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May 29, 2014 - No. 57

Harper's Fundraising for Anti-Communist Monument

Anti-Communist Crusade Promotes
Cause of Nazi SS


Harper's Fundraising for Anti-Communist Monument
Anti-Communist Crusade Promotes Cause of Nazi SS - Dougal MacDonald

Latin America and the Caribbean
33rd Anniversary of Unjust Imprisonment of Puerto Rican Political Prisoner
Oscar López Rivera

Coming Events
Ottawa Event to Celebrate the Victory of the Salvadorean People
5 Days for the Cuban 5

Harper's Fundraising for Anti-Communist Monument

Anti-Communist Crusade Promotes Cause of Nazi SS

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the memorial that is officially called "A Memorial to Victims of Totalitarian Communism -- Canada, a Land of Refuge" on May 30 at the Toronto Congress Center. The anti-communist monument project in fact promotes the cause of Nazi SS. It was initiated by a private group calling itself "Tribute to Liberty" (TTL), and is based on and linked to the very similar U.S. Victims of Communism Memorial Project, whose honorary chairman is war criminal George W. Bush and which is funded by monopolies such as war contractor Lockheed. Sponsorship tables for the Harper-led Toronto fundraising event are $2,500 and individual tickets are $250.

Harper, Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney and a number of other Cabinet Ministers and MPs have pledged their support for the monument project and have been actively promoting it for years. They have made it a matter of state despite the fact that it has garnered no public support whatsoever.

The project was given the green light in 2009 by the government's National Capital Commission (NCC) in a closed door process. Even though the job of the NCC is to oversee the use and development of land and assets which belong to the national capital region, and there is nothing about this project which conforms to sound criteria consistent with the kind of public authority Canadians have given their lives to protect, the NCC approved locating the monument in Ottawa, in a prime location across from the Supreme Court of Canada. No public consultations were held. The government simply used its position of privilege and power over appointed members of the National Capital Commission to get the project accepted. The fact is that none of the people involved are experts in the matter of the claims made by the private promoters of this despicable project. The so-called evidence provided is patently false and self-serving and merely promotes claims made by the Nazis themselves. According to these claims, enunciated by the Nazis themselves during and since WWII, the communists carried out all the crimes committed which they themselves committed. Meanwhile they promote the Nazi narrative according to which the Nazis were freedom fighters against communist tyranny. It is a complete fantasy which makes a mockery of the sacrifice in the Second World War of all those who gave their lives to the resistance to Nazi-fascism.

Today, despite all the years of official backing and promotion by the Harper dictatorship, Canadians have still refused to give the project any support. By the end of 2011, TTL had only $9,600 in the bank. The NCC had to postpone a design competition for the monument because TTL could not put up two-thirds of the money for the construction costs, about $650,000. In 2012, TTL applied to the Harper dictatorship for a grant of $750,000. Kenney's office stated that the government would consider the funding application at a later date which it subsequently did when it thought no-one was looking.

First, on December 7, 2012, a new chairman was appointed to the TTL, investment planner Ludwik Klimkowski. He organized the first TTL fund-raising dinner at the home of Ontario Conservative Senator Linda Frum, a veteran Conservative Party fundraiser. This suggested that TTL's new strategy was to directly seek donations from the corporate sector as well as to continue to foster its Harperite connections. The three new TTL board members who were elected along with Klimkowski and who attended the fund-raiser were all corporate executives.

Minister Jason Kenney (far right) signs agreement with Chair of Tribute to Liberty Ludwik Klimkowski to fund anti-communist monument with public funds, on "Black Ribbon Day" in Ottawa, August 23, 2013. (CIC)

A TTL newsletter dated June 4, 2013 subsequently claimed that the project had still only raised 40 per cent of the $4 million required, or $1.6 million. Then on August 23, 2013, the day the Harper dictatorship uses to blame the Soviet Union for starting the Second World War, the Harper dictatorship brazenly admitted that it had donated "up to $1.5 million over two years" to TTL, which is about equal to the total amount TTL had raised! Clearly, the scurrilous organization cannot raise the money itself as no one supports it or its nefarious aim. Now we have the ludicrous spectacle of Harper himself standing up at some tawdry fundraiser, pleading for the people of Canada to buy into the scandalous project.

The state-funded monument is an insult to the contribution made by Canadians from coast to coast, from all walks of life and from countries in every corner of the earth, to the fight to defeat Nazi-fascism and Japanese militarism before and during World War II and thereafter. It is not a memorial to victims of "totalitarian regimes" but an anti-communist glorification of Nazism. With the August 2013 announcement that the Government of Canada was funding the monument, the government officially adopted the Hitlerite propaganda which blames the Soviet Union for starting the Second World War and causing the deaths of millions of Soviet citizens and citizens of the European countries. It is interfering in the affairs of Ukraine and the Baltic countries on the side of the U.S. imperialists in their rivalry with Russia and the European Union by supporting the rehabilitation of overthrown Nazi elements and SS battalions under the hoax that they were freedom fighters against communism.

Canadians should take serious note of what the Harper dictatorship is up to. They must not permit such a blemish on the contributions of anti-fascist Canadians to the cause of freedom, democracy, peace and justice in the great anti-fascist war. They must not permit the 25 million Soviet lives lost to defend their freedom and that of the peoples of the world to be wiped off the historical record by those who use their positions of power to declare that the Hitlerite cause is synonymous with Canadian values. They must not tolerate that all the power of the Government of Canada and state and the monopoly media be used to falsify history in the most wretched manner imaginable.

Canadians only need inquire what victims the monument is defending? Could it be the Nazis and their collaborators who were defeated during World War II and who are now trying to revive themselves with the backing of the U.S. warmongers who are striving to control Europe so as to dominate Asia? It must not pass!

Besides anything else, in the name of democracy, human rights and the sanctity of a free market economy, the Harperites are hurrying to put in place all the trappings of making communist political opinion and organizing a crime in Canada, hoping that everyone will remain silent. If that is not following in Hitler's footsteps, then what is? The Harperites want to divert the attention of Canadians from what the government is really up to in pushing the anti-social offensive and taking Canada to war and its need for a compliant, disinformed, voiceless, powerless polity. The Canadian working people cannot let it happen. Step up the fight to defeat the Harper dictatorship and demand its resignation now! No Means No! to the anti-social offensive and the imposition of all the trappings of darkest reaction.

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Latin America and the Caribbean

33rd Anniversary of Unjust Imprisonment of Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera

May 29, 2014 marks 33 years of unjust imprisonment for Puerto Rican patriot Oscar López Rivera. Oscar and several other Puerto Rican political activists were arrested in 1981 in New York and Chicago for participating in Puerto Rico's national liberation struggle. His patriotic activities were deemed seditious conspiracy by the colonial U.S. state and he is serving a 70-year sentence. He is the last of these Puerto Rican patriots who remains imprisoned. Actions are being held in the U.S. and across Puerto Rico to mark this anniversary with the firm demand that Oscar be released NOW!

Upcoming actions in New York City, June 16 and 23, 2014, to demand an end to Puerto Rico's colonial status and freedom for Oscar López Rivera (click to enlarge).

In 1999, Oscar rejected a clemency offer from then U.S. President Bill Clinton. He adamantly refused to be released on the basis that the offer had not been extended to all of his comrades. Since that time, the others have been released. However, despite being a model prisoner, the U.S. government has thus far refused to re-extend the offer of clemency, nor even grant him parole.

The U.S. has colonized Puerto Rico since 1898, when Spain illegally transferred the island to the U.S. as a spoil of war in the Spanish-American War. Puerto Rico's fight against Spanish colonialism and for independence then became a fight against U.S. neo-colonialism. Since 1898, the U.S. has made every effort to crush the struggle for independence, using assassinations, jailings and violence against the resistance. Oscar's harsh sentence on a bogus charge of sedition and continued imprisonment are an indication of the vindictive and neo-colonial outlook of the U.S. state towards Puerto Rico and those who fight for its independence. Oscar's steadfastness for 33 years and the broad support for his cause throughout the Americas are the fitting and defiant reply to this injustice and the U.S. intolerable colonization of Puerto Rico.

The charge of sedition against Oscar is to turn truth on its head. Oscar and other independentistas have the right to resist U.S. occupation. It is not sedition when the aim is ending colonialism. It is colonialism that is the crime and resistance is the right of those occupied. Moreover, this just stand has been affirmed year after year by resolutions taken by the UN Special Committee on Decolonization that the U.S. end its colonial domination of Puerto Rico, which the U.S. arrogantly continues to flout.

TML calls on everyone to support the just struggle of Puerto Ricans for national liberation and demand that U.S. President Obama release Oscar López Rivera immediately!

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Coming Events

Ottawa Event to Celebrate the Victory of the Salvadorean People

Saturday, June 7 --  6:00 pm
Assumption Parish Hall, 321 Cody Ave, Ottawa
Free Admission
For information: FMLN Ottawa and National Capital Region Committee, 613-447-9581

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5 Days for the Cuban 5

Cuban friendship committees and Free the Cuban Five committees continue their actions on the fifth day of every month to free the three members of the Cuban Five who remain unjustly imprisoned in U.S. jails. This month's actions are held in coordiation with the important gathering taking place in Washington, DC, the third annual "5 Days for the Cuban 5."

Free the Cuban Five 103rd Monthly Picket 
Thursday, June 5 -- 4:00 pm
1075 W. Pender St, Vancouver
Organized by: Free the Five Committee Vancouver, www.freethe5vancouver.ca

International Day of Solidarity with the Cuban Five
Thursday, June 5 -- 6:30 pm
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St
Organized by: Toronto Forum on Cuba, torontoforumoncuba.com

Click to enlarge.

Third Annual "5 Days for the Cuban 5" Rally
Saturday, June 7 -- 1:00 pm
299 Queen St West (at John St)
Organized by Toronto Forum on Cuba, torontoforumoncuba.com

Washington, DC
Third Annual 5 Days for the Cuban 5

June 4-11

The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 announces a new blog with information about the Third "5 days for the Cuban 5" in Washington DC, June 4-11: http://5daysforthecuban5.com/

The blog is a new tool that we have made available to help all supporters of the Cuban 5 interested in following and becoming involved in the building of all aspects of the activities in Washington D.C.

In the blog people will be able to find information about the day by day agenda of the 5 days. It also has extensive information about housing and transportation, as well as news related to the DC activities and the case of the Cuban 5. Also available on the page will be flyers that supporters can download to distribute in their communities.

The page includes photos and videos and invites people to follow the International Committee's twitter and Face Book accounts.

To add your voice go to: http://5daysforthecuban5.com/add-your- voice/

To make a donation go to: http://www.thecuban5.org/wordpress/donate-2/

Initial List of Endorsers

An important group of personalities from the U.S. and other countries have added their voices in support of the Third "5 days for the Cuban 5" including, Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Ignacio Ramonet, Danny Glover, Alice Walker, Gilbert Brownstone, Tom Hayden, Dolores Huerta, Ramsey Clark, Jose Pertierra, Thomas Gumbleton, Wayne Smith, Miguel D'Escoto, Arnold August, Lawrence Wilkerson, Gilberto Lopez y Rivas, Martin Garbus, Jane Franklin, John Cavanagh, Piero Gleijeses, Stephen Kimber, Darío Balzanelli, Luciano Vasapollo and Fernando Morais.

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