SpeakNews The University of Alberta Writes for Rights Hate Crimes in Iraq + The Loophole in Alberta's Disability Laws + Life Under Chechnya's Iron Thumb + What Homelessness looks like in Edmonton + Sri Lanka's Tamil Refugees
No. 6 | Fall 2009 | Quarterly | Always Free
I n Th is I ssue +
+ A Gay Affair- Life's violent realities for Iraq's homosexual men
+ Life on the Streets in the City- Homelessness in Edmonton
+ People working for $1.50 per Hour? Disability and Alberta's
Two-Tier Labour Laws Cindy de Brujn
+ Reassigning Value- Funding cuts for gender reassignment surgery
+ Waiting on a Finished War- Inaction on Sri Lanka's horrendous
Tamil refugee camps Taha Hassan
+ A Deserter's Tale: Former American soldier Joshua key discusses his
book and the war in Iraq People’s Voice, Sept. 1-15, 2009 Issue
+ Beyond the Union and Through the Wars Life in Chechnya + A Jon Deserter's Tale: Former American soldier Joshua key discusses his Lai book and the war in Iraq + GlobalPeople’s Economic The Voice, Recession Sept. 1-15, 2009 IssueEconomy and the non-profit sector
Poetry Khalida Tanvir Syed & Kelly Shepherd Photo Credit- Front Cover: Homeless man in New York City, 2008. Photo Credit: JMSuarez (Wikimedia commons)
Editor’s Me s s a g e Fall is the season of change, and there is plenty of change a-foot at SpeakNews these days. We've worked hard developing a new, more engaging and readable layout. Talented new writers have come to us over the summer months, bringing with them enthusiasm, writing talent, and articles about a host of interesting new topics. Curious about how the recession is affecting Alberta's non-profit sector, what it's like being homeless in Edmonton, or how the Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka are faring now that the civil war there has ended? Crack open this issue and find out. There's one more important change to tell you about, and it's a bittersweet one. After a wonderful year editing SpeakNews, I am taking off to see a bit of the world that I have so enjoyed writing about, and leaving this lovely magazine in the hands of a new, very capable editor-in-chief, AJ Reitsma. I know that she has many new plans for SpeakNews. I don't know what they are, but I'm excited. You should be, too. So, SpeakNews reader, I bid you adieu from a tiny internet cafe tucked into a tiny street in Hanoi, Vietnam. I've learned a lot this past year, and thoroughly enjoyed myself along the way. Hopefully, you can say the same. Please, keep reading. Keep passing us on to your friends, and family, and all those other people in your life curious about the world and the experiences of the people who live in it. Please, never lose the inquisitive spirit that keeps publications like this one alive and well. Take care, Your (out-going) editor, Jackie Ambler Get In Touch ( 780.232.6744 * email@example.com 8 http://speaknews.wordpress.com/ - Care of Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG), Hub International Mall,University of Alberta, 9111 112th St. Edmonton, AB T6G 2C5
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Hate Crimes in Iraq Michelle Thomarat
Gender, nationalism and masculinity are interrelated in a number of ways. The complex and sometimes ambiguous relationships between these concepts are becoming all too real for the gay (and perceived as gay) men of Iraq. For several months, Iraqi militias have been carrying out a modern day witch-hunt -- targeting gay or effeminate men, who are then kidnapped, tortured, raped, and often murdered. The question of whether jokes about how someone or something is “gay” are harmless or hateful seems to be answered here – an accusation could be tantamount to murder in this context. At least 25 boys and men were killed in Baghdad between the middle of March and April, based solely on accusations that they were gay. While stigma surrounding sexuality and gender makes placing an exact figure on the number of dead difficult, indications are that hundreds of men may have died so far. Shia militiamen and the men’s families and tribes are said to be responsible for the murders and the rates of homophobic attacks have escalated since Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a powerful Islamic leader, issued a fatwa calling for the killings of gays in Iraq in 2006. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both called on the Iraqi government to take action against this violence, and have urged them to condemn the killings. Army Maj. Joseph Todd Breassale of the U.S. military, responding to calls for American intervention, noted that "if someone is in danger of being slaughtered or persecuted, we do all we can to stop it," but added that the United States must be careful not to further aggravate hostility against its presence by “getting into values judgment type issues.” Investigation is pending for incidents wherein 3
American soldiers allegedly verbally abused and assaulted gay Iraqis during routine home searches in Baghdad, and refused entry into the green zone to one gay Iraqi who was later killed by militiamen. No arrests have been made in any of these cases to date. All Iraqis deserve protection, but marginalized groups who are especially vulnerable require targeted attention. "Murder and torture are no way to enforce morality," said Rasha Moumneh, Middle East and North Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "These killings point to the continuing and lethal failure of Iraq's postoccupation authorities to establish the rule of law and protect their citizens." Human Rights Watch has released a 67-page report, "‘They Want Us Exterminated': Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq," which describes an anti-gay movement that began in early 2009 and has culminated in extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, and torture of gay men. The killings began in Sadr City, where Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is a powerful force, and have spread to the rest of Iraq. Mahdi Army members have spoken out to justify the attacks, stating that a “third sex” of emasculated men must be eliminated to circumvent the feminization of Iraq. The report documents how prejudice regarding sexuality and anxiety about perceived threats to the masculinity of Iraqi males have functioned in tandem to fuel the violence. Iraqi security forces have been accused of taking part in the killings in some instances, and of standing by as kidnappings and tortures took place in others. Honor killings are also a reality: several men have reported that their families have threatened them with honor killings as a way of policing
"[The killers'] measuring rod to judge people is who they have sex with. It is not by their conscience, it is not by their conduct or their values, it is who they have sex with.”
their sexuality. Home invasions, wherein men are interrogated for names of other gay males and then tortured or murdered, have become increasingly common. Doctors have confirmed that hospitals and morgues have received dozens of mutilated bodies, living and dead. Accounts from the report: "It was late one night, and they came to take my partner at his parents' home. Four armed men barged into the house, masked and wearing black. They asked for him by name; they insulted him and took him in front of his parents. ... He was found in the neighbourhood the day after. They had thrown his corpse in the garbage. His genitals were cut off and a piece of his throat was ripped out." "[The killers'] measuring rod to judge people is who they have sex with. It is not by their conscience, it is not by their conduct or their values, it is who they have sex with. The cheapest thing in Iraq is a human being, a human life. It is cheaper than an animal, than a pair of used-up batteries you buy on the street. Especially people like us. ... I can't believe I'm here talking to you because it's all just been repressed, repressed, repressed. For years it's been like that - if I walk down the street, I would feel everyone pointing at me. I feel as if I'm dying all the time. And now this, in the last month - I don't understand what we did to deserve this. They want us exterminated. All the violence and all this hatred: the people who are suffering from it don't deserve it." Homosexuality is not a criminal offense under Iraqi law. Several Shia militias in Iraq claim to be enforcers of Islamic law, but the Human
Rights Watch report explains that the killings violate standards in Sharia law for legality, proof, and privacy. International human rights law forbids all forms of torture and inhuman treatment and guarantees the right to life, including the right to effective state protection. In the landmark case of Toonen v. Australia (1994), the United Nations Human Rights Committee held that the protections against unequal treatment in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) extend to matters of sexual orientation. The failure of both domestic legislation and international law to protect gays in Iraq highlights how substantive equality – real justice on the ground, often fails to follow from formal equality – written or legislated protection. Awareness of global suffering is the responsibility of all those who value social justice. Still, Western nations should exercise extreme caution when condemning “other” countries for human rights abuses, as this can be an exercise in racism. Homophobia, transphobia, and sexism know no geographic boundaries, and are arguably more dangerous where their existence is denied. We have to be careful that when we point elsewhere, especially at countries that have been highly polarized by our media, that we do not efface the forms of oppression inherent in our own political and economic systems. Further, the absence of adequate coverage of these issues does not stop with the minimal attention paid to the hate crimes against gay men. The invisibility of transgender, lesbian and bisexual people in the coverage of hate crimes in Iraq does not suggest that they are free of persecution. 4
Homelessness in Edmonton Katrina Bray
Photo credit: Matthew Woitunski (Wikimedia commons)
Every day, hundreds of Edmonton's homeless and low-income citizens access the Bissell Centre, a non-profit organization in the inner city. They go for meals, to use the showers, and to access services ranging from legal advocacy and assistance navigating social services, to recreation activities and bicycle repair. Tommy is a regular at the Bissell Centre. He is in his fifties, and has spent much of his life on the streets and in shelters. He carries all of his possessions in a Safeway bag. Tommy sleeps outside. "Anywhere. Kinsmen Park. I don’t like skid row. Too much brutality around here," he says. Skid row is the area extending from the core of the inner city 10 blocks in every direction; "15 to be safe."
Photo credit: Elena Chochkova (Wikimedia commons)
Tommy does stay in shelters, but avoids them when he can. "When I sleep outside by myself, no one snores. I can look up at the stars,” he says. This sentiment reflects a common theme among the city's homeless population.
In many cases, any substantial belongings are taken and stored upon entry to the shelter. "I think it’s almost dehumanizing in a sense, crowding people in. I think people think that if people have their own space to sleep in, at least they have control, at least they can keep their possessions," Richard adds.
“Shelters do not meet people’s expectations of privacy and safety," according to Bissell Centre Adult Support Worker, Richard Hopkinson. While he sympathizes with the challenges individual shelters face, Richard has many concerns with the system.
Richard has been working at the Bissell Centre for two years, since finishing his bachelor of social work. He is happy and fulfilled in the job: "I am doing what I want to do. I deal with humans."
"I think the shelters probably could be a lot better. People are told when they [can] come in; they are searched when they come in. You can be sleeping on a mat where literally a foot over... people [are] snoring, coughing; [have] burns, illnesses. There might be someone who you are staying with in the shelter who has 'got it in' for you, so you’re actually physically threatened. There is a lot of drug use in there; there is a lot of stealing in there - they’re just not nice places. They are institutions, basically; they’re not homes."
Richard has the down-to-earth demeanor of someone who has first-hand experience with the struggles of his clients. He has a history of alcohol abuse himself and made the decision to go into social work when he became a parent. "I wanted to go home happy. My biggest goal was to be a good parent." Having successfully broken the negative patterns in his own life, Richard brings a valuable perspective to his work at the centre. "I wish that people would have [a] belief or hope that they could have better.
"I wish that people would have [a] belief or hope that they could have better.”
That there's more to life." Richard points to cycles of substance abuse, family violence, and cultural violence inflicted by residential schools as the root causes of homelessness. The biggest barrier people face as a result of these factors is a resignation to their situation. "More to life doesn’t mean having a big car or a big house. More to life means being able to choose your direction. I know some really happy people, but I wish that they had the knowledge that they [can] pretty much do what they want. If they wanted to, they could be in a certain place at a certain time. But [instead] there is a resignation to their situation. For the most part, they have accepted that this is their life." Tommy is working to break away from this kind of belief. Although he has long struggled with substance abuse – his longest dry spell was for three or four years in the 1980s - this year, he is committed to getting clean. "I’m living a different life. I’m back to where I was 20 years ago. But I’m older now. I can get through the jungle. I want to get strong. I want to eat better. I won’t give up." Tommy wakes up at 6:00 every morning and exercises, which contributes to his ability to stay sober. He says his biggest challenge is keeping busy: finding things to do during the day to stay clean. "I should have been dead a long time ago from the drinking but I haven’t died yet. God kept me." Tommy also credits God for his survival through harsh winters. "That gives me the biggest advantage. That I know God’s there.” 7
Homeless man in New York City, 2008. Photo Credit: JMSuarez (Wikimedia commons)
The Bissell Centre works to provide the support that is essential to changing patterns of belief. "People are so stuck in their addiction that they want, help but they can’t follow through [with the actions that are needed to access that help]. Their addiction becomes [the] number one priority." According to Richard, the people with the highest chance of doing so are those with oneon-one support. Those strong typically supports prove essential in re-establishing belief in life and a sense of personal power. This is what Tommy struggles with. "It’s hard to quit. It’s really hard to quit. You go to the edge. You’ll do anything. Any time, all the time. When you’re so down and low, you’re dirty, you’ve lost your confidence, and you’ve got to gain it back. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m gaining it back."
People Working for$1.50 per Hour: Alberta Advantage? Cindy de Bruijn, Executive Director,Gateway Association for Community Living From the fACTivist, Winter 2009 http://www.edmontonsocialplanning.ca/index.php?option=com_content &task=view&id=466&Itemid=466 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (15.1) guarantees that everyone is entitled to equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on mental or physical disability. Yet Alberta Employment Standards Division 10, Section 67 (1) (a) states that with permission, employers can pay employees with disabilities less than minimum wage. It is called the Minimum Wage Exemption, and we should be ashamed that in the year 2009 this is happening in our Province. Policies such as the minimum wage exemption exist because of the misconception that people with developmental disabilities aren’t as productive as other workers. This fallacy provides a basis for taking advantage of people. It is believed that if a person with a developmental disability can only perform a job at 75%, then he or she should only be compensated at that level. First of all, this conveys the major assumption that just because someone has a developmental disability, they could only perform at a certain level. Furthermore, if we are being truthful, most of us can admit that our performance at work isn’t at maximum potential. We are constantly bombarded with all the distractions of technology like cell phones and Facebook, and others generally have a poor work ethic. However, we are not having our wages garnished based on assumed lacks of productivity.
When you first meet someone, the conversation usually leads to “what do you do for a living?” This is because so much of how we identify ourselves is through our work. Yet there is an entire segment of people in our society that are not being given sustainable work opportunities, simply because employers aware of this this old piece of legislation can use it to their advantage to save money. How would you feel if you didn’t receive fair compensation for your work? What if you received no sick days or vacation time? How would you feel if you didn’t receive a raise in three years, while your friends, neighbours, and colleagues did? Wouldn’t it be degrading if you were told that you had to train for a job indefinitely? Here are some real life Edmonton examples, because this happens more than any of us would want to admit: Mike has been employed for 5 years at a convenience store where he gets along great with his fellow coworkers, has positive job evaluations and a perfect attendance record. His manager’s request to the government to apply the minimal wage exemption has been approved every year and as such Mike earns $1.50 per hour. Sue works at a sheltered workshop: In a large warehouse, she and a handful of other people 8
Photo credit: Author unknown (public domain: Wikimedia commons) with developmental disabilities sit in a separate room and sort the nuts and bolts that accompany the large products that are being assembled. They get paid as a unit, meaning that Sue will typically earn $120 month – for about 80 hours per month. Support agencies will often receive employment contracts or have thrift stores where people with developmental disabilities work. They will do the work as “job training” often for many years with unfair or no compensation. The profits that are raised from these stores or other contracts goes into the bank accounts of the support agencies as general “Fundraising Dollars”, which can be spent however the organization deems best – which is never in providing minimum wage or better to the employees.
In December 2008 the unemployment rate in Alberta was 4.1%, the lowest in Canada. Think about it: Who is the Alberta Advantage for?
Gender ReassignmentSurgery Stella Domnich Opinion In April 2009, Alberta cut coverage for Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS, or Gender Reassignment Surgery, as it is sometimes called) out of the healthcare budget. Alberta’s Health and Wellness Minister admitted that the decision wasn’t based on medical grounds (in fact, no medical authorities were consulted during the decision-making process), and so the government is not contesting the medical necessity, validity, and effectiveness of Sexual Reassignment Surgery. Sexual Reassignment Surgery is the treatment recommended by the Canadian Medical Association and Canadian Psychiatric Association (and their American counterparts) for extreme cases of Gender Identity Disorder (GID), as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There has not been much progress on this issue since April. At least twenty three Albertans filed complaints with the Human Rights Commission shortly after the delisting was announced, but the commission has not yet responded to the grievances. Alberta started including Sexual Reassignment Surgery under the province’s healthcare plan in 1988, after continued lobbying by psychiatrist Dr. Lorne Warneke on behalf of his transgender patients. The initiation of provincial coverage for SRS was a quiet affair; so quiet, in fact, that there is no mention of it in the media archives. And while this provincial support has undeniably benefited hundreds of transgender Albertans over the last 30 years by easing the financial burden that transitioning demands, it has also established healthcare administrators as the ultimate authorities on gender, since trans people must obtain validation of their trans identities from psychiatric and medical
Photo credit: Flinga (public domain: Wikimedia commons)
institutions in order to receive appropriate care. Sadly, these institutions often subscribe to very traditional gender ideologies, leaving little room for valid alternative gender expressions and identities by transgender patients who wish to attain care. So, while the existence of transgender people inherently undermines the dichotomy between male and female, the institutions through which trans people seek care reinforce the gender binary by demanding from their patients an unfailing commitment to rigid conservative gender norms. Gender expression is carefully monitored in Alberta, and the authority of identity documents stands alongside the medical and psychiatric overseers in maintaining strict gender identities. In Alberta, a complete transition (including bottom surgeries) is a prerequisite to legally changing oneâ€™s gender, and so a transgender person cannot legally identify as their lived gender until after SRS has been completed. However, not all transgender people choose to undergo SRS, and some remain in the process of transition for decades, living their identified gender without opting for surgery. For these individuals, the incongruity between their lived gender presentation and their legal gender identity generates dangerous tensions in public spaces, where legal identification often acts as the ultimate authority. Gender is infinitely more complex than the binary male/female model, and it is the nonoperative trans people who truly undermine this paradigm. While the government asserts authority over gender-variant people by regulating access to gender-affirming care, it can effectively invalidate any alternative gender expression. Currently, the Alberta government has given up some control of gender expression by refusing to fund SRS, and this slight shift in power can be an
Photo credit: unknown (Wikimedia Commons; posted by Fibonacci)
opportunity to destabilize the institutionalized discrimination against gender expression that impacts many more transgender people than just those who opt for SRS. Now, I am not saying that I support the delisting: I believe that this decision is transparently discriminatory (the $700,000 denied for SRS is practically negligible to the $13 billion healthcare budget, so the economic argument put forth by the Health Minister is hardly convincing). I also believe that the Alberta Human Rights Commission will force a reversal of the decision, though this may take some time (though hopefully less than the ten years it took in Ontario, where the government recently relisted SRS after losing a human rights case on the issue). However, perhaps the inability to fully rely on the healthcare system can open up different avenues for contesting the rigid institutional control of alternative gender expressions in Alberta.
Sri Lanka: After the Victory Taha Hassan
After over 70,000 deaths and 26 years of fighting, Sri Lanka’s civil war is finally over. This May, Sri Lankan forces defeated the rebel group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, also known as the “Tamil Tigers”), responsible for terrorist acts within the nation. The LTTE aimed to create a separate homeland for the Tamil ethnic minority, but its attacks on the country’s civilians and conscription of child soldiers led to the FBI labelling the LTTE as "amongst the most dangerous and deadly extremist outfits in the world." In the early 1990s, the organization was also responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Muslim and Sinhalese inhabitants in the Northern and Eastern regions of Sri Lanka. These violations of human rights don’t seem, however, to be exclusive to the LTTE: allegations of the government’s involvement in similar violations of human rights shadow the celebrated victory. Allegations include the bombing of dense civilian-occupied regions in the last few months of the war, state-ordered murders and abductions, and the poor treatment of the 300,000 displaced Tamils. During the last few months of the conflict, Human Rights Watch claims that the government had “indiscriminately shelled densely populated areas, including hospitals, in violation of the laws of war,” and was able to back these statements by satellite imaging, which showed the wiping out of a beach in four days by possibly 19 bomb shells. In a press release on the government’s website, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated, "No community has been systematically destroyed in my country and no Sri Lankan government would stand such brutality”. His reasoning was, “[i]f my
government wanted to destroy any one community, why should we have rescued more than three [hundred thousand] civilians from the war zone and from LTTE guns?” True, 300,000 displaced persons are residing in refugee camps but a plain “no we didn’t” can hardly stand up to incontrovertible evidence. Many such contradictions can be found in the government’s actions. The president’s speeches repeatedly emphasize that the war effort was carried out for the Tamil population’s benefit, yet he has shown no concern for the 300,000 Tamils displaced by the conflict and now suffering under the atrocious conditions of the refugee camps. In fact, on an interview with British television Channel 4 news, Sri Lankan Senior High Commissioner, Nihal Jayasinghe, denies any atrocities being committed in these camps. Journalists are not permitted unless guided by soldiers and organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross are being asked to leave According to independent sources, which sneaked into these camps illegally,– the conditions are appalling. An eighth of the refugees are believed to be children, and about one third of those under the age of five are moderately to severely malnourished. Toilets are scarce, proper bathing areas are virtually non-existent, and camps are experiencing shortages of food and water – some are having to line up for five to six hours for the daily ration of water. There are also reports from aid workers in the camps of terrible sanitary conditions: bodies lying around, lack of proper coordination from the soldiers in charge of the camps, which seem to be quite indifferent to the refugees’ plight and abduction and sexual abuse of women. The
IDP woman in a temporary kitchen Photo Credit: trokilinochchi (Wikimedia Commons; Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Reactions to these events and allegations from Western nations have been mixed. Despite much controversy of Sri Lanka’s actions, in July the IMF approved a much-anticipated US $2.6 billion loan to the government, US $322 million of which was immediately available. The granting of this loan was delayed due to opposition from the USA, UK, Canada and France, but was ultimately passed to help the country’s suffering economy. The European Union is treating the situation much differently. A trade But with the conditions worsening, why are they still concession offered by the EU to Sri Lanka called the there? The conflict ended nearly five months ago, yet “GSP Plus,”which last year helped make exports to the EU the Sri Lanka’s biggest source of foreign only about 7% of the refugees – mostly the sick, the old, and pregnant women – have been released. Herein exchange, yielding $3.3 billion – is up for review. But arises another questionable action of the government. the EU claims that the government has created a state The government insists that the delay in the release of of “complete or virtually complete impunity in Sri Lanka” and that the extended holding of refugees in these refugees is to de-mine the areas to which they camps constitutes “a novel form of unacknowledged would be returningand to screen all individuals to detention.” The EU thus does not believe that Sri ensure that those leaving are not loyal to the LTTE. But as The Economist points out, the lack of progress Lanka should be eligible to claim GSP Plus this year. A final decision on this matter is expected when the to release these individuals, especially when the Commission reconvenes on October 15. government said in July that 70-80% of those held would be released by the end of the year, suggests that the government still regards many of those detained as threats.
government, on the other hand, claims these reports to be propaganda from those still loyal to the LTTE cause, and the UN has called for civilian investigations into these allegations to be conducted. Regardless, the refugees in these camps are not getting the help they need. And conditions continue to get worse as monsoon rains are expected to flood some of the camps this October, causing the re-displacement of 100,000 refugees.
War Resister Continues Battle Against Deportation People’s Voice, September 1-15, 2009 Issue http://www.peoplesvoice.ca/articleprint43/10%29_WAR_RESISTER_CONTINUES_BATTLE_ AGAINST_DEPORTATION.html
People's Voice recently interviewed U.S. war resister Joshua Key, who is preparing for a speaking tour across western Canada to draw attention to the ongoing campaign for himself and others to remain in Canada.
In two years, your book has been translated into twelve languages and called a classic of American story telling. It is an international bestseller that defines the U.S. occupation of Iraq in a way that will be long remembered. The covers of glossy magazines such as GQ, interviews by papers of record in the world’s capitals... Were you surprised by the response? What attention are you still getting? Well, I was very surprised about the response to the book. I’m very happy that so many countries took the whole subject seriously, with interviews, magazines and everything of that nature. I still get requests from countries where the book is coming out, also other countries that want follow-ups and interviews that I did before just to see how things are going now. I only do the interviews that I consider worth it and that are going to change something. I’m glad after this year things have calmed down.
Where did you learn the moral values that made you decide not to return to Iraq in 2003? I was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma, in a very conservative, Republican way of thinking. I mostly remember my grandfather, although he was a very racist man. He still in a very big sense taught us how to be men and how to live up to our responsibilities, to know the difference between right and wrong. In Iraq I don’t know exactly what it was. I just know that in many ways I was very brainwashed. Then you realize you still have a conscience and know the difference between right and wrong - and I always say that goes back to my childhood just the way my grandfather was. You know, there was a fine line.
HADITHA, Iraq - [U.S.] Marines from 3rd Platoon, Company. Photo Credit: United States Marine Corps (Public Domain)
" Then you realize you still have a conscience and know the difference between right and wrong” You came to Canada in 2005 after living underground in Philadelphia for over a year. Where are you at in your efforts to stay in Canada as a political refugee? I applied for refugee status in 2005 when I came. I was denied. I won my appeal then I went back to the Immigration and Refugee Board last June and had another hearing which I would say went very well. I don’t know the verdict yet. But I think I did the best I could as far as telling the courts the truth, as well as explaining that with people like myself being sent back to the United States its just not as simple as “Oh well they didn’t do anything” or “They are only going to receive a little time in prison” or whatever they might think. Previous cases show that those of us who have spoken out received the harshest punishment of all. You will be soon on tour, campaigning to let war resisters stay and to end the wars, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why is this tour needed now? Why Manitoba to the interior of B.C.? What do you hope can be accomplished by the tour? The reason for the tour is I don’t think anything can be won just by Toronto and Vancouver. There are millions of people all across this country that all have to be informed of the situation, why we are here. And not only that but to put a face to the story and understand the reasons why we are here. How do you explain to people why the Harper government opposes war resisters claims, denies humanitarian relief, and deports them to lengthy prison sentences in the U.S.? Why is the war resisters campaign in Canada important and what support does it have?
Well the biggest problem is twice now there’s been a motion passed in the House of Commons for people like me to stay in Canada. You know, it’s because the Harper government won’t implement those motions that people are getting deported and having a very rough life. You are in limbo, waiting until the time you are deported. It’s quite staggering, but the Harper government is not agreeing with the will of Canadians, through their votes and their MPs. It’s the government itself that still supports Bush’s policies; that’s the reason they don’t want us here. Has the election of President Obama affected the soldiers who oppose the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan? Are anti-war views among soldiers growing now that the conflict in Afghanistan shows no sign of ending? With Obama taking power everyone hopes for the best. I know we all do. But as far as soldiers go nothing happens until it’s happened. Anyone can say many things and promise many things, but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen like that. We’ve all learned that, especially in the last presidency. Hopefully it will be done as stated. I can’t see the military changing its way, especially now. The attitudes of people like myself are probably the least concern and the least worry to the administration in the United States. I’m not asking who you’d vote for, but can you say how your political views have changed since you’ve come to Canada? Has your view of Canada changed since you first arrived?
US war casualties in a C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base Photo Credit: United States Air Force (Public Domain).
I would say my view of Canadians hasn’t changed at all - still very gracious and kind, and the greatest people. As far as attitudes to the government, it makes it a little hard when you have to fight to stay somewhere and live in peace, and one man in charge of the government right now can halt the majority of Canadians who want us to stay here. So it is quite disturbing. But I still keep hope. How have your mother and other family members responded to your decision to leave the United States? Will they see you in Canada? What do you wish for when you think about them?
Well I wish that I could see my brother and my mother. I mean my mother is terminally ill so it’s very difficult for her getting the authorization to travel. It hasn’t happened yet but I hope it will. My brother and my cousins I hope one day will come to visit me. The attitudes in my family of course change. I’m sure some still consider me a coward and a traitor, but that just depends on… I had a little cousin that was just in Iraq and I think when he came back for them to see exactly how much he’s changed... I don’t think they can say too much to me, especially because of what my cousin went through there.
The Plight of Chechnya: Living Under the Russian Thumb Jon Lai
Earlier this year, Dmitry Medvedev, the President of Russia, announced the formal end of anti-terrorist operations in Chechnya, based on the perception that the region was "now stable enough to ease security restrictions." It is now five years past the Beslan school siege—the last major offensive by Chechen rebels to achieve their goal of secession. Since then, the intensity of the conflict has been muted. Mentions of "stability" seem paradoxical when just months ago the prominent Russian-based human rights group, Memorial, announced it would be halting all activity in Chechnya after the murder of Natalia Estemirova, one of its acclaimed workers.
A Chechen man picks up a loaf of bread in Grozny, January 1995. Photo credit: Mikhail Evstafiev (Public domain) Opposite: Chechen man prays during the battle for Grozny,
The anti-terrorist operations Medvedev 1995. referred to during his announcement began a Photo credit: Mikhail Evstafiev (Public domain) decade ago at the outbreak of the Second Chechen War. The secessionist movement The current-day disregard of human rights in Chechnya though—which has existed for over a needs to be contextualized and cannot be understood century—has not dissipated. Nonetheless, without adequate consideration of their historical roots. Medvedev's decision to ease security measures against secessionists does signal a Beyond the Union, Through the Wars certain calm in Chechnya. But what does this From the very beginning of the Soviet Union's collapse, development mean for the more than one Chechen society has been marred by violence. In million people who call this region home? December 1991, Chechnya declared its de facto Their president, Razman Kadyrov—who has independence from Russia under the leadership of received much of the credit for this stability— Dzhokar Dudayev. Dudayev was never able to “secure a is seen as an autocratic ruler and is accused of basis for economic reforms or for a functioning statehood” numerous human rights violations. as he was occupied “in a struggle for power between rival elites, which was often conducted with weapons." With This article examines the policies and the loss of government authority in the region, criminal decisions made by the major political actors activity flourished and created a lucrative “shadow in the Russo-Chechen conflict since the economy.” Weapons, among other goods, were now easy dissolution of the Soviet Union and traces the to acquire. And until the autumn of 1994, Moscow impact those decisions have had on the lives tolerated this state of Chechen affairs. of civilians into the new millennium. 17
The First Chechen War was motivated by Boris Yeltsin’s need to regain political capital. With Duma (the lower house of parliament) and presidential elections planned within the next two years and Yeltsin’s approval rating sinking, he sought to establish his image as “preserver of Russian unity and guarantor of law and order.” The official reasoning for the declaration of war was that “Chechnya existed in violation of the Russian Constitution, which does not permit the secession of subjects." At the onset of the campaign, it was thought the renegade state would be reclaimed in a matter of weeks. No such victory occurred. The war would last for two years with the Chechen militias proving to be the superior force. A ceasefire agreement signed in August 1996 ended the fighting and Russian troops withdrew in the subsequent months.
The January 1997 election following the First Chechen War saw Chechen rebel commander Alsan Maskhadov come to power (Dudayev had been killed some months before in a rocket attack). To repair both the shattered landscape of Chechnya and collective psyche of its populace would prove to be insurmountable challenges for the new Chechen president. Government funds were scarce, the country had been impoverished and traumatized by the violent events of the First War, and Russia had exerted considerable efforts to blockade the small state in the international economic arena. Moscow’s disengagement with Chechnya in the face of such bleak social conditions paved the way for further radicalization and Islamization among those vying for supremacy in the region.
The civilian costs in this war were staggering, with both Russians and Chechens violating human rights throughout the conflict. 25 000 denizens of the Chechen capital Grozny were killed during a weeklong air raid and artillery barrage conducted by the Russian forces. While Grozny was the only urban center to experience such destruction, a total of around 250 000 Chechens were internally displaced on a short-term basis by this conflict. The military also created filtration camps to identify Chechen fighters. These were "large detention camps in which security forces held large numbers of Chechen males between 16 to 60, in order to 'filter' rebel fighters from innocent civilians. It is welldocumented that severe torture was systematically used in these camps."
By June 1998, Maskhadov had declared a state of emergency to mitigate the increasing violence. Six months later, in a final attempt to consolidate power, he announced that "Shari’ah law will be phased in over three years.” All of this did little to improve the security in Chechnya. There was also a strong defiance against Maskhadov’s own party as radicals formed groups to oppose him, demanding in increasing numbers that he relinquish the presidency.
Chechen forces also took extreme measures to thwart their enemy. One event in June 1995 by Shamil Basayev, a top commander, previews the type of radical actions that would be used in the future of the RussianChechen conflict. In Budennovsk, a town north of Chechnya, Basayev and a few hundred armed men attacked and captured several important buildings, and then seized the town's hospital, taking a total of around 1500 hostages. Basayev used these hostages as leverage to force the Russian government to halt military actions in Chechnya and negotiate a ceasefire. While this strategy did put an end to the current violence, the fundamental question of Chechnya's independence was never resolved. 19
The Second Chechen War was triggered by two related events. These occurred in August 1999, when the former military commander and now warlord Basayev launched an incursion into the neighbouring republic of Dagestan with the declared aim of liberating' the state and combining it with Chechnya to form one Islamist republic. Following this event in September, bombs exploded in the Russian cities of Volgodonsk, Rostov, and in Moscow on two separate occasions, killing over 200 people. Chechen rebels were blamed for these acts of terrorism, even though Russia has never been able to demonstrate “proof of Chechen involvement in the attacks.” The response of Vladimir Putin, Russia's newly appointed prime minister, was fierce. A force more than double the size of the one deployed in the First War was sent to the region in October 1999.
Russian soldiers withdraw from Chechnya. Photo credit: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office www.kremlin.ru It was better equipped, and led by more capable officers. The conflict again pitted a formal army against guerrilla fighters. Putin’s intent was to stamp out the “terrorists” for good, and the measures that were taken to ensure this disregarded the safety of civilian life. The show of force demonstrated by the Russian army reflected Putin's hard line stance against the Chechen rebels. The army utilized a two-pronged strategy, relying on air attacks (including a great deal of high-altitude bombing) before the infantry then moved into the devastated cities and towns. The rebels, too, committed atrocities—in particular, the Second War marked the first time that suicide bombing was employed by the guerrillas as a battle strategy. The result was a great deal of damage to both people and property: Grozny was declared "the most destroyed city in the world" by the U.N. in 2002. Hundreds of thousands of displaced Chechens flooded into the neighbouring province of Ingushetia between September 1999 and August 2001, a movement, which created a dire humanitarian crisis.
Chechenization and Kadyrov After two wars and no resounding victory, Putin chose to take another approach to subjugating the Chechen state. In 2000, he put a variety of policies in motion, in order to produce a particular kind of contemporary Chechen power structure. The essential policy that Putin employed in summer 2000 that created the contemporary Chechen power structure is known as Chechnization. It is the process of “gradually transferring power to Chechens loyal to the Kremlin, using rigged-elections to ratify its chosen leaders.” By this point, Putin had assumed direct control of Chechnya from Moscow and had refused any significant form of dialogue with the Chechen rebels and Maskhadov; for it was under Maskhadov's watch that such attacks against Russia occurred. This policy was instituted with Putin's simultaneous appointment of the former Chechen mufti Akhmad Kadyrov, father of the current Chechen president, Razman Kadyrov.
Both Akhmad and Razman had fought against the Russians in the First Chechen War. Putin managed to coax the Kadyrovs into switching sides by offering them wealth and positions of authority in Chechnya for their loyalty. I spoke with Professor Per Rudling about this geopolitical relationship between Moscow and Chechnya. He drew a parallel to what is happening now in the region to "Nixon era policies." Nixon combated leftist parties around the world in the 1970s by supplying groups that promoted political ideologies favourable to the Americans with the means to capture power in their respective countries. Supplying these groups meant that America could count on them to be potential allies in the future (if they were successful in their struggle). Akhmad was assassinated in 2004 by Chechen rebels and Razman took de facto control of the region before winning the 2007 presidential election. The renowned Russian journalist and human rights activist, Anna Politkovskaya, dubbed Razman as "Putin's favourite." In a word, Razman is a strongman. At the age of 32, and with no formal education, he has been given a free hand from the Kremlin to rule Chechnya. "[Razman] Kadyrov might be a brutal ex-bandit, but he has shown sufficient strategic sense and flexibility to win over other former rebels and to gain genuine popular support (albeit mixed with a degree of fear and loathing) from his war-weary population." The strategy employed by the Kadyrovs to counter the Chechen rebels has been this: "[t]hose who could be persuaded—or bought—were offered amnesty, and a job in the Chechen security forces. Those who held out would be hunted down and killed." It should be noted that over the last several years, it is not the Russian military that has conducted the bulk of combat operations but Razman's own private militia—or security force—the kadyrovtsy that has assumed "most of the fighting against the remaining rebels." "The core of the kadyrovtsy consists of relatives and co-villagers of the Kadyrov family but its ranks are filled with many former rebel fighters who switched sides." The kadyrovtsy is not affiliated with the Russian military. "It was formed as a
bodyguard detachment, but after Akhmed Kadyrov's assassination it expanded into a fullfledged paramilitary formation operating under the guidance of the FSB," which is the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation and successor to the KGB. The kadyrovtsty "is estimated to number around 4000 men" and is accused by human rights organizations as being "responsible for serious and routine human rights abuses committed in Chechnya on behalf of the state." "In 2006, Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights group, released a report saying security forces under the control of Kadyrov 'hold and torture detainees in premises that are not lawful places of detention.'" Natalia Estemirova was investigating the kadyrovsty before she was abducted and murdered this past July. She was an outspoken critic of Kadyrov and was not deterred from her work when threats to her life were made. Kadyrov is quoted as "saying the perpetrators of the murder 'deserve no support and must be punished as the cruellest of criminals.'" "But Mr. Kadyrov's outrage was dismissed as a sham by Memorial's chief, Oleg Orlov, who said in a strongly-worded statement that the Chechen authorities were linked to the murder of Ms Estemirova." Orlov accused Kadyrov "of being responsible for the murder, saying he was guilty regardless of who ordered the killing." Troubling Numbers, Opaque Scenery One of Memorial’s mission statements is to shed light on “the tragedies of the past decades and to the current attempts to limit the freedoms and dignity of citizens of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.” Memorial was active during both Chechen wars, but has since stopped its activity in Chechnya because it does not want to put its workers at risk. It is a sad state of affairs when such a group can only make conjectures on the reality of human rights in the region. This is the reality of the profession in Russia, which "ranks among the highest in the world in terms of murders of journalists." While the Chechen populace is—at the moment—free of
Victims of the Beslan school massacre in 2006. Photo credit: Aaron Bird (Wikimedia Commons)
the hardships that were associated with the past two wars, should we be content because the present state of human rights are better now in a relative sense to what they were a decade ago? Chechnya on the surface does appear to be revitalizing. Grozny is showing signs of prosperity. The local markets in the city are full of goods and it now houses one of the largest mosques in Europe. These developments can be attributed to the millions of dollars that Moscow has injected into the Chechen economy over the past few years. However, such snapshots do not reflect the severe socio-economic problems that do exist. "Chechnya and its neighbours are poorer than much of Russia, suffering from widespread unemployment, lower wages, and higher rates of
infant mortality." The unemployment rate in Chechnya runs upwards of 50%. The pictures of economic development are meant to mask the reality of the situation in Chechnya. As the major conflicts have subsided, so has the focus of the media. The murder of human rights workers in Russia does not garner attention like a hostage situation. As the western world seeks a better relationship with Russia, the human rights issues in Chechnya are being neglected. Heads of state do not want such issues to be a thorn in diplomatic relations and both humanitarian organizations and journalists shy away from voicing opposition. This is what Kadyrov's regime wants mostâ€”for outsiders to take a glance into Chechnya and not detect a single flaw in its facade. 22
Global Economic Recession and the Non-profit Sector Ashima Sumaru
The work of non-profit organizations includes providing access to health services, housing, education, security and economic development for society's most vulnerable populations. There are thousands of such organizations in Canada, from international human rights organizations to local food banks and women's shelters. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and millions of individuals around the world benefit from the actions of these organizations. The current global recession, however, has resulted in a drop in government, corporate and private funding for non-profits while also creating an increased demand for services; this leaves the people who need their help in a precarious position. Globally, the recent financial and economic crisis was not an isolated event. It aggravated the consequences of the 2006-2008 rise in international food prices - a phenomenon that has directly contributed to an increase in the number of extremely poor people worldwide from 130 million in 2005 to 155 million by 2008. The United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition estimates, furthermore, that 53 million more people will become extremely poor in 2009. Even among those populations lucky enough to be spared debilitating poverty, unemployment is on the rise, and more working hours are needed to feed a family because of declining wages and increasing product prices. Given their low social status in many countries, women and children are particularly at risk for entry into poverty. These effects are not limited to the developing world - there is compelling evidence that we are seeing similar - albeit less pronounced - trends in Canada. Client visits to the GTA (Greater
Toronto Area) food banks over the past year exceeded 1 million for the first time ever. Who's Hungry 2009: Profile of Hunger in the GTA, released in June 2009, reports that total client visits were 1,030,568, a rise of 8% over last year. More disturbingly, the increase in client visits in the first three months of 2009 averaged 17%. The spike in food bank use is directly related to the current recession. Over half of new clients surveyed accessed a food bank for economic reasons due to, job loss (35%), reduced hours at work (6%), or had no current source of income and were living on savings (11%). Feeding America, the United States' largest domestic hunger relief organization, which serves an estimated 25 million low income Americans each year, conducted a survey of its food bank members in early September 2009. They reported that food bank usage was up all around the country, and that unemployment and underemployment were key factors in driving up the need for services. Of the food banks surveyed, 98% said that an important cause of the increase in demand is a spike in first-time users of the food assistance system. More than half (55%) of food banks participating in the survey reported that they or the agencies who help distribute the food they provide have had to turn people away in the last year. The increase in demand for food over the past year, estimated at over 20% from 2008 levels, is simply too much for these organizations to bear. Providing food to families is just one of the services that non-profits provide. In Edmonton, The Support Network is a leader in community information services, crisis intervention and suicide prevention. They attempt to provide
Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt (Wikimedia Commons; Creative Commons, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
individuals and families with easy access to community information and support. The Support Network has noted that the recession has increased the number of clients calling for service via 211, the Distress Line or coming into Walk-in Counseling Although they have not yet reduced any program delivery as a result of this increased workload, the Support Network has not seen an increase in funding, which means that they will not be able to meet the rising costs of operations plus salary increments. Executive Director of the Support Network, Nancy McCalder, promises that "reduction of services to clients will be a last resort," she emphasizes that "at some point [we] cannot continue delivering service on minimal budgets and maintain the quality of services we are accredited to deliver." In April 2009, the Journal Of Philanthropy reported that although donors are not halting their giving to large international non-profits, some smaller-scale charities have experienced downturns in donations and other revenue significant enough to cause the paring down of programs, and reductions in staff size. These organizations are faced with the challenge of cutting costs in ways that do the least amount of possible to harm to the people that they serve. International aid organizations are giving priority to working in the poorest countries rather than more-stable ones, while local programs are emphasizing basic needs over human rights and other forms of assistance. These are choices that keep these organizations from functioning at their optimal levels. In the U.K., the Charities Aid Foundation and the
National Council for Voluntary Organizations conducted a survey in April 2009 and reported that charitable donations to not-for-profits from the public had fallen by nine per cent in the past year. The groups said the reduction was equivalent to a £1.3billion drop in the amount of money Britain’s 170,000 charities received in real terms. John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Even though there are welcome signs the recession is technically ending, the economic downturn is still severely impacting charities, many of whom have had to cut jobs while facing increased demand for their services.” Puerto Rican non-profits report similar challenges. Amarilis Pagan, the director of Proyecto Matria, an organization which offers mistreated women and struggling single mothers educational programs, access to housing, and advice on micro-loan programs, says that the Puerto Rican Treasury Department owes them about $140 000. Pagan comments in the December 18, 2008 edition of the Latin American Herald Tribune that access to health services, security, housing and education, among other things, are internationally recognized human rights that "the government delegates" to the nonprofits because it does not have "the experience, agility and the ability to offer them." The longer the recession goes on, the more nonprofits will likely suffer a deficit between their levels of funding and their demand for services. This results in hurting the organizations that can help the most.
ESL Teacher/Student Kelly Shepherd & Khalida Tanvir Syed "In the restaurant where I work," says the student from eastern Europe, "there is another cook, a black man. And when he wants to take a break, he goes, he takes a break." This student, this middle-aged man, new to Canada and trying to improve his English skills, runs his fingers through his blonde hair, gestures with his hands in imitation of smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee. "When I want a break, the supervisor says NO BREAK, I keep working, no break. The supervisor won't say no to the black man, because he is minority," and here the student's accent grows stronger, perhaps stumbling over the unfamiliar word, perhaps struggling with the frustration of the experience, the difficulty in telling it in a language not his own, he says MINORITY using the word "mean" and emphasizing the first syllable: "MEANority" "The black man, he can say to supervisor: NO BREAK? THIS IS DISCRIMINATION! And so supervisor, he gives the coffee break." "So I go to work," the student finishes, "I will put on the show polish," again the hand motions, showing the class how he'll rub the shoe polish into the skin of his face and his hands, "I will be black man. I will be MEANority. Supervisor will give to me the coffee break." 25
"Congratulations," says the ESL teacher, "You sound just like a Canadian."
a noise containing many frequencies with equal intensity background sounds, meant to detract from distracting and undesirable noises a meaningless or distracting commotion or chatter that masks or obliterates underlying information
We Canadians are NOT RACIST at all.
I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . look at that! Look at what they're wearing! HEY! THIS IS THE WRONG PLACE TO BE WEARING THAT! THIS IS THE WRONG COUNTRY! Man! I can't stand Muslims! They're so oppressed, can't they see that? I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . these PAINFULLY WHITE Canadian teacher educators do not have to follow/respect the law at all. They don't care about the Privacy Act; Human Rights Act, Multiculturalism Act. This Act and that Act are for POOR/LAZY Natives or BROWN/BLACK Immigrant students! They think WHITE is always RIGHT, eh! I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . the property value goes down in these neighborhoods, because of the smell of curry! I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . Native people were fighting with each other long before Europeans ever arrived.
Kelly Shepherd & Khalida Tanvir Syed
white noise presented live, February 2007. Funded by Edmonton Poetry Festival- Poetry Across Borders http://www.edmontonpoetryfestival.com/poetsacrossborders.asp
I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . son of a! Look at that! What kind of driving is that? Oh, wait a minute, see that? Typical Asian driver! But really, seriously, why do you think Asian people are such bad drivers? There's no Grand Prix in any Oriental countries, did you know that? You know what I think, I think it's their eyes. Really! They must have poor peripheral vision. I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . where do you think Greek people really get their money? From running a restaurant? Come on! That's not enough to make that kind of money! I hate to say it, but I wonder about some kind of Mafia thing, you know? I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . haven't you ever listened to rap music? Black people call each other by that name all the time, so why can't I say it? I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . I notice a lot of black people are dressing like that nowadays, what do you think that means? I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . RCMP officers wearing turbans are a disgrace to the uniform. I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . those professors at the U of A, they teach poor, vulnerable powerless students "Ethics of Care" and they practice "WHO CARES?" : I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . those East Indians aren't welcome in my shop anymore, they always try to ask me for deals, ask for no taxes if they pay cash. Well, I have to pay taxes so who do they think they are? I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . there are a lot of cats in your neighborhood? I guess there are no Chinese restaurants around here then! I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . people in Africa were already enslaving one another before the Europeans arrived. 27
I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . teaching, eh? Good luck with that! I have some friends who are teachers, but they had to go up to some remote little village to work with the Natives for a year or two before they could even get a real job. Fat chance trying to get work in a decent place like Edmonton! I don't mean to sound racist here, but . . . I'm taking my dog and I'm going Muslim hunting. You should see those women! They're all wearing their veils and their robes and everything. I tell them old Scooter here'd never hurt a fly, but they won't listen! They're terrified! It's hilarious! So every day now, we go out for our afternoon walk, I say "Scooter! Let's go Muslim hunting!" and I put his leash on him, and he wags his tail, and he's so excited . . .
We Canadians are NOT RACIST at all.
IVORY TOWER: Supervision i.e MENTOOOOOOOOORSHIP!!! Khalida Tanvir Syed s
Wonderful! Wonderful!! Wonderful!!! Two supervisors; One student; Five years; One article; Seventh author Wonderful! Wonderful!! Wonderful!!! Student is almost dead with the burden of mentorship Supervisors are conscious of their mentorship and also join the chanting Wonderful! Wonderful!! Wonderful!!! Supervisors must share the report/outcome of their professionalism Tell ten people; Ten will tell ten more So hundred people will start chanting; Wonderful paid supervision! Wonderful paid professionalism! Wonderful paid mentorship! Supervision i.e MENTOOOOOOOOORSHIP!!! Student is almost dead with the burden of mentorship It is too much: one article--five years--Two supervisors-Secenth author Supervisors are consciously proud of their mentorship Two supervisors shared the report/outcome with their supervisor Two supervisors' Supervisor is impressed and decided Students start chanting; Supervisors start chanting!!! Long live Two supervisors One student One article Five years Seventh author Wonderful! Wonderful!! Wonderful!! Student, Supervisors and Public start chanting!!! Wonderful paid supervisions Wonderful paid professionalism Wonderful paid mentorship Supervision i.e. MENTOOOOOOOOORSHIP!!! Wonderful! Wonderful!! Wonderful!!!