Friday, October 22: Cultural event 6:00-9:00 pm Saturday, October 23: Tribunal 10:00 am-6:00 pm Sunday, October 24: Tribunal 10:00 am-5:00 pm Monday, October 25: Presentation of Findings at the UN Register here: spiritofmandela.org
An important International Tribunal is taking place October 22-24 in New York City. Organized and hosted by the Spirit of Mandela Coalition it aims to bring international attention to U.S. violations of human and civil rights of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples, spotlighting the inhumane and violating treatment of political prisoners. As an example, the U.S. is violating international law in its deliberate refusal to provide adequate medical care to U.S. political prisoners and all prisoners. Another example is the use of extended solitary confinement. Leonard Peltier, still unjustly in jail after more than 45 years, was repeatedly kept in solitary for long periods, as were many others, especially Black and Puerto Rican political prisoners. In the case of Albert Woodfox he was forced into solitary for 40 years!
Pia Klemp, who faced 20 years in prison for her role in saving 6,000 refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean, explains why she had refused the Grand Vermeil Medal, awarded to her and another captain of Sea-Watch, Carola Rackete, on 12 July 2019 by the City of Paris, because the two captains symbolized “solidarity for the respect of human lives”:
On August 16 the media showed people clinging to and even tied to the undercarriages of US airplanes at the Kabul airport. The C-17 Globemaster III transport planes were taking off for Qatar, one after the other, some partially empty, and people fell down from heights in the sky as the aircraft retracted the landing gear. One photo shows that three bodies were found in a residential neighbourhood which fell from the sky. Videos also emerged capturing people falling from the sky. Another video shows a US Army helicopter propelling people off the runway so that an American transporter can take off. The whole world saw this.
On April 27, the International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence in the United States held a press conference where it released the final 188-page report of its investigations into the U.S. for its violations of human rights of its citizens and residents of African descent, concluding these crimes warrant prosecution under international law.
In his first 100 days Biden has said he is supporting racial justice, democracy, climate action and peace. The claims are intentional deception which is precisely what constitutes fraud | KATHLEEN CHANDLER
March 7, 2021. On the eve of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, 1,000 people marched through downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota with a scroll bearing more than 470 names of people killed by Minneapolis police.
In his first 100 days Biden has said he is supporting racial justice, democracy, climate action and peace. The claims are intentional deception which is precisely what constitutes fraud. The intention is to hide the continuing U.S. crimes both at home and abroad, be they more police racist killings, or actions which negatively target immigrants and refugees, seeking to perpetuate the war against Afghanistan, foment tensions against China, Korea, Iran and Syria, step up the criminal blockade to bring down Cuba, and more.
One of the programs of the different provincial governments in Canada has been to limit educators’ professional judgment in various ways while at the same time increasing the government’s ability to decide what teachers can and cannot say or do in the classroom or outside of the classroom. This comes at a time that governments are attempting to impose retrogressive changes to the content of education such as is the case in Alberta with the new K-6 curriculum or in Ontario with new Health and Physical Education and Math curriculums. A definite direction of these governments is to divert from their anti-social restructuring of the state, and in this case of education, by claiming that the biggest problem in education is educators and their unions in order to justify trying to silence them or ignore their expertise. Thus, alongside the changes to education there has been a campaign to demonize and threaten educators for speaking out in general on matters of concern such as the rights of Indigenous peoples, pipelines or matters of war and peace.
On February 22, an anti-China motion was introduced in the House of Commons accusing China of “genocide.” The private member’s opposition motion was put forward by Conservative Michael Chong (Wellington–Halton Hills, ON), and says: Continue reading →
We are an alliance of migrant workers and allies fighting for justice, dignity, protection and status for migrant workers.
Agri-Food is Canada’s largest manufacturing sector pouring in over 120 BILLION into the economy. Why is Canada the world’s 6th largest exporter of Agri-Food? According to the government, it’s because Canada has the “lowest labour costs in the G7”. Canada is getting rich off of migrant labour. Today on #CdnAgDay, post in support of equal rights & #StatusforAll for migrants! #MigrantsFeedUs. Continue reading →
On January 13, 2021 a Joint Intelligence Bulletin was issued by the DHS, FBI and NCTC. It is written, so it is said, to warn about the threat of further actions such as took place on January 6. But it reads as a threat to all those standing up for rights.
January 2021. Protest actions by those involved in the movement for rights and against police impunity continue in Portland (above) and other cities.
On January 13, 2021 a Joint Intelligence Bulletin was issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). The Report is titled: “Domestic Violent Extremists Emboldened in Aftermath of Capitol Breach, Elevated Domestic Terrorism Threat of Violence Likely Amid Political Transitions and Beyond.” It states that its purpose is “to highlight the threat of violence from domestic violent extremists in the wake of the January 6 violent breach… of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC, following lawful protest activity related to the results of the General Election.” The Bulletin is Classified U/FOUO, meaning “unclassified, for official use only.” Continue reading →
Even though the U.S. Civil War was launched from states seceding from the United States, as an insurrection against the U.S. state, a rebellion by the slave-masters, it was not a war between states and was never deemed an “insurrection.”
– Hardial Bains Resource Centre –
The House Judiciary Committee arguing for charging Trump with “incitement to insurrection,” and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and the Senators who joined him in challenging certification of the vote, all use Civil War references to make their arguments. Continue reading →
The demands of the American people are not coming from a defence of the Constitutional order but as rights belonging to the people. The clash between the two conceptions is very real.
January 17, 2021. Washington DC.
By Kathleen Chandler
Why did Congress so quickly take up impeachment on the basis of charging Trump with “incitement to insurrection?” What does it mean for a Biden administration and the movements of the people for rights? Part of the problem the rulers are contending with is that existing political arrangements cannot solve the people’s demands for equality and accountability. This drive of the people was evident in many actions in 2020 and since, not only in terms of opposing racist police brutality and killings, but also by nurses, warehouse workers and other frontline workers demanding COVID-19 protections and free health care for all. It can also be seen in demands for income security throughout the COVID crisis, opposition to evictions and more. The growing conflicts within and between Congress, the Presidency, military and policing agencies also show the rulers cannot solve these conflicts among their contending factions vying for power. Continue reading →
(December 21) – As 2020 draws to a close, the COVID19 pandemic rages on, yet, undoubtedly, we have entered a distinct phase as a number of countries now begin or plan for mass distribution and administration of newly developed vaccines. As of this writing, there are six approved vaccines and over 50 candidates in development (Craven, 2020, WHO 2020). In the UK, the NHS recently started administering the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine, and the US followed suit one week later. COVID19 vaccine development has reinvigorated a certain type of vaccine nationalism not seen for decades. Each vaccine or candidate gets a particular pedigree, narrative and aura of trustworthiness according to its origins. The vaccines and candidates are a mix of private-sector developed or public/private partnership, with only a few candidates from universities or the public sector (WHO, 2020). In Cuba’s state-run socialist biopharmaceutical system, their new COVID19 vaccine, called Soberana or “The Sovereign,” is effortlessly enfolded into a long-standing national narrative of vaccine prowess. Continue reading →
Status for All! action in Montreal, August 23, 2020
By Steve Rutchinski
There are more than 1.6 million people in Canada denied their fundamental human rights because the government of Canada refuses to do its duty and guarantee the rights of each and every human being. On September 20, just days before federal Parliament resumes, migrant rights organizations are holding yet another Canada-wide day of action to demand Canada modernize itself, come into the 21st century, recognize that all human beings have rights and provide Status for All! Everyone should go all out to support these actions. It’s a matter of principle, of social solidarity! To learn more about the actions, click here. Continue reading →
Resistance persists against state-organized attempts to undermine movement for change
Memorial and march in Rochester, New York, September 3, 2020, for Daniel Prude who died in police custody in March 2020.
In the United States, the ruling circles and their elected representatives are going all out to undermine the growing movement for change. They are portraying those protesting for rights and against police violence and impunity as the source of conflict and violence which is, in fact, caused by the state. They also claim the way forward is by choosing sides in the November election or other reliance on the state machinery. Continue reading →
The Need to Enforce Rights: Accountability is a serious concern. Introductory commentary by Tony Seed to an interview by Workers’ Forum with Jason MacLean, President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union (NSGEU).
The lack of accountability on the part of governments at all levels for what is happening to the people is a serious concern. There is no doubt that decisions that governments have taken and are taking have created the conditions for the dramatic and tragic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and safety of the people in Canada no less than the United States. Thirty years of anti-social offensive in health care and social services – with massive cutbacks, increased privatization, further concentration of decision-making power in ministerial hands and the marginalization and exclusion of the experience and opinions and demands of frontline workers, have wrecked the capacity of the health care system to face the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading →
(WORKERS’ FORUM) – Today, April 28, is the National Day of Mourning held to commemorate workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace-related hazards and conditions. Continue reading →
Without the mobilization of the human factor/social consciousness of the working people and their organizations to address the crisis of the pandemic, all that is left is police powers, repression and blaming the workers and people | STEVE RUTCHINSKI Continue reading →
Postal workers’ needs to perform their work in a safe manner have been systematically ignored. Postal workers’ concerns are not only for their own safety but for that of the public as well |LOUIS LANG
As the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak requires large portions of the population to self-quarantine, the service provided by postal workers is more important than ever to keep lines of communication open at a time on-line shopping becomes a main means households are using to provision themselves. Enabling postal workers to carry out their tasks means that workers in sortation plants, retail offices and letter carrier and rural and suburban mail carrier depots must be provided with equipment and working conditions they require to ensure their safety on a daily basis. Continue reading →
INITIATED ON DECEMBER 6, 2019, BY TWO SWISS JOURNALISTS SERENA TINARI AND CATHERINE RIVA, THE JOURNALISTS’ CALL FOR JULIAN ASSANGE HAS ALREADY GARNERED PRESTIGIOUS SIGNATURES. WE JOIN IN AND INVITE ALL PROFESSIONALS IN THE TRADE TO DO THE SAME. THE CALL IS RESERVED FOR JOURNALISTS AND RELATED PROFESSIONS, EDITORS, CRITICS, OBSERVERS. Continue reading →
The following article, “Threat to Academic Freedom,” was written in 1953 by Charles Herbert Huestis, great grandfather of Dr. Dougal MacDonald, and reproduced by permission of the family. Various sympathizers of the claim that the famine in the Ukraine in 1932-33 was man-made by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin are demanding the dismissal of Dr. MacDonald who teaches at the University of Alberta. They claim that even if his views on the so-called Holodomor were not presented in his classroom, he is causing transgenerational trauma and his presence at the university poses a threat. Continue reading →
Indian Occupation forces continue to target and kill civilians across the LOC in Kashmir with increasing intensity and frequency. In contrast to the silent acquiescence of the Trudeau Liberals, a Canadian delegation of human rights activists led by Zafar Bangash, director of the Toronto-based Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, visits the region on an independent fact-finding investigation.
Villagers warmly greet Canadian delegation | Crescent international
The road from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), snakes through some of the most breath-taking scenic areas toward Chakothi, the check point on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. To the left of the road is the Neelum River, its clear blue flowing majestically toward Muzaffarabad where it meets the Jhelum River at a point called sangam (meeting point). To the right are towering mountains of the Himalayan range where rock falls are common. Some drivers are quite reckless and it is a miracle that vehicles do not plunge into the river below or get into accidents on the twisting road. Continue reading →
July 1 marks the 152nd anniversary of Confederation. On this date in 1867, the British North America Act, 1867 united four separate colonies of the British Empire in North America into the Dominion of Canada. The Indigenous nations and peoples were made subject to the racist colonial Indian Act and subjected to genocide on a grand scale while the Métis people were also treated on a racist basis and the Métis Nation was ignored. Continue reading →
In February 2014, upon completing a several-month investigation into “human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK, or North Korea]” – an investigation initiated in the sixtieth anniversary year of the 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement that halted combat but did not end the war – the three-member Commission of Inquiry (COI) established by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) concluded that North Korea had committed crimes against humanity. Such “unspeakable atrocities,” in the framing account of Commission chair Michael Kirby, “reveal a totalitarian State [without] parallel in the contemporary world.” Analogies to the “dark abyss” of North Korea, the Australian jurist maintained, could be found only in the brutality of the Third Reich, South African apartheid, and the Khmer Rouge regime. Reproduced in news reports around the world, Kirby’s markedly ahistorical examples may have succeeded in inflaming global public opinion yet they failed to contextualize the issue of North Korean human rights in a way that might generate peaceful structural resolution. Indeed, insofar as the 372-page COI report singularly identified the North Korea government as the problem – both as “a remaining and shameful scourge that afflicts the world today,” in Kirby’s jingoistic phrase, and as the primary obstacle to peace in Korea – the Commission gave new life to the vision of regime change that has animated post-9/11 North Korean human rights campaigns. By recommending that North Korea and its high officials be brought up before the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), it continued the hostilities of the unresolved Korean War “by means purporting to be judicial.” The urgent question of a long-deferred peace relative to the Korean peninsula, which the Commission incoherently addressed, bedeviled its conclusions, rendering its findings partial, its recommendations in some instances uneasily one-sided, and its premise of impartiality suspect. Moreover, that the COI proceedings and report aligned the United Nations with the United States, South Korea, Japan, and Great Britain while singling out North Korea and, to a far lesser degree, China, for blame performed an unsettling restaging of the Korean War on the agonistic terrain of human rights, suggesting an encrypted “victor’s justice” with regard to an unending war that up to now has had no clear winners. Continue reading →
Illegal economic sanctions as collective punishment
UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights
An independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council [of the United Nations] has expressed deep concern at the recent imposition of unilateral coercive measures on Cuba, Venezuela and Iran by the United States, saying the use of economic sanctions for political purposes violates human rights and the norms of international behaviour. Such action may precipitate man-made humanitarian catastrophes of unprecedented proportions. Continue reading →
After his mission, he continued to follow developments in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, including the refusal of the opposition to sign the negotiated agreement of 7 February 2018, the Declaration of the Summit of the Americas and that of the People’s Summit, both held in Lima in April 2018. Continue reading →
International Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10, the date on which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, seventy years ago in 1948. According to its Preamble, the Declaration, which contains thirty articles, was to constitute a “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.” Continue reading →
October 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Black Power protest at the 1968 Olympics 200 metre medal ceremony by African American athletes Tommie Smith (centre) and John Carlos (right), the gold and bronze medalists. Peter Norman (left), the silver medalist from Australia and an opponent of the White Australia policy, displayed the badge of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). This was – and is – a powerful example of defiance in the face of racist oppression, in particular, and for human rights for all, in general. Continue reading →