• Written by Tom Engelhardt

Strains of Another Arab Spring

Spring Stirrings and Misgivings: Of Autocrats and Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa

by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch

May 2, 2019  
 
“Al-Shebab,” said my student Jerry early in the fall 2010 semester. “We’re calling our small group al-Shebab. It means ‘The Youth.’” From his name alone, I wouldn’t have guessed his background, but he was proud of his family’s Egyptian roots and had convinced his classmates to give their group an Arabic name.

As usually happens when the semester ends and my dozens of students scatter, Jerry and I lost touch. The following April, however, we ran into each other at a rally organized by students at my university to support the Arab Spring. 
 Like many others around the world, I’d watched transfixed as brave unarmed civilians faced down riot police on the bridges leading to Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
 I’d celebrated on February 11, 2011, when the corrupt and authoritarian Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned as the military took control of that country.

Jerry’s eyes sparkled when he saw me. “Isn’t it amazing?” he shouted. Yes, it was amazing... until it wasn’t.

This spring, eight years later, there has been a new set of popular uprisings in northern Africa, from Algeria to Morocco, to Sudan. Let’s hope they have more lasting success than Egypt’s Arab Spring. 
 
 
  • Written by Press Release

A Call for Aid: Unist'ot'en Healing Lodge Work Camp Begins

Work Camp at the Unist'ot'en Village begins

by Unist'ot'en Healing Lodge


May 6, 2019
Work Camp at the Unist'ot'en Village begins in one week. People and materials are already heading to the Village. Meanwhile Coastal GasLink and the RCMP continue to flaunt the limits of their interim injunction, abusing the land and abusing the people. 
 
 

But the resolve of the Unist'ot'en, along with the whole Wet'suwet'en Nation, remains strong. Please stand with these brave land defenders. Funds and allies are always appreciated.

The Unist'ot'en Village has stood for 10 years now as a bastion of resistance to fossil fuel pipelines and as an assertion of Indigenous sovereignty. It is the physical embodiment of the Unist'ot'en dedication to Healing the Land and Healing the People.

With the combined support of the BC and federal governments and overwhelming force employed by the RCMP, Coastal GasLink has been enabled to temporarily carry out work on its fracked gas pipeline through Wet'suwet'en Territory. This is pursuant to an Interim Court Injunction issued by the BC Supreme Court. 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andy Worthington, Pablo Ouziel, Janine Bandcroft May 2nd, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

May 2, 2019

Last week marked the eighth anniversary of the WikiLeaks release of 'The Guantánamo Files'. A lot has changed since their original airing, and a lot hasn't.

Obama has come and gone, the immediate closure of "Gitmo" now just another of his hoped for but unkept promises, while both the publisher of the files revealing the horrors of the camp, and the person Obama pardoned for leaking them are themselves now imprisoned; Julian Assange held in solitary at London's infamous Belmarsh Prison, and Chelsea Manning, after a month of solitary confinement, facing "indefinite detention" for refusing a Virginia Grand Jury's subpoena to testify in its investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks.

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 the Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker campaigns, both dedicated to bringing justice for inmates of that place past and present.

Listen. Hear.

The London-based Worthington is also a singer, songwriter, founding member of the band, The Four Fathers, (currently searching for a new bass player) and urban photographer whose State of London series is a seven years-long daily chronicle of that great city.

Andy Worthington in the first half.

And; despite the rightward trend in European politics, Spain's Socialist Party, the PSOE, held power in Sunday's elections there, though again with a minority. While the government's renewal, and seat increase gives Pedro Sánchez' party a strong mandate to govern, the admission to Parliament of 24 members of the ultra-right VOX party is grabbing the headlines. It's the first far-right party to gain seats since democracy replaced the dictatorship of Generalissimo Francisco Franco more than 40 years ago.

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 is, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The Exemplary Case of Spain’.

Pablo Ouziel and political breathing space for Spain's left 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, Andy Worthington and eight years later, the Guantánamo Files then and now.

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/
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Susan Power, Maximilian C. Forte, Janine Bandcroft April 25th, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

April 25, 2019

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.

Listen. Hear.

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/
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  • Written by Andre Vltchek

Resistance in Queen City: A Prairie Protest for Peace

In the Small Canadian City of Regina, Resistance is Brewing

by Andre Vltchek - NEO

April 22, 2019

Ed Lehman is a Canadian Communist,and a comrade of mine. I don’t say such things often or lightly, especially about Westerners. But he became my comrade, and we struggled shoulder to shoulder, for five days. Not in the South American wilderness, not in Afghanistan or Syria, but in Regina, a small Canadian city, the capital of the province of Saskatchewan.

I admit, before being invited there, I knew close to nothing about Regina. I did not even know how to pronounce it, correctly. But one day, an email arrived, and I was invited to become a keynote speaker at the Peace Conference there – in Regina. Spontaneously, I accepted.

The peace conference was called “Yes to Peace and Progress – No to NATO and War!”

I usually do not speak at peace conferences. I have always believed that oppressed and colonized countries have to fight for their independence and freedom, and that peace as it is propagated in the West is something that basically upholds the status quo. It is, as I mentioned in Canada, “when the bombs are not falling on Paris or Toronto”. It is when the wretched of the earth are dying quietly and obediently, far away from camera lenses, in their looted countries and continents.

Actually, many peace movements in the West annoy me to the extreme. Their lack of sensitivity, as well as ignorance, are maddening.The desire of their members to ‘do good’ and ‘feel good’, is often self-serving, and has absolutely nothing to do with the struggle for justice in dozens of colonized, and plundered ‘client’ states.

But there was something very different in what I detected while reading the invitation from Regina. The organizers were actually talking about justice, not just about stopping conflict. They were full-heartedly defending Venezuela. And their main goal was to dismantle NATO, or ‘at least’ to convince Canadians that their country should not participate in the bloodstained ‘adventures’ which are ruining the lives of hundreds of millions of people all over the world. I felt that I was being approached by the real and solid Left. And therefore, without much hesitation, I accepted.

***
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  • Written by Oil Price.com

Twilight for House of Sauds?

Can Saudi Arabia Still Sway The Oil Market?

by Tsvetana Paraskova - Oilprice

April 23, 2019


Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and OPEC's largest producer, has influenced the oil market and oil flows since the middle of the 20th century.

Shortly after the 21st century began, one of Saudi Arabia's key customers made its first steps toward becoming one of the Kingdom's main competitors on the global oil market: the United States began fracking for oil in the mid-2000s. By the end of the 2010s, the U.S. is now the world's biggest crude oil producer, having surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to claim the crown.

Sure, Saudi Arabia is one of the most important factors in global crude trade and oil market participants are lapping up every word and hint from the top oil officials in the Kingdom.

But as the U.S. has started to rely on fewer imported barrels, Saudi Arabia’s power to sway the market has diminished. Another large Saudi customer, China, now has more leverage over Saudi Arabia’s oil flows, Dafna Maor, a columnist for Israeli newspaper Haaretz, writes.

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  • Written by Press Release

The Price of Protest: Palestine's Great March at One

Great Return March One Year On: Palestinian Protesters Continue to Peacefully Protest Despite Continued Excessive Use of Force and Killings 

by Al Haq, (Reporting Period: 30 March – 19 April 2019

April 19, 2019

Since 30 March 2019, Palestinians have gathered every Friday to protest and participate in the Great Return March. In response, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) has systematically and forcefully suppressed the peaceful protests along the Gaza fence with unnecessary and excessive force, including lethal force.

To date, 204 Palestinians, including 46 children, seven persons with disability, three paramedics and two journalists have been killed as a result of Israel’s disproportionate use of force, firing live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters indiscriminately at protesters.

The information provided below is based on Al-Haq’s field documentation throughout the Great Return March protests between the one-year mark of the Great Return March, on 30 March, and 19 April 2019.

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  • Written by Caitlin Johnstone

Debunking the Assange Smears: Smear # 4 - Assange As Russian Agent

Debunking The “Assange Is A Russian Agent” Smears

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

April 18, 2019

This is an excerpt from the upcoming mega-article “Debunking All The Assange Smears”, which is still under construction.

I’m putting together a comprehensive list of all the major smears and disinfo that’s being circulated about Julian Assange, and refuting those arguments with the help of information brought to me by my readers and social media followers. Keep a lookout for the full article; it should be out soon, and it’s gonna be good.

If you have any articles, tweets or short videos you’ve found which do a good job of refuting a specific Assange smear, please send them to me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., along with any smears you”d like to have more help addressing.

Not even the US government alleges that WikiLeaks knowingly coordinated with the Kremlin in the 2016 publication of Democratic Party emails; the Robert Mueller Special Counsel alleged only that Guccifer 2.0 was the source of those emails and that Guccifer 2.0 was a persona covertly operated by Russian conspirators.

The narrative that Assange worked for or knowingly conspired with the Russian government is a hallucination of the demented Russia hysteria which has infected all corners of mainstream political discourse. There is no evidence for it whatsoever, and anyone making this claim should be corrected and dismissed.

But we don’t even need to concede that much.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Antony C. Black, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft April 18th, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


April 18, 2019

che kokoWith the surrendering of Julian Assange by Ecuador to London's Metropolitan police, the WikiLeaks publisher's long embassy asylum ends, and a new phase of his persecution begins.

But is that a bad thing? Assange is in poor health, and his erstwhile "protectors" proved unable, or unwilling, to provide proper medical attention. The British prison system should be capable of better.

Moreover, his arrest pushes the case so far made against Assange past the pages of a curiously unsympathetic press and into the English courts, where claims of fact must meet the test of proof.

John Helmer is a journalist, former academic, government policy advisor, author, broadcaster and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears, where his recent article, 'The Julian Assange Case Now Puts the US on Trial in a British Court: Is There a GET-OUT-OF-JAIL Card for Assange?' explores the likely tangled path to justice Julian Assange and his lawyers must now navigate.

Listen. Hear.

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 his latest is the newly out political and personal memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; murderous criminality is not the sole purview of the American state; its friends and allies are remorseless killers too. In the 1990's, details of Operation Gladio emerged from the testimony of former Italian prime minister, Giulio Andreotti during a special investigation into the 1980's terrorist bombings initially blamed on that country's infamous Red Brigades.

What was revealed next as chronicled in Paul L. Williams' book, Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between The Vatican, The CIA, and the Mafia, should have provoked outrage fervid enough to tear out root and branch the fascist tendrils permeating Europe, and America's power structures. Should have.

Antony C. Black is a long-time freelance essayist devoted to, among other topics, "debunking one aspect or another of US and Western imperialism". His efforts have found purchase in print in the past at the Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator, and Canadian Dimension Magazine, as well as online at Z Mag, Swans, ICH, and Global Research. Antony's latest, a review of Williams' Operation Gladio, 'Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance' I found at Off-Guardian.org. Black is too a former steelworker, psychotherapist, and retired school teacher.

Antony C. Black and the "far-right figures in the intelligence, military, government, media, Church and corporate sectors ... [and] motley assortment of unreconstructed WW2 fascists, psychopaths and criminal underworld types" also known as, "Gladio" in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will join us 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, John Helmer and putting the United States in a British dock, courtesy 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.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/
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  • Written by M. C. Forte

Tracking Democracy's Demise Through Assange/WikiLeaks Arrest

The WikiLeaks Case: Democracy Dies in Empire

by M. C. Forte - ZeroAnthropology

April 14, 2019

In the avalanche of news reports that have washed over the globe since the abduction of Julian Assange, this conversation struck me as containing numerous points of importance. It seemed worthwhile to have some of these points transcribed and listed here. 

 

 


If you have seen it, then the select transcriptions beneath the video might serve as useful reminders; however, if you missed it, watch the video instead (or listen to the podcast below).

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  • Written by M. C. Forte

Julian Assange Joins West's Political Prisoner Gulag System

Julian Assange, Political Prisoner: A Dark Day for Citizenship

by M. C. Forte - ZeroAnthropology

April 12, 2019

After a day of following RT’s live coverage of the outrageous arrest of Julian Assange, abducted from the Embassy of Ecuador in London by British police agents, and then hearing US media fall over each other in a competition for who could make the most psychotic accusations against Assange (Fox News, interestingly, distinguishing itself as the sane exception on this matter), I have come to a different set of opinions on what this event means. It has been many years since I last wrote like I do below, but I have an axe to grind, and boy do I mean to grind it. 

A Dark Day for What?

My first surprise was not in the arrest itself and the abrupt cancellation of Ecuador’s asylum, but the conclusion that first came to many commentators’ minds: this is a dark day for journalism. If that were true, we might even breathe a sigh of relief, given how disreputable and discredited most of the news media have become as publishers of falsehoods, propaganda, and smears.

The sadder reality is that today was a dark day for citizenship, for democracy, and for international law.

The event should serve as a reminder that we are all being violently confronted with a dead post-liberalism that is reactionary, abusive, and arrogant. In the West at least, all of us live in authoritarian prisons: mass surveillance, mass indoctrination, and increasingly all-inclusive censorship.

Journalism would have needed to still be alive, for this to have been a dark day for it.

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