An Opportunity for the People as They Gather on the Streets of Saint John – It Must Go Beyond a Three Day Movement
By Asaf Rashid from Fredericton
[Worker-Owner of The Underground Café and Alternative Bookstore worker’s coop; member of the UNB-STU Social Justice Society; PhD Forestry student at UNB(F)]
“.. We can do this by NOT waiting for our governments to deliver us a dignified existence..”
As we show up, from all over the Atlantic Region (the Atlantic Provinces and the Northeastern States), to gather in Saint John, I hope we have the presence of mind to recognize the unique moment that will be upon us. It is shaping up to be an enormous gathering of people from all over the region who are looking for a different reality than the one that is being put forward through the name “Atlantica” (see above for description). The word is that people will be coming from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, PEI, Maine and from all over New Brunswick—and organizing efforts are continually drawing in more communities. The people who will gather for the counter-summit and protest (see above) will be showing up though a desire to protect their region and future generations from exploitation that will further stratify our society and drive daggers deeper into the environment we all depend on.
Speaking only about the exploitation I am aware of in my home of New Brunswick, just a piece of an entire region characterized as “depressed”, it is clear that we – workers, indigenous, unemployed, (poor) youth, (poor) seniors – are already pushed into a corner, with means to survival being pushed over the edge in front of our eyes. Just a look at the forests reveals that the area of Crown forests in the province containing mature Acadian forest (traditional forest type) has already dropped below 45 percent and is now officially one of the most endangered forests in North America (www.conservationcouncil.ca). What will be left for the next generation? As well, in the northern New Brunswick town of Belledune, there sits a toxic waste incinerator that was denied a permit in Massachusetts, British Columbia and Ontario, yet it was considered acceptable in Belledune, due to the low property values (i.e. the people are considered to be worth less money), as well as the fact that the government maintained very low environmental standards, which included the complete bypass of a proper Environmental Impact Assessment. The toxic machine sits ready to begin full operation, only awaiting a full dose of poison to burn after testing is completed (www.stopbennett.com). There is also the First Nation community of Burnt Church, who only a few years ago faced an assault by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the RCMP; their only crime was attempting to survive from their traditional fishing economy that was suddenly made “illegal”, since it was deemed to be at the wrong time of the year. There is also the horrendously low level of social assistance that people of New Brunswick have to endure. A single person gets only $264 per month, an impossible sum to live on. These are all examples of oppression, and there are many more examples throughout the (held) depressed Atlantic region. The People’s gathering to counter Atlantica offers the chance for a turning of the tide.
If we maximize on the opportunity that will be at our feet, we will not only be making a stand; we will then travel in the other direction, towards sustainable solutions. The point is, if we are to truly realize the potential that will be upon us, we must continue to move because there is so much ground to cover. The broad Atlantic representation and spirit of resistance that will be present in Saint John from June 8th – 10th offers the chance to build new interdependencies between movements, organizations and communities. We must consolidate a movement that will build solidarity through ongoing exchanges between struggling communities, something that goes beyond just a gathering for three days. We must build connections between us that will create a new regional economy based on solidarity, equality and
participatory planning from community-to-community. We must work towards not only stopping the Atlantic agenda, but work to fix the inequalities and oppressions that create a fence both between and around us. We must make connections with those we have not interacted with before to create new community interchanges.
Thinking practically is important. We must identify the possibilities we have for land redevelopment, towards value-added industries that maximize the value of all the natural resources we consume. Using the forestry example, we must move away from turning trees into mostly pulp – then simply shipping it abroad – as our primary activity in the forest and focus instead on producing multiple wood products; extracting oils and resins; and, planting hemp for alternative sources of fibre in cleared areas. We must also look towards supporting such initiatives as the Renewable Energy Coop that has been established near Sackville New Brunswick (www.renewcoop.net).
Most importantly of all, in order to truly establish the June 8th – 10th gathering in Saint John as the start / consolidation of a significant people’s movement in the Atlantic Region, we need to act to protect each other from the infringements of our environmental and social rights. We can do this by NOT waiting for our governments to deliver us a dignified existence, but we have to create and consolidate the redevelopment ourselves, keeping in mind the principles of solidarity, equality and participatory planning. If we wait, and don’t maximize on the great opportunity will be in front of us, transnational capital – which waits for no one -- will push us all off the edge. Now is the time for the people.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
An Opportunity for the People as They Gather on the Streets of Saint John – It Must Go Beyond a Three Day Movement
WOULD THE LORD GOVERNMENT HAVE HELP THIS FAMILY IF THE MEDIA WOULD HAVE IGNORE THIS EMOTIONAL ISSUE????
Hi CHarles, I was surprised you didn't do a piece on the little baby boy Riley, from St. Stephen..How the health and community services were not helping the family trying to bring their baby home. He has a terminal illness and they haven't got the funding to have nursing care for him at night. The community helath services said they were on a waiting list for a year, but now going public with their story they have speeded up the process a little bit for them ATV news at noon says they are now trying to get it set up for them very soon!!
David Kelly is member of the Fredericton City Council.
We were chatting about Rogers Television < Old Germany > denying the rights to certain New Brunswickers to call in their local talk shows.
He did admit that Dennis Melanson was the best as a host.
I might add that he didn't blast that Crosby kid either.
I'll be fair.
Why Public Schools Pressure Parents To Give Their Kids Mind-Altering Drugs
By Joel Turtel (05/13/2006)
Nothing condemns our public-school system more than the fact that many school authorities across America pressure parents to give mind-altering drugs to millions of normal, innocent children to stop bored kids from fidgeting in their seats or "not paying attention." Too often, school authorities refuse to accept the blame for our public schools' failure to teach our children or hold their interest in class.
Public-school teaching is structured in such a way that it inevitably bores millions of normal, active children who are forced to sit in classrooms six to eight hours a day with about twenty other immature children. The teacher has to cover the curriculum, so she is pressured to teach all the kids the same material in the same way. Few teachers have the time or patience to know each child's unique personality, interests, strengths, or weaknesses, or give different instruction to each student.
Middle-school and high-school children often have to learn subjects they can't relate to, are not interested in, or that frustrate them, such as history, trigonometry, or foreign languages. As a result, many students get bored, watch the clock, and wait for the school day to end.
Classroom "learning" usually consists of forcing students to read dumbed-down textbooks, memorizing facts from these textbooks, and then regurgitating these meaningless facts on dumbed-down tests. Like Pavlov's obedient dogs, students go from gym to math to English literature to American history every hour at the sound of each period's bells. Their day consists of disconnected lectures on disconnected subjects. Each class lasts only fifty minutes, so their train of thought breaks off at the sound of the bell.
Young children in elementary school have natural high energy, and each child has his or her own unique personality. Most teachers simply don't have the time or patience to teach different material or use different teaching methods with each child. Just being cramped into a classroom with twenty other children and told to learn certain tasks by an adult they may not like, can annoy or frustrate many normal, high-energy, but emotionally immature children with a will of their own.
Overworked teachers are under a lot of pressure today. They must teach many students in their classes, cover the curriculum, test and grade the students, and prove to parents and the principal that their students are learning and doing well in their studies. Even worse, a teacher's job may now be threatened or she could be disciplined if her students do poorly on the new standardized tests. The No Child Left Behind Act puts pressure on teachers and principals to make sure students pass these tests because the school can lose funding if students' test grades don't measure up to minimum standards.
For all these reasons, over-worked teachers are under enormous pressure to maintain discipline in class so they can do their job. If some students are disruptive, don't pay attention, or cause trouble in class, the teacher must do something about these children to keep order. In the old days, teachers could discipline kids by smacking or restraining them. If a teacher tried this today, parents would quickly slap her and the school with a lawsuit, so that kind of discipline is now impossible. Also compulsory-attendance laws and other Federal regulations now make it extremely difficult to expel a violent or disruptive student.
So how do school authorities solve this discipline problem? Too often, they pressure parents to give Ritalin (or similar drugs) to "calm" children down or make them "focus" on their work. However, school authorities needed a way to justify "recommending" these mind-altering drugs to parents. They found this "justification" by going along with the psychiatric establishment's claim that millions of bored, high-energy, or "hyperactive" kids sitting in boring public-school classes, have an alleged mental illness called ADHD.
By claiming that high-energy or easily-distracted children (which is normal for most boys) might have a "mental illness," many school authorities feel justified in pressuring parents to give these kids potentially-dangerous mind-altering drugs to "correct" the problem. Many well-intentioned teachers and principals have come to believe the ADHD rhetoric so strongly, that they sincerely believe they are helping children they think have ADHD.
Well-intentioned or not, schools also get many important benefits by taking the easy way out with Ritalin. School districts today are strapped for money because many States are running huge budget deficits. Schools can't spend the time, money, or effort it takes to find out what makes bored kids not pay attention or "problem" kids act out. The bureaucratic public schools don't have the resources to give these children intensive, individualized instruction or time-consuming psychological counseling. So pressuring parents to give Ritalin to their normal but "unruly" kids to "quiet" them or make them "pay attention" became the typical American quick-fix for solving complex problems.
A public-school system that pressures many parents into giving their children mind-altering drugs that are potentially addictive, dangerous, or sometimes even lethal, is a moral abomination. A public-school system that recommends drugging innocent children to make them "pay attention" in class is a frightening and embarrassing failure.
Parents, don't let public schools pressure you into giving your children potentially dangerous mind-altering drugs. It is far more likely that your public school has PSTD (Public-School Teaching Disorder) than your normal child has an alleged disease called ADHD. Consider taking your children out of public school, homeschooling them, or enrolling your kids in the quality, low-cost Internet private schools I talk about in my book, "Public Schools, Public Menace."
© 2006 Joel Turtel - All Rights Reserved
This message is dedicated to all Mother's
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM!
FOR THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS: "AS A MOTHER
COMFORTS HER CHILD, SO WILL I COMFORT YOU."
( ISAIAH 66:13 *NIV )
We can not measure the tremendous love that God
has for His Children in human terms. However, I do
believe the closest thing on Earth to that great love,
is the love a Mother has for her child!
Therefore, on this day we honor that special lady in
our life, our Mother. So; LET YOUR FATHER AND
YOUR MOTHER BE GLAD, AND LET HER WHO BORE
YOU REJOICE, ( PROVERBS 23:25 ) and may she
be filled with God's Love, Hope, Faith, and Peace today
The following was sent to me by one of our Brother's-
In-Christ, some time ago. I feel that it is appropriate to
share it with you today. It is called:
Why are you crying, Mom?
"Why are you crying?" he asked his Mom. "Because I'm a
woman" she told him. "I don't understand," he said. His
Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will"..........
Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother
seem to cry for no reason? "All women cry for no reason"
was all his dad could say........
The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering
why women cry...
Finally he put in a call to GOD; when GOD got on the phone
the man said, "GOD, why do women cry so easily?"
and GOD said.......
When I made woman, she had to be special. I made her
shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the World;
yet, gentle enough to give comfort....
I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the
rejection that many times comes from her children......
I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when
everyone else gives up and take care of her family through
sickness and fatigue without complaining......
I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and
all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very
This same sensitivity helps her to make a child's boo-boo
feel better and shares in their teenagers anxieties and
I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults
and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.....
I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts
his wife, but, sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve
to stand beside him unfalteringly.....
I gave her tears to shed. They are hers to use whenever she
needs them. They are her secret strength. They make her
more like ME.....
With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
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