-- Political Issues: Globalization --

Issues Index


This page archives comments by Bruce Cockburn about globalization.

  • 19 June 2002 - News Conference Speech in Ottawa, Canada

    Copy of Bruce's hand written speech I'm here as a concerned citizen, to lend my support to what I believe is a vital exercise of the democratic right of dissent, the silencing of dissent by various means-the attempted elimination of one whole side of the globalization debate is, to me, a worrisome sign of worse to come. I've done a fair amount of traveling in "developing" countries, much of it related to the work of various charitable organizations. I've seen what the kind of top-down and advocated by the G-8 has done to people. It didn't look like development to me. The current fashion in the corridors of power, of reducing everything to the terms of the marketplace, is heartbreaking for the poor of the world, for those of us committed to seeking something like justice in human affairs, for those of us concerned about the environment that give us life. And for those of us who grew up in a Canada where freedom was a cherished value-where a government which was accountable provided some of the necessities of life for those in need. When a national government hands over the reins of all its functions to the private sector, what's left for it to run except the army and the police? I worry that the Canada I learned to love growing up will not be what my grandchildren, if I have them, are going to encounter. There are other ways of doing things, and we must encourage our leaders to find those ways and pursue them, otherwise we can look forward to a Mobius strip of more inequity, more anger, more violence, more erosion of our civil liberties in the name of security, more anger, more violence...Face it-the G-8 leaders are facilitating the degradation of my country and of my planet. I have to protest this!

    So-I've taken a small role in the upcoming events in Calgary. Our plans for the week of the Kananaskis Conference include a day-long teach-in, and a concert on the 25th featuring Chris Brown and Kate Fenner, myself, and other artists. We'll be offering people a non-violent, informative option which I think is going to be a lot of fun!

    Bruce giving the speech at the Council of Canadians
    Photo courtesy
    Council of Canadians.
    Globalization as currently understood is, to me, an evil thing-but that's not to suggest that all global connections are bad. There's so much we can all share to our mutual benefit. One important thing I learned in the early 80s hanging with dissidents in Pinochit's Chile, where dissent really meant risking your life, is that when you resist evil you are in fact celebrating life, and it's okay to have a good time!

    -- from a transcription of the 19 June 2002 News Conference Speech in Ottawa, Canada, for the Council of Canadians, protesting the G8 Summit. Submitted by by True North.

    Related links

    Related links on this site:
  • Call It Democracy
  • Awards
  • FTAA Protests
  • Junos
  • IPS Awards

  • 29 June 2002 - Commenting on the G8 Summit in Calgary, 26 June 2002

    "Hereís a very new song. This has only been sung once before in front of actual humans and that was a couple of days ago in Calgary. I really wanted to get it together for that occasion because it pertains to the business of the 8 most powerful hypocrites and their 20 or so most emphatic, committed, ass-lickers. Jees Iím talking really trash tonight, arenít I? I donít really talk like this. Anyway, some language just suits, you know. Sometimes those words are the ones that fit. But anyway there they were all meeting at this place. They chose a place called Cananasis in the foothills of the Rockies in Alberta where itís incredibly beautiful country. Itís home to all kinds of wildlife and some of it is endangered. And I suppose it was more endangered by the presences of the 5000 soldiers and couple of thousand of police that they put in thereto make sure that no one but the wildlife got at the 8 famous hypocrites and there acolytes. We certainly didnít get anywhere near them anyway but thatís ok because who the hell wants to be near them. The song is called "Trickle Down" and itís a song I wrote with a young jazz pianist by the name of Andy Milne."
    -- transcribed from the 29 June 2002, Kate Wolf Festival concert. Submitted by Doug Stacey.

  • 29 June 2002 - Commenting on the G8 Summit in Calgary, 26 June 2002

    "Wavy mentioned to you that we were just up in Calgary where the G8, the 8 greatest hypocrites on earth, were meeting. Or at least, they would like to claim that title if they knew enough, making plans for everybody. It was interesting because there was, I mean the point of being there was to protest and there was a considerable amount of protesting going on but for once the cops actually got smart and they decided not to stop anybody from protesting. Instead of having riot cops out with shields and guns and all that they had bicycle cops. They still had guns you know but they looked less threatening they were in short pants and bicycle helmets right so you can kind of deal with that and what happened was no riot cops, no riot. Which was a great thing in one way and I was really proud to be part of a thing like that but the problem with it was vocalized by one media person that was heard to say 'if you guys have another one that is this dull we are not going to cover it any more'. So you are screwed if you do and screwed if you donít in the media world so Wavyís advice is right. I wouldnít say ignore them because itís good to know what someone is saying about something but donít be swayed by it. This is an old song that seemed timely when I wrote it and unfortunately it still does. Trouble with Normal
    -- transcribed from the 29 June 2002, Kate Wolf Festival concert. Submitted by Doug Stacey.

  • Help out! To add material to this section, see this page first.

    Issues Index

    This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.