Camilo Ballesteros, an influential leader in the Chilean student movement, is a student at the Santiago University of Chile (Universidad de Santiago de Chile-FEUSACH). In 2009 he was elected president of the Faculty of Physical Education Students Union. In 2010, he was elected president of the FEUSAC Students Federation. In this capacity he became one of the most important student leaders during the 2011 students’ national mobilization. As part of a cross-country Canadian university tour, Camilo will speak on the Chilean student movement, social change and the demand for free, quality education for everyone. All are welcome to attend. Event poster and parking map
A number of initiatives are in the works, including a legal challenge to the demolition of 1755 Hamilton. The next issue of Prairie Dog , due out on February 9, is likely to have an article on the matter.
Several affordable housing initiatives are also in the process of being developed. The main task is to get the City of Regina to partner with citizens concerned about the housing crisis, as well as with Regina business, religious and community leaders, and then to take the affordable housing message to the province. If you want to be in on the email loop, please send a message to
There’s lots going on in Regina during International Development Week. Yesterday, our journalism students and others had a great conversation with photojournalist Peter Bregg about his work with WaterCan in Africa. Tonight there’s a poetry slam, and Thursday evening a talk by War Child’s Samantha Nutt. On Friday night at the Royal Sask Museum, Susan Risk and myself will be premiering our film about journalism in Burma, Breaking Open Burma. The film will follow Global Citizen Awards presented to Sue Deranger and youth activist Connor Kindred. People should come, there will be food and drinks, and the film is not too boring. Check out the schedule at www.earthbeat.sk.ca.
As violence continues to unfold in Syria, members of Regina's Syrian community are calling on citizens to show their support for the embattled protestors. The community is calling on multi-faith and peace groups to spread the word about a noon-hour rally in Victoria Park this Saturday, Feb.11 . "The situation in Syria is extremely disastrous. Your support can save lives," the organizers say.
Torture as Acceptable Government Policy: USA, NATO and Canada
Contributed by John W. Warnock
Monday, 16 January 2012
On January 5 Afghan President Hamid Karzai declared that within one month the U.S. government and NATO must hand over control of the Parwan prison at Agram Air Force Base north of Kabul to the Afghan government. An Afghan government commission investigated and reported that the there is systematic abuse of those held in this prison.
Gul Rahman Qazi, head of the commission, told the press that only 300 of the 2700 mainly Afghans held at the prison had been charged with any offense. The remainder “were being held without charges or evidence of guilt” and should be released. The vast majority of detainees had “no access to the courts” or family members. Many of those who had been charged in court and released, or who had served enough time in the jail to cover their sentences, were still being held by NATO authorities on the grounds that they were suspected of being insurgents.
In addition, the Afghan commission charged that detainees were being subjected to practices that were widely understood to be torture. These included beatings, various techniques of sleep deprivation, being held in small cells with no light, no heat and inadequate clothes and blankets, and being stripped and given intrusive body searches. Some of those who had not been charged were held for long periods of time in solitary confinement.
Last week the U.S. government announced that the ninth Predator Drone will be deployed protecting the borders of the United States against the infiltration of terrorists, criminals, drug traffickers and economic refugees. Six of these unmanned attack aircraft are based in Arizona and Texas and operate along the border with Mexico. The other three operate along the northern border, between Minneapolis and Seattle. They are stationed at the Grand Forks, ND U.S. Air Force base. When the program of U.S. government monitoring the “undefended border” began it had the full support of the Harper government. The Predator drones operate high in the sky and cannot be seen or heard from the ground. They are active far from the bases where they are stationed and directed. They can monitor individuals well across the border into Canada. The U.S. government insists that so far they have not been armed with missiles.
At Monday's meeting of City Council, Fred Clipsham's motion--"Prevent the
demolition of the apartment block at 1755 Hamilton Street"--passed
unanimously. This means the motion will appear as an agenda item at the next
City Council meeting, which will take place Monday January 23.
At that meeting, interested members of the public will be able to make
presentations. Presentations must be no longer than 10 minutes. They must be
submitted in writing to the City Clerk a few days before the meeting.
Although any one who wishes is free to give a presentation, I think we
would be wise to draw up a list of presenters so that as many groups as possible
are represented and so we do not become too repetitive.
Thanks to everyone who made phone calls or sent emails to the Mayor and
City Councillors. They really made a difference. Thanks also to all those who
showed up at last night's meeting.
City Council will be talking about housing at its meeting tomorrow,
Monday December 19, starting at 5:30. Fred Clipsham will make a motion
to defer taking a decision on the 1755 Hamilton Street building (the
Black Building) until Council's January meeting.
The Black Building is a 46 unit, low-rent
apartment building in downtown Regina. Recently tenants were
given eviction notices and the property, owned by Westland Properties,
is set to be demolished.
If Fred's motion passes, then we will have a few more weeks to get ourselves organized to oppose the demolition.
We need a full house at the Council meeting. Spread the word.
Also on the agenda: Heritage designations for the Cornwall Row House, Turgeon International Hostel and the Waddell Residence.
results of the Regina Revitalization Initiative’s (RRI) private/public
partnership (P3) study. Council will look to recommend a P3 as a way to
fund a new stadium.
The third recommendation in the report states that council will ask
administration to guide them on the type of stadium they should
pursue through the P3 process.
The issue of the veiling of women is again on the political agenda in Canada. The mainstream media has generally portrayed this as a conflict between the state and the right of women to assert their freedom of religion under the Charter of Rights. However, there is nothing in the Qur’an (I have read an English version) that even implies that women should be veiled when in public. If this were so, then you would not see so many women in Muslim countries around the world who do not wear any form of the veil.
The veiling of women is a patriarchal cultural practice that was widespread around the world before the beginning of Christianity and Islam. In her study of the origins of patriarchy, U.S. historian Gerda Lerner found that what seems to us today to be extreme misogynist laws and practices date back to the pre-state tribal and agricultural societies of the Near East. They are then codified in state regimes, including the Code of Hammurabi (1752 BCE), the Middle Assyrian kingdoms (15th to 11th BCE) and the Hebrew laws (1200 - 400 BCE).
1755 Hamilton Street is a 46 unit, low-rent apartment building in downtown
Regina. Recently tenants were given eviction notices and the property, owned by
Westland Properties, is set to be demolished.
In the context of Regina's housing crisis, the demolition of such a
building is surely unethical. 1755 Hamilton Street is one of the few remaining
places in the city offering low-rent accommodation. The vacancy rate in Regina
is currently 0.6%, which essentially means there is no rental accommodation
What can we do to stop the evictions and the demolition?
Here are a few ideas I have. Please add to the list.
1. Form a coalition of all the groups in the city concerned about the
2. Start a campaign of some sort. For example, send 1000s of messages
to City Councillors over the holiday period.
3. Whatever we do, we would need to get media attention.
Please let us do something. Not only might we be able to save this low-rent
apartment building, we could also let City Hall know that many of the city's
residents want it to address the housing crisis.
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