Category Archives: Hate Mail

Sometimes hatred is a good thing. It’s an honour to be hated by some of the worst people around. Right now, that includes a handful of neo-Nazis, a wacko conspiracy cult called We are Change Victoria, Ryan Elson, the wingnut white supremacist, Greg Hill, who is oppressed by the existence of feminism, and angry shouty guy Josh Steffler. And that pedophile dude Pedro Mora. Oh, and the guy who pretended to have cancer and got people to raise money for him. Do the world a favour – don’t be those guys, OK?

The Courage to Speak Truth to Power

The more we challenge the status quo, the more those with power attack us. Fortunately, social change is not a popularity contest.

Activism is a path to healing from trauma. It’s taking back our power to protect ourselves and our future.

From a spoken-word presentation in Victoria BC, 2009

Thank you for the opportunity to launch my speaking career. Some of you may know me as a writer and an advocate for social and environmental justice. Others may know me as a cat-sitter, odd-jobber, and temp slave. (Laughter)

I knew when I started out as an activist that I would never be a millionaire and I was right. But I have a certain freedom and flexibility that your average millionaire might envy.

The market demand for social justice advocates is huge right now. It’s a growth industry. And the job security is fantastic – there is no shortage of urgent issues demanding our attention. Experience is not necessary, people come to activism at every age and stage in their lives. It’s that easy!

OK, it’s not actually that easy. (Laughter) But it is a fascinating time to be a “radical.”

There is a great tradition of courage and action here on Vancouver Island. There is potential for even greater future action, so we are doing everything we can to nurture that potential. Building community, linking up networks, teaching, learning, coming together, healing – this is all part of the movement.

For most of my adult life, I suffered from social phobia. I was afraid of authority, filled with self-doubt, paralyzed by anxiety. Getting interviewed live on national TV doesn’t make that go away. But hiding under the covers doesn’t cure it either. So my insecurities and I just have to get out there and do our best.

What compels me is the knowledge that we’re rewriting the script – the one that says, “You don’t make a difference. It is what it is, you can’t fight city hall, the big guys always win.” We can remember that we are not powerless. And when we choose to stand up, it is a huge adrenaline rush – bigger than national TV or swinging from a tree top. That’s the reward – that flood of excitement that comes from taking back our power and using it effectively, for the collective good.

It helps to get love letters from friends and strangers who want to thank me for standing up for what’s important, and who get inspired to take action themselves.

But it’s not all warm fuzzies and celebratory toasts. We face backlash and punishment and threats to our lives and safety.

I led a workshop for new activists this year, and I asked them, “Who are your heroes?”

They named a dozen. Gandhi. Martin Luther King. Tommy Douglas. Rosa Parks. These folks led amazing, heroic movements, but our discussion focused on the ferocious backlash they faced. British media reports on Gandhi when he was challenging the monarchy had the same tone as white Southerners responding to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus. It was vicious. “Uppity and no-good” were some of the polite terms. They were targeted with hate speech and death threats. We hear the same now about whistleblowers. And feminists and environmentalists. It can be terrifying.

The more we challenge the status quo, the more the entrenched powers attack us. The more effective we are, the more they attack us. As Gandhi said: “First the ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”

The fight for justice and liberation won’t be won by popularity contests.

Every “hero” finds her own way of dealing with the counter-attacks. Some laugh it off. Some pray, some cry on their friends shoulders. Some go on the counter-offensive, some compose songs, some write long academic papers deconstructing their opponents’ logic. The important thing is, they deal with it, and they don’t give up.

We take care of each other as a community. Because we are all so fragile. Because there is so much trauma and despair everywhere and it affects everyone. But inside that despair, in all of us, there is a solid core of love for the earth and the knowledge that we can act in self-defense. That’s where we find strength.

It’s humbling to note that the economic downturn has done more to preserve habitat and stop climate change than all of our conservation efforts of the past years combined. We take responsibility for recycling and turning down the thermostat, but who is responsible for the scale of destruction from the Tar Sands? That project is the equivalent of burning all of Vancouver Island to the ground. It negates everything we could hope to do as individuals to fight climate change.

How do we deal with that horrible reality? I couldn’t, for the first year of the campaign. I didn’t want to look at the pictures and hear the news stories about the water and air pollution and the rates of illness among the Lubicon Cree people. The scale and the horror of it were too great.

I’ve worked on toxics campaigns and I dread them. Old-growth campaigns are inspiring, because where the action is, the forest is still standing – it’s beautiful and magical and we’re defending nature’s cathedral from the bulldozers and chainsaws. The good earth is here, and the evil destructive forces are over there. It’s clearcut, so to speak. But when a toxics campaign is underway, the damage has been done. The landscape is poisoned and people have cancer and spontaneous abortions, and the birds, the fish, the animals, are dead and dying. It is a scene of despair.

If it sounds traumatizing, it is. And we are all traumatized.

Look at this landscape – concrete, pavement, bricks and mortar, toxic chemicals, but underneath, the earth is still there. We have whole ecosystems slashed and burned without so much as a by-your-leave. We’ve lost whole communities of spruce, marmots, murrelets, arbutus, sea otters, and geoducks. These are terrible losses.

And we humans suffer on every level. Is there anyone here who doesn’t know someone who’s had cancer? Who hasn’t seen the damage caused by diseases of civilization? Who here hasn’t been forced to do without for lack of money? Are there any women here who have never been sexually harassed or raped or assaulted?

(Silence)

Something fundamental has been taken from us here. How do we deal with these losses?

I consider myself fortunate because after a lifetime of abuse from my family and male partners, I participated in six months of Trauma Recovery and Empowerment at the Battered Women’s Support Centre in Vancouver.

And I got to know the stages of trauma recovery:
Acknowledge the loss, understand the loss, grieve the loss.

And the stages of grief:
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

These steps are a natural and necessary response to the loss of a loved one, and also to the loss of our humanity and the places we love.

There are people living in national sacrifice zones, people who burn with determination to make change. They are angry, and they have a right to be. I am angry because I’m not dead inside, in spite of all they’ve done to me. Anger is part of the process of grief, and it’s useful. It grabs us by the heart when people are hurting the ones we love.

For me, part of the process is taking action – rejecting helplessness and taking back power. Stopping the bleeding and comforting the wounded.

I fall in love with places and I want to protect them. I fell in love with the Elaho Valley and some of the world’s biggest Douglas Firs in 1997. That forest campaign was a pitched battle, far from the urban centers, against one of the biggest logging companies on the coast at that time.

In the third year of the campaign, I walked into my favourite campsite shaded by majestic cedars. I saw the flagging tape and the clearcut boundaries laid out, and I realized it was all doomed. I could see the end result in my mind’s eye: stumps and slash piles as far as the eye could see, muddy wrecked creeks, a smoldering ruin.

I realized no one was going to come and save this place – not Greenpeace or the Sierra Club, no MP’s private member’s bill, or whatever petition or rally was being planned back in the city. It was as good as gone. All we had to do was stand aside and do nothing, and this incredible, irreplaceable forest would be just a sad memory.

But after that realization, and after the despair that followed, I had a profound sense of liberation. If it is all doomed, then anything we do to resist is positive, right? Anything that stops the logging, even for a minute, or slows it down, or costs the company money, or exposes it to public embarrassment and hurts its market share, is positive – it keeps the future alive for that one more minute, one more hour, one more day. It was a revelation.

Acceptance, for me, meant being able to act to defend the place I loved. It meant standing up to the bullies and refusing to let them take anything more from me.

In the third year of the Elaho campaign, it was just a handful of people rebuilding the blockades, defying the court orders and continuing the resistance. We didn’t quit when the police came, or when we were called “terrorists” and “enemies of BC.” We didn’t quit even after 100 loggers came and burned our camp to the ground and put three people in the hospital.

The attack was a horror show. People were in shock. But a crew was back with a new camp five days later. By then, the raid was national news. And our enemies had nothing left to throw at us. The loggers didn’t know what to do next. Short of killing us, what more could they do?

We had called their bluff.

We didn’t know about the negotiations going on behind the scenes. We didn’t realize that we had already cost the loggers more than they could hope to recoup by logging the entire rest of the valley. (They were operating on very slim profit margins.) We found out when the announcement came that the logging would stop. And it never started again. We won. Now the Elaho Valley is protected by the Squamish Nation — and by provincial legislation — as a Wild Spirit Place.

The violence of the mob showed the level of fear and desperation of the losing side. It was their weapon of last resort and it didn’t work. And they lost.

In the fourth year of the stand for SPAET – the campaign to stop the development and protect the caves, the garry oaks, and the wetlands on Skirt Mountain. We faced the same tactics – we were called “terrorists,” and in 2007, the developers sent 100 goons to rough up people at a small rally. And again, most of our comrades are still in shock. There’s only handful of us still bashing away at the next phase of development.

We are winning. The other side has thrown everything they have at us and they have nothing left.

There are still sacred sites on SPAET. The cave is still there, buried under concrete.

Meanwhile, the developer’s little empire fell apart, either because of our boycott campaign, bad karma, or because it was operating on the slimmest of shady margins. We took the next phase of development to court. Our campaign, and the economic downturn, turned out to be enough to scare off investors and cancel the project, at least for now.

This work is difficult, painful, and traumatic. So the first step to courage is to acknowledge that pain and loss. We need to name what has been taken from us. Then we can cry, and rage, and grieve. We can name the ones who are doing the damage. We can reach down inside and find our core strength and our truth, and use it. That’s where courage comes from.

Martin Luther King said, “Justice shall roll down like waters, righteousness like a mighty stream.” But I’m impatient. I want to see that mighty stream now – what’s the hold-up? What’s holding us back, when there’s so much to do?

We’re not heroes, actually – none of us is smart enough, or tough enough, or connected enough, to take this on alone. We’re don’t have superpowers. We are only human, we struggle and suffer and sometimes, we win.

Some folks assume I have some vision, some over-arching game plan, some magic power that gives me an edge. Nope. Most of the time I am just flailing around on the political landscape, taking potshots when I see an opening. Sometimes it’s intuition, and it pays off. When we are right, it is amazing. When we win, it sets a precedent for the future.

In order for evil to prevail, all that’s required is for good people to do nothing. Don’t be one of those good people.

Activism is part of the healing. It’s taking back our power to protect ourselves and our future.

Thank you for the opportunity to tell these stories today.

(Applause)

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Filed under Environment, Feminism, Hate Mail, Legal Battles, Love Letters, Misogyny, Politics, Zoe Blunt

Neo-Nazis hate me

ARA logoAnd the feeling is mutual!

This week, a neo-Nazi group, United Front Canada, is publicly calling for new members to start chapters in Victoria BC, as well as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Toronto.

And I’m here to get in the way. So Anti White Watch, a white supremacist blog, labels me “leader of the anti white gang Anti Racist Action,” “dyke,” “tranny” and more hilarious insults. In other words, these are the literally some of the worst people in the world.

The good news is the author advertises our Anti Racist Action group.
Anti white watch hates meNice photo! (I won’t be returning the favour and linking to their page though, because racist blogs have cyber-cooties.)

This is the first time in Victoria I’ve run across actual neo-Nazis, as opposed to run-of-the-mill white supremacists and racists. United Front’s platform is based on Hitler’s Third Reich, right down to the swastika-style cross. It’s a modern-day throwback to the National Socialist Party of 1930s Germany. So it’s a neo-Nazi fringe group. (I’m using the word “group” loosely. It’s a safe bet these two websites are run by one miserable white dude in a suburban basement.)

White supremacy is a broader and more pervasive philosophy. The Wiki says:

White supremacy is the belief of, and/or promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds and that therefore whites should politically dominate non-whites. The term is also used to describe a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial dominance of whites.[1] Different forms of white supremacy have different conceptions of who is considered white, and different white supremacist identify various groups as their primary enemy.[2]

The term white supremacy is used in academic studies of racial power to denote a system of structural racism which privileges white people over others, regardless of the presence or absence of racial hatred. Legal scholar Frances Lee Ansley explains this definition as follows:

By “white supremacy” I do not mean to allude only to the self-conscious racism of white supremacist hate groups. I refer instead to a political, economic and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings.[8][9]

The term expresses historic continuities between a pre-Civil Rights era of open white supremacism and the current racial power structure of the United States. It also expresses the visceral impact of structural racism through “provocative and brutal” language that characterizes racism as “nefarious, global, systemic, and constant.”[14] Academic users of this term sometimes prefer it to racism because it allows for a disconnection between racist feelings and white racial advantage or privilege.[15][16]

Manypolitics does a brilliant job of illustrating the distinctions with real-life examples in “An Open Letter to WAC Victoria and Others Who Equate Racism with Prejudice.”

And now, please enjoy some old-school anti-Nazi moves.

Earlier encounters with angry racists in Victoria:

Nazi Punks

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Filed under Feminism, Hate Mail, Misogyny, Politics, transphobia, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt

How to oppress white dudes

The feminist guide to taking over the world and enslaving the males (UPDATED)

When women speak out on sexism and male violence, we deal with the consequences. Men retaliate by stalking, harassing, and threatening us for the crime of being feminist (or just female) in public. The most common accusation from “men’s-rights” reactionaries is that feminists have all the power in the world. We’re the real haters, and we’re stealing away men’s rights and freedoms and everything they enjoy.

Confession time: IT’S TRUE.

We know men are inferior, suitable only for slave labour, cannon fodder, and forced breeding. Our worldwide feminist domination plan has five secret weapons to keep them in their place and slap them down when they get uppity.

Secret Weapon #1. Name the behaviour. Whether it’s misogyny, homophobia, racism, or ableism, calling it out will cause the target male’s brain to explode.

For a privileged dude, a woman who publicly disagrees with him or calls him out is committing a human rights violation equivalent to being castrated and curb-stomped by a platoon of hairy-legged lesbians. The mildest insults fester for months. (We know this because they never shut up about it.) This tactic works with total strangers on Twitter just as well as close relatives and significant others. Such is the power of feminist words!

Secret Weapon #2: Use the web to block those cocks. If they email you, activate the spam filter. If they post rude notes on your page, delete and block them. If they overrun your favourite sites, kill-file them. If they threaten you, report them. The beta-males will howl that such brutal censorship is the worst jackbooted fascism since Hitler. They are right, of course. But this way we don’t scuff the shine on our new jackboots.

Phone calls? Block ’em. Street harassment and stalking? Get your posse together. “Men’s-rights activists” (MRAs) are cowards and they won’t approach a group of women who are ready for them. The worst they’re likely to do is shout from a safe distance and flee. Later they will cry on Facebook about being “gang-stalked.” Enjoy the delicious irony and the sweet taste of their rage-tears.

Secret Weapon #3: Disengage. Withholding your support and approval is vicious and deliberate sabotage of the male ego. I have this straight from a former stalker, a non-profit director who believed I “owed” him my volunteer time after he hounded me out of his group and out of his life. When I informed his board of directors, the dude had a breakdown and resigned soon after. (Hey, I warned him.)

When angry dudes can’t engage with you, the impotent rage builds up until they melt down in a messy pile of burning hate, while you go clubbing with your gal pals or jet off to Europe for the Secret Worldwide Matriarchal Domination Society’s annual orgy.

Secret Weapon #4: Mock them. (This is the best part.)

Secret Weapon #5:
Provoke them. For feminists, it’s simple to provoke sexist jerks. Just existing will usually do it. But if openly walking around being awesome doesn’t cause them to self-destruct and the above tactics don’t apply, try these:

– dressing sexy
– not dressing sexy
– being feminine
– being unfeminine
– being a slut
– being celibate
– being progressive
– being conservative
– having personal boundaries
– getting on TV or radio
– blogging
– commenting online

Finally, ladies, remember: Organize. In your communities, with your neighbours, in your friendship networks. Don’t let them silence you. Don’t let them shame you. Push back. Operation Global Feminist Domination will topple the feeble patriarchal system that props up these impotent males!

UPDATE: We have a winner!

In case you thought I might be exaggerating about dudes who lose their shit when women speak out, let me present Libertarian dude Greg Hill, a “Young Entrepreneur” in Victoria, BC.

Hill is not opposed to free speech! HOWEVER, the affidavit he filed in BC Supreme Court says this very post you’re reading right now is a hate crime against him as a white dude. I’m not even making this up.

Behold Hill’s affidavit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. (Click to view full-size.)

Greg Hill affidavit in Supreme Court of British Columbia
(Tracie Park is my legal name.)

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Earlier encounters with the angry dudes of Victoria, Canada

Hate Mail from Haters

The Judge Should Arrest Me for Calling this Dingbat a Racist

Turfing Out the Racists


With thanks to A.D Song and Mia McKenzie of Black Girl Dangerous for their inspirational essay How to Be A “Reverse-Racist”.

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Filed under Feminism, Greg Hill, Hate Mail, Misogyny, Politics, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt

Turfing out the Racists

Originally published in the People’s Voice January 2013

VICTORIA BC – Anti-racist organizers report they have won several skirmishes with a "conspiracy cult" linked to US patriot and militia organizations. Anti-Racist Action says members of a group called We Are Change Victoria (WAC) began sparring with social justice activists and the People's Assembly (Occupy Victoria) over a year ago.

WAC is part of a North American network loosely connected to US radio host Alex Jones, the Libertarian Party, the militia movement and patriot groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group promotes conspiracy theories about 9/11, chemtrails, gun control, human rights law, climate-change denial, and Holocaust denial.

In Victoria, WAC members joined the Occupy movement soon after it began, but they split over angry disagreements about the camp's stance on social justice and indigenous rights. Later, WAC members disrupted meetings, denounced the movement, and launched an online harassment campaign targeting women and trans activists, and anyone they considered an organizer.

A year later, in October 2012, WAC “activist” Josh Steffler announced that Doug Christie, Canada's best-known white supremacist, would address their rally on the BC Legislature lawn. Anti-Racist Action called for a counter-protest and blew the whistle on the event. Ultimately, Christie didn't show and some of the other speakers stayed away as well. Fewer than a dozen people attended the rally.

It was not a proud day for WAC. As volunteers set up the sound system for the speakers, three angry "free speech advocates" crossed the Legislature lawn to confront the counter-protestors picketing on the sidewalk 150 meters away. The shouting match that ensued drew the attention of nearby police officers. The WACkos demanded the arrest of the counter-protestors, but instead the cops sent the wingnuts scurrying back to the stage with their tails between their legs. The counter-protestors spent the rest of the afternoon handing flyers to passers-by and explaining why they were protesting WAC's racism and sexism.

A month later, ARA confronted WAC at its hangout, a downtown diner where the group held well-advertised but poorly-attended weekly meetings. ARA called for a meetup at the same diner and dozens responded. They filled every table and the wingnuts were turfed out before they could get in the door.

Since then, WAC no longer advertises its events or meeting locations. Its only response to the controversy is a Youtube video. Speaking for the group, Steffler, a failed Esquimalt city council candidate, blames the conflict on "Bolsheviks" who are the "real racists."

More recently, members of WAC were harassing a Victoria environmental activist in an effort to suppress photos of the October confrontation and take down her websites. Now one WACko is embroiled in an ugly Supreme Court battle that he is bound to lose.

Anti-Racist Action has four points of unity:

1. We go where they go. Whenever fascists are organizing or active in public, we're there. We don't believe in ignoring them or staying away from them. Never let the Nazis have the street!

2. We don't rely on the cops or courts to do our work for us. This doesn't mean we never go to court, but the cops uphold white supremacy and the status quo. They attack us and everyone who resists oppression. We must rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and stop the fascists.

3. Non-sectarian defence of other anti-fascists. In ARA, we have a lot of different groups and individuals. We don't agree about everything and we have a right to differ openly. But in this movement an attack on one is an attack on us all. We stand behind each other.

4. We support abortion rights and reproductive freedom. ARA intends to do the hard work necessary to build a broad, strong movement against racism, sexism, anti-immigrant, anti-indigenous sovereignty, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, discrimination against the disabled, the oldest, the youngest, and the most oppressed people. We want a classless, free society. We intend to win!

Anti-Racist Action Victoria's Facebook page.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Zoe Blunt

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Filed under Feminism, Hate Mail, Josh Steffler, Legal Battles, Misogyny, Politics, Racism, Ryan Elson, transphobia, We Are Change Victoria, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt

The judge should arrest me for calling this dingbat a racist

Original artwork (c) 2013 Zoe Blunt

Ryan Elson of We Are Change Victoria
Original artwork (c) 2013 Zoe Blunt

You remember this dude, the one who was stealing my copyrighted work and trying to blackmail me? The idiot has been telling anyone who will listen that I’m a “reverse racist,” a “feminazi,” part of a sinister New World Order conspiracy, and so on. Now he’s asking a BC Supreme Court judge to have me arrested for calling him a white supremacist jerk on Facebook and on this blog. (Spoiler: He is a white supremacist jerk.)

The wingnut, who obviously does not have the benefit of legal counsel, has filed a bizarre pile of claims on behalf of himself, a group called We Are Change Victoria, and neo-Nazi sympathizer Doug Christie. Ryan Elson defends Christie’s views as free speech, while insisting that my speech is a crime.  Yes, really.

The oddball demands are part of the jerk’s counterclaim to my civil action to stop the wingnut republishing my photos and articles. Note: this is not how you’re supposed to make a claim in court – unless you’re a libertarian nutbar, in which case the rules do not apply to you.

STATEMENT OF FACTS
1) On October 14, 2012, Plaintiff [Zoe Blunt] targeted Defendant [Ryan Elson] labelling him and other members of WAC Victoria as “white supremacists” and “racists” in a Facebook event posting. Doug Christy [sic] was labelled this as well … Here we establish the Plaintiff’s Vendetta towards the Defendant.

RELIEF SOUGHT

3) Civil restitution AND court order for criminal investigation and prosecution be brought fourth [sic] on the Plaintiff for Criminal malicious prosecution, Criminal harassment, Conspiracy.

4) Criminal charges be brought fourth [sic] on the Plaintiff for Perjury in association with her claims of “perjury” within her statement of facts on civil claim 12-4008.

5) Injunction to restrain the plaintiff from further harassment of the defendant and his family/friends.

The wingnut claims to own copyright on photos I took of him October 20, 2012 at a counterprotest near a Victoria rally where Christie and other nutters were scheduled to speak. I photographed Elson and two buddies threatening me and the police intervening. He republished the photos and the entire article a dozen times to harass me. Now he claims it is libelous. (Legal tip: This case is a non-starter. Consent is a full defence to libel.)

What will the nutjob do next?? Stay tuned.

(Answer: Predictably, the dude went apeshit about being mocked. Tsk! Some folks can’t handle criticism. In May and June 2013, Elson tried to get a court injunction to take down this website. He failed, of course – he has no case and doesn’t know the first thing about the justice system. He did manage to get an order preventing me (@blunt1) tweeting anything with his Twitter handle (@fixx_revolution) to avoid losing any more arguments on Twitter.

Read the wingnut’s claim against me:

Cover page

Page 2: Statement of Facts

Page 3: Relief Sought

Related:

Wingnuts’ guide to the legal process

So I’m suing this local wingnut

Turfing out the racists

Hate Mail from Haters – the post that started it all

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Filed under Hate Mail, Legal Battles, Ryan Elson, We Are Change Victoria, Wingnuts

Hate mail from my lover

124 signs of an abusive relationship

After five years, maybe it’s time to burn those old letters.

We hadn’t been together long when Mister Ex started picking fights with me. Shouting and raging. Then one night he got really mad and shoved me into a wall. I left him. Then I started putting together the list.

It was therapeutic. Soon I was able to breathe and think again. He was sending long angry letters. That’s how the list started. Looking at the letters and thinking about how someone could say those things to a lover. How someone could think that was OK.

He tried to convince me to come back. He would promise and plead. Then the insults again. This time, I agreed with him. “You’re right,” I’d say. “I am an awful woman and a terrible person. You obviously deserve better, so I’m setting you free to find your soulmate.” That enraged him. (Everything enraged him.) The list grew longer.

Months later, he showed up at my door to demand that I move back in and accept him on his own terms, or else. I said no. I showed him the list. He blew up and ordered me to destroy it. I didn’t.

The list was done. I moved and left no forwarding address. I boxed up his letters and locked them in the cabinet under the basement stairs with the spiders. Today they’re going into the fire. Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Zoe Blunt

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Filed under Feminism, Hate Mail

So I filed a lawsuit against this local wingnut

Some of you may know this Ryan Elson guy — he’s been demanding a “debate” with a third-party “judge” or he will do something horrible and sinister to “take me down.”

OK then – it’s on.

The nutjob and his buddies invited a neo-Nazi defender to speak at a rally in October 2012. They started harassing me after I called them out as racists. Dude got aggro with me in public, and I took pictures of him trying to intimidate me and published them.

Well, that really set him off. He threatened to sue me, have me arrested, and worse. (I know, NUTTY!)

Anyway, the situation escalated to the point where I filed a civil suit in BC Supreme Court on November 22. My lawyers are really great, and they detest white supremacist jerks too.

The good news is people in the community got together about these bullies and said “Enough.” I’m not the first woman the dude has targeted – he has a police file for harassment, plus a blog full of poison aimed at local activists and a couple more angry dudes for backup.

So the stage is set, and the court hearings should be loaded with high-level wingnuttiness. I’ll be documenting the proceedings and publishing the highlights for everyone’s amusement. Stay tuned for updates!

Folks who contribute to the legal fund will receive a commemorative copy of the judgement (along with my comedic commentary) as a souvenir.

Please send your support to: Tracie Park (that’s my legal name), care of Catherine Boies Parker, Underhill Boies Parker Law, 1127 Fort St, Victoria BC V8V 3K9.

Thank you for bearing witness to this moment in wingnut legal history!

About me: I’m a writer and non-profit director in Victoria, BC. I’ve contributed to Adbusters, Canadian Dimension, Focus Magazine, Street Newz, The Dominion, The People’s Voice and other journals. That’s my legal name on the notice of claim, but most people know me by my pen name – Blunt is my great-grandmother’s name, and Zoe means “life.”

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Filed under Hate Mail, Ryan Elson, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt

Hate mail from haters (now with more hate!)

What can you do with obnoxious racists? Reason doesn’t work, and even baseball bats can’t knock sense into a bonehead. But we can expose and mock them.

Ryan Elson (John Pettit), right, at BC Supreme Court in Victoria, BC

Ryan Elson (John Pettit), right, at BC Supreme Court in Victoria, BC. Photo (c) 2012 Times Colonist.

In October 2012, members of the conspiracy cult and Occupy splinter group We Are Crazy Victoria announced that lawyer and white supremacist Doug Christie would be speaking at a rally at the BC Legislature in Victoria BC.

No way. That’s not okay. I’d never met any of these nutbars, but we all knew their reputation for harassing women and people of colour. Clearly, we needed to call a counterprotest.

Friends and allies helpfully contacted all the other speakers to inform them they were sharing a stage with Canada’s best-known racist. They had no idea Christie was coming. Five speakers – including the keynote – immediately canceled. In a panic, the organizers dropped Christie from the event – and then blamed me for “censoring” him. Ryan Elson and Josh Steffler scrambled to cast themselves as advocates for “free speech” while vilifying me for infringing Christie’s “rights.” Among other threats, Elson said they would sue me for criticizing WeAreCrazyVictoria, and have me arrested if I showed up for the counterprotest.

That didn’t happen, but it was a hilarious day nonetheless.

Half an hour before the haters’ rally was set to begin, we set up a couple signs at the Cenotaph on the corner of the Legislature lawn, 200 meters from the wingnuts’ stage, and handed out leaflets explaining we were counterprotesting against racism, bullying, and hate speech.

Just before noon, the “free speech advocates” came over to shut us down. Ha! Fat chance.

Tough guys coming for us. Ooh, scary.

Photo by Zoe Blunt

Left: Certifiable lunatic and white supremacist Ryan Elson (alias John Pettitt, StealthC, XtoFury, Fixx_Revolution). Centre: Conspiracy freak and amateur astrologist Philip Livingston (aka Adam Evan Livingston), allegedly a fourth-year psych student at UVic. Right: Slimeball creep “Henry Tudor,” who is dumb as a sack of poop.

They came straight for me, ignoring the rest of the group. Elson got right up in my face screaming abuse. That’s when I got out the megaphone. Elson was trying to get nose-to-nose with me, but with the bullhorn deployed, he got a face full of “Back off racist scum” with the volume cranked to 11.

Trying to get in my face and failing

Photo by Zoe Blunt

Naturally, this tough guy was more interested in picking on me (I’m 5 feet and 110 pounds) than the linebacker-sized ex-bouncers standing around me with the signs. Any one of them could pick Elson up with one hand and break him like a twig, and they were ready in case he laid a hand on any of us.

The “back off racist scum” commotion drew two police officers from their post at the Legislature Building. As they approached, Elson pointed and hollered: “Officer, arrest her! She doesn’t have a permit to be here!” The cops said, “Step over here son, we’re gonna explain something to you.” Here’s the little bully, getting TOLD.

Free speech for me, but not for thee? Nope, doesn't work that way

Photo by Zoe Blunt

The nutjobs had no choice but to slink back to their “rally,” which consisted of fewer than a dozen people on the Legislature steps. We serenaded them with rousing chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, racists have got to go!” and handed out hundreds of flyers. The wackjobs got schooled. It was a fine day.

Racist got told

Photo by Zoe Blunt

But it’s not over yet – the haters are setting themselves on fire in a desperate grab for attention. In a long, incoherent blog post, Elson proclaims he’s a “victim” of homophobia and accuses me of somehow outing him as gay, which is news to everyone but his boyfriends, apparently. So now Elson is Canada’s version of the gay conservative who beat himself up. Except that Elson claims he was in the closet before he announced that he’s gay and that makes it all my fault, or something.

Well played, haters! Looking forward to next time.

—– UPDATE November 1 —–

It seems I have hurt the racists’ feelings. So they are calling me a terrorist and howling for my arrest on charges of “criminal defamation.” Funny! I thought they were opposed to censorship. Anyway — bring it, boys. The publicity would be worth the price of admission.

I mentioned that these wingnuts are setting themselves on fire. Here’s an example: According to Elson, this video is irrefutable proof that PAOV (People’s Assembly of Victoria) and I secretly control Facebook. The video was recorded at an October 2012 meeting of WeAreCrazy, and we get to eavesdrop as Josh Steffler and other members discuss things like dealing with the “Zionist-controlled world government” and being called “Holocaust deniers.” Which they certainly are NOT, because you can’t deny something that never happened, amirite?

While you’re at it, check out this video (also from October 2012) of Elson trying to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission about an imaginary future “genocide against white people.”

And take a look at this image Elson posted on the Occupy Victoria B.C. page on Facebook around the same time. It’s a swastika with a photo of Hitler and the text “Last time it was the JEWS, this time it’s white men.”

Of course, just a couple weeks ago, WeAreCrazyVictoria was proud to feature a video of Doug Christie speaking at their 2011 rally — until they realized their racism was showing, and purged him. What a shame! Especially since they were so pleased with themselves for inviting him to speak as a surprise guest at their rally last year. Where is your “white pride” now?

But wait, there’s more. Josh Steffler has made his own video to show us he and WAC are not really racist at all. That’s because there are no “races,” there is ONLY ONE RACE. So that makes us the real racists, because we keep talking about race and racism. DUH. (Bonus: BOLSHEVIKS!)

It’s easy to mock their ignorance, but these idiots are trying to recruit new members and launch new assaults on our friends, fellow activists and “the left” in general.

So IT’S ON, assholes.

Related:
So I filed a lawsuit against this local wingnut

The Judge Should Arrest Me for Calling this Dingbat a Racist

Turfing Out the Racists

How to Oppress Men

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Filed under Hate Mail, Josh Steffler, Legal Battles, Ryan Elson, We Are Change Victoria, Wingnuts, Zoe Blunt

Stump broke

You ought to be taken out to the back forty and stump broke,” reads the message from a guy calling himself “Bronco.”*

The discussion was about a resort that went bankrupt, leaving hundreds of millions in debts. It wasn’t my fault – I just published information about it. Of course, it’s not the kind of information that the developers want the public to see.

Stump broke. I look it up. It means to tie an animal to a stump and rape it.

Turns out Stinger knows him by his business name. Bronco Excavating.* I find the number, a rural address in Saanich. I got a recording – a middle-aged woman’s voice, a cell phone number. The same woman answers the cell phone.

“I’m trying to reach Don Kringsborn*, please,” I say
“Who is this?”
“Zoe Blunt. I’m calling for Don Kringsborn, if he’s available.” I’m very polite.
“Where are you calling from? What do you want?” She’s knows my name and she’s upset.
I’ve blocked my number. “I’m calling from my home. Is it possible to speak to Don?”
“Not unless you give me more information!”
“How about if you give him a message. I need to know if I have the correct definition of ‘stump broke.'”
“Stump broke? Stump broke?” Her voice rises.
“Yes, I’m looking for the definition of ‘stump broke.'” I repeat.
“We’re not even in the country right now!” the woman exclaims, apropos of nothing.
“Tell him he can reach me on my cell phone. Thank you.” I hang up.

I find the postcard, a colour photo of an unfinished construction project that the resort was building until it ran out of money. “Greetings from Langford Bridge to Nowhere!” the card reads. I address it to Don Kringsborn at his Saanich address and inscribe it: “To my biggest fan! Love, Zoe.”

*Names and pseudonyms have been changed.

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Filed under Animals, Hate Mail, Politics, Zoe Blunt

Victoria city council candidate is a sex offender

Pedro Jose Mora

Pedro Mora served time for sexually assaulting a minor

This fall, Victoria residents have a unique opportunity to decide if a convicted sex offender should represent them on city council.

In a refreshingly-honest statement for an aspiring politician, Mora has confirmed he sexually assaulted a fifteen-year-old girl in Burnaby.

By his own account, Mora pleaded guilty and served 40 days in a “rehabilitation centre” in the Lower Mainland. However, he attempted to portray the offense as a minor one.

“I never had sexual intercourse with (the fifteen-year-old),” Mora said by email. “I never sexually touched the other girls” who complained to the police, he added.

Mora announced September 18 that he is seeking nominations for the city council seat vacated by Sonya Chandler. Acting on a tip, Victoria Indymedia published a summary of court records available online. The records showed that Pedro Jose Mora (born 1944) was ordered to stand trial on five charges of sexual assault in 1999.

After serving his sentence, Mora applied to have his criminal conviction sealed from public view.

“I have never denied the facts of my criminal record to any one who is genuinely concerned about the safety of women and children,” Mora said this week. He complained that the Indymedia story suggesting he is a child molester is “cruel and undo harassment” and that the publishers could face court action for  “liable.”

Missing from Mora’s statement is any indication of remorse for his actions or compassion for his victim. Instead, he lectured the reporter on the need for “identifying properly the real enemy which we both are fighting against, instead of tripping each other with unnecessary fear and hatred.”

However, social justice advocates who are “genuinely concerned about the safety of women and children” might include as “real enemies” those who participate in the system of male domination that rapes and murders thousands of women and girls each year.

Mora is a director of Vancouver Community Network and NowPolling.ca, two non-profit groups. He runs a website at Pasifik.ca and shoots video with Jack Etkin for Shaw TV community programs.

Mora previously ran for mayor of Vancouver in 2005 on a platform of “perpetual elections,” receiving 443 votes out of a total of 130,011. He now lives with his partner in Victoria’s North Park neighbourhood.

How groups can protect members from sexual abuse

Child abuse and sexual harassment are widespread, damaging, and under-reported in Canada. Non-profit groups and charitable societies are obligated to address the problem as a human rights issue, just as other institutions do. These tips can help.

  • Groups should create and implement guidelines to protect members, including safe-space policies, human rights policies, and sexual harassment policies. These will clarify the values of the society and put potential offenders on notice.
  • Directors, staff, and members should be be fully informed about these policies. A process for complaints should be clearly spelled out.
  • If a complaint is received, it must be given the highest priority. The group should bring in an independent investigator to initiate the process of interviewing complainants, witnesses, and the alleged perpetrators.
  • Followup is crucial. Once a complaint is validated, the society must take steps to protect and support the victim. This typically involves removing the offender and may include calling the police. Retaliation and threats to the victim and the group are common. Directors should consult with the group’s legal counsel for advice.
  • Be aware of legal liability issues. If directors ignore a problem, the group may be held partially responsible for subsequent abuse.

Have you been molested or raped by a candidate for public office? Contact the author for a private, confidential discussion: zoeblunt (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Filed under Hate Mail, Misogyny, Politics, Wingnuts