Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Thursday he wants Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to testify before his committee about his investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson’s identity. Plame-Wilson, Waxman’s office said, has agreed to testify before Congress on March 16.
Hostages to Policy
What We Know About Waste and War in Iraq
By Tom Engelhardt
Let’s start with the obvious waste. We know that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives since the Bush administration invaded their country in March 2003, that almost two million may have fled to other countries, and that possibly millions more have been displaced from their homes in ethnic-cleansing campaigns. We also know that an estimated 4.5 million Iraqi children are now malnourished and that this is but “the tip of the iceberg” in a country where diets are generally deteriorating, while children are dying of preventable diseases in significant numbers; that the Iraqi economy is in ruins and its oil industry functioning at levels significantly below its worst moments in Saddam Hussein’s day — and that there is no end in sight for any of this.
We know that, while the new crew of American military officials in Baghdad are starting to tout the “successes” of the President’s “surge” plan, they actually fear a collapse of support at home within the next half-year, believe they lack the forces necessary to carry out their own plan, and doubt its ultimate success. What a tragic waste.
We know that while the U.S. military focuses on the Iraqi capital and al-Anbar Province, the heartland of the Sunni insurgency, taking casualties in both places, fleeing Iraqi refugees are claiming that jihadis have largely taken over the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, and renamed it “the Islamic Emirate of Samarra” — a grim sign indeed. (Here’s just one refugee’s assessment: “that large areas of the farms around Samarra have been transformed into camps like those of Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan.”)
We know that, as the U.S. military concentrates its limited forces and the minimal Iraqi units that fight with them, in a desperate battle to control the capital, for both Sunnis and Shia, the struggle simply spreads to less well-defended areas. We also know that the Sunni insurgents have been honing their tactics around Baghdad, their attacks growing deadlier on the ground and more accurate against the crucial helicopter support system which makes so much of the American occupation possible. Some of them have also begun to wield a new, potentially exceedingly deadly and indiscriminate weapon — trucks filled with chlorine gas, essentially homemade chemical weapons on wheels which can be blown u! p at any moment.
In other words, before the Bush administration is done two of its bogus prewar claims — that Saddam’s Iraq was linked to the Islamic extremists who launched the 9/11 attacks and that it had weapons of mass destruction — could indeed become realities. What a pathetic waste.
We know that, while Americans tend to talk about the “Iraq War,” with a few exceptions like the fierce battle with Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia in Najaf in 2004, it has actually been a remarkably unsuccessful pacification campaign against a Sunni insurgency alone; that is, a war against less than 20% of the Iraqi population (even if every Sunni supports some insurgent faction). We know that billions and billions of dollars have gone down the rat-hole of Iraqi “reconstruction” — with multimillions more simply stolen or utterly unaccounted for by American financial overseers — and that what reconstruction has been done is generally substandard and overpriced in the extreme. What a waste of resources.
Announcements and reminders of upcoming events:
1) Student Day of Noise: March 8th
2) BROWNGIRLWORLD 7 – Dreaming of Freedom: March 9th
3) International Women’s Day Rally and March: March 10th
4) Wal-town the Film: March 13th
5) Remembering Iraq film and discussion: March 14th
6) Assessing Canada’s Foreign Policy in Haiti: March 15th
7) Troops Out Now: Anniversary of the War on Iraq Demo: March 17th
8) No One is Illegal evening: March 17th
9) Queering the Fight for Status Rights: March 18th
10) World Water Day films: March 20th
11) Secret Trials Update
Also, for MORE events happening around the city updates for Action Group meetings visit our website:
1) Student Day of Noise– Action on March 8th!
Thursday March 8th is the Student Day of Noise! March 8, 2007 is the anniversary of the day last year when the McGuinty Liberals cancelled the tuition fee freeze and hiked our tuition by 5 – 8% this year. To commemorate this day, we are going to have a quick, fun rally in front of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities at 12:00PM and make as much noise as possible to sound our anger wit the tuition fee hikes!
Students at U of T will meet at Sid Smith at 11:30AM, and then walk together to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities at 900 Bay Street (corner of Bay and Wellesley). We will be joining students from York, Ryerson…and all across the GTA! The action will take place at noon. At 12:45, there will be massive ruckus. Participants will be invited to bring noise-makers of all kinds and we are going to scream and yell and bang pots, pans and drums, with all of our energy for a full 2 minutes of anger.
Students will also be delivering Pink Slips to Minister Bentley, informing him that he is FIRED for FAILING students. These pink slips send a clear message: students will not vote for candidates who do not support increased funding to post-secondary education. Come to the U.T.S.U. to sign a pink slip!
The fight to reduce tuition fees continues! After our very successful rally on February 7th, the McGuinty Liberals think they can just batten down the hatches and ride out the storm of student anger over their regressive tuition fees policies. However, it aint gunna be that easy because we students mean business! Come out to the Day of Anger! It will be quick and a lot of fun. Together, we can win another tuition fee freeze.
As always, we need the help of volunteers to get the word out. If you have any time and can help put up some posters and hand out flyers next week, please email me at
2) BROWNGIRLWORLD 7: dreaming of freedom
An official International Women’s Day party!
FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2007
120 Church St (corner of Richmond)
Doors at 8:00 PM, show at 8:30 PM
Tickets: $8-$12 sliding scale, available at Toronto Women’s Bookstore
Come celebrate International Women’s Day at BROWNGIRLWORLD 7: dreaming of freedom, bringing you yet another night of the fiercest, sexiest spoken word, drag and performance by queer and trans artists of colour! On
International Women’s Day, these diverse artists will explore what it means to be free as queer and trans people of colour.
Feature performance by L.A.-based queer Sri Lankan hiphop/spoken word artist D’Lo! Spoken word by brilliant rising star Annanda deSilva!
Rebel burlesque by the incandescent CoCo La Crème (Skin Tight Outta Sight!)
Rebel drag by the infamous Milo de Milo (Kingsize)
Afterparty DJd by the one and only DJ Jola (Savour)
3) International Women’s Day Rally and March
OISE – 252 Bloor St. W
The International Women’s Day (IWD) Toronto Committee and Women Working with Immigrant Women are pleased to announce the 29th Annual International Women’s Day March & Rally on Saturday, March 10, 2007. The day begins with the IWD 2007 Rally at 11:00 am (Toronto, OISE Auditorium, Bloor St. W. & St. George subway) proceeding with the IWD 2007 March at 1:00 pm through Toronto’s downtown core and concluding with the IWD 2007 Fair at
1:30-4:30 pm (Ryerson’s University Student Centre).
4) WAL-TOWN – THE FILM
TORONTO (TOUR WRAP-UP EVENT!)
Tuesday, March 13, 6:30pm
Room LIB 72
350 Victoria St.=20
Admission by donation
Filmmaker and activists will be in attendance for Q&As at all screenings. All events free – donations kindly accepted!
Director: Sergeo Kirby
Producers: Ian McLaren (Grand-Nord Productions), Germaine Wong (NFB), =
Sergeo Kirby (Loaded Pictures)
It is a daunting experiment in activism.
A group of six university students, calling themselves Wal-Town, take to the Canadian highway over two summers. Their goal: to raise public awareness about the effects of Wal-Mart’s policies on cities and towns across Canada. WAL-TOWN – The Film is the story of their journey.
Produced by Productions Grand Nord=20
in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada
5) Join OPIRG – Toronto for an evening of film and discussion
4 Years Later
Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
Innis Town Hall Theatre
University of Toronto
Corner of Sussex and St. George (south of St.George Subway, north of Harbord)
On March 20th, 2003 the world watched in horror as coalition forces led by the United States began attacking Iraq. The US began its brutal occupation maintained by bombing campaigns (such as Fallujah in November 2004), mass incarceration, and military rule. Four years later, Iraq
remains in a state of total unrest under the occupation of US Military and allied forces. This event will aim to confront myths of democracy and re-construction in Iraq.
After a major US led offensive launch in November of 2004, two-thirds of the city was destroyed and thousands of its citizens were forced into refugee camps. Fallujah is a collaborative production created by Iraqi and American
filmmakers that documents the destruction of the small city of 350 000 people, including the death of 2000 people, the use of chemical weapons on civilians, and the levelling of countless homes and mosques.
*AHMED HABIB: Independent Arabic Media and Editor of www.shakomako.net
*Spoken Word by Special Guests
FOR MORE INFO CONTACT:
email@example.com / 416-978-7770
6) Association of Political Science Students (APSS) & Toronto Haiti Action Committee at UofT
Co-sponsored by OPIRG – Toronto…
A One-Night Conference
Assessing Canada’s Foreign Policy in Haiti: Humanitarianism or Imperialism
March 15, 2007
40 Willcocks St., Wilson Hall
Main Lobby of Second Floor
The two-session, four-panelist conference will take a look at the role Canada has played in Haiti over the last few years, with the overarching issue that the conference intends to explore being whether Canada’s role in Haiti has been one of humanitarianism or imperialism.
The evening will be broken down into two sessions. The first will provide a historical background to the current situation in Haiti, focusing in on the history of imperialist interventions in Haiti, as well as on the history of the resistance by the Haitian people and the development of the popular Lavalas movement. The second session will
explore the topics of the media’s role in (mis)representing the situation in Haiti, as well as the role played by NGOs and the relationship between development and human rights organizations and Canadian foreign policy.
Imperialism and Resistance in Haiti: 1804-Present
Middle-school student and Toronto Haiti Action Committee activist Kabir Joshi-Vijayan has just returned from a trip to South Africa where he met Aristide. In addition to speaking
about his experience, the veteran Haiti activist will be introducing the conference by outlining the role played by Canada in the 2004 coup and the subsequent occupation of
As a founding activist with the Fanmi-Lavalas political movement in Haiti, as the foreign-backed coup government of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue arrested and killed thousands of people from the popular Lavalas movement, Kernizan was unable to return to Haiti for fear that
the would meet the fate of many of his counterparts in the movement. Kernizan will be speaking on the development of the Lavalas movement, and why countries like Canada and the United States have continually attempted to suppress the development of popular democracy therein.
*** 7:00-7:15 Beverages/Light Snacks Break ***
Trojan Horses: The Role of the NGOs and the Media in Haiti
Investigative journalist and graduate student Isabel MacDonald with be discussing her graduate research on the role of the Western media in misrepresenting the coup and occupation of Haiti.
Co-author of the ground-breaking book “Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority”, which exposed the role of the Canadian government, CIDA, and Canadian NGOs in demonizing the popular movement in Haiti and legitimizing the brutal coup government, Fenton will be speaking
on the role played by CIDA and government-funded NGOs in actualizing Canada’s foreign policy goals, with a particular focus on Haiti, but also with respect to Afghanistan and Venezuela.
Reception and Refreshments and Light Snacks
7) Troops Out Now! Rally
Saturday, March 17 at 1:00pm
United States Consulate
360 University Avenue
(TTC: Osgoode or St. Patrick)
Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan! Bring them home now!
Rally – march – giant peace sign
On the four-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, join the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War and people all over the world to demand: “Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan: bring them home now!”
We don’t want to wait for the Canadian equivalent of the Iraq Study Group to tell us what we already know now: that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a total disaster and it’s long overdue that we bring the troops home.
Join us for a rally featuring special guest speakers and performers, a march through the streets of downtown Toronto and – at the end of the march – the formation of a giant peace sign made up of thousands of people. More details to follow!
Organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War.
Issued by the Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec la guerre
Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
TCSW is Toronto’s city-wide anti-war coalition,
comprised of more than fifty labour, faith and community organisations, and a member of the Canadian Peace Alliance.
www.nowar.ca firstname.lastname@example.org 416-795-5863
8) STOP THE BRUTALITY!
The Cat’s Eye
Saturday, March 17
Cat’s Eye 150 Charles Street
(TTC: Exit Museum Station, walk a few meters East on Charles St. and it’s on the left side of the street)
FEATURING PERFORMANCES BY:
*Logikal Ethix and Unknown Misery
. and many more
Everyday across the city, immigrants, poor people, indigenous people and people of colour are confronted by the violence of the Toronto Police.
In our schools, near our workplaces and in our neighbourhoods, on our streets, we are met with racial profiling, random identification checks, beat downs and shake downs. People without status face the worst of it:
racist targeting and deportation!
Despite the horror of these intimidation tactics, we refuse to remain quiet. We continue to organise for justice, dignity and respect.
Join us as we celebrate our power and our resistance with a night of hip-hop, singing and spoken word.
Organised by: No One Is Illegal-Toronto, OPIRG-Toronto, No One Is Illegal-Brampton
For more info contact: email@example.com
9) No One Is Illegal – Toronto and CUPE 3903’s Trans Feminist Action Caucus present…
Queering the Fight for Status Rights: Trans and Queer Immigrants Speak Out!
Sunday, March 18th
2:30 – 5pm
The 519 Community Centre
519 Church St.
Rocio Velasquez, No One Is Illegal – Toronto
El-Farouk Khaki, Salaam
Alvaro Orozco, currently fighting for refugee status
Yasmeen Persad, Trans Access Project @ the 519
Suhail AbualSameed, Supporting Our Youth
Immigrant and refugee activists from local organizations speak on key issues facing trans and queer immigrants and refugees fighting for status in Canada. Multiple barriers face trans and queer people living without legal immigration status as they seek access to services in the Toronto area, such as housing, health care, legal representation, employment, and others. In their fight for status rights, immigrants and refugees encounter the transphobia, heterosexism and racism of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Rocio will speak on the broad issues facing queer and trans immigrants in Canada. El-Farouk will provide a more in-depth criticism of the Canadian immigration system. Alvaro will explain his encounters with the Immigrant and Refugee Board, who judged him ‘not gay enough’ for refugee status. We’ll hear Yasmeen discuss the need for access to services for newcomer and non-status immigrants living in Toronto. Suhail will address the need for broad community involvement and community development initiatives to challenge barriers facing queer immigrant/refugee youth in Toronto.
And we will all strategize about how to mobilize for change.
Free childcare available on-site. Wheelchair accessible.
This event is part of a series leading to the May 5th “Status for All! Stop the Deportations” demonstration called by No One Is Illegal
10) In CELEBRATION OF WORLD WATER DAY, CITIZENShift/National Film Board of
Canada, the Council of Canadians, KAIROS – Canadian Ecumenical Justice
Initiatives and OPIRG Toronto
WHOSE WATER? A CITIZENShift Screening
Tuesday March 20, 7:00pm
60 Minutes of new documentary material with panel discussion on the Right To Water from various perspectives
Tim Morris, Sierra Club of Canada: “Ecological Approaches to the Current and Pending Water Crisis”
Eduardo Sousa, Council of Canadians: “Civil Society and the
International Right to Water Movement”
Sara Stratton, KAIROS – Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives:
“Bottling the Right to Water”
Moderator: Stephen Scharper, Author and Professor – University of Toronto
Location: Innis Town Hall – Innis College, University of Toronto
(1 block south of Bloor St. West; TTC: St. George Subway Station)
For more information contact:
Denise Hastings, CITIZENShift/NFB (citizen.nfb.ca), 416.952.5092 or
Eduardo Sousa, the Council of Canadians (www.canadians.org),
416.979.5554 or firstname.lastname@example.org;
Sara Stratton (www.kairoscanada.org), 416.463.5312 x 241 or
11) SECRET TRIALS UPDATE
JABALLAH TO BE GRANTED BAIL!
Federal Court Judge Carolyn Leydon-Stevenson shocked all parties concerned today (Tuesday, February 6) when she indicated she was going to recommend release of secret trial detainee Mahmoud Jaballah even though she did not have written reasons prepared. While advising that she would be
looking for “stringent” and “restrictive” house arrest conditions, she said that in fairness to Mr. Jaballah and his family, it made sense for work on conditions of release to be worked out concurrent with her writing her bail decision. A court date of March 22 in Ottawa has been set to discuss
conditions, and it will likely be a good couple of weeks beyond that date until Mr. Jaballah is finally home.
Family members and supporters were pleased that Mr. Jaballah will finally be reunited with his family after almost six years of incarceration without charge. With the release decision three weeks ago of Mohammad Mahjoub (held almost seven years, though still not yet home due to
government foot-dragging), this series of releases will leave Hassan Almrei, held since October, 2001, the lone detainee at Canada’s Guantanamo Bay, a $3.2 million facility with 23 staff.
NEXT STEPS ON ENDING SECRET TRIALS IN CANADA
Even though security certificates have been declared unconstitutional, CSIS still has a year to use them, and we have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure the government does not simply rewrite the legislation with some fancy window dressing.
On February 23, the Supreme Court of Canada found the secret trial security certificate procedure to be unconstitutional and upheld the principle of a fair trial for everyone. Unfortunately, the government was given one more year to use the draconian certificates, and those currently subject to the certificates remain either behind bars or under house arrest (despite the fact that the process that put them in this horrific place has been ruled unconstitutional!!!).
In the coming year, there is concern that CSIS, the spy agency that is the driving force behind the certificates, will issue one or two more certificates in a public relations effort to show the government that such procedures are necessary. Now that they have their fancy multi-million
dollar jail (Guantanamo North, at Millhaven), it would surely be an embarrassment if it were to sit empty.
REPEAL THE LEGISLATION
The Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada is urging people to write to Prime Minister Harper, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, and Immigration Minister Diane Finley to demand the following:
1. Repeal the security certificate legislation. Do not claim the process will become fair with the addition of window dressing such as “special advocates” or “security-cleared lawyers”, whose presence will provide nothing more than a minimal air of legitimacy to a process that has been
found to be unconstitutional and inconsistent with the principles of fundamental justice. A fair trial using criminal law standards means knowing the case against you, being allowed the opportunity to respond to charges and evidence in a transparent and open process, and proof beyond a
2. Release those subject to the security certificate, eliminate the draconian conditions that have been imposed on them, and allow a process whereby they can clear their names. If the government truly believes these or any other individuals in Canada pose some kind of threat, charge them, allow them to see disclosure of the case, and carry out such a process in a fair, open, transparent court of law using the procedural safeguards and standards of the criminal law process.
3. End the effort to deport the security certificate detainees to torture in Egypt, Syria, Morocco, and Algeria.
(all can be written via snail mail c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Diane Finley (Immigration Minister)
Phone: (613) 996-4974
Fax: (613) 996-9749
Phone: (613) 992-4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900
March & Speak Out Against Police Brutality
On the 10th Annual International Day Against Police Brutality
Thursday March 15th
Meet at College and Lansdowne:
The Corner where Otto Vass was killed by Toronto Police.
(see below for details on a special evening event after the march)
Every day OCAP works hand in hand with communities that have been under attack by the Police. Under attack because they are poor, homeless, people of colour, First Nations or new immigrants. Under attack because it is the job of the police to maintain the power of the wealthy and upper
class. When we struggle to improve our lives and the lives of our children and communities, it is these same police that attack us and keep us beaten down.
March 15th 2007 marks the 10th Anniversary of the International Day Against Police Brutality. A day to bring awareness to the violence, torture, intimidation and harassment inflicted on citizens’ by our governments’
Police Forces. A date set by the people, the victims, the survivors, to raise their voices to show that they won’t stay silent!!
As part of this internationally observed day, a march and speak out has been organized for Thursday March 15th. We will be meeting at the southeast corner of College & Lansdowne and marching on to 14 Division headquarters. OCAP invites all people to come out and show support for those whose lives have been affected by the police and remember those whose lives were brutally ended by the police.
and after the March…
JOIN US FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE PARKDALE COFFEE HOUSE..
Thursday March 15th
at PARC- 1499 Queen Street W. (corner of Dowling)
The Parkdale Coffee House is an opportunity for folks in Parkdale to discuss building community resistance through conversation, information and music.
There will be an Open Mic so bring your instrument.
There will be discussion so bring your ideas.
To get involved in building this event call OCAP.
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
416-925-6939 email@example.com www.ocap.ca
Washington’s attempt to pave the way for another invasion by fomenting anti-Shia sectarianism in the Middle East will fail
Despite the horrific failure of its adventures in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, the US is now said to be preparing to attack Iran. Meanwhile, all disputes in the Middle East have suddenly turned into sectarian conflicts and Iran is portrayed as the main culprit. Nothing now seems comprehensible to the western media and political establishments unless seen through the prism of Iranian ambitions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and even more distant conflicts such as Somalia and Darfur. Opponents of Iran and of whomever Iran is thought to support in the region no longer want us to see US interventions as the main issue – let alone the primary cause of the mayhem enveloping the entire Middle East.
The current issue of “Vanity Fair” contains the story of a desperate revolt by senior US military commanders against Bush’s entire foreign and security policy entitled “The Night of the Generals”. The author, David Margolick, in borrowing the title from the famous movie about the plot to assassinate Hitler, underlines the growing outrage in the military over the administration’s incompetence which has led some US generals to risk their reputations and cross a time-honored line. The article is too long to post; the url is:
This info is a bit late, but still pertinent in view of the growing opposition to the Iraq war:
UCSB Students Rise Up, Strike Against War and Block Freeway
UCSB = University of California at Santa Barbara — MW ]
Nearly 1,500 UCSB students, staff, faculty members and local residents participated in a powerful and transformative strike against war on February 15th. The day culminated with a mass sit-in on Highway 217, the main freeway leading to campus, that blocked traffic for roughly two hours, followed by a lock-down of the campus administration building, Cheadle Hall.
The strike was one of 27 coordinated anti-war actions at high school and college campuses across the country. These included walk-outs, rallies, and die-ins, and also four other strikes at Columbia University, Columbia College (Illinois), Sonoma State University, and Occidental College (Los Angeles).
The day of action was timed to mark the fourth anniversary of the largest global protest in history, when up to 15 million people demonstrated against the Iraq War on February 15, 2003. The UCSB strike played out over six main acts: a picket line from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pardall Tunnel entrance to campus; a rally in Isla Vista; a march across campus; the Highway 217 blockade; a march to the campus administration building, Cheadle Hall, to issue a handful of impromptu demands to the campus administration; and a rally at Cheadle Hall.
Among the most common messages expressed during the day were: “Troops Home Now,” “Drop Tuition, Not Bombs,” and “Ain’t No Power Like the Power of the People ‘Cuz the Power of the People Don’t Stop!”
The strike heralded a dramatic return of the UCSB anti-war movement. “Protest 101 was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. By the end of the strike against war, I gained more knowledge in those three and a half hours than I ever had in an entire quarter-long class,” one student commented.
Another wrote, “Today was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I witnessed peace, organization, and youth voice in action.”
Two people were arrested during the action. CHP officers arrested former UCSB student Jesse Carrieri and UCSB Associate Professor of Women’s Studies Mireille Miller-Young for “crossing law-enforcement lines and failing to disperse when ordered to do so.” Each was released at around 7 p.m. that evening.
Source: Mackie, Drew, “UCSB students protest war, block Highway 217,” Santa Barbara Independent, February 15, 2007.