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September 26, 2007 Weblog:

Evo Morales on the Daily Show

His delivery of the closing line is pretty great.

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 26, 2007 Weblog:

Simon Houpt's nutty report (final Ahmadinejad update)

Here's the Globe and Mail's headline for Simon Houpt's "report" today:

Iranian President gets rough welcome
Leader's speech avoids incendiary comments about Israel's destruction and denials of the Holocaust

I'd like to propose some other suitable headlines for things that were avoided today:

  • Globe and Mail Correspondent Simon Houpt avoids kicking puppies during walk down Broadway
  • Globe and Mail editor Edward Greenspon avoids incendiary racist tirades for one entire week
  • ...and so on...

While I expressed hope that Ahmadinejad's real, on the record comments would allow reporters to move on to criticize him for things he has actually said, this move shows that a) the Globe's editors are aware that the claims are erroneous and b) have decided to keep the claims alive despite the fact that they know that they are false. Pretty grim stuff.

In other news, I emailed Margaret Wente to ask for a source for her talk of "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the Holocaust ever happened and seems quite happy at the thought of unleashing nukes against the Jews."

She responded with an excerpt from this 2005 BBC report. Does it provide enough evidence to back up her claim? (Does it say anything relevant to her claim?) You decide.

And with that, no more Ahmadiblogging for me.

September 25, 2007 Weblog:

Ahmadinejad's speech

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You can see videos of Ahmadinejad's speech and Colombia University President Lee Bollinger's opening remarks. Without any apparent sense of irony, Bollinger calls on the Iranian President to allow an American who is being held without trial in Iran to be allowed to leave, just to cite one example of the bizarre double standard that is, well, standard in the US right now. It's probably standard everywhere, but in any case, it's embarrassing to watch intelligent people talk like this.

September 25, 2007 Weblog:

Ahmadinejad should be criticized, but let it be about things he has actually said

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Ahmadinejad was in New York today, as some of you may have noticed. I'm sure many Iranians (as well as the entire US elite) will tell you that he is pure evil. But as of the last election, they are still in the minority. This may have something to do with his blend of appealing to Islamic "values voters" and the poor ("putting the petroleum income on people's tables" was apparently one of his campaign slogans).

He's a religious nut, but not much more so than George W, as far as I can tell. There's plenty to dislike about the Islamic Revolution--violence, suppression of rights, theocracy, and so on. (That said, the revolution was a reaction to the Shah, who killed his way to power with US help, replacing a democratic, secular government that wanted control over their own oil.) To an extent, Ahmadinejad can be said to represent the results of this theocracy.

That said, let's be serious.

Maybe, just maybe we can put to rest the references to "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the Holocaust ever happened and seems quite happy at the thought of unleashing nukes against the Jews" (as Margaret Wente put it in her absurdly high-profile Globe column on Saturday).

Hopefully the fact that Ahmadinejad repudiated claims that he said these things (not that there was a lack of evidence before) will put this line of thinking to rest.

» continue reading "Ahmadinejad should be criticized, but let it be about things he has actually said"

September 24, 2007 Weblog:

Statscan: Rich got richer, poor and middle class stayed same

A new study says high-income Canadians got a lot richer between 1992 and 2004, while the rest of the population made little financial progress.

The Statistics Canada study, which used tax returns to explore trends among high-income earners, found the top five per cent of the tax-filing population accounted for about 21 per cent of total income in 1992; by 2004 it accounted for 25 per cent.

The study found little improvement among the rest of the population and it says that while there were more high-income earners who were women in 2004, their share of the pie was depleted.

Three-quarters of the 1.2 million high-income Canadians were men, even though men were a minority (48 per cent) of individual income recipients in general.

--Report on Business (not, I note, the National section)

September 24, 2007 Weblog:

High Canadian Dollary Linked to Tar Sands

The rise in value of the Canadian dollar "is an energy story," said Busch. With crude oil futures trading at more than $83 U.S., investment capital is pouring north to help extract oil from so-called tar sands, also known as oil sands, in the province of Alberta.

--Chicago Tribune

September 24, 2007 Weblog:

CRTC Proposal Threatens Community Television in Canada

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Community access television in Canada is once again at risk of being destroyed as an access medium for the Canadian public. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) wants to remove the community channel from the basic cable package, a move that would, in effect, gut community television as an access medium. Canadians are being urged to write to the CRTC and demand that community television remain in the basic cable package. The deadline for submissions is October 9, 2007.

If you want to respond immediately, here's what to do. Click here, to see the CRTC's call for comments in CRTC 2007-10. Paragraph 73 proposes that community television be removed from the basic cable package. Find paragraph 105 and follow the links to file an electronic response. You can also write your response in a separate file and attach it to your electronic submission.

If you would like to know more about this issue, and where to find supporting documents such as existing regulations for community television and learn about others working on the issue, keep reading...

» continue reading "CRTC Proposal Threatens Community Television in Canada"

September 23, 2007 Weblog:

Review of the Shock Doctrine

"Her specific exposes across six decades of infamy are often excellent, but in her larger ambitions her metaphors betray her."

You have to read to the end of Alexander Cockburn's review of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine to find that line, which summarizes the case he makes in the preceding pages. Which is, I think, intuitive, though I haven't read the whole thing: Klein's is good journalism, but "shock doctrine" is too tidy to be a lasting theoretical contribution. As a slogan, though, it's brilliant.

September 22, 2007 Weblog:

For a little taste of how Iran is seen...

...by the right wing of America's young elite, visit this link.

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 21, 2007 Weblog:

The Damage Done: Canada and the Coup in Haiti

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Independent journalist and occasional Dominion contributor Darren Ell's The Damage Done: Canada and the Coup in Haiti is up on the CitizenShift web site. The documentary (and accompanying interviews, podcasts and weblog entries) looks at Canada's role in the coup against democracy in Haiti and the ensuing human rights catastrophe.

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 20, 2007 Weblog:

Massacre memorial for Sabra and Shatila

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from the Montreal Mirror.

by Christopher Hazou

Twenty-five years ago this week, the Israeli army surrounded the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut and sent in their Christian Phalangist allies. Over the next two days, between 800 and 2,000 Palestinian civilians were butchered in a scene of carnage that shocked much of the world.

This Saturday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m., the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine commemorates this sombre anniversary by protesting outside of the Indigo bookstore downtown (corner Ste-Catherine and McGill College), where they will call on Chapters/Indigo majority shareholder Heather Reisman and her husband Gerry Schwartz to end their support of so-called “lone sol-diers”—young Jews who emigrate to Israel alone to join the military.

“This is about direct support to the Israeli army,” says Ehab Lotayef, a member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, another participating group. “The history of the Israeli army and what it represents is not consistent with the educational message that their bookstores should be advocating.”

It will be the 25th such protest against Chapters/Indigo in Montreal since they began in December, with similar demonstrations taking place in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg. For more info, visit www.cjpp.org

September 20, 2007 Weblog:

Demonstrators Disrupt Bernier's First Speech in Quebec as Foreign Minister

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One by one, protesters stood up to interrupt recently appointed foreign minister Maxime Bernier during a speech urging support for the occupation of Afghanistan.

Press accounts in both French and English called it a "baptism of fire" for Bernier.

Radio-Canada has video.

Toronto Star correspondent Allan Woods couldn't make the drive from Ottawa, and ended up publishing quotes from the transcript that was sent to him. He probably got home early enough to watch it on TV.

September 19, 2007 Weblog:

Heather Reisman, Gerry Schwartz & Indigo/Chapters Supporting Israeli Military...

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An excellent article from THIS magazine concerning the growing national campaign to boycott Chapters/Indigo bookstore due to the support for the Israeli military from the company majority shareholders Heather Reisman & Gerry Schwartz...

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Full Article at: This Magazine.

Imagination. Creativity. Inspiration. Three words to stir the soul crown the towering windows of Toronto’s flagship Indigo bookstore. At ground level, shoppers pass in and out of wood-framed glass doors, navigating planters and benches intended to create a friendly, front-porch sort of welcome. They take little notice as, on the sidewalk beyond, two women unfurl an off-white canvas banner. Printed on one side are another three words, less poetic perhaps than the store’s motto, but the intended effect is just as moving: Boycott Chapters/ Indigo.

No, the protest is not a last-ditch attempt by independent booksellers to draw the literate back into their fold. Rather, the activists—11 have turned up on this Friday in April, the first truly warm day of spring—are taking a page from a much larger book. They are members of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), a network of Palestinian rights, Jewish peace and socialist groups doing their part to promote an international boycott campaign against Israel. They compare themselves to the early voices against South African apartheid, and history, they believe, can repeat itself: If international pressure could help rescue South Africa from apartheid, the same can be true for Israel.

» continue reading "Heather Reisman, Gerry Schwartz & Indigo/Chapters Supporting Israeli Military..."

September 19, 2007 Weblog:

Navajo Caravan Detained for 48 Hours by Ontario RCMP

According to this story, it appears that a group of Navajo were detained without a warrant or arrest by the RCMP using antiterrorism legislation.

were on their way to Deseronto in nine vehicles with 10 horses in tow to show support and respect for a group of Tyendinaga Mohawks, said Spata Desareau, 64, a member of the tribe. They travelled across western Canada without incident, but once in Ontario, were stopped by law enforcement three times - Wawa, Sault St. Marie and finally Kaladar, where they were taken into police custody Sunday, he said.

September 19, 2007 Weblog:

25th Commemoration of Sabra / Chatila Massacre.

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Picket and Remembrance in Downtown Montreal...

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd, 1pm
Indigo Bookstore
Corner of St. Catherine & McGill College
(metro McGill)
Montreal, Canada

Between September 16th and 18th, 1982, Israeli military forces in Lebanon, under the direct command Ariel Sharon, former ‘Defense Minister’ of Israel, provided military logistics for the massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila by the right-wing Phalangists militia of Lebanon...

Full Information at Tadamon!

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"

September 18, 2007 Weblog:

Montreal activists call on Brian Mulroney to Denounce Israeli Aparthied

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Montreal, September 18th 2007: The Montreal network of the Coalition against Israeli Apartheid welcomed former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney during a launch of his autobiography at Indigo bookstore by unfurling a banner denouncing the apartheid situation under which Palestinians are living...

Full release from Tadamon! Montreal.

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."

September 17, 2007 Weblog:

Outremont election spin

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So, the conventional spin is that the Liberal lost all three by elections in Quebec today, including the "Liberal stronghold" of Outremont, and oh what a disaster for Stéphane Dion.

But the truth is, Outremont elected yet another Liberal in 2007... he just had orange campaign signs. Less than seven months ago, Thomas Mulcair was minister of the environment in Jean Charest's Liberal government. (Yes, that Jean Charest.)

The key challenge for the NDP will be to keep Mulcair from crossing the floor to the Liberals when they recover in the polls. That, or take the Liberal Party's place by becoming cynically opportunistic by running from the left and governing from the right.

Cynics will note that despite the fact that the anti-war vote contributed to Mulcair's victory, the fact that the Liberal Party is weak in Quebec is apparently likely to have the opposite effect on actual policy when it comes to Afghanistan.

Believers in party politics will tell you that Quebec now has a strong progressive voice in the house of commons, who will pressure the government to withdraw from Afghanistan and fulfill Kyoto obligations.

But he surely won't be to blame if troops remain in Afghanistan, and greenhouse gas emissions and the extractive industries that drive them remain undeterred.

September 17, 2007 Weblog:

T-Star: Right to Self-Determination "Troubling," "Worrisome"

Toronto Star Editorial: "Particularly troubling is the 'right to self-determination' in article 3. Notwithstanding last-minute changes to the declaration that purport to protect the territorial integrity of existing states, could this phrase go beyond encouraging legitimate aspirations for native self-government and empower full-blown secessionist movements? Based on the declaration, it's hard to tell. That's worrisome."

September 16, 2007 Weblog:

International forum on Health and Human rights at Cange Plateau Central

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Paul Farmer, a graduate doctor of the University of Harvard, originating in the center of also titular Florida of a doctorate in Anthropology, came for the first time to Haiti in 1981 after having worked with Haitian immigrants on farms of Florida and Carolina. And he founded "Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health" at Cange, in the central region of Haiti.

There health is free for all, the poor people come from all over the region just to receive health care, and “Zanmi Lasante” it is one of NGOs in Haiti which works closely with Haitian people. Dr. Farmer wants to provide Health for the poor because the poorest people don't have any money to go to the hospital, but they have the right to health care. Some Americans Doctors come to work free and they love to give their time for those who need treatment.

"Plateau Central," "Hinche” or City of Chalmagne Peralte, the 3rd national road whom link it from "Port-Au-Prince" to "Cap-Haitian" doesn't build; it is very difficult to go there. It is an injustice against the people who are living at "Plateau Central", said lawyer Mario Joseph who drove me.

One week like volunteer has Socio-educational Complex and Medical at Cange, it is an occasion to be useful and request with the poorest and most vulnerable persons.

nwanpi(at)gmail.com

September 16, 2007 Weblog:

Skateboarding, Parkour and Architecture

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Photo by Jens-Olaf, creative commons 2.0

Back in 2005, I wrote a review of an art exhibit about skateboarding as a critique of architecture.

In the artwork and the narrative that accompanies it, the exhibit is unabashedly theory-driven. In the large-type wall mounted introduction, curator Anthony Kiendl proposes that skateboarding can be the basis of a "critique of architecture, social spaces, and the values constituted by those spaces." Further comments displayed on the walls alongside the artwork by architectural historian Iain Borden (among others) speak of "movement of the body across social space", of skateboarding as "a reassessment of the values of society as expressed through the reappropriation of social space," or as a kind of "performative language".

[...] A discussion of the skateboarder as flâneur invokes Baudelaire and Benjamin, among others. Like the young men of 19th century Paris celebrated by urban critics and poets of the time, skateboarders are not only a part of the cityscape, but a critical, aloof, self-conscious force within it.

The embedded theoretical text also discusses the privilege granted to "the vertical" in urban architecture and posits the skateboarder as a subversive force that asserts her value in the horizontal plane. Emphasis is taken from the towering edifice and transferred to the ledges, curbs, benches and other ground-level surfaces that surround it. The authority of columns and grandiose feats of engineering are rejected in favour of the immediate human interface available on the ground. (In the language of one of the many quoted theorists, "hierarchies" are "reintegrated from vertical to horizontal arrangements".)

» continue reading "Skateboarding, Parkour and Architecture"

September 15, 2007 Weblog:

Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Passed...

You may have heard that the United Nations recently passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

You may have also heard that only four countries voted against it. Any guesses?

Here's the list:

  • Canada
  • USA
  • New Zealand
  • Australia

» continue reading "Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Passed..."

September 13, 2007 Weblog:

Canada's Ayatollah

Murray Dobbin has a fun piece where he compares Tom D'Aquino of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives to Iran's Grand Ayatollah. The role, it turns out, is not dissimilar.

September 11, 2007 Weblog:

Michael Vick

The WSWS had a great little analysis of the media coverage surrounding Michael Vick. And their interview with Cindy Sheehan is worth a second look, too.

September 11, 2007 Weblog:

The Road to Nahr al-Barid: Lebanese Political Discourse and Palestinian Civil Rights

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An excellent analysis article on the siege of Nahr el-Bared by the Lebanese Army throughout the summer of 2007...

Excerpt below, however read the full version on-line at: Tadamon!

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» continue reading " The Road to Nahr al-Barid: Lebanese Political Discourse and Palestinian Civil Rights"

September 10, 2007 Weblog:

Radio Tadamon! Protests: Israeli Apartheid / Security Prosperity Partnership

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Listen / Download HERE.

This edition of Radio Tadamon! brings you to the streets, from the ongoing demonstrations throughout Canada calling for a boycott of Indigo/Chapters bookstores due to their support for Israel, to the major demonstrations in Montabello, Quebec surrounding the North American trilateral summit in August 2007.

» continue reading "Radio Tadamon! Protests: Israeli Apartheid / Security Prosperity Partnership"

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