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Terrorism in our homes

Like you, Martha spent July 7 glued to her television as images of the bombings in London were replayed on the screen. In the end, more than 50 people died and 700 were injured in this brutal act of violence. Within days, it was revealed that Canada has spent $10 billion since 2001 on enhanced security to avoid terrorist acts in Canada.


Behold the results of years of 'downsizing'

Canadian philosopher Ursula Franklin uses a series of questions to test the worthiness of public policies. One of them is, “Does it maximize gain or minimize disaster?” Nothing in recent memory serves to highlight this question as much as the events that unfolded in New Orleans. Deregulated coastal development, massive funding cuts to disaster response, and political cronyism allowed for maximum private gain at the price of an unprecedented public disaster.

New Orleans' experience may also explain why religion plays such an enormous role in American politics.


Recognizing the Spanish Civil War vets

As poppies adorn every respectable lapel, cannons blare and politicians make speeches praising sacrifice for country in this, the year of the veteran, one group of Canadian freedom fighters dwindles without a penny in pensions or official recognition.

Jules Paivio was 19, working in a Sudbury department store when he decided to head for Spain along with more than 1,200 other Canadians, to join the fight against fascism.

The year was 1936. General Francisco Franco led a military coup against Spain's elected leftist government.


There is an alternative

The reign of TINA, There Is No Alternative, is beginning to come to an end.

In Bolivia, Evo Morales has swept into the presidency after years of popular mobilization; the long-suffering indigenous and poor majority is demanding an alternative economic and social order.

In Venezuela, seven years after Hugo Chavez first won power, the Bolivarian Revolution is demonstrating an alternative path, powered by a people awakened to political action and in the process of transforming their society.

Part of the reason for the resurgent radicalism in Latin America is the fact that the United State


Afghanistan: many questions, no answers

What are we doing in Afghanistan? Do we know? Are we afraid to ask? The lack of public debate over this indicates that we are. It's not a good sign.

Parents and children are seen on TV bidding tearful farewells to their soldier husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, as military authorities warn that the Kandahar region, which Canada has taken over from the Americans, is the most dangerous part of Afghanistan and that the public must know “there will be casualties.” There have been already.

In order to send soldiers off to risk their lives, the cause must be great.


Why are we in Afghanistan? (2)

Canada has 2250 Canadian soldiers stationed in Kandahar Afghanistan. The soldiers are fighting alongside about 8,000 U.S. soldiers and are under the command of Operation Archer in support of the U.S. led “Operation Enduring Freedom.” It is expected that command of the Canadian units will shift to NATO control by 2007.

Canada is operating along the southern border between Pakistan and Afghanistan in Kandahar province. This is a crucial area for two reasons: it is the location of Taliban strongholds and it is the proposed route for the multibillion dollar Trans-Afghan pipeline.


Hotel workers rising

They work “back-of-the-house” hotel positions, cleaning as many as 16 rooms daily and providing business travellers and tourists a “home away from home.” But many hotel workers, mostly immigrant women, are still sacrificing their health while supporting their families with low wages and little job security, labour activists say.

Hotel workers now want to share in the prosperity that their hard work generates, according to UNITE HERE Canada.


What will rise out of Beirut's ashes?

Watching the escalating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, I have been overcome by a strong sense of déjà vu. Twenty-four years ago, the Israel Defence Forces — responding to a similar provocation, invoking the same security arguments and supported by a similar-minded U.S. government — entered Lebanon with the same goal of realigning the internal politics of its northern neighbour and, concomitantly, the balance of power in the region.

The only difference was that, in 1982, the enemy was the PLO.


British MP calls Harper's foreign policy 'absurd'

Outspoken British Member of Parliament George Galloway criticized the hypocrisy of the Western discourse on Palestine and the Arabic world, in a recent sold-out event organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War.


Kenyans unite with foreign allies at WSF

Brilliant beads and brightly coloured garbs of the Masaii, and long white habits of nuns intermingle with simple jeans and t-shirts stating “Time for action.” The appearance of attendees at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya is as diverse as the nation's ethnicities. This is the scene at Thursday's closing ceremonies for the 2007 World Social Forum (WSF).

Since Porto Alegre in 2001, the WSF has existed as a space for activists, scholars and organizations to network and envision a world beyond neo-imperialism.


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