Saturday, April 14, 2012

911 Truth with Jim Fetzer

Saturday, February 11, 2012

danny glover on the cuban five

Charity, or Justice?

An online friend of mine, a social worker, recently returned from Cuba. I told her I’m planning to travel with the 23rd Friendshipment Caravan again this summer, and she responded:

“I wonder about the impact of charity on the Cuban identity and their autonomy. I have this same concern with the work I do but do it anyways, cuz where would the people be without it? Very hungry and cold!”

Regular Street Newz readers know that we appreciate the hard work of front line workers, but ultimately we hope to inspire change at the source. We, along with the reputed 99%, realize that the overall situation is in serious need of an upgrade.

I told my friend that the Caravan does function in the realm of charity, bringing donated hospital and school supplies directly to an organization of Cuban people (not the government) who distribute the aid using an application process. In addition, though, the Caravan is working for fundamental, foundational, systemic change. We demand a normalization of relations. For the past 50 years, US Foreign Policy has maintained an immoral and (according to everyone at the UN General Assembly except the USA and Israel) an illegal economic blockade against the small island nation whose experiment with socialism is perceived as an ideological threat.

Friday, December 30, 2011

planning for the 2012 caravan

it's been a couple of years since i participated on the caravan.  although it's a ton of work with a distinct lack of (or uncomfortable) sleep, it's such an incredible adventure.  in 2011 i went to the us/canada border to help send the caravanistas on their way, across the first of three international borders, and we were confronted with much resistance.  it took several hours to get the van and caravanistas across, and in the process a friend and i (both former caravanistas) definitely caught caravan fever.  we've made a pact to survive the 2012 journey, and today i bought a new sleeping pad (made in seattle) during the boxing week sales, in preparation for the adventure.

here's a video from the 2011 picnic at the peace arch park just south of vancouver, as the caravan prepared to cross into the usa:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BC Throne speech signals uncertainty for health care

(photo: despite a 48 year economic embargo, Cuba continues to put health care on the top of their priority list.)

August 25, 2009

The Hospital Employees' Union says today's Throne Speech offers little comfort to B.C. families and communities who need to know that quality and accessible health care will be available even in tough economic times.

The government’s promise to protect health care has already been badly compromised by its direction to health authorities to make more than $300 million in spending cuts to critical services including seniors’ care, community health programs, surgeries and diagnostic procedures.

"British Columbians are looking to government to ensure that health care and other vital public services are protected, especially when their own economic security is at risk,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

“But government’s actions so far this summer and the message in today’s throne speech provide little reassurance to families and communities.”

Darcy says a planned review of health authority spending and operations will fail if its chief objective is to pave the way for further cuts.

“Our health care system is already stretched to capacity. Further cuts to front-line services and staff would be a costly mistake,” says Darcy.

“A rushed review to meet budget pressures is doomed to fail patients and cost taxpayers more in the long run. Careful planning and consultation with front-line staff is key to finding better ways to deliver services to the public.”

In response to the government’s re-announcement of a public sector wage freeze, HEU says that the province’s fiscal situation must be balanced against the reality of ongoing retention and recruitment issues.

For many health professionals represented by HEU, like Licensed Practical Nurses, wages are no longer competitive with those in neighbouring provinces and do not reflect increased training requirements and expanded responsibilities.

“Government has acknowledged that we need to rejuvenate the ranks in health care and other parts of the public sector in the face of an aging workforce,” says Darcy.

“Our union is committed to working with government at the bargaining table and in other venues to make sure that British Columbians continue to have access to skilled and experienced health care workers in the future.”