This article was originally published in the Thompson Citizen which was established in June 1960. The Citizen covers the City of Thompson and Nickel Belt Region of Northern Manitoba. The city has a population of about 13,500 residents while the regional population is more than 40,000.
February 4, 2011 – by John Barker
Video or blog entries related to Vale, Thompson and USW
It’s all the buzz. Churchill riding NDP MP Niki Ashton said Feb. 1 that “award-winning documentarian Michael Moore agreed to a request” by her to “help share her message about the devastating decision by Vale to close the Vale smelter and refinery in Thompson.”
Said Ashton: “Moore’s team expressed great interest in Vale’s decision and the devastating impact it would have on Ashton’s home community of Thompson. Moore’s team plans to post Ashton’s YouTube video on his website as well as post a series of blog entries by Ashton and the people who are losing their jobs … Moore and his team pointed to the parallels between the Thompson story and the story of Flint, Michigan as told in Moore’s film Roger and Me.”
Ashton went on to say Tuesday, “The story of Thompson parallels what the people of Flint, Michigan faced. Our community is the latest victim. Our goal was to get our message spread globally. We are fighting back. We are happy to have Michael Moore help us get our message to the world.”
Ashton had announced – from Island Lake – on Jan. 20 that she had written to Moore “asking for his support in sharing the story of Thompson as it faces the devastating announcement made by Vale in November 2010 to close the Thompson Vale smelter and refinery.”
“We made a video to share our story – the video echoes the messages put forward by Michael Moore, that communities must be heard and that there must be justice,” said Ashton. “Michael Moore’s work has put communities like Flint, Michigan and others on the map sharing the story of how working people and their communities have been treated unfairly by their governments and corporations.”
Ashton said then she hoped Moore and others would watch the locally produced video “Our Community. Our Resource. Our Canada.” available on YouTube.
In the 24/7 media world, the story has gone viral almost. Jian Ghomeshi, host of Q on CBC Radio, ran a short clip the other day. CBC News, the Winnipeg Free Press, the USW in a news release entitled “Thompson and Me? Michael Moore Takes Up Fight Against Vale,” and rabble.ca with its “news for the rest of us.”
We’re including as many links as we can think of here. And when and if Michael Moore actually does put the material up on his website, including Ashton’s YouTube video “Our Community. Our Resource. Our Canada.” we’ll let you know.
And since we can’t be online 24/7, we invite readers to let us know the time and date of the first Vale posting we have heard so much about this week on Michael Moore’s website, either as a YouTube video or blog entry. Niki Ashton announced it at 12:42 p.m. Feb. 1. We’d check out how fast Moore’s website upload servers are in Flint, but then again, like Moore, they might not be there. The documentarian himself decamped years ago to live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.