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April 24, 2010 Weblog:

Khalas! The Fifth Bil'in International Conference on the Popular Struggle

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In the name of our prisoners: Non-Violence, Creativity, International Joint Struggle

April 21-23, 2010
Bil'in, West Bank

Closing Statement

During this fifth annual conference, we felt the absence of our friends who are prevented by the occupation's cells and bars from joining us, imprisoned for struggling non-violently for our freedom, activists and leaders of the popular committees Abdullah Abu Rahmah, Ibrahim A'amirah, Adeeb Abu Rahmah, Hassan Moussa, Zaydoun Surour, Ibrahim Burnat, Wael Faqi and all political prisoners.

The conference opened with a message from them written by the imprisoned coordinator of the popular committee of Bili'n, Abdullah Abu Rahme. The message spoke of the need to continue the popular nonviolent struggle and the need for international support.

We felt the absence our beloved Bassem Abu Rahmah, along with the martyrs of Ni'lin and those that have fallen to defend our land and human dignity. We heard from the family of the martyr Bassem Abu Rahma on behalf of the families of the martyrs who stated that the popular struggle must continue until freedom is achieved.

We felt the absence of our brothers and sisters from Gaza who can join us only via video conference due to the occupation's criminal siege of 1.5 million of our people.

All those that were not with us physically were with us every minute in spirit. It is your steadfastness and your sacrifice that fuel and inspire the struggle that will ultimately lead us to our freedom.

» continue reading "Khalas! The Fifth Bil'in International Conference on the Popular Struggle"

April 21, 2010 Weblog:

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People Agrees to Meet Kichesipirini

Mr. James Anaya,Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner For Human Rights has agreed to meet with Paula LaPierre, Principal Sachem of the Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation, regarding numerous Algonquin concerns.

Paula LaPierre, an Algonquin leader, has been raising concerns regarding serious irregularities concerning land claim negotiations, distribution of public funds, accountability, good governance, and the need for external intervention regarding domestic policies and Canadians' lack of independent information regarding national developments and much needed institutional reform at the international level now for years.

She first became concerned when observing numerous irregularities surrounding the "Algonquins of Ontario" Land Claims negotiations process.

Her first concerns were about the lack of adequate anti-corruption mechanisms in place. She then became further concerned when participation in the negotiations required compliance to the severely flawed and wasteful process.

Subsequently, she learned that identity manipulations and coercions, substandard policy, and excessive expenditures of public money into questionable processes removed from the rule of law were common features in many Aboriginal processes and policy.

» continue reading "Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People Agrees to Meet Kichesipirini"

April 19, 2010 Weblog:

The importance of remembering Africville

Africville was a small, African-Canadian community in Halifax, razed in the 1960s in order to make way for new development. While it's been several decades, the pain of the action taken without any consultation with area's residents - they were moved without choice - remains today. The issue was back in the news recently, since the provincial government made an apology and offered reparations for the act. The offer has been met with scepticism and mixed feelings though, as Dalal Razzaq has reported for the Halifax Media Co-op.

It's fitting then that the second film we're featuring in our partnership with Work For All is Remember Africville, a short NFB documentary shot in the 1980s and examining the fall-out and the continuing search for answers around this East Coast tragedy. You can watch it above, and for more information check out the Work For All blog.

» continue reading "The importance of remembering Africville"

February 27, 2010 Weblog:

Ontario Government Bans Use of '“Israeli Apartheid"

The Ontario government recently approved a motion that the term "Israeli Apartheid" should not be used.

The motion passed with unanimous support from the Ontario Tory's, Liberals and NDP.

Speaking to the Toronto Sun Conservative MPP Peter Shurman stated that "I want to be clear about what it is I’m trying to do. I want the name changed. It’s that simple. It’s just wrong."

And why is it wrong for Shurman? What stunning and well thought out rational did Shurman use to back up his condemnation of the words "Israeli Apartheid"?

Does he dispute that there are similarities between the Bantustan system in South Africa and the territory allotments to Palestinians? Did he challenge the claim that there are two different laws that exist in Israel, one for Israelis and another for Palestinians? Why did he and the entire Legislature choose to target the the term "Israeli Apartheid"?

“My problem is the name,” he said. “Israeli Apartheid Week is not dialogue, it’s a monologue. The name is hateful, it is odious and that’s not how things should be in my Ontario. It’s a term that frankly I’m sick of hearing. Get rid of this word apartheid.”

Two things.

One, Shurman never said that the term was not accurate in describing the system. Which makes sense given many South Africans and Israelis themselves use this terms to describe the treatment of Palestinians.

Two, replace the word "Israeli" with "South African" in Shurman's quote and it makes about as much sense as it would have in the 1980's.

February 23, 2010 Weblog:

Canada Excluded from New South American Regional Body

As reported in the BBC:

Latin American and Caribbean nations have agreed to set up a new regional body without the US and Canada. The new bloc would be an alternative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), the main forum for regional affairs in the past 50 years.

The new bloc is called Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. It joins a number of new regional bodies in Latin America which have recently been developed including the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Petrocaribe S.A., and the Union of South American Nations, all of which have been promoting regional integration. A regional currency similar to the EURO, called the SUCRE is also being planned.

February 18, 2010 Weblog:

One Month After the 7.0 Earthquake, Haitians Ready to Move On

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By Wadner Pierre
first published on:www.haitianalysis.com
The men and women of Haiti are strong and ready to show the world that they can rebuild their country. The US corporate media has broadcast many images of the earthquake that destroyed Port-au-Prince and a great part of southeastern Haiti. Contrary to what many of these images convey, most Haitians have not fallen into desperation or abandoned their dignity. During my recent trip to my country I observed people moving forward valiantly.

Entering the capital from the Dominican Republic, at Croix-Des-Bouquets, I saw residents gathered to discuses solution to their many problems which include dealing with NGO bureaucracy which has proven to be a heavy burden on top of all the others they have carried since the earthquake. Haitians have had to reply on themselves to secure their basic needs.

Haitians have had to rely on themselves to secure their basic needs. They walk for miles on foot to retrieve meager rations of water while USAID employees are seen using up to three SUVs to transport six people. Haitians scrounge up materials to put together makeshift tents while, next to them, in a US military compound, soldiers have more tents than they can use. Haitians, the lucky ones, used candles to light their tents while the US soldiers in the compound cheered the Superbowl that was shown on a big screen TV.

It took three days for a local Haitian leader to register his community for World Food Program (WFP) assistance. This is an incredibly long time considering everything he had going for him. He had access to an SUV. He is fluent in three languages and well connected with foreigners. His community (of three thousand people) is located only ten minutes away from where the WFP is based.

» continue reading "One Month After the 7.0 Earthquake, Haitians Ready to Move On"

February 16, 2010 Weblog:

Haiti : Depictions of Aristide in 2010 Quebec Mainstream Media

One decade since the last round of disinformation about former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide kicked into high gear, Quebec mainstream print media has proven itself impervious to historical fact. According to columnists, editors and political cartoonists in Quebec’s most influential print media, Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a lunatic, a dictator on par with Baby Doc, a last-ditch hope for desperate Haitians, and a danger to Haiti. Here’s some of what the chroniclers of our time have been saying to the majority French population in Quebec. The translations to English are mine.

The principle columnist on Haiti for La Presse in Montreal has been Vincent Marissal, a popular figure on the Quebec media landscape. Reporting from Port-au-Prince, he mused about who should replace Préval (a failed leader who he feels should be replaced with no democratic process) :
« Obviously, several leaders are totally inappropriate, but as long as the opposition doesn’t find someone capable of rallying people and creating a concensus, it will be wasting its energy. It’s not for nothing that we see banners and graffiti demanding the return of Aristide. People are looking for a glimmer of hope, even if it means looking into the darkest corners of their recent past. »(1)

» continue reading "Haiti : Depictions of Aristide in 2010 Quebec Mainstream Media"

February 16, 2010 Weblog:

Haiti One Month after the Earthquake: I Witnessed, And I Want to Tell

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Article photos by
Wadner Pierre

One Month after the Earthquake, bureaucracy worsens the situation in Haiti. Because of a lack of leadership, the Haitian government has no control over the distribution of humanitarian aid. In spite of all the millions of dollars that have been raised and sent to Haiti, the majority of earthquake survivors still do not receive help. However, people do keep moving with dignity and a big hope of restarting a new life and putting their country back to work.

Haitian people always show the world that they are a strong people and can rebuild their country no matter how long it will take them. Haiti's reconstruction should and must be done in the interest of Haitian people. One month since the 7.0 earthquake destroyed Haiti's capital and a great part of the south and southeast of the country, the world has mobilized to help the Haitian people. Millions of dollars and tons of medical supplies have been sent to the country through international organizations and large nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). However, the Haitian people do not know to whom they have to turn for help, and they now are asking the following questions:

What are these millions doing for us survivors?
Who is benefitting from these millions?
Who has access to the UN operations center?
Who decides for the Haitian people?

My recent trip to my beloved country, Haiti, helped me and gave me the answers.

Twenty thousand US troops, several thousand Canadian troops, the NGO sector, armored vehicles, US ships, helicopters, and several hundred SUVs or 4WD vehicles are allowing the NGOs' representatives to continue their bureaucracy while Haitian people have no tents, no water, no food, and children are dying because of lack of care.

» continue reading "Haiti One Month after the Earthquake: I Witnessed, And I Want to Tell"

» view more photos in"Haiti One Month after the Earthquake: I Witnessed, And I Want to Tell"

February 14, 2010 Weblog:

Haiti: Quebec Journalist calls for imposed regime in Haiti

In his February 12th column, Vincent Marissal, chronicler for La Presse in Montreal, called for an imposed tutelage for five years in Haiti. He proposed it should be made up of unnamed well-known Haitian personalities, members of the diaspora and the international community. According to him, the failed relief effort in Haiti is to be blamed entirely on the Préval administration, which has lost all legitimacy in Haiti and should thereby be replaced from the outside. Below is a response I have written to Mr. Marissal. I encourage you to draft your own, in English or French. He can be reached at vincent.marissal@lapresse.ca

Here is a link to his original article: (http://www.cyberpresse.ca/opinions/chroniqueurs/vincent-marissal/201002/12/01-948858-le-temps-dagir.php)

Montreal, February 14th, 2010

Dear Mr. Marissal,

» continue reading "Haiti: Quebec Journalist calls for imposed regime in Haiti"

January 29, 2010 Weblog:

Honduras: The People vs. Pepe Lobo

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The inauguration of Pepe Lobo in Honduras Wednesday marked the consolidation of the June 28 coup d'état in the Central American country.

Undeterred, thousands of Hondurans gathered for a parallel inauguration ceremony, the presidential sash handed off to members of the popular resistance movement.

According to Dina Meza, a reporter from the streets of resistance, Pepe Lobo "took possession of the government, with a small presence of international dignitaries, and a minimal participation of Hondurans. Hundreds of military and police almost equaled the number of civilians in the area."

The morning of the inauguration there were early morning police raids and at least 41 people were detained, a worrying sign that repression and killings of social activists will continue under this new regime.

» continue reading "Honduras: The People vs. Pepe Lobo"

January 28, 2010 Weblog:

On the Ground in Port-Au-Prince

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By Lawyer, Professor, Bill Quigley
Hundreds of thousands of people are living and sleeping on the ground in Port-Au-Prince. Many have no homes, their homes destroyed by the earthquake. I am sleeping on the ground as well - surrounded by nurses, doctors and humanitarian workers who sleep on the ground every night. The buildings that are not on the ground have big cracks in them and fallen sections so no one should be sleeping inside.

There are sheet cities everywhere. Not tent cities. Sheet cities. Old people and babies and everyone else under sheets held up by ropes hooked onto branches pounded into the ground.
With the rainy
season approaching, one of the emergency needs of Haitians is to get tents. I have seen hundreds of little red topped Coleman pup tents among the sheet shelters. There are tents in every space, from soccer fields and parks to actually in the streets. There is a field with dozens of majestic beige tents from Qatar marked Islamic Relief. But real tents are outnumbered by sheet shelters by a ratio of 100 to 1.
Rescues continue but the real emergency remains food, water, health care and shelter for millions.
Though helicopters thunder through the skies, actual relief of food and water and shelter remains minimal to non-existent in most neighborhoods.
Haitians are helping Haitians. Young men have organized into teams to guard communities of homeless families. Women care for their own children as well as others now orphaned. Tens of thousands are missing and presumed dead.
The scenes of destruction boggle the mind. The scenes of homeless families, overwhelmingly little children, crush the heart.

» continue reading "On the Ground in Port-Au-Prince "

January 26, 2010 Weblog:

Kichesipirini Assert Need for Legal Empowerment

Open Letter Regarding Land Disputes and Legal Empowerment Presentation

We are an Indigenous Peoples of Canada with a documented historical record well capable of meeting the requirements of a fact-finding process as is determined necessary for the purpose of reconciling sovereignty assertions made by the "Crown". However, because of systemic gaps regarding Indigenous issues, we have long been denied equitable opportunity to address our outstanding land claim disputes, unable to rely on the domestic policy structures of the existing Canadian State.

I would like to thank the panelists for this relevant and timely discussion as it pertains directly to the numerous issues that we as an Indigenous Peoples have been attempting to resolve, but according to the existing avenues, have absolutely no effective recourse. We are in dire need of legal empowerment.

Of particular interests to us are those rights associated with Independent Land Title and Rights Registration, as we, as part of the Algonquin Nation, have never legally ceded or surrendered any title or associated jurisdiction.

As a traditional Indigenous Peoples in North America we are severely disadvantaged since reliance on any of the domestic policy currently available automatically acquiesces our potentially over-riding Aboriginal and international rights and places us in an assumed position of compliance with unresolved British Crown assertions, and is then further assumed to be our agreement to the continuing encroachments associated with adverse possession. Our history directly challenges the assertions of the existing “Crown of Canada” void of Indigenous Peoples appropriate recognition.

» continue reading "Kichesipirini Assert Need for Legal Empowerment"

January 21, 2010 Weblog:

Not A Time To Be Pulling Strings

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By Wadner Pierre
This opinion article first published by an Australian website: www.newmatilda.com

Haitian expat blogger Wadner Pierre delivers his preliminary survey of the complex issues of relief and representation arising from the 12 January earthquake
I am overwhelmed, frustrated and even angered by what some journalists have written about Haiti since the 12 January earthquake and I cannot believe some of the images I have seen on news channels such as CNN and MSNBC.

It's true that some journalists are doing their very best to give a real picture of the situation on the ground in Haiti — and some are just doing what their bosses have asked (or ordered) them to do.

But the mainstream media, especially in the United States, has focused the attention of their audiences on the fact that Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and concentrated on the efforts of the US, the richest country in the Americas, to mobilise disaster relief services.

In doing so, they are overlooking many important questions: Why is Haiti so poor? Why did the United States have to wait until a deadly catastrophe like the earthquake to deliver assistance to Haiti, located just 90 minutes by air from the coast of Florida? Why have successive US governments failed to support real democracy in Haiti? Why, in 1991, did the CIA under George Bush senior plot with Haiti's elite class to carry out a coup against Haiti's first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently in exile in South Africa? And then why in 2000–2004 did George W Bush's administration fail to support the elected Aristide government?

» continue reading "Not A Time To Be Pulling Strings"

January 18, 2010 Weblog:

Ten Things the US Can and Should Do for Haiti

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by Bill Quigley

One. Allow all Haitians in the US to work. The number one source of money for poor people in Haiti is the money sent from family and workers in the US back home. Haitians will continue to help themselves if given a chance. Haitians in the US will continue to help when the world community moves on to other problems.

Two. Do not allow US military in Haiti to point their guns at Haitians. Hungry Haitians are not the enemy. Decisions have already been made which will militarize the humanitarian relief - but do not allow the victims to be cast as criminals. Do not demonize the people.

Three. Give Haiti grants as help, not loans. Haiti does not need any more debt. Make sure that the relief given helps Haiti rebuild its public sector so the country can provide its own citizens with basic public services.

Four. Prioritize humanitarian aid to help women, children and the elderly. They are always moved to the back of the line. If they are moved to the back of the line, start at the back.

Five. President Obama can enact Temporary Protected Status for Haitians with the stroke of a pen. Do it. The US has already done it for El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan and Somalia. President Obama should do it on Martin Luther King Day.

Six. Respect Human Rights from Day One. The UN has enacted Guiding Principles for Internally Displaced People. Make them required reading for every official and non-governmental person and organization. Non governmental organizations like charities and international aid groups are extremely powerful in Haiti - they too must respect the human dignity and human rights of all people.

Seven. Apologize to the Haitian people everywhere for Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.

» continue reading "Ten Things the US Can and Should Do for Haiti "

January 18, 2010 Weblog:

NOT ONCE have we witnessed a single act of aggression or violence

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Ciné Institute Director David Belle reports from Port-au-Prince:

"I have been told that much US media coverage paints Haiti as a tinderbox ready to explode. I'm told that lead stories in major media are of looting, violence and chaos. There could be nothing further from the truth.

"I have traveled the entire city daily since my arrival. The extent of damages is absolutely staggering. At every step, at every bend is one horrific tragedy after another; homes, businesses, schools and churches leveled to nothing. Inside every mountain of rubble there are people, most dead at this point. The smell is overwhelming. On every street are people -- survivors -- who have lost everything they have: homes, parents, children, friends.

"NOT ONCE have we witnessed a single act of aggression or violence. To the contrary, we have witnessed neighbors helping neighbors and friends helping friends and strangers. We've seen neighbors digging in rubble with their bare hands to find survivors. We've seen traditional healers treating the injured; we've seen dignified ceremonies for mass burials and residents patiently waiting under boiling sun with nothing but their few remaining belongings. A crippled city of two million awaits help, medicine, food and water. Most haven't received any.

"Haiti can be proud of its survivors. Their dignity and decency in the face of this tragedy is itself staggering."
David Belle, January 17th, 2010
Posted by Wadner Pierre at 10:57

January 14, 2010 Weblog:

China: Google ceases internet censorship

On January 12, 2010, internet company Google announced it would no longer censor search results on the Chinese Google.cn. The decision was made as a result of its Gmail accounts being hacked from accounts based in China, specifically targeting Chinese human rights activists. The official Google blog stated, “We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.”

China however has defended its right to censor the internet, with Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Jiang Yu stating at a weekly media briefing, “China's Internet is open and the Chinese government encourages development of the Internet." With so much government censorship, however, one must wonder how much development can actually occur.

Freedom of speech and expression is something most of us living in democratic societies value. It is viewed as a basic human right. But of course, not everyone would agree. A worker at a software company in China, referred to by his last name, Cui, told the Age newspaper, “Every nation restricts the Internet. China has its laws. If you want to leave China, it's your own business but you have to respect the laws here."

However another internet company employee told The Age, the government was concerned about pornography on the internet, but he also believed they were mostly concerned with political content, “They talk about pornography, but with 1.3 billion people, who has not seen pornography?” he said. Clearly the people are not happy.

» continue reading "China: Google ceases internet censorship"

January 13, 2010 Weblog:

Haiti: A 7.0 Earthquake Hit the Western Part of Haiti.

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“People cry, and many lives have gone, but Haiti can rebuild.”
by Wadner Pierre

Early this morning, I spoke to some of my friends in Haiti and had a very wonderful conversation with them. A couple of hours later, my friend Guerline, who lives in Montreal, sent me a text message about the earthquake that hit Haiti. My beloved country was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Expects reported on CNN that it was the worst ever recorded in this region of the Caribbean.

I know my country, and I know Carrefour and its surrounding areas. The way that most of houses in Haiti are built is contrary to any safety norm or standard. A major earthquake like this will undoubtedly devastate people’s lives, and make them more vulnerable than ever before. The political instability that has ravaged the country for years will make things worst. What happened in Haiti some fives hours ago is truly catastrophic. Even the President’s office, public buildings received major damages or collapsed.

The President and his wife are safe, but no one knows where they are. The secretary of the President, Fritz Longchamps was in the street when the Earthquake struck. Randomly, Haiti’s Ambassador in the United State, Raymond Joseph, reached him by telephone and told him that he had no contact with the president. Joseph, who served as Haiti’s Ambassador since the de facto government of 2004-2006, is now appealing to the world for help.

» continue reading "Haiti: A 7.0 Earthquake Hit the Western Part of Haiti."

January 6, 2010 Weblog:

Haiti: Upcoming Elections to be a Set Back to Haiti's Democratic Development

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By Wadner Pierre
©Photo Randal White

The U.S. Representative, Californian Congresswoman, a long-time supporter of democracy in Haiti Maxine Waters, qualified the Haiti's upcoming election to be a set back for Haiti's democratic development if these elections will not be fair and credible. Congresswoman Waters expressed her concerns about the upcoming elections in a letter addressing to Haitian President, Mr. Rene Preval.

Representative Waters' letter is one of dozens of letters that have been sent to President Preval, U.N's Secretary General and OAS' Secretary General about the upcoming flawed election in Haiti, scheduled for the months February and March.

Coming soon, more analysis about other letters on Haiti's undemocratic upcoming elections as already qualified by national and international political leaders and human groups.

Below is the Letter of Rep. Waters to President Preval.
December 23, 2009
His Excellency René Préval - President of Haiti
c/o Embassy of Haiti

2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
click image below for story

Your Excellency:

I am writing to express my concerns about the decision of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to exclude more than a dozen political parties from the Parliamentary elections scheduled for February and March 2010. I am concerned that these exclusions would violate the right of Haitian citizens to vote in free and fair elections and that it would be a significant setback to Haiti’s democratic development.

» continue reading "Haiti: Upcoming Elections to be a Set Back to Haiti's Democratic Development"

December 17, 2009 Weblog:

Honduras: Two Detained and Fear of Evictions by Coup Security Forces in Land Recuperations in Colon

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Honduras: Two Detained and Fear of Evictions by Coup Security Forces in Land Recuperations in Colón

by Sandra Cuffe
December 17, 2009

Two active members of the Aguan Farmworkers Unification Movement (MUCA) were detained at approximately 11am yesterday, December 16th when they left a land recuperation in the department of Colon, in northeastern Honduras.

Osman Alexis Ulloa Flores and Mario René Ayala were taken to the police station in Tocoa and remain in detention in the city. Local police authorities refused to comment via telephone on the arrest or charges. However, the local district attorney was able to confirm that the men have been charged with land usurpation, while resistance lawyers in the region confirmed that the accusing party is the Cressida Corporation owned by powerful businessman and landowner Miguel Facussé Barjum.

One week prior to the detentions, approximately one thousand families belonging to MUCA staged two simultaneous recuperations of contested lands in Colon. Claimed by Miguel Facussé, the La Confianza Cooperative in the municipality of Tocoa includes a producing African palm plantation. The San Esteban Cooperative in the municipality of Trujillo, meanwhile, is claimed by Nicaraguan landowner René Morales. Prior to the mid-1990s, a period commonly referred to as the 'agrarian counter-reform' of Honduras, the lands in question belonged to agricultural cooperatives co-owned by many of the very same farmworkers now involved in the MUCA actions.

» continue reading "Honduras: Two Detained and Fear of Evictions by Coup Security Forces in Land Recuperations in Colon"

December 17, 2009 Weblog:

Reading La Prensa in Honduras

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Since I've been in Honduras, I've been hearing a constant refrain about the "medios golpistas," which is to say the pro-coup media. I avoided the papers for a while, preferring to listen to the radio, read online, and talk to Hondurans about the situation in the country (I generally do the same at home anyways).

That said, I caved and bought the paper today, and even though I was planning to spend the day transcribing, I feel compelled to write a post about flipping through La Prensa this morning over coffee.

"Government proposes break with ALBA" screams the headline on A1, with another story below on the assassination of the daughter of a pro-coup journalist.

The next three pages of the paper are dedicated to "The Keys of 2009," an ongoing series of unsigned opinion pieces presented as factual, objective reporting on the events that defined 2009.

Second of today's 12 "Keys" is a blurb titled "External aid pulled, commerce closed because of political crisis." I'm going to translate part of it here in an effort to get across the editorial perspective (again, masquerading as fact) in the paper.

The substitution of José Manuel Zelaya Rosales was like a bucket of icy water for the depressed national economy... The Internaional Monetary Fund - with who Zelaya had broken relations and had negated to sign a new memorandum of understanding with, was one of the first to distance itself from Honduras after June 28.

Not only is this a Non Sequitur, it's not true.

» continue reading "Reading La Prensa in Honduras"

December 16, 2009 Weblog:

Honduran LGBTT activist and coup resistor Walter Tróchez killed

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Prominant LGBTT activist Walter Tróchez was assassinated by gunmen in Tegucigalpa on Sunday, marking the 10th murder of a gay or trans activist since the June 28 military coup.

According to journalist Dina Meza, police did not visit the scene of the killing until more than 12 hours after Tróchez was killed. Meza wrote that his murder is "being managed with all the negligence possible by police investigators."

Tróchez was kidnapped and beaten on December 4, but managed to escape. According to sources close to Tróchez, police did not investigate the kidnapping.

From a letter Tróchez wrote less than a month before his death:

» continue reading "Honduran LGBTT activist and coup resistor Walter Tróchez killed "

December 14, 2009 Weblog:

Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation Applauds AFN Bravado

Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation Applauds AFN Bravado in Asserting Inherent Rights

December 13, 2009

Leadership of the Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation were very encouraged by the emerging consensus amongst First Nation representatives to have independent access to educational and legal advise that would assist them in furthering their inherent and inalienable rights as the descendents of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.

Representatives of the Kichesipirini community were particularly impressed with this heightened resolve amongst Canada’s Indigenous Peoples since the Kichesipirini has been using its unique position as still sovereign and traditional government not having signed a Treaty or come under domestic policy to actively promoting these very rights at the international level on behalf of Indigenous Peoples supporting emerging Canadian nationality and full independence.

Relying on the numerous conflicts of interests and historical misinformation entrenched within the existing land claim negotiations process the Kichesipirini community has been refusing all inducements to corruption, collusion or forced collaboration consistent with the existing policy, insisting instead that there need be developed appropriate third party adjunction at the international level for negotiation if there is to be certainty and the perception of justice.

To further such necessary institutional developments the Kichesipirini has used its inherent title and jurisdiction to responsibly present a caution against certain held property advertised for sale within unceded territory for the establishment of The Pimadiziwin Centre, a proposed Kichesipirini Kichi Sibi Anishnabe Community Centre and Independent Institute of International Indigenous Justice Studies.

» continue reading "Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation Applauds AFN Bravado "

December 11, 2009 Weblog:

The Dominion Newspaper Cooperative is looking for interns!

The Dominion Newspaper Cooperative is looking for interns!

Are you:

  • passionate about writing, editing and the news?
  • inspired by social justice and grassroots organizing?
  • looking for a different experience from corporate news organisatons?
  • looking for experience with a monthly national publication and news website?

The Dominion Newspaper Cooperative – http://dominionpaper.ca & http://mediacoop.ca – is a national web & print news outlet that aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Canada's first national media cooperative, we have local coops in Halifax, Vancouver and Toronto.

Interns with the Cooperative will have a chance to gain experience in all aspects of a print and online news outlet, including editing & writing, blogging, participating in editorial meetings, layout & design, and fundraising & circulation. Specific tasks will be worked out with interns based on interests and actual staffing needs.

To apply, please send us a short email (max. 300 words) explaining why you would like to intern at the Dominion Newspaper Cooperative by December 18th 2009. Internships will begin in early January 2009 in our new office located in Montreal, QC.

While we are currently unable to pay interns, we are willing to structure the internships to meet course-credit needs and make sure the experience is enriching and fun. Internships run a minimum of 3 months.

Please note: Interns must be located in Montreal for the duration of their internship.

Send your emails to info@mediacoop.ca

December 10, 2009 Weblog:

Mel Zelaya Steadfast in Honduras

Reposting from the Media Co-op.

Mel Zelaya, the elected president of Honduras who was deposed in a military coup on June 28, is not leaving the country, as is being reported in the corporate media.

The first reports that he was to leave the embassy tonight came from the corporate media in Honduras, who have been active supporters of the military coup. Zelaya has been in hiding in the Brazilian embassy since 21 September.

Tele Noticias quoted an anonymous source within the defacto governement, who explained that Zelaya may be planning to leave the country this evening.

By 7:15pm, the corporate media had already gathered outside the Brazilian embassy, where there was a heavy police presence, but no sign of Zelaya’s supporters.

Andrés Thomas Conteris, a journalist inside the embassy, confirmed that Zelaya had no intention of leaving, in fact, he was preparing to have dinner.

The police erected a crowd control fence as supporters of Zelaya began to arrive and vocally demonstrate their support for the deposed president.

Small crowds yelled at corporate journalists, and news anchor was pushed to the ground. A scuffle ensued as heavily armed police pushed supporters into a parking lot across the street from the Brazilian embassy.

The police brought in reinforcements including an armored personnel carrier, and positioned sharpshooters in balaclavas behind their lines.

Anger against the coup regime is running high, and many Hondurans blame the corporate media for aiding the coup regime.

» continue reading "Mel Zelaya Steadfast in Honduras"

December 1, 2009 Weblog:

Kichesipirini Documents Nuclear Industry Contaminant Exposure Concerns

The Dialogue Denied Us

The leadership of the Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation continue final edits on document that raises serious questions concerning chronic public exposures to dangerous environmental contaminants and that such ongoing deliberate exposure is directly associated with ongoing government and industry refusal to recognize Kichesipirini as a verifiable historical Algonquin nation, and our continued assertions of the legal and moral right to exercise our inherent and inalienable traditional governance role.

The Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation became very concerned about possible hidden agendas associated with the blatant refusal to address Kichesipirini assertions in connection with land claim negotiations. Of particular concern is the reliance on flawed "negotiations" as a means to circumvent the law to resolve Aboriginal claims consistent with the legal requirements of purposeful fact-finding processes and adherence to historical truth as is required with litigated land claims.

Such circumventions of the legal process denied Kichesipirini their rightful role as protectors and responsible government.

Kichesipirini community members suspected that the many irregularities, especially the allocating of public monies and certain inflated responsibilities and jurisdictions regarding the Algonquin Nations particular relationship with the Manhattan Project and nuclear industry to Aboriginal communities that did not possess such authority, to be indicative of a systemic refusal to genuinely inform the public about the issues, thereby blocking all chances to actual accountability and examination of the facts, and that such demographic manipulations were probably indicative of some larger issues.

» continue reading "Kichesipirini Documents Nuclear Industry Contaminant Exposure Concerns"

November 28, 2009 Weblog:

Anti-Mining Activist Mariano Abarca Assassinated in Chiapas

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Mariano Abarca, a community activist known for his opposition to mining was assassinated last night in Chicomuselo, a town in Chiapas, Mexico.

Abarca was shot in the head and chest by a man on a motorcycle. He had been abducted in August, and again received death threats in the week prior to his death.

In a November 28 email to supporters, Gustavo Castro, an organizer with Otros Mundos AC in Chiapas, wrote:

[Mariano was] a dear friend, admired for his struggle against the Canadian mining company Blackfire, and a member of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA-Chiapas). Yesterday we spoke to him on the phone and he told us he had filed a complaint against the company. Today he's dead.

It is with great sadness that I write these words. I will continue to update here as more news becomes available.

Update: Here is the English translation of an article about the assassination from La Jornada.

November 26, 2009 Weblog:

Toronto Police Racially Profile Man, Lie in Court...AGAIN!

For the second time, a judged has concluded that Toronto Police have engaged in racial profiling and lying to Ontario Superior Court when dealing with Irshad Ahmed.

According to the Toronto Star and National Post, Superior Court Justice Frances Kiteley found police had lied in their explanation of why they pulled Mr. Ahmed over exactly one year ago to this day. The judge concluded in her decision, "I am compelled to draw the inference that Mr. Ahmed was investigated and arbitrarily detained because of his race."

Last year in a separate case, Superior Court Justice William Bassel found that officers lied and racially profiled Ahmed last year when used excessive force Tasering him.

November 26, 2009 Weblog:

Report: Unwanted Armed Guards + Mohawk Land = Bad Idea

An internal Report from the Canadian Border Services Agency, warned that arming border guards at a controversial border crossing could result in violence.

According to a story in the Toronto Star, the crossing on Akwesasne Mohawk land at the Ontario-Quebec-New York border was to be staffed by armed guards in May 2009.

Six months before, the report claimed that doing so could lead to violence and "further damage the border agency's relationship with local Akwesasne Mohawks".

The day before guards were to get guns, 400 Mohawks had camped near the border crossing. According to the guards, threats of violence were issued causing the guards to abandon their posts.

Mohawks make up 70% of the cross border traffic at the crossing and demonstrated against the arming of the guards stating that it was a threat to their sovereignty and that they would evict the federal government if the guards were armed.

Speaking in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder Akwesasne Mohawk Grand Chief Tim Thompson said MP Stockwell Day, Public Safety Minister at the time, refused to meet with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne over the issue.

November 20, 2009 Weblog:

Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal: New camouflage to better fight the enemy within?

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Public Works and Government Services Canada has awarded a $25,000 contract to a BC firm in return for a controversial service -- the design of urban camouflage specifically suited to Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.

The contract requirements are as follows:

The Department of National Defence, Defence Research and
Development Canada - Suffield, (DRDC-S), AB, has a requirement to develop a Canadian Urban Environment Pattern (CUEPAT) based on the unique requirements of Canada's three major metropolitan areas, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. The current CBR individual protective equipment (IPE) used by the Canadian military is provided in a woodland or desert camouflage. A camouflage suited to the Canadian urban environment is required when the milatary (sic) operates in urban terrain.

Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp, pride of Maple Ridge, BC, was the only firm invited to bid on the contract. The company has designed camouflage patterns for countries including Israel, Iraq and Malaysia.

» continue reading "Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal: New camouflage to better fight the enemy within?"

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