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Today in Madrid, 12 democratically elected political leaders and activists will be put on trial for organizing a vote. They are facing sentences that range from 7 to 30 years in prison each, for alleged crimes that include sedition, rebellion and misusing public funds.

This is the fallout of a referendum that took place in Catalonia back in October 2017, organized by the pro-independence government of Carles Puigdemont. The subject of the referendum was of course to decide whether or not the region of Catalonia should fully separate from Spain and become its own independent republic.

Voting day was met with police brutality as ballot boxes were confiscated, protesters were kettled and tear gassed, and even elderly voters were beaten in the streets as they cast their votes. Many people were seriously injured and even arrested for exercising their right to free expression and engaging in the democratic process. …

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You may recall that on October 1st, 2017, there was a referendum held in Catalonia where the people were to decide whether or not their semi-autonomous region should secede entirely from Spain. Catalonia’s relationship with Spain is complex and the independence movement can be traced back further in history than the Spanish Civil War, when the region was at the center of resistance to Franco’s fascists.

When it comes to the Catalan people and where they stand on independence, opinions are divided…they have reasons to stay with Spain as well as reasons not to. But it seems that the real controversy here isn’t so much to do with the independence question, but the referendum itself and what it symbolizes. …

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November 11th is Remembrance Day, also known as the anniversary of the ending of World War One, and in many countries a day devoted to honouring those who were killed in various wars over the last century. Additionally, part of the original purpose of Remembrance Day is to acknowledge the horrific reality of war…indeed, the words “Never Again” are commonly spoken in this regard. War is a nightmare, and so many of our ancestors fought and were killed in war, and it is imperative that we remember who they were, what they sacrificed, and for what.

If you’ve ever spoken to war veterans, particularly those from World War One and Two, they likely told you that they were fighting for freedom. They were fighting for the freedom to live in peace, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of choice and association. Essentially, the freedom to live our lives however we want, without fear of violence and repression from the powers that be. Many of our grandparents and great grandparents fought against the Nazis in World War Two, and if you ask them why they did it, most (if not all) would say that they did it so that future generations would not have to live in a society like the Third Reich. Thanks to them, the Nazis lost. …

One of the main political issues that the Pirate movement tends to focus on is surveillance. But one aspect of this that we must acknowledge, especially in Canada, is how state surveillance specifically targets Indigenous people and communities, and why that is the case.

Canada’s existence as a nation state is rooted in colonialism and the cultural genocide of its Indigenous people. Canada’s surveillance-industrial complex is rooted in this colonial mindset, and the Canadian government works to uphold its colonial authority. Indigenous communities, particularly those connected to Indigenous sovereignty and environmental movements (e.g. pipeline opposition), are heavily targeted by police and spy agencies in Canada, whether it be a local or provincial police force, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the National Energy Board (NEB), or Canada’s equivalent of what could be seen as “deep state” actors, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). …

I think it is interesting how so many people on the right, particularly the “alt-right”, are using free speech narratives to further their campaigns of hate, and accusing anyone who vocally opposes their views of being “against free speech”.

Canada’s far-right journalists at The Rebel Media responded to the Quebec City Mosque Shooting by claiming that the shooter was probably a radical Islamic terrorist, even though the facts said otherwise:

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Notice how they use bold typeface when they mention a witness, Mohamed Khadir.

They even made money from this, by playing off the fears of their supporters and claiming that there was a media conspiracy to control the narrative and portray Muslims as victims, even though it was already proven that the shooter was a White…

Saturday was International Men’s Day.

“Fuck that shit! Every day is International Men’s Day!”

Sure. There’s definitely truth to that. The world is very male-dominated and always has been. Women have historically been subjugated, our roles and accomplishments in society either downplayed or erased entirely. History is often recorded and taught from a male perspective. We get belittled, abused and exploited by men in multiple ways and then get told to shut up about it if we want to be treated “equally”. …

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As part of a new grassroots campaign to free Julian Assange, April.30th is the second day of action under #JA4Me where people all over the world are encouraged to mobilize in support of the WikiLeaks founder, who has been arbitrarily detained by the United Kingdom and Sweden since 2010.

On Feb.5th,2016 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention announced its decision after a 16-month investigation that Assange’s detainment is illegal, and that Sweden and UK must respect his political asylum with Ecuador and allow for his immediate release. However, both countries refuse to cooperate with this ruling despite international treaties, and insist on having him arrested and extradited to Sweden, whose legal powers refuse to guarantee he will not be further extradited to the United States. …

I will always believe in “The Revolution”. But I am becoming very frustrated with modern “activist” culture.

First of all, I’m tired of watching people turn into pretentious assholes who think their activism makes them better than everyone else, even those oppressed and marginalized groups with whom they claim “allyship”.

If you’ve ever worked in the shelter system, or any field that serves those deemed as oppressed or marginalized in any way, such as abuse victims, the homeless, or people who struggle with addictions and/or mental illness (just a few examples)…one of the first things you learn is that they usually do not frame their worldviews in terms of academic theories you learned in gender studies classes in University. For the most part, they tend to not analyze their experiences in terms of systemic power and privilege, concepts such as “the patriarchy”, “white privilege”, or “heteronormativity”. While many of these folks are directly impacted by class inequality and do realize it, they are likely not spending their days and nights reading Karl Marx, educating themselves on the intricacies of capitalism. They do not sit around pondering the effects of “problematic behaviours” in radical communities. They are not concerned with checking their privilege. No. They are busy trying to survive. Getting through the next day. Meeting their basic needs such as food, shelter and hygiene. They do not bother with policing their language and worrying about how their words might unintentionally perpetuate certain stereotypes. …


Bailey Lamon

Anarchist Pirate. Geek. Social worker. Activist. Writes sometimes.

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