Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Feel free to browse around here and you will see what I mean, then come and check out my 'new site'... And thanks for stopping by.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Thank you for your patience, everyone!
Please check it out here: http://verbena19.wordpress.com
Here is my latest post: http://verbena19.wordpress.com/2007/01/17/mideast-dispatches-furor-over-saddams-execution-continues-unabated/
Dahr Jamail's latest MidEast Dispatch.
THURSDAY JANUARY 18, 7pm
Steelworkers Hall- 25 Cecil St. (South of College, East off Spadina)
Rachel Huot- Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Mariam Hassan- OCAP Women of Etobicoke
Sam Gindin- Long-Time Trade Union Activist
Kathy Hardill- Health Providers Against Poverty
Andrea Gunarj and Jennifer Plyler- Women Against Poverty Collective
In October 2006 OCAP and the Health Providers Against Poverty began Round II of special diet clinics. These special diet clinics are being organized under strict government regulations designed to block access to this money. The government failed.
The special diet is a government provision that allows people on welfare and disability to receive funds for dietary needs when prescribed by a nurse or doctor. In 2005 OCAP began publicizing and organizing clinics with health providers for people on assistance to get the special diet. Forty million dollars later the City and Province began attempting to shut us down. For ten months we were unable to hold clinics and thousands of people lost much needed money.
ROUND II Begins!
In three months close to 1000 people have gone through our clinics. We face a government reaching the end of its term that has raised assistance rates by just 5%- an insulting fraction of what it would take for rates to be livable. We face government at each level that intentionally deny people the means to get by.
But the government faces communities that refuse to go back to the old choices between dignity or rent. They face people who have joined the fight for a decent income, who are demanding it from their welfare workers, their city councillors and their MPPs. They face people willing to fight for what they deserve.
Please support us- Come out to hear from the people making this struggle happen.
For more information please contact OCAP.
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
416-925-6939 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ocap.ca
For the last two weeks, Tomdispatch has been concentrating on the way Pentagon strategists have taken possession of our future and are writing their own dystopian science fiction scenarios about the world we are soon to enter -- and the weapons systems that are meant to go with it. Five years ago, Michael Klare, a military and energy expert, wrote a prophetic book, Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict. Its title caught the embattled nature of our emerging resource future moment better than any Pentagon fantasy. His most recent book, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependence on Imported Petroleum, was no less on the mark. Now, for Tomdispatch, ! he continues to peer ahead in the second of a two-part series on our militarized energy future.
While the Bush administration and its neocon supporters have long been offering up a vision of a vast imperial enemy-in-the-making that they call "Islamo-fascism," Klare, in part 1, discovered quite another, more realistic and chilling set of possibilities that he dubbed "Energo-fascism" -- or the militarization of the global struggle over ever-diminishing supplies of energy. There, he focused on the Pentagon's changing role in global energy politics. Now, he moves on to energy blackmail in a great-power world and the Big-Brother-style dangers of making nuclear power a major future alternative source of energy. Tom
Petro-Power and the Nuclear RenaissanceTwo Faces of an Emerging Energo-fascism (Part 2)
By Michael T. Klare
Not "Islamo-fascism" but "Energo-fascism" -- the heavily militarized global struggle over diminishing supplies of energy -- will dominate world affairs (and darken the lives of ordinary citizens) in the decades to come. This is so because top government officials globally are increasingly unwilling to rely on market forces to satisfy national energy needs and are instead assuming direct responsibility for the procurement, delivery, and allocation of energy supplies. The leaders of the major powers are ever more prepared to use force when deemed necessary to overcome any resistance to their energy priorities. In the case of the United States, this has required the conversion of our armed forces into a global oil-protection service; two other significant expressions of emerging Energo-fascism are: the arrival of Russia as an "energy superpower" and the repressive implications of plans to rely on nuclear power.
Energy Haves and Have-nots
With global demand for energy constantly rising and supplies contracting (or at least failing to keep pace), the world is being ever more sharply divided into two classes of nations: the energy haves and have-nots. The haves are the nations with sufficient domestic reserves (some combination of oil, gas, coal, hydro-power, uranium, and alternative sources of energy) to satisfy their own requirements and be able to export to other countries; the have-nots lack such reserves and must make up the deficit with expensive imports or suffer the consequences.
From 1950 to 2000, when energy was plentiful and cheap, the distinction did not seem so obvious as long as the have-nots possessed other forms of power: immense wealth (like Japan); nuclear weapons (like Britain and France); or powerful friends (like the NATO and Warsaw Pact countries). Needless to say, for poor countries possessing none of these assets, being a have-not state was a burden even then, contributing mightily to the debt crisis that still afflicts many of them. Today, these other measures of power have come to seem less important and the distinction between energy haves and have-nots correspondingly more significant -- even for wealthy and powerful countries like the United States and Japan.
MEETING TO ORGANIZE for MARCH 17 :
DATE: Sunday January 21
PLACE: Palestine House, 3195 Erindale Station Rd., just north of Dundas.
PROPOSED EVENT –Saturday March 17
Place: Public square at SE corner of Hurontario and Dundas Streets
Time: 10:30 am -12 pm
Transportation to Toronto Stop the War Coalition Rally
March 17 will will be a national and international day of action against the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq. Join peace networks throughout the world to stand against imperialism and oppression.
End the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq
Freedom for Palestine
Defend civil liberties in Canada
No to Islamophobia, No to Racism
Support Mississauga with its annual demonstration against war, before joining the
larger GTA rally in Toronto. Please send this call out far and wide, and let us know
if you can make it, or are interested in participating in March 17 organizing -
– hope to see you there!
For more information: www.justpeace.ca / www.mcpj.orgnto
Toronto Coalition to Stop the War www.nowar.ca
Canadian Peace Alliance www.acp-cpa.ca
The Mississauga Coalition for Peace and Justice
Website: www.justpeace.ca / www.mcpj.org
Open “The Windows of Dissent, in which activists take down the first fences
on the streets and in their minds” - Naomi Klein, GTA Activist
Mississauga: Coffeehouse Folk Night - January 27
COFFEEHOUSE FOLK NIGHT
Bill Candy & Co.
SATURDAY, 27 JANUARY 8 - 11 p.m.
UNITARIAN CONGREGATION OF SOUTH PEEL
84 South Service Road, Mississauga
(east of Hurontario - south of the QEW)
Admission $15 Tickets 905-278-5622
with Fair Trade Coffees and Dessert
Sponsored by Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, South Peel Chapter
Monday, January 15, 2007
Stop Bush's "Surge" --No War Agaist Iran!
Join U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Bishop Thomas Gumbleton; Harold Pinter; historian Howard Zinn; George Galloway MP; former UN Assistant Secretary-General Dennis Halliday; Tony Benn, and 20,000 more signers to say No War on Iran!
The growing threat of military action against Iran was made very clear last week as President Bush used his prime time "surge" speech to issue threats against the people of Iran. This speech was immediately followed by a U.S. attack on the Iranian consulate in northern Iraq and the arrest of Iranian consular personnel.
As this time, the U.S. has deployed two full carrier groups to the Persian Gulf. Each carrier carries more than 80 combat aircraft including F/A-18 Hornets, F-14 Tomcats, SH-60 Seahawks, S-3B Vikings, E-2C Hawkeyes and EA-6B Prowlers, capable of flying more than 150 strikes a day. In addition, each carrier group includes guided missile cruisers, fast frigates, guided missile destroyers, and submarines, all equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles.
We know from reports last year that the Pentagon's Central Command and Strategic Command planners are already identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an attack and that the planned strikes could kill thousands of Iranian people. We must mobilize now to against the threat of a new war. Over the next few days and weeks, Stop War On Iran will be organizing meetings, rallies, and protests across the country to build a movement to stop another disastrous war.
So far, we've gotten more than 20,000 signatures on the Stop War On Iran petition, and we've sent nearly half a million petitions to Bush, Cheney, Congress, and Halliburton. But we must do more--the threat of an imminent attack is growing. We need your help. We cannot count on politicians (of either major party) to stop the war--we must build a grassroots movement to stop another brutal war. Here's how you can help:
- Sign the petition - Send a message to Bush, Cheney, Congress, and Halliburton - http://stopwaroniran.org/petition.shtml
- Tell a Friend - Help get the word out - http://www.stopwaroniran.org/friend.shtml
- Donate - Help with organizing meetings, teach-ins, protests - http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml
- Put a link to Stop War On Iran on your website - http://www.stopwaroniran.org/link.html
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
The attack will be launched from the sea and Patriot missiles will guard all oil-producing countries in the region, they add. Recent statements emanating from the United States indicate the Bush administration’s new strategy for Iraq doesn’t include any proposal to make a compromise or negotiate with Syria or Iran.
Chavez and Iran unveil "anti-US" fund
By Al Jazeera
The presidents of Iran and Venezuela have agreed to spend billions of dollars to help other countries free themselves from what they describe as US domination.
Palestinian Opposes Provisional State
By THOM SHANKER and GREG MYRE
“We have also noted to Minister Rice our decision to end any temporary or transitional solutions including a state with temporary borders because we do not believe it to be a realistic choice that can be built upon,” Mr. Abbas said during a joint news conference with the secretary of state.
The real reason the Bush administration won't back down on Guantanamo.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Why is the United States poised to try Jose Padilla as a dangerous terrorist, long after it has become perfectly clear that he was just the wrong Muslim in the wrong airport on the wrong day?
A Time to Break Silence
"A time comes when silence is betrayal."
By Rev. Martin Luther King
In his "Beyond Vietnam" speech delivered at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 -- a year to the day before he was murdered -- King called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." Audio and transcript
Founded in the core belief that segregation is, was and has always been wrong, this campaign is intended to make people stop, think and perhaps get a little uncomfortable in the process of realizing the modern day importance of Dr. King's life.
...Read full Truthout.org article here.
Next target Tehran / Bush's Iraq Plan: Goading Iran Into War Next target Tehran, by Dan Plesch, the Guardian Jan 15th http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1990463,00.html
All the signs are that Bush is planning for a neocon-inspired military assault on Iran.
 Bush's Iraq Plan: Goading Iran Into War
By Trita Parsi, IPS News. Posted January 13, 2007.
There was little new about the U.S. strategy in Iraq, but on Iran, the president spelled out a plan that appears to be aimed at goading Iran into war with the United States.
This January, Tomdispatch has been focusing on the Pentagon, the imperial path, and militarization. Last week, Nick Turse explored the way Pentagon strategists, having taken possession of our future, are writing their own dystopian science fiction scenarios about how to fight in Baghdad 2025 and other urban megaslums of the planet (as American troops may soon be doing in Baghdad's huge Shiite slum of Sadr City). Then, Frida Berrigan considered the massively profitable business operation the Pentagon was running off fictional futures and the all-too-real weapons systems that will result from it.
Today, Michael Klare, an expert on resource wars and the author of the indispensable Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependence on Imported Petroleum, offers a startling vision of the grim energy future that the Pentagon is actually helping to create -- as well as the ruthless scrambles for energy resources, the Great Power energy races, and the kind of Big Brotherhood that may lie in our near future. This is the first of a major two-part Tomdispatch series on the possible emergence of a new phenomenon in our world that Klare dubs "Energo-fascism." Tom
Is Energo-fascism in Your Future?The Global Energy Race and Its Consequences (Part 1)
By Michael T. Klare
It has once again become fashionable for the dwindling supporters of President Bush's futile war in Iraq to stress the danger of "Islamo-fascism" and the supposed drive by followers of Osama bin Laden to establish a monolithic, Taliban-like regime -- a "Caliphate" -- stretching from Gibraltar to Indonesia. The President himself has employed this term on occasion over the years, using it to describe efforts by Muslim extremists to create "a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom." While there may indeed be hundreds, even thousands, of disturbed and suicidal individuals who share this delusional vision, the world actually faces a far more substantial and universal threat, which might be dubbed: Energo-fascism, or the militarization of the global struggle over ever-diminishing supplies of energy.
Unlike Islamo-fascism, Energo-fascism will, in time, affect nearly every person on the planet. Either we will be compelled to participate in or finance foreign wars to secure vital supplies of energy, such as the current conflict in Iraq; or we will be at the mercy of those who control the energy spigot, like the customers of the Russian energy juggernaut Gazprom in Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia; or sooner or later we may find ourselves under constant state surveillance, lest we consume more than our allotted share of fuel or engage in illicit energy transactions. This is not simply some future dystopian nightmare, but a potentially all-encompassing reality whose basic features, largely unnoticed, are developing today.
* The transformation of the U.S. military into a global oil protection service whose primary mission is to defend America's overseas sources of oil and natural gas, while patrolling the world's major pipelines and supply routes.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
"Get Out the Vote!" No Nukes! No Wars!
NEW on the WSLF website: Complex 2030: The U.S. plan to rebuild
the nuclear weapons complex: www.wslfweb. org/nukes/ complex2030. htm
New Year’s resolution: No Nukes! No Wars!
ACTION ALERT: CAST YOUR “VOTE”
FOR THE ABOLITION NUCLEAR WEAPONS!
As North Korea’s recent nuclear test demonstrated, nuclear weapons continue to pose a real and growing danger. But there may be a silver lining to North Korea’s mushroom cloud, because it has exposed the staggering level of U.S. nuclear hypocrisy. Just ten days after the North Korean test, the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Department of Energy announced its intention to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons manufacturing complex, under a plan called “Complex 2030.”
The only good thing about “Complex 2030,” the U.S. plan to modernize its nuclear weapons complex and replace its entire nuclear arsenal with new “Reliable Replacement Warheads” by the year 2030, is that it’s visible. The proposed project, which could cost more than $150 billion over 25 years, is tantamount to a U.S. declaration of “nukes forever,” and a repudiation of its obligation under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to end the arms race “at an early date” and to negotiate “in good faith” the elimination of its nuclear arsenal.
Complex 2030 has not gone unnoticed by North Korea, which issued an official reponse: “This is clear proof that [the United States] is putting spurs to the moves to bolster is modern nuclear force, increasingly depending on nukes in realizing its strategy for world domination.”
Under the National Environmental Policy Act, the initial phase of the EIS process provides for public input into the “scope” of the environmental review, which must, by law, analyze “reasonable alternatives.” Scoping meetings on Complex 2030 were recently held in a dozen locations around the United States, in communities near nuclear weapons facilities and in Washington, DC. The “public comment” period will remain open until January 17, 2007.
Indefinite maintenance of a huge, sophisticated nuclear arsenal, by the only country that has so far used nuclear weapons, is an unreasonable, unacceptable, and unlawful alternative. The only reasonable alternative is nuclear abolition. The United States, in compliance with its obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, should commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons no later than 2030, by initiating negotiations leading to conclusion of a verifiable treaty, under strict and effective international control.
Help turn the Complex 2030 EIS process into a national referendum on the future of nuclear weapons! Cast your “vote” for the elimination of nuclear weapons by printing out, filling in and mailing copies of the attached “ballot” to the Department of Energy, your two Senators and your Representative. The official “public comment period” ends January 17, 2007, but there’s no time limit for contacting your elected representatives. .
Mail your signed ballots to:
Theodore A. Wyka Senator____________ _________ _____
Complex 2030 SEIS Document Manager United States Senate
Office of Transformation Washington, DC 20510
U.S. Department of Energy, NA-10.1
1000 Independence Avenue SW Representative____________ _________
Washington, DC 20585 House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Western States Legal Foundation: http://www.wslfweb. org
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability: http://www.ananucle ar.org
Department of Energy official Complex 2030 website: www.Complex2030PEIS .com
Mike McConnell, the man President Bush tapped to replace John Negroponte as National Intelligence Director, has been a leading figure in outsourcing U.S. intelligence operations to private industry. McConnell is a former director of the National
Security Agency and the current director of defense programs at Booz Allen. We take a look at McConnell and the privatization of intelligence with journalist
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
National Intelligence Director John Negroponte warned Thursday that al-Qaeda poses the gravest threat to the United States and is rebuilding its strength from
secure hideouts in Pakistan. His comments were made in written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of his annual threat assessment.
Negroponte also said that Iraq was at a violent and "precarious juncture," he stressed concern over an increasingly confident Hizbollah and outlined a series
of other threats to the United States, including from Somalia, Iran and Syria.
Negroponte became the first National Intelligence director in April 2005 but is shortly due to move to the state department where he will become Condoleezza
Rice's deputy. President Bush last week named retired Navy Vice Admiral Mike McConnell to replace Negroponte as the new chief of intelligence. McConnell said he
would work to increase the coordination between the nation's 16 different spy agencies.
Vice Admiral Mike McConnell:I plan to continue the strong emphasis on integration of the community to better serve all of our customers. That will mean better sharing of information, increased focus on customer needs and service, improved security processes, and deeper penetration of our targets to provide the needed information for tactical, operational and strategic decision-making. "
McConnell is a former director of the National Security Agency and the current director of defense programs at Booz Allen -- one of the nation's biggest
defense and intelligence contractors. Under his watch, Booz Allen has been deeply involved in some of the most controversial counterterrorism programs run by
the Bush administration, including the infamous Total Information Awareness data-mining scheme. McConnell has also been a leading figure in outsourcing U.S.
intelligence operations to private industry.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Tim Shorrock, is an independent journalist who has been closely following this story. He is currently working on a book about the privatization of intelligence. His
reports have appeared in The Nation, Mother Jones and Harpers. Read Tim's article "The spy who came in from the boardroom".
Who would JESUS bomb?
Support: Antiwar.com & http://Space4Peace.org (NO SPACE WAR)
"Blessed are the peacemakers. " (Matthew 5:9)
"Love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
Investigate 9/11 World Trade Ctr. "attacks": http://911blogger.com
IMPEACH & INDICT BUSH-CHENEY FOR WAR CRIMES.
"DOOMSDAY CLOCK" HAND TO BE MOVED, REFLECTING WORSENING NUCLEAR, CLIMATE THREATS TO WORLD
Fri. 12 Jan 2007
The Bulletin email@example.com
-- Washington, D.C. and London News Advisory for January 17, 2007 --
Simultaneous Announcement to be Made from Washington, D.C. and London; Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to Underscore "Most Perilous Period Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
NEWS ADVISORY//January 17, 2006:The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) will move the minute hand of the "Doomsday Clock" on January 17, 2007, the first such change to the Clock since February 2002. The major new step reflects growing concerns about a "Second Nuclear Age" marked by grave threats, including: nuclear ambitions in Iran and North Korea, unsecured nuclear materials in Russia and elsewhere, the continuing "launch-ready" status of 2,000 of the 25,000 nuclear weapons held by the U.S. and Russia, escalating terrorism, and new pressure from climate change for expanded civilian nuclear power that could increase proliferation risks.
The BAS news event will take place simultaneously on January 17th at 9:30 a.m. ET at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., and at 2:30 p.m. GMT in London at The Royal Society.
News event speakers will include:
- Stephen Hawking, professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of The Royal Society;
- Kennette Benedict, executive director, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists;
- Sir Martin Rees, president of The Royal Society, and professor of cosmology and astrophysics and master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge;
- Lawrence M. Krauss, professor of physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University; and
- Ambassador Thomas Pickering, a BAS director and co-chair of the International Crisis Group.
A live, two-way satellite feed (with full Q&A) will connect the Washington, D.C., and London news events.
TO PARTICIPATE IN PERSON: You can join us for the simultaneous, two-site news event taking place on January 17, 2007 -- 9:30 a.m. ET, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Auditorium, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.; and 2:30 p.m. GMT, The Royal Society, Wellcome Trust Lecture Hall, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London. Please RSVP in advance by contacting Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAN'T PARTICIPATE IN PERSON?: In the U.S., reporters can join this live, phone-based global news conference at 9:30 a.m. ET on January 17, 2007 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. (Media in and around London should dial 0800-028-0531. All other reporters outside of the U.S. and the London area should dial 001-412-858- 4600, which is not a toll-free line.) Ask for the "Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock" news event. A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at:
http://www.thebulletin.org as of 6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. GMT on January 17, 2007.
CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266 or email@example.com.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project and were deeply concerned about the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear war. In 1947 the Bulletin introduced its clock to convey the perils posed by nuclear weapons through a simple design. The "Doomsday Clock" evoked both the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero). In 1949 Bulletin leaders realized that movement of the minute hand would signal the organization' s assessment of world events. The decision to move the minute hand is made by the Bulletin's Board of Directors in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel Laureates. The Bulletin's "Doomsday Clock" has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to nuclear weapons and other threats. Additional information is available on the Web at http://www.thebulletin.org.
"Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions. " - Albert Einstein
John pike video: Recent US actions could signal IRAN conflict, despite WH denialsVideo: Recent US actions could signal Iran conflict, despite White House denials; GOPer's bill requires Congress OK on Iran
David Edwards and Mike Sheehan
Published: Friday January 12, 2007
http://www.rawstory .com/news/ 2007/Video_ Recent_US_ actions_could_ signal_0112. html
Who would JESUS bomb?
Support: http://Antiwar. com & http://Space4Peace. org (NO SPACE WAR)
"Blessed are the peacemakers. " (Matthew 5:9)
"Love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
Investigate 9/11 World Trade Ctr. "attacks": http://911blogger. com
IMPEACH & INDICT BUSH-CHENEY FOR WAR CRIMES.
Toronto Events to Mark Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 15Martin Luther King Day tends to become a very sanitized event that neglects the radical history of the civil rights movement and is used by authorities to tell us that racism was then in the bad old days, and that things are better now. It's crucial to remember that by the end of his life, King was criticizing the very foundation of "western society," built as it is on racism, war, and poverty.
Please consider attending both of the events below as we remind ourselves we still have a long way to go when it comes to the social justice King and so many others fought for and continue to fight for.
Toronto Action for Social Change (TASC)
1. Close Guantanamo North and South, 12 Noon, 6900 Airport Road
2. Book Launch of Poetry by Gary Freeman, fighting extradition to the U.S., 7 pm, Victory Cafe
1. Join us on Martin Luther King Day at Toronto's Deportation Factory...
Support Canada's Secret Trial Detainees and Close Guantanamo North Monday, January 15, 12 Noon Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), 6900 Airport Road. Rides leave downtown Toronto at 11 am sharp (call 416-651-5800 to book a seat or if you can drive folks up)!
January 15 marks day 51 of a hunger strike by secret trial detainee Mohammad Mahjoub, currently being denied medical care at Kingston, Ontario's Guantanamo North facility. Fellow detainees Mahmoud Jaballah and Hassan Almrei will mark 40 days of their hunger strike, protesting their conditions of detention. Stockwell Day, minister responsible for the CBSA (which runs the Guantanamo North facility at Millhaven Penitentiary),
refuses to negotiate with the detainees, whose lives are once again at grave risk as the hunger strikes continues.
The facility at 6900 Airport Road is a factory that produces human misery: it's "enforcement" and "removals" units are responsible for rounding up many of the 12,000+ human beings who are forcibly deported from this country and returned to uncertain fates every year. It is here that agents of the CBSA daily work in defiance of the Convention Against Torture, which prohibits the deportation of ANYONE to face torture. All of Canada's secret trial detainees (and those under draconian bail conditions) face deportation to torture, yet the federal government continues efforts to deport them to Syria, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco.
Our annual Martin Luther King day action is part of a series of national actions calling for an end to indefinite detention and deportation to torture that are taking place January 11-15. Join us in the loving spirit of radical, transformative justice that served as a cornerstone of the nonviolent civil rights movement!
"A time comes when silence is betrayal. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers and sisters." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 11, 2007 marks 5 years since the official opening of Guantanamo Bay, a detention and torture centre run by the United States in Cuba that has been a legal black hole for countless people swept up in the terror of war. While many have been released (after spending upwards of four or more years without being charged or given a trial), hundreds of others languish under illegal detention, facing inhumane conditions without access to the outside world.
Canada has its own Guantanamo Bay, located in Millhaven Penitentiary, Kingston. Here, three "security certificate" detainees who have been held upwards of seven years without charge on secret evidence, are fighting deportation to torture. All are currently on hunger strike protesting their conditions of detention, including denial of medical treatment. Two other men, also held between two and four years, are currently "out" on some of the most severe restrictions on human liberty ever imposed in a Canadian bail release. These draconian restrictions also curtail the freedoms of their entire families. They too continue to live under the threat of
deportation to torture.
Human rights groups in the U.S. are calling for international actions on January 11 for the closure of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We join in that call, adding our own demand for the closure of Guantanamo Bay North, right here in Canada. Actions in Canada are planned from coast to coast between January 11 and 15.
Join us to demand that the Canadian government:
1. Immediately close Kingston Immigration Holding Centre (Guantanamo Bay North)
2. Immediately release Canada's secret trial "security certificate" detainees or provide them with a fair, transparent, open trial.
3. End all proceedings to deport the Secret Trial Five (Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohammad Mahjoub, Hassan Almrei, Mohamed Harkat, Adil Charkaoui)
4. Abolish security certificates and end deportation to torture.
5. Immediately condemn the illegal Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
Contact the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org or
2. Martin Luther King Day Book Launch
Monday January 15, 2007, 7pm
581 Markham Street, Toronto
(near intersection of Bloor Street West and Bathurst)
"Blue Cage at Midnight"
A book of poetry by Gary Freeman
[25 year library worker presently fighting extradition to the U.S.A. over an incident during the Civil Rights Era]
Foreword by: Governor General Awardee, George Elliott Clarke
"Mr Freeman's poetry is spiky, tough, explosive...he is a master of the
parable and the aphorism."
Cover Art by: Governor General Awardee, Paul Morin
Published by: LyricalMyrical Press
Gary has been incarcerated without bail since July, 2004, for an incident that took place in 1969 Chicago. All the evidence from that day (during which an officer was injured) has been destroyed; most of the witnesses are dead. The extradition is based on false and contradictory "evidence," the investigation has been led by the officer himself, and Chicago remains a place of deep-seated racism and violence directed at African Americans. Chicago police were recently implicated in torture of detainees over a 20-year period in the Burge Report. However, city officials have declined
to prosecute officers involved in torture, claiming the cases are too old. Yet they are trying to disrupt the life of the Freeman family, who have lived peacefully in Canada for decades, contributing to the community and trying to live out the ideals of social justice.
Co-Sponsors: CIUT "The Taylor Report" with host Phil Taylor
CKLN "Saturday Morning Live" with host Norman Otis Richmond
Proceeds of book sales will be donated to the "Gary Freeman Defence Fund"
There also is an accumulation of evidence that George W. Bush is putting in place the military and political infrastructure for escalating the Iraq War into a regional conflagration.
Indeed, the momentum might already be too strong -- and the preparations too advanced -- to turn around.
For the full story about the extraordinary dangers ahead, go to Consortiumnews.com.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
There are more than 1,000 endorsers for the March on the Pentagon including:
Gary McHale plans another meeting in Caledonia on Sunday, Jan. 14Gary McHale is planning on holding a Town Hall meeting in Caledonia on Sunday at the Lions Hall. It is hoped that by calling/e-mailing/faxing the Lions Hall & expressing our concern about them allowing Mr. McHale to rent their facility on Sunday, we can have some ability to deter Mr. McHale from constantly stirring up trouble and provocation towards the people of Six Nations in their peaceful stand for their land. If you feel you can help with this undertaking, please see the contact info below for Dennis Howden and the Lions Hall.
Site Location McKinnon Park
Office Phone Hall: 905-765-3222; Hall Rental: 905-765-2661;
Toll Free Phone 1-877-233-3352
|Poll: Americans oppose sending more troops to Iraq|
USA Today Thu, 11 Jan 2007 11:04 AM PST
Americans overwhelmingly oppose sending more U.S. forces to Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll that serves as a strong repudiation of President Bush's plan to send another 21,500 troops. The findings echoed the negative views expressed by Americans in a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.
|U.S. Iraq Quotes|
AP via Yahoo! News Thu, 11 Jan 2007 12:53 PM PST
Quotes on Iraq from administration officials and members of Congress on Thursday, a day after President Bush proposed sending 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq:
Surging from KenaiBush's Sacrificial Americans
By Tom Engelhardt
A Surge of Bodies
On January 4th, the Pentagon "announced the identities" of six American soldiers who had died between December 28th and New Year's Eve. It was just one of many such listings over these last years and, like similar announcements, this one had a just-the-facts quality to it -- spare to the bone, barely more information than you would get from a POW: rank, age, place of birth, date of death, place of death, type of death, and the unit to which the dead soldier belonged.
These announcements, which blend seamlessly into one another, also blend the dead into a relatively uniform mass. You can, of course, learn nothing from such skeletal reports about the dreams of these young men (and sometimes women), their hopes or fears, their plans for the future or lack of them, their talents and skills, their problems, their stray thoughts or deepest convictions, their worlds, and those who cared about them.
So few paragraphs are almost bound to emphasize not the individuality of the dead, but their similarity in death. Five of these soldiers died due to roadside explosives (IEDs), one from small-arms fire. Two died in Baghdad; two in Baqubah; the embattled capital of Diyala Province, north of Baghdad, where civil war rages; one in Ramadi, the capital of al-Anbar Province, the heartland of the Sunni insurgency; and one in Taji, also in the "Sunni Triangle." None had a rank higher than sergeant. The oldest was only 22; the youngest, 20. Another thing five of the six had in common was not coming from a major American city.
In order of population:
"Do you believe U.S. President George W. Bush is on the right track with his latest proposals regarding Iraq?" Please go to the website and click on Yes or No. So far, the results show that an overwhelming percentage of people say No.
Do you believe U.S. President George W. Bush is on the right track with his latest proposals regarding Iraq?
(26%) 5107 votes
(74%) 14692 votes
Total votes: 19799
Just when we thought the war in Iraq couldn't get any worse - it has. Last night, President Bush rejected reality, spurned the American people's verdict, and announced his new policy: MILITARY ESCALATION IN IRAQ.
The good news is that the newly elected United States Congress can stop this madness. We're launching an immediate campaign to let the Congress hear from global voices - placing an ad with the number of signatures to our petition in "Roll Call", an influential political paper sent to every member of the US Congress. Click below to visit our new campaign site at Avaaz.org, see the ad, and sign the petition:
The US-led coalition forces and the Iraqi government are part of the problem, and sending tens of thousands more American troops will only fan the flames of this war. But the US Congress can demand a real diplomatic plan to end the war - if they feel enough pressure to do it.
This new Congress has real power to stop Bush in his tracks. The Democrats were elected to end the war. If enough people speak up now, they might just have the guts to do it.
The vast majority of Americans oppose escalation, and opposition is growing. They need our help before the week is out.
Add your name to the petition. Spread the word to your friends. The Iraq crisis is a global problem - and it will take global pressure to change its course.
Ricken, Paul, Tom, Rachel, Galit, Lee-Sean and the rest of the Ceasefire
Campaign (now Avaaz.org!) Team.
PS - In an online poll last year, nearly a thousand of you helped choose a compelling new name for our global campaigning effort - www.Avaaz.org. Avaaz means "voice" or "song" in many Asian languages. The new site is up, so check it out! www.Avaaz.org.
Avaaz.org is a community of global citizens who take action on the major issues facing the world today. The aim of Avaaz.org is to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decisions. Avaaz.org members act for a more just and peaceful world and a globalisation with a human face.
URGENT APPEAL: Temporary Housing for U.S. War Resisters & Conscientious Objectors
*EMERGENCY HOUSING APPEAL!!!
Since the news broke that George Bush will be announcing an increased deployment of 20,000 troops to Iraq, there has been a huge response within the U.S. military.
The War Resisters Support Campaign has been inundated with requests from soldiers who are considering coming to Canada.
*This is an urgent appeal for housing spots for the new arrivals. If you have room where you can house a resister for a few days, a few weeks or longer, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH US.*
Welcoming a war resister here with the offer of temporary housing is a concrete way to help put an end to war in Iraq. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated!
Tom at email@example.com
Christine at 647.393.3096
Leave a message at the War Resisters Support Campaign office:
416.598.1222 * firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Think Dahr's work is vital? Then help please help. It's easy! http://dahrjamailiraq.com/donate/
Media Under Growing Siege
*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
*BAGHDAD, Jan. 10 (IPS) - The U.S. administration continues to tout Iraq as a shining example of democracy in the Middle East, but press freedom in Iraq has plummeted since the beginning of the occupation.*
Repression of free speech in Iraq was extreme already under the regime of Saddam Hussein. The 2002 press freedom index of the watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranked Iraq a dismal 130th. The 2006 index pushes Iraq down to 154th position in a total of 168 listed countries, though still ahead of Pakistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, China and Iran. North Korea is at the bottom of the table.
The index ranks countries by how they treat their media, looking at the number of journalists who were murdered, threatened, had to flee or were jailed by the state.
The end of Saddam's dictatorship had for a while brought hope of greater press freedom. More than 200 new newspapers and a dozen television channels opened. The hope did not last even weeks.
"We were overwhelmed by the change that accompanied what we thought was the liberation of our country," journalist Said Ali who had earlier been arrested many times for criticising Saddam's regime told IPS. "I was arrested then for criticising low-ranking officials, and that was why I did not stay in jail long. The change of system in 2003 brought me hope of a better situation, but it proved false."
First, journalists began to face the danger of getting shot in the streets by nervous U.S. soldiers. Many journalists were killed in such firing. Later they began to face exile, arrest and bans on reporting after they began to expose abuses against Iraqi civilians. Journalists were targeted also for reporting the growing resistance to the occupation.
Order 65 of the "100 Orders" penned by former U.S. administrator in Iraq L. Paul Bremer established a communications and media commission. Under the order passed Mar. 20, 2004 the commission had complete control over licensing and regulating telecommunications, broadcasting, information services and all other media establishments.
On Jun. 28, 2004 when the United States supposedly handed power to a "sovereign" interim government, Bremer simply passed on the authority to U.S.-installed interim prime minister Ayad Allawi, who had longstanding ties with the CIA and the British intelligence service MI6. These orders have since been incorporated into the Iraqi constitution.
Within days of the "handover" of power to the interim Iraqi government, security forces raided and shut down the Baghdad office of al-Jazeera Arabic satellite channel.
The network was banned from reporting out of Iraq initially for a month, but the ban was then extended "indefinitely", and remains in place today. In November 2004 the Iraqi government announced that any al-Jazeera journalist found reporting in Iraq would be detained.
Others were picked on too. "My friend Sophie-Anne Lamouf, a French journalist who was covering Fallujah events from her hotel in Baghdad was exiled," an Iraqi journalist told IPS. "I could not believe going back to the dark ages was possible, but it is true."
Other journalists say resistance groups and criminal gangs are the biggest threat today. Another threat to media workers has been abduction either for ransom or to draw international attention to the kidnappers' cause.
"The worst thing that happens to a journalist in Iraq is the fighters' opinion that some of us are CIA spies," Iraqi journalist Maki al-Nazzal told IPS. "This would definitely lead to thorough investigations and sometimes has led to death."
During the siege of Fallujah in April 2004, 12 foreign journalists reported freely and left safely. But the situation changed soon afterwards. Under truce negotiations during that siege, U.S. forces asked leaders of the city to expel al-Jazeera journalists as part of a cease-fire agreement.
In September this year, the Iraqi government shut down the Baghdad bureau of al-Jazeera's competitor al-Arabiya. And on Jan. 1 this year, the Baghdad office of al-Sharqiya satellite channel which broadcasts from Dubai was ordered closed by the Iraqi government on grounds of "inciting sectarianism" following the Dec. 30 execution of Saddam Hussein. A news reader had appeared wearing black mourning clothes.
All non-Iraqi journalists now base themselves in well-protected hotels. For fear of resistance fighters, criminal gangs, the U.S. military or death squads, most never leave the hotels. When they do, they go "embedded" with the U.S. military.
According to the U.S. based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 92 journalists and 37 media support workers have been killed in Iraq since the occupation began in March 2003. Reporters Without Borders says at least 94 journalists and 45 media assistants have been killed since then.
Among the dead was IPS journalist Alaa Hassan who was shot and killed by armed men as he drove to work Jun. 28 this year.
Reporters Without Borders added that Iraq was one of the world's worst marketplaces for hostages, with at least 38 journalists kidnapped in three years.
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that at least 14 journalists have been killed by the U.S. military. Many Arab media organisations say that number is far higher.
Death squads are now another growing threat to the media. The al-Shaabiya satellite channel bureau was attacked by death squads last year. The company chairman and many members of the staff were killed.
(Ali al-Fadhily is our Baghdad correspondent. Dahr Jamail is our specialist writer who has spent eight months reporting from inside Iraq and has been covering the Middle East for several years.)
(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.
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Bush's Escalation Provokes Constitutional Crisis - and Progressive Mobilization
Showing his utter contempt for the will of the American people, George Bush is moving ahead with his plan to escalate the War in Iraq by 20,000 troops, starting by January 31.