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Protesters invade British government office over tar sands trade deal

On Friday morning, a group of protesters invaded Britain's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and are demanding a meeting with Stephen Green, the new minister for trade. Calling themselves the "Big Society Trade Negotiators," they are concerned that trade negotiations between the EU and Canada, due to start in Brussels on Monday, will dramatically boost Europe's involvement in the Canadian tar sands -- the most destructive project on earth.

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Wikileaks: Colonial limbo a deliberate attempt to keep islanders from homeland

The Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) facility at Diego Garcia is one of three operational sites worldwide. Photo: United States Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer/Wikipedia.

Six months ago, I wrote a piece for rabble.ca describing the appalling treatment of the people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean by the British government. 

The islands were purchased by the government of Britain in 1966 from Seychellois Chagos Agalega Company, with the initial intention of running them as a U.K. government-owned plantation enterprise. This proved less profitable than the establishment of Cold War strategic military bases, so the islanders were removed.

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Indian Ocean islanders in 44 years of colonial limbo

The Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) facility at Diego Garcia is one of three operational sites worldwide. Photo: United States Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer/Wikipedia.
The people of the Chagos Islands were removed by the British government in the 1960s to make way for U.S. bases -- and the people remain stuck.

Related rabble.ca story:

Indian Ocean islanders in 44 years of colonial limbo

The Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) facility at Diego Garcia is one of three operational sites worldwide. Photo: United States Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer/Wikipedia.

In 1966, England was all about the soccer, the Labour Party and the Beatles. The country had just won the World Cup and things were swinging with 1960s euphoria and happiness.

But it was also the year which marked the commencement of an exercise to depopulate the Chagos Islands, a coral archipelago in the Indian Ocean, approximately 1,600 km north-west of Mauritius. The indigenous community were soon to have their homes taken away from them in a shameful act of latter-day colonial vandalism.

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Lost and Found in London

Lost and Found in London

Lost and Found in London: How the Railway Tracks Hotel Changed Me

by Kathleen O'Hara
(Xlibris,
2011;
$9.99 digital ed.)

Kathleen is about to be 'deported' after spending the six-month allotted time for foreigners in the United Kingdom. But she doesn't want to leave, and worse, doesn't know where to go or what to do. She certainly can't go back to the unsatisfactory existence she left behind in Canada.

In this excerpt from Lost and Found in London Kathleen's chance encounter with a stranger brings about unexpected change and self-reflection at a time of crisis.

It was one of those life-changing encounters that could so easily have been missed. All it took was the lift doors not doing what they were supposed to do -- stay closed.

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Gerry Caplan

Appreciating Stephen Harper, kind of

| July 23, 2011

Guardian: 'Historic' SNP win heralds likely independence vote

Alex Salmond leads party to series of dramatic victories over Labour and Lib Dems, taking it to brink of overall majority in Scottish parliament

 

Quote:
Alex Salmond will hold a historic referendum on independence for Scotland after a rout of Labour and the Liberal Democrats put the Scottish National party on the brink of an overall Holyrood majority.

Tony Blair's Journey: A memoir with 'balls'

Tony Blair: A Journey

A Journey: My Political Life

by Tony Blair
(Knopf Canada,
2010;
$40)

There's a grassroots campaign under way to move copies of Tony Blair's memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, from the biography to the crime sections of bookstores. I trust that's true crime and not mystery, because the 700-page reflections of the former British PM who infamously stood "shoulder-to-shoulder" with George W. Bush contain precious few twists or unexpected insights. No mea culpa here.

Considering that Blair's journey begins with the whole-scale rebranding of the Labour Party and its landslide 1997 victory, then declines slowly and steadily through the Iraq War disaster, the duel for power with Gordon Brown, and finally the bursting of the neoliberal bubble, the book is remarkably strident and unapologetic.

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