The head of the UN mission to Haiti has publicly acknowledged international peacekeepers carrying out anti-kidnapping raids into the poorest parts of the city have to do more to avoid civilian casualties. His comments come after a series of raids in the capital, Port-au-Prince, in which witnesses said a number of innocent bystanders were either killed or wounded by peacekeepers.
February 2, 2007
An open letter to the women of Fredericton:
Every other Friday I stand with Women in Black and various members of the Fredericton Peace Coalition,in front of Fredericton City Hall. We stand in vigil for the victims of war and all forms of violence that are so prevelant in our world.
Lately we have been asked why we do not support our troops in Afghanistan. We are opposed to this war and our involvement in it,this does not mean, however, we do not support the men and women who find themselves having to fight. We are very supportive of them, we want them home, with their families alive and well, not coming home wounded or in body bags. We want them to be able to contribute to a world where violence is a thing of the past, something we
remember with shame.
Our government has involved us in this war, making it appear that by being there we are improving life for the people of Afghanistan and defending our way of life. However if one reads information from groups within Afghanistan such as RAWA ( www.rawa.org), international groups such as Amnesty International (www.amnesty.ca), the United Nations and Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org) you quickly realise that we have not made life in Afghanistan substantially better for the people there, especially the women. Over 60% of the widows in Kabul believe that suicide is their only option. Last year there were over 50 reported deaths of women who set fire to themselves rather than continue to live under the conditions that exist in Afghanistan. The news that we receive paints a completely different picture than the reality of life in Afghanistan.
As to the arguement that by fighting in Afghanistan we are defending our rights here at home, I cannot see the logic in this arguement. How come there are only two options, fight or lose our rights? Surely there are other options than those? And who decided that if we refrained from going to war that we would lose our rights? If this war is to stop terrorism and therefore protect our country and its people then it is failing miserably. The incidents of terrorism around the world have escalated since the invasion of Afghanistan and Irag. We are now more in danger than we ever were
from “terrorists”. It has been said that for every “terrorist” or “insurgent” killed, another 15 takes his place. At this rate
Afghanistan is a war that we will never win and that will increasingly put our soldiers and ourselves in jeopardy.
I believe that a clear policy of non violence on our part is essential for solving the problems of Afghanistan. That what is
needed is not more soldiers, bullets and tanks but help for the people of Afghanistan to establish dialogue between the various interest groups within their own country. I believe that the women of Afghanistan need to be given the opportunity to play a much more important role in the rebuilding of their country. Peace will not happen as long as there is a war mentality directing the action or as long as the warlords are seen as allies in the fight against the Taliban. According to the Senlis Council there has been a 600% increase in violent attacks in the last six months in southern
Afghanistan. This is where our men and women are going.
I would like to see the women of Fredericton who believe that violence is not an answer to the worlds problems, and involving our country in this war is an act of violence, stand up and have their voices heard. Speak out; write to our politicians and the newspapers; involve yourselves in the various groups working for peace that exist in this community. And if you are able to, come and join us standing in vigil for the victims of this violence, those innocents who have no voice, who have no say in what happens in their lives. Do not let those in power or those whose business is war ignore your voice.
Our next vigil is February 9th noon to 1pm in front of City Hall. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The media and the 2004 Haiti coup
On January 30, the Haiti Solidarity Movement in Canada and the U.S. and the Haitian people won a victory as Jean Candio was permitted to make his refugee claim, despite all the attempts by the U.S. and Canadian governments to stop him.
African governments are gearing up to seize back valuable mining concessions from the global extractive giants.
A paramilitary leader confesses
FOR the victims of the violence of Colombia’s paramilitary militias, hearing their tormentors confess is painful, potentially liberating—and unprecedented. For those among the country’s politicians, military officers and officials who worked hand-in-glove with the outlaw groups, the revelations could land them in jail.
Though new technology may promise bloodless wars followed by peace, one man who lived nearby a bunker hit by a smart bomb, Hussein Abdallah, says this is impossible: “In every war there are civilian casualties, they will throw rockets, not stones. Always, innocent people will die.”
“NSP has a moral obligation to look at the real price of its profits,” group representative Yvette Michaud told the Utility and Review Board. “As a loyal customer of coal from Cerrejon, it should express its strong objection to the tactics used in the continued operation and expansion of the mine in Columbia.”
Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada
A new law passed Wednesday will allow the Israeli government to revoke the citizenship of citizens considered unpatriotic to the Jewish state of Israel. The law is expected to be applied especially to the 20% of Israeli citizens who are of Palestinian origin.