Saturday, September 15, 2012


Theoretical weekends has arrived right on schedule and I have another piece that I have not yet read yet, but looks somewhat interesting to me.  Have fun, enjoy,  and as Abbie used to say revolution for the hell of it....and forget about that decent job already....

The following is from A Tribe of Moles.

Work, Production and The Common: A Provocation

Questions of decent work and employment have been central to the social antagonisms and political convulsions of postapartheid South Africa. In the wake of the 2007 Polokwane conference, leadership changes and policy shifts in the ANC have focused on the failures of Thabo Mbeki’s agenda of economic liberalisation in making employment a foundation of rights, stability, and inclusion. Labor struggles have constantly reminded the country’s rulers of how democratisation is supposed to be not just a procedural and constitutional matter, but also the fulfillment of popular demands of redemption of work, which past racial domination turned into a largely oppressive reality but unions tried to rescue as a condition of solidarity and empowerment. Social movements have, finally, made the “dignity of work”, and even the “right to work” a central ethical-political component in their demands for redistribution and recognition. In the age of Jacob Zuma and the New Growth Path, “decent work” is for many on the left shorthand for worker-friendly, socially sensitive state developmentalism, as an alternative both to neoliberalism and to repressive government-driven capitalist accumulation.

Underpinning desires for “decent work” is “job creation” as an alleged, unquestionably progressive outcome and yardstick against which the quality of postapartheid democracy is supposedly to be measured. The centrality of “decent work” and “job creation” in South African discourses of emancipation raises, however, also decisive problems, which are all the more urgent as such concepts tend to largely escape critical scrutiny. At an immediate level, definition is an issue: under which conditions does work become “decent”? How does the creation of jobs not imply the reproduction of poverty and inequality? For sure, these are not problems for employers, liberal reformers, and assorted free marketers. Once “job creation” becomes the pinnacle of emancipative imagination, it becomes easy for them to argue that a bad job is better than no job at. In this way, the labor market is naturalised as an objective law of social advancement, redistributive claims become pathological symptoms of “dependency”, and social conflicts are threats to prosperity and the expansion of employment. As the definition of “decency” ceases thus to be a matter of political contestation, the subsequent, consequential step is to assert that it is up to market conditions and the characteristics of the job itself to determine how “decent” it is allowed to be. To see where this road can lead, one needs look no further than Newcastle (KwaZulu-Natal) and the recent clothing industry disputes, where globalised employers presented their workers with the stark alternative: either work or decency.

It is more difficult to understand why “job creation” and “decent work” hold such a powerful grip on the imagination of actors – activists, unions, social movements – that call themselves radical and reclaim their descent from Marxian legacies. Left traditions variously infused with Marxism have, in their social democratic as well as Stalinist variants, glorified production, waged employment, and the workplace as the objective repositories and necessary conduits of proletarian consciousness and modern forms of revolutionary or progressive organising. The process has effaced the many ways in which Marx theorised the emancipation of human activity as liberation from work, expressed his horror at wage labor, and insisted that under capitalism there is no such thing as “decent” work. Far from seeing it as the foundation of anticapitalist politics, Marx regarded wage labor as capital’s condition to exist and saw the refusal of work as the basis of anticapitalist subjectivity. As Mario Tronti commented, “Workers have no time for the dignity of labor … Today, the working class need only look at itself to understand capital. It need only combat itself in order to destroy capital.” In this path, often interrupted by the manifold institutionalisations – unions, parties, governments – of Marxian critique, liberation lies in the subversion, not the glorification, of employment and wage labor.

The critique of employment as a vehicle of emancipative imagination is more urgent than ever in these days of global crisis of neoliberalism, when all sorts of horrors are perpetrated in the name of “job creation”: for the purpose of investment and competitiveness corporate taxes and public programs are slashed, all in the name of job creation; the systematic degradation of employment conditions and the roll-back of workers’ power and guarantees are justified, in the name of job creation; extreme social inequalities are normalised and naturalised, in the name of job creation; the most reactionary right-wing governments (think France’s Sarkozy with his call to “rediscover the worth of work”) have sought and found popular legitimacy, in the name of job creation; the most viciously xenophobic, racist, chauvinist, proto-Fascist political identities pursue, and are often given, respectability, in the name of job creation (and claims of national jobs for national people).

Confronted with this impressive discursive slide, where the dignity of work is upheld to reinforce the centrality of the labor market in determining the measure and reward of life, indeed the very meaning of being human, the left’s concerns with “decent work” have fallen quite short of a convincing alternative narrative or a radically oppositional recasting of desire. Having failed to contest the multitudes’ meanings and values on the terrain of work and production, traditional left forces have rather fallen back on the state as the ultimate guarantor of fairness, development, and decency. And from the state the left has received further injunctions to rely on employment, and employment only, for any meaningful social inclusion and security, with no other considerations attached as to the conditions and remunerations of work, or the measures that can at least limit a complete domination of employment over life. Thus, developmentalist regimes usually praised by progressive forces (such as Brazil’s Bolsa Familia or India’s “Employment Guarantees” programme) have lured the poor with minimal social provisions into exploitative, underpaid, when not semi-servile occupations. In South Africa governmental parlance does not even refer to “jobs” (a concept too ridden with implications in terms of rights, stability, expectations, and contestation) anymore, preferring “employment opportunities” instead. At the same time, the centrality of “job creation” has here been decisive in undermining struggles for decommodification and redistribution, as witnessed by the past rise and rapid decline of proposals for universal basic income.

We cannot think of the global decline of the twentieth century socialist and nationalist left(s), themselves a major factor in the neoliberal hegemony of the past forty years, without questioning the ways in which they have idealised employment and unquestioningly associated it with progress. Within this broader devastation in the terrain of political power relations and public discourse, the left’s attachment to “decent jobs” only reveals a comprehensive failure of imagination, of which the acceptance by progressive forces of a subordinate role in a game of which capital is writing the rules is consequential. It is indeed revealing how the official left has responded, throughout the past century, to movements that radically criticised wage labor, capital, and the nation-state (from anticolonial opposition to proletarianisation to the refusal of work in industrialised capitalist countries) with policies aimed at using the nation-state to manage capital for the purpose of creating wage labor!

These issues, and the depth of the collapse of the left they indicate, are for us serious enough not to be answerable by just tinkering with definitional diatribes, or trying to define the mix of ingredients that makes capitalist employment “decent”. It is time to ask, is “decent work” still a valid tool to criticise capitalism and oppose the disciplining of multitudes by market forces? Or is it time to finally realise that today employment-based claims and identity lead not to emancipation, but to renewed subjugation, repression, and reaction? Should we start placing liberation from, and not through capitalist work at the core of new languages and grammars of politics, which uncompromisingly break with the legacy of the twentieth century left(s)?

There is a politically compelling factor in these questions. If the myth of employment as the flag-bearer of emancipative narratives is over, that is not only due to right-wing hegemony and left-wing decline as abstract ideological discourse. It is also because social antagonisms in this turn of the century are demanding everywhere decent life regardless of the conditions and status of employment. The most powerful struggles we have been witnessing over the past decade have placed on the agenda matters of decommodification of water, housing, land, education, and basic services independently from the market. From Greece to Egypt, precarious workers have not merely seen their subjectivity thwarted and mutilated by the lack of a stable job but, by being central to vast movements against austerity policies, they have indeed placed their own precariousness at the core of a radical politics of claims and political possibilities. These conflicts may well be, and often are, recuperated by an imagination that subordinates the legitimacy of such claims to how productive of commodities individuals and communities are. They also, nonetheless, reveal a profound gap between how livelihoods and reproduction are imagined, respectively, from the standpoint of capital and ordinary people. It is a gap, harbinger of political potentials, between how the multitude lives and how capital imagines it should live, or between the sensuous, multifarious manifestation of desire and its continuous subordination to the labor market. In practice, such struggles put on the agenda the question of the societal distribution of power and resources as a matter not, in Michel Foucault’s terms, of self-entrepreneurship or of abstract constitutional rights, but as forms of life conflictually reclaiming autonomy from capital, the nation-state, and wage labor. Current modalities of social antagonism can no longer be understood under worn-out slogans opposing public/state to private/business control of resources as such dichotomies obscure the significance of forms of life centered on a common substance (which includes social cooperation, cognition, and affect/desire) which exists independently of business and the state, and becomes the potential for a radical critique of both.

We say, it “becomes” so. It is in fact also important to clarify that forms of life and their common are especially central to social antagonism and the subversion of market discipline as capital, in the convulsions of its current structural crisis, seeks in the living – meaning the basic conditions of reproduction, from water to the genetic code, but also living social cooperation and the Marxian “general intellect” – new opportunities for enclosures and profit. But, contrary to wage labor, which exists as a source of value only because capital creates it through processes of abstraction and measurement, the living is a source of production and value that exceeds capital, and is capable of signifying its own existence in such terms. Capital’s attempt to colonise and incorporate the living is therefore open to the continuous possibility of contestation that emanates from such a significational gap, a point well captured by postcolonial theorists discussing the “incommensurability” and “untranslatability” of capital’s values and norms for the lives of its subjects.

We believe that decisive to reinventing a politics of social antagonism is to give words and political sense to such gaps and untranslatability as conditions of autonomy. With this task in mind, we address another question: does the irrelevance of employment to a politics of liberation mean that production-related struggles are no longer worth fighting for? Our response is an emphatic “no”, but on condition of profoundly redefining what we mean by “production”. In other words, “production-related” can no longer simply mean “workplace-based”. Workplace struggles are, for sure, still important in affirming the autonomy of life and the common from the dictates of the market, for example through demands for wages and benefits that are impossible to meet in terms of productivity, therefore subverting wage labor from within. But struggles for production especially imply for us the production of social relations and political possibilities that emanate from the power of the common as it manifests itself across the social and the everyday. They hint, in other words, at the production of subjectivity and the refusal of the modalities of subjection along which capital and government want to align conducts and values. We are referring here not only to subjectivities premised on waged employment and the consumption of commodities but also to their correlates in the institutional sphere: liberal democracy and the idea of the individual rooted in property and market relations as the only legitimate carrier of socio-political agency.
A radical critique of liberal democracy is central to our recasting of production struggles as it underlines the connections between capital’s domination of life and the ways in which domination operates in the guise of individual freedom within market exchange and competition. To this idea of freedom as a mere technology of government and subjection, to which the discourse of citizenship and the constitutional rights of liberal democracy give a normative expression, we oppose the power of singularities (individuals, movements, communities) as a capacity to multiply social and political possibilities expressing the autonomy of the common. A democracy of the common is thus crucial to reclaiming from capital the productive forces of forms of life.

In sum: a critique of employment-based views of emancipation and of “decent work” as a terrain of social contestation; a radical redefinition of production-based struggles from the standpoint of forms of life and the common; an uncompromising reassessment of liberal democracy as a mode of expression of political subjectivity: these are the core elements we bring to this debate. It is a small bet in a broad and hugely important gamble. Is an anticapitalist project still possible as the radical reinvention of political possibilities? Or are we stuck with a left imagination that, in the name of development and “decent work”, abets renewed subjugation and continuous corporate signification of desire, of which the public discourse of Zumaism and the ravenous chattering of the tenderpreneurial bourgeoisie are, respectively, clearly discernible echoes in today’s South Africa? As capitalism flounders in the tides of its global crisis, the time to raise these questions has never been more appropriate. Now we must seize it.

a tribe of moles

Friday, September 14, 2012


It is friday and that means Scission returns to prison and reminds us all to keep in mind the plight of the thousands locked up behind the bars and the walls of this "institutions."

When I was in prison back in the seventies there were, of course, racial divisions amongst prisoners, but not nearly to the extent that they exist today.  Don't forget I entered prison only a few years after prisoners at Attica united together in that historic uprising.

Today anything like that would be practically impossible.  Prisons have turned into gang fiefdoms and are rife with racial hatred.  Race based violence is commonplace.  Prison administrators feign concern, but the reality is these divisions make control much more simple.  A divided prison population is a prison populations whose anger is most often turned within.  The unity needed for a true prison movement within is thus extremely difficult.  That is why the post and statement below is so very important.

The call for unity, for a stepping back from the violence may sound utopian to some.  It may even seem utopian to me.  Still, it also represents some sort of hope, some sort of a re-emergence of sanity.  I hope with all my heart that the call you will read here is heard by the thousands of prisoners who can only gain anything at all by working together in struggle.  There simply is no other way.

The task toward prisoner unity strikes me as an incredibly tough one, but all power to those taking the first step.

The following is from the San Francisco Bay View.

California prisoners make historic call for peace between racial groups in California prisons and jails

by Isaac Ontiveros, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

Oakland – Prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU) have announced a push to end all hostilities between racial groups within California’s prisons and jails. The handwritten announcement was sent to prison advocacy organizations. It is signed by several prisoners, identifying themselves as the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective. [Their statement follows this one.]

The Attica rebellion in upstate New York Sept. 9-13, 1971, saw thousands of prisoners take over the prison, protesting intolerable conditions and infuriated by the assassination of George Jackson at San Quentin on Aug. 21, 1971. The secret of their unprecedented strength was their multi-racial solidarity. Here, Black and white prisoners sit on a wall during a meeting called by the organizers.
The Short Corridor refers to a section of Pelican Bay Prison’s notorious Security Housing Unit (SHU). Pelican Bay’s SHU was the point of origin for last year’s hunger strikes which rocked California’s prison system, at one point including the participation of nearly 12,000 prisoners in over 11 prisons throughout the state.

The statement calls for the cessation of all hostilities between groups to commence Oct. 10, 2012, in all California prisons and county jails. “This means that from this date on, all racial group hostilities need to be at an end,” the statement says.

It also calls on prisoners throughout the state to set aside their differences and use diplomatic means to settle their disputes. The Short Corridor Collective states, “If personal issues arise between individuals, people need to do all they can to exhaust all diplomatic means to settle such disputes; do not allow personal, individual issues to escalate into racial group issues.”

The statement calls for the cessation of all hostilities between groups to commence Oct. 10, 2012, in all California prisons and county jails. “This means that from this date on, all racial group hostilities need to be at an end,” the statement says.

In the past, California prisoners have attempted to collaborate with the Department of Corrections to bring an end to the hostilities, but CDCR has been largely unresponsive to prisoners’ requests. The statement warns prisoners that they expect prison officials to attempt to undermine this agreement.

Occupy San Quentin on Feb. 20, 2012, a major demonstration in support of prisoners, united people across race, class, age and gender dividing lines. – Photo: Alex Darocy, Indybay
“My long-time experience in urban peace issues, gang truces, prevention and intervention is that when gang leaders and prisoners take full stock of the violence and how they can contribute to the peace, such peace will be strong, lasting and deep. I honor this effort as expressed in this statement,” says Luis J. Rodriguez, renowned violence intervention worker and award-winning author of “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.”

Rodriguez has helped broker gang truces throughout the U.S. as well as in other parts of the world. This spring, Rodriguez was involved in a historic truce between gangs in El Salvador leading to a 70 percent drop in violence in that country.

According to Rodriguez, “What is needed now – and where most peace efforts fail – is the meaningful and long-lasting support of society and government, in the form of prison reform, training, education, drug and mental health treatment and proper health care. We need an end to repressive measures that only feed into the violence and traumas.”

George Jackson, a strong advocate of solidarity across race lines, recognized “that in every situation where race has arisen to become a sharp dividing social factor, the hands of the capitalists can be seen pulling the strings, and it is only they who benefit from the conflicts,” writes Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, a present-day prisoner often compared to Jackson. This banner graced the Occupy San Quentin demonstration on Feb. 20, 2012. – Photo: Alex Darocy, Indybay

Azadeh Zohrabi of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition sees the agreement as a positive development that stems from last year’s hunger strikes. “While living through some of the worst conditions imaginable, the authors of this statement continue to work for change,” states Zohrabi. “While the prison administration drags its feet on even the most basic reforms, these guys are trying to build peace throughout the system. That says a lot about their humanity and hope.”

Advocates and the Short Corridor Collective are eager to spread the word as far and wide as possible and implement peace plans throughout California’s prisons and jails. “We must all hold strong to our mutual agreement from this point on and focus our time, attention and energy on mutual causes beneficial to all of us [i.e., prisoners] and our best interests,” says the Collective.

“The reality is that, collectively, we are an empowered, mighty force that can positively change this entire corrupt system into a system that actually benefits prisoners and thereby the public as a whole.”

“While living through some of the worst conditions imaginable, the authors of this statement continue to work for change,” states Zohrabi. “While the prison administration drags its feet on even the most basic reforms, these guys are trying to build peace throughout the system. That says a lot about their humanity and hope.”

The PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective has strongly requested that its statement be read and referred to in whole. It follows here:

Agreement to end hostilities

Dated Aug. 12, 2012

To whom it may concern and all California Prisoners:

Greetings from the entire PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Hunger Strike Representatives. We are hereby presenting this mutual agreement on behalf of all racial groups here in the PBSP-SHU Corridor. Wherein, we have arrived at a mutual agreement concerning the following points:

1. If we really want to bring about substantive meaningful changes to the CDCR system in a manner beneficial to all solid individuals who have never been broken by CDCR’s torture tactics intended to coerce one to become a state informant via debriefing, that now is the time for us to collectively seize this moment in time and put an end to more than 20-30 years of hostilities between our racial groups.

2. Therefore, beginning on Oct. 10, 2012, all hostilities between our racial groups in SHU, ad-seg, general population and county jails will officially cease. This means that from this date on, all racial group hostilities need to be at an end. And if personal issues arise between individuals, people need to do all they can to exhaust all diplomatic means to settle such disputes; do not allow personal, individual issues to escalate into racial group issues!

Like the Attica rebellion, the Lucasville prisoners who took over their prison in April 1993 deliberately united across the racial lines that prison authorities use to divide and conquer prisoners. The multi-racial leadership has remained united to this day throughout their isolation on death row. This photo of a sign made during the rebellion was used as an exhibit during their trial in 1996. – Photo: Courtesy Staughton Lynd
3. We also want to warn those in the general population that IGI [Institutional Gang Investigators] will continue to plant undercover Sensitive Needs Yard (SNY) debriefer “inmates” amongst the solid GP prisoners with orders from IGI to be informers, snitches, rats and obstructionists, in order to attempt to disrupt and undermine our collective groups’ mutual understanding on issues intended for our mutual causes (i.e., forcing CDCR to open up all GP main lines and return to a rehabilitative-type system of meaningful programs and privileges, including lifer conjugal visits etc. via peaceful protest activity and noncooperation e.g., hunger strike, no labor etc.). People need to be aware and vigilant to such tactics and refuse to allow such IGI inmate snitches to create chaos and reignite hostilities amongst our racial groups. We can no longer play into IGI, ISU (Investigative Service Unit), OCS (Office of Correctional Safety) and SSU’s (Service Security Unit’s) old manipulative divide and conquer tactics!

In conclusion, we must all hold strong to our mutual agreement from this point on and focus our time, attention and energy on mutual causes beneficial to all of us [i.e., prisoners] and our best interests. We can no longer allow CDCR to use us against each other for their benefit!

Because the reality is that collectively, we are an empowered, mighty force that can positively change this entire corrupt system into a system that actually benefits prisoners and thereby the public as a whole, and we simply cannot allow CDCR and CCPOA, the prison guards’ union, IGI, ISU, OCS and SSU to continue to get away with their constant form of progressive oppression and warehousing of tens of thousands of prisoners, including the 14,000-plus prisoners held in solitary confinement torture chambers – SHU and ad-seg units – for decades!

We send our love and respect to all those of like mind and heart. Onward in struggle and solidarity!

Presented by the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective:

  • Todd Ashker, C-58191, D1-119
  • Arturo Castellanos, C-17275, D1-121
  • Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Dewberry), C-35671, D1-117
  • Antonio Guillen, P-81948, D2-106

And the Representatives Body:
  • Danny Troxell, B-76578, D1-120
  • George Franco, D-46556, D4-217
  • Ronnie Yandell, V-27927, D4-215
  • Paul Redd, B-72683, D2-117
  • James Baridi Williamson, D-34288. D4-107
  • Alfred Sandoval, D-61000, D4-214
  • Louis Powell, B-59864, D1-104
  • Alex Yrigollen, H-32421, D2-204
  • Gabriel Huerta, C80766, D3-222
  • Frank Clement, D-07919, D3-116
  • Raymond Chavo Perez, K-12922, D1-219
  • James Mario Perez, B-48186, D3-124

Note: All names and the foregoing statement must be shown verbatim when used and posted on any website or other publication.
Send our brothers some love and light and solidarity. Write to them using the listed names, numbers and housing and add the address: P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532. The Bay View sends them all our highest re

Thursday, September 13, 2012



About a month ago the Canadian government announced a plan to detain Roma refugee claimants.  The CBC News reported:

A tougher approach may be necessary if a plan to speed up the screening process and block illegitimate claims isn't "aggressive enough" in reducing the number of Roma applicants from Europe, an internal Canada Border Services Agency report says.

"Other deterrent measures being examined include detention for mass arrivals of individuals seeking refugee protection," says the report, which was drafted before before the Conservative government introduced a crackdown in June on bogus refugee claims.

The newly revised refugee law gives Public Safety Minister Vic Toews the power to designate refugee claimants as "irregular arrivals" and detain them upon entry to Canada. The amendments are to take effect by the end of the year.

Asylum applicants falling under that designation would be held by CBSA pending investigations into their admissibility.

The government falls back on the old adage of Roma as not really being a people, but really being a bunch of criminals and con artists.  They caught a break when the Canadian media began reporting on an "international cartel of thieves" who were slipping into Canada as innocent immigrants.  What was this all about?  It seems that a police operation involving  Durham Regional Police (DRPS), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the RCMP and Toronto Police, with help from the OPP, FBI, Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, Interpol and other police services in Montreal, York Region, London, Sudbury and Peel Region had busted thirty four persons and charged them with "belonging to or recruited by a Roma organized crime group operating throughout Southern Ontario."  

Before you know it tales of immigration fraud was all the rage in Canada and racist sentiment against the Roma was on the upsurge.

This is pretty nasty stuff and it creates a pretty nasty atmosphere where it would come as no surprise to find others taking the next step with viscous anti-Roma hate propaganda.

And they have.   

Enter Ezra Levant.  

Ezra Levant is a columnist for Sun Media newspapers and the anchor of a daily news commentary show on the Sun News Network. Ezra Levant is sort of a Canadian version of Glen Beck...or worse. writes:

About a week ago, Levant went on the air to say that "Gypsies constitute a culture synonymous with swindlers" and that "the phrase Gypsy and cheater have become so interchangeable the word entered the English language as a verb: to gyp."

The quicksilver-tongued Levant added that these "Gypsies" have come to Canada "to rob us blind as they have done in Europe for centuries." (The Sun TV "personality" -- calling him a journalist would be a stretch -- eschews the "politically correct" word Roma, which he says is the name for a kind of tomato).

He says of the "Gypsies" that they are "not a race, not a religion, not a linguistic group. They are the medieval prototype of the Occupy Wall Street movement: a shiftless group of hobos that doesn't believe in property rights for themselves -- they're nomads -- nor for other people, whom they rob blind."

Ezra Levant should be charged under Canada's hate crimes code which reads:

"(1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of an indictable offence ...

(2) Willful promotion of hatred: Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of an indictable offence ..."

He should be, but he has not been.  Of course, for the Canadian government to charge Levant they would probably have to also investigate itself and the whole of mainstream media in Canada to see how they have contributed to this anti-Roma insanity.

The following is from Lolo Diklo: Rromani Against Racism.

Statement from the Roma Community Centre
September 10, 2012


Dear friends of Canada's Roma community,

Last week was a very sad time for us in the Canadian Roma community. Durham
regional police held a press conference one week ago today (Tuesday Sept.
5) declaring that they have dismantled a "Roma organized crime ring"
involving individuals from both Canada and Romania. Countless names and
pictures of Roma suspects originally from Romania filled our television
screens. After such clear and blatant racial profiling
the prevalent stereotypes of "Gypsies" being inherently criminal was
certainly reinforced into the minds of the viewers. Latter the same day,
media personality, Ezra Levant, delivered by far the most racist, abusive,
hateful, misinformed commentary on live television that the Roma community
has ever received in our Canadian history. The Sun Media News allowed this
same type of hate speech targeting our community, as takes place in Hungary
by the far-right media arm of the Jobbik "neo-Nazi" political party. Shame.
To the best of our knowledge, this is absolutely unacceptable and not
allowed in Canada - apparently, not.
http://www.sunnewsn sunnews/canada/ archives/ 2012/09/20120905 -203437.html
Please, see direct, shocking quotes from this racist diatribe, below.

No one can imagine how disappointing the news from the Durham police was to
all of us Canadian Roma. We strongly condemn this type of behaviour in our
community. However, the way that it was handled by the police and the media
was extremely painful ad disappointing to our community.

We have worked very hard in trying to deconstruct "Gypsy stereotypes and
raise awareness about Roma reality. This past year, we have made huge leaps
and accomplishments in engaging Roma families in our HATE CAN KILL project,
which has now been submitted to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation for
its 2012 Awards of Excellence. Throughout the 8 months duration of this
hate crime prevention project, we worked closely with our police partners,
York Regional Police and Toronto Police Services. In total, through the
Hate Can Kill Project we educated over 1100 Canadians, 800 Roma youth and
their families, and 300 police officers. For the first time in our
Canadian history, we had an incredible family event co-hosted by Toronto
Police Services at the Toronto Police Headquarters, which approximately 30
Roma families attended on March 31, 2012, and now a member of the Roma
community is a part of the Community Police Liason Committee for police
division 11 where the Roma Community Centre is located.

Moreover, two weeks ago, two Roma youth went to Montreal to participate in
the Canadian Council for Refugees Youth Conference - another first in our
Canadian Roma history. With a task from their working group, these boys
have returned to Toronto with the goal of researching and raising awareness
about how the removal of healthcare for refugee claimants has affected
their respective communities.

Lastly, this past few months, despite many deportations, a small number of
Roma families have been granted refugee status in Canada. In 2011, 167
Hungarian Roma families were accepted as genuine refugees. I am positive,
that 2012 will be an even better year for our community will much more
support available, hence less withdrawls - and hopefully, more recognition
at the Immigration Refugee Board as Hungary continues to reveal itself as a
country full of racially motivated violence endemic discrimination and
marginalization, and prevalent hatred all targeting the Roma minority.
http://www.economis easternapproache s/2012/08/ hungarian- anti-roma- marches

I share this with you all because I want to exemplify how hard we are
working - this community is working - at healing and educating our members,
helping people understand and navigate our Canadian refugee system, and
provide language support - all with the objective of helping people in
successfully integrating and settling into Toronto, and being a part of and
contributing to the broader Canadian family.

Unfortunately, our efforts are being undermined by the reaction by Ezra
Levant in the Sun Media News (see below), to the Durham Regional Police
Press Release and a document by the Canadian Border Services Agency
(riddled with racist stereotypes, misinformation, and assumptions) is
a blatantly racist document that only focuses exploiting stereotypes of
criminality and parasitism of Canada's social security system. On August
18, there was an article in the Globe “Federal government considers
detaining Roma refugee claimants, report suggests”. The article indicated
that an internal CBSA report dated January 2012 recommended the use of
detention, including mass detention, of Hungarian Roma refugee claimants in
order to deter them from applying for refugee status in Canada, should
other measures not succeed in reducing their numbers.
http://www.theglobe news/politics/ federal-governme nt-considers- detaining- roma-refugee- claimants- report-suggests/ article4487855/
Sadly, nowhere in any of these government reports or in any media coverage
is there mention of the endemic discrimination, overt hatred, or racially
motivated violence that continues to plague Hungary's Roma minority.

Durham Regional Police's Press Release
http://www.drps. ca/internet_ explorer/ whatsnew/ whatsnew_ view.asp? ID=23391 was
littered with racial profiling and stereotyping, and misinformation
(Romanians require a visa to travel to Canada and are not likely to be
refugees. They are one of the oldest segments of the Canadian Roma
community, many of which were the first Roma to arrive in Canada (late
1800's) after their emancipation from slavery in Romania (1300's - 1862)
http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Slavery_in_ Romania . Few Romanian Roma are
newcomers. the Roma community condemn this criminality - but, hopes that it
can be reported about without drawing upon racist stereotyping.

Below you will find the most blatantly racist media coverage that many have
ever witnessed in Canada. This past week, many Canadians, with no prior
connection to the Roma Community Centre or our community in Canada, have
been writing to express their shock and outrage this this type of hate
speech is taking place in our mainstream in Canada. Certainly, there has
been ongoing exploitation of ("Gyspy") stereotypes in the media in most
articles that discuss the Roma situation in Canada, however this one is
absolutely horrendous and hateful. It typifies the hate speech that has
been ongoing in the public and media discourse in Hungary which has led to
a situation of endemic hatred in that country and continues to fuel it.
Levant is overly inciting the same hatred toward Gypsies in Canada, as he
insists on calling us...a name that the Canadian media has desisted in
using for the past decade since the RCC campaign to stop its usage.

As a result of Levant's hate speech targeting our community, the RCC has
been in contact with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and is
currently writing formal complaints to
the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council, the Canadian Media
Association, the Canadian Ethnic media Association, and the Ontario Human
Rights Commission.

The Canadian Roma community would be immensely grateful to anyone who will
take the time to also write formal complaints about
this unacceptable racist language targeting a specific group in our media.
This is something that needs to be eliminated now. Surely, any other
ethnic, religious, or racial group in Canada with adequate resources would
respond in a swift and severe manner had they been the subject of such a
publicly hateful, demeaning, and racist diatribe.

*The Source with Ezra Levant (Sun News Network)*
*Segment: "The Jew vs. The Gypsies"*
*Wednesday, September 5 @ 5pm*
URL with embedded video:
http://www.sunnewsn sunnews/canada/ archives/ 2012/09/20120905 -203437.html

*Quotes from Ezra Levant:*

"These are Gypsies, a culture synonymous with swindlers. The phrase Gypsy
and cheater have been so interchangeable historically that the word has
entered the English language as a verb. He gypped me! Well the gypsies have
gypped us too."

"And they [gypsies] come here to gyp us again, to rob us blind, as they
have done in Europe for centuries."

"Let me stop before you start blowing your hate crime whistle at me for
saying Gypsy or gypped. See, political correctness and euphemisms like
calling them 'Roma' instead of Gypsy or as the BBC calls them 'Travelers,'
well the point of that is to obscure the truth. They're Gypsies and one of
the central characteristics of that culture is that their chief economy is
theft and begging. Sorry, it's true!"

* "Gypsies aren't a race, they're not a religion, they're not a linguistic
group. They're the medieval prototype of the Occupy Wall Street movement. A
shiftless group of hoboes that doesn't believe in property rights for
themselves - they're nomads - or for others. They rob people blind. Now the
scourge has come to Canada through fake refugee claims."*

* "Look at this list of suspects released by Durham police. Gypsy after
gypsy after gypsy. They gypped their way into Canada and now they're
gypping the rest of us. Look at this, Dinarca Caldaras, wanted for steeling
two cars, money laundering, theft, fraud. Gypsy. Look at that, not on her
own, as part of a criminal organization. We're used to biker gangs, we're
used to the Hells Angels, the Mafia. They're not races or religions,
they're cultural groups, subcultures, deviant groups that chose to steel
for a living. Look at this! Ovidio Calderas, criminal organization, fraud.
It's not all non-violent, no way, as I told you on Friday, in Italy,
Gypsies are charged with murder at least 6 times more frequently than their
population would suggest." *

* "For Gypsies it [crime] is a family affair, in fact, women and children
are the best at it because we liberal Canadians or Europeans would never
expect a child or a mom or both working together."
*"Every last one of them [suspects] is a Gypsy. Just some of the 5000
who've gamed our system and our causing a Made in Europe crime wave on our
* "Street gypsies have four part*icular [theft] strategies."

* "Just in case you're not clear about this [Durham regional police clip],
they're talking about Gypsies. [Another clip from Durham regional police].
'Roma' you know cops can be politically correct. 'Roma' is the name of a
kind of tomato as you know, but that's what some people call Gypsies. You
can call them whatever you like if you're arresting them, that's fine by
* "239 charges, 29 people that we know about so far. There are 5000 of
these Gypsies here!"*
*"They're gypping us. Sorry, that's a word for a reason, they're thieves!
And women and children, their own wives and kids, are the main tools of it!"
* "Steeling is part of their family-crime organization. Being a Gypsy isn't
like being Black, or being Gay, or being a woman or even Romanian, where
many Gypsies come from. Just like being from Sicily doesn't make you part
of the Mafia. Being a Gypsy is a positive choice, like being a Blood or a
Crip, like joining the Cosa Nostra. For centuries, these roving highway
gangs have mocked the law and robbed their way across Europe. Now, because
of our broken refugee system, they're here in Canada in the thousands. And
they've brought the Gypsy Crime Wave with them. Yeah, no thanks, I'm not
interested in calling them 'Roma' or 'Travelers' or having a Human Rights
Commission investigate where we as a society have done them wrong, maybe
dispatching social workers (laughs) the social workers will just have their
wallets stolen. I want to dispatch cops and send the bad Gypsies to Hungary
on the next plane. Just warn the flight attendants (chuckles) not to wear
any jewelry on the flight!"*

Unsurprisingly, Levant has publically declared that Immigration Minister
Jason Kenney is his "favourite" member of parliament.
http://ezralevant. com/2009/ 01/jason- kenney-is- my-favourite- m.html


* *

1. We can contact the *Canadian Broadcast Standards Council*


http://www.cbsc. ca/english/ complaint/ index.php
Your Concerns Are Important

If you see or hear something that concerns you, this is what you should do:

*1. Write down the following information. *

1. the name, date and time of the program

2. the name or call letters of the broadcaster

3. a short summary of what concerned you
*2. Let us know.*

Send us the details within 28 days of the date of broadcast. We will
investigate your complaint further.

The Complaint Form<http://www.cbsc. ca/english/ complaint/ complaint- form.php?>
on our website makes it easy for you to submit your complaint.

The CBSC's offices are in Ottawa. You can write to us at our
address<http://www.cbsc. ca/english/ about/contact. php>.
You can alsosend in your complaint via fax or
email<http://www.cbsc. ca/english/ about/contact. php>

For more information concerning the Complaints Process, see the related Making
a complaint FAQs <http://www.cbsc. ca/english/ faqs/complaints. php> section.”

Here is a press release: ‘Derogatory Ethnic Term Unacceptable, Says
Canadian Broadcast Standards Council’

http://www.cbsc. ca/english/ documents/ prs/2012/ 120718.php

Another press release: ‘Abusive Comments on the Basis of Sexual Orientation
Unacceptable, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council’
http://www.cbsc. ca/english/ documents/ prs/2012/ 120829.php

Gina Csanyi-Robah
Executive Director
Roma Community Centre

[image: romacommunitycentre _logo-100. png]

Roma Community Centre

2340 Dundas St. W., Suite G20
Toronto, ON

M6P 4A9

Office: (416) 546-2524

Cell: (416) 561-0770

website: www.romatoronto. org

facebook group: Toronto Roma Community Centre

The Roma Community Centre is committed to Celebrating Romani Culture,
Successful Settlement, Promoting Human Rights, Community Developing
Initiatives, and Cultivating Community Partnerships.

Gina Csanyi-Robah
Executive Director
Roma Community Centre

[image: romacommunitycentre _logo-100. png]

Roma Community Centre

2340 Dundas St. W., Suite G20
Toronto, ON

M6P 4A9

Office: (416) 546-2524

Cell: (416) 561-0770

website: www.romatoronto. org

facebook group: Toronto Roma Community Centre

The Roma Community Centre is committed to Celebrating Romani Culture,
Successful Settlement, Promoting Human Rights, Community Developing
Initiatives, and Cultivating Community Partnerships.

Gina Csanyi-Robah
Executive Director
Roma Community Centre

[image: romacommunitycentre _logo-100. png]

Roma Community Centre

2340 Dundas St. W., Suite G20
Toronto, ON

M6P 4A9

Office: (416) 546-2524

Cell: (416) 561-0770

website: www.romatoronto. org

facebook group: Toronto Roma Community Centre

The Roma Community Centre is committed to Celebrating Romani Culture,
Successful Settlement, Promoting Human Rights, Community Developing
Initiatives, and Cultivating Community Partnerships.