The Weeknd donates $250,000 to Black Lives Matter Network, $50,000 to University of Toronto
The Weeknd donates $250,000 to Black Lives Matter Network, $50,000 to University of Toronto
Amy McNeill | August 11, 2016 4:29 PM ETFrazer Harrison/Getty ImagesThe Weeknd
The Weeknd is getting political and making a statement – one that he’s backing up with his wallet.
On August 10, the R&B singer donated $250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Network, which advocates for justice and freedom for black people in North America, a movement that has garnered public attention after challenging police treatment of minorities, reports The Fader.
The Black Lives Matter Network, founded in 2013, is a “a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life,” according to its website.Follow The Weeknd ✔@theweeknd 4:54 PM - 6 Aug 2016
Follow The Weeknd ✔@theweeknd
2 Link to more info: https://spark.adobe.com/page/ODPLq/
Link to donate:https://donate.utoronto.ca/give/show/604:55 PM - 6 Aug 2016
Support Ethiopic Studies and Culture
A story told with Adobe Spark
Black Lives Matter has a chapter in The Weeknd’s hometown of Toronto where last week the singer gave $50,000 to the University Of Toronto in order to fund improvements to the Ethiopic Studies program.
The Scarborough native, whose parents emigrated from Ethiopia, donated the money to start a fund to start a new course next year at the school for learing Ge’ez, an ancient Ethiopian script and language.
Mario Balotelli's Experience With Racism At World Cup Proves It's Not A Thing Of The Past
The Huffington Post Canada | Posted: 06/27/2014 1:57 pm EDT | Updated: 06/29/2014 4:59 pm EDT
Anyone who thinks racism is a thing of the past needs to rethink that claim in light of the behaviour during the World Cup.
From fans to media around the world and even the soccer players themselves, instances of racism have been disturbingly rampant. Italian player Mario Balotelli, recently posted a response on Instagram to the many messages of hate and racism he has received, especially since Italy’s elimination.
“I'm Mario Balotelli. I'm 23 years old, and I didn't choose to be Italian. I strongly wanted [to be Italian] because I was born in Italy and have always lived in ITALY,” he wrote, according to a translation from news website Mic.
Balotelli, who was born to Ghanaian immigrants in Italy and raised by an Italian foster family, explained that he wouldn’t take the blame for Italy’s elimination based on the grounds he is not a real Italian.
The 23-year-old was even the subject of racial remarks by his teammates. Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon accused Balotelli of not caring enough about the team, saying, “Whoever doesn’t feel like making the same effort and doesn’t have the same passion should say so and stay home.”
Racism in the World Cup stretches much further than the Italian team. German fans showed up to a game against Ghana earlier this week, with faces blackened with paint and shirts that read Ghana, according to U.K. news website Mirror.
Discrimination in sports isn't just a phenomenon endured by players in other countries either. Montreal Canadiens player P.K Subban was repeatedly called n----r on Twitter earlier this year after he scored a winning goal against the Boston Bruins during the NHL playoffs. Subban's name appeared in tweets with the racist slur 17,000 times.
Although FIFA says they have “zero tolerance rules” against discrimination and racism, a recent Al Jazeera article blames the organization for being too commercially focused and avoiding the “urgent attention that racism in football deserves.”
Less than 1% of racism claims upheld against police: Television documentary investigation raises concern about how allegations of racism are probed by forces
Less than 1% of racism claims upheld against police
Television documentary investigation raises concern about how allegations of racism are probed by forces
7:01AM BST 16 Jun 2014
Police forces are not treating allegations of racism against officers robustly, a police watchdog has said after an investigation found less than one per cent of complaints to forces were upheld.
Channel 4’s Dispatches programme used freedom of information laws to discover that only a tiny proportion of 7,963 complaints of racism lodged with police forces in England and Wales led to action being taken against officers.
Between 2005 and 2012 only 77, or 0.97 per cent of the total, upheld after internal inquiries were completed.
It also found some officers had faced repeated claims about their attitudes to race.
The programme said 43 police officers in England and Wales had had four allegations of racism made against them and 16 officers had five or more. None of the officers involved was sanctioned.
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The Metropolitan Police – Britain’s largest force which polices the country’s most diverse city – upheld just 20 out of 4,730 allegations of racism, or 0.4 per cent.
Three forces – Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire and Lancashire – upheld none of the allegations reported to them at all.
Asked about its record Greater Manchester Police said that since the period covered by the figures they had upheld two complaints, adding: “There are very clear improvements that need to be made and this will now happen.”
Dame Anne Owers, the chairwoman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said: “What we’ve found when we’ve dug into the way that forces handle complaints of race discrimination and indeed discrimination in general is that they don’t do it well and the evidence seems to be that those complaints are less likely to be upheld than other kinds of complaints.”
Asked if she thought forces were failing to weed out a minority of racist officers, she said: “I think there must be a risk given that we know that complaints of discrimination are not being dealt with as robustly as they should.”
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “There is no place for racism in the police service.
“That is fundamental requirement of being a member of the British police service and if an officer falls short of those high expectations in some cases immediately they ought to be dismissed.”
However, Dispatches found one police officer who was labelled “racist” by a judge in a civil court in 2003 is still working for the Metropolitan Police.
Pc Kevin Bridgeman and another officer were described as “vicious and cowardly” in their abuse of Sylbert Farquharson in 1995.
Mr Farquharson, 58, was awarded damages of £250,000 for assault, wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution at the hands of five white officers.
He had been driving in south London when he saw his cousin being arrested, and stopped to speak to the officers involved. He claimed he was beaten and racially abused.
An internal investigation – carried out by another force, Greater Manchester Police - found no evidence of racial abuse by Pc Kevin Bridgeman, who denied all the allegations.
Pc Bridgeman is still employed by the Metropolitan Police.
A spokesman for the force said: “The matter has been thoroughly investigated and the allegation of racism was not substantiated. The officer has since been returned to full duties.”
Mr Farquharson said it was “disgusting” and “unacceptable” that Pc Bridgeman was still employed as an officer.
Pc Bridgeman declined to comment.
Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation, which represents frontline officers said: “The police service has a come a long way when it comes to dealing with allegations of racism over the years and needs to continue to work positively against racism and discrimination into the future.”
The programme is due to be broadcast on Channel 4 on Monday June 16, 2014 at 8pm
Racism May Speed Cellular Aging In African American Men
January 07, 2014
Researchers at the University of Maryland reported today that racism appears to accelerate aging in cells. In a first-ever study of its type, researchers found that African American men who reported experiencing negative effects from racial discrimination have shorter telomeres, the DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that are considered biomarkers for biological aging.
Telomeres shorten over the course of a lifetime, and previous research has connected shorter telomeres with an increased likelihood of premature death. Shorter telomeres have also been associated with life-shortening diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and dementia.
On average, we lose 50-100 base pairs of DNA a year as we age. The men studied had lost telomere length equivalent to between 1.4 and 2.8 years of life. Strikingly, the accelerated aging was not detected in elderly men, but in African American men 30 to 50 years old.
Led by David H. Chae, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, the team of researchers surveyed 92 African American men about their experiences of racial discrimination in work, housing, from the police, and in public scenarios such as being served in restaurants. They also used a test known as the Black-White implicit association test to measure the men’s unconscious beliefs and attitudes about race. The researchers controlled for age, health status, and socioeconomic factors but even so found that the men who reported the greatest degree of discrimination and expressed an unconscious anti-Black bias had the shortest telomeres.
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that African American men who reported racial discrimination and had internalized an anti-Black bias had telomeres on an average of 140 base pairs shorter, considered to correlate with 1.4 to 2.8 years in chronological age.
“Our findings suggest that racism literally makes people old,” Chae said, citing the “social toxins” African American men experience as a result of stereotyping, police harassment, and disrespect in the workplace and society. ”Stop-and-frisk policies and other forms of criminal profiling such as ‘driving or shopping while Black’ are inherently stressful and have a real impact on the health of African Americans.”
In some ways, the conclusions aren’t surprising, but a direct link between race and a biomarker of aging hasn’t previously been documented. Across the board, African Americans suffer from diseases like heart disease and diabetes at younger ages than white Americans, and have shorter life expectancies.
Previous research has also found that telomeres shorten more rapidly in people who live with chronic stress, and of course racial discrimination is, of course, a major life stressor. Interestingly, telomere length was not as affected in men who reported discrimination but didn’t express negative views of their own race, leading Chae to speculate that negative attitudes might amplify the stresses of racial discrimination whereas racial pride might protect men from that stress.
Researchers at UCLA have also been studying the connection between the chronic stress response caused by racism and shorter lifespan. However the University of Maryland study is the first to use a biomarker of aging to measure the effect.
Chae considers the results of his research preliminary and in need of replication on a larger scale. Nevertheless, he says, there’s a growing body of research showing that the stressors affecting African Americans are harmful to health.
-------------------FIFA reaffirms racism sanctions against Hungary and Bulgaria
FIFA has rejected appeals from Hungary and Bulgaria to drop racism sanctions. The two countries have been fined and ordered to play their next two home matches behind closed doors.
"The appeals lodged by the Hungarian Football Federation (MLZS) and the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) were both rejected and the decisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee rendered on November 20, 2012, are confirmed in their entirety," world football's governing body said in a statement Tuesday.
Both Hungary and Bulgaria must play their next qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on March 22 – against Romania and Malta respectively – without fans.
The MLZS, who were also fined 40,000 Swiss francs (32,550 euros, $44,00), were punished for anti-Semitic chants by Hungary fans in a friendly at home to Israel on August 15 (pictured above).
The BFU – fined 35,000 Swiss francs – were sanctioned after a group of supporters racially abused Denmark's Patrick Mtliga every time he touched the ball after entering the match during their October 12 World Cup qualifier in Sofia.
Fans were warned
FIFA said that during the Bulgaria match, fans were warned by the stadium announcer about their behavior in the 73rd minute.
In Hungary's case, FIFA said it was informed by FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) that some supporters had made anti-Semitic chants and displayed offensive symbols.
In its statement Tuesday, the football body said it had warned the both the MLZS and BFU that if "such incidents of racist/discriminatory nature occur again, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee would be left with no other option than to impose harsher sanctions, which could go as far as forfeiting a match, a points deduction or disqualification from a competition."
dr/ipj (Reuters, AFP, AP)
Euro 2012: Croatia first team charged by UEFA for racism over fan chants at Balotelli
A steward holds a banana after picking it up off the pitch during the Euro 2012 football championships Group C match Italy v Croatia on June 14, 2012 at the Municipal Stadium in Poznan
June 16, 2012
WARSAW, Poland - UEFA laid its first formal charges of racism at the European Championship on Saturday, opening a case against the Croatian football association after receiving reports that fans made monkey chants at Italy forward Mario Balotelli.
Croatia is charged with "improper conduct" of supporters, including "racist chants, racist symbols" at a game in Poznan on Thursday, UEFA said in a statement.
UEFA received reports from anti-discrimination monitors working with Football Against Racism in Europe, who wrote that Croatia fans made monkey noises and displayed far-right nationalist flags.
Balotelli, who is black, started the game for Italy against Croatia, and was replaced in the second half of the 1-1 draw.
"It was fairly consistent throughout the game," FARE executive director Piara Powar told The Associated Press. "It was at its most intense as he was substituted and left the field."
The charge also relates to fireworks thrown on the field after Croatia scored, which delayed Italy's kickoff to restart the game.
UEFA said its disciplinary panel will judge the case against Croatia on Tuesday.
The Croatia association, known by its initials HNS, said it condemned the incident and "distances itself from all deviant behaviour on the part of the fans."
Those responsible were "not supporters, but hooligans who should be isolated from all sports events," the Croatian body said in a statement, appealing to UEFA "not to punish the Croatian national team."
UEFA rules make national associations responsible for their fans' behaviour. Punishments range from warnings and a sliding scale of fines to points deductions and even expulsion from Euro 2012.
Four years ago, UEFA fined Croatia 20,000 Swiss francs (then $19,600; C12,450) for its fans' neo-Nazi flags and chants during a Euro 2008 quarterfinals loss against Turkey in Vienna, Austria.
Also in 2008, FIFA fined Croatia fined 30,000 Swiss francs (then $27,700; C18,800) after England forward Emile Heskey was subjected to racist abuse during a World Cup qualifying match in Zagreb.
UEFA is also studying reports that a banana was thrown toward the field from a section housing Croatia fans in Poznan.
Balotelli has now been the target of reported abuse at both Italy matches at Euro 2012.
UEFA is investigating claims by a Spanish fans' group that some Spain followers made monkey chants at him during a Group C match last Sunday in Gdansk.
In a separate investigation, UEFA is seeking evidence to support claims that Russian fans made monkey noises at Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie in Wroclaw.
UEFA pledged zero tolerance of racism in Poland and Ukraine during the three-week tournament.
Graham Dunbar can be reached at www.twitter.com/gdunbarap© Copyright (c) Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Euro+2012+Croatia+first+team+charged+UEFA+racism+over+chants+Balotelli/6793975/story.html#ixzz1xz8FDRYI
Thousands demand ‘Justice for Trayvon’ in Florida protest
SANFORD, FLA.— The Associated Press Published Saturday, Mar. 31, 2012 7:31PM EDT
Thousands joined a march Saturday through the Florida town where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a neighbourhood watch volunteer, vowing to continue protesting until an arrest is made.
Protesters carried signs, chanted “Justice for Trayvon,” and clutched the hands of their children while they walked to the Sanford Police Department from a local high school that served black students during the segregation era. The march was organized by the NAACP was one of several taking place over the weekend.
More related to this story
“We live in the middle of an American paradox,” Rev. Al Sharpton told the crowd. “We can put a black man in the White House but we cannot walk a black child through a gated neighbourhood. We are not selling out, bowing out or backing down until there is justice for Trayvon.”
Mr. Martin was shot to death by 28-year-old George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 as he walked from a convenience store back to his father's fiancée's home in a gated community outside Orlando. The case has stirred a national conversation about race and the laws of self-defense. Mr. Martin, a black teenager from Miami, was unarmed when he was shot by Mr. Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic. Mr. Zimmerman told police the teen attacked him before he shot in self-defense.
Rev. Sharpton and other civil rights leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, spoke during a two-hour rally following the half-mile march.
“This is not about a hoodie, it's about racial profiling,” Rev. Jackson said. “We will use our marching feet, civil disobedience and every weapon in our non-violent arsenal until justice is served.”
A dozen buses from across the state brought protesters to the rally. Shirley Roulhac-Lumpkin came with a group from Miami Gardens.
“I come from an era where people wore white hoods and nobody arrested the KKK,” Ms. Roulhac-Lumpkin said. “Wearing a hoodie does not mean you're a hoodlum.”
Gary Marion, a nurse who grew up in Sanford, said the Sanford police department is known “as a good ol' boy network, and this incident sends a message that our children are worth nothing. I would like to see the chief of police charged with obstruction of justice.”
Most of the protesters wore T-shirts with images of Trayvon Martin and many carried handmade posters with messages that read, “Hoodies Don't Kill People, Guns Kill People” and “Mother's Tears Have No Color.”
“We come to make sense of this great tragedy and the entire world grieves with us,” said Roslyn Brock, who chairs the national board of directors for the NAACP. “When the Sanford police did not arrest George Zimmerman, they essentially placed the burden of proof on a dead young man who cannot speak for himself.”
Head Tax Families Do Old Fashion Vote Mob
For video, click here: http://www.creativetechnology.org/video/w2tv-htfsc-vote-mob-2011-in
Head Tax Families Do Old Fashion Vote Mob
On April 30, 2011, members of Head Tax Families Society of Canada
(HTFSC) and supporters called on all eligible Canadians to vote. They
also called on all political parties to commit to complete an
inclusive just and honourable redress. The hundred strong all ages
vote mob, with some seniors in their eighties and nineties, came
together using person to person contact, a telephone tree and new
Held at Monument to Chinese Railway Workers and War Veterans at
Columbia and Keefer in Vancouver’s Chinatown, the vote mob included
activist Kat Norris, Coast Salish and Nez Perce of the Indigenous
Action Movement extended a welcome to the land and solidarity. New
Democrat MP's Libby Davies (Vancouer East) and Don Davies (Vancover
Kingsway) and Wendy Yuan, federal Liberal candidate for Vancouver
Kingsway, also attended and extended solidarity.
An invitation was made to representatives of the federal Conservative,
Liberal, New Democratic and Green Parties. The Conservatives did not
respond while the Greens were represented unofficially by one of the
organisers, a former civic candidate for the party.
Less that one per cent (785) of the over 82,000 head tax families were
eligible under Prime Minister Stephen Harper government’s June 22,
2006 unilaterally imposed settlement. The redress is incomplete for
many surviving elderly sons and daughters directly affected by the
62-years (1885-1947) of Chinese head tax and exclusion legislation.
Members and supporters of Head Tax Families Society of Canada are
today's Canadians on a twenty-eight year struggle for an inclusive
just and honourable redress for affected Chinese pioneer adventurer
Go to www.headtaxfamilies.ca for more information.
Head Tax Family Blues written and performed by Sean Gunn. Shot on a
Zoom Q3 Handy Video Recorder by Becca Plucer and Sid Tan, who edited
with AVS Editor on HP dv6622ca laptop, also used to upload.
N.S. man guilty of hate crime in cross-burning
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
A second Nova Scotia man has been found guilty of inciting racial hatred and criminal harassment after a cross was burned on an interracial couple's lawn near Windsor nine months ago.
Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice John Murphy convicted Nathan Rehberg, 21, of both charges after a two-day trial in Kentville. He will be sentenced in January.
Rehberg was charged with public incitement of hatred, criminal harassment, mischief and uttering threats. The charges of mischief and uttering threats were dropped.
In handing down the ruling, Murphy said there was little doubt that racism was behind Rehberg's decision to burn a cross in front of the home of Shayne Howe, who is black, and Michelle Lyon, who is white.
It's the second time in less than a week that the court has registered a hate crime conviction — a legal rarity in Canada.
Rehberg's younger brother, Justin, was found guilty on Friday of inciting hatred. The 20-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to criminal harassment. He will be sentenced Dec. 14 on both charges.
Murphy said he accepted the Crown's submission that on Feb. 21, just after midnight, Nathan Rehberg used a lighter to set fire to a two-metre-high wooden cross, doused with some type of accelerant.
Murphy said testimony from Justin Rehberg confirmed Nathan Rehberg had built the cross and later dragged it to the nearby home of Howe and Lyon and their five children.
The children, between the ages of two and 17, were home at the time.
"The incident engendered fear," said Murphy. "I'm satisfied that [the fear] was reasonable."
He said the circumstances "give rise to the inevitable inference that racism was involved," and said the victims of the cross-burning had been left "appalled and terrified."
'It wasn't a racist act'
Immediately after the judge delivered his ruling, Nathan Rehberg walked out of the courtroom with his fiancée and other supporters.
"I'm nervous about what I'm going to get, but whatever it is, I deserve it," Rehberg told reporters about his sentencing.
This RCMP photo shows the cross that the Rehberg brothers set fire to on Shayne Howe's and Michelle Lyon's front lawn. (CBC)"It wasn't a racist act but there was a lot of evidence to make it look like it was. I'm sorry if it was. My fiancée here is biracial. We have a biracial family. It's definitely not what I thought it was going to be but I am going to be a man and face the consequences."
Rehberg has said the cross-burning was retaliation for comments that Lyon had allegedly made, that members of Rehberg's family had a sexually transmitted disease.
"It may look like I incited a lot of people towards this but I wasn't trying to. I was just trying to make a point in the wrong way," Rehberg said.
Outside the courthouse, Howe said his family was relieved the two trials were over.
"There's no reason to have hate against anybody," he said. "We are who we are."
Lyon said she was also pleased with the ruling, but she added that she and her family intend to move to another community.
Earlier on Tuesday, defence lawyer Luke Craggs asked the judge to find Rehberg not guilty on the charges of trying to incite hatred and criminal harassment, arguing that the cross-burning was directed only at the people in the house, and there was no audience for Rehberg to provoke or incite.
Crown attorney Darrell Carmichael said that the act of burning a cross is itself an act of hatred against an identifiable group because of association with the racist group the Ku Klux Klan in the United States.
A conviction for public incitement of hatred carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment, while a criminal harassment conviction carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Quebec schools deny foreign-trained MDs residencies
Comlan Amouzou, a foreign-trained doctor, said he was repeatedly refused residencies in Quebec. (Facebook)
New report suggests province uses fewest foreign doctors in Canada
CBC News, Tuesday November 16, 2010
Quebec medical schools are systematically discriminating against foreign-trained doctors, and trail other Canadian provinces by excluding more applicants to residency than anywhere else, according to a scathing Human Rights Commission report released Tuesday.
The provincial commission released results of its extensive investigation into discriminatory practices faced by international medical graduates, and concluded that they come up against a series of obstacles that "disproportionately disadvantage and excludes them from faculties of medicine" at Quebec teaching hospitals where doctors take their residency to complete training.
Medical schools regularly refuse to accept foreign-trained doctors whose skills and diplomas are approved by Quebec's College of Physicians, despite the fact that 255 resident positions have not been filled in the last five years.
The stakes are high for Quebecers, said the commission, because more than two million residents of the province don't have access to a family doctor.
The study looked at resident positions at the following schools:
- University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).
- University of Sherbrooke.
- Laval University.
- McGill University.
"In the Province of Quebec, we have only seven per cent of doctors trained elsewhere that are practising," said Gaétan Cousineau, president of Quebec's Human Rights Commission.
"In Ontario, they got 20 per cent. If you go to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, you find 40 per cent [of foreign-trained doctors working]. So what are we doing that is creating these obstacles that are not permitting these doctors to practise medicine here in Quebec?" he asked.
The study looked at medical students' applications for residency in 2007. While all Quebec medical students found positions, schools rejected 174 international graduates, even though they passed their equivalency exams, approved by the College of Physicians.
The commission believes the discrepancy in acceptance rates is due to selection criteria that is not objective, Cousineau said.
"I think you get to apprehensions or [reservations], that you think [foreign doctors] won't have capacity to succeed, and that's built on stereotypes," he said.
The unprecedented report makes 11 recommendations to improve the situation, including the use of objective admission criteria — but its findings are not binding.
Report confirms MD's experience
The findings come as no surprise to Comlan Amouzou, a physician originally from Togo who worked for eight years in a hospital emergency room in France, before taking his chances in Canada. He tried for years, in vain, to secure a residency in Quebec. Now he represents the Coalition of Association of Foreign Trained Doctors, an advocacy group based in Montreal.
Medicine is a domain where doctors are well paid. And they don't want foreign graduates to ... get paid like them!" Amouzou suggests. "So they try to find false reasons to say that foreign doctors are incompetent. And this has been going on for years."
The report vindicates countless numbers of doctors who have immigrated to Canada and chosen Quebec, he said.
The findings also bolster any legal case involving a physician refused residency, said Quebec's Centre for Research Action on Race Relations.
"We are recommending that anyone who has been discriminated against in the last two years come forward and sue the government," said CRARR executive director Fo Niemi.
The Quebec government has promised to spend $2.5 million this year to make sure 65 residency spaces are reserved for foreign-trained doctors, the health ministry said.From: CBC, http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/11/16/foreign-doctors-in-quebec.html
Bias blocks foreign trained MDs: panel, Montreal Gazette: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Bias+blocks+foreign+trained+panel/3837846/story.html
Medical schools must end foreign bias: human rights commission, CTV: http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20101116/mtl_doctors_101116/20101116/?hub=MontrealHome
Foreign-trained MDs hit wall of bias in Quebec, Rights Agency Finds, Globe & Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/foreign-trained-mds-hit-wall-of-bias-in-quebec-rights-agency-finds/article1801790/
Eurozone: Eto'o silences racists after jeers interrupt Inter win
Samuel Eto'o gestures to the Cagliari crowd as the referee halts the game
It has been a bad week for crowd trouble and hooliganism in Italy. After violence and rioting by Serbian fans caused the abandonment of the national side's Euro 2012 qualifier last Tuesday, the referee for Internazionale's game at Cagliari yesterday suspended play after only three minutes had elapsed following racist chants by the home fans towards the Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o.
Play was allowed to continue several minutes later once a public announcement had been made calling for Cagliari supporters to stop the jeers, and Eto'o silenced them completely by scoring the winner in the 39th minute. The striker took his Serie A tally to six goals from seven games this season and, like most of his recent efforts, his strike was a marvellous finish. Wesley Sneijder hooked the ball on and Eto'o twisted and turned before planting a left-foot shot in the corner of the net from the edge of the box.
The Italian football authorities, who have long struggled with racist fans, gave referees the right to suspend games in the event of such chanting after Mario Balotelli, now of Manchester City, was abused during Inter's match at Juventus two seasons ago.
In Spain, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol scored to help Barcelona to a 2-1 comeback victory at home to Valencia on Saturday, but it was Real Madrid who moved to the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win in Malaga.
Valencia started the day as the unbeaten league leaders and Pablo Hernandez's strike before the break had their hosts on the rack. The champions rose to the challenge in the second half, however, and fit-again midfielder Xavi set up both goals to put them second with 16 points from seven games, ahead of Valencia on goal difference.
Jose Mourinho's Real climbed one point above both of them after the late game, two goals each for Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo sweeping aside Malaga. Real had struggled for goals in the opening games of the season but, after thumping Deportivo la Coruña 6-1 in their previous match, they seem to have found their range.
Ronaldo had a hand in all four goals and crossed for Higuain to volley home the opener in the 30th minute. Malaga were combative and caused the visitors problems, but Mesut Ozil broke down the right and crossed low for Ronaldo to double the lead just before half-time. Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot in the 47th and, although Kris Stadsgaard pulled one back at a corner for Malaga, Real made it four when Ronaldo laid off for Higuain to bag the fourth in the 65th.
Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, has said he will accept an offer from Mourinho to work more closely with the coach at the Bernabeu. "I will work with him [more regularly]," Zidane, a former Real player, said. "It suits me because I want to get more involved."
Racist graffiti found at second mall in Richmond, B.C.
An anti-Chinese message found scrawled on the walls of a stairwell at the Richmond Public Market. Aug. 9, 2010. (CTV)
The anti-Chinese messages were found Monday morning in the parkade staircase of the Richmond Public Market. Police say they are looking for help from the public to identify possible suspects.
In July, two teens were arrested in connection with racist messages found in a stairwell at the Empire Centre. Those messages also targeted Chinese people, as well as women and the police.
1 arrested in Richmond racist graffiti case
Last Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2010 | 4:31 PM PTCBC News
Police in Richmond, B.C., have arrested a young man in connection with racist graffiti found on the walls, ceiling and stairwell of a shopping mall parkade.
An 18-year-old was arrested Wednesday. Richmond RCMP say they have forwarded a charge of mischief to the Crown.
The teen has been released and is to appear in court on Sept. 14.
Police had been looking for two Caucasian men captured on camera at the Empire Centre mall drawing swastikas and leaving comments such as "F--k the Chinese."
Cpl. Sherredean Turley said the teenager who was arrested had returned to the parkade, where he was identified.
"Members of Richmond RCMP's bike section located the male during their patrols of the Empire Centre parkade," Turley said.
"The male was positively ID'd by officers and was arrested as he tried to flee. I'm not sure what to make out of it, but I find it odd that someone would return to the scene."
Turley said police are still trying to identify the second man caught on the surveillance tape.
More people involved
While two people were captured on camera, mall officials say others were involved. Security manager Paul Kung blames four men and a woman, who were captured on surveillance cameras last Wednesday.
Two men returned the next day to smash security cameras and to leave more offensive messages, Kung said.
The group returned again Wednesday afternoon, then ran away when police showed up, he said.
"Every day they come through here," Kung said. "Every day."
Richmond RCMP said the case could turn into a hate crime investigation, but they noted most of the graffiti was aimed at the police.
The Empire Centre shopping mall near No. 3 Road and Leslie Road caters to the city's large Chinese population. More than half of the nearly 200,000 people in Richmond are of Asian descent.
Shopper Daisy Cheung said she was shocked by the graffiti "because here there is so many Chinese people living here, and I don't think they respect us living here a long time."
Tung Chan, the CEO of the immigrant services group SUCCESS, said he doesn't understand why the vandals defaced the parkade with racist graffiti.
"Why would they make such kind of racist remarks?" Chan asked. "And why would they do those kinds of mischievous acts? It's totally incomprehensible, but one that is totally unacceptable.
"I would urge friends of those people, schoolmates of those people, wherever they go to school, their teachers, their parents, their friends, their neighbours, need to tell those people who perpetrate this crime that is not acceptable, that this kind of attitude totally has no place in a place like Richmond."
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/07/29/bc-richmond-parkage-racist-graffiti.html#ixzz0wssOg6n3
(All photo credits: Ming Pao Vancouver)
Racist graffiti are popping up on almost every single blank wall in a parkade of a Richmond Chinese mall recently, leaving merchants and shoppers worried and threatened, and security manager felt “disturbing”.
The Empire Centre on No.3 Rd has been a target of vandalism of a group of 4 young males and 1 young female lately, according to the centre’s security manager Paul Kung. Surveillance cameras have been able to capture their images for days. At least one security guard has seen them in person and talked them to go away when they were caught drawing graffiti.
Kung says the same group has been asking merchants for money for quite a while, mostly just turned them down and asked them to leave.
Wordings of the graffittis used to be “less offensive”, Kung said. “But they escalate lately to very pointed racist, hateful messages such as ‘Fxxx the Chinese’.”
Merchants and shoppers become offended and feel threatened by racism, Kung said. The management then reported the case to the police last week.
Other graffitts include: “If you are Chinese, don’t come back”, the swastika sign, KKK abbreviation and “If I could choose one race to be I would cho[o]se white”.
Last Wednesday (July 21), a security camera captured the video of how one of the males hit the camera with some kind of metal rod. In 5 seconds, the camera was smashed and went dark.
In Thursday afternoon, someone noticed the group in the mall area again and called the police. But the group was gone before the cops arrived. A check to security camera footage later found that the cops were only 2 minutes late.
The security team found more graffiti right after Thursday, and this time they were teasing the police. Words such as “Fxxx the Police” were found on walls and under the parkade stairwell. One phrase was written right under the smashed camera, with an arrow pointing at it saying “Ha ha, the police has no authority or power”. Kung said obviously the kids knew the cops barely missed them and they felt superior to the police.
Kung said the centre isn’t paying to remove the graffiti yet because “they are drawing new graffiti almost every day.”From: http://www.chineseinvancouver.ca/2010/07/disturbing-anti-chinese-racist-graffiti-appears-in-richmonds-empire-centre/
Conditions described by workers in bush camp 'completely unacceptable'
By Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun August 10, 2010 5:33 PM
Photograph by: Glenn Baglo, Postmedia News
VANCOUVER — B.C. Labour Minister Murray Coell said Tuesday that conditions described by workers in a bush camp near Golden are "completely unacceptable."
And he said he will carefully review the results of two on-going investigations into Khaira Enterprises Ltd. which had a $280,000 B.C. government contract to clear brush in the area.
The contract was suspended after 25 workers, many of them recent African immigrants, were found living in squalor late last month without proper accommodation, drinking water or bathing facilities.
Now both WorkSafe B.C. and Employment Standards are investigating the workers' claims of threats, racist comments, insufficient food, 15-hour work days and bounced pay cheques.
“I am very concerned about the alleged substandard conditions and mistreatment of employees at this forestry work camp. The conditions described are completely unacceptable for employees," Coell said in a statement to The Vancouver Sun.
“I will be carefully reviewing the results of all investigations into this matter to determine if any additional action is required.”
He also said his ministry is trying "to ensure all workers are paid."
But Coell did not directly respond to demands by the B.C. Federation of Labour and the New Democratic Party for an sweeping investigation into the conditions in similar bush camps across B.C.
"This is outrageous. It is clear that these people weren't protected. It's clear that enforcement failed. We had third world conditions in British Columbia," federation president Jim Sinclair said. "We are asking for the minister of labour to immediately undertake an independent investigation of what happened."
NDP critic Raj Chouhan said there could be other workers trapped in the wilderness in need of help.
"I would press for an independent inquiry into this whole situation," Chouhan said.
There are anywhere from 100 to 200 similar government contracts running at any one time depending on the month, Forests Ministry official Cheekwan Ho said Tuesday. Khaira only held the contract that has now been revoked.
The federation brought 11 of the Khaira workers to a news conference Tuesday where they described feeling like prisoners in the camp without money or transportation to escape.
They thanked those who "rescued" them many from their bleak life in woods July 21 when some recreational fishermen reported to the Ministry of Forests that they had been illegally burning garbage in their camp.
The Vancouver Sun revealed the controversy over Khaira's camp conditions Monday night and confirmed that the contract has been terminated and that Khaira has been banned from bidding on contracts for a year.
Quesnel native Christine Barker, 24, had worked in the woods for other companies for five years without incident.
The single mother said Tuesday she has never dealt with abuse like what she experienced at Khaira.
"I would like to thank those who rescued us from the camp. It was such a relief to get out of the camp," Barker said. "We felt as though we were held as hostages. We felt like prisoners."
She said after cheques bounced and no other wages were forthcoming, the workers withdrew their services no July 17.
"When we started the work refusal, that's when the camp conditions got even worse - showers were denied. … We were refused food because we weren't working for him at that time."
She said she witnessed a supervisor threaten to kill one of her Congolese co-workers and throw a knife at him.
Several threats were reported to Golden RCMP after the workers got removed from the camp July 21.
Cpl. Dave Kronlund confirmed Tuesday that an investigation into the threats had been launched, though he said he couldn't comment further.
Barker said since she left the camp, she has not been able to collect Employment Insurance because Khaira claimed on her documents that she quit.
"We were working long, strenuous hours," she said.
She said she was most disturbed by racial slurs by a supervisor against her African co-workers, who refered to her as "cookie dough" and them as "burnt cookies."
They worked 10 to 12 hours a day and travelled three to four hours each time further into the bush from the makeshift camp.
"We are all suffering right now….now we have no means of feeding our families," Barker said.
De Dieu Kibasi, a New Westminster man originally from the Congo, said he wants justice for himself and the other workers.
"We were really, really tortured," he said. "What we want from the government is justice."
They were promised $25 an hour, but then told they would only get $16 an hour. On the cheques that were given, there is no reference to the number of hours worked.
Sinclair said 20 of them at a time were packed into a 15-person van without seatbelts to be driven to the remote areas that needed to be cleared each day.
Jean-Claude Nabulizi, a 25-year-old Winnipeg man who
Assailants found guilty in B.C. attack caught on YouTube// Judge says case was permeated by the ‘acid fog of racism'
Courtenay, B.C. — The Canadian Press Published on Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010 2:31PM EDT Last updated on Friday, Jul. 30, 2010 2:20AM EDT
Three men who attacked a black man in a swarming that went viral on YouTube have been found guilty of assault by a judge who says “the acid fog of racism” permeates the case.
Provincial Court Judge Peter Doherty said Thursday that one of the men who pummelled Jay Phillips, 39, yelled a racial slur when he was confronted in Courtenay, B.C., last July.
“The three young white men, fuelled by alcohol and testerone and their own immaturity, crossed paths with a black man and lives changed forever,” Mr. Doherty said.
Mr. Doherty concluded that David White, 19, called Phillips “nigger” as he sat in the back of a truck leaving a restaurant while his co-accused, Robert William Roger and Adam David Huber, both 25, sat in a cab as they passed Mr. Phillips standing in a nearby parking lot.
The trial heard Mr. Huber believed Mr. Phillips was a drug dealer in the Vancouver Island town.
“In the end it does not matter one way or the other to the issue at hand except to note that Mr. Huber, when confronting Mr. Phillips, thought he was high on something,” Mr. Doherty said. “I think he was just in a rage.”
Court has heard that after Mr. White yelled the racial slur, Mr. Phillips threw an item, possibly a water bottle, at the truck, prompting Mr. Huber to ask Mr. Phillips if he'd tossed something at the vehicle.
“Mr. Huber, unable to walk a mile in the shoes of Mr. Phillips, let alone stand in them for one moment, repeated the question several times,” Mr. Doherty said.
Mr. Phillips was not in court to hear the verdict after having testified in the trial for two days.
“Jay chose to stay away from this,” his mother, Kirsten Phillips, said outside court. “He did not want to be a part of it.”
During the trial last month, Mr. Roger's lawyer, Doug Marion, said Mr. Phillips had a hunched stance and appeared to consent to the fight by saying, “Come on,” when the trio got out of the truck.
But Bob Richardson, Mr. Phillips's lawyer, said his client was only trying to protect himself because he was outnumbered by the men.
A date for sentencing the three men will be set on Aug. 12.
Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAJ3amqyVuE
Coalition launches Day of Action against Quebec's proposed Bill 94
By John Bonnar | May 20, 2010
TORONTO - A coalition of concerned individuals and organizations said Tuesday that Bill 94 further entrenches gender inequality, marginalizing and isolating Muslim women who wear niqab.
“Our arguments are based in overriding legislation in our country,” said Zahra Dhanani, Legal Director at the The Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC) and a member of the No/Non Bill 94 Coalition during a press conference at the Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto.
“Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of religion and Section 15 guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of the law.”
She said Ontario based legislation affirms how dangerous it is to identify a group that has historically been oppressed and further discriminates against them.
“We believe that the impact of this legislation is exactly that - discrimination, marginalization and isolation,” said Dhanani.
In Bill 94, the Quebec government argued that if it’s general practice for a service provider and a client to show their faces during service provision, “and that if an accommodation involves an adaptation of that practice and reasons of security, communication or identification warrant it, the accommodation must be denied.”
But the Coalition said that the niqab is neither a health or security concern nor will it lead to communication problems between women with niqab and other non-niqab wearing people and submitted a brief to the National Assembly for their consideration.
But many women’s organizations, including the No/No Bill 94 Coalition, were not invited to make oral deputations during the hearings held on Tuesday. So they organized a Day of Action that included a press conference, rally, email blitz to the premier and a video.
“We’re exceptionally concerned about women who wear niqab will experience when they go to seek services, especially if they are survivors of violence,” said Dhanani.
Coalition member Zainab Zafar started wearing niqab five years ago and attends Ryerson University. She said she’s never experienced racism on-campus or traveling in downtown Toronto.
“Of course, wherever there was a need for me to take off my veil for health or identity purposes, I’ve taken my veil off,” said Zafar. But she’s shocked that a government would force women who wear niqab to take a step backwards in society.
“If such a Bill is considered what would be the difference between a Canadian and an oppressive society that exists in the world today?” asked Zafar. “Canada should not force a woman to take off her veil while other societies might force them to wear it. Let women have their freedom of choice.”
But freedom of choice wasn’t the only concern raised at Tuesday’s press conference.
“It (Bill 94) invites a climate of violence because it builds intolerance,” said Amanda Dale, Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. “It gives license to feelings of discrimination that people may harbour.”
Dale said that’s what is going to happen when a government starts to “legislate against a display of your identity.”
A lot of women have already experienced violence for wearing niqab.
“Women come to us saying they’ve experienced an increased license on the streets of Toronto to be sworn at, spat at, pushed or shoved,” she said. “This is not a climate that Canada wants to exacerbate.”
So as Quebec moves forward with Bill 94, Dale and her colleagues fear that women all over Canada will pay the price.
“It’s a copycat piece of legislation and it has no place,” said Dale.
Similar legislation has been passed in European countries, particularly Belgium, Italy, France and Germany, where women have reported increased acts of racism and attacks on Muslim men and women. “We’ve heard of serious forms of Nazi based attacks against Muslim communities,” said Zahra Dhanani.
“We’ve seen all kinds of marginalization and isolation that has occurred in education, employment and service provision. The consequences of wearing niqab (in these countries) includes not only paying a fine but it includes imprisonment.”
If Bill 94 is passed, the No/Non Bill 94 Coalition is very concerned that similar legislation will pass in other provinces, eventually resulting in a Federal Bill.
“We’re here in solidarity with women in Quebec,” said Dhanani. “But we’re also here because there’s Liberal politicians provincially and federally who have supported this Bill. Other federal and municipal politicians have made statements in favour of this Bill.”
“If this Bill is applied, what kind of life will I be living in Ontario?” asked Zainab Zafar.
“And if I am to move to Quebec, what kind of treatment will I be receiving? This is a complete threat to our community and to women specifically wearing niqab. I won’t have the right to go and study, go the hospital or express myself.”
Driving while wearing burqua (niqab)
Latest update: 26/04/2010 France - Islamic veil
Mosques slam politicisation of ‘burqa driver’ incident
A grouping of Mosques in the French city of Nantes, where a local woman was fined earlier this month for driving in an Islamic veil, complained on Sunday of the media hype and politicisation of the incident.
By FRANCE 24 (with wires) (text)
Elena CASAS (video)
A grouping of mosques in the western French city of Nantes issued a statement condemning the political controversy and media hype surrounding a fine levyed on a local Muslim woman earlier this month for wearing a full Islamic veil while driving.
“The Association of Nantes Mosques considers that the decision to detain and fine a woman for driving in a full Islamic veil is a judicial procedure. It should in no way be turned into a political affair or a debate on Islam,” the statement said.
“Once again, Muslims and Islam are the victims of a wave of media frenzy surrounding a minor, insignificant incident which does not represent the beliefs or lifestyle of the vast majority of Muslims living in France," the statement went on to say, adding: "We are concerned about this systematic stigmatisation, which goes against the fundamental values of the Republic."
The 31-year-old Algerian-born French woman was fined €22 for driving in a niqab, a black veil that covers the face but not the eyes. Police said the veil posed a “safety risk” when worn while driving.
The incident reached ministerial levels on Saturday, when French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux asked Immigration Minister Eric Besson to look into whether the woman’s husband could be stripped of his French nationality after an investigation revealed that he was a polygamist who was simultaneously married to four women. The man also has 12 children.
"Each of these women benefits from single-parent benefits and ... each one wears the full veil," Hortefeux said, in a letter seen by the Reuters news agency. Hortefeux also asked authorities to look into bringing fraud charges against the family for taking advantage of French social services.Lies Habbadj could lose his French citizenship
By FRANCE 2 / Josh Vardey
The unnamed woman has contested the fine, arguing that neither her vision nor her movements are impaired by wearing the niqab.
The controversy comes just two days after French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged parliament to pass a ban on wearing the full Islamic veil in all public places, eschewing more moderate proposals that focused on imposing limits only within state institutions such as schools and town halls.
Proposed burqa ban will also be imposed on tourists
The Princess and the burqa, female driving and male guardians
Europe and the politics behind the veil
Mixed-race couple in Nova Scotia vow to leave community after car burning
Michelle Lyon and her partner Shayne Howe at their home in Hants county, Nova Scotia. The couples car was lit on fire at a neighbuors house over the weekend. They had been victims to a cross burning on their yard in February (The Globe and Mail).
Michelle Lyon's car burned while it was parked at a relative's house in Avondale, N.S. (Phonse Jessome/CBC)
Michelle Lyon and Shane Howe in their Hants County home in February. The couple, who were the targets of a cross burning earlier this year, say Lyon's car was torched on the weekend. (PETER PARSONS/ The Chronicle Herald)
By Oliver Moore
Halifax — The Globe and Mail, Published on Monday, Apr. 19, 2010 8:28PM EDT
A mixed-race couple nearly driven from their Nova Scotia community when a cross was burned on their lawn is sick of living in fear and looking to leave after their car was found in flames on the weekend.
“This is strike two, we’re not waiting for strike three,” Michelle Lyon said Monday in a telephone interview from her home near Windsor. “When those two were arrested, we thought that was it. But now this.”
Ms. Lyon spoke shortly after returning from court, where one of the men charged in the cross-burning entered a plea of not guilty.
“ I built this house, so I have real emotional attachment. To make the decision to leave, I had to do that for the kids’ safety.”— Michelle Lyon
The lawyer for 19-year-old Justin Rehberg pleaded not guilty on his behalf, The Canadian Press reported, and his trial was set for October. His brother, 20-year-old Nathan Rehberg, will enter a plea next month. The men, who share a great-grandparent with Ms. Lyon, remain free on bail.
Defence counsel for the brothers could not be reached after court for comment.
RCMP spokeswoman Sergeant Brigdit Leger said that the vehicle fire on Saturday is being probed as suspicious. Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime.
“At this point in time, we have not eliminated any possible motivation for this incident,” she said.
Ms. Lyon, who is white, and her fiancé, Shayne Howe, the only black man in tiny Poplar Grove, say they were awakened in February by shouts of “die nigger die.” They say a noose was dangling from a flaming cross on their lawn, but whoever did it was gone by the time Mr. Howe could get outside.
The incident shocked many in the province, as did the reaction of some prominent members of the black community who said they were not surprised at such overt hostility. One academic called it tangible evidence of the attitudes that cause some black people to call the province “the Mississippi of the North.”
It’s a legacy Nova Scotia is trying to shake. In February, Halifax apologized for the destruction of Africville, a black community in the city’s north end. And last week, the province offered a rare free pardon to Viola Desmond, who was arrested in 1946 and is sometimes called Canada’s Rosa Parks.
Mr. Howe and Ms. Lyon received a wave of support in person and through social media. The outpouring helped persuade them to stay in the town, but the second incident has renewed their desire to move to protect their children.
“You shouldn’t have to live in fear, the fear [of] what’s next” Ms. Lyon said Monday. “I built this house, so I have real emotional attachment. To make the decision to leave, I had to do that for the kids’ safety.”
She stressed that she didn’t want “to point fingers” at the alleged perpetrators of the earlier incident. But she can’t help but notice similarities.
“It’s hard to think it couldn’t be connected,” she said.
Ms. Lyons said that her Toyota Echo was being worked on to make it road-worthy and was parked in a relative’s driveway near her house. No one local could fail to know it was her car, she added, being the only such vehicle around and bearing a personalized licence plate.
“The family member called me and said, ‘your car’s on fire, you’d better get down here right away,’ ” she said. “The gas tank blew, it could’ve been potentially a very dangerous situation.”
That was in the early hours of Saturday. The car was burned so badly, she said, that firefighters were asking her what model it was.
Hari Sharma - Anti-Racist Activist (1934- 2010)
It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the death of our friend and comrade, Hari Prakash Sharma, on March 16 following a prolonged battle with cancer. Hari took his last breath in his home of 42 years at Burnaby (a suburb of Vancouver), British Columbia, surrounded by his comrades Harinder Mahil, Raj Chouhan, and Chin Banerjee. All of them had come together in 1976 to form the Vancouver Chapter of the Indian People’s Association in North America (IPANA), which had been founded by Hari and many others at a meeting in Montreal in 1975.
Hari was born on [November 9], 1934 at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh though his family came from Haryana. His father was a railway employee, so he moved from one place to another wherever his father was posted. Hari received his BA from Agra University and his Master’s in Social Work from Delhi University. The insight into the social life of India Hari got from his travels by train enabled by his father’s employment in the railways and his extensive travels by foot through the villages of India stimulated Hari to start writing short stories in Hindi. Hari is regarded as one of the finest writers of short stories in Hindi and many people had urged him to resume his writing in Hindi. One of his stories was adapted as a play and staged in New Delhi.
Hari moved to the US in 1963 for further education and did his Master in Social Work from the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1964 and Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 1968. He taught briefly at UCLA before accepting a position at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia in 1968, where he stayed till his retirement in 1999. He was honored by the University as Professor Emeritus.
Hari, like many enlightened academics of the 1960’s plunged in the anti-Vietnam war movement in the US and Canada. This is also the period when he espoused Marxism, which ideology he held dearly and steadfastly until his death.
As a member of the Faculty of Simon Fraser University he became a champion of the academic rights of colleagues who were faced with the threat of dismissal for their support of the student-led movement for democratizing the university. He became an associate and friend of another Marxist Kathleen Gough, who was suspended for her political activities. Kathleen Gough and Hari P. Sharma co-edited the 469-page book, Imperialism and Revolution in South Asia, which was published in 1973 by the Monthly Review Press, New York. The book was sought by political activists of that time and many people know of Hari as an eminent leftist scholar because of that book.
The 1960’s were a period of international revolutionary upheaval. The Naxalbari peasant uprising happened in the spring of 1967. Hari was greatly inspired by it. He went to India and visited Naxalbari area. It is then he got committed to the path opened by Naxalbaaari and retained his faith in its ultimate success until his last days, while many of his comrades had simply written off Naxalbari as a thing of the past. Hari developed contact with peasant revolutionaries and maintained a living contact till his last days.
While associating with the Naxalbari movement in India, Hari carried on anti-imperialist work in Vancouver through the weekly paper, Georgia Straight, published by the Georgia Straight Collective, of which he was a founding member. In 1973 Hari went to the Amnesty International in London and the Commission of Jurists in Geneva and sent a written representation to the UN Human Rights Commission to publicize the condition of more than thirty-thousand political prisoners in Indian jails.
In 1974 he and his comrade Gautam Appa of the London School of Economics organized a petition of international scholars to protest the treatment of political prisoners in India, which he handed to the Indian Consulate in Vancouver, BC on August 15 of the same year.
In 1975 Hari enthusiastically accepted an invitation from his friends in Montreal. He along with many others founded the Indian People’s Association in North America (IPANA) on June 25, 1975, exactly on the same day on which Indira Gandhi declared the State of Emergency in India. Hari’s tireless work against dictatorship in India and in defense of political prisoners and oppressed peoples, and his energetic organization of progressive people across North America in the struggle against Imperialism and for social justice, led to the revocation of his passport by the Indira Gandhi government in 1976.
Having engaged in various anti-racist struggles in the 1970s, IPANA in Vancouver, under Hari’s leadership became a primary force in the formation of the British Columbia Organization to Fight Racism (BCOFR: 1980), which proved to be an extremely effective instrument against the tide of racism in the province at the time. Hari and IPANA also played a leading role in the formation of the Canadian Farmworkers’ Union (CFU: 1980), which for the first time took up the cause of farm workers who had been historically excluded from protection under the labour laws and any protective regulation.
From the 1980s Hari’s work also began to focus on the condition of minorities in India, which came to a crisis with the attack on the Golden Temple and the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984 following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Hari stood firm in his defense of the human rights of Sikhs and, increasingly of Muslims who became the primary targets of the rising Hindutva forces gathered under the banner of the Bhartiya Janata Party. He organized a parallel conference on the centralization of state power and the threat to minorities in India to coincide with the Commonwealth Conference in Vancouver in 1987.
In 1989 Hari brought large sections of the South Asian community together to form the Komagata Maru Historical Society to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident, in which Indian immigrants traveling to Canada on a chartered ship were turned away from the shores of Vancouver by the racist policies of the Canadian Government. As a result of the society’s work a commemorative plaque was installed in Vancouver. In 2004, during a screening of the documentary film on this incident by Ali Kazimi, Continuous Journey, the Mayor of Vancouver presented a scroll to Hari dedicating the week to the memory of Komagata Maru.
Following the attack on Babri Masjid in December 1992 Hari became the prime mover in the formation of a North American organization dedicated to the defense of minority rights in India called, Non-resident Indians for Secularism and Democracy (NRISAD). This organization brought together Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, and Christians of origin in South Asia through educational and cultural activities. It had its most significant moment in Vancouver in 1997, when it celebrated the 50th anniversary of the independence of India from colonial rule by bringing together people from the entire spectrum of the South Asian community to focus on how much remained to be done on the subcontinent and the urgent need for peace between Pakistan and India.
Recognizing the need to build a North American front against the growing menace of Hindutva fascism in India, Hari travelled to Montreal in September 1999 to join the founding of International Soth Asia Forum (INSAF). He became is first President and organized the Second Conference in Vancouver from Augst10-12, 2001.
Hari’s leadership again led to the development of NRISAD into South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) in Vancouver to embrace the necessity of going beyond a focus on India to the entire South Asian region in the quest of peace and democracy based on secularism, human rights and social justice. SANSAD has pursued these goals vigorously, condemning the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 (for which he was denied a visa to go to India), championing the human rights of Kashmiris, promoting peace between Pakistan and India, supporting the rights of women in Pakistan, condemning violence against journalists and academics in Bangladesh, supporting the movement for democracy and social justice in Nepal, and defending the human rights of Tamils under the attack of the Sri Lankan state.
Besides being an able political organizer and a gifted writer of short stories, Hari was also a talented photographer. He photographed the common people of India, their lives and struggles. His photpgraphs hang in many homes and have been displayed in many exhibitions. He proved himself to be an excellent director of political drama.
Political ideals remain steadfast. However, there has, naturally been, divergence of opinion on the strategy and tactics of achieving these ideals. During the course of long political activity of more than 50 years, Hari made many friends and comrades. It is natural that among these comrades there also arose disagreements on many issues. Nevertheless, Hari remained a comrade or a friend of all of them and they all are deeply saddened by his passing away.
Hari leaves behind him a legacy of activism in the service of the oppressed. He is an inspiration to engagement in the struggle for a better world, to a never-flagging effort to create a world without exploitation, without imperialist domination, without religious, caste, ethnic or gender oppression, a world that Marx envisioned as human destiny.
Woman shocked by portrayal as hard-line Islamist
"We value our beliefs much more than everyone," says Laurelie Rae (left), with Manal Karime, two Concordia University students who choose to wear the hijab (Photo from Montreal Gazette by Phil Carpenter).
OMAR EL AKKAD
Globe and Mail, Friday, Mar. 05, 2010
When Naima Ahmed went to college in Egypt to study pharmacy, she took courses alongside men and women. When she dispensed medication, she dealt with men and women.
So it came as a shock to the 29-year-old immigrant to find herself portrayed this week as a hard-line Islamist who forces men to look away when she gives presentations.
"I'm just like any other person," Ms. Ahmed said in an interview with The Globe and Mail yesterday, speaking in her native Arabic tongue. "The only difference is that I wear a veil over my face. It doesn't mean I'm wearing a veil over my mind."
Ms. Ahmed, a mother of three, ignited another round of debate over the controversial issue of accommodation in Quebec after she lodged a human-rights complaint against the province stemming from her experiences at CEGEP de Saint-Laurent, the school where she was learning French.
The incident began when school officials demanded Ms. Ahmed remove her niqab - the full veil some Muslim women wear. According to school officials, it's impossible to critique French pronunciation correctly without viewing a person's mouth.
But what Ms. Ahmed initially thought would be a confidential human-rights complaint quickly became the subject of a media firestorm that gave voice to accusations she refused to work with men and gave presentations with her back to the rest of the classroom.
Ms. Ahmed said that is simply not true.
"This is the first time I felt racism [in Canada]," she said of her experience at the CEGEP, adding that she believes school officials were out to remove her from the beginning. "I went to many places previously where there were no issues - when I went for my driving test nobody told me you can't drive with a niqab."
She added that in her part-time French course prior to the CEGEP class - and in a subsequent class elsewhere - she encountered no issues.
Ms. Ahmed said the incident in which she is alleged to have turned her back on the men in the class was not prompted by her. She said a teacher asked her to give a presentation in front of the class - which contained only a couple of male students, of Bulgarian and Iranian origin - with her niqab removed, which she refused to do.
"[The teacher] said either you take off the niqab, or I'll make the two men face the wall," Ms. Ahmed said.
As a compromise, she raised her niqab but turned away from the edge of the U-shaped classroom seating arrangement, where the two men sat.
Ms. Ahmed said she had no issue taking off her veil when being photographed for her school ID by a female staff member, nor did she have any problem working in groups with the men or participating in other class projects.
"As long as I had the niqab on it made no difference to me," she said.
"If I didn't want to interact, I would have stayed at home."
Is Italy dealing with football racism?
It is an unfortunate fact that Black players still suffer racist abuse in some European countries.
Balotelli is no stranger to abuse from fellow Italians.
In Italy, despite the Football federation's attempts to institute a zero-tolerance policy, World Football has discovered that only three clubs in Italy's top divisions have active anti-racism campaigns.
More reports about racist abuse of black players hit the news recently, when a team in one of Italy's lower leagues walked off the pitch after one of their Italian players, of Nigerian origin, was abused by spectators.
Nuova Casteltodino football team took action as it was the fourth time this season that Emeka and his brother had suffered insults at the hands of players, fans and in one case the referee.
It follows high profile incidents of racist chanting aimed at Inter Milan's striker Mario Balotelli, the 19-year-old striker who was born in Italy of Ghananian parents and raised by his white adopted family in southern Italy.
The incident at Nuova Casteltodino, although not in Serie A, caused a stir in Italy's national press and TV.
For World Football, the BBC's Emma Wallis has been exploring whether the authorities are really doing enough to stamp out racism in the Italian game.
For Audio Story click here: BBC World Service - Is Italy dealing with football racism? (First broadcast on February 6 2010)