Archive | North America

Scathing report exposes century-old, ongoing genocide by Canada, Great Britain and the Vatican

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Scathing report exposes century-old, ongoing genocide by Canada, Great Britain and the Vatican; Calls for sanctions, arrests and war crimes trials

Scathing report exposes century-old, ongoing genocide by Canada, Great Britain and the Vatican; Calls for sanctions, arrests and war crimes trials

A comprehensive report that details an historic and ongoing plan to exterminate indigenous people across Canada was released on September 5, 2017 to the United Nations and the European Union.

The Vatican’s long tentacles: The Case of Kathleen Kane

The Vatican’s long tentacles: The Case of Kathleen Kane

Today’s show concerns the Attorney General for Pennsylvania, Kathleen Kane, who was targeted and brought down by Vatican money after she exposed and prosecuted catholic-run child trafficking in that state during 2016.

Engaging and Defeating the Real Enemy: Criminal Churches and the Power behind them

Engaging and Defeating the Real Enemy:  Criminal Churches and the Power behind them

Centuries ago or today, most crimes of corruption, genocide and child murder lead to Rome. And yet this oldest criminal conspiracy in the world has been exposed and stopped by our common law courts.

Spiritual Warfare, the new Covenant and battling Satan

Spiritual Warfare, the new Covenant and battling Satan

At special ceremonies today in Scotland and America, a new movement known as The Covenanters released a “spiritual battle cry” that summons all people to leave the Church of Rome and other criminal churches, and gather in separate spiritual and civil communities.

Our Lessons and Victories: A Dialogue with Kevin Annett, Part Two

Our Lessons and Victories: A Dialogue with Kevin Annett, Part Two

Veteran truth teller Kevin Annett describes the victories and hard lessons won from the twenty five year campaign to expose genocide and crimes against children, in North America and around the world.

Twenty Five Years of Struggle: Celebrating our Victories and Lessons on Radio Free Kanata, July 16, 2017

Twenty Five Years of Struggle: Celebrating our Victories and Lessons on Radio Free Kanata, July 16, 2017

On July 15, 1992 Kevin Annett began his work among west coast native people in Port Alberni as a United Church minister.

Targeted Killings, The Death of William Combes and the War on Humanity: An Eyewitness Speaks on Radio Free Kanata (June 25, 2017)

Targeted Killings, The Death of William Combes and the War on Humanity: An Eyewitness Speaks on Radio Free Kanata (June 25, 2017)

Our guest is Erika Kelly, who is a retired nurse and former employee ​at St. Paul’s Catholic hospital in Vancouver.

Investigation of a Murder City: London, Ontario

Investigation of a Murder City: London, Ontario

Why is this city the child trafficking and cult murder capital of Canada and a center for social engineering? What role do the Anglican and Catholic churches and other criminal bodies play in these crimes?

Cover not their Blood – Vatican Crimes in Croatia – on Radio Free Kanata, June 4, 2017

Cover not their Blood – Vatican Crimes in Croatia – on Radio Free Kanata, June 4, 2017

We are honored to have as our guest Professor Srboljub Zivanovic, the world’s authority on the Vatican-led genocide of a million Serbs, Roma and Jews in Croatia.

Leading the Fight against Tyranny, Satanism and Mass Murder: Radio Free Kanata, May 21, 2017

Leading the Fight against Tyranny, Satanism and Mass Murder: Radio Free Kanata, May 21, 2017

Satanic cult therapist and author Judy Byington returns to our show with more hard evidence of the extent of child killing cults in Utah and the western USA

Leading the Fight against Tyranny, Satanism and Mass Murder: May 14, 2017

Leading the Fight against Tyranny, Satanism and Mass Murder: May 14, 2017

Leading the Fight against Tyranny, Satanism and Mass Murder

Pushing Back the Darkness: The Struggle against the Satanic Order continues

Pushing Back the Darkness: The Struggle against the Satanic Order continues

The Catholic Ninth Circle sacrificial cult has been dealt a blow, but the struggle to save our children continues.

Bringing Down Satan and his Ninth Circle: The Spiritual Reclamation on Radio Free Kanata

Bringing Down Satan and his Ninth Circle: The Spiritual Reclamation on Radio Free Kanata

April 30, 2017 This past Sunday witnessed a major confrontation between light and darkness as our forces disrupt the planned child sacrifices of the Vatican’s Ninth Circle Satanic cult across the world. Knowing that our fight is ultimately a spiritual one, we rely now on the weapons of the spirit along with our common law legal […]

​Satanic Ritual Crimes: An Insider Speaks on Radio Free Kanata, April 23, 2017

​Satanic Ritual Crimes: An Insider Speaks on Radio Free Kanata, April 23, 2017

As we approach the April 30 Beltane ritual killings​ and the planned take-down of these Catholic-run Ninth Circle crimes, our featured guest is a former member of a Satanic cult.

On the Trail of the Killers: Stopping the Ninth Circle and Uprooting the Source of the Crime

On the Trail of the Killers:  Stopping the Ninth Circle and Uprooting the Source of the Crime

On this 12th anniversary of the launching of Aboriginal Holocaust Remembrance Day that led to the exposure of crimes by Canadian church and state

Fighting Church Crimes – and Stopping the Ninth Circle killers

Fighting Church Crimes – and Stopping the Ninth Circle killers

On this program we feature a report on the upcoming take-down campaign against the Ninth Circle killings of children

Mass Graves in Ireland and the Roots of Genocide

Mass Graves in Ireland and the Roots of Genocide

On today’s March 5 program we discuss the mass grave of babies discovered at a former catholic facility in Tuam, Ireland and the two year cover up of the apparent ritual killings at this site by the catholic church and Irish government.

Engaging and Defeating the Real Enemy: Criminal Churches and the Power behind them – on Radio Free Kanata

Engaging and Defeating the Real Enemy:  Criminal Churches and the Power behind them – on Radio Free Kanata

Centuries ago or today, most crimes of corruption, genocide and child murder lead to Rome.

Veteran Civil Rights Warrior Colia Clark

Veteran Civil Rights Warrior Colia Clark

We’re honored to have with us as our featured guest today one of the original leaders of the youth-led civil rights movement in America and a veteran fighter for justice, Colia Clark.

Reclaiming the Common Law Republic

Reclaiming the Common Law Republic

As the system collapses under the weight of its own corruption and criminality, patriots are establishing the rule of law and Republican commonwealths.

Reclaiming our Canadian Nation

Reclaiming our Canadian Nation

January 15 program: On this second anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Kanata, we examine why and how our new common law jurisdiction came about, and interview local organizers who are establishing that new Republican authority in their local communities. Our guests include two activists from Ontario who have fought and won against […]

Common Law and the Pennsylvania Putsch

Common Law and the Pennsylvania Putsch

We continue upholding the common law revolution in this Radio Free Kanata broadcast, featuring your hosts Kevin Annett, Ryan Gable and Katie Stoqua, with a round table discussion. Among the topics: Homeland Security’s unconstitutional seizure of the American electoral process, the British Empire’s (and Canada’s) whitewash of their genocidal crimes, how Pennsylvanians are using Hole […]

Common Law vs. Corporatocracy in Pennsylvania

Common Law vs. Corporatocracy in Pennsylvania

We start the new year by examining the vision of a new society and one struggle to achieve it. In Grant Township, Pennsylvania, local citizens are uniting across party lines to use common law to reclaim their political power.  In what is perhaps America’s first law that legalizes direct action, this Township passed an ordinance […]

Why and How we must overturn our fallen culture

Why and How we must overturn our fallen culture

December 18, 2016 program Her life was snuffed out in a moment by a kick from United Church minister Alfred Caldwell at the Alberni “Indian residential school”. This December 24 is the 70th anniversary of Caldwell’s murder of Maisie Shaw: the first of many such crimes to be made public by our twenty year long […]

How Child Trafficking Continues

How Child Trafficking Continues

The recent shutting down and jailing of Kathleen Kane, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania who exposed child abuse networks in the state government and Roman Catholic church, shows the power of institutionalized child torture. Like the 2014 arrest of Belgian Member of Parliament Laurent Louis for naming child traffickers in his government, the assault on […]

Putting the Child Traffickers on Trial: On Radio Free Kanata (Part 1)

Putting the Child Traffickers on Trial: On Radio Free Kanata (Part 1)

 Early in the new year, Republic of Kanata organizers are convening a Common Law Court that will bring charges and indictments against “child welfare” agencies, churches and government officials who are trafficking children for profit. In today’s broadcast we conduct a Pre-trial Examination to look at the evidence and the case to prosecute institutionalized crimes against […]

The Common Law Revolution: A Workshop on Radio Free Kanata

The Common Law Revolution: A Workshop on Radio Free Kanata

Canada, England and all other “Crown” nations are convicted criminal regimes whose lawful authority is null and void. America is under the rule of a corporate oligarchy. Every free born man and woman in these countries is obligated now to break free from such tyrannies and establish a new sovereign jurisdiction of self-governing nations under […]

Freeing our Minds to Reclaim our Nations: Radio Free Kanata

Freeing our Minds to Reclaim our Nations: Radio Free Kanata

As part of our continuing series in creating a movement to break the hold of the Corporatocracy on our lives, Radio Free Kanata features Sandra Fecht, who has pioneered recovery work among survivors of Satanic and other cult ritual crimes. We examine how minds are enslaved and the means of breaking that control. The connection […]

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Facing a Major Attack on Academic Freedom in Canada

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For presentation on Sept. 11 2017 at the Grand Lake Theatre, Oakland California. “Why 9/11 Truth Still Matters, 13th Annual 9/11 Truth Film Festival”

Sixteen years after the event, 9/11 stands as striking evidence of an insidious assault on science. Officialdom’s dogged adherence to a discredited account of 9/11 stands as a stark illustration of this phenomenon. The subordination of scientific method to the higher imperatives of imperial war propaganda is epitomized by officialdom’s failure to formulate a credible account of the 9/11 debacle.

Universities have become important sites of this betrayal. The sabotage of society’s primary platforms of scholarly enterprise forms an essential feature of a more pervasive attack from within.  Everywhere, but especially on the Internet, fundamental freedoms are being menaced to investigate, publish, publicize and discuss interpretations that might undermine or inconvenience power.  

As a tenured full professor with 27 years of seniority at my home institution, I am currently facing a sharp attack on the remaining protections for academic freedom. In early October of 2016 the President of the University of Lethbridge, Michael J. Mahon, suspended me without pay. He also prohibited me from stepping foot on the University of Lethbridge campus. In explaining his actions Dr. Mahon’s speculated I might have violated a section of the Alberta Human Rights Act.

The vagueness of this assertion exposes the reality that severe punishment was imposed without any proper investigation. Dr. Mahon’s abrupt deviation from the terms of the collective agreement with my faculty association has established precedents and countervailing responses with broad implications.  Adversarial proceedings on this matter began this August in the Lethbridge Alberta Court House. As evidenced by the intervention of the 68,000 members of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the outcome of this case will in all probability significantly affect the future of university governance in Canada and beyond.

Dr. Mahon’ suspension letter detailed that there was a possibility that I might be guilty because of allegations that

a) “my Facebook page had been used for virulent anti-semitic comments “and

b) “Inferring that Israelis, and hence Jewish individuals, were responsible for the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.”

Dr. Michael J. Mahon (Source: uleth.ca)

Before dealing with the manipulation of my Facebook wall in the prelude to my suspension, allow me to linger on questions concerning the academy and 9/11. Along with government, media and law enforcement agencies, universities are deeply implicated in sabotaging the quest for 9/11 truth and many other varieties of inconvenient truth as well. The punitive measures directed at me can be seen as a warning to scare other professors into compliance with all manner of official stories?

As for my own reading of the available evidence, I am far from alone in positing that Israel First partisans, including the American neocons that dominated the Project for the New American Century, are prominent among the many protagonists of the 9/11 crimes. These crimes extend to orchestrating the media spin, rigging investigations, and sustaining the ongoing 9/11 cover-up. In publications and on False Flag Weekly NewsDr. Kevin Barrett and I have joined others in extending this investigative and interpretation trajectory into many cases of possible false flag terrorism particularly after 2001.

I am astonished that the Administration of my University became so aggressive in attempting to outlaw an evidence-based interpretation of the most transformative event of the twenty-first century. New frontiers of subversion are being pioneered in the U of L’s audacious administrative attempt to criminalize independent academic work.

What are the implications of subordinating the scholarly judgments of academic experts on campus to the executive dictates of administrators?  How can the principles of critical thinking be cultivated when adherence to conformity is so aggressively enforced by administrators?

The University Administration extends its claims of academic control several steps further in the complaint it brought forward to the Alberta Human Rights Commission seven months after I was suspended. The complaint begins with six sweeping statements outlining topics that the complainants want removed from the reach of critical academic examination. One of the complainants chief assertions is the Islamophobia-inducing proposition that “acts of terrorism between 2001 to the present… were in fact committed and financed by Islamic terrorists.”

Facebook Machinations

A maliciously-engineered Facebook operation created the original catalyst of the smear and disinformation campaign leading to my suspension. Without the originating momentum set in motion by the Facebook operation the campaign to discredit me could not have unfolded as it did. The most public face of this campaign was presented by the Canadian extension of the Israeli- and US-based Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. According to B’nai Brith Canada, an abhorrent post appeared and then disappeared on my Facebook wall during a short interval on Aug. 26, 2016.  The text of the disgusting digital item proclaimed that the Holocaust didn’t happen and that Jews should be “KILLED, EVERY LAST ONE.”

This heinous assertion goes against everything I have tried to stand for in my life including in my academic work.  As soon as I became aware of this blaspheme embedded in the planted Facebook post I publicly condemned it. By mid-September, however, my persecutors were far advanced in pushing forward the manufactured crisis. By then B’nai Brith Canada was mounting a petition campaign demanding that I be investigated, fired and silenced.

Recently the results of a Freedom of Information inquiry have brought to light documents illuminating the elaborate defamation pointed my way in the hours and days immediately following the August 26 Facebook operation. One document was sent to the Office of the University of Lethbridge President and copied to the Premier of Alberta as well as the Alberta Justice Minister. Citing the B’nai Brith, the document’s author characterized me as an “advocate for the murder of Jews.”

Another letter dated 1 Sept. 2016 was signed by the President of the Canadian Jewish Civil Rights Association. This signator, who has since passed away, cited the complete text of the offending Facebook post. The letter to Dr. Mahon indicated the reprehensible words actually came “from my lips.”

I cannot understand why Dr. Mahon did not at this juncture properly investigate by consulting me directly and conferring with the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association. Instead the President opted to push ahead with drastic action based on incomplete information combined with the intense pressure brought to bear on him by an extremely influential external political lobby

Hate Speech Deceptions

None of my persecutors has yet identified the true source of the offending Facebook item. My own research into the matter, including my email exchange with cartoonist Ben Garrison, has led me to Joshua GoldbergAmerican Herald Tribune has published my article on this young man. Goldberg is widely reported to be the creator of many Internet personalities, all of whom generate abundant “hate speech deceptions” from various ethnic and ideological perspectives.

Goldberg’s case exposes much about the wholesale manufacturing and misrepresentation of so-called “hate speech” to justify censorship on the Internet. In my case an atrocious digital item was strategically inserted with the aim of ruining me professionally and personally.

The intervention of Internet leviathans like Google and Facebook is especially aggressive when it comes to disappearing material critical of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians. My own experience with the Canadian branch of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith points to the strength of this pattern. Why is it that this same Zionist organization is being tasked with the strategic responsibility of censoring and categorizing You Tube videos?

As illustrated by William Pepper’s development of civil litigation to bring to light the US government’s role in the tragedy suffered by the family of Martin Luther King Jr., we rarely get criminal trials pressed against the world’s most powerful interests and operatives. Instances of possible false flag terrorism, but especially 9/11, have been rendered especially immune to any kind of trial that would put before the public evidence garnered from genuine investigations of facts.

Perhaps the reference to 9/11 in a University Administration’s efforts to condemn me for academic thought crimes and speech crimes will force the forbidden topic into some kind of evidence-based juridical procedure. When it comes to understanding the real dynamics of who did what to whom on 9/11, the truth must prevail.

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NAFTA Is 23 Years Old – Here Are 20 Facts That Show How It Is Destroying The Economy

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So if NAFTA is so bad for American workers, then why don’t our politicians just repeal it?

Well, unfortunately most of them are not willing to do this because it is part of a larger agenda.  For decades, politicians from both major political parties have been working to slowly integrate North America.  The eventual goal is to turn North America into another version of the European Union.

Just check out what former general and CIA chief David Petraeus had to say about this

After America comes North America,” Petraeus said confidently in answering the question about what comes after the United States, the theme of the panel discussion. “Are we on the threshold of the North American decade, question mark? I threw that away — threw away the question mark — and boldly proclaimed the coming North American decade, says the title now.” He also boasted about how the three economies have been put “together” over the last 20 years as part of the “implementation” of the North American Free Trade Act.

The “highly integrated” forces of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, Petraeus continued, will become the world’s powerhouse for energy and science. “There are four revolutions that are ongoing at various levels in each of the countries but foremost in the United States,” said the former CIA chief, who now serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute. “The energy revolution is the first of those, which has created the biggest change in geopolitics since the rise of China since 1978.” The other “revolutions” include IT, manufacturing, and life sciences, which, “as highly integrated as they are, allow you to argue that after America comes North America,” he added.

When you hear our politicians talk about “free trade”, what they are really talking about is integrating us even further into the emerging one world economic system.  And over the past couple of years, Barack Obama has been negotiating a secret treaty which would send the deindustrialization of America into overdrive.  The formal name of this secret agreement is “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and it would ultimately result in millions more good jobs being sent to the other side of the planet where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  The following is a description of this insidious treaty from one of my previous articles

Did you know that the Obama administration is negotiating a super secret “trade agreement” that is so sensitive that he isn’t even allowing members of Congress to see it?  The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being called the “NAFTA of the Pacific” and “NAFTA on steroids”, but the truth is that it is so much more than just a trade agreement.  This treaty has 29 chapters, but only 5 of them have to do with trade.  Most Americans don’t realize this, but this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, health care, the trading of derivatives, copyright issues, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more.  It will also merge the United States far more deeply into the emerging one world economic system.  Initially, twelve nations will be a party to this treaty including the United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.  Together, those nations represent approximately 40 percent of global GDP.  It is hoped that additional nations such as the Philippines, Thailand and Colombia will join the treaty later on.

Unfortunately, most Americans are as uneducated about these issues as they were back in 1994.

That is why we need to get this information out to as many people as we can.

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Trumping NAFTA: Free Trade versus Democratic Planning

First published by Global Research on July 20, 2017

Opposition to ‘free trade’ is in the air again, though not in the way most of us expected or hoped. Three decades ago, the move to guarantee, extend and deepen Canada’s economic integration with the United States by way of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two states mobilized an impressive though ultimately unsuccessful opposition. This opposition continued, though with less intensity, when that agreement was later extended to include Mexico via the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Since then, however, with so many other free trade agreements (taking these first ones as their foundational model) deployed as key political levers in fostering neoliberal globalization, NAFTA came to be widely perceived by labour and the left in Canada as just another part of an unfriendly landscape, as one imposition among so many others passively accepted by a dispirited populace. And even when Canadians managed to raise their spirits in the course of finally banishing Harper’s somber moods in favour of Trudeau’s sunny ways, they soon found that the new government was even more intent on quickly seeing through the vast expansion of ‘free trade’ through the trans-Atlantic Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as well as reinforcing Harper’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and a host of bilateral trade agreements being pursued in Asia in particular.

The crucial point about so-called free trade agreements is that they are not in fact primarily about trade, but about the free flow of corporate and financial investment through promoting and protecting the property rights of capital (as with the so-called FIPAs, or Foreign Investment and Protection Agreements, of which Canada has dozens). In the case of NAFTA, its most crucial provisions are contained in the notorious Chapter 11 which addresses the security of foreign investments. It gives private corporations the right to sue governments when their actions negatively affect corporate profits. In many of these cases, governments were already anxious to play this role but were limited by popular opposition. With such clauses, governments could do what they wanted to do anyway and blame the agreement – ‘We have no choice’. In that sense, it is not state sovereignty that is lost (states are in fact freer to serve capital) but the popular sovereignty/democracy of workers and communities to control capital movements. A CCPA Research Paper published in January 2015 captured very well what this meant for Canada:

Image result for eli lilly

“Currently, Canada faces nine active ISDS [investor state dispute settlement] claims challenging a wide range of government measures that allegedly interfere with the expected profitability of foreign investments. Foreign investors are seeking over $6-billion in damages from the Canadian government. These include challenges to a ban on fracking by the Quebec provincial government (Lone Pine); a decision by a Canadian federal court to invalidate a pharmaceutical patent on the basis that it was not sufficiently innovative or useful (Eli Lilly); provisions to promote the rapid adoption of renewable energies (Mesa); a moratorium on offshore wind projects in Lake Ontario (Windstream); and the decision to block a controversial mega-quarry in Nova Scotia (Clayton/Bilcon). Canada has already lost or settled six claims, paid out damages totaling over $170-million and incurred tens of millions more in legal costs. Mexico has lost five cases and paid damages of US$204-million. The U.S. has never lost a NAFTA investor-state case.”

More generally, and especially in the context of the growing unpopularity of neoliberalism and austerity, these types of agreements have been accompanied by a restructuring of states which, to the end of protecting corporate rights, shifts state power toward agencies like central banks and ministries of finance that are responsible for the globalization of capital and not coincidentally well-insulated from democratic pressures. Frequently sold under the banners of “regulatory independence” and “good governance,” it is this which allows for crucial commitments to restrict social and economic policies to be made by trade representatives at the international level. In this context, such environmental or labour ‘safeguards’ that were added by them as ‘side agreements’ did very little to slow down a process that was inherently socially regressive.

A New Conjuncture

Then the unforeseen happened. Britain voted to leave the European Union (Brexit) and Donald Trump, adopting a xenophobic ‘America First’ platform, stunningly became president of the world’s foremost economic and military power. In this new international conjuncture, the Canadian government’s orientation to expanding ‘free trade’ became problematic. Suddenly the cons as well as the pros of free trade were being widely debated again.

The difference between the earlier opposition to free trade and its current expressions couldn’t be greater. Prior opposition was led by the left, with such political reverberations in Canada that the Liberals stood against the FTA in the 1988 election. Today – while the frustrations with free trade are still expressed in the streets in the inchoate mass protests that have stretched from Seattle, Quebec City, and Genoa at the turn of the century to the G20 meetings in Toronto in 2012 and in Hamburg this summer – the political opposition to free trade in the electoral arena has been usurped by the far right. One result has been confusion and division among progressives. Many are today wary of outright criticism of free trade, fearing this will aid and abet nationalist and xenophobic reaction. This has led to muted opposition to freer trade or to qualified support, the caveat being the extending of the safeguards previously tacked on to protect labour rights, the environment, democratic sovereignty, and jobs in particular sectors (as in Canada from the auto industry in Ontario to the lumber industry in British Columbia).

The political dangers that come with this right wing nationalist reaction, above all in the grave consequences that can follow scape-goating immigrants and foreign workers, are indeed severe. And it is crucial to recognize the broader negative impacts on workers and public services that would come from the kinds of modifications in trade agreements that would symbolically salvage a few plants while promoting even greater deregulation of both foreign and domestic capitalists. But it is important that such concerns not lead to support for an allegedly ‘kinder’ version of free trade amidst neoliberal globalization. This would in fact only further the continuation of the now two-generation-long defeat of labour and the left. It’s been that orientation on the part of liberal and social democratic forces over the past quarter century, reflecting a depressing combination of political naivety and strategic timidity, that in fact opened the way for the Farages, Le Pens, and Trumps to deploy xenophobic appeals to express popular anxieties.

For many on the left, this moment is to be understood as reflecting some kind of fundamental crisis in neoliberal capitalism. They view the anti-free trade rhetoric – especially that coming from the new American president and his extreme advisors – as reflecting the economic decline of the U.S. empire, the retreat of its state from global economic responsibilities, and the possible collapse of globalization itself. Yet the underlying dynamics of internationally integrated finance, production, and multinational corporate trade in fact still continue, with working classes everywhere showing all too little capacity to undermine their operation. China may more confidently assert its growing weight within the global order, but it clearly has little capacity, especially with its own internal contradictions to deal with, to assume the U.S. role and responsibilities for overseeing global capitalism. Globalization may briefly slow down and suffer a loss of legitimacy, but it is the historical form that capitalism now embodies and will remain the only game in town absent widespread political challenges to capitalism itself.

It is worthwhile in this regard to more precisely contrast the orientation of the Trump administration with its predecessors. In the post-war making of global capitalism, the American state found it necessary to make concessions to other states. Sometimes, as with South Korea and Japan, this was for geopolitical reasons and took the form of allowing them access to the crucial American market without a matching opening of their own markets. More common was the use of American concessions to induce states to liberalize their economies to international penetration. Those trade-offs negatively affected some American firms and sectors – and especially their workers and the cities and towns where they were located. This led to some protectionist lobbying (protectionist sentiments are, after all, hardly anything new in the U.S.), in order to maintain its universalist thrust toward a liberalized international order, the American state acted to limit their impact. It won the right to fast-track trade agreements, with Congress having to accept or reject them through a simple up or down vote in a relatively short time horizon, thus avoiding amendments for particular exceptions that disturbed their essential purpose. It established institutional channels for arbitrating grievances whereby workers and firms had to prove that any harm they suffered was the direct result of free trade, channeling frustrations into securing, at best, some financial compensation or temporary import reprieve. And all the while, it used the domestic pressures for protectionism as a lever to get other states to further open their markets, thereby strengthening rather than weakening the neoliberalization of global capitalism.

What distinguishes the Trump administration in this regard is that rather than circumventing particularistic protectionist claims articulated in Congress, it is itself making such claims on behalf of certain American workers and industries. Its expressed determination is to claw back concessions previous administrations made in order to draw other countries into the American-led global neoliberal order, and to make others bear the burden of the contradictions which that order has systematically generated. While NAFTA led to a massive flood of subsidized U.S. agribusiness corn exports that drove the Mexican peasantry off the land, this also had the effect of both providing a cheap labour force for the subsidiaries of U.S. manufacturing moving to Mexico and impelling the flow of Mexican migrants to become cheap labour in the USA. That they became the targets of Trumps xenophobic appeal to workers which U.S. manufacturing firms had abandoned in the industrial ‘rust belt’ was only the most glaring example of how the contradictions of NAFTA have now come to play into the hands of a capitalist scoundrel like Trump. But a further consequence of this may be that it undermines the legitimacy of free trade within other states. In the case of the Canadian state, for example, an especially important selling point in selling free trade agreements was the argument that they would protect Canadian capital from the politicization and arbitrariness of American trade decisions. This was never all that convincing to Canadians; Trump’s call for renegotiating NAFTA to assert ‘America First’ seems to confirm that earlier skepticism.

Image result for NAFTA

It is not completely certain what Trump and his closest advisors fully intend with their planned redoing of NAFTA and the attendant rejection of other multilateral free trade agreements. But we can be sure that rather than any attempted unravelling of globalization and the leading role of the U.S. in it, it will involve a mix of further advantages for American investors in different sectors, such as the internet and e-commerce, extending intellectual and property rights, and challenging existing regulatory limits to corporate penetration, along with efforts to further strengthen the reach of the Chapter 11 ISDS tribunals. What is also clear is that, even while the Trump administration demagogically promises to bring work to certain pockets of U.S. workers, it has no intention of cutting off U.S. capital from global or regional value chains. Rather, it seeks to strengthen the reach and power of U.S. capital globally. The central contradiction here is that the reconfiguration of the institutions of the American state under Trump, not to mention its international posture, may render it incapable of playing the central role it has heretofore played in containing the tendencies to economic as well as ecological crises which the system of global capitalism continually spawns.

Reframing the Debate

The fundamental task of the left is to reframe the debate, all the while engaging in ongoing collective efforts to challenge the expansion of ‘free trade’ and the structures that underpin it. This means going beyond our past opposition to free trade agreements. The problem during the years of the “anti-globalization” movement, and the lesson we must confront now, is that simply blocking another such agreement – as important as that is – doesn’t address the underlying trajectory of global capitalism’s determined expansion and penetration into all aspects of our lives.

An important recent CCPA paper by Pierre Laliberté and Scott Sinclair (What is the NAFTA Advantage?) has put forward a left case for Canada leaving NAFTA. While not suggesting there are “no costs to leaving NAFTA,” by concentrating only on demonstrating this might only entail an overall 1.5% tariff hike, they feel able to propose that “we collectively approach the whole renegotiation process with the knowledge that the cost of the worst-case scenario would be modest, and that Canada has more latitude than is often appreciated to stand its ground and assert its national interests in the coming negotiations.”

However, any discussion of the costs of leaving NAFTA requires consideration of much more than the level of overall tariff costs. The real problem is the private profit-based restructuring of workplaces and communities by both international and domestic corporations and financiers. The kind of international competition this is specifically designed to foster among workers weakens solidarity at home and abroad while undermining the very meaning of popular democracy and curtailing struggles for economic democracy. It would, in this respect, be an error to underestimate the challenge that curtailing the ever deeper degree of Canadian inter-dependence with U.S. capitalism presents, or the protections that internationalizing Canadian capital also seeks from FTAs and ISDS processes.

Certain strategic conclusions follow from this. First, we need to shift the Canadian economy in a more inward-oriented direction. This doesn’t mean rejecting any involvement in trade, but it does mean diminishing the chase for export of capital and goods and finding local and national mechanisms that block the internationalization of capital and contain global value chains. This especially applies to moving away from the extreme integration of the Canadian economy with that of the U.S., and it equally applies to its corporations and financial institutions as well as to those of the Canadian federal and provincial states.

Second, any such reorientation must address struggles over the state. Protests and advocacy can only get us so far. However militant, they have failed to reorient states away from neoliberal policies or even to check the power of corporations within the existing neoliberal frameworks. The shift from protest to politics we have seen on the left with the rise of new parties like Syriza and Podemos and the insurgencies in old ones like those led by Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders reflects a growing recognition that to protect both workers and the environment requires engaging in such effective electoral channels as are still available at the national level of the nation state since there is no possibility of democratic control at the international level, nor of effective resistance to market pressures locally. The necessary break with existing international trade agreements can only occur with a rupture in the neoliberal state – its political alignments, policies, personnel, and institutions.

Third, we must move toward democratic planning. This must be a two-tracked strategy. It means building workers’ struggles in workplaces and in communities for control over investments in infrastructures and plants and the flows of surplus capital and profits. And it means, if these struggles are at all to be successful, directly struggling over – and entering – the state with an orientation to transforming its institutions and building the capacities to allow for the democratic transformation of the economy, with all this necessarily means in terms of transforming social relations. Only the democratic planning of what is invested, where it is invested, and how it is invested will allow for an escape from the unceasing narrowing of democracy to serving ‘competitiveness’ and the scourges of constant job insecurity, obscene growth in inequality, and aggravation of the environmental crisis that comes with it.

The focal points of democratic planning would be stable and better jobs, steadily improving social services, redistribution of income and wealth, and an ecological transformation to responsible and sustainable production for use not exchange. These are all interrelated. Only planning can possibly deal with the ever greater threats to the environment, since countering this requires a fundamental reorientation of the economy that must include the planned conversion of workplaces, homes, and infrastructure. This, in turn, requires a ‘jobs agenda’ addressed to doing useful and rewarding work for adequate pay, in addition to social programs to fairly address the educational, occupational, and geographic transitions involved in this. But for all this to be possible such planning must be based on democratic public control over the investment of capital, both international and domestic – which is precisely what multilateral and bilateral capitalist trade agreements are above all designed to prevent.

This emphasis on democratic planning at the level of nation state, envisioning a more inward-oriented, ecologically-balanced and socially-solidaristic economy, may strike some as uncomfortably ‘nationalistic’. We certainly cannot be oblivious to the need for international cooperation among states to make capital controls and the democratic decisions over investment effective. But to imagine getting to some abstract internationalism without prior change at the national level is delusional. It is only as each society develops this kind of democratic planning foundation that a new internationalism becomes feasible. Transforming the state at the national level remains the essential base for rejecting the dog-eat-dog world of global capitalism and developing the kind of internationalism that allows for a planned complementarity of trade between economies, and the solidaristic sharing of skills, resources, and technologies.

None of this denies the importance of joining with other progressive movements and allies in Canada, as well as the U.S. and Mexico, to call for an end to NAFTA and working to undo CETA as well as the TPP that the Trudeau government has championed as part of Canada’s unqualified support for ‘free trade’. This will require joint campaigns, in Canada and across all three countries, for abrogation of the Chapter 11 investor protections (and FIPAs more generally) in order to expand popular sovereignty in controlling the socially and ecologically destructive actions of international capital. Similar national and international campaigns need to be taken up in other areas as well, such as the protection of freshwater from bulk water exports, privatization, fracking and effluent discharges. It also requires challenging the Trudeau government’s groveling to accommodate the demands of the Trump administration for military spending increases and NATO interventions in order to assuage the U.S. president on the trade front. Any break from NAFTA that Mexico proposes, which will be led by the Mexican left, must be met with solidarity from Canadian workers and movements against the opposition and sabotage that would inevitably come from both American and Canadian capital.

That socialists today don’t now have anywhere near the collective power to seriously engage in democratic planning isn’t a reason to despair. It is rather a matter of explicitly recognizing that the key issue for us is not the contradictions in the workings of capitalism but in our collective failure to organize ourselves to build that requisite capacity. This isn’t a matter of setting immediate issues like confronting NAFTA aside. It is a matter of emphasizing that in opposing all such international treaties that place corporate rights and freedoms above all others, we consistently place such opposition in the larger context of challenging capitalism, and then get on with the most ambitious organizational task of building the capacities and institutions adequate for engaging in that longer term battle.

Posted in USA, MexicoComments Off on Trumping NAFTA: Free Trade versus Democratic Planning

Mexican Workers March in Protest at NAFTA Renegotiations

NOVANEWS
  • NAFTA has frequently been criticized by labor activists for reportedly lowering wages, hurting agriculture profits and eliminating workplace protections across North America.
    NAFTA has frequently been criticized by labor activists for reportedly lowering wages, hurting agriculture profits and eliminating workplace protections across North America. | Photo: EFE
Trade unions believe they have a right to know the terms and conditions of the NAFTA renegotiations, which they claim are inaccessible.

Mexican workers representing broad sections of their country’s labor force are marching in Mexico City against renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA.

RELATED: NAFTA Renegotiation Talks Arrive Amid Diverging Interests, Neoliberal Goals

The National Association of Farmers Marketing Companies called on all social sectors to participate, labeling diplomatic sessions held in Washington this week to change the tri-national trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States an “undemocratic process.”

Protesters representing the National Union of Workers, the Union of Telephone Operators of the Mexican Republic, the Union of Workers of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the National Guild of Education Workers and the Mexican Electricians Union began demonstrations at 10 a.m. local time.

The labor groups are pushing for “a new cooperation and complementarity agreement.”

Demonstrators were seen holding signs bearing the words “The TLC (NAFTA) hurts you, Mexico is better without the TLC” as they marched towards the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Trade union leaders said they have a right to know the terms and conditions of the NAFTA renegotiations, claiming that they are not properly represented by the Confederation of Mexican Workers and the Labor Congress.

Mexican Senator Marcela Guerra Castillo, however, claimed her country will ensure that Mexican workers will be represented in the first round of NAFTA renegotiations.

“Mexican interests and workers’ rights must be put before the benefits of the commercial agreement directly benefit society, above any other interest, whether private or group,” Guerra Castillo said.

NAFTA has frequently been criticized by labor activists for reportedly lowering wages, hurting agriculture profits and eliminating workplace protections across North America.

Posted in USA, MexicoComments Off on Mexican Workers March in Protest at NAFTA Renegotiations

Canada’s NDP backs American Empire

NOVANEWS
By Yves Engler 

Does the NDP consistently support a foreign policy that benefits ordinary people around the world? Or does the social democratic party often simply fall in line with whatever the American Empire demands?

Hélène Laverdière certainly seems to support the US-led geopolitical order. While the NDP foreign critic has called for stronger arms control measures and regulations on Canada’s international mining industry, she’s aligned with the Empire on issues ranging from Venezuela to Palestine, Ukraine to Syria.

Echoing Washington and Ottawa, Laverdière recently attacked the Venezuelan government. “On the heels of Sunday’s illegitimate constituent assembly vote, it’s more important than ever for Canada to work with our allies and through multilateral groups like the OAS to secure a lasting resolution to the crisis,” she told the CBC.

But, the constituent assembly vote wasn’t “illegitimate”. Venezuela’s current constitution empowers the president to call a constituent assembly to draft a new one. If the population endorses the revised constitution in a referendum, the president – and all other governmental bodies – are legally required to follow the new constitutional framework.

Additionally, calling on Ottawa to “work with our allies” through the OAS may sound reasonable, but in practice it means backing Trudeau’s efforts to weaken Venezuela through that body. Previously, Laverdière promoted that Washington-led policy. In a June 2016 press release bemoaning “the erosion of democracy” and the need for Ottawa to “defend democracy in Venezuela”, Laverdière said “the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro has invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter regarding Venezuela, and Canada, as a member of the OAS, should support his efforts.” But, the former Uruguayan Foreign Minister’s actions as head of the OAS have been highly controversial. They even prompted Almagro’s past boss, former Uruguayan president José Mujica, to condemn his biasagainst the Venezuelan government.

Laverdière has also cozied up to pro-Israel groups. Last year she spoke to the notorious anti-Palestinian lobby organization American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Months after AIPAC paid for her to speak at their conference in Washington, Laverdière visited Israel with Canada’s governor general, even participating in a ceremony put on by the explicitly racist Jewish National Fund.

The only Quebec MP to endorse Jagmeet Singh as next party leader, Laverdière has attended other events put on by groups aligned with Washington. She publicized and spoke to the weirdly themed “Demonstration for human and democratic rights in Venezuela, in solidarity with Ukraine and Syria.”

Laverdière supports deploying troops to the Russian border and repeatedly called for more sanctions on that country. She said the plan to send military trainers to the Ukraine “sounds good in principle” and only called for a debate in Parliament about sending 450 Canadians to head up a 1,000-strong NATO force in Latvia.

Since 2014 Laverdière has repeatedly called for stronger sanctions on Russia. In 2014 Laverdière told the Ottawa Citizen that “for sanctions to work, it’s not about the number of people but it’s about actually sanctioning the right people. They have to be comprehensive. And they have to target mainly the people who are very close to Putin. Our sanctions, the Canadian sanctions, still fail to do that.”

In May Laverdière applauded a bill modeled after the US Magnitsky Act that will further strain relations between Ottawa and Moscow by sanctioning Russian officials. “Several countries have adopted similar legislation and we are encouraged that the Liberals are finally taking this important step to support the Global Magnitsky movement,” she said.

In another region where the US and Russia were in conflict Laverdière aligned with the Washington-Riyadh position. In the midst of growing calls for the US to impose a “no-fly zone” on Syria last year, the NDP’s foreign critic recommended Canada nominate the White Helmets for the Nobel Peace Prize. A letter Laverdière co-wrote to foreign minister Stéphane Dion noted: Canada has a proud and long-standing commitment to human rights, humanitarianism and international peacekeeping. It is surely our place to recognize the selflessness, bravery, and fundamental commitment to human dignity of these brave women and men.”

Also known as the Syrian Civil Defence, the White Helmets were credited with rescuing many people from bombed out buildings. But, they also fostered opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime. The White Helmets operated almost entirely in areas of Syria occupied by the Saudi Arabia–Washington backed Al Nusra/Al Qaeda rebels. They criticized the Syrian government and disseminated images of its violence, but largely ignored those people targeted by the opposition and reportedly enabled some of their executions.

The White Helmets are closely associated with the Syria Campaign, which was set up by Ayman Asfari, a British billionaire of Syrian descent actively opposed to Assad. The White Helmets also received at least $23 million from USAID and Global Affairs Canada sponsored a five-city White Helmets tour of Canada in late 2016.

Early in the Syrian conflict Laverdière condemned the Harper government for failing to take stronger action against Assad. She urged Harper to raise the Syrian conflict with China, recall Canada’s ambassador to Syria and complained that energy giant Suncor was exempted from sanctions, calling on Canada to “put our money where our mouth is.”

Prior to running in the 2011 federal election Laverdière worked for Foreign Affairs. She held a number of Foreign Affairs positions over a decade, even winning the Foreign Minister’s Award for her contribution to Canadian foreign policy.

Laverdière was chummy with Harper’s foreign minister. John Baird said, “I’m getting to know Hélène Laverdière and I’m off to a good start with her” and when Baird retired CBC reported that she was “among the first to line up in the House on Tuesday to hug the departing minister.”

On a number of issues the former Canadian diplomat has aligned with the US Empire. Whoever takes charge of the NDP in October should think about whether Laverdière is the right person to keep Canadian foreign policy decision makers accountable.

Posted in CanadaComments Off on Canada’s NDP backs American Empire

Palestinians, B’nai Brith and Canada’s New Democratic Party

NOVANEWS

Niki Ashton injects vital ideas and principles into the NDP leadership campaign

Niki Ashton. Image credit: Matt Jiggins/ flickr
By Prof. Tony Hall 

Like many NATO countries, Canada has suffered from an impoverishment of free and open debate when it comes to the issue of relations with the Israeli government and the Palestinian people. In country after country the Israeli lobby dominates not only governing parties but opposition parties as well.

The Canadian Parliament has epitomized the pattern. Elected federal officials have conspicuously failed to reflect the anxieties felt by many Canadians of conscience who have managed to become well informed on Palestinian-Israeli relations. There has been little in Canadian parliamentary debates or in mainstream media reports to reflect the views of those most attuned to the unmitigated suffering of Palestinian people under the jack-booted authoritarianism of Israeli domination.

In recent years the Liberals and Conservatives and the New Democrats (NDP) have maintained a blind eye towards Israeli assaults on the Palestinian people especially in Gaza and in the Occupied Territories seized through Israeli conquest a half century ago. Typically Canadian parliamentarians parrot one another across party lines on the sanctity of the “Israeli right of self-defence.” Concurrently our elected representatives mostly fail to notice that Palestinians share with all peoples a basic human right to protect themselves against systematic bouts of dispossession, disempowerment, mass incarcerations, and industrial-scale military murders sometimes heartlessly described as “cutting the grass.”

In 2016 Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined with the Conservative Party of Canada in backing a motion to condemn all groups and individuals supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at penalizing Israel for its anti-Palestinian infractions. Only one federal party, the diminutive Bloc Québécois, has openly argued that “the BDS campaign constitutes legitimate criticism of Israeli policies.

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Tom Mulcair. Image credit: United Steelworkers/ flickr

In the prelude to the federal election of 2015 Tom Mulcair, the leader of the party that is supposed to embody Canadian social democracy, highlighted his own attachment to Zionist extremism by purging the New Democratic Party of federal candidates who expressed support for Palestinian rights. For Mulcair, those seeking to represent the NDP under his leadership were punished for noticing that the United Nations agencies had accused the Israeli Defence Force of “war crimes” in the military invasions of Gaza in 2009 and 2014.

The NDP’s venerable veteran parliamentarian, Libby Davies, was an early casualty of Tom Mulcair’s marked bias in taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Other casualties included Morgan Wheeldon, Jerry Natanine and Paul Manly, the son of long-serving NDP parliamentarian and United Church clergyman, James Manly. The son’s alleged crime was to have called for the release of his father from custody after the elder Manly was arrested in a Finnish ship carrying humanitarian supplies through the Israeli-enforced blockade encircling Gaza.

B’nai Brith Canada versus NDP Leadership Candidate, Niki Ashton

Is the conformist complacency in the glum parliamentary proceedings concerning Palestine and Israel about to come to an end? Perhaps that change will occur if a spark of controversy in the NDP leadership race ignites wider debate on such crucial issues of Canadian public policy.

The contest to replace Tom Mulcair is showing signs of vibrancy that began with a clash of interpretations pitting NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton’s pro-Palestinian politics against B’nai Brith Canada. B’nai Brith Canada is the local extension of the US and Israeli-based Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

Ms. Ashton represents a huge and largely Aboriginal riding in the northern part of the Canadian province of Manitoba. As many see it, Ms. Ashton’s convictions concerning the importance of Palestinian rights are a natural extension of her representation in Parliament of so many Indian and Metis people. In both Canada and the Middle East, Indigenous peoples share similar perspectives on the incursions of newcomers bent on asserting ownership and control over their Aboriginal lands.

The conflict between Niki Ashton and B’nai Brith Canada has much to do with how disparate perceptions of history impinge on contemporary politics. The nub of the current dispute has to do with Palestinian perceptions of the founding acts of the new Jewish state in 1948 as a “catastrophe,” as the “Nakba” in Arabic. The Palestinian view of the Nabka is very close to the Jewish perception of the Shoah. Shoah is the Hebrew term to identify the disaster engulfing European Jewry during World War II.

In 1998 Yasser Arafat instituted May 15 as Nakba Day. The timing was meant as a response to the annual commemoration on May 14 of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. As many Palestinians see it, the founding of Israel led to the initial violent displacement of about 700,000 of their people, almost half of the Palestinian population at that time.

Deir Yassin ca7a1

The horror of the Israeli military assault was epitomized by the murderous atrocities committed at Deir Yassin of the Irgun and Lehi militias. Led by a future Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin, Irgun and Lehi had been instrumental in displacing the British administrators of colonial Palestine through a hugely publicized act of international terrorism at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946.

In reflecting on this history, NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton announced on her Facebook page,

For more than 60 years, Palestine has been struggling to simply exist. Many in our country have been fighting in solidarity for many years. This week in Montreal I was honoured to stand with many in remembering the Nakba. It was also powerful to join many at a rally in solidarity with those on hunger strike in Palestine today. The NDP must be a voice for human rights, for peace and justice in the Middle East. I am inspired by all those who in our country are part of this struggle for justice.

Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, responded as follows to Ms. Ashton’s actions and comments. In a Toronto Sun opinion piece Mr. Mostyn observed,

The re-emergence of the Jewish State in 1948 is a miraculous story of indigenous survival and resilience, not a “catastrophe” to be mourned.

Mr. Mostyn’s rejection of the Nakba narrative harkens back to many similar divergences when it comes to the position of Indigenous peoples on a variety of commemorations in the colonized world. Not surprisingly, Native groups often have severe problems and reservations when they are asked to join in anniversary celebrations of, say, 1492, or 1776, or 1867.

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Michael Mostyn doing in interview with Christina Stevens, 2016. Image courtesy of Twitter

Not satisfied to stop at insisting that the founding of the Jewish State must be universally embraced, even by the Palestinians, as a “miraculous” event to be lauded, he goes on to attempt to turn the tables on groups he clearly sees as classes of criminals. Mr. Mostyn thereby seeks to transform the Palestinian memory of the Nakba into the lionization of an Israeli military campaign to clear aside the human obstacles to Israeli ascendance. He writes,

Had Jewish forces not prevailed [in 1948], the likely result would have been another genocide of the land’s Jewish inhabitants, just after the Holocaust, by invading Arab armies who had sworn to exterminate them.

In a news item on B’nai Brith Canada’s own web site Mr. Mostyn adds

To suggest that we should commemorate and mourn the Arab world’s inability to successfully commit a genocide against the Jewish people is beyond comprehension.

In her Facebook post Ms. Ashton combined her comments on the Nakba with a reference to Palestinian hunger strikers currently making their stand throughout the elaborate Israeli prison system. Mr. Mostyn treats this act of protest with contempt. He accuses Ms. Ashton of joining in solidarity with “convicted murders,” with her “advocating for vile terrorists.” The B’nai Brith CEO fails to mention in his remarks on the hunger strike that many of the thousands of jailed Palestinians are being held for months and even for years under “administrative detention certificates.” They have been jailed but not charged with any crime.

Mr. Mostyn concludes by condemning Ms. Ashton as the possessor of “a defective moral compass.” He asserts

Ms. Ashton’s comments are a shocking and insulting departure from the traditional position of her party and those of mainstream Canadians…. Every Canadian, and every honest NDP supporter, should be shocked by Ashton’s ignorance, callousness, and blatant double-standards… Her ignorance as to the reality of the situation in Israel, particularly when it comes to the hunger strike of convicted murderers, is alarming from someone aspiring to be leader of this country.

Who Is Out of Step with the Opinions of Mainstream Canada?

Yves Engler has closely studied the controversy and concluded that it has worked in the favour of Niki Ashton’s leadership campaign and against the credibility of B’nai Brith Canada. He observes that the B’nai Brith backed down once it realized that its interest in Ms. Ashton’s politics was feeding a broader discussion rather than discrediting its target. Engler writes,

Their silence on Ashton’s recent moves is deafening. B’nai B’rith is effectively conceding that their previous attacks backfired and they now fear drawing further attention to Ashton’s position since it would likely strengthen her standing among those voting for the next NDP leader.

Reflecting on the experience Engler observes,

The first ever pregnant major party leadership candidate in Canadian political history has gained this support by speaking truth to power and taking a principled position on an issue most politicians have shied away from. And, she has demonstrated that the purpose of Israeli nationalist attacks is to silence them, not to have a debate. In fact, real debate is what organizations like B’nai B’rith fear the most because the more people know about Israel and the Occupied Territories, the more they support the Palestinian cause.

https://electronicintifada.net/content/why-canadas-ndp-supporting-israeli-racism/20576

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/yves-engler/ndp-foreign-policy_b_15430872.html

The injection of Israeli and Palestinian issues into the NDP leadership campaign is a promising development that is attracting considerable attention domestically and internationally. This turn of events holds out the promise of bringing the parliamentary facet of Canadian social democracy more into line with the existing Middle East policies of agencies like the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux, the Canadian Labour Congress and student groups like the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.

The enthusiasm generated by open debate is proving to be infectious. About 80 prominent academics and community activists have come up with an open letter urging the NDP to formulate a more balanced, enlightened and intelligent Middle East policy. Among those who signed the document are Noam Chomsky and former UN special rapporteur on Israel-Palestine, Prof. Richard Falk. The letter concludes with a list of proposals indicating,

WE propose that the New Democratic Party of Canada commit to the following, both in opposition and in government:

1. condemning Israeli settlements as a violation of international law and as an impediment to a just resolution;

2. calling upon the State of Israel to halt any further settlement construction, respect the political and civil rights of its Palestinian citizens, pursue a fair solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees, lift its blockade on Gaza and end its military occupation of the Palestinian Territories;

3. calling upon legitimate representatives of the State of Israel and the Palestinian people to negotiate in good faith a just resolution that respects the spirit and intentions of UNGA Resolution 194 and UNSC Resolution 242;

4. pursuing and supporting the use of diplomatic and economic means to exert pressure on the State of Israel in such a manner as to achieve a just resolution. This includes:

> using Canada’s stature and position in the international community to push for meaningful progress on the topic of Israel and Palestine

> renegotiating the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement in such a manner as to divert from the Canadian market any product made in Israeli settlements

> suspending security trade and cooperation between Canada and Israel indefinitely and until the Gaza siege is lifted, the occupation ends and a just peace is achieved

> revoking the tax-exempt status of any organization operating within Canada that is known to financially support or benefit from Israel’s military occupation

> requesting that the International Criminal Court give greater attention to the situation in Israel and Palestine

> recognizing the State of Palestine

B’nai Brith Canada accuses Ms. Ashton of making “a shocking and insulting departure from the traditional position of her party and those of mainstream Canadians.” Yves Engler and others conclude otherwise. They allege it is B’nai Brith Canada that is increasingly out of step with mainstream opinion of well informed Canadians.

I agree. Certainly I continue to be dismayed at B’nai Brith Canada’s deployment of the hate speech deceptions of Joshua Goldbergin the initiation of a campaign of smear and disinformation against me. The campaign began with a publicity stunt based on the planting on my Facebook wall of a reprehensible Facebook post whose origins go back not to me but to Joshua Goldberg and quite possibly to B’nai Brith Canada and related agencies.

Some explanations are in order from the responsible parties. The time is past when Mr. Mostyn can play the victim card when the B’nai Brith is so deeply implicated in hate speech victimization of others. To accuse an attractive and rising social democratic politician like Niki Ashton of “advocating for vile terrorists” is a blasphemy of a high order. Taking the side of oppressed groups over the side of their oppressors is not only legitimate but laudable in the context of these dangerous times through which we are living.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, CanadaComments Off on Palestinians, B’nai Brith and Canada’s New Democratic Party

Free trade’ has come to mean powerful interests get whatever they want

NOVANEWS
By Yves Engler 

“Free trade” has become a euphemism for “whatever power wants,” no matter how tangentially tied to transferring goods across international borders.

In an extreme example, Ottawa recently said its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Israel trumps Canada’s Food and Drugs Act since accurately labelling two wines might undermine a half-century long, illegal, military occupation.

Of little connection to international trade, the North American Free Trade Agreement — and subsequent FTAs — has granted foreign corporations the ability to bypass domestic courts and sue governments in secret tribunals for pursuing policies that interfere with their profit making. Over 75 cases have been brought before the Investor State Dispute Settlement section of NAFTA, which has resulted in tens of millions of dollars paid to companies impacted by Ottawa banning the export of toxic PCB wastes or the import of suspected neurotoxin gasoline additive MMT.

Strengthening this dynamic, Canada’s “free trade” deal with the European Union (CETA) empowers companies to sue municipalities if they expand public services. For instance, a municipality unhappy with private water delivery could face a suit if they tried to remunicipalize (or de-privatize) this service.

CETA, TPP, WTO and other self-described “free trade” agreements also extend patent and copyright protections (monopolies), which stifle competition, a pillar of free trade ideology. CETA’s increased patent protections are expected to drive up already high Canadian pharmaceutical drug costs by between $850 million and $1.65 billion a year. Negotiations to “modernize NAFTA” could end up granting big pharma perks that would effectively block Canada’s ability to set up universal pharmacare. Similarly, the yet to be signed TPP strengthens patents and would increase the length of copyright in Canada from 50 to 70 years after the death of an author.

It is little exaggeration to say politicians have come to employ the term “free trade” to mean “whatever powerful corporations want.” But, the Trudeau Liberals recently broadened the term’s definition even further. In a move to make “free trade” mean “whatever powerful interests want,” they announced that Canada’s FTA with Israel supercedes this country’s Food and Drugs Act.

After David Kattenburg repeatedly complained about inaccurate labels on two wines sold in Ontario, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) notified the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) that it “would not be acceptable and would be considered misleading” to declare Israel as the country of origin for wines produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Quoting from official Canadian policy, CFIA noted that “the government of Canada does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967.”

In response to pressure from the Israeli embassy, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and B’nai Brith, CFIA quickly reversed its decision. “We did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement,” a terse CFIA statement explained. “These wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.”

In other words, the government is publicly proclaiming that the FTA trumps Canada’s consumer protections. But, this is little more than a pretext to avoid a conflict with B’nai B’rith, CIJA and Israeli officials, according to Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Trade and Investment Research Project director Scott Sinclair. “This trade-related rationale does not stand up to scrutiny,” Sinclair writes. “The Canadian government, the CFIA and the LCBO are well within their legal and trade treaty rights to insist that products from the occupied territories be clearly labelled as such. There is nothing in the CIFTA [Canada–Israel FTA] that prevents this. The decision to reverse the CFIA’s ruling was political. The whole trade argument is a red herring, simply an excuse to provide cover for the CFIA to backtrack under pressure.”

In another commentary on the government “backtracking under pressure,” Peter Larson points out that CIFTA grants Israel an important concession that seeks to sidestep Canada’s commitments under international law. The agreement says, “unless otherwise specified, ‘territory’ means with respect to Israel the territory where its customs laws are applied,” but omits “in accordance with international law,” which is in many of Canada’s other free trade agreements. This omission seeks to allow goods produced on land occupied in contravention of the 4th Geneva Convention and Statute of Rome to benefit from CIFTA.

David Kattenburg and his lawyer Dmitri Lascaris will be challenging CFIA’s decision in court. On Monday they filed an appeal of the wine labelling and released a statement to the media.

The Council of Canadians and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives have recently added their voices to those criticizing CFIA’s decision. The NDP’s trade critic has yet to comment.

Kattenburg and Lascaris’ court challenge offers NDP leadership candidates Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron and Jagmeet Singh a good opportunity to express their opposition to defining “free trade” as “whatever power wants.”

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, CanadaComments Off on Free trade’ has come to mean powerful interests get whatever they want

Canada enables Barrick’s bad corporate behaviour

NOVANEWS
By Yves Engler 

Will the Canadian government continue to support Barrick Gold’s exploitation of mineral resources in Tanzania no matter what abuses the company commits?

Would the Trudeau government stop backing the Toronto-based firm if it bilked the impoverished nation out of $10 billion? Or, what if one thousand people were raped and seriously injured by Barrick security? Would Ottawa withdraw its support if one hundred Tanzanians were killed at its mines?

Barrick’s African subsidiary, Acacia Mining, is embroiled in a major political conflict in the east African nation. With growing evidence of its failure to pay royalties and tax, Acacia has been condemned by the president, had its exports restricted and slapped with a massive tax bill.

In May a government panel concluded that Acacia significantly under-reported the percentage of gold and copper in mineral sand concentrates it exported. The next month a government commission concluded that foreign mining firms’ failure to declare revenues had cost Tanzania $100 billion. According to the research, from 1998 to March 2017 the Tanzanian government lost between 68.6 trillion and 108.5 trillion shillings in revenue from mineral concentrates.

The controversy over Barrick’s exports led President John Magufuli to fire the minister of mining and the board of the Minerals Audit Agency. Tanzania’s parliament has also voted to review mining contracts and to block companies from pursuing the country in international trade tribunals.

While the political battle over royalty payments grows, human rights violations continue unabated at Barrick’s North Mara mine. A recent MiningWatch fact-finding mission discovered that “new cases have come to light of serious un-remedied harm related to encounters between victims and mine security and police who guard the mine under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the companies involved and the Tanzanian Police Force. New cases documented in June 2017 include: loss of limbs, loss of eyesight, broken bones, internal injuries, children hit by flying blast rocks, and by teargas grenades thrown by mine security as they chase so-called intruders into the nearby villages. As in past years, villagers reported severe debilitating beatings, commonly with gun butts and wooden batons. Some are seriously wounded by teargas ‘bombs,’ or by so-called rubber bullets. Others are shot, including from behind. As in past years there were a number of deaths.”

At least 22 people have been killed and 69 injured near or at the North Mara mine since 2014. Most of the victims were impoverished villagers who scratch rocks for tiny bits of gold and who often mined these territories prior to Barrick’s arrival. An early 2016 government report found security and police paid by Barrick had killed 65 people and injured 270 at North Mara since 2006. Tanzanian human rights groups estimate as many 300 mine-related deaths and the Financial Times reports that not a single police officer or security guard working for the company has been killed on duty.

Amidst the violence at North Mara and an escalating battle over unpaid tax, Canada’s High Commissioner set up a meeting between Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton and President Magufuli. After accompanying Barrick’s head to the encounter in Dar es Salaam Ian Myles told the press:

Canada is very proud that it expects all its companies to respect the highest standards, fairness and respect for laws and corporate social responsibility. We know that Barrick is very much committed to those values.

Appointed by Trudeau last year, Myles – whose “passion for international development began” when he was 17, according to a University of Toronto profile – took a page out of Stephen Harper’s playbook. During a 2007 trip to Chile the former prime minister responded to protests against various ecological and human rights abuses at the firm’s Pascua Lama project by saying: “Barrick follows Canadian standards of corporate social responsibility.”

A Tanzania Business Ethics columnist was not happy with the High Commissioner’s intervention. In response, Samantha Cole wrote:

It is so insulting that these Canadians and British still think they can trick us with their fancy nonsense ‘spin’ politics and dishonesty. What values is Barrick committed to? Have our nation not witnessed with our own eyes killings? rape? arson and burning our homes? destruction to our environment? poison in our water? corruption? fraud? hundreds of legal cases with local Tanzanian companies who are abused, bullied and suffer? and the list goes on. What ‘values’ is Ambassador Myles boasting about? How dishonest and unethical to stand there and lie about values. He should rather say NOTHING because every country where Barrick operates has a long, long list of illegal activities and crimes.

Disregarding its election promise, the Trudeau government is openly throwing this country’s diplomatic weight behind Canada’s most controversial mining company in the country where it has committed its worst abuses. When asked about Canada’s massive international mining industry during the election the party responded:

The Liberal Party of Canada shares Canadians’ concerns about the actions of some Canadian mining companies operating overseas and has long been fighting for transparency, accountability and sustainability in the mining sector.

The Liberals’ statement included explicit support for An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries, which would have withheld some diplomatic and financial support from companies found responsible for significant abuses abroad. Similarly, the Liberals released a letter about the mining sector during the 2015 election that noted, “a Liberal government will set up an independent ombudsman office to advice Canadian companies, consider complaints made against them and investigate those complaints where it is deemed warranted.”

Nearly two years into their mandate the Trudeau regime has yet to follow through on any of their promises to rein in Canada’s controversial international mining sector. In fact, the Liberals have largely continued Harper’s aggressive support for mining companies.

If they are prepared to openly back Barrick in Tanzania one wonders what exactly a firm would have to do to lose Trudeau’s support?

Posted in Canada, TunisiaComments Off on Canada enables Barrick’s bad corporate behaviour

Anthony Hall academic freedom court case begins August 8th – Open Letter to University President Mike Mahon

NOVANEWS

Here is Andrew Blair’s terrific open letter on academic freedom in general, and the Tony Hall case in particular.

– – –

An Open Letter to Pres. Mike Mahon on His Suspension of Academic Freedom in Alberta Canada, written and sent by Andrew Blair, Ph.D.

The lines of the contention are drawn on the eve of court proceedings beginning on August 8.

4 Aug. 2017

Dr. Mike Mahon,

President and Vice-Provost,

University of Lethbridge, Alberta Canada

Dear. Dr. Mahon;

I have always found universities to be the most wonderful of places. There is always so much going on, so much to do, and so much to learn. And, best of all, they normally encourage critical thought.

I see that the university has recently established a School of Liberal Education, and I whole-heartedly support its aims. But I find it baffling and very upsetting that the university administration is at the same time undermining Canadian democracy. I am sure that neither you nor anyone in the administration is intending to do this, but I think you are. How so?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. While these freedoms are not unlimited they can only be limited, according to Section 1 of the Charter, by “such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

These fundamental freedoms are not cast off upon entering the workplace, especially not tax-supported workplaces engaged in education. In suspending Professor Hall, you have kept him out of the classroom, thus suppressing his freedom of expression and opposing his conscientious attempt to defend the oppressed of the world. In addition, I have reason to believe that you have augmented the intimidation that other academics feel, resulting in self-censorship.

I imagine that you believe that the actions that the university administration has taken do place justifiable limits on Professor Hall’s fundamental freedoms. If “anti-Semitic” were an accurate description of Professor Hall’s views it would indeed provide some support for such a limitation. But a very warped understanding of prejudice is required in order to make the description fit. It is akin to accusing someone of being anti-Christian because they say that residential schools were responsible for sexual abuse.

Moreover, it astonishes me that the complaint against Professor Hall to the Alberta Human Rights Commission makes claims which purport to be facts that take the side against Muslims, thus maligning them as a religious group in a far more stereotyping way than anything Professor Hall has said about Jewish people. For example, the complaint simply states, as if it were an established fact, that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were committed by “Islamic terrorists”.  (Here is a partial image of the complaint.) This is a widespread belief propagated by the U.S. government, but how do we know it is true? Are you able to cite some peer-reviewed articles that offer evidence for the belief? Are there peer-reviewed articles which grapple with the counter-evidence?

Aside from the prejudicial assumptions of the complaint, the logic is faulty. It supposes that if “Islamic terrorists” did 9/11 then the Israeli government was not involved. The term “Islamic terrorist” is an overly vague stereotype and the conclusion is a non sequitur. One plausible scenario, not envisaged by the complaint, is that the 19 9/11 hijackers, from Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, were CIA assets labelled “Islamic terrorists”, used by deep state agents within the U.S. and Israeli governments as patsies in a false flag operation.

Until universities have given all arguments about 9/11 a fair hearing, including those to which Professor Hall subscribes, the public cannot know whether the official narrative is true. The very action you have taken against Professor Hall undermines the possibility of arriving at knowledge about this with even a minimal degree of certainty.

It is utterly against the spirit of democracy for a university to pronounce without evidence on a matter such as this, and then suppress the voice of those who have a different view. How can the truth emerge if some of the arguments are forbidden? Surely universities should endorse no institutional position about such matters, but encourage respectful dialogue, and defend the academic community against all who engage in character assassination.

The conflict between the university administration and Professor Hall is not merely a tempest at the University of Lethbridge. It is an episode in the development ofinverted totalitarianism,” to use a term coined by the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin. Such a political system pays lip service to freedom and democracy, while at the same time undermining it by management of public perception.

This tempest is not a matter of academic interest only. Lives are at stake. In this connection I refer you to an opinion piece of mine, titled Peace, Democracy and Academic Freedom, that was published in the Lethbridge Herald. It mentions that tens of millions have been killed in the post-9/11 wars in the Middle East. I did not arbitrarily make up this up. The source is Gideon Polya’s estimates, which include avoidable deaths caused by war, and not just deaths caused by direct violence.

I do not blame you if you do not see this tempest as I do, but my challenge to you is that you find a way to restore the reputation of the University of Lethbridge as a place of academic freedom, as identified as such in the Destination 2020 vision and strategy statement. I have a suggestion about how to do this. Hold a conference at the university, titled something like this: “Sifting Truth from Falsehood in Competing Conspiracy Theories: The Role of Academic Freedom and Responsibility”. (The official narrative of 9/11 is, itself, a theory about a conspiracy.)

If anyone else has some suggestions please feel free to make a comment on this letter. You could reply by email, but I would prefer that you make your comment public by posting in the comment box below this post of this email.

For anyone who wants more background on this case you could go to the home page of Academic Freedom and Responsibility. This site is being constructed by me and it is still under construction. My apologies to anyone who finds its structure to be confusing.

The opinion piece, Peace, Democracy and Academic Freedom, published on July 15, 2017 in the Lethbridge Herald, is very much related to this open letter. It makes the point that leaders of democratic countries are tempted to deceive the public when they want to go to war but the populace wants peace. Academic freedom provides a crucial constraint on this temptation.

If you are interested in pursuing still more detailed ideas about all this, you might want to look at my response to Gabrielle Brenner, who commented on a post of Professor O’Donnell’s.

Once again, President Mahon, I urge you to change course and uphold the principles which underpin democratic decision making. At this point changing course may be very difficult, but it is still possible to snatch integrity from the jaws of confusion. Why not have a conference in which the university community itself can address the issue of academic freedom and responsibility? We might all learn a lot from each other.


P.S. For those cc’d on this open letter, I am trying to draw attention here to the relation of academic freedom to democratic decision making, but there is an additional issue that the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association is trying to address: the obligation to fulfil contractual agreements.

In this connection I see that the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association has published a notice of a public court hearing on Aug. 8, 2017, at 2:00 pm. The Board of Governors is arguing that there should be a judicial review of Alberta’s Post-Secondary Learning Act, which they regard as giving the president the right to suspend Professor Hall without following the procedures laid down in the Faculty Handbook. But an arbitrator has already been appointed by the Alberta Labour Relations Board to resolve the matter, and so the Board seeks a stay of the arbitration process until the judicial review has been completed. The faculty association is arguing that there should be no stay granted, and that there is no need to review the law at all.

Sincerely,

Andrew Blair, PhD.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CanadaComments Off on Anthony Hall academic freedom court case begins August 8th – Open Letter to University President Mike Mahon

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