(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
Tag Archives: Shunpiking Magazine
(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.
By TONY SEED
(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
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*
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).
100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration: Palestine – Ethnic cleansing and dispossession (Excerpt)
By Dr. ISMAIL ZAYID*
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