Indigenous protesters march toward Canada’s parliament building in Ottawa, Jan. 11, 2013. | Photo: Reuters / Twitter – cfsns
The fireworks and flags of the day obscure a far less talked about history.
This weekend, Canadians will take to the streets to march in parades, fire up barbecues, and don white and red to collectively venerate the idea of Canada as a liberal haven.
July 1, 2017 marks Canada’s 150th-anniversary celebrations — where billions of dollars have been funneled into celebrating the founding of what is now called Canada on what is still in many parts of that country, Indigenous land.
During his time in office since October 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with a deeply unpopular predecessor, a storied last name, and a youthful countenance, has burnished his reputation as a progressive — and Canada as a country that is a bastion of progress, multiculturalism, and inclusion.
But what the vainglory of fireworks and flags of that day obscure, is an ongoing history of genocide against Indigenous people, imperialist wars and militarism, environmental destruction at home and abroad, decades of racist immigration policies, and a little-known history of slavery.
For Canada’s 150th, teleSUR examines these five reasons why the day is not worth celebrating.
1. Residential schools and genocide against Indigenous communities
Deemed as a method to rid Canada of its “Indian problem”, the dark history of residential schools saw thousands of Indigenous children forcefully uprooted from their families in the 19th and 20th centuries.
As they were apprehended from their communities and placed in the boarding schools, often under the supervision of Catholic religious leaders, most were starved, beaten, tortured, raped, and medically experimented on. Some schools saw upwards of 40 percent of Indigenous children never make it out alive.
“It was always against colonial and Canadian law to assault, rape, torture, starve, and murder children,” writes Pamela D. Palmater, an Indigenous professor at Ryerson University.
With the last residential school having closed in the 1990s, its effects linger into today — with more Indigenous children in state care now than during the residential school era.
In 2016, the government’s own Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) produced a report detailing an inquiry into the history of residential schools, concluding the state had engaged in a form of genocide.
According to Marxist author and academic from the Dene Nation, Glen Coulthard, while settler colonial violence in the past in Canada against its Indigenous population overall — who are called First Nations, Metis or Inuit — was enacted through more outright, brute force, today, they are suppressed mostly through negotiation and law.
On Indigenous reservations, essential services such as food, water, sanitation, housing, health, and education, are severely underfunded, leading to the premature deaths of Indigenous peoples in the country by 7-20 years. The population is disproportionately represented in prisons — at 10 times the national rate. And in the last few decades, there have been over 1,200 cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
2. Decades of supporting wars
Since World War II, Canada has played a role in supporting NATO-led or U.S.-backed wars from Asia to Europe, to the Middle East.
Shortly after World War II, Canadian Forces were sent to support U.S.-led forces in Korea during the Korean War. Twenty-six thousand troops and 8 destroyers were sent, providing transport, supply and logistics support. The proxy war on the Asian peninsula, under the command of the United States, resulted in ramped up hostilities against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which continues to be treated as a pariah state today by the Western bloc that fought it then.
Decades later, when NATO began Operation Allied Force on March 24, 1999, Canadian pilots flew combat missions for the first time since the Korean War, also sending its largest single overseas deployment since then.
The 78-day operation was the devastating U.S.-backed intervention in Yugoslavia, which saw 5,700 people killed, including 400 children. Nearly 7000 people were wounded, while 821 people remain missing from the operation.
The Canadian Armed Forces had extolled the intervention as the “liberation” of Kosovo.
Years later in Libya, in the regime-change operation that was disguised as a “people’s revolution,” NATO forces invaded Libya to overthrow its leader Muammar Gaddafi, which has since resulted in Libya becoming a hotbed of extremist violence, with reported instances of slavery as well. Canada participated in the mission by sending troops from the Royal Canadian Air Forces.
While in August 2011, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen claimed that the actions of the aviation forces in Libya caused no civilian casualties, the invasion killed more than 20,000 people and resulted in more than 350,000 people becoming refugees.
Canada has also played a massive role in the U.S.-led War on Terror, sending more than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members in its 12-year campaign in Afghanistan, as early as October 2001.
When the War on Terror was declared at the onset of the invasion of Iraq, NATO forces also joined, using forbidden weapons, such as white phosphorus, that continue to devastate Iraqis today.
The war there has seen over 1 million Iraqis killed— the greatest loss in modern history.
In December 2016, it signed a record CDN $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, dwarfing any other sale of arms ever made by the country. In fact, under Trudeau, Canada has become the second biggest arms exporter to the Middle East, second only to the United States, June figures by the IHS Jane’s show.
Ottawa’s own legal arguments admitted that the December sale of arms to the Saudis could be used against civilians in Yemen.
Still, government lawyers had said at that time, “Saudi Arabia is a key partner for Canada and an important ally in the region, plagued with instability, terrorism, and conflict … Saudi Arabia is not a threat, but more so a key military ally.”
3. Environmental destruction at home and abroad, through pipelines and mining
Despite Trudeau’s pledges to be “a leader against climate change”, last fall, his government approved two major tar sand pipeline projects, to the ire of Indigenous communities and environmental activists alike.
In November, Trudeau announced the approval of the CDN$6.8 billion Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, which is set to carry highly toxic tar-sands oil almost 1 thousand miles to the west coast of the country, as well as the CDN$7.5-billion Enbridge Line 3 project which is to set to carry tar-sands oil across four Canadian provinces and the state of Wisconsin to the shores of Lake Superior.
The projects, which are expected to lead to a combined increase in tar-sands oil production, have led to swift and furious reactions from those concerned about its consequences.
“Mark my words, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will never see the light of day,” declared Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of the B.C. Indian Chiefs. “We do not accept the unscrupulous liability of dirty oil coming through any pipeline system to benefit some Texans or multinational interests at the expense of our inherent responsibilities to our grandchildren’s grandchildren.”
Abroad, most notably in Latin America, Canadian companies have a track record of egregious human rights violations and a dismal environmental record in its mining activities on the continent.
An October 2016 report by the Toronto-based Justice and Corporate Accountability Project at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School documented incidents in over a dozen countries by 28 Canadian mining giants, including big names like Barrick Gold, Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources. Many of these corporations have repeatedly garnered criticism for damning reports of human rights violations and environmental destruction at their mines.
The report found that the corporations were responsible for 44 deaths — 30 of which are described as clearly “targeted” — across 11 countries and 403 injuries — 363 of which happened during protests and other confrontations — across 13 different countries, between 2000 and 2015.
In addition, four United Nations bodies and the Inter-American Commission on Human Right have all condemned the systematic abuses committed at the hands of Canadian companies.
In 2016, over 180 organizations from across Latin America penned a letter to Trudeau demanding the government act in the face of runaway abuses by Canadian mining companies.
Attempts to have the Canadian-based companies regulated by Ottawa to ensure human rights compliance have so far failed.
4. WWII internment camps, head taxes and racist immigration policies
From early in the country’s founding, Canada implemented a number of racist laws against various ethnic groups that had migrated — or attempted to migrate there.
Between 1881 to 1885, 15,000 laborers were brought over from China to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Upon the project’s completion, Canada enacted the Chinese Immigration Act (1885), which stipulated that a head tax was required for any Chinese person that wanted to immigrate to Canada — the first official policy in Canadian history to exclude immigration on the basis of ethnic origin.
Decades later, just before World War I began in 1914, a ship named the Komagatu Maru, carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, colonial British India, was turned away as it landed at a port in Vancouver. The passengers, comprised of 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims, and 12 Hindus, all British subjects, were turned away based on immigration laws that were used to exclude immigrants of Asian origin.
Upon the ship’s return to India, many were assaulted, some even killed by colonial British troops.
A few years later, during World War II, after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, and Canada’s subsequent declaration of war on Japan, Canada interned hundreds of Japanese-Canadians.
A men’s dormitory during Japanese Canadian internment and relocation. | Photo: City of Vancouver Archives / Creative Commons
The community was forcibly removed, detained, and sent off to the interior of British Columbia, where they forced to labor in internment camps. They were also subjected to government-enforced curfews and interrogations, job and property losses, and forced repatriation to Japan.
To this day, migrants to the country face daily instances of racism — that is, if they make it past its immigration system.
Last year, Trudeau’s government imposed a cap on the number of private applications to sponsor Syrian and Iraqi refugees in 2017 to just 1,000.
In addition, Canada passed a law in 2004 that effectively bans anyone entering Canada via the United States from claiming refugee status at the border, called the Safe Third Country Agreement, a near-death sentence for those clamoring to escape Donald Trump’s xenophobic policies.
5. The history of slavery and anti-Blackness today
(L) Slaves being sold at an auction. (R) Protesters march in Ottawa against police killing of Abdirahman Abdi, a Black man. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Reuters
The history of slavery in Canada spanned two centuries in what was New France and Lower Canada under British rule. Black people were kept captive by people of all classes — from governors to priests, to blacksmiths, to tailors; and from figures such as Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, to James McGill, the founder of McGill University, one of Canada’s top universities. Introduced by French colonial settlers in New France in the early 1600s, it lasted until it was abolished throughout British North America in 1834.
But while the formal system of enslavement ceased to exist in 1834, 183 years later, Black people remain monitored and marginalized by state institutions in Canada today.
While they make up only 3 percent of the population, they represent 10 percent of the people incarcerated in Canada.
As Anthony Morgan wrote in the Toronto Star, anti-Blackness in Canada today manifests in a myriad of other ways as well, including through restricted access to housing, the child welfare system, discrimination in employment opportunities and the resulting disproportionate levels of extreme poverty.
(For embedded video go to Source)
Iraqi armed forces have succeeded in recapturing the historic al-Nuri Grand Mosque in the city of Mosul. Serious questions were raised about the role of the United States — long purporting to be in a fight against Daesh in the region — as a number of Daesh terrorists managed to escape Mosul to enter part of the Syrian territory where the US and its allied forces have been present. To discuss the issue, Press TV has interviewed Brad Blankenship, a journalist with al-Masdar News, and Brent Budowsky, a columnist at The Hill.
Blankenship said the United States pursued a policy of partitioning Iraq in order to gain influence in the region and drive a wedge between the Iraqi and Iranian governments.
“What they (the Americans) are doing in Iraq is very similar to what they have said they will do in Syria, which is namely to fight ISIS (Daesh), and then, when they have control of regions that ISIS used to have, they will use this as a way to partition Syria,” Blankenship said on Thursday. “And then in Iraq, what they are going to attempt to do is to use their leverage in owning territory in Iraq to draw Iraq farther away from Iran.”
The US’s ultimate goal is to separate Iraq and Syria from Iran to stop Baghdad and Damascus from being part of the axis of resistance against Israel and America, he said.
The commentator said the US was dragging its feet to participate in a real fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria because the White House had other priorities in the region.
“The US will definitely be wary of attacking ISIL (Daesh) as they flee into Syria, because their policy at this point… [is to] make Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah pay to vanquish ISIS in Syria.”
Washington has used the unstable situation in Iraq to pave the ground for oil corporations to be able to save money by purchasing the fuel for cheaper prices from the Kurdistan region in the war-torn country, he said.
He also referred to the near-complete liberation of Mosul and said there was more work to do to eradicate Daesh.
A picture taken on June 29, 2017 shows the damaged al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City of Mosul. (By AFP)
Budowsky, the other guest at the show, said the liberation of al-Nuri Mosque “is historic along with what will be the liberation of Mosul, the liberation of Raqqah [in Syria], and the liberation of the whole region from the mass-murdering terrorists.”
He, too, said the military achievement by the Iraqi forces was not a “total victory.,” however.
“The idea of a terrorist, organized entity acting like a state… is about to be dead,” the columnist said, adding, however, that, “The terrorist problem will not be dead and it will continue as they disperse.”
BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) — July 1 marks the 96th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). International experts have widely acknowledged that China, under the leadership of the CPC, has become a crucial engine for global economic growth and a staunch guardian of global peace and development.
In the context of today’s constantly changing global political and economic landscapes, the CPC offers extensive experience in state governance for other countries to draw upon.
Over the last three decades, China has won broad acclaim from the international community, especially after the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in November 2012, as China has achieved remarkable economic growth while taking an active part in global governance.
That has been credited to the CPC, under whose leadership the Chinese people have managed to successfully overcome difficulties and hardships. The CPC has united the Chinese people and harnessed their strengths.
GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS WIN HIGH PRAISE
Analysts have pointed out that under the CPC, China has wielded great influence in the international financial system, while striking a balance between economic development and environmental protection.
“Under the leadership of the CPC, China has been active in participating in global governance. In particular, it has exerted more influence in improving the global financial system,” said Sergey Lukonin, head of Economy and Politics of China at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, as well as the Chinese renminbi’s inclusion in the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) basket, are a testament to China’s rising impact on the international financial system,” Lukonin said.
In terms of sustainable development, Argentine lawyer Paola de Simone praised China’s structural adjustment that has drawn attention worldwide, as China has put more emphasis on the balance between economic development and environmental protection.
“The CPC has called on the sort of economic growth that is innovation-driven and sustainable, and has been searching for new sources of economic growth, which makes China younger and radiate more vitality,” she said.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
To address environmental degradation and global warming, China has proactively pushed for energy saving and emissions reduction, cut overcapacity in coal, strengthened the supervision and administration of industrial pollution and promoted the use of new-energy vehicles with subsidies.
China has made great contributions to the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, as the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” proposed by China has gained much popularity and support, said Nadya Helmy, professor of political sciences with Beni Suef University.
In the diplomatic field, under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese government has committed to the principles of mutual benefit and win-win, which is favorable to global governance.
The Belt and Road Initiative has also forged a bond between China and its neighboring countries through trade and economic and cultural cooperation.
“The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has laid a solid foundation for the prosperous economic development in the region, which has won international recognition and attracted the international community to actively participate,” said Wichai Choi, senior vice president of Kasikorn Bank in Thailand.
EXPERIENCE TO INSPIRE WORLD
One important lesson for parties in other countries to learn from the experience of the CPC’s success, in Lukonin’s opinion, is that the CPC has led the country to actively carry out in-depth reforms while securing social stability at the same time, which is a great achievement.
Also, the CPC has taken as its objective to safeguard the people’s interests and implemented social policies toward that goal, Lukonin said.
“Another lesson is that China, under the leadership of the CPC, always gives importance to the development of human resources and cultivation of talents, which is one of the major strategies to keep its national competitiveness,” he added.
Formulating policies able to promote social progress and meet more of the people’s rights is a top priority for a party, said Javier Miranda, president of Uruguay’s Broad Front Party.
“Under the CPC leadership, China has not only maintained rapid economic growth, but also let the development fruits benefit wide-ranging areas including the people’s living (conditions), health care and public education,” he said, adding that this experience can be used by foreign ruling parties as a reference.
By Carol Adl
THIS IS THE UN RESPONSE TO A POLIO OUTBREAK CAUSED BY VACCINES
Health officials in Syria are rushing to urgently vaccinate 320,000 children in some of the country’s most difficult to access areas, following an outbreak of vaccine induced polio.
Health workers will probably have to coordinate with ISIS and other terrorist groups to carry out the work according to reports.
Unicef’s polio spokesperson in New York said “Our plan is to vaccinate 320,000 children under the age of five. He said said cases of vaccine-derived polio were very rare and that the threat only existed in under-immunised populations
Billionaire Bill Gates, who has said it is his personal mission to eradicate polio, has poured huge sums of money into the effort, and the Gates Foundation is part of the global initiative.
The Independent reports:
It was recently revealed that 17 children had been affected by an outbreak of vaccine-derived polio. One of the cases was in Raqqa, the de facto Syrian capital of Isis, while the remainder were in the Mayadeen district of eastern Syria.
Officials told The Independent the number of youngsters paralysed by the disease had risen to 22 and that a mass vaccination programme was soon to be launched.
“It’s very much a concern that there is a vaccine-derived polio outbreak,” said Rod Curtis, Unicef’s polio spokesperson in New York. “Our plan is to vaccinate 320,000 children under the age of five – including 90,000 in Mayadeen – using our partners on the ground. Not all the children are located in government areas.”
By Baxter Dmitry
A German court has authorized a group of self-appointed Sharia police to continue patrolling the streets and enforcing Islamic law in the city of Wuppertal.
The court ruled that the group, led by a hate preacher facing prosecution for sponsoring terror, could only have broken the law if the vests bearing the words “Shariah police” were “suggestively militant or intimidating”, a court spokesman said.
German law specifically outlaws uniforms that are threatening, such as those of Hitler’s brownshirts.
However many German citizens disagree with the court ruling, claiming they are intimidated by the orange hi-visibility jackets emblazoned with the words “Shariah police” worn by the Islamists.
The issue has been brewing since 2014, when some German politicians reacted strongly to reports of young Salafists conducting nightly Sharia police patrols in the city, ordering people to stop various activities, according to the International Business Times.
The Shariah police reportedly approached people near nightclubs, bars and casinos to deter them from un-islamic activities such as drinking alcohol and gambling.
The German court ruled that seven Muslim men of “Sharia Police” did not break laws against political or intimidating uniforms
Led by German Salafi convert Sven Lau, the unit members scolded nightclubbers for drinking alcohol, in an attempt to enforce their hard line interpretation of Islam. Lau, pictured above, is a controversial Islamist hate preacher facing prosecution for supporting an ISIS-linked terror group in Syria.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere earlier said that the self-appointed Shariah police must not be allowed to patrol the streets instead of German police.
“Sharia law is not tolerated on German soil,” de Maiziere told the German daily Bild. “Nobody can take it upon themselves to abuse the good name of the German police,” he added.
But a government minister denouncing the actions of the Sharia police is one thing, and the ruling of the court is another. The fact is Muslim men are now legally cleared to patrol German streets and enforce radical Islamic law.
Creeping Sharia? Germany is well and truly past that stage. The civilized world is losing a war it does not even know it is fighting. Ladies, you best pick up your burkas while they are cheap and you are still allowed to drive yourself to the store.
“Sharia patrols” are not just a German problem. They have been reported in other European cities including London, Copenhagen and Hamburg, raising fears of a creeping Islamification, endorsed by European elites and the legal system that protects them.
Even though aspirations of freedom like Lumumba dreamed of were hindered by imperialism. (Telesur Tweet)