HAVANA (NP) Fidel Castro today awarded the coveted HERO OF THE COMMUNIST LEAGUE to the NDP and several prominent socialist Canadians who played a major role in last weekend's Summit of the Americas.
For eight hours, In sweltering 100 degree temperatures, Cuba's fiery communist leader held a huge crowd spell-bound in Havana's Ché Guevara Square. In his speech, where prominent place was given to the recent Summit of the Americas, he extolled the revolutionary fever that is embracing Canada and is "causing riots in the streets of its national capital."
He derided the Summit, attended by all the leaders of the Western Hemisphere except himself, as proof that capitalism is evil and, "exploits the poor so that fat, greedy corporations can suck the life blood out of downtrodden, trade union members."
His speech was filled with such emotional furore that every time he mentioned a Canadian who had won the coveted medal, the audience of several thousand broke into spontaneous cheering.
The NDP and its leader, Alexa McDonough, won the prestigious 'Havana Subway 5-Pointed Star'. Maude Barlow won two 'Heroes' plus a gold 'Order of Lenin'. Other Canadians of the left, including Buzz Hargrove, writers Naomi Klein and Margaret Atwood, were also given medals and special mention as "furthering the cause of Socialism" in the "spirit of Ché Guevara".
Leader Castro also singled out Svend Robinson, NDP Member of Parliament, who would be awarded 'The Star of the Golden Erection' as well as a clasp to his already-won 'Order of Lenin'. Mr. Castro noted that Mr. Robinson was not only "advancing the cause of communism in everything he does, but is in the front lines in the struggle against capitalism being wounded taking hard rubber bullets from brutal Quebec City fascist pig-dog storm troopers" (see related story).
Mr. Castro said that the awardees will receive their medals during the Forty Second Workers' All Party Congress to be held in Havana on May Day. He hoped that Canadian authorities would have the honour and decency to lift the trade and visiting embargo on Cuba, "so that our new medal winners can pick them up in person."
Robinson Loses Pants in Quebec City
Hit by 'hard thing' in backside
From Notional Press (NP)
OTTAWA Svend Robinson contends that during the Summit of The Americas, he was brutally assaulted by a "Fascist cop" during the riots.
Earlier reports were that Mr. Robinson was "debagged" and "penetrated from behind by a hard object" not during the riots but at The Baths of Caracalla, well-known Quebec City bath-house for gays. Notional Pest had received information that Mr. Robinson's pants had been lowered by an 'unknown person' in the bath-house where an assault, typical of bath-houses, then took place. However, despite repeated calls, this 'unknown person' had not come forward at press time.
Mr. Robinson contends that he was nowhere near the Baths of Caracalla when he was attacked, but was standing around innocently eating an ice cream cone "blocks away" from "the fence of shame" surrounding where the Summit was being held.
While eating the cone, he said he started walking slowly towards the riot area, 'stepping lightly' to avoid chunks of concrete and tear gas canisters, which the police had been lobbing at peaceful demonstrators.
A teenage rioter, wearing the logo of the Hell's Angels on his black leather jacket, who had witnessed the incident, told the Pest later that Mr. Robinson was 'sashaying' down the street, not 'stepping lightly'. In any event, Mr. Robinson claims he was then assaulted by one of the riot policemen "who were running amok and firing rubber bullets at all and sundry."
"I was brutally roughed up by the cop and there was blood on my legs. My ice cream cone went God knows where. During the attack my pants were lowered and they were badly torn. With my pants around my ankles I couldn't move and I was totally at the mercy of the fascist cop. Then I noticed among my fallen underwear, a hard object that had evidently hit me on the left buttock. It must have caused the bleeding. It looked like a dildo but it turned out to be a large, hard rubber bullet."
Mr. Robinson is demanding that the government of Jean Chretien hold an official enquiry into police brutality at The Summit Of The Americas. "This is not just 'pepper spray' (referring to another peaceful demonstration in Vancouver - ed), but violence such as occurred before the Act making buggery a criminal offence was repealed."
Mr. Robinson says he will take his fight to the people, and will not rest until those who destroyed his pants are brought to justice. "When an innocent bystander can get hit in the buttocks by a rubber bullet and have his pants destroyed, we are not living in a democracy but in a fascist state ruled by multi-national corporations."
Mr. Chretien said the government will not hold an enquiry and will definitely not buy Mr. Robinson a new pair of pants. However, our rival newspaper, The National Post, is taking up a collection, and anything received over three-hundred dollars will be donated to charity.