This reflection was written on October 13 and expanded on October 17. Some 400 people gathered at an outdoor memorial meeting to honour the life of work of Robert Devet held in Halifax on Thursday evening, October 14.
Robert Devet was born in Holland in 1954 to a progressive, anti-fascist family. His maternal grandfather, Hendrik Koch, was a family physician in a poor working class neighbourhood in Amsterdam who championed the rights of women to have control over reproduction and a political activist in the international communist movement who also moved to the Soviet Union for a period. After having been taken prisoner in 1941 fighting the Hitlerite German occupation of the Netherlands, he died in 1942 in the Nazi concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg. His name is on the national list of honour in the House of Parliament in The Hague. Robert Maarten de Vet was a son of Huibert A. de Vet (born in 1920) and Sophia Louisa Jacoba (“Pop”) Koch (born in 1918). Both his parents took part in the heroic resistance of the Dutch people in different ways. His father was an expert forger of documents used to get Jews to safety and his mother was a member of the communist party (CPN) during and right after World War II and worked on its newspaper De Waarheid. Robert was part of a broad wave of youth who came forward in the Sixties to oppose the racist and fascist South African apartheid regime and the American war of aggression against Vietnam. In a reflection, his sister Hélène de Vet writes that “especially his mother, but in a certain way also his father, were independent and outspoken people. They were neither conformist nor bourgeois. We like to think that all of us children have inherited some of this contrarian ‘family’ attitude.” 
Robert emigrated to Nova Scotia with his partner Maria van Gurp from Halifax in 1979 where they soon married. He worked as a civil servant with Service Nova Scotia in information technology. After Maria passed way and his retirement, without any formal background in journalism he began writing for the Halifax Media Co-op in 2012. In stylistic terms, his writing was simple, straightforward and to the point. He was a faithful interlocutor who conducted interviews with respect. Colleague Hilary Lindsay notes that he authored over 300 articles between September 30, 2012 and December 19, 2015. He was without a doubt motivated by the direction of the anti-social, neoliberal agenda of the Nova Scotia government, which he experienced first hand. His last series of articles for the Halifax Media Co-op supported the almost two-year-long strike of newsrooms staff at the Halifax Chronicle Herald, part of the Saltwire media monopoly, which he backed up by participating on the picket line of his colleagues.
A fishing shed floats offshore Fisherman’s Reserve on the Eastern Shore after Hurricane Juan (Photo | Allan Jean Joyce)
(Part of a series) This Saturday, September 29, marks 15 years since Hurricane Juan ripped through Halifax in the middle of the night toppling trees, smashing boats and knocking out power for many days and even weeks in some neighbourhoods. Wind speeds of up to 178km an hour were recorded at McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour. Mark Rushton and Tony Seed compare the responses of Canada and Cuba to hurricanes. Continue reading →
(Part of a series) This Saturday, September 29, marks 15 years since Hurricane Juan ripped through Halifax in the middle of the night toppling trees, smashing boats and knocking out power for many days and even weeks in some neighbourhoods. Wind speeds of up to 178km an hour were recorded at McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour. Continue reading →
On the night of 14 August 1791, a man named Boukman organised a meeting with enslaved Africans in Bois Caiman, in the northern mountains of the island of Santo Domingo (depicted). This meeting preceded the uprising that began on 22 August 1791 and which would pave the way towards Haiti’s independence. The French quickly captured Boukman, who was leading the uprising, beheaded him and brought the rebellion under control. They exhibited Boukman’s head on Cap’s square to show the slaves that their invincible leader was dead. By 1804 the enslaved Africans led by Toussant L’Overture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines had established the first independent Black state in the Americas – sounding the death knell of French imperial ambitions in the Americas, becoming a beacon for enslaved Africans, and leading to the eventual demise of plantation slavery.
Organized rebellion to slavery in Haiti predates the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution. For example, from 1751 until his capture and execution by immolation in 1758, Francois Makandal, a vodoun priest, led a sustained guerilla campaign. The strength of his organization rested on the unity of various maroon (escaped slaves) communities: a unity forged by Makandal on the ideological and philosophical basis of African religions, traditions, values and motifs. Poignantly, the catalyst for the Haitian Revolution 33-years later was the actions of another vodoun priest Dutty Boukman. The Haitian Revolution was the seminal event in the struggle against slavery.
International Women’s Day March, Toronto, March 2017
(Revised and expanded from a Facebook post on January 25) – CBC TV’s The National hosted by Michael Serapio devoted the first 21 minutes of its 3-4 p.m. newscast on 25 January to the case of Patrick Brown, who has resigned/sacked as leader of the Conservative Party in Ontario although not his seat as an MPP after two women accused him of sexual misconduct. The case is dominating the news cycle. Premier Wynne, head of a government known for corruption and selling out the interests of the working class as in the case of U.S. Steel, was “shocked.” For its part, the Ontario PC Party declared it “unequivocally upholds the principle that a safe and secure society is what we expect and desire” and has “a message of change.” Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called the Brown allegations ‘heinous.” Tory MP Lisa Raitt says she has an “open door” for anyone experiencing harassment. All apparently stand for women’s empowerment.Continue reading →
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).
It was the second of November 1917 when Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, issued his infamous declaration in the form of a letter written to Lord Rothschild. It read:
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
It is interesting to note that the four-letter word “Arab” occurs not once in this document. To refer to the Arabs who constituted, at the time, 92 per cent of the population of Palestine and owned 98 per cent of its land, as the non-Jewish communities is not merely preposterous but deliberately fraudulent. I do not need to tell you that this letter has no shred of legality, as Palestine did not belong to Balfour to assume such acts of generosity. Dr. Arnold Toynbee described the British role, in issuing this document, accurately:
“We were taking it upon ourselves to give away something that was not ours to give. We were promising rights of some kind in the Palestinian Arabs’ country to a third party.”
Similarly, the well-known Jewish writer, Arthur Koestler, summed it up aptly when he described the Balfour Declaration as a document in which “one nation promised a second the country of a third.” Continue reading →
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 →
May 8, 2005 marked the 60th anniversary of the surrender of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich in 1945 and the defeat of Nazi Germany in Europe. Called Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) in the English-speaking countries, it is celebrated on May 9 in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union where it marks the victory of the Great Patriotic War. The defeat of fascism in Europe was a historic event with a permanent significance not only for Europe but for all peoples, who made the greatest contribution to its defeat. Imperialists can be stopped and their weapons silenced.
With this Dossier we want to give our readers a vivid idea of how war may and will creep up on them if it is not opposed. We want to try and discover the real political and economic origins and causes of WWII and its conduct, length and end, the war aims of the different parties, and show how war can be hatched in the greatest secrecy. How was the fate of the peoples of Europe sealed? How was fascism defeated? This has special urgency in our own day, when the imperial Washington of George W. Bush has taken on the task of declaring itself above international law and the Charter of the United Nations. Continue reading →
On the eve of the Second World War, during the height of the collusion between Britain and Nazi Germany known as appeasement for a war against the Soviet Union, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made a 44-day state visit in 1939 to Canada. The prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, had himself met with Hitler and other top Nazi leaders in Berlin in 1937 and expressed his frank admiration for the leader of the Third Reich and its fascist program.
Rosa Parks in Halifax in August 1998 at the annual Africville Reunion in Seaview Park | Paul Adams (Click to enlarge)
1955 (1 December): The status of non-persons for African Americans was the target of the modern US civil rights movement. With untold sacrifice it led to more historic successes. The movement was strengthened by the courageous action of one person. Rosa Parks, 42, a black seamstress living in Montgomery, Alabama, refused to sit in the back of a public bus as required by segregationist laws then in effect. “Whites Only” or “Coloreds Only” were the signs marking this separation at the entrance to restaurants, hotels, water fountains, private buildings, schools, etc. The cruel and absurd segregationist law in the long trail of slavery in the American South stated that if a Black person was sitting on a bus and a white person wanted that seat, the former would have to stand and allow the latter to sit.
Today is the dark anniversary of the first of two dates in 1941 (the other is December 8) in which 25,000 Jews were marched to their death by Nazis in the Rumbula Forest near the capital of Latvia, Riga.
The Rumbula massacre was carried out by the Nazi Einsatzgruppe A with the help of local Latvian collaborators of the Arajs Kommando, with support from other such Latvian auxiliaries. The Arajs Kommando, led by SS-Sturmbannführer Viktors Arājs, was a unit of Latvian Auxiliary Police subordinated to the Nazi Sicherheitsdienst. It was one of the more well-known and notorious killing units during the Holocaust.
At Rumbula on 30 November and 8 December 1941, 12 German machine gunners shot about 25,000 Jews, who were marched to their death from the Riga ghetto by Latvian police. The Jews of Latvia, once numbering 86,000, were virtually wiped out. Continue reading →
We are providing information on the background of the movement for Scottish independence, its background and the issues involved. This article by Tony Seed was published in Mac-talla, the annual Gaelic edition of Shunpiking, Nova Scotia’s discovery magazine, May, 2002, No. 42, and is slightly revised by the author for this publication.
The massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration at the European Summit held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992. Over 25,000 people participated and endorsed the Democracy Declaration of Scotland, read by the actor Sean Connery | Photo courtesy of Alan Miller (Click to enlarge)
IN accordance with the September 1997 referendum, Scotland now has home rule. Nearly three hundred years after the abolition of the last Scottish parliament, the country again has its own elected legislative authority. But there is no knowing if this stage will be Scotland’s last.
Debating chamber of the Socttish parliament
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON reckoned that Calton Hill was the best place to view Edinburgh, “since you can see the Castle, which you lose from the Castle, and Arthur’s Seat, which you cannot see from Arthur’s Seat.” Here, below the hill in one of the city’s greatest buildings, the Grecian Old Royal High School, it was assumed for many years Scotland’s new Parliament would sit. Less than a year before the ﬁrst elections, the Scottish Office unexpectedly announced that a new building would be commissioned. Empty docklands were proposed. Ultimately the ideal location chosen was a disused brewery – in Holyrood, at the foot of the Royal Mile, neighbour to the royal palace – a site that satisﬁed no-one except the land owners and the royals. The parliament, which has been sitting in the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall, will move into this £200 million home soon. Continue reading →
June 6, 1941 – December 3, 2013 | Photo by April Maloney
A Reflection by Tony Seed
On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, Keptin Saqamow Reginald Maloney, 72, left us forever when he passed away in Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro, Nova Scotia, surrounded by family and close friends.
A respected Elder, political leader, Chief, proud Mi’kmaq warrior, an ally and a friend, Chief Maloney was a leader in the epochal battle of the Mi’kmaq nation in defence of their hereditary rights and to affirm their right-to-be. Continue reading →
ON APRIL 6, Robert Ritchie Oakley, 68, left us forever when he passed away in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ritchie was a well-known Maritimes musician, band leader, and a longtime friend and colleague. His life was rich, reflecting the work and persistent struggle for a livelihood of a cultural worker and talented music producer who refused to be moulded by the stamp of the official establishment in the service of U.S. cultural domination; he came to affirm the dignity of Maritimes and Canadian cultural creators and indeed of the working people against the heartlessness and soullessness prevailing in this sphere of society and in turn was victimized by its cultural cabal, mainly through a wall of silence. Nevertheless, Ritchie Oakley’s creative talent and body of work was such that in 1995, the Nova Scotia Country Music Association honoured Ritchie as songwriter of the year and instrumentalist of the year. In 1998 the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia named him producer of the year. In 2008, the East Coast Music Awards designated him one of the winners of the Stompin’ Tom Awards, tributes bestowed for “unsung heroes” of Atlantic Canadian music. Continue reading →
ON THURSDAY, April 21, the CBC Radio program Mainstreet carried an interview with four candidates for the Halifax riding on issues affecting the ocean. Tony Seed of the Marxist-Leninist Party (MLPC) was excluded. His exclusion illustrates the degeneration of the state-funded public broadcaster and its subservience to private interest, and the necessity for political empowerment to protect the environment and break the stranglehold of the media. Continue reading →
TRADE UNIONISTS and other social activists are rallying in Halifax all this week against the latest annual conference of the financial oligarchs from the New England states, the Canadian Atlantic provinces and Québec promoting the Atlantica project, a new arrangement for deeper integration with the United States (later renamed the Atlantic Gateway – ed.). In the lead up to the conference, daily media reports are quoting various government officials, business association spokespeople, and think-tank “experts” to tell the people how they should view the event. Even different “alternatives” are discussed. To assist the workers and people to establish their own thinking and point of view on the Atlantica project and what to do about it, TML is posting information about the ideological and corporate forces behind the Atlantica project. Continue reading →
Originally delivered as the Eulogy, Toronto, Ontario, 10 December 2006 by Robin Oakleywith Tony Seed, and edited for publication
Yet another prototype
(December 29, 2006) – Veerasingan Dhuruvasangary passed away on 2 December 2006 in Scarborough General Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. A scientist, an inventor, writer, artist, internationalist and a beloved friend, we called this modest, unassuming man Dhuruva or, more often than not, Inventor.
Born in Point Pedro (Jaffna), Sri Lanka in September 1950, he used to say “I had two fathers: my birth father, and Russia.” Continue reading →
LEGACIES: LIVES LIVED – PAST / PROGRESSIVE | An occasional series
By TONY SEED*, Monsoon Journal
Veerasingan Dhuruvasangary, B.Sc, M.Sc, M.Phil, P.hD, was a scientist, an inventor, a writer, an artist, an internationalist and above all, a beloved friend; we called this modest, unassuming man Dhuruva or, more often than not, Inventor. Continue reading →
Congratulations on receiving the Award of Media Excellence 2006 from the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC). For many years we have been journalistic colleagues and kindred spirits in building an independent media that tells the truth and provides Canadians with information relevant to their concerns. Your journalism, embodied in the ongoing work of Shunpiking Magazine and elsewhere, is at the same time fully partisan in its unrelenting defence of the rights of all, and most especially, those singled out for attack by the Canadian state and world reaction. Continue reading →
ON 26 October 2006, Tony Seed, editor of Shunpiking Magazine, interviewed Sandra L. Smith on the topic of Muslims and the Media. Sandra is the National Leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and editor of the party’s daily newspaper, TML Daily.*
* * *
On the question of Muslims and the Media, I want to make several important points. I will stay away from the examples of media disinformation that are prevalent and well known to us all, especially to Muslims who are its victims. Instead, I want to highlight aspects of the modus operandi and underlying premise of this media disinformation. Continue reading →
Dr Mohamed Elmasry, CIC president, presents award to Tony Seed of Shunpiking Magazine
THE Canadian Islamic Congress 2006 Award for Media Excellence was presented to Tony Seed of Halifax on 30 October in Ottawa. Shunpiking Magazine’s editor and publisher was also invited to address the CIC’s Annual Gala Dinner – held in the West Block of the Parliament Buildings – on the topic of “Muslims and the Media.”
Invited guests included community activists and Muslin delegates, politicians, senior government officials, Ambassadors of 26 Muslim countries as well as professional and business leaders from across Canada.
‘Irving are the tree people. Like the budworm is the spruce budworm.’ –Lorne Elliott
Potemkin villages  are an Irving specialty. The urban areas of the Maritimes are no exception to the marvellous illusions wrought by this one family which has appropriated the modern science of ecology and all the Madison Avenue arts of greenwashing  to add lustre to the crown of its dynasty. Suffice to mention the K.C.Irving Memorial Forest, a vast, chemically-controlled monoculture alongside the Trans Canada Highway in New Brunswick; augmented by the Irving Eco-Centre at La Dune de Bouctouche; the K.C. Irving Environmental Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens at Acadia University – open every day of the year and free to the public, the 8th wonder of the world. Continue reading →
THE SENATE Committee on the Mass Media has invited Shunpiking Magazine to present its views on the monopolization of the media.
HALIFAX (12 April 2005) — THE SENATE Committee on the Mass Media has invited Shunpiking Magazine to present its views on the monopolization of the media.The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, chaired by Senator Joan Fraser, commenced an investigation into the present state of the Canadian media in 2003, holding all its hearings in Ottawa. This year it has been holding hearings in Western Canada and will be visiting St. John’s, Saint John, Moncton and Halifax. Continue reading →
HALIFAX (12 April 2005) – The pressure exerted by Washington against allied countries goes so far as to directly exclude them from its master plans and to even directly threaten them, facing them with the alternative of either following a pro-American policy or resigning and withdrawing from state power. In the 1980s, these demands, as arrogant as they were unscrupulous, were experienced by the government of New Zealand, which opposed the presence of American nuclear ships in the ports of New Zealand. As then Prime Minister Lange stated, the Reagan White House tried to threaten the New Zealand government into not following an anti-nuclear or anti-American policy. The same language was used against Denmark and Holland, which had publicly refused to deploy US nuclear arms on their territories, especially Greenland. In opposition to all norms governing international relations threats were also addressed to Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme, who expressed opposition to the American policy of war and aggression in Central America. (His subsequent assassination was never solved.) Continue reading →
July 1-4, 2004 – Dalhousie University – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Opening Reception 7: 30 p.m., June 30, 2004
FASS Building, University Avenue
Invitation to Participate
This International Symposium aims to deal with one of the most pressing matters facing journalists, media and culture workers, and all sections of the people – disinformation. The main aim of the Symposium is to empower journalists and collectives of the people by definitively exposing the modus operandi and extent of disinformation, presenting the experience of journalists and activists across Canada and abroad in tackling it, and to consolidate the long-term struggle for its elimination. Continue reading →
Shunpike shun.piken (1862): a side road used to avoid the toll on or the speed and traffic of a superhighway – shun.pik.ern– shun.pik.ingn Encyclopaedia Britannica
(August 6 / Revised August 18, 2003) – SINCE the launching of Shunpiking on 3 December 1995, our magazine has matured and developed to become a vibrant news and quality information source for Nova Scotians, readers across Canada and not a few readers around the globe. Now we are launching Shunpiking Online on the World Wide Web to complement and extend the reach, topicality and timeliness of Shunpiking Magazine. Continue reading →