The November 19 New York Times announces, “Baghdad’s Weary Start to Exhale as Security Improves.” The Washington Post on November 23 reports, “Returnees Find a Capital Transformed.” People in the US are willing to believe the establishment media telling them that refugees are returning to their homes in Baghdad in an environment of improved security and new hope. It is true that there have been fewer American soldiers killed in Baghdad and the number of Iraqis fleeing to Syria has declined. However, this relatively quieter security situation needs to be placed in its proper context, something the Western media steadfastly refuses to do.
Read an article on the background of Laibar Singh’s case and get the correct facts not disclosed in mainstream media outlets despite numerous attempts through press releases and letters to the editor to correct their information.
A top military commander says in a sworn affidavit Canadian troops would have to quit fighting the Taliban if they could not hand prisoners over to Afghan authorities. Listing a long series of possible embarrassments and defeats, Brigadier-General André Deschamps outlined what he says would be the dire consequences, including losing the war, should a Federal Court judge rule in favour of a request by human-rights groups to issue an injunction banning the transfer of detainees to Afghan prisons because of the risk of torture or abuse. “It strikes me as being unduly alarmist,” said Alex Neve, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada, which along with the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, is seeking a halt to detainee transfers. Mr. Neve said the government seems to have taken an “all or nothing” position by asserting that a ban on transfers “would be so onerous that it would lead to the collapse of the entire mission.”
The Alberta government said Tuesday it ordered Suncor Energy Inc to come up with a plan to cut emissions of deadly hydrogen sulfide at its oil sands operations after several reports of high concentrations this year.
Children’s author, Sean Taylor, was announced today as the Gold Medal Winner of the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize, under-5 category, for his book When a Monster is Born illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Orchard Books). In an open letter Mr. Taylor indicated that he would not accept the prize money for the award which is sponsored by Nestlé.
Police in West Papua are killing, torturing and intimidating the province’s tribal people with impunity. Police shot dead two Papuan women and injured another as they protested on 5 December near the British and American-owned Freeport mine.
The Housing Not War Declaration
I/we support the demand that the federal government implement a Housing Not War strategy. Canada is at war in Afghanistan. Homelessness remains a national disaster in Canada. Canadian troops should come home, and funding directed towards war and militarism should go towards housing and other peaceful purposes.
As homelessness worsens in Canada, the federal government can no longer justify spending untold billions of dollars on war. We call for the 1% solution – an additional 1% of the federal budget to be allocated towards social housing. This would bring spending to $4 billion per year.
Sierra Leone ordered the country’s biggest diamond mine to suspend operations on Friday pending an investigation into riots in which two people died and several were hospitalised in the eastern mining town of Koidu. Police used tear gas and live bullets to disperse more than 400 protesters who looted equipment and destroyed a generator at mining company Koidu Holdings’ concession on Thursday.
* Koidu Holdings is owned by Energem, a company registered in Vancouver.
Urge Guatemalan authorities to Investigate the Murder of Community Leader Felipe Alvarez and Bring the Perpetrators to Justice!
Felipe Alvarez, a COCODES community leader in Microparcelamiento El Naranjo in Esquintla, was murdered in the early morning of Saturday, December 8, 2007. Felipe left home to go work on his farm. Hours later his body was found by police. Felipe had been shot once in the head and three times in the back. GHRC believes that this murder is directly related to COCODES’ efforts to improve public security in their community.
From Jackie McVicar:
Just wanted to give an update about the trial of the “Goldcorp 7″, the seven campesinos charged by Goldcorp of:
minor injuries, accused of hitting a security guard with a rock, threats, accused of making a death threat against a mine worker,
coercion, accused of forcing mine workers to remain inside the Goldcorp mine installations during the 12 peaceful protest, January 2007, instigation to delinquency, accused of instigating his neighbors to protest against the mine and block the road into the mine,
On Tuesday, December 12, with a full court room and 20 military officials and 10 police offers standing outside, the three judge tribunal in San Marcos released their sentence:
Five of the seven, Antonio Felipe Bamaca Hernández, René Pérez Velázquez, Cristóbal Eduardo Pérez Hernández, Pedro Alejandro de León Castañón and Patrocinio Vicente López Hernández have been acquitted of all charges and Fernando Basilio Perez and Francisco Salomon Bamaca were given two years probation and a 3650 Quetzal fine (around $500): a far cry from the 4-11 years of jail time that Goldcorp asked for and the 2 million Quetzal compensation for damages also charged. In addition, the Rigoberta Menchu Legal Foundation that is representing Fernando and Francisco have vowed to appeal the case, confident that the appeal will prove the two innocent of all charges. John William Noyse, the Canadian man who is head of security for the Marlin Mine, and star witness for Goldcorp, left the room emotionless and not willing to comment.
Tomorrow, I will attend the press conference and send more details of how we can continue to support communities in resistence and espcially Francisco and Fernando as their case goes forward, and be sure to communicate this with you all. They all wanted me to express their sincere thanks for your support, especially the notes that were sent of encouragement and the people and organizations that signed on to the Urgent Action. I definitely think it had an impact at a number of levels. One of the accused, Pedro, said to me, “All of these people signed on…to support us?” . He was beaming ear to ear when I confirmed that there are hundreds of people, and national and international organisations that are behind them in this great struggle for justice. In an attempt to silence community leaders and squash the mining resistence movement in the Guatemalan highlands, even a powerful mining company couldn’t buy the truth. Guatemala never seems to surprise me…