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Archive for October 19th, 2012

New Resistance and The Green Star call on all lovers of Freedom and Justice to show solidarity with Syria!  A great way to do this is to print, cut and paste these stickers EVERYWHERE.   Do your part!

 

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OTTAWA-The Harper government is proposing to stop one of Canada’s oldest laws protecting bodies of water across the country.

The changes, introduced as part of a 443-page budget implementation bill tabled Thursday in Parliament, would replace the Navigable Waters Protection Act, first introduced in 1882, with a new Navigation Protection Act covering a list of 97 lakes, 62 rivers and the three oceans on Canada’s coasts.

Transport Minister Denis Lebel suggested that the changes could ease the burden on companies seeking approval on new industrial projects such as oilsands development or mining extraction.

For example, under the existing law, Transport Canada had urged Shell Canada to provide more information about a proposed “diversion” of the Muskeg River for a new oilsands project.

While this process would continue, future project approvals on that river or many others would not be subject to a review under the new law unless Transport Canada expands its list of protected bodies of water.

“All projects that are actually in the middle of the (approval) process must be held to the existing rules,” said Lebel at a news conference. “The day when this new law comes into force, it will be another thing.”

A First Nations group promptly slammed the proposed changes, suggesting that it was giving industry a green light to destroy vital waterways in its community, violating existing treaty rights in Canada.

“I am seriously concerned this is an indication of corruption in our current government,” said Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “We hope there will be a public outcry that echoes our sentiment. After all, we all share the responsibility to protect mother earth.”

Source

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Photo Essay: Tar Sands Atrocity

Once this landscape was a pristine wilderness roamed by deer now it’s ‘the most destructive industrial project on earth’

  • Lush green forests once blanketed an area of the Tar Sands at Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, larger than England
  • Area where blackened earth now stands dubbed by environmentalists as most destructive industrial project on earth
  • Boreal forest – once home to grizzly bears, moose and bison – is vanishing at rate second to Amazon deforestation

More photos here

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Caracas, October 18 2012 (Venezuelanalysis) – Venezuela’s permanent representative at the United Nations (UN) Jorge Valero has strongly criticised what he described as the “expansionist policies” of Israel and lambasted the international organization for not taking a stronger stance against Israel’s continued subjugation of the Palestinian people.

Speaking at the latest meeting of the UN Security Council last Monday, Valero expressed his “deep frustration with the council’s lack of action with regards to the political expansion of Israel, the occupying power, in Palestinian territories”.

The Venezuelan diplomat went on to state that he believes the Council’s passivity in relation to the conflict is a direct result of pressure from the United States government, which is one of the five permanent member countries at the UN Security Council to hold the “power of veto”.

“This lack of action, as everybody knows, is a product of the veto threat from the government of the United States and its closest allies,” he continued.

The Council’s meeting was called to discuss the current political climate in the Middle East and specifically Palestinian-Israel peace negotiations and the ongoing conflict in Syria.

The meeting was opened by the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, who criticised the continued “violence” of the Israel-Palestine conflict and described the current peace talks as having reached a “stalemate”. Feltman also called on both sides to keep pursuing a “two-State solution”.

Yet Venezuelan representative Valero charged many of those present as hypocritical and stated that the Middle East was becomingly increasingly “volatile and violent, which is putting the whole world at risk”. He also condemned the governments of member countries who were turning a blind eye to the “evident threat to the peace and international security represented by the government of Israel”.

“This warmongering behaviour puts into doubt the institutional process of the United Nations, the United Nations’ Charter and international law,” he said.

The meeting of the Security Council was held just a few days before an Israeli court forced the Netanyahu administration to release the details of a government report into how many calories were needed by Palestinians in the Gaza strip to avoid malnutrition. The UN stated that if the report reflected a deliberate policy by the Israeli government to restrict food imports into Gaza then it would “go against humanitarian principles”.

Despite international involvement, talks aimed at resolving the Palestine-Israel conflict have stagnated over the past year, with the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip continuing unabated.

Earlier this year the Palestinians launched a bid to be recognised as a “non-member observer state” at the UN after its bid for full statehood was quashed in 2011.

Whilst countries such as Venezuela have supported the move, the Palestinian’s second attempt has continued to face staunch opposition from both the US and the British governments, who warned earlier this week that there would be serious economic sanctions applied to the Palestinian Authority if the bid is pursued.

The upgrade in status would allow the Palestinians to participate in UN General Assembly debates, as well as give them greater influence in the peace negotiations with Israel.

Syria

During the meeting Valero also addressed the ongoing conflict in Syria and asserted that the Syrian rebels were receiving both financial support and arms from forces abroad. He also accused Washington of using a form of “state terrorism” to gain control over natural resources in the region and to forcefully remove democratically elected leaders.

“In this context, thousands of innocent civilians are dying and the destabilization of the Middle East is deepening,” he said.

The Venezuelan government has consistently stated that it supports a policy of non-intervention in Syria and continues to recognise the Assad administration as the legitimate government of the country.

At the beginning of October, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, reaffirmed his support for a negotiated solution to Syria’s internal conflict.

“We are defending the peace in Syria, world peace,” he commented at the time.

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