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September 8, 2008 Weblog:

$490 Billion defense road map rollout, blacked out by media

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You would think something like a detailed road map of ‘the modernization of the Canadian forces’, at the big fancy 8th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (CDMA) would elicit some sort discussion or analysis from the Canadian media/ chattering class. At the conference, Peter Mackay began to spin links between the need to respond to ‘natural disasters’ and ‘security of the Olympics’ with armed security. The highlight of the conference was the release of Canada's 20-year, $490 billion “Canada First Defense Strategy,” a detailed plan to modernize its armed forces and its military industry. McKay also signed a Memoranda of Understanding with his counterparts in Honduras, Guatemala and Bolivia, which falls under the Military Training Assistance Programme (MTAP). Yet hardly a boo, has been published about this week long conference, as the Republican convention in St Paul and the buzz around the soon to be announced election provided a nice blackout about things that were going on, that the media and lobbyist just aren't so interested in regular folks to know about.

So what do we know happened this week in the luxury resort of Banff where the delegates from 34 countries met under the theme of ‘Co-operation and Collaboration”?
According to CP Canadian Defense Minister and host of the conference, Peter MacKay addressed the crowd by stirring their shared belief that "Now more than ever, we are all connected and need to cooperate to achieve the security, democratic development, and prosperity we all desire”.

» continue reading "$490 Billion defense road map rollout, blacked out by media "

July 7, 2008 Media Analysis

Apology Accepted?

Survivors, Indigenous observers respond to apology

June 27, 2008 Weblog:

Barriere Lake Algonquins arrested, jailed, and released

Short video of the arrests, by Bill Clenet, ROCG

After a six hour occupation of MP Lawrence Cannon's Office in Buckingham, QC, yesterday, six Algonquin activists and allies were arrested by Sûreté du Québec police officers.

The arrestees were detained for four hours and were finally released at 9:30 p.m. into the arms of cheering family and friends outside the Gatineau Police Department building.

Among the awaiting crowd was Customary Chief Benjamin Nottaway (seen in video) whom the government attempted to revoke from power in the Barriere Lake reserve by imposing a minority appointed government. The so called Coup D'etat was the latest in a long series of governmental interventions in the impoverished reserve and led to the office occupation which took place yesterday. Previously, the indigenous representatives attempted to raise awareness of neo-Colonial internvention in their community by camping on Parliament Hill one year ago.

More information soon...

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 14, 2008 Weblog:

Open letter to the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois

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With this letter I would like to officially withdraw as a member of the jury for the 2008 Prize of the Alex and Ruth Dworkin Foundation for the Promotion of Tolerance through Cinema (2008 Prix annuel de la Fondation Alex et Ruth Dworkin pour la promotion de la tolérance à travers le cinéma) at the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois.

For those who may not be aware, this prize, which includes a grant of $5000, “goes to a producer representing the production team which has best demonstrated, in the winning work, a message of comprehension and tolerance”.

I accepted the invitation from the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois to join this year’s jury in good faith. But after examining in more detail the political and financial basis of the prize I must refuse to have my name associated with it. Behind this noble sounding “award for tolerance” hides a story of intolerance, division and discrimination.

Firstly, I quit the jury because the Prix annuel de la Fondation Alex and Ruth Dworkin is an initiative of the Congrès juif canadien, Région du Québec, an organization which I consider to be a vehicle for the Israeli propaganda machine and fundamentally intolerant of dissent and difference, particularly when it comes to Israeli government policies.

One case in point is the refusal of the national leadership of the Congrès juif canadian (CJC) to accept a recent membership application from the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians (ACJC).

ACJC members “joined together to create a cross-Canada alliance of Jewish anti-occupation forces… whose views are not represented by the government of Israel or by the uncritical positions taken by the leadership of the major Jewish organizations in Canada.”

» continue reading " Open letter to the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois"

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!!?"

January 20, 2008 Weblog:

Abdelkader Belaouni still in sanctuary...

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By Stefan Christoff
Hour

Algerian refugee Abdelkader Belaouni has spent the past two years in sanctuary at St-Gabriel's Church in Pointe St-Charles. On Jan. 1, 2005, Belaouni took sanctuary in open defiance of a deportation ordered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

"I'm not hiding from Immigration Canada, but I want to tell them clearly, I will not be presenting myself for deportation," stated Belaouni in a public statement at the time.

Ever since, Abdelkader Belaouni, with the support of multiple community organizations and social justice groups, has been fighting a very public battle with Immigration Canada. It isn't the only battle he's faced in this lifetime. In 1996 he escaped a violent civil conflict in Algeria, which took an estimated 100,000 civilian lives. As a blind man, Belaouni made the journey to New York City, and while he never gained status there he did carve out an independent life selling telephone cards.

Following Sept. 11, 2001, Belaouni left New York out of the fear of systemic persecution against Arabs and Muslims, including mass deportations, disappearances and the fire-bombings of mosques. Immigration Canada didn't exercise sympathy or compassion in the case, instead issuing a deportation order for Belaouni three years after his arrival in Montreal.

Today, Belaouni remains in sanctuary, never having stepped foot outside St-Gabriel's Church in all the time he's been there. "After two years I remain here without status. It is tiring, it is depressing, I want freedom," he explains. "It is clear that the government is aware of my current suffering and my difficult history in Algeria; they must act now and regularize my status."

» continue reading " Abdelkader Belaouni still in sanctuary..."

January 8, 2008 Foreign Policy

Endorsing Death Squad Economics

Canada's Lightning Speed Trade Negotiations with Colombia

December 4, 2007 Accounts

The Forgotten Powder Keg

While world attention focuses on Darfur, Southern Sudan simmers

December 4, 2007 Weblog:

Canada and the Coup in Haiti

Canadian photographer Darren Ell's films, photographs, interviews, podcasts and weblinks about Canada's involvement in the 2004 coup d'état in Haiti and its ongoing impact is all online now with the National FilmBoard of Canada website Citizenshift. This work was released several months ago, but there were problems with the video pieces. Everything is now fully functioning! So dive in and learn!

October 31, 2007 Weblog:

Artists Against Apartheid.

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Part of the 5th international week of action against the apartheid wall, initiated by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, to oppose Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing and to support the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Leading up to ‘Palestinian Perspectives’, an evening of film screenings at the Cinéma du Parc in Montreal on November 29th, to commemorate 60 years of occupation and to celebrate the Palestinian voice. Featuring cutting edge cultural projects from Montreal & internationally, uniting in expression against Israeli Apartheid.

Performances by:

* Lubo Alexandrov: A Bulgarian-born guitarist, composer and singer, Alexandrov has developed a unique musical style, merging Bulgarian, Turkish and Roma musical traditions. Recipient of the 2007 Juno Music Award for the ‘Best World Album’. http://www.luboalexandrov.com

* Valerie Khayat: Poet, singer songwriter, Khayat has been active in folk, poetry and spoken word circles since 2004. She released her first book of poetry, ”The Road to Vesper”, and her first full length album, ”Resonance in Blue”, in 2007. http://www.myspace.com/valeriekhayat

* Kalmunity Vibe Collective members:

Jason Selman: Performance poet & musician
Mohamed Mehdi: Singer songwriter, poet.
Phenix: Hip-hop artist, poet of the Haitian diaspora.

* Ehab Lotayef: Writer, photographer, poet, activist and engineer.

* DJ Kandis: Middle Eastern, international beats, music from DJ Kandis.

Screening two films from the ‘Beyond Blue & Gray’ documentary project of Eyes Infinite Films, with an introduction by series producer Nirah Shirazipour:

» continue reading "Artists Against Apartheid."

October 22, 2007 Weblog:

Radio Tadamon! Facing Racism in Quebec.

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Download / Podcast the program HERE.

In Canada, a state commission on “Reasonable Accommodation” regarding the rights of minorities and new immigrants in Quebec has created a storm of controversy. This edition of Radio Tadamon! features Indu Vashist, a community organizer in Montreal and May Hayder of Al-Hidaya Association presenting alternative perspectives on ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ to the government sponsored commission...

October 2, 2007 Weblog:

Yves Engler on Canada in Haiti: New Podcast

Yves Engler is the co-author with Anthony Fenton of the most significant book on Canada's involvement in the 2004 overthrow of democracy in Haiti: Canada in Haiti: Waging War On the Poor Majority. The full audio interview with Yves Engler regarding Canada's involvement in the crisis in Haiti since 2004 is now online with the NFB website Citizenshift. The interview develops further ideas not presented in the video interviews published in Darren Ell's Citizenshift dossier about Haiti and Canada. In particular, Yves addresses the role of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Canadian Embassy in blocking meaningful progress in Haiti.

September 28, 2007 Weblog:

Who is the Terrorist? A Critical Conversation on Hezbollah.

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    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17th, 6:30pm

Leacock Building, Room 232
McGill University, 688 Sherbrooke St.
Montreal, Canada

A public event hosted by Tadamon! Montreal & the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at McGill University within the context of the campaign to challenging Hezbollah’s listing as a ‘Terrorist’ Group in Canada…

Presentations from:

Bilal Elamine: Currently living in Beirut, originally from Southern Lebanon, the former editor of Left Turn Magazine, Elamine will outline the current and historical role of Hezbollah in Lebanon from a progressive perspective. Critical recent events in Middle East history will be addressed within the presentation, as Elamine will speak about the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon, the 2007 general strike and opposition protests within the context of Hezbollah’s role in Lebanese society.

Brian Aboud: Presenting on Tadamon!’s campaign to challenge the listing of Hezbollah as a ‘terrorist’ organization in Canada. Today, Canada is one of only three countries world-wide to designate Hezbollah as a ‘terrorist’ organization. The other two are Israel and the United States.

Film Screening:

A Summer Not to Forget: A film by Lebanese film maker, Carol Mansour. Using powerful and disturbing images, the film tells a story of yet another war on Lebanon: 1,200 killed, 4,000 injured, one million displaced, 78 bridges destroyed, 15,000 homes damaged, 15,000 tonnes of oil spilled on 80km of the Mediterranean coastline, 57 collective massacres and much more. Director Mansour takes you into the harsh realities of a nation devastated by war and a people caught under siege.

» continue reading " Who is the Terrorist? A Critical Conversation on Hezbollah."

September 27, 2007 Foreign Policy

From Occupied Afghanistan

Part I: An Interview with Mike Skinner and Hamayon Ragstar

September 26, 2007 Weblog:

Radio Tadamon! Racism & ‘Reasonable Accommodation’.

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Download / Podcast the program from the Rabble Podcast Network.

Listen to an interview with Nazila Bettache of No One is Illegal Montreal on ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ in Quebec. A governmental commission began last week in Canada, on the growing racism faced in Quebec by immigrants.

Immigrants in Quebec have faced a growing political storm throughout the past year, as a Provincial debate on what is referred to as ‘reasonable accommodation’ has attracted international headlines.

* Radio Tadamon! is produced by the Tadamon! collective in Montreal, a social justice group focusing on building solidarity with movements for social / economic justice in the Middle East and Montreal, while also working within Diaspora communities in Canada.

September 21, 2007 Weblog:

OCAP Video: Anti-Poverty Day of Action

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OCAP Promo Video.

OCAP Action on September 26:
Raise the Rates! Mass Panhandle!
11:30 A.M. METRO PARK
(Queen and Church)

City-Wide Demonstration converging @ Queen's Park
2 P.M.

On Wednesday, September 26, a broad coalition of community
organizations, trade unions, health providers and low income people will be challenging Queen's Park to increase social assistance by 40%, raise the minimum wage, build affordable and accessible housing, and implement a Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy .

There will be a rally at the Ontario Legislature under the name of ˜Toronto Anti Poverty". Many of the organizations participating in the event, will hold their own actions on that day before marching on the Legislature for the united event.

For more information about the Day of Action HERE.

September 20, 2007 Weblog:

Haiti: Online Resource about Canada and the Coup

Canadian photographer Darren Ell and the National FilmBoard website CitizenShift have published a new online resource about Canada and the 2004 coup d'état in Canada. The site includes new short films and captioned photographs by Ell as well as photos by young Haitian journalist Wadner Pierre; it also includes podcasted interviews, links to important websites, as well as texts and links to interviews Ell has published about the ongoing impact of the coup. The focus of all the material is Canada's involvement in the coup, it's violent legacy, and digital tools for getting involved. It's called The Damage Done: Canada and the Coup in Haiti

Darren Ell may be reached at darren.e@sympatico.ca

September 19, 2007 Weblog:

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

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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"

June 14, 2007 Weblog:

Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay

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Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay
Macdonald Stainsby
June 14, 2007

» continue reading "Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay"

March 6, 2007 Weblog:

Advice for Haiti Activists in Canada and US

Mario Joseph, the leading human rights lawyer in Haiti, granted me a long interview yesterday in Port-au-Prince. We discussed many things (published soon), but when I asked him about what activists should be doing in Canada and the US, he said: "Keep your eyes wide open, watch your governments closely, be sophisticated in your research." He expressed deep gratitude as well to all those who have been working for democracy in Haiti.

March 4, 2007 Weblog:

Brutalized and Abandoned: Residents of Cité Soleil Speak Out

The two part photo essay about recent arrests and spin by MINUSTAH is now online at Haitianalysis.com As the title of this blog entry suggests, the title of the photo essay is "Brutalized and Abandoned." The photo essay addresses mass arrests, lies about social services in Cité Soleil and the demands of the victims of MINUSTAH.

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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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