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The Great Wall of Segregation…

…Which is the wall the current Iraqi government is building (with the support and guidance of the Americans). It’s a wall that is intended to separate and isolate what is now considered the largest ‘Sunni’ area in Baghdad- let no one say the Americans are not building anything. According to plans the Iraqi puppets and Americans cooked up, it will ‘protect’ A’adhamiya, a residential/mercantile area that the current Iraqi government and their death squads couldn’t empty of Sunnis.

Iraqi Oil Workers Address US Congress

Just as the New York Times reports on billions in missing Iraqi Oil (see below), Hasan Jum’a Awwad, Head of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, has urged Congress “not to link withdrawal with the oil law”:

Open Letter to: “The Members of the US Congress who Oppose the War on Iraq [and] Members of the European Parliaments who Oppose the War

Whose war is this?

New Brunswick is quite busy dealing with the self-sufficiency task force report these days; the sheer amount of coverage in the newspapers attests to this fact.

Still, the world is a bigger place.

As we all know, a number of New Brunswick soldiers are embroiled in battle in Afghanistan.

We, in New Brunswick, know of their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their family and friends. I was shocked to read in a newspaper that an American think-tank urges Canada not to withdraw.

Don’t we have think-tanks capable of “urging” our government to make decisions, one way or another, about Canadian men and women serving in Afghanistan?

Whose war is this anyway?

Rob Moir

Clifton Royal, N.B.

NATO muscle for oil majors

Al-Jazeera
May 14, 2007

NATO is considering deploying sea-borne rapid-reaction forces to help private oil firms such as BP, one of its senior officials has announced.

Jamie Shea, director of policy planning in the office of NATO’s secretary-general, said the proposal may mean sending NATO forces to Africa, Asia and the Middle East to protect oil companies’ facilities.

“In NATO, we are looking very actively at using our maritime resources,”  Shea told a conference in London on Monday. He said NATO wanted to “see how we can link up with oil companies”.

Shea said he had so far discussed the issue with Royal Dutch Shell and BP, respectively the world’s second- and third-largest Western oil companies by market value.

Security measures

While most oil companies already have substantial security measures, Shea said they were also keen to receive help with intelligence.

NATO is also in talks with Qatar about how it could help to secure the Gulf state’s large liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.

LNG is gas cooled to liquid and transported under pressure in tankers. LNG facilities are seen as a particular security risk because of the pressurised gas.
NATO is not yet in talks with Saudi Arabia but may be prepared to help there as well, Shea said.

CANADA OUT OF KANDAHAR! HANDS OFF HAITI!

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
CANADA OUT OF KANDAHAR! HANDS OFF HAITI!
Protest Governor General Official Visit
Tuesday, May 15, 10am-11am
Outdoors, N.B. Legislature, 706 Queen St
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
PROTEST DETAILS
-> The demonstration outside the N.B. Legislature begins at 10am.
-> Please join us at anytime between 10am and 11am.
-> Governor General Michaelle Jean, Commander-in-Chief of Canada’s Army, will be greeted by the Honourable Shawn Graham, Premier of New Brunswick, and Mrs. Roxanne Reeves at 10:30 am, Tuesday, May 15, outdoors of the N.B. Legislature. The welcoming ceremony will include a review of a guard of honour and a 21-gun salute.
-> Bring placards, banners and noisemakers.
-> Consider taking time off work/school to join us to protest Canada’s role in Afghanistan and Haiti.
WHY THE PROTEST?
-> The Governor General’s visit is part of an ongoing Canadian government campaign to sell the Afghan mission to the Canadian public. The Governor General has justified Canada’s role in Afghanistan and Haiti, despite amassing evidence of the enormous harm of Canada’s imperialist/U.S.-driven misadventures in these countries.
->The role of the Canadian military, government, corporations and development NGOs in Afghanistan and Haiti demands we take a stand and act in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and Haiti.
For more info, contact: info@frederictonpeace.org or visit: http://www.frederictonpeace.org

Blood Diamonds & Nickel

TUESDAY: *STORIES & SONGS BY SIERRA LEONE WAR SURVIVOR SAA ANDREW*
On Tuesday, May 15, at 7pm, at the UNB Art Centre, Memorial Hall, St. Thomas University student Andrew Gbongbor will tell his story of surviving Sierra Leone’s civil war. Saa Andrew will sing songs he has written about the war. He will show pictures of what diamonds mean for the people of Sierra Leone and other African countries. Sierra Leone is ranked the world’s poorest country by the UN Human Development Index. The Kono District has particularly high poverty levels but it has also produced billions of dollars worth of diamonds. In the past 15 years, an estimated 50,000 people in Sierra Leone, 500,000 Angolans and nearly 4 million people in the DRC have died from civil wars funded through the sale of conflict diamonds.  Child and slave labour is employed in the diamond trade of many nations while the majority of artisanal diamond miners live in poverty, making less than one dollar a day. Decades of diamond mining by rich multinational companies have devastated large tracts of land, poisoned local water, and forced indigenous populations from their lands.

FRIDAY: *GRAND OPENING OF PANZOS ART EXHIBIT WITH ARTIST MARLON GARCIA ARRIAGA*.
On Friday, May 18, at 7pm, in the Auditorium of Memorial Hall, UNB, Guatemalan Artist Marlon Garcia Arriaga will lead guests through the Panzos exhibit. The evening will include musical entertainment by Salvadorian performer Cesar Morales and an array of delectable snacks by Fredericton’s Guatemalan community. Panzos was the site of a horrific massacre on May 29, 1978, when indigenous villagers gathered to protest their land being expropriated for nickel mining by the Canadian-owned company, Inco. Ltd.  Through painting and photography, Marlon Garcia Arriaga has eloquently paid tribute to those who lost their lives standing up for their basic human rights and to the survivors who continue to stand at the forefront. The Panzos Art Exhibit is on display at the UNB Art Centre at Memorial Hall from May 1st  June 15th.

For more info, contact Judy Loo at 455-9068 or Tracy Glynn at tracy@jatam.org

Organized by the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network.

Last Security Certificate Prisoner Close to Death

May 8, 2007

Ottawa ­ Security Certificate detainee Hassan Almrei is in danger of dying from government neglect. Mr. Almrei has been on a hunger strike for 153 days having only juice. Any and all professionals state that there are few people that they know of that have gone beyond 170 days.
After the Supreme Court ruled that the Security Certificates are unconstitutional, Mr. Almrei remains the only detainee not yet released on strict house arrest.
Mr. Almrei’s actions on his own behalf, including his ongoing hunger strike, have been belittled and dismissed in public statements from Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Stockwell Day. His very reasonable demands for humane conditions at the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre (KIHC) have been almost entirely ignored.
The Justice for Mohamed Almrei Committee is calling on human rights and social justice allies across the country to hold demonstrations in support of a quick resolution of Hassan Almrei’s demands for humane treatment at KIHC, during the week of May 13 and the week of May 20.

Starting immediately PLEASE continually call, email, fax Stockwell Day, Stephen Harper and KIHC with the same message: resolve the hunger strike and appoint the Correctional Investigator.
ALSO contact any media you may have connections with.

Stockwell Day:

Phone: (613) 995-1702

Fax: (613) 995.1154

day.s@parl.gc.ca

communications@psepc.gc.ca

Call Stephen Harper with the same message: resolve the hunger strike, appoint the Correctional Investigator

Phone: (613) 992-4211

Fax: (613) 941-6900

pm@pm.gc.ca

CONTACT INFO. FOR KINGSTON IMMIGRATION HOLDING CENTRE:

Phone for Cindy Berry: (613) 351-8805

Direct line to Cathy Kench, Director, (613) 351-8812

Fax Number: (613) 351-8818 or (613) 351-8822

Thank you for your support:
on behalf of the Justice for Hassan Almrei Committee

THE DIRT ON BARRICK GOLD

Barrick Gold had lots to say about a CorpWatch report alleging widespread eco abuses by the T.O.-based mining giant. The company released a five-page rebuttal on its website (www.barrick.com). Still, a lot of questions are left unanswered. Here, we mine a few of the nastier nuggets.

Mining Company “philanthropy” – Rob from the poor to give to the rich

May 06, 2007
To: University of British Columbia
stephen.toope@ubc.ca; psmith@eos.ubc.ca; vision@exchange.ubc.ca;
presubc@interchange.ubc.ca
Dear President Toope, Prof. Smith, et al.,
As an ex-graduate student of UBC (MSc, 2002), under the supervision of Dr. Healey (a faculty member of EOS), I was irritated as I read with horror, the $5 million donation by Goldcorp (formerly Glamis gold) to the new Earth and Ocean Science Building.
I am unaware of any standards (environmental, human rights, etc.) that donors have to meet in order to pledge money to an institution, which claims to “hold an international reputation for excellence in advanced research and learning,” but I silently hope there is such a measure.
As a law student (at Osgoode Hall in Toronto) I learned about the work of Glamis Gold (now Goldcorp) in Guatemala and Honduras. Curiosity led me to Guatemala (including the mining site and the various communities) to see with my own eyes what was happening to the indigenous peoples and their lands. It was atrocious. Writing for my university newspaper, I commented that for the first time in my life, I was embarrassed to be a Canadian. In Guatemala, I learned of the deaths of innocent people by the gold mining giant Glamis on indigenous lands. I learned of the tension created within communities by the gold mining giant Glamis, still fragile after a 36-year civil war. I learned of the lies, the bribes, the illegality of their “tricks” to win the hearts of communities. People in Honduras are dying from the environmental disaster that Glamis Gold has left behind. The people of Guatemala will soon experience this same “legacy.”
As a law student interested in indigenous people and their rights, interestingly a product of having studied Pacific salmon migration on a reserve while at UBC, I am embarrassed that UBC (EOS) has accepted this donation from a gold mining giant that has continuously violated the rights of indigenous peoples, and together with the Guatemalan government, has
violated international law. As a Canadian law student, I have also been proud to learn of the many progressive laws that Canada has developed in order to protect indigenous peoples and their rights (in Canada). But it is embarrassing and depressing to see that these “developments” only appear in print form, and in our libraries.
The vision under Trek2010 states, “The University of British Columbia, aspiring to be one of the world’s best universities, will prepare students to become exceptional global citizens, promote the values of a civil and sustainable society, and conduct outstanding research to serve the people of British Columbia, Canada, and the world” (UBC website). Unless EOS has separated itself from UBC, I do not see how accepting a $5 million donation from Goldcorp, a company that has killed, that has violated international and domestic laws, that has encroached indigenous lands, that has displaced thousands of innocent people, that has bribed authorities, that has deprived communities of water and other basic rights, can possibly promote the “values of civil and sustainable society.”
While I understand that donations are important for the new EOS building, I urge you to read the hundreds of documents, reports, etc. that have been written about Glamis Gold (Goldcorp) (or visit Guatemala), in order to better understand where this donation is actually coming from.
Sincerely,
Ladan Mehranvar
LadanMehranvar@osgoode.yorku.ca

U.S.-led raid kills 40 civilians in Afghanistan: witnesses

At least 40 civilians were killed in an air strike in Afghanistan by foreign forces, witnesses said on Thursday

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