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South Western Ontario Sex Workers Reject the Department of Justice’s Consultation into Canada’s Anti-Prostitution Laws

SWOSWers | South.Western.Ontario.Sex.Workers.
swoswers@gmail.com

We are sex workers of South Western Ontario and we are a group of individuals that either have lived experiences of working within the trade or working with individuals who are currently in the trade.

We do not support the criminalization of the trade, including clients, sex workers, and/or third parities.

We approach sex work from a rights based approach.

We acknowledge the diversity within the trade across race, gender, class, ability, etc.

We view sex workers as persons with agency and capable of making decisions for themselves and by themselves.

We support all types of sex work including indoor and outdoor sex work.

We are of the opinion that it is because of the criminalization that sex workers experience inequitable access to non-judgmental and non-discriminatory services in other areas of their lives.

We reject the results from the month-long online consultation conducted by the Department of Justice based on the following:

-       The consultation’s discussion paper and survey questions presented a biased perspective on the topic of sex work legislation. Specifically, the discussion paper conflated decriminalization models with legalization models and it assumed that the Nordic model delineates who and what is the problem with prostitution. When in reality, the Nordic model produces negative outcomes for people in prostitution as opposed to allegedly helping people in prostitution, as noted in the discussion paper itself.[1] Research also shows that the Nordic model does not provide adequate safety measures for sex workers and will produce the same issues and problems as the previous legal regime created.[2]

-       The consultation was done through primarily electronic means and did not include adequate or meaningful consultation with individuals who will be most affected by the laws including impoverished and marginalized groups, such as Indigenous peoples in the trade.

-       The consultation also highlights that the responses to the survey questions are biased against sex work and ignore the realities of sex work in Canada. First, the top reason for limiting the selling of sexual services between consenting adults included health reasons (specifically the requirement for testing of STI/STDs among sex workers). Yet, it is the criminalization of sex work that creates barriers to AIDs and STI testing, and also prevents sex workers from accessing non-discriminatory and non-judgmental health care.[3] Second, the responses assumed that regulation, taxation and licensing of sex work do not occur within Canada. However, there exists an industry code set by Canada Revenue Agency for sex workers to file taxes and various regulation or licensing schemes are in place throughout Canada. Third and final, the responses showing concern over “brothels,” “bawdy houses,” and “red light” districts as well as “streets,” “schools,” “residential,” and “neighbourhood” should not be read outside the context of the Bedford v. Canada ruling.[4]

As a group of individuals either as sex workers or allies to sex workers who support the rights of sex workers to work safely, securely, and autonomously, and based on the above, we reject the Department of Justice’s consultation on prostitution including its implementation, process, and results.

This statement was originally posted at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8JOndciJbZSSXc1OC1xN2V4clk/preview?pli=1

 

Call Out for Anti-Racist/Anti-Fascist Mobilization!

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A white pride group is coming together this weekend in Dorchester, ON, a town just outside of London. The gathering is at the home of White Pride Worldwide organizer Jared Gilkes, who claims that the event is a birthday party for himself and his 3 year old daughter, and that “It’s not white power, it’s white pride. All I am about is being proud of our own race. It’s not hatred. It’s about pride in your heritage, not hate.”

There is also talk about the formation of a new white pride group, consisting of members from both White Pride Worldwide and Southern Ontario Skinheads (SOS). Within both of these organizations are some of the most extreme neo-nazis in the country, some of whom have connections with Blood and Honour, another white supremacist group that is well-known for physical violence and even murder of non-whites and anti-racist activists. They have chapers all over the country, including London, Kitchener and surrounding areas.

Regardless of what probably is a birthday celebration, white supremacist gatherings are not something to take lightly. As Anti-Racist Canada has noted on several occasions, these groups are known for being extremely violent. Neo-nazis feed on the intention to grow stronger and because they are overall very weak right now, it is no surprise that someone like Jared Gilkes would make an effort to appease the public by saying things like “It’s about pride in your heritage, not hate”. Hardly anyone supports these people and they are essentially a joke, which is precisely why they have the potential to be so dangerous. If no one takes them seriously or pays attention to their activities, it gives them the freedom to recruit more openly, as well as mobilize while they continue to prey on the weak-minded and vulnerable, gradually growing in size and militancy, and making them harder and harder to squash. Whether or not this “birthday” gathering is meant to be a cover up for planning future neo-nazi activities, it is painfully obvious that that is at least part of what will go on.

So what do we do? Confronting them on private property, as tempting as it is, is probably not the best idea and we would be more likely to get ourselves in trouble for harassment and trespassing than successfully put them in their place. Any confrontation also puts us at risk for being targeted by them personally, so those who do choose that course of action at any point should be aware that no one is safe from their violent tendencies…especially people of colour, so white folks in particular should remember that. If they decide to attack, it probably won’t be you they go after.

Since there is currently no plan (that I am aware of) to confront them directly this weekend, there is an anti-racist/anti-fascist rally planned in London’s Victoria Park on Saturday, May.17th at 1pm. The purpose of this rally is to gather and make a statement: Racism will not be tolerated in our community and we are prepared to retaliate when necessary. Remember that we are more powerful than these nazi scumbags. We can be just as, if not more militant. And we will be ready if and when the time comes.

I don’t need to go on about how fucked up the idea of “white pride” is, regardless of what these nazis say to justify their hatred. There is a difference between being proud of your cultural heritage, let’s say…Irish, or German or Norwegian, and being proud to be part of the dominant race with a history of colonialism, genocide and countless crimes against humanity. White pride is a racist concept because whiteness lives everywhere–in our history, in our institutions, in our upbringing, in our violent tendencies and our shameful political climate that continues to oppress and marginalize people in every part of the world. Being white is not something to be proud of. It is something to take responsibility for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tlwf9A1ivc

Just what exactly are the great historical accomplishments
Of your race that make you proud to be white?
Capitalism? Slavery? Genocide? Sitcoms?
This is your fucking white history, my friend.
So why don’t we start making a history worth being proud of
And start fighting the real fucking enemy
?”
–Propagandhi, “The Only Good Fascist is a Very Dead Fascist”

Further reading:

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2014/05/11/21664561.html

http://www.antifa.ca/antifa-news/southern-ontario-skinheads-outed

http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.ca/2014/05/southern-ontario-skinheads-outed.html

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2014/05/20140509-213549.html?fb_action_ids=10152414524986217&fb_action_types=og.comments&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Defend Our Climate, Defend our Communities

People gathered in Victoria Park today, People gathered in Victoria Park today, to raise awareness about the current climate crisis, that is facing everyone on the planet. A walk around the park, and down Richmond St, chanting “Defend Our Climate, Defend our Communities” and signs, brought a lot of support the forefront, with people joining the march spontaneously, and support being shouted from across the street.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.712718295436673.1073741906.257145594327281&type=1

http://www.defendourclimate.ca/
http://www.facebook.com/events/265959046916432/

http://aamjiwnaangsolidarity.com/
http://www.facebook.com/AamjiwnaangSarniaAgainstPipelines?ref=hl

Post-Residency Fees Now! Western University to Increase Tuition, Grad Students Speak Out

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On Thursday, April.24th the Board of Governors at Western University held a meeting to discuss increasing tuition fees yet again. While students are not permitted to speak during meetings such as this, graduate students at the university took the opportunity to hold a silent demonstration outside of the meeting room. The purpose of the demonstration was to bring awareness to the issue of student debt, student poverty, as well as deliver a petition demanding post-residency fees, which essentially means lower tuition for graduate students who are finished coursework and exams but still completing their dissertations.

Western University’s position is that graduate students should work harder to finish on time, as they only have to pay tuition when they take longer than the four years of receiving funding. However, this position is one of privilege and an obvious lack of understanding when it comes to student realities. Many graduate (and undergraduate) students are living below the poverty line while working multiple jobs in addition to their academic studies. Some have dependants. Some have disabilities or illnesses. Not only does this age of austerity make things financially difficult to begin with, but time management and self-care often take the backseat to survival. This results in academic work taking longer to accomplish than expected, as well as mental and physical health problems due to the stress and anxiety of possibly not being able to make ends meet.

Not only does Western’s position demonstrate that it is more than on board with continued austerity cuts and does not prioritize education or access to education (something we already knew), it severely devalues the work of students and in particular, the contributions to the university made by graduate students. They are not only students and future professors themselves, they are teachers, they are researchers, they take care of a large amount of undergraduate needs when it comes to marking and helping students in general. In the comments section of an earlier article by The Gazette’s Megan Devlin, someone said that the labour of graduate students is not being recognized as real work, because apparently being a student is only temporary as you are “investing in yourself”.

How does one benefit from such an investment when the process of completion is next to impossible? Especially when the corporate University continues to take more from students than it gives back?

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The 2045 Initiative A Technological Enclosure ?

chaplin-modern-times-2Charlie Chaplin Modern Times 1936 by L’émi Channel

Technology is advancing rapidly, in the last 40 years a computer the size of a room has been surpassed by smart phones and hand held devices. Artificial hearts have been created to extend life, artificial limbs allow amputees to walk again and even athletic augmentation through pharmaceuticals are used to push the limits of the human abilities. This quickening pace of technology is explained by the mathematical theory called ‘Moore’s Law‘, which states that technological advancements will double every 12- 18 months, and according to Ray Kurzweil by 2045 we will reach what is called “The Singularity.” This is the point in time when artificial AI might surpass human intelligence. These future technological advancements might allow human kind to live longer and avoid ‘the hardships of nature,’ allowing us to stay young, become smarter and according to ‘The 2045 Initiative“, achieve the ultimate enlightened state called ‘neo-humanity.’(2045 video). Who controls this technology and owns it? Who gets to have this technology and who gets left behind?

We have reason for great concern when billionaires and technocrats are at the forefront of these advancements, This control will continue to further the binary division between the classes by continuously enclosing technology on human kind and alienating nature.

The 2045 Initiative

The promotional video depicts human civilization as an unyielding antiquated society fighting a losing battle with nature. According to ‘The 2045 Initiative‘ the goal is to “create a new mankind” and the company’s promotional video cleverly points out that in order to do that “we need technical revolution” and “the deepest social transformation.” The technologies that ‘The 2045 Initiative” state they are working on are as follows: Nano Technology; Bio Technology; Information Technology; Cognitive Technology; Genetics and Robotics yet oddly enough nothing on social structure is mentioned on the web site nor any detail in the promotional video.

The Dalilama with Billionaire Dmitry Itskov

Dalilama with Billionaire Dmitry Itskov ~Forbs.com

 ’The 2045 Initiative‘ was started by Dmitry Itskov, a 31 year old Russian media mogul who hopes to someday live forever. Itskov claims that by the year 2045 humankind will have evolved through several stages all of which are cybernetic, and in the end we will become so called ‘Neo-Humans’ an assemblage of cybernetic parts connected to a human concessions. Now this end goal may seem far fetched, but the advancement of some of these technologies are quite possible in the next 20 years such as ‘Nano and Bio Technology’ which could rid the world of diseases, increase cognitive ability’s and usher in extended life for humanity. The promotional video shines a negative light on human development and nature as cruel, slow and stagnant, and that we should finally take responsibility for our own evolution through technology. Interestingly this anti-nature aspect is also seen in Adley Huxley’s book ‘brave new world‘ were a technocratic society trains it’s citizens in ‘nature nausea’ in order to disconnect the natural world with humanity, reinforcing the rational technocratic way of thinking.

The Technological Enclosure

The last time the world underwent a large technological change was during the industrial revolution. At that time the captains of industry were helped along by technocrats like Frederick Taylor, whose methods provided the ground work for deskilling multi-skilled farm workers in order to create a task orientated efficient system of labour, through his ‘scientific method.’ It was proclaimed that these revolutions in technological industrialization would give people prosperity and leisure, and that the benefits of these things would be shared between management and workers.

Theodore Kazcynski commented on this in the uni-bomber manifesto “Oh’ said the technophiles, science is going to X all that! We will conquer famine, eliminate psychological suffering. Make everybody healthy and happy! Yeah, sure. That’s what they said 200 years ago.” (Kazcynski, Manifesto) The industrial revolution did not make life better for everyone and moving people from the commons to the cities removed them from communal life and the diversity of the labour that they owned.

With the enclosure acts in England people were forced off common held land and into the cities and into the labour of industry. “The enclosure movement probably peaked from 1760 to 1832; by the latter date it had essentially completed the destruction of the medieval peasant community.” (Moore, Barrington1966)

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The billionaires and technocrats behind the 2045 Initiative could be cast in the same light, as the captains of industry and the technocrats during the industrial revolution. The promise of salvation from nature as seen in the promotional video, freeing us to enjoy an eternal life devoid of negative aspects of humanity is what is being sold, and only the rich can buy in of course. In order to gather further funding Itskov has published an open letter to the world’s richest people, urging them to back the initiative and consider volunteering themselves as potential avatars. “I urge you to take note of the vital importance of funding scientific development in the field of cybernetic immortality and the artificial body,” Itskov writes in the letter, first spotted by PopSci.com. “Such research has the potential to free you, as well as the majority of all people on our planet, from disease, old age and even death.” (Katie Drummond, 2012)

The Enclosure during the industrial revolution was not only taking property from the people, it was forcing them into labour which was not their own. Thus the capitalist could control and manipulate the labour force, commodifing and dehumanizing people like ‘cogs in the machine’ as Max Weber would say: “Once capitalism came about, it was like a machine that you were being pulled into without an alternative option.” (Weber, 2002.) With this new enclosure, the technological, humanity itself will become the machine and the enclosure on our very being will take away not our land but it will take away our autonomy as individuals, “ A further reason why industrial society cannot be reformed in favour of freedom is that modern technology is a unified system in which all parts are dependent on one another. You can’t get rid of the bad parts of technology and retain only the good parts.” (Kazcynski , Manifesto)

Conclusion

These promises of health and prosperity due to technological change are the same promises made by the same people during the industrial revolution. There is no talk about the social ramifications, no talk about the less privileged in the world that can not afford these changes.

The enclosure of our very being by technology is whats being proposed by ‘The 2045 Initiative‘, removing the natural flaws in favour of the technological instrumental rationality. We might very well lose what it is to be human, and elimination of all suffering, pain and anguish would also deprive the world of potential great works of art and music not to mention the disconnect from nature.

There is no discounting we are at the beginning of the next big revolution, but unlike the time of the industrial revolution, we have a learned history of these changes and the negative and positive implications. Fortunately today the internet has allowed us to share ideas, forge political bonds, and become much more aware of the social divides in our society. We need to force the debate about the implications these technologies will have on our society as a whole. It’s quite clear that these new technologies (if they even work) will initially be for the super rich, and even at some point if they are made more available, it is doubtful that the poor of even the first world nations could afford it. This will further the binary divisions between the rich and the poor, leaving the majority of the world either as indentured slaves constantly saving or going into debt to keep up with one and other, or the emergence of two human species, one technologically superior and one naturally inferior. This time however we need to take control of the rudder rather then letting the greater felons guide society.

“The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.” (Anonymous, 1821.)

This time we know who the villains are.

By Mike Roy (TheIndignants.org)

April 8th 2014

manvsmachine

manvsmachine

 Extra stuff

Canada wide banner drops in support of Deepan Budlakoti

 On Wednesday 9 April, 2014, in a strong demonstration of nation-wide solidarity, over 10 cities from coast to coast dropped banners in support of Deepan Budlakoti and his fight to have his citizenship restored. Communities from Ottawa, to Kingston, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, St. Catherines, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver, dropped banners in solidarity with the Justice for Deepan campaign.

Solidarity across Canada

Solidarity across Canada

Press Release: Call on government to restore Deepan’s citizenship ahead of the Charter challenge

In May 2010, Deepan Budlakoti, a construction worker born in Ottawa, Canada, was informed by the government that his passport was issued to him in error.

On Wednesday 9 April, 2014, in a strong demonstration of nation-wide solidarity, over 10 cities from coast to coast dropped banners in support of Deepan Budlakoti and his fight to have his citizenship restored. Communities from Ottawa, to Kingston, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, St. Catherines, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver, dropped banners in solidarity with the Justice for Deepan campaign.

In May 2010, Deepan Budlakoti, a construction worker born in Ottawa, Canada, was informed by the government that his passport was issued to him in error.

“Although Deepan was born in Ottawa and has lived here his entire life, the government is trying to deport him to India”, said Lena McFarlane a member of the Justice for Deepan Support Committee. “Deepan has been rendered stateless by his own government – the government of Canada. She added, “the government’s actions are outrageous and inexcusable.”

Thousands of individuals, organizations, and communities across the country agree. The nation-wide banner drop was just the latest in a series of events around the world that are bringing attention to the Canadian government’s actions and Deepan’s struggle for justice. “We demand that his deportation order be stopped, his citizenship recognized, and that he be able to live with justice, dignity and freedom,” reads a statement by Solidarity Across Borders in Montreal.

The government of India has affirmed that Deepan is not and never has been a citizen of India. The Indian High Commission, the once workplace of Deepan’s parents, has also publicly declared that Deepan’s parents did not work for them at the time of his birth.

“In the face of incontrovertible evidence, the government persists in making Deepan’s daily life almost unlivable,” said Deepan’s lawyer Yavar Hameed. “We are in the midst of a Charter challenge against the government for these reasons.”

The banner drop on Wednesday was to draw attention as Mr. Budlakoti takes his case to the Federal Court.

Contact:
Deepan Budlakoti: 613-216-1295
Yavar Hameed (Mr. Budlakoti’s Lawyer): 613-232-2688 ext. 228

Lena McFarlane (Spokesperson): 613-700-2320
Stan Kupferschmidt (Spokesperson): 613-295-4329

For Background: www.justicefordeepan.org
justicefordeepan@gmail.com

Source: http://www.justicefordeepan.org/

Additional: http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/talking-radical-radio/2013/10/fighting-unjust-deportation-justice-deepan

Additional: http://canadians.org/blog/council-supports-justice-deepan-campaign
~mike roy (The Indignants.org)

 

Rivers of Resistance March 28 – April 4, 2014

THIS IS NATIVE LAND

The ‘Trutch’ Eviction
Lekwungen & Wsanec territories, Occupied Turtle Island (“Canada”)  

The 'Trutch' Eviction. Photo by: Sumbal

The ‘Trutch’ Eviction. Photo by: Sumbal

Unilaterally commemorated for his capitalistic and political contributions – Joseph Trutch has shamefully never been held accountable for the flagrant and vulgar racist legacy he left behind in so called British Columbia. As the appointed Chief Commissioner of Land and Works, Trutch intentionally worked towards usurping land from Indigenous communities. Trutch did not hide his racist disdain for Indigenous communities and refused to engage in treaty negotiations with them. He instead he tirelessly worked towards making room for European settlers. This colonial reality continues to haunt the lives of Indigenous peoples here in the West Coast who continue to host illegal settlers on unceded territories. Whereas Trutch rests in the honour of colonial street names and buildings.

The 'Trutch' Eviction. Photo by: Sumbal

The ‘Trutch’ Eviction. Photo by: Sumbal

The 'Trutch' Eviction at the Trutch Residence at the University of Victoria.  Photo by: Sumbal

The ‘Trutch’ Eviction at the Trutch Residence at the University of Victoria.
Photo by: Sumbal

The 'Trutch' Eviction at the Trutch st. Manor.  Photo by: Sumbal

The ‘Trutch’ Eviction at the Trutch st. Manor.
Photo by: Sumbal

EVERYDAY IS LAND DAY
Occupied Palestinian Territories (“Israel”)

On March 30th 1976, in response to Israel’s plan to expropriate thousands of acres of Palestinian land for “security and settlement purposes”, marches and a general strike were organized by Palestinian towns within Israel, from the Galilee to the Negev. The night before the planned protests, the Israeli government imposed a curfew on the Palestinian villages of Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur’an, Tamra and Kabul, in the Western Galilee. The curfew failed. Openly and courageously, Palestinians defied the the colonial state and solidarity demonstrations spread. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as refugee communities across the Middle East, joined the resistance.

In the confrontations that ensued the Israeli army and police were excessively violent, six unarmed protestors were killed, about 100 were wounded, and hundreds more arrested. These events created a consciousness among the national Palestinian struggle that manifest in the form of mass collective action. Land day lives on today, clear in Palestinians ancestral memory of their homelands land. Today in 1976, as today, the conflict is not limited to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, but extends to Palestinian’s right to remain, freedom to move, and right to return.

Every year since these events, March 30th has been recognized as ’Land Day’ across all areas of Palestine, as well as by Palestinians and their supporters around the world. It is a day of collective land defence and this year demonstrations were held in many locations across Palestine as well as multiple days of working on and with the land in the spirit of Indigenous resurgence.

March 28, 2014. Burin, Nablus. 
Israeli forces dispersed protestors observing Land Day. Villagers had intended to plant olives trees following the demonstration, but Israeli forces fired stun grenades and tear gas at the crowds, causing a number of activists to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

Nablus, West Bank. Land Day.  Photo from: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=685519

Nablus, West Bank. Land Day.
Photo from: http://www.maannews.net

March 29, 2014. Bilin, West Bank. 
Commemorating ‘Land Day’ Palestinians from Bilin held a march, some carrying trees to be planted in their lands close to the Israeli Apartheid wall. The demonstration was violently suppressed and Israeli forces chased Palestinian youth in an attempt to arrest them. Waed Burnat (38 years) suffered injuries from being pepper sprayed in the face and eyes.

Bilin, West Bank. Land Day. Photo by: Rani Bornat. Posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Bilin, West Bank. Land Day.
Photo by: Rani Bornat.
Posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Bilin, West Bank. Land Day.  Photo by: Mohammed yasin. Posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Bilin, West Bank. Land Day.
Photo by: Mohammed yasin.
Posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

March 29, 2014. Nabi Selah, West Bank. 
The weekly protest in Nabi Saleh this week was organized to mark Palestinian ‘Land Day’. The protest marched towards the water spring of the village and was attacked by Israeli forces who fired teargas canisters directly at protesters. Dozens suffered from teargas inhalation when Israeli forces declared the village a closed military zone.

Nabi Saleh, West Bank. Land Day.  Photo posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Nabi Saleh, West Bank. Land Day.
Photo posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Nabi Saleh, West Bank. Land Day.  Photo posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Nabi Saleh, West Bank. Land Day.
Photo posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

March 30, 2014. East Jerusalem, West Bank.
‘Land Day’ celebrations in illegally annexed East Jerusalem included a dabkeh performance organized by the Lifta Association amidst the ruins of Lifta village. Relatively small demonstrations were met with a violent response from the occupation in Jerusalem, several people were injured.

Lifta, East Jerusalem. Land Day. Photo posted by: Rima Najjar

Lifta, East Jerusalem. Land Day.
Photo posted by: Rima Najjar

Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem. Land Day. Photo by: Activestills.org

Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem. Land Day.
Photo by: Activestills.org

Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem. Land Day. Photo by: Yotam Ronen, ActiveStills.org

Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem. Land Day.
Photo by: Yotam Ronen, ActiveStills.org

March 30, 2014. Bethlehem, West Bank. 
Amongst the various Land Day events in Bethlehem, local community-based initiatives organised a solidarity action in support of Riyad Abed Allatef, a farmer in Al-Khader village whose land is under threat of being illegally confiscated by Israel’s expanding settler-colonialism. Similar tactics have been used by Israel to usurp Palestinian land from several villages in the area.

Al-Khader, Bethlehem. Land Day. Photo by: Rich Wiles.  Posted on: www.middleeastmonitor.com

Al-Khader, Bethlehem. Land Day.
Photo by: Rich Wiles.
Posted on: www.middleeastmonitor.com

At the Al Khader Land Day event, refugee youth worked with Allatef and his family to replant a small patch of olive tree saplings in an area that has been declared a closed military zone by the colonial authorities and is surrounded by settlements and military bases. There was also a ‘Land Day’ tree planting event in Aida Refugee Camp.

Al-Khader, Bethlehem. Land Day. Photo by: Rich Wiles. Posted on: www.middleeastmonitor.com

Al-Khader, Bethlehem. Land Day.
Photo by: Rich Wiles.
Posted on: www.middleeastmonitor.com

Olive trees are a significant symbol of Palestinian nationhood and steadfastness, in addition to being a staple of Palestinian cuisine. Olive trees can live for thousands of years and are passed down through generations if not uprooted and destroyed by Israeli settlers, which has become common practice for Palestinian families living under occupation.

Al-Khader, Bethlehem. Land Day. Photo by: Rich Wiles. Posted on: www.middleeastmonitor.com

Al-Khader, Bethlehem. Land Day.
Photo by: Rich Wiles.
Posted on: www.middleeastmonitor.com

March 28, 2014. Al Ma’sara, West Bank.
Palestinians and Israeli activists play a game of soccer in front of Israeli soldiers blocking the road during the weekly demonstration against the apartheid wall.

Al Ma’sara, West Bank. Weekly Demo.  Photo by: Activestills.org

Al Ma’sara, West Bank. Weekly Demo.
Photo by: Activestills.org

March 29, 2014. Al Quds University, West Bank.
An art show at Al Quds University highlights the popular resistance movement.

Al Quds University, West Bank.  Photo by: Mohammed Basman Yasin

Al Quds University, West Bank.
Photo by: Mohammed Basman Yasin

Al Quds University, West Bank.  Photo by: Mohammed Basman Yasin

Al Quds University, West Bank.
Photo by: Mohammed Basman Yasin

April 4, 2014 Ramallah, West Bank.
Protestors gathered at the Ofer Military Prison in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli armed forces shot live ammunition into the crowd of hundreds. At the demonstration, 17 Palestinians were injured by the Israeli army, dozens were wounded and even more suffered severe tear gas inhalation. Palestinian protestors used slingshots to hurl stones forward Israeli troops.  Palestinan photographer Mohammad Basman Yassin sustained two injuries from the Israeli army, one in the stomach and the other to the face. He is awaiting operation, and a bullet is lodged in one of his kidneys permanently.

Ramallah, West Bank. Orfer Military Prison Protest. Photo by: Hamde Abu Hamde Abu.

Ramallah, West Bank. Orfer Military Prison Protest.
Photo by: Hamde Abu Hamde Abu.

Ramallah, West Bank. Orfer Military Prison Protest. Photo by: Issam Rimawi

Ramallah, West Bank. Orfer Military Prison Protest.
Photo by: Issam Rimawi

 Ramallah, West Bank. Orfer Military Prison Protest. Photo by: Issam Rimawi

Ramallah, West Bank. Orfer Military Prison Protest.
Photo by: Issam Rimawi

April 4, 2014. Bethlehem Checkpoint, West Bank.
Jum’a prayer was held in front of the illegal apartheid wall that controls access to Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Activists attempted to cross the illegal checkpoint but were denied and the Israeli forces threw stun grenades the group. The protest was calling for the release of Palestinian political prisoners being held illegally in Israeli prisons. Thursday Israel cancelled the planned release of Palestinian prisoners to punish the Palestinian leadership for applying for membership in 15 international conventions and treaties.

Bethlehem Checkpoint, West Bank. Muslim prayer. Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Activestills.org

Bethlehem Checkpoint, West Bank. Muslim prayer.
Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler of Activestills.org.

Bethlehem Checkpoint, West Bank. Muslim prayer. Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Activestills.org

Bethlehem Checkpoint, West Bank. A Muslim Imam stands front right.
Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Activestills.org

April 4, 2014. Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank.
Weekly demonstration against colonial settlements and apartheid.

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Weekly Demonstration. Photo by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Weekly Demonstration.
Photo by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Weekly Demonstration. Photo by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Weekly Demonstration.
Photo by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Weekly Demonstration. Photo by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Weekly Demonstration.
Photo by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Weekly Demonstration. Photo by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Weekly Demonstration.
Photo by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

STOP LINE 9 SNAKE WALK!

March 31, 2014
Deshkan Ziibi, Occupied Turtle Island (London, ON, CA)

Photo by: Mike Roy.  Full album here: http://on.fb.me/1gMrgvw

Photo by: Mike Roy.
Full album here: http://on.fb.me/1gMrgvw

Artists and anti-pipeline activists created a 30 foot black snake puppet to represent Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline that runs just north of London. This project poses an imminent threat to the drinking water of 9.1 million people. Monday evening activists gathered at Riverside Park and 11 puppeteers operated the evil line 9 snake during a march to bring awareness to the ongoing industrial genocide that the line 9 reversal and other tar sands pipelines contribute to.

Photo by: Mike Roy.  Full album here: http://on.fb.me/1gMrgvw

Photo by: Mike Roy.
Full album here: http://on.fb.me/1gMrgvw

On March 6, 2014 the NEB approved the illegal reversal of the Line 9 pipeline to flow tar snads bitumen under increased pressure and temperature. This approval came without an independent environmental assessment and without consent of the First Nations and Métis who would be directly impacted by a spill. The vast distance covered by tar sands pipelines will make toxic spills an inevitability. If this project goes forward it will devastate our health, our communities, the land, and the water that we all need to thrive. See Rising Tide Toronto’s “Not Worth the Risk” report: http://risingtidetoronto.noblogs.org/files/2014/03/NEB_report_final_web_march6-3.pdf

Photo by: Mike Roy.  Full album here: http://on.fb.me/1gMrgvw

Photo by: Mike Roy.
Full album here: http://on.fb.me/1gMrgvw

Concerned community members came together to honor the sacredness of water, the river, its headwaters, and the Great Lakes watershed in entirety, all of which are at risk. The rally included inspirational poetry readings, speakers, and musical performances. As the group crossed the Thames River they chanted, “this is Native land, no pipelines, no tar sands”, “pipelines spill, tar sands kill” and “water is life, stop the pipes”. The Line 9 Snake then slithered east on Dundas Street to meet musicians at the East Village Coffee house for the “Spring Thaws Pipe Line Melt Down Tour”. All donations went to support two amazing anti-colonial and anti-pipeline initiatives; the Unist’ot’en Camp (http://unistotencamp.com/) and Reclaim Turtle Island (http://reclaimturtleisland.com/).

Community members are currently working on a second snake puppet, the 30 foot Blue Water Snake that represents life and the sacredness of water. The current battle between the evil tar sands snake, and blue water snake of life is very real. In coming months, which snake is victorious will have an immense impact on the survival of the land and future generations. Which side are you on?

#stopthebeast #stopline9

Rivers of Resistance March 21-28, 2014

Hupacasath First Nation’s challenge against FIPA:

“We need to make FIPA a household word.”  This is the urgent message that Brenda Sayers from Hupacasath First Nation shared about the Canada-China free trade agreement known as: Foreign Investment Protection Agreement. Sayers who currently holds a portfolio for a Canada-China court challenge on behalf of her nation states that FIPA has implications for all First Nations, but she believes that, “[FIPA] is going to effect everybody [all Canadians].” It was this realization that drove her to take the federal government to court after Canada made a unilateral preliminary agreement with China in 2012 that would oversee extraction of Indigenous lands and water by Chinese corporations without the consent of the First Nation communities across Canada. This would leave all First Nation communities at the mercy of Chinese companies who could sue Canada if the communities protest extraction of land and water sovereignty.

According to Sayers, FIPA is being used as a strategy to divide people. “When the federal government looks across Canada and sees how many First Nations are opposed to resource development… what better way to get at the natural resources then to sign an international agreement with a foreign country that gives them a lot of power for resource development and what better way to divide the people then to say well the First Nations are holding up this project and aren’t allowing it to go through then the taxpayers will have to pay for it, what better way to divide a country.” According to Sayers, that taxpayers would be liable to pay if Canada is sued by China over First Nations led protests. Sayers emphasizes that beyond the division, Canada is using FIPA as a means to dismiss First Nations rights and sovereignty. First Nations aren’t opposed to trade, Sayers adds, but her nation is challenging the government because First Nations must be consulted and their rights and title must be included in all federal agreements so that First Nations are able to uphold their sovereignty and dignity.

“What will Canada look like in five, ten, fifteen years?” Sayers asks, if FIPA is allowed to be ratified by the Canadian government. This question has led Sayers to take this matter to the Court of Appeal, where she hopes the Canadian government will be forced to adhere to First Nation communities. If however, FIPA is ratified, among many colonial realities that First Nations communities face will be the direct effect on food sovereignty in a physical and spiritual way of connecting to traditional foods. If ratified FIPA would force more First Nations to neglect their traditional ways because the extraction FIPA facilitates would poison land and waterways. The writer of this article believes that this will reiterate colonial violence First Nations have endured for over 500 years as I believe FIPA is a colonial agenda. According to Sayers, “Harper wants Canada to be the new Saudi Arabia,”and challenges us to learn about FIPA and confront MP’s and demand justice for First Nations. The author of this article challenges her readers and asks, did Harper ASK what Canadians wanted?

About the FIPA Process:

Sayers says the FIPA deal hasn’t yet been ratified. Right now it’s in preliminary signings.  But if ratified then diplomatic notes will be exchanged by two countries and Canada will be tied to this deal for 31 years. However, Canada can say no to this deal and stand by First Nations.

The detrimental effects on Hupacasath First Nation:

It is a community of 300 people who have taken it upon themselves to challenge the Harper government. The first time Hupacasath First Nation went to court against FIPA they lost, and the Federal Government charged the nation $100,000 in court costs. Today, the nation continues to stand strong and looks to challenge FIPA in the Court of Appeal.

Listen to more from Brenda Sayers here:

 

THIS WALL WILL FALL

Aida Camp, West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories

March 21, 2014
Palestinian freedom fighters demolished part of the apartheid wall, creating a hole, and set fire to the Israeli watchtower near Bethlehem.

March 25, 2014
Israeli forces reinforced the separation wall with new brick to replace the part destroyed by Palestinian resistance.

March 26, 2014 
The Israeli forces watchtower was again set on fire in Aida Camp, after clashes erupted in the streets.

Aida Camp, West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories. Photos by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (right and centre) and pnn.ps (left).

Aida Camp, West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Photos by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (right and centre) and pnn.ps (left).

March 22, 2014 Jenin Camp, West Bank
Three Palestinians were murdered and seven wounded by Israeli forces that raided the Jenin camp at dawn. The army shot and killed Hamza Jamal Abualheija (22 years), a leader of al-Qassam Brigades, after surrounding his house and demolishing parts with a bulldozer. Mahmoud Hashim Abuzana (17 years) of al-Quds Brigades, and Mohammed Jabareen (23 years), of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were also killed by Israeli forces in clashes that ensued. The injured include Mahmoud Kamel, Abu Hashish and Rafat Saeed, Ali Aweys, Essam Abdullah, and Hussein Abu, and Mahmoud Jabarin.

March 22, 2014 Beit El, West Bank
Popular Resistance activists storm the turnpike at the illegal Beit El settlement on stolen Palestinian land. The group shut down the checkpoint and traffic both ways in condemnation of the murder of three Palestinians by Israeli forces in Jenin Camp early that morning.

March 22, 2014. Beit El, West Bank. Photo by: Samer Nazzal

March 22, 2014. Beit El, West Bank.
Photo by: Samer Nazzal

March 23, 2014 Al-Quds University, Abu Dis
An Islamic Bloc rally commemorates martyrs and denounces Israel's Apartheid Wall that separates Abu Dis from illegally annexed Jerusalem and prevents Christian and Muslim Palestinians from accessing their sacred sites.

March 23, 2014. Al-Quds University. Photo By: Rima Najjar

March 23, 2014. Al-Quds University.
Photo By: Rima Najjar

March 23, 2014. Al-Quds University. Photo By: Rima Najjar

March 23, 2014. Al-Quds University.
Photo By: Rima Najjar

Al-Quds University students face constant harassment and attacks from Israeli forces on their campus. In particular, on January 22nd of this year students experienced one of the worst raids on campus ever. Soldiers blocked the front entrance to the university and demanded to see everyone’s identification cards before launching an attack using rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas. A local popular committee spokesperson told Ma’an News that more than 100 people suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation (http://bit.ly/1fJsRkx).

March 23, 2014. Al-Quds University. Photo By: Rima Najjar

March 23, 2014. Al-Quds University.
Photo By: Rima Najjar

March 23, 2014. Al-Quds University. Photo By: Rima Najjar

March 23, 2014. Al-Quds University.
Photo By: Rima Najjar

March 26, 2014 Aida Camp, Bethlehem
Israeli forces arrested activist Mohammad Al Azraq who is involved in the popular resistance. He was also present in Ein Hijleh when over 300 Palestinians reclaimed the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley that was ethnically cleansed by Israel in 1967. The reclamation of the village was organized by the Palestinian Popular Struggle Coordination Committee. During the seven days of the encampment activists planted trees, installed solar panels, and hosted cultural, political, and religious events. The camp was raided during the early morning of February 7, 2014 when hundreds of Israeli soldiers arrested and injured dozens of activists.

Mohammad Al Azraq. Photo posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Mohammad Al Azraq. Photo posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

March 25, 2014 Al Quds University, Abu Dis
The Popular Movement for One Democratic State on the Land of Historical Palestine issues a founding statement during a panel at Al-Quds University featuring Radi Al-Jara'ee, Mohammad Al-Hourani, Dr. Hassan Al-Khatib, and Dr. Nayef Sweitan. The movement is based on a vision of freedom, equality, and economic justice, as well as the inherent right of Palestinian’s to return to their homelands. This does not mean that Israeli Jewish citizens would be expulsed. Rather, it is meant to create a unified, democratic people that reject Zionism and work to eliminate all forms of discrimination, segregation, and violence.

March 25, 2014. Al-Quds University. Photo By: Rima Najjar

March 25, 2014. Al-Quds University.
Photo By: Rima Najjar

 

Rivers of Resistance March 14-21, 2014

Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation (Grassy Narrows), Turtle Island (occupied by “Canada”)
It is not just the spirit of traditional life that is under threat in Grassy Narrows, when the Whiskey Jack Forest Plan comes into effect in April 2014. It will be colonial violence that inflicts the lives of Indigenous community members. Colonialism has been a crime against Indigenous peoples for more than 500 years and it is an ongoing crime that has led to millions of Indigenous peoples being tortured, murdered, arbitrarily detained, occupied, displaced and reserved. Let it not be mistaken, this crime is not one of the past. Land, water- two different forms of life- and Indigenous peoples continue to be violated. Grassy Narrows is just one of millions of stories across Turtle Island of how the colonial government and it’s patriarchal corporations continue to encroach on even more Indigenous land. Nowhere did the treaties comply to constant ongoing threat, constant ongoing theft, and constant ongoing genocide. These treaties have been broken. Treaties were established out of friendship and peace, not out of consent that European settlers plunder Indigenous land, water and lives. What is happening in Grassy Narrows is not so much different as was done 500 years ago. Logging companies are hungry to come in at the end of April, but young Indigenous activists say they will not comply and have vowed to take direct action.

This isn’t the first time these activists will face off a logging company. In December of 2002 a blockade was set up to prevent such clear cut logging; this blockade has effectively became known as the longest First Nations blockade in “Canada”. But the threat has never really left. In 2011 Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources ”approved” a 10-year Forest Management Plan. The colonial government has denied that clear cut logging would take place on Native traditional territories. But community members are saying that this contradicts the Forest Management Plan that will lead to further encroachment on their territories, and further more land theft, eroding Indigenous rights to self-determination and a traditional way of life. Undoubtedly, this will disrupt traditional lifestyles, Indigenous people from Grassy Narrows who have spiritual relationships with the land and water that they use to hunt and fish will be the most impacted. According to community members, the traditional way of life is already under threat; fish and water have already been poisoned with mercury. Dryden Chemicals Inc; a papermill had permission to dump it’s chemicals in the Wabigoon River (English River) in the 60′s and 70′s. They left 20,000 pounds of mercury, which poisoned the water, fish and community members. Community members worry that if more logging companies coming in, mercury levels will rise. They reject the clear cut logging. They reject the continued colonialism. They reject the continued poisoning of their people. Will you watch this community go through another colonial intrusion?

Fast Facts: More History of the Colonial Crimes in Grassy Narrows:
In the 1950′s manomin (wild rice beds) were left flooded because the provincial government built a hydroelectric dam on the Wabigoon river, damaging this source of traditional food.

In the 1960′s the government forcibly relocated the community into a reserve. Indigenous people were made to live in European style homes with little regard to how families lived with eachother before they were moved.

In the 1970′s fish caught had high levels of mercury, which directly affected the lives of Indigenous peoples as they combatted another colonial attack against their community health and well being.

Today clear cut logging not only destroys traditional plant and food medicines, but it also destroys wildlife relatives and Indigenous ceremonies that are connected to the land and water. The problem is not just clear cut logging, the spraying of herbicides that poison the berries and the animals is also a problem.

In 2011, the community won two legal victories. According to Amnesty International, in August the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the province of Ontario does not have the jurisdiction to authorize  logging and other development projects for a large part of the territory since these actions violate Treaty rights. Canada continues to tell lies to uphold colonial power structures. It has agreed to stop issuing new licenses in the Asubpeeschoseewagong territory outlined in the court ruling until the case is resolved. At the same time however, the province appealed the Supreme Court’s decision.

March 14, 2014 

Bil‘in, West Bank
As Palestinians marched and chanted through the village carrying posters of Saji Darwish-a man who was murdered by Israeli Occupation Forces this week-heavy teargas greeted them as they made their way towards the wall. This provoked Shabab (youth) and clashes soon erupted with Palestinians throwing stones and Israeli forces responding with even more teargas, stun grenades, and rubber coated steel bullets. A 36 year old Norwegian activist by the name of “Katia” was injuried when during the clashes she was struck with a tear gas canister in the back. According to the organizers, this protest was held in “in loyality to the martyrs”. Palestinians risk arrest, torture, injury, and even life every week when they protest illegal settlements. Many foriegn activists join them, but rarely ever face the same threats that Palestinians do. How many foriegners are willing to risk what Palestinians are?

March 14, 2014. Bilin weekly protest.  Photo taken by: Mohammed Yasin and posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

March 14, 2014. Bilin weekly protest.
Photo taken by: Mohammed Yasin and posted by: Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Beit Ummar, Hebron
Sixteen year old Mohammad Abu Ayyash is in critical condition after Israeli soldiers shot the Palestinian teenager during a protest in Beit Ummar north of Hebron on Friday, medics said. He was taken to al-Ahli hospital in Hebron where medical sources told Ma‘an that Ayyash had been shot with a live bullet near his ear which penetrated into his head.  An Israeli spokesperson denies this report, saying that a young man had been “lightly” injuried after he was shot for throwing an “explosive device” at the soliders during a protest. The spokesperson did not eloborate on this explosive device, nor does she know what hospital Ayyash was taken to.

Old City, Hebron
Floods left 80 percent of Women in Hebron’s embroidery destroyed. Nawal Salameh the head of the women’s cooperative is asking for people to support this intiative that in turn supports women from Idna, Palestine by donating or buying products online. If your interested in supporting Nawal, please log on to: http://womeninhebron.com/our-products/

Nabi Saleh, Ramallah
Several injuries were reported after the weekly protest in Nabi Saleh where Israeli forces used teargas to disperse Palestinians from reaching the water spring and lands that were confiscated by Hallahmish illegal Jewish settlement. Tamimi Press called for a full boycott of Israel and the support of the BDS worldwide. BDS is an acronym for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It was a call made by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to hold Israel accountible for the ongoing colonialism of land, water and Indigenous Palestinian people. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is a peaceful movement that uses economy as a means to force Israel to end it’s occupation in the West Bank and illegal seige in Gaza. You can support BDS by not buying Israeli made brands. For more information on BDS, you can log onto this website: http://www.bdsmovement.net/

March 14, 2014 Nabi Saleh, Ramallah.  Photo taken by: Issam Rimawi, Al-Rimawi Photography

March 14, 2014 Nabi Saleh, Ramallah.
Photo taken by: Issam Rimawi, Al-Rimawi Photography

March 14, 2014. Nabi Saleh, Ramallah.  Photo taken by: Issam Rimawi, Al-Rimawi Photography

March 14, 2014. Nabi Saleh, Ramallah.
Photo taken by: Issam Rimawi, Al-Rimawi Photography

Al Ma’sara, West Bank
Palestinians protested what has been declared by Israeli forces as “a closed military zone”. This land, a part of the village, was illegally confiscated.

Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank
Four reported injuries as a result of of direct shooting of teargas by Israeli forces at Palestinian youth. Clashes have erupted today when Palestinians protested against the blocked entrance of the village. This resulted in stone throwing and tear gas exchange. Protesters also carried posters of the Palestinian martyrs killed by Israeli forces this week.

March 14th, 2014. Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank. Photo taken by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

March 14th, 2014. Kufr Qaddoum, West Bank.
Photo taken by: المسيرة__كفرقدوم

Beitin, West Bank
As protestors marched to condemn the killing of Saji Darwish, one Palestinian was struck by a live bullet in the leg and another was hit by a rubber-coated steel bullet after Israeli forces opened fire at protesters, who were throwing rocks at them.

Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem
Two Palestinian men were arbitrarily detained after several houses were raided by Israeli forces in Aida refugee camp. Locals reported that these men were beaten before being taken away to be held overnight. Omar Azziah, 28, and Mahmoud Adel al-Hajajra, 17 were among the six detained overnight . An Israeli military spokesperson confirmed these arrests; one in the Nablus area, two in a village near Ramallah and three more in the Bethlehem region. There were no details provided as to why these men were detained.

Zaatara, Nablus
A 22 year old was severely beaten at Zaatara checkpoint by the Israeli forces. There are no reports available as to what happened to Muhammad Mustafa Ismail. Another unnamed man was also detained.

Gaza City, Gaza Strip
A protest tent that was erected ten days ago continues to stand as Gaza women protested 41 days of Rafah border closure infont of the Egyptian Embassy. Rafah border is the only connection that 1.7 million Palestinians have with the outside world since the blockade was imposed in 2007 by Israel. So far, the Rafah border closure has resulted in the death of three year old Ahmad Ammar Abu Nahl. His parents had been waiting for the border to open so they could travel for medical care. The joint Israel-Egytian blockade means that life for Palestinians living in Gaza is unpredictable, unstable and economically improvised.The Egyptian army has been destroying houses near the border with Gaza to create a security buffer zone near the Rafah crossing.

March 15, 2014

Gaza Strip, Palestinian Territory
The only power station in Gaza ran out of fuel this week due to the Israeli government closing the Kerem Shalom crossing. The colonial government closed all borders with Gaza and suspended the delivery of all commercial goods to the region in addition to effectively severing their fuel supply. The Gaza power plant provides a third of Gaza’s population with electricity, and the lack of fuel means electricity is cut off 16 hours a day in Gaza, according to Anadolu, a Turkish news agency.  This is not the first instance of Israel forcing Gaza’s power plant to shut down, but part of the worsening humanitarian crisis Gazans experience daily.

March 16, 2014 

Gaza City, Gaza Strip
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered outside the UN Relief and Works Agency office Sunday to demonstrate against cuts to a United Nations food program. Al Jazeera reports that UNRWA has reduced the number of families in Gaza receiving urgent food assistance by about 65 percent. Protestors banged on pots and pans, and raised banners denouncing the cuts and demanding that food assistance to local families be restored.

Old City, Jerusalem
More than seven thousand Palestinians participated in the World’s Longest Reading Human Chain around the Old City walls. This demonstration was to draw attention to the daily oppression of those that live in occupied Palestine.

March 16, 2014. Jerusalem, Palestinian Territories. Photo taken by: Jamal Al-husseini at The World's Longest Human Chain in Jerusalem.

March 16, 2014. Jerusalem, Palestinian Territories.
Photo taken by: Jamal Al-husseini at The World’s Longest Human Chain in Jerusalem.

March 16, 2014. Jerusalem, Palestinian Territory.  Photo taken by: Mahmoud illean and posted on: Demotix.com

March 16, 2014. Jerusalem, Palestinian Territory.
Photo taken by: Mahmoud illean and posted on: Demotix.com

Ramallah, West Bank
Palestinian Riot police practice riot control techniques in a training session with police members of the European Union.

March 14, 2014. Ramallah, West Bank.  Photo taken by: Issam Rimawi, Al-Rimawi Photography

March 14, 2014. Ramallah, West Bank.
Photo taken by: Issam Rimawi, Al-Rimawi Photography