Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Parkdale Action Coalition founder and Parkdale Forum co-blogger organiser at Uprising Documentary Festival

Robin would probably tell you this himself, but he's been busier than a bee...

He's been to South America and back, doing reporting in Venezuela during the Chavez election, and now he's back in Toronto, an organiser at the Uprising Documentary Festival.

This Friday the first of April they're showing "Port-au-Prince is Mine", documenting the social conditions people are live with in Haiti's capital city. 

From Robin:-

"Rather than talk about the big political issues, the film is unique in that it takes you into the homes of every day people who live in Port-au-Prince.

I hope you can make it out, I think you could appreciate a film like this...

The filming takes place at the Ashanti Room - 836 Bloor St. West, 1 block east of Ossington, near Shaw, at 730 p.m."

Come support a Parkdale community member working hard to make a difference here and abroad.

Independent public hearings into Psychiatric Practices

Inquiry Into Psychiatry 2005
Historic Public Hearings

On or been on psychiatric drugs?
Undergone electroshock?
Do you have concerns?
Come give personal testimony.
Make an appointment to testify or just turn up.

Council Chambers at City Hall. 100 Queen Street West

Psychiatric Drugs Public Hearings
***April 2 and 3 ~ 1:00 - 5:00 pm***
Presiding Panel: Dr. Bonnie Burstow, Leah Cohen, Dr. Ernie Lightman, Dr. Shahrzad Mojab, and Michael Valpy.

Electroshock Public Hearings
***April 9 and 10 ~ 1:00 - 5:00 pm***
Presiding Panel: Don Weitz, Cathy Crowe (omg wow; WOOF!), Catherine Dunphy, Dr. Roy Moodley, Chris Rahim.

Organizers: CAPA - Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault

Contact person Don Weitz (416) 545-0796

Don Weitz is the editor of at least one book, "Shrink Resistant:the struggle against psychiatry in Canada", in which survivors detail experiences with the Canadian government/CIA-funded Allan Memorial experiments under the direction of of Dr. ewen Cameron.


The link

PSST! Know why Somalia's wreckage didn't get covered, although THEY also got hit by the dec 26th, 2004, tsunami?

Because Atlas shrugged and unearthed a Nasty Little Secret!

Read on.

While many are still focused on the latest earthquake in Indonesia, the effects of the Dec 26th tsunami are still being felt in Somalia. Here's how.

When the tsunami crossed the Indian ocean from Indonesia to hit Africa, it may also have dragged toxic wate containers, illegally dumped off the coast of Somalia, onto the shore (there's only one reason why I say "may" - you'll see as u read further).

Somalia's ongoing civil war has forced its government into exile in Kenya, where the Minister of the Environment, Ohama Osmanhai(sp?), says that according to reports, at least 300 people are affected by new diseases. He says ever since the tsunami, "all over the ocean", there has been complaints of new diseases they have never seen, stuff like blood coming from their mouths, skin changing, a lot of things they never knew before as a Somali population.

Ever heard of the Toxic Waste Trade? No, what's that, you say? Read on.

It's been happening between European-rich countries to developing nations. The Toxic Waste Trade was often possible because of the lack of regulations in the rich countries and weaker, non-existent governments in poor ones. It was very profitable and fake businesses, or mafias, used the opportunity to enrich themselves. It reached its peak in the 1990's, still operating in the early 21st century. Somalia's always been expected to be a dumping ground because it fit into all the criteria for use by those referred to as the 'Waste Trade Mafia': countries afflicted by war, nearby to Europe, have been dumping grounds.

The international trade's decreased since the Basil(sp?) convention on the control of trans-boundary movements of Hazardous Waste, which has been ratified by many countries.

The worst thing? They have no idea what exactly's been dumped there...
or what was washed up by the tsunami...

The United Nations enviromental program is very concerned by the situation. The Regional Director for Africa reported that there's indications that people have been discovering empty drums, toxic waste was dumped, that the tsunami was responsible for resurfacing some of the drums... the UN decided to just organize a series of missions to go to Somalia. Unfortunately the current security situation is, unless there's security clearance to go to Somalia, it would very difficult to send a total assessment team, to really see whether these claims are correct or not (so, basically, no "offical" verification).

Obviously Somalia's exiled Minister supports the U.N's move. He also expects, if its origins can be discovered, whichever countries that produced the mess (erm, waste) to, you know, um, pay to clean it up...? And to prosecute whichever Somalians accepted said waste. He's so far dissappointed by the response of the international community. He calls them blind to what's going on, says they're already rebuilding places affected by the tsunami, except Somalia.

I mean, if YOU were the international community, would YOU? "Naw, man, I didn't do it... (checks watch) Look, I have an important meeting to go to. I gotta bail..."

With international disagreements on the size and composition of a possible peace keeping mission deployal to Somalia, there's gonna be more delays before the the whole extent of the toxic waste pollution is completely known.

Never ever (again, if in your case you've said so) say there isnt a reason for GreenPeace's existence. They're not just some bunch of annoying, bleeding-heart liberals. They've been investigating this since the 1980's.

These guys know and care about shit you mightn't even know or care about unless there was literally some sort of an earth-shattering situation to shake you to attention.

Or not.

I was online chatting and, the tsunami came up; I said I figured I should just mention that African nations also got hit by the tsunami, but got coverage on a level of a media blackout, and how there's speculation on why that was. Almost instantly people started saying, "'cause no one gives a shit about Africa."

Okee dokee. Heard enough?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Castro The Billionaire

I find out from's "Castro the Billionaire" post that Forbes calls Castro a billionaire.


And they used new "criteria" to be able to get this current assessment, when I click some links provided along with the post.

Ok then...

I carry around my sceptcism like other carry around socks. And not without reason. Just got off the phone with Otis (Norman "Otis" Richmonnd) to ask him if he recalled who did the show where the professor from Jamica was talking about the Cuban doctors. Turns out it was him. Cool. Asked some questions because I heard about this "Castro Billionaire" thing; and turns out he's airing a repeat because of the Castro "news"

So, tried posting something to Tobias' blog. Seems his comments thing's not behanvin'.

Again, the info's relevant to stuff I cover here, so I'll just repeat what I sent off in an email.

When it comes to Cuba and Communism, I've found the average person's got a set of preconceived notions locked behind a safe you can't access. Yeah, everyone's dying to get away and risk their lives on a boat...

Never mind I know people who've been to Cuba within the last six months... and not because Canadians tend to go there for vacation.

(Right. Anything else I say will just be personal ranting, and I'd like to think this isn't a personal ranting sort of blog.)

So here's what I sent off.

TB: Well, this person has. I'm not impressed with Castro's government or his experiment.

I didn't reply until now because I was getting a hold of folks who I know; namely 1) pals who are still, or were, members of the Communist Party; 2) people I know, like Normal "Otis" Richmond, who host radio shows and is considered a black community leader here in Toronto. He runs a show here on CLKN radio called "Saturday Morning Live" which has so many acdemics walking though it they've worn grooves; and a lot of good stuff, including "Amanla" (sp?) which is a segment done by people from Africa on the latest on news happening from the continent.

CLKN has a long and proven history of not only pissing off those who'd rather not have the info out- (case in point:- CKLN's rather busy at the moment, with Wendy/Queen Nzinga's deportation a week or so back; she's a widely, widely loved and respected community leader who did CKLN's entire "International Women's Day" programming for the week. A week or so after former police chief Fantino ranted about the station "Promoting hate" because Ron does a "Bad Cop, No Doughnut" segment on his show, culled from headlines all over North America, cops picked her up selling cookies at the International Women's Day events and she got deported to Costa Rica after having her case languishing in thesystem for years)- presenting news the mainstream media either barely covers or not cover at all. It's how I knew that Abu Ghraib scandal was happening before it became mainstream fodder, for instance.

In any event. He is going to be doing a repeat of the show he did with the profefessor from Jamaica who had gotten an honouray doctorship(?) from Cuba. (What specifically evades, me because it's been a bit since I heard this particular show and that's not why I remembered the show anyway ). The gentleman in question went on at length to talk about why Cuban doctors were respected in Jamaica, and elsewhere; they had flown 20,000 people from Venezuela so they can have cataract removal, since resources in Venezuela for these people were limited. One of the reasons the professor stated the doctors doing this at no cost to Venezuelans (or their govenrment) was because of their Communist leanings; that they are doctors "and they are there to serve the people". IF I recall correctly, they've also been to Haiti when the coup happened...

So, long story short, that's why I'm sceptical about the "Castro being a Billionaire" thing. Norman's doing the show repeat because of the Castro Billionaire thing. You can listen to the show tomorrow Sunday on the web at (you can probably also get a copy of the show if you miss it) or email Norman yourself at