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Carole James: ready for prime time

A truism of politics: The best way to determine how a candidate will do infuture election campaigns is to observe how he or she performed in pastelection campaigns. And Carole James showed herself to be ready for primetime politics this past weekend at the NDP convention in Vancouver. In the race to be NDP leader, James organized the best campaign, gave thebest speech, performed well under pressure and won a surprisingly easysecond-ballot victory.


The right of return: keeping hope alive

(Stefan Christoff spent part of the month of December in the Al-Baqa'a refugee camp in Jordan.)

Al-Baqa'a is Jordan's largest Palestinian refugee camp, located on theoutskirts of Amman and home to more than 100,000 refugees. In the heart ofone of Jordan's many desert valleys, at night, Al-Baqa'a is a beautifularray of lights sparkling below the wealthy hilltops of Amman.


The queer argument against marriage

When Ontario began issuing gay-marriage licenses on June 10, 2003, Toronto attorney Michael Leshner said, “The argument's over. No more political discussion, we've won, the Charter won, it's a great day for Canada.” Leshner, one of the so-called “Two Michaels” who is now married to Michael Stark, had good reason to celebrate.


Women pushed aside as men seek power

“Black women need space, and Black women are the majority in social movements. In meetings, the women who dominate are white women. In their communities, it is still Black women who are leaders.


Popular opposition slows corporate juggernaut

Just two years after popular opposition stopped a half billion dollar P3 in the lower B.C. mainland — a huge water filtration plant — another public private “partnership” has been stopped dead in its tracks. This time it was a rapid transit project that would have been the largest P3 in Canadian history.

It was called the RAV (Richmond-Airport-Vancouver) and it would have sunk over $1.7 billion into a single rapid transit line from outlying Richmond and the Airport to downtown Vancouver.


Is Paul Martin ready for a U.S. attack on Cuba?

Prime Minister Paul Martin chatted with George W. Bush at the G8 meeting last week and apparently talked about the same old topic — American bullying on the tradefront — with predictable results. What he should have added to the list wasthe U.S. plan for military action against Cuba.

What plan, you ask? Good question. And it is one that Martin and his policy advisors and foreign affairs analysts ought to be asking themselves right now. Given the unendingforeign policy catastrophe of Iraq, rational thinking would suggest thatsuch a question need not even be posed.


The left in Canada is silent on Haiti

Four and a half months ago the Liberal government sent troops to a foreign country without the legally elected host government's permission. Since February 29, Haiti has been occupied by foreign troops and a pro-U.S. government has been installed. The Canadian media, and the rest of us, have been nearly silent.

At the end of February, Haiti was front-page news. The Globe and Mail's Paul Knox was there and CanWest's 11 daily papers ran stories from the Montreal Gazetteâe(TM)s once-progressive Sue Montgomery.


It's time to bring Najaf to New York

I've been in New York a week now, watching the city prepare for the Republican national convention and the accompanying protests. Much is predictable: tabloid hysteria about an anarchist siege; cops showing off their new crowd-control toys; fierce debates about whether the demonstrations will hurt the Republicans or inadvertently help them.

What surprises me is what isn't here: Najaf. It's nowhere to be found. Every day, U.S.


Squatters make final arguments in Ottawa

Over two years ago in downtown Ottawa, a group of students, activists and community workers took over an abandoned building on 246 Gilmour Street as part of a G-8 protest. For seven days, dozens of people scraped wallpaper, painted walls, cooked meals and planted gardens. On July 3, 2002, the police raided the squat, shooting tear gas canisters, smashing windows, and destroying the work of countless volunteer hours.

In a mass arrest, 22 people faced charges including breaking and entering, and several counts of mischief. Five of them pled not guilty, and chose to stand trial.


Looking for post-election solutions

The end of the U.S. elections means activists can finally redirect their efforts toward improving human rights, combating religious intolerance and global warming, according to social justice experts who spoke at the recent “Navigating a New World” conference.

Presented by Random House of Canada, the one-day event was named after the title of former Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy's recent book and examined the evolving relationship between Canada and the international community. For each of the six guest speakers, however, George W.


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