US: Do Immigrants Assimilate?
It certainly appears that they do.
Tyler Cowen links to a useful study looking at how well Latino immigrants are assimilating. Pretty well, it turns out. Economists tend to agree: First-generation Latino immigrants are poorer than their native counterparts (no kidding: they've just arrived, they speak little English, and they tend to work for the most exploitative companies this country has to offer), but their kids and grandkids do much better:
Read rest of this article by Bradford Plumer here (MoJo Blog)
Too Many Corpses in Iraq
And the lone Baghdad mortuary is unable to handle them all.
" Baghdad has only one mortuary, and the staff there was able to release bodies in about five hours, prior to the war. Now, there is not only a dramatic increase in the number of dead bodies being brought to the morgue, the nature of their wounds is such that exams can take many hours or even days to complete. Dr. Fa'aq Ameen, director of the health ministry's Forensic Medicine Institute, also cites lack of storage space and a shortage of doctors as problems at the Baghdad mortuary. "
Read full article here (MoJo Blog).
EXCLUSIVE Report from Rory O'Connor and William Scott Malone
In an exclusive interview Judith Miller tells the details of how the attack on the US Cole spurred her reporting on Al Qaeda and led her, in July 2001, to a still-anonymous top-level White House source, who shared top-secret NSA signals intelligence (SIGINT) concerning an even bigger impending Al Qaeda attack. Ultimately, however, Miller never wrote that story either. But two months later -- on September 11 -- Miller and her editor at the Times both remembered and regretted the story they "didn't do."
By Rory O'Connor & William Scott Malone, MediaChannel.org
Women's Books Reviewed: "War Talk", "The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women who Started It", "Making Changes", "Does your Mama Know?"
By Arundhati Roy
The eloquence, passion, and political insight of Arundhati Roy’s political essays have added legions of readers to those already familiar with her Booker Prize-winning novel, The God of Small Things.
Roy’s new essay collection, War Talk, highlights the global rise of militarism and religious and racial violence. Against the backdrop of nuclear brinkmanship between India and Pakistan, the horrific massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, and U.S. demands for an ever-expanding war on terror, she calls into question the equation of nation and ethnicity.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott
and the Women who Started It
The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the launching of the historic Montgomery bus boycott.Jo Ann Gibson Robinson would become one of the most prominent leaders of the boycott. In this 1987 book she talks about the daily humiliations Black people faced riding the buses.
What was the role of the organizations--especially those involving women--in this heroic boycott that won an important political concession from the KKK-like White Citizens Council?
"This valuable first-hand account of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott, written by an important, behind-the-scenes organizer, evokes the emotional intensity of the civil rights struggle. It ought to be required reading for all Americans who value their freedom and the contribution of Black women to our history." Coretta Scott KingMaking Changes
by Patricia Hilliard
Tired of low pay and boring work, the women of the American Empire Insurance Company decide to take control of their lives. It isn't long until the management finds out their intentions and the confrontation begins. However, the women workers are ready to make changes.
If you've ever wanted to try out union organizing to see if you've got what it takes, read this book!
Patricia Hilliard has been a writer and activist for over 30 years. This novel is based on her four years of union organizing experience while working in an insurance company.
does your mama know? - An Anthology of Black Lesbian
Coming Out Stories
By Lisa C. Moore (Ed)
From the cover: By turns funny, passionate, angry and joyous, does your mama know? reflects the complexity of emotions that accompany a black lesbian's coming out. These 49 short stories, poems, interviews and essays - fiction and nonfiction - make up a powerful collection of original and new writing by 41 women. does your mama know? is ready to take its place in the halls of literary African-American lesbian voices.
All of these books are available hugely discounted, value priced at: www.leftbooks.com
What's all the buzz about Biofuels? And what exactly is E85? (Hint: it's not an airline terminal at a VERY big airport.) Are biofuels environmentally friendly alternatives to gasoline? Dr. Bill answers your biofuel questions. Dr. Bill Chameides is chief scientist at Environmental Defense
.Learn more about biofuels.
Iranian legislators condemned as an insult yesterday a suggestion in the National Post
that they would require Jews to wear a yellow patch on their clothes.Read full story by The Star.com here
"Being an instrument of peace is immensely more important than working for peace," writes Cindy Sheehan. "Non-violence should always be the means we use to solve problems, from our nuclear family life all the way up to the office of the most powerful person in the world. Peace is not an absence of conflict, but resolving conflict non-violently."Read full TruthOut article here.
Tipping Point of Fuel-Efficient Cars?
Here is this week's update from one of my favourite sites, 40MPG.org
TIPPING POINT ON FUEL-EFFICIENT CARS?
May 18, 2006: Ever wonder what it would take to get half of Americans to rush out on the spot and buy a hybrid or another fuel-efficient vehicles? Industry surveys show the "magic number" is $3.75 ... or even less for a gallon of gasoline. Remember the days when that price level seemed like a totally insane idea? ... With gas prices still going up, what might be called "bathtub ethanol" is now enjoying some popularity with the home-brewing crowd ... Congress is not alone in looking at proposals to reduce gas taxes; the idea also is catching on in state legislatures ... Small car fever is raging through the auto industry, with Honda thinking about scrapping the venerable Insight in favor of a cheaper hybrid car ... Just try not to smile when you read this: At least one member of Congress thinks that federal elected officials shouldn't be given an incentive to rent gas-hog SUVs when they go back to visit the "little people" ...
UN tells US to close Guantanamo
The United States should close its controversial Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba and its secret prisons across the world, the United Nations says. The UN committee against torture said on Friday it was concerned that detainees in Guantanamo were being held for long periods with inadequate legal protection.Full Story
US troops killed Iraqis 'in cold blood'
US marines deliberately killed civilians after a bombing in the western Iraqi town of Haditha last year, a former senior US marine says. John Murtha, who served in Vietnam and is a Democrat congressman from Pennsylvania, made his remarks before the release of a military report into the November 19 incident, when US troops searched for fighters after a marine was killed by a roadside blast.Full Story
Climate Conference in London, England
I just got an email from a person who is involved with a group 'Campaign Against Climate change'. They are holding what looks to be a huge climate conference on June 3rd in London England.
Please forward this on to anyone else you think might be interested i.e green lists, forums, media contacts, student groups, churches, blogger, webmasters etc...
London School of Economics, June 3rd, Free, Ticketlesshttp://www.campaigncc.org/3rd.pdf
Workers of Canada's first diamond mine, BHP Ekati, are on strike. BHP Billiton, a multinational corporation with a less than stellar reputation for achieving labour relations peace owns and operates the mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Many of the 375 employees are from surrounding Aboriginal communities. These workers were unable to negotiate a fair and reasonable first collective agreement. BHP Billiton had international profits of some $7.5 billion last year, but expected these workers to accept a 1% pay increase, no increase in vacation entitlements, no seniority rights and no job security.
I have just signed up to this urgent action campaign on the LabourStart website in support of my solidarity with the striking diamond workers. To see details of the campaign, and how you can sign up to show your support, please go here: http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=94
LabourStart is the global trade union news and campaigning website, located
Thanks very much!
Work Ban Slapped on Protest Site
Hamilton Spectator File Photo
Efforts continue to remove road blockades like this one on Highway 6 in Caledonia.
The Ontario government has imposed an immediate moratorium on development of the Douglas Creek Estates on Wednesday, but failed to inform Henco Industries. They found out when their lawyer found David Ramsay's (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) letter posted on a native land reclamation information website.
Work ban slapped on protest site
Builders not told of freeze on Douglas Creek Estates
By John Burman and Meredith Macleod
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 19, 2006)
The Ontario government has imposed an immediate moratorium on development of the Douglas Creek Estates without telling Caledonia builders Don and John Henning.
The brothers found out yesterday about the freeze they never agreed to and immediately filed a protest with the office of David Ramsay, minister for aboriginal affairs.
Lawyer Michael Bruder, who represents Henco Industries, the Hennings' company, said last night the brothers have "a strategy" about what to do if the government does not respond to their concerns about the freeze. He would not elaborate.
The moratorium, a long-standing native condition for negotiations to resolve land claims issues about the site, was imposed Wednesday.
Read full article here.
PSAC Stands in Solidarity with Six Nations Protesters
The Public Service Alliance of Canada has added the support of its 300,000 members to the cause of the Six Nations People, as evidenced by this recent PSAC press release. "This confirms our belief that no matter who is in power in Ottawa the people of Canada want their government to act honourably. This begs the question of whether the policies put forward by the politicians really represent the beliefs of the people?"
-- Kahentinetha Horn MNN Mohawk Nation News www.mohawknationnews.com
May 15, 2006
PSAC Stands in Solidarity with Six Nations Protesters
The recent standoff in Caledonia, Ontario is merely a symptom of a much greater problem – the disdainful manner by which elected governments address Aboriginal land claims.
Aboriginal peoples in Canada have waited long enough for their treaty rights to be recognized and land claims dealt with. The Six Nations filed a claim to the land in 1995 and 10 years later, with the claim still unresolved, the Ontario government gave Henco Industries the go-ahead to begin development on the disputed land.
It was this decision by the Ontario Government that prompted the Six Nations to reclaim the land on February 28, 2006. The members of the Six Nations remained on the land in peaceful protest for 51 days until the OPP escalated the tense situation by raiding the protester's camp in the early morning of April 20, 2006, only one day after Premier McGuinty promised a peaceful resolution to this dispute. The protest is now in its 76th day.
The PSAC calls on the government to negotiate meaningfully and to peacefully resolve the Six Nations land claim as well as all current and future Aboriginal land claims. The PSAC feels that if this and other land claims were dealt with in a fair and timely manner, the most recent standoff in Caledonia, as well as the tragedies that occurred in Ipperwash, Oka, and Gustafsen Lake, could have been avoided.
Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada stand in solidarity with Aboriginal peoples seeking peaceful resolutions to Aborignal land claims in Canada.
Day 80 Six Nations Siege: "Law & Order" under Great Law!
This Six Nations update comes from Kahentinetha Horn, MNN Mohawk Nation News: DAY 80 OF SIX NATIONS SIEGE: “LAW AND ORDER” UNDER THE KAIANEREH’KO:WA/GREAT LAW OF PEACE
MNN May 19, 2006. It is 80 days since Six Nations people reclaimed our land near Caledonia Ontario Canada. Yesterday we viewed some startling footage of the Ontario Provincial Police OPP predawn April 20th attack on us. It showed hundreds of heavily armed OPP with guns pointed at the unarmed Indigenous People. They converged on the property from all directions. There was a convoy of ambulances. It was obvious the OPP intended to create a situation in which there would be many injuries and casualties. The people did not fall into this trap. The aggression was anticipated. Our people were mentally prepared, though our response was spontaneous. One police van windows were smashed to reveal to everyone what they were up to. It was full of policemen with machine guns pointed at us. One guy walked right up to them and said, “Just give me 5 minutes without your guns”. A turning point that cemented everyone’s resolve was when five OPP beat up one of the women elders. Culturally and historically we never harmed the women and children. This was a complete violation of natural laws. Our people responded with one mind. The cops looked confused, scared and some on the verge of crying as our people moved towards them with drumming in the background. The OPP were sternly told to leave and then walked them out, as parents must be with misbehaving children. In spite of all that was happening, we restrained ourselves, got them all off and took back our land.
Some of our Men who were arrested that morning had to make a court appearance this past week. Most did not show. The few who did would not stand up when the judge walked into court. One man informed them, “Your corporate colonial court has no jurisdiction over us or our land”. [Six Nations and other Indigenous people are now asserting Indigenous constitutional jurisdiction in all the surrounding courts, which is pissing them all off]. The judge got angry and issued warrants for their arrest. Our men just got up and walked out, followed by supporters and allies. The cops followed them too but did nothing. What’s this all about?
Is Canada sitting on the brink of leaving behind violence, yet not ready to make a commitment to peace, justice and equality with the Indigenous people? When we question them, they send in all their heavily armed goons who can’t lay down their unlawfully asserted “colonial law”. They refuse to sit down and look at the documentary evidence that proves they don’t have jurisdiction over us. Hey! Show us who was here first? Show us where we agreed to let you steal everything from us? Canada, change your mind and make a firm commitment to non-violent legal actions. Fold up your guns! Look at the documents! Obey your laws! Right the wrongs! As can be seen, we need the solidarity and support of our brothers, sister, friends and allies as never before. Stay strong! Kahentinetha Horn, MNN Mohawk Nation News firstname.lastname@example.org www.mohawknationnews.com
Here is Hazel’s May 19th, 2006, update:
Greetings from Grand River
Here is another update. Apologies for not getting one out sooner. We’ve been having many meetings on the land we’ve reclaimed. We’re thinking about how we can move forward. Do we remove one of the barricades? We are discussing in particular Plank Road, also known as Argyle Street and #6 Hwy. Can we trust the government? We all remember our past experience has shown us that we can't take the government’s word, officially or informally. They have continually broken their promises to us. They will say and do anything to achieve their goal to get the barricades down. [but not to return the land they stole from us].
On the other hand, we have to consider our People’s government, the men and women who are standing in solidarity to protect our lands, our law, our people, our inherent rights and our sovereignty. Some of our delegates carry our voice with them. Some of our People have issues with them, some don't. Do we have the trust to implement our government? Yes, we need to work at it. The answers won’t come in a day. We know we have an opportunity that our grandfathers only dreamed about. We can’t let suspicions allow that opportunity to slip by.
We marvel at how coincidences happen that force us to look at what we are doing and deeply question the choices we are making. A few days ago we all agreed that the barricade on Argyle Street needed to be cleared enough for emergency vehicles to pass through. At the same time a lone protester against our position, with the help of the OPP, nearly threw that to the winds. His actions were harmless, walking back and forth in front of the police line with his own barricade to prevent "natives" from going into [the nearby town of] Caledonia. It was the OPP actions that were detrimental. "The natives have a right to their protest. This individual has the right to his". Okay, we get it! But then, one of our men who stays in our camp was refused entry [to the site] by the OPP. The OPP said, "He [the native] was told twice not to attempt to drive back and forth. I don't give a f*** if he has to sit there all f*****g night. Nobody is coming through”. Not two minutes later the OPP were directing through the local towing company that operates within the barricaded roads, as well as a couple more non-native drivers. Discriminatory, obviously! Phone calls were made. We got the situation straightened out.
This incident lead us to question whether or not we should even proceed with our attempts to show the "good will" they speak of. Tonight we were again talking about opening up Argyle Street. We have a commitment from the governments that an open moratorium is in place on our stolen lands they call "Douglas Creek". They have agreed to pay for a third party archeological study on our land alongside our people to determine the exact areas and status of the graves that are said to be there. They have also agreed to place back an area of land known to them as "Burtch Correctional Facility" under the original status of the "Haldimand Deed" of 1784. This will be a long process. There has to be an environmental study done on the lands and the clean up. It will take time to place the land back into the possession of the Onkwehonweh, and not under the current land transactions as defined by the illegal Indian Act.
Opening up one road is not being taken lightly. Just as the People were gathering to start discussions, a young man was brought into the camp. Our security caught him at one of the checkpoints driving erratically and causing a disturbance. Our men took him into custody. An inspection revealed that in his trunk was a pellet gun and some of his army equipment (apparently he is part some “army reserves”). His mission was to disrupt and possibly bring harm to us. He was questioned and spoken to by some of the women. It was determined that “he did not realize the seriousness of the situation” and of his actions, and was turned over to the OPP. He was taken into custody by the OPP and his car was towed. We asked about him later at a liaison meeting with the OPP. We were told that he probably would be charged with careless driving! A few days ago, one of our men was shot in the face, just below his eye, from a pellet gun or something similar. Then this guy shows up tonight. Coincidence?? What do you think?
We know there is no way he will admit to anything, even if it is connected to him. The eleven o'clock news said he was released from custody. His side of the story would be revealed the following morning. Given Channel 11’s reporting history, this one will get turned around to make us look like the guilty parties again. Are we being tested to see how strong our convictions are in the powers of Creation and our government system to move forward with the decisions we make? Should we open up the road knowing that we will have obstacles, but enough knowledge to continue? It appears that each time we're about to make that decision, something is exposed to us. We continue to ask for guidance. We discontinued the talks for tonight. Everyone was feeling the emotions which might interfere with out ability to have a clear mind. We constantly thank Creation that we can use our sense and ability to see clearly for the highest good of all concerned.
Caledonia residents are getting frustrated. We understand the frustration they are feeling. They want to blame us for the car accidents that are occurring on the detour road because of our blockade. Do they blame their township for accidents that occur as a result of road construction detours? Don’t they have to take responsibility for their own actions? Who do they sue for their own neglect? Isn’t the first rule of their law that they must have "care and control" of their vehicle? One of their local radio stations continually tries to paint the picture of our People as being uncooperative” and “negligent”, as well as “lawless” and “villainous” [for trying to get our stolen possessions back from the thieves]. How ridiculous is that? When we get behind the wheel of a car and venture onto any road, we are responsible for our actions. We know the speed limits and the rules of the road. Common sense tells us we cannot take responsibility for the actions of any one else. The colonialist governments and agents and corporate media constantly tell the world that anything bad is our fault.
We were considering opening the road on Victoria Day weekend, May 20th. This is known as "bread and cheese" weekend, commemorating the time when Queen Victoria had given bread and cheese to the people of Six Nations as a token of our continued alliance and friendship for our assistance to Britain in the revolutionary war. It was long abandoned by the crown and later taken up by the Indian Act band council as part of “tradition”. Why? The Crown has abandoned every agreement it ever made with us. Why should we would continue to "celebrate" it?
Tonight was a good example of how peaceful our people can be, even when tested the way we were tonight with that [insurgent] individual. Everyone handled it well. In fact, we mentioned to the OPP that we could have treated their citizen the brutal way they treated us when they attacked us on that early morning on April 20th - with pepper spray in our faces, taser guns shot at us and bashing batons. Instead he was peacefully marched out of the camp and delivered to his people unharmed. Did Channel 11 [of the corporate media] put that message out there????????? Tune in and see for yourself. Have a good night. Talks will continue Saturday May 20th after everyone has a chance to think about things. Take care. Hazel
PS. Guess what? The young man we caught and turned over to the OPP appeared on television this morning, “I was tied up, blindfolded and tortured. This shouldn’t happen in Canada”. We did not do this. It must have been the OPP! No Six Nations people were interviewed about this. Obviously, corporate media is continuing its attempt to defame Indigenous people.
May 20 : Hands Off Cuba and Venezuela - Washington DC & Los Angeles
USA: Hands Off Cuba and Venezuela!
May 20 Washington, D.C.
Gather: 10 am Malcolm X Park (15th & Euclid, NW)
May 20 Los Angeles
Gather: 12 noon Downtown Federal Building
Download leaflets: www.may20coalition.org
Donate online: www.may20coalition.org
For bus tickets in New York/New Jersey:
39 W. 14th St. #206, btw. 5th & 6th Ave.; 212-633-6646
For Los Angeles
(213) 383-9283 or (323) 936-7266www.iacenterla.org
March on Washington May 20th to say “Hands Off Venezuela and Cuba”!
The US war against Latin America has entered a new phase when President George W Bush last night laid out his plans to militarize the border with Mexico. This time the war against the peoples of Latin America will also be launched inside the United States.
This is a blatant example of the racist and genocidal character of the government of the USA. It exposes the hypocrisy of its “democracy” and its true mission on behalf of the business community by proposing a new “bracero” program that will treat immigrant workers as slave laborers with absolutely no rights.
But while Bush increases funding to militarize the south and further repress the immigrant community, the countries of Cuba and Venezuela work incessantly to bring education, health care, jobs, decent housing, and dignity to millions of people. Not only to the population in their two countries, but to the peoples of the whole region and beyond. Even to the poor people in the United States, as the aid offered during the Katrina devastation and the delivery of subsidized oil through CITGO attest.
The development of a country to satisfy the needs of its people is something that the United States cannot tolerate and works round the clock devising ways to destabilize and destroy. Cuba and Venezuela, and now Bolivia, are the nations that the peoples in Latin America look up to while they construct a new future for the new generations. Venezuela and Cuba’s Bolivarian Alternative to the Americas or ALBA, the program of regional integration, cultural, economic and technical exchange based in solidarity and respect, is completely different from the cruel free trade agreements pushed by the US like NAFTA that destroy national economies and force the emigration of millions of workers from their homeland.
That is why the United States is desperately launching a hostile campaign to destroy them. The situation is urgent and needs the firm and loud opposition from the people of the US.
A nuclear-powered U.S. war fleet and 6,500 Marines are conducting maneuvers in the Caribbean that threaten Cuba, Venezuela and other anti-imperialist countries throughout the Americas.
According to the Cuban newspaper Granma, the scope of the U.S. military maneuvers dwarfs even the Pentagon’s naval deployment during the October 1962 missile crisis. Similar maneuvers in the past were used to gather information needed to launch aggression, like the “exercises” that preceded the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983.
They can also be used to send a direct threat, as the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, which is published in the heavily militarized Hampton Roads area, noted in a March 28 article:
“Some defense analysts suggested that the unusual two-month-long deployment, set to begin in early April, could be interpreted as a show of force by anti-American governments in Venezuela and Cuba. ‘The presence of a U.S. carrier task force in the Caribbean will definitely be interpreted as some sort of signal by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela,’ said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, a pro-defense think tank in Washington. ‘If I was sitting in the Venezuela capital looking at this American task force, the message I would be getting is America still is not so distracted by Iraq that it is unable to enforce its interests in the Caribbean,’ Thompson said.”
Radio Havana says this ominous show of force will be followed by yet another maneuver in the Caribbean involving 4,000 NATO troops and lasting from May 23 to June 15.
It is urgent to tell the Bush administration loud and clear: Hands Off Venezuela and Cuba!
On Saturday May 20th join New York high school students, Cuban Americans, Bolivarian Circle activists and many other marchers from Detroit, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Richmond, Va., Washington, D.C and other areas, who intend to say no in person to new anti-Cuba and anti-Venezuela measures planned by the U.S. government.
If you cannot attend, please consider buying a ticket for a person who cannot afford it.
Donations are also much needed to help cover the cost of mailing, telephone and printing. Please send a contribution, any amount helps.
Online donations at www.may20coalition.org
Rep. Markey, Mobey Speak Out for Internet Freedom...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASERep. Markey, Moby Speak Out for Internet Freedom, Against Corporate Web Takeover
Musicians band together to demand Net Neutrality with congressional showdown over the future of the Internet imminent
WASHINGTON -- Grammy-nominated musician Moby joined today with Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, to demand that Congress reject upcoming legislation that would allow AT&T, Verizon, and other telecommunications giants to take over the Internet.
The growing list of major artists and musicians who have signed on to the Artists and Musicians for Internet Freedom petition includes Moby, R.E.M., Q-Tip, the Indigo Girls, Jill Sobule, Wilco, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, the Roots, the Dixie Chicks, and others. These artists join Internet advocates, political groups on the right and left, consumer groups, and more than 600 diverse organizations in the SavetheInternet.com Coalition. This coalition is uniting Internet users against a congressional proposal to gut Network Neutrality -- the Internet’s First Amendment.
"If Congress guts Net Neutrality, independent music and news sites would be choked off, consumer choice would be limited, and the Internet will be become a private toll road auctioned off by companies like AT&T," Moby warned. "We need to stand up for Internet freedom now. Congress must uphold Network Neutrality."
Net Neutrality is the long-held principle that ensures small music blogs and independent news sites open just as easily on people’s computers as large corporate sites. Companies like AT&T are spending millions lobbying Congress to pass legislation that critics charge would set up a discriminatory tollbooth system on the information superhighway. The proposed legislation would allow Internet providers to decide which Web sites work best on people’s computers based on who pays them the most, favoring large corporations with deep coffers while marginalizing everyday people, community groups and small businesses.
"The legislation in the House of Representatives threatens the Internet as we know it," said Rep. Markey, author of H.R 5273, "Save the Internet Act of 2006," which would preserve the open architecture of the Internet and prevent companies from downgrading and discriminating regarding Internet access and services.
"Right now we are heading down a dangerous road that will stifle the openness of the Internet, endanger our global competitiveness, and warp the web into a tiered Internet of bandwidth haves and have-nots. This coalition is the beginning of a nationwide effort to stop creeping Internet protectionism into the free and open World Wide Web. This is the time for Internet users to express themselves to rise up and save the Internet," said Markey, congressional leader of the movement to prevent the COPE Act (HR 5252) from passing without a strong net neutrality provision.
Thousands watched the Moby event online at www.SavetheInternet.com/moby, which posted a congressional call-in number on the screen encouraging viewers to call their representatives to demand they protect Net Neutrality.
The text of Moby's remarks are available at www.freepress.net/savetheinternet/=mobyspeech
Congressman Markey's statement is available at www.freepress.net/news/15574
"We are seeing a massive public outcry -- the people joining together to save the Internet. Artists and musicians are part of this vast movement, as are the nearly 700,000 people who signed a petition, and the thousands calling Congress every day," said Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press, which is coordinating the SavetheInternet.com Coalition. "The American public won't allow the Internet to be turned into just another cash cow for greedy corporations. Americans will be watching how their representatives vote on Internet freedom."
The Save the Internet.com Coalition -- an alliance of organizations from across the political spectrum, consumer groups, educators, small businesses and bloggers that have come together to protect Internet freedom -- has galvanized support for Network Neutrality from artists, musicians and hundreds of thousands of average citizens. In less than a month, almost 700,000 people have signed an Internet Freedom petition to Congress, more than 7,000 friends have joined SavetheInternet.com’s MySpace, and thousands of blogs have linked to the coalition Web site. Also supporting Network Neutrality are companies such as Google and eBay and groups such as AARP, the ACLU and the Christian Coalition.
For more information, visit www.SavetheInternet.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Markey Press Office, 202-225-2836
Timi Gerson, Fenton Commmunications, 202-822-5200
Craig Aaron, Free Press, 202-265-1490, x 25
Sierra Club: The O-Zone - Ontario Chapter news May 18, 2006 Edition
This latest issue of The O-ZONE
, the Sierra Club of Canada - Ontario Chapter's newsletter, is filled with very interesting and enjoyable upcoming family events, movie documentary, book review, campaign actions, news, volunteer opportunities and more.....
THE O-ZONE ~ May 18, 2006
Your Guide to the Ontario Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada
IN THIS ISSUE ...
1) An Inconvenient Truth - Coming Soon to a Theatre near you...
2) EcoCertification Cafe - Climate Change II - Toronto
3) Fresh Air Fair at Dundas Square - Sunday June 4th - Toronto
4) People and the Planet - June 9 - 11 Saint Paul University - Ottawa
1) Let's Keep the BUZZ Going About "An Inconvenient Truth"
An Inconvenient Truth -- the new film featuring former US VP Al Gore's tireless work in town after town and city after city, showing slides and lecturing in a brave effort to wake people up to the imminent threat posed by the climate crisis. The documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" is unlike any other film on this subject. It is entertaining, hopeful and profoundly moving. It is both a very personal story and a hard core science briefing. It is often very funny. As a result, it is likely the best public education tool we have ever had on the threat posed by climate
This message is to encourage you to help spread the word. If it is in a theatre near you, go see it and get your friends to see it. We need this film to take off. Set records. Do better than Fahrenheit 911 and get people and pundits and mass media marketing people to start asking
Please send this message on to other lists. We need this film to generate buzz. We need it to be in every theatre. We need Paramount Classics to start throwing money at promotion when they see the public will line up, buy popcorn and sit down to really understand the threat posed by our addiction to fossil fuels.
For more details on the film and its release across Canada
2) EcoCertification Cafe - Climate Change II
Wed, May 31 2006 7 - 9pm
Location: LIVE Organic Food Bar, 264 Dupont Street
(at Spadina, across from Dupont TTC station)
Contact: Sandi Trillo Email: info [@] ecocertontario.ca
Sierra Club's EcoCertification Café meets monthly at a downtown café or pub to talk about current environmental issues. Books, articles and personal experience provide a focus for our conversations, so if you're not a reader, feel free to bring your thoughts!
On May 31st we're again talking about Climate Change. Tim Flannery's "The Weather Makers" will inform us. It's a must-read for anyoneconcerned about climate change and our role in it. But we all knowsomething about Climate Change, so don't worry if you aren't able to read the book.
Full Event Details:
3) Fresh Air Fair June 4, 2006
Dundas Square (Yonge & Dundas) - Toronto
The Fresh Air Fair is a free annual event for children, youth and families. The Fresh Air Fair encourages active lifestyle choices and promotes the benefits of improving local air quality and a healthier self. Join us for interactive exhibits and games for children of all ages, storytelling through an Indonesian puppet show and workshop, presentation of the "Air Pollution Solution" Essay Contest winner, and live music.
Clean Air Partnership
For more information please visit:
4) People and the Planet - Changing Values for a Sustainable Future
June 9 - 11, 2006 - Saint Paul University, Ottawa, ON
Sierra Club of Canada's People and the Planet Conference is an exciting and empowering opportunity for activists, academics, leaders and thinkers. Join us to learn more about the issues, examine our values and change the world. There will be plenary sessions, workshops, social events, a children's program, an environmental fair and great opportunities for learning and networking about environmental issues.
Speakers include: Elizabeth May, Paul Watson, Samuel Epstein,
Owens Wiwa, Andrew Nikiforuk, Jerry Mander, Holly Dressel,
R.H. Thomson, Percy Schmeiser, and more!
and to register!
Check out some of the ongoing Campaigns and see
how you can get involved!
Want to get involved?
Check out the volunteer opportunities:
and fill out our on-line volunteer interest form.
The following are ways you can contribute to the Sierra Club of Canada!
::: Donations :::
You can make a lobbying donation to the Ontario Chapter online
If you'd like to make a charitable donation to the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation, or if you'd like to make a donation as a gift, please call the Ontario Chapter Office at 416-960-9606.
::: Memberships :::
Every member makes us that much more influential!
The best support of all is to renew your membership when the time comes. If your membership has lapsed, or you have yet to join, you can join online at:
Also please consider buying a gift membership.
To purchase a gift membership, or to join by phone, please
call the national office toll free at 1-888-810-4204
locally at (613) 241-4611. Or use this form:
::: Rebate-a-Cause :::
You can purchase products from various businesses
15% of all proceeds will go to the
Sierra Club of Canada - Ontario Chapter if you select us
as the partner charity.
If you have any questions, please contact the Chapter Office
ESCARPMENT TELECOM - Save the Planet with every long distance call!
Want to donate to the Sierra Club of Canada and protect the Niagara Escarpment at the same time? You can donate every time you make a long distance call, by subscribing to Escarpment Telecom!
For more info and to subscribe see:
MEMBERSHIP - Are you a member of Sierra Club of Canada?
Find out about the benefits of membership and how to become a member:
Read up on the Ontario Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada with The O-ZONE
We are part of North America's most effective grassroots conservation group. You'll receive one email per week with Sierra Club news, opportunities, invitations to meetings, outings, get-togethers and more.
To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change settings see:
Sierra Club of Canada, Ontario Chapter
24 Mercer Street
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1H3
ph: (416) 960-9606 fax: (416) 960-0020
Take Action: Federal Energuide Program must not be cut
Sierra Club of Canada - ACTION ALERT
May 15th, 2006
Take Action: Prime Minister Harper Must Reverse the Cuts to Federal Energuide Program
Striking another blow to federal climate change programs, the Harper government on May 12, 2006 ordered immediate termination of the highly effective Energuide for Houses program. Sierra Club of Canada seeks your assistance in bringing back and expanding Energuide for Houses program.
EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Incentive (EGHRI) provides performance-based grants to homeowners who make energy efficiency investments in their homes. EnerGuide for Low Income Households (EGLIH), a new program launched in 2006, pays the full cost of energy efficiency upgrades for qualifying low-income households. Both programs have been cancelled.
The Harper government has said they want to do away with ineffective programs. With this latest cut, they are showing they don’t want demonstrably effective Climate change programs either. Participants in the Energuide for Houses Retrofit Incentive save an average of 28 per cent on their energy bills. That’s $750 a year – or $18,750 in lifetime savings at current energy prices. Besides saving money, EnerGuide for Houses encourages home improvement investments ($5,000-$7,000 per grant) that create hundreds of jobs and business opportunities, and generate tax revenues for government.
EnerGuide for Houses is a proven energy efficiency program that bolsters our economy, creates jobs and improves our environment. With greenhouse gas emissions now at 30% above 1990 levels, rather than working hard to reduce emissions, the Harper government is undoing much of the progress made in the last fifteen years.
Write to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn and remind them of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tell them that the energuide program should be expanded. Their minority government has no mandate to dismantle our climate change programs.
Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, K1A 0A2
Phone: (613) 992-4211
Minister of the Environment
Honourable Rona Ambrose
Room 163 East Block
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Phone: (613) 996-9778
Minister of Natural Resources
Honourable Gary Lunn
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Phone: (613) 996-1119
Sierra Club of/du Canada
412-1 Nicholas St., Ottawa, ON, K1N 7B7
phone: 613-241-4611, fax: 613-241-2292
The Most Feared Book in Washington?
Dear Daily Reckoning Reader,
We couldn't have said it any better ourselves.
On the day that we rushed 537 copies of this book to Washington, USA Today ran a staggering cover story quoting David Walker, the nation's comptroller general:
"The United States can be likened to Rome before the fall of the empire. Its financial condition is worse than advertised," [Walker] says. "It has a broken business model. It faces deficits in its budgets, its balance of payments, its savings - and its leadership."
Welcome to the Empire of Debt, folks.
"Now maybe someone will finally listen," says Jim Rogers, author of the best seller Adventure Capitalist, about the book we're rushing to Washington.
We sent a copy to every senator and representative in Congress - all 535 of them. And one more each to the White House and the Federal Reserve. Why? The government's massive debt - and delusions - are about to change your life forever... and soon.
That's why the prestigeous Economist Magazine named it one of the top 10 must-read books of 2005undefined2006. Will it make a difference if we send the book to Washington? We can only hope so... But at the personal level, this book is a wake-up call - as well as a call to arms to every American.
"Although the authors don't claim to have a crystal ball," writes Doug Casey, author of the best selling Crisis Investor, "as far as I'm concerned, they offer as clear and likely accurate a view of the future as you're going to find."
Empire of Debt is filled with the latest economic research from two internationally famous authors, Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin. And what it finally uncovers is the whole secret story of how and why America has put itself into the worst financial crisis since 1929. And more importantly, how you can protect yourself and your assets from this crisis.
"If you value your financial health," says Casey, "you'll read it from cover to cover. Now!"
"I strongly advise you not to miss the stunning truths exposed in this remarkable work," says Robert Ringer, author of Action! Nothing Happens Until Something Moves.
Every hour of every single day, the United States racks up another $80 million of debt. The renowned Levy Institute estimates that the United States will owe foreigners $8 trillion by 2008 - a breathtaking 60% of our gross domestic product.
Just think about it: $6 out of every $10 that you and I earn in America will go to pay off a loan in China or Japan or South Korea or the rest of Asia. That's the kind of mortgage nobody can afford, including you, me, the U.S. government and our kids.
A year ago, the annual deficits already hit $7 trillion, according to the U.S. comptroller. That's roughly $24,000 the government owes for every American man, woman and child.
It's money that's coming out of your pocket, and I'm not just talking taxes...but also from higher gas prices, food bills, even college tuition. And be assured, Uncle Sam has no intention of paying you back.
Worse yet, the man in the striped suit and tall hat is already asking for more...
Up until now, there's been little you could do to protect your wealth, your retirements and your way of life...
Inside Empire of Debt, you'll discover the specific steps you can take to protect yourself from the massive debt buildup and the secret funneling away of your funds.
Don't be caught off guard. Empire of Debt shares the five things you must do now to protect yourself - including buying the one investment you cannot live without. (If it's not already in your portfolio... you need to get it right away.)
Empire of Debt may well be the most important reading you'll do in the next five years during this period of unrelenting crises.
Many Americans have no idea what's coming. They've been blinded by "The 10 Delusions of Empire" that Bonner and Wiggin reveal... it's those deceptions that the government has promulgated that have created the destructive, imperial attitudes that so many have come to believe. You see, there's a cadre of "imperial citizens" that can't imagine this Empire of Debt will ever end.
They're about to learn how wrong they are...
"Whether you're an investor, businessperson or just someone who is sincerely concerned about the fate of both your money and your country," says Robert Ringer, "I strongly advise you not to miss the stunning truths exposed in this remarkable work."
Don't get me wrong. As Eric Fry, editor of?The Rude Awakening says, "Empire of Debt is not for everyone, only for those of us who hope to enjoy continuing prosperity amidst difficult conditions."
"Americans believe they can get rich by spending someone else's money", say the authors of the book. "They believe they can run up debt forever, and that their debt-laden houses are as good as money in the bank. That is what makes the study of contemporary economics so entertaining. We sit at our telescopes and laugh like a divorce lawyer looking at photos of a rich man in flagrante delicto; we know there's money to be made."
Bonner and Wiggin wrote Empire of Debt to warn you of the danger and give you a clear path to profits. They give you the knowledge you need to protect yourself - and prosper - as the American empire flails upon itself.
Empire of Debt details how the government's irresponsibility has bled into society. Following the government's lead, Americans have felt free to spend, spend, spend - putting themselves in deeper and deeper debt.
Today, the average American household has $8,000 in credit card debt. And for every $19 Americans earn, they spend $20. For the first time in history, in July and September of this year, the savings rate of Americans dipped into negative numbers. Compare that to China's 25% savings rate, and you can see the looming danger as China buys up your future with cash to burn.
As CNN reported, "The American consumer has become deeply addicted to spending, running up ever higher levels of debt in order to live in a fashion that is beyond his means. And the world has become equally addicted to the consumer continuing to burn through cash."
By mid-2005, nearly 50% of homes were purchased with interest-only mortgages - compared to 5% in 2001. "Empire of Debt is a wake-up call for all investors," says Dow Jones MarketWatch.com columnist Kevin Kerr. "Bonner and Wiggin masterfully illustrate why we should all take a much closer look at what our future holds..."
"Instead of trade and work," says Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr., president, Ludwig von Misses Institute, " Imperialism breeds militarism, inflation and debt, as Bonner and Wiggin show. Yet there is a golden hope in freedom and honest money."
Even if you've been smart and responsible and kept yourself out of debt, you could still be burned by other people's extravagant spending. Empire of Debt shows you how and why this can happen to your estate. And it details the steps you can take to get out of harm's way, lest your neighbor trample your capital.
Bonner and Wiggin have been calling it like it is for some 20 years. As pre sident of Agora, Bonner oversees?The Daily Reckoning, a financial commentary with over 500,000 readers worldwide. Wiggin, editorial
director and publisher of The Daily Reckoning, is a regular on hundreds of radio and television programs.
Their penetrating insights on the economy shot their first book, Financial Reckoning Day, to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. As Jim Davidson, author of The Sovereign Individual, said "Financial Reckoning Day ...is something to be savored and enjoyed - before it's too late." Martin Weiss, author of the best-selling Crash Profits, called it "a powerful and insightful vision." Wiggin is also the author of Demise of the Dollar - a New York Times best-seller. New York Times Magazine says, "Wiggin offeres up his analysis with a confident and steady aplomb. And for good reason."
In fact, those who read the advice in this book will learn how to sidestep four critical pitfalls destined to undermine many less-savvy Americans. You'll learn what to do when:
Housing prices lose their value, sucking away your assets...
Domestic savings and capital investments hit all-time lows early in 2006...
The U.S. can no longer export its manufactured goods...
We're stuck with the bill for out-of-control spending.
Throughout history, every empire has found a way to pay for its expansion. Yet today, politicians have a different mantra: Instead of "we came, we saw, we conquered," it's "we came, we saw, we borrowed."
We believe it's imperative for the bigwigs in Washington to read Empire of Debt.
Will they read it? Maybe. Will they change? Probably not. History shows that government is much better at creating problems than solving them. But by sending 535 copies to every member of the Senate and the House of Representatives - and one each to the White House and Fed - we're pursuing our cause to make the facts known and the solutions abundant.
Empire of Debt may well be the most important book you, your friends and your family are likely to read this year...
With just a few simple steps, you can prepare your portfolio to weather the coming crisis. Empire of Debt will show you everything you need to know. And if you act now, you can get your own copy of Empire of Debt for just $17.61. That's a full 36% off the cover price, click below to order today.
It's the best way to prepare yourself, your family and friends, for what could be a prolonged period of financial crisis... one that's on path to make the 1929 crash look mild by comparison.
We believe Empire of Debt, for less than $18, is the most important financial purchase you can make this year, more important than any stocks or index funds you can find.
After reading it, I'm sure you'll agree.
Publisher, Agora Books
P.S. Will members of Congress read it? Maybe. They might even agree with these readers who say...
"A true tour de force and an engaging read. Well worth the money for not only your personal enrichment, but to encourage the authors to write again!!"? - M. Kelly (Albuquerque, NM)
"Empire of Debt is probably the most important history book you will ever read. It puts the two great world wars, the Vietnam war, the Cold war, and the war in Iraq in a historical perspective that I've never seen anywhere else." - Dan Brown (Madison, AL)
"If you only read one chapter... turn to page 261 and read the section titled 'Something Wicked This Way Comes'. It will be the most eye-opening 11 pages you read all year." - J. Boric (Bloomington, IN)
Empire of Debt shows the one investment right now that's the ultimate "debt hedge," which can save you thousands in the coming months. Don't miss out on this important investing advice most others will regret missing out on.
Canadian Islamic Congress Supports Six Nations Land Reclamation
This is a media communique from the Canadian Islamic Congress, in support of Six Nations.
THE CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS
May 17, 2006
ISLAMIC CONGRESS SUPPORTS SIX NATIONS LAND RECLAMATION
The Canadian Islamic Congress has thrown its support behind the Onkwehonweh (Six Nations) land reclamation campaign near Caledonia, Ontario, which began February 28 with the peaceful blockade of a housing construction site on First Nations territory.
In a strong statement issued today, the CIC challenged the Canadian government's flawed historical record in dealing with legitimate aboriginal claims to lands whose titles have been illegally altered, disregarded or transferred numerous times since the 1700s.
"Many of Canada's 750,000 Muslims have strong emotional ties to this situation, in which aboriginal peoples are systematically being denied their birthright. Palestinians are being robbed of their native land in similar ways by the Israeli occupying power that denies them justice through unilateral expropriations and by refusing to negotiate in good faith with their elected representatives."
The 40-hectare area in Caledonia is one of some 600 native land claims that have been bogged down in the Canadian court system for decades. The Onkwehonweh have repeatedly pointed out that the land, which may also contain ancient burial sites, was improperly taken from their ancestors more than 200 years ago.
"The Onkwehonweh are asking for respect, consensus, and full participation in any decision made about their ancestral lands," the CIC statement continued. "Anything less would amount to a continuation of the historical colonialist exploitation - in a word, government-sanctioned policies of genocide -- that robbed all Canada's First Nations of so much of their land and culture. This is not about economics or politics as much as it is about basic human rights."
The CIC is calling for all governmental and corporate parties involved in the ongoing Caledonia negotiations to respect and implement the principle of Kaianereh'ko:wa, or State of Peace, declared by the Six Nations Clanswomen, who are traditionally recognized as titleholders
to native lands.
Dr. Mohamed Elmasry
(519) 746-4107 (O)
(519) 498-1350 (Cell)
Mrs. Wahida Valiante
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful The Canadian Islamic Congress Friday Bulletin Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - Rabi-al-Thani 19, 1427, Year:9 Vol:9 Issue: 67
** SUPPORT THE CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS **
The independent voice of Canada's Muslims; Sunni and Shi'a, men and women, youth and seniors
If this happens -- and with Italy's new prime minister Romano Prodi calling the invasion and occupation a "grave error" and planning a withdrawal
-- how many allies will the US have left in Iraq?
Defence secretary Des Browne has suggested that British forces could begin withdrawing from Iraq within a few months.
Speaking on his first visit to the embattled country since becoming defence secretary, Mr Browne dismissed claims that Basra and the rest of the UK's military command in the south of Iraq were unstable as "ridiculous".
Read this View London co.uk. article here
AIUSA: Make Some Noise at Pride!
June Pride month, which marks the anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots, is a good time to MAKE SOME NOISE against the targeting of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people for police abuse. Amnesty's "Make Some Noise" campaign takes our human rights message to young people around the world through music, celebration and action.
Show your solidarity by taking part in Pride events in your area. If there are none in your community start your own! Sign up to have an organizing kit mailed to you.
The OUTfront! Team
Amnesty International USA
May 20th, 8pm in Boston
Unveiled, a film by Angelina Maccarone (Fremde Haut, Germany, 2005, 97 minutes).
Unveiled is a heartrending drama about the status of lesbians living under religious oppression and one woman's valiant efforts to free herself. In German and Farsi with English subtitles. “A wise uncompromising portrait of oppression in all its physical and psychological manifestations.” – Scott Foundas, LA Weekly
Co-presented by Amnesty OUTfront at the 22nd Annual Boston Gay and Lesbian Film/Video Festival, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Remis Auditorium.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.mfa.org/film; in person at the MFA box office; or by calling 617-369-3306.
June 10th — Boston Pride
To join our Amnesty contingent, please contact OUTfront coordinator, Kevin Mouchantaff at email@example.com
June 11th, 7pm in New York
Tara’s Crossing, a performance to benefit the Stonewall Community Foundation
Tara’s Crossing, a new play by Emmy-nominated writer Jeffrey Solomon, recounts a transgender asylum seeker’s remarkable journey from the fearful streets of Guyana to the isolation of US Immigration detention. Inspired by interviews with LGBT asylum seekers across the world, the play powerfully reveals the reality faced by many immigrants in post-9/11 America.
“Remarkable, moving and captivating.” – NYTheater.com
The Lucille Lortel Theater
121 Christopher Street
New York, NY
For tickets and information: (212) 367-1155 or www.stonewallfoundation.org
NYC June Pride month 2006
March@ 37th Ave and 89th St
Sunday, June 5th- 12pm
Festival@ 75th St and 37th Rd
Sunday, June 5th- 12pm to 7pm
Parade@ Bartel-Pritchard Circle
Saturday, June 11th- 8pm
Festival@ Prospect Park
Saturday, June 11th- 11am
Rally@ Bryant Park
Sunday, June 18th- 2pm to 6pm
March@ 5th Ave & 52nd St
Sunday, June 25th- 12pm till...
PrideFest@ Greenwich and Washington St
Sunday, June 25th- 11am to 10:30pm
MAKE SOME NOISE at Pride!
On June 28, in honor of the Stonewall anniversary, AI Latin American sections (Argentina, Chile, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Venezuela and others) will join forces with AIUSA to highlight the global problem of police violence targeted at LGBT people. Rallies and other actions will be held in major cities in all participating sections. Join us in solidarity by taking part in Pride events in your community.
For more information about pride events around the nation and the world visit www.interpride.org
Amnesty International Canada: Iran Update
The General Criminal Court has convicted 52 individuals from the Nematollahi Sufi community. One of the penalties is flogging.PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/052/2006 UPDATE 17 May 2006 Further Information on UA 43/06 (MDE 13/018/2006, 22 February 2006) Incommunicado detention / Fear of torture and New concern: Fear of floggingIRAN At least 173 members of the Nematollahi Sufi communityFifty-two members of the Nematollahi Sufi community and two lawyers who represent the group have been sentenced to one year's imprisonment, a fine, and are to be flogged. They were among the 173 members of the community arrested on 13 February 2006 after police and organized pro-government groups broke up their peaceful protest. On 3 May, the General Criminal Court in Qom convicted 52 members of the Nematollahi Sufi community and their lawyers Farshad Yadollahi and Omid Behroozi, on the charges of 'disobeying the orders of government officials' and 'disturbing public order'. For the first charge, 25 individuals deemed to have a more "active" role in the incident were fined 10 million Iranian Rials (equivalent to US$547), and the remaining individuals were fined 5 million Iranian Rials (equivalent to US$1,093). For conviction on the second charge they were sentenced to one year's imprisonment and to 74 lashes. After their release from prison they will be required to present themselves to local security officials every month for two years. In addition, lawyers Farshad Yadollahi and Omid Behroozi were disqualified from the legal profession for 5 years. According to the court verdict, some of those detained 'confessed' to the charges against them. It is not known under what circumstances these confessions were made. All were given 20 days to appeal the judgement and are currently free on bail. By the beginning of March, almost all of the other members of the group who were arrested at the protest had been released. It is not known whether any of these will face formal charges at a later stage. It is believed that many have had cases opened against them. In April, the main preacher for the Nematollahi Sufi group in Qom, Seyed Ahmadi Shariat, was detained and charged with 'disobeying the orders of government officials' and 'disturbing public order'. He was released on bail pending trial. Amnesty International considers the punishment of flogging to constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment amounting to torture, in contravention of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Iran is a state party.
On 13 February 2006, hundreds of demonstrators were injured and around 1,200 were arrested when police and the Hojatieh and Fatemiyon groups (organized pro-government groups) violently suppressed a peaceful demonstration held by the Nematollahi Sufi to protest against an order to evacuate the community's place of worship- known as a Hosseiniye. The Hosseiniye was later demolished. According to reports, those arrested were then detained at Fajr prison in Qom, where some were tortured in an attempt to force them to sign pre-prepared false confessions claiming that the protest held by the Sufi group had political motivations and links to anti-government groups (for further information please see Iran: urgent investigation required into security forces violence against Sufi Muslims in Qom (AI Index MDE 13/016/2006, 17 February 2006).
There appears to be increasing "demonization" of Sufi Muslims in Iran. In September 2005, an Islamic scholar in Qom, Ayatollah Hossein Nouri-Hamedani, reportedly called for a crackdown on Sufi groups, labelling them a "danger to Islam". Articles attacking the Sufis have appeared in national newspapers, notably Jomhouri-ye Eslami and Kayhan. On 4 February 2006, Channel 5 of Iranian television ran a video clip of the Nematollahi Sufi order, showed pictures of some of the order's spiritual leaders, and made statements about the group's connections to foreign countries, calling them the "instruments of foreign powers".
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send fresh appeals in Persian, Arabic, English or French:
- expressing concern that 52 members of the Nematollahi Sufi community and their two lawyers Farshad Yadollahi and Omid Behroozi, have been sentenced to flogging, one year's imprisonment, and a fine, on charges apparently solely related to their participation in a peaceful demonstration;
- stating that their conviction on these charges may be in contravention of their intentionally recognised right to peaceful freedom of assembly. If this is the case, they should be released and unconditionally;
- stating that you consider the punishment of flogging to be a cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment amounting to torture, contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 7 of which states that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment";
- calling for the flogging sentence to be commuted;
- expressing concern that some detainees were reportedly tortured during interrogation at Fajr prison in Qom, and calling for the authorities to conduct an urgent and impartial investigation into these allegations, with those found responsible brought to justice in fair trials;
- urging the judicial authorities to implement a moratorium on the use of flogging, which is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, with a view to its eventual abolition.
Leader of the Islamic Republic:
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 011 98 251 774 2228 (Mark it "FAO the Office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei".)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary:
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Please send emails via the feedback form on the Persian site of the website
The text of the feedback form translates as:
1st line: name / 2nd line: email address / 3rd line: subject heading
then enter your email into the text box
Salutation: Your Excellency
Mr Abbas Assemi
Chargé d'Affaires, Embassy for the Islamic Republic of Iran
245 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2K2
Fax: (613) 232-5712
Thank you for standing by, ready to respond urgently again.
We need your face! If you haven't yet left your
mark of support at http://www.controlarms.org,
please do. Of the million faces we want to collect
before the UN Conference on Small Arms, we
need 98,424 more!
Marilyn McKim & Kathy Price
Urgent Action Network Coordinators
Amnesty International Canada (ES)
14 Dundonald Street, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1K2
Phone: 416-363-9933 Fax: 416-363-3103