Monday, May 29, 2006

Activist Image: I Want You!

This is from Alex Jones' Prision Planet. He is an outspoken conservative radio host from Austin Texas that talks about 9-11 and the 'New World Order'. He talks about how people are information soldiers on the front lines and have to fight against US tyranny. Jones has what he calls an information wakeup package that accompanies the image. If you can get past his dogma he does bring up some interesting points.

Personal: I'm in the middle of a lot of work, including a midterm tonight with Prof. Chossudovsky so my posts may not be as frequent or investigative.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ottawa: Where Have Canadian Troops Been Sent

Canada has an image of a peacekeeping country, who help found the creation of peacekeepers and have always been there to help other countries in need. Whether that is still true or not is in question. Since the mid 1990s Canadian participation in United Nations peacekeeping has been on a steady decline. Instead what has taken over is more participation in NATO forces as seen by the contribution of forces during the break up of the Former Yugoslavia and, in Afghanistan. More recently since September 11th, 2001 the United States led "Operation Enduring Freedom" has become a priority for Canadian military involvement.

According to a recent study done by the Polaris Institute only 18 troops and 41 military observers are being contributed to United Nations military peacekeepers as of May 17th, 2006. Currently Canadian forces have about 2,300 troops in Afghanistan under "Operation Enduring Freedom". This has changed because, earlier this year 800 of Canadian troops were under NATO command in Afghanistan. Canada is also participating outside of the United Nations, NATO and, "Operation Enduring Freedom" in an EU force in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a multi-national force in the Sinai and, the International Military Advisory Training Team in Sierra Leone.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Iran: Is it Next or already Underway

Iran is the talk of the town in the halls of Western power and in the media. Iran has bloodthirsty rulers, who are developing weapons of mass destruction, and have links to terrorists. Wait, did the world not hear this same thing three years ago with one letter difference a "“q" instead of an "“n"”. In this case however, Iran does have extensive ties to terrorist groups and, does have a nuclear program, which they maintain is for peaceful energy use.

The drumbeat for war can be felt in the media by, the fake story which was printed by the National Post. The National Post printed a story claiming that Jews, Christians, and other groups had to wear coloured badges to show their religion. The Post had to retract the piece due to it not being true, but not before Prime Minister Harper was able to make a comment comparing Iran to Nazi Germany. Tehran has since requested the Canadian ambassador to explain these comments and the fake news story that flooded the world media.

Whether there is push for war in the media does not force a war to happen. It is the boots on the ground that result in a war, but the question is are United States forces already in Iran. Former Air Force Colonel Sam Gardener on CNN admitted that he believed that military operations were already under way in Iran. One of the sources he mentioned was a Seymour Hersh article which cited an unnamed source. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern joined a protest with Cindy Sheehan, and said that he also believes troops are in Iran including special forces and marines.

The nature of an attack on Iran is also in question. According to the same Hersh article there are plans to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran. This would be the first use of nuclear weapons since the Second World War. At that time President Truman stated that "“The World will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.."(President Truman, August 6, 1945). A new doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons during war has been brought to light. This could lead to the use of nuclear weapons and the eruption of another war in another oil rich Middle-Eastern country.

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Poem: Anti-Oppression Haikus

feminism brings life
embrace its freeing power
patriarchy brings death

Why would I oppress
for my oppressors dark will
I instead unite

tell you how light dies
and how slavery comprise
western society


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ottawa: Security Certificate Detainee Coming Home

Yesterday, at an unexpected turn Mohamed Harkat was released on bail. Mohamed Harkat has been detained since December 2002 on a Security Certificate. Security Certificates are anti-terror legislation that allows for a certificate to be issued on any non-citizens who live in Canada. The certificates detain individuals without charge for indefinate amounts of time. Some of the detainees including Harkat are refugees who came here in order to get away from horrid conditions though, arguably being locked up without charge violates human rights.

Harkat if deported to Algeria would face torture and be separated from his wife Sophie. CSIS claims he is a member of Al Qaeda, which he has always denied. However, as none of the evidence that is used against him is not even allowed to be seen by his lawyer.

Harkat will have to give $35,000 up front and $82,500 in promised funds. He will also have to wear a GPS bracelet and will only be able to leave his home 3 times a week for 4 hours with his wife or mother-in-law with Federal government permission.

The other Security Certificate detainees are Mohammad Mahjoub, Mahmoud Jaballah, Hassan Almrei who are being held in a new jail for Security Certificate detainees in Milhaven, Ontario and Adil Charkaoui who has also been released on Bail.

For More Information:
Justice for Mohamed Harkat
Canadian Security and Intelligence Service
Canadian Peace Alliance on Security Certificates

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

9/11: Zogby Poll say 42% of Americans believe in Cover Up

A new poll released by Zogby International about 9-11 states that 42% of Americans believe there is a coverup by the United States government and the 9-11 commission about what happend on 9-11. Another 10% were unsure while about half of Americans (48%) believe that the US government and 9-11 commission was accurate.

The poll continues by looking at the collapse of building 7 of the World Trade Centre complex. 43% of Americans said they were unaware about the collapse of building 7. 38% of Americans say they knew about it and thought it should be investigated in comparison to 14% who knew, but did not think it needed investigating because, it was not hit by an airplane.

The poll also looks at the percentage of people who think that 9-11 should or should not be reinvestigated. 47% said the attacks were thouroughly investigated, 45% thought they should be reinvestigated and, 8% did not know. The question of how well the media portrayed 9-11 after the attacks. 55% of Americans rated the media coverage negatively, while 43% rated it positively. This poll shows the issue of 9-11 is still in people's minds and there is still a significant about of dissention about what happend.

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Caledonia: Mob and OPP Attack Six Nations


White Mob and OPP Attack Six Nations people: Emergency Solidarity Needed

A&S News Wire | Caledonia / 6 Nations Breaking News | Indigenous
Monday, May 22, 2006: Barricade removed, then put back up after mob attacks Six Nations people; OPP attack Six Nations again; emergency solidarity actions announced

Six Nations people and supporters remove the blockade on Argyle Street (the main road through Caledonia) at 6 AM. Tekarihoken (Kanyen'kehaka Royaner Allan McNaughton) issues a statement to the press that the barricades have come down as a goodwill gesture now that progress is being made in negotiations, and that "As the world has seen, our protest has been firm but peaceful. Our people are responding without weapons, using only their bodies to assert that we are a sovereign people with a long history and that we cannot be intimidated." The non-indigenous Caledonia residents who set up a counter-blockade on Friday continue blocking the road, not letting Six Nations people through. "What they don't realize is if they continuously threaten our safety, that barricade can go right back up again, so it's entirely their decision," says Janie Jamieson.

The blockades are put back up in the early afternoon after the non-indigenous blockaders surround a car with a reporter and Six Nations women, smash the car windows, and then attack Six Nations people coming to the aid of those in the car. People at the reclamation site dig up pavement, creating a trench across Argyle Road to stop the mob from swarming the camp. Mohawk Nation News reports that one of the Chiefs who went out to offer cedar was hit in the head, that the OPP has been pepper-spraying Six Nations people. As of 2:25 PST CBC reports that Ontario Provincial Police officers have established two lines between the mob and Six Nations people on Highway 6, and that local officials are holding an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. The Caledonia transformer station (the main source of power for the surrounding Norfolk and Haldimand counties) is out of service, leaving thousands of area residents without electricity. It is not known whether the outage is related to the standoff.

Mohawk Nation news reports that people from Tyendinaga have blocked rail lines in solidarity. First Nations people near North Battleford have blocked the Yellowhead Highway near two bridges crossing the North Saskatchewan River "in solidarity with Caledonia, and all lands that have been taken over by people that are non-Indian".

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Monday, May 22, 2006

frm Yugoslavia: Montegnegro becomes independent

The last nail of a united Yugoslavia has been pulled out. In Montenegro a vote for independence from Serbia has succeeded. The people of Montenegro will now have their own state in a democratic transition unlike the wars that split the rest of Yugoslavia years ago. However, the vote was fairly close 55% for independence 45% against. The plebiscite had high showing with 86.3% of Montenegrins going to the polls. Hopefully this will be for the best. I support groups' self-determination, but worry how the outcome will always play out.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

9/11: The Pentagon Another View

Here is a very good essay which doesn't agree with a no 757 theory. Provides a good view of the other side. However, they don't explain the piloting, the engines, the many other eyewitness reports that don't corroberate the official story plus the question as to why the tapes haven't been release other then the two I posted. Personally I wish I saw tapes of a 757 hitting the pentagon, it would cure a lot of issues.

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9/11: More on the Pentagon

The videos that I posted have created a bit of a stir, so here is a bit of a deeper look at the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001. I don't believe the official story, but I think it is important for each person to decide on their own what they believe. What is very important is that everyone keeps an open mind and allows debate. September 11th left people's hearts low and instead of doing a serious investigation the case was barely addressed and almost imediately blamed on Osamma Bin Laden. I think it is especially important for Canadians to look at this now that the Afghanistan mission is so firm in all our minds and Conservatives start to use it to justify our role there. Below are images of the American Airlines plane, as well as of the pentagon.

Here is a comparison of the American Airilines flight and one of the small fragments that is given.

This is an image of the pentagon right after the alleged plane hit.

Here is another picture of right after the alleged plane hit, notice the size of the hole and the fact that there are unbroken windows where the wings would have hit.

This of course is after it collapsed.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

9/11: Judicial Watch Gets Pentagon Videos

Judicial Watch, a non partisan government transperency group in the United States has obtained footage of the pentagon on September 11th, 2001. The two videos are below. First watch them yourself then read my commentary. The object is in view at 1:26 in the first, 0:24 in the second.

In my opinion the look of that is by no way a 747 jet. Whatever is flying there is small and white as anyone can see. The people who run Judicial Watch say that now conspiracy theories about 9/11 surrounding the pentagon can be put away. The only conspiracy theory I see that can be put away is that an inept Arab man hijacked a 747 and flew it into the pentagon. These videos are fairly short and basically only show the five frames that were released a few years ago, but much clearer. There is also still no answer to why all videotapes from other cameras, which would have viewed the alleged plane, are still classified. Remember the plane they cite was blue, large, and bounced off the lawn. What I see is small, white, extremely fast, doesn't hit the lawn, and doesn't leave any traces from a 747.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

United Nations: LGBT groups rejected from the UN

Two more LGBT groups have been rejected from having status in the United Nations. The Lesbian and Gay Federation from Germany and, the European chapter of the International Lesbian and Gay Association were rejected in the UN Economic and Social committee on NGOs. This comes after two other LGBT groups were rejected earlier this year. The reason had nothing to do with the group requirements, but due to homophobia and transphobia which is concentrated in the powerful countries. Earlier this year the United States voted against the groups however, they have actually changed their view and voted in favour this round.

The irony of the United Nations on LGBT rights is that the oppressors are the ones that decide, though this is a problem for more then just LGBT rights in the United Nations. The votes were Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, Romania and the United States for the groups, Cameroon, China, Iran, Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Sudan and Zimbabwe voted against the groups and, India and Turkey abstained. In Sudan and Iran homosexuals are killed by the state, in Cameroon, India, Pakistan, Senegal, and Zimbabwe homosexuals are sent to jail and China just likes to curtail anyone's human rights. How can the countries committing the crimes be expected to fix them.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Activist Image: Organised Crime

This was made by my drumming buddy at the Apoplectic Press, which produces many great things. He turned them into stickers which traveled the continent. It was loved so much that the organizers of Seattle in '99 made a full billboard of it. Makes you think. Who is the bigger criminal the person who steals for their family, or the corporate executive and powerful bureaucracies?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ottawa: Peace Activists Stand up for 54% of Canadians

Today there was a vote in the house of commons about the extension of the occupation of Afghanistan by Canadian soldiers. Peace activists gathered on the hill during the short notice as the announcement for the vote was done 36 hours before the debate. Peace activists had even less time to prepare. However, there were five banners, two megaphones, and petitions. In all there were 80 signatures of the Canadian Peace Alliance petition to bring troops home. We talked briefly to a few members of parliament and gave the ones voting against a round of appaluse.

The Raging Grannies sang a few songs despite the lack of a sound system. Grannie Alma reported about it here. Yaya Canada was also there and also wrote a report and took pictures including the one above and below. I mentioned the actual state of Afghan women where rape and abuse have become the routine according to RAWA. I also talked about how many Afghanis have resorted to growing opium to survive and that Afghanistan has gone from producing 185 tons of opium in 2001 to 4,100 tons in 2005 which results in 87% of the world market. We chanted "Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home!", "Occupation n'est pas Liberation", "Health Care, Day Care, anything but Warfare", "54% of Canadians say no! 70% of Quebecers say no!" and, "4.1 billion dollars" after the amount so far spent on the occupation. Unfortunately the result of the vote was 149 for, 145 against resulting in two more years of occupation. Well keep fighting though.

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Document: Letter to MPs about Afghanistan mission

I sent the below letter to MPs in response to the fact that a vote on Afghanistan is happening today.

Dear Honourable Member of Parliament,

I am deeply concerned about Canadian troops in Afghanistan. According to a recent Strategic Council poll 54% of Canadian oppose Canadian soldiers being there, yet despite this Parliamentarians have not represented Canadian views. The reasons that Canadian citizens are given for the mission also is not true. Women's rights are far from protected as reported by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan who was called the "only credible voice of Afghan women" according to CBC on November 19th, 2001.

Who we are working with in Afghanistan is also troubling. It has been widely reported that we are working with warlords and drug lords. The drug lords have increase opium production to 87% of the world opium trade according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime. The Karzai government is also known to torture detainees. With Canada's continued involvement this will only lead to more deaths of our brave soldiers and possible complicity in War Crimes. I implore you to actually listen to Canadian citizens and support our troops by bringing them home. Democracy is also supposed to work on foreign policy.

Aurora Jade Pichette
Concerned Canadian Citizen

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Opinion: Canada as an Imperialist State

One of the speakers I saw over the weekend was Steven Staples of the Polaris Institute. He has done some important work surrounding military spending. He believes that Canada's foreign policy is mainly driven by want to keep trade with the United States. Its very important that we get away from that form of thinking. Canada is not simply catering to the imperialism of the United States, Canada is imperialist in its own right.

The history of Canada is mired in domination of others. It began by the colonization by the French and English empires over the hundreds of Aboriginal and Inuit Nations. Once the Seven Years War led to the conquer of the French settlers it established the dominance of the English over all people in what later became Canada. Later Canada became an official country and continued to widen power over First Nations, French, and minorities. First Nations land was reduced and reduced including today and, awful cultural elimination programs were put in place to produce imperialism on a domestic scale. This domestic imperialism has continued as seen by Oka in 1990, Ipperwash in 1995, and Caledonia today.
When talking about Canadian imperialism however, it is important to look at the current international context. Canada is participating in the occupation of Afghanistan which though many of the media spin as humanitarian is anything but. Canadian companies are making large amounts of money from the occupation and in fact Jean Chretien the former Prime Minsiter has many links to Caspian sea hydrocarbon companies. You might ask aren't are troops providing stability for the people of Kandahar regardless? No, Canada is providing stability for a pipeline for oil and natural gas that runs from the Caspian through Turkmenstein, through Afghanistan passing Kandahar and then going south to Pakistan. Canada has interests other then the United States in Afghanistan.

The coup d'etat in Haiti also represents a wing of Canadian Imperialism. Haiti is a small island country in the Caribbean and the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Yet, Canada along with France and the United States planned a coup here in Ottawa then orchestrated it in Haiti against the democratic leader. The crime of the country was self-determination in its economic policy instead of following a neo-liberal tract that perpetuates economic inequality. Later companies like Gildan ActiveWear closed down manufacturing in Canada and moved it to sweatshops in Haiti.

One must also look at what Canada is now doing with diplomacy. Canada now opposes resolutions that condemn Israel and have cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority. It has been pushing genetically modified foods and terminator seeds at the UN Convention for Biological Diversity. Canada also is one of the few countries in the West not to condemn Guantanamo Bay most likely because, of the creation of the Milhaven facility and the use of Security Certificates. Another important statistic to note is that Canada is the sixth largest producer of arms in the world. Its time for people to wake up and understand the complexity and rage of Canadian imperialism. That way people will be able to say no to this perpetuation of oppression and the debasing of Canadian integrity.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Slam Poem: A Culture of Fear

Were indoctrinated to fear
All that is around us
To live fear
To breath fear
To produce more fear
And with this fear
Were supposed to hide away
To drink, do drugs
To buy, to acquire
To watch sports, and go to the theatre
Wait.. scratch that last one they're too Leftist and Queer
Watch TV
Because TV lets you fill your mind
With screaming commentators
Giving no context
And what they call reality.
See when I say hide
I don't mean from the malls
Because that would be
Letting the terrorists win.
No you need to hide from truth
Because truth is like a disease
It needs to be quarentined
Hidden away in some room
Where the policy makers
Choose their lies
That are propagated by the media
Who tell us about anthrax from Arabs
Gun violence by Goths
And Breaking and entering by Blacks
And after a while I just
Don't know who to trust
Trust? Who is to trust
Everyone is a suspect...
And if your Middle Eastern
My heart goes out to you
Because your a suspect times two
9/11 caused this
Reinvigorated racism
Like a new midwife entered the room
She nursed racism back to health
But gave him a new favourite enemy
And his godfather in the White House
Gave him a few more acts to play with
And called it patriotism and homeland security
But whats even more frightening is that
They were mimicked around the world
All Because of 9/11
We must not dissent from authority
To be a patriot
We must fear
Whatever is near
Whether that be avian flu,
WMDs, terrorism
You know what to do
Yet... 9/11 and this "new normalcy"
Just don't add up
I ask why building 7 perfectly fell at 5pm
I ask why the twin towers suddenly fell
When they were made to sustain a plane crash
Or that the firefighters said they had it under control
Before they suddenly crumbbled
I know fires hot enough to melt steel produce white smoke
Yet they came down and thousands of people lost their lives
Just as it was used as an excuse to kill thousands more
I'm also not supposed to know
That Al Qaeda is a CIA creation
I'm only supposed to know their lies
And to consume... consume... consume..
In a culture of fear.
By: Aurora Jade Pichette


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Poem: In the Den

[I'm going to Toronto for the weekend for a political conference so no updates, but here is this before I go]

My sleep is haunted by the thunder
The crackle and wail of the gunfire
Leaving my brethren in a funeral spire
While the armies rape and plunder
My mind goes a sunder

I wonder why they come to leave death
As if to be able to tell a terrible tale
Even the thought of it leaves me pale
When is my turn to loose my breath
Or will I go as Macbeth

The end is near I feel it still
The step of the boot the click of the gun
Yet I fear there was nowhere to run
In this case I can only will
That they loose their drive to kill...

By: Aurora Jade Pichette
For all the civilians who are murdered on a daily basis in war.


Site: Joining the Al Jazeera Memo Movement

I'm joining the sites that support the leaking of the Al Jazeera Memo. I had heard about this a while ago, but I didn't find the webpage until now. The memo talks about plans to bomb Al Jazeera the most reliable news source in the Middle East. Tony Blair has threatend to send anyone who leaks it to jail, so in response if it does get leaked hundreds of sites will publish it on their websites or blogs in solidarity. Safety in numbers. Support peace and freedom of the press join the movement.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Ottawa: Cindy Sheehan Event

Thursday night Azrieli theatre on the Carleton University campus, was a buzz with peace activists. The night started off with people filing in to the auditorium young and old past the tables of information. About 200 people filled the room waiting for the guest of honour. Then Cindy Sheehan and Michelle De Ford of Gold Star Families for Peace were led in. Ten Raging Grannies got up in the front and performed two songs for the crowd and Cindy. Jessica Squires and I then explained the schedual of the night, mentioned the sponsors, Jess mentioned that it was the anniversary of Kent State, then I mentioned the fact that we need to remember a Canadian context of Afghanistan, Haiti and, War Resisters.

I then had the pleasure of introducing Christian Kjar a War Resister originally from California. For someone who has not done much public speaking he was extremely powerful. He talked about the fact that its not easy to adjust back to civilian life. Christian mentioned how he just wanted peace and that the killing of other human being was immoral. He also, said that killers go to jail, why should he go to jail for not killing. His handshake mirrored his speech, strong and deep. To learn more about Christian there is an article here, and also check out the War Resister Support Campaign.

After that speech Jessica introduced Dr. Qais Ghamen who read a poem called "A Mother's Lament". It was in honour of Cindy for the loss of her son Casey in Iraq. Cindy was thankful for the poem and gave Qais a hug for it. The full poem can be read on YaYaCanada and YaYaCanada's report of the event.

I then introduced Michelle De Ford of Gold Star Families for Peace. Her speech hit the crowd hard as well. She talked about her son who had died in Iraq and how they had to buy on Amazon a map of Iraq as well as basic Arabic translation because, they were not provided. Michelle slammed Rumsfeld for a comment he made saying that you "go to war with the army you have, not the army you want." She pointed out that soldiers in Iraq are not supported by the government even to the point where they are protecting their humvees with scraps of wood and metal that they can find because, the government will not pay for the armour. After Christian and Qais poem, Michelle's speech had the audience painfully wrapped up in sorrow for what is going on.

Jessica then introduced the prime attraction Cindy Sheehan. She got up to the microphone and whatever tension was in the room immediately went away. She started off saying how she never knows what she is going to say other then the same themes. Cindy talked for about fourty minutes about issues ranging from the falsity of the war on terror, the Harper government getting close to Bush, that Bush is a squatter in the Oval office who needs to be evicted, that both Democrats and Republicans are 'The War Party' and, that we should support the war resisters. She also told three stories. One was of earlier that day where she had been stopped in parliment and told to take her laptop out of her bag. When security saw the anti-Bush stickers on her laptop she was then told to put it away because, its a political statement. Another story was about how she was arrested in Congress because, she was wearing a shirt that said '2422 dead and how many more'. The most heartwarming story she gave however was after her son died she was receiving a lot of mail. Most of the mail was along the lines of 'were sorry for your loss, but isn't it great that he died fighting for freedom' to which she though he didn't die for freedom. Her daughter then came to her with a poem she had wrote and how that poem had breathed life into her. She then recited the poem beautifully. She reiterated that it was extremely important to act and, to act as humanity across superficial borders. Her idea was to camp out either at 24 sussex or on parliament until our soldiers come home.

Afterwards I grabbed a hold of the microphone and made people sit back down. By the way 'green-shirt' it was nothing personal you were just the most visible leaving. I opened the floor up for questions. People who went up to the microphone included Sophie Harkat, a representative from the Voice of Women, a representative from Muslim Presence, Jo Wood of the Raging Grannies, Ric Dagenais NDP candidate Ottawa-Vanier, three members of the Students Coalition Against War, a representative from the People's Parliament, a representative from the Iraqi Freedom Congress, and many more individuals. We ran way overtime, but those like myself who don't wear a watch it doesn't matter to. At the end I yelled into the microphone to remember to act and a good start would be petitions outside. I brought Cindy up to the book signing then got over to the Students Coalition Against War to help people with petitions who were swarming the table. After cleaning up the group of us organizers and speakers went to Mike's Place after a event well done.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Opinion: Israel-Palestine Conflict

I'm a bit behind in work, but I will be updating soon once I get things back in gear. In the meantime I would like some feedback on my blog which can be seen in the poll in the sidebar. Here is something I wrote a few months ago which was inspired by watching a Noam Chomsky v. Alan Dershowitz debate.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most important issues within our time. I have thought a lot about the issue even with my separation from it. I am not Jewish, nor Muslim. I have in me no Arab blood, nor have any relatives that are Jewish or Palestinian, yet I feel that the issue must be talked about. It must be talked about as in my opinion it epitomizes one of the worst forms of modern imperialism.

Many people I know may have strong feelings on the issue and, I sincerely ask for comments and personal critique on the issue. There are both Palestinians and Jews who read this, some of whose views on the subject I actually don't know. In an issue as important as this civility leads to reason.

To many people it may not be much of a surprise that I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. In my view there was no right for the formation of Israel after World War 2. It was mainly created for a way to deal with a people who had been just brutalized yet, just resulted in brutalizing another. The allies of World War 2 as winners of the war have been able to make themselves look as though they had done no wrong. Yet during the war they as well committed atrocities --–not as many of course-- and before the war racist animosity against Jews in many countries existed as well. The dispatch of the Jews to Palestine would make them a new great ally and, would try to heal the pain of the Holocaust -- which many people forget to mention included Queers, Blacks, the disabled, and political prisoners.

An ally in the middle east would help with the domination of Arabs that had started after the Sykes-Picot Agreement after WWI. It would also help with the continued control of the vital oil deposits in the region, most importantly Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and, Saudi Arabia. These oil deposits were first controlled by British Petroleum however, the British Empire was at the end of its power as its old colony and new ally gained power. American oil interests in the region peaked leading to wanted economic and political control of the region, thus America wanted to keep Israel as an extremely powerful player in the area.

Israel since that period after WWII gained rapid power and brought down terrible pain upon the Palestinian people. The United States has used their economic, military, and political power to help Israel's government to stay in power and, to hamper the peace process. As Noam Chomsky points out in the first Intifada Palestinians were killed 20:1 as well as tortured and, brutalized and, that it was only recently when the numbers were closer to 3:1 did people start paying attention, but they were watching the 1 not the 3. Despite the suicide bombings Palestinians have suffered much greater from terrorism then the Israelis.

I went to a high school with a high Jewish population,– approximately 40%. Yet, none of the ones that I met were for Arab-Jewish collaboration. In fact I had many people perplexed as to why I didn't agree with Israel. It is due to the imperialism and blatant state terrorism that I don't support Israel. However, Israel is a reality. A reality that needs to be worked with. Hopefully a two state solution that give Palestinians actual and free access to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israel must give up its apartheid. In the words of the South African struggle Amandla Aweightu which in Zulu means power to the people. Power to the Palestinian and Israeli people so that they may both live together in peace.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Winnipeg: Exercise Charging Bison

In Winnipeg, shots are being fired, pyrotechnics are going off, and the Canadian military has its boots on the ground. There is no crisis. No enemy to detain. The city is not under martial law, but Canadian soliders are undering training in real sections of the city. This all started on sunday and will continue until this saturday under the title of Exercise Charging Bison. The mission is said to train soldiers for the conditions of urban warfare. The guns are loaded with blanks and pyrotechnics take the place of real explosions. About 500 soldiers are patrolling part of the city in order to "develop independence of thought and action at the lowest group level, while reinforcing individual soldier skills within the context of a Full Spectrum Operations environment" according the army website. There is no affirmation that these soldiers will be going to Afghanistan because, they are only set to deploy overseas in 2008.

I find this worrisome. Though, it does make sense to train soldiers in urban
combat due to the change in military operations from the army ahead of you to being in the middle of possible friendlies with a enemy here and there, I still find it troubling. If the army wishes to train like that they should have their own facility not on Canadian streets. The result is a desensitization of the public towards the military. Living in Ottawa and going downtown on a regular basis I often see members of the armed forces in uniform however, they are not there to police the people of Ottawa. Instead they are there simply coming to and from work. To see soldiers patrolling the streets with armoured vehicles and weapons only makes it seem more normal. I do not under any circumstances become patrolled by the military.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Ottawa: Anarchists take on Intimidation of Street Workers

Today is May 1st, the day for international labour struggle which arose out of Chicago 120 years ago. In Ottawa Anarchist groups and supporters gathered today in order to recognize the day and demand rights for all members of the city. The main focus was the treatment of panhandlers, street vendors, buskers, and artists by police and by security organizations. There have been alleged reports of beatings and harrassment by the City of Ottawa Police and the Rideau Center Mall Security. Some, of the intimidation of panhandlers and others is due to the Ontario Safe Streets Act of 1999 which has been amended in 2002. In the act anything that is deemed to be agressive soliciting by an officer can land the individual in jail. The act makes it illegal to solicit anyone on or in a vehical or waiting for a taxi or public transit; this would even include someone stopped on a bicycle. The full Safe Streets Act can be obtained here.

The protest started at the Human Rights Memorial then, the group marched to the Rideau Centre. They blockaded the mall for an hour to highlight the abuses of the mall security. Later in the afternoon the group marched down elgin street and blockaded the main police station while being watched by large amounts of police, who had been following them and, others who looked on from the doors of the station. The demonstrators demanded fair treatment without violence of street workers. Images and videos are available here and here.

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This Week in Protests

This is a late version, its also abridged, instead of explanations I'll just copy and past the title of articles.

Akhalkalaki: Javakheti Armenians Protest Russian Bases Withdrawal

Brisbane: Activists protest against meat

Caledonia: Continuation of Six Nations standoff with Police

Ottawa: Justice for Mohamed protests "Guantanamo North"

Non-Natives and Natives march in support of Six Nations

Cairo: Egyptian police have attacked Cairo demonstrators rallying in support of two pro-reform judges who appeared before a disciplinary committee to face questioning about their criticism of the government.

Bangalore: Medicos stage protest march

Ludhiana: Garbage lifted after protest

Ludhiana: Six teachers’ bodies protest state education policy, highlight demands

New Delhi: Doctors to widen protest net

Bishkek: Thousands Protest Kyrgyz President

Ulaanbaatar: Ivanhoe Mines sees end of protest and closes deal

Kathmandu: The Masses Have Won!

Moscow: Police break up anti-nuclear Red Square protest

United Kingdom
Croydon: Unions march in jobs protest

Coventry: New protest in drive to save Peugeot plant

United States
Nation Wide: Day of Silence against Homophobia

Nation Wide: Unions protest Wal-Mart health care

Cincinnati: Prayers, rallies to protest genocide in Darfur Sunday

New York: Tens of Thousands in NYC Protest War

San Francisco: Fishermen protest fishing season cut

Syracuse: Animal rights activists protest at pharmaceutical facility

Tallahassee: Teachers protest bills to increase class size

Tulsa: Tulsans to camp out to protest Ugandan war

Washington: Five U.S. lawmakers arrested in Darfur protest