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.
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.”
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.
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.
300,000 people displaced by the fighting in Sri Lanka are held by the government in de facto detention camps. They cannot leave the camps, where conditions are “appalling” according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Why the Tobique First Nation took control of their territory’s hydro dam
“CSIS harassed me and my family intensively,” Abdelrazik said, and even offered to help his wife pay for her cancer treatments if she shared information about her husband.
One month after touring Canada key Palestinian activist kidnapped by Israeli soldiers.
In June 2009 Mohammed Khatib traveled to Canada to testify in a historic lawsuit launched by Bil’in village against two Quebec-based companies, Green Park International and Green Mount International, both involved in constructing illegal Israeli-only settlements on the lands of the Palestinian village of Bil’in.
Mohammed’s trip to Canada included CUPW’s meeting in Memramcook, NB in June.
Malalai Joya, at 16 years old, started secret schools for young Afghan women. She was elected to Afghan Parliament by the overwhelming majority in her constituency. She was removed from parliament not by voters, but illegally by Karzai and others, because they did not like her positions. For example, they did not like her opposition to giving amnesty for war crimes commited over the past 30 years, saying, “You criminals are simply giving yourselves a get-out-of-jail free card.”
“Today, she fights for democracy outside parliament. But, she says, any Afghan democrat today is “trapped between two enemies. There are the occupation forces from the sky, dropping cluster bombs and depleted uranium, and on the ground there are the fundamentalist warlords and the Taliban, with their own guns.” She wants to help the swelling movement of ordinary Afghans in between, who are opposed to both. “With the withdrawal of one enemy, the occupation forces, it [will be] easier to fight against these internal fundamentalist enemies.”"
Armed Forces Day will coincide with New Brunswick Day festivities again this year in Fredericton. Children playing with weapons will be one of the government organized activities of the day.
The Fredericton Peace Coalition encourages all to attend an alternative unarmed family fun day happening on our provincial holiday, August 3, at Wilmot Park, from 1 pm to 4pm. The family fun day will include face painting, drumming, juggling, interactive activities for children, and literature for adults.
According to the Canadian International Development Agency, 45% of all victims of war are children. Referring to the NATO invasion of Afghanistan, UN Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy said, “children are bearing the brunt of this conflict and also experiencing physical and psychological trauma”.
Despite the attempts by the Department of National Defence to increase future enrollment in the military and to normalize war, opposition to Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan is decisive. The latest Ekos poll released on July 16 showed that 54% of Canadians oppose Canada’s military mission. The percentage of women opposed to the mission is even higher at 60%.
The Fredericton Peace Coalition notes that Armed Forces Day is only one example of how Fredericton has become increasingly militarized in the past few years. Mayor Brad Woodside has conferred the freedom of the city for the military again this year. Military recruitment is found throughout the city, on university campuses, in high schools and shopping malls and at cultural events.