Justin Brake APTN NewsAn eagle circled overhead as the statue of Edward Cornwallis came down Wednesday in Halifax.For hours members of the Mi’kmaq community and others watched as workers sawed and hammed away at the feet of the bronze statue erected almost 90 years ago to commemorate the city’s founder.They cheered when a crane lifted the large bust off a stone pedestal and onto the back of a truck to be taken away and put into storage indefinitely.Workers spent hours cutting and chipping away at the bronze statue in an effort to separate it from the stone pedestal it was placed on.In a 12-4 vote on Tuesday Halifax Regional Council voted to immediately remove the statue and continue with plans to form an expert panel that will include appointed Mi’kmaq representatives to determine the fate of the controversial statue.Cornwallis issued bounties on Mi’kmaq scalps in 1749 and 1750 while establishing a barracks at Halifax.For at least three decades Mi’kmaq have called for the statue’s removal, many arguing that a man who incited genocide against their ancestors should not be publicly celebrated, and that the statue’s prominence in downtown Halifax is a constant reminder of the pain, suffering and colonization endured by Mi’kmaq for hundreds of years.Tensions rose last July after five Canadian military personnel identifying as members of the Proud Boys interrupted an Indigenous mourning ceremony at the Cornwallis statue.Many Indigenous-led ceremonies and protests in recent months and years have been met with public displays of racism by settlers who some say reject facts and narratives that challenge Eurocentric perspectives of Canada’s history.Council’s decision to remove the statue came days after the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs announced it was pulling its support for the establishment of the panel to review the city’s commemoration of Cornwallis. The chiefs said the process of forming the committee was taking too long.After years of debate and previous votes against removing the statue, on Tuesday some Halifax councillors admitted changing their position on the matter after researching Mi’kmaq history and reading the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.“I look at the 500 years of broken promises since Europeans first arrived and settled on these shores. And those 500 years have been rife with disease, strife, broken treaties, broken promises, hidden agendas, military action — and circumstances which beggar the imagination to the point where a true decimation occurred in North America,” Councillor Richard Zurawski said in an impassioned speech.“If we want reconciliation, we pull down the statue immediately,” he continued. “We don’t discuss putting it someplace else. We don’t discuss temporary measures. For goodness sakes, let’s end the 500 years of broken promises and take away this visible symbol of supremacy.”Following the vote Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Morley Googoo said he hopes other municipalities across Canada are paying attention.“I think there’s a huge opportunity here for the City of Halifax to show how other municipalities across the country are dealing with the very same question, about how do they have relationships with Indigenous people,” he said.The statue of Edward Cornwallis is hoisted by a crane and placed on the bed of a truck before being taken away and put into storage. In the coming months an expert panel that will include members of the Mi’kmaq community will discuss the statue’s future.By the end of the day Tuesday posters appeared on benches and light poles in the statue’s vicinity at Cornwallis Park. They read “Save Our Statue” and contained a QR code linking to a Facebook community page that contains comments denying genocide ever occurred against the Mi’kmaq.Elder Daniel Paul, author of acclaimed Mi’kmaq history book “We Were Not The Savages,” said he “fully expected there’s going to be white supremacists coming out of the woodwork,” but that he does “hope that the majority of Nova Scotia is going to be supportive of reconciliation.”By Wednesday morning the posters had been removed, and there were no protests or visible dissent during the statue’s removal.Rebecca Cope-Moore (centre) looks for an eagle soaring above as others watch workers remove the Edward Cornwallis statue in Halifax Wednesday.Rebecca Cope-Moore, a Mi’kmaw activist and member of Pictou Landing First Nation who has long advocated for the statue’s removal, said it was “surreal” to watch Cornwallis come down Wednesday.A seventh-generation descendant of former Mi’kmaw leader Jean-Baptiste Cope, a signatory of the British-Mi’kmaq 1752 Peace and Friendship treaty, Cope-Moore said she felt she was watching a prophecy unfold. Rebecca Cope-Moore, member of Pictou Landing First Nation, describing the moment when an eagle flew over the area as the Cornwallis statue was being removed.“I was here to witness that moment along with my sister and lots of community members. And when Cornwallis came down an eagle flew over—right over all of us—and that’s not common here in the city to see them too often,” she said.“So for that eagle to come and fly right over us, right at the same moment as Cornwallis got removed from his pedestal, was just — it was very affirming to me.”Halifax Regional Council will now continue its effort to form the expert panel to review the city’s commemoration of Cornwallis and to make recommendations on what to do with the statue.Eagle did one low circle above #Cornwallis and the crowd gathered here in Halifax at the moment the statue was being laid down on the bed of the truck. The statue was then covered with a tarp and will be taken away and put into storage indefinitey. @APTNNews pic.twitter.com/OZUAU8Oo9Q— Justin Brake (@JustinBrakeNews) January 31, 2018
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Kamal HossainJatiya Oikya Front chief Kamal Hossain sent another letter to ruling Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday seeking the second phase of talks with her over the next general election, reports UNB. Three Gano Forum leaders—Jaglul Haider Afrik, AHM Shafiq Ullah and Mostak Ahmed—carried the letter to Awami League President’s Dhanmondi office around 12:00pm.Talking to UNB, Mostak Ahmed said they handed over the letter to an office assistant, Masud Alauddin.In the letter he said, Kamal Hossain urged prime minister to hold a small-scale dialogue with Oikya Front over the next general election.Earlier on Saturday night, a meeting of the alliance’s steering committee at Kamal Hossain’s Motijheel chamber decided to send the letter to the prime minister.After the meeting, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “Jatiya Oikya Front had a dialogue with her (PM) on 1 November, and it was discussed that a small-group dialogue with us can be held again. Based on that, the prime minister will be given another letter tomorrow, Sunday.”In the letter, he said, they will mention about the Oikya Front’s letter sent to the Election Commission urging it not to announce the election schedule until the dialogue is over.Fakhrul hoped that the talks will be held on a small-scale on the country’s current political crisis.Earlier, Kamal, on behalf of the Oikya Front, sent a letter to the Election Commission urging it not to announce the schedule for next election until the ongoing dialogue ends.On 1 November, a 23-member delegation of 14-party, led by Sheikh Hasina, sat in talks at Ganabhaban with Kamal Hossain-led 20-member Oikya Front team.After the meeting, Oikya Front leaders said they placed their seven-point demand before prime minister Sheikh Hasina but did not find any specific solution except some good words about rallies and meetings.Sheikh Hasina invited the Oikya Front leaders to join the dialogue on 29 October following a letter sent to her by Kamal Hossain on behalf of the alliance, seeking talks on election issues.
X Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:00 Al OrtizFrom left to right: Ken Huewitt, HISD interim superintendent; board president Manuel Rodriguez and board member Wanda Adams during the public hearing held to vote on the budget for school year 2016-17.The Houston Independent School District board approved the budget for the 2016-2017 school year.Texas now considers HISD a wealthy district due to rising property values and that means the district has to reimburse the state approximately $162 million through a mechanism called recapture.The budget for the next school year contains $84 million in cuts to balance this situation, which is happening for the first time in HISD’s history.The cuts will result in the district eliminating 80 administrative positions, as well as doing away with the Apollo program and ending teachers’ bonuses.Some members of the board criticized the state’s system to fund public schools and interim Superintendent Ken Huewitt said reforms are needed.“We can kind of move forward and start dealing with this recapture issue because this is not something that we have to deal with every year, we’ve got to get this changed,” Huewitt said at the end of the public hearing held to approve the budget.The budget was passed by five votes to two.Trustees Manuel Rodríguez, Wanda Adams, Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Jolanda Jones and Michael Lunceford voted in favor of the budget, while Greg Meyers and Anna Eastman voted against it.Trustees Harvin Moore and Diana Dávila were not present at the time of the vote. Listen
John Harvey/ The Texas TribuneYou can look up if you’re already registered to vote at the Texas Secretary of State’s website. Early voting starts on Feb. 20.Texas will host the first statewide primaries of 2018 on March 6 and, with the Feb. 5 registration deadline fast approaching, Houstonians don’t have much time left to become eligible to vote. Ann Harris Bennett, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar reminds citizens that Monday, February 5, 2018 is the last day to register to vote for the 2018 Primary Elections.Voter registration applications must be received by her office or postmarked by that date for the applicant to be eligible to vote.“Every election is important,” said Bennett. “Especially after Hurricane Harvey, I want to ensure everyone has a voice. So I urge everyone to double-check their registration and be sure to send any address or name change updates to our office right away.”Here’s how Houstonians who haven’t yet registered to vote can do so in time for the March 6 primary:Citizens can register to vote at any local library, post office, with a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar or any of the 16 Harris County Tax Office branch locations.You may also print, sign, and mail a form into the Voter Registrar. Mailed applications must be postmarked before or on the Feb. 5 deadline.If a registered voter has recently moved (within Harris County) or who have changed their name, they can update their voter registration information by visiting www.hctax.net and clicking on the Name/Address Change button under the Voter Registration tab.Residents that have voter registration questions can email email@example.com or call 713-274-8683.You can look up if you’re already registered to vote at the Texas Secretary of State’s website.Early voting starts on Feb. 20. Share
Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) will observe “black day” throughout West Bengal on August 4 and 5 to protest against the detention and “manhandling” of its leaders at the Silchar airport in Assam yesterday, a senior party leader said today. TMC secretary general and West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said the party will observe “black day” in every block and district of the state on Saturday and Sunday. “We condemn the way the public representatives were manhandled and detained by the Assam police at the Silchar airport. They being MPs had every right to visit a place, but all rules were violated and our party delegation was stopped. This is shameful,” he told reporters here. An eight-member TMC delegation, which had six MPs, were stopped at the Silchar airport when they tried to enter Assam’s Cachar district to assess the ground realities after the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in the north-eastern state on Monday.