Two weeks ago, the European Union’s Parliament approved a Free Trade deal with Morocco, promising to extend duty-free status to more of that country’s agriculture and fisheries exports. It’s a deal that, if ratified, would strengthen economic and political ties with the North African nation.
While garnering bumper profits for transnational corporations and a handful of Moroccan insiders, this deal will not, in Member of the European Parliament, Jose Bove’s opinion, benefit either Moroccan farmers, or be helpful in addressing the displacement and ongoing occupation by Morocco of the indigenous people of Western Sahara.
As in Palestine, the EU, and the United States continue to, despite repeated UN resolutions declaring its illegality, support and profit from the brutal occupation.
Ray Mesaud Burhi is the official representative to Canada of the government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in exile. He and his family fled their homeland in Western Sahara when he was a child, settling in the refugee camp at Tindouf, Algeria.
Burhi received his engineering degree at the University of Oriente in Cuba, and master’s degree in international cooperation and development at the University of Barcelona. He’s also served Saharawi Delegations to Spain, the EU, South-East Asia and now North America. Ray Mesaud Burhi will be here in Victoria on the 22nd of this month as part of a public event for Western Sahara sponsored by the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation’s Mining Justice Action Committee, and UVic’s Social Justice Studies Program.
Ray Mesaud Burhi in the first half.
And; in anticipation of British Columbia’s looming election, the BC Liberals have introduced a bit of legislation that promises to complete what the long-gone and unlamented Social Credit party tried to foist on us before their immolation nearly 25 years ago. The innocuously titled, Bill 8 is a Harper-styled omnibus of rich give-aways to corporations far and near, and if allowed to run its ruinous course will entirely reverse decades of forestry policy in the province, delivering up whole hog unknowable lucre to the likes of mega-corps BAM and TAM, Shock Doctrine troopers specializing in “distressed asset management.” It would mean a mass transfer of wealth into private hands, chapping public assets, while endangering the future well-being of both the people and wildlife of BC.
Bob Simpson is MLA for Cariboo North, sitting as an Independent since his unceremonious ejection by erstwhile NDP leader, Carole James in 2010. He’s been warning everyone who’ll listen, Bill 8 is a bad deal all around for this province, saying; “[I]t’s a backroom deal with no requirement for public consultation.” He also says it’s tantamount to the privatization of our publicly held forests. Of Christie Clark’s effort with Bill 8, Simpson says; “The public will see it as privatization” adding; “…[T]his is a 100-year conversation in B.C. and the public has always said ‘no’ and they’re going to say ‘no’ again.” Perhaps they will, if given the chance to find out about it.
Bob Simpson and rooting out the rotten core of Bill 8 in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom the hour to bring us newz from our city’s streets and beyond. But first, Ray Mesaud Burhri and that other occupation state, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/