(Thesis repeat from a previous issue)

Editor’s Notes

True North No Gas Fridays in the
best tradition of passive resistance

Way off in the distance, down Big Oil way, there is an email post in circulation that mocks No Gas Days. It doesn’t mention True North No Gas Fridays but a copy of the email landed on my desktop from a True North subscriber on the west coast. The missive argues that No Gas Days are useless because people will need to buy gas anyway. It says that it would be better to organize boycotts of specific companies.

This piece of mock may as well have been written by Big Oil to crush public will to resist gouging at the pumps. I know boycotts against specific companies have a record of failing. Most of the public are not emotionally involved in a conflict, or they lack a clear intellectual understanding of the issues at stake, or they simply forget that there is a boycott. Any advertiser knows that with very few exceptions it takes millions of dollars and endless brainwashing to get people to buy this or that, or to do this or that.

Big Oil knows that the general public doesn’t have the money, the energy, the time, to hit back at the pumps, so they circulate emails that scorn No Gas Days, and encourage a few hapless individuals to hammer their heads against rock in a futile boycott of a specific company, thereby leaving everyone discouraged. Big Oil is just too big to fight.

But history shows us that there hasn’t been anything that has been too big to fight if people take a long view and develop sensible strategy and tactics.
True North No Gas Fridays is in the best traditions of passive resistance. First of all the only thing you have to do is not buy gas on Friday. That’s an expression of passive will that doesn’t call people out to picket lines or anything else that would prove inconvenient or even embarrassing to the inexperienced. Believe me, as more and more people express their dissatisfaction at the callous way Big Oil treats them, the latter will sit up and take notice.

Canada is a democracy. In countries ruled by theocratic or military dictatorships citizens have risen up in violent protest against gasoline gouging. Sure the conditions were and are more complicated than that. They’ve had a lot more grievances to express but against the threat of guns and clubs they’ve made their case. Surely Canadians can express their opposition to callus manipulation by Big Oil by taking a baby step in defence of their dignity by refusing to buy gas on Fridays.

When we number in the thousands and even millions, Big Oil and governments provincial and federal will take time to treat us with respect and stop the gouging that continues against a background of record profits.

There’s a principle in business: charge what the market will bear. It’s overdue for us to say to Big Oil, “We’re mad as hell, and we won’t take it anymore.” And a first step to show it is to join True North No Gas Fridays.

See you Monday when we’ll bring you a special report on high-class gangsterism in the struggle for control of Iraq oil.
Looking forward

Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective