Gorilla Radio Redux with Chris Cook, Susan Power, Maximilian C. Forte, Janine Bandcroft Sept. 26, 2019

[Originally aired April 25, 2019 (September 26, 2019 Left Coast Events)].

After a year and a month of bloody conflict at the barriers separating Gaza from the World, The Great Return March continues yet.

Every Friday Palestinians demanding an end to their dispossession and forced isolation have faced Israel’s military, for the most peaceably, and suffered mightily for it.

And though hundreds have been killed, shot down bare-handed by soldiers with sniper rifles, and thousands more gassed and wounded in other ways, the “international community” of nations has largely remained silent.

The run-up to Israel’s recent elections occasioned harder lines on the “Palestine Problem” in Gaza by politicians on all sides, while one prominent among them even promised, should he be elected, he would too annex the settlements, bringing a Gaza of sorts to the West Bank.

Dr. Susan Power is Head of the Legal Research and Advocacy Department at Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights NGO based in Ramallah. Established in 1979, Al-Haq’s mission is to protect human rights and promote the rule of law in the Occupied Territories both individually and collectively, while seeking to end breaches of international law “irrespective of the identity of the perpetrator.”

Susan Power in the first half.

And; April 11th, a date that will for many live in infamy, Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno delivered from its embassy in London into the hands of the British government, political asylee and WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange. Miles of newsprint, and terabytes of misinformation has been produced regarding Assange and the nature of the case manufactured against him, but at its heart are some basic facts vital for both his just treatment and the future fairness of the planet the rest of us will inhabit.

Dr. Maximilian C. Forte is a scholar, educator, author, and creator of the Zero Anthropology Project, a “Canadian anthropological approach to the study of empire and the human condition” and its website, ZeroAnthropology.net.

Max Forte teaches full time in Anthropology and Sociology at Concordia University in Montréal, at the rank of full Professor, and is a member of the Concordia University Faculty Association, the trade union body for full-time faculty, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Forte also publishes The New Imperialism series, which features research by students in his advanced seminar in the field, and his own research. Max is too a past finalist for the Quebec Writers Federation Mavis Gallant Prize for Nonfiction, and his book titles include: ‘Ruins of Absence, Presence of Caribs: (Post)Colonial Representations of Aboriginality in Trinidad and Tobago’, and ‘Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa’.

Max Forte and untying the media tangle to find a coherent explanation of what the Assange arrest says about the state of the Empire and fate of democracy 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, Susan Power and Palestine’s prospects in an extended Netanyahu era.

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, Nils Melzer September 19th, 2019

Imprisoned journalist and publisher, Julian Assange was set at last for release from London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison, his time for “breach of bail” served, but last week district judge Vanessa Baraitser quashed any hope of that, saying, “You have been produced today because your sentence of imprisonment is about to come to an end. When that happens your remand status changes from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition.

And with that, Julian Assange stands to face years of detention while the wheels of judicial process grind slowly on.

Nils Melzer is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Melzer visited Assange in May and subsequently issued a public call for Assange’s immediate release, along with stinging rebukes of both his current jailors in Britain and those in America who would be next if their extradition petition is granted.

Nils Melzer and the continued call for Julian Assange’s release.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Kootenay Watershed Protectors, Nils Mezler, Janine Bandcroft September 19, 2019

It’s clear those in this province concerned about local environment have no-one in government federally, provincially, and more often than not at the civic level, to turn to; when corporate and citizen interests clash, here money always wins. This seemingly unalterable law of British Columbia’s political nature has inspired some of the polity to fight back, one endangered wildlife habitat, threatened forest stand, and imperiled watershed at a time.

The Argenta/Johnson’s Landing is an irreplaceable piece of the West Kootenay ecological puzzle threatened with utter destruction by the business as usual extractivist economic prerogative.

It is, as environmental activist and ‘Camp Caribou’ defender Brock Snyder says, “yet another in a long line of forested watersheds slated for destruction in BC, […] putting life at risk.

Environmental Scientist, grandmother, and activist, Mona Southron reminds, we clever humans are, “now at a point where we can create massive destruction of living systems and unrivaled suffering, or […] the restoration of a thriving world worth living in...”

Brock Snyder, Mona Southron, and economist, activist, and World traveler, Jessica Dawn-Ogden, principals of the citizen-led Kootenay Watershed Protectors, on standing to protect what cannot be sacrificed in the first half.

And; next week imprisoned journalist and publisher, Julian Assange was set at last for release from London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison, his time for “breach of bail” served, but last week district judge Vanessa Baraitser quashed any hope of that, saying, “You have been produced today because your sentence of imprisonment is about to come to an end. When that happens your remand status changes from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition.

And with that, Julian Assange stands to face years of detention while the wheels of judicial process grind slowly on.

Nils Melzer is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Melzer visited Assange in May and subsequently issued a public call for Assange’s immediate release, along with stinging rebukes of both his current jailors in Britain and those in America who would be next if their extradition petition is granted.

Nils Melzer and the continued call for Julian Assange’s release 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 be gotten up in and around our town in the coming week.

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, Masjid Al-Iman Mosque March for Kashmir, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft September 12, 2019

More than a month after the unilateral annexation of the officially semi-autonomous states of Kashmir and Jammu, members of the Kashmiri diaspora within India and abroad are desperate for news of their families caught behind prime minister Narendra Modi’s virtual “Iron Curtain”.

Last week, members of Victoria’s Masjid Al-Iman mosque and their allies marched to the legislature in solidarity for Kashmiris and to demand the Canadian government investigate human rights abuses allegedly occurring throughout the state. I went down to the legislature to record the demonstration.

Victoria manifesting support for cordoned Kashmir in the first half.

And; the western media has latched on to civic election returns throughout Russia to propel its narrative of Russian president, Vladimir Putin’s waning popularity and thus influence. But as with every view of the greater world offered by the corporate and stated presses here, and especially where it comes to the West’s bete noire, Russia, the truth of the matter requires more careful information sourcing than they are willing or prepared to provide audiences.

John Helmer is a journalist, former academic, government policy advisor, author, broadcaster and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. Some of John’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 his latest is the political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’.

John Helmer and getting to know more about Russia 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.

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 Masjid Al-Iman March for Kashmir Sept. 7, 2019

Members of Victoria’s Masjid Al-Iman marched through the city today in solidarity with the people of Kashmir, and meeting on the grounds of the legislature buildings, seat of British Columbia’s government.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ken Boon, Yves Engler, Janine Bandcroft September 5th, 2019

Last week, prime minister Justin Trudeau met in Surrey with BC premier, John Horgan to announce a joint effort that will increase BC Hydro’s contribution to fracked gas production.

The former provincial government bet big on the future of hydrocarbons, (as has Trudeau’s Liberals) and the NDP has picked right up where Christie Clark’s BCLiberals left off.

The announcement came on the very day West Moberly First Nations Chief, Roland Willson vowed the contentious Site C Dam project would not receive their support saying,

Stopping this dam has always been the right thing to do. It would have taken some courage and some leadership, but it could have saved British Columbia billions of dollars and produced a clear example of reconciliation with First Nations. ….

And, the West Moberly are not alone in their opposition to the mega-dam.

Ken Boon is a Peace Valley farmer and president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association. Ken and his family have lived at the heart of the resistance to the Site C dam project from the beginning and it’s a fight that’s cost he and his dearly.


Ken Boon in the first half.

And; Tuesday, August 27th 2019 members of Canada’s national police force paid a surprise visit to a citizen’s house hoping to catch him at home. It was not a criminal matter, the subject had broken no law; so what warranted such attention?

Montreal-based author, journalist, and social justice activist, Yves Engler is well known to authorities. He’s made no secret of his effort to make our political leaders accountable to both the laws of this country and international statutes Canada is a party to. But, with almost four years of bad faith governing behind it, and an expected Autumn election looming ahead, it seems the government would prefer not to hear from critics like Monsieur Engler.


Yves Engler and using the RCMP to silence political criticism 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 going on in and around our town in the coming week.

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, A Kashmiri Shopkeeper August 15, 2019

Last week the Indian government officially abrogated the agreement the founders of the modern state signed guaranteeing Kashmiris the right to form an independent nation. With the stroke of a pen, prime minister Narendra Modi repealed Article 370, a provision of the Indian constitution granting special autonomous status to what was the northern state of Jammu & Kashmir, including the Ladakh region.

370 was specifically created to entice the majority Muslim region into the India fold during the partition of 1947.

Worse though than Modi’s unilateral declaration, something provoking condemnation throughout the region and beyond, are measures employed by the Indian government; the locking down and cutting off of Kashmir from the rest of the World.

Modi’s draconian actions from the perspective of India’s Kashmiri diaspora.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Howard Breen, Tasha Diamant, Janine Bandcroft August 29th, 2019

Ten days ago, Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister responsible for her government’s environmental policies, paid a visit to Victoria.

Unlike her Tory counterparts, Catherine is convinced of the reality of climate change, and says those who aren’t “should ask their kids & grandkids about how they feel about the fact that the Amazon is burning, the oceans are filled with plastics and pollution is choking our planet.

Here in British Columbia, where forests are clear-cut, marine habitat wantonly destroyed daily, and pollution of all sort “regularized” by Ms. McKenna’s department as the price of doing business, the “kids & grandkids” need to know how Catherine feels about that.

Howard Breen is long-time social and environmental activist. He calls our city home now, and when Minister McKenna came to visit he and his fellows from Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island greeted her with a citizen’s arrest warrant for crimes against nature.

Howard Breen in the first half.

And; fragile as nature, we humans are born naked, wide-open-defenseless. And, from that quavering first moment society is quick to the rescue, swaddling us in layers of culture. But at which turn of cloth does shelter become prison, walling us from one another; ultimately leaving us confined in solitude?

Tasha Diamant is a Victoria-based performance artist, activist, and creator of the Human Body Project. Tasha has presented her exploration of radical vulnerability at Fringe Festivals around the World, and on the streets, using her naked body as medium to challenge conventions of personal narrative and public engagement. And, Tasha Diamant is part of the Victoria Fringe Festival, happening right now, with her show, ‘Atrocities Я Us‘.


Tasha Diamant and holding vigil for Vulnerability 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.

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, Dougie Strang, Yves Engler, Janine Bandcroft August 22nd, 2019

How does one determine when it’s time to quit? When do you know your relationship with a partner, relative, job, or even the way you engage with the World has led to a dead-end? And, what then is to be done?

Ten years ago, two English writers, each convinced ecological campaigning in hopes of changing the trajectory of our modern consumptionist society was both doomed to failure and ultimately delusional, united to create, ‘Uncivilization: The Dark Mountain Manifesto‘. It proved the beginning of a project that continues yet, questioning “the stories our societies like to tell about the world and our place within it…

Dougie Strang is a Scotland-based writer and performer who’s been involved with the Dark Mountain Project from near its inception.

He currently serves as chair of the Steering Group, and also writes for the project’s books and website, and helps organise DM events and collaborations with other organisations. Strang says his performance work, “explores human/animal interactions, and our relationship to ritual and ceremony.

Dougie Strang in the first half.

And; with a Fall election call expected any day, the time couldn’t be better for Canadians to examine anew the state of the country’s political system; paying especial attention to Ottawa’s players as at their quadrennial electoral games.

Yves Engler is a Montréal-based activist, essayist, and author whose numerous articles appear at his site, YvesEngler.com, Dissident Voice, The Palestine Chronicle, and Pacific Free Press among other places. His latest, ‘Unifor aligns with Liberal foreign policy instead of international solidarity‘ is as round an evisceration of both the largest private sector union in Canada and it’s bosom pals in the Liberal party you’re likely to find.

Some of Engler’s ten book titles include: ‘A Propaganda System-How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation’, ‘Canada in Africa – 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation’, ‘The Ugly Canadian – Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy’, and his latest, ‘Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada’.

Yves Engler and Our Canada, Ourselves 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.

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/