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wmtc: a war resister connects the dots: canada, is this the war you want to fight?

A U.S. war resister in Canada writes in this NOW Magazine. Very soon you will begin to hear about Canadian planes sending “humanitarian aid” of food and medical supplies to those affected by the fighting. . . .

And now ISIL is touted as the new enemy from the darkness as if their emergence was not foreseeable. In reality, ISIL is just the latest incarnation of a very old xenophobic sect of Islam, the Wahhabi movement, finding new breath in the aftermath of yet another war. Our bombs have only made them stronger, just as they always have.

The Harper Conservatives are (Read more…)

wmtc: u.s. war resisters in canada are at serious risk. here’s how you can help.

The War Resisters Support Campaign is facing an unprecedented crisis. Since war resister Kimberly Rivera was forced out of the country in September 2012, there had been no movement on any war resister’s case.

Then, within one month, five war resisters received notices that decisions have been made in their cases. Two of these have been given removal dates (i.e. they have been told to leave the country by a certain date). We expect similar negative outcomes in the other cases – and we don’t know who else will receive a notice tomorrow or next week.

The Campaign (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- The Star criticizes the Harper Cons’ selective interest in international cooperation – with war and oil interests apparently ranking as the only areas where the Cons can be bothered to work with other countries. And Catherine Porter reports that the Cons have demonstrated their actual attitude toward global cooperation and development by making huge cuts to foreign aid.

- Geoff Dembicki interviews Corinne Lepage about France’s rightful resistance to oil lobbyists. But while it’s well and good for individual countries to register their willingness to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, that (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Andrew Jackson takes a look at some dire predictions about the continued spread of inequality, and notes that we need to act now in order to reverse the trend. And UN Special Rapporteur Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona discusses how more progressive tax policies – including a focus on maximizing revenue – are needed to support both greater equality and the effective exercise of human rights: States must realize the full potential of tax collection as a tool to generate revenue for the fulfilment of human rights obligations and to redress discrimination and inequality. Human (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Con Regime and the Outrageous Muzzling of Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr is Canada's most famous prisoner. Thousands of stories have been written about him all over the world.So we know how the former child soldier was victimized by his family, the American military, and even his own government.We know he was horribly wounded, then tortured, and that he has spent almost half his life behind bars or barbed wire.But in those thirteen years this is the only time we ever heard his voice…Read more »

Paul S. Graham: Video: Canadian Human Rights on Trial – the Case of Omar Khadr

Almost unnoticed amidst the hoopla and the protests associated with the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was a dinner held at the Grand Mosque Community Centre last Friday in honour of Edmonton-based human rights lawyer Dennis Edney, QC.

Sept. 19, 2014: Human rights advocate Dennis Edney, QC, speaking in Winnipeg on the case of Omar Khadr. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Edney is the recipient of the National Pro Bono Award (2008) and the Human Rights Medal (British Columbia, 2009). He was honoured in Winnipeg for his decade-long pro bono defence of Omar Khadr and presented with a (Read more…)

wmtc: "bogus" refugees and queue-jumping: stephen harper’s campaign against a compassionate canada

Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946

Unpacking how this happens, and in how many ways, is our life’s work. It’s a topic that must be repeatedly trotted out against as a bulwark against the powerful forces that shape our world.

Right now the War Resisters Support Campaign is facing a huge crisis. A spate of war resisters have received (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Umut Oszu contrasts the impoverished conception of rights being pushed thanks to the Cons’ highly politicized museum against the type of rights we should be demanding: In their modern incarnation, human rights were fashioned after the Second World War and entered into widespread circulation in the 1970s and 80s, when they came to be deployed by Western governments and non-governmental organizations as part of a Cold War “battle of ideas.” Designed in predominantly civil and political rather than social and economic terms, the rhetoric of human rights has since been mobilized to (Read more…)

wmtc: it’s september and u.s. war resisters in canada are at risk for deportation

Two years ago, almost to the day, US war resister Kimberly Rivera and her family were forced out of Canada by the Harper Government. Kim – peace activist, artist, mother, dreamer – crossed the border and was immediately taken away in handcuffs. She served more than a year in prison, separated from her husband and children. Her crime: refusing to kill innocent civilians in Iraq, and refusing to risk being killed and leaving her own children without a mother. When news of her removal from Canada was announced in Canada’s House of Commons, the Conservative MPs applauded.

Now it is (Read more…)

The Misanthropic Bird: Shaping Rape Culture

Smoking was once the epitome of cool, at least by Hollywood and advertising standards. Mid century idols displayed a sense of sophistication with that white stick dangling from hands, mouths, or the even more glamorously, a cigarette holder. Smoking was normal, socially acceptable behavior – in homes, schools, hospitals, and most influentially, in the neon allure of the media. Cut to 2014 and let’s replace that imagery: the vision of smoking, with misogyny, sexism and even rape.

Rape Culture – a ghastly sounding term originating with second wave feminists of the 1970’s – is still prevalent. The phrase itself describes (Read more…)

wmtc: what i’m reading: indian horse by richard wagamese, a must-read, especially for canadians

Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese, is a hauntingly beautiful novel about an Ojibway boy’s journey into manhood. It was the Readers’ Choice winner of the 2013 Canada Reads, CBC Radio’s book promotion program. But if you’re like me and don’t listen to the radio, you may have missed it. Don’t miss it. Indian Horse should be widely read – by everyone, but especially by Canadians.

In a slim, spare volume, drawing vivid pictures with very few words, Wagamese brings you into the Ojibway family. They are struggling to hold onto their culture – and indeed, to keep their (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Aboriginal women are speaking up for missing and murdered Aboriginal men

Some of the people camping out in Memorial Park to call for a national inquiry into the deaths and disappearances of over 1200 Aboriginal women. Photo: Paul S. Graham

The hatred directed at aboriginal people in Canada is appalling, as is their poverty and exclusion from the opportunities that exist for non-indigenous Canadians. Nowhere is this more evident than in the federal government’s continuing refusal to hold a national inquiry into the causes of the deaths and disappearances of over 1200 aboriginal women. Now, aboriginal women are beginning to speak up for the aboriginal men who have disappeared over the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Tina Fontaine: Aboriginal Teen’s Death Reignites Calls For Inquiry

The death of teenage Tina Fontaine has re-ignited calls for national public inquiry into the case of nearly 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

The post Tina Fontaine: Aboriginal Teen’s Death Reignites Calls For Inquiry appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

wmtc: amnesty international urgent action network, writing for rights all year round

I knew working full-time would mean cutting back on activism. What time I can squeeze out, I’m investing in my own union, where I have much to contribute and feel I can really make a difference. I still belong to the War Resisters Support Campaign, of course, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to attend weekly meetings.* Still, I knew there was more I could do, if only from my computer. I recently took a step that will add a bit more relevancy to my life, something that seems fairly easy to do (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Imagine If Our Politicians Had This Kind Of Honesty And Integrity

The Irish Senator and internationally recognized human rights activist, David Norris, delivered an eminently powerful speech concerning Gaza in the Irish Parliament on, July, 31st. In his speech Norris criticizes human rights violations of Israel carried out with the support of the United States and complacency of the international community.

Said Norris:

“I am not anti-Israeli, I am not anti-Semitic. I supported the state of Israel. In the forty years I have known the state of Israel and sometimes had a home there I’ve seen it completely changed. It changed from a left-wing socially directed country, to an extreme right-wing (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Gaza conflict: NDP urged to stop apologizing for war crimes, human rights abuses

Various concerned Canadian citizens and residents urge the NDP to stop apologizing for Israel’s alleged war crimes and breaches of human rights in the ongoing Gaza conflict.

The post Gaza conflict: NDP urged to stop apologizing for war crimes, human rights abuses appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian support for Palestine: Mothers and Families for Gaza occupy MP Don Davies’ office

On Tuesday, a group of twenty mothers and families occupied NDP MP Don Davies’ office in Vancouver in support of Palestine.

The post Canadian support for Palestine: Mothers and Families for Gaza occupy MP Don Davies’ office appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Artificial Turf Discriminatory, Violates Canadian Law

Abby Wambach and coalition of female soccer greats informs FIFA that requiring women to play the 2015 World Cup on artificial turf is discriminatory against women, violates Canadian law.

The post 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Artificial Turf Discriminatory, Violates Canadian Law appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dented Blue Mercedes: On conscience-based medical exemptions

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently reviewing its Human Rights Code policy on conscience-based exemptions for medical professionals, and their effect on access to medical services.

This review was sparked by a number of news reports of doctors in Ontario and Alberta refusing to prescribe birth control because of their religious beliefs. In some of those cases, patients were refused in clinics where there was only one doctor on duty.

Concurrently, south of the border, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of a corporation’s right to deny medical insurance to its employees when doing (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Canadian PM Harper’s Government Complicit in Israeli War Crimes

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Canada, once the peacekeeping nation of merit and respect has been downgraded in the eyes of international observers since being led by right wing ideologue, Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

His unbalanced view and posture is nowhere more obvious that his absolute support for the extreme right-wing Israeli’s attack on Gaza.

Canada’s reputation as a peace-loving nation and as an ‘honest-broker’ in the Middle East (part of its national mythology) has been dealt a serious blow by the ruling Conservative Party’s adamant support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the midst of international condemnation (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: NDP Youth Reject Leaders’ Support of Israel’s Gaza Atrocities

The New Democratic Youth of Canada rejects party leaders’ uncritical support of Israel’s ongoing war crimes in Gaza, demands that Israel “be held accountable for its actions.”

The post NDP Youth Reject Leaders’ Support of Israel’s Gaza Atrocities appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian party leaders’ “callous devaluation of Palestinian life” condemned

In open letter, 690 academics, community leaders decry the “callous devaluation of Palestinian life” by the Canadian government and federal party leaders, urge condemnation of the continuing violation of international law in Gaza.

The post Canadian party leaders’ “callous devaluation of Palestinian life” condemned appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: NDP Gaza cop out: Mulcair refuses to denounce ‘murderous assault’ by Israel

A recent post on World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) draws attention to the failure of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) to “denounce the murderous assault being carried out by the Israeli government” in Gaza:

Over the past two weeks, Thomas Mulcair, the head of the NDP and the leader of the Official Opposition in parliament, and Paul Dewar, the NDP foreign affairs critic, have refused to oppose Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s full-throated support for the Israeli onslaught [in Gaza].

The article notes that Mulcair’s stance on the Gaza conflict has drawn kudos from at least one columnist on the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Human Rights: Council of Canadians Delivers Water to Detroit

The Council of Canadians this week continued its support of the international human right to water by delivering convoy of water to Detroit city residents.

The post Human Rights: Council of Canadians Delivers Water to Detroit appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: Israeli war crimes in Gaza – Beit Hanoun attack: US shields Israel from accountability

 Images following the shelling of UN-run school in Beit Hanoun

War crimes committed by Israel in the course of its attack on Gaza are a consequence of an overall strategy rather than isolated incidents due to alleged mistaken targeting or other “accidents.”

The recent Israeli shelling of a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun resulted in 15 deaths and hundreds of wounded – most of the casualties were women and children. The IDF knew  there were hundreds of civilians in the facility seeking shelter from violence but they went ahead and shelled it anyway claiming the target was Hamas, (Read more…)