Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quebec police admit using provocateurs

Quebec police admit using provocateurs

In this handout photo provided by CUPE, police and 'protesters' clash in Montebello, Que. on Monday, Aug.22. Quebec provincial police confirmed Thursday, Aug. 23, that the three protestors shown being detained here were Quebec provincial police undercover officers. Email story

YouTube: Video of alleged police provocateursSpeak Out: '09 pullout?Travers: Communication breakdown, but no conspiracyIs the jelly bean up to standard?Border impasse continuesVideo: Cameraman injuredCP Video: Police, protesters face offTravers: Bush woes ensure little actionSummit notebookBig business slams summit secrecyLeaders eye border disaster protocolLittle expected at meetingEditorial: When Harper plays hostAug 23, 2007 09:33 PM
Steve Lambert
Canadian press

MONTREAL—With the proof caught on video, Quebec provincial police were forced to admit Thursday that three undercover agents were playing the part of protestors at this week’s international summit in Montebello, Que.

But the Quebec police force denied they were attempting to provoke protestors into violence. Rather, they said the three were planted in the crowd to locate any protestors who were not peacefully demonstrating.

Police said the trio’s cover was blown when they refused to toss any objects.

“At no time did the Quebec provincial police officers act as agents provocateurs or commit criminal acts. Also, it is not part of the policy of the police force nor is it part of its strategy to act in this manner. At all times, the officers responded to their mandate to maintain law and order,” the QPP said in a news release on Thursday night.

The police said after viewing a video clip from and video shot by police officers, they were able to confirm the three were Quebec provincial police officers.

Earlier, both the QPP and the RCMP had denied altogether any of their officers were involved.

The Quebec provincial police declined to comment further, a spokeswoman in Montreal said. And while Quebec Justice Minister Jacques Dupuis was made aware of the news, a spokesman from his office said he will not comment on the matter either.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day rejected opposition calls Thursday for an inquiry into agents role in trying to provoke protesters into violence at this week’s North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que.

“I’ve made the inquiries and there was no RCMP that were involved as far as those three individuals go,” Day told reporters after making a crime-prevention announcement in Winnipeg.

“If people have concerns ... there is a complaints process for the RCMP. There is also one for the Surete du Quebec. This incident happened in Quebec, so I imagine people could also file under that complaints process.”

Day’s words did little to appease Dave Coles, the union leader who confronted the three men on the protest line and accused them of being cops.

“We’re going to talk to our legal counsel and we’ll decide (Friday) what our next action is going to be,” said Coles, president of the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

The Liberals called for a police probe into the issue, while the NDP called on Day to launch a public inquiry. The NDP said the public should be worried about the possibility police officers were used to try to turn a peaceful protest into a violent one.

“If they are police officers, and if they are stepping forward with a mandate to disrupt in any way, that’s a cause for concern,” said New Democrat MP Peter Julian.

The three officers, sporting bandannas, showed up on the front lines of a peaceful protest at the Security and Prosperity Partnership summit earlier this week.

One carried a large rock, and protesters allege the officers were trying to incite a riot so that police could move on the crowd.

The event was captured on video and shows one of the mystery men talking to police officers before being brought to the ground, handcuffed and quietly led away along with his friends.

The men were never charged, and photos show them wearing combat boots with identical markings to the ones worn by police at the scene.

“It’s just too coincidental that these guys attack a (police) line with a boulder and they’re not charged,” Coles said.

“The other four protesters who were arrested (over the weekend) were all charged.”

Quebec Provincial Police and the RCMP have both said they do not use agents to provoke violence.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Luc Bessette said this week he could not discuss details of security measures for major events such as the summit because it could compromise future operations.

police admit they infiltrated protest

NOTE: Is this denial by the QPP disinformation? One witness says: ""They think that they have the right to infiltrate us as they've done before. But to be packing large boulders, they were going to do something with those rocks and it wasn't peaceful."

Quebec police admit they infiltrated protest
CanWest News Service

Thursday, August 23, 2007

CREDIT: MIKE CARROCCETTO, The Ottawa Citizen Protester Alex Hundert tries to talk his way past police and inside Chateau Montebello. Day 2 at Chateau Montebello, where the North American leaders are meeting.

QUEBEC - The Quebec provincial police acknowledged in a statement Thursday that their agents had infiltrated protesters demonstrating during the recent North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que. but denied that they acted as "agent provocateurs" to instigate violence.

"They had the mandate to spot and identify violent demonstrators to avoid the situation from getting out of hand," the Surete du Quebec said in a statement. "The police officers were identified by demonstrators when they refused to throw projectiles."

"At no time did the Surete du Quebec police officers act as agents provocateurs or committed criminal acts," the statement adds.

A spokesperson for the police force refused to further comment on the statement.

Protesters have accused police of planting agents outside the Chateau Montebello to instigate violence during Monday's demonstration.

A prominent labour official pointed Wednesday to video made available on Youtube and photographs of three burly men, dressed as "Black Bloc" anarchists, standing out in the midst an otherwise peaceful sit-in adjacent to Surete du Quebec and RCMP riot squads.

The video shows the three black-clad bandana-wearing men being singled out by union organizers and the crowd. Other protesters started pointing at them and crying "police."

One of the three men is seen shoving and swearing at Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada, who is angrily confronting the trio, demanding they put down the rocks, remove their bandanas, and identify themselves.

After being backed into a corner against a line of provincial police officers in riot gear, they try to force themselves through the police line and are arrested while the crowd cheers.

"People have the right to peacefully protest something they don't like," said Coles this week, demanding answers from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

"They think that they have the right to infiltrate us as they've done before. But to be packing large boulders, they were going to do something with those rocks and it wasn't peaceful."

© CanWest News Service 2007

High Profile Companies Buying Boreal Forest Destruction

Greenpeace report reveals high profile companies buying Boreal Forest destruction
International companies, consumers urged to take action to save forest20 August 2007Print Send to a friend Montreal, Canada — A Greenpeace investigative report released today reveals the names of many high profile and recognizable international companies fueling the destruction of Canada’s Boreal Forest to create everyday consumer products.

Among the 35 companies listed are Best Buy, Grand & Toy, Toys “R” Us, Time Inc., Sears, Coles/Indigo, Penguin Books US and Harlequin. Rona, the Canadian home improvement and hardware store, is also named in the report.

Each company is profiled as a customer of logging and pulp companies Abitibi-Consolidated, Bowater, Kruger and SFK Pulp, whose destructive logging practices are responsible for decimating nearly 200,000 km2 of Boreal Forest, or 3.5 times the size of Nova Scotia.
“Today, we’re naming names,” said Kim Fry, a forest campaigner with Greenpeace. “The logging companies and customers featured in this report are driving the destruction of Canada’s Boreal Forest.”

The report, Consuming Canada’s Boreal Forest: The chain of destruction from logging companies to consumers, calls for action from the international marketplace to protect one of the largest ancient forests left on Earth. It also condemns the governments of Ontario and Quebec, where less than nine and five per cent of the forest, respectively, is protected from industrial development.

“We expect customers of these logging companies to temporarily suspend their multi-million dollar contracts until action is taken on the ground to protect the forest and end destructive logging,” added Fry. “We are looking to the marketplace to transform this situation.”

In addition to environmental destruction—including forest fragmentation, climate impacts and loss of wildlife habitat and ecosystem biodiversity—the report also highlights Abitibi-Consolidated’s refusal to end operations in the traditional territory of Grassy Narrows First Nation, despite a longstanding blockade against logging.

Canada’s Boreal Forest stretches across the north of the country, from Newfoundland to the Yukon. It represents a quarter of the world’s remaining intact ancient forests and stores 47.5 billion tonnes of carbon in its soils and trees. Less than 15 per cent of the Boreal Forest in Quebec and 18 per cent in Ontario remains intact. More than 68 per cent of the area managed by the three logging companies has already been degraded or destroyed.

- 30 -

The report can be downloaded here:
Note to editors: Broadcast-quality video and high resolution photos are available upon request.

Related Reports
Consuming the Boreal Forest: the chain of destruction from logging companies to consumers
14 August 2007

Further contact information for reporters to get video, photos or report details
Kim Fry, Greenpeace Forests Campaigner, 416-406-0664 Jane Story, Greenpeace Communications, 416-930-9055

Hundred-Mile Diet

The Hundred-Mile Diet
by Christopher Ketcham
Released: 24 Aug 2007

It's a pitiful thing to contemplate: By my estimation, close to 85 percent, perhaps even 95 percent, of the food that feeds my hometown of Moab, Utah, population 5,000, gets trucked or flown in over the red-rock desert, often from continental distances. Cut off that supply line -- an absurd, wasteful and polluting operation where the average morsel travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate -- and the city would starve to death in a week.

Eighty years ago Moab fed itself. The locals ate beef from cattle that grazed in the cool of the nearby mountains in summer or on the warm canyon floors in winter, where the townspeople also tended melons, peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, romaine lettuce and much else. The last of the old melon orchards are gone, bulldozed to make way for condo sprawl named after the destroyed gardens -- a classic pattern that holds even for big cities. Among these is Washington, DC, where as recently as the 1950s most residents got their produce from Maryland farms next door that are now subdivisions of tarmac and drywall.

A few of my fellow Moabites balk at this foolery and plant their own gardens to take advantage of the desert sun. Jon Olschewski, who is 29 and pays his rent waiting tables at one of Moab's restaurants, where the food tastes like salted rubber, gets up to 70 percent of his family's diet from his 2.5-acre farm, depending on the season. He and his father, a stonemason, tend twenty-three types of fruit and vegetable and herb -- melons, kohlrabi, cilantro, squash, edamame, garlic, dill, chocolate peppers -- and cull the eggs of as many as ten chickens a season. "In the first half of the twentieth century, a semi truck of fruit rolled out of Moab every day," Olschewski tells me. "Out of acres and acres of orchards. Under 5 percent are still here. This town has turned a blind eye to its agricultural roots. And it's something that nobody wants to talk about." He likes to quote Eliot Coleman, author of The New Organic Grower, who notes that an average 2.5-acre farm suffices to provide enough produce for 100 locals for a year.

In an era when transcontinental food consumption has exploded -- the value of international food trade is up threefold since 1960, the tonnage of food shipped between nations up fourfold (while population has only doubled) -- Olschewski and his ilk are a beleaguered minority, to be sure. But their numbers across the nation are growing. They even have a name: They call themselves localvores. The term is the invention of a group of Northern Californians who on the occasion of World Environmental Day in the summer of 2005 saw an opportunity to fight global warming by eating only from their Bay Area "foodshed," defined as foods sourced within 100 miles of one's doorstep. Thus was born and the annual Eat Local Challenge, which has flowered into a nationwide movement that asks participants to spend several months out of the year confined to the "hundred-mile diet." Gourmet magazine, in an article by activist-author Bill McKibben, has featured the pleasures and challenges of localvorism, while alt-supermarket chain Whole Foods now dedicates shelf space to delectables identified as "locally grown." Novelist Barbara Kingsolver this spring published Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a memoir -- eleven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list -- that chronicles a year of eating locally after she and her husband fled the deserts of the Southwest for the farms of Virginia. "Our highest shopping goal," Kingsolver writes, "was to get our food from so close to home that we'd know the person who grew it."

Kingsolver was inspired to engage in this all-consuming experiment by the same concern that drove the pioneer localvores in California: Transcontinental foodism is destructive, unsustainable, irrational. According to the Worldwatch Institute, an imported long-distance meal of typical value -- meat, grain, fruits, vegetables -- consumes up to four times as much energy and produces four times as much greenhouse gas emissions as the locally grown equivalent. In 2002 food transportation was among the largest and fastest-growing sources of British greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, trade studies in Britain find that the British import huge quantities of staples such as milk, pork and lamb, while exporting comparable tonnages of these same products -- trapped in lunatic "food swap" trade agreements made possible by cheap oil, subsidized transport and centralized purchases by massive retailers. Perhaps localvorism is best understood as an act of rebellion against a system that should not -- cannot -- stand.

The one state in the union that appears most inclined to cut itself off from the industrial food pipeline is Vermont. A recent study by a graduate student at the University of Vermont found that the state leads the nation in localized movement of agricultural goods, with the highest per capita direct sales of farmers' products -- 1.2 percent -- among the fifty states. Less than 2 percent is not a lot, of course, but it's a start. With this in mind, last winter 133 Vermonters in the Mad River Valley, accompanied by scores of others in five separate localvore "chapters" statewide, joined to exploit their state's market advantage in the so-called Winter Challenge. The Challenge required that participants survive only on a 100-mile foodshed for up to a week in cold February. Robin McDermott, who moved to Vermont with her husband three years ago and co-founded the Mad River Valley Localvores chapter in 2006, is somewhat harder on herself: Her challenge lasts all year.

By early summer, McDermott is planning six months of survival, from the first snows of September until the April melt. She cans, dries, cellars, preserves or freezes almost all of what she eats -- her cellar stocked with carrots and potatoes, onions and beets; her freezer stocked with half a pig and half a lamb and many chickens, because "we know it is no fun for a farmer to slaughter chickens in the middle of the winter."

McDermott is unalloyed in her enthusiasm for the payoff in all this effort. If pipeline food promotes a kind of roboticism and mindlessness -- every food always at hand, strawberries blooming in the aisles in icy January, the beef perfect in T-bones and strips always fresh -- she believes that localvorism promotes intelligence, discretion and choice that go hand in hand with a recognition of limits. Consider the problem of asparagus. "There is a short period during the year, maybe three weeks, when I can get asparagus," McDermott tells me. "You can bet that I know when asparagus time is. I also know when strawberries, peas, spinach, tomatoes and corn will be available, and I plan for them."

There are two other big payoffs: one healthwise, the other as a stand for economic freedom. First, pipeline food is often polluted with additives, preservatives, pesticides and, not least, the germs of the many human hands and environments through which it passes (the latter most evident in the recent rash of Chinese food scandals -- toxic fish, filthy shrimp, contaminated pet food). Second, if there's one big winner in the absurdist world-food supply line, it's large corporations that don't care about local economies. Just five companies control 75 percent of the global vegetable seed market; a handful of transnational companies control 90 percent of the trade in coffee and cocoa; five retailers account for 50 percent of all food purchases in France, Germany and Britain; the ur-predator among corporate retailers, Wal-Mart, is now the largest food retailer in the country.

On the other hand, if Vermonters shifted 10 percent of their food purchases to locally grown products, it would add more than $100 million to the state economy. Part of this added benefit is the infrastructure that arises to grow, process and distribute food (packinghouses, slaughterhouses, dairies, canneries). A study by the London-based New Economics Foundation concludes that food that stays local generates nearly twice as much income for the local economy as food exported or imported.

This spring I met two hippie vegetarians, Buck Butcher and Greg Marchand, as they wandered the West in a pickup chasing indigenous plants to eat (pinyon nuts in the high deserts of Nevada; strawberries, raspberries, currants in southern Montana). During the previous winter, in the hills of Tennessee, the two men culled at least half of their diet foraging in the richness of the temperate woods. Within a mile of their home -- a notable 1/100th of the localvore limit -- they gathered oyster mushrooms, watercress, wintercress, wild onions and Jerusalem artichokes. They roasted breadroots in olive oil with salt and pepper or boiled and mashed them like potatoes. "That was 50 percent of the time," said Buck. "The rest of the time we ate pizza."

Granted, most Americans have neither the leisure nor desire to wander the woods pulling roots, nor the skill and time to sow or kill their protein. We are bound to the diet that's most accessible -- fast food, TV dinners, the wilted things at the supermarket -- because of pressures of rent, work and children and, most important, because that's what the big food distributors make available. "I don't see this as an all-or-nothing proposition," says food scholar Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, which devotes a chapter to localvorism. "Trade in food goes back thousands of years. It's not inherently evil, but we're trading too much. I can't see us going all the way back to local or even regional food production. But we can try to move in that direction, and the localvores are teaching us that. They're also teaching us how hard it is to go back."

Christopher Ketcham is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York, and Moab, Utah.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Saturday, 18 August 2007
Liquidity dries up, truth is revealed

By Eric Janszen

Reprinted from ITULIP.COM

Article contains headlines from 1929 as well as a video clip of this week's financial headlines. The similarities are striking.

A financial crash is not sudden, singular event. The way the Crash of 1929 is commonly misunderstood, the market crashed on Monday, October 31, 1929 and soup lines formed Tuesday.

A financial crash is a process lasting as long as a year, punctuated by a few notable grip-and-grin market events that make it into the history books. Underlying the process is the dissolution of a fallacious belief system that developed over a period of many years. Fallacies floated on an ocean of cheap credit. As the credit dries up, facts are revealed under the harsh light of reality.

Multiple fallacious beliefs now show under the light of evidence for all to see. The complicity of the ratings agencies in creating the housing bubble, while notable, is a minor revelation compared to the big three.

Financial Risk is Buried and Gone

False Belief: Risk spreading instruments disperse financial risk, creating greater financial market stability and resilience.

Fact: Underwriters, mostly investment banks, sold exotic credit derivatives and externalized the risk, dumping it mostly on foreign pension funds. Risk spreading instruments create Risk Pollution, causing financial risk to disappear from sight for a time, where it concentrates in the weakest parts of the financial system only to reappear later like PCBs at Love Canal. The subprime mortgage market is the beginning of the discovery of hundreds of Credit Love Canals. A multi-trillion dollar Risk Pollution Superfund will have to be developed, at taxpayer expense, to clean up over ten years of Risk Pollution.

The Housing Bubble Collapse is Benign

False Belief: The Housing Bubble Correction will not seriously damage the economy.

Fact: Every aspect of the economy on which rising home prices depended, from the market for mortgages to furniture to autos, is in decline. The collapse of the housing bubble will cause a recession in the U.S. by Q4 2007.

Deficits Don't Matter

False Belief: Deficits don't matter. An economy can be continuously stripped of its industrial capacity and its assets inflated and traded for profit continuously, and imports can be paid for with borrowed money forever.

Fact: No economy in history has ever survived long running large trade and fiscal deficits. The entire economy needs to be overhauled, from the tax system to the monetary system, to re-build capacity for capital formation, saving, and capital investment in productive industries. USA, Inc. needs to be restructured.

There is very little that the Fed can do to stop the dissolution of fallacies process now that it is underway. Rate cuts will further weaken dollar and create even higher inflation, which is one of the causes of the crash. The Fed will keep the discount window open to prevent cascading debt defaults and bank failures.

Here's how it went down last time. You will notice a few parallels.

1929 Headlines

Wave of Buying Sweeps Over Market as Stocks Swing Upward

Radio Flashes High; General Motors and Steels Soar
By Laurence Stern

The atmosphere of doubt and caution which Wall Street in recent weeks has come to regard almost as habitual on Thursdays was swept away yesterday in a rush of buying...

Perhaps the market's own strength weighed as heavily with speculative minds as the logic of the situation, since the tape is the one institution Wall Street does not argue with. At any rate, the market appeared entirely confident from the opening gong. It was a firm, almost buoyant, opening, many initial transactions involving large blocks at sizable price advances...

The advance was one of the most vigorous of the year, amounting to a net gain of 6.97 points in the Dow Jones "average" of thirty representative industrial issues...

- The World, March 15, 1929


Stocks Soar As Bank Aid Ends Fear of Money Panic
By W. A. Lyon

The stock market strode out from under the shadow of a panic in call money that so lately threatened, revived in all its old strength yesterday. Assured that the New York banks were ready with their boundless resources to prevent a money crisis, the public and the professional trader set out to repair the damage done to prices on Monday and the major part of Tuesday.

Stocks in the aggregate, though bucking a 15 per cent rate for loans, enjoyed the greatest advance they have known in a single day in the last two years. Not even the surging bull markets of the memorable year 1928 saw such a day of heavy buying.

- New York Herald Tribune, March 28, 1929


Banker Says Boom Will Run Into 1930

That at least a part of the great amount of money in the securities market may represent temporary employment of funds eventually finding their way into business uses, and that the prosperity of the present business cycle will probably not end in 1929, is the belief expressed by the J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation in the quarterly review of the London house of Schroder.

- The World, March 30, 1929


Public Liquidation Spurred by Bears, Hits Low Market Scare Orders From All Over Country Halt Ticker an Hour in Feverish Day
By Laurence Stern

With speculative nerves rubbed raw under the persistent hammering of bearish traders, a renewed wave of public liquidation swept over the stock market yesterday, depressing prices severely and hopelessly clogging the quotation ticker...
...To the majority of the market's followers, who now must be counted in millions, the most significant aspect of the decline is that it has carried the average level of the list to a lower point than was reached on Oct. 4 in the sharp break that climaxed a month of gradual recession.

This raises a pertinent question, whether the bull movement of the last five years has definitely given way to a liquidating market...

-The World, October 20, 1929


Brokers Believe Worst Is Over and Recommend Buying of Real Bargains

Wall Street in looking over the wreckage of the week, has come generally to the opinion that high grade investment issues can be bought now, without fear of a drastic decline. There is some difference of opinion as to whether not the correction must go further, but everyone realizes that the worst is over, and that there are bargains for those who are willing to buy conservatively and live through the immediate irregularity.

-New York Herald Tribune, October 27, 1929


Gigantic Bank Pool Pledged To Avert Disaster as Second Big Crash Stuns Wall Street
Largest Financial Powers in the City Meet After Day of Hysterical Liquidation Sinking Prices Below Thursday's
By Laurence Stern

After the stock market had come crashing down again in a veritable deluge of forced and hysterical liquidation, word sped through the financial district last evening that the largest banks in the city were prepared to exert their organized power this morning to prevent further disaster.

Arrangements described as "fully adequate" were completed at a conference at the offices of J. P. Morgan & Co. at Broad and Wall Streets...

Although no formal statement was issued, it was the consensus of those at the meeting that the worst of the liquidation is over and that a natural demand for investment stocks now available on the bargain counter should go far toward an immediate restoration of trading stability.

-The World, October 29, 1929


Stocks Up in Strong Rally; Rockefellers Big Buyers; Exchanges Close 2-1/2 Days
By Ferdinand Lundberg

Revived by spontaneous investment buying and declarations of large extra cash dividends by leading companies, and free of the delirium that has recently gripped share owners, the stock market yesterday received a fresh start and scored a record comeback. Volume on the Stock Exchange totaled 10,727,320 shares, the third largest day on record.

The high spot of the day from a stock market viewpoint was the statement by John D. Rockefeller that there was no need to destroy values and that he and his son, John D. Rockefeller Jr., had been heavy buyers of stocks for investment in the last few days, and would continue to buy at present prices...

-- New York Herald Tribune, October 31, 1929


Very Prosperous Year Is Forecast
Guenther Analyzes the Report of Mellon Covering 1929

That 1930 may be a very prosperous year, industrially and otherwise, without the peak conditions that made 1929 and exceptional year for business prosperity, is an observation made by Louis Guenther, publisher of the Financial World, in a statement based upon Secretary Mellon's fiscal report...
"To grow too fast is often unhealthy because of the suddenness with which a readjustment must be met. By far and large the country would be better off were further progress made along more normal lines...

Fortunately, we have returned to a more normal mind in appraising prospects. We are not looking for the Midas touch on everything to which we turn. That makes us more satisfied with normal incomes and normal profit returns."

-The World, December 15, 1929