Apr 16/97: Gustafsen Lake-speech at Earth Walk '97


Ernie Yacub
April 16, 1997

Earth Walk '97, Victoria, Brutish Columbia
reposted with permission of author

Who would have thought 20, or even 10 years ago, that we would never again be able to bask innocently in the sun? Thanks to dupont scientists and corporate excecutives, the ozone layer no longer shields us from the sun's ultraviolet radiation.

We know that we're in deep shit, don't we?

Even the insurance companies know...they now say that global warming is a serious problem. Their scientists are saying that storms and other erratic weather caused by climate change could bust the industry...they just can't afford to underwrite all the hurricanes, tornadoes, washouts, droughts, wildfires, and coastal flooding.

So... what happens to pensions and money when these multi-billion dollar trans national corporations go bankrupt? Ain't no slot machines or casinos going to get us out of that one, glen [Clark, Premier of BC].

The insatiable corporate beast devours all life on the planet ... they now call it globalization. Even [Prime Minister] jean chretien knows what that means...here's what he had to say about globalization..."tidal waves of money wash effortlessly backwards and forwards, buffeting interest rates and exchange rates, disrupting the best laid plans of government...we cannot stop globalization...we have to adjust." (vancouver sun)

Adjust? hey jean, what happened to our country strong and free? what happened to democracy and community? He's right about one thing, though...the waves of money created out of thin air by the chartered banks fuels the destruction of civil society and the planet.

That money feeds what will thomas calls the military-industrial-entertainment complex. The bloated u.s. military is now the undisputed globocop, our very own big brother who sends us floating chernobyls, nuclear submarines to play deadly games in georgia strait, subsidized by your taxes.

It's all about money and violence...violence to the earth and violence to our very own species.

And where is the media, the vaunted free press of the most democratic nation in the world? Even our public broadcaster, the cbc, can no longer be trusted....look how they reported on the gulf war and the gustafsen lake standoff.

There was a media frenzy during the standoff, but almost total silence during the last year and a half of the longest criminal trial in canadian history, costing an estimated $50,000 per day.

According to the court record, the canadian media were used by the rcmp to report lies, distortion, and propaganda. During the standoff, canadian media pumped out bogus stories of heavily armed terrorists and phantom firefights.

Did you know that up to 400 rcmp officers and military personnel were employed at gustafsen lake. It became the largest police operation in bc history, costing taxpayers more than $5 million. This heavily armed force came within a breath and a whisper of a full waco-style military assault and consequent massacre of a group of children, women and men camping peacefully at the lake.

In court, rcmp brass testified that they gave shoot to kill orders at gustafsen lake...

They blew up a truck on its way to the lake for water...they shot 20,000 bullets, special explosive bullets for maximum effect, at 2 unarmed people and a dog in a guaranteed safe zone...they killed the dog and wounded a woman in the arm.

Imagine that...the rcmp, presumably with the attorney general's approval, ordered uniformed officers to kill unarmed canadians...ujjal dosanjh, the bc attorney general and the minister of human rights, called the sundancers terrorists, playing to a gullible public on the eve of an election.

Did the cops lie to him like they lied to the media? what did he know and when did he know it? somebody should be asking that question repeatedly in the legislature and demanding a public inquiry.

You would think the media would be interested in asking that question, wouldn't you?

What hope is there for birds, fish and forests if we can do this to our own kind? Well, despite the doom and gloom, i still have hope...whenever i despair, i repeat like a mantra the joe hill refrain: don't mourn, organize.

There is an astonishing diversity of organizations and campaigns represented here in this gathering...there is enormous strength in that diversity if we could just learn how to work together and support one another.

But how do you do that in a dog-eat-dog world gone mad, where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the earth suffers?

Having worked on many of these issues and campaigns, i now believe that the antidote to corporate globalization is the community commonwealth nurtured and protected by its own money supply....

An abundant, interest free money supply which can never leave our communities... our own community currencies with which to pay thousands of people for the crucially important work that needs to be done...

I want to leave you with another hopeful idea, a metaphor that i keep referring to on a daily basis.

Metamorphosis by elisabet sahtouris

"My favorite metaphor for the current world transition is that of a butterfly in metamorphosis. It goes like this: Inside a cocoon, deep in the caterpillar's body, tiny things biologists call "imaginal disks" begin to form. Not recognizing the newcomers, the caterpillar's immune system snuffs them. But they keep coming faster and faster, then begin to link up with each other. Eventually the caterpillar's immune system fails from the stress and the disks become imaginal cells that build the butterfly from the meltdown of the caterpillar's body.
If we see ourselves as imaginal discs working to build the butterfly of a better world, we will also see how important it is to link with each other in the effort, to recognize how many different kinds of imaginal cells it will take to build a butterfly with all its capabilities and colors."

ernie yacub
april 16, 1997

At the end, i asked for a moment of silence to remember slain freedom fighters...dudley george, killed by the ontario provincial police at ipperwash, ken saro wiwa and the ogoni 9, and most recently, the tupac amaru rebels, slain by the peruvian military at the japanese embassy.

Tupac amaru leader nestor cerpa told the mediators to relay to his wife, Gilvonio (who is serving a life sentence in a peruvian prison hell) that he "remembered her with 'respect and admiration'... please tell her that i will never forget her and that she will always be in my heart."

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