In these last years, say since Armenia and Auschwitz, we here in the West have been taught: Genocide is bad. But, even so, it seems a lesson slowly learnt by a variety of corporate and governmental operatives who continue to promote this most ancient practice.
Couched in the meta-language of modern trade negotiations, at this moment diplomats and other factotums in the service of the international business elite are hammering and sawing together vehicles that, in the guise of sane and prudent investment policy, serve to carry millions through the nightmare of mass displacement, dispossession, and deprivation to the gates of a manufactured Hell on Earth.
Slavery, abuse, and an early pauper's grave is the best most of these caught in the maw of this New World Order can hope for. It's everywhere, and it's growing, and yet it's barely recognized by its ultimate supporters, We the people.
Daniel Kovalik is Senior Associate General Counsel for the USW, or United Steel Workers union, and teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Daniel's recently published article, 'How the Colombia Trade Agreement Accelerates Human Rights Abuses' explores the predictable, and necessarily desired, outcomes of these policies constituting international crimes against humanity.
Daniel Kovalik in the first half.
And; last month yours truly took a turn down Cuba way. The idea was for me and my partner in tourism, Christina Nikolic to explore the besieged Caribbean nation while shooting a video chronicling the achievements of Cuba in its shift to organic, urban agriculture; a shift fostered by the so-called 'Special Period,' a time that saw the island cut adrift from its erstwhile Soviet Union supporter. I also recorded some audio impressions while walking through the capital.
Your Ape in La Habana in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of the goings on going on on our streets, and beyond. But first, Daniel Kovalik and "constructive genocide" and its consequences for us all.
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/
G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media.
Some past guests include: M. Junaid Alam, M. Shahid Alam, Gilad Atzmon, Joel Bakan, Maude Barlow, Ramzy Baroud, William Blum, Luciana Bohne, William Bowles, Mordecai Briemberg, Helen Caldicott, Noam Chomsky, Michel Chossudovsky, Diane Christian, Paul Cienfuegos, David Cromwell, Ezili Danto, Jon Elmer, Yves Engler, Laura Flanders, Amy Goodman, Denis Halliday, Chris Hedges, Julia Butterfly Hill, Robert Jensen, Dahr Jamail, Diana Johnstone, Malalai Joya, Kathy Kelly, Naomi Klein, Frances Moore Lappe, Dave Lindorff, Alexandra Morton, Loretta Napoleoni, Andrew Nikiforuk, Ken O'Keefe, Greg Palast, Michael Parenti, Robert Parry, John Pilger, Kevin Pina, Paul Craig Roberts, David Rovics, Danny Schechter, David Schindler, Vandana Shiva, Tim Shorrock, Norman Solomon, Jean Saint-Vil, Harvey Wasserman, Paul Watson, Bernard Weiner, Andy Worthington, Mickey Z., Howard Zinn and many others.
Clearly we are living in an age of mass dementia. Over the weekend, scofflaw Israel rained bombs and missiles upon the heads of civilian homes, civil infrastructure, media studios, hospitals, and shot up anything that moved through the streets of Gaza City.
While there is nothing particular new about that, after all, Israel has treated the Gaza Strip and its benighted citizens like so many concentration camp inmates for years, picking them off with high-powered rifles and automated machine-gun turrets for no apparent reason beyond to terrorize them, and perhaps break up the monotony of a long shift in the watchtowers.
No, what punctuates the surreal insanity of this festering injustice is the reality defying gymnastics Western government spokespersons perform to somersault the truth of the matter, and how eagerly, in turn, their media collaborators parrot rather than challenge them.
Yes, Gaza is under full scale attack by Israel again, and as during the Christmas carnage of 2008-9, the demented few in power in Ottawa and London and Washington and Brussels will again provide cover for this egregious and obvious crime against humanity.
Jon Elmer is a Canadian freelance photo-journalist and author of the website JonElmer.ca. Jon has reported from and about Israel's occupation of Palestine for more than a decade, his dispatches appearing at Al Jazeera English, the Inter Press Service, and Le Monde Diplomatique among others. Jon also completed an honours degree in political science at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia; his thesis - "Pulling from the roots" - being a study of Israel's policy of assassination during the al-Aqsa intifada.
This week: The controversial Enbridge pipeline scheme that would disgorge tar sands bitumen at Kitimat for ocean trans-shipment to Asia and America created more controversy yesterday in Bella Bella, where the National Energy Board's Joint Review Panel, or JRP, was scheduled to hear depositions from local intervenors.
The small community on BC's central coast, at the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, came out in numbers, (in full welcoming regalia) but someone on the panel panicked. The review was cancelled, the JRP citing "safety concerns."
Ingmar Lee was at the rally that welcomed the Joint Review Panel. Ingmar lives in Shearwater, where the JRP retreated to from Bella Bella, and is a long-time ecology defender at the front lines of efforts to stay the destructive hand of industry, and works to enlighten the ignorant as to the great dangers facing this corner of the Pacific's ecosystem.
Ingmar Lee in the first half.
And; last Friday marked Land Day in the Occupied Palestinian territories. That is the annual observance by Palestinians of their dispossession at the hands of Israel. It was marked, as it has routinely been, by Israeli state violence, resulting in death and injury.
Like last year's observance, this year's Land Day differed from previous years due to the context of the ongoing "Arab Spring," and the quickening disintegration of the political status quo in the region.
Jon Elmer is a Canadian journalist who has reported from and lived in Occupied Palestine for the better part of the last decade. He's back in Canada now, filling his war chest for a return assignment.
Jon Elmer and the increasingly turbulent situation in Palestine in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news from the streetz of the city and beyond.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, 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.com
Tonight's show is a flying attempt to cover last minute holes in the show's scheduled programme. First, connections to Ala Jaradat of Adameer in Palestine were blocked, then James Clarke of Defend Free Speech lost his voice.
Happily enough, Andy Bichlbaum was in town last week, up here at UVic's SUB, with Yes Lab.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft did show up, and previews a song off Tempest Grace Gale's posthumous tribute album.
Went down to see Andy's workshop/presentation (entertaining despite its best efforts) Yes Lab. Here's the first half of the evening.
Here's their spiel.
The Yes Lab is a series of brainstorms and trainings to help activist groups carry out Yes-Men-style projects on their own.
There are several Yes Lab projects already in production, and a couple have already been completed! With your help, there could be a lot more. (And we'll thank you with some really weird goodies.)
to help the Yes Lab get going—and get some
weird goodies (or maybe a grab-bag of them) as thanks
We Yes Men have been doing our thing for about 12 years. Many of our best projects have been in collaboration with activist groups—our BBC announcement on behalf of Dow Chemical came out of a collaboration with Greenpeace, for example.
Last fall, we collaborated with a coalition of groups to release a much-improved "climate edition" of Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, and to launch an assault on the U.N. by sea ("Balls Across America"). Also in collaboration with activists, we visited our nation's capital to re-brand the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, then headed to Copenhagen to successfully embarrass Canada about its terrible climate policies.
In part because of these successes, we've realized it's high time for us to get systematic about helping activist groups highlight life-or-death issues—with or without the Yes Men's participation. That's what the Yes Lab is all about.
How will the Yes Lab work?
In a typical Yes Lab project, an activist organization will come to the Yes Lab with a target—e.g. Monsanto, or war profiteers, or one of those "too big to fail" banks, or greedy health insurance companies, or a bad government policy—as well as a goal: to affect public debate, push for legislation, embarrass an evildoer, etc. Depending on ability, they will pay a fee to help the Yes Lab keep going.
We'll work with the group to develop the smartest, most effective plan to accomplish it. We'll help assemble the team from within the group as well as our mailing list, we'll train folks as necessary, and we'll check in on the project until it's successful.
Why does the Yes Lab need $50,000?
With proper staffing, we believe the Yes Lab could generate a steady stream of disruptive, productive media events keeping the public reminded of what's wrong, what could be right, and what's in store if we don't change our ways. But there's the hitch: we'll need proper staffing, because these sorts of projects take a whole lot of work. More specifically, we'll need:
1. A main organizer, who will go after projects, work with organizations to figure out how projects can fit into their ongoing campaigns, and help follow projects through to completion.
2. An administrator who will also serve as primary fundraiser and manager.
3. An online guru who will develop our extensive list and put it at the service of projects.
4. Possibly, extra space beyond our teeny-tiny Manhattan office.
$50,000 will enable us to do that for an initial period of six months, from September 2010 to March 2011.
And what about after that?
With the momentum that six months will bring, we're confident that more permanent support will come in—from institutions, foundations, and from organizations themselves.
Want to participate in the Yes Lab?
Great! If you're an individual, sign up and we'll let you know when projects are happening near you. If you're with an organization, please send us an email at yeslab at theyesmen.org or use our contact form. It might take us a while to build our capacity, but we'd still love to hear about your interest in collaborating.
Now about those goodies....
G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in corporate and state media. Gorilla Radio airs live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 102FM, 104.3 cable, and on t