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Terror for the Benefit of Transnational Mining Companies

At the same time, transnational companies are entering into our lands as if it was their own property, taking advantage of the terror to which our people are subjected because of the continuous state of war in which our communities are living. In the late afternoon of June 23rd in the Delicias Reserve, 12 people identifying themselves as employees of Cosigo Resources Limited – a Canadian mining company – were surveying the caves in Mirasoles, near Cerro Catalina.

Killing of local boy at Barrick Gold Porgera mine creates crisis

The shooting of a young boy at Barrick Gold’s Porgeran copper gold operation has ignited the frustrations and outrage of local community groups and landowners around the mine site in the remote Engan province of Papua New Guinea. The Porgera landowner association and other community organisations have been calling for relocation for several years due to the loss of sustainable livelihoods, the polluted and dangerous living conditions faced by their people and a range of human rights abuses including extrajudicial executions, rape and assault by company’s security personnel.

Support Guatemalan communities resisting mining

Indigenous communities all over Guatemala are fighting to protect their territories from harmful industries, including Canadian mining companies, that pollute the environment and threaten their livelihoods. Send a letter to the Guatemalan president at this website.

Letter from Bil’in’s Popular Committee

As you may already know, the village of Bil’in recently announced the launch of an unprecedented legal action against two Canadian companies, Green Park International Inc. and Green Mount International Inc., charging them with war crimes. The case has been filed in the Quebec Superior Court in Montreal, Canada.

Bil’in charges that these companies have violated both international law and Canadian domestic law by acting as agents of Israel, illegally constructing residences and other buildings in the West Bank, a territory internationally recognized as illegally occupied due to an act of war in 1967. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, an occupying power may not transfer its civilian population into territory that it has occupied as a result of war. Canada has similar prohibitions under its Canadian Geneva Conventions Act and its Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Moreover, the Canadian statutes have jurisdiction over all its citizens everywhere, regardless of where in the world the offence has been committed.

Bil’in is seeking an immediate Order from the Canadian Supreme Court that these companies halt their illegal construction and provide punitive damages and other relief to the village. Upon obtaining such an Order in Canada, Bil’in intends to petition the Israeli Court to enforce the Canadian Court Order in Israel and the West Bank.

This landmark court case aims to bring international companies active in illegal settlement construction to justice. Bil’in’s case is strong, and the lawsuit will foreground the political issue of settlement colonialism as well as the legal responsibility of perpetrators abroad, regardless of the case’s actual outcome. However, if the outcome of the case is positive, other companies in other countries could be dealt with in a similar manner.

Greenpeace protest targets Syncrude oil sands mine

Greenpeace protesters targeted a waste-water pipe at a Syncrude Canada Ltd oil sands project on Thursday, demanding a halt to rising crude production in the region, which they say is devastating the environment.

Warlords gang-rape 12-year-old girl, her family threatens to commit mass suicide if justice is not done

A 12-year old schoolgirl was gang-raped by five gunmen in Sarpul province in Northern Afghanistan. The girl and her family asked Hamid Karzai to prosecute the rapists and take their case seriously. They threatened that if they are not provided justice, the whole family will commit mass suicide to get rid of such life. They say, the local authorities keep silence on such cases and did not act to arrest those responsible.

Two Palestinians arrested, two internationals injured as groups attempt to break the siege on Ni’lin

Two Palestinian activists have been arrested and a Canadian activist has been shot in the leg by a rubber-coated steel bullet while attempting to take in food and other supplies to the West Bank village of Ni’lin, which has been holding constant non-violent demonstrations against the Israeli annexation barrier for the last two months.

Indigenous community in Argentina votes to ban Canadian uranium mine

Assembly rejects plans by B.C. company to do in Argentina what it can’t do in its home territory.

Which rule of law do we want to restore?

…the Harper government wants Canadians to think about the mission in Afghanistan and exposed its strategy for managing the public relations campaign. At what are called “message events” where journalists are updated on developments in Afghanistan, officials from Foreign Affairs, National Defence and the Canadian International Development Agency are to present the government line following “dry runs” to make sure the briefing motivates journalists to adopt what is called the “desired sound bite.” The sound bite includes a reference to restoring “the rule of law” in Afghanistan as a primary Canadian objective. The “key messages” the government wants conveyed include: We are making steady progress on the ground.

The truth is, the regime we are supporting in Kabul is not committed to a version of the rule of law that is remotely compatible with our own. Even the post-Taliban constitution of Afghanistan is based on sharia law. …..When a settlement does come in Afghanistan, and one is certainly possible between the Karzai government and elements of the Taliban, it will not create a country that is firmly on the road to democracy and a regime based on the rule of law and respect for the rights of women as the Harper government would have us believe. Hasn’t the time come for us to end the bleeding of our soldiers in a conflict in which our vital interests are not at stake and the side on which we are fighting upholds values that are remote from our own?

—- James Laxer, professor of political science at York University in Toronto and author of “Mission of Folly: Canada and Afghanistan.”

The Taliban Strikes Back

After six years of ignoring Afghanistan, things have gotten bad enough to force American officials to pay attention. For the past two months, U.S. casualties in Afghanistan have been higher than in Iraq.