August 29, 2007

Teamsters to Try to Block Mexican Trucks

WASHINGTON - The Teamsters Union said Wednesday it will ask a federal appeals courts to block the Bush administration's plan to begin allowing Mexican trucks to carry cargo anywhere in the United States.

The union said it has been told by officials in the Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the first Mexican trucks will be coming across the border on Saturday.

Teamsters leaders said they planned to seek an emergency injunction Wednesday from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

"What a slap in the face to American workers, opening the highways to dangerous trucks on Labor Day weekend, one of the busiest driving weekends of the year," said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa.

Joining the Teamsters in seeking the emergency stay were the Sierra Club and Public Citizen. "Before providing unconditional access throughout the country to tens of thousands of big rigs we know little to nothing about, we must insure they meet safety and environmental standards," Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in a statement, said it was working closely with the department's inspector general "as his office completes an additional assessment of the program and we prepare a detailed response to that report."

The Bush administration said last week it would start the cross-border program once the Transportation Department's inspector general certifies safety and inspection plans.

Leslie Miller, a Teamsters spokeswoman, said attorneys for the federal truck safety agency advised the union's lawyers that they expect to get that certification on Friday. She said the Teamsters also were told by the agency attorneys that limited authority for trucks to begin crossing the border will be approved Saturday.

Supporters of the plan say letting more Mexican trucks on U.S. highways will save American consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Labor and driver-owner groups have been fighting the measure _ part of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement _ since it was first proposed, saying the program will erode highway safety and eliminate U.S. jobs.

A one-year demonstration project would allow 100 Mexican motor carriers full access to U.S. roads. It can begin as soon as the inspector general certifies that safety and inspection plans and facilities are sufficient to ensure the Mexican trucks are as safe as U.S. trucks.

Since 1982, Mexican trucks have had to stop within a buffer border zone and transfer their loads to U.S. trucks.


One the Net:


August 21, 2007

Protestors Rage Against North America Summit

OTTAWA - A meeting of US, Canada and Mexico leaders on Monday and Tuesday has attracted a large group of demonstrators united in opposition to further integration of North America.

Hundreds of anti-globalization protestors, environmentalists, peaceniks, and civil rights groups joined to taunt Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President George W. Bush, and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon.

The three North American leaders are expected to discuss trade and security at a two-day Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit in Montebello, Quebec.

The SPP was launched at the first “Three Amigos” summit in Waco, Texas, in March 2005. A second meeting followed in Cancun, Mexico, in 2006.

With placards reading “Reclaim democracy,” “Basta Bush” and “No to Fortress America,” the demonstrators marched from the Canadian parliament to the US and Mexican embassies, railing against the framework for greater security and economic integration of the three nations.

“This summit has certainly attracted an eclectic group of protestors,” said Peggy Land of the Raging Grannies, taking time away from her grandchildren to wave a sign politely decrying: “The SPP sucks, dear.”

“It’s our only chance to be heard and to present our grievances to Mr. Harper, Mr. Bush and Mr. Calderon,” she explained.

Indeed, during the summit, protestors will be kept out by a fence, three meters (10 feet) high and running 2.5-kilometers (1.5 miles) around the meeting place.

They will be “seen and heard,” but only virtually — via an audio-video feed set up by organizers.

The arrangement is “in compliance with (a Canadian) court’s decision that protesters have a right to be ’seen and heard,’” said Sandra Buckler, a spokeswoman for host Stephen Harper.

But it has riled protestors.

“They’ve made it very difficult to protest at this summit,” lamented Elizabeth May, Canada’s Green Party chief.

In defiance, several protestors said they planned to try to get as close to the meeting site as possible, refusing to be “caged” in a forest clearing set up for them by summit organizers.

Even 9/11 conspiracy theorists were on hand to tout an alternative version of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed some 3,000 in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, saying the White House was surely behind it.

“I’m here to try to get support from anti-Bush and anti-war activists. We’re trying to expose 9/11 as the biggest lie ever told,” said Ian Woods.

“The SPP is an opportunity for big business to ruin democracy,” he added, more in tune with his fellow demonstrators. “It’s about corporate control.”

According to officials, Harper, Bush and Calderon are expected to discuss current market turmoil, trade and security, and strategies to stem pandemics.

They may also confer on product safety, following recent recalls of toys, dog food and toothpaste, and growing worries about defective “made in China” goods imported into North America.

But demonstrators say they fear the result will have a severe and negative impact on civil liberties, environmental and energy policies, as well as Canadian, US and Mexican sovereignty.

“We’re not having any say in the SPP. It’s undemocratic,” said raging granny Peggy Land, accusing Harper, Bush and Calderon of making decisions behind closed doors without consulting with voters.

“So, we’ve come to try to stop it.”

August 04, 2007

George W. Bush is coming to Canada - the Trailer (2007)

The NAU, coming to a town near you... 8-20-07..

A 25 km *No Free Speech Zone* has been implemented around the perimeter of the meeting place in Montebello, Quebec... Of course with US Troops securing the area, wonder why boy-george doesn't bring along his Blackwater USA thugs?..

Fight NOW, while we still have a chance..