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Conflicts among Churchgoers in Ukraine – Non-Peaceful Transfers to the OCU not Covered by Media and State

Not all of these transfers were voluntary – in some cases they were undertaken by local authorities or far-right organizations.

The Duran

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Submitted by Nadia Bazuk…


Interactive maps at several websites show that within three months there have been more than 500 voluntary transfers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate’s (UOC-MP) parishes to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine recently created by Patriarch Bartholomew and president Poroshenko. The UOC-MP parishes total 12,000, so this is a significant value. However, according to the OHCHR Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019, not all of these transfers were voluntary – in some cases they were undertaken by local authorities or far-right organizations, and those members of the UOC-MP who didn’t want to join the OCU faced threats.

Though, the number of transfers vary. According to the official statistics of the UOC-MP, 36 parishes transferred voluntarily; 24 were seized, which will be challenged in court; and there were 200 failed attempts to seize a parish. Every interactive map shows a different number of transfers, most of them cannot be verified.

Despite Poroshenko’s electoral campaign in the country’s regions and an active information campaign promoting the OCU, the majority of the UOC-MP faithful don’t want to change their denomination and consider the OCU “non-blessed” and “uncanonical”. The local authorities’ attempts to initiate an “accelerated” transfer to the OCU lead to conflicts in congregations. UOC-MP’s media have covered dozens of incidents, with videos and eyewitness testimonies, when a religious community, which allegedly joined the OCU, claims that it is unwilling to do so, and after that it is deprived of its church and has to gather at home or by the church walls in the freezing cold. In some cases, to prevent trespassing and the church’s seizure, the faithful stay on twenty-four hour duty in it for several weeks.

We estimated that of 414 transfers mentioned in the media as of mid-March at least 92 entailed conflicts, which demonstrates the differences in the OCU and UOC-MP supporters’ views on the incidents.

The Ukrainian non-profit organization the Union of Orthodox Journalists (UOJ), which openly supports the UOC-MP, publishes those views that are not represented in the state-run or mainstream Ukrainian media supporting the OCU.

There are 58 cases of the authorities’ interference; 16 times non-residents were involved in voting, agitation and seizures; 18 times “transfers” were carried out under far-right groups’ pressure. 38 times religious communities held their own meetings and decided to stay within the UOC-MP. There were 31 cases of local communities meeting without the laity. On the pretext of implementing the local community’s decision to change the jurisdiction, the OCU supporters broke and changed the locks in 19 churches. Nine UOC-MP communities complained of provocations, seven conflicts led to fights, churchgoers of six parishes faced open threats. Moreover, the media reported on four “transfers” of the UOC-MP churches that officially had no communities.

Here are 18 cases covered by the Union of Orthodox Journalists in English:

  1. Zhitomir region, Baranovka town, temple of the Nativity of the Virgin

https://spzh.news/en/news/60307-verujushhije-baranovki-sovershajut-molitvennoje-stojanije-protiv-gonenij-na-upc

  1. Rovno region, Bushcha village, St. Michael church

https://spzh.news/en/news/60400-glava-zdolbunovskoj-rga-ja-imeju-pravo-inventarizirovaty-imushhestvo-cerkvi

  1. Chernovtsy region, Vaslovovtsy village, Holy Dormition church

https://spzh.news/en/news/60382-na-bukovine-aktivisty-pcu-ustroili-provokacii-v-pyati-selah

  1. Transcarpathian region, Veliky Bychkov village, Holy Protection temple

https://spzh.news/en/news/60286-v-khustskoj-jeparkhii-dejateli-pcu-prisvoili-antimins-upc-i-uchinili-provokaciju

  1. Zhitomir region, Vorsovka village, St. Nicholas Church

http://spzh.news/en/news/59141-perehod-v-pcu-v-sele-vorsovka-svyashhennik-v-bolynice-i-opechatannyj-khram

  1. Zhitomir region, Dobryn village, Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God

https://spzh.news/en/news/60336-obshhinu-s-dobryny-pereveli-v-pcu-ignoriruja-rezulytaty-prihodskogo-sobranija

  1. Vinnitsa region, Kotiuzhany village, St. Nicholas church

http://spzh.news/en/news/59182-glava-murovanokuriloveckoj-rga-na-vinnichine-vedet-propagandu-v-polyzu-pcu

  1. Rovno region, Malaya Liubasha village, Holy Preotection church

https://spzh.news/en/news/60091-verujushhije-rovenskogo-sela-podali-v-sud-na-chinovnikov-iz-za-perevoda-v-pcu

  1. Chernovtsy region, Mikhalcha village, Holy Dormition church

https://spzh.news/en/news/60079-jeshhe-dva-prihoda-upc-prisojedinilisy-k-kruglosutochnoj-molitve-v-zashhitu-very

  1. Volyn region, Nichegovka village, St. Michael church

http://spzh.news/en/news/59390-na-volyni-obshhiny-upc-otstaivajut-svoih-khramy-ot-aktivistov-pcu

  1. Chernigov region, Olenovka village, Holy Ascension church

http://spzh.news/en/news/59212-v-olenovke-s14-srezali-zamki-i-zahvatili-khram-upc

  1. Volyn region, Peski village, St. George’s Church

https://spzh.news/en/news/60188-storonniki-pcu-srezajut-zamki-s-khrama-upc-v-sele-peski-volynskoj-oblasti

  1. Ivano-Frankivsk region, Pokhovka village, Holy Annunciation temple

https://spzh.news/en/news/59224-obshhinu-upc-s-pohovka-pereveli-v-pcu-bez-jeje-voli

http://spzh.news/en/news/59444-v-sele-pohovka-chinovniki-pomogli-raskolynikam-zahvatity-khram-upc

  1. Volyn region, Piatidni village, Holy Protection church

https://spzh.news/en/news/60457-volyny-perehod-v-pcu-vozglavil-fermer-i-dobryj-drug-prezidenta

  1. Chernovtsy region, Tovtry village, Holy Dormition church

https://spzh.news/en/news/60079-jeshhe-dva-prihoda-upc-prisojedinilisy-k-kruglosutochnoj-molitve-v-zashhitu-very

https://spzh.news/en/news/60382-na-bukovine-aktivisty-pcu-ustroili-provokacii-v-pyati-selah

  1. Transcarpathian region, Yasinia village, temple of St. George the Victorious

http://spzh.news/en/news/59867-na-zakarpatyje-rejdery-ugrozhajut-svyashhenniku-upc-pohishhenijem-syna

  1. Chernovtsy region, Zadubrovka village, church of Archstratigus Michael

https://spzh.news/en/news/60382-na-bukovine-aktivisty-pcu-ustroili-provokacii-v-pyati-selah

  1. Volyn region, Zhidychin village, St. Nicholas church

https://spzh.news/en/news/60356-v-szhidychin-na-volyni-zahvachen-khram-upc-jesty-postradavshije-sredi-prihozhan

You can download the full list of articles available in Russian and Ukrainian here.

Obviously, the truth is not that visible in this competition of the UOC-MP and pro-government media. But the attitude of such sites as the UOJ is noteworthy – at least because they are at risk covering the events from a UOC-MP supporter’s point of view. A number of times the UOJ has been subjected to pressure (which was mentioned in one of the OHCHR Reports) from far-right organizations like the racist C14 whose members set the UOC-MP churches on fire and whose leader Yevhen Karas doesn’t is proud of his ties with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Pressure on opposition journalists and activists, their murders are quite common in Ukraine – see the cases of Ruslan Kotsaba, Oles Buzina or the recent blatant murder of Kateryna Handzyuk who stood against corruption. The UOJ’s reports on the churchgoers’ rights infringement aren’t sporadic and are based on the evidence of various people from across the country, with the names and surnames of those involved in the incidents.

Trustworthy are the facts of the OHCHR, which claims that in a few cases the transfers were not voluntary and were initiated by the state or local authorities or even members of extreme right-wing groups, who didn’t belong to those religious communities. Local authorities are collecting the lists of UOC-MP parishes that can “voluntarily change the jurisdiction”. For example, Lviv region has a plan of “voluntary transfers” for next several years!

As it is said in the document, the authorities are to “meet with communities” of the UOC-MP that hesitate whether to join the UOC – probably to exert pressure on them. Those communities which are expected to oppose transfers are marked as “problematic” ones.

Amidst pressure from authorities, it’s no wonder that there aren’t many UOC-MP-wide “voluntary transfers”, and the peak of activity seems to have passed.

Here is a confirmation of another piece by the UOJ about activities across the country. Local departments of Ukraine’ Ministry of Defense are collecting information on upcoming transfers upon the pretext of promoting public awareness. The role of the army is unknown but some members of UOC-MP communities have complained that the local authorities threaten with recruiting them and their relatives to send them to the frontline in Donbas.

It is also noted in the OHCHR Report that on 17 January 2019, Ukraine’s Parliament adopted amendments setting out a procedure for voluntary change of denomination by religious communities. The adopted law No. 2673 indeed contains positive aspects. The decision on joining the OCU (“the change of religious jurisdiction”) is now made by two thirds of a religious community. “Membership in a religious community is based upon the principles of free declaration of intent, and also on the regulations of the charter a religious community”.

Unfortunately, it’s not always observed. Quite often local authorities arrange a voting of the territorial community according to the approved “plan of transfers” with several dozens of the town or settlement residents and claim that it was the meeting of the religious community. In that case the “transfer” of the community from the UOC-MP to OCU is approved by members of another religious community/confession or even atheists. Then, religious community meeting protocols are forged, and the local authorities reregister the UOC-MP parish as an OCU one.

Some votings were arranged secretly, without any notice to the UOC-MP community. There were incidents when UOC-MP followers were restricted from attending the meeting. If the UOC-MP community held its own meeting and as a legal entity decided to stay in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate, such vote was ignored by the authorities.

On the ground of the territorial community’s decision, activists often accompanied by OCU priests, radicals and/or the local authorities demand that the keys of the church should be handed over or simply seize them. Provocations involving those who have nothing to do with the religious or territorial community are common. Mass brawls are also take place quite frequently but the police don’t interfere, and often side with the OCU and injure the UOC-MP faithful.

Often the church remains closed – because the UOC-MP community fears that if opened, it will be captured by the OCU supporters, so churchgoers pray outside; or it is sealed by the authorities which intend to resolve the conflict. After that the UOC-MP opponents break in the church with the consent of the authorities, change the locks on the pretext of “inventorying”, and the church is handed over to the OCU.

The active involvement of the authorities is fostered by president Poroshenko’s electoral campaign since he needs a quick and tangible result of the “unification of the Orthodoxy” in Ukraine (that’s what the OCU was created for). But the UOC-MP believers witness an unlawful and violent process, so the tension is rising.

Thus, on 10 March about 600 people participated in a mass conflict between the UOC-MP and OCU followers in the town of Baranovka in Zhitomir region.

After the start of the war in Donbas, illegal fire arms in Ukraine are estimated at hundreds of thousands of pieces. If Kyiv doesn’t ease its pressure on the UOC-MP communities, it’s just a matter of time before a large-scale inter-confessional conflict begins.

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Normski1You can call me AL Recent comment authors
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Words fail me. The World must awake and eliminate the US.

No planes that can fly further than 1,000 miles.

No Ships that can fly further than 1,000 miles.

Eliminate all external communication systems to the outside World, with the exception of 1 news program for all to see outside.

Cut them off from the civilised World throwing in the poodles from Israel, The Ukraine and other outlets of hatred and war.

ENOUGH NOW, for once the majority will rule.

Normski
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It seems to me the US is doing a pretty good job of isolating itself from the rest of the world as it is.

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Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them.

The Duran

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Via VoltaireNet.org:


Germany’s armed forces are currently studying the possibility of acquiring nuclear bombers capable of using the new American B61-12 atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself plans to deploy these new atomic bombs in the German region of Eifel, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The German air force already has multi-tasking Tornado warplanes, which are already capable of deploying American atomic bombs. But those aircraft are going to be replaced, possibly, by European-developed Eurofighters, or by United States manufactured F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Either way, the warplane that Germany selects will have to be equipped with the AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control) system, which allows the use of the new American atomic bombs and enables the regulation of the power of the explosion as well as at what height the bombs explode after they are launched.

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them, and believes that this gives it the right to sit on the UN Security Council sharing the permanent member position occupied by France.

Both countries would thus represent the European Union, under the auspices of NATO.

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1st since Notre Dame: Yellow Vests back despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

‘Yellow Vests’ march in Paris for 23rd straight week.

RT

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Via RT…


Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

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O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Canadian visitors to Washington sometimes wonder why their embassy stands at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The answer? To be close to where Canada’s laws are made.

A main showcase of Ottawa’s craven servility to Washington is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s complicity in the US-led regime change operation being conducted against Venezuela. Not content with ruining his own country with multiculturalism, polysexualism, and the like, Li’l Justin has acted in lockstep with Big Brother to the south inslapping sanctions on Venezuelan officials and serving as a US agent of influence, especially with other countries in the western hemisphere:

‘A Canadian Press report published at the end of January revealed that Canadian diplomats worked systematically over several months with their Latin American counterparts in Caracas to prepare the current regime-change operation, pressing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s right-wing opponents to set aside their differences and mount a joint challenge to the government. “The turning point,” said the Canadian Press [Global News], “came Jan. 4, when the Lima Group … rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming January 10 inauguration, while recognizing the ‘legitimately elected’ National Assembly.” The report cited an unnamed Canadian official as saying the opposition “were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push somebody like Juan Guaidó.”

‘One day prior to Maduro’s inauguration, [Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia] Freeland spoke to Guaidó, the newly-elected National Assembly speaker, by telephone to urge him to challenge the elected Venezuelan president.’

But that’s not all. Canada is out front and center in the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies’ war on China’s Huawei – with direct prompting from US legislators and intelligence.  As explained by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell, it’s not that Huawei violated any law when circumventing US sanctions but it is the US that is acting illegally by unilaterally imposing sanctions that were never agreed to internationally. But that’s OK – when it comes to Washington’s claims of jurisdiction over every human being on the planet, Justin and Chrystia are happy to oblige!

Also, let’s not forget Chrystia’s role in keeping the pot boiling in Ukraine. It would of course be cynical (and probably racist) to attribute anything relating to Ukraine to her own interesting family background …

To be fair, the lickspittle attitude of Canadian officials towards their masters south of the 49th parallel is hardly unique in the world. Also to be fair, it’s natural and would be generally beneficial for Canada to have a positive relationship with a powerful, kindred neighbor rather than a negative one. Think of Austria’s ties to Germany, or the Trans-Tasman relationship of Australia and New Zealand, or the links that still exist between Russia and Ukraine despite efforts by the west to set them against each other (as, for example, Spain and Portugal were at loggerheads for several centuries, when the latter was a loyal ally of Spain’s foe, Great Britain, to such an extent that Portugal was sometimes shown on maps and globes in the same pink as British possessions; a similar situation existed between Argentina and British ally Chile).

A close and mutually advantageous relationship is one thing, but Canada’s de facto loss of independence is another. Not only does the US control Canada’s diplomacy, military, and intelligence but also her financial system (with, among other levers, the notorious FATCA law, which places Canadian institutions under the supervision of the IRS, with Canada’s revenue service acting, care of the Canadian taxpayer, as a cat’s paw for not only the IRS but the NSA and other snooping agencies). As explained by one Canadian nationalist (yes, they do exist!), the redoubtable David Orchard, trade is also a critical issue:

‘Canada …, after almost three decades of “free trade” with the U.S., has more than $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt, large deficits at every level, no national child or dental care, high university tuition, miserly old age pensions, years of massive budget cuts, and giveaway prices for its exports of oil, gas, timber and minerals.

‘For 150 years, great Canadian leaders have warned that without an economic border with the United States, we would soon no longer have a political border.

‘We once owned the world’s largest farm machinery maker, Massey Harris, headquartered in Toronto; built the world’s largest and most respected marketer of wheat and barley, the Canadian Wheat Board, based in Winnipeg; created a great transcontinental railway system, beginning in Montreal, which tied our country together; and saw Vancouver’s shipyards produce the beautiful Fast Cat ferry.

‘Instead of spending hundreds of billions on foreign-made machinery, electronics, automobiles, ships, fighter jets and passenger aircraft (even payroll systems for federal employees!), we can build our own, both for the domestic and export market.

‘We once designed and built the world’s most advanced jet interceptor, the Avro Arrow, so we know it can be done. [Emphasis added] With Canada’s resources and ingenuity, it could create a prosperous, domestically controlled economy that would give Canadians multiple benefits, security and pride of ownership. All that is required is some of the will that drove our ancestors to create an alternate power in North America. As George-Étienne Cartier, the great Québécois Father of Confederation, put it, “Now everything depends on our patriotism.”’ [Note: Orchard is the author of the must-read book The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. To begin at the beginning, in the late 1680s, as part of English-French rivalry in North America, Massachusetts Puritans sought to root out the nest of popish deviltry known as Quebec. Following their disastrous 1690 defeat, they decided to fight Satan closer to home by hanging witches. The rest, as they say, is history…]

Scratch a Canadian patriot and you’ll hear about the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. As a watershed moment in Canada’s downward slide into subservience, the cancellation of what by all accounts was a magnificent aircraft – and a snapshot of what Canada’s international competitiveness (including in advanced aerospace) could have looked like had it been able to develop independently – might have been the point of being sucked into the American vortex. As noted by one response to my suggestion that Ottawa’s stance on Venezuela amounted to Canada’s annexation by the US: “Canadian here…unfortunately, the above is true (not literally of course, but in practice). It goes back even before the time of Diefenbaker, who canceled our Avro Arrow program on demand from the US – thus destroying our aerospace industry and causing brain drain to the US/Europe.”

To this day, the decision of then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the Arrow project (and “put 14,528 Avro employees, as well as nearly 15,000 other employees in the Avro supply chain of outside suppliers, out of work”) on what came to be known as “Black Friday,” February 20, 1959, remains controversial and shrouded in mystery. A mix of budgetary, political, technological, and personality factors has been cited, none of them conclusive. Pressure from the US side, including unwillingness of Washington to purchase a Canadian aircraft when the US could pressure them to buy American planes and missiles, no doubt played a key role: “Instead of the CF-105, the RCAF invested in a variety of Century Series fighters from the United States. These included the F-104 Starfighter (46 percent of which were lost in Canadian service), and (more controversial, given the cancellation of the Arrow) the CF-101 Voodoo. The Voodoo served as an interceptor, but at a level of performance generally below that expected of the Arrow.”

While we may never know reliably why Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow or how Canada or Canadian industry might have followed a different path, there’s no question of the superior capabilities of the Arrow. As it happens, one of the few pilots who had a chance to test the Arrow in an impromptu friendly dogfight is now-retired USAF fighter pilot Col. George Jatras, later US Air Attaché in Moscow (also, this analyst’s father). As he related in 2017:

‘I’ve received a number of messages in the last couple days about this bird, including some that say it may be revived. I don’t know how The Arrow would compare to today’s aircraft, but I had a first-hand lesson on how it faired against the F-102.

‘In 1959, I was stationed at Suffolk County AFB on Long Island with the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron. We had an informal exchange program with a Canadian fighter squadron stationed near Montreal. From time to time, two or four aircraft from one of the squadrons would fly to the other’s base on a weekend cross country.

‘On one such exchange, I was #3 in a four ship formation led by [former Tuskegee airmanErnie Craigwell (I don’t recall who the other pilots were). As we entered Canadian airspace, cruising at about 40,000 ft., we spotted a contrail well above our altitude (probably at 50,000ft.) and closing very fast.  As the other aircraft appeared to be passing by, we could clearly see the delta shaped wing and knew it was the Avro Arrow that the Canadian pilots had told us about. Then, instead of just passing by, he rolled in on us! Ernie called for a break and we split into elements. When we talked about the encounter afterwards we all agreed that our first thought was, “This guy is in for a surprise; he doesn’t know that he’s taking on the F-102.”  Well, we were the ones in for a surprise. Even with two elements covering each other, not one of us could get on his tail. His power and maneuverability were awesome.  After he had played with us for a few minutes, like a cat with four mice, he zoomed back up to about 50K and went on his way. What an aircraft! What a shame that it never went into production.’

What is perhaps most curious about the Arrow’s demise is that “everything was ordered brutally destroyed; plans, tools, parts, and the completed planes themselves were to be cut up, destroyed, scrapped and everything made to disappear.”  Why? Well, security of course! Don’t engage in conspiracy theories …

The Canadian national anthem finishes with a pledge: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” It should be noted that understandably resentful Loyalists fleeing the US following the American Revolution were a major contribution to the growth of Canada’s English-speaking population. American troops – back when we were the plucky underdog fighting the mighty British Empire – invaded Canada in 1775 and during the War of 1812 but were defeated. Relations got testy during the American Civil War as well, and even afterwards the US was wary of a proposed united “Kingdom of Canada,” hence the choice of the name “Dominion” in 1967. If today’s Canadians think we-all down here don’t know whom they’ve mostly had in mind to “stand on guard” against all this time, they’d better think again.

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence – eh?

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