Dr. Mustafa Barghouti – cominng soon: Palestinian presidential candidate, legislator and Nobel peace prize nominee

By admin, April 28, 2010 12:41 pm

CJPME Logo - En - Fr

Palestinian leader coming soon to four Canadian cities /
Un leader palestinien en tournée au Canada
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti
Maps / Directions


Barghouti - 60 minutes

Last year, Dr. Barghouti was a prominent Palestinian voice on CBS’ 60 Minutes broadcast entitled “Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution?” on Jan. 25, 2009.  Click the video above to view the clip. / L’année dernière, le 25 janvier 2009, Dr Barghouti était l’une des voix palestiniennes les plus proéminentes du programme 60 Minutes du réseau CBS intitulé “Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution?“. Cliquez sur la vidéo ci-dessus pour visionner l’extrait.

Barghouti - Jon Stewart

Just a few months ago, on Oct. 28, 2009, Dr. Barghouti appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a late-night North American talk and comedy show.  Click the video above to view the clip. / Il y a tout juste quelques mois, le 28 octobre 2009, Dr Barghouti a fait une apparition à l’émission The Daily Show avec Jon Stewart, une émission satirique nord-américaine diffusée en fin de soirée. Cliquez sur la vidéo ci-dessus pour visionner l’extrait.

Coming soon: Palestinian presidential candidate, legislator and Nobel peace prize nominee, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti
La version française suit…
Barghouti Poster
In just over a week, CJPME will be hosting Dr. Mustafa Barghouti for May 6, 7 and 8 on his Canadian tour.  The tour will include Ottawa, Monteal, Toronto and London as follows:


Ottawa, ON
Thursday, May 6, 7:00 p.m.

Montreal, QC
Friday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.

London, ON
Saturday, May 8, 1:30 p.m.

Toronto, ON
Saturday, May 8, 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Barghouti will discuss various aspects of Palestinian political dynamics, and his own perspective regarding a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians, in a series of public forums entitled:
Palestinian political dynamics and the realities
for Middle East Peace
Dr. Barghouti’s credentials are impressive:
  • 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nominee
  • 2005 candidate for president of the Palestinian Authority, finishing second to Mahmoud Abbas, with 19% of the vote
  • 2006, elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council, for the Independent Palestine list, a coalition of independents and NGO members
  • 2007, Minister of Information in the Palestinian unity government of March-June 2007
  • Co-founder of the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (1989), Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (1979), and the Palestinian National Initiative (2002)
Dr. Barghouti’s address will be followed by a time of Q&A.
Please distribute this email widely to your friends and acquaintances across Canada.
TICKET INFO
Tickets can be purchased at the door while supplies last, or at purchase points in each city.  You may reserve a front-section seat for yourself by buying a ticket on-line (see below.)
Ottawa, ON: Thursday, May 6, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Location: Marion Hall, Room 130, Ottawa University, 140 Louis Pasteur (corner of Marie-Curie), Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 (map below.) All Ottawa details on Website.  Admission $15, $10 for students with ID.  Ottawa tickets available on-line here, or via telephone at 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Indent
- Tickets for Ottawa event also available at AA Printing, 2706 Alta Vista Drive (at Bank St.), 613-733-9577 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613-733-9577 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Montreal, QC: Friday, May 7, 2010, 7:30 p.m.

In partnership with Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights

Location: Leacock Auditorium, Room 132, Leacock Building, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, QC, H3A 2T7(map below.) Admission $15, $10 for students with ID.  All Montreal details on Website.  Montreal tickets available on-line here, or via telephone at 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

London, ON: Saturday, May 8, 2010, 1:30 p.m.

In partnership with the Canadian Palestinian Association of London
Location: Room MC-110, Middlesex College, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5B7 (map below.) All London details on Website. Admission $15, $10 for students with ID. London tickets available on-line here, or via telephone at 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Indent- Tickets for London event also available Law Office of Edward C. Corrigan, 383 Richmond St. Suite 902, London


Toronto, ON: Saturday, May 8, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

Location:OISE Auditorium , Room G162, Ground Floor, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor St. West (at Bedford Ave.), Toronto, ON, M5S 1V6 (map below.) All Toronto details on Website. Admission $15, $10 for students with ID. Toronto tickets available on-line here, or via telephone at 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Tickets for Toronto event also available at:
Indent – Toronto Women’s Bookstore: 73 Harbord Street, 416-922-8744 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 416-922-8744 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Harbord and Spadina)
- Another Story Bookstore: 315 Roncesvalles Ave. (Roncesvalles and Grenadier)
- Beit Zatoun House: 612 Markham Street (two blocks west of Bathurst and Bloor, south side; please note hours: Wednesday, 12 to 6 pm; Thursday & Friday, 12 to 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm)

Dr. Barghouti’s speaking tour is proudly presented by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), with local partners as follows:
- Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights in Montreal
- Canadian Palestinian Association of London in London
For more info on these exciting events, please see CJPME’s Website.
Hope to see you there!

CJPMO accueille un candidat à la présidence palestinienne, législateur et candidat au prix Nobel de la paix, le Dr Mustafa Barghouti

Mustafa Barghouti
Joignez-vous à nous la semaine prochaine pour la nouvelle série de conférences avec Dr. Mustafa Barghouti.  La tournée s’arrêtera dans les villes suivantes:
Ottawa, ON
jeudi, 6 mai, 19h00

Montréal, QC
vendredi, 7 mai, 19h30

London, ON
samedi, 8 mai, 13h30

Toronto, ON
samedi, 8 mai, 19h00

Dans la série de conférences qu’il présentera au Canada, le Dr Barghouti entretiendra son public des différentes dynamiques politiques palestiniennes et de sa propre perspective sur le concept de paix juste en Israël-Palestine, dans une rencontre intitulée:

Les dynamiques politiques palestiniennes et
les réalités de paix au Moyen-Orient


Toutes les conférences seront données en anglais. Dr Barghouti répondra ensuite aux questions qui lui seront posées, tant en anglais qu’en français.
La biographie du Dr Barghouti est impressionnante:
  • Candidat au prix Nobel de la paix 2010;
  • Candidat à la présidence de l’Autorité palestinienne en 2005, ayant terminé en deuxième place derrière Mahmoud Abbas, avec 19% des votes;
  • Élu au Conseil législatif palestinien en 2006, au nom de la Liste indépendante de Palestine, une coalition de candidats indépendants et de membres d’ONG;
  • Ministre de l’Information du gouvernement d’unité palestinienne de mars à juin 2007;
  • Co-fondateur du Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (1989), de l’Union of Palestinian Medial Relief Committees (1979) et du Palestinian National Initiative (2002).
L’allocution du Dr Barghouti sera suivie d’une période de questions et réponses.
Nous vous invitons à distribuer ce courriel librement à tous vos amis et connaissances à travers le Canada.
INFORMATION BILLETS
Les billets peuvent être achetés à la porte jusqu’à épuisement des stocks mais vous pouvez également réserver un siège dans les premières rangées en achetant un billet à l’avance via TicketWeb sur Internet (voir ci-dessous) ou en téléphonant au 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Ottawa, ON: jeudi, 6 mai 2010, 19h00
Lieu: Pavillon Marion, salle 130, Université d’Ottawa, 140 Louis Pasteur (coin Marie-Curie), Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 (voir la carte ci-dessous). Tous les détails sur la conférence d’Ottawa sur le site Web de CJPMO. L’admission générale est de 15$, 10$ pour les étudiants sur présentation d’une pièce d’identité. Les billets pour Ottawa sont disponibles en ligne en cliquant ici ou par téléphone au 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Indent- Les billets pour la conférence de Ottawa sont aussi disponibles à AA Printing, 2706 Alta Vista Drive (at Bank St.), 613-733-9577 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613-733-9577 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Montréal, QC: vendredi, 7 mai 2010, 19h30
En partenariat avec Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights
Lieu: Auditorium Leacock, salle 132, Édifice Leacock, Université McGill, 855 Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC, H3A 2T7 (voir la carte ci-dessous). Tous les détails sur la conférence de Montréal sur le site Web de CJPMO. L’admission générale est de 15$, 10$ pour les étudiants sur présentation d’une pièce d’identité. Les billets pour Montréal sont disponibles en ligne en cliquant ici ou par téléphone au 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

London, ON: samedi, 8 mai 2010, 13h30
En partenariat avec le Canadian Palestinian Association of London

Lieu: Salle MC-110, Middlesex College, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5B7 (voir la carte ci-dessous). Tous les détails sur la conférence de London sur le site Webde CJPMO. L’admission générale est de 15$, 10$ pour les étudiants sur présentation d’une pièce d’identité. Les billets pour London sont disponibles en ligne en cliquant iciou par téléphone au 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Toronto, ON: samedi, 8 mai 2010, 19h00
Lieu: Auditorium OISE, salle G162, rez-de-chaussée, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Ouest (hauteur de Bedford Ave), Toronto, ON, M5S 1V6 (voir la carte ci-dessous). Tous les détails sur la conférence de Toronto sur le site Webde CJPMO. L’admission générale est de 15$, 10$ pour les étudiants sur présentation d’une pièce d’identité. Les billets pour Toronto sont disponibles en ligne en cliquant iciou par téléphone au 1-888-222-6608 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-222-6608 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
La tournée de conférences du Dr Barghouti vous est fièrement présentée par Canadiens pour la justice et la paix au Moyen-Orient (CJPMO) avec les partenaires suivants:
- Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights à Montréal
- Canadian Palestinian Association of London à London
Pour plus d’informations sur ces événements extraordinaires, visitez le site Web de CJPMO.
Nous espérons vous compter parmi nous!

Map / Directions : Ottawa
Thursday – jeudi, May 6, 7:00 p.m.
Marion Hall, Room 130
University of Ottawa
140 Louis Pasteur (corner of Marie-Curie),
Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5

Map to Marion Hall, Ottawa

Map / Directions : Montreal
Friday – vendredi, May 7, 7:30 p.m.
Leacock Auditorium, Room 132
Leacock Building, McGill University
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC, H3A 2T7

Map - Montreal

Map / Directions : London
Saturday – samedi, May 8, 1:30 p.m.
Room MC-110
Middlesex College
University of Western Ontario
London, ON, N6A 5B7

Middlesex College Map

Map / Directions : Toronto
Saturday – samedi, May 8, 7:00 p.m.
OISE Auditorium (Room G162), Ground Floor
University of Toronto
252 Bloor St. W. (at Bedford Ave.)
Toronto, ON, M5S 1V6

Map - Toronto

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. CJPME’s work depends on donations to continue.  Please click here to donate now.

Canadiens pour la justice et la paix au Moyen-Orient (CJPMO) est une organisation séculière, sans but lucratif, regroupant des hommes et des femmes d’horizons divers qui œuvrent pour que la justice et la paix renaissent au Moyen-Orient. Le travail de CJPMO dépend de vos contributions pour continuer. Cliquez ici pour faire un don dès maintenant.

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Say No To Canadian Troops For The Congo

By admin, April 24, 2010 9:13 am
Say No To Canadian Troops For The Congo
By Bodia Macharia
Global Research, April 22, 2010

As Canada’s Governor-General Michaelle Jean visits the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), much speculation abounds regarding the new-found attention being paid to the DRC by the Canadian government. It appears that Canadian General Andrew Leslie is primed to head the 20,000 strong United Nations Mission in the Congo.

There is speculation that the anticipated Canadian troops withdrawal from Afghanistan may result in Canadian troops presence in Congo.

Canadian troops should stay home. The DRC does not need more militarization, it needs justice. Canada can help to advance justice, peace and stability in the Congo without sending a single soldier. Should the Canadian government and people in general do the following, it would go further to advance peace and stability in the Congo more than any number of Canadian troops:

1. Call on the United States and England in particular as well as other nations throughout the globe to make Congo a top diplomatic priority.

2. Call on the United States and England to pressure their allies Rwanda and Uganda to cease the destabilization of the Congo, open political space in their own countries and engage in sincere and earnest dialogue with their countrymen who are wreaking havoc in the Congo.

3. Canada should also leverage its position with Rwanda to open political space inside Rwanda and engage in dialogue with Rwandan rebel groups inside Congo.

4. Canada should call on its corporations and those raising capital on the Toronto Stock Exchange (an estimated half the mining capital in the world is raised on the Toronto Stock Exchange) to cease their exploitation of Congo’s riches. Companies such as Banro, First Quantum, Anvil Mining, Barrick Gold via its partner Anglo-Gold Ashanti and others have or continue to benefit at the expense of the Congolese people. A good start would be for the Parliament to pass Bill C-300. In addition, assure that the Canadian Investment Fund for Africa is used for its original purpose – African companies, not Canadian companies that have ready access to capital markets.

5. Provide support to local institutions as opposed to authoritarian regimes (Rwanda and Uganda for example) that oppress their populations with the support of Canadian tax dollars.

Remember to join Friends of Congo on the Break the Silence Tour as we make over 30 stops during the month of April.Click here to see where you can join us on the tour!

email: info@friendsofthecongo.org

phone: 202-584-6512

web: http://www.friendsofthecongo.org

Bodia Macharia is the President of Friends of Congo, University of Toronto

Alice Walker on “Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel”

By admin, April 19, 2010 8:51 am

Alice Walker on “Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel”

Alice-walker-dn

As the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winners are announced, we speak with the first African American woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for fiction: author, poet and activist Alice Walker. She was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer for her novel The Color Purple. She was written many books since then. Her latest, just out, is called Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel. [includes rush transcript]

Guest:

Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, poet and activist. Her latest book is Overcoming Speechlessness.

Rush Transcript

This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
Donate $25, $50, $100, More…

AMY GOODMAN: The list of winners for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize were announced Monday—among them, Sheri Fink, reporter with the nonprofit investigative news group ProPublica. She won the Pulitzer for investigative reporting for her story in collaboration with the New York Times Magazine on the urgent life-and-death decisions made by doctors at a New Orleans hospital when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. Meanwhile, Anthony Shadid walked away with his second Pulitzer for his Washington Post series on the war in Iraq.

Well, my next guest is the first African American woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for fiction: author, poet, activist, Alice Walker, awarded the 1983 Pulitzer for her novel The Color Purple. She has written many books since then. Her latest, just out, is called Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel. Alice Walker, joining us here in our new firehouse—in our new Democracy Now! studios.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

ALICE WALKER: It’s so beautiful.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, welcome to the greenest TV, radio, internet studios in the country. It’s great to have you here.

ALICE WALKER: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: And I look forward to speaking to you tonight at the 92nd Street Y in the public conversation. But Alice, this latest book, why did you call it Overcoming Speechlessness?

ALICE WALKER: I wanted to address what I feel is a real problem that we have in the last century, actually, or even before. And that is that things can be so horrible that people lose the ability to talk about them. And I had this happen when I was in college, actually, when I learned that the King of Belgium had decided that if the Africans in the Belgian Congo could not fulfill their rubber quota that he had imposed on them, he could order their hands to be chopped off. This was so appalling to me as a student, as an eighteen- and nineteen-year-old, that I couldn’t speak about it. I just—I put it somewhere that I left for many years. And I think this has happened over and over to people, that they encounter these brutalities, these atrocities, and they literally can’t talk about them, and so we don’t speak. But if we don’t speak, then there’s more of it, and more people suffer. So it’s a call to overcoming speechlessness.

AMY GOODMAN: We just got word that eight Red Cross staff have been kidnapped by an armed group in the eastern Congo. Seven Congolese and one Swiss national were seized on Friday afternoon near the town of Mai Mai [sic]—well, near the town of—in a South Kivu province by the Mai Mai rebels, this according to the Red Cross. You went to eastern Congo?

ALICE WALKER: I was in eastern Congo, and I met some women who were survivors of enslavement and sexual abuse that was so horrendous that it was a challenge to even hear it and even to see some of the damage. On the other hand, I found that by being there, I gave myself some comfort, because I wasn’t trying to see people at a distance and removing myself, my feelings from them. It was very frightening, because there were lots of soldiers everywhere and people who had been damaged by soldiers, you know, people who had lost limbs. And it was traumatic.

AMY GOODMAN: You began, though, by talking about Rwanda, and then you trace the violence to Congo. Talk about Rwanda.

ALICE WALKER: Yes. Well, in Rwanda, because of the killing of so many Tutsis by the Hutu and the—really a slaughter—

AMY GOODMAN: And you trace it back. You go all the way—

ALICE WALKER: Well, I went all the way back to, again, those Belgians, the Belgians, and before them, the Germans. They came into the Congo, and they decided that the Tutsi people, because they had larger skulls, were more like Europeans, and so they should be in charge of the Hutu people, whose skulls apparently were not as large. Anyway, they instigated this rule of one clan by the other, even though these people had been fairly peaceful living together for centuries. And after they had done this, finally, after many years of domination, a century or so, they left. But they left the Hutu in charge of the Tutsi. And so, eventually, the hatred that had been building over a long, long period erupted into genocide.

And so, I had heard about this awful thing that the Hutu Interahamwe people had killed 800,000 of the Tutsi people. And that again was so awful, I couldn’t really entirely let myself feel what it must be like to actually have your body hacked away from you, which is what happened to all of those people. But eventually, I needed to go there, and so I did. And what I found was, you know, that the Rwandan people have done a wonderful job of memorializing what happened, and they have also elected more women to help run the country than almost anywhere else.

But on the other hand, the soldiers and the murderers, a lot of them, just went into the Congo. And so, we went there, not following them, but because we wanted to see the Congo, which is incredibly beautiful. It is the most exquisite country. I had no idea. I mean, lakes and trees and, you know, just a wonderful place, except that it’s torn to bits by the war. And a lot of the people who did the killing in Rwanda are there, and they had been murdering and abusing the people terribly.

And so, one of the women that I talk about in my book is a woman who had been basically chopped up, and I find it hard to talk about it even now. But she survived, and she is now looking for her children, who survived, one or two of them. The Interahamwe people had shot her son and her husband, killed them. So it’s—you know, it’s a kind of violence in the world now that is truly unspeakable. I mean, that is the part of it, that overcoming speechlessness means speaking about what really is unspeakable because it is so terrible.

AMY GOODMAN: You go, in the book, from Rwanda to eastern Congo to Palestine-Israel.

ALICE WALKER: Mm-hmm.

AMY GOODMAN: It was your first trip?

ALICE WALKER: To Palestine? Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: What made you go?

ALICE WALKER: Well, I was actually mourning the death of my own sister, and I thought that, oh, she was, you know, much older, and she was sick, and she died, and we’d had a horrible five or six years before she died. And so I thought, you know, when she dies, I won’t be devastated. And I was completely devastated. It was so painful.

And I was out trying to deal with my own devastation, when I learned about a woman in Palestine, during the bombing, who had been—who had lost five of her daughters, and she herself was unconscious. And it just instantly connected me to her. I felt, what will this be like? Who will tell her? Who will tell this woman when she wakes up that “your five daughters are dead”?

And so I felt that I had to go and present myself to this situation and to be attentive to it in a way that I had started being many years before, except that at the time I was married to and then related to, in many ways, to a Jewish person who always said, well, if you see the Palestinian side, almost anything, you know, positive about the Palestinian side, then it means that you are anti-Semitic. And so, this was so shocking to me that it silenced me for a while. I mean, I said a few things, I wrote a few things. But I felt that I had left something undone. And I realize at this point in my life, and years earlier, actually, that there are things in life that call to us, and they’re ours to do. And this was one of the things that was mine to finish.

And so I went to Gaza, and I met with women who had lost everything, and their children, their houses. You know, I sat on the rubble, even though there was the phosphorus powder, because it was just overwhelming to see the injury and the damage that had been done to these people by the Israeli government. And I knew that it was my responsibility as a writer and as a human being to witness this and to write about it. I mean, why else was I—why else am I a writer? You know, why else do I have a conscience? I think that all people who feel that there is injustice in the world anywhere should learn as much of it as they can bear. That is our duty.

AMY GOODMAN: Would you like to read a little from the book, Overcoming Speechlessness?

ALICE WALKER: I’ll try. I don’t have my reading glasses, but I can do my best.

AMY GOODMAN: Maybe “It Feels Familiar”?

ALICE WALKER: OK, yeah. Alright. Oh, where is it? Where is that, Amy? I don’t see it.

AMY GOODMAN: “It Feels Familiar.” Number seventeen.

ALICE WALKER: OK, I think we might—

AMY GOODMAN: Right there.

ALICE WALKER: Oh, yeah, I’m sorry.

“It Feels Familiar.”

“One of the triumphs of the civil rights movement is that when you travel through the South today you do not feel overwhelmed by a residue of grievance and hate. This is the legacy of people brought up in the Christian tradition, true believers of every word Jesus had to say on the issues of justice, loving kindness, and peace. This dovetailed nicely with what we learned of Gandhian nonviolence, brought into the movement by Bayard Rustin, a gay strategist for the civil rights movement. A lot of thought went into how to create ‘the beloved community’ so that our country would not be stuck with a violent hatred between black and white, and with the continuous spectacle, and suffering, of communities going up in flames. The progress is astonishing and I will always love Southerners, black and white, for the way we have all grown. Ironically, though there was so much suffering and despair as the struggle for justice tested us, it is in this very ‘backward’ part of our country today that one is most likely to find simple human helpfulness, thoughtfulness, and disinterested courtesy.

“I speak a little about this American history, but it isn’t history that these women know.” These are the women, the Palestinian women, I’m with. “They’re too young. They’ve never been taught it. It feels irrelevant. Following their example of speaking of their families, I talk about my Southern parents’ teachings during our experience of America’s apartheid years, when white people owned and controlled all the resources and the land, in addition to the political, legal, and military apparatus, and used their power to intimidate black people in the most barbaric and merciless ways. These whites who tormented us daily were like Israelis who have cut down millions of trees planted by Arab Palestinians, stolen Palestinian water, even topsoil. Forcing Palestinians to use separate roads from those they use themselves, they have bulldozed innumerable villages, houses, mosques, and in their place built settlements for strangers who have no connection whatsoever with Palestine: settlers who have been the most rabidly anti-Palestinian of all, attacking the children, the women, everyone, old and young alike, viciously.”

AMY GOODMAN: Alice, I wanted to go back to March 2009—

ALICE WALKER: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: —when you were in Gaza, to a video of you there.

    ALICE WALKER: It’s shocking beyond anything I have ever experienced. And it’s actually so horrible that it’s basically unbelievable, even though I’m standing here and I’ve been walking here and I’ve been looking at things here. It still feels like, you know, you could never convince anyone that this is actually what is happening and what has happened to these people and what the Israeli government has done. It will be a very difficult thing for anyone to actually believe in, so it’s totally important that people come to visit and to see for themselves, because the world community, that cares about peace and cares about truth and cares about justice, will have to find a way to deal with this. We cannot let this go as if it’s just OK, especially those of us in the United States who pay for this. You know, I have come here, in part, to see what I’m buying with my tax money.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Alice Walker in 2009, interviewed by my colleague here at Democracy Now!, Anjali Kamat. When you look back at you walking through the rubble of Gaza, your thoughts?

ALICE WALKER: My thought is that I am so glad I was there. I am so glad that I managed to gather myself and present myself to this situation, because it is my responsibility, you know, as a person, as an elder, as someone who cares about the planet, who really wants us all to thrive, you know, or just survive. This is a very thorny issue, and it takes all of us looking at it as carefully as we can to help solve it. It’s not that it’s impossible to solve. But what will help a lot is the insistence by all of us on fairness and on people actually understanding what they’re looking at.

AMY GOODMAN: You say that the Middle East solution is beyond the two-state solution, and you also talk about restorative justice.

ALICE WALKER: Yes, I do, because I believe in restorative justice. I think we could use that here. I mean, I don’t feel great about the past leaders here not being brought to trial, actually, you know. But if we can’t have trial, we could at least have council. I mean, but to let people, any people, just go, after they’ve murdered lots of people and destroyed a lot, is not right. It destroys trust. So—what was the rest of the question?

AMY GOODMAN: And you believe in a one-state solution.

ALICE WALKER: Oh, the one-state solution. Yes, I do. I mean, when I think about my tax money, and I think about, well, you know, given that I’ve already given, and we as a country have given over a trillion dollars to Israel in the last—since, I don’t know, ‘48 or something, but a lot of money that we could have used here, where would I be happiest to see, you know, my money spent? Well, I would be happy seeing my money spent for all the people who live in Palestine. And that means that, you know, the Palestinians who are forced out of their houses, forced off of their land, should come back and share the land, all of it, including the settlements. You know, if I am going to be asked to help pay for settlements, I would like to be, you know, permitted to say who gets to live in them. And I would like the women and children, the Palestinian women and children that I saw, I would like to say—take them by hand and say, “You know what? Look at this. We built this for you. You’re home now.”

AMY GOODMAN: Alice Walker, her latest book, Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel. We will continue our conversation tonight at 8:00 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City at 92nd and Lex. And we will play portions of that here. We’ll also post on our website Anjali’s entire interview with Alice Walker in Gaza last year.

“Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media – The Return of the Nigger Breakers”

By admin, April 8, 2010 10:17 am

A Different BookList and Baraka Books invite you to the launch of -

Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media – The Return of the Nigger Breakers

by

eminent African-American Writer, Poet and Playwright

Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed will be speaking.


WHERE -


United Steelworkers Hall

25 Cecil St

Toronto, Ontario


WHEN -


Friday, April 16 at 7:30 pm

The evening will be hosted by:


Professor George Elliott Clarke – award winning writer, poet and playwright.

RSVP A Different Booklist 416-538-0889 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 416-538-0889 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

info@adifferentbooklist.com

www.barakabooks.com

A Different Booklist
746 Bathurst St
Toronto, ON
M5S 2R6
Tel:416 538 0889 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 416 538 0889 end_of_the_skype_highlighting; Fax:416 538 6914
email:info@adifferentbooklist.com
www.adifferentbooklist.com

WORKING-CLASS PEOPLE UNITE ON INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY!

By admin, April 8, 2010 9:52 am

WORKING-CLASS PEOPLE UNITE ON INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY!

Statement of the May 1st Movement (M1M) Coalition in preparation for May Day 2010 in Toronto.

On Saturday, May 1, 2010, rally, march, and celebrate May Day with the May 1st Movement (M1M), as we organize ourselves to strengthen the unity and solidarity of working people in Toronto.

1:00pm Rally
CUPE 4400 – Bathurst / St. Clair (rear parking lot)

1:30pm March
Up Vaughan Rd. / Down Oakwood / East on St. Clair to Wychwood Barns

3:00pm Cultural Event
Wychwood Barns – 601 Christie St. (Christie south of St. Clair)

For well over 100 years, May Day – or May 1st – has been the day of resistance and celebration for workers all throughout the world.  It is a day when workers quit their slaving away and pour into the streets to demonstrate the power of unity.  In many cases, May Day has been a launching point for massive working-class fight-backs.

While May Day was born out of Chicago after the 1886 Haymarket Massacre of workers by the police, us workers in North America have been denied this tradition by having our ‘Labour Day’ pushed into September, diverting our class from celebrating and struggling with the international working class.

With the deepening of the world economic crisis combined with the destruction of the environment by capitalism, the unity and leadership of working class people is needed now more than ever before.

Every day, fresh attacks are being made against working people in Canada – the unionized and non-unionized, migrant workers and the undocumented.  “Neoliberal” capitalism is launching attacks on every section of the working-class to keep profits up – cuts to social expenditures, pension raids, attacks on wages, corporate tax cuts; and this system offers no alternative to the relentless destruction of the environment.

The May 1st Movement declares that our struggles as working class migrants and the children of working class migrants – with or without status – requires a unity with the rest of the working class in Canada. We also declare our support for the indigenous peoples and nations fighting to exercise their right to self-determination over their lands being occupied and plundered by the Canadian state, extractive industries, and “developers”.

Finally, the struggle of migrants does not stop at attaining full recognition as Canadian citizens.  As Tamil Canadians demonstrated heroically throughout 2009 with cross-country mobilizations of hundreds of thousands, migrants and new Canadians cannot stand by while unconscionable acts of terror and genocide are carried out against our families and peoples, especially when these crimes are supported by the Canadian government.

As part of our international duty, we call on all conscientious working class people and progressive Canadians to realize their material interests in fighting for the:
Immediate withdrawal of all foreign-based Canadian military and police personnel, especially in Afghanistan and Haiti;
Halting of Canadian government funding to oppressive governments especially those in Sri Lanka, Honduras, Israel, the Philippines, and Colombia;
Non-interference in sovereign nations and the right of all nations to choose their own representatives;
The decriminalization of national liberation movements, organizations, and individuals associated with them, as the right to national self-determination is an internationally recognized right; and
The scrapping of all “free-trade” agreements that are harming workers all throughout the world to the benefit of capital.

In this time of crisis, M1M calls on all working class people to step up their level of organization and agitation in their neighbourhoods, workplaces, schools, community centers, religious institutions, and anywhere else where we can begin to unite working class and progressive people.

On Saturday, May 1, 2010, rally, march, and celebrate May Day with the May 1st Movement (M1M), as we organize ourselves to strengthen the unity and solidarity of working people in Toronto.

1:00pm Rally
CUPE 4400 – Bathurst / St. Clair (rear parking lot)

1:30pm March
Up Vaughan Rd. / Down Oakwood / East on St. Clair to Wychwood Barns

3:00pm Cultural Event
Wychwood Barns – 601 Christie St. (Christie south of St. Clair)
DEFEND THE RIGHTS AND GAINS OF ALL WORKING PEOPLE!
DEFEND THE RIGHT TO STRUGGLE FOR LIBERATION!
LET MAY DAY BE A RALLYING CALL FOR ALL WORKERS AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE IN CANADA!

For more information visit: www.basicsnews.ca

The May 1st Movement (M1M) is a coalition of working class organizations and progressive allies, with representation from various sectors, including organized labour, youth, media, women, human rights, migrant and various ethnic communities.

Participants of the Coalition:

Barrio Nuevo
Migrante-Ontario
Bayan Canada
Canadian Humanitarian Appeal for the Relief of Tamils
BASICS Free Community Newsletter
Progressive Nepali Forum of the Americas
Victor Jara Cultural Group
CASA Salvador Allende
Migrant Women’s Coordinating Body
Tamil Youth Organization
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1000A
Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) – Toronto
Canada-El Salvador Action Network (CELSAN)

Haiti: EARTHQUAKE SURVIROR SPEAKS IN TORONTO

By admin, April 6, 2010 2:54 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:           Esery Mondesir

Tel:                  (647) 892-7494

Cell:                 (416) 809-0699

E-Mail:             eserym@gmail.com

Toronto, Tuesday April 6th 2010.

EARTHQUAKE SURVIROR SPEAKS IN TORONTO

On Saturday, April 10th, Jacques Francois, an education specialist in Port-Au-Prince will speak in Toronto at a fundraising event hosted by Trane Studio.

Jacques Francois spent six terrifying hours trapped under the rubble while co-workers in adjacent rooms screamed for help and slowly passed away on January 12th in Port-Au-Prince. “I could barely breath, unable to help people with whom I work everyday. I was just it was a nightmare”. The nightmare went on to kill nearly 250,000 Haitians in the days that followed the January 12 earthquake.

The event will raise funds for Cote Brillant, an elementary school located just outside of Haiti’s capital. The school was known for charging only a modest fee for underprivileged children who would otherwise not have any access to formal education. “Reestablishing the school is more important today than it has ever been” says Francois.

The event has been named Kombit which is a Haitian concept that describes cooperative efforts in a given community.

Organizers of the event, describe it as “an evening of afro-beats and solidarity with the people of Haiti”.

Waleed Kush, a Sudanese jazz artist is the headline performer.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the door.

All proceeds will be sent directly to Cote Brillant.

If you would like more information, or to set up an interview please contact Esery Mondesir.

Tel: (647) 892-7494 or eserym@gmail.com

The Class Context of Today’s South Africa

By admin, April 6, 2010 10:21 am

The Class Context of Today’s South Africa

by Ajamu Nangwaya

The following unpublished Letter to the Editor from the summer of 2009 was written by Ajamu Nangwaya, a Toronto-based union activist with Canadian Union of Public Employees.

http://blog.gettyimages.com/tag/market-photo-workshop/

It is being reproduced here to provide the social and economic context of the recent assassination of the white supremacist in South Africa, Eugene Terreblanche. The title to this letter is our own. -BASICS Editor
“South Africa is an instructive example of the idea that political democracy will remain a farce, if it is not accompanied by economic democracy”

Dear Editor:

A recent strike by the South African Municipal Workers Union [late July / early August 2009] and protest action by members of the working class who live in the slums around wealthy cities in that country have exposed the fact that the collapse of the walls of apartheid has brought little economic benefits to the poor. The faces looking up from the bottom of the economic well of prosperity in South Africa are those of the African rural and urban working class. We should pardon them, if they believe that they are still living in the nightmare of the apartheid regimes of the past.
The economic and political tragedy of the urban working class and agricultural labourers in South Africa should not be reduced to the governing style of a political party or an elected official such as President Jacob Zuma. The unfolding drama of industrial and social unrest in that country has everything to do with the relationship of the workers to the means of production and the fact that the machinery of governance is not in the hands of the “wretched of the earth”.

Control over the productive resources has remained in the hands of the economic and political elites. South Africa is an instructive example of the idea that political democracy will remain a farce, if it is not accompanied by economic democracy. How do we expect the citizens to make political decisions or set national political priorities, but exclude the economic ones in the workplace or the wider society from their power, influence and control? It is hard for a rational person to not think that a cruel hoax is being perpetrated on the citizens when economic democracy is not a part of the self-governance package.

The United Nation’s HABITAT report State of the World Cities 2008/2009 revealed that the rates of income inequality in South African cities were the highest in the world. According to this 280-page report, this country has failed to break “out of the apartheid-era economic model that concentrated wealth and opportunities.” South Africa has a poverty rate that is just under 50 per cent, which stood at 58 per cent in 2004. Although white South Africans make up about 9 per cent of the population, they still own 87 per cent of the agricultural land.

The current global economic crisis is certainly compounding the oppression of the working class in South Africa. An important policy option to get South Africans out of poverty and give them control over the country’s wealth is a programme of worker ownership, control and management of the workplace.

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 April 2010 13:09

General Membership Meeting Announcement

By admin, April 6, 2010 4:31 am
CUPE 3907 General Membership Meeting
OISE Room 2-279
Monday April 12th from noon till 2 p.m.


Important agenda items include prepartion for bargaining and the May 2010  CUPE Ontario convention
Lunch will be provided.
We hope to see you then.

CUPE Ontario Provincial Budget Update

By admin, April 1, 2010 4:41 pm

Ontario Provincial Budget Update

budget bulletin FINAL FOR REAL THIS TIME OUWCC/CUPE  Repsonse to the Budget

April 1, 2010

Open Letter To CUPE Ontario Members

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On Saturday, I’ll be appearing on Global TV’s Focus Ontario (6:30 pm) in a discussion about the new provincial budget.  This is just one part of the work we’re doing to respond to this budget.

Last night, we convened an historic conference call of the CUPE Ontario Executive Board, the Ontario Regional Director and Assistant Regional Directors, the Sector coordinators, CUPE National researchers and CUPE legal staff to ensure our entire organization was working together on the challenges this provincial budget poses for our members.

By any objective analysis, the Ontario Liberal government’s recent budget was unfair.
It was unfair that it attempted to demonize public sector workers and their wages while providing billions of dollars of tax cuts to corporations.
It was unfair that it failed to provide adequate funding for health care that will result in continued job loss and cuts to services our families desperately need.

It was unfair that it cut a program that allowed Ontarians on Social Assistance to buy food necessary to deal with specific medical conditions, cutting the $200 a month they needed and replacing it with a paltry $6 a month overall increase.

Wage Freeze

Given the massive media attention, there have been a lot of questions about the wage freeze and what they mean for our members.

Here are the basic facts:

  1. Workers with Collective Agreements are not covered by this legislation.  This means CUPE members are NOT covered by this law.
  2. Collective Agreements that are in place today with wage increases for this year, next and so on, will be funded by the government.  No Local should agree to open up their current Collective Agreements under any circumstances.  If you have any questions regarding this, please contact your CUPE National Representative.
  3. Locals going into bargaining will bargain as they always have, going to the table and negotiating the best Collective Agreement possible for our members.

There is no question that the next round of bargaining will be difficult and we will need to be coordinated as never before.  Though the government stopped short of legislation, it has indicated in its budget that it won’t fund future, negotiated wage increases.  For many of us, this is not new and we’ve bargained improvements for our members even when our employers have cried there was no money.

What we do have to do is ensure that we are talking early, and often, to our communities about the valuable public services we provide.

We will not allow anyone to try and brand our members as greedy simply because we want to make a living wage – a living wage that we spend in our local communities, raising our children, looking after our parents and contributing to our local economies.

We need to build support for public services and hold the provincial government accountable for real and fair economic solutions for Ontario.

We know that building coalitions with members of our communities, harnessing the resources of all parts of our union and working together can affect real and positive change.  We saw that in this provincial budget with the announcement of $63.5 million annual funding for child care to replace dollars cut by the Federal Harper government.

This added and needed funding was the direct result of CUPE Ontario, working with CUPE Locals and CUPE National, and community coalition partners to secure the funding needed for this valuable, public service.

We need to take the lessons from this victory and the many we’ve had before and apply them to the challenges raised by this unfair budget.

This is only one of the first of many communications you will be receiving on this matter.  All of our sectoral committees are working together to keep you informed and CUPE Ontario and CUPE National are working together to ensure our members receive the assistance they need.  Only by working together can we best weather the challenges before us.

There will be much more discussion about this issue at the CUPE Ontario Convention in May. I hope to have the chance to see you there and hope you’ll tune into Focus Ontario on Saturday night.

In Solidarity,

Fred Hahn, President
CUPE Ontario

Budget 2010 – CUPE Ontario Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: THE DIASPORA AND THE FUTURE OF HAITI

By admin, April 1, 2010 3:49 pm

PRESS RELEASE

TET ANSANM:

DYASPORA E AVNI DAYITI/

LE DIASPORA ET L’AVENIR D’HAITI/

THE DIASPORA AND THE FUTURE OF HAITI

Faculty and staff from all three of the University of Toronto’s campuses and members of the Haitian diaspora community in Toronto have come together to organize the Tèt Ansanm: Dyaspora et avni Dayiti symposium on the role of the Haitian-Canadian diaspora and the University in the reconstruction of Haiti after the January 12, 2010 earthquake. This symposium represents a significant, and groundbreaking collaboration between the University and members of the community to help ensure that democratic processes and aims are at the heart of international conversations about Haiti’s future.

This two-day event provides a platform for members of the Haitian diaspora to generate actionable ideas that will help to cement ties between the university and the wider Haitian diaspora in the Greater Toronto Area, Montréal and Ottawa. We constructively counteract the current marginalization of Haitian voices in Canadian public conversations about HaitiIt is one of a series of similar conference which have happened in Washington, New York and Montréal, organised by similar coalitions of university members and members of the Haitian diaspora, to challenge an emerging political agenda which threatened to reduce Haitians to observers in the rebuilding of their own country.

The symposium will also address issues related to academic curriculum change to incorporate deeper and more informed analysis of Haiti, with the recognition that institutions of higher learning in Canada have not generally played the most positive role in the past in building a healthy and sustainable knowledge base with regards to Haiti and its diaspora. This is especially important given the pivotal, but not necessarily positive, role which Canadian state and NGO bodies have played and continue to play in Haiti.

For further information please contact Melanie Newton (416-978-4054/melanie.newton@utoronto.ca

Organising committee:

Corinne Beauquis, Departments of French, U of T St. George, and Humanities, U of T Scarborough

Chris Berkowitz, Department of Humanities, U of T Scarborough

Tamara Breukelman, Office of Advancement, U of T Mississauga

Martine Duviella

Leslie Chan, International Development Studies, U of T Scarborough

Astrid Jacques, member of the Haitian diaspora

Melanie Newton, Department of History, U of T St. George

Tèt Ansanm: Selected Biographies for invited speakers

Manno Charlemagne is a singer, songwriter, and pro-democracy activist, described as the “vocal conscience” of Haiti. He is one of Haiti’s leading musicians, and his music played a key role in the struggle for democracy and against Duvalierism from the 1970s to 1990s. He was a prominent supporter of the Lavalas movement and had to flee into exile from 1991 to 1994 after the democratically elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a military coup. Charlemagne was elected mayor of Port-au-Prince in 1995, and held the position until 1999. He now lives in Miami, and continues to write and perform his music.

Katleen Félix is Project Director and the Haitian Diaspora Liaison for Fonkozé, “Haiti’s Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor.” Fonkozé is Haiti’s largest microfinance institution (MFI), serving more than 56,000 women borrowers, most of whom live and work in the countryside of Haiti, and more than 190,000 savers. Félix was part of the 2004 Financial Women’s’ Association (FWA) International Conference on Microfinance in the Dominican Republic and participated in the 2006 Micro Credit Summit in Halifax. She was the 2008 Co-Chair of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) and an active member of the FWA Microfinance committee. She has over 15 years of experience in leadership and volunteer roles in not-for-profit organizations and pro-bono financial consultation for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Canada and the USA.  On February 28th, 2009 Katleen received the Young Professional of the Year award and the special People’s Choice award from the Young Chamber of Commerce in Montreal, Canada.

Claire-Hélène Heese-Boutin was born in Toronto of Haitian background. She is a student in Caribbean Studies and Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto St. George and has worked with community environmental organizations is extremely knowledgeable about environmental and social justice priorities in Haiti. As part of her Caribbean Studies degree she also spent a year at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica.

Jean Saint-Vil is an Ottawa-Gatineau based activist and journalist, a member of the Ottawa Haiti Solidarity Committee (Kozayiti) and founder of the Haitian organization Asakan. He has been a featured political analyst on CBC television’s Counterspin, CPAC’s Talk Politics, and CBC Radio’s The Current. He is also the host of CKCU-FM’s Rendez-Vous Haïtien and CHUO-FM’s Bouyon-Rasin.

Marlène Thélusma Rémy is a native of Les Cayes in southern Haiti, and studied at the Department of Ethnology and Psychology in at L’Université d’Ètat d’Haïti. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology, Psychology and Community Action, a degree in Sociology (University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada), and an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from York University’s Glendon College in Toronto. She is a professor of Social Science professor at Collège Boréal in Toronto with expertise in Community Economic Development. In 1991, Thélusma Rémy was recognized and honoured by the Dade County Board of Education in Florida. She was nominated for the “Prix de la persévérance et de l’engagement aux services de santé en français” – awarded by the Ontario District Health Council in Canada in 2004. She also received the “Pan Afrikan Haitian Community Award” in 2005. Thélusma Rémy is the author of Contribution de la femme haïtienne à la construction et à la survie de son pays (L’Harmattan, 2008).

Frantz Voltaire was born in Haiti and pursued his university studies in Santiago, Chile and Montréal. He has taught at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal. He was a member of the Arts Council of Montreal. He served as chief-of-cabinet in the government of Haitian prime minister Robert Malval (993-1994) and as was Communications Program Director for the United Nations in Haiti. He is currently president of the Centre international de documentation et d’information Haïtienne, Caraïbéenne et Afro-Canadienne. Voltaire is also an accomplished editor, publisher and filmmaker, having made several documentaries about the history and evolution of Haiti, including Les Chemins de la Mémoire, presented at the 2008 Latin American Film Festival. Musique Maestro is his most recent documentary, a perceptive study of Haitian music of the turbulent 1950s.

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