February 26, 2009
Please Post Widely
On 24 February, Students Against Israeli Apartheid at
The University alleges that 'sound amplification' disrupted classes but fails to note that SAIA York quickly moved the rally away from Vari Hall in order to deliver a letter to the University administration. It should also be noted that the maximum monetary penalty has been imposed by the administration without following the verification process outlined in the university’s “Student Code of Conduct”. In doing so, the administration has violated its own procedures. Furthermore, the university has repeatedly failed to respond numerous complaints filed by SAIA members and their community allies over racist and sexist commentary directed at them by members of pro-Israel advocacy organizations present on that day
These discriminatory and punitive measures come a week prior to the scheduled launch of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) at York University on March 3-8 (www.apartheidweek.org). Pro-Israel organizations have applied immense, coordinated and nation-wide pressure to shut down IAW, including placing full-page advertisements in national newspapers calling on universities to prevent IAW from occurring. The repressive activities of the
It is shocking to see university administrations respond to these racist calls to stifle free speech and student organizing around Israeli Apartheid. At
The attempt by the pro
** Please email and phone the following individuals in protest against these repressive measures.
Robert J. Tiffin (Vice President Students)
416 736 5955
Mamdouh Shoukri (University President)
416 736 5200
** Further Links:
1) Carleton Students Against Israeli Apartheid http://carleton.saia.ca/
2) Exposed: University of Toronto suppresses pro-Palestinian activism
3) Academic Freedom Threatened in Ontario Universities
4) Israeli Apartheid Week Schedule
Sample letter to send to York University administration (firstname.lastname@example.org,
President Mamdouh Shoukri,
Vice President Robert Tiffin,
I was shocked and appalled to learn that the student group, Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) was penalized for holding a demonstration on campus in solidarity with the students in Gaza. One would expect that an academic institution like
It is a shame that an institution which is built on the principle of freedom of expression, and that the senior administration which is entrusted with upholding freedom of speech, are restricting speech and penalizing students engaged in legitimate protest. This reflects badly on
It seems that
I strongly urge you to reconsider your problematic position and cancel the fines. I also strongly urge you to uphold the principles of freedom of expression and academic freedom, and to allow students to express themselves freely without the influence of external pro-Israel lobbying groups. This is your duty even if you do not agree with views expressed.
February 27, 2009
February 26, 2009
While taking a break from classes at my university, I decide to head into the Aboriginal Students Centre. It so happened that there was free pizza for everybody in the room, courtesy of the Canadian Armed Forces and its recently increased budget.
I grabbed a couple of slices – since it is not everyday that the army buys you pizza. The relationship between the army and First Nations never was lovey-dovey anyways. The Indian Summer of 1990- the
Now, since we were all eating and not about to go anywhere (aahh, so that’s why we got pizza) the army recruiter began:
“Blah, blah, blah, we are the good guys … fight forest fires … help sandbag in floods … blah, blah, blah.”
I was enjoying my pizza – Hawaiian.
“Blah, blah, blah… we put you in your place when you stand up… help smash struggles at First Nations land reclamations” (okay, that was in my mind only). A smirk crosses my face at the mental image of a recruiter saying that, in this room especially.
A power point presentation then began outlining the increased demand for soldier, the new programmes, and relaxing of recruitment standards. “For example,” said the recruitment officer, “you don’t have to be fit to join the army now, we’ll send you off to a special programme to make you fit before you start basic training.”
Boy, this country really is becoming obese, I thought, or maybe the army is calling us as a group fat. The thought of such a thing is repulsive, hell, it is racist underneath all that diplomatic crap. Then again, we were scarffing down pizza. I tried the pepperoni.
“We even have a programme tailored…” the officer then proceeded to explain “Bold Eagle” (why the hell does the military use the name Eagle in everything?). Bold Eagle is a summer course specifically designed for Aboriginal youth to enter and get a taste of the army life – and yuk! what a bad taste that is!
A sixteen year-old can join up with this programme and be shipped out to Wainwright,
Elders?! Whoa! This is getting really strange and my attention is actually starting to focus. Yup, they bend backwards to recruit Aboriginals these days, I wonder why?
Well, there is that nasty war in Afghanistan right now with massive numbers of casualties, better save the white guys and recruit some real cannon-fodder, opps, I mean soldiers. That is what it felt like at that moment in the room. Need an education? Join the Army! Want to see the world? Join the Army! Want to be scarred for life or die? Join the army!
How many ways can this recruiting message be dressed up?
Bold Eagle is a first step on the slippery slope of entering the military. First you enter the program which lasts the summer, with no commitments to join – but there is an option to join. You belong to them when you sign.
You are paid to participate in Bold Eagle -- $3000. And on top of that, they pay for your transportation to
So what are we defending? Certainly not our good reputation. If you want to join Bold Eagle after reading this, you’ve been warned.
The pizza was like cardboard anyways.
David Tymoshchuk is a student activist at the
February 26, 2009
Maybe you've received an e-mail. Maybe read about it in the People's Voice. If not, you know about it now.
NATO is turning 60 this year and already had its midlife crisis after the Cold War. It has been around for too long.
Here is an announcement of demonstrations from the Canadian Peace Alliance
Demonstrate on April 4, 2009
Canada and NATO out of Afghanistan
Worldwide demonstrations during the NATO Summit
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will mark its 60th
anniversary on April 4 and 5, 2009. At the same time, demonstrations
will take place all over the world calling for an end to NATO’s war in
Afghanistan. The Canadian Peace Alliance and the Collectif Échec à la
guerre are calling for pan-Canadian demonstrations on April 4 to
demand an end to the NATO-led occupation that has already killed
thousands of Afghan civilians and threatens to bring war to the entire
After more than seven years of occupation, there is still no end in
sight to the killing in Afghanistan. Following the advice of US
General David Petraeus, the new Obama administration has agreed to an
Iraq-style “surge” in Afghanistan. The plan is to send an additional
30,000 US troops. The US also wants to buy the support of Afghan
militias by arming and paying them to fight on the side of the NATO
occupation forces. There is widespread fear that such a move will
increase tensions between ethnic groups and further destabilize the
In addition, the war in Afghanistan has already expanded into
Pakistan, with an increase in US-led strikes in the border areas. The
spread of war threatens to create massive social and political
instability in a nuclear-armed nation.
NATO is a relic of the Cold War. It has tried to reinvent itself in
the years since, and has now become a military alliance that
aggressively pursues the interests of its member countries,
principally the United States, in areas far beyond the North Atlantic.
In doing so, NATO is creating and stoking conflict. The proposed
expansion of NATO membership to the Ukraine and Georgia, and NATO
support for a “Missile Defense” plan in Eastern Europe, are fuelling a
new arms race—and increasing the danger that Canada will be involved
in other NATO conflicts.
Even more worrying, NATO maintains its policy of pre-emptive
first-strike using nuclear weapons, a policy that encourages nuclear
proliferation, and heightens the prospect of nuclear war.
NATO members account for at least 75 per cent of global military
expenditures, allocating $1 trillion a year to military spending. In
Canada, both Liberal and Conservative governments have invoked “our
NATO commitment” in Afghanistan as justification for skyrocketing
military expenses, now earmarked at $490 billion over the next 20
years. Canada—like other NATO members including the United Kingdom,
Germany, France, and Italy—continues to support NATO’s war in
Afghanistan against the peoples will. On March 13, 2008—just three
weeks before a NATO Summit—Parliament voted to extend Canada’s mission
in Afghanistan to July 2011. Polls showed that 58 per cent of
Canadians opposed the extension.
Real security and prosperity will only be possible in Afghanistan when
Western governments end their support for NATO’s war. NATO members
must be accountable to their own populations, and not to NATO
Join us on April 4 to demand the withdrawal of Canadian troops from
Afghanistan, and an end to NATO’s war.
February 22, 2009
The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC), an alliance of Cuban solidarity and friendship groups from all across Canada, is pleased to announce that its fundraising campaign for Cuban hurricane reconstruction has met its interim target of $400,000 in cash donations. In addition, a significant amount of material aid has resulted from our campaign and has been shipped to Cuba. The CNC fundraising campaign has also been instrumental in getting the Canadian government to be more reflective of the Canadian people in its response to the natural disasters.
[The YCL is a member of the CNC]
Some of the large cash donations generated by the campaign were sent directly to institutions in Cuba by the donors (trade unions and businesses). Another considerable amount financed the sending of eleven 40 ft. containers. Funds have also gone to replacing equipment lost to the hurricanes in Isla de la Juventud and to the urgent reconstruction of a community building in that Special Municipality. We have also purchased 22 digital pianos from Yamaha at a price that represents a substantial donation from the company (we paid 20% of the original price). These pianos will replace lost instruments in various parts of Cuba and will be distributed by the Nicolás Guillén Foundation and the Cuban Ministry of Culture.
The funds on hand, which amount to some $170,000, as well as all further donations to this continuing campaign, will go to what remains Cuba's first priority, the replacement of housing lost to the three powerful hurricanes which together wreaked damage of more than ten billion dollars to the island. In consultation with the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa, the CNC has decided to help the devastated Isla de la Juventud. We have been in contact with authorities in that Special Municipality, and they have indicated that the district known as the Veintiséis de Julio (26th of July) would be an appropriate focus of the help in housing reconstruction that we could provide. The people there have extended an invitation to Canadians to come to see and be thanked for what they have done so far and what they will be doing to help the people of the Isla de la Juventud.
Professor Keith Ellis, the Chair of the fundraising committee of the CNC, has expressed his gratitude for the generous contributions made by Canadians from all parts of the country and for the spirit of friendship, solidarity and reciprocity shown to Cuba which is so extraordinarily kind to people throughout the world. He also thanks the musicians, poets and other artists, including Cubans resident in Canada, who have been lending their talents to the campaign.
The CNC Co-Chair and Spokesperson, Professor Isaac Saney, thanks all the affiliates of the CNC in different parts of Canada for their hard work that has resulted not only in the raising of funds, but also in the strengthening of ties between the Canadian and Cuban people. He also thanks Sharon Skup for her outstanding work in support of the campaign.
Contact: Keith Ellis, 905 822-1972; email@example.com
Isaac Saney, 902 423-4967; firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Boyden, Rebel Youth Magazine Delegates headed to the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students in Quito, Ecuador this December are be...
The World Federation of Democratic Youth expresses its condolences to the progressive and anti-imperialist forces, to youth and the peopl...
This article is part of an seven-part series of short quotes Rebel Youth is issuing about class struggle, revolution, civil-war, and par...