A busy day in the West Bank

West Bank, August 9.

We had a very busy day in the West Bank.

There’s a lot to learn and absorb. A briefing from the Ramallah office of the Canadian government is really helpful. Ramallah itself, a centre of commerce and social activity on the West Bank, is bustling and busy. [ read more…]

Our first day in Jerusalem

Getting through the King Hussein crossing into the West Bank from Jordan took approx 1.5 hours and at least six different checks – but no problems. This evening (Saturday) was quite eventful. After being dropped off at our hotel by the Canadian office representative from Ramallah, the six of us (three MPs, and three from Code Pink) walked down the winding street towards the old city. [ read more…]

Report from the Middle East

I have been in Amman, Jordan, for a day, as it’s the entry point for our delegation to the West Bank and Gaza, to begin on Saturday. And what a day…. Amman is quite extraordinary and beautiful. From the heights of the ancient Citadel (AD 180) to the bowl of the Amphitheatre in the depths of the city, you experience the layers upon layers of sandstone buildings and steep, narrow streets, connected vertically by ribbons of stairs. [ read more…]

Pride is Courage

At the 2009 World Outgames, LGBT Human Rights Conference, here in Copenhagen, I have been struck by the courage of many who in their home country, face discrimination, criminal sanction, violence, and stigma.

In the global north we have struggled for and gained rights for LGBT people. [ read more…]

Freedom to Love, Loving Freedom

Tired but happy, after the first full day at the LGBT Human Rights Conference at the WORLD OUTGAMES 2009 in Copenhagen. We got up early and took the Metro to a very modern Danish broadcasting centre, where our conference of 750+ delegates from 80+ countries came together as part of the World Outgames. [ read more…]

The Tragic Situation of Live In Caregivers

I attended a press conference today, organized by the Philippine Women Centre of BC, the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association, SIKLAB, and Grassroots Women – BC, to highlight the terrible situation facing Live-In Caregivers who are being removed from Canadian airports, even though they have been approved, and issued legal documents, to work in Canada. [ read more…]

National Day of Reconciliation

Today is the 1st anniversary of the historic apology from the Canadian Government to survivors of residential schools, and today on Parliament Hill and across the country people gathered to press for action.

Aboriginal people have rights that are not being realized and upheld. [ read more…]

Hearing testimony on the failures of C-15

All the witnesses appearing on Bill C 15 Mandatory Minimum Sentences for drug crimes) so far (save one who supports MMS) have flatly called for the Bill to be defeated. I agree this Bill must be defeated!! And indeed the NDP voted against it at Second Reading. [ read more…]

The STV thing

Well, the STV thing…..

I’ve had many calls from people wanting to know where I stand on it. People have stopped me and asked and to be honest, I’ve ducked. “Undecided”, I’ve said. And Mez has heroically sent me messages, info, and encouragement (thanks Mez!). [ read more…]