Posts Tagged ‘protest’

10,000 yellow construction helmets lined up outside Milan Stock Exchange

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Italian protest - construction helmets outside Milan Stock Exchange

Via designboom. In a “day of anger,” unemployed construction workers hit by Italy’s recession stage brilliant protest outside Milan’s Stock Exchange. For more photos see link.

10,000 yellow helmets in Milan

Day of Anger at Milan Stock Exchange


Idle No More

Friday, December 28th, 2012

We fought for your rights in 1812: Fight for Ours

I am in full support of Idle No More and Chief Theresa Spence’s now perilous hunger strike in a tipi across from Canada’s Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Chief of the beleaguered town on Attawapiskat in Ontario, where inadequate housing has led to a level of misery that attracted even UN censure, Spence is engaged in a desperate gambit to force PM Harper to speak with her.

Idle No More, a nation-wide First Nations protest against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s erosion of native sovereignty, consultation and environmental regulation is fast gaining strength and allies in Canada and abroad. In addition to Chief Spence’s protest over Attawapiskat and government interference  there, the Prime Minister’s omnibus budget bill C-45, which contained a bludgeon obliterating all manner of environmental regulation and local controls, has not surprisingly been met with First Nations protest. And it is only the latest in a string of bills eroding rights; Bill C-54 was just as disastrous to environmental protection and First Nations rights and sovereignty.  It destroyed the Fisheries Act and Environmental Assessment among other law, close to 70 in all, with no debate or discussion. These things combined have precipitated a movement that Stephen Harper will have great difficulty putting down, and whose magnitude he probably hasn’t even clocked yet.

I have never witnessed anything like this in Canada in my lifetime. The level of First Nations unanimity in BC even before Idle No More, precipitated by and in opposition to oil tanker traffic and/or pipelines in BC, and in particular to the high-handed actions of the federal government and its corporate allies in Enbridge, were stunning enough. But Idle No More represents a sea change in Canada. It is very unlikely that it can be stopped, it will undoubtedly do serious damage to the Stephen Harper/Conservative Party of Canada government, and it’s almost certain to alter the political landscape not to mention the way in which this country views itself.

Must reads (this list will be periodically updated):

Follow Chief Theresa Spence on Twitter.

Pamela Palmater:  Why we are Idle No More

First Nations UBC professor Glen Coulthard: Idle No More in Historical Context

Dulce et Decorum: The Indian Act in Plain English

Superb breakdown by Chelsea Vowel in âpihtawikosisân & National Post:  The real math behind Attawapiskat’s $90 million

Rabble (Am Johal):  Justice at stake: Chief Theresa Spence passes Day 15 of hunger strike

Al Jazeera:  First Nations #IdleNoMore on day of action

Guardian: Canada’s First Nations protest heralds a new alliance – The grassroots IdleNoMore movement of aboriginal people offers a more sustainable future for all Canadians

Marc Garneau, former Canadian scientist and astronaut, Member of Parliament:  An open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Let our words not be empty

Idle No More blog

Toronto Star: Pressure mounting for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet Attawapiskat chief on hunger strike

I am an ally. I am not First Nations, Metis or Inuit. I am Canadian. I support human rights, the protection of our environment and our democracy, and the notion that our elected government should act honestly and honourably in carrying out its obligations to all  its people.

Lastly, see this.


Cartoonist Dan Murphy’s spoof of proposed BC pipeline

Monday, July 9th, 2012

By cartoonist Dan Murphy of the Vancouver Province newspaper (which pulled it after he posted it). Hilarious.

“Jobs”… or not. This oil pipeline proposal is the worst deal ever for B.C., with all the benefit going to China and corporations. It offers nothing close to adequate compensation for B.C. in the event of a pipeline or a tanker spill, and all this in return for a paltry number of jobs, not to mention no significant share in the profits. Our creeping-toward-fascism Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t have a sense of BC at all and is underestimating its ability to mount opposition. Vancouver produced Greenpeace and Adbusters, Stephen; do not mess with us.

In any case, it looks as if the deal is dead. Dumbest idea ever to run a pipeline for toxic, solvent-laden tar sand fuel over rocky mountainous terrain in earthquake country and then through Hecate Strait, one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world. It’s tied for dumbest idea with the Site C Dam, fracking or privatizing our public energy utility—Enron much? It’s hard to say which government is worse: the Government of Canada or the BC government. They’re tied.

See also this previous post.


You Know Things are Messed Up When Librarians Start Marching

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Most of the photos here were taken by a friend of mine, Canadian filmmaker Velcrow Ripper, at Occupy Wall Street. Reproduced here with permission. See his whole gallery of Occupy Wall Street photos.

I would like to nominate the protest sign—all the protest signs of this year’s worldwide uprisings, in general—as the pre-eminent design object of 2011. Most newsworthy, most useful, most creative, and it gives “mass-produced” a new meaning.

Vancouver begins its own Occupy protest on October 15, in solidarity as well as in protest against the wealth divide here at home. The gap between rich and poor in Canada is at its historic widest, and it’s nowhere wider than in British Columbia where more than a decade of rightwing policies and cuts have produced, among other tragedies, the worst child poverty rate in the country, and by a wide margin. Accelerating corporate ownership of our political process creates problems here too. Even if Canada’s greater regulation of banking has saved us from some of the catastrophes facing the US, the rapidly widening income gap means we are heading for trouble.

Those who mock or dismiss Occupy Wall Street—if anyone is still doing that—will probably regret it later.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

More reading:

Mark Ruffalo, The Guardian: We are the 99 percent
Paul Krugman, New York Times, Panic of the Plutocrats
Naomi Klein, The Nation, Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now
Chris Hedges, Truthdig, Why the Elites are in Trouble
Douglas Rushkoff, CNN, Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase? You don’t get it
Tristan Markle, The Mainlander, #OccupyVancouver? Look to Hong Kong housing activists for inspiration
Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, The Other 99% of Us Can’t Buy Our Way Out of the Impending Global Ponzi Scheme Collapse

Below, by an unknown phographer, a shot of a US veteran at the protest. (Please tell me if you know who shot this.) Sign should win a prize for best ever use of black electrical tape. “2nd time I’ve fought for my country – 1st time I’ve known my enemy.”

And from CNN‘s article “Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase? You don’t get it”:

Update: a new photo of the sign at top, which now seems to be going viral:

2010 Olympics anti-graphics

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Corey Rollins 2010+Drugs Olympic poster

Graphic design isn’t usually my focus, but when you’re interested in design and are living amidst the deluge of an impending Olympics in your hometown, the tide of graphics is impossible to ignore. Here’s a small sample of political cartoons and posters that incorporate the various Olympic logos – the standard logo with the five rings, as well as the Vancouver 2010 “Inukshuk” logo. (For controversy about the Inukshuk logo see here.) Above is Corey Rollins’ poster about Vancouver’s famous drug and prostitution problem (at left), which is based on the official Vancouver 2010 logo (at right). Rollins also did the healthcare poster below, and the taser shirt too, I think, but I’m having trouble verifying that. I’ll add more graphics to this post as I collect them, just in order to keep them all in once place, so check back if you’re interested. The issues being addressed in these graphics, as you can see, are homelessness and eviction, Vancouver’s infamous drug problem (which is sort of headquartered a few blocks from the stadiums and Olympic village, not to mention my studio), appropriation of First Nations’ imagery and land, environmental destruction, corporate/real estate development, debt, police action, suppression of free speech (Google “Free Speech Zones”), corporate perq’s and all of the other problems that generally accompany an Olympic Games. Being saddled with an Olympics during an economic downturn is no doubt increasing Vancouver’s level of unrest even further. Before you imagine that these are all overreactions, consider this: there is BC legislation waiting to be passed that could mean a 10,000 fine and/or jail time for anyone putting up an anti-Olympics sign in the window of his/her own house, under which law police will have the right to enter your home and remove it. I’ve even had elderly women tell me they’re so incensed that they’re planning to put a sign up too. In a surprising and much-appreciated move, though, the Vancouver police (who are really in need of good PR) held a press conference two days ago announcing that they will not enter any house to remove a sign nor will they lay charges. This will win them a lot of fans. Almost all of these graphics were found here. For a post on the official 2010 graphics on this blog, see here. NOTE: I’m not sure why people conclude that political cartoons equal violent protest. They don’t, and it seems to go without saying that trying to repress them stands a much better chance of causing violence than allowing them.

Riff on 2010 logo, with reference to police killing of innocent Polish tourist with taser at Vancouver airport

No Olympics flag by artist Kathryn Walter

The flag above was produced by artist Kathryn Walter back when Toronto was bidding (unsuccessfully) for a summer Olympics. The artist recently donated the flag to one of the non-profit art centres in Vancouver that has had its funding abruptly cut by the provincial government, just prior to the Olympics. The government has claimed that the Olympic debt has nothing to do with the recent radical cuts to cultural funding in BC but there are doubts. Projected economic benefits of the Games have this year been downgraded from approx 10 billion to just under 4 billion [update – 1 billion], while the cost of the Olympics leapt from 3 or 4 billion to 7 or more billion. For a small province of only 4 million people, that’s a big debt to be carrying, especially on top of the recession-related deficit of billions we were already burdened with.

Corey Rollins Olympic mascots - Healthcare before Olympics

Above are the 3 Olympic mascots: Sumi, Quaatchi and Miga. Below is a graphic from the Poverty Olympics, “Give 2010 the finger.”

Olympic logo - Give 2010 the finger - Poverty Olympics

The four political cartoons immdiately below are from the No2010 site – not sure who the artist is. The 5 interconnected handcuffs motif has actually appeared at prior Olympics as well, including Torino and the Chicago bid.

olympic rings handcuffs

2010 Police State tank

olympic bulldoze

2010 Police State riot cop

Resist 2010 poster (designer unknown)

Above, image by Gord Hill, Kwakwaka’wakw & Riel Manywounds, TsuuT’ina/Nak’azdli, June 2007. Below, Wolves by Ange Sterrit, Gitxsan.

Wolves anti-2010 logo

To see official Olympics graphics and design done badly, see the Vancouver 2010 effort.

The Tresure Chest (sic) is empty

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Tresure Chest

Apologies for my continuing semi-absence from this blog. I appreciate your patience and I thought you might enjoy this sign from one of the crafts stalls at the Ferry terminal between Vancouver and Victoria. It seems to represent the current state of the BC Arts Council thanks to the current corporate redneckery that prevails here in BC. I’m the head of a board of directors of an art gallery in BC whose promised funding – not tax dollars but money that comes from gaming (provincial lottery) – has been abruptly retracted, while the arts get cut in a million other ways. All other economic sectors are subsidized, but not culture which puts $5 billion into the BC economy annually? If anyone is interested there is more on this here. I and many others are very busy fighting the government to get that money back. The BC Liberals (misnamed, they’re not liberals) effectively want to put gaming money – the fruits of gambling – into general revenue, which is sort of what you might expect from a tin-pot dictator. If the treasure chest is empty, it’s because they went massively overbudget on the stupid 2010 Olympics, among other things. Oh, and here’s a misleading, obfuscation-filled letter Minister Krueger sent me today, in error. It’s so fantastic when political leaders accidentally send you the “Track Changes” version of their letters.