Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pipeline protesters and court ordered injunctions


So many of the pipe line protesters at Burnaby Mountain simply don’t seem to understand the implications of court ordered injunctions.  There should have been some sort of “Black Hole” for the protesters as there was in the Clayoquot Sound during the logging blockades.  The Black Hole was a camping spot for the protesters willing to be arrested.  Before arrest, we were told everything we needed to know about injunctions, specifically, about how injunctions are a judicial procedure rather than a law. This means that an injunction is an order handed down by a single judge.


Kennedy Stewart who was arrested alongside Elizabeth May on March 23, is of course, correct when he stated that contempt of court is “uncoded”.  That means contempt of court isn’t in the Canadian criminal code. But what does that mean, it isn’t in the criminal code?  What does it matter? It matters a heck of a lot.

 

The Canadian criminal code encompasses the entire body of law that has been developed for hundreds of years, slowly changing as it borrows from the legal statutes of other countries.  I have great respect for the Canadian criminal code. It protects all citizens from arbitrary punishments by a single judge. But I have no respect for the judiciary of British Columbia who refuse to afford the protection of the criminal code for a special group of people…those who practice civil disobedience.

 

Instead of protecting the constitution and the rule of law, our BC judges give out injunctions to corporations that strip environmental protesters of this right of equal protection under the law.  Under arrest by injunction the protester cannot put forth the argument of necessity before the judge because the only argument that judge will hear is one of: “Were you at the protest site?  Did you refuse to move when ordered to do so by the police?  Yes? Guilty of contempt of court, and if you object we may elevate that to Criminal Contempt”.


But how else could law enforcement bodies punish peaceful protesters who disrupt other claimants by their activities? By applying the criminal code, the way every other challenge to the law in Canada is addressed.   For instance, what did the protesters actually do in Burnaby?  They got too close to a corporation defined red line.  Fine.  That’s what the criminal code is for.  If protesters were charged like all other citizens, they would probably be charged with mischief.  Got in the way of a logging truck?  Okay, arrest him or her for being a nuisance, for blocking a road; there are detailed punishments for these actions in the criminal code. And in this scenario the judge must hear arguments of necessity with some seriousness.


 But, no.  In the case of civil disobedience BC judges choose to bypass the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. They choose instead to use a special judicial expediency to favor one group of people (corporations) over real citizens who are concerned about our environment.  They do this when they grant the applying corporation an injunction in the first place.  The judges should be ashamed. BC is becoming known as the province that rules by injunctions.  It’s a lazy way to apply the law and justice is never served when our judges appear to be so biased.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On “Mowing the Palestinian Grass”


On “Mowing the Palestinian Grass”

That’s the phrase that is used by Israel to describe their periodic forays into Gaza to terrify the Palestinian who live there.  The Israelis call their recent shootings of unarmed prisoners in the large outdoor prison of deprivation they have created for the Palestinians: “Mowing the Grass”. The Israelis feel quite free to use live ammunition on unarmed Palestinian protesters who want their land and homes returned.

 However, the Israelis know they are “the chosen” both politically and by religious decree and that they don’t have to return anything. They will gladly starve out and/or kill every last Palestinian protester, including children in Gaza, before they will willingly give back the right of the Palestinians to return to their land, or interfere with their continuing stealing of even more Palestinian land.  And the Israelis also know they can use live ammunition on unarmed protesters without worry of global condemnation. They have Donald Trump solidly behind them on the one hand, armed with the most extensive, viscous military in the entire world, and the deep pockets of the Jewish Lobby to protect them from any censure by the American Congress on the other.  After all, the Jewish Lobby has bought and paid for the vast majority of the US federal politicians, both Democrats and Republicans.

The US in turn, twists the arms of the UN, so the outright murder of unarmed Palestinians is ignored by the European politicians and the Western press, or else when mentioned, the protesters are defined as “terrorists”.  Citizens of the western world should take note.  What is done in Gaza could come home. When unarmed protesters of any kind are shot and killed in the so called civilized world with scant or no notice from other supposed civilized  nations,  then these  states themselves by their lack of care, signify their own murderous impulses toward their own political protesters who are perceived as trying to disturb the accepted order of things.   From this heavy blanket of silence from the governments of the world, including Canada, of the deliberate killing of unarmed protesting Palestinians, then we can deduce that no visibly protesting citizen anywhere in our western world is safe from our own governments.


Tuesday, April 03, 2018

On War with Russia



On war with Russia

 

The hatred being vented toward Russia by the Western world may be some kind of a temporary aberration, but I don’t think so.  This non-stop assault on Russia is a horrendously dangerous thing.   The accusations of wrong-doing by Russia without including Western countries own role in all of it is never-ending.  As far as Russia trying to kill a double agent on British soil after Russia had already released him years before after he served time for treason, I don’t believe it.  On the eve of the World cup games? Why would they do that?  

 

I could be wrong but it certainly sounds as though some sort of a pre-emptive strike on Russia by US-led NATO is being seriously discussed by the US generals. However, the problem for this scenario is that Russia (as I understand it) now has a nuclear capability superior to the US.  NATO (of which Canada is a part) can’t really try to destroy Russia without grave risk of destroying our own countries and populations.  

 

I also think this flood of accusations coming from the West against Russia is aimed equally, or even primarily, at China.  Why? The US dollar has been the predominant settlement currency for oil future contracts.  China is the world’s biggest oil consumer and has just launched their own yuan-back crude oil futures in Shanghai. This means they don’t have to use US dollars anymore in their oil transactions.  They will use their own currency, backed by gold, instead of US dollars, backed by much of nothing.  Which, of course, weakens the US dollar further and makes the US furious.

 

The US war hawks will rattle swords and cheer on Theresa May but unless the new warriors in Trump’s cabinet are willing to try to wreck the entire world along with their own lives, there isn’t a dammed thing they can do about it. Except, of course, sling accusations non-stop both at Russia and China while titillating the public with the frolics of Donald Trump and Stormy, the porn star.