All posts by Dan Bashaw

A new poetry collection by Theresa Wolfwood

…with many poems about Central America

Theresa Wolfwood. 2014. Smallberry Press, London. UK ISBN: 978-0993031502

The passion for social justice, human rights and the longing for peace illuminate many of Theresa’s poems. In some the passion is expressed by individuals: a child in Gaza recounts her own war story and tells readers…we are still here in Gaza. In El Salvador a baker stands up against international mining interests…strong from the resistance of bread dough. She expresses her love for the world she inhabits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, a world where all life in connected … rooted we are together in this brief borrowed paradise.

The poetry of Theresa Wolfwood also includes the intensely personal love poems for her lover …your back a mahogany guitar/ emerging from its case… and for her mother…She lay unconscious, a crumpled stained handkerchief/on a stretch of dirty snow.

Theresa Wolfwood is a poet of fine sensitivity and deep passion for the human condition, the world we travel through and our search for truth and meaning. Her poems are to be savoured and re-read as sign posts in all our journeys; her words, honest about tragedy and horror are nonetheless imbued with hope and optimism that …we will transform the power of desecration/ our song will restore the earth.

From the publisher
Theresa Wolfwood writes intelligent, compassionate poems that are able to bear witness to human suffering and resilience, distant and near, with the same intimacy, sweetness and persuasive power. Theresa has a steady open gaze, what Iris Murdoch called ‘the reality of compassion…. the ability to see clearly.” Heather Spears, artist and Governor-General’s Award winning poet, author of 11 books of poetry and 4 novels

“Theresa Wolfwood puts her passion for justice into action, presentations, photography, fabric banners and fortunately for us — also on the page. Her poetry sings us to a better world through lament, challenge, hope and above all, love. Through much of my life, Theresa’s work has been an inspiration.” Carolyn Pogue, author of Rock of Ages and After the Beginning

“Like ‘the steadfast scent of za’atar’, the poems of Theresa Wolfwood are the product of her big heart: passionate, encouraging and hopeful. Yes, her poems crave the beauty of justice in an unjust world. To her, the Palestinian pain is not a theme of solidarity but a first-hand personal experience in her life. To be political and convincing in the same time is difficult but this is exactly the achievement of these poems.” Mourid Barghouti, author of Midnight and other poems & I saw Ramallah

Available from:
Ivy’s Bookshop, Victoria, BC
Beit Zatoun shop, Toronto, Ontario
Arbutus Arts, Hornby Island, BC
On line on Amazon & other outlets

For bulk purchase please contact the publisher:

Communities in Resistance Art Opening and Poetry Night

The October 24th Cafe Simpatico was a moving and beautiful event
combining visual art, poetry, and song.

Sponsored by the Victoria-based Mining Justice Action Committee,
“Communities in Resistance” was a project to honour and recognize
communities impacted worldwide by the operations of Canadian-based
mining companies.

Outgoing Victoria Poet Laureate Janet Rogers opened the evening with
riveting readings from her most recent book, Peace in Duress.

Local poet and CASC member Terry Wolfwood read two pieces about
community leaders targeted for their resistance to Canadian mining in El

The event was also an opening for a two-week art show at the Little
Fernwood Gallery adjoining the Paul Phillips Hall where Cafe Simpatico
is held. Several of the artists were on hand to answer questions about
the moving pieces they produced.

Images from the event on the MJAC website,
and in a YouTube video by the
ExibitVic project.

Oro by Charlotte Bell

Celebration of LIfe: Gudrun Doherty

Gudrun Doherty, long-time CASC supporter, died last week after suffering a missive stroke. She would have been 88 next month.

Gudrun came faithfully to CASC events, provided hospitality, billeting and amazing decades of support to the Central America Support Committee and we honoured her, Bill, Andree & Bev, in September.

Andree, John, and Gudrun
Andree, John, and Gudrun

There will be a celebration of the life of Gudrun on Saturday, November 29, at the Fernwood Community Association 1923 Fernwood Road.

Doors open at 1 pm, the program starts at 1:30 pm and it will be followed by refreshments and and time to socialize & look at photos and displays. Donations of finger food are welcome.

Cafe Simpatico is pleased to present:

Cafe Simpatico is pleased to present:

An illustrated talk by Tessa Munro

November 28

Fernwood Community Association (FCA)

1923 Fernwood Road.

Tessa is a registered nurse and a graduate of Selkirk College. She has worked in both direct patient care and community health. Her interests lie in the intersection between activism, social movements, global health and nursing. She recently spent 4 months living and learning in Guatemala and Mexico.

Tessa will speak about her experiences with Nuevo Horizonte, a Guatemalan co-operative of ex guerrilla combatants, and its community and political work. She will talk about their initiatives and how she understands underlying social/political/economic forces that shape health and wellbeing in Guatemala and she will make links to increasing health challenges experienced in Canada and the same social/political/economic forces. She also will tell us about her experiences in a Zapatista community in Chiapas, Mexico and will speak about the work this movement does in community and how Zapatista resistance is linked to Guatemala and with our lives in Canada, particularly the indigenous resurgence here. We will be informed and inspired in our solidarity work by her words and images. Come and bring friends.

Doors open 7:15 pm and live music at 7:30 pm.

Presentation at 8 pm.

Admission by donation

Refreshments and fair trade organic coffee for sale.



Review: September 2014 Cafe Simpatico

CASC honoured our elders and long-time activists for solidarity at September’s cafe. John Hillian thanked Andree Scott for years of service on our board, translation and hospitality; Bev Wood for many years of working and organizing volunteers & refreshments at Cafe; Bill and Gudrun Doherty for their unflagging quiet work, hospitality and generosity. John presented them with lovely scrolls made by Nancy and then Andree cut the cake for all. Recently Bill & Gudrun have moved into the Cridge Centre and they welcome visors to their new home there. They donated the proceeds of their moving sale on Saturday to CASC, many of us were able to help at the sale & many CASC supporters bought some of Doherty’s treasures. The proceeds were more than $1000 and we again thank them for their generosity and support.

Communities in Resistance and the Art of Solidarity

Mining Justice Action Committee presents
Communities in Resistance
and the Art of Solidarity
Spoken word/music
evening and art reception
October 24, 2014 7:30 pm
Co-hosted by CASC Cafe Simpatico
Art show
October 16 – November 6, 2014
Both at Little Fernwood Gallery/Hall
1923 Fernwood Road, Victoria, BC
For more information: or

Sept. Cafe Simpatico: The Art of Resistance

Where: Fernwood Community Assoc. 1923 Fernwood Rd.

7:30pm Singalong with Nedjo Rogers & friends
8:00pm: Slide presentation by Theresa Wolfwood

What: A vivid portrayal of how people the world over have used their creative power to resist war, violence & injustice, including in Latin America & here on Vancouver Island

Refreshments served: Nicaraguan Fair Trade coffee
All welcome: admission by donation



Report on Revolutionary Poster Exhibition

At the end of May ,CASC members John Hillian, Deirdre Kelly and Char Bell installed the Revolutionary Poster Exhibition at the Cedar Hill Arts Centre, and the Bruce Hutchinson Library. The display was formed from the personal collections of some CASC members, of posters that had been made to raise awareness of various campaigns throughout the years. (the oldest dated back to Nicaragua in 1980.)

Never before seen except in the context of our own events, this was the first time that such a show would be on display for the general public in Victoria. The hope was that it would also serve to let the wider public know about the history of CASC, and publicize our current campaigns.

The formal opening of the exhibition took place on Friday, May 28th at the Cedar Hill Arts Centre. About 50 people attended, and were treated to some great authentic music from Latin America by local group Los del Sur. The group whose members are originally from Chile and Argentina, performed 2 sets, between which Deirdre Kelly, Juan Carlos Flores, and Peter Golden gave their spoken reflections on some of the subjects depicted in the posters. Deirdre talked specifically about Nicaragua, Carlos talked about Chile and El Salvador, and Peter talked about Human Rights, Guatemala, and Chiapas. John Hillian, who was the MC, acknowledged the support of the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria for allowing CASC to have our show in their space. He also made special recognition of long time CASC member Andree Scott, who was in attendance, and thanked her for her years of solidarity with the people of Central America.

The following Friday, Nedjo Rogers organized and hosted an evening of “Music and Solidarity”. The invited guests used the Café Gallery and Poster Exhibition as their back drop. The evening was spirited, and the voices of the singers resounded through the halls of the Art Centre.

The final event before the main display was taken down was a powerpoint slide presentation entitled “The Arts of Resistance” with CASC member Terry Wolfwood. Terry, also with the Barnard Boeker Foundation and Women in Black, shared many examples of Art that had been done by people in resistance in many places in the world. These ranged From mining protests in Southern Mexico, the struggles against military occupation in Palestine and the Western Sahara, to works promoting good treatment of the environment in Africa, and many more. Terry had documented and offered solidarity to all the people in the presentation, many of whom we in CASC had known about through campaigns that were the subject of Café Simpatico over the past several years. Terry also included in the slides many of her own works in resistance, brightly coloured banners sewn with slogans, some of the most striking examples in the whole talk.

We thank Terry, Nedjo, and all the other folks who helped make our Revolutionary Poster Exhibition a success.

CASC Café Simpatico April Report

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CASC presented an illustrated talk by Theresa Wolfwood, recently returned from Western Sahara refugee camps, entitled:

BEYOND the VEIL of SAND: The Saharawi people in exile & under occupation.

This little-known land is known as Spain’s last colony and as Africa’s only remaining colony. Theresa gave the historical background to the present state of injustice, exile and repression.

Spain occupied Western Sahara for nearly 100 years. When it pulled out in 1975, Morocco invaded and settled thousands of Moroccan colonists in the country. Morocco militarily drove out thousands of Saharawi civilians, who fled across the desert to Algeria, where they have lived in exile for thirty-nine years. The remaining population in Western Sahara is subjected to the brutal regime of Moroccan occupation.

For the complete story with photos, references and action suggestions please see:


This photo shows the sand wall, the berm that Morocco built to separate its occupied Western Sahara from a small liberated Saharawi strip and Algerian. It is heavily fortified and is seeded with 10 million landmines.


Aminatou Haider lives in occupied Western Sahara. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize for her leadership in non-violent resistance; she has been beaten, tortured and jailed.

Girls in refugee camp celebrate the 38th anniversary of the founding of the nation. Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Revolutionary Poster Exhibition


The Central America Support Committee with assistance from the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria are putting on a Revolutionary Poster Exhibition at 2 locations at the end of May.

The main exhibition will be held at the Café Gallery at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd. beginning May 28th and showing until June 11th. The other

location is the Bruce Hutchinson Library at Saanich Commonwealth Place, May 30th to July 11th.

There will also be 3 separate events during the exhibition.

  1. The opening of the Café Gallery exhibit will be Friday, May 30th from 7 – 9pm at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre 3220 Cedar Hill Rd. This will include a short program of speeches and  music. Refreshments will be available including CASC’s own Café Simpatico.
  2. Also at the Café Gallery, An Evening of Music and Solidarity will be hosted by Nedjo Rogers on June 6th from 7 to 9pm. Refreshments will also be available for this event.
  3. Also at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre Terry Wolfwood will present a power point presentation on The Art of Resistance, Sunday, June 8th from 2 to 4 pm.

The purpose of this exhibition is:

  1. to celebrate the history and the struggles of the people of Central America and Latin America as depicted in the various campaigns that the posters describe.
  2. to let the general public know about that history and the current work of CASC.

We look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events.