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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 "

April 3, 2008 Weblog:

Brutal mass arrest of activists on opening day of summit.

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Photo Credit: Aaron Lakoff

The opening day of the largest NATO gathering in history a brutal mass arrest of activists took place in Bucharest, Romania.

This afternoon hundreds of police made a sudden attack on the legally rented convergence center that local activists had set up to house demonstrators from abroad, as well as serve as a space to organize actions. Wearing ski masks and carrying sub machine guns a team of 80 special forces moved into the space where people were in the process of cooking and talking. Albert, one of the 60 activists who were arrested spoke to me from the police station:

“Yeah the place, over the space was taken by the police. There is nobody inside. Everybody who was inside was taken by the police. They beat everybody inside, and everbody got arrested. "

A police spokesperson stated that nothing illegal had been found within the center, but that the police intervention was provided for in the national constitution. One protester was rushed to the hospital due to the severity of the violence strikes by the police. The Romanian government has taken a zero tolerance towards any actions against NATO.

April 3, 2008 Weblog:

largest NATO summit in history officially opens in Bucharest, Romania, freedom of speech clampdown

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It is being billed as the largest NATO summit in history and officially opened this morning in Bucharest, Romania. In addition to the thousands of official delegates, military figures and journalists covering the event, Bucharest has seen a huge influx of
security personnel, numbering approximately 26,000.
All 26 members of the alliance as well as th2 23-member states of the 23 members of the Partnership for Peace are attending.

City residents have been encouraged to leave town, with schools and workplaces closed for the duration of the summit. Bucharest's Police Chief publicly warned that protests against the summit would not be tolerated. All protest permits have been denied, making anti-NATO. Demonstrations illegal. Activists attempting to enter Romania from other European Union countries say they have been denied entry with no cause given. Many local activists have been followed by the secret services, had visits to their homes, with family members receiving threats and intimidation. On Monday the 1st, at least 8 activists were detained for 8 hours with no charges laid against them.
Meanwhile, local media 'Realitatea' is reporting that activists are
coming to destroy Bucharest and encouraging residents to meet them with force or alert police to anyone who may appear to fit the
description. NATO maintains a military force in Afghanistan, a police force in Kosovo, and a training mission for security forces in Iraq.

» continue reading "largest NATO summit in history officially opens in Bucharest, Romania, freedom of speech clampdown "

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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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