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Occupy Calgary Request For Damage Cost Retraction

8 Apr

To the City of Calgary,

This letter seeks an acknowledgment that certain damages the City accused Occupy Calgary of in the media, were unsubstantiated and found to be so in a court of law by the Chief Justice of Alberta. At the time of his ruling Justice N.C Wittmann concluded various costs submitted by the City could not stand up to judicial scrutiny, specifically :

1. Downtown Parks power shut off, totalling $1,835.25.
2. Extra Garbage Pick-ups by BFI, totalling $1,000.00.
3. Contracted washroom cleaning, totalling $945.00
4. Sod Repairs, totalling $12,705.00
5. Washroom cleaning, painting, plumbing, tile, arborite, totalling $15,198.00.
6. Replacing Heaters & Hand Dryer in Mens Washroom, totalling $1,559.00
7. Statue patina, totalling $472.50
8. Cornice Metal Caps, totalling $500.00

Although the ruling was passed down many months ago, no credible effort has been undertaken by the City to correct this wrong. Recently the City has presented additional damages to the media also attributed to Occupy, but an itemized list has not yet been made available when requested. Therefore this letter seeks recognizance only for the costs that did go before judicial scrutiny, and were struck down in the Justice’s ruling:

“I think it is appropriate to add that there is very little evidence that the Occupy Calgary group itself has caused damage aside from some wear and tear to the turf upon which they have erected their tents…I appreciate that there is significant public interest in this matter. The citizens of Calgary should know that the Occupy Calgary group at Olympic Plaza has been benign.”
-Justice Wittmann, Dec 6th – page 14: 8 – Conclusion – [49]

Please issue a public voluntary retraction for claims regarding the $34,214.75 in damages that Justice Wittmann found to be unassociated with Occupy Calgary.

Signed,
Occupy Calgary

U.S. Relaxes Limits on Use of Data in Terror Analysis

23 Mar

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/us/politics/us-moves-to-relax-some-restrictions-for-counterterrorism-analysis.html

Robocall suspect to admit scheme

12 Mar

The news that Elections Canada investigators are aware of the IP address “Pierre Poutine” used to set up the Guelph, Ont., robocall account has convinced a suspect to step forward and accept responsibility for the deceptive calls, sources say.

Whoever set up the account that sent the election day message that deceived opposition voters in Guelph was careful to cover his electronic tracks.

According to sworn affidavits from Elections Canada investigator Al Mathews and sources close to the investigation, whoever sent the fake recorded message used a prepaid credit card to buy a prepaid cellphone, registered an account under a fake name and address with robocall provider RackNine, and used a different fake name and address – Pierre Poutine of Separatist Street, Joliette, Que. – to set up his cellphone.

But the CEO of RackNine, Matt Meier, was able to trace Poutine’s electronic trail back to a specific Internet protocol address, which is apparently assigned to a single home. Sources say that revelation has now convinced someone to step forward and own up to the scheme.

Someone with knowledge of the affair is expected to share information with Elections Canada today.

The young campaigners most often associated with the Guelph campaign in media reports have both repeatedly publicly declared their innocence.

Campaign communications director Michael Sona left his job working for Conservative MP Eve Adams after the story broke, but a few days after leaving, he told CTV News he had no involvement.

“I have remained silent to this point with the hope that the real guilty party would be apprehended,” he said.

A woman who identified herself as Sona’s mother cast doubt on the fairness of investigation on Sunday.

“To me, it’s been a setup from Day 1,” she said, without elaborating.

During a brief conversation with the Ottawa Citizen, she also referred to reports about Meier tracing the Internet address used with the RackNine account. “It’s interesting that Matt Meier found the code when he’s working for the Conservative party.”

Sona stayed at his family’s home in Guelph during the campaign but isn’t living there now, she said.

Deputy campaign director Andrew Prescott, who had an account with RackNine that he used for other campaigns, has also said he had nothing to do with the calls.

After the Ottawa Citizen sought comment from him on Sunday, he sent out a tweet, under his handle ChristianConsrv: “Getting media requests for a story from people who just days ago suggested it implied wrongdoing on my part. An apology first maybe?”

Others who played a role in managing the campaign, including campaign manager Ken Morgan, have not returned repeated messages seeking comment. Riding association president John White could not be reached for comment.

Since the Ottawa CitizenPostmedia News investigation into fraudulent political calls last month, opposition researchers have been tracking down reports of similar calls in other ridings.

The reports, which have not been independently confirmed, say that opposition supporters outside Guelph also recall receiving a recorded message from Elections Canada advising them that their polling station had been moved.

The issue has been a political football for weeks with opposition MPs accusing the Conservatives of being behind a national vote-suppression scheme and the Conservatives accusing their critics of smearing them without proof.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Robocall+suspect+admit+scheme/6287054/story.html#ixzz1otALBiZb

Protesters gather to rally robocall – 660News

12 Mar

More than a hundred Demonstrators gathered in downtown Calgary on Sunday to protest so called “Robo-calling” during the last federal election.

The Liberals and NDP’s accuse the Conservatives of being behind the scandal, a claim the Tories adamantly deny.

The group of about 100 to 120 people made the peaceful march from City Hall to the Harry Hays Building downtown.

Holding a sign that reads “We want democracy now,” demonstrator
Jen Bacon tells 660News it’s time to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for the robo-calling scandal and hold them accountable.

“Just a public apology won’t be enough. You know, we want people to be charged if they find them doing this,” says Bacon.

Similar events were held in cities across the county including in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

Read More – 660News.

Rogue U.S. soldier kills, wounds up to 16: Afghan official

11 Mar

Rogue U.S. soldier kills, wounds up to 16: Afghan official.

Occupy London: The End Of The Beginning

29 Feb

Syria’s civilian death toll ‘well over 7,500′: UN

28 Feb

Photograph by: Gianluigi Guercia , AFP/Getty Images

Female family members mourns over the body of a man killed by a shrapnel on Tuesday in the Syrian town of Qusayr, as Syria walked out of a UN debate on the human rights situation in the violence-wracked country, while its ally Russia urged Damascus to cooperate with efforts to allow in humanitarian aid.

By Michelle Nichols, Reuters

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations on Tuesday said “well over 7,500 people” have been killed in Syria during an 11-month government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, raising its previous estimated death toll by nearly a third.

UN Under-Secretary-General for political affairs Lynn Pascoe told the UN Security Council that the firepower of the opposition forces appeared to be minimal compared to the heavy weapons being used by the Syrian army.

“While we cannot give exact casualty figures there are credible reports that the death toll now often exceeds 100 civilians a day, including many women and children. The total killed so far is certainly well over 7,500 people,” Pascoe said.

Syrian authorities on Feb. 15 put the death toll at 3,838 – 2,493 civilians and 1,345 soldiers and police officers, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Tuesday during a debate at the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Geneva.

The last UN estimate had the death toll at over 5,400.

The outside world has proved powerless to halt the killing in Syria, where repression of initially peaceful protests has spawned an armed insurrection. Russia and China have twice used their vetoes to block any action by the UN Security Council.

“Unfortunately the international community has also failed in its duty to stop the carnage and actions and inactions to date have seemed to encourage the regime in its belief that it has impunity to carry on wanton destruction of its own civilians,” Pascoe said.

Pascoe’s comments came as France announced that there would be a third attempt by the UN Security Council to pass a resolution on Syria, this time specifically to address the humanitarian crisis.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, speaking on Swiss television on Monday night at the end of a visit to Geneva, said: “Nearly 8,000 people have been killed, including hundreds of children.”

Pascoe said about 25,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in neighboring countries and as many as 200,000 people have been internally displaced in the country.

He described the situation as “increasingly dire” for people trapped in besieged towns, such as Homs and Hama. “According to human rights organizations more than 5,000 civilians have been prevented from fleeing by government forces,” Pascoe said.

“The humanitarian consequences of the violence have become severe. In towns affected by sustained fighting . . . their water and electricity have been cut off. Access to medical care and basic food and fuel are critically needed,” he said.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, now the new UN-Arab League envoy on Syria, was due to meet U.S. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Wednesday, Pascoe said.

© Copyright (c) Reuters
Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Syria+civilian+death+toll+well+over/6222363/story.html#ixzz1nhneO8Ua

With Mass Child Freezing Deaths, Proof of Mass Starvation, US in Violation of Geneva in Afghanistan

21 Feb

With Mass Child Freezing Deaths, Proof of Mass Starvation, US in Violation of Geneva in Afghanistan.

Who needs tents? Occupy everything! – Mandi Schrader

6 Dec

Despite Occupiers themselves having received no formal notice of the court’s decision, rumours are flying all over that the tent city has to come down this Friday. The Morgans and their pals are doing a victory watusi and you can cut the smugness with a knife.

My question is, so what?

So now a few dedicated die-hards no longer have to freeze. Now the critics won’t have a camp to hide behind when we challenge their precious consumerist culture. Now we can all have a good laugh at these dreamy idealists and go back to pretending all is right with the world. Right?

I don’t think so. Now the real work begins.

Now that the municipal taxpayers of Calgary won’t have a camp to complain about, perhaps they will focus their attention on the abuses of their federal tax dollars. Maybe the battle cry of the middle class will change from “Screw you, hippie!” to “Not so fast, Harper!” Maybe they will even protest human rights abuses with the kind of energy they protested a protest! Wouldn’t that be something?

Imagine a Calgary where people who have the time to spend hours composing snipey tweets and such gems as “get a job and take a shower” actually started directing their ire upwards. Suppose they finally noticed that the oil trade is killing people and wrote a few snarly letters to the appropriate parties?

Miracles do happen.

Meanwhile, my beautiful Occupy family, time to take it to the streets. Take it to the TransAlta headquarters. Take it to the suburbs. Take it to the mall. Keep it visible. Put the “active’ back in “activist.” Write songs, paint paintings, hound the corporate criminals, hammer on the doors of government! This is just the beginning.

It ends when freedom and security for all people are an unquestioned fact. It ends when we refuse to support slavery on the other side of the world in order to get better prices at Wal-Mart. It ends when we no longer accept poverty for our children and our elderly.

Of course, realistically, this means it never ends.

Occupy 2.0 in effect as of now. Flash mobs, performance art, rallies. Keep the conversation growing! Never give up, never surrender, never sell out.

I will still be right here.

Not All The Media is At Fault – Stephen Hall

14 Nov

I am a member of the media, and like so many other citizens of this world, I too would fall into that 99% that feel a certain amount of disdain toward the system that has brought us to where we are today. I am also fortunate that I am not constrained by the corporate machine that drives the bulk of the media reporting that appears on mainstream outlets today. That means I am free to make my own conclusions without having a predetermined agenda.

I actually spend time at Olympic Plaza and have been welcomed with open arms by the members of Occupy Calgary because I spend time engaging in meaningful discussions and listen to their concerns. They know, like most rational people, that I may not agree with everything they say, as I am sure they do not agree with all of my thoughts. That is human nature, and that is how we show respect to one another.

When we use the term 99%, I feel that that is also representational of the percentage of participants that are articulate, educated and deeply concerned about the state of the world today. Unfortunately every group has that 1% and it is that small percentage that the mainstream media like to focus on. It saddens me to think that my brothers and sisters in the media are forced to stoop to those tactics because their bosses have made them do so. I don’t blame the street reporters for this because I know a number of them personally and they are really good people. I ask that you give them the respect you give to me, but hold distain for their organizations.

As a human being, and not just as a reporter, I pledge to be honest and truthful in all my efforts at information gathering. I will approach every situation with open arms and an open mind. I will respect your wishes if you do not want to appear on camera, and will always give you the opportunity to correct any information that you may feel is faulty.

In closing I can’t officially indicate if I support your cause or not, but those of you that have had the opportunity to interact with me fully understand my human position. God gave me a heart, and my parents taught me how to use it.

Stephen Hall

Encore News

reporting@encorenews.com

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