Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Dear Blog Reader,

Please copy and forward this message far and wide. This is a callout to all environmental and social justice activists. Join the resistance to Hemispheria 2006, May 31st to June 2nd, 2006. Come to Winnipeg and participate in the mobilization. Organize solidarity actions in your own community.

I have been empowered to make this callout with my own voice, by a group of people in Winnipeg who are organizing to resist the Hemispheria 2006 Summit. The summit is being planned by North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO, recently merged with the North American International Trade Corridor Partnership, NAITCP). NASCO has been lobbying the American government for years to build an 18-lane superhighway down through the centre of the North American continent. The project would include rail and gas, oil, water, and electrical pipelines. It would be the infrastructure to complete the liberalization of trade between Canada and the U.S., and it would serve to channel the raw material from land in Canada to the central economy in the U.S. At Hemispheria 2006, the economic elite will discuss the future of: immigration, the Smart Border, and cultural integration.

Please join me, and respond to the Hemispheria Summit 2005 call for competitiveness. Appeal to the Government, Mayors, and entrepreneurs of Canada (and Mexico and the U.S.) to:
  1. Abandon the FTAA and NAFTA
  2. Ensure that the Canadian government prioritizes “green” energy, i.e., wind and solar power generation.
  3. Open the Canadian border to welcome all people flying from oppressive governments, climatic crises, and war. Canada ought to welcome migrants, refugees, and war resisters with open arms.
  4. Promote co-operation and co-operatives. People in Canada ought to be encouraged to manage their homes and land co-operatively and ecologically. Economic power ought to be decentralized. Localize authority over land, natural resources, and raw materials.
  5. Empower the people in Canada to develop ecological land management plans for all of Canada’s undeveloped land.
  6. Be transparent. Do not keep silent about the harmful and negative activities of powerful corporations in Canada. Foment education by making education accessible, i.e., free.
  7. Fight racism, intolerance for religions, and the “security” agenda.
  8. Cease all subsidies to corporations. Destroy all special rights accorded to corporations.

The following link reveals the Canadian Government’s movement away from the defense of people and land in Canada:

NASCO - Mid-continent Corridor,

The following document the Canadian Government’s movement away from an inclusive democracy:
The Smart Border Declaration:
Border Cooperation
32-point Action Plan
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
The Safe Third Country Agreement

The following document the redefinition of our friends and enemies, based on biology and behaviour:
"Perimeter clearance strategy: to realize a Smart Border for the 21st century" a power point presentation prepared by the Coalition of Perimeter Clearance, composed of members of the Canadian Tourism Commission,

The North American Summit “Hemispheria 2006” will bring together governors, premiers, mayors and entrepreneurs from across Mexico, the United States and Canada to consider key issues related to the competitiveness of the North American economy. The summit will also bring together North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO) which promotes trade and transportation connections along the mid-continent trade and transportation route.

The planned transportation corridor would be nearly a quarter-mile wide. It would include road and rail traffic. It would incorporate oil, gas, electric, and water lines. Networks of toll roads will function primarily to connect U.S. roads to networks in Mexico, Central and South America, and Canada.

North America's Supercorridor Coalition (NASCO, "focuses on the needs of the highways it represents, but also on the multimodal corridor as a whole – highways, rail, aviation, inland port intermodal facilities and technology. NASCO’s goal is to make the corridors it represents the world’s first fully international, integrated, intermodal trade and transportation corridor in North America.”[3]
NASCO describes itself as a public/private, non-profit corporation seeking to create an international trade corridor system throughout North America, secure funding for certain projects, and promote the development of International Trade Processing Centers. A lobbying group, linked to other lobbying groups, it is partnered with the North America’s Supercorridor Caucus in Congress and working with Senate committees on a Multi-State International Corridor Development Program. Tim Brown, a Bell County, Texas Commissioner is President.
“NORTH AMERICA'S SUPERCORRIDOR COALITION” is currently a lobby registrant (number 30352189) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The US Senate website, indicates a registrant/client relationship for which a filing was received by the SOPR. In any case, many registrants have since terminated the lobbying activity with respect to clients listed. The number does not indicate "ACTIVE" or "CURRENT" status, merely that a filing had been received pursuant to the LDA:
[6] The registrant is OCONNOR & HANNAN (and the client is NASCO).NASCO’s brand image was developed by a company called Project Partners[7]. "Project Partners was my ’right arm’ for the International Transportation Forum at AllianceTexas. We could not have done it without them." Said Paula Baucum, Director of Marketing North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition[8].
The NAITCP ( is a ‘partnership of cities of Mexico, the United States and Canada linked by a trade corridor that works to promote economic and social development in our region.’ NAITCP just held its 11th annual summit in San Pedro, Mexico, May 11-13. That meeting was called ‘Hemispheria, the North American Convergence Summit,’ and featured working groups on ‘Trade and Transportation Corridors in North America, Smart Borders, and Cultural Integration.’[9]

The Central North American Trade Corridor Association (CNATCA, aims to encourage ‘continued economic integration between the three North American countries and to foster greater collective involvement in the emerging global economy.’ CNATCA’s project, the Central North American Trade Corridor, extends from Alaska through the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, and Texas, and then south of the U.S. border to Mexico City.[10]
“Lawsuits based on environmental issues have delayed implementation of these provisions, but in June 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that environmental reviews were not required. The latest holdup is an agreement on safety standards, UPI reporting in March 2005, that Mexico would not allow U.S. safety inspectors to check trucks on its side of the border.”
As of June 10th, 2005, President Bush was continuing to demand Congressional approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Many legislators (even those who express outrage over present U.S. border problems) had caved, as of June 10th.


If you or your group wants to organize, if you have more information regarding Hemispheria 2006, or if you want more information, please contact:











[10] ibid.

[11] ibid.

[12] ibid.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Friends don't let friends build SuperCorridors

Here are the 10 commitments of attendees of the first Hemispheria. We assume these commitments will be discussed again at Hemispheria 2006 in Winnipeg.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Hunger striker may face death in a Canadian prison

Please take action to demand that the Ontario government meet the demands of Hassan Almrei concerning detention conditions. Hassan Almrei has been detained for four years without trial on a security certificate, and is currently (Aug. 26) on Day 65 of a hunger strike (see below). Hassan Almrei is at imminent risk of permanent disability and perhaps death. Please do what you can to avert this outcome.

For further details, you can contact:

Janet Cleveland:
Phone: 514-343-6111 (extension 8777)
Matthew Behrens
Email :
Phone: 416-651-5800

Hassan Almrei is now on Day 65 of his hunger strike. He is emaciated and weakened, but his spirit has not yet been broken. The light flickers, but has not yet gone out.

Hassan Almrei, a refugee, has been imprisoned in solitary confinement without trial in a Canadian prison for 4 years under a security certificate, and is under threat of deportation to Syria where he risks torture. He is demanding minimally decent conditions of detention; his main demand is the right to one hour a day of exercise outside of his cell. The Ontario government (this is a provincial prison) has callously refused to make the tiniest concession.
In July, Alexandre Trudeau, Naomi Klein, Heather Mallick, Avi Lewis and other well-known personalities came forward to support Hassan Almrei’s request for release on bail (decision still pending). Questioned about his motives, Trudeau stated “I presume he's innocent”, adding that it is unacceptable that a person be imprisoned in Canada without being charged and without the right to a fair and public trial. Three of Hassan Almrei’s prison guards also testified in his favour, stating that he is an ‘honourable’, ‘trustworthy’ and decent man. One guard even stated that he would have no hesitation to have Hassan as a neighbour, saying “I would trust him”.
This is Hassan Almrei’s 6th hunger strike in four years. On previous hunger strikes he has asked for rights as basic as heating in his icy cell in winter, but had to go to court to obtain them. Almrei is waiting for a court date once again, but it may come too late.

By way of comparison: in 1981, Bobby Sands and 9 other IRA prisoners on hunger strike died after periods varying from 46 to 73 days, after sustaining severe organ damage (e.g., blindness). Several survivors of the strike remained permanently handicapped. In 1996, many Kurdish hunger strikers in Turkey died after periods of 65 to 69 days.

Please don’t let this happen to Hassan Almrei. Please don’t let the light go out.

Please write or call Monte Kwinter, the Ontario minister, immediately to ask that Hassan Almrei’s demands be met. A massive, immediate flood of calls, emails and faxes are needed in order to turn the tide.

Hon. Monte Kwinter
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th floor, 25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON, M7A 1Y6
Phone: (416) 325-0408
Fax: (416) 325-6067

Here is a sample letter (feel free to copy)

August 26, 2005
Hon. Monte Kwinter
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Government of Ontario
Object: Hunger strike of Hassan Almrei

Dear sir,

I am writing to urge you to take immediate action to meet the legitimate demands of Hassan Almrei, who has been detained without trial in an Ontario prison for four years and is now on a hunger strike to demand minimally decent conditions of detention. His main demand is for one hour a day of exercise outside of his cell.

As of today (Friday, August 26), Hassan Almrei is on Day 65 of his hunger strike. Hassan Almrei was already in poor health before beginning his current hunger strike. He is at imminent risk of permanent, severe impairment, and very possibly, of death.

By way of comparison: in 1981, Bobby Sands and 9 other IRA prisoners on hunger strike died after periods varying from 46 to 73 days after sustaining severe organ damage (e.g., blindness). Several survivors of the strike remained permanently handicapped. In 1996, many Kurdish hunger strikers in Turkey died after periods of 65 to 69 days.

Please intervene immediately to try to find a humane solution to this situation. You have the power, and therefore the moral responsibility, to resolve this crisis.

As Canadians, we pride ourselves on respecting basic human rights. Please remain true to this fundamental value. Should Hassan Almrei die or be permanently handicapped, it would be to our lasting shame and dishonour as Canadians and as members of the human family.


Please cc Anne McLellan and Joe Volpe, the federal ministers responsible for security certificates, and add a demand for a fair and public trial for all 5 men currently detained on security certificates.

Anne McLellan, Phone: (613) 992-4524 Fax: (613) 943-0044 or

Joe Volpe Phone: (613) 992-6361 Fax: (613) 992-9791 or

You can also cc correspondence to Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada at or fax (416) 651-9770 or by mail to PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0, or let them know that you have phoned Kwinter’s office. Hassan Almrei needs to know that he is not alone, that there are people who care enough to take action. For more information:

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Monte Kwinter

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th floor, 25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto ON M7A 1Y6
Phone: (416) 325-0408
Fax: (416) 325-6067

Object: Hunger strike of Hassan Almrei and Mohammed Majoub

Dear sir,

I am writing to urge you to take immediate action to meet the legitimate demands of Hassan Almrei and Mohammed Majoub, who have been detained without trial in Ontario prisons for several years and are both on hunger strike to demand minimally decent conditions of detention.

Almrei has been held in solitary confinement for 4 years; he is asking for the right to have one hour a day of exercise outside of his cell. Majoub, who had been detained for 5 years, is asking for contact visits with his wife and children. Almrei and Majoub have never been charged with any crime, much less found guilty. Even if Almrei and Majoub were guilty of some misdee (which remains to be proved), their detention conditions are totally unacceptable, far worse than those of most convicted criminals. Indeed, being detained in solitary confinement for four years (in the case of Almrei) meets international definitions of torture.

As of today (August 24), Hassan Almrei is on Day 63 of his hungerstrike and Mohammed Mahjoub on Day 48. Matthew Behrens (TASC) reports that their condition is deteriorating, particularly that of Hassan Almrei. Mr. Almrei was already in poor health before beginning his current hunger strike and is imminently at risk of serious and permanent damage to his health.

Please intervene immediately to try to find a humane solution to this situation. Failure to act quickly could have grave and irreversible consequences. As Canadians, we pride ourselves on respecting basic human rights. Please remain true to this fundamental value.


fax (416) 651-9770
PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West,
Toronto ON M6C 1C0

Saturday, August 20, 2005


September 24, 2005
Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan
Let the War Resisters Stay in Canada

The Canadian Peace Alliance is calling on its member groups, individuals and supporters to mobilize for a pan-Canadian day of action against the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and in support of US military war resisters on Saturday, September 24th, 2005. On that date, tens of thousands of people will participate in a huge anti-war demonstration in Washington, DC. We in Canada stand in solidarity with our American friends as we call on the Government of Canada to uphold international law by declaring the war of occupation in Iraq to be illegal under the charter of the United Nations. We are also calling for the removal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan as it is the largest contingent of support for the US led war of terror. It is more than two years since the invasion of Iraq and the violence there continues. Far from being in its last throes, the Iraqi resistance grows with each new round of violence coming from the occupying forces. With more than 100,000 Iraqis and 1,700 US soldiers dead, the international community will once again call for an end to this illegal and immoral war. Despite the virtual blackout on news involving the conduct of the US/UK forces in the country and the fa├žade of independence brought about by the elections in Iraq, more and more people all over the world and, crucially, in the US are opposing this war. In Canada, the federal government is moving in exactly the opposite direction. They have doubled the military budget and increased support for the US-led 'war on terror' by increasing troop levels in Afghanistan. As General Hillier's recent belligerent comments indicate, Canada provides increasingly open support for a broader campaign, led by the United States government, to assert control over the Middle East region. Also, Canadian corporations continue to profit from the war while people of Muslim and Arab backgrounds, such as the ‘Secret Trial Five’, face ongoing harassment, intimidation and racial profiling. In addition, the number of US war resisters coming to Canada is growing each month. They are refusing to participate in the illegal war on Iraq - just as the Government of Canada did. Yet the Canadian government has intervened to prevent these war resisters from raising the issue of the illegality of the war in their refugee claims. The Immigration and Refugee Board has already denied refuge to Jeremy Hinzman, a decision which is being appealed to the federal court. We need to challenge the Canadian government's hypocrisy and demand that today's war resisters, like those who came before them during the Vietnam War, be given refuge in this country. This is a crucial campaign for the peace movement. If we can open the border to US war resisters, we can very concretely undermine George Bush’s ability to wage wars of aggression. In the wake of the London bombings, this task becomes ever more crucial. As with September 11, 2001, the response from Western governments is to cynically exploit these tragic acts in an attempt to legitimize militarism, occupation and aggression. But the London bombings show that the so-called ‘war on terror’ makes our world a less safe place as this cycle of violence escalates. We will only have true security if our governments stop this cycle of violence.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Two things


Glenda Whiteman just got a complete discharge! The judge said that the community needs people like Glenda! Congratulations Concerned Residents of Winnipeg for pushing the envelope with civil disobedience. Malathion makes me sick!

Check out Glenda's statement, which the judge didn't let her read in court:


The Greenpeace ship Esperanza arrived in Halifax last week with images and stories of deep sea destruction by high seas bottom trawlers in the Northwest Atlantic. For more information, please click here>>

To say no to destructive bottom trawling, please click here>>.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Links for the Hemispheria 2006 research team

The Smart Border Declaration:

Border Cooperation

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act


"Perimeter clearance strategy: to realize a Smart Border for the 21st century" a power point presentation prepared by the Coalition of Perimeter Clearance, composed of members of the Canadian Tourism Commission,

NASCO - Mid-continent Corridor

No One Is Illegal

Homes Not Bombs

Not A Colony

Centre for Research on Globalization

Canada and the New American Empire

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Check out this link:

As one of the world's most profitable companies, ExxonMobil has the power to move the world toward a more sustainable energy future. Instead, ExxonMobil has acted consistently to move the world backward on energy policy by opposing efforts to stop global warming, lobbying to drill in pristine wilderness areas, and failing to promote renewable energy and fuel efficiency.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Weyerhaeuser's illegal Boreal logging exposed

Investigations by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) have revealed that Weyerhaeuser is illegally logging in Canada's Boreal to make plywood and copy paper for Xerox and other U.S. corporations. In Saskatchewan: The Province of Weyerhaeuser, a case study released July 15, 2005, government documents confirm that Weyerhaeuser exceeded its legal summer logging allowance by 100 percent and 20-year road building allowance by 70 percent in less than five years. According to Saskatchewan law, Weyerhaeuser currently owes the province $1.5 million in fines for these violations. Despite known violations, Weyerhaeuser is currently certified as "sustainable" by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The Saskatchewan Environmental Society has retained the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, to appeal Weyerhaeuser's certification, and call on Justice Minister Frank Quennell to investigate "the long-standing, continuing and current legal non-compliance by Weyerhaeuser's Saskatchewan Forestlands operations."
View the July 15, 2005 RAN press release
View the RAN Case Study - Saskatchewan: The Province of Weyerhaeuser
Take Action through RAN - Send a letter to decision-makers
View the RAN Old Growth Campaign web page

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Water wars

The State of North Dakota thinks that dumping $50,000 worth of gravel inthe Devils Lake outletwill quiet Manitobans (and Canadians, and Americans) opposed to the outlet project. gravel will stop adult fish, fish eggs, and some plants. But pollutants, pathogens and other foreign species from Devils Lake will still get through the gravel bed into the Red River. There are no plans to delay the testing of the pumps (today or tomorrow), or opening of the outlet by next week. Canadian, and Minnesotan scientists have recently been allowed to take water samples from Devils Lake for testing. But North Dakota is not going to wait for the results of these tests before opening the outlet. Despite vehement opposition from citizens, non-profit groups, commercial fishers, and governments across both Canada and the U.S., North Dakota plans to proceed with the Devils Lake outlet without review under the Boundary Waters Treaty by the International Joint Commission. The Devils Lake water diversion project is an environmental issue, but it is also an enormous economic issue for Manitoba, as well as a question of international relations if North Dakota proceeds unilaterally in harming a shared water resource between Canada and the U.S. Show North Dakota that the legitimate concerns of Manitobans cannot be so easily brushed aside! Take action!There is very little time left, but both politicians and the media are paying close attention to this issue at the moment. Every effort will count at this late date! Tell your MLA, your MP, the Premier and the Prime Minister that you do not want North Dakota to test or open the Devils Lake outlet while negotiations are ongoing! Support Friends of the Earth in their campaign against the Devils Lake outllet - sign the petition! Boycott North Dakota!Call or e-mail the Prime Minister (613) 992-4211,, or I'm sure that Mr. Martin has been working long and hard on this issue, but it's time he heard from individual people. It is time for the government of Canada to put its foot down and stop being so polite. Diplomacy has not been successful. It's time for the PM to see how many people are counting on him to stand up for Canadians at this critical time. the PM to meet with Friends of the Earth to receive the petition, bearing the signatures of Canadians who are calling on the Canadian government to take legal action against North Dakota to ensure properreview of the Devils Lake project before the water starts to flow. Encourage both the PM and Premier of Manitoba to commit funds to support Manitobans in legal action against North Dakota!Call or e-mail the Premier of Manitoba (204) 945-3714 and -3715, Premier Gary Doer has also been working on this issue for many years. Let him know that, as a citizen of Manitoba, you support his every effort at this "eleventh hour" of the debate. This is not the way the people in Manitoba want to be treated by the southward trading partner! minute discussions are ongoing about the possibility of installing a sand filter (much more elaborate than the gravel bed currently being added), but no final decision has yet been reached. It has also not been determined whether Manitoba would be stuck paying the $18 million bill for the filter, or whether the filter would actually succeed in protectingManitoba waterways, and commercial fisheries from the potential pollutants, pathogens, and foreign species in Devils Lake. Tell the Premier that a sand filter (with micron sized passage) is the least Manitoba will accept in this dispute. But even this filter would not prevent all pathogens and foreign species from entering the Red River and Lake Winnipeg, and does nothing to stop dissolved pollutants from contaminating Manitoban waterways. Urge the Premier to continue to pursue a reference to the International Joint Commission (IJC) for the Devils Lake project. The IJC has a long history of resolution of trans-boundary waterdisputes. Its mandate would require full scientific review of the project, and negotiations would seek a solution acceptable to all parties.Contact the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S., Frank McKenna (202) 682-1740, canada@canadianembassy.org McKenna has been working very hard on this issue, and negotitated the addition of the gravel filter currently being constructed for the outlet. Check out Canada's statement to the IJC, and letters of support for Canada's concerns in the Devils Lake dispute at your MP!Visit the Government of Canada website: (click on the Members ofParliament for contact info, or find your MP using your postal code). Phone numbers for your MPs local constituency office can also be found in the back of the White Pages. (And if you put your MPs name into a search engine, you may also find their constituency website.)Contact Reg Alcock, President of the Treasury Board, and Minister responsible for Manitoba(204) 984-6787, (613) 995-7517,, or Alcock.R@parl.gc.ca your MLA andContact Manitoba's Minister of Water Stewardship, Mr. Steve Ashton (204) 945-1133, Express your support for the Provincial government's efforts to date, and encourage the province to commit funds to the legal defence of Manitoban priorities!Download and sign the Friend of the Earth PetitionMore than 1500 signatures have been collected in only two weeks - and there are many more people who want to make their voices heard! Petitions must be submitted bearing original signatures to be eligible for presentation to Parliament. Contact to arrange to submit your signed petition, or drop it off at the Manitoba Eco-Network (3-303 Portage Ave, 3rd floor of the MEC building, M-F 9am-5pm), or keep an eye out for FOE volunteers canvassing in public places around Winnipeg!(At the FOE website you can also make a donation to the legal/education fund online, Municipalities, First Nations groups, environmental organizations, and many neighbouring provinces and states have declared that the Devils Lake water diversion project needs to be reviewed under the Boundary Waters Treaty bythe International Joint Commission. However, neither the State of North Dakota nor the U.S. Federal government has agreed to this review, which would include a thorough scientific assessment. The Provincial and Federal governments have been negotiating for years over this issue. Friends ofthe Earth recently retained Canada's leading environmental lawyer to advise Manitoban First Nations and Municipalities on their legal options in this dispute. Although many leaders of these groups expressed an interest in taking legal action, funds are tight around the province after repairing the extensive flood damage this year, and the necessary funds have not yet been found to pursue North Dakota in court.)Express your concern to the man with his political hand on the Devils Lake tap, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven: