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Friday, November 24, 2006







THESE ARE THE TIMES AND
WE ARE THE PEOPLE!

Peter Dimitrov, pacrim@axion.net










Great news --I applaud this action by the Chiefs and the non-indigenous community to travel to Calgary and directly confront the corporate powers that are planning coalbed methane exploration and production in the Bulkley Valley areas. But we (in the rural and urban parts of this province) must, ally together, and go beyond these actions. These are the times, and we are the people.

It is plain to see that democracy is faltering badly in this province, power to make decisions affecting the economy and ecolology of this province, on a region by region basis, are made primarily out of the Premier's office or by a small group of powerful Ministers. Much of our 'common property' has been privatized by the pirates in Victoria..who act on the behest of the large corporate community.

There are struggles going on over future resource use in the energy & mining sectors all over the province, and at this point, the activist communities have not yet come together in unity. Is it not time for a "meeting" between the folks up in the Squamish area struggling against the IPP project on the Ashlu; between the folks in the Princeton area facing the prospects of coal-fired electrical generation, between the folks in the Smithers and other areas facing the prospects of coal-bed methane production, the folks in Kitimat staring down the Alcan debacle, and last the folks (indigenous and otherwise), facing the prospects of large pipeline project transiting to their territories, and eventually, to those folks on the coast, who may see oil tankers connecting with those pipelines - and hence more oil tanker traffic down the coast?

In the past the people of BC have put together the Tin-Wis Coalition, the Coalition to Stop Uranium Mining & Exploration in this Province, we have had at the Village of Hazelton, the agreement known as the "Framework for Watershed STewardship" --all of which have been community movements to confront the centralization of decision making power by Victoria and its alliance with corporate power. Now, more then ever, under the regieme of the Fiberals, we need a coming together, of urban and rural peoples, to non-violently OPPOSE the centralized decision making over our lives and lands, and to PROPOSE, a province-wide alliance (of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, dedicated to decentralizing political and fiscal power to localities where people live, in their villages, regions, city-neighbourhoods, We need to reclaim the power of community, we need a draft constitution of localized power and soverignty. Global warming is facing us all...it will not be remedied by the same colluding forces that created it, namely, big centralized governments and big, centralized corporations, and centralized urban political parties. Region by region, territory by territory, from the ground-up, grass-roots, then a confederacy, similar to the Iroquois Confederacy. That is my take on it anyway.

8 comments:

Larry Gambone said...

Great article Peter! What you are suggesting is what is now happening in Oaxaca - and for the same reasons - a total lack of democracy and all the power centralized.

Coyote said...

"Is it not time for a "meeting" between the folks up in the Squamish area struggling against the IPP project on the Ashlu; between the folks in the Princeton area facing the prospects of coal-fired electrical generation, between the folks in the Smithers and other areas facing the prospects of coal-bed methane production, the folks in Kitimat staring down the Alcan debacle, and last the folks (indigenous and otherwise), facing the prospects of large pipeline project transiting to their territories, and eventually, to those folks on the coast, who may see oil tankers connecting with those pipelines - and hence more oil tanker traffic down the coast?" wrote Peter.

A really important question which is going to have to be answered here, Peter. Is it indeed time for a meeting of activists out of the rank and file labour and minimum wages working class, the poverty groups, environmental, anti-war, democracy and progressive nationalist groupings-, to chart a new and more effectively co-ordinated course, for now at least in BC?

That such a development would be a huge positive is no doubt. I have some doubts about the suitability of the short term timing, because I think it is important whenever it is done that it be successful, by way of attracting suitable numbers, but I do think we right now do need to prepare the groundwork for such an eventual "coming together" for co-ordinated action along a broader front. At the very least I think it would be more immediately useful if we could do some exploratory work, even to establish some kind of a steering committee, that would work closely together to make the movement contacts and approaches, for a much larger gathering of "popular movement activists" at some point.

I think a good target date, in the short term, would be to set a spring date, likely somewhere on the coast, but possibly elsewhere, depending on how participation develops. Then once we have some kind of broader agreement around that, to set to work to get the word out and see what kind of responses we get-, meaning building contact lists, of individuals and groups, and setting up communications with them-, for this spring exploratory meeting. (Which could suddenly become more if the response was greater than we might now expect.)

My experience is that timing is critical in attempting to take these kind of initiatives, and prematurity is as bad in politics as it is in sex. :-)

Though nothing ventured, nothing gained as well, and it is all sometimes part of the learning curve that goes on in movement building as well.

I have a bit of a list I have built up around Tyee, of course, but there may be other labour, poverty, women's, welfare, transit, even food banks and such, and other more small town and rural community issue groups that we could build up to get an initial response from.

Whatever, I do think we need to build a lead-up to such an activist gathering. And that has to begin with those of us who are connected at least exploring the idea, to determines its practical short term merit.

bear said...

Peter said: "and at this point, the activist communities have not yet come together in unity".

Exactly Peter, and it is high time we do...!! I would have gone to support these brave people if I knew it was happening here in Calgary, but I found out too late. I was very pleased however, to see action by the FN's against the "corporate insanity" that has taken hold of our democratic system...

Good article Peter, and I appreciate you and your concerns immensely. The tankers and pipeline development in B.C. stands to destroy Nations and species which exist in these areas... These initiatives mentioned are a serious threat to the survival of many, and not just human...

I was glad to see Enbridge unable to lauch the “Gateway project” for now, but I am not sure how much of it had to do with the outcry against it. I would like to think these voices against this project did influence their decision...

Vigilance on these issues will be so important in our near future, as we can't miss a beat, or "they" will come in like a flood imo.

All these unsupported initiatives are threats and I think much of it is due to a crumbling democratic system… We need to take the voice back to the people...

Once again thanks for taking the time to present some facts and truths Peter...appreciate it.

Peace brother,

Bear

Larry Gambone said...

Sounds great to me Coyote. Count me in for sure. I am sure some of the folks in my own network of contacts in Vancouver, Nanaimo and Nelson would also be interested.

Peter Dimitrov said...

xeokzyes, lets begin to try and identify some people who we could bring together- rather then one big meeting, even several smaller meetings, region, by region, city folks in their base, rural folks in their base, 'working the base'. Personally I am thinking of trying to build a 'social/political movement' - not a party...and perhaps that movement, can identify issues, strategies to move forward. If i can only suggest- connecting to the people at the 'base/ground level', territory by territory, voting constituency by constituency..

I really do believe "This is the Time, and We are the People"...there is 'no miracle from on-high" that will deliver us from what is happening in BC or the trend toward continentalism..when we look in the mirror...'we are the ones' who will revive a very ailing democracy whose demise at the hands of the corporations and the 'captured' policians is self-evident.

Larry Gambone said...

Definitely a movement rather than a party is the way to go. We have already seen what has happened to both the NDP and the Green parties and need not follow that path. A large "get aquainted meeting" might be good to start with, but we would need to create a lot of local, regional groupings. I wonder if the BC historical precident is not 1983 Solidarity, but this time without the trade union bureaucrats to control it, more like a "base committee" version of Solidarity, perhaps?

Coyote said...

Ditto.

I definitely agree that what we are talking about here is a social movement, as separate/distinct from a party per se. The last thing that is needed here, I think, is another elitist "vanguard" political party centred upon participation in the ruling class "Big Money democracy controlled" state system.

Au contraire, I think we are talking about quite a different creature-, more an Oaxaca experience style movement-, as in building a parallel and challenging power of the grassroots organizations of "the people" to that very ruling class serving power of ideology based parties. We are fundamentally talking here a grass roots-centric "democracy movement" in my view.

And I take particular note of Peter's caution, at least as I read him, to proceed here more modestly than pretentiously, though prepared for any and all more positive possibilities, as in to lay down a base of people from which to contact, establish communications and create a network of grassroots activist organizations and citizens. And that more likely this be done over several gatherings, and maybe even in different communities and regions.

I think, basically, we are talking about the building of an alliance, or what we used to call a united front, only here, rather than "parties". we are talking about grassroots "issues" and "community group" organizations. Hopefully, it will become a kind of broad "democracy movement". rooted not in formal politics as we generally understand, but in the grass roots citizenry of our communities, regions and province-, as a starting focus point.

Coyote said...

"A large "get aquainted meeting" might be good to start with, but we would need to create a lot of local, regional groupings. I wonder if the BC historical precident is not 1983 Solidarity, but this time without the trade union bureaucrats to control it, more like a "base committee" version of Solidarity, perhaps?" wrote Larry.

Amen to this. And I think 1983 Solidarity is about exactly what we are talking about and need to aim for, sans the Big Labour bureaucracy. Though, in my mind and reasoning, this depends on what occurs with us, if we can create an equalizing power, and what future changes "may" occur in the proverbial House of Labour. As they are, they stand more with "them" than with "us"-, though I would like to think, over time, that MAY change, like I say.