Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Halyna Mokrushyna, Mark Worthing, Janine Bandcroft Feb. 28th, 2019

Five years on from the so-called “Euromaidan revolution” none of the reforms, or economic improvements promised by the victorious government of chocolatier, Petro Poroshenko have materialized. The situation in Kiev is not only now worse economically than under the usurped Victor Yanukovych, but also democratically, where according to my first guest there is less freedom and more political violence than ever.

Halyna Mokrushyna, Ph.D., is an independent researcher and journalist whose research interests include: the social and economic inequality and transition challenges of post-Soviet Ukraine, social memory and the politics of memory, Russo/Canadian relations, and the broader context of post-cold war East/West relations.

Her articles appear online at Truthout, Truthdig, New Cold War.org, and CounterPunch, where her recent article, ‘The ‘Peacekeeper’ Vigilante Website and Freedom of Speech in Ukraine’ chronicles disturbing incidents of media suppression, harassment, and violence against those criticizing the Poroshenko regime.

Halyna Mokrushyna in the first half.

And; the rampant development Victoria and environs has seen these last few years is showing no sign of slowing. On the contrary, the momentum is only building, gathering steam as it heads high over the Malahat, and westward towards Sooke. All that stands between the two fingers of this expansive boom is the wild forest and rugged country of the Sooke Hills. But that may not be for long. The Capital Regional District recently announced a plan to punch a highway through the Sooke Hills, ostensibly to provide an alternate up-island route to the Malahat.

Mark Worthing is an activist, naturalist and journalist currently working with Sierra Club BC. He’s a founding member of Tanker Free BC, and has worked with a variety of environmental groups on various campaigns, and led Sierra Club’s Flathead River Basin biodiversity study. Mark cut his journalistic teeth right here at UVic’s Martlet newspaper, and working as a freelance journalist.

Mark Worthing and stopping a road running through the Sooke Hills in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to get up to in and around our town in the coming week, but first, Halyna Mokrushyna and under the gun and on the run from Ukraine’s “Peacekeepers”.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Timothy A. Wise, Janine Bandcroft February 21st, 2019

Last week, Spain’s political path followed its European neighbours into uncertain territory. The young Socialist Party government of Pedro Sánchez, the shortest-lived government since the fall of Franco, lost coalition support over the continued prosecution of Catalan separatists involved with the “illegal” October 1, 2017 independence referendum.

Elections have been called for April 28th.

Saturday, hundreds of thousands came into the streets of Barcelona to demonstrate against the trials, started just more than a week ago, and show support for the twelve defendants, ten former members of the former Puigdumont government and two grassroots activists, they believe are being prosecuted falsely.

The court didn’t help its credibility, ruling testimony from the former president, currently living in exile, would not be allowed.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel is Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria’s Political Science Department and Centre for Global Studies. He’s a native of Barcelona, and his Post-Doctoral Fellowship project at UVic, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The Exemplary Case of Spain’ couldn’t be more timely.

Pablo Ouziel in the first half.

And; were he alive today, Walt Disney might sing, “It’s a small planet afterall.” The World’s population has more than doubled since old Walt’s death in 1966, and the exponential increase in human numbers is the number one reason cited by proponents of the Green Revolution of that era, and reiterated by transnational agribusiness behemoths today, for the continued expansion of industrial scale agriculture and necessity of increasing the scope of genetically modified food crop organisms across the globe. It’s a no-brainer, right?

Timothy A. Wise is senior researcher at the Small Planet Institute and director of its Land and Food Rights Program. He’s also a senior research fellow at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute and founded its Globalization and Sustainable Development Program.

Wise is too author of the book, ‘Confronting Globalization: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in Mexico’, and the recently released, ‘Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food‘.

Timothy A. Wise and the politics on your plate in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Pablo Ouziel and Catalans taking to Barcelona’s streets again.  

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft February 14th, 2019

What do any of us really know?

For the most part, our understanding of reality is based on what we’ve been told; told by parents, teachers, friends, and the media. And who told them?

There is though another path to discovery. Go to the places where things are happening; talk to the people making them happen, then decide what’s true.

But, and it’s a vitally big but; be careful what you ask, for you could find out more than it’s safe to know.

As the first cracks of the Soviet Empire’s eroding iron facade opened, Australian-born author, political essayist, professor of political science, and policy advisor to presidents and prime ministers, John Helmer headed for Moscow, determined to establish what was to become the longest continuously operating foreign press bureau in the capital.

From his position as an independent of single-national, or commercial sponsorship reporter, he ventured into the country’s unpredictable, and often precarious economic transition period; a time that would see coup attempts, the undoing of international political superstar, Mikhail Gorbachev, and fall of Russia’s communist system itself. It would too usher in the tempestuous Age of the Oligarchs.

Some of John Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’, (with Claudia Wright) ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, ‘Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,’ (and with Ajay Goyal) ‘Uncovering Russia’. His latest book is the newly out political and personal memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia‘.

John Helmer and a special, Gorilla Radio double-yolker, getting to know too much about Russia.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time contributor to Gorilla Radio, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the three-quarter mark, bringing us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, the man who knew too much, John Helmer. 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/

Gorilla Radio Flashbacks with Chris Cook, Harry Rankin May 15th, 2001

The most interesting facet of the gem that is B.C.’s looming election is the fate of the left. With the long awaited pendulum swing away from neo-liberalism, if the paid pollsters are to be believed, at least four years away for British Columbia, the NDP and Greens fighting over the official opposition bone, the poor lefty is left to decide whether to vote with conviction, or sour pragmatism. But why has it come to this? And what can the citizen do. On today’s program, two views of politics British Columbia style. Harry Rankin is no stranger to the politics of the left, and no stranger to the taciturn Premier in waiting, Gordon Campbell. Rankin rankled Vancouver Mayor, Gordon Campbell as a Vancouver City councilor throughout Mr. Campbell’s disastrous tenure as Mayor. In the first half o the show, legendary lefty, Harry Rankin…

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Daniel Kovalik, Denis Halliday, Christopher Black, Janine Bandcroft Feb. 7, 2019

The Lima Group met Monday in Ottawa to make official its determination to overthrow the government of Venezuela, as detailed in its ‘Ottawa Declaration‘.

An offshoot of the Organization of American States, the Lima Group formed following the OAS’s failure to agree on the forced removal of president Nicolas Maduro.

In addition to hosting the meeting, and adding its capital’s name to the Group’s declaration, Canada’s foreign minister promised 53 million Canadian dollars in “humanitarian and development aid” to be delivered to what Chrystia Freeland termed, its “trusted partners” in the embattled South American nation.

Daniel Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer, essayist, and author of the critically-acclaimed books, ‘The Plot to Scapegoat Russia’, and ‘The Plot to Attack Iran’. The third in his “plot to” trilogy, ‘The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World’ is newly out and couldn’t be more timely. Dan has too served as an election observor multiple times in Venezuela, and other Latin American countries, and is just returned from Caracas.

Dan Kovalik in the first half.

And; despite a gruesome colonial past, and more recent history of supporting dictatorships, Canada still gets a lot of mileage out of its “democracy-loving” reputation. It scores a solid six on The Economist’s annual rating of global democratic performance, and does almost as well on international justice indices. In fact, Canada’s “rule of law” bona fides is wielded more and more by the prime minister, even as the country diverges further and further from it.

Christopher Black is a Toronto-based criminal lawyer specializing in international war crimes cases, and executive member of the Canadian Peace Congress. He’s also an author, poet, and essayist who’s latest book is, ‘Beneath the Clouds’. Black’s articles on international law, politics and World events appear at New Eastern Outlook among other places, and his latest, ‘The Lima Group: International Outlaws’ serves as indictment of a gang of nations gone rogue.

Christopher Black and declaring Ottawa outlaws in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to around our town in the coming week. But first, Dan Kovalik and a kettle of vultures over Caracas.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/

Ape Goes to the Victoria Hands Off Venezuela Demo (cut) February 2, 2019

Went down to the demo., sponsored by the Young Communist League and supported by CUPE.

Speakers in order were:

 

Tyson Strandland (Young Communist League)

Dr. Joan Russow (Former Green Party of Canada Leader)

Crazy fascist (heckler)

Rodrigo Garcia (FLMN)

Professor Larry Hannant (Camosun College)

Ape Goes to the Victoria Hands Off Venezuela Rally Feb. 2, 2019

Went down to the demo. to stand with like-minded Canadians opposed to the country’s position on the attempted coup in Venezuela.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Astra Taylor, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft January 31st, 2019

From the barricades of France’s Gilets Jaunes and America’s Black Lives Matter marches, to Venezuela’s Bolivarian reactionary mobilizations, and the “coloured revolutions” manifesting around the globe, it’s clear: we’re living in an age of political upheaval. But are scenes of the People taking to the streets an ominous precursor of chaos and civilization’s end to come, or hopeful sign of civic renewal and democratic vibrancy?

Astra Taylor is a political activist, organizer, and co-founder of Debt Collective, a “community of debtors… working to build a new economy.” She is too an award-winning filmmaker, whose credits include, ‘Examined Life‘, ‘Zizek!‘, and her most recent, ‘What Is Democracy?’, featured at the upcoming Victoria Film Festival.

Astra’s also the American Book Award-winning author of, ‘The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age‘, and an essayist whose writing has appeared at The New York Times, London Review of Books, and The Walrus among other places. Her new book, ‘Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone’ is due out any day.

Astra Taylor in the first half.

And; the long-running fiasco that has become Great Britain’s political reality may prove H.L. Menken’s maxim: “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

John Helmer is a journalist, former academic, government policy advisor, author, and broadcaster. He’s the longest-serving Russia-based foreign correspondent, and sole western journalist directing his own news bureau, independent of any single national or commercial encumbrance, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears, where his recent article, ‘Novichok Full O’Nuts – In the Case of Sergei Skripal Police Commissioner Angus MacPherson Lifts the Lid‘ is one of a series chronicling the continuing inability, or unwillingness, of the May government to provide a consistent narrative surrounding the case that strained Anglo-Russian relations to breaking point.

Helmer’s titles include, (with Max van der Werff) ‘The Lie That Shot Down MH17 – The True Story of Who Did’, Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,’ Russian State Strategy on the Cheap,’ among others. His latest, newly released book is his political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia‘.

John Helmer and clearing finally the malodorous May miasma shrouding the sinister Skripal affair in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in the coming week. But first, Astra Taylor asking, “Just What Is Democracy?

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dahr Jamail, Andy Worthington, Janine Bandcroft January 24th, 2019

It doesn’t matter who or what is to blame; or even if laying blame is appropriate. The fact is, the planet is changing, and that change is quickening. The predicted emerging climate is favourable to neither us, nor most of the rest of nature. In short, whether recognized or not, humanity is headed for an extinction whose eventuality is not a matter of “if”, but “when”. So then, how do we go on from here?

Dahr Jamail is a journalist and author who has, as staff writer at Truthout, been writing about climate change for the past decade or more. His book, ‘The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Destruction‘ is newly released and a firsthand account of visiting and revisiting places on an extincting planet.

But lest you despair, consider what End of Ice reviewer, David Swanson observes,

“There is no preventing utter disaster. Yet there is urgency. The need is to work to slow the collapse and to mitigate its impacts and provide aid to each other as it washes over us.”

Dahr Jamail in the first half.

And; as the Earth is an island, isolated from the rest of creation by that unfathomable ocean, the frigid vacuum of space, it too contains within it islands unreachable. One such place is Guantánamo Bay, Cuba where reside the prisoners of the forever Global War on Terror in the infamous mother of America’s Black Site gulags.

Andy Worthington is an investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. A recognized authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror”, Andy is co-founder of Close Guantánamo, and We Stand With Shaker, campaigns dedicated to bringing justice for inmates of there past and present. The London-based Worthington is also a singer, songwriter, founding member of the band, The Four Fathers and urban photographer.

Andy Worthington and renewing resistance to Guantánamo in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Dahr Jamail and is the End of Ice the end of us?

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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/