liberal party

Oakland Community Learning Center [founded by the Black Panther Party] 1977

Ahead of our upcoming conference, we’re uploading a few educational archival resources. This video contains a television program in two segments that focus on the Oakland Community Learning Center, a project founded by the Oakland, CA chapter of the Black Panther Party.

The first segment includes an interview with Huey P. Newton conducted by an Oakland Community Learning Center student named Kelita Smith. The interview runs alongside a narrative tour of the Learning Center which highlights the school’s student-centered pedagogical programmes which included courses in Black history, self-defense, and multi-lingual learning.

The second segment of this program highlights the intergenerational and cooperative-leadership dimension to the Black Panther Party’s educational platform. The focus is placed on Fred Morehead, “a young man who is both teaching and learning.” Frank also worked as an escort for the Safe Transportation Program offered by the Center to senior citizens throughout the community.

The purpose of uploading this video is to preserve multimedia produced and inspired by social movements and to provide archival material as an educational resource. Feel free to share and to include this in your classrooms, curriculum, and educational projects.

Opposition criticizes Couillard government of ‘Harperization’ as Bill 28 forced through legislature

The Parti Québécois opposition denounced the “Harperization” of Quebec’s legislature as the Liberal government used its majority to cut short the debate on Bill 28.

Premier Philippe Couillard’s Liberals called a special legislative sitting on Monday to fast-track the bill through the National Assembly. The bill was on track to pass around midnight Tuesday morning.

Echoing the NDP federal opposition’s criticisms of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s omnibus bills, interim PQ leader Stéphane Bédard accused Couillard of stuffing many different measures in a single “mammoth bill.”

Intended to implement measures in the 2014 budget, the bill spans 103 pages and 337 articles.

Continue Reading.

1984 in 2015: Bill C-51 and the coming of the Canadian Police State

So, anyone who thinks that the resistance to Bill C-51 is overreacting…

Right now, in Montreal, students are being gassed and shot at for protesting government measures.

Because the protests are not being held with the permission of the government whose policies are being protested, they are deemed unlawful…

Because they are deemed unlawful, and because they could disrupt business, affect the value of the dollar, and yes, because some of the protesters might engage in activities destructive to public or private property, these protests could very easily fall under the catch-all policies of C-51.

Anyone encouraging or supporting these protests could conceivably be held to be promoting terrorism, etc., and their computers, records, or print and other media equipment could be seized until a judge determines whether or not this counts as promoting terrorism. And if your gear gets damaged during the seizure? Oops. Not the cops’ problem.

Because the bill gives cops the ability to use their discretion when obtaining a warrant by filing an information is not deemed practicable, this means that police departments could immediately seize media equipment and gear during these protests, leaving important civilian evidence and legitimate news footage in the hands of the cops and at the discretion of appointed judges.

What’s more, all government agents acting “in good faith” under C-51 would be immune from civil litigation- so if they seize your things, disrupt your business, destroy your property, drive you out of business, injure you, etc, and still find no evidence of wrongdoing on your part, they cannot be held liable as long as they claim they had reasonable cause to suspect you and were acting in good faith under the new laws.

So, you could have all of that happen to you just because somebody named you offhand during an interrogation.

Example: Because the Montreal protests are deemed unlawful, even peaceful protestors who are wearing masks to either protect their employment, or to protect themselves from harassment by police in their civilian lives, can be charged and sentenced to as much as ten years in prison just for wearing the mask. Since it is an easy crime to prove (was the gathering deemed unlawful? Yes? Were you wearing a mask?), it gives the state massive leverage on a person (“do what we say/tell us what we want to hear, or you could go to jail for a decade”).

With people informing on eachother in large numbers, that will form “reasonable grounds” for *anyone* implicated to be investigated under C-51, up to and including having their computers and other media assets seized until a judge can determine whether or not they were doing something untoward.

Furthermore, anyone who is named in those people’s accounts or address books will likewise be implicated, and subject to investigation. And, because all agencies can now freely share whatever they find that might be relevant to other agencies, that means that everything on your computer could be up for investigation…,

Every scrap of downloaded music, every potential mention of doing drugs, every under the table transaction for a few bucks that you did for a friend but didn’t claim on your taxes, every off-colour comment that they can say is promoting terrorism… All of it will be theirs to see, play with, and do as they please with… With that many charges to throw around on most people, it will be very easy to scare folks into informing, and into implicating others, to get off the hook for whatever minor infractions, etc., they are being threatened with.

It can be used to divide and conquer. It can be used to create distrust and destabilise resistance movements, both militant and peaceful. It can be used to turn people into moles. It can be used to destroy enemies of the state that have not committed any real offences.

We already have laws against treason. We have laws against destruction of property. We have laws against murder and assault. Hell, we specifically have laws against wearing masks during the commission of such offences. So why do we need more laws? Because the language on these new laws is vague. The definitions are broad, the powers far-reaching. They allow government to be more intrusive, and more aggressive in the pursuit of dissenters, than they have ever been before.

In a country where the government has already had their list of “enemies” leaked, and where everyone from First Nations groups, to environmentalists, to labour unions, are all considered potential threats, and in which the government is openly beholden to foreign and corporate interests that directly contravene the well-being and sovereignty of its people, a law like this is necessary from the perspective of the state, not because it protects the people, but because it gives the state a hammer with which to crush dissent.

Laws like this do not protect us from terrorists. They protect government from us.

10 reasons against Abbott's GP fee

The Abbott Government is introducing a $6 GP fee in the next budget. Ten reasons why this is a bad idea:

  1. $6 is a lot for the disadvantaged. The dole is about $35 a day.
  2. It discourages the disadvantaged - pensioners, Aboriginal people, disabled people, poor people - who, ironically, have the most health concerns.
  3. It is hard enough getting people to see a doctor to check that spot, or discuss weird weight loss, or feel that testicle. We should not add disincentives.
  4. The money saved is minimal.
  5. In fact, it may ultimately cost us more. If people are less inclined to see their GP early, that spot/weight loss/testicle bump may turn into a big/costly/devastating problem. A stitch in time saves nine.
  6. We simply don’t have a problem of people going to the GP needlessly.
  7. The AMA is against it.
  8. We have no assurance that this fee will stay at $6 - the fees may keep increasing over time if we don’t nip it in the bud.
  9. More incentive for people to go to (already overcrowded) emergency departments.
  10. Let’s call a dog a dog: The Liberal Government do not like welfare for ideological reasons. They don’t like the idea of people getting a handout. I suspect this is less about saving money and more about them cutting something they don’t believe in, even if it is proving to be working.

Tony Abbott has had a major reshuffling of his cabinet, including “promoting” Scott Morrison out of immigration and into Social Services. Morrison is now responsible for things including child care.

“Well, Morrison. Considering how well you’ve looked after children in detention centres I can’t see why giving you responsibility over Australian children couldn’t possibly go wrong.” Tony gave him a big slap on the back and laughed. “Just don’t take any of them hostage for political gain!” he winked.

Scott Morrison laughed nervously. “Hahaha… no… why… why would I do that?… again… What am I? Some kind of sociopath? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.” He laughed monotonously with a steady beat for a while until Tony walked away and approached David Johnston, Minister for Defence, with a deck of cards he was shuffling.

“Pick a card, any card,” Tony said.

“Uh, OK.” Johnston said as he pulled out an 8 of clubs.

“Ooooh… you’re fired” Tony said breathing in sharply.

“Wait, what?”

“Sorry! 8 of clubs is the "you’re fired” card.“ Tony turned and yelled down the hall: "Oi Kevin Andrews! You can have Dave’s job!”

“SWEET!” Andrews yelled back.

Libs’ history on gay rights

NOTE: I got this off a buddy’s FB. I don’t know if he wants to be named here, but he did the hard work putting this list together :)

1972: SA Libs vote against the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

1973: WA Libs vote against the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

1975: SA Libs vote against the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Again.

1976: Qld Libs refuse to employ a teacher because he’s gay.

1977: WA Libs vote against the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Again.

1980: Vic Libs introduce homosexuality decriminalization bill! But several Libs cross the floor to vote against it.

1982: NSW Libs vote against the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

1984: WA Libs vote against the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Agaaain.

1989: WA Libs impose limits on decriminalising homosexuality laws including a different age of consent for gays (21 as opposed to 16),  prohibition of the ‘promotion or encouragement’ of homosexuality (like Russia, today), and a preamble to the legislation stating that the parliament disapproves of homosexuality.

1992: Lib leader Alexander Downer calls for the resignation of Defence Minister Robert Ray in response to the lifting of a ban on gay people serving in the armed forces.

1996: Howard Govt makes migration for same-sex couples harder.

1996: ACT Libs pass laws making wills and estates fairer for same-sex couples. That’s good.

1996: John Howard tells A Current Affair that he would be ‘disappointed’ if one of his sons was gay.

1999:   Qld Libs oppose legislation that removes parental leave discrimination against same-sex couples.

2001: John Howard tells a group of teenagers on Triple J that ‘I have not met a parent yet who wants their children to grow up gay.’

2003: ACT Libs oppose legislation that acknowledges same-sex relationships and protects them from discrimination.

2004: Howard Govt removes sexuality as a basis of protection from discrimination in the National Framework for Human Rights.

2004: Howard Govt amends the Marriage Act to specifically ban same-sex marriage.

2004: NT Country Libs vote against equal age of consent.

2004: WA Lib Leader Colin Barnett advocates for gays to have different age of consent laws, same-sex couples to be disallowed from accessing the Family Court, same-sex parents to be denied adoption rights and lesbians be denied access to IVF.

2006: Howard Govt refuses to cooperate with a national inquiry into financial discrimination against gay people, banning its departments from making submissions.

2006: Howard Govt refuses to allow a gay Australian man in Europe to marry his partner overseas, who is an Austrian citizen. It refuses to supply documentation confirming the man was not already married.

2006: Howard Govt overrules ACT legislation passed to allow civil unions.

2007: Howard Govt overrules ACT legislation passed to allow civil unions. Again.

2008: Libs vote against legislation that would allow lesbians access to IVF.

2010: Lib Leader Tony Abbott claims that gay people challenge ‘the order of things’ and states that ‘I probably feel a bit threatened’ by them.

2011: Queensland Libs oppose civil union legislation.

2011: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott denies a conscience vote on same-sex marriage to his party, meaning that Liberal members who support the proposal will be prohibited from voting accordingly (this is still the case).

2012: Queensland Libs remove surrogacy and adoption rights.