well, we hadn't
even thought of heckling. 

We wanted to make sure Chrétien saw our signs. (When we write to him, his
office just passes our letters on to another minister; generally it seems he
is ill-informed and uncaring about important issues.)

The organizers announced that people were not to wave signs during the
speeches and we weren't sure if we would go ahead with our plan. We did feel
intimidated. There must have been about 10 security and public relations
guys scowling at us. We couldn't remember when we ever had so many men
looking so intently at us! But, especially after we heard Chrétien say how
nice it was to be on stage with such pretty girls (the dance troupe, La Baie
en Joie) we really wanted to stand up for what we believe in. Not only do we
care about the specific issues we raised, we wanted people to see that there
are other roles for women than "decorating" political speeches for the men.

And we want to transform politics, to make it less of a horse race and more
of a reasoned discussion of vital issues.

As John Ralston Saul wrote in his book of the same title, ours has become an
"unconscious civilization". We muddle along, rarely realizing how
devestating some of our actions are. For example, Canada participated, at a
cost of some $482,500,000, in the bombing of Yugoslavia, which has left that
country with a legacy of depleted uranium and cluster bombs to deal with.
And our government has made severe cutbacks in social spending, while
continuing to pour millions into AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.).

It was, we feel, another example of "unconsciousness" to see that the
Yarmouth Memorial Club was in attendance. After all, the group supposedly
exists to honour veterans, but our government has refused to recongnize
veterans of the Gulf War as war veterans, and has failed abysmally to
provide proper care to those veterans who have become sick with "Gulf War
syndrome" or other ailments related to exposure to toxic chemicals.

While we gather our faces were pretty red that night at the Saulneirville
Legion, in the end we are not embarrassed by what we did. It took real
courage and we are proud to have broken through the forces trying to keep
real issues from being discussed and trying to push our society further
along the road to "unconsciousness".


Jan Slakov, CP 35, Weymouth, N.-É. B0W 3T0 837-4980
Sue Davis, Weymouth Mills, NS B0W 3T0 
Dora MacHutcheon, Pointe-de-l'Église, N.-É. B0W 1M0

 I will not allow my life's light to be defined by the darkness around me.
                                        -Sojourner Truth
 ....until the great mass of people shall be filled with a sense of
 responsibility, social justice can never be attained.
                                        -Helen Keller
Note: I also wrote a slightly different letter for the French language
paper, Le Courrier. I can send it to anyone who would like a copy.
From: "Carolyn Ballard" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Jan Slakov" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw:      Groups demand "Stop the McHypocrisy" in Canada
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 14:26:31 -0800

Jan-  When this came across my computer and I saw "little" Weymouth included
among the protest sites, I _knew_ you had to be involved! <snip>
My thoughts will be with you tomorrow in your protest.  Take care....
----- Original Message -----
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2000 9:08 AM
Subject: Groups demand "Stop the McHypocrisy" in Canada
> Groups demand "Stop the McHypocrisy"
> Story Filed: Thursday, December 14, 2000 10:12 AM EST
> OTTAWA, Dec 14, 2000 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Activists in 18
> across Canada will be in front of McDonald's
> locations tomorrow to protest the use of genetically engineered
> ingredients. The fast food chain recently stopped using GE
> ingredients in Europe, but refuses to do the same in Canada.
> The protests are being held by a coalition of groups including Council of
> Canadians, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and Gene Action.
> The protests will occur in Nova Scotia (Halifax, South Shore, Wolfville
> Weymouth), Quebec (Montreal), Ontario (Toronto, Ottawa,
> Northumberland), Saskatchewan (Regina, Prince Albert), Alberta (Edmonton),
> British Colombia (Vancouver, Victoria, Vernon,
> Kamloops, Maple Ridge, Bulkley Valley, Mission).
> The demonstrations are being combined with an email campaign through a new
> website:
> www.mchypocrite.org.
> CONTACT:          For further information: Nadege Adam - Council of
>                    613-233-2773 x245, Michael Khoo - Greenpeace:
> 416-597-8408 x3017, Lucy Sherrat
>                    - Sierra Club: 613-241-4611, Gene Action: 416-685-4222

Note from Jan: I was involved, and the reason the organizers thought the
protest was here in Weymouth was because I asked them to send the leaflets
to me here; however we are blessed to have no McDonald's here so we went up
to Digby. Unfortunately, I was late, so missed meeting up with another RN
list member who was in on this too. And I was a bit too polite too... I
asked to speak with the manager (who turned out not to be the person I got
yesterday who was pretty sure they didn't have GMOs or any other chemicals
in their food!!!); anyhow, I gave her some material and asked if we could
hand out some leaflets outside. She declined; next time I won't ask! But if
I was going to ask, today was a good day; it was snowy, slippery and windy
outside, and I don't think people would have wanted to chat with us too
long! (or us with them!)