Depleted Uranium Being Used on Palestinian People

From the Canadian blogger, Eva Bartlett, a member of the International Solidarity Movement, at her blog in Gaza:

He updates me on a BBC report: “the one o’clock news on the local BBC channel interviewed a Norwegian doctor in Gaza who said some of the victims bear traces of depleted uranium in their bodies.”

Press TV interviews, Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian triage medical team member currently in Gaza:

Press TV: What can you tell about the uranium findings?

Dr. Mads Gilbert:The findings about the uranium I cannot tell you much about, but I can tell you that we have clear evidence that the Israelis are using a new type of very high explosive weapons which are called Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) and are made out of a tungsten alloy.

These weapons have an enormous power to explode.

The power of the explosion dissipates very quickly and the strength does not travel long, maybe 10 meters, but those humans who are hit by this explosion, this pressure wave are cut in pieces.

This was first used in Lebanon in 2006, it was used here in Gaza in 2006 and the injuries that we see in Shifa [Hospital] now, many many of them I suspect and we all suspect are the effect of DIME weapons used by the Israelis.

On the long term, these weapons will have a cancer effect on those who survive. They will develop cancer we suspect. There has been very little research on this but some research has been among other places in the United States, which show that these weapons have a high tendency to develop cancer. So they kill and those who survive risk having cancer.

One can’t help but wonder if the uranium came from Saskatchewan, eh?

Here’s an online petition you can sign.

ACTION: Iranian Women Detained

As a preface, remember that Saskatchewan’s Uranium Industry helped to ensure a supply of fuel to reactors around the globe, including Iran.  According to a report from Tehran:

“All the women arrested on Sunday as they were staging a rally in front
of a court house in Tehran are on hunger strike in the Evin jail where they
are currently detained. Authorities said Tuesday that the women’s rights
activists arrested are 33. Unofficial reports had suggested that the younger
activists in the group would be released on Tuesday but so far none of them
has been allowed to leave Tehran’s Evin prison.

The protesters were staging a demonstration in support of five women on
trial for organising a rally in June last year against laws they say
discriminate against women.

Meanwhile all students’ associations in Iran have been notified by
university authorities that they will not be allowed to organise any rally
or university meeting before 8 March on feminism or women’s rights.”

Azadehpourzand blog has posted some suggestions for actions to help gain the release ofthese brave women:

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Sign the petition.

Write a Letter: You can directly write to the Iranian authorities, In
your letter, please ask the Iranian authorities to uphold the law and refer
to the article 27 of the Iranian constitution, “Public gatherings and
marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are
not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.” and ask for an
immediate and unconditional release of all the women rights defenders.

Please send letters to:

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: irjpr@iranjudiciary.org (mark ‘Please forward to HE Ayatollah
Shahroudi’)
(Salutation: Your Excellency)

President:
His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud AhmadiNejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic
of Iran
Fax: +98 21 649 5880
E-mail: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir (Salutation: Dear Sir)

Golam-Ali Haddad-Adel, the leader of the Iranian Parliament Majles-e
Shura-ye Eslami
Imam Khomeini Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 646 1746 (occasionally difficult to reach, please be
patient)
(Salutation: Dear Sir)

Please note that it is not always easy to send fax and email to Iran and
we urge you to also courier your letters to the Iranian embassy in your
country (see the listing of an Iranian embassy in your country here.

Thanks to Feminist Peace Network

The Road to Peace

Nettie Wiebe has been in Regina this week, speaking at various events.  Today she was one of the guest speakers at Making Peace With Earth, a conference linking peace and environmental issues.  Nettie took an interesting approach, being a farmer.  She spoke about peace and ecology in terms of human security.  And she focused on food as a key component of that human security.  This woman is our new Tommy Douglas.  She gets it.  She gets social justice.  She gets environmental issues.  She gets women’s issues, agricultural issues, peace issues.  She just gets it all.

Notes from Nettie’s Speech 

Food is about human security; we cannot live without it.  Food is also about community.  Yet, we rarely hear a word about it in our news of war, devastation, and destruction.

Human Security 

To feel secure as a human we need to be able to go to bed at night knowing that when we rise in the morning our basic needs will be met.  We need also to feel safe in our environment.  And, we need to be able to participate, in a meaningful way, in the shaping of our future.

Palestine

In Palestine, however, people have been separated from not only the olive trees, but also from their water systems, by the building of the wall.  Trees have been uprooted, water systems have been destroyed, cisterns have been dug up.  This kind of destruction is just as lethal as property destruction.

Peace in the Middle East will not happen unless food, water and land are returned to proper production and people can return to it and live securely.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, many have always been poor.  The land doesn’t look farmable.  However, there are fertile river valleys.  In fact, pre-conflict (1970s) Afghanistan was the world’s major exporter of dried fruits and nuts.  And they also exported olives and dates and were near self-sufficiency in grains.

All that was destroyed by war.  When war came, poppy production grew in leaps and bounds until the Taliban took over, turning the land back to grains.

The huge anti-drug initiative spearheaded by the USA is supported by Canada.  However, the government in Afghanistan and Afghan soldiers ar actively supporting poppy growing.  And, there are now rumours that the Taliban are telling farmers to grow poppies in protest to the invasion.

Canadian Deaths

The area in which Canadian troops are active in Afghanistan is the area in which “reconstruction” is occurring.  Canadian soldiers are guarding the building of a 100 meter wide and 4 kilometer long stretch of road in a fertile valley.  Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from this farming area in the middle of the growing season!

When they came home, they returned to complete destruction.  Crops were devastated, animals were gone or dead and, worst of all, the road permanently cut off the water supply.  The road that Canadians are helping to reconstruct has devastated farming and the security of the people living their.  Some engineer gave no thought to human security when designing the road, focussed instead on how to move military equipment from point A to point B.

The Canadian government has promised grain to help the people of the region, but food aid is not a long-term solution.  And since when has the Canadian military become an expert on building roads?  Incidently, the area is full of roads.  But the roads are winding roads and not suitable for the transport of military equipment.

This is not the road to peace.

The Road to Peace

The new highway in the fertile Afghan valley is not the road to peace.  The road to peace is stopping the destruction, is negotiating, not handing out candy.  The road to peace is rebuilding imaginations so that dreams can live, grow and thrive.  The road to peace is in coming to sit at the table — not in a drive-by, fast food agenda.  The road to peace is a long, winding, and uncertain road that runs through all those Afghan villages.  It is not a road we can rebuild and run.

We have a responsibility in Afghanistan, but it’s not a military one.  We have a responsibility here, at our own tables, to remember that what we do in the world gathers around other tables; it reflects us.  As such, we should gather humbly, thoughtfully and ask for peace.

One down, ??? to go

protest banner
Activists got busy in North Dakota this week, knocking a nuclear weapon offline with their hammering and spraypainting. Then they strung a banner proclaiming weapons of mass destruction – here. The protestors included a Roman Catholic priest and two war vets. From their statement:

We have chosen to start the process of transformation and disarmament by hammering on and pouring our blood on components of the Minuteman III nuclear missile system. We believe that the concrete that goes into making missile silos would be better used for building homes. We know that total disarmament of our first-strike system of nuclear weapons will require national repentance with a change in the hearts and minds of the people of the U.S. The pouring of our blood is meant to make visible the bloodshed resulting from the production, testing, and use of nuclear weapons. We believe the message in the Bible that after Cain killed his brother Abel that Abel's blood “cried out from the ground.” We hear our sisters' and brothers' blood crying out from the ground. We believe that God hears these cries and grieves deeply over every person whose blood is shed.

We call ourselves the “Weapon of Mass Destruction Here Plowshares” to highlight that our nation has thousands of horrific weapons of mass destruction. U.S. leaders speak about the dangers of other nations acquiring nuclear weapons, but they fail to act in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which commits the U.S. to take steps to disarm its weapons of mass destruction. We act in order to bring attention to people's responsibility for disarming weapons of state terrorism. We can begin the process of exposing U.S. weapons of mass destruction, naming them as abominations that cause desolation, and transforming them to objects that promote life.

I also found an interesting notice at the Coalition of Women for Peace site last night.

The First Feminist Activism Festival

23-24.6.06 in Park Hayarkon in Tel-Aviv

I remember Starhawk writing about her work in Israel and Palestine a few years ago.  It's good to see feminists connecting.  May they lead the way to a lasting peace.  I'll watch for a  report and post what I find.