Making a Difference

Overwhelmed with issues such as depletion of our natural resounces, global warming, a failing economy, and an overall sense of hopelessness, it's easy to succumb to negativity and the feeling that there is nothing one can do to make a difference.


In the forest there lived a hummingbird, a rabbit, a deer and a bear. The forest was their home until the day the fire broke out. It swallowed up their nests and their homes. The creatures scurried away; the bear ran, the deer leapt, and the rabbit hopped. And the hummingbird flew out of danger's way.
The animals stopped to rest at the edge of the woods by a pond. Without hesitation the little hummingbird filled its beak with water and raced right back towards the fire. Back and forth, and back and forth it went, that little hummingbird, until it was so exhausted it fell to the ground.

"What are you doing?" asked the other animals. The little hummingbird looked up and said:

"I'm doing what I can
With what I have
Where I am."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympics Protester thanks police

The day after the initial rally and parade in Vancouver, BC against the Olympics, masked thugs (which have now identified themselves as the Black Bloc) ran amok in downtown Vancouver causing havoc, smashing windows of the Hudson's Bay Company and threatening peaceful protestors who tried to stop them. These were the same thugs that attempted to cause violence on the Friday evening.

The police intervened and some media reports spoke of "violent police arrests…"

I was so disgusted with this sensationalized form of reporting that I sat down and wrote a letter to the Vancouver City Police Department thanking the officers that had shown such incredible restrained the previous night. Despite intense provocation, being screamed at, spat upon and verbally and physically attacked, their behaviour was absolutely amazing, and in protecting my right to remain on the front line to protest, they went well and beyond the call of duty.

I was asked, and gladly gave permission, for my letter to be passed on to the media. This resulted in articles being published in most major newspapers Canada wide. Here's an example of one of the best:
I was also interviewed by the Vancouver Island TV A Channel. Here is the clip:
(Please note that most of the scenes portrayed in the clip are from the Saturday violent protests and not the Friday evening protest.)

Tony and I wrote the report "Take back our Streets – Take back our City" with the intention of setting the record straight and bringing it to the attention of as many people as we could. I wrote the thank you letter to the police, pure and simple, from my heart, for no other reason than I wanted to. But in the way of things, without any effort on my part, the thank you letter got country-wide attention. From the overwhelming response from people all over who have personally thanked me for doing this, I know that when we speak our truth from the core of who we are, we always make a difference.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Take back our City - Take back our Streets

The "Take back our City" public festival at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the opening day of the 2010 Olympics was a vibrant gathering of people assembled to protest in a "free-speech zone." Signs addressed issues that mattered to most British Columbians, regardless of whether they celebrated the Olympics or not. Topics ranged from the games' overall impact on the province: "Beautiful BC – scorched by the torch" "Thanks for the debt, environmental destruction & military-police state" and "Down with the corporate Olympiad, Up with our community centres, libraries and fire services"

To the issues of homelessness: "Wasted monies, waste $$$$$$$$ could have ended homelessness" as well as "End poverty – it's NOT a game" "Stop paying the rich, increase funding for programs" and "Five rings shackle us to debt"

As to the original intent of the games: "To promote the moral, physical, intellectual improvement of the town" Dr. W. Brookes (1850) Founding father of the modern Olympic games"

Published that morning in the Vancouver Sun was an article headlined: "Province to cut $10 million from Services. Ministry of Children and Family Development demands agency reductions by April 1."

The parade left Robson Square. People of all ages, race, sexual orientation, mothers with babies, people in wheelchairs. British Columbians from all walks of life.

Onlookers asked questions. Many waved, cheering encouragement.

Chants rang out: "No Olympics on Stolen native land" "This is what democracy looks like - "This is what democracy feels like" and "Homes not games"

City of Vancouver Police were stationed at intersections along the route. RCMP helicopters, a constant presence overhead.

Groups spontaneously broke into song, and danced in the streets.

Upon reaching BC Place the protesters were met with several rows of City of Vancouver police, and an imposing row of mounted police officers on horseback at the rear.

Speeches were made, songs were sung, a game of street hockey took place, illustrating you didn't have to spend money to have fun.

As darkness fell a rallying cry went out to come to the aid of the elders at the front. The organizers advised those who did not want interaction with the police to move back, those who would stand strong and hold the line to move forward. The police held their line without any form of aggression. The protesters held theirs for the protection of the elders.

Banners that acted as a blind went up around a group of people, presumably, to protect the elders. The protesters set up a protective line around this blind. Hidden by banners, visibility blurred by rain, it was impossible to get a true sense of what was transpiring. Still the call went out: "Protect the elders!"

All at once, sticks were being thrown into the police line, a plastic barrel hurled along with spittle and insults. The chanting changed to: "We want Peace. Fuck the Police." The genuine protesters, disoriented by the turn of events, now shifted their priorities from holding the line to protecting each other. Many tried to disarm the agitators, ripping their banners and wrestling poles away, throwing them to the ground to stop their use as weapons.

The police in turn began to protect the protesters even though they were still being hurled insults and spat upon by the agitators. At no time were the police offensive, despite intense provocation. Even while being attacked, they showed enormous restraint and cautioned people politely and firmly, at all times calling them Sir or Ma'am.

One older woman was verbally attacked and spat upon by some of the agitators. Warned off by the police, the agitators retaliated: "If she doesn't want to get hurt, she shouldn't be here." The policeman replied: "She wants to be here. She has a right to be here. And we're here to protect that right."

As events unfolded, many people retreated. Once the agitators realized they no longer had the protection and support of the protesters they soon abandoned their tactics and withdrew. The police held fast.

Those who had something genuine to protest stood visible and proud, strong in their conviction.
Those whose only goal appeared to be to cause harm through violence to anyone that opposes them, hid behind their masks and used others as shields, under false pretenses.

In the words of one young protester in the aftermath: "Why do I do this? I don't do these protests for me; I go to give a voice to the down-trodden and disenfranchised. I live a very comfortable life, to excess in some ways, but I do this for the future generations who have no voice in this time. My family and friends have asked me to "wait" or why air our dirty laundry in front of the world. I tell them "wait" means never and there is no appropriate time to fight oppression."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Aid STILL not getting to Haitians

For those who have a concern about Haiti and the activities occurring there now, current, pertinent and correct information is available on an on-going basis through Democracy Now!
This independent TV/radio news program hosted by the highly respected Amy Goodman, is investigative journalism at its finest, and is aired over 800 stations. You can watch/listen to any portion of any show at any time at

While the mainstream media is for the most part white-washing what is actually going on in Haiti, news reports from independent radio stations are telling it as it really is.

On February 2, 2010 Democracy Now! interviewed Bill Quigley, legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights who had just returned from Haiti.

Three weeks, to the day, after the quake, survivors are still desperate to receive aid, with food, water and medical relief not reaching the areas it is needed most.
"Tragically, there was very little international assistance available in any of the neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince where we were. We saw tremendous examples of Haitians helping Haitians and sharing what they had, trying to take care of each other, but tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people living what I think the media has called “tent cities,” what really are sheet camps, that people don’t even have tents. They have sheets strung on ropes, with people under them.

And I really think that any person in the United States, any person in the international community that was dropped into any neighborhood in Port-au-Prince and walked two blocks would be shocked at the absence of international assistance there, because I think there was such an outpouring of individual charitable response, and—but that is just not getting to the people of Haiti."

Concerning the issue of holding off letting critically injured Haitians into the Florida hospitals in United States, he said: "That is just disgraceful. It is just unbelievable that the state of Florida, the United States, the medical communities around the country, couldn’t figure a way to take these most critically ill, but still savable, people in… But I think it is a good example of exactly what’s going on, magnified by a thousand, of what’s going on in Haiti itself."

In reply to Amy Goodman's question about the Associated Press reporting that the Haitian government is receiving less than a penny for each dollar the United States spends on aid efforts in Haiti. Thirty-three cents of every dollar goes to the US military. Quigley had this to say: "Yes. Everybody who’s concerned should take a look at that brief report, because a third of it goes to military response, another third of it is going through and that, that—who knows how much of that money is actually getting into the hands of Haitians? And only one cent.

When asked what is the best way to get aid to Haiti, he recommended that assisting Haitians in the United States to get money directly to family members in Haiti is very important.

When asked about the massive mounds of aid that were piled high over two weeks ago at the airport, Quigley's response was: "Well, there is a sense that some of the aid has been brought into the country, but it is being held in secret storage places, because whoever has it hasn’t figured out how to distribute it yet in a fair way. But in the meantime, literally, there are babies dying of malnutrition. There are elders who are dying from the shock and untreated wounds that they have had. And this is not something that we can’t do something. We can do it. But there seems to be a lack of a will. There’s lack of communication, lack of coordination."

Olympics in B.C. - A stage for the B.C. government to show the corporate world how to continue to exploit circumstances.

The B.C. liberals are using tax money to build, reshape ecosystems, advertise and construct security measures so that realty developers and agents, corporate profit-driven agendas, and the installment of security police forces, can move into the province without regulation or disclosure.

They come here to spend very little money, but reap very high profits at the expense of us, the taxpayers.

This all falls within the B.C. liberals plan to make the province completely private. Because of our pristine resources, the private corporate world is pushing so hard to get their unbridled hands on our future, that they are drooling all over themselves while they hover in eager anticipation.

We as a people were not given a voice as to whether or not B.C. should have the Olympics or not. No referendum. No vote. No meaningful dialogue. Nothing to include all British Columbians in the decision. Just a bum's rush!

Now to add insult to injury the liberals are trying to take away our free speech by fining, arresting and inventing ways to punish those of us who talk about the Olympics without waving a five circle flag. This alone is enough to recall the government and take them to task!

If people wish to advertise or talk against the Olympics they have the right to do so.

British Columbians must be able to speak out against this debacle called the Olympics and not fear being isolated and persecuted for doing so. Persecution went the way of the Inquisition and must be left there.

At what point on the road, do we stop and look back at the evidence leading to our destruction and say "Enough"?

Monday, February 8, 2010

The 19th Annual Feb 14th 2010 Womens Memorial March

In January 1991 a woman was murdered on Powell Street in Vancouver. This was the catalyst that moved women into creating an annual Memorial March on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Coast Salish Territories.

Nineteen years later, the March continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women. Over 3000 women are known to have gone missing or been murdered in Canada since the 1970s. Last year, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued this statement: “Hundreds of cases involving aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in the past two decades have neither been fully investigated nor attracted priority attention.”

This year the Memorial March is scheduled to take place in Vancouver, B.C. during the 2010 Winter Olympics. This is an important annual event which shows that those missing and murdered women are not forgotten

In a show of shameful intimidation tactics, The City of Vancouver and the Olympic Committee insisted that the march be postponed, or cancelled altogether, as it was deemed unsavory during the "Olympics Festivities."

The women of the Memorial March stood their ground in solidarity. They remained true to themselves and to those remembered. The March is taking place as planned!

It will be made more sacred by the stance the women have taken. Attending the March either in Vancouver, or in Victoria would be a heartfelt gesture towards to courage of the organizers and helpers. Please give all these women the gift of your respect, encouragement and support.

Common Sense

An Obituary Printed In the London Times...

"Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, "Common Sense", who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouth wash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust. His wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility, his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4
stepbrothers; I Know My Rights; I Want It Now; Someone Else Is To Blame; I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009



On November 20, 2009 the BC Government quietly announced their Handpicked appointees to the new Green Energy Advisory Task Force, designed to recommend ways to “improve” the BC Energy Plan, which has already overseen the slow-motion privatization of BC Hydro and the staking of over 800 rivers and water bodies by private corporations.

Many appointees and/or their employers stand to derive financial benefit from private power projects. Many of the task force members are substantial campaign contributors to Gordon Campbell. Companies like Cloudworks, Transalta and Pinnacle Pellet hope to become or already are big players in BC’s private electrical power industry.


There is no budget for public meetings.

The public is expected to submit their concerns by email by December 31, 2009.

Let the BC Government and the Task Forces know that this sham process doesn’t replace real public consultation.

Rivers are precious and irreplaceable, our last great resource. Don’t give them away...
• Fair and democratic process is our right – give it back: Repeal your Bill 30 that silenced our local governments...
• We need a moratorium on river diversions until they are properly planned, environmentally appropriate, acceptable to First Nations and local governments, and publicly owned.
• We need decisions that balance environmental impacts and social benefits...
• Energy conservation must be our first priority...
• Put public welfare ahead of corporate profits...
• Give us incentives and social infrastructures that encourage conservation...

You can contact the Task Forces here:,