Saturday, April 28, 2007

NOII-Van Shuts Down Immigration Offices- Report

* SEE BELOW FOR PICTURES AND REPORT FROM OCCUPATION ON MONDAY APRIL 23 *

On Wednesday April 25th, members and allies of No One Is Illegal-Vancouver returned to CIC offices, and despite being guaranteed a meeting by the offices on Monday, this meeting did not happen. The group then proceeded to shut down the front doors of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, disrupting the business of deportation-as-usual. A heavy contingent of police officers were called in and attempted to remove the group from the doors; but upon being asked questions about their grounds to do so, had to back off until they were able to come back with the answer of 'mischief'. Meanwhile, the front doors were locked down with a U-lock and remained locked as the group left. It appears to have taken several hours for the lock to be removed.

According to Sam Stacey "As immigrants and immigrant rights activists we took this step because for several years we have attempted so many other avenues- we have written letters, signed petitions, and supported numerous individuals and families through this unjust system, including filing numerous legal applications; yet we have not been heard nor have theinhumane detentions and deportation stopped." The doors were also shut down to symbolize the shutting of the Canadian Border and increasing restrictive border policies that have been passed-forcing up to 500,000 individuals to live without status across the country, about 13,000 people to be deported annually; thousands to be detained; thousands to never make it across the border due to agreements signed by the US and Canada including the Safe Third Country Agreement and the highly secretive Security Prosperity Partnership Agreement; and tens of thousands of others to be forced into choosing exploitative guestworker and temporary foreign worker programs. We urge you to join us in the street on May 1 to demand an end to detentions and deportations and justice for all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

NOII-Van Occupies Immigration Offices

On Monday, April 23, a delegation of members and allies of No One Is Illegal-Vancouver occupied the Canadian Border Services Agency office to demand a meeting with Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley and her local representatives and to bring forward demands for migrant justice directly to those offices that quietly ruin the lives of individuals through detentions and deportations. Included below is the letter that was presented, including to migrants coming to the offices, all of whom were extremely supportive of the occupation and echoed the sentiment and chant "Stop the Deportations Now!"

The group also challenged those working for CIC and CBSA to account for their participation in the destruction of the lives of those deported and detained every day, including enforcement officers taking away shackled detainees that afternoon. Stickers stating 'No One is Illegal' were plastered all over the offices and chants throughout the afternoon brought voice to the thousands of invisible migrants who suffer the violence of this regime. Neither the meeting with the Minister's representatives nor a satisfactory explaination was forthcoming. After using stalling tactics and calling in a heavy contingent of police officers, employees quitely ducked out a back door to the office. It is impossible to remain silent as the lives of our community members and loved ones are destroyed and we resolve to return on Wednesday April 25th to repeat the demand for an end to the detention and deportation by the Canadian state of tens of thousands of people each year. Join us.


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TEXT OF LETTER

We are here to directly address Canada's Immigration Minister Diane Finley. We are here because every day thousands of migrants and their families struggle against the uncertainties created by Immigration Canada. Lack of status, deportations, detentions, and security certificates all contribute to making migrants vulnerable to exploitation, poverty, insecurity and indignities that no one should suffer. They are forced underground; threatened with detention or with deportation to desperate situations; and subjected to discriminatory legal standards. Non-status peoples in Canada- who are workers in low-income jobs such as janitors, factory workers, cooks- and migrant workers in programs such as the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Program or the Live In Care-giver Program, make up the backbone of the Canadian economy yet continue to be treated as second-class citizens in contravention of the basic principles of justice and equality.

The people whose lives have been torn apart by Canadian immigration are not anonymous; they are our friends and neighbors. Some of us here today have direct experiences with the immigration and refugee system; all of us have witnessed and borne the violence, anguish, and pain of seeing our friends, families, and loved ones detained or deported. Some families threatened with deportation have lived and worked in Vancouver for several years and have Canadian-born children; this is their home.

Over the past several years, we have tirelessly campaigned for immigrant rights: we have written letters, signed petitions and organized pickets and demonstrations; we have actively resisted deportations, and supported individuals and families who are confronting the unjust immigration and refugee system, including filing numerous legal applications. We have on countless occasions pathetically pleaded for justice directly from your department and offices.

All this has unfortunately fallen on deaf ears. In fact, what we have witnessed with your current government is an increased commitment to a US-style enforcement approach to immigration as evident through last year’s high profile raids during which Canadian Border Service officials entered primary and secondary schools in Toronto on at least two occasions to detain children. You openly support anti-migrant measures such as the arming of the border guards and the Safe Third Country Agreement; you have campaigned for accelerated deportations; you have refused to implement a Refugee Appeals Division despite its legal guarantee in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and you are negotiating the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement with the US and Mexico.

So we are here today to bring our demands for migrant justice and dignity to you directly. We call on you to tell us exactly how you perceive policies such as Safe Third Country Agreement- which is currently facing a legal challenge, the Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement, the non ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers, the lack of implementation of a Refugee Appeals Division, and the expansion of temporary foreign worker program to be contributing to the human rights of migrant communities. We also call on you to tell us what you intend to do to regularize the status of hundreds of thousands of people working in Canada as non-status and migrant workers who continue to be exploited in the workplace, working for less then minimum wage, because of their lack of status. We ask you: if people are good enough to work in Canada, are they not good enough to stay?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I am not asking for your approval

March 26th, 2007. Kameelah Janan Rasheed

I have spun myself into a web of non-stop, albeit non-linear, intertextual journeys and discursive shadow boxing matches towards a coherent narrative about hijab. I feared that in writing about hijab that my thoughts would be so reminiscent of previous works, that my narrative would be surrendered to the museum of embalmed anachronisms and clichés. This fear kept me running as far as my short legs could carry me away from the oppression versus liberation paradigm, and hiding in a dark corner away from self-hating confessionals about the ugliness of Islam.

I am not interested in proving to anyone that I am in fact liberated or that by wearing hijab in America I am engaging in a radical feminist act. Just as I gave up the task of proving my blackness or womanhood years ago to those who were skeptical of my ‘credentials’, I do not plan to spend time here validating my humanity or agency. Such a task is a distraction. The task here is not to shuck n’jive or discursively gyrate towards a presentation of hijab and myself that will grant me entrance into the feminist or ‘mainstream’ community. I do not want to spend time convincing people that in fact my hijab is not surgically attached to my scalp.

(Click here to read more)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Military Recruiters Forced to Withdraw from UCSC Job Fair

With Major Protests Imminent, Military Recruiters Withdraw from UCSC Job Fair. April 18, 2007

Student Success Marks Third Year of Preventing Recruitment Santa Cruz, CA

With hundreds of students expected to protest, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps recruiters withdrew from the April 24th Last Chance Job Fair at UC Santa Cruz yesterday. Student protests have made UCSC an increasingly ineffective site of military recruitment for almost three years. This withdrawal represents a victory towards stopping war and militarism.

(Click here to read more)

U.S. criticized for building wall around Sunnis

April 21, 2007 (Associated Press)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Criticism mounted Saturday over a wall U.S. troops are building around a Sunni enclave surrounded by Shiite areas in Baghdad, with residents calling it "collective punishment" and the local council leader saying the community did not approve the project before construction began.


(Click here to read more)

Racism, Wealth and IQ: The Heart of Whiteness

April 21 / 22, 2007. By MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.

I.Q. is a measure of wealth. The children of gangsters and war criminals (i.e., national politicians, corporate executives, race-favored Americans, Europeans, and others from outposts of Pan-Whiteness, e.g., Israel, Australia, New Zealand) will have higher I.Q. because they have been brought up in material comfort, physical security, and they have experienced the best educational systems in existence. There is no genetic basis for this, but there is certainly a racist one.

Since the days of Columbus, Pan-Whiteness has used technology (primarily explosives) and piracy (now called finance) to steal world resources, and enslave and exterminate "colored" people. "High" I.Q. is merely a developmental indicator of race-based physical plundering by their elders and ancestors in the children of the Race Warriors of the White Supremacy Crusade.

(Click here to read more)

Immigrants Used to Justify a Homeland Security Police State

By Peter Phillips (Project Censored). April 20, 2007

Threats of terrorism and twelve million “illegal” immigrants are being used to justify new police-state measures in the United States. Coordinated mass arrests, big brother spy blimps, expanded detention centers, repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act, and suspension of habeas corpus have all been recently implemented and are ready to use against anyone in the US.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) flooded Mexico with cheap subsidized US agricultural products that displaced millions of Mexican farmers. Between 2000 and 2005, Mexico lost 900,000 rural jobs and 700,000 industrial jobs, resulting in deep unemployment throughout the country. Desperate poverty has forced millions of Mexican workers north in order to feed their families.

(Click here to read more)

Desperation in Gitmo's Camp 6

Confined to a Dungeon Above the Ground. By NICOLE COLSON. April 20, 2007

More detainees at the U.S. prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are so desperate to end their suffering that they are going on hunger strike--willing to risk death if it means an end to their imprisonment.

According to press reports, at least 13 prisoners are on hunger strike in protest of the harsh conditions at "Camp 6," a new maximum-security section of the camp. Two have reportedly been refusing food since August 2005, while most of the others began striking in January or February. Most are forced to undergo daily force-feedings at the hands of their U.S. captors--an often brutal and dehumanizing process that lawyers and human rights advocates say is meant to make detainees suffer more.

(Click here to read more)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Asian Americans and the Virginia Tech Shootings

What May Come: Asian Americans and the Virginia Tech Shootings by Tamara K. Nopper - April 17, 2007

Like many, I was glued to the television news yesterday, keeping updated about the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech University. I was trying to deal with my own disgust and sadness, especially since my professional life as a graduate student and college instructor is tied to universities. And then the other shoe dropped. I found out from a friend that the news channel she was watching had reported the shooter as Asian. It has now been reported, after much confusion, that the shooter is Cho Seung-Hui, a South Korean immigrant and Virginia Tech student. As an Asian American woman, I am keenly aware that Asians are about to become a popular media topic if not the victims of physical backlash. Rarely have we gotten as much attention in the past ten years, except, perhaps, during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Since then Asians are seldom seen in the media except when one of us wins a golfing match, Woody Allen has sex, or Angelina Jolie adopts a kid.

I am not looking forward to the onslaught of media attention. If history truly does have clues about what will come, there may be several different ways we as Asian Americans will be talked about. One, we will watch white media pundits and perhaps even sociologists explain what they understand as an “Asian” way of being. They will talk about how Asian males presumably have fragile “egos” and therefore are culturally prone to engage in kamikaze style violence. These statements will be embedded with racist tropes about Japanese military fighters during WWII or the Viet Cong—the crazy, calculating, and hidden Asian man who will fight to the death over presumably nothing.


(Click here to read more)

African migrants attack Spanish patrol boat

African illegals attack Spanish patrol boat with petrol bombs

Madrid (dpa) - African would-be immigrants travelling to Spain by boat attacked a Spanish police vessel with petrol bombs, preventing the officers on board from detaining them, the daily El Pais reported Tuesday. The boat was taking 57 migrants from Mauritania in West Africa to the Canary Islands, when a Spanish patrol boat based in Mauritania attempted to intercept it. The immigrants hurled petrol bombs and other objects at the vessel and tried to puncture a rubber dinghy which was sent to accost it. Police decided to allow the boat to continue its journey, because its movements were endangering the lives of its occupants, according to the report.

(Click here to read more)

China's part-time McWorkers exploited

China's part-time McWorkers exploited By Olivia Chung HONG KONG

Legal loopholes, lax supervision and local corruption are allowing US fast-food giants to underpay part-timer workers in China. The current labor law, effective since 1995, has been criticized by human rights and union activists for being more protective of employers than of workers. Experts are urging the Chinese government to draft a new labor law so that the rights of both full-time and part-time employees are equally protected. The following is an example of how a part-time working student is underpaid and his rights are not fully protected.

Struggling to earn enough to pay his tuition fees, Tong (not his real name) started working a part-time job at McDonald's in Guangzhou in January 2006 and was impressed by the US fast-food restaurant's nice atmosphere and neat environment. "At first, I didn't feel I was underpaid because the salary the restaurant offered was similar to those offered by domestic restaurants," said Tong, a third-year undergraduate, "but after a long day of work, I felt it was a bit unfair. It's a hard-knock life." According to the contract he signed with McDonald's, Tong's basic salary plus subsidy is 5.3 yuan (68.7 US cents) per hour.

(Click here to read more)

Pakistan to expel Afghan refugees

Pakistan to expel Afghan refugees By Kamal Hyder in Peshawar

Bureaucratic tape is preventing almost two million Afghans from returning to their homeland
Afghan refugees in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar have been told by the Pakistani government that they have until April 15 to leave the country. The refugees cannot leave until paperwork is processed by the United Nations and Pakistan authorities. Refugees who miss the deadline may be open to prosecution by the Pakistani government. Hundreds of families waiting for their paperwork have spent weeks living in trucks, languishing in the heat without basic amenities or proper sanitation.

At least four million have left Afghanistan since Russian forces invaded their country in 1979. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says it cannot process refugee papers any quicker. It also said that some people may simply be looking for the $100 dollars that has been offered by the UN agency to those that register. Hundreds of trucks, paid for by the UNHCR to carry these people back to Afghanistan, have parked together to provide temporary respite for people who are angry about being mistreated.

(Click here to read more)

GOP Game "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" at University of Iowa

GOP game raises eyebrows By: Zhi Xiong - The Daily Iowan

The UI College Republicans - part of the College Republican National Committee - will host a Capture the Flag game Thursday at City Park.The title of this game: "Catch an Illegal Immigrant."The match is part of the UI College Republicans' second Conservative Coming Out Week, which kicked off on Sunday with "Condi Rice Day."But the contest focusing on illegal immigration is arguably one of the more controversial elements of the week designed to promote and stoke awareness of conservative politics - a minority viewpoint on the solidly liberal UI campus.Greg Baker, the president of the College Republicans, said the Catch an Illegal Immigrant game is a tribute to former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt."He was for stronger immigration policy," Baker said. "That's why we chose him for the historical president."

Two teams - the "illegal immigrants" and the "border patrol" - will try to cross the dividing line representing the United States-Mexico border. If a team member is tagged, he or she goes to "jail.""It is controversial, but this emphasizes illegal immigration," Baker said. "We want a stronger conservative approach to it: sound protection of borders."Thursday's game is among a series of similar events on college campuses nationwide. "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day" put the University of Michigan in the national spotlight in September 2006 when the student group Young Americans for Freedom offered a cash award for finding someone posing as an illegal immigrant.Following protests from minority groups at Michigan, Morgan Wilkins, a contractor for the College Republican National Committee, was fired by the organization.

(Click here to read more)

NY: Wobblies Organize Brooklyn Warehouses

Wobblies Organize Brooklyn Warehouses by Caitlin Esch

In 1903, when Japanese and Mexican immigrant workers wanted to unionize in California, the American Federation of Labor denied them a union charter, refusing to work with non-whites. The Industrial Workers of the World, on the other hand, embraced workers of all colors, as long as they were a little “red.” At less than $4 an hour, some Mexican workers in Brooklyn today earn little more than they would have in 1903—and these workers are again turning to the IWW.

On March 10, in the sparsely inhabited industrial graveyard that straddles the borough divide between Brooklyn and Queens, 15 to 20 people picketed outside EZ-Supply/Sunrise Plus, a food distribution warehouse, to protest labor abuses. EZ-Supply/Sunrise Plus employs about 25 workers and is the largest of five food distribution warehouses in the area where workers are trying to unionize. The others—Amersino, Giant Big Apple Beer, Top City and Handyfat—employ about 65 workers total. IWW organizer and do-rag bestyled Billy Randel explains that the point of the small picket, far from the eyes of the public, is to remind the owner, one Mr. Lester Wen, that he is being watched. Randel elaborates, “This warehouse is really bad. It’s one of the worst. When we first came in here about a year ago, workers were working 60 to 70 hours for around $350 a week.”

(Click here to read more)

"ENDGAME": Inhumane raid was just one of many

By Carol Rose and Christopher Ott March 26, 2007

IF THE CHAOTIC immigration raid in New Bedford earlier this month troubled you, we have news: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, is just getting warmed up.
We know this because the New Bedford raid was part of a frighteningly ambitious plan laid out by the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 -- and it hasn't received nearly enough scrutiny.


The plan is called Endgame, and its details are available online on our group's website (www.aclum.org/endgame.pdf). It's a 10-year campaign to track down and deport all the immigrants to the United States who are living and working here without proper documentation, by the year 2012.

(Click here to read more)

See ACLU update "ENDGAME" DOCUMENTS: BEFORE AND AFTER

On March 26, 2007, the Boston Globe ran our op-ed about operation Endgame, the plan to remove all 12 million undocumented immigrants from the United States by 2012. We wrote the piece to point out that the March 2007 raid in New Bedford by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents was not just an isolated incident, but part of a detailed and ambitious plan that will likely require similar tactics on an even greater scale.

Since then (and starting the very next day) something interesting has happened. While publicly taking issue with our assertion that Endgame uses tactics similar to the ethnic cleansing we saw in the Balkans during the 1990s -- lightning raids, mass arrests, packed detention centers, and mass deportations -- ICE has quietly removed documents about operation Endgame from its website, ice.gov.

(Click here to read more)

Sexual cleansing

Gov't denies gays are targets of killings. 17 April 2007 BAGHDAD (IRIN)

The Iraqi lesbian and gay community and NGOs dealing with gay issues have called for urgent action to protect gays and lesbians in the country.The groups say that the number of victims of "sexual cleansing" is growing on a daily basis."

In the past three months, more than 30 gays have been executed in Baghdad. The bodies have been found tortured, mutilated - sometimes with signs of rape," said Mustafa Salim, spokesman for the Rainbow for Life Organization (RLO), a Baghdad-based gay rights NGO.

(Click here to read more)

Duke rape case; Blaming the victim, again

By Tyneisha Bowens and Laura Bickford, Raleigh FIST. Apr 17, 2007

The infamous “Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” has once again taken the media forefront and divided the U.S. Last week’s decision to drop the sexual assault charges against the three Duke University men has rattled communities and weakened the survivor’s support system. Here in North Carolina the responses and effects regarding the decision are the most extreme.

Given this dynamic, the women of Raleigh FIST (Fight Imperialism-Stand Together) youth group have come together to reflect on the year-long case and last week’s decision.

(Click here to read more)

Life in Solitary Confinement: 12,775 Days Alone

By Brooke Shelby Biggs, AlterNet. April 17, 2007

Americans shamefully imagine that spending a life sentence in solitary confinement could only happen in faraway countries. But two men in Louisiana's Angola prison know otherwise.

Around midday today, Central Time, two men in Angola Prison in Louisiana will quietly mark the moment, 35 years ago exactly, when the bars of solitary confinement cells closed behind them. They will likely spend the moment in their 6 by 9 concrete cells reading, or writing letters to their hundreds of supporters around the world. And most of America and the rest of the world will still have never heard of them, or that in the United States of America, it is still possible to spend a life sentence in solitary confinement without interruption and without any real means of appeal. Americans shamefully imagine such things happen offshore in places like Guantanamo, or in totalitarian countries half a world away. Not here, though. Certainly not here.

(Click here to read more)

The US has Returned Fundamentalism to Afghanistan

Published on Thursday, April 12, 2007. By Malalai Joya

The following is a transcript of the speech given by Malalai Joya, member of the Afghan Parliament, given at the University of Los Angeles on Tuesday April, 10th:

Respected friends, over five years passed since the US-led attack on Afghanistan. Probably many of you are not well aware of the current conditions of my country and expect me to list the positive outcomes of the past years since the US invasion. But I am sorry to tell you that Afghanistan is still chained in the fetters of the fundamentalist warlords and is like an unconscious body taking its last breath.

The US government removed the ultra-reactionary and brutal regime of Taliban, but instead of relying on Afghan people, pushed us from the frying pan into the fire and selected its friends from among the most dirty and infamous criminals of the “Northern Alliance”, whichi s made up of the sworn enemies of democracy and human rights, and are as dark-minded, evil, and cruel as the Taliban.

(Click here to read more)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What the persecution of Azmi Bishara means for Palestine

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 16 April 2007

The Israeli state and the Zionist movement have begun their latest assault in their century-long struggle to rid Palestine of its indigenous people and transform their country into a Jewish supremacist enclave: the persecution of Azmi Bishara, one of the most important Palestinian national leaders and thinkers working today. This case has enormous significance for the Palestinian solidarity movement.

(Click here to read more)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Canada’s Conservative government moves to extend Afghan intervention

As fatalities mount, Canada’s Conservative government moves to extend Afghan intervention By Richard Dufour 14 April 2007

Canada’s minority Conservative government and corporate media had long planned to use this past week’s 90th anniversary of the First World War battle of Vimy Ridge to whip up public support for the Canadian military and, above all, to promote the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) intervention in Afghanistan. But the elaborate ceremonies and official invocations of sacrifice, duty, honor, and Canadian nation-building have been overshadowed by a series of deadly reversals for the 2,300 strong CAF contingent serving in southern Afghanistan. Six CAF troops were killed last Sunday when their armored vehicle was destroyed by a roadside bomb and two more were killed Wednesday in a wave of Taliban bomb-attacks.

The eight fatalities are the largest the CAF has suffered in a single week since the Korean War and raise the total number of CAF personnel to die in Afghanistan to 53. Most of these fatalities have come since the spring of 2006, when the CAF first assumed a leading role in the US-NATO counter-insurgency war in the Kandahar region of southern Afghanistan. There are parallels to be drawn between Canada’s role in Afghanistan today and the role it played in World War I, but they are most assuredly not the parallels dawn by Canada’s Prime Minister Harper, the Queen, and other dignitaries in their Vimy Ridge commemoration speeches.

(Click here to read more)

South Asian Corporate Dominance in Uganada leads to Racial Violence

4 killed in Uganda forest protest Published : Thu, 12 Apr 2007 19:29

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) - A mob stoned to death two people of Asian origin, and two other people were killed Thursday as a protest over a prized Ugandan rain forest exploded into racial violence, forcing military police in armored vehicles to fire tear gas into the crowd, authorities said. Police arrested 20 people suspected of being the ringleaders of the melee and offered special security to Asians in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, said Information Minister Kirunda Kivejinja. Police were guarding some Asians in their homes.

The protest was aimed at a subsidiary of the Mehta Group, which is run by Ugandans of Indian descent. The company wants to slash part of the Mabira Forest Reserve to expand its sugar plantation. The crowd burned cars, attacked a Hindu temple and chanted, 'We are tired of Asians!' and 'They should go back to their land!' Dozens of Asians, fearing for their lives, took refuge in police stations. Tension between black Ugandans and those of Asian origin has a long history in this African country. In the 1970s, dictator Idi Amin expelled South Asians, saying they were trying to dominate the economy.

(Click here to read more)

Canadian army not welcome in Fort Simpson

For immediate release TROOPS AT FORT SIMPSON WILL NOT BE WELCOMED FORT SIMPSON, NT –

April 13 -- When the Canadian army lands here Monday for an 11-day mission to “secure” the town’s airport from terrorists, it will not be welcomed by the Dehcho First Nations (DFN) whose territory surrounding the federal airport land is under their jurisdiction, not Canada’s.

“Operation Narwhal may be just a mock exercise to the Canadian forces, but we see it as interference with our land and rights. Indeed, I think it could be seen as an exercise of intimidation by Canada on the Dehcho,” Grand Chief Herb Norwegian said Friday. “Canada has reneged on a promise to implement our Land Use Plan, and will not negotiate with us in good faith, but they seem to think Fort Simpson is a strategic hub for the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline. We have already informed Canada that the pipeline will not cross our land until we have our Land Use Plan approved." Operation Narwhal will station 40 military personnel at the airport from April 16-27 as part of what it calls “a sovereignty operation for Canadian forces.” Another 240 troops will be stationed for the same period at Norman Wells. The military says it considers these two sites as ‘possible terrorist sites’ because of their strategic location on the pipeline route. In addition to “securing” the airport from potential terrorists, Joint Task Force North will be patrolling the area and guarding the airport, a military spokesperson confirmed. Norwegian says he was not consulted.

(Click here to read more)

UN Body Holds Canada Responsible for Corporations’ Actions Abroad

CANADA: UN Body Holds Canada Responsible for Corporations’ Actions Abroad by Mark Cherrington, Cultural Survival April 10th, 2007

In a groundbreaking decision, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has told Canada that it must rein in Canadian corporations operating on Indian land in the United States.The finding, issued in early March, was in response to a petition filed by the Western Shoshone Defense Project about the actions of Canadian resource-extraction companies operating on the tribe’s land in the western United States. Among other things, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which has been ratified by both Canada and the United States, requires states to "guarantee the right of everyone ... in the enjoyment of ... economic, social, and cultural rights ... and the right to public health." The Shoshone petition claimed that these are the areas in which the Canadian companies are affecting them.

The petition especially targets Barrick Gold Corporation, the largest gold mining company in the world. Gold mining uses large amounts of toxic mercury and creates cyanide-laced leaching ponds, both of which threaten Shoshones’ right to health. The blasting used to open mining sites destroys sacred areas, which violates the tribe’s cultural rights to culture, and mining roads disrupt wildlife, undermining their traditional ways of finding food. Gold mining also requires vast amounts of water, which dries up springs and other water sources that the Shoshone need for health. The Betze mine alone uses 70,000 gallons per minute, and it is hardly alone. Western Shoshone lands are the third-largest gold producing region in the world, and there are six other Canadian gold companies besides Barrick operating there, with more applications for leases already under consideration.The Shoshone have targeted Canada in part because the United States has failed to take any action to protect Shoshone lands.

(Click here to read more)

Made in Canada Violence: Mining in Mexico

Made in Canada Violence: Mining in Mexico Written by Mandeep Dhillon. Thursday, 12 April 2007

The history of mining in Mexico is a long one. The riches of the Mexican sub-soil were a major motivation for Spanish colonizers and the mining industry is often accorded an important place in events leading to the Mexican Revolution; the 1906 bloody repression of striking miners working for U.S. Cananean Consolidated Copper in Sonora is often cited as a precursor to current labor struggles in Mexico. The authors of the Mexican Revolution sought to make a reality of the ideal that those who work the land should have control over it. In order to protect its land from foreign interests, Article 27 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution dictated that the land, the subsoil and its riches were all property of the Mexican State. More importantly, Article 27 recognized the lasting collective right of communities to land through the “ejido” system and limited private land ownership.

As in the colonization of Indigenous lands elsewhere, mining was an activity of primary economic importance to colonizing forces and a major cause of injury, death, land destruction and impoverishment for Indigenous communities. Not much has changed in this imbalance today. And Canadian mining corporations – with wealth created from the historic (and ongoing) take-over and exploitation of Indigenous territory in Canada – are at the lead of these colonizing forces in present day Mexico.

(Click here to read more)

Farm Labor Organizer Murdered in Mexico

Labor Contractors Suspected Farm Labor Organizer Murdered in Mexico By DAN La BOTZ

Santiago Rafael Cruz, an organizer for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) based in Toledo, Ohio, was found murdered in the union's office in Monterrey, Mexico on the morning of April 9. He had been bound hand and foot and beaten to death. Circumstances suggest labor contractors may have had him killed. Cruz, 29, had worked for FLOC in the United States for four years organizing immigrant agricultural workers. For less than a month working for the FLOC in the Monterrey office that was set up in 2005 to help process H2A visa workers whose employers were under FLOC contracts. FLOC has asked the AFL-CIO and Rep. Marcy Kaptur's (D-Ohio) to request that the U.S. State Department press the Mexican government to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation to bring the killers to justice. John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, has called on the Mexican and U.S. governments to ensure that there is a "thorough and professional investigation" of the murder. FLOC has asked the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to take on Cruz's murder as an official case.

Who would want Cruz killed? To answer that question we have to understand the labor contracting system in Mexico.

(Click here to read more)

Australia: Call for HIV ban for migrants

Anger over Howard's HIV ban call. Howard said he would look at changing the law to stop HIV-positive people coming to Australia [AP]

John Howard, the Australian prime minister, has said people who are HIV-positive should not be allowed to migrate to Australia, a remark condemned by health groups as racist. Howard told Southern Cross Broadcasting on Friday: "My initial reaction is no [they should not be allowed in]," adding that he would like more advice on the matter.

Australia bans people with tuberculosis from entering the country as migrants, while people over the age of 15 who apply for permanent residence are tested for HIV. Applicants for residence who have a medical condition for which the lifetime treatment cost exceeds $17,000 are denied entry.

(Click here to read more)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Amsterdam Anti-Detention Action

Opening of Detention Centres

09.Apr.07 - Days before the official opening of the new detention boats in Zaandam, north of Amsterdam around 90 activists 'opened' the detention center by unexpectedly cutting down the fences surrounding the installation with bold cutters. The dutch ministry of justice plans to start using the new facility which provides 300 two-person cells for detention of 'illegal migrants' later this month. By dismantling more than 150 meters of security fencing the activists attempted to prevent or delay the opening of the new detention facility expressing their opposition to the repressive dutch migration policies and the disregard for the human rights of migrants that are imprisoned on a routine basis.

One of the most severe means that can be used against citizens is brought in practice on these boats: deprivation of liberty. To justify this treatment in Dutch media and politics an image is provoked that links migration and criminality. The Netherlands put per 100.000 inhabitants more people in alien detention than any other European country.

(Click here to read more)

STRIVE ACT is Corporate Designed Immigration Reform

The STRIVE ACT is Corporate Designed Immigration Reform By Javier Rodriguez April 4, 2007

The debate in the nation on immigration reform is definitely on and the cards are once again stacked. The Gutierrez-Flake STRIVE ACT of 2007 is a corporate monster most of the way. It doesn't come close to meeting the human rights standards set forth by the international community for the more than 200 million migrants in the planet who, by designs of corporate globalization and its rising capitalist transnational class, have been forced to leave their home countries in search of a new life.

On the contrary the new STRIVE ACT, like last year’s failed Sensenbrenner-HR4437 and Hegel-Martinez S2611, will criminalize immigrants, allow enforcement of immigration law by police agencies, calls for more extreme border enforcement, calls for building 20 more detention centers for immigrants, will erode human rights for future deportees and future immigrants, it will impose an employer verification program, it will delay legalization for the 13 million immigrants already here for many years and not surprisingly it does not set realistic standards to resolve the immigration issue period. Overall, if approved, it will further set back the struggle for immigrant empowerment, make present and future immigrant workers more vulnerable to exploitation and drive them further underground.

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Anti-Minutemen Protestors face Columbia University Punishment

Columbia University's Two-Tiered Punishments By MARTÍN LOPEZ, COSETTE OLIVO and KARINA GARCÍA

After over five months of disciplinary proceedings, we Columbia University students, who in October protested a speech by then Minutemen Project leader Jim Gilchrist, have been advised that Columbia University has issued discipline against us. These arbitrary and ridiculous punishments are the culmination of an arbitrary and ridiculous process, in which students were denied due process, presentation of any evidence or witnesses to substantiate specific charges, any legal representation, or any explanation of the basis for the disciplinary findings. Most atrocious is the fact that of the seven students, the three Latino students received the harshest punishments. In contrast, the non-Latino student protesters who were punished received "disciplinary warnings," the lightest punishment available.

The administration did not give a reason for the different punishments.We received "censures," which was the maximum penalty given the "simple" charges-as opposed to "serious" charges- against us. The censure means that any subsequent disciplinary infraction, regardless of the severity, will automatically result in our suspension.The impropriety and racism undergirding Columbia's discipline is particularly laid bare in the case of Martin Lopez. Lopez was one of the three students who received a censure. Video coverage provided by Univision shows that Lopez, a sophomore and the son of immigrant parents, was kicked violently in the face by a Minutemen supporter while on the floor of the auditorium. He never set one foot on stage.

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Iraqi Refugees Speak of Escape from Hell

Refugees Speak Of Escape From Hell By Dahr Jamail

DAMASCUS, Apr 11 (IPS) - Refugees from Iraq scattered around Damascus describe hellish conditions in the country they managed to leave behind. "I used to work with the Americans near Kut (in the south)," Sa'ad Hussein, a 34-year-old electrical engineer told IPS. "I worked for Kellogg, Brown & Root in construction of an Iraqi base there, until I returned to Baghdad and found a death threat written on a paper which was slipped under my door. I had to flee."

Hussein, who left three months back, described Baghdad as a "city of ghosts" where black banners of death announcements can be seen hanging on most streets. The city, he said, lives on an hour of electricity a day, and there are no jobs to be had.

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Militarizing The Border

Militarizing The Border By Frida Berrigan 14 April, 2007

The sun was strong and so was the rhetoric, as President George W. Bush headed to Yuma, Arizona on April 9 to tackle the problem of illegal immigration. Flanked by uniformed border agents, national guardsmen and members of local law enforcement whose stiff formality emphasized his bare-armed enthusiasm, the president asserted that “securing the border is a critical part of a strategy for comprehensive immigration reform… Congress is going to take up the legislation on immigration. It is a matter of national interest and it's a matter of deep conviction for me.” The president rolled up his shirt sleeves and blamed a host of problems on illegal immigration: it “puts pressure on the public schools and the hospitals… drains the state and local budgets… brings crime to our communities.” He also urged Congress to get behind a tangle of proposals ranging from more border patrols and a guest worker program to stiffer penalties for illegal immigrants and the people who employ them. But the heart of President Bush’s effort against illegal immigration is the multi-billion dollar Secure Border Initiative (SBI).

As with so many other pressing issues -- from terrorism to oil dependency -- the White House is turning to the military industrial complex for a solution. SBI is the plan of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to erect a "virtual fence" of monitors, sensors, unmanned planes, and communications to help border agents catch illegal immigrants crossing the southern border. In September 2006, DHS awarded initial contracts -- worth upwards of $2 billion -- for the high-tech surveillance technology along border region to weapons giant Boeing.

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No One is Illegal Poster


No One is Illegal Vancouver has recently designed and produced full-colour posters to build the broader movement towards No One is Illegal (and of course to help us in our ongoing fundraising efforts as we accept NO government or corporate funds.) Email us at noii-van@resist.ca to order a copy ($5-10).

Women Against War and Neoliberalism Converge in Caracas

By Ronald Suarez Rivas -Special correspondent. 9 Apr 2007

CARACAS.— At a time when fascism is resurging and discrimination is still rampant, delegates from around the world are calling the 14th Congress of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), which starts Monday in Caracas, as a very serious and promising challenge.

For four days, participants from more than 100 organizations from the 5 continents will debate the most serious problems affecting women, and will participate in several peace and solidarity activities.


The trafficking of women, discrimination, the use of their image to sell products, and the negative impact of war and neoliberal globalization, are among the subjects to be tackled by ten work commissions to be held during the gathering.

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Feminists debate logic of "humanitarian" warwar

"Dust in the Eyes of the World." By Anna Carastathis. October 19, 2006

Is the military deployment in Aghanistan – which some Afghan feminists are calling an occupation– improving the lives of women? The claim that the war in Afghanistan will liberate Afghan women has been circulating since before the bombs began to drop, on October 7, 2001. By mid-October of that year--the day before World Food Day--the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that 7.5 million Afghans had no access to food and were at risk of starvation. A few months later, on January 29, 2002, during his State of the Union address, George Bush jubilantly declared: "Today, women are free and are part of Afghanistan's new government." In July 2006, it was reported that the war had created 2.2 million refugees and at least 153,200 internally displaced people. It is estimated that between 12,541 and 25,308 Afghan people have died in the war.

Global opposition to the invasion of Iraq was mobilized even before the war began; by contrast, the war in Afghanistan, spun as a humanitarian effort, is the war relatively few Canadians seem to want to--or know how to--audibly oppose. Canadians take pride in themselves for not following the United States into an illegal war in Iraq, but not many questions were raised about Canada taking over the US mandate in Afghanistan (which allowed the US to focus its military and resources in Iraq). Part of the reason for this is that the war in Afghanistan – named 'Operation Enduring Freedom' – was, from the beginning, promoted as war that would restore the women's rights by deposing the Taliban.

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US accused of using neutron bombs

APRIL 09, 20076:54 MECCA TIME, 3:54 GMT. (Al Jazeera)

The former commander of Iraq's Republican Guard has accused the US of using non-conventional weapons in its war against the Middle East country.

Saifeddin Fulayh Hassan Taha al-Rawi told Al Jazeera that US forces used neutron and phosphorus bombs during their assault on Baghdad airport before the April 9 capture of the Iraqi capital.


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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guantanamo hunger strike expands

By MICHAEL MELIA, Associated Press Writer Mon Apr 9

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A long-running hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay gained several participants in recent weeks amid complaints over conditions at a new unit of the prison, but a spokesman at the U.S. military base said Monday that the protest appeared to be losing steam.

All were being force-fed through tubes inserted into their noses, said Navy Cmdr. Robert Durand, a Guantanamo spokesman. The strike, which began in 2005, has had as many as a dozen participants in recent months but reached 17 in the days before the trial in March of David Hicks, the Australian detainee whose case marked the first U.S. war crimes conviction since World War II. Hicks pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism and was sentenced to nine more months in prison.

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AFL-CIO Again Rejects Guest Worker Programs

Expanding Guest Worker Program—a No Winner for Immigrants or the Nation. By James Parks, Apr 10, 2007

In today’s Los Angeles Times, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, describe how temporary worker programs will negatively impact immigrant workers—and the nation.

Those programs

"will assure a steady flow of cheap labor from essentially indentured workers too afraid of being deported to protest substandard wages, chiseled benefits and unsafe working conditions. Such a system will create a disenfranchised underclass of workers. That is not only morally indefensible, it is economically nonsensical. We’ve had plenty of bad experiences with such shortsighted answers to a complicated problem."

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Suzi Hazahza and the Pirates of Homeland Security

Greg Moses, The Electronic Intifada, 31 March 2007

One by one, all the helium-inflated excuses for arresting and imprisoning Suzi Hazahza have been popped and now lie on the ground. And the single memory humanizing the government that still holds her unlawfully behind bars is the look on one Federal Magistrate's face Thursday in Dallas when he was told by a US Attorney that Congress has stripped the federal bench of any right to order Suzi Hazahza freed until a full six months of illegal detention have passed.

Anguish is the word that some observers have used to describe the look on the judge's face as he wrestled with the impotence of his authority before the power of Homeland Security to arrest and detain innocent immigrants.

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Monday, April 9, 2007

From Socialism to Barbarism in West Bengal

From Socialism To Barbarism? By Akhila Raman 04 April, 2007Countercurrents.org

Be it Right or Left, it is becoming increasingly clear that Governments across the world are eager to get in bed with the corporations. The message is clear in West Bengal: Economic development will be pursued at any human cost. Protesters will be brutally dealt with and killed if required. Critics will be vilified. Facts will be fudged to justify brutal actions. The Ugly Might of the State has descended in an unholy manner on the farmers in Singur and Nandigram. How can CPIM reconcile its conflicting history of admirable land reforms in West Bengal with the recent brutal repression of farmers in its desperate bid of industrialization?

"The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is the revolutionary vanguard of the working class of India. Its aim is socialism and communism through the establishment of the state of dictatorship of the proletariat. In all its activities the Party is guided by the philosophy and principles of Marxism-Leninism which shows to the toiling masses the correct way to the ending of exploitation of man by man, their complete emancipation. " -CPIM website. Thus reads the website of Communist Party of India-Marxist(CPIM). Its stated aim and ideals are lofty. Practice is becoming increasingly shameful. The CPIM led Left Front came to power in West Bengal in 1977 with the promise of achieving socialism and has continued to win every election ever since, largely due to the land reforms through the 80's, which did benefit large sections of the toiling masses. Lately though, the Party is increasingly becoming indistinguishable from the Right.

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Iraqi Refugees in Lebanon

Invisible lives: Iraqis in Lebanon Serene Assir, Electronic Lebanon, 9 April 2007

At home in a backstreet of Hayy al-Sillom, one of Beirut's sprawling southern suburbs' densely populated and poverty-ridden quarters, Bassem lies on the floor with his multiply fractured leg stretched out in front of him. Though it is broad daylight outside, the windows are shut and the lights are dim in his tiny living room. The air is heavy, almost unbearably so, with cigarette smoke and the stench of urine from a makeshift container he uses, as he cannot get up to go to the bathroom. Covering his body with an old blanket, he surrounds himself only with smokes, piled up ashtrays and the medicines he takes to relieve his pain. His frame reveals he was once an able man, one who could happily take care of providing for his family of five.

But the profound sadness in his eyes shows that, today, Bassem is a broken man. "We fled Baghdad in late 2003," said Bassem, who is in his early forties. "Security has continually deteriorated since, so I cannot foresee that we will ever return home. I was able to find work as a blacksmith. Though I didn't make much money, at least we had an income with which I could support my family. After my accident at work, I instead became a burden."

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On Capitalism by Chomsky

On Capitalism, Europe, and the World Bank by Noam Chomsky and Dennis Ott; April 02, 2007

Dennis Ott: In a recent interview you quoted Thorstein Veblen, who contrasted “substantial people” and “underlying population.”[1] At a shareholder’s meeting of Allianz AG, major shareholder Hans-Martin Buhlmannn expressed the view that there is only one limit to the increase of the dividend: “The inferiors must not be bled so much that they can no longer consume. They must survive as consumers.”[2] Is this the guiding principle of our economic system? And if so, is there any substance to the notion of a “social market economy”?

Noam Chomsky: Those are traditional questions in economics. It’s part of Marx’s reasoning about why there’s going to be a continuing crisis of capitalism: that owners are going to try to squeeze the work force as much as possible, but they can’t go too far, it’ll be nobody to purchase what they buy. And it’s been dealt with over and over again in one or another way during the history of capitalism; there’s an inherent problem. So for example, Henry Ford famously tried to pay his workers a higher wage than the going wage, because partly on this reasoning – he was not a theoretical economist, but partly on the grounds that if he doesn’t pay his workers enough and other people won’t pay their workers enough, there’s going to be nobody around to buy his model-T Fords. Actually that issue came to court in the United States, around 1916 or so, and led to a fundamental principle of Anglo-American corporate law, which is part of the reason why the Anglo-American system is slightly different from the European social market system. There was a famous case called “Dodge v. Ford.” Some of the stockholders of the Ford motor company, the Dodge brothers, brought Henry Ford to court, claiming that by paying the workers a higher wage, and by making cars better than they had to be made, he was depriving them of their profits – because it’s true: dividends would be lower. They went to the courts, and they won.

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Palestine Land Day Statement

Palestinians: "We will continue to claim our land" Statement, Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, 29 March 2007

On March 30th, as Palestinians in our homeland and the diaspora, we remember Land Day and strengthen our struggle for Land, Justice and Return. In 1976, 6 Palestinians were killed and a hundred injured by Israeli forces as Palestinians went on strike against a massive land confiscation scheme in the Galilee. Land theft and colonization continues in the Galilee and Naqab until today. More than 30 years later, we will be again out in the streets and in the fields confronting the Occupation in dozens of protests and demonstrations, uniting the people in villages and cities across the West Bank in a week of continuous mobilization.

In the West Bank, including Jerusalem, the Apartheid Wall, settlements and their road system are de facto confiscating over half of our land and most of our water resources and agricultural fields. Israeli apartheid is creating something worse than Bantustans: open air prisons surrounded by 8-meter high cement walls and sealed by gates, checkpoints and terminals. Thousands of families are in danger of losing their homes to make space for Israeli colonization and entire communities are to be razed to the ground. Dispossessed farmers watch industrial estates growing on their land in a system designed to exploit and control.

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

SCC refuses to hear anti-terror appeal

Alleged al-Qaeda terrorist faces legal setback Top court's refusal to hear Khawaja appeal makes Crown's case easier,expert says KIRK MAKIN

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from alleged al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammad Momin Khawaja, clearing the way for the Ottawa man to face trial next month on seven charges of helping fashion a detonator for a fertilizer bomb. Mr. Khawaja, a 27-year-old Ottawa computer programmer, was the first person charged under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act.

The Crown alleges that he was part of an al-Qaeda cell that intended to explode the bomb at oneof several crowded venues in England. The Supreme Court's decision had the effect of upholding a Federal Courtof Canada ruling last fall, which struck down a requirement that the Crownprove an alleged terrorist act was motivated by "a political, religious orideological objective or cause."University of Toronto law professor Kent Roach said yesterday that inrefusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court has left the door open forMr. Khawaja to later mount an appeal based on the same issues should he beconvicted.

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15,000 protest in LA for migrant rights

Migrant workers hold LA protest Thousands of people have demonstrated in Los Angeles to demand citizenship rights for illegal immigrants.

A 15,000-strong crowd carrying American flags and holding signs saying "Amnesty Now" paraded through the streets towards City Hall. Many people were protesting against a leaked White House plan under which illegal migrants would be charged hefty sums for work visas and residency.

There are believed to be about 12 million illegal immigrants in the US. Last year President George W Bush backed a Senate proposal on immigration that includeda guest worker programme offering illegal workers a "path to citizenship". But the plan has come to nothing amid opposition from Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

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Pentagon orders 14,000 National Guard troops to Iraq

As US, British death toll rises: Pentagon orders 14,000 National Guard troops to Iraq By Patrick Martin7 April 2007

US military authorities revealed that thousands more National Guard troops have been assigned to duty in Iraq in deployments scheduled for the next three years. The announcement coincided with reports that twelve more US and British troops were killed over a three-day period in the war-torn country. Both the spike in casualties and the announcement that National Guard units will be sent back for second tours of duty underscore the increasingly precarious state of the US military occupation of Iraq. Even the most slavish US ally, the British government of Prime Minister Tony Blair, is reducing rather than increasing its forces there.

Eight American and four British soldiers were killed in incidents Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Seven of the American soldiers were killed in and around Baghdad, with the other death taking place in Diyala province, an area of mixed Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish population north of the capital. The American death toll has hit 18 in only the first six days of April. The overall US death toll in Iraq is approaching 3,300, but individual units have been hit far harder than that number might suggest.

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Real Political Purpose of the ICE Raids

The Real Political Purpose of the ICE Raids. New America Media, Commentary, David Bacon, Posted: Mar 30, 2007

For the last several months, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have carried out well-publicized immigration raids in factories, meatpacking plants, janitorial services, and other workplaces employing immigrants. ICE calls the workers criminals, because immigration law forbids employers to hire them. But while workers get deported, and often must leave their children with relatives, or even strangers, don't expect to see many of their employers go to jail. Further, ICE can't, and won't, deport all 12 million undocumented workers in the country. This would quickly halt many industries. Instead, these raids have a political purpose.

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800+ arrests of Chilean high school students

Chilean High School Students Riot Over Public Transportation Resulting In 819 Arrests
March 30, 2007 2:00 p.m. EST Linda Young - All Headline News Staff Writer

Santiago, Chile (AHN) - Rioting high school students took to the streets in Santiago, Chile where they were met by police officers in riot gear, some using water hoses on the students to drive them back. Although no one is sure what provoked the demonstration, at least one of the youth said it was over the new public transportation system. The new transportation system has left many parts of the capital without public transportation, BBC news reported Friday.

At least 819 people, including many under the age of 16, were arrested, according to BBC.
More than 100 police officers were injured in violence that prompted stores and businesses in the capital to close early, according to Euronews reports. The rioting took place on a day that leftist groups use annually to demonstrate called "The Day of the Young Combatant," to commemorate the day in 1985 when police killed two young brothers who were demonstrating against the Pinochet regime.


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Navajo Challenge New Coal-Fired Plant

Speaking Diné to Dirty Power: Navajo Challenge New Coal-Fired Plant Jeff ConantApril 3rd, 2007

A small, but growing, group of Diné indigenous peoples in New Mexico are protesting against a planned new huge coal-fired power plant. This is one of 150 similar plants scheduled to supply an anticipated boom in energy demand in the U.S.

In a makeshift hut on a hilltop in the high desert near Farmington, New Mexico, local schoolteacher David Nez projects a PowerPoint presentation on a blanket nailed to the wall. Outside the door, a small wind and solar generator silently provides the electricity for his computer-aided presentation. Less than a mile away, a different technology rules. Smoke plumes mark the horizon from huge coal-fired power plants, as an enormous crane rips into the Navajo coal mine, the largest open pit mine in the western U.S.If plans go through for a massive new plant, co-owned by Houston-based Sithe Global Power and the Diné Power Authority (DPA), another coal-fired facility will generate electricity on the lands of the Diné indigenous peoples (also known as the Navajo by the colonizers). This tribal enterprise has split the Navajo Nation, with some praising the opportunity for economic development and others decrying the inevitable effect on environment and values.

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No Olympics on stolen Native land

"No Olympics on stolen Native land" has become the battle cry for Indigenous resistance to the Vancouver Olympics The Dominion

As the Vancouver Olympics approach, the building of highways, condos, and resorts have accelerated on land that Indigenous activists say is unceded territory.

The official website of the 2010 Olympics touts the "historic" and "unprecedented" participation of First Nations in the Vancouver games. According to the site, the collaboration between the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) and Aboriginals will include increased opportunities to "showcase art, language, traditions, history and culture" and "promote skills development and training related to the games." This kind of ”trinket and bead exchange” is beside the point, says Kanahus Pellkey. "We're still fighting for our homeland."

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Black Farmers Call for Boycott of Monsanto Products

USAgNet - 04/04/2007

The National Black Farmers Association is calling on its 66,000 members to launch a nationwide boycott of agricultural giant Monsanto to protest a proposed a $1.5 billion merger by the company that would reduce competition and crush small farmers.

Dr. John Boyd, president of the community-based farmers' advocacy group, will lead a news conference at the U.S Department of Justice on Wednesday to announce the boycott as part of the group's opposition to the proposed merger between Monsanto Corporation and the Delta and Pine Land Company, the largest cottonseed company in the country.

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Profile of an Orientalist: Bernard Lewis at 90

By International Relations Center . April 3, 2007

Bernard Lewis, the renowned historian of the Middle East who celebrated his 90th birthday in 2006, has provided much of the ideological ammunition for the Bush administration policy of Middle East transformation and global war on terror. A favorite of neoconservatives, Lewis, born in England and a naturalized U.S. citizen since 1982, was bestowed in 2007 with the annual Irving Kristol award from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Previous recipients of AEI's yearly award include Dick Cheney, Robert Bork, David Packard, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan, Michael Novak, Clarence Thomas, and Norman Podhoretz. According to a Wall Street Journal account of the awards ceremony, Lewis "described Muslim migration to Europe as an Islamic attack on the West and defended the Crusades as 'a late, limited and unsuccessful imitation of the jihad' that spread Islam across much of the globe." Lewis gave a "ringing endorsement of the ill-fated Crusades," and "he made the point that the Crusades, as atrocious as they were, were nonetheless an understandable response to the Islamic onslaught of the preceding centuries, and that it was ridiculous to apologize for them" (Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2007).

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UN predicts huge migration to rich countries

By David Blair. 17/03/2007

At least 2.2 million migrants will arrive in the rich world every year from now until 2050, the United Nations said yesterday.

Britain's population will rise from 60 million to approaching 69 million by 2050 - almost entirely because of immigration.


The latest figures from the UN's population division predict a global upheaval without parallel in human history over the next four decades.

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

How easy it is to put hatred on a map

By Robert Fisk. 03 March 2007

Our guilt in this sectarian game is obvious. We want to divide our potential enemies

Why are we trying to divide up the peoples of the Middle East? Why are we trying to chop them up, make them different, remind them - constantly, insidiously, viciously, cruelly - of their divisions, of their suspicions, of their capacity for mutual hatred? Is this just our casual racism? Or is there something darker in our Western souls?


Take the maps. Am I the only one sickened by our journalistic propensity to publish sectarian maps of the Middle East? You know what I mean. We are now all familiar with the colour-coded map of Iraq. Shias at the bottom (of course), Sunnis in their middle "triangle" - actually, it's more like an octagon (even a pentagon) - and the Kurds in the north.

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Blackwater to open mercenary training facility near U.S./Mex border

Tiny Potrero Battles County and Blackwater USA. By Don Bauder. February 22, 2007

The hamlet of Potrero in southeast San Diego County, 45 miles from the city and just 8 minutes from Tecate, is being ambushed. The attackers are county bureaucrats marching alongside Blackwater USA, the private military contractor that is getting so much bad press while being labeled one of the biggest mercenary firms in the Iraq War.

Blackwater wants to build an 824-acre training facility three miles north of Potrero. It will have 15 shooting ranges, an armory for storing ammunition, a course on which moving vehicles will be strafed with paintballs, a helicopter pad, several buildings, and other military accoutrements.

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Listing Hezbollah as “Terrorist” Serves North American Imperialism

By Ghada Chehade. April 05, 2007

In the so-called war on “terror” the most powerful weapon being deployed is the word itself. In the post-9/11 geo-political climate, throwing in the word “terrorist” automatically mutes coherent and critical debate. Any valid and necessary criticisms of North American governments and their foreign policy are silenced and demonized with the use of that one word, while opposition to foreign invasion and imperialist plundering can be at once quelled and criminalized by deeming it terrorist. Canada’s anti-terrorist list is being used in this very way-as a vehicle for stifling, demonizing and criminalizing resistance to the North American imperialist project and Canada’s role in it. At the same time the word acts as subterfuge from the mass terror perpetrated by the US and its imperialist baby brother-Canada. What Canadian citizens need to ask is just who does this labeling protect? Does it protect the Canadian population who has never suffered at the hands of Hezbollah, or does is protect the Canadian government and business elite who are part of a North American project to ransack the world’s resources while discrediting and eliminating any parties that stand in the way? To understand the distinction we need to understand imperialism, as well as the one-sided and suspect way in which “terrorism” is currently defined.


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Friday, April 6, 2007

In Oaxaca, Women Rise

By John Gibler. Spring 2007

Putting their personal lives on hold, women in the Mexican state of Oaxaca helped shut down the government, took over a TV station, and stood up to police violence.

“Everything is the movement,” says Patricia Jimenez Alvarado, looking at me across her kitchen table. “You don’t have a personal life anymore.” She leans her face into her open palms, and weeps.

Jimenez, in her mid-forties, is a thesis advisor at Oaxaca State University by profession. But the government of Oaxaca accuses her of being an “urban guerrilla.” Her house and car have just been broken into and searched. She regularly receives text-message death threats on her cellular phone. A warrant has been issued for her arrest. And for the first time in her children’s lives, she has missed their birthdays—several months ago she sent her children to live with her sister-in-law to keep them safe.

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Iraq Refugee Crisis Engulfs Women Silenced by Rape

By Rasha Elass. WeNews correspondent. April 1, 2007

An Iraqi woman who survived a rape before she and her family moved to Lebanon is finding a way to talk about her ordeal. But aid workers say that in the major Iraqi refugee communities of Syria and Jordan this war wound goes unmentioned.

BEIRUT, Lebanon (WOMENSENEWS)--The six kidnappers who raped Noura in Baghdad left her on the highway bleeding, her face bruised, her clothes torn and her feet bare. Her husband of 18 years was with her when she was kidnapped and he was stabbed and left for dead.


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CSIS questioning of Canadian Muslims threatens their jobs

Spies at work. By STEFAN CHRISTOFF

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) is conducting regular interviews and interrogations with hundreds of Arabs and Muslims across Canada at their work places, homes and in the vicinity of local mosques, say national and Montreal-based Arab and Muslim community groups. The groups are reporting major increases in the numbers of calls from distressed community members concerning CSIS interventions. According to the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations in Canada (CAIR-Canada), CSIS intelligence gathering activities have increased over the past year.

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First Nations Recruiting by the Canadian Forces

In Conversation with Laura Holland
April 2, 2007. Mordecai Briemberg

The Canadian military is on the hunt for new recruits. They are setting bait for First Nations children as young as sixteen, and Laura Holland’s two sons wanted to sign-up. Laura, who comes from the Wetsuweten Nation near Smithers BC, convinced them otherwise. Laura Holland is a member of the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter collective.

First they target social gatherings…

“It was actually through the kids that I first heard about the military recruitment campaign. About two years ago. My sons and several of their friends had been approached at a community center and they’d also been approached at aboriginal day.”


(Click here to read more)

Gitmo Gulag: AI says "cruel and inhumane" conditions worsening

Amnesty: Guantanamo 'deteriorating' April 5, 2007

Conditions for detainees at the US military jail at Guantanamo Bay are deteriorating, a report by Amnesty International says.

The rights group says some detainees at the camp are close to mental and physical breakdown.Amnesty says about 165 detainees – a third of those at the jail - are now being held at the new Camp Six facility. "

Amnesty International believes that conditions in Camp Six, as shown in photographs or described by detainees and their attorneys, contravene international standards for humane treatment," the report says.

(Click here to read more)

See the amnesty international report here; "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay"

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Guantánamo prisoner charges confession extracted through torture

By Kate Randall. 31 March 2007

A Guantánamo detainee has charged that he was tortured into confessing to a role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 41, a Saudi national of Yemeni descent, said he faced years of torture following his arrest in 2002 and that he fabricated stories to satisfy his captors.

Al-Nashiri was one of 14 detainees moved by the US to the Guantánamo prison camp last September. These 14 “high-value” detainees were transferred following the exposure of a network of CIA-run secret prisons around the world and the Bush administration’s acknowledgement of the prisons’ existence.

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The Racist War on Immigrants

By Stephen Lendman 03/29/07 "ICH "

Emma Lazarus' memorable words on Lady Liberty's pedestal once had meaning as a new nation grew. No longer in a country hostile to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the wretched refuse, the homeless and many others not making the grade in a white supremacist Judeo-Christian state worshiping wealth and privilege. No welcome sign is out for the unwanted poor and desperate. At best, they're ignored to subsist on their own. At worst, they're scorned and abused, exploited and discarded like trash or labeled "terrorists" in a post-9/11 world of mass witch-hunt roundups aimed at Muslims because of their faith or country of origin and Latinos coming north to survive the fallout from NAFTA's destructive effects on their lives.

Immigrants of color, the wrong faith or from the wrong parts of the world are never greeted warmly in "America the Beautiful" that's only for the privileged and no one else. They're not wanted except to harvest our crops or do the hard, low-pay, no-benefit labor few others will do. The ground rules to come were set straight away in our original Nationalization Act of 1790 establishing the first path to citizenship. It wasn't friendly to the wrong types as permanent status was limited to foreign-born "free white persons" of "good moral character," meaning people like most of us - our culture, countries of origin, religion and skin color.

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