Toronto: university events this week

Even though it is approaching the end of the term, campuses are heating up with activism this week. Lots of REALLY important campus events to support…

1) York Rally: End the Siege on Gaza: THURS, MARCH 27th
2) IRAQ: 5 Years of War and Occupation: THURS, MARCH 27th
3) Confront Canadian War Profiteers: FRI, MARCH 28th

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Over the course of this year and in past years, the overwhelming majority of students have repeatedly demonstrated their opposition to increasing fees. In
2005, 98% of students at UofT voted against fee increases. Thousands of students rallied on February 7, 2007 against fee increases. Students’ unions across Canada have advocated against fee increases. Despite all of this, and
the efforts of student representatives at UofT, the administration continues with fee increases, making education inaccessible.

On Thursday March 20, 2008, over forty students staged a sit-in at Simcoe Hall, which houses the offices of the President and Provost. The students’ main demand was to speak with President David Naylor in person or by telephone. Students also requested that proposed fee increases be removed from the March 25 University Affairs Board meeting and to be given 15 minutes at the meeting
for a presentation and discussion on broader issues of access to education.

The peaceful sit-in of the students was met by physical aggression by campus police on the orders of senior administrators. Students were not allowed to demonstrate their dissent, and were not to be heard at all. Administrators left before the end of their workday, escorted out of the building, literally walking on top of students begging to be heard. This was captured on video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ketNtnZQIwQ

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1) 60 YEARS OF NAKBA – END THE SIEGE ON GAZA
RALLY
THURSDAY MARCH 27, 2008
1PM
VARI HALL
From U of T: SAIA is meeting up ahead of time to go to York together: Meet 11:45am at the North Borden Building (563 Spadina Ave – on the east side)

Join us in commemorating 60 years of Nakba, demanding an end to the siege of Gaza and an end to Israeli Apartheid.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, or the “Palestinian Catastrophe”, in which at least 750,000 Palestinians were expelled and displaced from their homes by Zionist militias. About 500 villages were destroyed and the land confiscated in order to establish the state of Israel.

Since 1948, Palestinian refugees, Palestinians living under Israeli military rule and Palestinian citizens of Israel have been subjected to policies of segregation that amount to Apartheid.

The recent Israeli siege of Gaza accompanied by military atrocities has left hundreds dead and thousands wounded. The majority of Palestinians living in Gaza are refugees exiled during the Nakba.

JOIN US IN VARI HALL TO COMMEMORATE 60 YEARS OF NAKBA AND DEMAND AN END TO THE
SIEGE ON GAZA!

For more information: saiayork@riseup.net

Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA): is a group of students and community members who are part of the growing global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the apartheid state of Israel.
___________________________________________________________________

2) On the anniversary of the invasion…

IRAQ:
5 Years of destruction, war and occupation
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Thursday, March 27th
7pm
University of Toronto
Medical Sciences Building, Room #3153
1 King’s College Circle
(see map: http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&tab=wl)
Free Admission * Wheelchair AccessibleWith:
Dr. Dahlia Wasfi
and
Prof. Sabah Al Nasseri

After five years of occupation, the suffering of the Iraqi people continues. More than 1.2 million people have died since March 2003, and more than 5 million people have been forced to flee their homes. War profiteering and U.S. aggression have been driving the destruction of Iraq for far too long. For there to be justice for the Iraqi people, the occupation must end. Learn more about the realities of life in Iraq from Iraqi voices, and how you can get involved in resisting the war.

*Dr. Dahlia Wasfi was born in 1971 and spent her early childhood in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, until she returned with her family to the United States in 1977. Dr. Wasfi graduated from Swarthmore College in 1993 with a B.A. in Biology, and in 1997 graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In February/March of 2004, after years of separation, Wasfi visited Iraq to see her family in Basrah and Baghdad. She journeyed to Iraq again for a 3-month visit in 2006. Based on her experiences, she is speaking out against the negative impact of the U.S. invasion on the Iraqi people and the need to end the occupation. See Dr. Wasfi addressing Congress:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELjgVq6GtPA

*Professor Sabah Al Nasseri, born in Basra, Iraq, studied political science at J.W.G-Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2006, he joined the department of political science at York University, Toronto. His most recent publication is “Understanding Iraq” in The Socialist Register

Presented by:

Independant Arabic Media: iammedia.org

OPIRG -Toronto
Ontario Public Interest Research Group @ U of T
Visit: www.opirguoft.org
Contact: 416-978-7770 / opirg.toronto@utoronto.ca

Proudly Endorsed By:
Arts and Science Students Union @ U of T (ASSU)
AlwaysQuestion.info
Students Against Israeli Apartheid
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
Canadian Arab Federation
Palestine House: Educational and Cultural Centre
Canada-El Salvador Action Network (CELSAN)
Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
and more to come….

Dedicated to the courageous and resilient Iraqi people.
__________________________________________________________

3) Friday, March 28: CONFRONT CANADIAN WAR PROFITEERS!
Picket @ the Canada Commercial Corporation 151 Yonge Street
1pm

It has been five years since the US-led attack on Iraq, a war and occupation that was meant to ‘liberate’ a people. Instead, more than 1.2 million people have died and more than 5 million people have fled their homes and forced to live as refugees in desperate conditions. Under the guise of reconstruction, billions of dollars have been stolen from the much needed hands of Iraqis and put in the pockets of war profiteers. This year, the fifth anniversary will not pass quietly. Join Iraqis and activists throughout the city for Days of Action against the War on Iraq….

The Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is a Crown corporation of the Government of Canada and acts as Canada’s international contracting and procurement agency. CCC reports to Parliament through the Minister of International Trade. The role of the CCC in their own words is: “Bringing foreign government buyers and Canadian exporters together in defence markets.”. One of the many ‘success’ stories of the CCC was the contract that existed between SNC – Lavalin (a Canadian corporation) and the U.S Military for the exporting of bullets that were used in the U.S occupation of Iraq. Another example is that of CAE who provide military Helicopter technology and training for the Israeli Air Force use in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon, and for the U.S Army use of Apache Helicopters in Iraq.

The Canadian government is responsible for the ongoing (and now extended) occupation of Afghanistan. And it is also complicit in the ongoing military occupation of Iraq and Palestine through openly enouraging military contracts with Canadian corporations and the U.S Army and Israeli Defense Forces.

SHUT DOWN the CANADIAN WAR MACHINE!

VISIT:
iammedia.org
www.opirguoft.org

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