Posts Tagged ‘RBC firebombing’
- Tanks from the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada are covering Vandoos in Zangabad, and head off some ammo for the Taliban Info-machine: “…. Farmers in this otherwise bucolic hamlet, long known for its support of the insurgency, vented their frustrations at the convoy of vehicles as it cut a swath across their land, making way for the area’s first major roadway. “I was never told about this,” Abdul Rahman, a local land owner whose grape field is being cut in half by the new gravel road, said through a translator. The road is to be eight metres wide, but the disruption is far wider: to discourage the Taliban from planting bombs, engineers have cleared 25 metres of land on either side of the project. Rahman threw up his hands as mine-sweeping tanks churned up the field in front of him. “What am I going to do with that?” he railed. “They might as well take the whole field.” It was up to the district governor to consult with residents, but Rahman and several other landowners who turned up at a meeting with coalition officers said they weren’t told the exact route. Rahman said he tried in vain to convince engineers not to bisect his land, and even offered to allow his personal mosque to be demolished if it meant a different route. The officer commanding the route clearing was mortified at the request and the optics it would have presented for the locals, to say nothing of the propaganda bonanza for the Taliban. “It’s weird, but quite frankly I don’t want to have Canadian soldiers being seen levelling a mosque when there’s a clear option to go somewhere else,” said Maj. Eric Landry, the commander of the tank squadron ….” Good call. Some CF-generated copy of the Afghan push supported by the Vandoos and others here and here, with a Wikipedia page already started on OP BAAWAR.
- Congratulations Robert & Heather! “A soldier returning from duty in Afghanistan proposed to his longtime girlfriend at a Windsor, Ont., airport on Monday. Sgt. Robert Bialkowski went to great lengths to ask his girlfriend of eight years (Heather Greene) to marry him in front of a cheering crowd of friends and family …. After a hello kiss, Bialkowski handed Greene an apple and got down on one knee. Her response: “Of course!” Friends and family shouted “It’s about time!” …. “
- How Canadian cash is helping keep Afghan jail guards on the job: “…. A Sarpoza prison guard’s life away from the job is exceedingly dangerous. One of the warden’s lieutenants was killed in November, two guards have been targeted and killed in recent months, and night letters and threats are common. It’s why the warden is praising a Canadian initiative giving his staff better pay in recognition of the risks. The threats and the fear were having a debilitating effect on Sarpoza’s staffing levels at a time when Correctional Services Canada mentors are preparing to exit Kandahar in the new year. “You feel for them … but we were training people and they’d quit,” said Ian Chinnery at the Camp Nathan Smith reconstruction team in Kandahar City ….”
- Chaplains as religious mediators on the battlefield? The idea was discussed at a recent conference in Ottawa: “…. Maj. Steve Moore, a United Church padre, organized the low-key meeting to probe the possibility of making connections between military chaplains and religious leaders in communities in the midst of the conflict. “I’m getting some traction,” he said from his office at Saint Paul University. “It’s incremental.” Moore began thinking about this project in Bosnia in 1993 with the Second Royal Canadian Regiment battle group, living in a compound amid the communities of Roman Catholic Croats, Muslim Bosniaks and Orthodox Serbs. “We weren’t in the conflict, but we weren’t far from it. It was nasty. For me, those experiences never left me. I had to do something.” He worked with his Roman Catholic counterpart to get to know the religious leaders in Sarajevo. “In fact, they made the first move, inviting us for dialogue. We were invited into their homes.” Political leaders had co-opted religion, inflaming the population. This left religious leaders torn. “They were worried about the kind of life they would leave for their children. Would (the children) think that religion was just a means of war?” At first, the padres met only with the Muslim mufti, who oversaw 60 mosques, and the Roman Catholic priest. The Serbs weren’t interested. But when the tour of duty changed, the next two chaplains were able to build on what the first two had done. In September of 1993, all three religious groups, Serbians, Muslims, and Catholics, held an interfaith celebration for peace. Here in Canada, that would hardly be noticed. But there, in the midst of religiously fuelled war, “it was unprecedented,” said Moore ….”
- Some recent research indicates that American female war vets “have a suicide rate nearly three times greater than the general population of women”. How’s this number compare to Canadian stats? We don’t keep them right now, but should know something soon, according to a Veterans Affairs Canada spokesperson responding to a question from Postmedia News: “Unfortunately we do not have data similar to that used in the American university publication you referred to. Statistics regarding suicide rates amongst Canadian Veterans are not currently kept. However, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Canadian Forces have commenced a “Life After Service Study”, to examine transition from the Canadian Forces to civilian life. One of the study components will have Statistics Canada link VAC and Canadian Forces data on CF members with service from 1972 to 2006 (2006 is the end-date as it matches the latest data in the national mortality database). This study will allow VAC to compare suicide rates between Veterans and the general Canadian population. Data is expected in early 2011 ….” More from National Public Radio in the U.S. about this research.
- This may be disappointing news to video game developers, but speaking at a public forum during a conference on special forces in Kingston this week, the head of Canada’s special forces says special operations work is NOT like the games: “…. (Brig.-Gen. Michael) Day, who has been attached since it stood up in 1993, said the unit, described as a made-in-Canada response to terrorist threats and issues of national security requiring a nimble and highly trained force of specialists. But it is not, as portrayed in wildly popular movies and video games, a collection of rogue operatives creating mayhem and destruction behind enemy lines with neither the knowledge or support of their commanders. With two teenage boys, Day is quite familiar with the popular portrayal. “Very few special operations can be conducted without the support of conventional forces,” Day said, and noted that due to the high tempo and close relationship between special and conventional units in Afghanistan, army commanders understand and appreciate where his unit fits into the puzzle in a way they may not have a decade ago. Day stressed that special forces are a complement to the conventional army and vice-versa ….” And how about calls for more public oversight for the special ops units? ” …. “Isn’t it ironic that on the very day some are calling for more oversight, I am standing up and introducing a public forum like this,” he said. “And I certainly welcome the idea of having conversations about oversight.” …. “We’re trying to find a middle ground, somewhere between I’m not telling you anything and I’m standing here naked in front of you,” said Day ….”
- News flash – Postmedia News notices women with niqabs serving in CF: “Wafa Dabbagh is many things. She is a tiny, bubbly bundle of energy who loves Zumba fitness. She prays five times a day, keeps an immaculate home and bakes a cake for her beloved neighbours each weekend. She has a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in business administration and a cancer diagnosis, the last of which she treats like a bothersome cold. Dabbagh is also a pioneer, the first member of the Canadian Armed Forces — and still only one of a handful — to wear a hijab, the Muslim headcovering for women. After almost 15 years in the naval reserves, she is now a lieutenant-commander, the equivalent of a major in the army. Dabbagh is certified to shoot a C7 rifle and a 9 mm pistol, and is in the process of studying to qualify for promotion to a command position. On Monday at Rideau Hall, Gov. Gen. David Johnston awarded the first Operational Service Medals to 50 recipients, including Dabbagh, who was recognized for her participation in Operation Proteus, a Canadian training mission in Jerusalem ….” One day, it won’t matter whether she’s wearing a niqab or not – a job well done is a job well done, full stop..
- Roger Clement, who said he firebombed an RBC bank machine in Ottawa “as a partial protest toward the bank’s policies toward the Olympics and the Alberta tarsands” gets 3 years, 6 months for the firebombing. More from the Canadian Press, the BBC and CBC.ca. And it didn’t take long for the Liberals and NDP to put the boot in, either.
- Streamlining terrorism trials, better Witness Protection Program, hunting down terrorist money better and improving co-operation between cops and intelligence agencies. Those are some of the highlights of Canada’s new plan (more detail here) to prevent another Air India disaster.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban Info-machine’s English-language site is back with claims of attacks in Kandahar and Zabul.
- First, a correction: Remember the Canadian contract listing where the CF is looking for help to improve storytelling in yesterday’s update? It seems I put the wrong link in – this is the correct one. Many thanks to Richard, who drew my attention to this.
- Vandoos into Zangabad: “Taliban fighters in the notorious village of Zangabad aren’t about to just melt away, the commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan warned Monday as Canadian troops officially took control of the long-standing insurgent stronghold. “Yeah, they’re going to fight. This is their home turf,” Maj.-Gen. James Terry told The Canadian Press at a patrol base in southwestern Panjwaii, the troubled district where a combined force of coalition and Afghan soldiers is pushing forward. So far, though, “it’s going real well,” Terry said ….”
- Canada sending medicine, medical equipment to Afghanistan: “…. the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation (CIDA), highlighted the first phase of Health Partners International Canada’s (HPIC) Capacity Building and Access to Medicines (CBAM) project, a five-year project that will provide Afghans with reliable access to medicine and medical supplies …. For more information on the Capacity Building and Access to Medicines project visit www.hpicanada.ca and www.Afghanistan.gc.ca ….”
- The Globe & Mail manages an e-mail interview with the commander of Canada’s Special Operations Forces, Brigadier-General Mike Day – this on the alleged lack of accountability we hear suggested from some out there: “Q: There’s nothing you’re doing that the Prime Minister wouldn’t know about, right? A: All the senior leaders hear what we’re doing. This idea that nobody knows – it’s [expletive]. ” More from the Globe here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban’s sites are down for now, but not before you get to see lies about Canadian deaths.
- Remember this little bank firebombing incident around the G8/G20, aimed at sending a message to “resist the trampling of native rights, of the rights of us all, and resist the ongoing destruction of our planet”? Someone’s pleaded guilty, and now he’s about to be sentenced.
- The government is expected to announce today a plan/strategy to prevent another Air India bombing from happening: “The Honourable Vic Toews, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism will release the Air India Inquiry Action Plan ….” More from the Globe & Mail here and Postmedia News here.
- So, what’s the former head of the Military Police Complaints Commission, Peter Tinsley, up to these days? Running for office, it seems: “…. Peter Tinsley, the former chief of the Military Police Complaints Commission — one of several public servants who have parted ways with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government — announced on Monday that he’ll be the Liberal candidate for the Ontario riding of Prince Edward-Hastings in the next election. And Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is hinting that Tinsley may not be the only person the Liberals will be recruiting from among the swelling ranks of public servants and whistleblowers who have publicly sparred with Harper’s government. “Will he be the only one? Watch this space,” Ignatieff said ….”
Suspects arrested, charged with RBC bank machine firebombing last month – this, from the Ottawa Police Service:
…. three men have been charged as follows:
Roger Clement 58 years old, of Ottawa
RBC Arson – 18th of May 2010
Arson Causing Damage
Possession of incendiary material
Use explosives with intent to cause property damage
Matthew Morgan – Brown 32 years old, of Ottawa
RBC Arson – 18th of May 2010
Arson Causing Damage
Possession of incendiary material
Use explosives with intent to cause property damage
Claude Haridge, 50 years old, of Ottawa
RBC Arson – 18th of May 2010
Careless storage / handling of ammunition
Fail to comply with undertaking ….
It’s “Protest School” in Toronto – this from CTV.ca, emphasis mine:
A counter-summit in Toronto meant to challenge the G8 and G20 was dubbed “protest school” by organizers on Friday, as they shied away from denouncing violent action by demonstrators …. “People protest in various ways. Again, we’re simply organizing a conference,” said Dylan Penner, a committee member at the summit and media officer for the Council of Canadians …. While classes such as “direct action training” and “digitally mediated surveillance: rights and resistance” are on the agenda, the committee said the event is meant to be a peaceful weekend of learning …. (Marya Folinsbee, the co-ordinator of the People’s Summit) was a…. quick to point out that many of the workshops encouraged peaceful protest, such as “communication skills for activists,” which teaches protesters “how to de-escalate an angry movement.” But there are also workshops planned for debating and discussing a “diversity of tactics” during the G20 and G8 summits …. “It is really cloudy, and it is really complicated to work in solidarity with each other when these issues are still on the table,” she added ….
So, condemning violence and vandalism is “cloudy” is it? Interestingly, the organizers of the protests have gone as far as developing a policy for dealing with those who want to fight the man, but may have been accused or convicted of sexual assault – one line stands out for me:
Perpetrators of Sexual Assault, Abuse and Harassment are not welcome in G8 & G20 Resistance Spaces!!!
I’d be happy to hear from anyone who can explain why such people “are not welcome” in the crowd, but those who would commit violence and/or vandalism are. Simple question.
Part of the CTV.ca article above mentions one of the message tracks being transmitted by protest organizers:
(Marya Folinsbee, the co-ordinator of the People’s Summit) accused “the state” of being the real perpetrator of violence, as she deflected questions about whether or not organizers of the counter-summit would hold protesters accountable during the G20 …. Penner said protesters have been demonized, and fear-mongering has made the public nervous about violence during the G8 and G20. The committee for the People’s Summit also suggested violence in past summits has not come from protesters, but from agent provocateurs. “The state is, in fact, doing criminal activity if they don’t rule out agents provocateurs,” said Christine Jones, co-chair of the Canadian Peace Alliance as she spoke at the news conference Friday ….
This is a message stream making its way out in a variety of ways recently – even picked up from the same news conference and shared by CBC.ca (note the same “money clip” from Christine Jones)
Activists and labour organizations are calling for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to rule out the use of agents provocateurs during the G8 and G20 summits. Pointing to the 2007 Montebello summit of North American leaders, where Quebec police admitted that three of their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators during protests, the People’s Summit urged officials to prohibit any attempt to incite violence to justify what they dubbed a “billion-dollar boondoggle.” Quebec police denied allegations they used the officers to instigate violence at Montebello. “The state is, in fact, doing criminal activity if they don’t rule out agents provocateurs,” Christine Jones, co-chair of the Canadian Peace Alliance, said at the launch of the People’s Summit on Friday morning ….
The message gained a bit of traction this week when Syd Ryan, representing the Ontario Federation of Labour, said the same thing..
Are they planting seeds out there so that if/when violence occurs, it’ll already be embedded in people’s minds that it must be the cops’ fault?
QMI/Sun Media has this quick guide to the protest groups and what they seek.
A new spot to check out what other-than-mainstream “media” are sharing about the Summit protests, here at 2010.mediacoop.ca. Apparently, any Flickr photo or Twitter post tagged with #g20report will automatically end up posted there. I’ve added it to my list o’ “news of all kinds” links here.
First, a bit of artwork from someone claiming to be part of the “collective” opposing the G8/G20 .
Along these lines, the Council of Canadians is calling on the PM to clearly say “our security folks won’t be using “agent provocateurs” during summit security:
“I’m deeply concerned that neither you, nor anyone in the government, nor the Integrated Security Unit itself, have ruled out the use of agent provocateurs at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits,” says Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow in the letter. “Out of control spending on summit costs must not be permitted to develop into out of control suppression of charter rights.”
“Three undercover police officers attempted to incite violence in 2007 at the Montebello protest against the Security and Prosperity Partnership. The proof of their actions was caught on film,” adds Barlow. “The Sûreté du Québec was forced to admit that they were police officers, dressed in black and holding rocks. Yet, to date no one has been held accountable and through his silence, Harper appears to have given tacit approval of the use of agents provocateurs.”
OK, here’s a bit more on. Initially, the cops had this to say:
“I confirm (to) you that there is no agents provocateurs in the Surete du Quebec… It doesn’t exist in the Surete du Quebec,” spokesperson Const. Melanie Larouche told The Canadian Press.
RCMP Cpl. Luc Bessette said the Mounties do “not use tactics that would encourage confrontation or incite violence.”
Next day, they were a bit clearer:
The Quebec provincial police acknowledged in a statement Thursday that their agents had infiltrated protesters demonstrating during the recent North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que. but denied that they acted as “agent provocateurs” to instigate violence.
“They had the mandate to spot and identify violent demonstrators to avoid the situation from getting out of hand,” the Surete du Quebec said in a statement. “The police officers were identified by demonstrators when they refused to throw projectiles.”
“At no time did the Surete du Quebec police officers act as agents provocateurs or committed criminal acts,” the statement adds.
A few points:
1) It’s not unusual for cops to go undercover. If the cops were holding rocks, I’m OK with that as part of their cover. Hell, if protesters want to carry rocks, that’s not illegal (mind you, they shouldn’t be surprised if they draw the eye of various law enforcement folks, the legality of carrying minerals not withstanding).
2) What about those folks who HAVE thrown rocks, or HAVE thrown molotov cocktails?
3) I await the Council of Canadians release calling on protesters to remain non-violent, and to avoid damaging property.
Finally, a bit of a voice of reason out there, for those of you thinking it’s OK to NOT do anything about the violent ones and the vandals.
…. The diversity of tactics concept allows and condones tactics such as those of the Black Bloc, which has historically included the wearing of hoods and masks to conceal identities, physical fights with the police, breaking windows, smashing cars and media vehicles, and firebombing.
An underlying assumption is that peaceful protesters will be “politicized” by provoking police into responding to violence with violence. This arrogant position not only places nonviolent demonstrators at risk, it also leads to alienation and a weakening of the social change movement.
In this society, a group that chooses violence chooses to marginalize itself. Widely rejected tactics such as fire bombings or window-smashing not only lead to mass arrests, but also result in a loss of credibility and public support ….
Finally, for folks who claim to be the ultimate in condoning full libertarian autonomy, some fans of an anarchist forum seem pretty…. controlling … of their message, and that of a former colleague: – highlight comments include:
Fucking DON’T TALK TO THE CORPORATE MEDIA, idiot!
I don’t understand how this has to be stated again and again, but seriously, if you’re not involved in organizing the demo, don’t give quotes to the press about it. And for fuck’s sake, don’t give quotes about demos happening in countries in which you do not live and about demos to which you are not even going. And don’t give quotes to like the most right-wing newspaper in all of Canada.
For more from all sides, check out the page o’ links here.