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War is Just a Racket: Take a Stand; Dismantle the War Machine; Demilitarize the World!

The weapons industry led by the so-called Military-Industrial Complex in the United States and the “Big Money” racketeers that own or control them are the largest and the most powerful terrorist organization in the world. In the last two generations alone, their nefarious weapons have killed more people than were ever slaughtered in the previous 5,700 years.

Made in Canada Violence: Mining in Mexico

The history of mining in Mexico is a long one. The riches of the Mexican sub-soil were a major motivation for Spanish colonizers and the mining industry is often accorded an important place in events leading to the Mexican Revolution; the 1906 bloody repression of striking miners working for U.S. Cananean Consolidated Copper in Sonora is often cited as a precursor to current labor struggles in Mexico. The authors of the Mexican Revolution sought to make a reality of the ideal that those who work the land should have control over it. In order to protect its land from foreign interests, Article 27 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution dictated that the land, the subsoil and its riches were all property of the Mexican State. More importantly, Article 27 recognized the lasting collective right of communities to land through the “ejido” system and limited private land ownership.

Venezuela takes over refineries

From Oilwatch
*Venezuela has said that it has taken control of the massive Orinoco Belt oil projects as part of President Hugo Chavez’s nationalisation drive.*
Many of the world’s biggest oil companies agreed to transfer operational control to the government.
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales said his country’s takeover of gas fields one year ago had been “a blessing”.
Mr Chavez has also said he wants to pull Venezuela out of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The president said he had ordered Finance Minister Rodrigo Cabezas to begin formal proceedings to withdraw from the two international bodies.
President Chavez has spoken of his ambition to set up what he calls a Bank of the South, backed by Venezuelan oil revenues, which would finance projects in South America.
Four projects taken over in the Orinoco Belt – which can refine about 600,000 barrels of crude oil a day – reverted to state control at midnight local time.
Mr Chavez told cheering workers that foreign oil companies had damaged Venezuela’s national interests and that reclaiming them represented an historic victory.
“This is the true nationalisation of our natural resources,” the president said during a ceremony at the Jose Oil processing plant.
“Today we are closing a perverse cycle.”
State oil company PDVSA will control at least 60% of the projects, which have been ceded by ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, Statoil and Total.
Negotiations are continuing about continuing shareholdings and the possibility of compensation for the refineries.
Venezuela has only considered agreements based on the book value of the projects rather than their much larger current net worth.
Mr Ramirez has said that there may not be compensation at all in some cases.
*More surprises*
Meanwhile, in Bolivia, the state energy company YPFB said that it would take control of producing and marketing oil and natural gas in the country.
It comes a year after Bolivian President Evo Morales, in his May Day address, shocked international investors by seizing control of the energy industry.
In this year’s May Day address, Mr Morales promised to take greater control of the economy from foreign companies.
“If we really want to live in a dignified Bolivia then we must take the path of anti-imperialism, anti-liberalism and anti-colonialism my friends,” he said.
The government had hoped to finish nationalising the telecoms industry by May Day, but talks with Telecom Italia – which owns half of the biggest telecoms company – are currently stalled.
Telecom Italia said last week that it was considering seeking international arbitration over the sale of Entel after Bolivia issued two decrees aimed at renationalising the company.
To the north, in Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega led a May Day march through the capital, Managua.
Mr Ortega returned to power earlier this year. In the 1980s and 1990s his Sandinista government fought US-funded Contra rebels.
On Sunday, he said he was negotiating with the IMF “to leave the Fund” and that he hoped to “get out of the prison” of IMF debt.
Orinoco belt
*Oil projects and companies in affected fields*
*1.* Sincor (PDVSA*, Total, Statoil); Petrozuata (PDVSA, Conoco Phillips)
*2.* Ameriven (PDVSA, Conoco Phillips, Chevron Texaco)
*3.* Cerro Negro (PDVSA, Exxon Mobil, BP)
*PDVSA is Venezuela’s state-owned oil company

Colombian Prosecutor Probing U.S. Firms

Colombia’s chief prosecutor stood between the white plastic-sheathed remains of two dismembered teenage sisters. On the rust-colored dirt around him lay remains of nearly 60 newly unearthed victims of paramilitary death squads.

Researchers ‘shocked’ at Agent Orange contamination in Vietnam

The dangerous herbicide Agent Orange is still contaminating soil and fish in Vietnam at an alarming rate, a Canadian environmental firm has found.

May Day Press Release from Colombian Coal Miners’ Union

This press release comes from the mine workers’ union at the Cerrejon coal mine where Colombian coal is mined then shipped and consumed in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the States.


Personería Jurídica No. 000109 del 18 de enero de 1996

PRESS RELEASE No.DPP055 –010507 



May 1 commemorates International Workers Day, in homage to the martyrs of Chicago who, 121 years ago in 1886, struggled heroically against capitalist exploitation and to achieve the dream that all workers in the world should have a humane work-day.  Through their struggle they succeeded in establishing the norm of 8 hours of work, 8 hours of study, and 8 hours of rest.  However, the response of the U.S. bourgeoisie was total, cruel and savage repression against the movement’s leaders, who were condemned to death by hanging.

All of us, and all of our families, have the obligation to march on that day, not only to pay posthumous homage to the Martyrs of Chicago, but also to protest the servile policies of the Uribe government.  Its policies benefit the multinationals, the North Americans, and a few Colombians who choose to collaborate and to take advantage of the situation.

Uribe’s fascist government is taking away the few rights that we had enshrined in the Constitution that created our Social State of Law, to impose instead his policies of “democratic” security.  Under this mantle, the state absolves itself of all responsibilities, and Colombian citizens have to live under the law of the jungle.  Everyone must individually protect their safety and rights, and defend themselves as best they can.

We Colombians must understand that we have to mobilize against the paramilitaries, in the country as a whole and in our city.  We must mobilize against budget cuts that undermine education, health, and basic sanitation.  We must protest the Free Trade Agreement and the undermining of the laws protecting our pensions and the just investment of the royalties paid by the multinationals.  We must protest the multinationals’ policies that destroy the cultural patrimony of the Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities surrounding the Cerrejón coal complex.

For all of these reasons, Sintracarbón invites all workers, contracted workers, and community members, social, popular, peasant, indigenous, student, and other organizations, to turn out on May Day in all the towns of the Guajira, along with their families.



Canadian child in the dock at Guantanamo show trials

While mistreatment of Afghan detainees has made the news this week, a Toronto-born Canadian is about to be put on trial by a U.S. military kangaroo court at the notorious Guantanamo prison camp for “crimes” he committed as an “illegal combatant” between the ages of 10 and 15.

RAWA Marks the Anniversary of Fundamentalist Rule in Kabul with Protests in Islamabad

View the protest photos and video clip at the link above.

Tuesdays in May *Panzós Exhibit Events*

Panzós: 25 years later… is a breathtaking exhibit featuring original painting, descriptive banners, and portrait, journalistic and forensic photography by Guatemalan artist Marlón García Arriaga. The exhibit centers around the lives, opinions and actions of the survivors of the Panzós massacre -especially the women survivors, who have been at the forefront of the resistance. The story vividly told through the exhibit is a story that all Canadians must experience, feel and understand. This is the hope of the artist who says he is searching for Canadian conscience in a Guatemalan genocide.

The Maritime tour opens at the University of New Brunswick Art Gallery, Memorial Hall, on May 1 at 7 pm. Exciting weekly educational and social events featuring the artist, guest speakers and film screenings will be held at the Gallery throughout the month of May.
TUESDAY, MAY 1- 7:00
Opening of the Panzós exhibit. Speakers: Marie Maltaise – Welcome; Judy Loo with the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network on the Mining the Connections Campaign; Tracy Glynn with the Mining Advocacy Network ( and Mines and Communities ( on the growing resistance to mining abuses. Film screening of Sipakapa No Se Vende/Sipakapa is Not for Sale (60 min, Sipakapa No Se Vende tells the story of the Maya people of the Sipakapa region of Guatemala resisting a Canadian-owned gold mine development. This event is held in conjunction with a week long global days of action against Barrick Gold, and Goldcorp, the Canadian gold mining company that now owns the gold mine in the Sipakapa region.
TUESDAY, MAY 8- 7:00
ALCAN’T in India. Film screening of U.A.I.L. Go Back (22 min.) and Alcan’t in India ((10 min.). U.A.I.L. Go Back features members of an indigenous community in India opposed to a proposed mining project backed in part by Montreal-based ALCAN. The project has exposed villagers to the brutality of corporate globalization as they continue to resist despite severe police repression including the murder of three local activists. Alcan’t in India tells the story of activists confronting Alcan’s shareholders in Montreal. For more info:
TUESDAY, MAY 15- 7:00
Blood Diamonds and Sierra Leone. With Andrew Gbongbor from a conflict diamond region of Sierra Leone. “The conflict – begun by rebels who claimed to be ridding the mines of foreign control – killed 50,000 people, forced millions to flee their homes, destroyed the country’s economy and shocked the world with its images of amputated limbs and drug-addled boy
soldiers. An international regulatory system created after the war has prevented diamonds from fueling conflicts and financing terrorist networks. Even so, diamond mining in Sierra Leone remains a grim business that brings the government far too little revenue to right the devastated country, yet feeds off the desperation of some of the world’s poorest
people..”-New York Times, March 25, 2007.
An evening with the Artist. Marlon Garcia Arriaga, will lead guests through the exhibit. Musical entertainment by Cesar Morales. With Guatemalan snacks. This event will be held in the Auditorium.
TUESDAY, MAY 22, 7:00.
Stopping Mining Abuses At Home and Abroad. Special guest speakers Joan Kuyek with MiningWatch Canada, Aviva Chomsky with the North Shore Colombia Solidarity Committee in Salem, Massachusetts and Inka Milewski, science advisor with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Canadian mining companies have earned a reputation abroad and at home for human rights abuses and environmental crimes. Approximately 16% of New Brunswick’s electricity is generated from Colombian coal that is associated with such abuses as forced displacements, violence and increased poverty and sickness. This coal is burned in what is known as the industrial sacrifice zone of Belledune, New Brunswick. For more information on Colombian coal, visit: For more information on Belledune, visit:
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 7:00
The 29th anniversary of the Panzós massacre. The artist, Marlon Garcia Arriaga, Guatemalan painter and forensic photographer, will speak on his life s work and the exhibit. He will explain the events that led him to focus on scenes of the destruction caused by mining conflicts, as well as the present day context in Guatemala where indigenous people still struggle against the destruction of their land and livelihoods by foreign-owned mining companies.
Information from several organizations concerned about Canadian mining at home and overseas will be available at the UNB Gallery for the public to take away and digest during the exhibition period. These organizations include the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network, Development & Peace’s Canadian Mining Called to Account campaign, the Presbytery Church in Action Committee, CUSO and its partners supporting communities affected by Canadian mining in Indonesia, Thailand, and Peru, Mining Watch Canada, the Halifax Initiative, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, the Fredericton Social Network, Fredericton Peace Coalition, and others.
Panzós, Guatemala, May 29, 1978 – 800 Mayans from the village of Panzós gather in the town square to protest their land, homes and crops being expropriated for a nickel mining project owned by the Canadian company, Inco Ltd. Mama Maquin, a Panzós woman, leads the march into the town square with her daughter, grandson and granddaughter. The Mayor addresses the crowd and gives a signal to the military that have surrounded the square. The military open fire. Thirty-five people are executed in the square. Eighteen others drown in the Polochic River trying to escape. In total, 53 people lose their life including Mama Maquin, her daughter and grandson. Only her granddaughter survives.
Marlón García Arriaga, Guatemalan painter and photographer, was ten years old when the sad news of the Panzós massacre reached his classroom. In the year that followed the massacre, his teachers filled the classrooms walls with newspaper clippings that expressed the opinions and deep frustrations of adult Guatemalans on the massacre and the shift in Guatemalan army had begun to obey national and international interests and had reached the ominous decision to initiate a series of actions leading to genocide, with 1978 through the early 1980s being the dimmest of those years. In 1997, with his feet inside of the mass grave that held the bodies of the Panzós massacre, alongside the women of FAMDEGUA (Association of Relatives of the Disappeared and Detained of Guatemala), he made the decision to create an
exposition of his paintings inspired by such moments, testimonies of survivors, newspaper clippings from the time of the war, photos from historical archives, and testimonies of intellectuals and activists who have confronted the power of the Guatemalan state and the Canadian mining company, Inco.
“To the women and men of Canada: My life and the lives of all Guatemalans have an undeniable historical link with yours. Together, our histories make one history, but with two distinct faces. We are two peoples implicated in one genocide; with two distinct perspectives of the opportunity to be human.” – Marlón García Arriaga.
The Maritime tour of the exhibit is coordinated by the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network and is linked to the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network s Mining the Connections Campaign ( For more information, contact Judy Loo at 455-9068 or Tracy Glynn at 458-8747,

The Empire’s “Good Cop”: Canada’s New Counter-Insurgency Doctrine

Reading the recent draft publication of the Canadian Forces’ first-ever Counter-Insurgency (COIN) manual, I could not help but draw comparisons between the police-state-like mentality which characterizes the document, and the invasive nature of Western medicine, which tends to surgically remove or symptomatically treat diseases without showing much concern for the root causes of the ailment.