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
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
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).
By Dr. ISMAIL ZAYID*
Click to enlarge.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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
From our archives. By JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON*
It’s become a TV ritual: Every year in mid-January, around the time of Martin Luther King’s birthday, we get perfunctory network news reports about “the slain civil rights leader.”
The remarkable thing about this annual review of King’s life is that several years – his last years – are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole. Continue reading
Shunpiking Magazine’s Online Dossier, May-June 2005
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
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.