Reminder: Union Education Meeting in Support of Six Nations, Hamilton Ontario, Saturday March 31st

March 30, 2007

This is a reminder about the event this coming weekend. Please register if you’re interested in coming. Please feel free to let others know about it.

UNION EDUCATIONAL MEETING IN SUPPORT OF SIX NATIONS

Information about registering is at the end of this post. If you are planning to come you need to register. Please bring snacks for the potluck lunch/snack break. Contact tom@tao.ca or call 416-526-4255 for more information.

>>DATE: 11:30AM – 5:00 PM Saturday, March 31st, 2007

>>LOCATION: Hamilton Horseshoe Club – 170 Brockley Dr

>>DIRECTIONS:http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=170+Brockley+Dr.,+Hamilton,+ON&ie=UTF8&z=13&ll=43.23895,-79.739799&spn=0.057526,0.215263&om=1

Community Friends for Peace and Understanding with Six Nations, a grass-roots coalition of community and labour activists is hosting this meeting in order to create a place for trade union activists in southern Ontario to come together to build union support for the Six Nations reclamation. From the beginning of the reclamation, the trade union movement has issued statements of support and made financial donations.

However, this support needs to be sustained as well as extended into the rank-and-file of the union movement, as we at the grassroots work consistently to build bridges between the common values and interests of the trade union movement and those of indigenous peoples.

Members from the following unions will be present at the workshop: CAW 707, CAW 555, CAW 88, CUPE 3903, CUPE 3906, CUPE 1281, CUPE 4400, CUPE 5167, USWA 1005, and USWA 1998.

11:30am SHARP Welcoming session:

– people from Six Nations welcome union activists to the event

– representative from Community Friends explains the purpose of the meeting

– go around and introductions of everyone present

12:00pm – 2:00pm “INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY AND HAUDENOSAUNEE RELATIONS WITH THE BRITISH CROWN AND THE CANADIAN STATE: THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE CONFLICT OVER THE ‘DOUGLAS CREEK ESTATES'”.

The purpose of this session is to provide people with the historical and political background to the struggle going on and to provide people with the tools to convince their fellow union members about the justness and righteousness of the Six Nations cause. Speakers include Hazel Hill from the reclamation site, Ruby Monture, and Rhonda Hill – mother of Six Nations political prisoner Christopher Hill. Other speakers TBA

2:00-2:30pm snack break

2:30pm – 5:30pm “WHY (AND HOW) SHOULD TRADE UNIONS SUPPORT INDIGENOUS RIGHTS? HOW DO WE ORGANIZE WITHIN UNIONS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF INDIGENOUS ISSUES AND MOBILIZE THE RANK-AND-FILE TO GET ACTIVE IN SUPPORTING INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY?”

Some people argue that trade unions exist for the purpose of defending their membership from their bosses and should only be limited to working around workplace issues. Other people argue that “an injury to one is an injury to all” and that trade unions are powerful vehicles for social justice and solidarity on a wide range of issues not limited to the workplace. This panel discussion will address the question of how trade unions have related to indigenous struggles in the past, how they do so today, and why the union movement can be an important ally for indigenous peoples across the country. The second part of this session will focus on the nuts and bolts issues of how we can work within the union movement to build support for indigenous sovereignty in general and concrete support for Six Nations in particular and address the kinds of problems and challenges we might face in doing this work.Speakers: Lindsay Hinshelwood, CAW 707; Tom Keefer, CUPE 3903; Joanne Webb, CUPE National Aboriginal Council, and others TBA from the Trade Union Movement.
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REGISTRATION FORM: UNION EDUCATIONAL MEETING IN SUPPORT OF SIX NATIONS

>>Please email form to tom@tao.ca or call 416-526-4255 for more information.

>>NAME:

>>

>>UNION:

>>

>>PHONE #:

>>

>>E-MAIL:

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>>ADDRESS:

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Toronto: Defend the Cabbagetown Restaurant

March 30, 2007

CABBAGETOWN LICENCE HAS HAD ITS LIQUOR LICENCE REVOKED

Community Based and Legal Challenges to be Set in Motion

As part of the drive to shut down neighbourhood bars and restaurants used by low income people, the Old Cabbagetown Business Association and other upscale interests have won a ruling by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission to take away Victor Jiang’s liquor licence. This means, effective immediately, the Cabbagetown Restaurant must stop selling drinks to its customers. An appeal will be put in very soon that will include a bid to win the right for Victor to sell beer while it is underway.

The issues are clear. This is about removing the places where poor people gather socially all the better to be able to drive them from the area.

Several of the places in the neighbourhood that have been closed and are now being targeted have in common the fact of being businesses operated by immigrant people. Victor hasn’t got the means to open a bar that caters to local yuppies. His restaurant is his means of making a modest living and into which he has put a huge amount of work. Now all that is on the line.

For those who support the fight to keep the Cabbagetown Restaurant open, we ask two things:

1. COME OUT THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 30, AT 6.00 PM TO THE RESTAURANT AT 443 PARLIAMENT AND JOIN IN A COMMUNITY MEETING TO BUILD A PUBLIC CAMPAIGN IN DEFENCE OF VICTOR AND HIS CUSTOMERS.

2. THE LOSS OF THE LICENCE HAS A HUGE AND IMMEDIATE IMPACT ON VICTOR.

HE DESPERATELY NEEDS TO KEEP UP HIS SALES. IF YOU WORK OR LIVE IN THE AREA, PLEASE GO IN AND EAT THERE AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN.

If you need more info on this, call OCAP at (416) 925-6939

**

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6

416-925-6939 ocap@tao.ca www.ocap.ca


Tomgram: Karon, Why Condi’s Diplomacy Should Start with Bush

March 30, 2007

Ever since September 2001, the President’s central operative image has been “war” — specifically, his “global war on terror” (promptly transformed into the grim acronym GWOT). With it went the fantasy that we had been plunged into the modern equivalent of World War II with — as George loved to put it — “theaters” of operation and “fronts” on a global scale. Remember how, as we occupied Baghdad in April 2003, administration pronouncements almost made it seem as though we were occupying Tokyo or Berlin, 1945? And when things went badly in Iraq, that country quickly became “the central front in the war on terror” in the President’s speeches. Well, now it may indeed be just that.

In the framework — essentially a fundamentalist religion — of global force and “preventive” war adopted by the Bush administration, the only place for diplomats was assumedly on the sidelines, holding the pens, as the enemy surrendered to the military. (Too bad, when we hit Baghdad, there was no one around to surrender, no way to put a John Hancock on our “victory.”) Otherwise, as classically happened in Iraq, where the State Department, despite copious planning for the postwar moment, was cut out of the process and left in the Kuwaiti or Washingtonian dust by Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, all issues of diplomacy were essentially relegated to Wimp World. After all, as the infamous neocon slogan once went, “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.” And it was well known that diplomats were not “real men.”

Nowhere on the planet was a diplomat worth a sou. Not surprisingly, then, the two central figures in George W. Bush’s second-term diplomatic non-endeavors became his two key female enablers, Condoleezza Rice, now secretary of state, and Karen Hughes, now undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs. Not surprisingly, Rice has managed to do nothing of significance on our planet — even the great diplomatic “success” of this administration, its shaky deal with North Korea, was basically crafted by the Chinese on terms worse than could have been obtained years earlier — and Hughes, as diplomacy’s spinmeister, has managed to put less than no polish on our globally disastrous image.

By now, of course, we’ve arrived at a moment in the Middle East so grim, so fraught with dangers, so at the edge of who knows what, with so many disparate crises merging, that it’s even occurred to Rice something must be done. As Tony Karon, savvy guy, senior editor at Time.com, and the creator of the ever-thoughtful and provocative blog Rootless Cosmopolitan points out, Rice has so far gotten a free ride here. Her approval ratings, until recently, hovered well above 50%, while the President’s were sinking close to 30%. Let Karon now explain to you where we really are in the Middle East, diplomatically speaking. Tom

Condi’s Free Ride

The Fantasy of American Diplomacy in the Middle East
By Tony Karon

They must serve up some pretty powerful Kool Aid in the press room down at Foggy Bottom, judging by U.S. media coverage of Condi Rice’s latest “Look Busy” tour of the Middle East.

Secretary of State Rice’s comings and goings have long been greeted with a jaded disdain by the Arab and Israeli media. As Gideon Levy wrote plaintively (and typically) in Israel’s Haaretz last August,

Click here to read more of this dispatch.