Monday, February 26, 2007

How the pro-Migrant Movement Stopped Fascism and How to Finish the Job

BY Juan Santos. January 23, 2007

2006 marked a sea change in US politics, but the decisive moment was not election day, it was March 25th, the day that over a million Mexican and Central America migrants and their Chicana/o allies marched in the streets of Los Angeles, following a march of similar magnitude in Chicago. The movement was on – someone – millions of someones - sent a shocking message to the ruling elites of the most powerful empire in world history: The Republican juggernaut toward Fascism would stop at our door, and it would not take a single step further.

Brown people throughout the US were on red alert: the racists behind the rise of the shock troops called the Cazamigrantes (the Minutemen) were moving in Congress to make every migrant in the nation – everyone without papers, and everyone who “assisted” them – a felon. They would have unleashed a new wave of mass repression in the nation’s barrios, repression like the Zoot Suit Riots and Operation Wetback, making everyone with Brown skin an automatic target, a suspect in a felony, vulnerable to mass roundups and detention camps. Brown skin would become the new yellow star, one worn by every person of native decent in the country. The “Americans” – who are not “Americans” at all, but the descendants of foreign colonizers and conquerors, meant to declare this land off limits to the descendants of its original inhabitants, who knew no borders.

(Click here to read more)

Immigrant Rights & International Women's Rights: Two Struggles Intertwined

By Minnie Bruce Pratt. Feb 24, 2007

Two historic struggles intertwine this year in the month of March: for immigrant rights and for international women’s rights.

March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD). It began as a day to bring working-class and poor women and women of oppressed nationalities into the class struggle. And it provided a day for women to affirm their liberation as well as that of their male loved ones, co-workers and community members.

(Click here to read more)

The US Psychological Torture System is Finally on Trial

America has deliberately driven hundreds, perhaps thousands, of prisoners insane. Now it is being held to account in a Miami court. By Naomi Klein. February 23, 2007

Something remarkable is going on in a Miami courtroom. The cruel methods US interrogators have used since September 11 to "break" prisoners are finally being put on trial. This was not supposed to happen. The Bush administration's plan was to put José Padilla on trial for allegedly being part of a network linked to international terrorists. But Padilla's lawyers are arguing that he is not fit to stand trial because he has been driven insane by the government.

Arrested in May 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare airport, Padilla, a Brooklyn-born former gang member, was classified as an "enemy combatant" and taken to a navy prison in Charleston, South Carolina. He was kept in a cell 9ft by 7ft, with no natural light, no clock and no calendar. Whenever Padilla left the cell, he was shackled and suited in heavy goggles and headphones. Padilla was kept under these conditions for 1,307 days. He was forbidden contact with anyone but his interrogators, who punctured the extreme sensory deprivation with sensory overload, blasting him with harsh lights and pounding sounds. Padilla also says he was injected with a "truth serum", a substance his lawyers believe was LSD or PCP.

(Click here to read more)

Protests Mount Against Canadian Mining Giant

By Stephen Leahy* TORONTO, Feb 24 2007

(Tierramérica) - Dangerous levels of lead and arsenic have been found in the blood of Honduran villagers living downstream from a controversial gold and silver mine owned by Canada's Goldcorp Inc., the world's third largest gold mining firm.

According to the ecologists who organised the study, lead and arsenic levels in the blood were higher than the maximum recommended by international standards (70 ug/dl) in a sample of 10 people who live near the San Martín mine, in San Ignacio, a municipality located in the central Siria Valley. The study, presented last year and downplayed by the mining industry, is just one more item in the growing file opened in Honduras against the company operating the mine, which has been the target of local and international protests since it opened in 1999.

(Click here to read more)

Transient Servitude: The U.S. Guest Worker Program for Exploiting Mexican and Central American Workers

BY Richard D. Vogel. January 2007

Defining moments in the history of a nation are time and again overshadowed by the drama of war. These critical events are often domestic policy decisions that affect the immediate state of a country and have serious consequences for the future. Significant examples in U.S. history include: the initial decision of the revolutionary government to found a republic dedicated to the lofty principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” but embracing slavery, a contradiction that ultimately led to civil war; the decision to prematurely end reconstruction efforts in the South after the Civil War, a policy reversal which allowed the long-term oppression and exploitation of the emancipated slaves and their descendents; and the decision during the Second World War to encourage the mass migration of poor African Americans from the rural South to the industrial centers of the Midwest and Northeast to support the war economy, a haphazard resettlement program that resulted in the ghettoization and continued oppression of a significant national minority.

The United States is currently at war and, simultaneously, at another historical crossroad of domestic policy that will not only undermine the economic life of working people, but will tax the social and political institutions of the nation at large. The stakes of the unfolding U.S. strategy to exploit millions of Mexican and Central American laborers as transient servants through a national guest worker program are staggering. Since a major component of the plan is to recruit or deport the unauthorized migrant population currently residing and working in the United States, a look at the target population suggests the scope of the strategy and its consequences.

(Click here to read more)

In Memory of Harriet Nahanee, Age 71

First Nations Activist Dies After Release from Jail. By Zoe Blunt. 24 Feb 2007

VANCOUVER - A community is in mourning following news of the death of a great-grandmother who fought to defend aboriginal rights and the environment. Activist Harriet Nahanee died at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on Saturday, February 24, one month after she was sentenced to fourteen days in jail for protesting the destruction of a wetlands for a highway bypass.

The woman who once said that natives need an “aboriginal Malcolm X” to restore their pride will be sorely missed by many, including her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Nahanee, age 71, was weak from the flu and asthma when BC Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown ordered her to the Surrey Women’s Pre-Trial Centre in January.

(Click here to read more)

If Bush is a War Criminal, Then What About the Troops

"Just Following Orders" is No Excuse
By STEPHEN S. PEARCY. February 23, 2007

In addition to holding George Bush and U.S. Congress accountable for the illegal occupation of Iraq, American troops must also be prepared to accept responsibility, because we're all presumed to know the law. If we accept that fundamental legal presumption, then those of us who claim that the war is illegal must also acknowledge that the troops are unexcused aiders and abettors.

Lt. Ehren Watada's case is a good example. Watada's position is that he has a duty to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq, because those orders effectively command him to pursue an illegal war. Watada correctly understands that obeying those orders could subject him to war crimes charges under a more just administration (which should try George Bush first).

(Click here to read more)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Zionism and the United States

The Cultural Connection: Zionism and the United States By LARRY PORTIS

Not long ago, I met Eyal Naveh, an Israeli historian, who explains that the United States has been the "model" for the Israeli state and society. He claims that the US was first a model for the Zionist pioneers, then for the founders of the state of Israel. Like the US, Israel was to be an entirely new country created in a savage, untamed land peopled only by savages. Like the US, Israel would be unique in its democratic institutions, its multicultural society and its modernity. Israel would also, like the US, apply the most advanced technology in the resolution of existential problems and towards the achievement of a high standard of living.

I agree with Naveh that the US influence over the Zionist enterprise is important. What is less understood is how Israel has become a model for the US. Recently the work of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt has raised the question of how Israel, through the Zionist lobby in the US, has perhaps come to exercise a virtually direct control over US policy in the Middle East. This is an important debate in which others, such as Noam Chomsky and Bill and Kathleen Christison have made important contributions. In this debate, in my opinion, the cultural connections between Zionism and the United States should not be minimized.

(Click here to read more)

US-Mexico Border Deaths

Funnel effect blamed for leap in border deaths.

The number of illegal immigrants who died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border through the Arizona desert rose dramatically between 2000 and 2005 – largely because of a funnel effect that shifted traffic from urban areas in Texas and California, says a new study. The study found an increase in the number of deaths of unauthorized border crossers – from nine in 1990 to 201 in 2005. "A Humanitarian Crisis at the Border: New Estimates of Deaths Among Unauthorized Immigrants" was done by the Binational Migration Institute at the University of Arizona with help from the Pima County medical examiner's office. Additionally, the number of bodies recovered by the Pima County medical examiner's office rose dramatically – 802 from 2000 to 2005, up from 125 from 1990 to 1999.

"What we wanted to show was that since the militarization of the border, people have begun turning to more dangerous crossing areas," said Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, one of the study's author's and director of the Binational Migration Institute. People would rather take the risk and cross where there's less chance they will get caught, Ms. Rubio-Goldsmith said.

(Click here to read more)
Click here to read BiNational Migration Institute Report

Canadian Barrick Gold in Papua New Guinea

Porgera Gold Mine Transforms Pacific Island David Martinez February 21st, 2007

Papua New Guinea, one of the world's largest islands, has fortunes in gold under its lush green mountains and a diversity of indigenous culture. The arrival of a Canadian mining company has brought violent clashes and transformed the indigenous lands forever.

The giant yellow trucks lumbered on six-foot high tires to the cliff's edge. The driver, in a cabin high above the ground, raised the 200-ton beds and released a massive slide of rock and mud debris hauled from the Porgera gold mine. Big muddy bulldozers, the size of a small house, emerged from the evening cloud cover to push more dirt into the valley below. And so it goes all day every day in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. After 14 years, the mine waste has slowly torn the hills from under the local inhabitants and turned the small valley below, an extension of the Porgera Valley, into a choked river of dirt creeping toward the Coral Sea a thousand miles away.The destruction is fueled by gold. Mining for gold is one of the world's most grotesque industries, consuming vast resources and producing mountains of waste to produce a small amount of soft, pliable metal with few practical uses. To make one gold wedding band, at least 20 tons of earth must be excavated.

(Click here to read more)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sanctuary Update

Amir Kazemian, an Iranian refugee in sanctuary for almost three years in Vancouver, was accepted on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds on Feb 19th. This victory came as a result of an intense 48-hour public, media, and political pressure campaign for Amir when he was arrested and detained by Vancouver City Police on Feb 17 and subsequently held in detention by Canadian Border Services Agency. Click here to read more about Amir

Alexi Kolosov, a Latvian refugee who has sought sanctuary in a St. John's church for the past two years has learned federal authorities have rejected his claim to stay in Canada on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. Click here to read more about Alexi

The Raza family children, in sanctuary for six moths in a Winnipeg church, are now allowed to attend public school after receiving assurances that doing so will not open them up to detention by immigration authorities. Click here to read more about the Raza family

Bridging The Black-Immigrant Divide

Bridging The Black-Immigrant Divide by Alan Jenkins February 21, 2007

When immigrants took to the streets last year to protest a punitive anti-immigrant bill in the House of Representatives and to seek a pathway to citizenship, the public conversation focused in part on the relationship between African Americans and immigrants. And much of that conversation was framed in terms of competition and conflict. That framing was no accident. The mainstream media have fixated on potential points of black/immigrant tension, looking for
a conflict storyline. And that storyline has been amply fed by conservative anti-immigrant groups intent on driving a wedge between the two communities.

But it’s also true that proponents of progressive immigration reform and equal opportunity for African Americans have frequently talked past each other. Too often, the parallel dialogue has either been about whether immigration hurts African Americans, or whether African Americans should speak out for the rights of immigrants. As Congress and the country return their attention to immigration reform later this year, we need a new, inclusive conversation, one that asks how both communities can rise together and move the country to a better and more productive place. The new conversation must reject the forced rivalry scenario. It must start with our common values of respect for human rights, equal treatment and a shared sense of responsibility for each other. It must embrace our linked fate and interests while working through our differences. And it must focus on constructing shared solutions that benefit everyone in our country.

(Click here to read more)

Immigrant Jail Cell "Suicide"

One Immigrant Family’s Hopes Lead to a Jail Cell Suicide By NINA BERNSTEIN Published: February 23, 2007

It took 20 years of sacrifices and separations for Nery Romero’s parents, immigrants from El Salvador, to obtain legal residency for the whole family in the United States. But Mr. Romero, 22, quickly forfeited his right to stay. His criminal convictions — for an attempted robbery in 2003, and for breaking into two parked cars to steal stereos in 2005 — were more than enough to make him deportable. So it was not exactly a surprise when his probation officer showed up at his parents’ home in Elmont, on Long Island, on Feb. 8 with a half-dozen immigration agents who took him from the room he shared with his girlfriend and infant daughter.

Mr. Romero was taking a powerful prescription painkiller for an unhealed leg injury, and his girlfriend says the agents took along the medication, assuring her that he would get proper care. Five days later, he was dead. He hanged himself with his bed sheets in a cell at the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey, the authorities said. And they were quick to suggest an explanation. “This guy did not want to go back,” said Benjamin Feldman, a spokesman for the county sheriff’s office, which houses immigration detainees from New York under contract with the federal government. He called Mr. Romero “a reputed gang member” and said he might have feared revenge in El Salvador.A closer look, though, reveals a different and more complicated picture of Nery Romero’s short life and unusual death.

(Click here to read more)

Texas Jail Holding 200+ Undocumented Children

Human Rights Groups Call for Closure of Texas Jail Holding Undocumented Immigrants

Human rights groups are calling for the U.S. government to shut down a jail in Texas where about 200 immigrant children, some only infants, are being detained. Ten months ago the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began holding families in The Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas, owned by the private prison company, Corrections Corporations of America. Many of the families held at the facility are seeking asylum in the United States. For months immigration officials refused to allow outside groups or the media into the center. But late last year researchers from the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service were allowed inside.

(Click here to read more)

UN: Gaza like apartheid South Africa

Occupied Gaza like apartheid South Africa, says UN report Rory McCarthy in JerusalemFriday February 23, 2007

A UN human rights investigator has likened Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories to apartheid South Africa and says there should be "serious consideration" over bringing the occupation to the international court of justice. The report by John Dugard, a South African law professor who is the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, represents some of the most forceful criticism yet of Israel's 40-year occupation.

Prof Dugard said although Israel and apartheid South Africa were different regimes, "Israel's laws and practices in the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories] certainly resemble aspects of apartheid." His comments are in an advance version of a report on the UN Human Rights Council's website ahead of its session next month.

Click here to read article
Click here to read the UN report

Friday, February 23, 2007

Top Canadian Court Rules Against Security Certificates 9-0

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the security certificate system used by the federal government to detain and deport foreign-born terrorist suspects.

In a 9-0 judgment handed down Friday, the court found that the system, described by the government as a key tool for safeguarding national security, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The high court gave Parliament one year to re-write the law that's keeping three men at the centre of the case in legal limbo. The system was challenged on constitutional grounds by three men — Algerian-born Mohamed Harkat, Moroccan-born Adil Charkaoui and Syrian native Hassan Almrei, who have all denied having ties to al-Qaeda and other such groups.

(Click here to read more)

Imminent Execution of Four Iraqi Women

Iraq: Fear of imminent execution/death penalty
9 February 2007

Samar Sa’ad ‘Abdullah (f), aged about 25 Wassan Talib (f), aged 31 Zeynab Fadhil (f), aged 25 Liqa’ Qamar (f), aged 25

The four women named above have been sentenced to death, and at least one of them is in imminent danger of execution. The president has the power to pardon them, or commute their sentences.

(Click here to read more)

Bush and the F-word in 2006: Police State or Progressivism in 2007?

By Heather Wokusch. December 30, 2006

It's not overstating the case to say that 2007 could be make or break for US democracy.

The Bush administration's cutbacks and rollbacks in 2006 were so frequent and so egregious that many Americans stopped paying attention, gave up hope or else failed to see the onslaught as part of a larger pattern.

Which brings up the f-word.In 2003, Laurence W. Britt wrote a seminal article comparing fascist regimes, such as Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, to life under Bush. While the term fascism has been widely overused (in August, Rumsfeld even accused war critics of "a new type of fascism") Britt's analysis eerily resonated back then and is worth a second look today.

This two-part series recaps Bush's record in 2006 under the framework of Britt's "fourteen common threads" of fascism and makes predictions for 2007.

(Click here to read more)

Click here for Part 2;
Return of Bush and the F-Word in 2007

Click here for Part 3;
Making a Killing on Perpetual War: Bush and the F-Word Forever

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nativist Fears of Immigrant Women Giving Birth

Which Babies Are Real Americans?
By Priscilla Huang. February 20, 2007

Yuki Lin , born on the stroke of midnight this New Year’s, became the winner of a random drawing for a national Toys “R” Us sweepstakes. The company had promised a $25,000 U.S. savings bond to the “first American baby born in 2007.” However, Yuki lost her prize after the company learned that her mother was an undocumented U.S. resident. Instead, the bond went to a baby in Gainesville, Georgia, described by her mother as “an American all the way.”

The toy retailer soon found itself in the midst of the country’s heated immigration debate. Under mounting pressure, Toys “R” Us reversed its decision and awarded savings bonds to all three babies, including Yuki. The issue of citizenship was at the heart of this controversy: Is a baby born to undocumented immigrants an American in the same way that a baby born to non-immigrant parents is? Since the 14th Amendment grants automatic citizenship to persons born on U.S. soil, both babies have equal standing as citizens. Not all people, however, view citizenship this way. As the grandmother of the Gainesville baby told reporters, “If [the mother is] an illegal alien, that makes the baby illegal.”

(Click here to read more)

Six Nations Solidarity


** Actions in Toronto and Montreal on February 28th, 2007**

One year is too long! Recognize the rights of Six Nations! February 28th, 2007 marks the one-year anniversary of the Six Nations Land Reclamation. One year ago, a group of people from Six Nations took back a piece of their land that was under construction by developers and demanded an end to the destruction of their land and to settler encroachment on their territory.

Now, one year later, the Canadian government has yet to recognize the truth: that this land is not owned by them nor can it be sold by them. It is Haudonausaunee (Iroquois) territory, stolen and sold by the colonial authorities illegally. The people of Kanohnstaton, formerly "Douglas Creek Estates", have asked for and encouraged solidarity actions and a pressure campaign in support of the Reclamation. The Six Nations Land Reclamation needs your support and solidarity to make the Canadian government understand that Six Nations is not alone. We must speak out against the injustices of colonial land theft and genocide and take a stand for dignity, indigenous land rights, justice and autonomy.

(Click here to read more)

Amnesty Slams Canada over Afghan Detainees

By PAUL KORING. 21/02/07

Canada's practice of turning detainees over to Afghan security forces, widely accused of torture and abuse, violates international law and the Charter of Rights, Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association say.

The two groups will Wednesday file an application in Federal Court in Ottawa seeking judicial review of the military's controversial policy. Named as respondents in the action are Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, General Rick Hillier, Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, and Attorney-General Robert Nicholson.

(Click here to read more)

US soldier pleads guilty to Iraq gang rape, murders

US soldier faces Iraq rape verdict. FEBRUARY 22, 2007

A second US soldier who pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killing her family is expected to be sentenced on Thursday.

Sergeant Paul Cortez, 24, pleaded guilty to five charges in a deal that is expected to allow him to avoid the death penalty.
Five soldiers are accused of plotting the March 2006 rape and murder of Abeer Kassem Hamza al-Janabi in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, as well as the murder of her parents and younger sister.

(Click here to read more)

Iraq: The Rape of Sabrine and Maliki's reaction

February 20, 2007. By Riverbend (Baghdad Burning)

It takes a lot to get the energy and resolution to blog lately. I guess it’s mainly because just thinking about the state of Iraq leaves me drained and depressed. But I had to write tonight.

As I write this, Oprah is on Channel 4 (one of the MBC channels we get on Nilesat), showing Americans how to get out of debt. Her guest speaker is telling a studio full of American women who seem to have over-shopped that they could probably do with fewer designer products. As they talk about increasing incomes and fortunes, Sabrine Al-Janabi, a young Iraqi woman, is on Al Jazeera telling how Iraqi security forces abducted her from her home and raped her. You can only see her eyes, her voice is hoarse and it keeps breaking as she speaks. In the end she tells the reporter that she can’t talk about it anymore and she covers her eyes with shame.

(Click here to read more)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz : 42 years after assassination

After the Bombing / Speech at Ford AuditoriumMalcolm X, transcribed and edited by the Malcolm X Museum and Noaman Ali You can listen to this speech, click here [requires RealPlayer, approx. 1hr 24min].

February 14, 1965

note - Malcolm delivered this speech on the very night that his home in New York was firebombed. He was terribly tired and worried, yet he still showed up all the way in Detroit-- this shows his extreme courage and determination. This is probably his last speech outside of New York, and displays his intellect and honesty, as well as his ideas and understanding close to his death.

Distinguished guests, brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, friends and enemies:

I want to point out first that I am very happy to be here this evening and I'm thankful [to the Afro-American Broadcasting Company] for the invitation to come here to Detroit this evening. I was in a house last night that was bombed, my own. It didn't destroy all my clothes, not all, but you know what happens when fire dashes through -- they get smoky. The only thing I could get my hands on before leaving was what I have on now.

Showdown Over Texas Immigrant Prisons

Sexual Harrassment, Medical Neglect, Overcrowding and Isolation: Showdown Over Texas Immigrant Prisons
February 21, 2007. By GREG MOSES

There are different kinds of angry. Jay Johnson-Castro has tears in his eyes when he thinks about Suzi Hazahza at the immigration prison of Haskell, Texas.

But he's not going to cry without doing something, so next week, Johnson-Castro will walk sixty miles from Abilene to Haskell and hold a vigil for the release of Suzi Hazahza and "anyone else" being mistreated for their desire to be American.

"I'm almost in tears trying to tell you how angry I feel," says Johnson-Castro via cell phone as he drives home to Del Rio, Texas on Tuesday evening following three weeks of border protests.

(Click here to read more)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What the Bush Administration Owes Iraq's Refugees

Noah Merrill, Electronic Iraq. 19 February 2007

The United States has announced that it will accept 7,000 Iraqi refugees who have fled their country's catastrophe. In addition, the US will be contributing $18 million toward the the $60 million UNHCR is trying to raise this year to support Iraqis who have been internally displaced as well as those forced to flee to other countries in the region, most notably Jordan and Syria.

These steps, small as they are, are welcome. But the nature of this offer, and the comments surrounding it, highlight fundamental deficiencies in the approach of those in the US government most involved in addressing this crisis. A report by the BBC cites a Jordanian government spokesperson stating the obvious: 7,000 people is less than 1% of the minimum estimated population of 750,000 Iraqis now living in Jordan. The actual number is widely believed to be higher still. Another million or more Iraqis are now estimated to be living in Syria and many thousands have fled to other countries throughout the region.

(Click here to read more)

The “Onkwehonwe Plan” for Turtle Island – We’re Taking Over!

MNN. Feb. 12, 2007.

Back in the early 1960’s some old chiefs, elders and young Onkwehonwe got together. We came up with a plan for our people. We called it the “Indian Plan”. We went across the land and talked with our brothers and sisters about a way to get out of the grip of colonialism that had almost wiped us off the face of the earth. We talked about the genocide that was being conducted by Indian Affairs and the colonial governments. We made a pact to stop it. It was only four pages long. People wrote for copies and it was distributed widely throughout Turtle Island.

We said, “The colonists have to change their attitude towards us. We aren’t going to let them continue to try to exterminate us. They’ve been making survivors like us think we’re lucky to be allowed to live”. Today colonization is still going as strong as ever. But our plan is on track.

(Click here to read more)

Media fall for pro-Israel hate group's "Terror Free Oil"

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 13 February 2007

In recent days, National Public Radio and the BBC have been among the countless media outlets to give prominent publicity to an organization calling itself "Terror Free Oil," (TFO) which claims to have established gasoline filling stations in several US cities, that do not sell oil from the Middle East.

Much of the coverage has read like a press release for the organization, or has treated it as a cute feature story, accepting at face value the claims made by its spokesman. The fundamentally racist nature of the claims TFO makes, and the long history of anti-Muslim statements and activities of its founder have been totally ignored.

(Click here to read more)

Harriet Tubman -- A Woman Called 'General Moses'

8 February 2007, BY Mumia Abu-Jamal

She has been gone for almost a century, and still her name is on millions of lips; her memory sacred among those who love freedom.

Her parents named her Araminta, the daughter of Black slaves in the Tidewater area of Maryland, perhaps in 1820 (or 1821 -- no one is sure).

As a baby, the slaves shortened her fancy name into the nickname, "Minty."

History remembers her by her married name: Harriet Tubman, freedom fighter.

(Click here to read more)

8 Reasons to Close Guantánamo Now

February 12, 2007. By Karen J. Greenberg

The first detainees arrived in Guantánamo four months to the day after the 9/11 attacks. From the opening of Camp X-Ray—the first site of imprisonment, notorious for its tin-roofed open-air cages—to the recently completed permanent prison known as Camp 6, critics have called for its closure. Even President Bush has said, “I’d like to end Guantánamo. I’d like it to be over with.” Yet he refuses to close it because, he says, it holds detainees who “will murder somebody if they are let out on the street.”

It’s time to look at the powerful reasons to close Guantánamo, both the standard ones enumerated below—and also what may be the most compelling, if unspoken, one of all: Guantánamo must be closed because the United States needs to indicate that it has decided to change course. Closing Guantánamo will help to restore America’s standing in the world and in the eyes of its own citizens.

(Click here to read more)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Reports from WSF-Nairobi

People's Global Action (PGA) activists have created an archive of various reports, discussions, and debates concerning the World Social Forum in Nairobi (2007).

Some of these articles include:
- Trevor Ngwane: What happened in Nairobi (January 2007)
- Patrick Bond: From WSF 'NGO trade fair' to left politics?
- The World Social Forum 2007: A Kenyan Perspective
- Shannon Walsh: We won't pay to discuss our own poverty!
- Sarah Choukah: The World Social Forum fails to Address the War in the Middle East
- Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem: Africa: WSF - It Was a Meeting of NGOs, Not the Masses
- Jordan Flaherty : World Social Forum Diary

Click here to read more

Governor Says No Iraqi Refugees in Ohio

Democrat Governor Says: "No Iraqis in Our Backyards!" Keeping Ohio Refugee Free By MIKE FERNER

The following news brief ran on the Associated Press yesterday:

"Strickland Doesn´t Want Overflow Iraqi Refugees

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has a message for President Bush: any plan to relocate to the US thousands of refugees uprooted by the Iraq war shouldn't include Ohio. The administration plans to allow about 7,000 Iraqi refugees to settle in the United States over the next year, a huge expansion at a time of mounting international pressure to help millions who have fled their homes in the nearly four-year-old war. Strickland -- a Democrat who opposed the war as a US House member -- says Ohioans can't be expected to have open arms for Iraqis displaced by the war. More than 100 Ohioans have been killed since the war began. The governor says he has sympathy for the refugees' plight, but he won't ask Ohioans to accept a greater burden."

It is really all quite mad, isn't it? That on top of the million or so Iraqis we've killed, and the four million we've maimed, we've also created millions of refugees; that our Maniac-in-Chief now decrees 7,000 refugees is a politically acceptable number we should allow into the U.S. even as he continues the slaughter around the clock; that the governor of a state, having absolutely nothing to do with immigration policy anyway, feels compelled to protect the homeland (or would that be "homestate?") by warning a morbidly unpopular president, "Not in our backyard, pallie!"

(Click here to read more)

Scapegoating British Muslims

This scapegoating is rolling back the gains of anti-racismAnti-terror stunts and a barrage of propaganda are demonising Muslims and making Islamophobia the acceptable face of racism

Predictably enough, the action of the police in last year's Forest Gate raid has been excused with the mildest of rebukes. Out of more than 150 complaints, only a tiny number were upheld. The whole operation, you will recall, was a figment of the security services' imagination. A fortnight ago, there was another spectacular anti-terrorist operation, this time in Birmingham, concerning an alleged plot to kidnap a Muslim member of the armed forces.

The pattern of these operations is now well established. The police swoop on an area, make dozens of arrests, accompanied by lurid media reports about the would-be plotters' intentions. There have now been charges, although an innocent party who was arrested and then released has given a disturbing account of his experience in custody. The most alarming example was last summer, when it was alleged there was a plot hatched in Pakistan to blow up as many as 10 aircraft, which resulted in a huge security clampdown at Heathrow and new hand-luggage rules. But, despite a number of charges, a degree of scepticism would be wise, given the experience of cases such as the ricin plot that never was.

(Click here to read more)

How Wealth Creates Poverty

Mystery: How Wealth Creates Poverty in the World By Michael Parenti

There is a “mystery” we must explain: How is it that as corporate investments and foreign aid and international loans to poor countries have increased dramatically throughout the world over the last half century, so has poverty? The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world’s population. What do we make of this?

Over the last half century, U.S. industries and banks (and other western corporations) have invested heavily in those poorer regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America known as the “Third World.” The transnationals are attracted by the rich natural resources, the high return that comes from low-paid labor, and the nearly complete absence of taxes, environmental regulations, worker benefits, and occupational safety costs. The U.S. government has subsidized this flight of capital by granting corporations tax concessions on their overseas investments, and even paying some of their relocation expenses---much to the outrage of labor unions here at home who see their jobs evaporating.

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Cop Watch LA: In Defense of our Immigrant Communities

Cop Watch LA Solidarity Statement In Defense of our Immigrant Communities

As Cop Watch LA it is our mission to defend our communities against systematic state repression against people of color. Due to the recent and historical terror campaigns conducted by the federal and local governments on our immigrant communities, which has consisted of mass round-ups and deportations, Cop Watch LA stands in solidarity with and in defense of, our communities of color and immigrant families. This country has declared war on our many immigrant communities across the nation; "We will continue to raid at any time and at any city in the country," an I.C.E spokesperson declared. Therefore, it is our obligation as Cop Watch to inform our communities and families of their rights as human beings. We offer our support to those who have fallen victim to the current terror campaign being waged against our communities and families.

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Iran: a Chronology of Disinformation

Iran: a Chronology of Disinformation By GARY LEUPP

Larisa Alexandrovna has recently written an excellent article detailing the neoconservatives' six-year long project to use American power to attack and produce regime change in Iran. Appended to the piece is a timeline including key Bush administration statements about Iran, "news" stories and neocon writings abetting efforts to vilify Iran, and the antics of such characters as former Congressman Curt Weldon, Iran-Contra arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, and spy-for-Israel Larry Franklin who have worked to facilitate that attack. I've used it as the basis for this more elaborate (although surely incomplete and imperfect) chronology.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Great anti-deportation video

Every year, approximately 10,000 people are removed from Canada towardscountries where their physical well-being is threatened. If you findyourself on a flight with one such person, you can help stop adeportation.

A video by the Apartrides Anonymes in Montreal (English and French):

Click here to watch the video

Putting Black Faces on Imperial Aggression

Putting Black Faces on Imperial Aggression By GLEN FORD

"Barack Obama is our son and he deserves our support," declared Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., speaking to a gathering of Black Democrats at the party's winter meeting, in Washington, earlier this month. By Jones' logic, Condoleezza Rice deserves automatic African American support as "our daughter," and Colin Powell, her predecessor as George Bush's Secretary of State, was due fealty as "our brother." Jones' embrace of the entire African American family tree must also, therefore, extend to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, the most reactionary, anti-Black member of the High Court; and to "our brother" J. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State whose consuming mission in 2004 was to deny the franchise to as many fellow Blacks as possible.

Although the winter meetings are traditionally showcases for candidates to display their positions on the issues of the day, State Sen. Jones saw no need to present his appeal on Obama's behalf in any packaging other than race. In effect, Jones attempted to relieve Obama of any political obligation to Black people. Under Jones' formula, the relationship between the Black office-seeker and the African American public is reversed: it is the people that owe allegiance to the candidate, who is in turn set free to woo groups and promote interests that may be inimical to those of the Black public.

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Violence could force 1M Iraqis to flee homes

Violence could force 1M Iraqis to flee homes this year, migration body says By Mark Avery, Reuters

GENEVA (AP) — Unrelenting violence and insecurity in Iraq could cause as many as 1 million Iraqis to flee their homes this year, the world's migration body said Friday."The numbers of people that are being displaced are increasing every day," said Jemini Pandya, spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration. "The security situation is not improving. It's not changing." Pandya said the 120-nation organization's estimate was made "on the assumption that security conditions will continue much as they are."The possibility of neighboring countries, such as Syria, closing their borders would mean even more of the displaced would only be able to get as far as other parts of Iraq.

Pandya said the prognosis was "bleak" for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have already fled within the war-ravaged country. Malnutrition, disease and infections among children are rising due to a lack of food and the exodus of doctors and nurses, she said. According to the United Nations, about 3.8 million Iraqis were forced to flee their homes over the last three decades as the country endured an eight-year war against neighboring Iran, numerous internal crackdowns by Saddam Hussein's regime, two invasions by U.S.-led forces and the current sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni factions. The number includes about 2 million refugees spread out across the world, and about 1.8 million within Iraq separated from their homes and communities. Both tallies are growing.

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Palestinian call to a comprehensive boycott of Israeli products

Palestinian call to a comprehensive boycott of Israeli products Sunday, 11 February 2007

Ramallah-The labor movement and the Stop the Wall Campaign issued an appeal on Sunday to international and Arab trade unions to boycott Israeli goods until the ongoing assaults on the Palestinian people come to an end. At a press conference in Al Bireh City just outside of Ramallah, labor official Haider Ibrahim said, “The unions and the popular campaign appeal for an inclusive boycott of Israeli products and for continued resistance to the Apartheid Wall.” He said that the Wall has nothing to do with the security claim with which the Israelis have sold the idea, but is rather part of a larger political project.

Ibrahim asked that Palestinian workers escalate their boycott of Israeli materials to include all of those available on the market. He appealed to the Arab League to support the nonviolent action against occupation. He added that non governmental organizations should join forces for a unified political boycott alongside the product boycott undertaken by the unions.

(Click here to read more)

Kwakiutl: “We are going to start fighting”

Kwakiutl: “We are going to start fighting” By Zoe Blunt

“Our world is falling apart,” Basil Ambers, a hereditary chief of the Kwakiutl First Nation, warned the crowd. “Everything we hold dear is gradually eroding away.” “We are putting you on notice that we are going to start fighting for those things.”

The Kwakiutl and their supporters gathered in Victoria, BC on Monday February 12 to protest a government-approved land transfer. The deal between Western Forest Products and the province would take private land out of three Tree Farm Licenses on northern Vancouver Island, including over 1400 hectares claimed by the Kwakiutl. Almost a hundred people, most of them native, filed into the traditional longhouse outside the BC Museum. After building a fire in the longhouse, two dozen people in tribal regalia lined up to beat drums, dance and sing traditional songs. The drummers led the crowd to the steps of the Legislature, where the Kwakiutl held a press conference. It was a slow walk, the sun was mild and the breeze was balmy. But Andrews looked grim as he addressed the crowd: “It seems like we always have to get together because of things the white folks have done to us,” he said. “This is not the first time for our tribe, or the first time across Canada. They have been doing too many things to us that we can’t ignore.”

(Click here to read more)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

US: Privatized Prisons for Immigrants

This Alien Life: Privatized Prisons for Immigrants by Deepa Fernandes, Special to CorpWatch February 5th, 2007

The small town of Florence, Arizona, sits at an epicenter of a new boom in private prisons for immigrants. The one-lane highway from Tucson to this desert prison town runs through cacti, red rock, and occasional mountains. Then out of nowhere, a roadside sign breaks the spell: “State Prison: Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers.” Florence hosts Arizona’s state prison, two privately run prison complexes, and one Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration jail. Florence “has a prison economy and a prison consciousness,” says Victoria López, an attorney who runs the town’s only pro bono legal center that helps immigrant detainees fight their cases.

“Florence is another world. Here most locals are people whose families have for generations worked in the prison system. Life revolves around the prisons.”As the government invokes national security to sweep up and jail an unprecedented number of immigrants, the private-prison industry is booming. In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on New York, immigrants have become the fastest growing segment of the prison population in the U.S. today. In fiscal year 2005, more than 350,000 immigrants went through the courts. "A growing share of them committed no crimes while in the United States - 53 percent this year, up from 37 percent in 2001 - even though Bush administration officials repeatedly have said their priority is deporting criminals," the Denver Post reported.

(Click here to read more)

NYC Action to support Guantanamo North hunger strikers

New Yorkers Petition Canada over Three Men near Death in Canada’s “Guantanamo Bay North”

Mohammad Mahjoub, Mahmoud Jaballah and Hassan Almrei have been detained for over 6 years and on hunger strike for over 70 days now By New Yorkers Against Secret Trials

Tuesday the 13th of February, a delegation of New Yorkers visited the Canadian Consulate to deliver a statement supporting three men on hunger strike who are detained in Kingston Immigration Holding Facility (Ontario),which is also known as “Guantanamo North”. Mohammad Mahjoub is now on his 81st day refusing food, Mahmoud Jaballah and Hassan Almrei are on their 70th day without food. All three of the men are close to death. The three detainees are hunger striking for basic improvements in their prison conditions, such as daily medical care and the appointment of the Correctional Investigator, an independent ombudsman to register complaints. These services are available in other Canadian prisons, but not in the new Kingston facility, which holds only the three men on hunger strike. They are detained as part of Canada’s controversial security certificate process which means their detention is indefinite and they do not have the right to a fair, open trial.

(Click here to read more)

Pakistan: Large-scale deportation from Europe likely

Large-scale deportation from Europe likely By Mubarak Zeb Khan

ISLAMABAD, Feb 14: The government on Wednesday approved the much-awaited ‘re-admission agreement’ which will empower the European Union (EU) to crack down on Pakistanis living illegally in Europe.A senior cabinet minister told Dawn that the cabinet approved the draft agreement which would be signed by Pakistani interior minister with his EU counterpart.The immediate impact of the agreement would be a large-scale deportation of Pakistanis from Europe, which may have a negative impact on remittances and may also create social problems.

Pakistan and EU had signed the Third Generation Agreement — a trade plus agreement a few years ago. But the EU had linked the implementation of the agreement with the re-admission agreement before entering for any negotiations on bilateral trade.

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US: 51 held in raids at two Auburn warehouses

51 held as illegal workers at two Auburn warehouses

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained 51 foreign nationals Wednesday morning believed to be working illegally at two Auburn warehouses. The Customs-bonded warehouses, which were the subject of a federal civil inspection warrant, are operated by UPS Supply Chain Solutions. The majority of the workers taken into custody were temporary laborers, many of them working for Spherion Corp., which provides temporary employees for UPS Supply Chain Solutions.

The warehouses are secure, licensed storage facilities used to store imported goods. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said they consider the warehouses critical buildings -- the same as airports and military bases -- because workers with access to such sites are vulnerable to exploitation by terrorists and other criminals.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

No One is Illegal: Slavery in the New American Century

No One is Illegal: Slavery in the New American Century

by Josh Wolf, independent journalist in prison for over 170 days forrefusing to comply with a Federal Grand Jury [Josh Wolf, freelancejournalist and independent videographer is not charged with any crime andis being held under civil contempt. Wolf was incarcerated earlier thisyear after resisting a subpoena to testify before a Federal Grand jury andfor refusing to turn over his source material for video he shot of a SanFrancisco protest against the G8 Summit in 2005. His incarceration isvirtually unprecedented, and it is widely believed he will likely becomethe longest imprisoned journalist in U.S. history.]

It’s been purported that not a single prisoner will admit they are guilty. My experience at the FDC completely contradicts this assertion. In fact,very few of the people I’ve spoken to have professed to be innocent. This does not mean that our justice system is reasonable or effective; almost everyone’s story demonstrates how brutal and disturbing the sentences handed out by the Feds really are. Amongst all of these victims of state oppression, the most appalling stories are of those convicted of illegal re-entry. Not that long ago undocumented immigrants would simply be deported if their presence was discovered by the authorities. Today a far more treacherous fate awaits those whose only crim may be crossing an imaginaryline to return to their familiies. Within the system they call themselves Paisas and their numbers are astonishing (I’ve heard they make up as much as 60% at many institutions) The sentences being handed out vary, but 30 months seems to be the most prevalent; the maximum penalty is 20 years. Once they have completed their sentences, they are immediately put on a bus and dropped off in Tijuana.

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Anarchist Study of the Rotinonshón:ni Polity

An Anarchist Study of the Rotinonshón:ni Polity by Stephen Arthur

Some historical materialists claim a densely settled, agricultural population will inevitably develop into a hierarchically stratified society, with a centralized state and an exploitative economic redistribution system, in order avoid warfare while resolving blood feuds among its members. While this is a common occurence, it is not the only way these issues have been resolved. Located along the southern banks of Kaniatarí:io (Lake Ontario), the traditional society of the Rotinonshón:ni (Iroquois), "The People of the Longhouse," was a densely settled, matrilineal, communal, and extensively horticultural society. The Rotinonshón:ni formed a confederacy initially of five nations: Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk), Oneniote'á:ka (Onedia), Ononta'kehá:ka (Onondaga), Kaion'kehá:ka (Cayuga) and Shotinontowane'á:ka (Seneca). Generations before historical contact with Europeans, these nations united through the Kaianere'kó:wa (“the Great Good Way”) into the same polity and ended blood feuding without economic exploitation, stratification, or the formation of a centralized state.

(Click here to read more)

NIGERIA: Oil Spill Displaces 10 Communities

NIGERIA: Oil Spill Displaces 10 Ijaw Communities by Emma Arubi

CHEVRON'S Abiteye flow station oil spill of over 1,500 barrels of crude has rendered over 10 Ijaw communities and 500 hundred persons homeless in Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West local government area of Delta State.The incident has led to anger and fresh threats to the peace and security in the areas, as the communities accused Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) of employing 'divide-and-rule' tactics in dealing with the problems arising from the spill. The councilor representing Benikrukru Ward in the council area, Mr. Gbabor Okrika, told Vanguard that the spill devastated over 10 communities and affected sources of drinking water and rendered homes of victims inhabitable.

Okrika listed the communities affected in the Ijaw areas to include Benikrukru, Ekiagbene and Abiteye, among others, lamenting that it had brought unprecedented calamities to his kinsmen. He accused the company of scheming out the Ministry of Environment and the communities' representatives in the negotiating compensation for the victims of the spill, saying it was a calculated attempt by CNL and its officials to shortchange the victims.

(Click here to read more)

Six Nations : "A monumental year"

"A monumental year" for the people of Six Nations by Hillary Bain Lindsay The Dominion

On January 1, 2007, the people of Six Nations arrived at their Council House, and walked inside. The event did not make media headlines, but the significance of the day was not lost on those crowded into the long line of cars, bearing Iroquois Confederacy and Unity flags, that lead up to the Council House. “Even before Canada declared itself a country, we had a meeting place down here for traditional governance,” says Janie Jamison, one of the spokespeople for Six Nations. For generations, Chiefs representing the Confederacy Council gathered in the Council House to make decisions by consensus, a process often called the oldest participatory democracy on Earth.

In 1924, however, Canada instated the Indian Act and the RCMP raided the Council House, removing the traditional chiefs and clan mothers. In its place the band council system was set up, acting as an arm of the Canadian government. For Jamison, who has never seen herself as Canadian, destroying the traditional government and imposing a new one was Canada’s way of declaring that her culture, her nation, her people “no longer existed.” “What people don’t understand is that we weren’t defeated at that point,” says Jamison.

(Click here to read more)

Aboriginal Man Appealing Wrongful Conviction

Innocent Aboriginal Man Seeking Judicial Review for Racist Wrongful Conviction

John Moore, an Ojibway man from Serpent River First Nation, spent 10 years (from 1978 to 1988) in Millhaven, for a murder he did not commit. John Moore is asking the Justice Department to review his unconstitutional 2nd degree murder conviction. After being sentenced in 1978, the law under which he was tried was repealed in 1987. “If he were to go to trial today on exactly the same facts and evidence, the murder charge would never get past the stage of a preliminary inquiry. He wouldn’t even have to stand on it today”, said lawyer Glenn Sandberg.

John Moore has petitioned the federal justice department several times to clear his name in the 1978 murder of a Sault Ste. Marie taxi cab driver (Regina versus Moore). Court records show Moore was not present at the crime scene, yet he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for second degree murder because, the Crown argued, he spoke to the two killers about the premeditated crime before it happened.

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Iran War Talking Points

Iran War Talking Points By DAVID SWANSON

Aiding a nation against a foreign invasion is not grounds for war. The US aided France against Germany and still brags about it. WMD possession is not grounds for war. The US has more of them than anyone. The motivation for attacking Iran was laid out in 2000 by the PNAC, and as early as 1992 in defense planning guidance -- written for then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney by then-Pentagon staffers I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, World Bank Chief Paul Wolfowitz, and ambassador-nominee to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad.

If the motivation for attacking Iran was aid to Iraqi resisters, the U.S. would be attacking Saudi Arabia too. There is no evidence that Iran has nukes. NIE in 2005 said 2015 was the earliest Iran could have them. There is no evidence that the government of Iran is involved in aiding Iraqis, a fact that Peter Pace and the CIA agree with.

(Click here to read more)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Illegal Immigrants Slain in an Attack in Arizona

By Randal C. Archibold. February 9, 2007

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8 — Three illegal immigrants were shot to death, three were wounded and others were missing Thursday near Tucson after gunmen accosted them as they traveled north from the Mexican border, the authorities said.

The shootings came a day after gunmen in ski masks and carrying assault-style rifles robbed 18 people who had illegally crossed the border 70 miles to the south, near Sasabe. On Jan. 28 a man driving illegal immigrants from the border several miles from the scene of Thursday’s killings was ambushed and shot to death as the immigrants fled.

(Click here to read more)

Not Without a Fight: NYC’s food warehouse workers unionize

NYC’s immigrant food warehouse workers unionize with IWW - Not Without a Fight: NYC’s food warehouse workers unionize. 01/28/2007 By Diane Krauthamer and David Graeber

The last year, however, has witnessed something of a social miracle. Immigrant workers in five different warehouses, long bypassed by mainstream organizing drives, began organizing themselves under the banner of the IWW—the famous Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies—and achieving immediate and dramatic improvements in shop-floor conditions. Within the last few months, bosses have begun a major counteroffensive, breaking contracts and engaging in illegal mass firings of anyone engaged in union activities. Mexican and Chinese immigrant workers are standing their ground and with the support of the rest of the New York IWW, battling back in the name of solidarity and dignity of labor.

The battle promises to be intense but the stakes are, potentially, historic. The struggle marks the confluence of two historic trends. On the one hand, the startling reemergence of the Wobblies themselves, a union that even a few years ago most labor historians had relegated to the dustbin of history. The IWW of course were, in their heyday in the days of Joe Hill and Big Bill Haywood, the first union in theUS willing to work with Mexican and Chinese immigrants when others were systematically excluding them, which makes these new developments all the more significant. On the other hand, the growing right-wing backlash against immigrant laborers across America, the most vulnerable and exploited of our labor force, and their brave and defiant mobilizations against it.

(Click here to read more)

How Richest Fuel Global Warming - but Poorest Suffer Most from It

January 9, 2007. By Philip Thornton

By the end of tomorrow the average Briton will have caused as much global warning as the typical Kenyan will over the whole of this year, according to a report. The findings highlight the glaring imbalance between the rich countries that produce most of the pollution and the poor countries that suffer the consequences in the forms of drought, floods, starvation and disease.

The World Development Movement (WDM), a poverty campaign group, has drawn up a "climate calendar" showing the dates when the UK will have emitted as much CO2 gas as other countries will in a year. Unsurprisingly, the poorest counties such as Chad, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo produce virtually no carbon emissions. Even populous countries such as India will be overtaken in its emissions by the UK in a month's time. In fact, 164 countries in the world have a smaller carbon footprint than the UK, while just 20, mainly including the major oil producers as well as the US, have a larger one.

(Click here to read more)

White supremacist activity in US flourishes, fueled by anti-immigrant sentiments

The Associated Press
February 5, 2007

NEW YORK: Huge street protests against tougher immigration laws made millions of immigrants more visible and powerful in the United States last year, but, according to some rights groups, they seem to have revived a hateful counter force: white supremacists.

Groups linked to the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads and neo-Nazis grew significantly more active, holding more rallies, distributing leaflets and increasing their presence on the Internet — much of it focused on stirring anti-immigrant sentiment, a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League says.

"Extremist groups are good at seizing on whatever the hot button is of the day and twisting the message to get new members," Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights director, said Monday. "This one seems to be taking hold with more of mainstream America than we'd like to see."

(Click here to read more)

Bombing Venezuela's Indians

"If We Have to Die For Our Lands, We Will Die"
Bombing Venezuela's Indians
February 8, 2007 By NIKOLAS KOZLOFF

For Hugo Chavez, large, industrial mega projects could turn into a political mine field. The contradiction between Chavez's rhetoric stressing social equality, on the one hand, and environmental abuses on the other, was driven home to me over this past summer when I attended the first ever environmental conference of Lake Maracaibo. The event was held in the city of Maracaibo itself, the capital of Zulia state, and organized by the government's Institute for the Conservation of Lake Maracaibo (known by the Spanish acronym ICLAM).

(Click here to read more)

An appeal to people outside the United States to break US imperial power

February 6th, 2007 BY Stan Goff

NOTE: Please translate this into as many languages as possible, and distribute as widely as possible.

This series of suggestions is written because my country is on a path that will first destroy other societies — upon which we depend — and the biospheric basis of life itself; and this means eventually our own society. Our society now — an imperial society — is deeply alienated, desperately unhappy, and thoroughly indoctrinated into the acquisitive individualism that creates that alienation and unhappiness. We continue down this path because the weight of the system gives it such enormous inertia. We need you to do these things, not just to ensure your own futures… but for our own good.

The United States now exists as a parasite upon the rest of the world. In this system, this political entity called the United States of America is not only a parasite, but a parasite that is destroying its own host. There is only one outcome in the end for such a relationship; we will all perish together. With the help of the people of the world — and I will outline ten ways you can help us — we can all escape this fate. Each of us — with the destruction of US imperial power — will be in a better position to work for a sustainable and indpendent future for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.

(Click here to read more)

Friday, February 9, 2007

Immigration and Privatized Detention in the US

Immigrants In Detention - By William Fisher

Suspected illegal immigrants held in detention by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are failing to receive timely medical treatment and adequate food, being subjected to frequent sexual harassment, and having their access to lawyers, relatives and immigration authorities improperly limited. These are among the findings of the department’s inspector general, based on an audit of the U.S.-owned and operated Krome Service Processing Center in Miami, a contract Corrections Corporation of America facility in San Diego, and local jails and prisons in Berks County, Pa., and Hudson and Passaic counties, N.J.

But critics of the agency called the report disappointing, contending that it watered down recommendations and ignored the most serious allegations of abuse collected since June 2004, which they said included physical beatings, medical neglect, food shortages and mixing of illegal immigrants in administrative custody with criminals.

(click here to read more)

Monday, February 5, 2007

Safe Third Country Agreement Challenged in Court

Canada, U.S. Pact on Refugees Flawed, Lawyer Says

Three refugee advocacy groups are mounting a legal challenge to the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States, arguing that the United States is not a safe country for all refugees and that the agreement is unconstitutional. Canada should not automatically send refugee claimants at the border back to the United States, and to do so is a breach of the Charter and of international refugee and human-rights law, Toronto lawyer Barbara Jackman said.

"It's not often someone goes to court moving to strike out an entire government program," said Ms. Jackman, who will argue the case Monday in Federal Court on behalf of the Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International and the Canadian Council of Churches.

The Safe Third Country Agreement, implemented in 2004, requires refugee claimants to seek protection in the first country they reach, and has resulted in a dramatic drop in the number of asylum claims in Canada to just 23,000 last year, from an average of 30,000 annually a decade earlier.

(click here to read more)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Migrant Boat Awaits Africa Rescue

A vessel which broke down with about 200 illegal migrants on board is waiting off the west African coast as permission is sought for it to dock. The ship, thought to be carrying mostly Pakistani migrants, was reached by a Spanish vessel on Saturday. It is now about 12km (7.5 miles) off the coast of Mauritania after Senegal said it could not handle the ship. But a Mauritanian security source told AFP news agency the country would refuse to accept the vessel.

Senegal and Mauritania are launching points for tens of thousands of African migrants looking to reach Europe, many via the Canary Islands.

(click here to read more)

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Native Students being called "savages"


The following declaration was made by a 16-year old female Mohawk student of the Kahnawake Survival School. We would like to know if this is happening to our kids elsewhere. Please write in your story. Do you think she should have been suspended? Do you think the non-native teacher should have been defended by the staff?

I, Goldie, of Kahnawake swear that the following information is true: On Monday, January 22nd, 2007, at the Kahnwake Survival School, in the morning, I was in a class conducted by a teacher by the name of "Gino". He is a non-native first generation Italian-Canadian from Montreal who teaches language arts. We were sitting in class. "Just relax, chill out and we'll talk", Gino told the class of approximately 20 students. To me, he would rather talk than teach. I have already complained to Ed, the Vice Principal, about his lack of interest in providing proper instruction. We were all talking when he was speaking to one small group. Tiny, Curt, Code and myself started talking amongst ourselves. Shorty suddenly turned from Gino's group, freaked out and punched the wall. I asked, "Shorty, what's wrong?" Shorty said that Gino had called us "savages"! I asked Gino why? He explained that it was to "identify color"!! I couldn't believe that he would be so racist. Shorty said, "Don't lie. You did say we were savages". Shorty then walked out of the class room by breaking the door. Then Gino said, "You guys are acting childish. You took it the wrong way by saying I called you savages. It is to identify colors".

(Click here to read more)

BPP Charges based on Torture Confessions

Murder Charges Against Former Black Panthers Based on Confessions Extracted by Torture

Police in California, New York and Florida arrested eight former Black Panthers earlier this week on charges related to the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer. Richard Brown, Richard O’Neal, Ray Boudreaux and Henry Watson Jones were arrested in California. Francisco Torres was arrested in Queens New York. Harold Taylor was arrested in Florida. Two men already in jail-- Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim -- were also charged. A ninth man -- Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth – is still being sought. The men were charged with the murder of Sgt. John Young and conspiracy to commit murder for a string of attacks on other officers. Harold Taylor and two other men were first charged with the murder of the police sergeant in 1975. But a judge tossed out the charges. Taylor and his two co-defendants said they made false confessions after police in New Orleans tortured them.

(Click here to read more)

Queers and Immigration: A Vision Statement

Queers and Immigration: A Vision Statement

Two of the most divisive issues in the United States today are those concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer rights and immigration. There is little discussion of how immigration is also an issue for queer people, and even less analysis of the structural similarities between queer and immigrant struggles. Queer immigrants are marginalized or invisible at the intersection of two identities. As a whole, more complex family structures -- such as those of binational same-sex couples and extended families -- are completely absent from the larger struggle for immigration reform.

The immigrant advocacy movement places undue emphasis on heteronormative relationships and conceptions of normality in an effort to gain basic citizenship rights. The mainstream LGBTQ rights movement tends to focus on those immigrants who are partners of US citizens. This leaves out the predicament of, for instance, single people and/or those who do not define themselves within conventional relationships like marriage or conjugality. Both movements are depriving themselves of the power and strategic insights that LGBTQ immigrants can provide. We, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and gender-nonconforming people and allies, stand in solidarity with the immigrant rights movement. With this statement, we call for genuinely progressive immigration reform that helps LGBTQ immigrants.

(Click here to read more)

Canadian immigrants battle chronic low-income

Immigrants battle chronic low income By MARINA JIMÉNEZ
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A landmark national study confirms what new immigrants already know: They are financially no better off now than they were at the turn of the millennium, and have poverty rates three times higher than Canadians, despite their high levels of education. The Statistics Canada study is an indictment of Canada's immigrant selection model, which actively recruits skilled professionals, most of whom cannot get work in their fields, and are forced to accept jobs delivering pizza or pumping gas.

In 2002, low-income rates among immigrant families during their first full year in Canada were 3.5 times higher than those of people born in Canada -- higher than at any time in the 1990s. By 2004, they were 3.2 times higher. This is the first-ever study examining the chronic low income of immigrants, and the researchers tracked as many as 280,000 people over 15 years.

(Click here to read more)

Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration

Author and radio host Deepa Fernandes joins us to talk about her new book, “Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration.” Fernandes documents the hidden human struggles behind the immigration debate and exposes how big business has been a driving force in setting immigration policy.

DEEPA FERNANDES: Well, it's very interesting, actually, that the President is talking about a guest worker program. And, of course, we only ever hear a sound bite about a guest worker program, which the right is very quick to call an amnesty program and immigrant rights advocates are very quick to say it’s the furthest thing from it. Well, what I found in New Orleans is what I believe is kind of a petri dish, a testing ground for what this guest worker program will look like. And from all the immigration research and being in prisons, going to Haiti, seeing the frontlines of what immigrants are going through under US immigration policy, my last few trips to New Orleans have been truly shocking to see how the H-2B visa program, which is a low-skilled work program, how that is actually being implemented. And that is what Bush means when he says a guest worker program.

And let me just give you a really quick example of some of the folks who are living through this. So, Post-Katrina, the city's flooded, it needs to be rebuilt. Residents are dispersed en masse. The majority can’t return -- African American residents. They are stuck in trailer parks. They’re stuck all around the country. And there are many, many obstacles -- namely housing and employment -- to them coming back to the city. Very quickly, corporations begin to apply to the Department of Labor, which is the process that you do, to bring in foreign workers. Now, in countries like Peru and Bolivia and the Dominican Republic and some Asian countries, there's mass advertising happening: “Come and rebuild New Orleans. Come and help the devastated city. And we're looking for carpenters and mechanics and painters.” And so, so you have professionals in these countries who -- they’re poor countries. You can’t earn that much money. They apply for a visa. They have to go through a recruiting firm. That’s the way that you get this. They pay anything from $3,000 to $10,000, $15,000 just to be able to come to the United States to work.

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