This week marks the twelfth anniversary for Camp X-Ray at the illegal American military base located at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. On January 11th, 2002, four months after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, Gitmo was opened for business. That business, according to my first guest, was to act as an experimental extraordinary rendition facility where methods of torture new and old would be practiced and perfected, and deployed around the world as part of the George W. Bush regime’s Global War on Terror. Though “Dubya” Bush is long gone, the camp, and many of its unhappy inhabitants, remain.
Andy Worthington is a long-time peace and justice advocate for the inmates of Guantánamo. He’s a journalist and author whose book titles include: ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,’ ‘Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion,’ ‘The Battle of the BeanField,’ and his latest is, ‘The Guantánamo Files: Stories of 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison.’ Worthington is also co-director of the film, ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.’
As he has since 2011, Andy Worthington will again be in the U.S. to mark Gitmo’s infamous anniversary with a cross-country speaking tour. Starting January 8th and running through the 21st, Andy will visit New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles with Debra Sweet, National Director of the World Can’t Wait campaign to close Guantánamo. Andy Worthington in the first half.
And; closer to home, our own infamous Harper regime last year allowed that the Enbridge Northern Gateway, and presumably any other project the offshore carbon industries wish developed, will go ahead; this despite the near unanimous opposition of those people living in the proposed path of pipelines, or along the wild and treacherous coast these projects threaten.
Though these projects have few supporters west of the Rockies, and diminishing numbers east of the mountains as well, coordinating a unified front against them has proven difficult. Divisions fostered within First Nations – and environmental groups and organizations – is a key component to ensuring the profits flow with the heavy tar, but now moves to push the Enbridge plan through are too promising to push opponents to mend their fences and form a unified front.
Ingmar Lee is a long-time environmental activist who, from his fights to protect Nanaimo’s watershed from pollution masquerading as fertilizer dumped there by forest companies, and lengthy tree-sits to save the iconic Cathedral Grove from the axe, to bearing witness to the controversial Joint Review Panel process that rubber-stamped the Enbridge Northern Gateway scheme, has braved the powers-that-be to try and preserve what remains of this region’s wild lands and biodiverse habitats. Ingmar lives within the range of the so-called Great Bear Rainforest, in a coastal community directly in the path of proposed Asia-bound mega-tankers. Ingmar Lee and diagnosing and treating B.C.’s environmentalist schism before it’s too late in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our town, Victoria and beyond, in the coming week and the weeks to come. But first, Andy Worthington on the road, campaigning to close Gitmo.