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Light a Candle for Baluchistan: Baluch protest exploitation of Barrick Gold

Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest geographic province and is home to the Baluch people, a tribal people who are indigenous to the region. There has been a longstanding struggle in this region for greater autonomy and independence, alongside a history of repression and exploitation of natural resources. A man who is on the council of the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was part of an alleged racket in cahoots with a Toronto-based international gold giant that has reportedly resulted in billions of dollars of losses to Baluchistan.

Palestinian Organizer Imprisoned after Tour of Canada

In recent weeks Israel’s military has been carrying out night raids on Bil’in, targeting members of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements with arrest. Among those arrested was Mohammad Khatib, a member of the Committee.

Death of Curtis Brick Sparks Outrage in Vancouver

Curtis Brick died not more than a 100 yards from the Grandview-Woodland policing Centre. The local Aboriginal community has organized a gathering at Grandview Park, “to mourn his death, bring awareness about his death and to hold everyone accountable that should have helped and treated Curtis Brick with the respect that he and all Aboriginal people deserve”.

Afghanistan passes ‘barbaric’ law diminishing women’s rights

Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review. The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work. “It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying ‘blood money’ to a girl who was injured when he raped her,” the US charity Human Rights Watch said ( . . . )

N.B. Day was a showcase for death and destruction

Letter to the Editor
August 13, 2009

The New Brunswick Day festivities at Government House were once again hijacked by the army, which used the day’s celebrations as an opportunity for recruitment and public relations.

The Gleaner offers a cheerful account of children scrambling through Leopard tanks and air defense anti-tank systems, “hopping on and off” helicopters, and admiring the “emerald-green” barrel of a Howitzer.

I wonder if they were informed that the victims of these killing machines are often children just like them.

It is bad enough that our media and popular culture are saturated with words and images that sanitize and romanticize the violence of war.

It is bad enough that the military is allowed to mislead and beguile our children on television and in high schools, universities and shopping malls.

Now New Brunswick Day is conflated with Armed Forces Day, and the residence of our lieutenant-governor, a man who has devoted his life to creativity, is made a showcase for instruments of death and destruction.

War ought to be the ultimate taboo, like cannibalism or child molestation. How sad that we continue to justify and glorify, and so perpetuate this atrocity to our children.

Peel away the flashy technology, the snappy uniforms, the macho camaraderie, the medals and bagpipes and marching bands, the thin sham of humanitarianism, and the icy professionalism that wants to make killing just part of the job, and you have war as it ever was and ever will be: unmitigated waste, brutality and murder – pure and simple.

Jeffrey Brown

The Coup in Honduras, ALBA, and the English-Speaking Caribbean

Faiz Ahmed: The coup against Zelaya, the utterly illegal removal of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide five and a half years before that, and the short-lived coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez two years before that all show that international capitalism cannot tolerate any domestic agenda which includes an objective of self-sufficiency. Added to this intolerance is capitalism’s long-standing fear of the threat of a good example.

Gold, impunity, violence in El Salvador

Video from the Real News — A 37-year-old teacher, community center founder, and anti-mining activist is found tortured and assassinated in Northern El Salvador. Authorities, despite all evidence to the contrary, attribute the death to common gang violence. In the following weeks, other critics of mining are victims of death threats, attempted kidnappings and shootings. Communities plunged into fear not seen since the Civil War of the 1980s place the blame on the presence of Pacific Rim, a Canadian gold mining company.

Anthony Fenton on worthy and unworthy victims

Two years ago today, one of Haiti’s most tireless and well-known political and human rights activists, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, was kidnapped. He has not been seen since and has presumably been killed; for now, he remains ‘disappeared,’ both literally and figuratively – his body has yet to surface, and the media and the self described ‘friends of Haiti’ (Canada, France, the U.S.) refuse to report on or press for an investigation into his abduction. Chomsky and Herman defined the dynamic of ‘worthy and unworthy victims’ in their still-relevant, standard-bearing tome, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media: “A propaganda system will consistently portray people abused in enemy states as worthy victims, whereas those treated with equal or greater severity by its own government or clients will be unworthy.”

Chomsky: UN Address on R2P

The discussions about Responsibility to Protect (R2P), or its cousin “humanitarian intervention,” are regularly disturbed by the rattling of a skeleton in the closet: history, to the present moment.

Video: El Salvador: The Mysterious Death of Marcelo Rivera

On June 18 Gustavo Marcelo Rivera, a community leader and anti-mining activist, whose most recent work targeted a controversial and widely unpopular gold mine project proposed by Canada’s Pacific Rim, was disappeared. Less than two weeks later his corpse was found at the bottom of a 60-foot-well, while an autopsy later revealed he was strangled to death and tortured.