DEMOCRACY NORTH: Mar 6—Int’l Women’s Day w Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz—CBSA death—Christian Parenti on climate chaos

Democracy North is an independent Canadian and global news hour, featuring the week’s top grassroots news and interviews.

Every weekend, we compile the top guests and headlines from our daily Media Mornings show, bringing you a grassroots view on the week’s top global and national affairs.

A vigil for Lucia Vega Jimenez, who died in CBSA custody on Dec. 28. Photo: David P. Ball

  • Interview with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Professor Emerita of Ethnic Studies at California State University, Hayward, author of Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie and Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War. Interviewed by Jane Bouey.
  • Interview with Kelly Sundberg, Associate Professor of Justice Studies, Mt. Royal University, Calgary and formerly 14-years an immigration officer, on the death of Lucia Vega Jimenez in Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) custody, calls for oversight, and why private guards should not be contracted to do CBSA’s policing work. Interviewed by David P. Ball.
  • Interview with Christian Parenti, an American investigative journalist and author. He is a Nation contributing editor, and his latest book is Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. Interviewed by Derrick O’Keefe.
  • Music: Kate & Anna McGarrigle (“My Mother is the Ocean Sea”), Bruce Springsteen (“Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)”), Paul Kelly (“Emotional”), Propagandhi (“Note to Self”).


  • TOP STORY: UKRAINE — Days after Russian troops reportedly flooded into the Ukrainian region of Crimea, the state’s semi-autonomous parliament has voted to seceed from The Ukraine and join Russia. The US and EU earlier joined the Ukrainian government in condemning as “illegitimate” an earlier vote by the Crimean parliament to secede from Ukraine, and bring forward a planned referendum on the subject to March 15. The vote came after NATO announced a full review of its co-operation with Russia to try to pressure Moscow into backing down on Ukraine, and said it would “intensify” its engagement with Ukraine (AL JAZEERA).
  • CANADA: ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS — Facing rising legal costs, cuts to its budget, a booming Indigenous population and a rights-based opposition, the federal Aboriginal Affairs department faces a “high risk” of a deteriorating relationship with First Nations that could lead to increased protests and “violence,” internal department documents show (APTN).
  • VANCOUVER: CBSA OVERSIGHT — The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says The death of Lucia Vega Jimenez in Canada Border Services Agency custody is sparking more allegations of mistreatment and highlighting the need for oversight (METRO).
  • USA: CIA MONITORING LAWMAKERS — The Central Intelligence Agency is investigating allegations it improperly monitored members of the US Senate intelligence committee. The chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee called the reports, if true, an “extremely serious matter”. The alleged improper monitoring is said to have taken place as the committee investigated allegations of CIA abuse stemming from a detention and interrogation programme in use under former US President George W Bush (BBC).
  • ECUADOR: CHEVRON WINS CASE — Since losing a $19 billion judgment in an Ecuadorean court three years ago, oil giant Chevron has drawn the condemnation of human rights and environmental activists by refusing to pay anything in fines or accept blame for polluting the Ecuadorean rain forest. But this week, Chevron won a major victory. A federal judge in Manhattan ruled that a two-decade legal effort to punish the company was marred by fraud and corruption (NY TIMES). The plaintiffs say they plan to appeal and still pursue the $19 billion judgment in other countries. In a statement, the group Amazon Watch called the verdict “an example of Chevron buying and bullying its way to a verdict with 60 law firms and thousands of legal professionals hell-bent on exhausting the Ecuadorians and their allies” (DN!).
  • EGYPT: JOURNALISTS’ TRIAL — The trial of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt has been adjourned until March 24 and the defendants remain in jail on charges of spreading false news and belonging to a “terrorist group”. British citizen Peter Greste, Canadian citizen Mohamed Fahmy, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed have been held for more than two months. They appeared in court for the second time. Journalists at 40 locations across the globe staged vigils in solidarity with the jailed Al Jazeera staff on February 27 in a global day of action, highlighting the need for press freedom (AJE).

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