Tadamon delegation to Lebanon in Summer 2006

In July of 2006, Tadamon! [Solidarity! in Arabic], a Montreal-based collective of social justice organizers and media activists, will be sending a delegation to Lebanon. In the context of historic political change taking place in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East region, this delegation will develop connections between grassroots political organizing for social and economic justice and independent media networks in Beirut and Montreal.

Tadamon! Delegation Activities in Lebanon:

In Beirut, members of Tadamon! will be producing independent media reports concerning the current political, social and economic situation in Lebanon, for dissemination through alternative media networks in the Middle East, North America and internationally.

A photo of the hills of Southern Lebanon occupied by Israeli military forces until 2000. [Photo: Stefan Christoff EI]

Tadamon!’s reports will be published, broadcast and distributed through CKUT Radio Montreal, the Electronic Intifada, the National Campus Community Radio Association of Canada [NCRA], Free Speech Radio News of Pacifica Radio, CitizenShift of the National Film Board of Canada, the Rabble Podcast Network, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters [AMARC] and the Independent Media Center of Beirut….

The Tadamon! delegation ALSO aims to meet and network with groups and organizations in Lebanon involved in struggles for social and economic justice, with the goal of establishing joint projects and campaigns between Montreal and Beirut.

Tadamon!’s Political Orientation and Experience:

Tadamon!, through its organizing work both in Montreal and Beirut, aligns itself with social justice movements in Lebanon, Canada and globally which are anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian in orientation.

Participants of Tadamon!’s 2006 delegation to Lebanon are committed social justice organizers and media activists based in Montreal. Collectively, the Tadamon! delegation represents years of experience organizing in support of immigrant and refugee quests for dignity in Canada, support work for indigenous struggles for self-determination, the development of diverse initiatives in solidarity with anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles in other regions of the world, and work in support of queer and feminist movements….

Tadamon!’s delegation members also have diverse and wide-ranging experience in creating radio productions and writing for independent and major media institutions both in Canada, North America and internationally.

Tadamon! Delegation Political Focus:

The delegation takes place in the context of a re-colonization of the Middle East region under the pretext of a ‘War on Terror’, driven largely by an allegiance of North American state forces, in cooperation with some economic and political leaders in the Middle East region. Militarily-imposed political liberalism - ‘democratization’ - and ongoing neo-liberal economic reforms - ‘development’ - are not only undermining human rights and denying the self-determination of people in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and throughout the region, but are also undermining people’s ability to survive….

Tadamon!’s delegation will focus on three areas of struggle, each of which presents opportunities to strengthen relations of solidarity between people fighting for self-determination in Montreal and in Beirut:

* Economic Justice in Lebanon:

Tadamon!’s independent reporting in Lebanon will highlight grassroots struggles for economic justice. The delegation will seek out groups and individuals working for alternatives to the neo-liberal economic model imposed on Lebanon throughout the post-civil war period.

In July 2005 all commercial border traffic between Lebanon & Syria was suspended, hundreds of transport trucks & thousands of drivers were stranded in the border regions for weeks. [Photo: Sawsan Kalache EI]

The U.N. recently estimated that upwards of 40% of the Lebanese population lives in poverty. Wealth disparity, poverty and economic exploitation are increasing in Lebanon. Economic realities, which are a direct result of neo-liberal economic policies pursued by current and past governments, strikingly similar to the IMF / World Bank structural adjustment policies which have gutted local and national economies throughout the global south.

* Lebanon and Migration:

Today, countless Lebanese are choosing to flee the increasingly difficult economic and political situation, seeking opportunities in North America or Western Europe. However, Lebanese and other migrants from the region are faced by racism and increasingly oppressive immigration laws, which seek to confine immigrants and refugees to a highly-exploited underclass of society…. From the streets of Beirut to Montreal, Tadamon!’s delegation will attempt to document elements of this reality.

Palestinian flags woven into the electricity wires hanging over the streets of Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp in Southern Lebanon. [Photo: Stefan Christoff EI]

The reality of forced migration is mirrored within the region, as people flee war and poverty in search of survival, some arriving in Lebanon. There, often divided by nationalisms and living in a precarious underground, migrants compete with the existing underclass for jobs - as house workers, street cleaners, or construction workers - in which basic human dignity can seldom be salvaged. Tadamon!’s delegation will attempt to connect with groups working in solidarity with migrant labour in Lebanon….

* Lebanon: Social Solidarity.

Even as the sectarian nature of Lebanon’s political system is challenged by voices calling for social solidarity across religious lines, dominant political forces within the country continue to manipulate sectarian divisions for political gain….

Tadamon! will network with activists within the country who articulate ideals of social justice rooted in broad-based social solidarity and who are promoting the full rights of all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, national or regional identity, legal status or religious affiliation.

Tadamon! Delegation: Call for Solidarity.

Tadamon! is calling for your political and financial support for the delegation to Lebanon. ALSO, we are requesting ideas, comments and suggestions for the delegation, so please get in touch….!

in Solidarity,
Tadamon! Montreal
tel. 00 514 690 8499

Details on financial support for the Tadamon! Montreal delegation:

Your financial support for the delegation is greatly appreciated! Please write checks payable to ‘Tadamon’ & mail them to the following address:

Tadamon! Montreal
C/O CKUT Radio Montreal
3647 University Street
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2B3, Canada

Accessing Tadamon!’s Independent Media Reports from Lebanon:

* Radio Reports: Reports, documentaries & feature produced by members of the Tadamon! delegation will be regularly broadcast on CKUT Radio in Montreal, at 90.3fm. These reports will also air on Radio TADAMON!, a monthly radio program which airs the first Tuesday of the month between 5pm and 6pm.

ALSO members of Tadamon! will be producing regular reports for Pacifica Radio’s Free Speech Radio News [FSRN], which is a daily news program broadcast on over 90 public and community radio stations throughout North America.

* Electronic Intifada: Throughout the delegation members of Tadamon! will be posting various written, audio and
photographic reports online at the Electronic Intifada website.

* Podcasting: Tadamon! will be uploading audio reports as Podcasts to Citizenshift, an online project of the National Film Board of Canada and the Rabble Podcast Network.

* Announcement List: Tadamon! Montreal maintains an announcement email list on which ALL reports, articles and radio reports prepared by the group will be sent out. You can subscribe to the email list HERE.

Previous Media Reports from Lebanon by Tadamon! Members….

Radio Documentary: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

Lebanon / Syria: Border Lock Down….

Growing Grassroots in Beirut

From Montreal to Ein el-Hilweh: Deportation, Destitution and Dignity

Ein el-Hilweh Refugee Camp: A Photo Essay

Burj el-Shemali Refugee Camp: A Photo Essay

TADAMON! Basis of Unity….

Tadamon! [Solidarity!, in Arabic] is a Montreal-based collective of social-justice organizers and media activists, working to build relationships of solidarity with grassroots political movements for social and economic justice between Beirut and Montreal.

In the context of historic political changes taking place in Lebanon, Tadamon! through it’s political work, aims to support struggles for social justice and human rights of ALL people living in Lebanon, through direct coordination and organization between activists in Beirut and Montreal.

In Montreal, Tadamon! aims to organize within the Lebanese Diaspora, through popular education, cultural work and political action, which address struggles facing the Lebanese community, such as immigration, racism, poverty and labour rights.

Through organizing work both locally and internationally, Tadamon! aligns itself with social justice movements in Lebanon, Canada and internationally which are anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian in nature.