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June in Review, Part II

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Section: Month in Review

July 3, 2009

June in Review, Part II

The Funk of Forty Thousand Years

by Dominion Staff

Abousfian Abdelrazik and his supporters celebrate in the airport upon his return to Toronto. Photo: Rick Cardella

Roberto Micheletti seized power in Honduras after President Manuel Zelaya was removed from Tegucigalpa to Costa Rica during a military coup. Thousands of Hondurans protested the coup, which took place on the same day as the Day of the National Survey for Constitutional Reform. In the lead-up to the coup, Fabio Ochoa, the regional co-ordinator promoting the Constitutional Reform consultations, was shot five times after leaving a television station. The coup was widely denounced and sanctions against Micheletti's military government were put into place.

State security forces killed 17 protesters as thousands of Iranians contested election results that favoured incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Though US "black operations" favouring opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in the immediate aftermath of the elections were not well documented, the US National Endowment for Democracy announced that they will sanction $20 million in funding for the opposition in Iran.

Abousfian Abdelrazik returned to Montreal after spending six years in Sudan, during which time he was jailed on the recommendation of CSIS, interrogated by the FBI, beaten and tortured, and later cleared of all charges. Abdelrazik spent the last two years in the Canadian embassy in Khartoum waiting to be issued a passport and be allowed to return to Canada. His return was made possible in part through grassroots organizing, especially through Project Fly Home. Since returning to Montreal he has remained under surveillance by the CSIS.

Thousands of people attempted to squat the Tempelhof airport in Berlin. Originally slated to become a park when it closed in 2008, developers now plan to transform it into condominiums. Photo: NervousEnergy

Canadian troops "stormed" the village of Salavat in Afghanistan. "Soldiers systematically smashed in the locked doors and searched every room, finding only a neat array of domestic items, including a baby crib, plastic flowers, sewing machines, laundry hanging to dry," wrote Colin Perkel, an embedded journalist.

The Tsuu T'ina First Nation voted against construction of the proposed Calgary ring-road on their territory. "This result reflects the passionate feelings Tsuu T'ina people have for their land," wrote Chief Sandford Big Plume after the vote.

Six staff were cut from L'Acadie Nouvelle, the only daily newspaper in New Brunswick that is not controlled by the Irving-owned Brunswick News Inc.

Alberta Health Services announced a $1.1 billion budget shortfall. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach said he would not consider introducing PST or raising taxes to collect money to boost health spending. Alberta Liberal Kent Hehr told Canadian Press, "The only way they're going to make up this deficit is to continue to delist services and otherwise privatize care,"

Thousands of activists in Germany occupied Berlin's shuttered Tempelhof Airport, to protest the city's plans to turn the 400-hectare area into luxury condominiums and large-scale developments. One-hundred-and-two people were arrested by police and 21 cops were injured.

The World Wildlife Foundation released its 2009 Climate Scorecard, ranking Canada the country doing the least out of G8 nations to reduce emissions. The report attributes Canada's high rates of pollution to the "expanding exploitation of the tarsands" in Alberta.

At least 18 people died due to a cyanide spill at Barrick Gold's North Mara Gold Mine in the Tarime District of Tanzania. "I have been shocked with what I have seen and lies by Barrick officials have really annoyed me. I am very sorry," said Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Khamisi Kagasheki, after he was allegedly misled by Barrick officials as to the whereabouts of the spill.

A car bomb exploded in a market in Kirkuk, in nothern Iraq, killing up to 40 civilians. The blast came as US troops began to withdraw from Iraqi cities.

Thirty multinational oil corporations, including Exxon, Shell, BP and Total, gathered in Baghdad to commence the first round of bidding on Iraq's oil service contracts. "We in the South Oil Company, that is all of its leadership, reject the first bidding round because it is against the interests of Iraq's oil industry," stated Fayad al-Nema, General Manager of Iraq's South Oil Company. A consortium led by BP won the bid for Iraq's largest oil field.

A Toronto resident was jailed in Kenya for not looking like she did in her four-year-old passport photograph. Suaad Mohamud Haji, a single mother, has not received assistance from the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, and faces another jail sentence unless Canadian officials intervene. Her 12-year-old son, Mohamed, remains with a neighbour in Toronto. The boy said he is being well taken care of, but that he misses his mother.

The US launched an additional Predator B drone to patrol the US-Canada border in the Great Lakes Region. The CBC reported that "In eastern Canada, the focus of the Predator is the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory," where Mohawks continued to peacefully reject the arming of Canada Border Services Agency agents on their territory.

Swine flu continued to impact people living on reserves in northern Canada. The government's delayed and unorganized response to the outbreaks of the flu that have primarily affected Indigenous people was "absolutely outrageous," according to Dr. Kim Barker, a health adviser to the Assembly of First Nations.

City employees in Toronto were on strike over Canada Day, leading to a cancellation of July 1 events. CUPE Locals 79 and 416 continued to negotiate as the strike moved into its 10th day.

Members of the Canadian Autoworkers Union blockaded a manufacturing plant in Brampton, Ontario. The move was prompted by fears that the owner of the plant would not give workers owed severance and vacation pay.

Workers in Windsor who are also on strike picketed city buildings in a show of strength throughout the city's downtown areas.

Employees at Bruce Power claimed that the nuclear plant located 250km northwest of Toronto was unsafe after a crane load of steel fell more than 20 metres, narrowly missing workers. "The place is old. Things are falling apart. It does jeopardize safety at times. In a nuclear plant, it's a huge thing," complained one worker who requested to remain anonymous.

Members of the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society and the Audre Lorde Project, which organizes the parade's People of Colour Contingent, were forcefully removed from the Manhattan Pride March by NYPD officers. “This was supposed to be a proud day for LGBT Native American people in New York City and in the end it was not!” said Kevin VanWanseele, a member of NE2SS.

Police in Fort Worth, Texas, raided a gay bar and arrested seven men, accusing them of "offensive" behaviour. The raid happened on the 40th anniversary of the riots at the Stonewall Inn. Chad Gibson, one of the seven, remains in critical condition due to sustained brain injuries.

Mayan villagers in San Miguel Ixtahuacan, Guatemala, set fire to mining equipment belonging to Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc. Their actions were in response to the unwillingness of the company to remove equipment from land that belongs to the community.

The Nak’azdli First Nation filed a petition against the province of British Columbia for their failure to properly consult the Nak’azdli before permitting a metal mine belonging to Terrane Metals, which is majority owned by Goldcorp. Chief Fred Sam said that his nation plans to serve Terrane with an eviction notice, "demanding that they remove all their infrastructure and equipment from Nak’azdli territory."

Canada's senior women's lacrosse team won the bronze medal at the World Cup in Prague in a 14:9 victory over England. It was the team's second medal in history: 27 years ago the team also won a bronze.

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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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