Stella

Occupy Regina January

People who attended Occupy Regina in 2011 and early 2012, will remember meeting Stella Rogers. Regrettably, Stella passed away this February in B.C. Stella rose to fame by fearlessly introducing herself to everyone at the Victoria Park camp site, and staying involved in working on “homeless” issues in the months after. She was interviewed on CBC Radio, when a generous donor offered to pay a few months rent to assist people who Occupy Regina had been helping before the City and Police evicted the protesters and the homeless they’d been helping.

I last saw her in the Summer of 2012, assisting her with her tiny Android phone so she could stay in touch with people on Facebook.

Her obituary.

Occupy Oakland Lowered Crime Rate

Amid all the poo flung at both sides of the Occupy vs. Police lines, it turns out a little benefit came from the Oakland occupation. The crime rate went down. The City was saying crime was unmanageable during the Occupation, but the opposite was true.

When Jordan received an update that crime was actually down 19 percent in the last week of October, he wrote an email to one of Mayor Jean Quan’s advisers.

“Not sure how you want to share this good news,” he wrote. “It may be counter to our statement that the Occupy movement is negatively impacting crime in Oakland.”

Police and the city said Occupy has had an ongoing impact on their ability to respond to crime.

In all of the emails there was not a single one written by Quan.

Her office told KTVU she prefers face-to-face communication.

I’m pretty sure that Occupy Regina had a similar effect on Victoria Park, if not Regina as a whole.

A Leaky New Year

Anonymous has cracked into Stratfor. What’s that? It’s a Shadow CIA that kept customer’s credit card info unencrypted and allowed mysterious “Robin Hood Hackers” access to millions of sensitive emails. What will we learn from those emails when they are eventually leaked? Probably super-cool stuff will be revealed. So far the only facts resulting from the incident are that some charities got illicit donations from unwitting credit card theft victims. The victims are customers of the military industrial complex, so it’s not like everyone will feel a lot of sympathy.

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The Story of Broke is a new video you might want to watch.

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The Occupy Regina protests worked daily on a big issue, almost unintentionally stumbling onto it, and that was homelessness. When the City of Regina sent the Regina Police swarming into the camp in November to hand out tickets and kick protesters out of Victoria Park, they threw homeless people out of their only shelter. One homeless woman, Stella, who is disabled and unable to work at most jobs, had nowhere to sleep after asking at Mobile Crisis. Yes, the Regina Police and the City Bylaw officers left homeless people to freeze to death that night. If it wasn’t for the Occupy Regina protesters, who knows what could have happened to Stella that night?

Meanwhile, a little known government test of housing people who many don’t feel deserve to have homes, was underway. Punishing people for having addictions, mental illness, and disability by forcing them to sleep on streets is something that must stop in Canada. There is even the likely possibility that able people who run out of money, credit, and family/friends, could end up homeless. Why can’t the state create enough safe sleeping spaces for all of these people, as Occupy Regina did on a demand basis for a month through donations and volunteerism?

One. Stop Subsidizing Fossil Fuels

Two. Put a price on carbon. These are two easy things to do in legislation which will have the crucial effect of curbing air pollution.

If the market is the God of the modern political power brokers, then the market has to contain the solution to climate change. We have until roughly 2015 to halt a rise in green house gas production. After that year, we have to get to lower levels or we will cause climate change that cannot be reversed to stop mass extinctions and suffering for all people.

Yesterday I saw the ridiculous comment from an anti-Occupier in Regina who thinks Occupy protesters don’t understand the world economy. Actually, Occupiers understand very well, which is why they are in the streets protesting, and will be working in the coming years to change economic systems to benefit the majority of people instead of the 1% wealthiest alive today.

Blog Navel Gazing – Tweet Heard ‘Round The World

I’ve never had a tweet of mine be ReTweeted so much.

It was an excerpt from a Facebook post that got liked and shared by about 15 people by this point, but the Tweet is at 83 ReTweets, and that doesn’t count the dozen or more who’ve rephrased it and tweeted it under their own accounts either crediting me or not.

Ask yourself why people camped out to buy crap are glorified, but people camped out in protest of economic injustice & greed are raided.

Later in the day I saw someone had used the same idea, probably arrived at by their own thought, and put tents from both, and crowds from both, and labeled each with the media narrative around them. Mob – shoppers. Illegal camping – Dedicated shoppers.

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Another question that fewer may connect with is, “How would you feel if one of your best friends was an undercover cop sent to spy on you because you want to peacefully change the political system?”

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What if those people using public safety as an excuse for authoritarian action, are actually the ones instigating dangerous situations that harm the public?

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Why can a city tear down temporary homes for the homeless, in the grip of Winter, and not replace them with anything other than blame?

Monsanto And Why You’ll Care

I was surprised when talking with some fellow Occupiers the other day that they were unaware of what Monsanto corporation makes, and why it’s a threat to human and plant life. I explained it this way:

WARNING: The following is suitable for small children and mature audiences. Some people may be extremely disturbed after viewing. Political action is advised.

Regina Beach

Monsanto is a chemicals company that attained fame for producing “Roundup”. They’ve since created Genetically Modified Organisms like Roundup-Ready Canola (BT-Cotton, GMO flax, etc.) with the idea that Roundup can be sprayed on a field of GMO plants, and only the broad-leaf weeds will die. Their excuse for doing this is that it helps feed the world. The costs include modified soil fertility, probable risks to our food supply from unintended GMO effects, and chemical health effects. The financial effects on farmers include the need for purchase of more Roundup, required seed buying each year (no seed saving allowed under license), and an annual licensing fee for using the GMO seed (which tends to spread by itself, and contaminated farms must pay Monsanto for unintentionally growing their GMO-weeds). Monsanto encourages farmers to rat-out their neighbours suspected of growing GMO crops without also paying the annual license fee.

There’ve been thousands of suicides blamed on BT-cotton, in India. A Saskatchewan farmer named Percy Schmizer has spent the last two decades fighting Monsanto in court, with some success.

A little over a year ago, Percy gave a rousing speech at the UofR that I was fortunate enough to attend and take notes for.

You should also know that Europe has banned many GMO products (due to health and plant-life risks), and so the growth of GMOs in Canada limits our export markets to people who do not live in Europe. This is possibly why a scientist in Saskatchewan went rogue and used school children to contaminate farms in SK with GMO “Triffid” flax. The issue is now forced, with Canada already very contaminated with Monsanto’s “technology” that just happens to be a chunk of our food supply. It is quite literally out of a sci-fi disaster novel, except that it’s real life, unfolding before our eyes.

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