Nanaimo is in British Columbia Canada.
Last week it celebrated Gay Pride.
Nanaimo’s GBLT ended a week of activities with a parade down main street.
Folks turned out to cheer the participants, many of whom were costumed. My favourite was a bicycle rider who was decked out in glitter and a garment made of compact discs.
Nanaimo Gay Pride had a full program of events:
Nanaimo Gay Pride is one of many such global annual events celebrating diversity and changing times.
Sadly in Florida at the weekend the LBGT community was attacked when an extremist killed at least 50 people at the Pulse Orlando dance club.
Lunar New Year celebrations in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong broke down into chaos and rioting as police cleared away street vendors. While the vendors were temporary, they were deemed illegal and orders went out to clear them. Traditionally the street vendors would sell their wares to the many celebrants.
Protesters and police fought pitched battles leaving dozens injured and 61 arrested. The streets were littered with bricks and public property damaged. The violence was greater than that seen during street demonstrations in 2014.
The chief HK chief executive condemned the violence and expressed sympathy for the injured police personnel. He announced that investigations into whether the mayhem was orchestrated by those opposed to Beijing’s increasing control of the former British colony.
In January thousands took to the streets of HK to protest the disappearance of five booksellers. Chinese agents are believed to have abducted them. One of the disappeared appeared on a mainland TV station confessing to a hit and run in the PRC December 2003 and stated that he was willing to accept “any punishment”.
Another book seller, Lee Bo, holds a UK passport and his disappearance and subsequent surfacing in mainland China had the UK foreign secretary expressing “deep concern” over his treatment.
While HK was guaranteed more freedom than mainland China when they returned to the PRC, some freedoms have been eroded. The freedom of expression is one of those guaranteed. Book sellers and publishers have been able to offer publications that were banned by the central government.
Those in the PRC are celebrating the Year of the Monkey. According to the official news agency Xinhua, the riots in HK are not newsworthy. When I entered “Hong Kong riots” into their search section I got the following message:
From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1:
10.5.1 500 Internal Server Error
The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request.
South China Morning Post
Non-lethal weapons such as bean-bag guns, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters can all kill if they hit a vulnerable person. Tasers are considered non-lethal but many cases of death by taser have been documented. Many people have been killed by military and CIA drones, some on purpose and many by mistake and as ‘collateral damage’. The infamous video of people being murdered in Collateral Murder shows how easily and quickly leading edge technology can be misused.
The Daily Beast raises the question as to whether the proliferation of drones in N. Dakota is to ensure better citizen safety. They point out the increasing importance of the research and manufacture of unmanned aerial vehicles in the state.
Millions are being poured into the state in the building of Grand Sky an industrial/research park near the Grand Forks Air Force Base. The US pilots many of its overseas drone flights from the air force base. Reading the narrative on Grand Sky’s home pages indicates a particular interest in attracting the best to work on cutting edge development of UAVs.
In a state where the oil bust has gutted the economy, it can make those who would defend civil liberties suspect that the present enthusiasm for law enforcement drones may well be based on the influx of money expected by welcoming sky spies with open arms.
Legislative Assembly of North Dakota
The Daily Beast
Harper and his government have recently pushed through the controversial Bill C-51 which has already on the way to court challenges for its approach to civil rights in the country.
The upcoming election will make for interesting times. There are two more major parties in the contest, the NDP headed by Thomas Mulcair and the Liberals headed by Justin Trudeau. The Green Party has people running but few elected. The Partie Quebecois only runs candidates in Quebec.
While political parties in Canada tend to be left of those in the USA, in recent years Harper seems to be veering to the right further than many Canadians are comfortable with. The Liberals occupy about the centre and the NDP slightly to the left. Canada has always allowed any party to run for office. Even in the paranoid 50s the Communist Party participated in federal and provincial elections. Very few of their candidates were successful.
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Blogger, gardener, farmer. Working toward food security and a 30 foot
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on Vancouver Island, Canada
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