Nov. 16, 2012: Dave Vasey on the Tar Sands & Line 9; Mohammed Almoayad: attack on Gaza & “A Child’s View of Gaza” art exhibit

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NOV.24TH: CLICK HYPERLINK FOR UPDATE: “The Tar Sands Come to Ontario: No Line 9

We got down and dirty on Friday – namely bitumen from the Tar Sands in Alberta and the growing traffic of the stuff in pipelines and to tankers on the west coast. In our backyard Kalamazoo Mi. experienced a spill of what is termed ‘dibit’ or diluted bitumen in a local river in 2010, the effects of which are very much a problem. In Ontario, Line 9 – a project of Enbridge, the company responsible for the Michigan spill – is a project to reverse the flow of existing older pipelines to allow the transportation of dilbit to eastern refineries including at Sarnia where tar sands product is already being refined. First Nations communities are heavily affected and so are we all in way or another. I had on the line from Toronto Dave Vasey, an environmental social justice activist who is heavily involved in this issue and an organizer of “THE TAR SANDS COME TO ONTARIO — NO LINE 9!: Resistance, Education and Alternatives” and we learned more on what we have to do to stop Line 9 and the insane expansion of the Tar Sands infrastructure – certainly a tall order.

Click image Enbridge site

In this segment Vasey describes the Line 9 proposal and the risks of this project for millions of people from Sarnia to Montreal:

Last April I spoke to Art Sterritt, Coastal First Nations executive director about pipelines through First Nation lands. You can hear what he had to say here:

Click image to learn more about workshops on Line 9. Part of the OPIRG Rebuilding Bridges conference, a joint effort by both OPIRG York and OPIRG Toronto



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Here Almoayad describes the exhibit “A Child’s View from Gaza” at UWindsor

In this segment Almoayad comments on the current assault on Gaza:

Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah provides a timeline of the Israeli assault on Gaza HERE

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Take care and Take Action:

A Message from activist Ehab Lotayef

Gaza: ceasefire NOW and End the Blockade
Israel, one of the largest military powers in the world, is unleashing its military might on the captive Palestinian population in Gaza. Unable to escape from their open-air prison because of the Israeli blockade, 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza are condemned to be sitting targets for Israel’s bombing and shelling.

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Over two thirds of the population are refugees who lost their homes to Israel in 1948 and 1967; over half of them are children. The weapons used to destroy their lives and communities are provided by American taxpayers with the active complicity and support of Canadian, Australian and European governments.
Contrary to what Israel would have the world believe, it was Israel and not Gaza that started this current escalation. Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man in Gaza on November 5 and then invaded Gaza on Thursday November 8th, killing a twelve-year-old Palestinian boy by machine gun fire while he was playing football. Despite these provocations, and despite more attacks November 10-11, Palestinian forces in Gaza had accepted a negotiated truce last week when Israel killed the Hamas military leader who had negotiated that truce (must see: timelines from the Institute for Middle East Understanding
This is the aggression that our governments in the West are backing as “Israeli self-defense”.  This is not a “war”, since the parties are completely unequal: one is a state with a powerful military, while the other is a people living under occupation and blockade. The aggressor has international legitimacy as a state, while the target population has been isolated from the world. The Israeli aggressor has responsibilities as a member state of the United Nations, something denied to Palestine and the Palestinians.
Gaza’s Ark condemns Israel’s ruthless attacks on Gaza; and condemns the US government for providing Israel with $3 billion a year in military aid and the Canadian government for providing a moral shelter for Israel’s immoral actions. We call for an immediate cease-fire, an end to political and financial support for Israeli aggression and a complete and unconditional end to the illegal blockade of Gaza.

How can you help?  You can:

** In Canada, write:
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister:

John Baird, Foreign Affairs Minister:
Paul Dewar, Foreign Affairs critic for the Official Opposition:
Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition:
Bob Rae, Leader of the Liberal Party:
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party:

Find your own MP’s contact info here:

Feb 4: Perspective on Egypt uprising

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On Al Jazeera English , this morning, Feb 4: Joint Chief of Staff Mike Mullen said that the “US military is ready depending on “how contagious” the situation is in Egypt. If  the people rising up to directly confront a dictatorship and demand freedom is contagious then I say bring it on! I think, as Canadians, we need to take a closer look at what governments are supported by our own and other western leaders. The ongoing chant from leaders is for stability, the ongoing chant from people in Egypt and around the world is freedom: freedom to choose for themselves how to manage their economy and political system. Stability is just a fancy word for authoritarianism, militarism, and the continued repression of the will of people everywhere. In this country we got a taste of how governments will deal with any uprising for justice during the G20 rally. Not only were the rights of journalists and citizens violated during the rally, but in the aftermath activists were rounded up and jailed on trumped up charges. The fallout continues from that. The G20 rights violations in Toronto and the uprising in Egypt have exposed the interconnection of economic collapse, globalization, militarization, and authoritarianism around the world and how the elites will rally around each other to maintain a corrupt global economic system.

The suppression of the Palestinian people and US military assistance to Israel and Egypt are indicators of how corrupt the global system we live in is.  So the struggle is not just in Egypt it is here in Canada and the US. In the US, there have recently been FBI roundups of organizers working to end US military aid to Israel and to work in solidarity with Palestinians. Maureen Clare Murphy is Managing Editor of The Electronic Intifada and an organizer with the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago. As well, she was “. . . one of 23 individuals who have been recently subpoenaed by the FBI and who face a federal grand jury because of [their] work to end US military aid to Israel, and because [they]organize in solidarity with the people of Palestine.” We’ll talk to her about the repression in her country and what that means for us in a time when working class global solidarity is critical.

Mohammed Hagag and Mohammed Nour were in the studio with personal reflections on what is happening in Egypt.

Photo: Nusrat Rahman

On Saturday a rally in support of the Egyptian protesters was held at City Hall in Windsor.  Here are a few photos:






Articles on the Egyptian uprising I found useful are by Juan Cole , Samir Amin , and Slavoj Žižek