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August 28, 2008 Weblog:

Do poor people in Haiti have right to Education?

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More than two weeks ago, SOPUDEP a non-profit organization fighting among the poor people in the commune of Petion-Ville, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This organization is specialized in education fro the poor students in this commune. Since after the 2004 coup against the constitutional government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the director of SOPUDEP Mrs. Rae Dol has received threats from the authorities of the City Hall of Petion-Ville.

Mrs. Claire Ludy Parent

Claire Ludy Parent a former pro-popular movement in Haiti, she went to turn back against this moment just after the election may 2000 in which she was running for a second mandate as mayor of Petion-Ville, unfortunately, she lost face to Lavalas candidate to this post Mr. Sulley Guerrier who became mayor of Petion-Ville. Nobody can forget the protestations from the international community and the former lavalas opponents to Aristide. Mrs. Parent was one of them, whereas she became mayor for a second time of Petion-ville in the last election for the local authorities in 2006. She now wants to continue the policy of the former defacto mayor, which is the persecution of the people who are pro-popular movement and always stand for the respect of the rights that the poor people have and what they deserve.

» continue reading "Do poor people in Haiti have right to Education? "

August 26, 2008 Weblog:

Fox News & Democracy Now at the DNC

Coverage by Fox News of the protests outside the Democratic National Convention. The chanting that begins around 2:20 is particularly humorous...

Check it in comparison with Democracy Now's coverage of the same event yesterday!

August 23, 2008 Weblog:

Peru: Indigenous occupations end with victory in Congress

On August 22nd, the Peruvian Congress repealed two legislative decrees at the root of the indigenous demonstrations that paralyzed various roads and energy installations from August 9th through 20th. The indigenous movement of the Amazon, home to 65 different indigenous nations, declared victory.

[note: several of the hyperlinks are to articles and websites in Spanish.]

Background

Peruvian President Alan Garcia approved more than 100 legislative decrees in the first half of 2008, making use of special powers bestowed upon the Executive branch by the Congress in order to bring the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Peru into effect. The FTA was signed in 2006 and passed - despite opposition - by the US House and Senate in late 2007.

» continue reading "Peru: Indigenous occupations end with victory in Congress"

August 18, 2008 Weblog:

Colombia: ICC investigates extraditions

The International Criminal Court is sending Argentine attorney Luís Moreno to Colombia to investigate the extradition of paramilitary bosses from Colombia to the US.

The ICC will also investigate the connections between congresspeople and senators with paramilitary groups, a scandal known as parapolitica in Colombia.

The New York Times ran an article on August 15th titled International court may investigate Colombian rebels' backers, which portrays the ICC investigation as primarily related to the FARC and their international funding sources.

Information linking the investigations to the extraditions of paramilitaries and the parapolitica is buried in one sentence at the end of the NYT article. There is no mention of the FARC in the letter to the Colombian government from an ICC representative.

Instead, the letter from Moreno to the Colombian ambassador at The Hague warns the government that if justice can not be done by the Colombian judicial system, the International Criminal Court will intervene.

» continue reading "Colombia: ICC investigates extraditions"

August 15, 2008 Weblog:

DN interview with Jeremy Hinzman

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This morning on Democracy Now! Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez did an excellent interview with Jeremy Hinzman, the first US war resister to seek asylum in Canada. Last Wednesday, Canadian border services ordered Jeremy and his family to leave Canada by September 23rd.

From the interview: "...on June 3rd, the Canadian parliament passed a non-binding motion by a vote of 137-to-110 saying that US war resisters should be able to remain in Canada. However, the conservative government is refusing to enact the legislation."

"Right now, there’s a conservative minority government. Canada has a parliamentary system, and they hold the balance of power. And I wouldn’t say they’re lapdogs to the US, but they share many of the same values of the Bush administration and aren’t really sympathetic to what we’re doing."

Photo by R. Whitlock.

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Political Street Theatre at Indian Affairs

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As the day dragged on, Algonquins of Barriere Lake community members and supporters moved north to Gatineau and performed political street theatre in front of the Department of Indian Affairs. The scene depicts Chief Norman orchestrating a coup d'etat on Michael Wernick's territory with help from an Ontario police officer.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Letter Delegation

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A delegation including Louisa Ratt, Norman Matchewan, and some children from Barriere Lake delivered a letter to Michael's house. The package contained a press release from the event and a letter, addressed from Grand Chief Norman Young of the Tribal Council to Indian Affairs Minister, Chuck Strahl, calling for Indian Affairs to oversee and respect the outcome of a new leadership selection in Barriere Lake.

*Photos taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Algonquins of Barriere Lake hold up posters outside of Wernick's home

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*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Media Ring

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Norman Matchewan is interviewed by a ring of journalists outside of Michael Wernick's home.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Direct Action: Barriere Lake Algonquins Struggle for Justice

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On Friday, August 8th Barriere Lake community members and supporters gathered at Deputy Minister Michael Wernick's house. After appeals to their federal representative, Minister Lawrence Cannon, and protests at the offices of Indian Affairs were ignored, the community felt they were left with no choice.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 12, 2008 Weblog:

International Union of Sex Workers

Ian Sinclair at the Morning Star (the so-called UK's only Socialist Daily) did an interesting interview with "Catherine, a prostitute, dominatrix and activist with the International Union of Sex Workers International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW)."

It's a good read and though definitely controversial to some, it has a good analysis. Excerpt:

"Getting to the nub of their position on prostitution, the IUSW's website argues that "there is nothing inherently exploitative or degrading about consensual sexual behaviour regardless of its motivation." This isn't to say they ignore the darker side of prostitution. "There is abuse and exploitation and rape and coercion. It would be obscene to say that doesn't happen", Catherine admits. But, she argues "the history of the left shows, we didn't go out and rescue the miners, take them away and give them a wash, and say ‘come and do this you will be much happier'. We gave them rights, we gave them bargaining power. And that is the solution to exploitation - to give them rights and resources, not to rescue and redeem them.""

August 12, 2008 Weblog:

Video: Plan of Aggression in Northern Cauca, Colombia

This brand new video may help put into context yesterday's threats on these communities and their leaders.

The five minute short was scripted, filmed and edited by members of the communication network of the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN).

August 12, 2008 Weblog:

Nasa communities in Colombia on Maximum Alert

The following was translated to English by La Chiva:

ALERT: CAMPAIGN OF TERROR BEGINS AGAINST INDIGENOUS NASA IN CAUCA, COLOMBIA

11 August 2008

Earlier this afternoon, the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN) received the text of a threat by email, which we are attaching below for you to read. This letter of terror, signed by the CEC (Campesinos Embejucados del Cauca, or ‘Furious Peasants of Cauca’), announces that “at approximately 00:00 tonight, you will receive information regarding the murders at the hands of peasants of paHECES [1] and the ex-guerrilla heads of the CRIC, which will be confirmed by phone and a consequences of their disrespect.” In this threat, we are referred to as paHECES, or ‘excrement,’ exposing the racism of the author(s).

The 7-page threat states throughout its hateful and false content the decision to defame the indigenous process and the commencement of a campaign of terror and death. The context in which this letter has been sent is that of the parapolítica [2], with the clear collusion of the Colombian government:

The threats against the indigenous movement made by the President of the Republic, who has ordered the payment of rewards for the arrest of indigenous Senator Jesús Piñacué, who is mentioned in the threat;

The recent confession of the paramilitary member Orlando Villa Zapata, involved in the 1991 massacre in El Nilo [Cauca], that said massacre was planned in the Hacienda La Emperatriz in the presence of the landowners;

» continue reading "Nasa communities in Colombia on Maximum Alert"

August 11, 2008 Weblog:

The Ossetia Escalation

No, it's not a Robert Ludlum novel. The Socialist Project has posted an interesting take on the new war in Central Asia.

By attacking Tshkinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, a de facto independent territory since the 1992 ceasefire between Georgian and Osset armies, Saakashvili seems to have attempted to provoke Russia into a confrontation and thus force the hand of the NATO alliance into acting more rapidly. Russia has seen this bluff. But the West, despite some harsh words by the U.S. administration, has simply not followed suit. Saakashvili is a political adventurer who has not refrained from risking to throw the region, indeed the whole world, into the vortex of all out war just to have his country join the imperialist alliance.

August 11, 2008 Weblog:

The Importance of Being disEarnest

OTTAWA, ON - On August 6th 2008, returning from a trip to the West Bank and Israel, Liberal MP and External Affairs Critic Bob Rae spoke in the Canadian Senate about his views on the crisis in Palestine. Many were disenchanted with the inconsistency of his message.

Rae flip-flopped on numerous points as they suited his message including the importance of the history of the conflict, the success of the Annapolis process, the legality of the occupation, and the basis for Canada's involvement in the conflict.

The event was hosted by the National Council on Canada Arab Relations and the Middle East Discussion Group.

August 10, 2008 Weblog:

DFAIT ministers: a defector and a senator

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A low profile June 25th federal cabinet shuffle saw David Emerson, a businessperson who was a star candidate for the Liberal Party and crossed the floor into a cabinet post with the Conservatives shortly after the 2006 election, become the minister of foreign affairs.

Montréal banker and Harper appointed senator Michel Fortier (pictured) was moved from minister of public works and government services to minister of international trade.

Christian Paradis became minister of public works and government services.

August 9, 2008 Weblog:

3000 women missing. They're saying we should do something.

A dedicated group is walking across the country to demand an inquiry into the 3000 women, mostly Indigenous, who have gone missing.

August 8, 2008 Weblog:

Extraction! now available online

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Extraction! Comix Reportage, winner of the 2008 Expozine Alternative Press Award for best English language book & published by the now defunct Cumulus Press, has just been released online as a series of PDFs.

Enjoy!

August 7, 2008 Weblog:

Rae flip-flops over Palestine

OTTAWA, ON- Aug 6th, 2008- what began as a fairly balanced description of the historical record of the creation of Israel in Palestine, quickly became yet another bipartisan speech of the Liberal party. Strongly criticizing Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party’s actions in regard to Israel/Palestine, Liberal Party External Affairs critic Bob Rae failed to provide any concrete actions his own party intends to take.

“It was the emergence of modern Zionism that would set the stage for modern conflict,” He began. His proposed solution to this roughly century-long conflict is “recognition of two states, new governance for Jerusalem, limited right of return, and generous funding of a Palestinian state.”

Contradicting himself several times throughout his speech, Rae paid lip service to the social justice movement while adding to the pile of anti-Iran rhetoric.


“Iran’s president is a holocaust denier and refers to Israel by what can only be described as the most hateful of terms."

“Our role should not be of simple neutrality,” he said, adding, “Our friendship with Israel by no means can be indifferent to the Palestinian claim [for self-governance].” When challenged on his proposed plan of action, he reverted back to mediating and perpetuating the aging peace-process. Meanwhile, he admitted, “I don’t think the process today is particularly transparent.”

He further added to the confusion by concluding “it’s the parties themselves that are going to have to resolve the conflict.”

» continue reading "Rae flip-flops over Palestine"

August 7, 2008 Weblog:

Klein in Shenzen

Naomi Klein's investigation (published in Rolling Stone) of China's massive surveillance project, the "Golden Shield," is well worth the read.

The crackdown in Tibet has set off a wave of righteous rallies and boycott calls. But it sidesteps the uncomfortable fact that much of China's powerful surveillance state is already being built with U.S. and European technology. In February 2006, a congressional subcommittee held a hearing on "The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?" Called on the carpet were Google (for building a special Chinese search engine that blocked sensitive material), Cisco (for supplying hardware for China's Great Firewall), Microsoft (for taking down political blogs at the behest of Beijing) and Yahoo (for complying with requests to hand over e-mail-account information that led to the arrest and imprisonment of a high-profile Chinese journalist, as well as a dissident who had criticized corrupt officials in online discussion groups). The issue came up again during the recent Tibet uproar when it was discovered that both MSN and Yahoo had briefly put up the mug shots of the "most wanted" Tibetan protesters on their Chinese news portals.

August 5, 2008 Weblog:

Monbiot: "Everything hinges on stopping coal"

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There is an excellent article by George Monbiot in today's Guardian titled "The stakes could not be higher. Everything hinges on stopping coal."

He quotes Al Gore as saying "I can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants."

Newsflash, Mr. Gore: in some form or another, they are.

Monbiot goes on to explain that he's on his way to the climate camp outside the coal plant at Kingsnorth (in England).

As if they didn't have enough fossil fuel related issues on their plate with the tar sands, 70% of Canadian coal reserves are in Alberta.

Below, a couple of coal related notes for those who may not have caught them in the Dominion Paper's July in Review:

Goldsource Mines Inc., a junior exploration company, discovered coal in its search for Saskatchewan diamonds. The company's shares rose from 37 cents in late April to $14 per share. With energy costs on the rise, the company says a coal deposit discovery is more valuable than diamonds.

» continue reading "Monbiot: "Everything hinges on stopping coal""

July 24, 2008 Weblog:

Algonquins Demand Justice in Ottawa

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The past month has been a hotbed of indigenous social justice activity in Ottawa. The Algonquin community of Barriere Lake has organized and carried out several actions alongside local organizers and ally groups.

On June 26th, 2008 a dozen Algonquins and supporters occupied the office of MP Lawrence Cannon, Stephen Harper’s Quebec Lieutenant. Cannon is the also the Minister of Transportation and MP Responsible for the Pontiac Region in Quebec, in which Barriere Lake is located.

“We came here today to demand a meeting with the minister,” said Acting Chief Benjamin Nottoway in front of the MP’s office in Buckingham, QC. His demand of the minister was “to call for a leadership reselection in our community. We hope to get a response by today, or we will stay here as long as it takes.”

The aboriginal activists and allies unfortunately could not stay, as by five in the evening they were forced to leave the office. Six were arrested, detained, and released later in the night, greeted by a crowd of cheering supporters.

The chief’s promise to continue putting pressure on the minister was not in vain as on July 16th almost a hundred members of the reserve of 450 came to Ottawa for a three-day protest and camp-out.

We’re here to demand the minister live up to the promise that he made to us,” said former chief Jean-Morice Matchewan. “They never kept one promise that they made to us,” he continued.

» continue reading "Algonquins Demand Justice in Ottawa"

July 22, 2008 Weblog:

Chief of Barriere Lake Speaks

OTTAWA-Located two hours north of Montreal, the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake came to Ottawa to protest government interference in their reserve.
Demanding a meeting with MP Lawrence Cannon and a government-overseeing of governance reselection on their reserve, the community aims to correct a March coup d'etat carried out on their reserve.

The community's Customary Chief, Benjamin Nottoway, speaks with RabbleTV about the recent events on the reserve, the governance difficulties, and the struggle to protect the land.

Terry Matchewan, an Algonquin man who was part of the delegation to Ottawa was attacked alongside four other Algonquin men by Gatineau police and speaks of their targetting and wounds.

July 21, 2008 Weblog:

Haiti: Setting the Record Straight

Peter Hallward sets forth the crucial facts of the 2004 coup d'état in Haiti which ushered in a two-year reign of terror. From the myth of "Aristide the dictator" to the ongoing military occupation of the country by foreign troops, Hallward debunks the mainstream media version of the facts which exonerated imperial powers and obscured the causes of the crisis. Read on...

July 18, 2008 Weblog:

listen online: Indigenous Environmental Network conference in Newe Segobia

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Greetings from the 15th Indigenous Environmental Network gathering to Protect Mother Earth in Newe Segobia (Western Shoshone territory)!

LISTEN ONLINE LIVE HERE: http://www.earthcycles.net/
Info & program here: http://www.ienearth.org/

The first panel of the day - about mining & the extractive industries - is about to get started, with amazing speakers from all over, INCLUDING KI!!! There are 2 smaller workshops on mining today & a field trip tomorrow to Barrick Gold's Cortez gold mine, which is threatening to expand into Horse Canyon, one of the most important Western Shoshone sacred sited.

On that note, the photo is of the Havasupai (Grand Canyon area) delegation at the Longest Walk 2's arrival in DC, The Manifesto for Change, the Resolutions, and the 1978 Longest Walk Manifesto are all now posted as PDF files on the main Longest Walk site: www.longestwalk.org

I'll get more writing up on all these events & issues at some later date...

saludos,
Sandra

July 17, 2008 Weblog:

First Day of Protests by Barriere Lake Algonquins

OTTAWA- The Barriere Lake Algonquins are once again back in Ottawa for a three day protest. Camping out on Victoria Island, the community, alongside Montreal and Ottawa activists, has organized a panel discussion, a series of protests, marches, and events including a panel discussion, film screening, and poetry show.

Last time the Algonquins came to Ottawa, they peacefully occupied MP Lawrence Cannon's office, demanding the end of a March coup d'etat the government enacted on their reserve.

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Press Release

Friday, July 16, 2008

Algonquins to demonstrate in front of Department of Indian Affairs and march through downtown Ottawa: demand Government of Canada end illegal interference in community governance and oversee new leadership selection

Ottawa, ON / – Algonquins from the Barriere Lake First Nation will end three days of demonstrations in Ottawa by picketing in front of the Department of Indian Affairs in Gatineau at 11:00am and marching through the downtown core at 1:30pm, demanding that the Government oversee a leadership re-selection in accordance with Barriere Lake's customs, and honour its signed agreements with the community.

» continue reading "First Day of Protests by Barriere Lake Algonquins"

July 17, 2008 Weblog:

Canadian Hypocrisy, CSIS, and Omar Khadr

The July 15 release of seven hours of footage of a CSIS agent interrogating Omar Khadr is the first footage released of an interrogation at Guantanamo, and the first time that footage of a CSIS interrogation has been made public.

Toronto-born Khadr has been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay since 2002. He was 15 years old when he was accused of throwing a grenade that killed SFC Chris Speer in Afghanistan.

Romeo Dallaire is quoted in today's Guardian saying: "[Canada has] worked for years to assist other nations in eradicating the use of children in conflict. But our own country doesn't even want to recognise that our own citizen (is a child soldier). No matter what his politics are, it's totally irrelevant."

Chiming in on behalf of the small but powerful extreme right, hyper militarized Canuck class, the National Post editorial board had this to say today, in an editorial titled Keep Khadr Where he is: "...the question becomes, do we trust an American military tribunal to dispense justice? Frankly, we do."

This situation is so terrible, and so wrong in so many ways.

Click here for information on writing your MP & the PM demanding that Khadr be transferred from US to Canadian custody.

July 9, 2008 Weblog:

Indigenous Peoples' Declaration on G8 Summit

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Prior the G8 Summit in Japan this year indigenous peoples from around the world gathered in Ainu Mosir. This is the official declaration they have prepared.

INTRODUCTION

» continue reading "Indigenous Peoples' Declaration on G8 Summit"

July 8, 2008 Weblog:

Georgetti & Goodman on Colombian hostage release

In today's Globe & Mail, a letter by Ken Georgetti, contesting the Globe's coverage of the July 2nd release of Ingrid Betancourt and 14 prisoners of war held by the FARC in Colombia.

Georgetti writes: "The only thing more 'stunning' than the rescue was your rush to link this action to the Canada-Colombia trade negotiations in your editorial Colombia's Resurgence (July 4) and in Jeffrey Simpson's column A Bold Rescue Is Good News For Colombia - And Canada (July 5)."

This morning on Democracy Now, Amy Goodman held a roundtable on Colombia with Mario Murillo, Michael Evans and Manuel Rozental.

Rozental states:

"I, first of all, have to say, like I think almost every Colombian, that we were absolutely elated by the liberation of Ingrid and that her condition is good... The fourteen prisoners of war, mistreated, abused, and I’m also glad, as everybody, that they’re free."

» continue reading "Georgetti & Goodman on Colombian hostage release"

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