jump to content
In the Network: Media Co-op Dominion   Locals: HalifaxTorontoVancouverMontreal

Stuart Neatby's blog

June 19, 2009 Weblog:

UN Guns Down One, Opens Fire on Crowd at Funeral of Revered Haitian Priest

clip0000.jpeg

From the Haiti Information Project
Photos: UN arrests unidentified protestor minutes before opening fire on crowd during funeral for Father Gerard Jean-Juste

HIP - Port au Prince, Haiti -One protestor was killed as UN forces opened fire during a funeral for Catholic priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste. A human rights advocate and well-known supporter of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his Lavalas movement, Jean-Juste died on May 27 in a Miami hospital from complications following a stroke and long respiratory illness.

Eyewitnesses report today's shooting incident involving the UN began after mourners began chanting slogans for the return of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide outside of Haiti's national cathedral.

One of the protestors was seen inadvertently passing through a security barrier erected by UN forces and was detained. As the UN arrested him hundreds more rushed past the barrier and resumed chants for Lavalas and Aristide.

According to witnesses, UN troops on the scene began shooting indiscriminately at the crowd killing a young man identified only as "Junior" from the neighborhood of Solino.

Hundreds more protestors then took the body of the victim to the front of Haiti's National Palace where they began chanting, "Down with Preval" and "Long live Aristide."

» continue reading "UN Guns Down One, Opens Fire on Crowd at Funeral of Revered Haitian Priest"

» view more photos in"UN Guns Down One, Opens Fire on Crowd at Funeral of Revered Haitian Priest"

April 14, 2009 Weblog:

K'Naan interviewed about Somali Pirates

"Whenever Somalis get together and talk about pirates, the pirate scenario, we talk about them as if they're coast guards of the country."
April 10, 2009 Weblog:

Voices of Tamil-Canadians on Parliament Hill

P1020964.JPG

The following are words from Tamil-Canadians who have been part of an ongoing protest in downtown Ottawa since Tuesday afternoon. The Tamils protests have continued day and night, bringing downtown traffic to a standstill. Demonstrators have focused upon attacks carried out by the Sri Lankan government in the so-called "safe zone" in the northwest region of the country, within which are situated as many as 190,000 civilians and internally-displaced people.

Photo #1: Senathan Nadarajah

"Since January, hundreds have been killed every day, including civilians – women and children! The dead are being left on the ground. There is no burial. The bunkers are full of blood because it is the rainy season so people cannot go inside the bunker. The Safety Zone is not being respected. The Sri Lankan Defense Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been saying that hospitals are a legitimate target, which is a war crime under the Geneva Convention."

"We have asked the Canadian government peacefully over the last four months by writing letters and petitions, gathering in numbers peacefully but nothing has happened. After the news [last week] that 1800 people had been killed, we could not stand it any longer. So we had to come and bring it to their attention. Until the Canadian government takes political and economic action and declares an embargo on Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government is not going to listen."

Photo #2: Kumughan Nallarhenm

» continue reading "Voices of Tamil-Canadians on Parliament Hill"

» view more photos in"Voices of Tamil-Canadians on Parliament Hill"

April 8, 2009 Weblog:

Tamils Paralyze Downtown Ottawa

IMG_0840.JPG

Approximately 500 Tamil protestors from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and elsewhere converged on downtown Ottawa, blocking several major intersections and bus routes. Beginning with a rally on Parliament Hill, protestors broke off into several coordinated groups and proceeded to squat several intersections throughout the afternoon and evening until approximately 7:30 PM, when they were pushed onto the sidewalks by police. Up until late tonight, 100-150 demonstrators continued to rally at the corner of Metcalfe and Wellington in front of Parliament Hill. Many said they would continue an "indefinite protest" until the Canadian government brought "forth an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka."

Protestors decried the heavy civilian toll in the so-called "safe zone" in northern Sri Lanka, which UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay has estimated at 2800. Many decried the banning of access of NGO's and journalists from the 14 kilometre-wide "safe zone" by the Sri Lankan government, within which 100,000 civilians are trapped.

The demonstration was vocally supportive of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam(LTTE). In recent days, the Sri Lankan military has claimed that it has killed hundreds of LTTE fighters, and that the rebel force has been cornered.

Although the recent death toll has been overwhelmingly composed of Tamils, various human rights groups have accused the LTTE of committing human rights abuses over the course of Sri Lanka's 26 years of civil war.

» continue reading "Tamils Paralyze Downtown Ottawa"

» view more photos in"Tamils Paralyze Downtown Ottawa"

January 1, 2009 Weblog:

The Globe's War of Words

I don't normally post letters to the editor, even those with little chance of being published, but I feel that the more that editorials like this are met with flack, the harder it will eventually become to continue reporting the middle east with the same "Paletinians attack, Israel just tries to protect itself" garbage.

Here's hoping you try it out yourself in '09.

To: letters@globeandmail.com

Israeli politicians kill, editorialists provide apologetics. Although your editorial on December 30th ("Responding to Provocation," Dec 30, 2008) may have seemed to your staff to appear "dovish" in its call for pressure from the US, the EU, and the Arab League (although not Canada) for a ceasefire, it is nonetheless a justification of Israel's assault on civilian infrastructure in Gaza. Once again, the assumption has been made that only Israel has the "right" to "make its point" by denying humanitarian aid, turning Gaza into an open-air prison, and then killing 350 people while Hamas, elected by the Palestinian people, has no right to anything other than that of a conquered existence.

In the middle east war, the war of words matters far more than the military battles. Israel is allowed to kill hundreds and injure thousands only because this is considered something that's kind of okay by editorialists around the world. If your editorial staff truly cared about contributing to a peace in the middle east, they would stop providing incomprehensible defenses for Israel's "right to make a point" and start questioning its choice to commit collective punishment, a crime under international law.

December 20, 2008 Weblog:

Whether the Poor Burn or Freeze, There is No Excuse for Soft-Ball Questions

It is telling that the violent death of Tracey, a homeless woman in Vancouver, who burned to death after attempting to keep warm after constructing a small fire in a downtown street corner, has resulted in national headlines while the freezing death of another unidentified homeless man in Montreal the very next night has resulted in only a passing mention in Montreal newspapers. It is beyond cynical to point out that when a homeless person burns to death, it is a national tragedy, whereas when a homeless person freezes to death, it is scarcely even news. But this case demonstrates that when Canadian media isolate one homeless death as opposed to reporting upon the increasing pattern of homeless deaths over the last two decades, it paradoxically allows politicians more of a free hand to sweep the poor out of the public's view.

» continue reading "Whether the Poor Burn or Freeze, There is No Excuse for Soft-Ball Questions"

October 27, 2008 Weblog:

Only Non-Irving Owned Newspaper in New Brunswick Goes Under

A press release issued by the Carleton Free Press, less than a year after the small paper began circulation in northern New Brunswick:

Carleton Free Press suspends publication

Citing the downturn in the economy and inability to compete with a chain that has cut its advertising and subscription prices to the bone for the next year, the Carleton FreePress today announced it is suspending publication.

Today’s paper will be the last.

“We have tried everything,” said publisher Ken Langdon. “Our staff has been heroic, right down to the last person. We’ve got a good paper. We’ve earned a place in the fabric of Carleton County, but in the end we simply cannot compete with Irvings’ financial power.

“Brunswick News can afford to drop a few million dollars here to get the Bugle-Observer’s monopoly back and the Irving chain’s manager is willing to do what it takes here to discourage any others who might take heart from our success to compete in other New Brunswick markets,”

Langdon said three factors converged in the last few weeks to create insurmountable problems for the paper. One was the market crash and the fallout on the local economy. The other was the cost of adding a second paper on Fridays, which the FreePress felt it had to do to compete. The third was a Bugle-Observer announcement that it was cutting its ad prices in half for the next year and it’s per issue price from $1.25 to 25 cents. (This week it offered a year-long special buy at 29 per cent of its regular ad rate.)

“The last few weeks have been harrowing,” said Langdon. “We have wracked our brains to find a way to save the paper but we can’t alter the numbers.

“Big bucks have prevailed.”

» continue reading "Only Non-Irving Owned Newspaper in New Brunswick Goes Under"

May 4, 2008 Weblog:

Haiti Appoints Free Market Economist as Prime Minister

From Haiti Liberte, via Haiti Analysis:

Preval was also pressured to choose Ericq Pierre by several visiting foreign officials such as Alain Joyandel, French Secretary of State for Cooperation and Francophonie, Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), and Miguel Angel Moratinos, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

...Pierre also eloquently expressed his technocratic vision when he said: "There is no reform of the left or the right, there are only necessary reforms." The greatest outcry against Ericq Pierre's nomination may come from the Haitian people themselves. The uprising that began of April 3 and swept away Alexis was not just against food's high cost but against neoliberal austerity policies in general. In this light, Pierre's nomination is likely to provoke more anger and demonstrations in the weeks ahead.

Canada's Response? Foreign Affairs Minister Maxine Bernier stated that his government "welcomes this first step in forming a new government in Haiti, in keeping with the provisions of the Haitian constitution."

First step? As if the Haitian people had never elected their own governments before. Wasn't the appointment of Jacques Edouard Alexis back in 2006 the "first step in forming a new government?"

» continue reading "Haiti Appoints Free Market Economist as Prime Minister"

April 29, 2008 Weblog:

CUPW joins BDS Palestinian Solidarity Campaign

Last week, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers became the first national north american labour organization to join the international boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign against the state of Israel. Strangely, this has yet to hit the media in Canada, even though the resolution in support of the campaign was passed democratically at the CUPW convention more than two weeks ago. The 54,000 member union joins such prominent labour organizations as the 770,000 member Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the 1.5 million-member Congress of South African Trade Unions, the 800,000 strong UK Transport and General Workers Union, and a growing list of others including CUPE Ontario. Nevertheless, expect editorial tireless screeds within Canadian newspapers against CUPW's membership in the weeks ahead.

Also of interest: Tadamon! statement of congratulations to CUPW.

April 28, 2008 Weblog:

More on Shawn Brant's Arrest

The Aboriginal People's Television Network's latest newscast notes some interesting details about Shawn Brant's arrest on Friday.

Worth a look.

April 26, 2008 Weblog:

APTN vs. Settler News Coverage of Tyendinaga

Settling In.jpg

Photo by Clarkwork Orange

I've never actually watched the Aboriginal People's Television Network, but judging from their coverage of the recent arrest of Shawn Brant, I'll likely be tuning in to their online newscasts far more often.

The dominant narrative surrounding Brant's arrest, one of the many sparks that has ignited the standoff currently underway between hundreds of heavily armed Ontario Provincial Police officers and an estimated hundred Mohawk demonstrators and supporters at a blockade in Tyendinaga, is that of Brant breaching his bail conditions from his arrest following June 29th. Brant, of course, was one of the organizers of the one-day blockade of Mohawks of a stretch of the 401 highway between Montreal and Toronto during last year's June 29th national day of action. His bail conditions prohibited him from taking part in protests or acts of civil disobedience.

According to the Globe and Mail's account, Brant was arrested "during a traffic stop" and that "during Mr. Brant's arrest, two officers were allegedly confronted by a group of people and assaulted." Apparently, police then "noticed several suspects who were wanted in connection with protests in Deseronto on Monday and Tuesday," after which their attempt at arrest was foiled. Police then noticed a Mohawk demonstrator at the Tyendinaga site "pointing a long gun" at them. The CTV has reported

» continue reading "APTN vs. Settler News Coverage of Tyendinaga"

April 26, 2008 Weblog:

Saturday, 12:30 AM: OPP Moving in on Mohawks in Tyendinaga?

From Mohawk Nation News at around 5PM Friday:

Mohawks surrounded at the quarry in Tyendinaga. Ontario Provincial Police OPP [are]fully armed with guns drawn. They are yelling through blow horns ordering the Rotiskenrekete to come down with their hands up, or else they are going to take them out. The Rotiskenrekete have told the OPP they are not coming down from there. We have been informed that help will probably not arrive in time. The OPP have said they are coming right away. There are 20 left at the quarry. Many have already been arrested.

The stand-off began last Monday following the initial stages of construction by a dubiously legal condo development on Mohawk territory. The OPP's claim that officers had seen a "long gun" carried by Mohawk protestors bears an eery resemblance to Ipperwash. MNN points out that the area around Tyendinaga seems to have special significance for the Harper governments current plan for "continental integration" of the Canadian Forces.

This situation could be more complicated than appears at present. The Canadian Special Forces, which is the main military unit that would be active in the United States under the "Civil Assistance Plan", is moving the so-called Joint Task Force 2 to the Trenton area, just 25 miles from Tyendinaga. They will be forming a new special forces battalion. Land in the Trenton area is being secretly bought up by the government for a base and training site. A total of 400 hectares (1.5 square miles) will be purchased.

» continue reading "Saturday, 12:30 AM: OPP Moving in on Mohawks in Tyendinaga?"

March 4, 2008 Weblog:

Malalai Joya on Canada's Afghan Mission

Rabble.ca's Derrick O'Keefe recently gathered a significant statement by Malalai Joya, one of the more courageous and heroic political figures in Afghanistan today. She makes the memorable statement below about the billions of dollars in military spending and aid money which has effectively been squandered in Afghanistan by the run-away corruption of the Karzai government.

The Congressional Budget Office says that the U.S. will spend $2.4 trillion over the next ten years on the "war on terror." If they instead spent this money properly and honestly, not only would Iraq and Afghanistan be made into heaven but, also, world poverty would be eliminated.

Definitely worth the read!

February 12, 2008 Weblog:

Afghanistan social development still going backwards

Now, I usually have some quibbles with these kind of reports. The Human Development Index is a sketch only, a calculation of a country's GDP per capita, its gross enrollment rate, literacy rates, and life expectancy at birth. There's a lot left out of the "development" picture by this index, and far too often, the index is used by the richest nations on earth to identify the oft-scapegoated "failed states" nations which tend to fall at the bottom of this scale.

That said, you have to sit back in amazement when a country as poor as Afghanistan can STILL see its ranking on the HDI fall during the exact period in which Canadian, US, and European aid disbursements are at their highest point.

Interestingly, the HDI report finds that Afghanistan has experienced significant economic growth in recent years (no doubt fuelled at least in part by the opium trade) though, as with many other regions throughout the global south, this growth effectively serves to mask the widening of economic inequality.

Although Afghanistan has maintained double-digit economic growth over the past several years, it has failed to reduce extreme and prevalent poverty and hunger significantly, the report says.

» continue reading "Afghanistan social development still going backwards"

January 30, 2008 Weblog:

Mohamed Harkat Arrested!!?

Mohamed Harkat, one of the "security certificate five" was arrested at his home while taking his morning shower yesterday. The stated reason on behalf of federal immigration authorities was the fact that his mother-in-law was not home at the time. His bail conditions stipulated that she remain living with Harkat and his wife. She still lives with both of them.

From Harkat's support committee:

MOHAMED HARKAT, SECURITY CERTIFICATE DETAINEE UNJUSTLY ARRESTED IN OTTAWA

What happened:

Mohamed Harkat was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Ottawa police
accompanied by Canadian Border Services agents at his home in Ottawa. CBSA alleges that Mohamed Harkat breached his bail conditions. In fact no breach occurred. The crown has 48 hours to bring him before a federal court judge. Mohamed Harkat is also already scheduled to appear in court next week to argue for changes in his bail conditions.

What you can do:

A) We ask organizations to issue statements along the lines of the following statement from the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee.

Statement from the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee

1. There was no breach of Mohamed Harkat's bail conditions. This, despite the conditions imposed being the toughest in Canadian history.
2. The arrest's timing was highly questionable given the facts:
- Mohamed Harkat's bail is up for review next week;
- Bill C-3, the new Security Certificates law, is being debated this week in the House of Commons.
This arrest could only have happened by order of a cabinet Minister - which was confirmed to Mohamed Harkat by CBSA officials. It also occurred on the eve of Adil Charkaoui's Supreme Court appeal.
3. The arrest constitutes harassment in the context of an
unconstitutional law.

» continue reading "Mohamed Harkat Arrested!!?"

December 12, 2007 Weblog:

Thousands Halt Vancouver Deportation on Human Rights Day

Singh YVR protest1.jpg

This is probably the most inspiring bit of news I've heard in a long time. The deportation of Singh, who is paralysed, has only been stayed temporarily.

An attempt to deport a paralysed man back to India on International Human Rights Day fell apart after a grass-roots protest at Vancouver International Airport Monday literally halted traffic and prevented border and immigration agents from taking custody of him.

By mid-afternoon the Canada Border Services Agency halted its plan to deport Laibar Singh after it concluded that it would be too risky for its agents to walk out to a waiting taxi in which the elderly man was sitting. Between them and the curb were as many as 2,000 protesters, many of them members of an Abbotsford-area Sikh temple that had rallied in support.

November 23, 2007 Weblog:

NS Government Faces Heat Over Anti-Strike Bill

CIMG1955.JPG

In one of the more polite demonstrations I've attended, a union coalition lead by the Nova Scotia General Employees Union staged a sidewalk rally of about 500 in front of the province's legislature on Thursday. While members of the crowd, which included a strong contingent of nurses and healthcare workers, heckled Premier Rodney Macdonald's minority government (top pic), the military guard-laden arrival of Nova Scotia's Lt.-Gov Mayann Francis, due to read her first speech from the throne, on the other side of the building was met with no interruption (bottom pic). After Macdonald's assertion that the unions were being "disrespectful" for holding a demonstration during the ceremonial speech from the throne, the union leadership responded by urging demonstrators to remain quiet outside of the legislature while Francis made her speech.

The rally was called in response to a bill due to be introduced by the minority tories banning the right to strike for the 32,000 healthcare workers in Nova Scotia. Macdonald had promised to introduce the bill in May following a one-day strike at a children's hospital in Halifax. The bill seems to be on the verge of being junked as a result of the union campaign, as both the Liberals and NDP have pledged to vote against it, were it to be introduced by the minority government. As a result, Macdonald has admitted he is unwilling to see his government fall as a result of the proposed anti-strike legislation.

Regardless of this apparent defeat, the throne speech outlined the Tory government's plans to establish more publicly funded, private health facilities in the province.

» view more photos in"NS Government Faces Heat Over Anti-Strike Bill"

November 19, 2007 Weblog:

Last Chance for War Resisters?

After deliberating for months, the Supreme Court of Canada finally refused to even hear the case of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, the first two war resisters to have publicly travelled to Canada in order to refuse to fight the US's illegal war in Iraq. They are expected to face deportation proceedings soon.

The War Resisters support campaign held protests in eight Canadian cities over the weekend and is appealing to supporters to bombard Canadian MP's with letters and faxes asking for a parliamentary provision allowing Hughey and Hinzman to remain in Canada.

On Tuesday, November 20th, 2007, a motion in support of Hinzman and Hughey, introduced by Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow, is expected to be presented before Canada's Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

September 19, 2007 Weblog:

End the Media Silence on Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine's Kidnapping

Lovinsky_jpg.jpg

It has been over a month since the kidnapping of Haitian human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. Roger Annis, a member of the Canada Haiti Action Network and one of the last people to have seen Antoine in Port-au-Prince, recently wrote this statement on the international media's silence related to his kidnapping.

[Photo by Darren Ell]

» continue reading "End the Media Silence on Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine's Kidnapping"

September 18, 2007 Weblog:

Latest Murder Poll Puts Iraq Total at 1.2 Million

LA Times: "The figure from ORB, a British polling agency that has conducted several surveys in Iraq, followed statements this week from the U.S. military defending itself against accusations it was trying to play down Iraqi deaths to make its strategy appear successful."

August 24, 2007 Weblog:

More on police provocateurs

Much has already been written about the now front-page story of police provocateurs captured in a video posted on Youtube. The scandal has managed to cleanly separate the story of the protest from the story of the SPP itself, but it is definitely an unlikely story to have become front-page news.

» continue reading "More on police provocateurs"

August 21, 2007 Weblog:

Oddities from Montebello

provoke1.jpg

Canadian Energy and Paperworkers Union leader David Cole physically outs a police provocateur dressed as a black bloc protestor in front of news cameras in Montebello. [Update: Canadian Press report here]

SQ and OPP police protect the dead from the living for 7 hours on Monday.

» continue reading "Oddities from Montebello"

August 20, 2007 Weblog:

From Montebello: What Stephen Harper's Video Feed May Have Missed

CopsInGraveYard.jpg

Photo: IMC Montebello

The tear gassing appears to have started around 5:30 PM. By that time, much of the corporate media had left Montebello, and many of the demonstrators had left for Ottawa and Montreal.

‘They’re going to wait for the media to leave before they start to clear the demonstrators,’ my friend Kabir had remarked 20 minutes before. It ended up being a dead-on prediction.

» continue reading "From Montebello: What Stephen Harper's Video Feed May Have Missed"

August 19, 2007 Weblog:

SPP: Attack of the left-out elites

The Liberal party, currently the confused chameleon of the Canadian political scene, is attempting to brand itself as an ardent critic of the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership.

» continue reading "SPP: Attack of the left-out elites"

Advertisement

Want to receive an email notice when a new issue is online? Click here

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.

»Where to buy the Dominion

User login