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Fair trade? Boycotts, branding and apartheid

Concerned consumers looking to support fair trade farmers and challenge the horrific Israeli attack on Gaza these past few weeks might have found their "ethical shopping" choices more than a bit difficult. This is because several of fair trade's newest corporate licensees can also be found on the list of the Boycott Apartheid Israel Campaign.

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'Exterminate all the brutes': Gaza 2009

On Saturday December 27, the latest U.S.-Israeli attack on helpless Palestinians was launched. The attack had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months according to the Israeli press. The planning had two components: military and propaganda. It was based on the lessons of Israel's 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which was considered to be poorly planned and badly advertised. We may, therefore, be fairly confident that most of what has been done and said was pre-planned and intended.

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Inauguration Day

Today's inauguration of Barack Obama will undoubtedly be the most widely watched political event ever. The media coverage runs the full gamut. rabble.ca is proud to bring you live coverage on rabbletv via our colleagues at Democracy Now!, whose pre-inaugural coverage featured a full program of excerpts from the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Prorogation revisited: Eugene Forsey on Parliament and the Governor General

Below is the text of a document, typed and signed by my father, Eugene Forsey, the late Senator and constitutional expert. Dated August 15, 1984, it was among the papers I retrieved from his office and apartment after his death in 1991. It sets out very clearly the role of the Governor General "if no party gets a clear majority in the election."

The principles Eugene Forsey outlines in this paper apply directly to Mr. Harper's outrageous action last month in asking the Governor General to prorogue Parliament, and to the Governor General's action in granting his request. He has his hypothetical Governor General tell the Prime Minister:

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Deportations ordered: Critical time for war resisters in Canada

The fight for Iraq war resisters to remain in Canada is a two front war.

The political front

On June 3, 2008, Canadian Parliament voted in favour of allowing Iraq war resisters to seek permanent residence status in Canada.

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Canadian support for Israel: Signs of a more aggressive international posture

When other diplomatic allies can't be found, Israel knows it can count on Canada.

That's certainly the message it received Monday, when Canada earned the ignominious distinction of being the only country at a United Nations human rights council in Geneva to vote against a motion condemning Israel's attack on Gaza - an attack that, as of January 15, has killed nearly 1,000 people (292 of them children), injured more than 4,250 and caused 90,000 Gazans to flee their homes. Thirteen countries, mostly from Europe, abstained, while the U.S. doesn't sit on the body. The non-binding motion calls for an investigation into human rights violations by the Israeli army.

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Toronto janitors organize for rights, respect and justice

As darkness falls in Toronto and tens of thousands of office workers pour out of the downtown skyscrapers, another army enters the buildings, quietly and unperceived - the night shift that cleans the office towers and readies them for the next day's activity.

These buildings house Canada's richest corporations - the banks alone had profits of $20 billion in 2007 - yet their janitors are among the worst paid and worst treated of Toronto's work force. And they work within an employment structure carefully contrived to render them powerless.

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Canada's Left makes strides on Palestine

The Canadian Left has made a historic step forward in its opposition to Zionism.

On Saturday Montréal held probably the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in Canadian history. Despite some ridiculous media reports, I estimate that there were between 12,000 and 17,000 (possibly as many as 25,000) people marching through the streets of downtown.

"Jews, Christians, Muslims, anglos, francos, grandmothers and children walked together yesterday in the bitter cold to call for an immediate ceasefire in [Gaza]," noted the Montréal Gazette. The march was endorsed and organized by all three major Québec unions and most of the province's social groups.

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Apartheid's prison: A journey to Robben Island

Robben Island was once notorious as the prison home of many leaders of the anti-apartheid movement, including former South African president Nelson Mandela. Today, school children, university professors and ordinary citizens flock to the popular historical spot that serves as a symbol of the terrible times that began to end in 1994 with the fall of apartheid. They come to see what really happened before Freedom Day and the first democratic elections held that same year.

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Defenders of the land take action across the country

The colonization of North America began over 500 years ago. But the process continues today through government policies that actively create divisions within Native communities.

The devastation of Indigenous lands means a loss of culture for First Nations in Canada whose spirituality is grounded on the sanctity of Mother Earth. It also means their resources and livelihoods are squandered away, resulting in mass poverty. These processes of extraction produce hazardous waste, leaving the surrounding communities with the lingering health effects. Corporate interests are pursued over community consultation.

"Our number one enemy hasn't change over the last 500 years," says Milton of the Blackfoot Lonefighters Society. "It's called extermination."

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