July 1: Michael Skinner and the Afghan detainee report; Wendy Goldsmith and the Canada Boat to Gaza

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Listen to entire broadcast here: 

Michael Skinner at 4:55.

Wendy Goldsmith: 36:36

On Canada Day and people celebrate at parades, backyard BBQs, fireworks and so on. Do we really take stock, though, of what is done in our names? Domestically, labour law is being rewritten with back to work legislation for CUPW workers at Canada Post. First Nations communities are left in dire conditions without safe water, and APTN has reported extensively on missing native women, and fires and floods which have decimated FN towns in Manitoba and in Slave Lake Alberta. These stories are buried in the mainstream media. Internationally, Canada promotes the sale of asbestos, and has been in Afghanistan against the will of a majority of Canadians, and it has been easy to prompt peoples’ emotions with a Tim Horton’s fuelled display of nationalistic pride at our presence there. Also, any day, an international flotilla will sail to Gaza in order to again show the world the gross human rights violations taking place there at the hands of the Israeli government and military. A Canadian boat, The Tahrir, includes Sue Breeze of Windsor and David Heap of London On. Two flotilla boats have been subjected to sabotage and a media disinformation campaign seeks to portray the flotilla as provocative and full of extremists. The hundreds of members in the flotilla, including author Alice Walker, are peace and justice activists who are trying to rally the world to stand up and say enough to Israel and call on that country to lift the siege and blockade of Gaza.

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I bet though, if people on Canada Day were asked about the flotilla many wouldn’t know about it or that if they did would say it shouldn’t sail as our own government has said – and shamefully, including the NDP. The question on Canada Day is do we conform to injustice or do we want to be true citizens of the world standing up to injustice?

In the first half hour we spoke to Michael Skinner, a researcher with the York Centre for International Security Studies on the Afghan detainee report that was released just before Parliament recessed. (Arbiters report on redacted documents is HERE).

Pictures were taken Sept. 5, 2006, during Operation Medusa in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. PHOTO BY Les Perreaux

In the second half hour we spoke to Wendy Goldsmith, a London On based activist with People for Peace, a social worker and mother of three children. As well she was on the organizing team for the Canada Boat to Gaza and worked closely with David Heap who is now with the flotilla. During the day Twitter reports indicated Greek authorities were preventing the US boat to Gaza from leaving port and the Canadian boat was also prevented from getting under way. 

Contact the Greek Embassy to demand they allow the flotilla to Gaza to sail.

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  1. Dec. 31: Year end program goes local to global with Tewodros Asfaw and Ken Lewenza Jr. « OPIRG Windsor's The Shakeup: Radioadvocacy Friday 4 -5PM EST - December 31, 2011

    […] July 1: Michael Skinner and the Afghan detainee report; Wendy Goldsmith and the Canada Boat to Gaza […]

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