The extradition hearing for WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange began Monday in London. Assange was dragged, listeners may recall, from Ecuador’s embassy in that city last April 11th following a nearly seven years-long asylum there. He’s been held since in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison, or “Britmo” in conditions so appalling, UN Rapporteur for Torture, Nils Melzer demanded his immediate release.
Melzer also condemned the extradition case the United States has put forward, saying he very much doubted Assange would receive a fair trial should British courts hand him over to them.
Steve Poikonen is a columnist, broadcaster, organizer with Action4Assange, and co-host of the #FreeAssange Vigil. Steve also hosts the ‘Slow News Day’ podcast, available on Patreon.com.
Steve Poikonen in the first half.
And; never mind Venice; in a decision that will prove practically momentous, Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo floated the idea of relocating the country’s capital, Jakarta from Java to Borneo. It seems, not only is the current capital polluted, corrupt, and holding top spot on the Human Misery Index of World cities, but at a mere 9 meters above sea level, the president thought it high time to move.
But, will it be a case of jumping from the boiling pot into the burning fire? Climate changes and massive deforestation have brought dryer weather to Borneo, where mega-fires threatening air quality throughout the region have becoming an annual event.
Andre Vltchek is an itinerant journalist, filmmaker, philosopher, and playwright. He has covered wars and conflicts around the World, going to the places and talking to the people most directly effected by state violence. He’s been travelling to Borneo for the last few years, recording the destruction of the natural environment and civic life there. He says, the capital move to the island will, “…further erode the environment and rob millions of hectares from the island and its people.”
Vltchek is also a prolific author whose latest books include: ‘China Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries, Saving Millions of Lives’. ‘Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism’, ‘The Great October Socialist Revolution’, ‘Fighting Against Western Imperialism’, and, with Noam Chomsky, ‘On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare’. I spoke to Andre Sunday.
Andre Vltchek from Hong Kong 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 you can get up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Steve Poikonen and the prosecution of Julian Assange.
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.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/