Guest Blog by Sam Stime, Calling on Corporation Blog readers to sign our petition!
For a year, students at UBC and SFU have been raising the alarm bells about the federally-funded and mandated Canadian International Institute for the Extractive Industries and Development, the CIIEID, now housed at our universities. After extensive due-diligence, we’ve rolled out a petition calling on the decision-makers at our universities to review the poorly informed decision to host the extractive industry think-tank, and to take the precedent-setting step of dismantling it.
The petition is available here. The students’ blog StopTheInstitute.ca provides extensive background to problems around Big Mining, Canadian diplomatic support for Canadian extractive companies overseas, and a narrative of the students’ rigorous search for information from the completely opaque CIIEID. The petition is getting attention from citizens, NGOs, and academics across Canada, who recognize this institute as a threat to academic freedom & integrity, as corporatization of the universities in its most heinous form, as an academic cloak concealing a predatory industry, and as a menace to the well-being of communities and to the local decision making processes of sovereign nations. To date, hundreds of stakeholders have signed on to the petition, including dozens of faculty at the coalition universities.
In stating what is expected of the university, the student blog doesn’t beat around the bush. Cards promoting the line-in-the-sand petition don’t either. Text accompanying an image of a gaudy masquerade mask reads, “Cute mask. But claiming to ‘alleviate poverty’ by promoting Canadian mining overseas isn’t fooling anyone.’ It goes on to assert, “This new mining institute is a threat to academic independence, and a threat to many countries’ own resource governance decisions. It’s way too problematic to host at our universities. Together, we’re asking the highest authorities at UBC, SFU, and EPDM to close it. Please sign the petition today.”
With the atrophy observed among directors, managers, and other key staff (all mention of them having been removed from the CIIEID ‘people’ page in the last months), students are now confident that the charade is nearly over.
The petition has stimulated a critical examination of whether it’s really appropriate for such a mining institute to be hosted at our universities. It’s urged self-reflection on Canadian complicity in abuses and exploitation outside Canada’s borders, and challenged our own assumptions about our right to acquire others’ resources, even at the cost of their own sovereign decision-making.
Katherine Dodds AKA "Kat" is the founder of HelloCoolWorld.com, the grassroots team behind The Corporation, and is featured in a "Grassroots Marketing" segment on The Corporation DVD set. She is dedicated to harnessing the power of the film to rein in corporate abuse through the development of the Campaign 4 Corporate Harm Reduction. |
Three filmmakers: Mark Achbar of “The Corporation” and Keegan Kuhn and Kip Andersen of “Cowspiracy,” in from Canada and California respectively.
We've just locked the new credits and we're delighed that our Community Partners are already screening the new cut of the film this August! This summer, The Corporation mini-film festival kicks off on August 20th in Montreal with an outdoor screening by Cinema Politica and their partner, Cinéma sous les étoiles de Funambules Médias.
Break out the popcorn Friday night, August 22nd in Ottawa at the People's Social Forum presented by Inter Pares with Rabble.ca as a media sponsor! Then it's back to Vancouver on the 31st in time for the VIFF Vancity Theatre for the Mongrel Media anniversary series.
This special outdoor screening is in celebration of The Corporation's 10 year anniversary, presented in collaboration with Cinéma sous les étoiles de Funambules Médias.
Wednesday, 8:30 pm, Parc Laurier.
Details on Cinema Politica Website >>
Friday, 8:30 pm, "Auditorium Des Anciens" in the University Centre, University of Ottawa. English with French subtitles.
Sunday, 7:30 pm, Vancity Theatre. Details >>
We hope everyone gets a chance to check out this premiere of the new cut with the new credits! Thanks again for all your support.
Peace & solidarity,
The Corporation & Hello Cool World grassroots team
Our crowdfunding campaign has now closed, and we want to say a final thank you to you all! Our total came to $36,195 plus 2.591 Bitcoin. We're very pleased with this response and are committed to using these resources to create a pay-it-forward model to get The Corporation to 1,000 schools.
In the coming weeks, we'll be delivering on the gift-perks we promised. We're working on the final credits right now and also some avatars that will be featured in the downloadable poster (maybe posters) so watch for them!
A special thanks to Mukund Menda our community producer who, along with our anonymous donor, doubled a lot of your dollars. We're also thrilled that Inter Pares, Rabble.ca, and VIFF came on board as community partners during our push, and we'll be featuring their logos in the new cut of the film.
We also want to thank all the fine folks at dana.io, a fee-free mindful giving site for artists and activists. As one of their inaugural campaigns, together we've been experimenting in what an alternative crowdfunding platform could look like. Note that dana.io's start-up funding has been in Bitcoin, which is one of the reasons we had a final cryptocurrency push to both collect and promote the alternative economy.
Now our campaign will gear up to do what is really our main focus: gift the new cut of the film to educators. So please teachers, sign up for the free educational download which will launch in the fall.
Our incessant crowdfunding pleas are over, but we will still gratefully take your money if you want to help us get to our $50,000 goal. ;) The more support we get, the more we can provide extras and tools, and strengthen a network of educators who want to showcase the impact the film can have on the next generation.
Of course I would be remiss if I did not thank the filmmakers - Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan. You gave a long life to this film through your depth of analysis, consummate storytelling skills, and trademark blend of intellect and humour. We are still at it 10 years later because of your film. And it's not over yet!
A final special thank you for a gift to us from Joel Bakan and the fantastic Rebecca Jenkins whose jazz performance made our Secret Supper a night to long be remembered! And of course, Mark Achbar has been a behind-the-scenes (and behind-the-mask) force all along this journey.
More thank you's will be coming, enshrined on our website and in the film credits.
Kat for the entire grassroots team at Hello Cool World - Sandy, Terry, Bella, David, Atef & Colette
Crypto-contributions will get special recognition in the credits of a new, shorter cut of the groundbreaking film, helping get cryptocurrencies into the classroom and in front of the eyes of students across North America.
Rally your coin to the top! Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Darkcoin – we’ll credit the contributions by each currency individually, giving the community with the most raised the highest prominence.
All contributions will be kept as cryptocurrency to spend within the community. We love supporting alternative economics and decentralized money control so we will keep it in crypto form to pay suppliers and contractors.
Check out our short video below for all the reasons you should get up #OffTheCouch and take the #Cryptochallenge.
Sandy is part of The Corporation's grassroots team and has been working on the film's outreach efforts since 2003.|