Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sketchy Thoughts: Violence and Sneaky Games: Comments and Media Links regading Events at Caledonia

Kersplebedeb of Sketchy Thoughts provides the best coverage and commentary, with excellent links, about the ongoing land reclamation struggle of the Six Nations people at Caledonia.

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OPP & U.S. "ATF" operatives on Six Nations? / Hazel Hill's Update from the Grand River

This is Kahentinetha Horn's latest article about situation at the Six Nations land reclamation site. Apparently the OPP had invited in the American ATF (who were complicit in the Waco fiasco). While I concede that the OPP have a difficult task of trying to maintain a modicum of law and order and are purportedly there to try and keep the agitators at bay, I must question why they would even consider bringing in the notorious ATF (or invite/allow supposedly off-duty ATF to take pictures and 'case' the reclamation area). What were they thinking? Whose idea was it? This already volatile situation does not need any more fuel added to the fire. Indeed, negotiations need to be stepped up in earnest before this turns into a bloody conflagration.

Those Caledonia residents who are planting signs on their lawns saying "bring in the army", I ask them: "what are you thinking"? Do you really think this will solve anything? Can't you understand how terrible the repercussions of such actions would be? Do you honestly want an all-out war and the possibility of the blood of innocents shed on your doorstep? Please, people, think before you act! I implore all residents of conscience to speak out in your community against hatred, bigotry and violence toward your Indigenous neighbours. I realise that this situation has been going on for 102 days, and tempers flare, people are affected, your lives have been thrown off kilter. However, please listen to the voice of reason that is deep inside all of you, and help work toward a peaceful resolution. Violence, bigotry and hatred will only divide you further, while leaving deep wounds which will not heal for a very long time. Instead of standing against your Native neighbours, please stand in solidarity with them. They have real issues which must be dealt with expeditiously, judiciously and peacefully. Please do not let your anger rule, instead find the compassion in your heart. Listen to that voice of peace within....

Hazel Hill's June 9th update follows Ms. Horn's article.


MNN. June 10, 2006.
It was reported that Canadian Prime Minister Harper allegedly said on television about the 102 day Six Nations-Caledonia situation, “The protesters are either going to kill the Indigenous people or the Indigenous people are going to kill the protesters!” [he hopes?] What does he mean? Indian Affairs Duncan Campbell Scott’s 100 year plan was to turn all the settlers against the Indians and eliminate the “Indian problem” for good, completing their theft of Turtle Island.

Is this why the Canadian government has invited the lethal American ATF – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – onto Six Nations? Why, now of all times, when the Americans are closing their borders to ordinary Canadian? Why is Canada inviting covert Americans operatives to spy on Six Nations? The ATF went to Waco Texas and on April 19, 1993, surrounded a community of fundamentalists and attacked and killed 63 people, among them many children. Cameramen and reporters happened to be there at the ready to video tape the carnage that followed. They say the attack began when an ATF agent accidentally shot himself in the foot. Noxious and flammable tear gas fortified with kerosene was thrown into the Branch Davidian compound, as armored vehicles rolled in. The compound burst into flames and the ATF with their M60 tanks smashed everything down. The FBI and the US Army came in afterwards to destroy the evidence that the ATF left behind. Two years later on April 19th, 1995, the ATF offices were blown up in Oklahoma City killing over 685 people.

More and more people are beginning to suspect that the US government is being torn apart by internal gang wars. If this theory is true, the ATF is in the thick of it. This is one of the oldest and most lethal agencies involved in covert operations against citizens. Canadians have always tried to steer clear of the fanatical fringes of American society. This is one of the main reasons why the Canadians have never joined the United States and have remained separate, north of the border.

The Americans have tried to invade Canada many times before and the Six Nations were always there as staunch allies. Since becoming independent from Britain Canadians seem to be forgetting their history. They’re being dragged deeper into the maelstrom of US power politics. Strange things are happening these days. Suddenly we’re not allowed to go south of the border unless we have passports. But the OPP and other Canadian agencies are helping Americans to spy on us. What gives? Who is this show time for right now?

Read Hazel Hill’s Update from Six Nations, June 9, 2006.

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News


June 9, 2006.
Today has been a day of unrest at the land reclamation site. While we won't go into great detail on what has happened today as a press release is being prepared, let us say that the intimidation tactics and pressure from the outside has been worked up to the point that 1000 OPP [Ontario Provincial Police] officers are being dispatched to the area surrounding the reclamation site. Caledonia residents are up in arms, demanding the removal of our people from the site. They are even going so far as to set up a barricade on the recently opened Plank Road (Argyle Street) leading into Caledonia.

The intimidation tactics leading up to today were constant..... including army helicopters and others flying overhead all hours of the day and night. They hovered overhead between 2 and 4 in the morning with their lights off and their nigh vision on , and then on occasion, shining high powered lights down onto the people on the site. [this is all the same as their tactics in Oka in 1990].

We are being faced daily with people driving by, hollering racial remarks including "go home you f'n Indians", "get a job", "your gonna die" etc. Garbage is being thrown at us. Besides the "flipping of the bird", there have been times where firecrackers are being thrown out the car windows toward us. These incidents, however, are not investigated by the OPP because “they are not breaking any laws”. [See ‘Rocks at Whisky Trench, National Film Board]. [what about hate laws, human rights and racial discrimination?]

Today a United States Border Patrol vehicle was retrieved with high powered surveillance equipment in it. The first story from the OPP was that the "A.T.F. Officer" was just visiting friends in the neighborhood and taking pictures "kinda like a tourist". [Right! With a high tech surveillance van? He left the family car at home?] He was spotted just down from the front line barricade. We followed them to the back door of the reclamation site. Later we questioned what the United States ATF was doing snooping around taking pictures of us with the OPP riding in the back with them. They changed the story saying that they had been invited in by the OPP. [Why? Was the OPP getting lonely looking at each other? Did they need more maniacs to make themselves feel more comfortable?] What were they doing here? What is their mandate? The OPP refused to tell us why these people have gotten high government official clearance to be so far out of their jurisdiction. An OPP officer was hospitalized as a result of this incident. A CHTV Newsperson/cameraman had to get stitches as a result of a previous run-in with our people. [CHTV 11 not only reports the news, they “create” the news].

This situation is not good. [All reports from CHTV 11 are anti-Indigenous].

The incidents of today are a direct result of the constant intimidation tactics of the OPP, the military and the continued racist acts instigated against us by the Caledonia people [with their professionally made “Bring in the Army” signs always in their car trunks, just in case the cameras are there]. Other strategies are the recent blocking of our children from using the arena for lacrosse games and the back tracking by the Ontario government at the “talks”. This is supposed to push everything up to the ultimate goal of Canada and Ontario. They want to justify stopping the talks about returning our lands to us.

At our fire tonight, we realized that Canada does not want to deal with the Onkwehonweh people because they know we are absolutely right in our position on the land, our sovereignty and upholding our Law.

This violence today occurred as a result of the underhanded and direct attempts at inciting an action from us to justify another attack against us. They want to make it look like we are uncontrollable. Why else have they been playing the "terrorists in Canada in court in Brampton" back to back with the "Six Nations land reclamation in Caledonia" on all the news stations? Canada, with the help of corporate media, is making sure the mental brainwashing of its citizens against the Onkwehonweh continues. [Across Canada people are not buying this corporate brainwashing].

How convenient that CHTV 11 was there even before this all started! How coincidently that the couple who sparked the violence with their racial attacks and their attempt to run over our people, drove straight to the Canadian Tire parking lot! How convenient that a "by-stander" happened to have a video camera across the road at the Tim Horton’s coffee shop video taping the whole scene [with a Boston Cream donut in the other hand]. He directly reported to CHML radio which happens to be co-owned by CHTV 11. Was it a co-incidence! Or were they already on standby knowing that a story was about to break. [Another high-priced promotion failed!]

It is unfortunate that our people fell for it. [Our guys are the only ones legally here]. The reality is, we are dealing with the constant mental, emotional and physical intimidation of the corrupt bureaucrats. Also, we face racial violence constantly. Does anyone know for sure how they would react in the same situation?

The potential for violence against us here in the next while is tremendous. [Expect this to happen. This is their “bad act” and no one’s buying any tickets for it!] The Caledonia people want to take us off our land. The OPP are maintaining a line between the Caledonia residents and the reclamation site. [Just like the people in Chateauguay in 1990. See “Act of Defiance” by the National Film Board]. We don’t know how long this is going to last. Our people are on alert. We are on the site unarmed. We are trying to maintain the peace. We are keeping the people within the inner perimeter. We will continue to forward updates. Please forward to others. Stay Strong and keep the Peace. Hazel

You support is crucial now. Do whatever you can. Use your good mind and heart. Stand by us in solidarity and support.

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Hacker steals US nuclear agency files

A computer hacker has got into the US agency that guards the country's nuclear weapons stockpile and stolen the personal records of at least 1,500 employees and contractors. A senior US legislator revealed the incident on Friday, which targeted the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA).
Full Story

London chemical bomb suspects freed

British police say they have freed without charge two brothers who were arrested in an anti-terrorist raid in east London last week, in which one of them was shot. Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, who is recovering from a gun-shot wound, and Abul Koyair, 20, were released on Friday after being held for questioning at a high security prison since police swooped on their house at dawn a week ago.
Full Story

Ontario Premier's statement on incidents at Caledonia

This is Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's statement about the latest incidents that occurred at Caledonia on Friday, June 9th:

Premier's statement on incidents at Caledonia
EDMONTON, June 9 /CNW/ - The following statement was issued by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty:

"It was with great disappointment that I learned of the violent incidents in Caledonia today. I would like to express sympathy and concern for those injured.

I also condemn the violence caused by an irresponsible few, a repugnant attempt to derail the important progress we are making.

While the provincial government has been working with the federal government, local council and Six Nations to resolve the broader Haldimand Tract Land Claims issues, it is essential that all sides remain calm and respectful of each other.

The events of the past months have placed a great strain on the community of Caledonia and the Six Nations people. However, no one can condone the violent incidents witnessed today.

The Prime Minister and I have appointed Barbara McDougall and Jane Stewart to lead discussions on the broader land claims issues. We are encouraged by progress in those discussions.

It is our responsibility as leaders, neighbours, friends and community members to resolve this matter peacefully through dedication, perseverance and goodwill. That requires calm, understanding and respect from everyone involved."

Disponible en français

For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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Muslim Religious Leader Examines What al-Zarqawi's Death Means in the Muslim World

I get a lot of interesting stuff in my inbox along with a lot of junk. Often both arrive from unknown sources and it is a time-consuming task to go through this plethora of stuff. I was prepared to hit the delete button on this from one of those 'unknown sources', but my curiousity got the better of me.

In exclusive video commentary, Beliefnet columnist Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf discusses how Muslims view the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, what the Qur’an teaches about God’s judgment of sinners and how the former Iraqi Al Qaeda head will be judged in the afterlife.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a columnist, the head of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the leader of Masjid Al-Farah in New York.

Watch VIDEOS here (Beliefnet).

Beliefnet, the world’s largest religion and spirituality online community, attracts more than 3.5 million unique visitors per month and reaches 7.5 million with its daily email newsletters. Renowned for its award-winning content, users rely on Beliefnet for daily insight on religion and spirituality at home and globally. With no affiliation to any particular religion or spiritual movement, Beliefnet is an independent and privately held company funded by employees, individual investors, Softbank Capital and Blue Chip Venture Company.

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AIUSA: 'Stand with us on July 2nd'

This is a call to online activists from Amnesty International USA to protest a terrible injustice: the death penalty in the USA.

Did you know that at one time there was no death penalty in the United States? The Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory - as random as being struck by lightning. But things changed with the Gregg v. Georgia ruling on July 2, 1976 and the death penalty was reinstated. In the 30 years since the Gregg decision over 1,000 people have been executed and we have become increasingly aware of how arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory our death penalty system still is.

Raise your voice and call for an end to this outmoded, outlandish and outrageous system of injustice on the 30th anniversary of the Gregg decision.

Three things we're asking you to do:

  • Write a letter to the editor,
  • Organize an event with your friends and family, or
  • Organize a public event with other concerned citizens.

How? Find out at We'll give you a special grassroots organizing kit, a study guide on the Gregg decision, and a way to promote your local events.

We know this is harder than just clicking and sending an email. But we believe that you have the will and heart to go the extra mile, and will stand with us to uphold our basic human rights.

In solidarity,
Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn
Director, Program to Abolish the Death Penalty
Amnesty International USA

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Iraq Dispatches: Propaganda and Haditha

"Propaganda is when the Western corporate media tries to influence public opinion in favor of the Iraq War by consistently tampering with truth and distorting reality," write Jamail and Pflueger. "It is to be expected. And it is to be recognized for what it is."

Propaganda and Haditha
By Dahr Jamail and Jeff Pflueger
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 09 June 2006

In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.
- Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during World War II

Propaganda is when the Western corporate media tries to influence public opinion in favor of the Iraq War by consistently tampering with truth and distorting reality. It is to be expected. And it is to be recognized for what it is. On occasions when the media does its job responsibly and reports events like the November 19, 2005, Haditha Massacre, it must also be willing and able to anticipate and counter propaganda campaigns that will inevitably follow. It is to be expected that the responsible members of the media fraternity will stick to their guns and not join the propagandists.

This piece is a summary of five most commonly deployed crisis management propaganda tactics which the State and Media combine that we can expect to see in relation to the Haditha Massacre. Listed in a loose chronological order of their deployment, the tactics are: Delay, Distract, Discredit, Spotlight and Scapegoat. Each of the five public relations campaigns will here be discussed in the context of the Haditha Massacre.


Al-Jazeera channel, with over 40 million viewers in the Arab world, is the largest broadcaster of news in the Middle East. It has been bearing the brunt of an ongoing violent US propaganda campaign. Their station headquarters in both Afghanistan and Baghdad were destroyed by US forces during the US invasions of both countries. In Baghdad, the attack on their office by a US warplane killed their correspondent Tareq Ayoub. Additionally, al-Jazeera reporters throughout Iraq have been systematically detained and intimidated before the broadcaster was banned outright from the country. These are somewhat contradictory actions for an occupying force ostensibly attempting to promote democracy and freedom in Iraq.

On November 19, 2005, the day of the Haditha Massacre, al-Jazeera had long since been banned from operating in Iraq. The station forced to conduct its war reporting from a desk in Doha, Qatar, was doing so via telephone. Two Iraqis worked diligently to cover the US occupation of Iraq through a loose network of contacts within Iraq. Defying the US-imposed extreme challenges, al-Jazeera, by dint of its responsible reporting, had the entire Haditha scoop as soon as it occurred, which they shared with Western and other media outlets, while the latter were content to participate in delaying the story nearly four months by regurgitating unverified military releases.

Click here to read rest of this dispatch.

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at

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Mississauga Challenges Security Certificates

Challenge Security Certificates
Candlelight Vigil
Tuesday June 13
Revolution Square
Hurontario & Dundas
In solidarity with The Freedom Caravan and Camp Hope, The Mississauga Coalition for Peace and Justice is holding a candlelight vigil to support the Security Certificate Hearings at the Supreme Court of Canada next week. The United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and thousands of Canadians have called for an end to such abuses.

In light of the recent arrests based on suspicions of terrorism, we are standing up to demand due legal process, fair trials, and the abolishment of human rights abuses at the national level. These arrests perpetuate the Canadian legacy of racial profiling, and oppression towards cultural groups from the beginning of Canada’s foundation with the genocide of the First Nations.

Demands of MCPJ and Freedom Caravan:

  • End Racial Profiling and imprisonment based on ethnic origin
  • Free Canada's Secret Trial Detainees
  • End Secret Trials in Canada
  • End Deportations to Torture
  • End Arbitrary Detention Without Charge
  • End RCMP/CSIS Harassment of Immigrant Communities
  • Create A Just, Fair System for Refugees
for more info visit Homes Not Bombs @

The Mississauga Coalition for Peace and Justice

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Media's version of Friday's events in Caledonia

This is the media's version of Friday's disturbing events at the Six Nations, Caledonia, protest site. Notice how much it differs from Kahentinetha Horn's report which appears in my previous post.
TORONTO -- Two camera operators who work for Hamilton-based CH television were assaulted Friday at the site of an aboriginal occupation.

One of the camera operators apparently had his equipment stolen during the alleged attack.

Officials at the station say the men were filming as part of the ongoing coverage of the standoff in Caledonia, Ont. where aboriginal protesters took over a housing construction site in February.

The two were positioned across the street from a Canadian Tire parking lot where a number of protestors had gathered, and were shooting generic stock video footage known as 'b-roll' when they were apparently 'rushed' and assaulted.

Read rest of this article here.

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Day 101 at Six Nations Protest Site

This is Ms. Kahentinetha Horn's (of Mohawk Nation News) report of today's very disturbing events at the Six Nations reclamation site:


MNN. June 9, 2006. It is now day 101 since the Six Nations reclaimed OUR stolen land. The peace that we have managed to maintain so far was marred by two serious incidents.

The first began when a small gray car with two passengers drove up to the front of the reclamation site. These two guys stayed in the car and started harassing the people by shouting racist threats at them. Finally, some of the Indigenous men got fed up, walked over and told them leave. But they just would not stop. Then they tried to run over them with their car. This infuriated the men. They chased them into the nearby Canadian Tire parking lot and surrounded them. If you believe in coincidences, you will find it amazing that there just happened to be a cameraman from the anti-Indigenous Channel 11 standing there videotaping everything. hen the Ontario Provincial Police OPP quickly arrived and took the two harassers away. In the meantime, the men told the reporter to stop videotaping them. He would not. They grabbed his camera and then him and beat him up. They confiscated the gray car and drove it onto the site.

Not long after another vehicle drove up to the front of the reclamation site. There were two men in a Tahoe with all kinds if aerials, antennas and gizmos on their rooftop. As if this wasn’t strange enough, it sported an American license plate and writing on the side that looked like they were part of the U.S. Border Patrol. Were they lost? Did they forget where their jurisdiction ended? Or they did they just not give a s**t? It is well known that American Officers sometimes forget they don’t officially control Canada as far as we know. They are not supposed to conduct police activities north of their border. They had some high tech cameras and were clicking away taking pictures of everything and everyone. Our men went over and told them to “Get the hell out of here”. When the men got close, the two guys drove screeched away so fast that they did a wheelie.

Not long after these same two guys were spotted lurking in the back of the subdivision at the site taking pictures again. The men went over and told them to stop. They refused. That’s when the men got mad again. Next thing you know, there was a big fight and the two American operatives got the worst of it. One landed in the hospital badly hurt, so we are told.

According to the OPP the first two guys in the gray car incident are in hospital. Seems they both had heart attacks! Do you believe that? The OPP claim the guys in the American car were beat up by two of our men. Instead of consulting to see how incidents like these could be prevented in the future, the OPP have demanded that the two men who allegedly beat up the American spies be immediately turned over to them, even though they don’t know who they are. In other words, everyone’s becoming irrational. This just the excuse the OPP has been waiting for.

Now armed forces are coming out of hiding and building up again around Six Nations. Looks like nobody wants us to have a peaceful summer.

OPP should do something about the provocateurs who have broken the protocols that we established with them based on the Two Row Wampum. Instead of presenting us with ultimatums, the OPP should ask to meet us so we can all talk about this together.

One thing that is of mutual concern is the trespassing of the Americans who are functioning outside their jurisdiction, violating both our law and that of Canada. We trust the OPP will not blame us for the American invasion and will take their complaint to the appropriate authorities.

This is the time for mutual respect between our two nations, the Six Nations and Canada. If there is a problem, Canada should place a complaint with our Royaner so that we can find a route of peace, not of war. If the OPP want to play an aggressive role, this means they refuse to take responsibility for the wrongs that have been committed against us by their people. This makes us think they just want to shoot guns at us.

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nations News

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Tell Congress: Close the School of the Americas!

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is supporting the work of School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) to support a Congressional amendment to close the SOA/WHINSEC. SOA Watch is the organization that has brought this issue to the attention of the country and the world through its mobilizations of thousands of people in Ft. Benning, Georgia. During the course of these actions, many of its members and supporters have made great personal sacrifices, including going to jail for six month periods, to highlight the criminal nature of the SOA and demand its closure. Please read the message below and call Congress today or tomorrow.

A message from SOA Watch:

Tell Congress:
Close the School of the Americas -
Vote YES to cut its funding now!

This week (the week of June 5) Congress will vote on an amendment to close the notorious School of the Americas/WHINSEC. The School of the Americas, funded by our tax dollars and located at Ft. Benning, Georgia, has trained - for more than 60 years - over 60,000 Latin American Soldiers in torture, psychological warfare and war against civilian populations. Many of the tactics of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay began at the SOA to be used on civilians and those working for justice in Latin America. This school has graduated the worst human rights abusers in Latin American History. Rep. McGovern (MA) will introduce an amendment to the Foreign Operations appropriations bill to cut funding for the SOA/ WHINSEC and stand up against the legacy of torture as a part of U.S. Foreign Policy!

We expect a close vote and need as many people as possible flooding the offices of the House of Representatives with calls, e-mails and faxes in support of a YES vote on the amendment every day through Thursday, June 8th. This is it! You can make a difference and it's the people power of our movement that will get this amendment passed!

Call Congress today or tomorrow!

Please take the time to call the DC office of the Representative from your district through the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll free at 888-355-3588. Ask to speak with the foreign affairs legislative assistant.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Canadian Combat Role Undermining Peace Prospects, Says Afghan Diplomat

This is the latest message I've received from Steven Staples of and the Polaris Institute. It is about the important work of Dr. Seddiq Weera, Afghan diplomat.

Like you, I'm sure, I am very concerned about the arrests of 17 young men this week in Ontario, charged with planning a terrorist attack in Canada. Is this a legitimate threat - or is this another display to promote fear in the Canadian public so that we will accept a pro-national security agenda? Will there be a fair trial - or will the government resort to the use of secret evidence?

The events of the last week are inextricably tied to Afghanistan, and that's why I wanted to let you know about the work of Dr. Seddiq Weera, someone whom I think you will be hearing a lot more about in the future.

I was very privileged to spend the afternoon last week with Dr. Weera in Ottawa. He traveled from his home in Burlington to visit with officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs, to urge them to support diplomatic and peace-building initiatives in his native country of Afghanistan.

Dr. Weera is an Afghan-born, Canadian-educated diplomacy expert. His message could not be more important, especially in light of the recent riots in Kabul that have raised questions about the stability and legitimacy of the Karzai government.

He is trying to warn the Canadian government that our military's combat mission is actually aiding a civil war between the Northern Alliance-dominated Karzai government and the Taliban in the south. Our participation in "search and destroy" mission under the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom is actually strengthening Taliban and al Qaeda forces.

Dr. Weera argues that Canada should instead be taking a lead role in funding a renewed diplomatic process that will bring all the warring factions to the table, including the Taliban. "It's time to talk to the Taliban," he says. I could not agree more.

When I heard that Dr. Weera was coming to Ottawa with such an important message, I told several journalists about his work. The newspaper article below ran in a dozen daily newspapers and he appeared on National CBC TV.

Regrettably, Foreign Affairs officials cancelled their meeting with Dr. Weera at the last minute.

Nevertheless, he met with peace groups, and he and I held a press conference in the Parliament Buildings. We were both very pleased that NDP Defence Critic Dawn Black, when she heard about Dr. Weera being on the Hill that day, came over from her office to speak with him personally after the press conference.

I am sending you this note because I feel that Dr. Weera's message is very important for Canadians to hear. While we want to help the Afghan people, our government is saying that war against the Taliban is the only way - that is not true.

Dr. Weera points out that Afghanistan desperately needs a new peace process. This is being undermined by the war, and he thinks that we are wasting precious time and lives and should start the dialogue right away.

I invite you to learn more about the project and Dr. Weera's work through his Afghanistan Peace Education Program's web site.



Listen more, shoot less, says peace adviser:

Otherwise, he says, Canada will remain tied up in an unwinnable war

June 1, 2006
By David Pugliese

Military tactics that don't differentiate between terrorists and Afghans with legitimate complaints are driving new recruits into the arms of al-Qaeda, warns a Canadian who is an adviser to a peace commission sanctioned by the Afghan government.

Dr. Seddiq Weera says Canada will be embroiled in an unwinnable war in the South Asian country if it does not push for more diplomacy and negotiations to deal with the legitimate grievances of many Afghan groups.

"You bomb them, you shoot them, you don't invite them to tell you why they are unhappy," said Dr. Weera, who is usually based in Kabul, but is on a brief visit back to Canada.

"You have no mechanism for consultation or negotiations. The only thing you have is either 'be a peaceful citizen and follow the government or we will kill you.'

"Aren't we creating more sympathizers?" he added. "Aren't we supplying al-Qaeda with more Afghans?"

Dr. Weera, who was imprisoned for four and a half years for taking part in the resistance against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, meets with Foreign Affairs officials in Ottawa today.

Before coming to Canada, he was a member of the 1989-1991 Afghan interim government in exile that was based in Pakistan.

Dr. Weera is currently a board member and technical adviser to the Independent National Commission on Strengthening Peace in Afghanistan, but points out that his views are his own.

He said the Canadian military is needed in the country and has done good work. But Dr. Weera notes there has been too much emphasis on combat operations.

Western nations, he said, do not want to acknowledge that when troops went into Afghanistan in late 2001 to destroy al-Qaeda bases, they arrived in the middle of a civil war. U.S. troops joined forces with the Northern Alliance, whose members currently dominate today's Afghan government and are considered in the West as "the good guys," Dr. Weera said.

But he points out that there is no black and white situation in Afghanistan. Previously when they were in power, members of the Northern Alliance raped hundreds of women. When the Taliban came to power, their members beat hundreds of women.

Today, there are drug lords and war criminals serving in the Afghan parliament. There are also war criminals and drug lords associated with the Taliban as well as another opposition group, Hezb-e-Islami.

He said people in southern Afghanistan have concerns that those from the north control many of the police and government positions as well as receive the bulk of money to finance aid projects. Whether these complaints are legitimate is not clear, but Dr. Weera said some effort has to be made to discuss such concerns.

Dr. Weera said if that is not done, foreign soldiers will not see any victory in Afghanistan.

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Metta Spencer Interview with Larry Diamond: 'Squandered Victory in Iraq'

This is an interview Professor Metta Spencer did with political scientist and democracy expert Larry Diamond for Peace Magazine:

Squandered Victory in Iraq: A talk with democracy expert Larry Diamond

Larry Diamond is a Stanford political scientist and an expert on democracy. Soon after the invasion, Condoleezza Rice asked him to go to Iraq to work on democratization. His new book, Squandered Victory, is an account of his disillusionment with that project.

By Metta Spencer (interviewer)

METTA SPENCER: As an editor of the Journal of Democracy, you've been studying democracy for ages. You must encounter a lot of peace activists who don't assign a high priority to democracy. What do you say to them?

Click here to read rest of this interview.

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Haditha: A National Call to Action

My Lai, Vietnam, 1968. Haditha, Iraq, 2005

Say No to U.S. War Crimes!

The Troops Out Now Coalition calls on all youth and rank and file GI’s to…

RESIST! Don’t Enlist! Don’t Go!

Don’t fight, die, or massacre for big oil!

Our fight is at home against poverty, war and racism!

My Lai, Vietnam, 1968. Haditha, Iraq, 2005. Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush hate it when anyone mentions these two eventsthese two war crimesin the same breath. All the more reason to examine them closely, to see that they have the same basis that they spell out the same lesson.

Thirteen-year-old Safa Yunis was the family’s only survivor. She says U.S. Marines slaughtered her father and mother, Khafif and Aeda Yasin Ahmed, her four sisters aged 14, 10, 5 and 3, her 8-year-old brother, and a 1-year-old girl staying with the family. Neighbors said the family members were shot at close range or killed by grenades. The children died screaming. Safa survived because she was covered in her mother’s blood when she fell to the floor. The Marines thought she was dead.

Pentagon officers are expected to announce a judgment on the Haditha war crime. Will they call it murder? Will they instead excuse the young Marines who killed the Iraqi children, women and men that day last November? What they won’t do is put the blame where it belongs first of all: on those who conspired to invade Iraq, on those who lied to justify this conspiracy, on those who put U.S. young men and women in the horrible position where they kill babies. For if there were really justice not only the Marines would be put on trial but Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their whole gang who sent these Marines to kill for power, for “strategic interests”, for oil profits.

What is the lesson of My Lai and of Haditha? It’s that when an occupation army is ordered to suppress a resistance movement (in Iraq this is called the insurgency) that has popular support, then it commits war crimes. The young Marines know that all the Iraqis hate them, including the civilians, including the children. So when they attack, they kill civilians. They kill children. When this is done with bombs from airplanes, it is called “collateral damage” in Pentagon newspeak.

It is ridiculous to think that a “refresher course” in military ethics will change the situation. The Marines are ordered to go in and win a battle. Rep. John Murtha saw this happen in Vietnam and has exposed this latest war crime in Haditha. But we have to go further than Murtha in our conclusions from these facts. There is no longer a way to hide the criminal nature of the war. It is out there before the world. And there are very few ethical or honorable choices before the young Marines, soldiers and other U.S. combat troops if they want to avoid being war criminals. Their only choice is to refuse to take part in these military operations in Iraq. This is a heroic choice but it is also the only honorable choice. And it is up to the anti-war movement to give every support possible to those who refuse.

The movement should bring this same message to recruiting offices around the country. Appeal to the youths to refuse to sign up for the Marines, the Navy, the Air Force, the Army and the National Guard. Otherwise they may be placed in the position of being war criminals. Not signing up is an easier choice than refusing to fight once in Iraq, but it is still a sacrifice to those without jobs or future in civilian life. So the anti-war movement should also be dedicated to fighting for jobs for all and for education for all.

Organize Emergency Protests at Recruiting Centers…

In New York CityFri., June 9th, 5 P.M.- 6 P.M. at the Chambers St. Recruiting Station (address & subway info)

For more information contact the Troops Out Now Coalition at 212-633-6646 or

Tomgram: Tony Karon, The World in Soccer's World Cup

Starting today, the message of much of the world will be: Don't call us; we'll call you in a month. The World Cup begins and, outside the U.S., much else stops.

To mention a small desire of mine -- I've long wanted to cover some sports at Tomdispatch. (After all, like so many of us, I obsessively watch enough of it.) Now, Tony Karon has made reality of my passing dream with this "how to" which should catch the attention of World Cup fans and non-fans alike.

With the dexterity of an on-line Pelé, Karon is a man everywhere at once: He writes for, puts together the always interesting website Global Beat for journalists, and in his all-too-spare spare time, periodically writes riveting little essays at his website, Rootless Cosmopolitan (where he will also be blogging the World Cup).

Those of you who have mastered the necessary art of doing at least two things at once and can read with the TV running (and little figures running on it) might consider picking up Eduardo Galeano's singularly wonderful book, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, or try C. L. R. James' classic book on cricket and politics, Beyond a Boundary, which Karon mentions and which is worth it, even if you don't know a thing about the sport. (Or just skip them both and, for a special treat, read Galeano's inspiring newest book, Voices of Time: A Life in Stories.)

Now, whether you call it soccer or football, do your stretches and wind sprints, then relax, and, with Karon, consider the World Cup as the world itself. Tom

How to Watch the World Cup

Politics and War by Other Means
By Tony Karon

I have a pretty good idea where Osama bin Laden will be on June 14 -- and June 19, and again on June 23. Not his exact location, but it's a safe bet he'll be in front of a TV tuned in to Saudi Arabia's World Cup soccer matches with, respectively, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Spain. Legend has it that soccer is one of bin Laden's guilty pleasures. He's unlikely to miss the spectacle of the men from the land of the Prophet taking on the infidels of al-Andalus. He probably has a soft spot for Tunisia too, that country being the only one on record thus far to see one of its professional soccer players attempt to join al Qaeda's martyrs.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Appeal Letter from the Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty

This is an open appeal letter from the Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty in support of Indigenous struggles on Turtle Island (Canada). Highlighted are the issues concerning Kanenhstaton (the Protected Place), which continues to be peacefully occupied by the Six Nations community, and an appeal for funds needed to provide buses to the reserve for the June 16th concert.

Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty

June 1, 2006

To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing to you on behalf of the Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty to ask for your support. We are coalition of very diverse solidarity and community groups that has come together to support Indigenous struggles on Turtle Island (Canada).

You may be aware that at this moment, members of the Six Nations of the Grand River community have been engaged in land reclamation in Caledonia, Ontario. This tract of land 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. Nonetheless, as it often has been the case, the judicial system systematically disregarded First Nations claims.

Consequently, on February 28, 2006 the Six Nations community peacefully reclaimed the site. Rather then deal with the issue politically, the government decided to move in with police and on April 20, 2006 the OPP attacked the camp, armed with tasers, pepper spray and automatic weapons. A lot of people were injured and a few were arrested. Astonishingly, the community was able to peacefully re-establish the camp. They subsequently 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), the federal and provincial governments. A 90 day moratorium suspending further development or police actions is currently in effect. However, it would seem that the government is quite reluctant to negotiate in good faith and we fear that another military action has not been ruled out.

In the meanwhile, the site has been renamed to Kanenhstaton (the Protected Place) and it continues to be peacefully occupied by the Six Nations community. Many groups across Canada have mobilized to lend support to this struggle. As part of this effort, First Nations artists will be offer a Concert for Kanenhstaton (The Protected Place) on June 16, from noon to 10 p.m. (see attached poster).

We believe this is a crucial time to show the government of Canada that we support the just struggle of First Nations people. In this spirit of solidarity, we would like to provide transportation to people who want to be there but do not have access or cannot afford transportation. We are aiming to rent two buses to take people over to the concert. This will cost approximately $1,000.

We are asking for your financial support and solidarity. The Canadian government must be forced to negotiate in good faith and peacefully with First Nations peoples. And we need to show that First Nations people do not stand alone and we are ultimately responsible for whatever may happen to the Elders, women, men and children of the Six Nations of the Grand River. We need to take action now.

If you need further information please contact Magaly San Martin at 416-532411 ext. 248 or

Cheques can be made payable to OCAP with ‘June 16th Buses’ specified on memo line. They can be mailed to 10 Britain Street, Toronto, ON, M5A 1R6.

In Solidarity,

Magaly San Martin

Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty

PS: The Coalition includes: Al-Awda Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, Arab Students Collective U of T, CKLN Community Radio, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty-Indigenous Caucus, CUPE 3903, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Ontario Public Interest Research Group, New Socialist Group, No More Silence Coalition, No One is Illegal and Sumoud.

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Kashechewan update

Looks like the Ontario government is finally addressing the issue of Kashechewan:
Ex-minister to draft Kashechewan plan
Jun. 6, 2006. 07:10 PM

OTTAWA ­ A former Ontario cabinet minister has been appointed to come up with a long-term plan for Kashechewan.

The remote First Nation on the James Bay coast in northern Ontario has been evacuated three times in 15 months because of flooding and polluted water.

Alan Pope will work with residents over the summer to discuss whether they should be relocated, and where.

He is to deliver an action plan to Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice this fall.

"Clearly, we've heard different points of view from the community on whether people wish to stay in the current location or move five kilometres to one site or 40 kilometres to another site," Prentice said Tuesday outside the Commons.

Read full article here (Toronto Star).

Statement on Anti-Terror Arrests

From: Stop the War Coalition
Subject: Statement on anti-terror arrests
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 15:52:22 -0400

Statement on anti-terror arrests
By the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War

The recent wave of "anti-terror" arrests in Toronto has sparked a national debate about the threat of terrorism in Canada and the issue of security. In response to this debate, the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War would like to put forward the following points:

1) All those arrested must be treated as innocent until proven guilty. This precept is the cornerstone of our justice system and, in order to guarantee a fair and open trial, must be consistently applied to all those now facing charges;

2) What has been reported in the press are alleged acts and not proven facts. Only a trial by the public courts system - and not the media - can determine the difference. All media has a responsibility to report on the case fairly and accurately and without resorting to sensationalism;

3) Members of government and other public officials should not publicly comment on the case in any way that undermines the precept of "innocent until proven guilty" or that compromises the integrity of a fair and open trial. So far both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day have already suggested that those charged are guilty;

4) The Muslim community and the Islamic faith should not in any way be held responsible for the alleged acts of individual suspects. Every effort should be made to ensure the safety and security of Muslims and to prevent any kind of backlash against the Muslim community. All acts motivated by Islamophobia and hate should be opposed and condemned;

5) Canadians should bear in mind that this recent wave of arrests is not the first. Two years ago, as many as twenty-six Muslim men were arrested in Toronto in a sweep called "Project Thread" that received widespread international attention and that, according to at least one government official, had uncovered "an Al-Qaeda sleeper cell" in Canada. This statement was proved to be false, not one of the men were ever formally charged (or convicted) of committing a crime, and most were deported from Canada. No effort was made to clear their names or restore their reputations.

Please circulate this statement in order to help defend civil liberties and to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community against any kind of backlash. It is critical that this recent wave of "anti-terror" arrests and the media coverage about it not be exploited to perpetuate divisions between Muslims and non-Muslims and that relationships of solidarity and support between communities be expanded and deepened. The arrests should also not be exploited in order to justify Canada's deeply unpopular participation in the occupation of Afghanistan or the use of repressive measures that curtail civil liberties in Canada such as secret trials and security certificates.

The anti-war movement in Canada has an important role to play in defending civil liberties, opposing racism and Islamophobia and supporting the Muslim community. We hope that you will join us in this effort.

Toronto Coalition to Stop the War

TCSW is Toronto's city-wide anti-war coalition, comprised of more than fifty labour, faith and community organisations, and a member of the Canadian Peace Alliance. 416-795-5863

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National Aboriginal Day Events in Toronto, June 21

Wednesday June 21 2006

Please join us for a Sunrise Ceremony Flag Raising
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
5:30 a.m.
Podium Roof (up the ramp on the east side)
Toronto City Hall - 100 Queen Street West

Breakfast to follow in the Members' Lounge
RSVP: 416-392-3889
TTY: 416-338-0889

Sunrise Ceremony Flag Raising by

The Law Society of Upper Canada

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All ages, all cultures, all religions,
all people of Mother Earth are welcome

celebrate National Aboriginal Day
honour World Peace & Prayer Day


(south-west corner green space – look for statue of Winston Churchill.)
Carrying the SACRED HOOP, we will walk west on Queen St. to Trinity-Bellwoods Park.



YELLOW CIRCLE - Family crafts for all ages, Information tables, craft vendors, food,
RED CIRCLE - The Sacred Fire, Elders and traditional teachers
BLACK & WHITE CIRCLES – storytelling, drumming, fiddling, singing, dancing from the four directions

4 pm CLOSING THE CIRCLES with Elders and singers.

The Buffalo Jump Artists’ Collective gratefully acknowledges the generous support of: Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, City of Toronto, Aboriginal Voices Radio, Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, Shadowland Theatre Inc., St. John Ambulance.

SHARING CIRCLES: Family Crafts; Information Tables; Visual Artists; Craft Vendors; Food Vendor, Traditional Teachings & Storytelling; Entertainers and Storytellers of the World.

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Want to help make this the best BUFFALO JUMP! yet?
at 416-535-7974
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Hilton Henhawke & Philomena Chechock-Henhawke
Members of Buffalo Jump Artists' Collective

Bloggers of Ontario Unite!

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