February 4, 2017 - No. 3

Developments Since the Inauguration of New U.S. President

All Out to Defend the Rights of All!

In Memoriam
William McQueen

July 3, 1940 - February 3, 2017 

Shooting at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec
All Out to Defend the Rights of All!
Vigils and Actions Across Quebec and Canada

Trump's Executive Orders
Unite in Action in Defence of the Rights of All!
Immediate Opposition Across the U.S. and Other Countries

Attempts to Embroil Canada in Aggression and War
No to Placement of U.S. Forces in Canada! Get Canada Out of NORAD!
No to Joining U.S. Missile Defence!

- Enver Villamizar -

Dangerous U.S. War Preparations in Europe
Thousands of U.S. Troops Enter Poland
- Margaret Villamizar -

Information on U.S. Executive Orders
"Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements"
Sanctuary Cities and Increasing Conflicts Between
Federal and State Authorities

Restriction of Entry for Foreign Nationals and Refugees
- Sam Heaton -

In Memoriam

William McQueen

With profound sorrow the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) informs you of the death of Comrade William (Bill) McQueen on the morning of February 3, 2017, the result of a brain hemorrhage. The Party sends heartfelt condolences to Bill's beloved partner Bon, his brother Jim and sister-in-law Beth, as well as to all his comrades, colleagues and friends.

Bill McQueen was born in Alva, Oklahoma, United States into a family of musicians. After completing high school, he moved to New York City to attend college. While there he came to know about the work of Comrade Hardial Bains and The Internationalists, reorganized as a Marxist-Leninist youth and student organization in Montreal in 1968.

Since that time, Bill's areas of expertise included a broad knowledge of the Cold War politics of the U.S. imperialists. Inspired by Paul Robeson and other progressive and democratically-minded people who stood up for their rights and the rights of all, Bill took a firm stand against the state-organized persecution and anti-communist hysteria, and espoused the cause of justice and peace.

Bill's profoundly anti-imperialist spirit and deep interest in communism, as well as his militant opposition to the U.S. war of aggression in Vietnam, led to his decision to leave the U.S. for Canada in 1969. In his new home, he took up the Necessity for Change analysis and joined the work of The Internationalists, which led to the founding of CPC(M-L) on March 31, 1970.

Bill contributed his many talents to the Party's work on various fronts. As a member of the People's Front in the 1980s, he took part in mobilizing opposition to state-organized racist attacks and participated in all the battles of the Canadian people for their rights. In the 1990s and since the new millennium, he was engaged in the work for political renewal and a modern constitution. As a talented videographer, Bill helped to document the proceedings of many Party Congresses, plenums, and other important meetings and occasions.

Of particular note is Bill's contribution to the defence of the rights of those whom society dismisses as "disabled" and forces to fend for themselves on the grounds they are a drain on the allegedly scarce resources. Together with Comrades Judith Snow, Marsha Forest and many others, great advances have been made to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society stand second to none and those in positions of power are held to account.

Along with two other colleagues, Bill founded Fireweed Media Productions, focused on "community development, learning strategies and human transformations through telling stories in the first person." Out of this work came the documentary series The Disability Network that ran on the CBC from 1990 to 1997, described as "the first program in North America on disability issues to be produced by people with disabilities." His commitment to empowering those labelled "disabled" to speak for themselves and take part in mass media, culture and society as a whole, led him to become a facilitator and developer of the Media Access and Participation Initiative, and organizer and founder of Group4Access.

Comrade Bill earned a graduate degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in the field of adult education in the late 1990s. For a number of years he edited the Canadian Association for Studies in Adult Education journal and helped to organize various conferences and meetings across Canada to involve students and academics in this field in the promotion of democratic citizenship and lifelong learning.

Bill's talent as a musician found expression among other things as a founding member of the Counterpoint Community Orchestra based out of the 519 Church St. Community Centre in Toronto. He played clarinet and served in various capacities as a board member and chairperson from 1987 to 2016.

All those who had the opportunity to know and work with Bill highly value his commitment, fidelity and practical approach to opening society's path to progress. He will be sorely missed. A memorial event to commemorate Bill's life and contribution will be held at a later date.

Haut de


Shooting at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec

All Out to Defend the Rights of All!

On the evening of January 29, six people were killed by a shooter during prayer at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City, and another 19 injured. Shortly after, one man was arrested and has now been charged with six counts of first degree murder. Immediately, Quebeckers and Canadians rallied to express their deep concerns about these violent acts in the spirit that we will stand as one in defence of the rights of all. The vigils, rallies and ceremonies expressed condolences and support for the family, friends and community that lost loved ones and all the Muslim communities across the country which have been targets of state-organized and inspired Islamophobia. A clearer statement could not be made by the people of this country that they reject attempts to divide and rule whether in the name of national security, tolerance, strength in diversity or any other line given to block the people's unity in action in defence of rights.

In this issue, TML Weekly is publishing CPC(M-L)'s statement on the shooting at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, as well as a photo review of the actions taking place across Canada in defence of rights, including vigils as well as demonstrations against the destructive, destabilizing, warmongering and racist executive orders issued by the U.S. President in the week following his inauguration.

Statement of Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
- January 30, 2017 -

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the crime committed at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec. We offer our sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the victims and to the Muslim community targeted by this violence. [...]

The violent crime committed in Quebec City tells us once again that these attacks are state-organized and inspired, attempts to blame the American and Canadian people notwithstanding. The attack came just days after the publication of the racist, destabilizing, destructive and warmongering presidential decree in the United States that, in the name of the fight against terrorism, stopped citizens from seven countries from entering the U.S. and closed U.S. borders to refugees. Countries with Muslim populations and Muslim communities are taken as specific targets of U.S. state terrorism. A toxic climate is created where anything can happen. This in turn creates a climate of total anarchy and violence which is used to permit the unfettered use of police powers against the people and any notion of civil society.

It is the people's resistance struggle in defence of the rights of all which opens society's path to progress. Within the dangerous situation which has been created by the U.S. imperialist striving for world hegemony and that of their NATO allies including Canada, the people must take charge of putting an end to this state of affairs by intensifying their struggle to defend the rights of those who are targeted and the rights of all.

Oppose the U.S. imperialist hegemonism and regime change against the countries it has targeted for attack. End Canada's participation in the U.S. aggression, wars and violation of international norms. Canada cannot be part of these crimes in the name of peace and other high ideals and then wring its hands in sorrow at the consequences. Whether they are carried out in the name of diversity, national security or any other high ideal, condemn the state-organized and inspired crimes committed against the peoples.

CPC(M-L) reiterates its deepest condolences to the grieving families and friends and calls on everybody to speak out and take action to change things in a way that will benefit the people and their cause.

Haut de


Vigils and Actions Across Quebec and Canada

Beginning January 30 in dozens of communities from coast to coast to coast, thousands gathered to pay their respects and offer their sincere condolences to the victims of the January 29 shootings in Quebec City, their families and the Muslim community. In Quebec City on January 30, more than 5,000 people took part in a vigil in the parking lot of the Notre-Dame-de-Foy church, near the Centre culturel islamique de Québec where the crime took place. On February 2, some 10,000 people attended a funeral in Montreal for three of the victims of the shooting: Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi and Aboubaker Thabti. On February 3, a funeral was held at the Quebec City Convention Centre, for the remaining victims: Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry and Azzeddine Soufiane.

Quebec City




St. John's











St. Catharines








Slave Lake

Fort McMurray






(Photos: TML,  H. St-Laurent, M. Ali-M'halla, J. Clemens, L. Niu, K.R. Bump, C. Tatum, J. Liang, J. Maitland, Cueto Images, R. Hodges, O. Falesteen, G. Saunders, M. A-A. Mouallem, L.W. Bathory, J. Cooper, D. Moriarty, I. Kretzel, Rahmed, K. Testart, Jvan Gurp, W. Ali, M. Boucier, G. Boyer, B. St Hilaire, AMPAC, E. Bunnie, P.S. Graham, K. Konnyu, H. Sheldrake.)

Haut de


Trump's Executive Orders

Unite in Action in Defence of the Rights of All!

Protest at San Francisco International Airport, January 30, 2017.

On January 25 Donald Trump issued two executive orders, one concerning immigration and border security and detention and the other to remove federal funding for sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities and counties are those that refuse to cooperate with the federal government in enforcing federal immigration laws, particularly requests to detain "undocumented" immigrants. On January 27, another executive order was issued that bans entry to any non-citizen with a passport from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen and suspends entry of refugees to the United States. All three orders serve to attack the rights of immigrants and the conception and responsibilities of citizenship. They also serve to further intensify the conflicts between federal and state authorities -- all of which have their own armed police forces -- and to violate the nation-to-nation relations and principles on which the recognized international rule of law is based. The executive orders also give evidence of the intention of the U.S. presidency to act with impunity. Besides the racist and destructive intent of these measures, the method of creating utter chaos to turn upside down the lives of all institutions affected and all individuals and their collectives serves the police powers the Trump presidency has seized.

This is what makes the resistance so significant. Demonstrations took place immediately in numerous cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, defending the rights of immigrants, residents and citizenship rights and affirming No Human Being Is Illegal. These followed numerous actions before Trump's inauguration and those during and after his inauguration, all calling to defend the rights of immigrants and reject their criminalization. The American working class and people is made up of people of all the nationalities that are under attack at this time. It is as clear as clear can be that there is a big clash taking place between the conditions which exist and the authority which prevails. The definition of rights contained in the U.S. Constitution is anachronistic because the public authority and arrangements of a civil society they were defined to maintain no longer exist.

According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, at least 39 cities and 364 counties nationwide count themselves as sanctuary jurisdictions. These include Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York City and Washington, D.C. All of the various forces at federal, state and local levels have sizable police forces of their own, all of which are highly militarized. The larger cities have police forces that include tanks, helicopters and automatic weapons, etc. While Trump may be putting these executive orders forward as a negotiating tactic to see who will submit and who will negotiate, as his and others' comments indicate, they are also serving to intensify the conflicts between federal and local authorities, with the federal government challenging states' rights and acting to tear them asunder.

What it means is that the conflicts the powerful forces among the rulers are engaged in to maintain their power bases are becoming increasingly fierce and the people are being asked to take sides. It shows that the definition of rights as contained in the arrangements cemented by the U.S. Constitution are no longer adequate to resolve the differences within the ranks of the U.S ruling circles. These are civil war conditions, a serious danger to the people in the U.S. and the peoples of the world on whose backs these fights are being fought.

Taking sides between federal or local and state authorities is not an option if it is done in lieu of fighting to establish arrangements which favour the people. In other words, taking sides must not undermine the people's resistance struggles. It must always be kept in mind that state and local governments and state agencies are racist to the core. As the people fight, they must seize the initiative to establish modern arrangements over which they exercise control. Reliance on a dysfunctional Congress and the courts will also not provide security and are fronts of struggle the people can put in their service only when done to advance their own cause of creating modern arrangements.

It is vital to step up the work to defend the rights of all on the basis of independent politics of the working class which must be taken to all sections of society favoured by opening society's path to progress. The path of resistance has always been the proud path of the American working class. Today the American people are opening another proud chapter in their history of struggle in defence of the rights of all.

Our Security Lies in Fighting for the Rights of All!
Unite in Action in Defence of the Rights of All!

Haut de


Immediate Opposition Across the U.S.
and Other Countries

The assault on rights imposed by the Trump administration's travel ban was met with swift and vehement opposition across the U.S. as well as in other countries. Thousands turned out at airports across the U.S. with the immediate aim to liberate all those who had been detained while travelling to the U.S. Americans from all walks of life stood up to unequivocally reject the state-organized racism and attempts to divide the people. All manner of legal challenges are underway to overturn the ban, while many detained have now been freed and permitted to return to their lives in the U.S.

Boston, Massachusetts

New York City

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Washington, DC

Chicago, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Raleigh, North Carolina

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

San Diego, California

Portland, Oregon

Seattle, Washington


Demonstrations demanded immediate action by the Canadian government to condemn the executive order and to end security arrangements with the U.S., such as the Safe Third Country Agreement. According to this agreement, put in place in December 2002 by the Chrétien Liberal government and the George W. Bush administration, any refugee fleeing to the U.S. or Canada must apply for asylum in the country in which they first set foot. Therefore, anyone arriving in Canada via the United States is barred from claiming refugee status, unless an exception is granted. Protestors also expressed their support for all those in the U.S. taking a stand to resist the executive order.




February 4 Day of Action

More actions took place on February 4, in which thousands of people participated, to oppose the chaos and racism that the state has unleashed and to call on the government of Canada to respond to the U.S. government's measures by taking action to uphold the rights of Canadian citizens, residents and refugees and oppose Islamophobia. The demonstrations called for immediate condemnation of the January 27 executive order by the Canadian government; revoking the Safe Third Country Agreement and Designated Country of Origin List; ending indefinite immigration detention and granting permanent residence to migrant workers; and repealing Bill C-51 and the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act as well as ending the use of Security Certificates.






Owen Sound




Protests are also taking place internationally. Large demonstrations took place in Britain, where not only was the travel ban denounced, but so was Prime Minister Theresa May's recent visit with President Trump. Trump is to make a state visit to Britain later this year, but this has met with widespread opposition, including a petition signed by more than one million people that says Trump should be allowed to visit, but at a lower protocol level than a state visit.






(Photos: TML, L. Tran, E. Rojas, R. Davila, S. Gude, Sarah, ACLU, Seriously US, Brooke-Anderson Photo, O. Eric, Jacobin, C. Scott, Xinhua, G.M. Ortega, M. Legeros, S. Towers, K. Proctor, M. Carter, D. Tomandi, skittles harpy, A. Garland, S. Savary, E. Ingram, Paperclip-News, M. Yousaf, Sevil BK, P. Markowitz,Cooper Institute, Mike Roy, R. Edgar, D. Reid, K. Watkins, B. Powless, C. Panneton, H. Berthelet, B. Clennett, A. Barat.)

Haut de


Attempts to Embroil Canada in Aggression and War

No to Placement of U.S. Forces in Canada!
Get Canada Out of NORAD!
No to Joining U.S. Missile Defence!

To defend their own rights and the rights of all, Canadians should demand an immediate halt to the passage or implementation through regulation of any measures by the Trudeau government that put the U.S. in a position to decide anything that happens in Canada. They should also demand that all measures which place U.S. security or military personnel or any others in control of what happens in Canada be immediately suspended so that Canadians can assess the extent to which their sovereignty has been compromised and take measures to reverse this situation.

Dangerous Legislation in Parliament

The Liberals are hoping to pass two pieces of legislation in this sitting of Parliament that are based on negotiations with the Obama administration over the placement and operation of U.S. security forces on Canadian soil. This is being done in the name of increasing the efficiency of travel and trade across the Canada-U.S. border as well as ensuring the "security of the continent."

Bill C-23, An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States and Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act are both at second reading.

Bill C-23 is to facilitate the placement of U.S. security agents on Canadian soil to "pre-clear" travellers seeking to enter the U.S. by plane, boat or train. It would give the Minister of Public Safety the right to increase the placement of U.S. border officials at Canadian ports of entry. If passed, U.S. agents would be enforcing the U.S. government's racist policies in more places in Canada. To become law, Bill C-23 requires the passage of legislation in the U.S., which took place on December 8, clearing the way for the measures to be implemented in Canada.

Bill C-21 would allow Canadian border officials to know who is leaving Canada via land border crossings, something they have not previously been able to do. It is part and parcel of the efforts launched between the U.S. and Canada following 9/11 to establish a North American Security Perimeter, within which the movement of people and goods is tracked and U.S. and Canadian border agencies can target people for persecution based on their race, religion, political views, lifestyle and ability.

Indicating that a main aim of the legislation is to serve the monopolies and that the Liberals have given up any pretense of Canada as an independent and sovereign nation, on January 26 Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale stated in an interview that his preoccupation was expanding the arrangements in Bill C-23 to pre-clear not just people but also cargo. "One of the logical extensions now is can we find a way to make this apply to cargo so that you speed up that critical crossing of the border," Goodale said. "I have raised it in a brief way with some of the representatives of the Trump organization ... and they seem to be very interested." This is related to a longstanding demand of the monopolies to place U.S. agents in Canadian factories to pre-clear goods which then travel along rail and other corridors which are monitored and controlled by U.S. Homeland Security and thus considered part of the U.S. "Homeland."[1]

In this regard, on February 3 Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke with her counterpart in the U.S., Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. A report on the conversation from Global Affairs Canada said the two "highlighted the progress of recent pre-clearance measures, as well as the need for a safe and secure border that does not impede the smooth flow of goods and people."

Push to Expand NORAD and for Canada to Join U.S. Missile Defence

While Canadians are concerned about Canada's relations with the U.S. from the standpoint of how to affirm the rights of all under the present circumstances, sections of the ruling elite in Canada are using the occasion to push for more of Canada's territory and armed forces to be brought under U.S. control. This is presented as a means to appease Trump, but is in fact a longstanding program of the ruling circles who only see a future for Canada as a willing weapon of U.S. imperialism and its war preparations.

One of the point people within Canada's ruling circles on relations with the U.S. at this time is Derek Burney, former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney.[2] According to the Globe and Mail, Burney, along with Mulroney himself, have been enlisted by the Trudeau government to "open doors" in Washington. Burney currently works for Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the largest consulting firms in the world. 

On January 24, Burney urged the Trudeau Liberal government to consider expanding U.S. control over Canadian airspace and territory through NORAD as well as finally agree to hand over Canadian territory to the U.S. for placement of its missiles and sensors under the guise of "protecting Canada."

In an interview with CBC, Burney is quoted as saying: "We reacted well under 9/11, but that was spontaneous and voluntary. There was no pre-arrangement that allowed so many American planes to land in Newfoundland. It just happened because of the nature of our relationship. Maybe we can't take those things for granted. Maybe we have to codify a few more of them." On the day of the attacks on the twin towers in New York all air traffic in the U.S. and Canada was grounded. In addition, Canadian and U.S. fighter jets were scrambled to escort planes to land, including those which were thought to be part of further attacks. It is not clear what Burney is referring to when he says "spontaneous and voluntary." On January 30 in the House of Commons Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan fielded two detailed questions about what took place in Canadian airspace on September 11, 2001 -- one from the Liberal Minister of Citizenship and one from a Conservative MP. Indicating that moves are afoot in this direction, the questions dealt with, among other things, whether the Canadian fighter planes that were scrambled on September 11 were those allocated to NATO or NORAD commands. Sajjan noted that NORAD did in fact "take control" of Canadian airspace on September 11. Whatever the case may be, there are clearly things taking place behind closed doors concerning NORAD which indicate that Canadian territory and airspace are being further made ready for the U.S. war preparations. Burney's remarks indicate that Canada, already 100 per cent under U.S. command, is to be used in a manner Canadians disapprove of.

Burney also said that Canada should look at joining the U.S. on continental missile defence as one area of "common ground" that "could go a long way in boosting Canada's voice at the table." "North Korea has got the capacity to launch a missile as far as North America," he said. "Why wouldn't we at least sit down and at least explore the prospect of joining with the Americans; why don't we renovate NORAD with something to protect us against the 21st-century threat in the same way NORAD helped us with 20th-century defence?"

Since well before Trump's election the ruling circles in Canada have been preparing conditions for Canada to join the U.S. ballistic missile defence program. Beginning in April 2016, the Trudeau Liberals' Defence Policy Review was taken as a reason to revisit the question of Canada's involvement in U.S. ballistic missile defence, asking whether "given changing technologies and threats," Canada should go back on its 2005 decision to not join the program. Bill Graham, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs when the decision was taken, has since come out as a major proponent of placing U.S. missiles in Canada.

Graham cynically told a Senate committee in 2014 that it was the negative opinion Canadians held about George W. Bush that forced the government to stay out. "If it had been President Obama asking with his approach, you never know, we might have said yes," he said. At this time, the uncertainty and chaos created by the Trump presidency is taken as a reason to sow doubt and fear and push for Canada to make such arrangements as soon as possible on the basis of appeasing the U.S. The problem for the ruling circles is that Canadians have made clear time and time again that they do not want their country to be a base for U.S. missiles but want Canada to be a zone for peace.


1. For background on Bill C-21 and C-23 see: "Dangerous New Measures Tabled in Parliament," TML Weekly, July 16, 2016 and "Canada Taken Further Down Treasonous Path," TML Weekly, November 12, 2016.

2. Burney was Chief of Staff in the Office of Prime Minister Mulroney. He served as Canada's Ambassador to the United States from 1989 to 1993 and played a central role in the negotiations that led to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1993 he was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Canada International (BCI) and from 1999 to 2004, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of CAE Inc., a large military and civilan aerospace company based in Canada. Burney is a point man for the Canadian state, having headed the Conservative Transition Team following the Canadian federal election in early 2006 and, in October 2007, Mr. Burney was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to be on the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan.


Dangerous U.S. War Preparations in Europe

Thousands of U.S. Troops Enter Poland

Demonstrations at NATO meeting in Warsaw, Poland, July 9, 2016.

On January 9, 2017, between 3,500 and 4,000 U.S. Army troops entered Poland as part of an arrangement that will see U.S. troops deployed there on a "continuous" (i.e. permanent) basis. Under its Operation Atlantic Resolve the U.S. will be deploying its forces in back-to-back nine-month rotations to Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, or what NATO calls its Eastern flank. It is reported that for now the U.S. troops are to fan out across Poland, as well as the Baltic States, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria to train with local troops. Along with the soldiers making up three armoured brigade combat teams, the U.S. shipped "a full set of tanks and artillery" and more than 2,500 "military vehicles" to Poland. The deployment was announced last year by the Obama administration.

While much is said about the encirclement of Russia by U.S. and NATO troops it is important to note that the U.S. is taking over territory of more and more sovereign countries in Europe all in the name of deterring Russia. Not only does this represent a threat to Russia and its peoples but also the peoples of eastern Europe whose governments are placing their countries in the service of U.S. war preparations. The permanent stationing of U.S. military in these countries means that in the name of security for U.S. and other NATO troops and equipment there will be stepped up criminalization of all those who do not accept that their territories are used in the service of war. In addition the U.S. military will also directly interfere in the affairs of these countries in the name of protecting U.S. national interest.

While most of the troops arrived directly in Poland from the U.S., others -- along with equipment -- arrived in Germany at the port of Bremerhaven then travelled by road convoy across Germany to Poland. Protests greeted them in Bremerhaven with people marching on city streets carrying signs and banners reading, "No NATO deployments! End the militaristic march against Russia!" and "Out of NATO."

By contrast, the Polish government and military officials welcomed the U.S. troops with fanfare, organizing "Safe Poland" picnics for the occasion to try and encourage residents to mingle with the U.S. soldiers as well as their Polish counterparts and view the military hardware they had brought. All of it is aimed at presenting the Polish people as wanting their country to be turned into a U.S. base.

Poland's Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz is reported to have said that a total of 7,000 U.S. and NATO troops will be stationed in his country in the coming years. He said U.S. troops would help ensure "freedom, independence and peace in Europe and the whole world" and that Poland was proud of "joint efforts that guarantee the security of Europe and of the eastern flanks of NATO." In remarks at a welcoming ceremony he also said, "'We waited for you for a very long time, for decades."

U.S. European Command General Curtis Scaparrotti said: "Today, marks a significant moment in European deterrence and defense as our rotational Armored Brigade Combat Team crossed from German to Polish soil. The European infrastructure and integrated support has enabled our force to rapidly be ready and postured should they need to deter Russian aggression."

Spokesperson for the Russian government Dmitri Peskov said, "We see it as a threat to us. This is an action that threatens our interests, our security, moreover, this is a third nation that is increasing its military presence near our borders in Europe, and it's not even a European nation. One thousand or 10,000 -- we're talking about the increase of military presence."

In April, the U.S. will also be sending a squadron from its 2nd Cavalry Regiment to northeastern Poland as a "contribution" to NATO's operations in the region. While the January 9 deployment is not under NATO, the upcoming April deployment is. At its Warsaw Summit in July NATO announced plans to send four multinational brigades of about 1,000 troops each, along with an array of tanks, other armoured vehicles and drones to the Baltic States and Poland in early 2017. At a meeting of NATO defence ministers in October it was reported that troops from Britain and Romania would be joining a U.S.-led NATO brigade in Poland. Troops from several other countries would join brigades stationed in Lithuania (commanded by Germany), Estonia (commanded by Britain) and Latvia (commanded by Canada).[1]

It is of note that the arrival of thousands of U.S. forces coincides with the building in Redzikowo, Poland of a U.S. Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defence battery. Poland and Lithuana surround the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast, a port on the Baltic Sea that houses Russia's Baltic fleet and is its only European warm water port (with water that does not ice over in winter). It has been reported that the NATO brigade to be stationed in northeast Poland and led by the U.S. will be close to what the U.S. military calls the "Suwalki Gap," located an equidistant 40 miles from Kaliningrad and Belarus.

In November BBC reported that a Russian news agency quoted Russian defence committee chairman Viktor Ozerov as saying "Iskander [missiles] and S 400 surface to air missiles [had been] deployed in Kaliningrad to counter a planned US missile defence shield in eastern Europe."

Other U.S. Troop Deployments in Europe

On January 16 330 U.S. marines arrived at the Norwegian base in Vaernes. As TML Weekly reported in November, according to The Marine Corps Times the U.S. military "had already pre-positioned thousands of pieces of equipment including M1A1 Abrams tanks in Norwegian caves to support 15,000 Marines for up to one month of combat operations." The deployment to Norway is for one year, involving two six-month troop rotations. Norwegian military officials claimed the stationing of foreign troops on Norwegian soil for the first time since World War II was a chance for the marines to gain experience with winter warfare, including learning how to cope with skis and survive in an Arctic environment. Major General Niel E. Nelson, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, said last year however that a Marine presence in Norway would "increase NATO's ability to rapidly aggregate and employ forces in northern Europe." Norway is an arctic nation whose northern tip borders the Russian oblast of Murmansk in the arctic. Murmansk is where the Russian Northern Fleet it based. Meanwhile it is also reported that at the end of March the U.S. plans to station a combat aviation brigade with about 10 Chinook and 50 Black Hawk helicopters and 1,800 troops and a battalion with 24 Apache attack helicopters and 400 troops in Germany, with a number of the aircraft destined for use in Latvia, Romania and Poland.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says the U.S. is "actively investing in the development of military infrastructure and potentials of rapid deployment of major military units close to the Russian borders, including updating of the network of airfields where US large transport airplanes could land." She also made reference to an arms depot the U.S. recently re-commissioned in the Netherlands "to house a brigade set of heavy armour" and to a similar facility it intends to create in Belgium and two more in Germany.

Referring to the permanent stationing of U.S. and NATO troops and equipment in Europe, Zakharova said all this comes "against the background of unilateral and unrestricted development of potentials of US missile defense systems in Europe having an increasingly destabilizing influence on European and global security, as well as upgrading of US nuclear weapons deployed on the territory of other NATO countries."


1. TML Weekly November 12, 2016

(With files from CNN, NPR, Express.co.uk, Euractiv.com, PressTV, DW, Tass, Stars and Stripes)


Information on U.S. Executive Orders

"Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements"

The executive order issued January 25, "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements" includes various measures, two of the most important being the building of more detention or concentration camps along the border with Mexico, and extending the existing border wall. The order was justified with the claim that "Among those who illegally enter are those who seek to harm Americans through acts of terror or criminal conduct. Continued illegal immigration presents a clear and present danger to the interests of the United States."

The order states that it is the "policy of the executive branch to (a) secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel..." and "(b) detain individuals apprehended on suspicion of violating Federal or State law, including Federal immigration law, pending further proceedings regarding those violations."

The call for the wall was rejected on both sides of the border, with Mexico's president cancelling a planned visit to the White House in response.

The detention of people simply suspected of violating immigration laws has repeatedly served to impose government of police powers by increasing racist government profiling and targeting those guilty of no crime and activists opposing these attacks. Use of suspicion, rather than probable cause, also means actions are arbitrary, subject to the discretion of the policing agencies involved. The order promises 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and triples the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workforce from 6,000 agents to 18,000.

The executive order also calls for building more concentration camps for immigrants, including children, saying "(a) The Secretary shall take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately construct, operate, control, or establish contracts to construct, operate, or control facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico." In addition, "The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate actions to ensure the detention of aliens apprehended for violations of immigration law pending the outcome of their removal proceedings." The Secretary is also to provide new guidance to promote detention and terminate "catch and release," for those considered no threat and awaiting determination of their status.

This flies in the face of the fact that legally, violations of immigration law, such as entering the country without documentation for the first time, or over-staying a visa, are still considered civil, not criminal violations. This is why the language used targets the violation of such laws. There is no mention of a crime being committed. The punishment being demanded, however, automatic detention, which could be for years pending the outcome of each case, is consistent with serious crimes.

As the order indicates, there are no funds currently available for building the infamous wall, detention centres or to pay for the big increase in the number of agents. This will require appropriations by Congress. In this respect, the outcome is not certain but what is certain is that Trump is maneuvering to appear to make good on his campaign promises, while their actual implementation remains in doubt, not least of all because of the number of legal challenges these measures have triggered, besides opposition which will arise in the Congress, coupled with unfettered deal-making by all parties involved to achieve coveted aims.

In this vein, the executive order also sets the stage for further strengthening executive action in the event Congress does not provide funds. As Trump indicated in his inauguration speech, "Today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another -- but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People." In this manner, whatever opposition there is from Congress or elected officials more generally can be rejected by Trump, in the name of the people.

(Voice of Revolution)


Sanctuary Cities and Increasing Conflicts Between Federal and State Authorities

Rally in Philadelphia, November 2016 for sanctuary cities.

The direction of impunity and arbitrary actions by the Trump presidency is further indicated in the January 25 executive order concerning sanctuary cities, named "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States." It repeats that undocumented immigrants "and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety." It claims that sanctuary jurisdictions across the U.S. "have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic." Both are stated with no information or facts concerning the claims.

The order resurrects two programs, 287(g) and Secure Communities, which were used by the previous Bush and Obama administrations to bring local and state officials under federal authority by having them join in enforcing federal immigration law. Over time both programs were rejected as harmful by many states, such as New York and California, and local jurisdictions. Many local and county police officials publicly opposed them, saying they harmed community relations and created fear, not security. Broad and repeated actions by immigrant communities and in cities more generally denounced both programs for increasing racist government profiling and attacks, unjustly targeting mostly workers and tearing apart families. This included deporting millions, the majority guilty of no crime or only of minor infractions, like traffic violations.

Trump is attempting to resurrect both programs as part of continuing federal efforts to unify the many policing agencies across the U.S. under federal command and eliminate all the competing authorities which challenge the ability of the oligopolies to take over the services and markets concerned. This is a daunting task but necessary for those who have usurped the executive power in the U.S. in conditions where a government of police powers has been imposed. To do so the order also provides for broad discretion by the executive:

"(b) To the extent permitted by law and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary..."

The order specifically calls for blocking federal funds for those local, county and state jurisdictions that refuse to comply with the executive order, again providing broad discretion to the executive: "The Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction."

It also calls for making public, on a weekly basis "a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens." Detainers are the requests by federal authorities for local officials to hold individuals that they otherwise would release, often because charges were dropped. Criminal actions are also not convictions, so the list can be used to target those arrested, or for minor violations. It also promotes government profiling, making public only those activities of immigrants in conditions where the government has long unjustly charged and criminalized workers and those resisting attacks.

The public list and blocking of funds are a means to broadly humiliate immigrants and city and county officials, while also justifying further federal action.

According to immigration law experts, there are at least three federally funded programs that can be blocked without Congressional approval: The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG), the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), all of which are administered by the Department of Justice.

It remains unclear if any of these funds will be cut, given they all involve law enforcement efforts. It is also unclear whether Congress will support cutting other federal funds. Already there are plans for court cases by local officials, saying the executive order is unconstitutional.

However, in conditions of a government of police powers, where the government of laws has essentially been eliminated, it remains to be seen whether the executive will submit to court rulings. Obama already showed that Supreme Court rulings, such as those concerning Guantánamo, would not be followed. Trump is likely to carry this further. This is indicated by the fact that Customs agents at major airports, including Los Angeles, Chicago, JFK in NYC and Dulles in DC, are not complying with court orders barring deportation of those with visas or green cards.

Local Officials Reject Trump's Order Violating Sanctuary

The fact that the orders are intensifying conflicts between federal and local and state officials was made clear by the response of mayors and other officials. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a press release January 25, "Splitting up families and cutting funding to any city -- especially Los Angeles, where 40 percent of the nation's goods enter the U.S. at our port, and more than 80 million passengers traveled through our airport last year -- puts the personal safety and economic health of our entire nation at risk. It is not the way forward for the United States."

New York's Attorney General Schneiderman said, "I urge President Trump to revoke this Executive Order right away. If he does not, I will do everything in my power to fight it." Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said, "We're going to defend all of our people regardless of where they come from, regardless of their immigration status."

"We're going to stay a sanctuary city," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared at a press conference.

(Voice of Revolution)


Restriction of Entry for Foreign Nationals
and Refugees

One of many airport protests across the U.S., January 28, 2017, at JFK Airport in New York City.

A Presidential executive order signed January 27, titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States," prohibits the entry of most citizens of seven countries into the U.S. -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- for 90 days, suspends the Syrian refugee program indefinitely, and halts U.S. acceptance of any refugees for 120 days.[1] Since the order was announced, mass demonstrations have taken place throughout the U.S. and the world condemning the measure as destabilizing, warmongering, racist and destructive. These include ongoing mobilizations at major airports across the U.S., and demonstrations at U.S. embassies around the world.

The order was initially reported to be a blanket ban on all citizens of the seven countries who are not U.S. citizens. On the day the order was issued, reports began of detentions and deportations of those already in transit, including those with valid visas and permanent residence. In the days before the executive order was signed, visas for some citizens of the seven countries were suddenly revoked and they were denied re-entry into the U.S. On January 28, Gillian Christensen, acting Department of Homeland Security spokesperson in an e-mail to media stated that the order "will bar green card [permanent residency] holders." The same day, a New York federal judge granted a request of the American Civil Liberties Union for a nationwide stay on part of the executive order, intended to halt the deportation of those with valid visas who had been detained at airports.

On January 29, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus then said, "As far as green card holders, moving forward, it doesn't affect them," but clarified that they would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. On February 2, a federal judge in Boston declined to extend the measure halting deportations. Also on February 2, in response to a lawsuit filed by two brothers from Yemen, a judge in Virginia ordered the White House to provide a list of all people prevented from entering the U.S. due to the travel ban by February 9. A Justice Department lawyer told the Virginia courtroom that more than 100,000 visas have been revoked to date, while the State Department issued a statement claiming that the number was fewer than 60,000.

Later on February 3 Judge James L. Robart in Seattle issued a nationwide order temporarily halting enforcement of the travel ban and refugee restrictions pending a decision on a lawsuit launched by the Attorney General of Washington, Bob Ferguson. A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson told media that the order will have no immediate effect as all previously issued visas from the seven countries have already been cancelled. The State Department announced on February 4 that it is reversing the previous cancellation of visas, while the White House press secretary announced that the Justice Department will "file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the President."

The executive order requires the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to submit four reports to the President, the first after 30 days, the second after 60 days, the third after 90 days, and a fourth after 120 days. The second report will include "a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals." The list would comprise countries that do not provide to the U.S. information to be determined that is deemed to be "needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat." In other words, the list of countries affected by the travel ban could grow depending on what demands the U.S. imposes for allowing citizens of a country to set foot on U.S. soil.

Some governments, such as those of Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany, claim to have received assurances that their citizens who are also citizens of one or another of the seven affected countries will, in fact, be able to enter the United States. Others such as France have advised their citizens who are also citizens of any of the seven countries to avoid travel to the U.S. until the rules are clarified. The French Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) union centre has called on its members at Air France to refuse to serve on U.S.-bound flights. "To dare associate nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries with terrorism is a provocation and incitement..." the CGT said. "Air France has an obligation to support its passengers, of all religions and nationalities, and must express clearly its refusal to implement illegal measures." The government of Iran gave a reciprocal response by banning all U.S. citizens from entering the country. On January 30, the Iraqi Parliament called on the government to "respond in kind to the American decision in the event that the American side does not withdraw its decision."

The destabilizing and warmongering nature of the executive order was made clear by the targets themselves. All of the countries included in the restrictions have been targets of U.S. destabilization, destructive regime change and interference -- including bombings, invasion and occupation -- under the past two U.S. administrations.

On January 25, two days before the order was signed, the U.S. carried out an attack in Yemen using Navy special forces that killed 30 people, including 10 women and children. On February 3, the U.S. imposed sanctions to "blacklist" 12 businesses -- some Iranian, some Chinese and others from Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, and 13 individuals of various nationalities for alleged involvement with Iran's legitimate defence program. A statement issued by White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn made spurious claims such as that "Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism" and that Iran "continues to threaten the United States." It declared "The days of turning a blind eye to Iran's hostile and belligerent actions toward the United States and the world community are over." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded, "Iran is unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people. We will never use our weapons against anyone, except in self-defense."


1. Of the seven countries, only one -- Syria -- is named in the executive order. The order refers only to "Countries of Particular Concern" and "aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the [Immigration and Nationality Act], 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)." This section of the Act refers to Iraq and Syria and "any other country or area of concern designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security." An estimated 500,000 U.S. permanent residents are citizens of one of the seven countries, and 40 per cent of U.S. refugee intake is from the seven countries.

The seven countries were designated under the previous U.S. administration. An omnibus spending bill signed in December 2015 included the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, implementing restrictions on the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens from 38 countries to visit the United States for less than 90 days without a visa. The Act disqualified anyone who had visited Iran, Syria, Sudan or Iraq in the past five years or held dual citizenship from one of those countries who would otherwise be eligible for the Waiver Program. Then, in February 2016, the Obama administration via its executive powers added Libya, Somalia and Yemen to the list of restricted countries. According to the draft copy of Trump's executive order, the countries whose citizens are barred from entering the United States is based on the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act.

(With files from The Intercept and The Guardian.)

Haut de



Website:  www.cpcml.ca   Email:  editor@cpcml.ca