Friday, September 17, 2010


Rich people don't go to the hospital in Canada, I suspect, wait in the waiting room for a day and a half, and then die needlessly.  

That kind of treatment is pretty much reserved for the poor, especially the non white poor, especially the indigenous poor.

 As reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, Brian Sinclair, an aboriginal man who used a wheelchair, was found dead on Sept. 21, 2008, after he waited 34 hours in the HSC emergency room without being treated for a bladder infection, a condition that required a simple catheter change and antibiotics.

Brian Sinclair back when he was alive
So what happened next.  Well, Manitoba's chief medical examiner Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra said Sinclair's death could have been prevented if the blood infection had been treated.  He said last Feruary that an inquest would be held.

Guess what? No inquest has been held.

This week the Sinclair family filed1.6 million lawsuit was filed this week in Court of Queen's Bench.

Of course, even if they win, Brian remains dead and those being sued, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, WRHA vice president Brock Wright, the government of Manitoba and 13 individuals  go on with their lives.

"Winning," by the way, won't come easy since 

Justice Minister Andrew Swan has capped the amount Sinclair's family will get for legal fees before and during the upcoming inquest at $110,000.

That ain't much in a case like this.

What would Crazy Horse do?

The following is from CBC News.

Waiting-room death prompts family to sue

The family of Brian Sinclair, an aboriginal man found dead after spending 34 hours in an emergency department, has filed a lawsuit against several medical staff, the regional health authority and the Manitoba government for $1.6 million.

The statement of claim, filed Wednesday in the Court of Queen's Bench, lists 18 defendants, including the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and its senior vice-president of critical care Brock Wright.
It also lists the government and 15 individuals, most of whom are named other than two who are only referred to as Jane Doe and John Doe.

"The kind of treatment that Brian Sinclair received at the HSC [Health Sciences Centre] was cruel and discriminatory," the claim states.

"The medical institutions and professionals that Brian Sinclair relied on for care failed in their duty to provide him with proper and timely care."

Sinclair, a 45-year-old double amputee with a speech problem, was found dead in his wheelchair in the HSC's emergency department waiting room in September 2008.

'The kind of treatment that Brian Sinclair received at the HSC [Health Sciences Centre] was cruel and discriminatory.'—Statement of claim
An autopsy determined he died of a blood infection brought on by complications from a bladder infection caused by a blocked catheter. He hadn't been able to urinate for 24 hours and his bladder was full.
Sinclair's death could have been prevented if the blood infection had been treated, 

Manitoba's chief medical examiner, Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, said within days of the death. Balachandra announced in February 2010 that an inquest would be held but that has not yet occurred.

"For 34 hours, hospital staff callously, recklessly or negligently ignored Brian Sinclair, even as he sat in the hospital waiting room in distress, vomiting, and dying," the claims states.

"They left him to suffer in agony, and gave him no care, treatment, assessment, attention, or necessaries of life. As a result, he died."

Toronto lawyer Vilko Zbogar, who represents Sinclair's family, said a lawsuit is against those people who were "involved in either ignoring Brian Sinclair to death or involved in the misstatements about the case after the fact."

The lawsuit claims the health officials publicized incorrect information as part of a "media campaign to deflect responsibility for Brian Sinclair's death away from the WRHA."

Brock Wright and others named in the lawsuit told the media that Sinclair did not attend to the triage desk at the emergency room to seek help, "implying that Brian Sinclair was in some way responsible for his own suffering," the claim states.

Zbogar said there's still no agreement on fees for the family's legal team and no decision on whether police will launch a criminal investigation into the death. He said those uncertainties are delaying the inquest.

"One of the objectives of the lawsuit is to do what so far no other process is doing, which is finding answers about how such a terrible thing could have possibly have happened in a hospital in Canada," said Zbogar.

No statements of defence have been filed.

For more background on this go to

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I'm starting to doubt that anything Earth screams at us will ever get the human race off its collective asses.

In Peru, Quelccaya glacier, the largest in the tropics, could disappear within 10 years.  Hello.  The Peruvian Times reported just last month  that studies of Quelccaya during the last 30 years have found the glacier retreated at an average rate of 6 meters per year during the first 15 years and 60 meters per year in the last 15. This year, it is expected to retreat 150 meters as a result of an unprecedented increase in global temperatures.

Peru is home to some 70 percent of Earth’s tropical glaciers.  I didn't know that.  

The Chacaltaya Glacier, thought to be 18,000 years old is now reduced to a rocky mountainside.  Hello.

Water is a sensitive issue in Peru as desert covers its Pacific Ocean coast, where most of the population lives, and its Andean glaciers are melting because of climate change.

Just today the water issue led to a clash which left one dead and eighteen injured.  According to Reuters, "The country's human rights office said the skirmish occurred before dawn in the town of Espinar, 400 miles (650 km) south of Lima. Police fought with protesters who say the Majes-Siguas II irrigation project will leave Espinar without water, said Silvio Campana of the rights office, which tries to mediate conflicts. The man who died was a bystander.

 The following is from the Guardian.


A farmer walks with her son in Peru
A farmer walks with her son during a potato harvest in southern Peru. Photograph: Martin Mejia/AP

Julio Hanneco is possibly the world's greatest potato grower. Some call him the King of Potatoes, but I prefer Señor Spud because Julio is as humble as the vegetable he grows.
He lives in a small village called Pampa Corral, at 4,020m (nearly 13,000ft) in the Cusco region, and he grows a staggering 215 varieties of potatoes - red ones, black ones, translucent ones, shapes and sizes you cannot imagine. He can name every one, like his family, but his favourite is a fantastically knobbly variety called Melchora, which he told me was designed to test out future daughters-in-law. "If they can peel in one piece this potato, then a prospective bride is considered worthy to marry the grower's son."
I met Julio in Lima, showing off his spuds to wide-eyed urban foodies who were amazed by this one-man seed bank and store of local knowledge. They all knew that Peru was the home of the potato 8,000 years ago, but few had any idea the country grew 3,000 of the world's 5,000 varieties.
And I doubt if any had read John Reader's marvellous book the Propitious Esculent, which charts human development through the cultivation of the potato. It was central to the 19th century global population explosion, it shaped the American revolution, it starred in the Conquistadores' invasion of Latin America and is now the world's fourth largest staple crop and one of the most nutritious of all foods.
But the point is, folk like Julio and their extraordinary diversity of crops are critically endangered by the massive changes they observe taking place in the High Andes. When Julio was a boy, (he's now in his 50s) a glacier was just two minutes walk from his door. Now it is a nine-hour hike away.
"The seasons used to be very clear, we knew when to plant. Now we have less water. We used to get the water from the glacier. Now we have twice as many mosquitoes. We have no light from the glacier I don't understand what is going on. We feel very disoriented," he said. "I think that I will have no water and that will be the end of the world for us."
Peru is said to be the 56th richest country in the world, with 28 of the world's 35 climates and more than 70% of the tropical glaciers on earth. Most are in rapid retreat, leaving behind devastated farmers and communities short of water.
Julio invited us to his home, but we are in the hands of Oxfam and heading for another region far from the retreating glaciers but where climate change is impacting communities hard.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The guerilla group, the Real IRA (RIRA) has threatened to attack the British banking inustry.  The question  is can they actually do it.  Some say the group is little more than a rag tag operation of Northern Irish dissidents.  Others give it more credence than that.

The group has set off bombs in London before including attacks at MI5 headquarters, and the BBC.

The Real IRA (RIRA), also known as Óglaigh na hÉireann, is a socialist republican guerilla group that was formed by hardliners who broke out of the provisional IRA when it was clear that the provisionals would go along with the good Friday agreement and subsequently call a ceasefire with the northern Ireland Unionists.  The group believes  "that Ireland should be ruled by the Irish and that the only way to acheive that end is through armed struggle. 

In answer to querstions from a Derry based news station in 2003, the group wrote,”We remain convinced that no just and final political settlement can be arrived at between the Irish people and the people of Britain and between the Nationalist and the Unionist communities until the British military and political presence is totally removed from the equation. It is also important to point out that the political package enshrined in the Belfast agreement had to be acceptable to and ratified by an external political power i.e. the British Government before it was even presented to the Irish people. We regard this as a blatant usurpation of the right of the Irish people to self-determination.”

In their New Year's statement this year, they wrote, ""The Irish Republican Army will continue to carry out armed attacks against the British military and political apparatus in Ireland and those who assist in anyway their illegal occupation."  The RIRA statement also claimed British intelligence were behind a series of sectarian attacks which have been blamed on republicans. "The last year has seen a marked increase in the activities of MI5 inspired counter gangs masquerading as republicans, these gangs will be seen for what they are by the republican base and their attempts to bring the republican movement into disrepute will not be tolerated. It is also clear that such groups are behind an increase in sectarian attacks across the six counties, sectarianism is anathema to republicanism and serves the interests of British imperialism in Ireland, not the republican position."

On august 15 1998 a bomb detonated in the city center of the Northern Irish town of Omagh. 29 people were killed and 100-300 people were injured (reports vary). The devastating attack was probably a mistake, the target for the bombs was probably supposed to be the courthouse of Omaha targeted as a symbolic target. The courthouse is an economic, administrative, legal, and military center and an attack against it could be identified as an attack on the British presence and rule as a whole.  The attack cost RIRA a great deal of popular support.  Just about every time they are mentioned by the police or the British that bomb attack is brought up still.

The web site Oslaish Na Heiream writes of the bombing, "Another republican group, which did not come forward, is also thought to have had a role in the operation; and the Royal Ulster Constabulary is suspected of collusion.  Although three warnings were issued and the location given, video footage of the incident shows the RUC moving people into rather than away from the danger, thus killing 29 people and injuring hundreds."

RIRA claims now to be growing fast.  It is believed that their main support base is believed to be north Louth and South Armagh.

MI5 apparently takes the group, and other dissidents seriously.  The Derry Jouranl reported two weeks ago "MI5 has been redirecting some its resources away from investigations into Al-Qaeda towards tracking the Continuity IRA, the Real IRA and Óglaigh na hÉireann, according to the English papers."

The Belfast Telegraph reported last month that the group was believed to be raising money by extorting drug dealers in Dublin and Cork.  

One element in the Real IRA's recent activity has been a wave of so-called "punishment" shootings and beatings of those they deem "antisocial elements" in nationalist working class areas.  "These actions are taken as a last resort to protect the community. We are an integral part of the community and the people in them are our eyes and ears. The fact is that the British police force is rejected by republican communities and people naturally turn to us for help.
"The vast majority of issues are resolved by negotiation, a small percentage require more direct forms of intervention including punishment shootings and expulsions," they said.

The threat against the British banking system is the first time the Real IRA has engaged in such open anti-capitalist rhetoric or focused on the role of the banking system.
The leaders also threatened to intensify the group's terror campaign on all fronts.
"Realistically, it is important to acknowledge that we have regrouped and reorganised and emerged from a turbulent period in republican history.
"We have already shown our capacity to launch attacks on the British military, judicial, and policing infrastructure. As we rebuild, we are confident that we will increase the volume and effectiveness of attacks," the organisation said.
The 32 County Sovereignty Committee shares the same political philosophy of the Real IRA, although its member deny being the groups political wing.  Late last month Gary Donnelly ,a member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, wasaccused of committing an offence under terrorism legislation.
Gary Donnelly, 39, of Sackville Court, is charged with possessing a mobile phone in such circumstances to give rise to a reasonable suspicion that it was to be used for terrorism.  Donnelly labeled the charges rediculous.  He said, "I am being set up for my political beliefs."  As he was being charged at the Londonderry courthouse protesters gathered outside and clashed with police.

The following article is from  the Londonderry Sentinel.


A REAL IRA statement that it has regrouped and is planning attacks on bankers and financial institutions was delivered in a Godfather-like encounter in the public toilet of a premises on the Londonderry/Donegal/Tyrone border.
Veteran Belfast journalist Henry McDonald was instructed to travel to the North West after making contact with republican intermediaries in a bid to secure a response from the Real IRA to a list of questions posed on behalf of the Guardian newspaper.

According to Mr McDonald he was summonsed to a location near the border and told to go into the public toilet and reach behind the cistern where he found a USB key inside a surgical glove.
Therein was a detailed response to a list of questions he had put to the Real IRA from its national leadership.

Amongst the startling claims was a statement of intent to pursue a violent anti-capitalist agenda, through which banks and financial institutions would be targetted.

The statement read: "We have a track record of attacking high-profile economic targets and financial institutions such as the City of London. 

"The role of bankers and the institutions they serve in financing Britain's colonial and capitalist system has not gone unnoticed.

"Let's not forget that the bankers are the next-door neighbours of the politicians. Most people can see the picture: the bankers grease the politicians' palms, the politicians bail out the bankers with public funds, the bankers pay themselves fat bonuses and loan the money back to the public with interest. 

"It's essentially a crime spree that benefits a social elite at the expense of many millions of victims."

The group also claimed to have regrouped following a "turbulent period in republican history."

It claimed: "We have already shown our capacity to launch attacks on the British military, judicial, and policing infrastructure. As we rebuild, we are confident that we will increase the volume and effectiveness of attacks."

It also pointed to the replacement of the army's Operation Banner by Operation Helvetic and suggested republican communities were being victimised in Northern Ireland.

"From the point of view of republican communities, there is still a heavily armed British police force that casually uses plastic baton rounds, CS gas and Tasers, carry out house raids, stop and search operations and general harassment.

"There's still a 5,000-strong British army garrison, a new MI5 HQ in Belfast, and a British secretary of state. 

"Republican communities are still subjected to sectarian parades and the right to protest is being met with intimidation and violence."
The organisation also said it would be willing to talk if the ending of the "illegal British occupation of Ireland" was on the agenda.

"The IRA is not unwilling to talk, in fact there needs to be talks … however, talks need to deal with the root cause of the conflict, namely the illegal British occupation of Ireland," it stated.

"We are mindful, though, that the history of such approaches from the British has been characterised by a lack of integrity, a lack of willingness to address the causes of conflict, and has been motivated by a self-serving agenda," it added.

As has now become customary the Real IRA also attacked Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as a manager of British rule.

"Martin McGuinness is a British Crown minister who has a vested interest in causing mischief among republicans.
"His job is to administer the Queen of England's writ in Ireland...However, if he has any evidence to back up his claims, he should make it public," the Real IRA said.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Back in late August the Obama Administration submitted a report in response to a 2006 United Nations directive that all of its member nations submit reports every four years on the state of human rights within their borders.  The document will formerly be submitted in November. 

 Defenders Online reports that the ACLU praised the report for “correctly acknowledging the need for improvement in several key areas, including racial justice, women’s rights, LGBT rights and discrimination against Muslims and Americans of South Asian and Arab descent.” But it went on to assert that it failed to present “a full picture of the state of human rights in the U.S., [and] neglects to address other key areas … including felon disenfranchisement, inhuman prison conditions, racial disparities in the death penalty system and deaths and abuse in immigration detention.”

The report is pretty lame.  Basically, It is a summary of Obama administration programs, initiatives and plans.

But there is more.

Native Americans who say they were either uninformed about the process and their right to comment, or who were just ignored have now been told by the U.N. they'll have to wait another four years to have any say...if then.

Consequently you could say the report and the process are just one more human rights abuse.

The following is from Censored News: Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights News Publisher.


Native Americans who were never informed, or ignored, will have to wait another four years to report US human rights abuses to UN in Periodic Report 

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Photo: Navajos remember the 1979 Church Rock NM uranium spill and legacy of death from uranium mining on Navajo Nation. Photo 2010: Garrett Brennan Stewart, Navajo.
The United Nations Human Rights Council says it is too late to comment on the United States' human rights record, as presented in the US State Department's Periodic Review.

In a response today to Censored News, the UN says the deadline has passed. All of those Native American individuals and organizations, who were never informed, or who were ignored in the Listening Sessions in the final report, will have no chance to offer testimony on US human rights abuses.

This reveals that the process, undertaken by the US State Department, was a human rights abuse in itself.

The next report will be in four years.

Although the US State Department held "Listening Sessions," around the country, almost all of the Native American testimony was ignored in the final 29-page Universal Periodic Review Report to the UN.

The US State Department held a Listening Conference in Window Rock, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation. However, in its final report, there is no mention of Navajos, Navajo deaths from uranium mining, respiratory diseases resulting from decades of coal mining and power plants on the Navajo Nation,or the relocation of 14,000 Navajos from their homes to make way for Peabody Coal mining on Black Mesa.

Some important statements were included in a separate human rights report. Those organizations connected with the US Human Rights Network were able to submit statements as members of the "civil society" in a 423-page report.

However, other Native people were either never informed, or ignored in the Listening Conferences. Indigenous Peoples at the southern and northern borders, struggling for their rights of passage, battling Border Patrol abuse, and the human rights abuses carried out by their own elected tribal governments, are among those who were left out of the process.

The US State Department's watered-down summaries of those Listening Conferences, which are posted online but not included in the final report, are a dismal effort that ignores key names and issues. These summaries expose the United States' lack of concern with the human rights of Native Americans in the US.
--Brenda Norrell, Censored News
From: Secretariat of the Human Rights
Dear Mrs. Norrell,
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights wants to inform your office that the deadline for submissions of stakeholders in relation to countries scheduled to be reviewed at the 9th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group (November / 2010) has now passed. The Summary of stakeholders information has been finished and posted in our web page. Consequently, please note that we can not accept any other submission for the 9th session.
For information regarding the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, please kindly refer to
I would also ask you to check in the following web page the reports for the United States UPR:
To: Secretariat of the Human Rights Council
From: brenda norrell 
07.09.2010 19:19,,
Subject Indigenous submissions for US Periodic Review
UPR submissions OHCHR Hello,
Indigenous individuals and organizations who have not had the opportunity
to comment on the US Human Rights record, would like to do so before
the November session.
Please let me know how they can submit their statements.
Also, please note that many of the comments at the Listening Conferences from
Native Americans were not included in the US State Department's Periodic Review.
Sincerely, Brenda Norrell
Also see:
US State Department's watered-down 29-page Universal Periodic Review Report

US Human Rights Network's 423 page full report:

The US State Dept.'s pathetic summaries: