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February in Review, Part I

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Issue: 58 Section: Month in Review

February 15, 2009

February in Review, Part I

Torches lit, tomatos in the city, temporary foreign workers under pressure

by Dominion Staff

Anti-Olympics protesters marched through Vancouver on February 12 to mark the one-year countdown to the Olympic Games. Photo: no2010.com

Over 1,000 members of the RCMP, West Vancouver police and the military carried out Exercise Silver, a training exercise in and around Vancouver in preparation for the 2010 Olympics. The Integrated Security Unit, in charge of policing during the Games, insisted there would be no US soldiers "on the ground" during the Games, but confirmed they would be in the air and waters along the BC coast. "I think you would agree with me that they are a moving target," said Bud Mercer, the head of the ISU, referring to anticipated protesters. The RCMP continued to approach and in some cases harass opponents of the Olympics.

One hundred fifty residents of Vancouver and surrounding areas marched with torches to protest the one-year countdown to the 2010 Olympics.

Neighborhood groups in Vancouver's Downtown East Side organized the second annual Poverty Olympics. More than 350 people took part, as participants and spectators, in events such as Housing Hurdles, Sweeping Poverty Aside (curling) and Wrestling for Community. The next Poverty Olympics will be timed to coincide with the 2010 Olympic Games.

Vancouver's Olympic Organizing Committee came under fire for booking 21,000 of the available 23,000 available hotel rooms in the city for use during the Games.

Nine gang-related shootings in Vancouver left an estimated six people dead.

A homeless person died under an overpass in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

In Victoria, BC, a young woman who was also homeless died when she was hit by a bus. An eye witness claimed she was pushed by a drunk male.

Manitoba's top doctor revealed that staff at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg ignored multiple requests to treat Brian Sinclair, a homeless man in a wheelchair who died in the emergency department after waiting 34 hours to see a doctor.

The father of a fourteen year old First Nations woman tasered by Ontario Police while she was jailed filed a lawsuit against the OPP. The girl was scratching at the paint in her jail cell, and “was not intoxicated, hysterical, excited nor in any way did her behaviour present a danger,” when officers tasered her, according to the suit. Twenty-five people have died after being tasered in Canada. The RCMP admitted that tasers can be lethal, and announced they will change the way the weapon is used.

Dozens of people protested police violence in Oakland, briefly shutting down the 12th Street Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station where 22-year-old Oscar Grant was killed by a cop on New Year's Day. Nine people were arrested, and riot police outnumbered protesters. The cop who killed Grant claimed that he got confused between his taser and his gun.

Twenty-seven Indigenous people from the Awa nation were killed in a massacre in southern Colombia. The massacre was carried out by an armed group believed to be the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). During the first 43 days of 2009, 58 Indigenous People were assassinated in Colombia.

Armed men visited the home of Gustavo Ulcué, a Nasa man active with the Communications Network in the North of Cauca, Colombia. The men threatened Ulcué's brother at gunpoint and pillaged his house, making off with his laptop. Ulcué is responsible for the website of the Association of Indigenous Councils of Colombia, Colombia's most popular alternative media source.

The International Federation of Journalists reported that 108 journalists were killed in 2008, down from 175 in 2007.

Torontonians pressured council to allow residents to grow food in city parks. Photo: Suzanne Long, CC2.0

Residents put the pressure on the city of Toronto to open more spaces in the city's parks for urban food gardens.

The Conservatives considered new legislation that will require internet service providers to grant police access to exchanges that happen on their servers. Services that could be accessed by police include Facebook, text messages and online voice calls.

Xstrata announced they will cut 686 jobs at their nickel operations in Sudbury, Ontario.

Hundreds of people rallied in support of the 300 laid-off workers from the Kings County poultry processing plants in Kentville, Nova Scotia. One hundred eighty seven of the workers had not received their severance or vacation pay.

People working in Canada as temporary foreign workers felt the economic downturn faster than other sectors in Canada. “The sky has started to fall on all construction workers in Alberta, but it’s fallen first and fastest on the temporary foreign workers. There’s no doubt,” said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

After receiving US$13.4 billion in cash from the US and negotiating a $3 billion loan from the government of Canada, General Motors announced they will be cutting 10,000 jobs worldwide.

The government of Norway withdrew a $200 million pension fund investment in Barrick Gold after an ethical review. "The company's assertions that its operations do not cause long-term and irreversible environmental damage carry little credibility," declared the panel responsible for the ethical review.

Australia's New South Wales (NSW) Land and Environment Court handed down a decision in favour of Wiradjuri Traditional Owner Neville Chappy Williams, with an injunction which prevented the expansion of Barrick Gold's mine in Lake Cowal.

Pressure against Salvadorans who oppose Pacific Rim's El Dorado mine in Cabañas, El Salvador, continued to mount. A high profile activist was robbed of documents and cameras in what some perceive to be a threat to discontinue his opposition to the mine.

An International Trade Union Confederation report on core labour condemned the Guatemalan government for its failure to investigate the murders of trade unionists. The report charged the government with failing to implement ILO Conventions, and showed that, due to legal deficiencies and fierce intimidation from many employers, trade union membership makes up only about three per cent of the country's work force.

Supporters of Jean Bertrand Aristide were prevented from registering as candidates in upcoming elections in Haiti. Elections for the 12 open seats in the senate are scheduled for April 19.

Dockworkers in South Africa refused to unload Israeli shipments coming into port near Durban in solidarity with Palestinians. "If it's an Israeli product, we're going to boycott it, plain and simple," said Randall Howard, General Secretary of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union.

Kyrgyzstan announced plans to close a US military base in Manas, just outside the capital city of Bishkek. "[The base] is highly important to US forces' plans to double troop numbers in Afghanistan and key to seeking alternative supply routes that bypass Pakistan, where there is significant security risk," said Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri. The US government is allegedly considering a base in Uzbekistan as a backup plan.

Bomb blasts coordinated by the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed 20 people. President Obama planned to send more US troops to Afghanistan in the short term.

Maori protesters tussled with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key during "National Day." The activists claim the Kiwi government has not honoured the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed in 1840.

International Trade Minister Stockwell Day tabled the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement. It will sit before parliament for 21 days before the enacting legislation is drafted.

Protests against the dismissal of the mayor of Madagascar's capital city were repressed by the national government, leaving at least 28 people dead. Over 100 members of the opposition, who support Andry Rajoelina, the former mayor of Antananarivo, have been killed so far in 2009. The defense minister of Madagascar resigned because of the killings.

US President Barack Obama stated that salaries for executives at firms being bailed out by the government must not exceed $500,000.

A study revealed that the US government spent $52 billion on nuclear weapons in 2008. That amount is $12.5 billion more than the US spent on foreign aid and diplomacy during the same time period.

The Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab admitted that 67 computers and a blackberry have gone missing from the facility and its employees.

Environment Canada charged tar sands giant Syncrude under the Migratory Birds Convention Act for the deaths of more than 500 ducks in the company's tailings pond.

Another study found high rates of cancer among residents of Fort Chipewyan, a community of 1,200 downstream from the tar sands.

The Dogwood Initiative, an environmental group, received a letter threatening legal action from the Royal Canadian Mint over the their black loonie campaign. The group has made 20,000 decals that stick on to the loonie, making the loon appear to be swimming in oil, and linking to the website notankers.ca.

Cyclists shifted gears electronically at the Tour of California, bringing the bicycle into the electronic age. Critics bemoaned the loss of "simplicity, independence and autonomy" for the human-powered machine; skeptics worried about battery failure during the race.

Canada's "unorthodox" cyclist Svein Tuft competed in the Tour of California. Tuft is a high school drop out, and spent years in the wilderness on a thrift-shop bike, resisting professional cycling because of its doping rap.

Netflix's CEO asked President Obama to increase his personal taxes.

Identical twins escaped being hanged on drugs charges in Malaysia, due to confusion over which one was guilty. "I can't be sending the wrong person to the gallows," said High Court judge Zaharah Ibrahim. "Even the DNA evidence could not prove anything..."

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Comments

Instead of making noise

Instead of making noise outside we must find ways on how we are going to survive the present crisis that our country has. Earning money nowadays is not easy especially that almost all companies today have done massive lay-offs. Luckily, there are some people who find ways on how to earn extra money. That’s why during these days we need to find ways on how to earn extra money. Earning money is not so easy. Today through the use of the Internet some people find ways on how to earn money online. Affiliate marketing is a huge thing on the web. Affiliate marketing is where a person does third party marketing for a particular website, which usually maintains a network of affiliates. Affiliates market to niches, and get rewarded for referrals. It could be anything that you are marketing. You could be selling snowboarding equipment, payday loans, what have you – but as an affiliate, every successful referral sale gets you a percentage of the proceeds. Some people make some serious cash doing it, too, and if you know what you're doing, you don't have to work that hard to make good money. It could be worth your time and maybe some payday loans to start affiliate marketing yourself.

We must take financial responsibility for ourselves

Christy-

I couldn't agree more. Now more than ever we must take financial responsibility for our own futures, and the internet provides more opportunity for everyone on earth than ever before in the history of mankind. (And, I'm not exaggerating with that statement either!)

We've been heading down a "personal responsibility" route ever since 401(k)'s started becoming so popular and the number of traditional pension plans have declined. However, as we see especially in times like this, saving money tax-free and blindly gambling into mutual funds just isn't going to cut it. We need more.

That is why I've been intensely studying internet marketing (including affiliate marketing that you mention) for the past year. I truly look at residual, online income as part of my pension. Those of us that take the time to learn about things like this, apply it, and create substantial (or even supplemental) incomes will be fine, and those that don't will be left behind to a large degree.

It is more important now than ever to keep our heads up and keep moving forward, and learn to make money online in some capacity.

Mike

International Trade Union

International Trade Union Confederation report on core labour condemned the Guatemalan government for its failure to investigate the murders of trade unionists. The report charged the government with failing to implement ILO Conventions, and showed that, due to legal deficiencies and fierce intimidation from many employers, trade union membership makes up only about three per cent of the country's work force.

"Nice post, I particularly like this topic"

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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