Category Archives: History

Centenary of the Halifax Explosion: Time to disturb the sleep of the unjust

Act of God, the harbour pilot, the navy?

The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue

John Griffith Armstrong
(Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002)
Hardcover, 256 pp, 6 x 9 inches, 16 b/w photos, maps
Index, Bibliography and Chapter end-notes
ISBN 0-7748-0890-X
$39.95
New in Paperback: July, 2003
ISBN 0774808918 $24.95

Reviewed by GARY ZATZMAN*

Painting of the Halifax Explosion

Was it an “accident”? Did the harbour-pilot do it? Why did the British Admiralty send such a dangerous ship into the harbour of Halifax in the first place? Why was it diverted from New York? Why did the Americans and the French load explosive cargo in such a way? How much did the navy know – and when did they know it? The Halifax Explosion of 6 December 1917, the most destructive man-made explosion before the dropping of The Bomb, left half the population homeless, levelled residential areas of the working class, the poor, parts of the African-Nova Scotian community at Africville and the Mi’kmaq community at Tufts Cove, discredited the reputations of a number of officials and continues to inflame controversy to this day. John Griffith Armstrong’s The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue heaps another faggot on this fire. Focusing on the official inquiry following the disaster, Armstrong clarifies the role and responsibility of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Continue reading

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Filed under Canada, History, No Harbour for War

This Day. Faris Awdah martyred

Seventeen years ago the Palestinian hero, Faris Awdah (Fares Udah), 13, was martyred while facing Israeli occupation tanks during an attack on the outskirts of Gaza City on 29 October 2000. The youth survived the encounter with the tank only to be assassinated by an Israeli sniper a week later on November 8th under the pretext the youth was a “terrorist”. Faris was memorialized on the front cover of the acclaimed Dossier on Palestine (Shunpiking Magazine, Halifax, 2002).

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Palestine Photo Project publishes archival photos from 1898-1946 in new book and online

Palestine Photo Project publishes archival photos from 1898 – 1946 in new book and online

Jerusalem from Tower of Notre Dame de France, 1934-1939 | Palestine Photo Project

The Palestine Photography Project has published over 200 high quality photos of pre-1948 Palestine both online and in a book. They can also be used for exhibitions in galleries, museums, universities, libraries, and other venues worldwide.

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Plunder and erasure – Israel’s control over Palestinian archives

“The essay discusses one characteristic of colonial archives – how the ruling state plunders/loots the colonized archives and treasures and controls them in its colonial archives – erasing them from the public sphere by repressive means, censors and restricts their exposure and use, alters their original identity, regulates their contents and subjugates them to colonizer’s laws, rules and terminology. It focuses on two archives plundered by Israel in Beirut in 1980s: the Palestine Research Center and archive of Palestinian films. Continue reading

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Canada 150: Activities in Halifax call for rededication of Cornwallis Genocide Park

Activists hold 600-strong rally in Halifax on July 15, 2017 as the statue of Cornwallis is covered with black cloth.

(July 15) – TML Weekly applauds the people of Nova Scotia who organized the “Removing Cornwallis” Activities in Halifax this July 15. One of their demands is to rename the Cornwallis Genocide Park to the Halifax Peace and Freedom Park. Continue reading

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Inappropriate Parks Canada celebrations at Manoir Papineau

Patriots who refused to conciliate with the Crown after the defeat of the rebellion faced death or deportation. In the drawing above a British officer reads the order of expulsion, to which the Patriots clench their fists and cry out, “Treachery!”

By Chantier politique

On May 17, the federal government, through Parks Canada, announced the kick-off of Canada 150 celebrations at Manoir Papineau in the town of Montebello in the Outaouais, named after Louis-Joseph Papineau who betrayed the Patriots. We often hear of those who betrayed the revolutionary movement of the Patriots of 1837-38 and accepted “reasonable accommodation” with the Crown after the Rebellion was brutally crushed. The “reasonable accommodation” allowed them access to positions in the government and the institutions to defend their own right to private property and even to the seigneurial rights they enjoyed under the French regime. They reconciled with power not to defend and pursue the struggle for recognition of the Republic as is often claimed, but to defend the British monarchy and its institutions which betrayed and continue to usurp the right of the people to be sovereign. Continue reading

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Support Mi’kmaq demand to remove the name ‘Amherst’ from PEI historic site

Since 2008, Mi’kmaq leader Keptin John Joe Sark, a member of the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island has been demanding that the PEI government take action to have the name of Jeffrey Amherst – a notorious British General responsible for distributing blankets infected with smallpox amongst the Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous peoples in the 18th Century – removed from the historic site at Port-la-Joye at Rocky Point, across the harbour from Charlottetown. Continue reading

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