March 2: Organizers of Palestinian Human Rights Week at UWindsor; Democracy Watch’s Tyler Sommers on robo-call election fraud

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For the last two years The ShakeUp was sure to cover what had become known on campuses around the country as Israeli Apartheid Week – a time to press for recognition of Palestinian human rights in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. We had to go to David Heap, or Wendy Goldsmith in London, On., or Sandra Ruch in Toronto to talk about activities on other campuses. (NOTE: THE SOURCES MENTIONED HERE WERE FOR INTERVIEWS ABOUT THE CANADA BOAT TO GAZA. GEORGIA LUYTE WAS A ShakeUp SOURCE FOR INFORMATION ON ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK IN 2010).

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This year, thanks to a lot of hard work, Palestinian Human Rights Week kicks off on Mar. 5th here on campus. In the studio to discuss the week and what it was like to organize it all were Hagar, Mohamad, and Hassan, all students at the University of Windsor.

The group discussed the name change from Israeli Apartheid Week to Palestinian Human Rights Week:

Hagar described finding allies on and off campus during the work on organizing the week, and how she answers critics of the movement to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people:

The complete agenda for the week is available on the poster on the right of the blog.

Hagar, Mohamad and Hassan in the CJAM studio.

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No doubt many listeners have been following “Robo-call-gate”. The media seems to be doing its job of investigating the charges of election fraud even as the Prime Minister claims his party is the victim of a smear campaign. A fundamental premise of a democracy, it really should go without saying, is elections free from any kind of interference. On the phone from Ottawa was Democracy Watch coordinator Tyler Sommers.(Twitter: @tylersommers).

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DEMOCRACY WATCH’S 20 STEP PROGRAM FOR A “MODERN, WORKING DEMOCRACY

In this clip, Sommers describes what is known so far as to the scope of the robo-calling effort:

Part of the problem with our electoral system is that Elections Canada is too secretive and Sommers explains how the agency can be made more accountable:

The role of the media is critical to our understanding of this issue and citizens have a responsibility as well to keep the media on the job:

Sommers made sure to mention the dire consequences for this country if this affair is allowed to disappear from the news cycle with no one held to account. All of us are being called upon to take a stand for fair and open elections. Mr Harper has skated away from contempt of Parliament, and his regime has been implicated in the torture of Afghan civilians and is currently banging the drums of war with Iran. With this track record, the possibility of rigging elections is not far fetched. Mr Harper’s response is typical of his arrogance and open disrespect for people who disagree with him: catch me if you can.

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International Women’s Day is March 8

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