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Ignoring the Afghan Dead

You’d have to make a desperate effort not to know that Michael Jackson (until recently excoriated by the media) had died, and you’d have to make a similarly desperate effort to know that we’ve knocked off one wedding party after another these last years in Afghanistan. One of these deaths — Jackson’s — really has little to do with us; the others are, or should be, our responsibility…

Canada and Honduras

Yves Engler: Hostility to the military coup in Honduras is increasing. So is the Harper government’s isolation on the issue.

Adil Charkaoui’s visit to Fredericton

Adil Charkaoui speaking in Fredericton

Adil Charkaoui speaking in Fredericton

Adil Charkaoui, one of the men held on security certificates, spoke in Fredericton on Tuesday, June 2. The talk was hosted by the Fredericton Peace Coalition. Adil’s public lecture at Renaissance College began at 7:00 pm. Dave Steele, who introduced Adil, opened with news that the N.B. Federation of Labour had just passed a resolution condemning security certificates at their convention. Adil told his story to a crowd of approximately 30 people. The audience was clearly moved by Adil’s story and took postcards to send to their MPs. The postcards called for an end to security certificates. T-shirts were sold and materials were taken from the table. Adil’s talk was recorded for the campus radio station CHSR. Earlier in the day, Adil did an interview on the local CBC morning show.

On Wednesday, June 3, Adil began the day with a presentation in Marc Gionet’s human rights course at St. Thomas University. A brown bag luncheon with approximately 10 professors was arranged by criminology professor Josephine Savarese. Adil then gave a presentation in Professor Robin Vose’s history class before heading to the airport mid-afternoon.

Unfortunately, Adil’s flight was turned around en route to Montreal. Adil was told that his GPS unit ws not working and that Canadian Border Services Agency personnel would have to accompany him until the GPS unit was working again. Adil made it home safe and sound one day after originally planned. The Fredericton Peace Coalition supports Adil’s calls for an inquiry into why his flight was turned around. Adil is on cross-country speaking tour and has had no problems flying to Halifax and Vancouver.

Canadian government weakening position of the international community in Honduras

In the OAS, Peter Kent, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Americas, is insisting this is not a simple one-sided problem, “that Mr. Zelaya was a highly polarizing figure who clashed with the Supreme Court, Congress and army. “There has to be an appreciation of the events that led up to the coup.””
This equivocal position of the Canadian government must be rejected. There is and can be no justification for the Honduran military coup and militarization of the country.

Zelaya’s jet blocked in Honduras

At 3pm on Sunday, Honduran soldiers opened fire on an unarmed crowd — at least 2 are dead and 4 wounded.

Zelaya flies to Honduras despite no-landing orders

Thousands of protesters descended Honduras’ main airport ahead of Sunday’s showdown. Police helicopters hover overhead, and soldiers are standing guard.

El Salvador: anti-mining organizer missing, foul play suspected

Social organizations in El Salvador have denounced the disappearance of Gustavo Marcelo Rivera, a well-known anti-mining leader from the town of San Isidro, Cabañas department. Rivera is a local leader of the FMLN, the director of the San Isidro Community Center, and the legal representative of Amigos de San Isidro Cabañas (ASIC). He is a vocal opponent of El Dorado gold mine, a project of the Canadian-owned mining company – Pacific Rim. The project has been stalled due to disputes over permits. Pacific Rim recently sued El Salvador for $77 million under the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) after the government refused to grant a permit to open the mine.

Gaza Aid Boat Passengers Still in Israeli Custody

Most members of a group of foreign peace activists seized at sea by the Israeli navy remained in custody Friday, three days after their failed attempt to run Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, relatives and supporters said.

Abousfian Abdelrazik Returns Home to Montreal

Abousfian returned home to Montreal last Saturday around midnight after a six-year forced exile in Sudan, where he experienced torture, imprisonment without trial, and over one year trapped in the Canadian embassy. All with the involvement of Canadian officials.

Disputed Property Sale in Guatemala

Canada’s Goldcorp negotiate land deals with military force