Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sydney Peace Prize

John Pilger was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize recently. His acceptance speech was amazing.

Breaking the Australian Silence.

"Tonight, I would like to talk about this silence: about how it affects our national life, the way we see the world, and the way we are manipulated by great power which speaks through an invisible government of propaganda that subdues and limits our political imagination and ensures we are always at war – against our own first people and those seeking refuge, or in someone else’s country."

This has echoes for Canada. We had our little "sorry" episode, just like Australia. As far as I can tell, nothing has changed. Harper's government still refuses to sign the UN treaty on aboriginal rights. I think he's worried that the next big mineral or oil find will be on aboriginal land and he won't want to share the wealth.

There's so many echoes in it to Canada's situation that it almost hurts.

The aboriginal population continues to die disproportionately from swine flu and seasonal flu. They have higher rates of diabetes and heart disease. Their life expectancy is shorter. When the reserve in northern Ontario called Kashechewan was flooded during a rapid spring thaw and the inhabitants were evacuated to other parts of Ontario, they found that many children suffered from scabies. The intake for the water plant was downstream from the sewage outfall. Another wonderful government project.

We pour money and young lives into Afghanistan, supposedly building schools and dams, yet our own citizens are living in horrible situations.

Makes no sense.

1 comment:

  1. I agree; Pilger is one of my favorites also.