Enough, already!

Would some politicians in the House of Commons, when the first opportunity arises, please send us into an election?  Harper and his band of baby fascists must go!

And sooner would be better than later.

Keen fired.  Another page in the AECL/Chalk River scandal.  POGGE has the goods.

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US Backing Down on Bali Agreement

Surprised?

The US backtracked yesterday on the climate change agreement reached after marathon talks in Bali, saying it had “serious concerns” about the new global consensus and that developing countries had to do far more if there was to be any pact in two years’ time.

The reality check followed the drama and euphoria of the weekend when the US was shamed into joining the rest of the world in working towards a new climate change agreement to come into force after 2012. All 190 countries have agreed to take the talks further.

But the White House press secretary, Dana Perino, poured cold water on the Bali result, saying the talks had not adequately addressed the responsibilities of developing countries. “The US does have serious concerns. Negotiations must [now] proceed on the view that the problem of climate change cannot be adequately addressed through commitments for emissions cuts by developed countries alone.”

In a clear signal that the US would agree to nothing unless China and India, the two largest developing countries, agreed to significant cuts, she said that account had to be taken of the size of countries’ emissions as well as their level of economic advancement. China’s emissions are on a level with those of the US but on a per capita level, each American emits far more than a Chinese. “For these negotiations to succeed, it is essential the major developed and developing countries be prepared to negotiate commitments that will make a due contribution to the reduction of global emissions,” she said.

Not really surprising, eh? In fact, it makes Environment Minister John Baird’s behavior at the plenary make sense. He wasn’t expecting the US to agree to anything. But they did do so, we now see, just to shut everyone up. They had to; they need NAU, GNEP and the Tar Sands to go ahead as planned.

Edited to add Monbiot’s point that this is an echo of the Kyoto round.

Writing Poetry = A Terrorist Act?

Here’s what happened to a young poet in the UK because of their new anti-terrorist legislation.

2pm GMT update


‘Lyrical terrorist’ sentenced over extremist poetry

Read the poetry penned by Samina Malik

Claire Truscott and agencies
Thursday December 6, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Samina Malik
Samina Malik, who called herself the ‘lyrical terrorist’, is the first woman to be convicted under new terrorism legislation. Photograph: Metropolitan Police/PA

A 23-year-old former Heathrow shop assistant who called herself the “lyrical terrorist” and scrawled her extremist thoughts on till receipts has been handed a nine-month suspended jail sentence. Samina Malik became the first woman convicted under new terrorism legislation after writing poems entitled How To Behead and The Living Martyrs.

“The Terrorism Act and the restrictions it imposes on the personal freedom exist to protect this country, its interests here and abroad, its citizens, and those who visit here. Its protection embraces us all. Its restrictions apply to us all, whatever our personal religious or political beliefs.”

He told Malik that if she had been convicted of the more serious charge of possessing an article for terrorist purposes – of which the jury cleared her – she would have faced a jail term. But he said, while a custodial sentence was merited, she had already faced “extremely rigorous” bail conditions which were “tantamount to house arrest”.

The court heard that she also spent five months in custody after being arrested in October last year. Malik’s sentence was suspended for 18 months, with the condition that she be supervised for the whole period and undertake unpaid work.

Outside court Malik’s solicitor Iqbal Ahmed read out a statement on her behalf. He said: “The trial process has been a terrible ordeal for her and she is now relieved that it is all over. The jury found that she did not have the material for terrorist purposes which was an important part of her case. She now wants to get on with her life.”

Last month, Malik was found guilty of possessing records likely to be useful in terrorism by a majority of 10 to one. She cried as the verdict was read. Two female jurors were also in tears. The court heard that Malik stocked a “library” of material useful to terrorists at her family home in Southall, west London.

Now, I don’t know a whole lot about the Harperites’ new law-and-order legislation, but I sure as hell hope that it doesn’t contain provisions that will result in me being imprisoned for speaking my truth to power. [See Update, below!] I understand the Loyal Opposition aka the Liberals are supporting the law-and-order bill. As a Poet in Canada I rilly-rilly hope they’ve checked it out thoroughly because we already know that the Harperites cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of Canada. Can you say Bali?

UPDATE: “Proposed legislation will grant law enforcement and security agencies extraordinary powers to detain and question individual suspects accused of terror activities WITHOUT due process and evidence.”

Thanks to Lady Broadoak for the lead.

Thanks to Verbena-19 for the update.

Update: Panty Power Campaign

Here’s an update on the Free Burma Global Action: Panty Power Campaign!

Filipino activists pin hopes on ‘panty power’ vs Burma junta
By DJ Yap
Inquirer
Last updated 06:58pm (Mla time) 10/26/2007
MANILA, Philippines — It was “flower power” in the ’60s, “people power” in the ’80s, and now, activists are pinning their hopes on “panty power.”

Women activists hurled thongs, red bikinis, even granny underwear at the Myanmar Embassy in Makati City Friday, in an odd but culturally relevant protest targeting the military junta’s violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in the reclusive nation.

Mirroring protests in Australia, the United Kingdom and Thailand, the “panty protest” held particular significance for members of the junta who believe any contact with women’s undergarments could sap their strength.

Thus, while the act of throwing one’s panties at rock stars may be considered a sign of admiration here, to Burma’s superstitious military generals, the gesture is high insult.

“We wanted to hit them where it hurts,” said Isagani Abunda, campaign officer of the Free Burma Coalition Philippines, which organized Friday’s demonstration in front of the embassy on Amorsolo Street.

Haven’t sent off your knickers?  S’okay, you still can.  And, on this day where we in Canada commemorate those 14 women massacred in Montreal, we can take positive actions in other places of the globe where state violence is the norm.  Become a sister for a woman political prisoner in Burma.

And get those pannies in the post!

Code Pink CoFounder Refused Entrance to Canada

I can hardly believe this! What is it with our border security? A little over the top, perhaps? I suppose that is because it’s now pretty much run by the United States, thanks to NAFTA and all.

Edited to add Alison’s addendum at Creekside.

Canada Refuses Entry to CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin and Retired Colonel Ann Wright

 

WASHINGTON – October 3 – Two well-respected US peace activists, CODEPINK and Global Exchange cofounder Medea Benjamin and retired Colonel and diplomat Ann Wright, were denied entry into Canada today (Wednesday, October 3). The two women were headed to Toronto to discuss peace and security issues at the invitation of the Toronto Stop the War Coalition. At the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Bridge they were detained, questioned and denied entry. They will hold a press conference on Thursday afternoon in front of the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC to ask the Canadian government to reverse its policy of barring peaceful protesters.

The women were questioned at Canadian customs about their participation in anti-war efforts and informed that they had an FBI file indicating they had been arrested in acts of non-violent civil disobedience.

 

Press Conference:

WHEN: Thursday, October 4th at 1pm

 

WHERE: Canadian Embassy, 501 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

 

“In my case, the border guard pulled up a file showing that I had been arrested at the US Mission to the UN where, on International Women’s Day, a group of us had tried to deliver a peace petition signed by 152,000 women around the world,” says Benjamin. “For this, the Canadians labeled me a criminal and refused to allow me in the country.” “The FBI’s placing of peace activists on an international criminal database is blatant political intimidation of US citizens opposed to Bush administration policies,” says Colonel Wright, who was also Deputy US Ambassador in four countries. “The Canadian government should certainly not accept this FBI database as the criteria for entering the country.” Both Wright and Benjamin plan to request their files from the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act and demand that arrests for peaceful, non-violent actions be expunged from international records. “It’s outrageous that Canada is turning away peacemakers protesting a war that does not have the support of either US or Canadian citizens,” says Benjamin. “In the past, Canada has always welcomed peace activists with open arms. This new policy, obviously a creature of the Bush administration, is shocking and we in the US and Canada must insist that it be overturned. Four members of the Canadian Parliament–Peggy Nash, Libby Davies, Paul Dewar and Peter Julian– expressed outrage that the peace activists were barred from Canada and vow to change this policy.

 

 

Action Alert: Anti-War Activist Targeted

Apparently, it is now illegal to be a peace activist. From the Feminist Peace Network, this action alert:

Anti-War Activist Targeted by Country Beginning With the Letter “C” Hint: It’s Not China or Cambodia

Sent: 24 Sep ‘07 13:53

The Alison Bodine Defense Committee is appealing to all progressive groups and organizations who fight for a better world to support the campaign to defend Alison Bodine, a US citizen who is being targeted by Canadian Border Services Agency for being an anti-war and social justice activist.

Originally from Broomfield, Colorado, Alison is a central organizer with Vancouver, Canada antiwar coalition Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO), for three years was the president of the University of British Columbia’s Coalition Against War on the People of Iraq and Internationally (CAWOPI), a long-time executive committee member of the UBC Social Justice Center, is a prominent activist in solidarity with Cuba and the Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba, and a supporter of immigrant and refugee rights in Canada and the US.
Near midnight on Thursday September 13, 2007, Alison was arrested by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) when she attempted to legally cross the border at Peace Arch border crossing, travelling from Canada into the United States. Three days prior, Alison was harassed by CBSA officials while traveling from the US into Canada. The ordeal began after border officials searched her vehicle and identified her as a political organizer after they found various political materials and progressive newspapers in her car.
As an international student at the University of British Columbia who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Physics in June 2007, Alison has traveled between the US and Canada on dozens of occasions, and had never been denied entrance to Canada or asked to return to the US.

As she was returning to the US on Thursday September 13th, Alison returned to claim items confiscated earlier by the CBSA. Upon presenting her receipt to claim her materials, she was handcuffed and told she was under arrest, and that a warrant for her arresthad been issued across Canada. She was then taken into detention. This unjust and illegal imprisonment was met with a huge protest and organizing drive by the newly-formed Committee to Free Alison Bodine. Friday afternoon, on only 5 hours notice, 80 people came together at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Offices in Vancouver, demanding the immediate release of Alison Bodine. Media was also quick to pick up this important case, which was covered locally and nationally by newspapers, TV and radio.
Following all of this, Alison’s status took a major  turn. Officials constantly reminded her all day that there was no way she would be released from detention before Monday. However, at 8:00pm on Friday, Alison was given notice by immigration officials that she would be released from custody immediately until her Admissibility Hearing on Monday Sept 17th – a major victory in the campaign for her freedom. However Alison’s ordeal is not yet over. In the early afternoon of September 17th, Alison learned from a CBC reporter that the CBSA had cancelled her Admissibility Hearing scheduled for 2pm that day. Alison herself was never officially notified by CBSA.

At 1:30pm Monday September 17th, more than 50 supporters rallied outside the downtown Citizenship & Immigration Canada offices, especially because of the cancelled hearing, to demand that all charges against Alison be dropped immediately. The CBSA postponement of Alison’s hearing is a maneuver to delay because they know they won’t be able to prove the charges they have made up so far. It also shows they have decided to escalate this case to a more political level byfinding some different charges to bring because they know right now their case cannot win in a hearing.
Being without status in Canada, Alison’s situation is always uncertain, and she can still be arrested at anytime. All progressive, humanity loving people must unite around this case. We must understand that this is not just an attack on Alison, this is an attack on all of us. This is an attack on the basic democratic and human rights of all people, especially social justice activists, immigrants, refugees and all non-status people and non-residents in Canada. The illegal and unjust arrest and detention of Alison Bodine means the Government of Canada and its agencies want to continue and escalate the silencing of free speech and political expression and continue their terrorizing of people who oppose their policies at home and abroad and the new era of war and occupation. They are also testing and evaluating our response to defend ourselves against their attacks against us. The degree, seriousness, effectiveness and consistency of our defence impact their decision on how to further their repressive measures.

For this reason, we are appealing to you to join us in this struggle by endorsing this emergency campaign and by writing a letter of support demanding that the CBSA drop all charges against Alison. Please send this appeal to your email lists and friends. We must show the Government of Canada and their agency, the CBSA, that they cannot get away with trying to intimidate activists. We have attached a template support letter, as an example. Letters of support should be
sent to:

defendalisonbodine@hotmail.com

The CBSA might think that by delaying the Admissibility hearing this campaign will lose steam and the pressure against them will lessen. On the contrary, this campaign is only just beginning. People all across Canada and the world know about this case of political harassment and this will only gain momentum from here. This is a political case; Alison
has done nothing wrong or illegal. Alison, along with supporters in Vancouver and across the country will keep up the demand that the CBSA must drop all charges
against her and restore her full rights to travel between the US and Canada. For now, they have re-scheduled her Admissibility hearing for Friday, September 28th at 9am. In the time between now and then we will not back down, we will not slow down and
we will continue fighting!
Our fight is not over. Your support is essential to get all charges against Alison dropped!

WE WILL WIN
Read the rest of this entry »

Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

 Naomi Klein’s film, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, debuts today at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is shocking in its truth telling! Whew! Thank goodness it is short!

As part of this blog burst, I will receive a review copy of Naomi’s book of the same title. Watch for that review in the coming weeks.

shock_doctrine.jpg