May 26 2006

Weekly Digest – 05/26/06

Weekly Digest | Published 26 May 2006, 8:19 am | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 05/26/06 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising —

* The new and frightening possibility of immigrants being tracked via embedded microchips
* A look at an on-going land occupation and blockade by Indigenous Tribes in Caledonia, Canada
* Burma’s military junta increases repression of the ethnic Karen people
* A radical Christian critiques the controversy over The Da Vinci Code
* This week’s Empire Notes on Haditha, and the Black Commentator on Venezuela’s Citgo Gas company.

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Spychips in Immigrants?

SpychipsGUEST: Liz McIntyre, co-author of “Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID”

Most of the Congressional proposals addressing immigration include a significant emphasis on funding surveillance of the border. Now one corporation is trying to capitalize on the growing dehumanization of immigrants by promoting their product called the Verichip. The Verichip is a glass encapsulated Radio Frequency Identification tag that can be embedded in animals and humans to uniquely number and identify them. The chip was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in humans in 2004. The tag can be read by radio waves, through clothing, silently and invisibly from up to a foot or more away. Recently Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation appeared on Fox News the morning after President Bush called for high-tech measures to clamp down on Mexican immigrants. Silverman promoted the Verichip as useful way to register guest workers, verify their identities as they cross the border, and “be used for enforcement purposes at the employer level.”

For more information, visit

Caledonia – Land Dispute

Blockade GUEST: Hazel Hill, spokesperson for the Six Nations occupation

On February 28th of this year members of the Six Nations reserve in Caledonia, Ontario in Canada, began occupying a 40-hectare piece of land. They claim that the land had been stolen from them more than 200 years ago. It was to be turned into a subdivision by Henco Industries Ltd., which bought the land from a local farmer in 1992. A blockade was erected on April 20 after provincial police unsuccessfully tried to evict occupiers. It was finally torn down on Tuesday May 23rd in what media are calling a sign of good faith. Apparently negotiations to end the dispute have been progressing well. However, the Six Nations members have no intention of ending their occupation. Their only legal option is to apply to the Canadian government for a land claim. But on average, land claims have taken about 10 years to resolve and some have taken as long as three decades to complete. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he won’t get involved in settling the land claim dispute in Caledonia, and calls it a provincial matter.

For more information, visit

Empire Notes on Haditha

GUEST: Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade

Empire NotesEmpire Notes are weekly commentaries filed by Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade. Today’s commentary is on Haditha.

Empire Notes is online at

Burma’s Military Junta Continues Repression

Aung San Suu KyiGUEST: Edith Mirante, Director of Project Maje and author of “Down the Rat Hole: Adventures Underground on Burma’s Frontier.”

Burma’s ruling military junta is currently launching its biggest offensive against the Karen National Union resistance group since 1997. More than 16,000 refugees have been forced from their homes as military operations continue against the KNU in Eastern Burma. As the ethnic Karens face repression, more than 50 key members of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party, The National League of Democracy, were forced to resign. Suu Kyi’s sixteen year house arrest detention is set to expire this Saturday but the regime is expected to extend her sentence. International pressure against the Burmese junta is now mounting. In fact, last week, President Bush renewed economic sanctions on Burma. Recently, UN official Ibrahim Gambari met with Suu Kyi and junta officials. As the Under Secretary for General Political Affairs, Gambari visited Burma to pressure the regime to restore democracy and cease human rights violations.

For more information, visit

Black Commentator on US in Somalia

Glen Ford, co-publisher of The Black Commentator

Black CommentatorThe Black Commentator is an online political magazine bringing you commentary, analysis and investigation from a black perspective. Today’s commentary is about the US in Somalia.

The Black Commentator is online at

What’s the Fuss Over the Da Vinci Code?

GUEST: Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst at Political Research Associates, and author of “Right-Wing Populism in America”

‘The Da Vinci Code’ has had one of the biggest opening weekends in box office history – $224 million worldwide. The highly controversial film is based on the best selling novel by Dan Brown and has been picketed by critics. The premise of the film suggests that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene, had a child by her and members of a religious order then tried to cover it up. The Da Vinci Code has already had already broken box office records in Italy, home of the Vatican. Members of a Catholic group called Christian Militants staged demonstrations outside some cinemas in central Rome over the weekend chanting slogans including: “Dan Brown, remember you will also be judged by Christ.” In fact the Vatican has called the movie and book a work of fiction and have not called for it to be banned. But various conservative Christian groups in South Korea, Thailand, India and France have protested the film, and planned boycotts and hunger strikes, and attempted to block screenings. Samoa, Lebanon and Jordan have banned the film, Thailand has censored part of the film, and the Philippines has issued an X certificate for the film.

Read Chip Berlet’s blog at

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day:

“I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.” — Albert Einstein

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