Thursday, 28 April 2011

Petraeus, Panetta and War Fighting

Filed under: Disarmament — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:33 PDT

Every minute of every day our government spends $2.1 million on the military. To slash that spending we have joined the New Priorities Network, a broad coalition of groups working together to fund jobs and services, end wars, and cut the pentagon budget.


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Victoria, Canada | Public Panel Tackles Middle East, North African Political Changes | April 28 Uvic

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:46 PDT
Thursday, 28 April 2011

What started as a civilian uprising earlier this year in Tunisia became a demand for representative leadership from North Africa to the Middle East. What are the implications for the West and the rest of the world in the wake of this seemingly sudden rejection of autocratic regimes?

For a better understanding of these ever-evolving events, join moderator Gregor Craigie of CBC radio’s “On the Island” and a panel of UVic experts for a free public discussion “Revolution in the Middle East and North Africa: Origins and Repercussions” on April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bob Wright Centre, room B150.


Monday, 11 April 2011

When political spin comes from within

Filed under: Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 23:14 PDT

The heroic attempts of people around the world to dislodge their tyrants raises the question: If they get their hoped-for democracies, what will they make of them? Will they be able to make their choices meaningful? Have we?

A glance at history, of course, makes it clear that political passion and open polls don’t always lead to good outcomes.

And threats to a healthy and effective democracy don’t just come from repressive policies – they also come from some basic design features of our own brains. Science is revealing how our notions of a deliberative democracy really rest on a fragile crust of rational thought that barely conceals the snap judgments and unconscious responses that roil underneath. And those who traffic in the art of political persuasion are becoming increasingly sophisticated at tailoring their messages to this hidden layer of our intelligence.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

China Detains Church Members Over Public Praying

Filed under: Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:58 PDT

BEIJING — The police detained dozens of members of an underground Protestant church on Sunday morning, after the congregation tried to pray in a public plaza in the north of the capital.

The police corralled scores of parishioners into buses and blocked church leaders from leaving their homes. Among those detained was a photographer from The New York Times, who was later released.

Last week the church, Shouwang, was evicted from the space it had been renting after the government pressured the landlord not to renew the lease. The congregation, one of the largest so-called house churches in China, has been seeking legal recognition from the authorities since 2006 without success.


Canadian Election 2011 Party Platforms: Aboriginal Peoples

Filed under: Indigenous Peoples — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:57 PDT

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering where the parties stand on the issues relevant to Aboriginal peoples this 2011 federal election. You’re probably wishing too that there was some handy, side-by-side way to compare the various platforms.

Wish and wonder no longer, friends: the following grid should help you see who’s pledged what to Aboriginal peoples so far this campaign and how it stacks up against their opponents. It will be updated as planks are added and/or refined: at the time of this post’s initial publication (April 9, 2011) the NDP had yet to share its full, official platform so we’ll obviously amend that when they do so April 10.


Videos tell women’s stories of intergenerational impacts of Indian Residential Schools

Filed under: gender,Indigenous Peoples,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:56 PDT

It has been a long time since I’ve contributed to MEDIA INDIGENA, but I don’t feel bad because I’ve been busy with another Indigenous, insightful and innovative project: kiskino mâto tapanâsk: Intergenerational Effects on Professional First Nations Women Whose Mothers are Residential School Survivors.

This Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence initiative set out to understand how the residential school legacy has been passed down through generations of First Nations women. Through a process of personal and collective exploration, each participant artfully created a 2-to-5 minute digital story.

The videos offer profound insights into mother/daughter relationships and the complex intergenerational effects of these schools. They also birth hope, showcase resilience, and speak to the emotional and healing journeys of First Nations women.


Four years and $1.25 billion later, nearly 1 in 5 First Nations still lack safe drinking water

Filed under: Environment,Human Rights,Indigenous Peoples — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:11 PDT

Despite millions upon millions of dollars supposedly going toward clean drinking water for First Nations, monies spent by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) seem to have largely come up dry.

Between April 2006 and March 2010, the department allocated apx. $1.25 billion to water and waste water infrastructure. But according to documents received from Health Canada – which monitors drinking water quality – the problem seems no closer to being fixed.

Obtained through an Access to Information (ATI) Request, the documents reveal that, of the 633 First Nations communities in Canada, 117 are under drinking water advisories as of Jan. 14 – i.e, 18 per cent, close to 1 in 5 communities. One advisory extends as far back as 1995, while another affects 1,041 community members.


Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Libyan Intervention: Humanitarian or an Aggression?

Filed under: Africa files,International Law: War,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:16 PDT

Hamid Dabashi and Nader Hashemi debate the US/NATO intervention in Libya

More at The Real News


How the Laws of War Helped to End American Slavery

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:15 PDT

There’s a great article by Professor Adam Goodheart in the New York Times describing how Union Major General Benjamin Butler, a lawyer by training, used the laws of war to help end slavery in America.


U.S. Institute of Peace Publishes New Report on the Disputed Territories in Iraq

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:05 PDT

Washington – The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) announces the publication of “Iraq’s Disputed Territories: A View of the Political Horizon and Implications for U.S. Policy,” a new Peaceworks report that illustrates in a detailed and specific way what Iraqi-negotiated solutions to the disputed province of Kirkuk and other territories in northern Iraq might look like.


An unconventional news source, enemy and leader

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:01 PDT

Media has always played a crucial role in covering historical events, but never before has it so depended on citizen journalism by ordinary people who have used the internet to broadcast their images and videos of current events to the world. Even Al Jazeera, the channel at the center of traditional media coverage of the ongoing Arab uprisings, credits its work to its new media newsroom, “the group of youth who sit next to the newsroom and follow Twitter, Facebook, Youtube.”


Put your candidates to the test

Filed under: Indigenous Peoples — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:37 PDT

Last week I had a bad case of voter apathy, but now the spark is back. So, since I’m an election cheerleader again I’m going to try to do my part and help you get ready to cast your ballot.

Sure, CBC has a snazzy online Vote Compass you can use to help decide what party most represents your values, but I’ve got something up my sleeve, too.

I’ve created an Aboriginal Vote Compass — a helpful questionnaire to find out which party is most likely to address aboriginal issues.

My AVC is low-tech; it requires a little work, paper and a pencil to tally up the scores.


India activist wins anti-graft bill demands, ends hunger strike

Filed under: South Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:32 PDT

NEW DELHI – A veteran Indian activist ended on Saturday a five-day hunger strike after the government gave in to his demands for tougher anti-graft legislation which had drawn the support of thousands.


Does the threat to the women of Afghanistan only come from the Taliban’s insurgency? Not, exactly.

Filed under: gender,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:30 PDT

For the past two years, the Afghan government has been making repeated statements that no reconciliation or negotiations aimed at bringing peace through talks with the Taliban will impact women’s rights and other civil rights guaranteed in the Afghan Constitution. But, does the threat to the women of Afghanistan only come from the Taliban’s insurgency? Not, exactly.


UK | Photographers react to new terrorism search law

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:25 PDT

Earlier this month the Government handed police new powers to stop photographers and other people in areas where they suspect an act of terrorism will take place.

The Terrorism Act 2000 (Remedial) Order 2011, which came into force on 18 March, effectively replaces the highly controversial – now abandoned – Section 44 stop-and-search power which allowed police to stop members of the public without suspicion.

But isn’t this just the return of the controversial stop-and-search law in new clothes?


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Child soldiers change their lives – Grassroots Reconciliation Group

Filed under: Africa files,children and youth,Humanitarian work — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:55 PDT


Speaking out for Omar Khadr

Filed under: children and youth,Human Rights,International Law: War — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:47 PDT

They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children
by Romeo Dallaire
(Random House, 2010; $34.95)

As Monia Mazigh pleaded for the conviction of Omar Khadr to be taken seriously by those concerned with the use of child soldiers, I was reading Romeo Dallaire’s latest book, They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children.

In it, Dallaire, too, shames the Canadian government and public for not acknowledging the injustice enacted by neglecting Khadr, the first convicted child soldier since World War II. He asserts that “the Khadr case is a black mark on my own country’s international reputation and standing in the fight for child rights and human rights as a whole.” Today, Khadr’s situation remains grim.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Typical Person

Filed under: Humanitarian work — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:01 PDT

National Geographic have been crunching the numbers, and they have come up with this video about the world’s most typical person.

In a world of 7 billion people, who is the most typical person, and what do they look like? Of course, typical is relative, but this video explores some interesting stats about the world today, and even hat the most typical person will look like in 2030.


United States P:eace Index

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:53 PDT

US Peace Index from Vision of Humanity on Vimeo.


UVic | A Time for Peace: Stories from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo | April 7

Filed under: Africa files,Conferences, Events,Human Rights — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:38 PDT
Thursday, 7 April 2011

African Partnerships Network in collaboration with the Office of International Affairs and the UVic Equity and Human Rights Office presents:

A Time for Peace: Stories from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo

A panel discussion
Thursday, April 7, 2011
David Strong Building Room C116

Featuring a screening of part of the documentary: Blood in the Mobile (2010). Denmark Director, Frank Poulsen shows one man’s journey into the mines of the Congo and the attempt to demonstrate the link between our cell phones, conflict minerals and war.

After the screening, a panel led by Saje FitzGerald, Dr. Sabine Lehr, Robin Ripley and Grant Jenkin, will discuss the film, talk about working with organizations of persons with disability in Rwanda and present the work of Developing World Connections which work with UVic students to volunteer in community peace building projects in Gashora.

Saje FitzGerald returned in March from the Democratic Congo Republic, a country torn by armed conflict and violence since the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Participating in a UN peacekeeping mission into 9 rural villages of South Kivu province, Saje lived with soldiers in a military camp, and with Congolese women in the North Kivu province.

Dr. Sabine Lehr is the former Assistant Director of UVic’s Office of International Affairs. In January 2009, she took up a one-year volunteer position as administration and management coach for organizations of persons with disability in the north of Rwanda and in Kigali. Sabine will share her experiences of working with organizations of persons with disability in a post-conflict society in the Global South. After giving an overview of the situation of persons with disability in Rwanda, she will share some personal stories from her assignment.

Robin Ripley and Grant Jenkin are UVic team leaders of Developing World Connections a group of UVic students who volunteer each year in Rwanda. They are currently recruiting prospective volunteers interested in going to Rwanda from July 31-August 28 for the second phase of the Gashora project. or rripley [@] uvic.caFor more information, please contact world [at]

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