Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thomas Pawlick brings The War In The Country to Ottawa

After a looooong blog silence we're on fire today... second post within half an hour!

We're getting very excited about our next 40th anniversary event - the launch of The War In The Country - How The Fight To Save Rural Life Will Shape Our Future by Thomas F. Pawlick.

The book launch will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. at a fresh, local and organic venue - the Main Farmers' Market (223 Main St.) Come early to fill your shopping basket with local products!

In addition, we'll have a raffle: two lucky winners will go home with a copy of the new book, and one lucky winner will take Mr. Pawlick for a a lunch at the Green Door Restaurant.

Pawlick's new book The War In The Country is a provocative look at rural communities and a passionate call to arms to save them. Rural life in North America has changed dramatically over the past fifty years and the few remaining family farms now struggle to survive. They have been replaced by corporate-backed factory farms, mining interests, and large-scale tourism developments, all favoured by governments with little understanding of or sympathy for traditional rural life—a life that is sustainable and healthy.

Pawlick, himself a farmer, uses the microcosm of his own rural community in eastern Ontario to portray the groups involved around the world who are waging a war to save their rural way of life. The outcome of these clashes will decide not only the future of rural life globally but also the quality and sustainability of our food, our water, our soil, and our air—of the environment on which we depend for survival. The War in the Country argues, passionately and persuasively, that every one of us must join the fight to secure our food future.

Thomas F. Pawlick has more than thirty-five years of experience as a journalist and editor, specializing in science, environmental, and agricultural reporting. He is a three-time winner of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association Award and received a National Magazine Award for his agricultural reporting.

Flashback from August

Better late than never... If you missed our August 26 event We All Have A Right To The Truth or want to refresh your memory, you can finally watch the presentations and Q & A session at: (presentations) (Q & A)

You can also listen or download the Rabble podcast at:

The event with its heavy topic - violation of the human rights and civil rights, increasing surveillance, torture, and accountability - attracted over 80 people to the Glebe Community Center. Moderated by Carleton U human rights instructor, Bill Skidmore, the two-hour discussion was enlightening and thought provoking.

The first speaker, Abdullah Almalki, a Canadian who was detained and tortured in Syria based on the information provided by the Canadian government agencies, told that the release from the Syrian prison in 2004 was only a beginning for a new struggle – search for justice in Canada: “My life has been destroyed, my family has been severely affected and a good number of Canadian citizens have faced similar ordeals but until today not a single government official has been held accountable.”

Yavar Hameed, the counsel for Abousfian Abdelrazik (another Canadian whose civil rights were violated by the government) pointed out the need for solid journalism in order to make cases like this public, and to correct the misinformation that the government tends to spread whenever higher levels of governance are or have been involved. Hameed also reminded the audience about the importance of grass roots involvement: in Abdelrazik’s case, the project Fly Home was launched and over 100 courageous Canadians helped to purchase a ticket for him, even though they could have been subjected to federal prosecution.

The final speaker, Maureen Webb, the author of Illusions of Security, linked Almalki’s and Abdelrazik’s experiences to the new global security environment. This environment, including the creation of global registration system and the global surveillance of movement has lead to intensified international data sharing and mining. “Surveillance is used not just to follow up on leads, but rather to generate leads. And it’s used even more alarmingly, to predict who among us might be a terrorist.”