Tuesday, December 24, 2013

FDA Newsletter for December 2013

As discussed in the FDA December newsletter, the FDA's new associate organization, the Democratic Advancement Party of Canada's (DAPC) website will be live on January 2, 2014.

FDA Newsletter for December 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Example of Citizen Initiative and Government Accountability

In November 2010 upon the imminent demolition by Chinese authorities of his newly constructed studio in Shanghai, Ai Weiwei invited guests to feast on 10,000 river crabs in protest to the Chinese government's control of information. Due to house arrest, Ai Weiwei was unable to attend.

'He xie' means "river crab." In addition, he xie represents "harmonious," and it is used in the Chinese Party slogan: "the realization of the harmonious society." In terms of the internet, he xie refers to online censorship and removal anti-establishment views (Perez Museum, 2013).

The image below captures the Ai Weiwei protest, and acts as a symbol of the Chinese people's struggle for liberty and freedom of expression. By eating the river crabs, the protesters are symbolically eliminating the information control by Chinese authorities. Note, symbols are a central feature of Chinese society as illustrated by the use of symbols in the Chinese languages.

Representation and symbol of the Ai Weiwei's protest against Chinese censorship. Photo taken at the Perez Museum in Miami.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Example of Citizen Initiative and Government Accountability

Ai Weiwei Studio are holding the Chinese government accountable through an ongoing investigation of the loss of student life from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Weiwei uncovers that the loss of life stems from unsafe building practices and inspection of the construction of schoolhouses.

Below are photos of part of what the Ai Weiwei Studio uncovered:

Photo of the over 5,000 Chinese students killed in earthquake due to flawed building practices and government inspection. Photo taken at Perez Museum, Miami.

Some of the over 5,000 Chinese students killed in the earthquake.

How effective is Weiwei and associates accountability of the Chinese government?

What are you doing to hold your government accountable? Share your story with the FDA.

Example of Citizen Initiative and Government Accountability

Trevor Paglen researched and documented the U.S. government involvement in a covert torture operation, and despite denials by the GW Bush administration. The documents in the photos are an example of citizen initiative and government accountability.

If all citizens acted similar Trevor Paglen, what kind of world would we have? What have you done recently to hold a government accountable for its actions and/or non-actions?

These photos were taken at the Perez Museum, Miami.

This photo shows the seventeen documents compiled by Trevor Paglen. These documents are evidence that the GW Bush Administration was involved in covert detention and torture during the U.S. war on terror campaign. The Bush administration denied any involvement in capturing, interrogating, and torturing individuals.   
One of the seventeen documents showing the U.S. government's involvement in a campaign of covert interrogation and torture.

To what extent has Paglen held the U.S. government accountable? Was his method of accountability useful?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Canadian Veterans Speak Up

Canadian veteran speaks out at FDA Forum for Veterans on November 27, 2013. Through popular demand and the significance of the veteran issues, the FDA will be hosting more veteran forums in 2014. (In the foreground, Mr. Donald Leonardo, founder and president of Veterans of Canada; in the background, Mr. Sean Bruyea, former Canadian Forces captain and 14-year veterans advocate.)

Mr. Stephen Garvey, Executive Director Foundation for Democratic Advancement, presenting at the November 27, 2013 FDA Forum for Veterans.

Mr. Sean Bruyea, former Canadian Forces captain and veterans advocate, sharing his insights and knowledge at the FDA Forum for Veterans.

FDA Veterans Report and More