Friday, January 08, 2010
Monday, December 28, 2009
"In the face of global economic crisis, migrants have no other choice but to organize Migrante Canada, December 18, 2009"
Parts 2-7 available on Youtube
Statement by Migrante Canada
On the Occasion of International Migrants Day - December 18, 2009
Migrante organizations in Canada join migrants around the world in celebrating International Migrants’ Day and renewing our commitment to struggle for the rights and welfare of all migrants. As the Canadian state grapples with its own economic and political crises, migrants along with the Canadian working people persevere in their resistance to attacks on their rights.
Canada is one of the major destinations of Filipino migrants. It is also one of the countries with the worst track record in terms of labour and immigration policies. Labour and immigration rights especially those of migrants have been eroded and continue to be eroded. This year alone was marked by a series of US-style immigration raids, deportation of the undocumented and the sick, curtailment of migrants’ rights to organize through their anti migrant labour policies. Canada continues to do this while expanding its Temporary Foreign Workers Program, one that is designed to import cheap foreign labour without protection and without access to permanent residency.
The Philippine government, on the other hand, claims with pride that deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in 2008 increased by 14% from the previous year – what with the incessant and vigorous marketing efforts of its personnel abroad. It has also been very active in forging bilateral labour agreements to ensure the smooth outflow and bigger deployment of Filipino migrants. The Arroyo regime sent over a million workers abroad in the past year. Rather than addressing the root causes of poverty at home, this ruling clique like its predecessors would rather export Filipinos abroad.
Sending and receiving countries will continue to peddle “free market” globalization and force those conditions on the sending countries that will push workers to migrate, submit to even lower wages and acquiesce to even the most oppressive conditions. Gatherings backed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) such as the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) will continue to become a tool of imperialist globalization to rationalize the systematic commodification of migrants.
There is no better response to such attacks on migrants’ rights and welfare than organized action. Filipino migrants in Canada recently scored victories but only after a persistent and still continuing campaign to win changes to the Live-In Caregiver Program. On Saturday, December 12, 2009, the Canadian Government announced that it would adopt the Juana Tejada Law, calling for the elimination of the required medical examination for live-in caregivers applying for permanent residence.
Still Migrante Canada as one of the organizations at the helm of this struggle must continue to strengthen and expand its ranks. With organizations in BC, Alberta, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, it must persist in building a strong countrywide alliance, unite with migrants of other nationalities and engage in solidarity with the Canadian working people if it is to carry such initial hard-won gains forward. Only through the strengthening of the grassroots migrants’ movement will the struggle for the rights and well being of migrant workers advance.
Marco Luciano - 647.205.5908 firstname.lastname@example.org migrante.ca
Monday, December 21, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Click here to listen to December 14 RADIO BASICS for a special feature on Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, and hear what Detroit community leaders are saying about his assassination.
On October 28, 2009, the 53-year-old Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the Imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq in Detroit, was shot 18-times by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and left for dead.
The FBI launched its attack on Imam Luqman after it had built up a formal criminal complaint against him using the statements provided by paid infiltrators of the mosque – who were themselves known criminals. But these documents contained neither charges of terrorism nor violations of federal law.
What the official 42-page indictment document did indicate, however, was that one FBI sources had tried to enlist Abdullah in a plan to attack the 2006 Superbowl in Detroit. Abdullah rejected the proposal by what he thought was a fellow member of the mosque (really an FBI agent) saying that he would play no part in hurting innocent people.
The charges listed in the criminal complaint were all constitutional rights of American citizens. Imam Abdullah was charged with possessing guns (which half of Americans own) and with preaching separatism (which is not only a matter of his freedom of speech, but has been a political position held by countless popular black, indigenous, Chicano, and Puerto Rican individuals and organizations in the face of systemic racism, barbarism, and exploitation in the U.S.).
According to the indictment document, built up from statements provided by the FBI infiltrators, Imam Abdullah had told his followers that if the police ever tried to take his weapon – again, a constitutional right – or tried to apprehend him, he would resist. With that information in hand, the FBI had the information they needed to construct a scenario where they Abdullah could be killed.
The FBI set up a warehouse of stolen goods, lured Imam Abdullah in through one of the infiltrators, and orchestrated a scenario were Abdullah would not come out alive. All that has been told to the public at this time is that Abdullah shot an FBI dog (which, if this is true, was most likely in self-defense after the animal attacked him. In response, we are told, Abdullah was shot 18 times and left to die while the dog was flown away by medical helicopter. Another telling detail is that Abdullah was handcuffed at some point throughout the affair – either before being shot 18 times, or after.
Representatives of the U.S. Attorney General’s office have confirmed that Imam Abdullah never fired on the federal agents.
As the National Lawyers Guild wrote on Novemebr 2: “By publicizing the killing and arrests as related to terrorism, absent any such allegations in the complaint, the FBI seems to be engaging in the same tactics used in its Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) [widely used in the 1960s and ‘70s] in which it spied on, infiltrated and disrupted political movements. Imam Abdullah had a close relationship with Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, was a field organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and later served as national chairman of the Black Panther Party (BPP).”
Director of the Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, D.C. told Press TV: “What the government is doing by assassinating Imam Luqman is trying to intimidate the Muslim community, especially the black community. And I say that because the immigrant community, which is about half of the Muslims in the United States and the African American Muslim community, which form the other half, have different views about Islam in America and how it should be fostered.”
“The immigrant community has been frightened since the 9/11 terrorist attack and they practice the kind of American-style Islam. Now, the killing of Imam Luqman is to intimidate us [African Americans]. But our message is different. We will not be intimidated by the United States government or by the FBI.”
Indeed, communities have not been intimidated by assassination, evidenced by the more than 1000 people in attendance at the Imam’s funeral on October 31, 2009, and the multiple demonstrations and events that have since been held.
and family members at the funeral for his father on October 31, 2009.
to protest the assassination of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah of the Masjid Al-Haqq.
Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor of the Pan-African News Wire, as well as the Detroit-based MECAWI (Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice), are calling for a truly indepdenent people’s commission on inquiry that would issue a report and demand sanctions and criminal charges against those involved in the shooting and in ordering the operation.
The only crime that Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah has committed in the eyes of the U.S. government is in being a strong and inspiring community leader and organizer, like countless black leaders and vocal opponents of the U.S. government have been gunned down by the U.S. government for precisely the same reason.
Currently, at least thirteen other individuals have been arrested and charged because of their association with Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah and his mosque, including his son Mujahid Carswell, ten other members of the Masjid AL-Haqq, and two Canadians from Windsor. Although the mainstream media has painted their arrests and charges with the same “counter-terrorism” brush used to legitimize Imam Abdullah’s assassination, no terrorism-related have been laid on any of the other individuals.
More resources on the case available on the Pan-African News Wire.
"MU TODAY, YOU TOMORROW": Artists Rally to the Defense of Mujahid Carswell, the son of FBI-Assassinated Imam
Mujahid Carswell (right) and brother Jamil, sons of the assassinated Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, rapping at ‘Mu Today, You Tomorrow’ Benefit Concert.
On December 10, 2009, the downtown Detroit venue The Shelter hosted the ‘Mu Today, You Tomorrow’ Benefit Concert to raise funds for the legal defense of Mujahid Carswell – the son of the FBI-assassinated Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah (see BASICS coverage on this issue).
Over 25 artists and speakers rocked the mic that night, including Professor Griff of Public Enemy – the legendary Long Island hip-hop group founded in 1982. Undoubtedly one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time, in 2004 Rolling Stone magazine ranked Public Enemy as 44 out of the 100 “Immortals: The Greatest Artists of All Time.”
The crowd was also graced with revolutionary poetry of living legend Umar Bin Hassan – a founding member of The Last Poets, the group of poets and musicians founded in 1968 whose rhythms and raps have been credited with laying the foundation for the emergence of hip-hop.
Detroit rappers Invincible and Finale also threw down, along with a spoken intervention by Minister Malik Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party. An incredible performance and some words were also provided by the assassinated Iman’s sons Mujahid Carswell and his brother Jamil. ‘Mu’ showed the crowd the ankle bracelet he was forced to wear since his release and had to leave the show early to make his curfew.
The large crowd and jam-packed bill of performers and speakers demonstrated that the people of Detroit haven’t being duped by the “counter-terrorism” lies propagated by the FBI and the monopoly media, which have served to justify the assassination of a community leader and the legal targeting of twelve other individuals associated with his mosque, including Mu Carswell, ten other members of the Masjid Al-Haqq in Detroit, and two Canadians from Windsor. Speakers and artists made no mistake in identifying the killing of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah as targeted assassination by the FBI, another black leader killed in the long list of state-sponsored assassinations conducted under the auspices of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO).
Community organizations in Detroit are now fighting for a genuinely independent People’s Commission of Inquiry to bring to light details of the assassination.
On December 6, Toronto police in the downtown entertainment district assaulted Toronto-area hip-hop artist and youth worker, Verse.
The incident began when police decided to intervene in a discussion between the MC and a taxi driver. Verse was struck at least once, before being thrown to the ground and repeatedly punched. Verse sustained injuries that included bruising and swelling on his face and head, after which he was arrested and taken to 52 Division. He was detained throughout the night, for more than 8 hours and was eventually released with no charges.
Incidents such as this one are far too common in our city, as at least 6 Toronto Police have been charged with assault this year. This past October two Toronto Police Constables, Edward Ing and John Cruz were charged with the assault causing bodily harm after Richard Moore, a 58-year-old man was hospitalized. Const. Allan Racette was charged with assault, while Const. Boris Petkovic was charged with aggravated assault and for discharging his weapon. Const. Ricardo Gomez was also charged with assault, as was Const. Jason Goss who is alleged to have assaulted a man during an arrest in the Lansdowne and Bloor area. But for every case of an officer being charged with assault, there are countless cases where the police get away with their crimes. Frequently enough, the victims are themselves charged “assaulting a police officer” or “resisting arrest” after getting a beat down by the boys in blue.
This past October 2009, The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) was opened. On their website they describe their office as an “arms-length” agency of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General whose goal is to provide an objective office to deal with “public complaints against Ontario’s police”. Folks can make complaints against the police online on their website: www.oiprd.on.ca. According to critics, this new agency does little to protect the interests of the people making a complaint, and only forwards the concerns to the police agency in question. Until we have genuine civilian oversight of the police and community control over police policy, there will be little we can do defend against the day-to-day police abuse in our city.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
More than just a newspaper, BASICS is an organizing tool for the multiple struggles unfolding in our society -
the struggles for decent housing, for a livable wage, to bring police brutality to a halt, and more.
Saturday, December 19: 9pm-3am
some of TO's finest in revolutionary underground hip-hop:
Ali the Son of Abdul
all of whom you can find at
Friday, December 04, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
VIDEO LINK: BASICS, J4A, NO COPS - A Public Forum on Oppression, Popular Education, and Community Organization
Monday, November 30, 2009
A Public Statement by NO COPS (Neighbourhood Organizing Coalition Against Police in Schools)
Toronto Police Services’ own report on the School Resource Officer program shows that the program has had no positive impact toward any of its claimed goals.
Toronto – November 25, 2009: The Neighbourhood Organized Coalition Opposed to Police in Schools (NOCOPS) questions whether the Toronto Police Services (TPS) misinterpreted or misrepresented the data from the 2008/2009 School Resource Officer (SRO)Program Evaluation Report. NOCOPS is a coalition of concerned parents, students, teachers and community members who have been monitoring the SRO program since its implementation in September, 2007
“If this report had been written by a student, it would definitely not pass as it draws conclusions contrary to its own data” said NOCOPS member and teacher James Campbell.
The Evaluation Report was released to the public on November 18, 2009 with claims that the data suggests the SRO program has been “beneficial to crime prevention, crime reporting and relationship building in schools and surrounding neighbourhoods.”
Yet an unbiased review of the data reveals that the report has had zero impact on student perception of safety and zero impact on student willingness to report crimes.
To quote from the report itself, “overall student perception of safety in their school and in the neighbourhood surrounding the school did not improve”. In fact, there was no increase in feelings that the SRO made the school safer even for students who had talked to the SRO informally or about a problem they were having. Perhaps of greatest concern is that the report confirms that many students feel less safe with SROs in the schools, as those students “who thought [the program] was a bad idea were more likely to say they did not feel safe (18%)”.
The data also shows that overall the presence of an SRO did not change students’ willingness to report being a victim or a witness to a crime.
The report also provides no credible data that the SRO program made any impact on reducing crime in or around school grounds. For this part of the report the TPS compared total number of offences and victimization from the 2007-2008 school year and the 2008-2009 school year – both on school grounds and within 200 meters of school grounds over all times of the day and concluded that “offences and victimization generally decreased in 2008/2009 compared to the previous school year”.
However, there were serious reliability problems with different aspects of how this crime data was analyzed. The study did not use any control (that is, collecting and comparing similar crime data from schools that did not have an SRO) or factor in overall reduction in crime statistics in the 2008/2009 school year compared to the 2007/2008 school year.
In addition, some of the data for this portion of the study was too small to have any statistical relevance. For example, data for incidence of victimization on school grounds during school hours compared only 2 incidents in 2007/2008 to zero incidents in 2008/2009 in a single school, generating an impressive (but statistically meaningless) 100% decrease in victimization.
Further, when comparing crime in SRO schools at the beginning of the program and at the end of the program, the report says that “When the geographical area for reported victimizations was expanded to 200 meters around the school, however, there were fewer victims over all hours and outside of school hours, but there were more victims during school hours.”[Emphasis added] The data suggests that the presence of SROs inside these schools has only served to displace victimization incidents off of school property.
NOCOPS community member Alok Premjee emphasized that “The survey methodology for the evaluation is seriously suspect and would not come close to meeting the basic requirements of any government funded program analysis, let alone be considered adequate justification for a program that costs over 5 million dollars per year to run. Among other things, there was no opportunity for students to respond if they had been negatively impacted by the SRO. The troubling arrest of a student at Northern Secondary is only one highly publicized event among numerous incidences we have documented where students have felt violated or targeted by the SRO at their school”.
The TPS misrepresentation of the results from this study is no surprise since the TPS not only initiated the program, but also developed the surveys, analyzed the data and wrote the report. There has been no independent evaluation with absolutely zero independent input anywhere. Even the most highly touted piece of data (suggesting an 11% increase in the proportion of students who felt the relationship between police and students was good or excellent) is inconsequential since the proportion of students who felt the relationship was poor or fair showed no significant change. Essentially, students who already felt comfortable with the police and liked the program and students who did not feel comfortable with the police and felt the SRO program was a bad idea felt exactly the same way a year later.
As stated by NOCOPS member and parent Niraj Joshi “it is particularly troubling that the TPS is using the study to recommend additional investment of precious funds and institutional resources in this failed program. We should not be wasting taxpayer money on the universally unproven and yet costly experiment of the SRO program. Instead, the TDSB and the province must allocate these provincial funds toward immediately implementing the recommendations put forward from two independent community consultations (the Falconer Report on School Safety and the Curling-McMurtry Report on the Roots of Youth Violence) for both engaging youth and making our schools safer”.
For More Information Contact: