From the April 12th 2013 edition of AW@L Radio - This episodes starts with Dan's letter to the City of Waterloo (and the city of Kitchener, and the region of Waterloo, and the OLG) regarding the proposed construction of a casino in the area. *See the bottom for the whole letter which calls the OLG's casino scheme a shameful attempt to capitalise on financial instability. Check the rabble podcast network piece from progressive voices on the opposition to the proposed casino in Hamilton.
Next up are a couple more if ya can't beat them, reform them petitions, one calling for the end of the plan to build a nuclear waste storage facility within 1km of Lake Huron in south-western ontario. second is a call from Environmental Defense to demand a full environmental assessment of the Line 9 reversal project proposed by enbridge corp which would bring a toxic high pressure tar sands slurry through aging pipeline infrastructure in southern ontario and quebec.
We then ask folks to pitch in if they to an indegogo project aimed at getting a group impacted indigenous youth to the shell oil AGM in the Hague where they can continue their resistance to shells' devastating environmental and social existence.
Jumping to Propagandhi's War is Peace, Slavery is Freedom...
and the show moves to news from Mayflower arkansas where a group of impacted families have launched a class action lawsuit in response to the recent tar sands pipeline fracture in the town. The suit cites the 2006 decision to reverse the flow of the pipeline and change the type of material the pipeline carried, and the 2009 decision to increase the daily volume of the pipeline (through increased pressure) as factors in the recent pipeline failure. the pegasus pipeline was a smaller diameter pipeline to the line 9 pipeline, but the flow of the line will be reversed, the type of material in the pipeline will change, and the pressure on the pipeline will increase...
looking north, we note that CP rail misjudged their initial reporting of an oil disaster caused by derailed train cars, by a factor of 100. stating only 4 barrels worth of oil had toxified the area, the company failed to notice an addiitonal 64000 litres of oil that had "spilled out under the snow".
In some great news in the lead up to the April 24 AGM for barrick gold - the Chilean government recently cancelled the permit for the Pascua Lama mine that was being constructed on a high alpine glacier. check this 2010 interview from AW@L Radio or go to protestbarrick.net for more info.
We then read about the shocking threat of an entire tribe of Indigenous people to commit suicide instead of be forced to leave their ancestral lands so "development" can take place.
Back up in the north, we report on the guns drawn raid by 50 riot geared RCMPigs on the peaceful occupation of the Burns Lake band council office, bye 4 members of the band, 3 adults, and a 12 year old. members of the community have been asking for greater transparency from the 3 member elected council, which was reduced by 1 member by the other 2...
We leave with a wikked tune from Savage Fam that was posted up on submedia.tv and tell folks to check out an amazing statement by Indigenous Land Defender Ron Plain and a call out to support his legal defense fund!
* full No Casino KW Letter:
hi City of Waterloo, please consider these comments and share them at the regional level as necessary. the communities in Waterloo region are too interlinked to believe a casino in one city will have no impact in another. casinos have no place in or near communities, and the OLGs attempt to spread gambling through this province is a shameful attempt at capitalising on the current levels of financial instability found in families, students, and workers, and others in Ontario.
Casinos bring increased stresses and negative impacts by targeting the poor, youth/students, and others, with illusions of success. casinos are unlikely (based on results from everywhere else) to pull their weight in terms of the increased costs associated with casinos (addiction counselling; suicide prevention; debt depression counselling; costs associated with increased numbers of financially unstable people - property theft in neighbourhoods, cash register robberies; increased violent organised capitalism - hard/chemical drugs, loansharking, pimping and human trafficking, bodyguards/thugs; etc).
Brantford downtown is not being revitilised by the casino, the revitilisation/gentrification that is happening is due to the use of the some initial profits from the casin to upgrade a building which brought WLU and many students into the area - KW already has WLU, we dont need another one (though we already have that other one in UW or Conestoga).
There is already people in our downtowns, the gentrification projects are already underway. casinos suck money from local businesses by taking recreational money which would have been spent in restaurants, shops, etc. another overlooked "externality" of casinos is they bring in more hock shops and cash converters, which prey off of desperation, and are otherwise pretty ugly/useless shops in a downtown/uptown.
A final point, Waterloo region is on the Haldimand tract, the territory of the Six Nations (Haudenosaunee) of the Grand River. The payments made to establish our settlements were held in trust for Six Nations by the crown, and then stolen by settlers for various infrastructure projects. Beyond paying back the debts owed to the Haudenosaunee, we need to practice consultation through free, prior, and informed consent with them on all major projects such as casinos (or increased sprawl), that are taking place "6 miles deep" on either side of the Grand River.
To close, we know few will reap the rewards of the golden eggs from the casino hen, however, those invested in creating happy and resilient communities here will get covered in the non-golden splatter.
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