Monthly Archives: March 2003

Halifax Symposium on Palestine, 2003

HALIFAX (March 24, 2003) – The first HALIFAX SYMPOSIUM ON PALESTINE – A LAND, A PEOPLE – A HISTORY, A FUTURE was successfully held on the weekend of March 15-16 at Dalhousie University. Over 30 people registered for the Symposium and, including the social function “An Evening with Palestine,” more than 60 people participated from four areas of Nova Scotia in all the proceedings and events.

The atmosphere at the venue of the Conference was warm and lively. Everyone listened with rapt attention as representatives, from eminent historians to student youth, shared their knowledge and experience with the participants. There was a feeling amongst that something new, something very positive, was beginning to take shape, and they are participating in the creation of this new.

The Symposium, initiated by Shunpiking Magazine with the support of six other political and educational organizations including the Canada Palestine Association, was held to broaden the understanding of Palestine at this critical period on the basis of elaborating and discussing themes from the recently-published, book-length Dossier on Palestine. Continue reading

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Halifax Symposium on Palestine, 2003 – Opening Remarks

TONY SEED, March 15, 2003

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

ON BEHALF of the different sponsoring groups*, we are convening this morning the HALIFAX SYMPOSIUM ON PALESTINE – A LAND, A PEOPLE – A HISTORY, A FUTURE. It will deal with one of the most pressing issues confronting the world today – Palestine and the right of the Palestinian people to self determination, the ceaseless striving of the Palestinian people to exercise control over their own lives which lies at the epicentre of the entire resistance of humanity to imperialist war and subjugation.

This Symposium is open to everyone who wishes to address their concerns or hear the views of others, regardless of their ideological opinions, political affiliation, national origin or any other consideration. Designated speakers who are knowledgeable in their field have been invited to address central issues through presentations or a panel and to provide information for discussion. Several Palestinian student youth have also come forward to come and speak about the problems they are facing as students in defence of their rights. Continue reading

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Brutal force at Halifax anti-war rally

We are reprinting an article by Halifax journalist SIMON HELWEG-LARSEN, who viewed first-hand the premeditated attack by the HRM police force on the anti-war rally on the first day of Bush’s war. It is a companion to, and substantiates, our main article “The day the war broke out.” The attack and the brutality cannot be viewed as merely a local event, however. On the other side of the continent, later that same day, San Francisco police arrested 1,400 anti-war demonstrators. On March 22nd, Montreal police attacked and arrested many youth demonstrating outside the U.S. Consulate as part of the rally of over 200,000 Quebecois against the war.

(Halifax, 6:22am Fri March 21, 2003 / Modified on 3:37pm Sat Mar 29 ’03) – EXCESSIVE force was used by Halifax police officers at Thursday’s peace demonstrations. Without warning, police attacked the crowd, selectively arresting organizers, using shock tasers and agression beyond the necessary for this threatless crowd.

This is an opinion piece I wrote and submitted to the Halifax Daily News and the Halifax Chronicle Herald. The Daily News did finally print the article, on A17 of the Saturday, March 22 edition. Continue reading


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Sharing the burdens of empire: Canadian participation in war crimes in Iraq

No Harbour for War


Halifax, March 20, 2003. Hundreds upon hundreds of people take to the streets to condemn the U.S. invasion of Iraq the night before.

HALIFAX (20 March 2003) – SINCE the “official” war will surely begin before this issue is off the newsstands, outlining the terror and mayhem of “shock and awe” bombing raids in a city the size of Paris is perhaps an unhelpful conjecture: it will be massive, it will be brutal and it will be deadly – “liberation” as defined by the American Empire always is.

For months now, as the diplomatic wrangling at the United Nations Security Council consumed our attention, Canada’s stance on supporting the American Empire’s adventurism in Iraq relied on Security Council approval. Chrétien said as much when he came to Halifax in late February for a $400-a-plate Liberal Party fund-raiser. On the day of Bush’s infantile “moment of truth” address to the world, Chrétien affirmed to Parliament that Canadian Forces would not be joining the massacre of Iraqis. He lied. Continue reading

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Canada’s announcement that it will not participate in U.S. military action


Commentary, The Marxist-Leninist Daily, 18 March 2003

Protest against the deployment to the Persian Gulf of the HMCS Iroquois, Halifax, on February 24, 2003

Protest against the deployment to the Persian Gulf of the HMCS Iroquois, Halifax, on February 24, 2003

SPEAKING in the House of Commons as it reconvened March 17 after a two week break, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien stated that “Canada will not participate” in the U.S.-led aggression against Iraq. At the same time Chrétien stated that Canada will be part of “rebuilding” a post-war Iraq. He stated that Canada will not pull its three ships out of the region saying they are needed to fulfill this country’s commitment to the war on terror. They are essentially protecting ships of the U.S., its allies and other powers in the area, he said. He also stated that 31 Canadian soldiers on exchange with British and American units in the Gulf region will be allowed to remain with their units, but would be unlikely to see battle in Iraq. Continue reading

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The youth will continue to stand against imperialist aggression


MY FAMILY AND I participated in the March 15 protest in Halifax as part of the Global Day of Action against war in Iraq. How fitting it is to see that a spade is called a spade with mass protests around the world denouncing Bush’s warmongering, pointing the finger at him as a threat to peace at a time the Bush war machine is stepping up its psychological warfare against all peace-loving people around the world. Continue reading

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No to war on Iraq! Prepare now for the war measures which will accompany the war!

Statement of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), March 15, 2003

CPC(M-L) vigorously supports the actions and initiatives of all kinds which are being organized across Canada and around the world this weekend and as the impending war on Iraq gets underway. Already “pre-emptive strikes” to make way for the “pre-emptive war” are being launched. Already we have been informed that under one excuse or another, Canadians are authorized to “join their (American) units” and engage in combat against Iraq. Already we are witnessing Canadian journalists express their fear in Baghdad because they know that the American war machine will not respect civilian lives, including their own. Continue reading

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The serious dilemma facing the UN


THE PRO-U.S. war camp at the UN is facing increasing difficulties. The British and Americans have been going all out to guarantee nine votes in favour of their resolution and, necessarily, no veto. The Germans, French, Russians, Chinese and Syria are guaranteed on the other side, but nobody can be sure whether or not the veto powers would use their veto. The pressure on the so-called six swing votes comprised of Angola, Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico, Chile and Pakistan is unprecedented as it is on the veto powers not to use their veto. Continue reading

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Journalists call U.S. media coverage homogeneous, servile

Media-CulpaA GROUP of journalism educators and working journalists in the United States sent an open letter to major media outlets at the beginning of March in which they say the country’s dominant media corporations have presented the current build-up to war on Iraq with a “shocking homogeneity, which fails to reflect the pluralistic vibrancy that exists in the United States, Inter Press Service reports. More than two dozen professors, journalists and authors warned, “this is no time for relying solely on official sources and their supporters.” Continue reading

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HOW HAVE WE GOT TO THIS POINT, where two western governments take us into an illegal and immoral war against a stricken nation with whom we have no quarrel and who offer us no threat: an act of aggression opposed by almost everybody and whose charade is transparent?

How can they attack, in our name, a country already crushed by more than 12 years of an embargo aimed mostly at the civilian population, of whom 42 per cent are children a a medieval siege that has taken the lives of at least half a million children and is described as genocidal by the former United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq? Continue reading

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‘Dialogue on Foreign Policy’: Atlantic Canadians denounce Canada’s conciliation with Iraq war


(Halifax, March 6, 2003) – THROUGHOUT ATLANTIC CANADA between March 4-6, hundreds of Canadians spoke out against the national “dialogue on foreign policy” launched by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs in January and denounced Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham for Canada’s conciliation with Iraq war preparations. So-called “town hall meetings” have been held in St. John’s, Charlottetown, Halifax and Saint John. Yet the much-advertised “dialogue” is in crisis. The indignation with and the credibility of the “Canadian position” is such that promised reports on the meetings have not appeared on the department’s own web site – despite repeated claims of “interactivity” to promote citizen involvement – since the inaugural meeting in Winnipeg in February. Similarly, reports on the “dialogue” have evaporated from the monopoly media, while the local media emphasizes Mr Graham’s arrogant lecturing and haranguing of participants as the main content of the “dialogue.” Continue reading

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