Monthly Archives: May 2011

Palestine: Rafah Crossing reopens

By NATHAN J. FREEMAN

Some 600 Palestinians and foreign passport holders have left Gaza for Egypt since Saturday, May 28, 2011

(May 30, 2008) – THE RAFAH CROSSING between the Gaza Strip and Egypt reopened on Saturday, May 28 on a continuing permanent basis, as a joint affair of the sovereign Egyptian government and the administration of the Gaza Strip. Continue reading

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African leaders demand NATO stop air strikes against Libya

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Halifax rally to support postal workers

Rally for postal workers, May 27, at the convention of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union in Halifax, NS

Rally for postal workers, May 27, at the convention of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union in Halifax, NS

Rally for postal workers, May 27, at the convention of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union in Halifax, NS

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Canada Post presents unacceptable ‘final offer’

Post Office – Urban Postal Unit Negotiations

JUST A FEW DAYS before the strike deadline of May 24, on May 17, Canada Post presented the Canadian union of Postal Workers (CUPW) with its new global offer in the urban bargaining unit negotiations, which it calls its “final offer.” The offer maintains most of the concessions that Canada Post previously demanded from the workers and does not satisfy the demands that postal workers have put forward to improve their working conditions and defend the public service. The corporation sent a copy of the offer to all postal workers, along with a letter filled with threats of what will happen if they go on strike. On May 22, CUPW replied with a new global offer to Canada Post. At the moment neither CUPW nor the corporation have served the 72 hours notice legally required to go on strike or impose a lockout. The current collective agreement expires at midnight on May 24. Continue reading

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Canada Post threatens the livelihood and dignity of postal workers

Interview, Louis Lang, Ottawa Postal Worker 

TML: Can you elaborate on the content of the documents sent to the workers by Canada Post and their significance?

Louis Lang: This so-called final offer, which is supposed to be the solution to the problem, is just another step along the road to drive the union to strike. It is not really a solution to anything. There is no significant change in the rollbacks demanded by Canada Post that would allow us to sign a collective agreement that we can live with. It does not provide any basis on which the union could agree. The main character of these negotiations, which is different from previous ones, is that the corporation is demanding serious rollbacks in wages, benefits and working conditions from what presently exist. These are not solutions but threaten the livelihood and dignity of postal workers. What can they possibly expect but that people will fight to retain their rights. Continue reading

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Africa: Battleground for NATO’s 21st century Strategic Concept

By RICK ROZOFF*, Stop NATO

(May 20, 2011) – THE WAR by major North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states against Libya is in its third month and has been conducted under the official auspices of NATO for the past fifty days.

According to the military bloc’s daily online tally [1], Alliance military aircraft have flown over 7,200 missions and more than 2,800 combat flights since NATO inaugurated so-called Operation Unified Protector on March 31.

The world’s only military alliance stands to match or exceed the 78-day duration of its air war against Yugoslavia in 1999 if not to deploy troops in Libya in what could expand into protracted combat and occupation roles like those in Afghanistan and adjoining nations where the Pentagon and NATO will mark the tenth anniversary of their invasion this October 7.

Recently Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko “Pointed out that the operation in Libya is becoming the first actual litmus test for NATO’s new strategic concept,” [2] a reference to the latest Strategic Concept adopted by the 28-nation alliance at its summit in Lisbon, Portugal last November, the first in this century and since that endorsed at the Washington summit in 1999 when NATO was waging its first war (against Yugoslavia) and incorporating its first post-Cold War recruits (the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland).

The war against Libya was also the test case for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the first overseas military command launched by the Pentagon since the end of the Cold War (its predecessor, Central Command, was created in 1983), whose Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn was in charge of bombing runs and cruise missile attacks in and a naval blockade of Libya from March 19-30. Continue reading

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Shipbuilding yes, but not the militarization of shipbuilding

The Harper agenda and the need for a new direction for the economy

Haligonians denounce Harper’s visit to the Naval Dockyards, April 4, 2007.

By TONY SEED

Originally published May 6, and extensively revised May 16 and May 28, 2011 and again on January 23, 2013.

SHIPBUILDING is one of the traditional manufacturing industries in the Maritimes, Quebec, certain lake ports in Ontario, and British Columbia that is in crisis. Now, instead of resolving the crisis in favour of the people, the warmongering positions of the Harper government include the militarization of all shipbuilding. In Nova Scotia the suggestion always hangs in the air that the militarization of the economy and the $20 billion war budget are the solution to the economic crisis and regional disparities and it is a matter of “buy Canadian” or “buy Nova Scotian” versus outsourcing, either abroad or to another region such as Quebec.

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Fabricating pretexts: Disinformation campaigns directed against Cuba

Media-CulpaTHE CUBA REVOLUTION has been the object of hundreds of disinformation campaigns, usually orchestrated by the U.S. government with the complicity of European allies in conjunction with the powerful forces and interests which control the corporate media. However, they have not been able to divert Cubans from their ideals of independence and socialism, nor confuse the peoples of the planet who, despite everything, are led by wisdom and instinct to the truth. They are campaigns without political or ethical constraints which come up against the moral force of Cuba and merely tarnish their authors. Continue reading

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US envoy to Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” throws in the towel

[Updated 14 May 2011] On Friday afternoon 13 May 2011, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell – President Obama’s envoy to, and hence the principal U.S. imperialist representative in the Middle East – stepped down. Neither former U.S. Undersecretary of State Elliott Abrams (writing on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations), nor CNN, nor the BBC, nor Steven Lee Meyers’ report in The New York Times, nor even the European Union-funded Palestinian news outlet Ma’an linked Mitchell’s stepping down to the signing of the Fatah-Hamas unity accord or the change of atmosphere in Cairo. Continue reading

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Lies of the Chronically Horrid: Rewriting history

Dr. Ismail Zayid writes a letter

Dear friends,

This is my lengthy response to the article below. It is long, but there was a lot more I wanted to say. Be that as it may, it will not be published. Other brief letters may be useful. Continue reading

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U.S. government-funded disinformation operation in Miami exposed – Part 1

First of two articles from the website http://www.reportersforhire.org

Detailed evidence revealed of payments by the U.S. government to 18 Miami journalists – $252,325 to one journalist alone – to create a hostile atmosphere against five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States. For Part II see here. The website exposing the White House’s illegal propaganda operation and manipulation of the justice system is an initiative by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five  (Free the Five). Continue reading

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U.S. government-funded disinformation operation in Miami exposed – Part 2

By GLORIA LA RIVA and BENJAMIN BECKER

MORE THAN 2,000 pages of contracts obtained by Liberation newspaper – between U.S. propaganda stations Radio and TV Martí and Miami journalists posing as independent press – reveal a close partnership between the U.S. government and extreme rightwing Cuban-exile reporters in Miami. Continue reading

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Palestine: Fatah-Hamas reconciliation package

By NATHAN J. FREEMAN

Basic facts

Nakba Day protests

ON APRIL 27, a reconciliation package between Fatah and Hamas was announced by the two Palestinian political organizations as well as the Foreign Minister of Egypt which had hosted the meeting in Cairo. It was also announced that formal signing arrangements would follow. Continue reading

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The politics of assassination: ‘American justice’

By Prof. MARJORIE COHN*

(May 9, 2011) –WHEN HE ANNOUNCED that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a Navy Seal team in Pakistan, President Barack Obama said, “Justice has been done.” Mr. Obama misused the word “justice” when he made that statement. He should have said, “Retaliation has been accomplished.” A former professor of constitutional law should know the difference between those two concepts. The word “justice” implies an act of applying or upholding the law.

Targeted assassinations violate well-established principles of international law. Also called political assassinations, they are extrajudicial executions. These are unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of, or with the acquiescence of, a government, outside any judicial framework. Continue reading

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Contracts reveal Miami journalists on U.S. government payroll

A MULTI-YEAR effort by the U.S. National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, the U.S. Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and Liberation newspaper has uncovered thousands of pages of previously unreleased materials that reveal that the U.S. government was paying Miami-based journalists who saturated the Miami media with reports that were highly inflammatory and prejudicial to the five Cuban anti-terrorism fighters during their trial in that U.S. city.

The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 prohibits the U.S. government from funding activities to influence and propagandize domestic public opinion.

More than 2,200 pages of contracts between Miami journalists and Radio and TV Martí have been released thus far to Liberation newspaper through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) petition.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors – an official U.S. government agency – and its Office of Cuba Broadcasting have operated Radio Martí since 1985 and TV Martí since 1990.

The U.S. government has funneled nearly half a billion dollars into the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami. With an annual budget nearing $35 million, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and the Broadcasting Board of Governors put on their payroll domestic journalists to broadcast the same message inside and outside the United States on Cuba-related issues, effectively violating the law against domestic dissemination of U.S. propaganda.

These contracts evidence the U.S. government’s payments to journalists in Miami whose reports constituted a sustained effort to create an atmosphere of hysteria and bias against Cuba and the Cuban Five.

Radio Havana Cuba, May 9, 2011

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The pope and the anti-semites

German-foreign-policy.com

VATICAN/JERUSALEM (Own report) – The German Pope’s visit to Israel, that begins today, is being overshadowed by accusations of his supporting anti-Semitic forces. This is due to a serious internal dispute of the Catholic Church in Germany over the so called Jewish Missionizing. Bishops close to the Pope loudly protested against a recently published declaration calling on Continue reading

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Harper’s Armada and Layton’s support for Irving’s Halifax shipyards vs. the MIL-Davie shipyard in Lévis, Quebec

Discussion on the Significance of the Election Result

By TONY SEED

THE NDP “swept Quebec” with 58 out of 75 seats. It’s an “Orangiste wave.” Euphoria reigns in the Anglo-Canadian ruling circles.

Meanwhile, as of the May 2 Federal Election, three of the four seats in the NATO port of Halifax, headquarters of Maritime Command, are also now NDP. The federal contract for three new massive warships – Joint Support Ships – opens on May 18. A real conflict with Quebec is possible. Continue reading

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The politics of assassination – Osama Bin Laden

Reflections by FIDEL CASTRO

THOSE PERSONS who deal with these issues know that on September 11 of 2001 our people expressed its solidarity with the US people and offered the modest cooperation that in the area of health we could have offered to the victims of the brutal attack against the Twin Towers in New York.

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Vigorous May Day Action in Halifax

SOME 200 workers, youth and retirees participated in the 5th annual May Day Rally, March and Forum in Halifax held under the call, “Defend the Rights of All.”

Jeff Callaghan

Principal speakers at the rally included Jeff Calaghan, Atlantic Director of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), who called for an intensified and unified struggle of all workers against the corporate elite and monopoly right, and to defend public sector workers and the quality of public service from the attacks of the government. He emphasized that the postal workers had a proud tradition of defending the rights of the peoples of the world, such as the people of Palestine for self-determination. Returning to the just demands of the postal workers, he stressed the determination of postal workers to fight against the attack on wages, job security, benefits and pensions as well as the ongoing privatization of Canada Post. He noted that the attacks on workers’ wages and working conditions is such that members of CUPW have voted 94.5 per cent in favour of striking if necessary to obtain a collective agreement. “They’re forcing two tiered wages and benefits,” Jeff said. “But the workers aren’t buying it. That’s the largest strike mandate in our history.” Continue reading

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Letter: Demand Social Housing

To: Tony Seed, MLPC supporters and members, and anyone who happens to be on Tony’s blog site before Harper’s government shuts it down.

The outcome of this election sucks. Not just for the hard-working Canadians who are feeling the squeeze in their wallets but mostly for the Canadians who work hard or can’t for various reasons and are feeling not a squeeze in their wallet – the wallets empty – the goddam squeeze is in their stomach from going without food or healthy food for too long. Continue reading

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Layton’s support for Irving’s Halifax Shipyards versus that of Lévis, Quebec

NOW three of the four seats in the NATO port of Halifax are NDP. The federal contracts for the warships are due on May 18th. A real conflict with Quebec is possible.

In Nova Scotia, Layton, who now has all these seats in Quebec, declared on April 17th he was against extending the deadline for MIL-Davie shipyards in Levis, Quebec which is the same stand as that of Harper. His honeymoon may be short-lived indeed.

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

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We’ve been played – We didn’t know our future was a game!

By JAMILÉ GHADDAR* and LISA NUSSEY**, MLPC Youth for Renewal

(MAY 3, 2011) THE CLOSE of the 41st General Elections on May 2, as a Harper majority government was declared, was certainly a bleak moment for the Canadian polity which in its majority strove to defeat the Harper Conservatives. What is the significance of these elections? As MLPC National Leader Anna Di Carlo pointed out on May 2 in her article, “Electoral Coup in the Making,” this is not an occasion for either euphoria (due to a so-called Orange Surge) or pessimism (due to the Conservative majority government). We must calmly assess the situation and establish what these results mean, what they portend for the Canadian working class and people. Continue reading

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Statement of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada on the Results of the 41st General Election

– May 3, 2011 –

THE Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada congratulates all the candidates, supporters and friends of the Party for their participation in the 2011 General Federal Election on its platform. In this election, the MLPC candidates held their own in terms of votes and made headway in raising the independent politics of the working class, refusing to allow  the ruling circles free rein to silence the voice of the working people. They raised the most important question facing the Canadian polity — that of who decides. Everywhere they went they pointed out that the problems facing the country will be resolved in favour of the people only when the working class and people take their own independent stands. This will guarantee that they, not the rich, become the decision-makers and that the crisis is resolved in their favour not that of the rich. Continue reading

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Electoral coup in the making

A section of the 2,500-strong rally of workers on Parliament Hill on May First

By ANNA DI CARLO, MLPC National Leader

Anna Di Carlo, MLPC National Leader

AS WE ENTER the final day of the 41st General Election, there is no doubt in my mind that an electoral coup is in the making. Even those pollsters who claim that their predictions are reliable tell us that it is not possible to say whether the Conservatives will win a majority as a result of their plan to decimate the Liberals by promoting the NDP, or whether this plan will backfire on them and lead to a sizeable gain for the NDP.

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Case of the Cuban Five and the media

Extract of a speech delivered by Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, President of the Cuban National Assembly of People’s Power, on May 3, at an event held jointly by the Latin American Federation of Journalists (FELAP) and the Cuban Association of Journalists (UPEC) for Press Freedom Day. Continue reading

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Questions from the Electors – A letter about the Internet

Dear ____,

Protesters rally against usage based billing for internet service on February 4, 2011 in Dundas Square, Toronto

Late last evening, the night before the election – in which I am the Halifax candidate for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada – I received 52 identical e-mail messages from Open Media, including one in your name, all asking: “I want to know that, if elected, you will stop the pay meter on our Internet and work to increase broadband access, competition, transparency, and choice.” They arrived between 6:24 and 8:46 p.m. Continue reading

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Questions from Electors – Fusion

Fusion is a social networking centre for young urban professionals which has submitted questions to candidates in the Halifax Regional Municipality. It also organized a “meet-the-candidates” forum which I reported on earlier.

Do you support a new convention centre in Halifax? Why or why not?

I do not. I oppose the transfer of public funds to private enterprises for commercial ends just as in 2006 I publicly opposed the Commonwealth games bid which was organized for that self-serving aim. If local corporations want such a centre to entertain their colleagues, they should build it with their own dime. The MLPC advances a program saying “stop paying the rich, increase funding in social programmes.” Continue reading

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