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Defunding the Myths and Cults of
Press for Conversion!
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Defunding Cold War Canada
Table of Contents
Canada’s anti-Red, Cold War
propaganda in context
Two ongoing propaganda
campaigns waged by the former “Captive Nations”
(1) "Axis of Hate":
Canada’s anticommunist monument
Black Ribbon Day 2013,
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper granted a federal gift of prime,
Algonquin Anishinabe territory
within Ottawa’s near-sacred parliamentary precinct, plus $1.5 million, to
construct a huge monument promoting virulent anticommunism. In 2021, Liberal's
added an additional $4 million to the monument's budget.
Calling themselves ‘Tribute to Liberty’ (TTL),
the organizers' Board of Directors is dominated by far-right East Europe
diaspora groups that are unified by their intense hatred of all communists.
This monument to vilify communists has been plagued by public opposition, mired by widespread controversy and faltered by extremely poor management. To salvage this highly-politicised propaganda project, Trudeau's Liberal government has quadrupled the Conservatives' initial promise of federal funding. The total cost of this long-delayed monument, which is still under construction, is now estimated to be $7.5 million. This includes $6 million from the government, even though such National-Capital-Commission monuments generally receive only half of their budgets from government sources. The most recent boost in federal funding was bestowed thanks to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who -- being long-associated with far-right Ukrainian organizations behind the monument -- bailed out the TTL's project with an additional boost of $4 million in the government's spring 2021 budget.1
So, who is behind this unpopular, government-funded monument?
Six of TTL’s nine Board of Directors3 represent far-right East European groups discussed in this issue of Press for Conversion!:
• Markus Hess
president, Estonian Central Council in Canada
executive member, Estonian World Council
founder, International Black Ribbon Day Committee (BRDC)
chair, Central and Eastern European Council
• Paul Grod
president., World Ukrainian Congress
former pres., Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
activist, Ukrainian Youth Association
• Alide Forstmanis
former president, Latvian National Federation in Canada
treasurer/secretary, BRDC (Kitchener-Waterloo).
vice president, Canadian Polish Congress (CPC) (see also)
former president, CPC (see also)
activist, Czech and Slovak Association of Canada
While the above groups all helped fund the TTL monument, its largest donors are the CPC ($25-$50,000) and the UCC ($25,000). Other donors include the Latvian National Federation in Canada, the League of Ukrainian Canadians (LUC) and LUC Women (see also), and the Lithuanian Canadian Community.
TTL lists these "communities"6 as its major funders:
$25 - 50,000
$25 - 50,000
|* It was not explained what the TTL means by the "Canadian" community.|
The TTL’s stated purpose is to "commemorate over 100 million victims of Communist terror."7 This exaggerates a wildly-inflated 94-million death toll in the TTL’s far-right bible, The Black Book of Communism, which has been criticized as nonsense by many scholars including Noam Chomsky. Even some of its own coauthors later denounced these figures as absurd. William Blum, a former US State Department staffer turned antiwar author, ridiculed the book’s use by the far-right to spread hateful lies:
During his ... election campaign, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi declared that communists in Mao’s China boiled babies to make fertilizer. He defended his remark by citing: The Black Book of Communism, a "history" of communism ... that is to the study of communism as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zionism" is to Judaism, or the collected statements of George W. Bush are to understanding why we are fighting in Iraq.8
Ironically, the jury which selected the designer of the anticommunist TTL monument in Ottawa included David Frum9 (the son of CBC’s Barbara Frum). It was David Frum, who as George W. Bush’s speechwriter, wrote the president's infamous "Axis-of-Evil" speech. Frum however initially formulated this epithet/catchphrase for America’s top enemies as "The Axis of Hate."10
References and notes
1.Joanne Chianello, "Feds to shell out $4M
more on Victims of Communism memorial," CBC News, Apr 19, 2021.
2. "Victims of Communism: Resounding Thumbs Down on what is considered a wasteful and unnecessary project," EKOS survey, May 22, 2015. http://bit.ly/EKOS-VOC
3. Board of Directors, TTL website http://bit.ly/TTLbod
4. "Our Donors," TTL website. http://bit.ly/TTL-D
(Note: Ranges are from "Our Donors" while other figures, from various reports by organizations, are corrected for inflation and rounded to nearest $1000.)
5. Canada's funding was increased by Chrystia Freeland from $2 million to $6 million in the spring 2021 budget . See Chianello, op. cit.
6. "Tibute to Liberty," Lithuanian Canadian News, Mar.
31, 2020. http://bit.ly/LCN-TTL
7. Tribute to Liberty Newsletter, Winter 2016. http://bit.ly/TTL-16
8. William Blum, "Some Things You Need To Know Before the World Ends," Anti-Empire Report, April 22, 2006. http://bit.ly/BlumAER
9. Design Competition, Tribute to Liberty website, 2016. http://tributetoliberty.ca/competition
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