Brussels, Belgium, July 7, 2018. Banner reads “Yes to Peace! No to NATO!”
BERLIN (November 29) – The program of the Berlin Security Conference, which ended yesterday, included discussions on new steps toward creating an “army of the Europeans,” concerns over the possible erosion of the West’s “margin in defence capabilities” vis à vis Russia and China, as well as the role of artificial intelligence in future wars. Continue reading
By MICHAEL CHANT
(December 15) – Despite French Prime Minister Eduard Philippe’s declaration of a moratorium on the increase in energy taxes, “Act IV” of the mass demonstrations of the “Gilets Jaunes”, or Yellow Vests, went ahead on the December 8-9 weekend. In fact, even more demonstrators took to the streets in the face of the simultaneous unleashing of a militarised police force whose role was to quell and intimidate the people’s forces with brutality and terror. It is clear that the Yellow Vests were having none of it and the protests spread throughout France and into other countries as well. Continue reading
Mass actions reject anti-social offensive and neo-liberal summit
Demonstration against G20 in Buenos Aires, November 30, 2018.
The social effects of extreme weather for the homeless, the poor, the elderly and the colonized, in the cities and on the roads; the abnegation of social responsibility and the public interest by the media and governments shows the need for empowerment. “When tragedies do occur, the monopoly media focuses on the technical mechanics of the disaster, excluding who should be held accountable, how the concerns and campaigns of the community were dealt with or ignored, and the response of the public bodies” | TONY SEED
(December 30, updated January 5) – According to the CBC, the main “news” and social consequences of the record extreme cold weather seems to be the status of outdoor civic New Year’s parties, the condition of the ice on a short-term, multi-million dollar outdoor rink erected on Parliament Hill, polar bear dips, and an outdoor World Junior hockey game between Canada and the U.S. in Buffalo on Friday December 28th.
A fiery crash of a tractor trailer truck on the QEW (pictured above) that shut down the Niagara bound lanes near Bartlett Ave. in Grimsby was reported merely as a freak obstacle or an inconvenient “long delay” to the many Canadians heading to the game. While no one was hurt this time, the damage to the highway was extensive and will take time to repair.
One CBC anchor, Hanna Thibodeau, joked with meteorologist David Phillips as to whether Russia was to blame for the Arctic front.
In seeming contrast, CBC published on December 29 a long photo feature titled “Toronto has officially frozen over. See it here in all its icy glory” highlighting the beauty of a nature that is benign. The kicker called on readers to “Take in the stunning sights of the city during the deep freeze.” (The photos were submitted.)
As 2017 ends, the working people face a media onslaught about what is going on in Canada and around the world, of which the weather occupies one sphere. We think that a sober approach going into 2018 is of importance.
The abnegation of social responsibility by the US government and media | TONY SEED
This morning a train went off the tracks while crossing a highway bridge in Washington State. Train cars can be seen teetering off of the tracks and curling onto the highway on one side and a forested area on the other. Washington Gov Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency, noting in his proclamation “significant structural damage to the overpass, railway and highway infrastructure” and saying the combined effects of the derailment and road closures amounted to a “public disaster”. In a separate statement he called the derailment a “serious and ongoing emergency,” saying his office was still gathering information from Amtrak. Seventy-seven people have reportedly been hospitalized while the number of fatalities is being described as “multiple.” Continue reading
“It could scarcely be clearer. On top of laying the groundwork for increased arming of the Ukrainian armed forces, the Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Agreement constitutes another means to expand arms sales from Canada to the Saudi Arabia dictatorship for war and aggression in the Middle East using Ukraine as a transit, as well as to potentially increase the share of the global arms trade by Pratt & Whitney, Esterline GMC Electronics and other private arms monopolies” | An exposé by TONY SEED
Merchants of Death – Lithograph by Mabel Dwight
(May 20, Revised August 25) – One of the main features of the Defence Agreement between Canada and Ukraine signed on April 3 are neo-liberal arrangements regarding arms production and the global arms trade. These arrangements are taking place within the conditions of intensified inter-imperialist rivalry to monopolize the global arms trade and the expansion of the theatre of operations of the U.S.-NATO bloc not only in Eastern Europe but also in the Middle East.
The AFP news agency reports that Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan “also said [the Defence Agreement] was a step toward liberalizing arms sales to Ukraine, which are currently restricted. The accord is ‘a very important step before [we] get to that,’ he said.” In a Department of National Defence (DND) release, he stated it “helps us continue to develop our rich, mutually beneficial relationships.”
The agreement codifies, legitimizes and opens the door to government funding of private arms deals that have already been negotiated between giant arms monopolies of Canada and Ukraine. It marks the latest stage in the accelerated rapprochement between the two countries’ military and security establishments in recent years. This relationship, with typically overt and covert features, is undertaking increasing strategic significance with a number of important partnerships forged in the military-industrial and educational sectors. Continue reading
By ENVER VILLAMIZAR
On June 29, U.S. President Barack Obama addressed a joint sitting of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons following the end of the North American Leaders’ Summit that day. Obama’s speech comes in the twilight of his eight-year Presidency, at a time when U.S. society is mired more deeply than ever in a social crisis, with young black men and other sections of the people being killed with impunity by police while the U.S. is engaged in more wars and conflicts than ever. It also comes in the midst of the U.S. election campaign, where the stated aim has become to “unite the nation” behind a war president capable of “Making America Great Again.” Continue reading