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August 24, 2009 Environment

For the Water

Opposition to Site 41 unites Natives, farmers

July 31, 2009 Weblog:

Occupation to save Old Growth Forest in Guelph

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Residents of Guelph, ON, have been occupying the proposed site of the Hanlon Creek Busines Park. The site is also home to Guelph's Old Growth Forest, and endangers local wetlands and the Jefferson Salamander, on Ontario's official threatened species list.

The occupation began on Monday, July 27th. They were notified that they would be evicted as of July 30th at 4pm, but the time came and went and protestors are still there.

More information is available on their blog at http://hcbpoccupation.wordpress.com, or contact them for interviews or more information at +15198206280, +15198206239 or hcbpoccupatio[at]gmail[dot]com. They are also inviting supporters to the site to lend a hand - a map with directions can be found on their website.

Photo by Sal Jefferson

June 19, 2009 Original Peoples

"Everybody has a Voice"

Images from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne

June 1, 2009 Weblog:

NOII-Mtl: Akwesasne Update - Mohawks vow to resist armed border guards

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From: No One Is Illegal Montreal

[English below]

[Une delegation des militantes de Montréal – incluant une membre de Personne n’est illégal-Montréal -- est présentement à Akwesasne (territoire Mohawk, à la frontière de l'Ontario, New York et Québec) comme témoins de la résistance communautaire contre les douaniers armés. Quelques articles expliquant la situation, principalement en anglais, mais aussi en français, sont ci-dessous. Il y aura des mises à jour de la situation à Akwesasne sur le blogue de Personne n’est illégal ici]

----------

“[The Canadian Border Service Agency] is a foreign oppressive force who occupies our sovereign community and territory. (They are) unwelcome, uninvited and now carrying firearms. For lack of a different description, that is considered by some an act of war.” – Larry King, member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory (quoted in Ottawa Citizen, May 29, 2009)

[A delegation of three non-native Montreal activists, including a member of No One Is Illegal-Montreal, is currently at the site of protesters at the Kawehnoke Port of Entry (Cornwall Island) on the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne. Native protesters at Akwesasne are welcoming allies to stand in solidarity, and to witness their efforts to resist the imposition of armed guards on Mohawk territory.

The No One Is Illegal-Montreal website will have updates directly from Akwesasne, as well as maintain a mainstream and alternative news compilation, at the following link]

-- CBSA guards abandon posts

» continue reading "NOII-Mtl: Akwesasne Update - Mohawks vow to resist armed border guards"

May 29, 2009 Weblog:

Nine Women Arrested in Workplace Raid in Leamington, Ontario

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--Reposting--

For Immediate Release
May 28, 2009

Nine Women Arrested in Workplace Raid in Leamington, Ontario

Justice for Migrant Workers and No One is Illegal-Toronto condemn the latest workplace raids in Leamington, Ontario. In the early morning of Wednesday, May 27th, Immigration Enforcement swarmed Lakeside Produce arresting nine migrant workers, all women, [o]ne of whom is pregnant. They are all being detained in the Windsor County Jail.

“We are outraged by these arrests,” says Chris Ramsroop of Justicia for Migrant Workers. “These attacks destroy our communities. Instead of attacking the immigration system, we are attacking workers who put food on our table.”

These latest arrests mark an alarming trend of workplace raids by the Canada Border Service Agency. In April, CBSA conducted large scale raids throughout the [Greater Toronto Area] and Southwestern Ontario, where over 80 migrants were arrested and deported.

Workplace raids will only serve to terrorize and intimidate workers into working for low wages and unsafe working conditions because they are constantly under the threat of deportation.

In the middle of this recession, the Tory government is spending money and resources on arresting people, throwing them into detention centers and buying their plane tickets, instead of supporting social services for those in need.

The Tory government is targeting racial and ethnic communities and is using the raids to inflame racism and bigotry. They are using migrant workers as scapegoats in this recession.

» continue reading "Nine Women Arrested in Workplace Raid in Leamington, Ontario"

May 19, 2009 Weblog:

Tamils Protest on Toronto Freeway - Photos

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Photos by James Clark, Megan Hope and Enid Godtree.

1. Thousands of Tamils converge on Toronto's Gardiner Expressway on May 10th for almost 4 hours shutting down a key artery in the City's road network. The protest was part of a series of actions in Toronto contesting the war in Sri Lanka and the Canadian governments actions or lack thereof.

2. People get a unique view of a section of the City normally over-run with cars going 80 kph. Tamils had previously shut down major sections of the City including a 4 day protest on University Ave.

3. One of many Tamil Tiger flags at the event. Tiger supporters were prevalent amongst the protesters, many of whom were calling for a separate Tamil state in addition to an immediate ceasefire.

4. Police tactics at the event were relatively non-confrontational. Protesters were allowed to come and go from the ramp and bring in supplies (coffee,food, blankets). Protesters who biked to the event to join the demonstration created the rare sight of bikes locked up to the guard rails on the Expressway.

5. One of many vigils. Protesters were totally peaceful.

6. Toronto Police, OPP and RCMP were called into the protest. Police discussing tactics with other units.

7. Riot Police form at one end of the protest.

8. A small group of police begin beating protesters before other police order them to stop. 4 are arrested.

9. Tamils agree to end the demonstration peacefully and march to Queen's Park (the Ontario legislature)...but not everyone gets away unscathed.

10 days later, the Sri Lankan government declares a conventional victory over the Tamils. The leader of the Tamil Tigers is declared killed.

» view more photos in"Tamils Protest on Toronto Freeway - Photos"

May 16, 2009 Weblog:

"We Are Not All Metis"

Canada Domestic Policy can be Problematic.

Manipulation #1- We are not all Metis.
Aboriginal rights are inherent and inalienable. Program and services dollars can be used to lure people away from cultural integrity.

Manipulation #2- Aboriginal rights belong to a certain race of people who can prove they are that race.
Race was never the issue. It is about culture.

May 10, 2009 Media Analysis

Kenney's Quiet Revolution

Media focus on guns, drugs and hard-nosed ministers precludes dialogue on government shifts in immigration policy

April 29, 2009 Weblog:

Tamil Protest Shuts Down Major Toronto Ave

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This morning, Torontonians making their way down University Avenue, a major north/south downtown traffic artery, encountered a vocal gathering of mainly Tamil-Canadians, protesting State repression of Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka.

Long before 9am, a 2-block section of University between Dundas and Queen streets was completely blocked by the large demonstration and surrounded by police barricades, bikes and agents. The police presence did not seem to bother the energetic crowd, chanting slogans such as "Stop the Genocide!" and "Tamils Want a Permanent Ceasefire! When Do We Want it? NOW!"

One participant commented that while mobilizations in Ottawa have been much larger, there have nevertheless been consistent actions in Toronto over the past three months or so. Another explained that just this morning, there were more than another 200 people killed. "It's a very difficult situation," he added.

A Human Rights Watch report states that recently "obtained information places total civilian casualties at 7,000, with 2,000 deaths... All displaced persons crossing to the government side are sent to internment centers in Vavuniya and nearby locations. These are military controlled, barbed-wire camps..."

Along with an immediate permanent ceasefire, demonstrators demanded a two-state solution, and immediate Canadian and US action. All Canadians were encouraged to learn more about the situation and to get involved, reminded by a banner that 'Our Silence - License to Kill.'

» view more photos in"Tamil Protest Shuts Down Major Toronto Ave"

April 23, 2009 Weblog:

Canada in Africa: an anniversary news bulletin about Noir Canada

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{{reposting of Ecosociete bulletin}}

INFORMATION BULLETIN

First anniversary of Noir Canada: Pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afrique

Montreal, April 23rd 2009

It was just over a year ago, on April 15th 2008, that Alain Deneault, Deplhine Abadie and William Sacher officially launched Noir Canada: Pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afrique, published by Les Éditions Écosociété, despite legal threats of lawsuits by Canadian multinational Barrick Gold (see demand letter sent by Barrick Gold).

Two defamation lawsuits followed, with Canadian mining companies Barrick Gold and Banro claiming damages amounting to $11 million dollars. The authors and publisher of Noir Canada have since had to deal with amendments to these claims, multiple and cumbersome judicial proceedings (requests for documents, endless interviews conducted by opposing counsel, etc.), the preparation of voluminous defence records for two different jurisdictions, numerous commutes to Toronto, the rejection of a request to transfer Banro’s Ontario lawsuit to Quebec, the appeal of that decision, along with the considerable costs that such proceedings require and the psychological and moral strain that comes with being put under such pressure.

In the meantime, the authors of Noir Canada remind us that “the Canadian pillage of Africa continues”, while “the Canadian government has just consecrated Canada as being a judicial haven for extraction corporations worldwide” (see the communiqué by the Collectif Ressources d’Afrique below).

» continue reading "Canada in Africa: an anniversary news bulletin about Noir Canada"

April 16, 2009 Weblog:

Toronto, April 26: An examination of the Canadian mining industry

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WHAT: 1 day conference about mining issues within Canada and abroad

WHEN: Sunday, April 26, 2009, 10:00am - 7:30pm

WHERE: Earth Sciences, Room 1050 (ES 1050), University of Toronto, 5 Bancroft Avenue

Moderated by Judy Rebick

$10 (sliding scale) to cover cost of meals; free for students. No registration required. Donations gladly accepted (available seating for 400 in auditorium).

Hosts: UTERN, Science for Peace, Students Against Climate Change / Toronto Mining Support Group, Aboriginal Students Association of York University

With the intention of building a movement for change within Canada we are hosting a conference on mining issues at the University of Toronto. This conference will provide the space for people within Canada to interact with affected communities and each other, and the conference format prioritizes facilitating conversations focused on solutions to ending corporate impunity.

“The Question of Sustainability” is a conference dedicated to examining the Canadian mining industry through the lens of sustainability within ecosystems, human rights, culture, and economics.

Featuring speakers from Papua New Guinea, Chile, the Congo, Guatemala, Tanzania and Peru, as well as many First Nations speakers and academics from Canada. This conference brings together indigenous people from the global south and the global north, and serves to address some of the complex social, political and environmental issues that relate to the imposition of extractive industries on traditional cultures.

Major issues include water use and contamination, human rights violations by Canadian companies operating abroad, the question of corporate social responsibility, and the autonomy and preservation of traditional cultures.

» continue reading "Toronto, April 26: An examination of the Canadian mining industry"

April 13, 2009 Canadian News

Did Canada Help Dismantle Sri Lanka’s Peace Process?

"Collective grief" of Tamil community paralyzes Ottawa

April 10, 2009 Weblog:

Voices of Tamil-Canadians on Parliament Hill

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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

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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"

April 6, 2009 Weblog:

URGENT: Migrant workers detained in Toronto area

[[Reposting]]

Dear friends and supporters,

This is an URGENT NATIONAL ALERT being sent out by our allies in No One Is Illegal Toronto.

Approximately 100 (exact figures unconfirmed) migrant and
non-status workers have been detained in large-scale workplace enforcement
actions in Ontario, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area district.

There has been minimal media reporting on these huge-scale operations, a
local report on one of the raids in Bradford is available
here
.

* DETAILS ON THE RAIDS:

April 4, 2009 - Executing massive and unprecedented US-style raids in East
Toronto, Leamington, and Bradford/Simcoe County, the Canada Border
Services Agency has arrested and detained over 100 migrant workers across
Southern Ontario, who are now languishing in detention centres.

Hundreds of families and friends are wondering right now why their loved
ones have not returned from work. The hundreds of thousands of non-status
people across Canada have woken up to a horrible day in Kanada.

On early Thursday morning, enforcement officers stormed into three
different businesses in Bradford and Markham where they arrested migrant
workers. CBSA even followed workers to their homes throughout the GTA and
surrounding areas. In total 80 people were arrested. They were placed on
GO buses, handcuffed and held immobile for hours.

"One of my relatives was arrested in the raid. She called me from jail
this morning. She and her co-workers are terrified that they may be
deported at any time," said Jonathan Canchela, chair of the Filipino
Migrant Workers Movement- and member of Migrante-Ontario.

» continue reading "URGENT: Migrant workers detained in Toronto area"

March 14, 2009 Weblog:

Tory student groups hijack democracy on Ontario campuses

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A series of documents posted on Wikileaks show that the Ontario Progressive Conservative Campus Association, a Tory-connected student group, held workshops at which participants were taught how to take over various student organizations on Ontario campuses.

"Presenters and participants are caught on tape advocating for the creation of front groups for the Conservative Party to masquerade as non-partisan grassroots organizations, influencing the political discourse on campus, stacking student elections with Party members, and conspiring to defeat non-profit organizations because of political differences, all with the intention of hiding their affiliations to the Party in the process," reads a release put out by the anonymous source who posted the documents.

The OPCCA hosted events on campuses in Ottawa, Toronto, and Waterloo that targeted Public Interest Research Groups in particular (see photo above).

"Sometimes you can't attach the party's name to something. You just can't. If it's a really controversial issue on campus or something that might show up in the newspaper, you want to be careful. You just have your shell organization and have the Campus Coalition for Liberty and two other Tory front groups which are front organizations, all of those groups might actually qualify for funding too," said Ryan O'Connor, a workshop facilitator and former member of the OPCCA.

Nick Smith, a student activist from Toronto, has written about the attempts of Conservative student groups to hijack student politics in the past.

» continue reading "Tory student groups hijack democracy on Ontario campuses "

January 23, 2009 Health

A Watchdog with No Teeth?

Mining company involvement in Sudbury Soils Study contaminates findings

January 7, 2009 Agriculture

A Costly Commute

Foreign migrant workers provide long hours of cheap labour on Canadian farms

December 16, 2008 Weblog:

Protesters Stage Sit-In at York University

A sit-in at York University began Monday where CUPE 3903, the York University union local representing teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate students has been on strike for 5 weeks.

With the union making a variety of strong demands and the University refusing to bargain further the strike has dragged on for 5 weeks and tensions have grown.

For-profit media has largely written anti-union pieces unilaterally in favour of the University. Many editors in the corporate sphere have suggested the government enact back to work legislation of a questionably legal nature.

In the meantime, 80 students in support of striking workers are occupying the University Presidents Office demanding to question the University President. Classes for the rest of 2008 are scheduled to be canceled today.

November 21, 2008 Original Peoples

Fighting Free Entry

Ending mining’s privileged access to land

November 12, 2008 Labour

A Striking Outcome

Sudbury ‘78 resonates today

November 6, 2008 Original Peoples

Two Ways to Be a Nation

Struggle for control of the "trillion-dollar Sudbury basin"

November 2, 2008 Labour

Working to Death

Canada's asbestos legacy

November 1, 2008 Original Peoples

A Violation of Algonquin Law

First Nations spearhead resistance to uranium mining

October 16, 2008 Weblog:

Activists block the 2010 'Spirit Train'

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By Dan Kellar for Rabble.ca
October 15, 2008

On Sunday October 12, activists from AW@L, Six Nations, Guelph, London, Kitchener, Toronto, Waterloo and Hamilton blocked the Olympic “Spirit Train” on the tracks as it approached Toronto, by locking down on the tracks and occupying a railway bridge.

This highly coordinated and well executed non-violent action was taken in solidarity with the Olympic Resistance Network of British Columbia, the Native Youth Movement of the Coast Salish People, and the Anti-Poverty Committee of Vancouver, who have called for actions against the Spirit Train and all 2010 Olympic related activities.

The non-violent action to block the Spirit Train was a resounding success as our goal to have national media coverage that actually spoke about the true issues surrounding the Olympics was met. Hopefully we have inspired others to take action as well. More and more people are gaining an understanding that the Olympics in general, and more specifically the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, are no longer about sports and culture, they are about profit for a small elite and wide scale environmental destruction through development of stolen First Nations land.

Canadian Pacific (CP) called the action a "serious safety risk", though no train was within five kilometres of the blockade as scouts were tracking the progression of the train from Sudbury. Also, the lock down team had full safety control of the situation by using a self-release device. CP followed their pre-set safety precautions and no one was ever put in danger.

» continue reading "Activists block the 2010 'Spirit Train'"

October 13, 2008 Weblog:

PHOTO: Solidarity Blockade Slows Spirit Train

By Lia Tarachansky and Jesse Freeston

Vaughan, ON- On Thanksgiving Sunday, October 12th, 2008 roughly two dozen protesters blockaded the Canadian Pacific Rail just north of Toronto.

The blockade began at 5:30 p.m. and ended just after 8:00 p.m. Winnie Small, 20, attached herself to the rails in order to delay removal by police.

Alex Hundert, police liaison for the varied group of protesters, negotiated with the local police service, which was taken by surprise by the bridge blockade.

The group, consisting of Anti-War @ Laurier organizers, native organizers from the Six Nations reservation by Caledonia, and various individuals, was allowed to leave the blockade without arrests or conflict.

According to the police, who were in communications with CP rail on site, the blockade caused millions of dollars of economic damage and delayed trains all along the rail line.

Please stay tuned for The Real News Network video report later this week


Blockaders Set up lock down


Winnie Small, 20, locked down to the tracks with a "v" shaped metal bar


"No Olympics on Stolen Native Land" banner laid out by protesters

» continue reading "PHOTO: Solidarity Blockade Slows Spirit Train"

October 12, 2008 Weblog:

Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada

Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada
David Parker
September 8th, 2008.

HALIFAX - In September of 2007, the United Nations adopted the non-binding Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Four high profile countries notably voted against the declaration - namely Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.[1] All four countries are states that were established by white settlers on indigenous lands, and all four are currently in disputes with indigenous peoples over land and sovereignty.

The Canadian state, built on the theft and occupation of indigenous lands, continues to benefit from its unjustly acquired assets. Equipped with an ultra-security state apparatus, Canada's repressive and suppressive anti-terrorist and security measures have historically struck hardest against those that have the most to gain, namely aboriginal nations and their legitimate claims for their rights to land and dignity.

Recent cases of indigenous protest in Ontario have been in opposition to government authorized resource extraction on native lands. Despite legitimate demands for sovereignty and decision-making power over their traditional lands, native protesters have been incarcerated: Robert Lovelace and the KI-6 (6 council members of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation) have received harsh fines and 6 months in jail for peacefully protesting against mineral exploration on the lands of KI and Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN).

» continue reading "Criminalizing Indigenous Rights in Canada"

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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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