Saturday, May 13, 2006

Cindy Sheehan: A Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Cindy Sheehan will be in Washington this Mother's Day following in the legacy of Julia Ward Howe, who "became so horrified with the carnage of the Civil War that she began advocating for a Mother's Day of Peace. She published the Mother's Day Peace Proclamation in 1870."

Sheehan asks questions about the next steps for the peace movement and offers the direction to take:
"What's next? What can we do now? What tools do we have left in this democracy of ours?

Now is the time for the peace movement to get electoral. Americans opposed to pre-emptive war need to vote for what they believe in, and not vote for candidates who support war. Let's turn the majority of Americans into an electoral majority that can redirect the United States..."

Read this TruthOut article here.

VIDEO | Dispatch From North Dakota

A Film by Chris Hume

Even though progressive talk radio is gaining popularity with the American public, the Christian Right is working hard to silence it. TruthOut correspondent Chris Hume visits progressive radio host Ed Schultz in Fargo, North Dakota, to examine this underdiscussed topic.

Watch VIDEO here.

VIDEO | A Somber Mother's Day Weekend in DC

A Report by Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez

This Mother's Day will not be a time of joy for the almost 2,500 mothers who have lost their son or daughter in Iraq. Many of those mothers will be in Washington, DC, participating in a weekend full of activities ranging from a silent march to a 24-hour vigil. TruthOut's Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez are in Washington and will be sending in video reports throughout the weekend.

Watch this TruthOut VIDEO here.

BREAKING | Jason Leopold: Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators

Jason Leopold reports that on Friday, May 12, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.

Read about on TruthOut here.

MNN First Nations Endorses Support Against Canada's Role in Palestinian Oppression & Israeli Apartheid

A letter was sent out by Al-Awda Toronto, asking for endorsement of the statement asking for an end to Canada's sanctions against the democratically elected Palestinian Authority, and Canada's complicity in Israeli war crimes. These sanctions hurt the innocent civilians and make them suffer unbearable hardships. They are being punished for what? For having had a "democratic" election? Just because they failed to elect a government that is suitable to Western interests? How can the U.S., Canada, and Europe fail to see that they are helping create a massive humanitarian crisis -- causing deaths of innocent people and grave hardships -- by the sanctions and support of Israeli apartheid? Whichever way you look at it, this is wrong!

Below is Kahentinetha Horn's (Six Nations and Mohawk Nation News) reply of support and Al-Awda's letter, with the above-mentioned statement, in commemoration of the "58th anniversary of the Nakba (when Israel celebrates its independence, and we Palestinians commemorate the ethnic cleansing of our parents and grandparents)."

Please forward Al-Awda's letter and statement to your organisation for endorsement. It is needed by the evening of May 14, so that it can be sent out far and wide on the following day, the 15th, on the anniversary of the "Nakba".

"Re: URGENT - Endorsements Requested

We completely support this statement against the Zionists of Israel's apartheid policies against the Indigenous Palestian People. We too have suffered genocide. 99% of our people were killed off in the biggest holocaust in all humanity. 115 million of our people were killed off by the Europeans to make way for the plunder of our land and resources that followed. Canada is guilty of developing some of these methods of attack such as reservations, passes, starvation, spreading diseases, theft of our children into residential school in which only half survived, outright murder and all manner of the slow death policies it perpetrates on us today. We continue to refuse to acquiesce to the colonial government's theft of our possessions. We stand in solidarity with you against these lethal sanctions that are meant to decimate you. Since Canada is built on the theft and exploitation of our land and resources, we the Indigenous people demand that our aid be immediately directed to our Indigenous brothers and sisters, the Palestinians.

Kahentinetha Horn, MNN Mohawk Nation News, "

Here is the urgent letter sent out by Al-Awda, seeking endorsements by Sunday night (May 14) in commemoration of the 58th anniversary of the "Nakba":

URGENT - Endorsements Requested

Dear Friends,

As many of you may know, conditions in Palestine have become tragically worse since Canada, the US and Europe implemented sanctions on the democratically elected Palestinian Authority. Canada was in fact the first country to withdraw its aid, an action that was one in a string of Canadian government decisions to give blind support for the Israeli state while punishing en masse the entire Palestinian population.

The statement below was drafted by members of Al-Awda Toronto (Palestine Right of Return Group) and the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, as an attempt to get as many groups in Canada to sign on as opposition to Canada's cruel role in the oppression of Palestinians. We hope to collect as many organizational endorsements as possible by Sunday night (May 14) so that we can send it out far and wide on Monday, May 15 - the 58th anniversary of the Nakba (when Israel celebrates its independence, and we Palestinians commemorate the ethnic cleansing of our parents and grandparents).

Please read the statement, and send it to any other groups that you think may wish to support it. Please respond as soon as you can if any of the groups you are involved in would wish to add their name as an endorser of this statement.

Thank you for your support,
Hazem Jamjoum
Al-Awda Toronto


A massive humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are facing forced starvation due to the Israeli siege on the Palestinian economy. Supplies of fuel and cooking gas have been cut-off from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians are dying in hospitals because the Israeli government has prevented the entry of medical supplies. Reports from international,
Israeli and Palestinian press indicate the scope of this current crisis:

*On 4 May, the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza reported that four people in need of dialysis have died because of medical shortages. Only a few days' supply of surgical drugs such as atropine, adrenaline, heparin and lidocaine remain. ("Funds Cut, Gaza Faces a Plague of Health Woes", New York Times, 8 May 2006 and "Patients die as doctors run out of drugs to treat them", Guardian Weekly, 10 May 2006).

*On 9 May, the Israeli company Dor - which provides all petrol and cooking gas to the West Bank and Gaza Strip - announced that it was suspending these fuel supplies. Israel prohibits Palestinians from importing fuel from any alternative source. Moreover, Israel, the US, Canada and other governments have cut all aid and barred the Palestinian Authority from receiving other funds to pay for fuel. ("Fuel supplies running dry; enough for 24 hours only says petroleum committee director" Maan News Agency 10 May 2006).

*The 160,000 Palestinians who work for the Palestinian Authority as teachers, doctors, police and civil servants have not received wages for two months. These wages support thousands of families, estimated at approximately 1/3 of the Palestinian population. This loss of income comes after nearly six years of Israeli attacks and siege. As a consequence, most of these individuals already face massive indebtedness and depleted personal savings. Even the World Bank warned this week that its earlier predictions of a 50% rise in poverty in the occupied territories this year (already at 50% in some areas) - driven by a sharp fall in personal income
and a 23% increase in unemployment - may have been "too rosy".("Patients die as doctors run out of drugs to treat them", Guardian Weekly, 10 May 2006).

*Palestinian officials report that police forces have received no food for two days. Over the last month, police have received as little as a loaf of bread three times a week and a few vegetables on other days. No salaries have been paid for two months. Palestinian prison guards are asking relatives of inmates to prepare food and bring it to the prisons so that prisoners will not starve. ("PA crisis: Prisons running out of food", YNET News, 8 May 2006).

These are the direct consequences of Israeli apartheid policies. Since 1967, Israel has pursued a policy of creating isolated Palestinian bantustans in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians are confined to a patchwork of disconnected population islands divided by Israeli settlements, checkpoints and military bases. All aspects of Palestinian life are completely dependent upon Israeli 'permission'. Palestinian
movement in-and-out of towns and villages is controlled by Israeli-issued permits and regulated by soldiers and checkpoints.

Israel completely controls all imports and exports, and the flow of funds into the WB/GS. Massive confiscation of land in the West Bank has destroyed the Palestinian agricultural sector. In the Gaza Strip, Israel even controls where and how Palestinians can fish. The deliberate 'de-development' of Palestinian industry under Israeli occupation means that most Palestinians are dependent upon either the PA or are forced to work in Israel for their survival.

On May 15th we commemorate 58 years since Palestinians were driven out of their homes and land by Zionist aggression. The current situation indicates that this program of ethnic cleansing continues at full speed. While millions of Palestinian refugees wait to return to their homes and land, Israel has literally imprisoned millions more in the open-air prisons that constitute Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip.

Deliberate starvation of the population is a war crime that is now openly embraced by the Canadian government. Canada was the first government in the world to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority. In November last year, the previous Canadian government openly endorsed a proposed visit by Israeli war criminal Ariel Sharon. On 22 March 2006, former Chief of Staff of the Israeli military, Moshe Yaalon - a man who once compared Palestinians to a "cancer" - was permitted entry into Canada. On 15 May
2006, Nefesh B Nefesh, an organization that recruits settlers to continue the program of ethnic cleansing in Palestine is holding a recruitment meeting in Toronto. On 17 May 2006, another war criminal, the head of Israeli Military Intelligence, Zeevi Farkash, will be speaking in Toronto.

And on 18 May 2006, Gen. Doron Almog, a man who was unable to leave his plane in the UK because of a warrant to arrest him for war crimes, will also be speaking in Toronto.

The Canadian government must immediately end its open support for Israeli war crimes and the dispossession of the Palestinian people. We call for an immediate halt to all political and financial ties with the Israeli government until Israeli apartheid ends. Moreover, we call for the immediate and unconditional resumption of aid to the Palestinian Authority. This is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue. The
world cannot insist that the Palestinian right to life is conditional on acquiescence to Israeli apartheid.

Tasers and guns: Six nations attack Apr. 20/06

This is a more indepth report about the April 20th attack by the OPP on the Six Nations People at the Henco reclamation site:

May 12, 2006: Report on April 20th Attack

Tasers and Guns

The Propellant looks like the size of the ink refill cartridge you might use in your printer, but these cartridges have long wires, nearly 20 yards, attached to them with long menacing looking barbed needles on the other..

They are called Tasers and once they sink into your skin – the officer presses the trigger and sends 50,000 volts of electric charge into your nervous system.

The darts stay in the person thanks to the barbed end much like a fish hook. The person that is shot by these needles is completely immobilized.

Sean couldn’t stand by and let 5 police officers grapple with his Step mother, Hazel Hill who was now on the ground struggling to avoid being hurt.

This was how Thursday April 20th started out for the First Nations people en-camped on the barren grounds of the Douglas Creek Development.

The night before, police has reassured Clyde Powless from the Haudenosaunee nation, no police action would be taken as long as talks were going on,

that a warning would be given before any mass arrests would start, and no police would storm the camp site during night.

None of those words meant anything then, as the First Nations People have experienced generation after generation. The white man’s word was not to be trusted.

When the OPP did storm into the Camp up in Caledonia, the ratio was at least five officers for each person, most of whom were asleep during the 4:30 take down.

By the time Hazel Hill managed to return to the camp site and call me on her cell phone, dawn had just broken. Her call to me was short and expectedly frantic. Then there was nothing.

I could not get an answer when I dialed back. I didn’t know it was because she was being pinned to the ground under the weight of five OPP officers, and her son was being tasered.

First I called Dick Hill, Hazels’ husband at his home and told him about Hazel’s call. Then I quickly started calling all the media people I could think of to say that the camp standoff in Caledonia was being raided.

Some of the main stream press had been camped out in their vans for weeks before this raid, waiting for a moment like this one. Others had to be "coaxed" to make the drive into Caledonia.

One CBC television reporter was on her cell phone to me mapping out in her head what she assumed was happening. She concluded, like most of the press had concluded, that the natives had been arrested and cleared off the site.

She was wrong. As I watched live coverage being broadcast from the Global/CH11 mobile van, I saw something you rarely expect to see in a native land standoff.

The phone calls were working. Numbers of First Nations people were streaming into the campsite carrying flags. Calmly and peacefully they walked into the camp grounds and turned the police around, walked them out of the camp and down Argyle St. heading North.

It was a beautiful thing to see. I had forgotten I was still on the phone with the CBC reporter who kept saying "the Police had moved all the Indians off the site" into my ear. "No" I kept repeating, "the Indians are slowly and quietly pushing the Police off the site."

This was obviously not what most reporters expect to hear. In all of the past land claims issues natives have not managed to peacefully repel the police – after a major raid.

This was history I was watching and now describing to the reporter in a mobile van rushing to the location. All different members of First Nations people were banding and standing together and gracefully taking back their land.

I remember feeling a sense of respect and pride watching this act of grace and commitment, when only a hour before I was fearing the worse would happen, like the Ipperwash stand off – or OKA.

The CBC reporter was surprised as well and it took me a few repeats of the live news cast I was watching to convince her that something wonderful was happening.

By the time I had called as many press people as I could think of, and get myself up to the site it was just past 9 am. The press were everywhere, like a swarm of bees.

The first person I sought out was writer from the local Teckawan Six Nations news paper. I wanted to find Hazel Hill and see if she was all right. We were allowed across the new barrier now sitting across Hwy. #6 or locally known as plank road, escorted by the Techawan reporter, to a truck with the back hatch dropped down.

There surrounded by a mass of press sat Hazel, calmly and with grace, telling again and again what had just happened.

Satisfied, the press drifted off to find someone else to swarm. I stayed to do my own interview with Hazel and then some young girls came over with their hands full of tangled wire.

They carefully laid out the taser cartridges – the mess of wire - and the huge barbed needles on the black carpet of the trucks dropped door gate and from nowhere the press flocked back like seagulls pushing and shoving to get shots of the vicious looking stun gun bullets.

It has been three weeks now since the day the OPP rushed in, which led to the road being barricaded. I have yet to see a published picture of the taser weapon used to shoot Hazel’s son in the back, in order to prevent him from coming to her aid.

The only media that shows the true amount of police force used that day is the independent media. They have no corporate agenda, except to show to the world what the Natives were really facing.

That’s why the road is blocked. No other reason – except to protect themselves from further violence.

Later that same day I wandered around the development and watched moms on their front yards sunbathing, while their little girls played in front of the police vans.

So many vans – at least 12 from my count, and I wondered how many of them were hiding automatic weapons behind the heavily smoked windows.

Maggie Hughes

Babylon Project: Cindy Sheehan: Oh No Canada

Canadians have to be the healthiest looking and most polite citizenry that I have encountered in my travels. The British people that I have met are very polite but nowhere near the graciousness of Canadians. Canadians are truly civil, and they mean it. Canadians have been proud of their country's role of world peacekeeper and as the beacon of peace and hope and refuge for us Americans who feel that our country's aggressive militarism endangers us and harms our reputations and souls. Now Canadians need to wake up to the fact that their new minority, disliked government is leading them down this same slippery slope to the fascistic militarism of their immediate neighbors to the south.

Read more of this article on the Babylon Project web-site.

Women, Widows and Rights: Deepa Mehta's "Water"

An eight-year-old girl is wakened by her Hindu father and told that her husband has died. We are in India in the late 1930's. The girl, Chuyia, is taken to a widows' house where, like the 14 women residents, she faces a lifetime of bleak destitution. The girl doesn't even remember being married.

Thus begins Canadian director Deepa Mehta's Water, a film about the lives and struggles of women caught within an oppresive religious tradition enforced by human self-interest, hypocrisy and bullying.

The plot centres on an ancient Hindu practice, still widespread, whereby families ship off widows to ashrams where they live as social outcasts. Without a husband, the women are seen as a burden and worthless. The film reports that there were 34 million Indian widows in 2001, most living in destitution.

Chuyia's ashram is ruled by a foul-tempered woman, who traffics another resident, the beautiful Kalyani, to the rich Brahmins across the river.

A third woman, Shakuntala, attempts to resign herself to her circumstances, but her feelings keep subverting these efforts. It is through Shakuntala's unaccepting eyes and Chuyia's questions ("Where is the house for men widows?") that we see the irrational oppressiveness of the ashram.

Bleak as this life is, moments of laughter and play suggest that a hunger for life persists in these women.

Water is now available on DVD. Deepa Mehta recently contributed to a new Amnesty International public service announcement.

This film review was republished from the Activist, May/June 2006 Issue, Amnesty International Canada's monthly magazine.

Amnesty International Canada

Hamilton: Forum 2006: Community Arts Matters



June 9 – 10, 2006

Workers Art and Heritage Centre, Hamilton


  • Role of art in community development, social change and activism.

· How Canada’s legacy of colonialism shapes the way we work with communities.

  • The history and future of community arts practice in Ontario.
  • Other issues identified by participants.


Elder Walter Cooke Leads a Welcome Ceremony in Aboriginal communities opening ceremonies are a part of all gatherings. A common part of many ceremonies is the “Smudge”, a burning of sage and/or sweetgrass. The fragrant smell of the smoke reminds us that we are all connected to each other through our breath; we all breathe the same wind. In addition, we are asked to give thanks to All Our Relations: the plants, animals, waters and other life that enable us to survive and thrive on Mother Earth. In this large family we acknowledge our interdependence and begin whatever journey awaits us this day. Walter Cooke works as an Elder / Counsellor for the Dedwa da dehs nye’s Aboriginal Health Centre in Hamilton. He is from the Ojibway-Cree Nation and the Bear Clan.

Community Arts Matters! Robin Pacific will lead a session that asks everyone to contribute to why ‘Community Arts Matters’. Her own response is “Community Art matters because community matters and so does art. At its best it holds the collective and the individual in exquisite balance. It can return us to our right and our need to create, to dream, to express and to resist. It both finds the common thread and celebrates difference. Community art makes an end run around the longueurs of the art world, the sterility of political protest that ignores creativity, the isolation of life in a globalized corporate world. It can make manifest a cry of anguish, a shout of joy, a moment of silence. It matters.” Robin Pacific is a multidisciplinary Toronto artist whose practice ranges from community art to painting, performance, video and installation work. Her work can be seen at

A living wage for artists: tackling poverty with Bryce Kanbara, visual artist and curator. Bryce will take a candid look at the coordination of a community-funded project (in progress) aimed at improving the lives of Hamilton artists, writers, and visual artists. Who? What? Where? Why? The project is fraught with issues of participation, definition, aspiration and necessity. In June, this seven-month project culminates in a first-time gathering of Hamiltonians in the arts to discuss collective strategies for change. This is a project of the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre as part of the Hamilton Community Foundation’s "Tackling Poverty Together" initiative. Bryce Kanbara is a visual artist/curator and owner of you me gallery in Hamilton. He has worked in curatorial positions at Burlington Art Centre, Art Gallery of Hamilton; was Visual Arts, Crafts & Design Officer at the Ontario Arts Council, and Executive Director at the Toronto Chapter of the National Association of Japanese Canadians.

Decolonise your art a Popular Education Exercise with Diane Roberts, theatre artist and Community Arts Ontario’s Cultural Development Coordinator. “A people who free themselves from foreign domination will not be free unless…they return to the upward paths of their own culture.” Amilcar Cabral.

How do we define culture when expressions of identity are constantly shifting? This interactive and playful workshop explores the meaning and value of recognizing root cultural practices. Participants are asked to bring (or physically represent) an object* that defines their individual root practice. Exchanging gestures, sounds, words and images, we will create together our ideal of a diverse cultural community.

*Bring something small, not precious (can be handled without fear of damage), culturally rooted and personal to you and your practice. For me, a calabash bowl is an earthen vessel representing communal practice – an important value in my culture.

Lifting as we climb: for young artists and their organizations to address common concerns and issues with Michelle Iman Myrie, Project Coordinator, Workers Arts and Heritage Centre; and Queen Cee, singer, songwriter and youth activist. This session looks at art as a tool for social resistance. The workshop will help young people develop new ways of channeling creativity by expressing opinions and thoughts around social issues that impact their lives. Finding creative ways to get ones message across while reclaiming youth culture is not always easy. Michelle Myrie and Queen Cee will encourage participants to use their voices to express their thoughts and feelings through hip-hop and R&B. With no previous experience required, learn how to develop and channel creative skills to be issued-oriented and reclaim your own culture and voice.

Further breakout sessions. You have other topics, issues, concerns you need to discuss? This is your opportunity

Opening Celebrations with the Hamilton Steel Youth Orchestra, steel pan playing at its best; and Gar Santucci, award winning guitarist and founder of Guitarreworks Music

A Hamilton Gallery Crawl

Ghost Tour of the Custom House by Haunted Hamilton Throughout all of the different environments that have come and gone through the Custom House, one thing has remained constant all these years; the fact that it is notoriously known for being haunted. Haunted by whom you ask? Well, they call her the ‘Dark Lady’ and she is in as much residence there today as she ever was. Stephanie Lechniak-Cumerlato and Daniel Cumerlato founded and Haunted Hamilton. They report hauntings and folklore, while calling attention to the preservation of Hamilton’s historic structures and buildings. More information can be found at and (Please book by May 26.)

Finale: A special performance by Neeraj Prem, master sitarist

For times, how to register & other information on this conference, check our website

Looking to save on gas and transportation costs to the 2006 FORUM in Hamilton? Consider carpooling. If you are looking for a ride or for passengers, post to our site at:

Volunteer positions still exist. Free registration for 5 hours of volunteer work.

Zainab Amadahy, Executive Director
Community Arts
401 Richmond Street West
ON M5V 3A8
Fax: 416-598-4468

CAO gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, the Ministry of Culture, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Celebrate Six Nations - Sunday, May 21


All people are invited to visit Six Nations to celebrate the reclamation action and educate themselves on the issues.

BUS LEAVES rain or shine:

11am, Sunday May 21

Outside OISE

252 Bloor Street West, Toronto

St. George subway station, Bedford Rd. exit, one block west

Food & transportation provided free

Bus departs Six Nations at 7pm the same day.


For more information or to book a seat on the bus contact: Leave a contact name, phone number and the number of seats required.

If you can donate food and supplies for this trip, or help prepare food contact:

Background Info:

On February 28, 2006 members of the Six Nations of the Grand River community peacefully took possession of a tract of land that had been illegally sold by the province to the Henco Corporation for the purpose of building a residential complex. Henco proceeded to remove the topsoil, fill in the creek flowing through the property and construct homes.

No traditional leader at Six Nations gave permission for this land to be sold or developed. In addition, this territory is currently included in an unresolved land claim and under federal law cannot be sold or developed.

In the early morning hours of April 20, 2006 the OPP, armed with tasers, pepper spray and automatic weapons, attacked the camp. Elders, children and women were assaulted. Fifteen people were arrested. However, the Six Nations Community retook the camp and walked the OPP off their territory. They also blocked all roads leading into the tract of land in an act of self-defense.

Negotiations are currently underway between members of the Six Nations Confederacy (traditional government) and the federal and provincial governments. A 90 day moratorium suspending further development or police actions is currently in effect. Six Nations community members continue to peacefully occupy their territory.


If you join us on this bus trip please consider making a donation to the Six Nations Reclamation. The following is a list of food and supplies needed.


Prepared food
Clear garbage bags
Granola bars
Meat (lots of it, any kind)
Burger/hotdog buns
Soft drinks (including diet)
Sports drinks
Power bars
Drink crystals
Lighter fluid
Sandwich bread
Hot chocolate
Large Styrofoam cups
Styrofoam bowls
Plastic cutlery
White sugar
Flats of canned food
Propane (can get empty tanks filled in town)
Dish soap
Bottled water
Cheese cloth
Small Styrofoam coolers


Spinal board
Spinal collar
Burn spray
BT cuffs
Tampons (small)
Lip balm with SPF
Barrier mask
Glow sticks
Bug bite ointment
Hand sanitizer
Wet wipes
Rolls of gauze
Latex gloves
Vinegar packets
Duffel bags
Rubbermaid bins
Waterproof bandaids
Sunscreen (water or alcohol based)


Batteries (AA and AAA)
Baseball caps
Long underwear
New underwear
Athletic socks
Warm clothing (plus sizes)
Sleeping bags
Laundry soap
Fire extinguisher
Duct tape
Phone cards
Coat hangers
Rain gear
Dust masks
Dry-erase boards
Pens (of various kinds)
Warm work gloves
Rubber boots
Bungee cords

Sponsored by: Al-Awda Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, Arab Students Collective U of T, CKLN Community Radio, Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty-Indigenous Caucus, CUPE 3903, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, No One is Illegal

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hamilton Event: Film: "Venezuela Bolivariana", May 26th

Inside The Venezuelan Revolution

Film: "Venezuela Bolivariana"
In English and Spanish
Skydragon Centre,
27 King William
Friday, May 26, 2006

The most detailed film on Venezuela's "Bolivarian Revolution" available. A video history of how popular mobilization and discontent led to the election of President Hugo Chavez in 1998. Protests and uprisings turned into a new Republic for the Venezuelan people. See inside the political process and the battle between rich and poor in our hemisphere's most
important producer of oil. This inspiring film demonstrates that people can take power democratically and participate in a government that works for their interests.

Participants from the World Social Forum and Hands off Venezuela will be present to discuss the film and answer questions.

FREE Admission - Donations Accepted

Sponsored by the November 16 Coalition, Hands off Venezuela, and Skydragon Centre,,

Palestinian Support Events in Toronto, May 14 & 15th

Please come out and support the Palestinian struggle on:

* MAY 14 - Al-Awda, Al-Nakba Movie night in support of Palestinian refugees (Bahen Center, 40 St. George, Rm 1130 @ 6h30pm)

* MAY 15 - Protest the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land (Lipa Green Building, 4600 Bathurst, 4-6pm)

For details on these two events, see the two individualized callouts below and make sure to keep informed on developments at :


On Sunday May 14, Al-Awda Right of Return Coalition (Toronto) commemorates the 58th anniversary of Al-Nakba with a film screening of the documentary: Jerusalem 1948: Yoom Ilak, Yoom Aleik. The evening will include a discussion period about Al-Nakba and the situation of Palestinian refugees in Canada.

Date: Sunday May 14
Place: Bahen Center, 40 St. George (room 1130)
Time: 6:30
Donations Welcome


Al-Nakba (Arabic for Catastrophe) refers to the historic and tragic event of the ETHNIC CLEANSING and DISPOSSESSION of the Palestinian people from historic Palestine which began in 1948. More than 450 Palestinian villages were destroyed and around 900,000 Palestinians driven from their homes, beginning a process of ethnic cleansing that continues to this day.

ABOUT THE FILM - Jerusalem 1948: Yoom Ilak, Yoom Aleik

JERUSALEM 1948 covers the events in Jerusalem and the major villages to the south and west in the period between the 1947 UN Partition Resolution and the first truce between the Arab and Israel armed forces in June 1948. The film challenges the major myths surrounding the war of 1948 that resulted in Israeli statehood and Palestinian exile.

The film aims, on the one hand, to explain the historical complexity of the Palestinian Nakba in 1948 and provide insight into the diversity of Palestinian refugee experiences since then. Palestinian eyewitnesses and experts, now refugees living in refugee camps, villages and cities in Palestine, Jordan and the USA tell the story of their lives in pre-1948 Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM 1948 is based on three years of research on the circumstances of Palestinian eviction from the New City of Jerusalem (now Israeli West Jerusalem) conducted in cooperation with the Institute for Jerusalem

For more information please contact us at:


3. In Commemoration of the 58th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba
(Catastrophe) - Join the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) to:


Date: Monday May 15, 2006
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: Assemble at Elerslie Park and march to the Lipa Green Building (4600 Bathurst Street, Toronto)
*For TTC directions see bottom of callout*

Join us on May 15, 2006 anytime from 4-6pm at the Lipa Green Building (4600 Bathurst) to commemorate the 58th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba – the Catastrophe of 1948 that heralded the beginning of beginning of the Occupation. More than 450 Palestinian villages were destroyed and around 900,000 Palestinians driven from their homes, beginning a process of ethnic cleansing that continues to this day.

We will be protesting a settler-recruitment drive in Canada by Nefesh B’Nefesh, a Zionist settlement organization that recruits Canadians and facilitates their settlement in Palestine. These colonialist activities should not be taking place in Canada and have no place in the 21st century! While Zionist colonization continues, Palestinian refugees violently expelled in 1948 and 1967 are refused their internationally recognised Right of Return by the Israeli apartheid regime!

Nefesh B’Nefesh was founded with the purpose of recruiting North Americans for settlement activities in Palestine. In 2002 Nefesh B’Nefesh sponsored the largest simultaneous 'aliyah' (Hebrew for 'ascent' to the 'promised land') of settlers from North America to Israel. Incentives are being offered to Zionists to relocate to occupied arreas of Jerusalem and settlements deep in the West Bank, like Maaleh Adumim. Despite this a growing number of citizens of Jewish faith and/or cultural background are objecting to Zionist political pressure, refusing to be recruited to
participate in the colonial occupation of Palestinian land. The false concept of 'aliyah' is one of the many tools used to persuade North Americans and other citizens that they have a homeland in someone else’s land!


This is not something happening in far away lands that we can’t do anything about. It is happening right here in the city of Toronto and must not go unchallenged.

For more information contact the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
(CAIA) at:


+ From York University: 196B to Bathurst, change to 160 or 7 north

+ From Downsview subway station: 84 or 196B east on Sheppard to Bathurst,
change to 160 or 7 north

+ From Sheppard subway station: 84 or 196B west on Sheppard to Bathurst,
change to 160 or 7 north

The assembly area for the commemoration/protest will be Ellerslie Park which is at the SE corner of Ellerslie and Bathurst about 100m north of the Lipa Green Building. There is street parking on Ellerslie - heading north on Bathurst, Ellerslie is the first turn to the right after the Lipa Green Building.

From COINTELPRO to the PATRIOT Act: Liberation Movements & the Fight


Saturday, May 13th, 2006 at 6:30pm
Toronto Reference Library Auditorium
789 Yonge St. (Just north of Bloor on the east side of Yonge)

Susan Tipograph has been a criminal defence lawyer in New York City for 30 years. A long-time member of the National Lawyers Guild, she has been a staunch defender of activists, organizers and others made the target of state repression. Some of Susan's notable trials include the Ohio 7 prosecution, the state and federal cases arising from the 1981 Brinks incident in Rockland County, New York (defending Judith Clark, ilvia Baraldini and David Gilbert) and the 1998 rebellion in New York City's
Tompkins Square Park. Among her clients have been Raise the Fist webmaster
Sherman Austin, Lynne Stewart, former Black Panthers including Robert 'Seth' Hayes and Herman Bell, members of the FALN, Macheteros and other Puerto Rican independistas, as well as countless civil disobedience and demonstration arrestees from the anti-globalization, HIV/AIDS, anti-war and other movements.

In addition to Susan's talk, US Political Prisoner (and former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army) Robert 'Seth' Hayes will address the audience and local organizers will give an update about Seth's parole campaign.

This event is organized by the Law Union of Ontario and the Toronto Robert 'Seth' Hayes support committee, and is sponsored by Upping the Anti, OCAP, 81 Reasons Campaign, Prisoners Justice Action Committee, Common Front Legal Collective, Prisoners' HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN) and the Sumoud Palestinian Political Prisoners Group.

This event is free.

For more information or to book a space to table at the event please e-mail or go to

Hybrids: The New Economy Cars?


May 10, 2006: It might be too soon to dub hybrids the "new economy car," but a new study from the Consumer Federation of America says that Congress can help make that a reality by pushing for a federal 50 mpg fuel-efficiency standard: "The CFA analysis shows that at $3 a gallon even purchasing a 48 miles per gallon vehicle today makes sense for consumers because higher auto loan payments for more efficient cars are recouped by the money saved paying for lower monthly gas purchases" ... But, from the look of things, you should't be holding your breath for Congressional action on improved fuel-efficiency standards any time soon ... Meanwhile, Detroit's motor sales continue to hit rock bottom, even as Toyota posts a record quarterly profit ... As oil prices continue to gyrate above and below $70 a barrel, talk continues about $100 a barrel prices later this year, which would mean $5 a gallon for gas and another 30 percent boost in winter heating oil costs ...

This Weekly Update is from 40

Upcoming Conference at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in June


Sunday, June 4th & Monday, June 5th 2006
OISE/UT Auditorium
252 Bloor St. West (St. George subway stn.)
Toronto, Ontario

The conference “Rethinking Learning and Work: Research Findings and Policy Challenges” will present research and address inequalities in adult learning policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT).

“There are widespread claims about gaps between workers' skills and the needs of a knowledge-based economy but there has been little prior research actually studying this relationship”, says Professor David Livingstone, head of the Centre for the Study of Education and Work at OISE/UT. The Canadian and international researchers brought together for this conference have done pioneering work on specific aspects of learning in current workplaces.

There are sessions on immigrant workers, older workers, workers coping with tech change, and the recognition of workers' previously "invisible" skills (such as uncredentialled workers, housework, volunteer work). Outstanding international researchers from the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia will come together with Canadian researchers, mainly from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council network on the Changing Nature of Work and Lifelong Learning (WALL).

The conference features a performance by Motown Diva Lynn Marie Smith on the Monday. There are workshop sessions, a Sunday social event, and an exhibitor marketplace.

For more information, call (416) 923-6641 ext. 2392 or visit

WALL is a Collaborative Research Initiative funded by the SSHRC and is a project of the Centre for the Study of Education and Work at OISE.

WALL Manifesto to Change the World!

Darfur is Dying

Kanye West, Matisyahu and Serge from System of a Down are just a few of the artists that are helping to raise awareness of the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan by participating in the online launch of Darfur is Dying, an online game that places users in the shoes of the 2.5 million people affected by the crisis and simulates the perilous circumstances that govern the lives of these people each day.

Do your part. Play the game, send to your friends and help spread the message:

Help Stop the Genocide in Darfur.

Poll: Most Americans Support NSA's Efforts

I cannot understand the mentality of Americans. How can they 'support' NSA spying on them? Yet, as this Washington Post-ABC News poll shows, this seems to be the case.

A majority of Americans initially support a controversial National Security Agency program to collect information on telephone calls made in the United States in an effort to identify and investigate potential terrorist threats, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.

Read more here.

BREAKING | Jason Leopold: Rove Informs White House He Will Be Indicted

Karl Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly announces the charges against him.

Read full story here.

McGuinty's Two-Tier Drug Plan Bad for Patients

NDP Leader Howard Hampton is sounding the alarm about Dalton McGuinty's two-tier cancer drug plan for Ontario. Under the plan, hospitals will administer life-enhancing cancer drugs for patients who can afford to pay - while people who don't have the money will have to go without.

In the Legislature, Hampton said therapeutically effective cancer drugs should go to all patients who need them, not just those who can afford to pay. “New Democrats believe in Medicare – in providing health care to every man, woman and child regardless of their financial status – not a two-tier system where the rich buy their way to the front of the line while everyone else goes without,” Hampton said.

Read more

Stop War - Burlington, Ontario, Rally on Sunday & Monday

Stop War Where it Starts

Join the Mother's Day Coalition for Peace to rally at a major subsidiary of Canada's self-proclaimed Largest Military Contractor, Burlington's L-3 Wescam

Sunday, May 14, 2:30-4 pm, Rally and Festival of Transformation: Demand Scones not Drones; Blooms, not Bombs!

AND Monday, May 15, 12 Noon: Rally and nonviolent civil disobedience (gather at 9:30 am for final planning and preparation)

Both take place at Burlington's L-3 Wescam. For directions and to arrange rides out to Wescam from Hamilton, contact (905) 634-7654. To get to Wescam from Toronto, contact Homes not Bombs at (416) 651-5800

For more info: Homes not Bombs: (905) 634-7654, or (416) 651-5800,

We remind folks that Mother's Day was not conceived as a saccharine holiday to benefit card makers and flower growers, but was in fact a day to resist war. It was started by Julia Ward Howe after the U.S. Civil War; she and other mothers who had lost their sons and husbands declared "Disarm, Disarm!", and it is this tradition we will be reclaiming on May 14 and 15 in Burlington. Please join us.

From the 403, exit at Waterdown Road and head north to North Service Road, then east on North Service to Wescam, which is very near King Road.) - From Plains Road (York Blvd in Hamilton), turn left on King Road and follow it over the 403 to King Road. Turn right and you're there.
- Bus service from Hamilton leaves Jackson Square regularly, taking York Blvd, which turns into Plains Road. It's $2.35, but transfers from the HSR on Burlington Transit work, and vice versa. Get off at King Road in Burlington and walk north on King. At a brisk pace it takes about 15 minutes to reach North Service Road and Wescam.

MNN "Pop goes the weasel". Ontario/Canada dance 'round 6 Nations

This Six Nations update is from Kahentinetha Horn, Mohawk Nation News:

..."No one should assume that all Canadians support the belligerent stance taken by those who purport to represent them and finance their shenanigans with money extorted through taxation." Kahentinetha


MNN. May 12, 2006. It is dawning on Canada and Ontario they have lost the cause. They do know they outright stole the Haldimand Tract from the Six Nations. That’s why they don’t want this matter to go to court. They sent in Jane Stewart, former Minister of Indian Affairs, Barbara McDougall, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former OPP [Ontario Provincial Premier] David Peterson. Based on past experience Canada sends people who are never given the mandate they need to resolve matters fairly. We suspect that Jane and Barb were carefully selected sacrificial lambs. When they fail to deliver the goods for their bosses, as they must, it will make women in general and the Six Nations clan mothers look incompetent.

Goodness knows they’ve been trying to instigate our people into a violent attack against them or anyone! None have worked. They tried to turn the neighbors of the Six Nations, the Caledonians, into “red necks”, which didn’t work. So they tried to bring in the KKK and the “skin heads”. You can bet your bottom dollars that the colonial government puppet masters are wracking their brains out trying to come up with some excuse to send in the army, with all guns blazing. The situation is frightening. At Gustafsen Lake B.C., explosives were planted to make it look like there had been gunfire. At Ipperwash, snipers were sent in to kill the young man they thought was the leader, Dudley George. During the Mohawk Oka Crisis of 1990, two elderly people died after they were stoned by a set-up mob.

All we can do at this time is stay alert for our safety. Our supporters must remain vigilant that Canada behave decently and respect its laws. We know they probably won’t do this, but we can always ask. We are nearing dangerous times. Don’t think for one minute that Peterson and the Canadian mafia do know that our success at Six Nations will lead many other Indigenous nations to revive their ongoing concerns about the colonial impositions they have been subjected to over the past two centuries. Canada has been so greedy for Indigenous resources that at last count 170 Indigenous communities didn’t even have drinkable water. The land has not only been stolen, but it has been damaged, polluted and made unlivable.

1. We must continue to insist that the Governor General meet with us. The agreement was made between the Six Nations and the Crown. As a successor state that remains under the Queen’s sovereignty, Canada has no excuses for avoiding its obligation. The Governor General is appointed to deal with the issues that concern the Crown. She is not just there to cut ribbons. Those agreements have to be upheld.

2. The non-natives affected must get just compensation. Britain, Canada and Ontario are responsible for the wrongs to their own people.

3. This is an international matter, not domestic. It started out as a nation-to-nation issue. It is now a British Commonwealth, Canada and Six Nations matter.

4. That archaeological study is just another stalling tactic, another excuse to drag it on to make us forget about everything again.

5. Canada must show a commitment to peace and learn to “bury their weapons”. They have to proclaim they will not use force to resolve our legitimate land issue. Violence will make it worse. Then it won’t be just the Six Nations. Everybody will become involved, not only in Canada but worldwide.

6. It is not a justice issue. Criminalizing us will not resolve it. They have to pull those illegal charges from our people. How could we be trespassing? We were on our own land! The heavily armed police who attacked us should be charged with assault.

7. We are doing everything in our power so this can be done peacefully. We have not resorted to violence even though we were attacked on our land on April 20th. Our people were beaten up and some were jailed and charged. No weapons have ever been produced by the native people.

8. We want Canada and everyone else in the world to witness our efforts to see the deceitful actions of the government of Canada. If Canada does not want to do this properly they should be afraid. Their own people are watching them. With the recent sponsorship scandal and other corruption, public perception of government’s integrity is declining all the time.

9. After their “pseudo clan mothers” fail, then they'll send in some hard nosed guys, who will also fail. With the hard nosed guys things will probably start to heat up as they'll try to antagonize us.

10. They are presently trying to find an Indian to come in too. So who is it? They probably looked for a guy from Central Casting. Then they found out Grey Owl’s grandson was not available. It might be someone who comes from an unknown people and an unknown place. Of course, we already know what his script is. He will stride in with beads and feathers, try to take over the agenda and mess up the talks. All he has to do is get someone to lose their temper and stir things up a bit. You know, create chaos one way or another. Then the signal will be given. The colonizers will have the excuse they’ve been looking for to bring in the army who will open fire on the people [as they did in 1990 in Kanehsatake/Oka, Ipperwash and Gustafsen Lake]. We can only hope they won’t point their weapons at two year olds on tricycles this time.

11. They want to make the ‘Indians’ look bad. If we get too riled from the hard nosers, the government will love this. That will give the government the license , in their minds, to go in with their big guns, etc. The hard nosers will probably include this “Indian” guy out front (who that would be is for us to figure out).

12. The colonizers want to say, “See, we tried. We offered compromise, a win-win solution. Then we had to send in tough negotiators because the Indians were being stubborn. They wouldn't even listen to one of their own people. It's obvious Six Nations does not want to resolve the situation. They're disrupting everything! What else could we do but use the police and the army to give them and all Indigenous people the “message”?

13. The media must report firsthand what’s going on. Send imbedded reporters in quick! We need witnesses, native and non-native, who will not be stymied. The mainstream media refuses to report on this. These talks should be broadcast so that everyone concerned can see what’s happening and who says what.

We know what we know. So let’s not let them forget it. It’s best for all of us to stay calm, be brave and wait for the signs.

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation news

Ottawa: March on the Governor General, May 13th!

March on The Governor General's May 13th!

When: 12 Noon, Saturday May 13th
Meet at RiverRain Parc
New Edinburgh
(Near St. Patrick's Bridge and the Vanier Parkway)

=====> Restore Land Rights Across Canada!

In solidarity with the people of Six Nations and in struggle with all First Nations across Turtle Island, the people of Ottawa are going to the Queen's representative to demand an immediate solution to land rights disputes everywhere.

Treaties made between the Six Nations and the British Crown are being trampled by governments that didn't exist. Neither the Federal nor Provincial governments have jurisdiction on Six Nations land near Caledonia.

Because thousands of heavily armed police have surrounded an unarmed camp of people for nearly a month, we march.

Because the canadian government is continually responsible for human rights abuses of indigenous communities, we march.

Because racist rallies are happening in the countryside, we march.

Stop the Attack on all First Nations. Recognize Land Rights Across Canada!

Bring lots of signs, microphones, make up some chants, hand out pamphlets, editorial cartoons, Red and black clothes, red armbands and bandanas, drums, rattles, flags of all kinds, make some speeches, read your support letters, petitions, collect some food and provisions to send to the site at Six Nations.

contact 520-2757 for more info.

Sacrificial Lambs Jane and Barb

"And please, Gawd Almighty George Bush, accept these sacrificial lambs as testimony to my committment to undermining credibility to the Six Nations Clan Mothers, whom I'm deeply frightened of."..... So begins this funny post on a blog I've just found, which has some wonderfully humorous content:

You have to see the picture they've posted with this one, it's a hoot!

Harper-Valley: Sacrificng The Lambs

Harper-Valley: Harper Valley P.T.A.

Harper-Valley: Harper Valley P.T.A.

This is a wonderful take on the old Jeannie C. Riley hit by the same name, from many years ago.

End American Clearcutting in Ontario

Through massive deforestation, Weyerhaeuser Company, the largest lumber company in the United States, is turning Canadian forests into a nightmare.

Demand Weyerhaeuser halt further destruction of the Grassy Narrows First Nation's forests>>

Weyerhaeuser, a $19 billion company, is a top logger and distributor of endangered forest products from North America, South America, Australia, and the Pacific Rim. This includes over 2,500 square miles of forests, lakes and rivers north of Kenora, Ontario.

These lands have sustained the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation for thousands of years. The old-growth habitat provided by these areas also support animal species like the pine martin and woodland caribou critical to the ecological integrity of the area.

Despite decades of negotiations, environmental appeals, protests, and what has become the longest running road blockade in Canadian history, industrial loggers like Weyerhaeuser continue to use wood systematically extracted from ecologically sensitive old growth areas and destroy the traditional way of life of the Grassy Narrows indigenous community who have lived on the land since pre-Columbian times.

Demand the immediate termination of Weyerhaeuser's destructive logging without consent from the community>>

This Time, It Really Is Orwellian

Over the past several years, the word "Orwellian" has sometimes been overused in describing George W. Bush's authoritarian policies. But a newly disclosed government operation to electronically warehouse the phone records of some 200 million Americans over their lifetimes does truly capture the essence of George Orwell's Big Brother nightmare.

For the full story of Bush's compilation of the phone records and his tortured explanation, go to

Solidarity March for Six Nations in London, Ontario

I've just received this info about a Six Nations solidarity march in London, from a CAW acquaintance.

Solidarity March for Six Nations

The March will take place in London.

When: Thursday May 18th. at 12 noon

Where: Rally at Federal Building corner of Queens and Talbot
March at 12:20 p.m. up Talbot to RCMP office, then Richmond to Deb Matthews MPP constituency office.

For further information regarding the march, contact Dan Hilton 519 280 0458

In Solidarity,
Tim Carrie
CAW Local 27

Iraq Dispatches: Recommended recently released books

We would like to highly recommend two recently released books concerning Iraq. For those interested in a deeper understanding of the occupation, these books are required reading:

Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal

Anthony Arnove's book "Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal" (New Press), with a foreword and afterword by Howard Zinn, makes a direct and clear case for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. An excellent excerpt, read by the author, can be listened to here.

The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time - (ReganBooks, HarperCollins, April 2006)

Renowned international trade and finance policy expert Antonia Juhasz exposes the Bush Administration's radical corporate globalization agenda for global dominance. Presenting the Iraq War as the Agenda's most brutal application to date, Juhasz reveals exactly how the Bush administration uses corporate globalization as a weapon of war to transform Iraq's economy for the advantage of the US corporate elite.
"The Bush Agenda is a devastating indictment of the collusion
between government and big business that has turned the United States—once-respected as Savior of Democracy—into a feared and hated empire. Packed with facts and insider stories, it is a resounding call to action."
- John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media. Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at

Thursday, May 11, 2006

'Canada is a Colonial Country'

It's actually surprising there are so few native blockades, considering the violence that's been done to First Nations communities, writes Andrew Orkin.

Andrew Orkin is a Hamilton-based human rights lawyer who has represented aboriginal peoples in a number of Canadian provinces and territories. He wrote this essay in The Ottawa Citizen

Andrew Orkin, Citizen Special
Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This time the Indians are occupying a new non-native subdivision on land they say is theirs in Caledonia, Ont. A court injunction issued by a non-native judge is being defied. Citing signs of Warrior involvement or the influx of Indians from other communities, the OPP raided the occupation and arrested the occupiers "without violence." Many more Indians then barricaded Highway 6.

Six Nations Band Council says the occupiers are renegades and there is no recognized land claim involved. The Haudenosaunee blockaders have allegiance only to their ancient Six Nations confederacy traditional government. They are demanding nation-to-nation discussions with the federal Crown.

Frustration grows among local non-natives. Some are claiming that Caledonia is theirs by virtue of "conquest." Ministers and the provincial and federal governments say the occupiers are "illegals" because the Indians "sold or surrendered" their land in the 1800s and now have only a reserve. At the same time, these ministers call repeatedly for a peaceful outcome.
Read full article here.

Tomdispatch Interview: Mike Davis, Green Zones and Slum Cities

[Note to Tomdispatch readers: In Humanity's Ground Zero, Part 1 of the latest Tomdispatch interview, Mike Davis took up the slumification of the planet -- the phenomenal (and little noted) expansion of cities, especially in the global south, that are gaining people by the minute and shedding jobs just as fast. Today, perhaps one billion, mostly young slum dwellers live in worlds almost devoid of economic development on urban peripheries of a sort unimagined by anyone who ever studied or dreamed of the city's fate. Now, Davis turns to the exchanges of planning and violence between the slum city and the imperial one, between the Pentagon and groups from the periphery intent on disruption and, often, damage -- and also to the possibilities that the city, even the slum city, holds for our future. Tom]

The Imperial City and the City of Slums

A Tomdispatch Interview with Mike Davis (Part 2)

TD: It occurs to me that, in Baghdad, the Bush administration has managed to create a weird version of the urban world you describe in Planet of Slums. There's the walled imperial Green Zone in the center of the city with its Starbucks and, outside it, the disintegrating capital as well as the vast slum of Sadr City -- and the only exchange between the two is the missile-armed helicopters going one way and the car bombs heading the other.

Davis: Exactly. Baghdad becomes the paradigm with the breakdown of public space and ever less middle ground between the extremes. The integrated Sunni/Shia neighborhoods are rapidly being extinguished, not just by American action now, but by sectarian terror.

Sadr City, at one point named Saddam City, the Eastern quadrant of Baghdad, has grown to grotesque proportions -- two million poor people, mainly Shia. And it's still growing, as are Sunni slums by the way, thanks now not to Saddam but to disastrous American policies toward agriculture into which the U.S. has put almost no reconstruction money. Vast farmlands have been turned back into desert, while everything focused, however unsuccessfully, on restoration of the oil industry. The crucial thing would have been to preserve some equilibrium between countryside and city, but American policies just accelerated the flight from the land.

Of course, Green Zones are gated communities of a kind, the citadel within the larger fortress. You see this, too, emerging across the world. In my book, I counterpoised this to the growth of the peripheral slums -- the middle class forsaking its traditional culture, along with the central city, to retreat into off-worlds with themed California lifestyles. Some of these are incredibly security conscious, real fortresses. Others are more typical American-style suburbs, but all of them are organized around an obsession with a fantasy America, and particularly the fantasy California universally franchised through TV.

So the nouveau riche in Beijing can commute by freeway to gated subdivisions with names like Orange County and Beverly Hills -- there's a Beverly hills in Cairo too, and a whole neighborhood themed by Walt Disney. Jakarta has the same thing -- compounds where people live in imaginary Americas. These proliferate, emphasizing the rootlessness of the new urban middle class across the world. With this goes an obsessiveness about getting things as they are in the TV image. So you have actual Orange County architects designing "Orange County" outside Beijing. You have tremendous fidelity to the things the global middle class sees on television or in the movies.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

MNN "Feel the pressure rise" says Canada. "Take it nice & Easy", say 6 Nations People

This is from Kahentinetha Horn, Mohawk Nation News:


MNN. May 10, 2006.
Talks continue between the Six Nations People and Jane Stewart, former Minister of Indian Affairs, and Barbara McDougall, former Minister of Foreign Affairs [They finally got it right. Canada is a “foreign nation” to us]. They are representing the colonial governments of Ontario and Canada.

Thahoketoteh saw Barbara McDougall on the news [they are supposed to be “talking” with us! None of us get to see them unless we watch the colonial corporate media]. She looked perplexed [As if it’s not obvious that she’s not going to be able to do what Canada wants her to do. She’s not going to shut us up].

Mainly they have to find a way to get us in line. We’re not the handy “house boys” that some Ministers of Indian Affairs have gotten involved with. The sole topic we’re dealing with is - they have to restore our land. This is the only way they can redress the centuries of injustices that Canada has supported. This is the only way they can restore the “honor of the crown”.

1. To begin with, they have to back off. They have to stop trying to push us off our land. They have to face up to the fraud they committed when they pretended to give title to Henco Industries. The land was not theirs to give.

2. Our land is non-negotiable. Would you negotiate your mother away? We certainly won’t. Canada is counting on wearing us out and pauperizing us by putting off meetings time after time while they think up some new way to do an end run around justice. We never know what dirty tricks to expect next. So far they’ve been following the old script they used at Kanehsatake/Oka, Gustafsen Lake, Burnt Church and Ipperwash. They’ve refused to try novel approaches like obeying their laws or treating us like human beings.

3. In the late 1950’s the people of Six Nations made the mistake of thinking that Canada was going to treat us like human beings after all. The Minister of Indian affairs at that time said that if they wanted to reinstall the traditional government, they just had to do it. So the people gave it a try. The kicked out the puppet band council and took over the council office. In the end they were surrounded by the RCMP, and the coup of 1924 was repeated. This is one of many incidents that taught us that even if there is occasionally a Canadian official who wants to treat us decently, the rest of them won’t. We can’t trust anything any Canadian official says.

4. They are finding out that we don’t tire easily, are very determined and will take as long as necessary.

5. We demand a moratorium on any further development and exploitation on any of land. Our women are the title holders. The squatters have to have our permission to do anything on it. Canada has to guarantee it will work honestly and equitably with the Indigenous people to resolve this longstanding land issue. Is this too much to ask? Canada has signed international charters, covenants and accords saying that all people are equal and all people have the right to self-determination. We are a “people”. All we are asking is for Canada to live up to its promises. This is the law.

6. A public statement has to be made by Canada and Ontario that they will stop their “gunboat diplomacy” and pull back all their heavily armed military and police forces. These presently surround us on land that is legitimately ours. We want a guarantee that there will be no more attacks on our people at Six Nations. Stop the dirty tricks. Stop trying to instigate “red neck” behavior among the people of Caledonia. Stop trying to resuscitate the KKK to make an excuse for using violence on us. Stop bringing in “skin heads”. Stop using Canadian tax money derived from the colonial exploitation of our resources to incite racial hatred. If Canada thinks its interests are represented by the skin heads and the KKK, then they should bring them into the talks, to sit right beside Jane and Barb. [We’re dying to see Jane and Barb hanging onto guys in leather on motor cycles!]

7. We will not take down our barricades at the site until we’re good and ready. Why should we?

8. There is a procedure set out in the Two Row Wampum, known as the Silver Covenant Chain to the British. Whenever we meet, we must make sure the dust does not accumulate on the wampum and the chain remains polished. This must be resolved on a government to government basis, as equals. We have to meet with the Queen or her representative, the Governor General, whose main job is to maintain the honor of the Crown, which she is neglecting.

9. Instead the Crown is sending us their children. We want to talk to the parents so they can take responsibility for and correct their children’s wrongs that they have and continue to commit. Jane and Barb can sit in the corner and suck their thumbs if they want. But Britain has to face up to its false assertion of sovereignty over us. Canada’s title is as fraudulent as Henco’s. Before there can be reconciliation, there has to be truth. Bring on your clan mother, Queen E. II – and we don’t mean the ship.

10. Let’s face it, Canada is not prepared to give up its illegally usurped jurisdiction over us and our land that it illegally appropriated in violation of international law. Too bad! To right the wrongs they have to.

11. Jane and Barb had their first meeting yesterday with the Six Nations. They demonstrated they are a couple of “one trick ponies”. They had one message. They kept stuttering, “Take down your barricades! Please, pretty please!” There’s nothing pretty about theft no matter how you dress it up. A mugging is a mugging. There is no point in talking to them because we have no intention of taking down our barricades or relinquishing or selling our land to the thieves. We are the aggrieved victims of this fraud and theft.

12. Any information from Jane and Barb must be taken back to our People for discussion. Our representatives at these talks have no authority. They are the ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ of our people. They must tell us what they heard, listen to us and get direction from us. The appointees cannot direct the appointers.

13. We want a “working group” to be put together to work on the land issues. The issue is Rotino’shon:ni land. Canada knows they stole it. We were defrauded through lies and deceit while under duress.

14. This issue cannot be resolved through their colonial courts. Canada’s courts are not impartial. They are part of the institutional structure used to carry out the genocide of our people. Indigenous people throughout Turtle Island are becoming more aware. We are all starting to question Canada about their illegal tactics which violate international law. We want this resolved. We want justice.

15. Some people have been charged by the Ontario courts. More will soon be put on them when they don’t show up for their court date. They will become the “most wanted” in Canada as charges pile up, for sitting on their own land. The injunction is not legal because we never gave the colonial government jurisdiction over us and our territory through a treaty or any means. We were never conquered and we never gave up our sovereignty. We were never British subjects. We never became Canadian citizens. We belong to our nations of the Rotino’shon:ni. Our people have not committed criminal acts. We should not be too concerned about these illegal injunctions perpetrated by an illegal “foreign” occupation. They may end up in jail but as “political prisoners”. Nothing will make us give up our struggle.

16. We will not be pressured by the artificial datelines they set for us to make a decision. If it is necessary to have 250 or 500 meetings with Canada over a period of time, then that’s what we have to do so that we can have a thorough understanding of the issue. There’s no reason for this kind of animosity to continue. If the people take the time to do it properly we can find the path to peaceful co-existence.

17. We want what belongs to us. We have a right to what belongs to us. Our demands to have our stolen land returned to us is not terrorism or a criminal act. We want Canada to become honest. To us, not defending our territory is criminal as we would be guilty of violating our duties and responsibilities. We do not own this land. We hold it trust. It belongs to our future generations under the Great Law/Kaianereh’ko:wa.

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News

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