Media-memory being short, the name Michael Brown Jr. may elicit no more from most than a blank look; but, last month reaction to his untimely death threatened to burn down the town of Ferguson, Missouri.
At least that’s the way the story was framed in the corporate media, (and repeated by state-sponsored correlative, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Brown was of course the black teenager shot dead in a hail of bullets fired by a police officer for the “crime” of jay walking; sparking the famously for a time community protests.
David Rovics is an inveterate American activist-singer-songwriter in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. David has played at demos too numerous to count for myriad issues both universal and circumstantial. From his start busking Boston’s subway to travelling across America and the broader world, he’s earned his sobriquet as “professional flat-picking rabble-rouser” honestly.
Rovics was in Ferguson last month, checking out the neighbourhood where Michael was killed and attending his funeral. He reported on the great societal divide his visit revealed in an essay titled, ‘Ferguson Reflections,’ published at his website, DavidRovics.com, (where you can also find his catalogue of more than 200 tunes available for download).
David Rovics in the first half.
And; seven weeks after the Mount Polley disaster and the BC government is no closer to finding out why the mine tailings dam burst. But one thing certain, according to the minister responsible, Mary Polack: It’s not the government’s fault. Despite the BC Liberals’ continuous cutting of public service personnel needed to make inspections and ensure corporate compliance, Polack says, quote; “To date there is no evidence that cutbacks have impacted on inspections and monitoring at Mount Polley.” “Having said that,” she continues, “it is one of the questions we want answered.”
It’s a question the residents of Clayoquot Sound would like answered too. Catface mountain looms high above the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve there, and that’s where Imperial Metals, the producer of the estimated 24 million cubic meters of poisoned mining detritus dumped into Quesnel Lake and the Cariboo’s ecosystem, want to open a gold and copper mine.
Emery Hartley is a natural-born and raised Vancouver Islander whose fascination and enthusiasm for nature led him to a University degree in Environmental Science and an ongoing activist career with the Friends of Clayoquot Sound. The Friends first formed in 1979 with a mandate to “protect and conserve the priceless ecosystems of the Sound and its surroundings.”
Emery Hartley and friends fighting for Clayoquot Sound in the second half.
And Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of what’s good to do in and around the city in the coming week. But first, David Rovics and reflections from Ferguson.