Talk about the insanity of our ruling class–and no, I’m not talking about their joint war meetings on whether to slaughter 100,000 innocent people in Iraq. I’m talking about the British Columbia government’s threat to charge a woman $100,000 for patting a whale! “The behaviour of humans is getting dangerous for the whale,” said RCMP Cpl. Jackie Olsen after her arrest.
Let’s get this straight. It’s okay that the brutal whaling industry has slaughtered whales to near extinction. And, it’s not a big offence for a profitable industry to hunt the mammals down with spear and rifles until the seas churn red with blood? And then, when the whales are no longer viable as a commodity, it becomes a crime to befriend and stroke a whale in Nootka Sound, Gold River, B.C.
Where were the bloody cops when the whales were being hunted down to extinction? Out of nine countries that passed a moratorium banning the whaling industry in 1990, two continue to whale commercially. And you bet your anti-war button that if whales suddenly came back in the millions, that cute little whale that the woman patted might be the first one speared in a government backed revival of commercial whaling.
What’s really dangerous is the behaviour of the global ruling class towards our entire planet.
Imperialism, the highest level of capitalism has ravaged our oceans, polluted our atmosphere, raped and plundered our planet. They have laid waste our forests, our mountains, our streams, atmosphere and our lands.
With economic crisis facing Europe in the late 1400’s gangs of thieves headed by the monarchs of France and Spain sent their murderous bandits out to scout for new sources of wealth.
Not satiated by the enormous booty of gold, jewels and silver they wretched from the earth and the peoples who owned it the profligates slaughtered the citizens of the Caribbean who rebelled against the imperialist’s mad lust for wealth. If swords alone could not bring the natives to supplicate themselves at their new masters feet, the imperialist force’s biological weapons in the guise of viruses and bacterial agents carried on their filthy bodies did the trick. The vagabonds unleashed a wave of terror: millions succumbed to influenza, small pox and measles, thereby weakening resistance to the Ravishers.
Across the entire Caribbean, the locals who survived their weapons of mass destruction fought to the death against their oppressors. On the peaceful Island of the Dominica Republic, the gentle Tainos committed suicide rather than live under the debauchers who enslaved and humiliated them. In less than the lifetime of one person, an entire people were extinct–gone forever.
With no global protests, no international outcry–the imperialist gangs claimed as their right the authority to burglarize and plunder the entire planet for the next 600 years.
By 1505, only thirteen years after the great imperialist scout Columbus had spotted the opportunities in the new world, the imperialist gangs realized that they had pilfered all that the earth had hidden for millennia in the Caribbean. They then tore open the fabric of humanity by hunting down, capturing and creating slaves of humans from Africa. Transported to the New World millions of men, women and children died on the brutal ocean voyages. Those who lived may have wished they had died.
But, like common street gangs who eventually fight one another over the booty–turf wars arise. The gangs fighting for Isabella of Spain didn’t just make out like bandits with all of the Caribbean’s gold, silver and precious stones. When the French imperialist thugs, headed by Louis XII got wind of the incredible racket opening up in the New World, his gang arrived enmasse and tried to wrestle control over the region. Fighting one another in bloodthirsty battles, they both continued to pillage, rape and destroy civilizations, cultures and societies of the Caribbean. Soon, other thugs from Portugal and the United States began to seek out their piece of the pie. They too joined in raping and pillaging the land and the people, while fighting each other for their ill-gotten gains.
The imperialist thugs in their bloodthirsty quest for wealth continue to debase our earth, and the people that share it. With their gangs now in the form of corporations and protected by a small group of leaders with military forces beyond Columbus’s wildest dream, they roam the planet and our atmosphere in a never-ending quest to dominate all that they see. Using technology unheard of in the 1500’s each imperialist gang-leader–Blair, Bush, Chretien, Chirac, Putin etc., marks and protects their own turf–with boundaries they as a class have created.
With the wealth of the planet nearly exhausted, there is still the promise of black liquid gold in the Middle East to grab. The United States, not content to equally share the bounty with the imperialist gangs of Europe or the rest of the world, is on the warpath for control of that oil. To totally control the vast oil fields of the Middle East requires global domination. The thugs with their leader Bush know they must strategically transform the Middle East–with its enormous supply of black gold–into turf that they and they alone control. Splits and turf-wars within the imperialist gangs in Europe and across the world are once again coming to the forefront of history. NATO and the The UN Security Council are split–for now–each gang reluctant to give up any forseeable economic gains in IRAQ.
But unlike in the 1500’s in the Caribbean, today there is a growing global movement of resistance to imperialism. We are no longer ill informed, all trusting dubes for any stranger that walks up to us and offers us a trinket or glass bead for our wealth. Communication between citizens of the world is at an all-time level with millions upon millions of people around the world using the Internet and our voices to build bridges between people and nations. We have a highly educated and technologically literate global working class with the power to withhold the ultimate source of all wealth of the imperialist gangs–labour power. We are the source of their greatest fear. We must use that fear against them–demonstrate against war, rally against imperialism, act against oppression, strike for humanity’s sake. 600 years of tyranny is too long to be ruled by gangs. Their turf wars must end–imperialism must be destroyed–by destroying their gangs and the power they have over the global citizenry.
In the end, our whales will thank us by letting us pet them anytime we want.
GLORIA BERGEN is an environmental health and safety writer and presenter. She lives in Toronto, Ontario and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org