Saturday, October 30, 2010

In Place of Death

Canadian university students are enslaved children

by Joseph Hickey
In Place of Death (blog)

In loco parentis was a Latin phrase used on campuses in the 1960’s. It means “in the place of parents”, and it meant the power to establish curfews over students, to impose academic sanctions for any kind of non-academic misbehaviour, and to wreak other elements of control over student lives. The in loco parentis concept was overthrown in the student movements of the time, like the Berkely Free Speech Movement and the Anti-War Movement, wherein students took first steps toward ownership of their education and the glimmering vision of an authentic learning experience that springs from one’s inside-out.

Over the past decades, universities have clawed back the power to determine many aspects of student life: where we can gather in number, which students are “accepted” by the administration as appointees to governance committees, when profs (even the tenured ones) can be sacked for political reasons with no regard to protest from the student body, and even which posters we can’t put up on streetlamps around campus. Meanwhile, non-democratic marketing campaigns and whole administrative offices and even foreign campuses are created to spread the university’s brand of ideology across the world. All against a background of incessant tuition fee increases, increased workload for students, and the continual massacring of small classes.

But our campus patriarchs are upping the ante even further: student codes of conduct are now the norm at Ontario universities and prohibit such dangerous and clearly learning-detrimental activity as criticizing the reputation of the university and sleeping on campus, among many other things. One student at the University of Ottawa – which does not even have a student code of non-academic conduct – was barred from registering last year with no reason given, without any formal procedure being followed, receiving only the unilateral assurance of the Vice-President Governance, Diane Davidson, that it was in “everyone’s best interest” that he pursue his studies at another institution. The student, Marc Kelly, is three courses away from graduating and has devoted seven years of his life as a student at the University of Ottawa. President Allan Rock’s Ms. Davidson has taken on the role of institutional wicked step-mother to a disturbingly accurate degree.

The resistance of the 60’s has long ago softened back into the spineless stance of the career-obsessed or self-ignorant student. Police come onto campus like brutal baby-sitters to handcuff and muscle away the few free-thinkers. The creepy uncles that are Crown attorneys are coming around more and more frequently to get-off on pressing bogus charges against student activists and watching them squirm. The rest of the student population keep their heads down, consume the shit they are forced to and regurgitate it on command, either cursing the entire process with each painful word or descending into a masochistic frenzy, gunning for the blue-ribbon vomit prize to show Daddy at the end of the semester. Students are weak and battered children, cowering in the corner until they are big enough to pick up the whip and start beating their siblings into an even darker submission.

In place of parents we have pathological masters of our minds and bodies. In this family, Mom and Pop’s main concerns are image production, globalization and political influence, and engineering the next crop of intellectually modified servants of the Canadian class hierarchy (that’s us). We don’t need parents at school and we don’t need professors excising our power to think and administrators bashing us for acting according to the principles of the University. We need honesty, growth from within ourselves, and control over our lives in place of domination and death.

Related articles can be found at:

1. (2010) Free Speech Movement Digital Archive.
2. (2010) U of O Watch Blog.
3. (2009) New York University Disorientation Guide.

Joseph Hickey is a physics graduate student and a member of university senate at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

The Torturer’s Apprentice

T.A. doesn’t stand for what you think it does…

by Joseph Hickey
In Place of Death

Teaching assistants at the University of Ottawa are apprentice slave drivers. We are torturers in training, and this training involves doing the dirty work of rewarding or punishing students for their reproduction of the professor’s ideology. This is achieved by grading papers, policing students at exams and incriminating “cheaters”, and patrolling lab courses to ensure that students don’t escape from the holding cells outlined in their instruction manuals. All as part of an arduous quest to have ourselves certified as “masters” or “doctors” of the process we’ve put ourselves and our students through. Will somebody sound the alarm?

You know that school is oppression and your undergrad students know it too. There’s physical pain: knotted-up shoulders from marathon marking sessions, binge-eating of baneful food, sleep deprivation. There’s the nagging frustration that the students aren’t interested in the material, and the papers keep showing that they “just don’t get it.” Ever wonder why the students who demonstrate the most persistent creativity and curiosity in the material are the ones who sink toward the poor end of your grade profile? In the first year physics lab course, students have a demanding set of instructions to follow for each experiment and a detailed marking scheme outlining where and in what quantity the marks will be awarded. If the students finish all the steps by the end of the three-hour session and have a report written up according to the strict course standard, then they will earn a high grade. They will also be stripped of an opportunity to experiment in the physics laboratory or to even think about what they are doing, except to ask the demonstrator questions like: “is this working right?” or “is this the right answer?” Whatever that might mean.

We, as teaching assistants, are needed to enforce this madness that takes free spirits and spits out brainless young professionals and intellectually castrated graduate students who will fill our jobs once we’ve moved on to the master torturer position. That’s what we’re paid for. But that’s not what our job is: the teacher’s role is to provide the best educational experience possible. The Instructions and Advice for Demonstrators document, which is given to all first year physics lab T.A.’s at the beginning of term, explains that due to the large size of first-year courses, the demonstrator will be in a position to interact personally with a small group of students while the professor cannot, and therefore he “has a much larger influence over these few students.” Demonstrators are thus entrusted with the bulk of the responsibility in helping new students “develop a liking for the subject”, according to the document. It goes on to state that “your only objective should be to remove obstacles to the students’ learning.”

As honest T.A.’s we need to identify and eliminate the obstacles that interfere with creative and authentic learning: remove the needles and the electric clamps. Drop the red hot iron and cut through the wires. Act out against the grading system that is shredding your own mind and the minds of your students. Transform from torturer into teacher.

For reference:

(1969) The Student as Nigger: Essays and Stories, by Jerry Farber. (Original essay available here).

The University of Ottawa Department of Physics document Instructions and Advice for Demonstrators can be found under Joseph Hickey’s section at the website here.

Joseph Hickey is a physics graduate student and a member of university senate at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is Canada::: Labour union works against student employee dignity and rights at "Canada's university"

Suggested marketing slogan for the University of Ottawa:
U of O, Canada's university, where the information we gather on you will never end up in your employee file, in fact, you'll probably never know why you lose your grant, or scholarship, or get expelled!

Unfortunately, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) which represents student employees (Local 2626) at the University of Ottawa (which brands itself "Canada's university") has worked to thus help degrade civil and worker rights in Canadian society.

Friday, October 22, 2010

This is Canada::: University professors deny a student's freedom of thought and beliefs

The University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Canada) likes to brand itself "Canada's university".

It's officials believe it to be notably representative of Canadian society. This may well be true.

Recently, the great institution had to be ordered to comply with Ontario access to information (ATI) law (IPC Order PO-2852-I).

The obtained records exposed a nasty campaign against an applicant for graduate studies to the physics department in which the student's personal information about his beliefs and about his academic record were illegally used and disclosed.

In particular, one record shows physics professor Andre Longtin reversing his acceptance of graduate student applicant Joseph Hickey based on the student's "newly acquired activism beliefs".

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This is Canada::: Adrenaline-pumped cop sues Youtube and users for cartoons

In the latest G20-Toronto fallout, Toronto Police Constable Adam Josephs has sued Youtube and Youtube users for $1.2-million.

It appears that Toronto cops don't discriminate between real persons and cartoon characters (just as their chief does not discriminate between real weapons and toys, as seen on national TV).

The lawsuit was a sure way to connect Adam Josephs to Officer Bubbles in the real life arena of the national and local media:

If it's true that Josephs' family members have received death threats because of these cartoons, then we are certain that the Toronto Police will investigate these death threats very thoroughly and lay charges soon, or at least make a public statement regarding these threats, in the interest of public safety.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This is Canada::: We recycle... failed politicians

Allan Rock, president, University of Ottawa

QUESTION: Can a Canadian federal minister and Prime Ministerial hopeful ousted for ethical breaches and sent off to the United Nations come home to become president of one of the country's preeminent universities?

ANSWER: Meet Allan Rock.

This university president has a record of ethical breaches as long as the Saint Lawrence Seaway: HERE.

Only in Canada is memory so short and history so easy to erase. We know of no other such university president in North America.

This is Canada::: Civil rights officials ethically challenged

Nathalie Des Rosiers, head, CCLA

Michelle Flaherty, judge, HRTO

QUESTION: Can a Vice-President-Governance at a university have a tenured professor arrested, handcuffed, and dragged off campus in front of community members and students at the Cinema Politica weekly event that he created and has hosted for many years AND then become head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association?

ANSWER: Meet Nathalie Des Rosiers.

See video report and documents HERE.

Nathalie Des Rosiers answered in letter to author Jeff Schmidt that she did it because it was her job to do so under president Allan Rock. See her letter HERE.

You can trust Nathalie Des Rosiers to do her job. It is now her job to protect civil liberties in Canada.

QUESTION: Can the Legal Counsel at a university coordinate an extensive covert information gathering campaign against a tenured professor and many students AND then become a judge at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario?

ANSWER: Meet Michelle Flaherty.

See video report and documents HERE.

Michelle Flaherty continues to occupy her post at the HRTO.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This is Canada::: Unprecedented punitive bail conditions imposed by threat of harm

Here you have it: National Post article of yesterday.

It's not North Korea or apartheid South Africa or Israel. It's Canada.

Where is the Canada of my middle class mythology comfort blanket? Where has it gone?
  • Social justice activist preemptively arrested at gun point in a mid-night commando raid for organizing and "conspiring" for G20-Toronto,
  • then re-arrested while under bail for speaking at a university about social justice activism,
  • then given absolute-no-political-communication bail conditions,
  • returned to jail for refusing the illegitimate bail conditions, and finally
  • intimidated into accepting the bail conditions under a threat of sustained solitary confinement until and during his trial...
Who the fuck is Justice of the Peace Inderpaul Chandhoke? And where the fuck did he learn his trade?

Where the fuck is Attorney General Chris Bentley? Where is he hiding?

Bentley is a trained criminal lawyer. So he can recognize an egregious subversion of justice when one jumps out in his face from the pages of the national media. So where the fuck is he? And what does he stand for?

How can these clowns do this shit and have so many collaborators help them cover up the magnitude of their violations of fundamental principles without which we must declare the country a police state?

Why has there not yet even been talk or suggestions of investigating the police threats that obviously must have occurred (and that are known to be a common feature of arrests)? Alex Hundert was determined to go back to jail in refusing the bail conditions and did go back to jail, so something had to change his mind.

Stay tuned for the full cover up.

Friday, October 8, 2010

This is Canada::: Activist Alex Hundert jailed for speaking at a university

That's right.

Social justice organizer Alex Hundert was arrested at his home in the middle of the night by a SWAT team to prevent his participation at G20-Toronto.

Outrageous bail conditions were then imposed, including removal of his constitutional right to demonstrate.

He was invited by a professor at Ryerson University (Toronto) to participate in a panel discussion about social activism. He accepted and was arrested for breach of his conditions.

He's still in jail.

The judge ruled that the university presentation was a demonstration.

We shit you not.

This is Canada.

The level of corporate fascism is so advanced that this passes for normal around here with most folks.

This is Canada::: No lawyers allowed during police interrogations

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that an accused does not have a right to be accompanied by a lawyer during a police interrogation.

The latter right is well established in the US but the majority judges argued that Canada is not the US. They actually argued that Canadian police are not like US police so Canadian accused do not need the same protections.

What do police need to do during their interrogations that a lawyer cannot be present?

This is Canada.

The level of corporate fascism is so advanced that a majority of the judges don't see a problem here.

This is Canada::: Mayoral candidate expelled from mayoral candidate debate

Only the "leading" corporate-approved mayoral candidates were allowed at this select mayoral candidates' debate in Canada's capital Ottawa.

Well known poverty rights activist and returning mayoral candidate Jane Scharf was not allowed and was forcibly hauled off. None of the mayoral candidates present, defenders of democracy that they are, protested the police violation that occurred in public.

The media faithfully reported that Jane Scharf, the most qualified candidate on poverty issues, had attempted to "hijack the debate."

This is Canada.

The level of corporate fascism is so advanced that most of us don't even see a problem here.

(Non-North-American readers will understand.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Breaking News - Ottawa, Canada - Terror suspect will hear bail decision on October 31st

An Ontario Superior Court judge will render his decision October 31st whether an Ottawa resident civil servant accused of enabling and financing international terrorism will be granted bail pending trial.

The accused is federal employee of 22 years Randall Shoemaker.

Shoemaker is accused of helping to finance racial terrorism against the people of Afghanistan, including women and children, by providing regular installments from his pay and by helping to cover up the thus financed and ideologically motivated war-like aggression.

He is believed to have associations with co-terrorists who also contribute to the financing and who conspire to maintain a reign of terror in Afghanistan by shielding others who manufacture and deliver the weapons, including helicopter machine guns and guided missiles used against civilian targets for the purpose of destabilizing that country's national politics.

The Crown's case against bail was strong but is subject to a non-publication ban. Before the ban was ordered the Crown presented some evidence that the accused also helped support an ideological and fanatical criminal regime in the Middle East which has illegally occupied an entire nation for decades under conditions in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Ottawa Police chief Vernard Verywhite has called for all persons with information about any other members of this believed broad terrorist network to come forward. Verywhite said "It could be anyone, your neighbours, your employees, your parents, even your closest friends."

Investigators of CSIC Project Shitonthem were involved in the difficult and extensive undercover work that led to Shoemaker's arrest last month. CSIC believes that more similar plots are planned against other sovereign nations with brown people, including women and children, for many years to come if not uprooted soon.

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