Monthly Archives: February 2013

Day of Action demands justice for the unemployed

Thousands of workers give resounding NO! to anti-social changes to Employment Insurance. The theme of the Day of Action was “Harper, NO! All Out to Block the Reforms!” 

Head of the demonstration in Montreal on February 23

Scene from the demonstration in Ottawa on February 23

(TML Daily) – On February 23, close to 20,000 people took part in demonstrations across Quebec to demand the immediate repeal of the anti-social changes of the Harper government to the employment insurance program, with other actions in New Brunswick, Ottawa and at the constituency office of Harper’s Minister of Anti-Human Resources Diane Finley in Simcoe, Ontario. Continue reading

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Number of workers receiving EI falls

Six of ten workers do not receive EI benefits. A high number of claims are being rejected.

STATISTIC CANADA’S latest survey of workers across the country receiving Employment Insurance (EI) is for December 2012. In that month, across Canada, the number of workers receiving regular EI benefits fell for the third time in four months, down 8,300 (-1.6 per cent) to 517,000. According to Statistics Canada, the number of unemployed workers in January 2013 – one month later – was 1,322,800. This means that roughly 39 per cent of the unemployed workers in Canada receive EI benefits. Continue reading

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Germany: a ‘continuity of personnel’ between Nazi organizations and today

Nazi recast as ‘a distinguished antifascist’

Editor’s note: This article has been updated on 2 March 2013 with the inclusion of the article “Reemerging Interest in the Southeast” (posted at end) containing additional information.

MUNICH (german-foreign-policy.com) – FOLLOWING THE SCANDAL of awarding a prize in honour of the Nazi propagandist, Rudolf Vogel, a state-financed German foreign policy organization has announced that it will assess its own history. Its president, Gernot Erler (SPD), declared that there may be a “continuity of personnel” between Nazi organizations and the Southeast Europe Association (Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft – SOG). In fact, influential Nazi personnel had participated in the founding of not only the SOG, but also of other German institutions involved in Southeast Europe. Years ago, high-ranking SOG officials had denied that Vogel had been involved in Nazi activities. Obviously, in full knowledge of West German media reports on Vogel’s work for Nazi propaganda, the SOG’s honourary president, for example, claimed that Vogel had been a “distinguished antifascist.” He also said that Vogel had discovered “his devotion to Southeast Europe” while he was stationed in Thessaloniki, where, as is known today, he worked as a “consultant with special expertise” – at the time when 50,000 Jews were being deported. The Southeast Europe Association describes itself as “one of the important pillars of External Cultural Politics” for the German government. Continue reading

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Urgent action filed at UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination

(Press Release, February 18, 2013) – THE 2nd week of the 82nd Session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) began today in Geneva Switzerland. Indigenous Peoples, the Canadian government and the world will be paying close attention to the CERD’s consideration of a submission from the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) and the Mushkegowuk People of Attawapiskat First Nation in Canada filed last week under the CERD’s Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures. Continue reading

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Graphic details. A map of destruction – US theft of Native American land

Alternet – Click on this map, created by Lousiana State professor Sam B. Hillard, to see the rapid loss of land by the Native Americans – starting from when Columbus “discovered” the America and ending in 1895, when the First Nations retained only 2.3 per cent of their original land.

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Harper’s EI changes: Demand 
a new direction 
for the economy!

February 23 – Day of Action Against Anti-Social Changes to Employment Insurance

“For a just and universal EI system”

“For a just and universal EI system”

THE HARPER DICTATORSHIP’S CUTS to Employment Insurance are another assault on the right to be. The most vulnerable are workers in the regions and small towns where moving to a job means going to a big city or far away to resource extraction boom camps. That workers are forced to defend the pittance of Employment Insurance shows that the economy serves a privileged wealthy minority and not the people and society. That workers are threatened with a denial of EI forcing them to leave their hometowns is a sign that this economy is in need of renewal with a new pro-social direction. Continue reading

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Palestinian journalists in Israeli detention

27 Palestinian journalists detained in the last two years by Zionist “democracy”

Palestinian journalists icon(23 February 2013) – The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today backed the call by its affiliate in Palestine, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), which organised a protest in Ramallah to demand the release of their colleagues held by Israel.

The PJS organised the sit-in protest outside the Ofer detention center in east of Ramallah  while an Israeli court held a hearing in the case of detained Palestinian journalist Amir Abu Arafah and cartoonist Muhammad Sabanah. Continue reading

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Harper’s anti-social changes to EI

2012.05.28.Oppose attacks on unemployedNEW REGULATIONS to Employment Insurance (EI) took effect on January 6, 2013 and are the target of a National Day of Action on February 23. (For the calendar of events, see here.) People are demanding a repeal of these anti-social changes and a rendering of account of the Harper dictatorship. A government that willingly cuts off the already meagre unemployment benefits that less than half of all unemployed workers have access to and uses the EI program to lower the living and working conditions of all workers is not fit to govern.

The changes ensure that workers’ living and working conditions will generally fall putting downward pressure on the standard of living of all Canadians. The Harper dictatorship is very candid that these rules aim to reduce unemployed workers’ benefits. In the backgrounder that accompanies the rules, the government says it expects 8,000 EI recipients will be immediately eliminated from receiving benefits while others will receive less resulting in a “savings” of $12 million the first year and $33 million every following year. Continue reading

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More rallies against anti-social changes to the EI program

Militant rally February 12 in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex in downtown Montreal which houses the Service Canada Centre and the Quebec regional Employment Insurance offices

Militant rally February 12 in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex in downtown Montreal which houses the Service Canada Centre and the Quebec regional Employment Insurance offices

RALLIES are continuing in Quebec and New Brunswick against the anti-social changes of the Harper government’s to Employment Insurance (EI).

Nearly 300 people held a militant rally February 12 in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex in downtown Montreal to denounce the Harper government’s recent changes to Employment Insurance (EI), which they say are destroying EI.

The rally demonstrates that, contrary to the media and government disinformation, the changes affect all workers, including those in large cities, not just seasonal workers in the resource sectors such as forestry and fisheries.

According to a report in TML Daily, most at the rally were workers, including striking workers from the MAPEI plant in Laval which produces chemical products for the construction industry and locked out workers from the Maritime Hotel in Montreal, members of the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN) and the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL), lecturers from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and several groups fighting for the rights of unemployed workers. Continue reading

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‘No the second deportation!’ – Madelinots condemn Harper’s anti-social EI changes

Over 4,000 Madelinots demonstrate on Jan. 13 against Harper’s EI changes

Over 4,000 Madelinots demonstrate on Jan. 13 against Harper’s EI changes

By TONY SEED

CANADIAN workers and regional populations from many parts of the country are saying a resounding NO! to the anti-social changes to the EI program of the Harper government.

One of the most remarkable and militant demonstrations against the EI changes took place on January 13 on Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, 90 miles northwest of Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

An ocean of people – over 4,000 Madelinots, one third of the population of the island – demonstrated in front of the local office of Service Canada in the port of Cap-aux-Meules chanting and waving placards such as, “No to the Exodus of Madelinots! (Non à l’exode des Madelinots).” The total population of the island is 13,000. Continue reading

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All out to rescind anti-social changes to Employment Insurance

Forums to be held throughout Nova Scotia

2012.05.28.Oppose attacks on unemployedBEGINNING this week, the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour is organizing a series of public town hall forums on the Harper government’s changes/cuts to Employment Insurance (EI), how they will affect all Nova Scotians and strategies for fighting back.. Forums are being held in Lunenburg, Dartmouth, Wolfville, Sydney and Antigonish, with more forums being organized in other communities (see schedule below). They will run into March. However, unlike New Brunswick and Quebec or on the National Day of Action (Feb. 23), no demonstrations are planned. Continue reading

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At least 3,000 died in residential schools, research shows

For those who can’t access it, we are posting a Canadian Press article about some of the thousands of First Nation children that died in Canadian Indian Residential Schools. The horror of the story speaks for itself.

Dormitories for aboriginal children in disgraced system were disease ‘breeding grounds’

CP [Feb 18, 2013] – AT LEAST 3,000 CHILDREN, including four under the age of 10 found huddled together in frozen embrace, are now known to have died while they were attending at Canada’s aboriginal residential schools, according to new unpublished research.

While deaths have long been documented as part of the disgraced residential school system, the findings are the result of the first systematic search of government, school and other records. Continue reading

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Birds of prey: The record of impunity for Israeli military aircraft

Lebanese National News Ageny

Israel’s routine overflights — characterised by UNIFIL in 2009 as not only a “humiliation to the Lebanese government and UNIFIL,” but also an “act of war …

By BRENDA HEARD* 

friendsoflebanon.org (February 16) – SINCE MARCH 1978, for thirty-five years, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, has been monitoring the conflict between Israel and Lebanon— the tension, the daring, the mayhem, the killing. The enthusiastic efforts UNIFIL made in the early years soon waned. Perhaps it was the politics, perhaps it was the frustration of an ineffectual mandate, or perhaps it was losing 279 troops to-date.    Whatever the cause, public statements from UNIFIL seem to have settled into a laissez-faire yawn. Continue reading

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The Fischer campaign for the chairmanship of the U.S. Federal Reserve

THERE IS an important “disinformation alert” attaching to this story. The breathtaking biography of Fischer’s past accomplishments nowhere mentions that Stanley Fischer is an alumnus, i.e., former partner, of Goldman-Sachs. His time there was contemporaneous with that of Mark Carney, the departing chairman of the Bank of Canada who is taking up duties as head of the Bank of England in July. To have two of its people at the head of the Bank of England and U.S. Federal Reserve at the same time would represent a considerable coup on Goldman-Sachs’ part, and a major repositioning and consolidation of U.S diktat over what happens in international money markets. Continue reading

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American exceptionalism

The Americans, in their intercourse with strangers, appear impatient of the smallest censure and insatiable of praise. . . . They unceasingly harass you to extort praise, and if you resist their entreaties they fall to praising themselves. It would seem as if, doubting their own merit, they wished to have it constantly exhibited before their eyes. – Alexis de Tocqueville

 

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Iraq at the brink: A decade after the invasion

WARonIRAQheader

By RAMZY BAROUD

SOON AFTER the joint US-British bombing campaign “Operation Desert Fox” devastated parts of Iraq in December 1998, I was complaining to a friend in the lobby of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.

I was disappointed with the fact that our busy schedule in Iraq – mostly visiting hospitals packed with injured or Depleted Uranium Victims – left me no time to purchase a few Arabic books for my little daughter back in the states. As I got ready to embark on the long bus journey back to Jordan, an Iraqi man with a thick moustache and a carefully designed beard approached me. “This is for your daughter,” he said with a smile as he handed me a plastic bag. The bag included over a dozen books with colourful images of traditional Iraqi children stories. I had never met that man before, nor did we ever meet again. He was a guest at the hotel and somehow he learned of my dilemma. As I profusely, but hurriedly thanked him before taking my seat on the bus, he insisted that no such words were needed. “We are brothers and your daughter is like my own,” he said. Continue reading

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Press freedom and Press TV

By DAVE THOMAS

Televisionillustrationjamalkhurshid-1360430528-641-640x480TWO DAYS AGO Press TV was removed from Galaxy 19 This satellite carries mostly unscrambled signals so they can be seen just with a dish and receiver box and no fees, “Free-to-Air” as they say. Galaxy 19 is at 97 degrees west. Last month the same thing happened on Hispasat 1 at 30 degrees west. Continue reading

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If you think shoveling the snow was hard, check this out

Photos of the Japanese Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Courtesy Undernews

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America: Land of the imprisoned (1) – debtor prisons still surviving

Alternet – Debtor prisons seem to belong in America’s past. But if you think the existence of prisons for people who can’t afford to pay their debts in the past, think again.

… Prison time for poor people in debt remains something that is practiced throughout the United States, despite the fact that a 1983 Supreme Court decision ruled that a prisoner on probation who could not afford to pay his debts could not be thrown in jail for that reason. Continue reading

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Levels of personal debt in Canada at all-time high: Report

A credit information organization says the levels of personal debt in Canada have reached an all-time high, Press TV reports.

TransUnion said in a recent report that the working class people in Canada are compelled to face increasing personal debt in order to attain basic subsistence. Continue reading

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Disinformation: Iraq and Iran, redlines and headline

Media-Culpa
To justify aggression against Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran, like the fairy tale a decade ago about weapons of mass destruction buried in the deserts of Iraq, deafening propaganda is being floated world-wide – especially from the United States and Israel – about the alleged dangers of Syria using chemical weapons and Iran developing a nuclear bomb. In this feature NIMA SHIRAZI* provides multiple snapshots of media headlines from the 2002-04 and the current periods. The real issue is the ambition of the U.S. camp to eliminate Syria and Iran’s political independence, especially Iran’s independent development and management of current and future oil production on its territory. The gauntlet is openly being thrown down by the Big Powers, in which the monopoly media is providing all the facilities for the state to disinform the polity as to the real dangers posed. – TS
* * *

Could this repeated history be any more obvious?

This was August 5, 2002:

And this was November 8, 2011:

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Obama has charged more people under Espionage Act than all former U.S. presidents combined

President Obama has now charged seven people with violations of the Espionage Act. All previous presidents in American history combined only charged three people with violating the Espionage Act. And the Espionage Act is a WWI-era act that was meant to deter German saboteurs during that First World War. And now it is being used to silence critics of the government.

But so far all seven of these cases that have made their way into a courtroom have either collapsed of have been dismissed, including mine. All of the three espionage charges against me were dropped.

So, I think frankly the Obama administration is cheapening the Espionage Act. The Espionage Act should be used to prosecute spies and traitors, not to prosecute whistleblowers or people who are exercising their first amendment right to free speech.

From an interview in Russia Today with John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent and torture whistleblower. Kiriakou is now awaiting a summons to start a prison sentence. One of the first to confirm the existence of Washington’s waterboarding program, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for revealing the name of an undercover agent. The first person to be convicted with regards to the torture program is the man who shed light on it.

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Event: Halifax Weekly Pickets: Hands Off Syria! Hands Off Iran!

Join The Weekly Pickets Opposing
Imperialist Intervention in Syria and Iran

Weekly pickets began in Halifax on June 8, 2012 and take place every Friday at 4 pm. 

Every Friday — 4:00-5:00 pm (weather permitting)
Corner of Spring Garden Rd. & Barrington St.
Organized by: Halifax Branch of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), No Harbour For War and other concerned Haligonians

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Sighting. Maine weather warning

Maine weather warning

Courtesy Undernews

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Obama’s outlaw state: NY Times, Washington Post helped Obama hide drone warfare

Guardian, UK – US news organizations are facing accusations of complicity after it emerged that they bowed to pressure from the Obama administration not to disclose the existence of a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia despite knowing about it for a year. Continue reading

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Border stories: Drones, surveillance towers, malls of the spy state and the national security police on the Northern border

Living in a constitution-free zone | TODD MILLER*

“Now, the entire U.S. perimeter has become part of a Fortress USA mentality and a lockdown reality.” | Ryan Bayne

(February 7, 2013) – Before September 11, 2001, more than half the border crossings between the United States and Canada were left unguarded at night, with only rubber cones separating the two countries. Since then, that 4,000 mile “point of pride,” as Toronto’s Globe and Mail once dubbed it, has increasingly been replaced by a U.S. homeland security lockdown, although it’s possible that, like Egyptian-American Abdallah Matthews, you haven’t noticed.  Continue reading

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The significance of Obama’s second presidency: Obama’s outlaw state

Syrian graphic

Can the world survive the Obama drone war doctrine?

ONE OF THE MAIN FEATURES of Obama’s second term in office will be the unfettered promotion of his so-called drone war doctrine. This is the reliance of U.S. imperialism on drones to conduct targeted assassinations, coupled with use of black ops to foment civil wars, mayhem and chaos. This is a desperate hope born out of anarchy that the U.S. can prevail over its rivals, including both competitors amongst the imperialist powers and against developing nations’ intent on making a way for themselves and against the peoples of the world fighting for their right to be.

The Obama drone war doctrine contends that the security of the United States and its empire-building project can be achieved through the destruction of individual and collective rights at home and abroad. This conception is false and doomed to failure as it runs counter to the trend of history towards the affirmation of individual and collective rights. The security of any modern nation lies in the fight for the rights of all both nationally and internationally. Continue reading

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PBS show on drones funded by drone maker

FAIR – The PBS Nova broadcast “Rise of the Drones” was sponsored by U.S. drone manufacturer Lockheed Martin – a clear violation of PBS’s underwriting guidelines.

As Kevin Gosztola reported (FireDogLake), the January 23 broadcast was a mostly upbeat look at surveillance and weaponized drones. “Discover the cutting edge technologies that are propelling us toward a new chapter in aviation history,” PBS urged, promising to reveal “the amazing technologies that make drones so powerful.” Continue reading

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Obama’s outlaw state: Exposé of U.S. covert drone strikes in 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFOR THE information of our readers, we are providing an indepth, secret history of U.S. drone warfare during the past year by OSS, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Drone warfare is a political program of warfare and extra-judicial assassination that operates directly from the White House against citizens of sovereign states, without any charges or judicial process, constituting an inhuman war crime and a reckless disregard for international law. Continue reading

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Courage

A Palestinian throws a rock towards armed Israeli soldiers in their armoured vehicle at a protest against the illegal expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel on 1 February 2013 in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near Nablus. (Photo: Jaafar Ashtiyeh - AFP)

Palestine – A Land, A People. A Palestinian throws a rock towards armed Israeli soldiers in their armoured vehicle at a protest against the illegal expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel on 1 February 2013 in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near Nablus. (Photo: Jaafar Ashtiyeh – AFP)

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