alexfelipe:

Here in Canada, pls consider donating to Sagip Migrante for disaster relief in the Philippines. I work with them personally and know that your donations will go directly were it is needed.

Originally posted on 1-800-559-8092:

Migrante Canada Members and Friends,

Greetings of solidarity.

Again I write to thank you for the overwhelming support for the Sagip Migrante fundraising campaign. This is the second update on our relief effort. Since my last update Sagip Migrante in Canada have raised a total of $40,874. These are from Migrante Canada member organizations and friends from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Alberta and Vancouver.

In the Philippines, the centralized mission came back from Central Visayas a couple of weeks ago. Sagip Migrante is a member of BALSA (Bayanihan alay sa Sambayanan), a national relief and rehabilitation network of grassroots peoples organizations in the Philippines that went to these areas. There are 2 Migrante Brigade that went, one with the relief convoy that drove to Central Visayas. The other flew straight to Tacloban led by Migrante Sectoral Partylist Chairperson Coni Regalado along with Amie Dural from Migrante New Zealand and Patricio…

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Sunday 9 June, 2013.

Today marks our seventh full day here.  For many of our team of people representing different ILPS member organizations and peoples (with representatives from indigenous peoples of the Philippines, Latin America, Switzerland, and others) this is our first experience working directly with the native peoples of this land.  It has been a worthwhile experience.

It’s noon as I write this in my camp notebook.  I’m sitting in the diffused blue light under the tarps tied onto A-frames made of thin pine trees chopped down during our first day.  It is our camp centre and kitchen.

Clearing the location of the cabin.  To the left under the blue tarps is the kitchen common area, to the right will be the cabin, this is from earlier in the week. In the photo Sara is clearing away debris.

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 [The above video is a NEW video that I just posted (3 June)]

This morning Saturday 1 June 2013, I and other from associated ILPS Canada organizations–including an Filipina indigenous woman–will be headed up to northern Ontario (four hours north of Thunder Bay) to work on a grassroots project led by the women of the Ojibway Nation of Saugeen.

She and I will not only be there to help with the project, but also to build bridges between the struggles of the First Nations and the Philippines–especially between our indigenous peoples. (more…)

In the video podcast above I talk about the beginnings of family dynasties.  Let’s now briefly discuss why they persist to this day.

As you can see from the opening slide 94% of the provinces in the country have dynastic family rulers.  Despite a lot of talk & media attention, despite the stalled attempts at legislation, they remain an immovable political object–and will remain so for the near future.  Why?

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*I was asked to do some video work for BASICSnews.ca and so I don’t have many photos.  Here’s a few of those I did take…

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The rally meetup area was at Toronto’s City Hall, seen above as reflected on a bus window–from a bus company called “Bourgeois Tours.”  No more commentary needed here.

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*After university I didn’t know what to do with myself.  So I wandered round SEAsia for a few years.  You know: one way ticket, wander till I ‘find myself,’ blah, blah, blah… 

Sometimes I get sentimental about those days, in hindsight it all seemed so effortless.  But I kept journals.  And I wrote (and kept) emails.  So despite what my stupid mind today might think, my stupid mind from yesterday is there to remind me.  It’s interesting to look back though, so though I have already posted some old writings (like here and here), in the next little while I think I will post a few more. 

So if you’d care to join me, here are some words from young me, just as stupid as current me, just in a slightly different way…

Image

This photo was taken as we pushed off, still at a very calm and peaceful part of the river. After it started to get a little choppy (not yet white water), the guy in front asked to switch places with me. I agreed.  And then this happened…

- Java, Indonesia. 2002 -

<”LEGS FORWARD!!! LEGS FORWARD!!!”> roared the rafting guides in Indonesian.

Despite the raging torrents of water rushing around me I could hear the panic in their voices.  In the fleeting moments of visibility granted by the rushing river I had fallen into I could see the yellow raft and the desperate gaze of my fellow white-water rafters.

It dawned on me as I was uncontrollably dragged down river, or perhaps it was when I struck a boulder violently with my right shoulder, that perhaps falling into rapids at the top of rocky, fast moving, white water might not be in the best interest of my health. (more…)

[*this is a follow up article to "Anti-Racism/Sexism & Individualism" where I liken postmodern politics to a modern form of divide and conquer.]

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A bomb in Boston:
   - Outcry! Terrorism! Bad!
   - What terrorism? The US is the real terrorist!
   - Why are they blaming brown people! That’s racist! Racism is bad!

A school shooting in America:
     - Tragedy!  Ban guns!  Guns are bad!
     - Arm the teachers; bad guys are bad!
     - I hope it’s not a shooter of colour.  [see: “Racism is bad.”]

Here’s the thing.  I’m equal parts sympathetic, and confused and saddened, by this standard Western outcry.

I’m confused because of the gap between the reaction and the root causes.  And I’m sympathetic because it’s a fully understandable reaction—if not for accidents of personal history I would most likely be of similar mind.

Looking at media (mainstream and social) after moments like these, it seems to me that we in the West live with a cough syrup political mentality.

Millions of people swear by cold medicines, good people, friends and family even.  They feel a cold coming on and they pop the pills, or gulp down the syrups.

And yet–
–they don’t work. (more…)

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