Blacklisting Makes News in Ottawa (And beyond)

by Franke James

collage of articles


ottawa headline
toronto star headline
vancouver sun headline
La Presse headline
Brazil headline

More than 20 articles have appeared in major media, blogs and environmental websites since news of my blacklisting broke on July 25th. See some of the news articles.

Franke… the phone is for you — Ottawa is calling….

But it wasn’t the Prime Minister’s office or Foreign Affairs wanting to straighten things out…

Because I REALLY would like to ask the Harper Government two questions:

  1. Why did the Canadian Government bully and intimidate an NGO?
  2. What right does the government have to warn an NGO not to exhibit my art?

The Government’s bullying and blacklisting is on public record now on the NGO’s website and in the Toronto Star. Warning an NGO not to exhibit my art is blacklisting!

As the NGO said in the Toronto Star, “I would expect that from the Putin government or a country like Kazakhstan, but I didn’t expect that from Canadians.”

Well, someone from Ottawa did call last week…

But the phone call wasn’t from a Canadian Official… It was reporter Jessica Smith from MetroNews in Ottawa, who heard about my plight on Twitter. She called to interview me about my crowdfunded billboard coming to the Nation’s capital. See her story “Feds tarred art show, artist says“.

Which led to CJAD radio in Montreal calling….

“What’s this about you being blacklisted and launching a billboard campaign?” So, on Saturday I’m being interviewed by Anne Lagacé Dowson. Anne is a former CBC Radio host with an impressive cultural and political bio.

Annoy the Heck out of Harper! Help fund my billboard in Ottawa!

harper blacklisting

Sixty-one people have pledged $3,202!  We are within $798 of being fully funded!! Wow!

But the clock is ticking… we only have two weeks left to raise the remaining $798.

Please consider throwing $20 in the pot. It’s a great way to annoy the heck out of Harper — and stand up for free speech.

Billboard Pledge Link: Help Franke James Fight the Blacklisting by the Canadian Government

The Writers’ Union of Canada Has My Back!

TWUC letter

The Writers’ Union doesn’t like writer’s getting muzzled. It has echoes of book burning, Orwellian  Thought Police, and lots of nasty implications for a so-called democratic country like Canada.

Greg Hollingshead, Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada, sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird (who is in charge of Canada’s Embassies around the world, and also knows all about the environment as he used to be Minister of the Environment, coincidentally at the same time my now contentious Dear Prime Minister visual essay was published).

“The Writers’ Union of Canada has an interest in ensuring the rights and freedoms of all writers, and Franke James is one of our members… It is disturbing to hear reports from the Croatian sponsor that Canadian officials have discouraged support for an artist for political reasons.  We believe that these charges warrant a fuller inquiry and ask to be informed of the results.”

Have you signed the CARE2 Petition?

Target: Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper
Sponsored by: Concerned Citizen

The goal is 5,000 — we need 1,000 more signatures. Please sign the Petition


“Because of pressure from the Government of Canada, artist Franke James was forced to cancel a planned tour of Europe. This not the first time the Harper Government has silenced those who blow the whistle on the country’s shocking environmental record.

“This kind of anti-democratic intimidation must stop. Insist the Government of Canada stop trying to muzzle free speech and free artistic expression.We the undersigned urge you to put an end to the Government of Canada’s blacklisting of climate change artist Franke James. Pressure on sponsors and potential sponsors of a planned European tour was so great that Ms. James was forced to cancel her tour. This is unworthy of a democracy…”

Dirty Oil Makes for Dirty Politics

Thanks to everyone for your help in spreading the word and raising awareness about this dirty oil/dirty politics blacklisting by my own government. Many of the people who have been “muzzled” are scientists who work in some way for the government. In my case, I am not “owned” by the Harper Government and am determined to use my creative voice to speak out.

How can you help? Here are a few ways:

  • Sign the Care2 Free Speech Petition
  • Make a pledge to support Franke’s Ottawa Billboard with LoudSauce.
  • Or pledge for the Ottawa Billboard with any major credit card using PayPal
  • Share this on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus

Related Posts by Franke James:

August 2nd: Silenced in Europe, Franke Gets Loud in Ottawa!
“My European show is cancelled, thanks to interference from Canada’s Harper Govt — which makes me mad. But I’m not going to let them silence me… I’ve decided some grassroots, guerilla tactics are in order…”

July 25th: Canadian Government Tries to Silence Franke James
“Who was the idiot who approved an art show by that woman, Franke James?”

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