February 19, 2009

News-all foster kids banned from restaurant & other stories

Manitoba News excerpt
from People's Voice (column written by a YCLer)


Children in the care of Child and Family services were kicked
out of a restaurant in a Winnipeg Howard Johnson hotel back in
December.A CFS worker was told by the manager that it
was policy that children in CFS care are not allowed to
eat in the restaurant.The worker said that “I guess they looked
at our room number and knew these kids were in care ”.


British born Chris Mason was a trucker when he came to Canada
in 2001 to fill the need for cheap labour.After hurting his
back as a truck driver, he became a dispatcher. He was
injured further when his wheelchair was hit by a taxi at
a crosswalk outside a hospital in Winnipeg. Now, the
Harper Tory government has deported the 36 year old
paraplegic back to relatives in Manchester, England,
even though Mason had lived with his father in Greece
from the age of eight until his arrival in Canada at 28.
Mason's mother said that the Canadian government treated
her son like a terrorist. Chris Mason says, “I'm homeless,
I have no money and I've got nowhere to live.”
Being disabled,he now stays in a seniors nursing home.

You can read the rest of the column in the February 15-28th People's Voice (Vol.17 #3), buy a copy today or read the PDF online March 1st.


[Note: another deportee, this time in Calgary, Alberta set himself on fire
on Thursday February 12th
"Witnesses said the man appeared to be upset and said something about being deported before he set himself alight, according to a local report...The man suffered second-degree burns to 40 per cent of his body, including his back, face, hands and legs".]

Wikileaks releases NATO report on civilian deaths

February 16, 2009

A confidential NATO report from January reveals that civilian deaths from the war in Afghanistan have increased by 46% over the past year.

The 12 page report was authenticated and released in full today by Wikileaks.

(click on link to see map)
ISAF Security Summary 2008

The report shows a dramatic escalation of the war and civil disorder. Coalition deaths increased by 35%, assassinations and kidnappings by 50% and attacks on the Kabul based Government of Hamid Karzai also more than doubled, rising a massive 119%.

The report highlights huge increases on attacks aimed at Coalition forces, including a 27 % increase in IED attacks, a 40%. rise in rifle and rocket fire and an increase in surface to air fire of 67%.

According to the report, outside of the capital Kabul only one in two families had access to even the most basic health care, and only one in two children had access to a school.

The disclosure follows the unrelated arrest of Colonel Owen McNally earlier this month for passing older civilian death toll figures to Human Rights Watch analyst and former BBC radio reporter Rachel Reid. Human Rights Watch published a report based around that data, which covered 2006-2007, last September.

The London Times, stated that American military officials were "seething" over the leaks.

A UK Ministry of Defence source reportedly told the Daily Mail:

"What McNally passed on will not cost lives in the sense that it doesn't give specific military details. But the whole point of defeating the Taliban is winning hearts and minds and stopping the population joining their cause. If they think we're lying to them, it could become a very dangerous place. This has caused a diplomatic row and the Americans are not happy at all."

Wikileaks legal spokesperson Jay Lim stated "We deplore the arrest of Colonel McNally for revealing civilian death figures. It is clear that Col. McNally's actions are of the highest moral calibre. His example has encouraged others to step forward."

NATO is not likely to find Wikileaks' source so readily. The site uses state of the art anonymization technologies, and the identity of its sources are protected under the Swedish Press Freedom Act.

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