There will be demonstrations in Calgary on Tuesday, March 17th as a consequence of George Bush’s visit.
The story is now in the international media.
There is a great deal we can all do to help avert violence. But it has to be done quickly.
The best thing you can do is to read (below) the words of former United States Attorney General, Ramsey Clark. He has sent a message to the protestors in Calgary.
The second best thing you can do is to pass his message along, in support of his efforts and the efforts of the protestors.
As you know, I sent a letter to the RCMP Superintendent we were in contact with earlier over the Encana pipeline “not terrorism”. The letter sent to him this week was about application of the laws to a war criminal (Geo Bush) and his arrest.
The Superintendent responded promptly and connected me with the officer-in-charge of the War Crimes Unit and two others from the Security Forces in Alberta.
The RCMP (War Crimes) have now reviewed their position and set out the reasons why they are not in a position to arrest Bush. Which I accept.
And do you know – – in some ways I was hoping that the Bush visit would go ahead unimpeded. Everything will be good – as long as the demonstrations are peaceful. (I have faith in the excellent young people who will be at the demonstration (along with the seniors) – see below).
If you read the following email, you will see how potential violence at the demonstrations can be averted. Please do whatever you can – mostly it means communicating with anyone you know in the media to get interviews ASAP for the leaders of the protest. And by circulating this email you build support and understanding for the protestors. They are not a bunch of hoodlums. (Link no longer valid http://www.warcriminalsout.com/)
When you are angry you need to be heard. We can help them to be heard. – – but more about that below.
RCMP War Crimes Unit
Gail Davidson, Lawyers Against the War
Various RCMP officers
CBC Radio Saskatchewan
Nick Burman, citizen of Calgary
Calgary Chamber of Commerce chinfo AT calgarychamber.com
George Brookman reception3 AT calgarystampede.com (Calgary Stampede Board and I assume member of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce)
Bennett Jones Law Firm
Law Society of Alberta (sent from website)
Nick Burman (resident of Calgary) voices concerns about potential violence around Bush’s visit to Calgary. I have the same.
I am one of the thousands of protestors across Canada. Unfortunately I cannot join those who will be in Calgary. Maybe I can contribute in this way: there are some common sense steps that can be taken to reduce the risk that violence will happen.
1. If it hasn’t already been done, I am wondering whether it would be a good idea for the Security Forces to talk with the leaders of the protest as soon as possible?
The fact that the protestors are holding workshops is a good sign. Most likely they are giving instruction on the importance of non-violence. And how to accomplish it.
The protestors likely have a plan in place to police persons in the crowd who might get out-of-hand. The police can work with the leaders of the protest, if they talk and know what to expect from each other, in advance. Self-policing will be to everyone’s benefit, I think.
Also, at such a meeting the leaders of the protest might be given assurances that there will be no police plants in the crowd, whose job is to provoke the crowd. Lloyde and I have a disagreement on what happened at Montebello!
But the Quebec Police Superintendent responsible had to give a press conference after the Aug 2007 protest at Montebello to explain the actions of the disguised members of the police force. He said they were doing their job (the provoking).
It would be better if everyone was upfront and if there was dialogue between the protestors and the Security Forces before Tuesday. Jointly they can work out a plan.
2. I would encourage all of us to do everything we can to get media interviews for the protestors IN ADVANCE of Tuesday – – not much time I know. But it is the best insurance against violence.
I note from a list of media coverage that L.A.W. is receiving good press coverage (Bush is a war criminal and should be charged).
THE GLARING OMMISSION is media interviews of the protestors IN ADVANCE of the protest. People get angry when they aren’t being heard.
The protestors are doing what is right. They are standing up against the terrible things done by the Bush Administration. If they can be heard, their anger will be lessened. Less anger will translate into less potential for violence.
These will be young people who are doing the organizing. They are not only moral. They are wonderful people – intelligent, dedicated, and thoughtful.
If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be out there doing what they’re doing. We need to give them every bit of support we can. It is because of them that there is hope for the world.
I urge you to read the complete text of the MESSAGE FROM RAMSEY CLARK to the protestors of the Bush visit. He is a former United States Attorney General:
He starts: “My congratulations and gratitude to Canada’s peace movement and its many organizations and individuals protesting the March 17th, 2009 appearance of former US President George W. Bush for a speech at a private lunch in Calgary. .
We dare not blink at the magnitude, diversity and pervasive impact of the known crimes committed by the Bush administration.
With unity, cooperation and perseverance, We Shall Overcome, or be undone, together.
We dare not fail.
I’ll put out an email into my network – – we really need to get people working together on this. There will be international media coverage.
In difficult times when other countries are experiencing violence in the streets we can set an example for how to have peaceful protest and, more importantly, dialogue and working together to solve problems.