What would you do if someone came onto your land and started drilling for gold? It’s happening right now to the Western Shoshone people of Nevada.
When army and police violently dislodged Mayan protesters impeding the passage of a large piece of mining machinery, killing one person from Sipakapa, dislike for the Canadian mining company spread like wildfire in the indigenous communities of the area. The Canadian government and its embassy in Guatemala City downplayed the level of unrest and refused to issue a travel warning to permit the students to redeem their airline tickets. They had no choice but to fly to the Guatemalan capital and travel three days by chicken bus to a Change for Children project in Nicaragua. Canadians travelling to Guatemala prudently removed the Canadian flag from their backpacks to blend in with the “gringos.”
Academics are being assassinated, prisoners are being tortured, women are being murdered by their own families in so-called “honor killings,” and civilians continue to be cut down by rampant violence, the United Nations said today in a report painting a grim picture of life in Iraq.
A public talk by Dr. Riyadh Lafta of Baghdad’s Al-Mustansiriya University College scheduled for Friday, April 20, 2007 at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, in Vancouver, has been cancelled. American and British authorities denied him a visit visa. Alternative arrangements at the University of Washington (U of W) in Seattle have been made for a talk by Dr. Les Roberts, co-author with Dr. Lafta of a Lancet article on Iraqi deaths published in October 2006. The study estimated 654,965 persons have died as a consequence of the occupation. Of these, 601,027 have died from violence. The event in Vancouver was moderated by Dr. Tim Takaro, who is studying the rise in childhood cancer in Iraq with Dr. Lafta and researchers from the U of W.
Canadian banks and pension funds continue to finance the manufacture of cluster munitions, which maim and kill thousands of civilians, post-conflict.
April 25, 2007
Lisa Keenan’s column (“Reflecting on a life worthwhile”, 13 April) was hardly alone in offering feel-good fairy tales concerning why Canadian soldiers are in Afghanistan. Let’s not forget the unpleasant reality: the Canadian government announced that soldiers would go to Afghanistan in February 2003, shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Ret. Major-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie explained: “I don’t think that’s a coincidence.” It was a way of scoring Brownie points with the U.S. while being able to claim that we’re too busy with Afghanistan to participate in the Iraq war. MacKenzie went on to explain that there were more “geopolitical Brownie points” to be had by participating in the Iraq war – true, no doubt, but the government had to reckon with the strong public disapproval of the Iraq invasion.
So Canadian soldiers are being sacrificed in a hopeless counter-insurgency war so that some cowardly politicians can collect Brownie points from the boss in Washington. Not very inspiring, is it?
In collaboration with several Albertan, First Nations’ and national organizations, the Polaris Institute is helping to build a pan-Canadian campaign calling for a moratorium on expansion of the Alberta tar sands.
The Associated Press: Ecuador’s leftist president said Sunday the country has paid off its debt to the International Monetary Fund and will sever ties with the financial institution.
It took decades for evangelicals to infiltrate the military, but eventually fundamentalist theology adapted as its entry points the culture of authority, duty, and sacrifice in the armed forces.
Former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune is a free man. U.C. Hastings Prof. Roht-Arriaza stated that “the partnership between renowned Haitian attorneys…, human rights experts and willing law students has proven to be truly effective.”