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Queer visions at the World Social Forum: Free Palestine

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On Saturday 1 December, at the final general assembly of the World Social Forum: Free Palestine -- the first time this annual gathering of the global justice movement had devoted a special Forum to the cause of Palestine -- the Queer Visions delegation presented a statement targeting pinkwashing.

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Noam Chomsky: On the UN Palestine vote and recent violence in Gaza

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An old man in Gaza held a placard that reads: "You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back." 

The old man's message provides the proper context for the timelines on the latest episode in the savage punishment of Gaza. They are useful, but any effort to establish a "beginning" cannot help but be misleading.

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Why the World Bank should take its own advice on climate change

The annual UN climate talks are getting underway this week in Doha, Qatar, and so we will be featuring a number of articles looking at the planetary emergency of global warming. Yesterday, Bill Henderson looked at the latest PR offensive from the oil industry and the lack of action by the Canadian government to prevent global warming. For a complete selection of our articles on climate change, check out our Environment issues page here

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Open letter on Gaza: End lethal Israeli attacks, lift the blockade

We the undersigned watch with horror yet another ruthless and criminal Israeli  assault on the defenceless people of the Gaza Strip. The assassination of the  Hamas' military commander, Ahmad al-Jabari, by Israel was intended to disrupt any chance for a permanent cease fire between the two sides and caused the current cycle of  violence. For the last five years al-Jabari had been responsible for limiting rocket attacks on Israel.

The inaction of the Western governments is further proof of their indifference to their electorates’ wish to stop Israel from perpetrating yet another massacre against the Palestinian people.

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Propaganda in the mail: The Canadian government and Iran

The other day, when I picked up my mail as usual, I found something most unusual. It was a letter from a member of Stephen Harper's cabinet and the conservative Member of Parliament for my riding in Toronto, Joe Oliver.

But the page did not contain a single word of Mr. Oliver's on it. Instead, both sides of the single page letter were filled by a reprint of a September 8, 2012 National Post article by former George Bush speech writer David Frum. The article was called 'Good Riddance to Iranian Diplomats,' and was a defence of the Canadian government's recent expulsion of all Iranian diplomats from Ottawa.

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Torture survivors take complaint to UN about Canada's failure to prosecute George W. Bush

Protest against George Bush's 2011 visit to Surrey, B.C. (Photo: AmnestyUSA)

Wednesday, four men who were detained and tortured by U.S. forces in Guantánamo and Afghanistan are filing a petition with the United Nations' Committee against Torture in Geneva. But the petition is not against the United States, as you might expect. Instead, the men seek to hold Canada responsible for its refusal to investigate or prosecute George W. Bush for torture when the former president visited British Columbia last year.

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Afghan-Canadians tell the real story behind Remembrance Day protest

Photo: Laila Rashidie and Suraia Sahar

On November 11, 2012 we attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at Old City Hall in Toronto as an Afghan anti-war presence. Some sections of the conservative media have inaccurately portrayed our identity, action and purpose. We are Afghan-Canadian women peace activists with a voice that can stand for itself. We have a message which cannot be silenced by such tactics to censor and demonize us.

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Five ways the new anti-mask Bill C-309 will affect activists and civil liberties

Riot police in Vancouver at 2010 Olympics. There will be no ban on these masks.

Bill C-309 is the latest attempt by the Harper Government to strangle dissent. 

Put forward by Alberta Wildrose backbencher MP Blake Richards, the Bill is an amendment to the Criminal Code. Specifically, it makes it illegal to wear a mask at an "unlawful" protest, a crime now punishable with a decade-long jail sentence. 

Richards has gone on the record defending his Private Members Bill as a well-intentioned response to the Vancouver Riots, stating in the House of Commons that "this tool in no way restricts citizens' rights to expression or assembly. In fact, it serves to strengthen them."

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Noam Chomsky: Impressions of Gaza, the world's largest open-air prison

Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world's largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified.

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Abuse and exploitation inherent to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker program

As scandals rock the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program, the federal government will begin a program wide review. Though the government hinted at it, they did not mention the endemic abuse that is inherent in the TFW program, and the global treatment of migrant workers. 

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