Gorilla Radio 2019 Year Ender Show with Chris Cook, Andy Worthington, John Helmer, Nils Melzer, Andre Vltchek Dec. 26, 2019

Well, it’s another year come and gone, and this – the twentieth for Gorilla Radio – has spun faster than all the rest. Naturally, that’s what the older set always say; and to the youngsters out there, their eyes all a-roll I say, “You’ll see!” Or will you?

If the climate crisis is what is promised, perhaps there will be no more “some days” to come; but to those that believe that’s the case, I can only remind of my own experience. When I was young, so long ago, the threat of instant immolation in the nuclear fires of America and the Soviet Union hung over our young heads, a Damaclesian nightmare that made planning our bright future’s difficult, and sometimes seemingly pointless.

But here we are nearly forty years after Ronald Reagan, and in many ways the World is a better place than it was then.

I was recently publicly savaged for even contemplating that we were not all going to be drowned in an imminent Arctic meltdown as a dastardly “climate change denier”. Fight on Greta and all who oppose the polluters of both the psychic and physical environments I say. I’ll be there, doing my bit as I’ve done these twenty years past. But, and it’s an enormous one: never surrender the future to despair. Even though, to quote the late, great Robert Anton Wilson, “This planet is…populated and largely controlled by domesticated primates who are not in all respects reasonable men and women.”

Still, Wilson insists, though we are, according to the mathematical models of Prigogine and other physicists, evolving towards higher complexity and technical organization that promises societal breakthroughs rather than breakdowns, for the confirmed pessimist, those who find that prospect alarming, he advises, “…take comfort in the thought that, although human success is highly probable, there is still a small chance that we can blow ourselves up or that your favorite apocalyptic scenarios might still occur, despite the general trend toward higher coherence and intelligence.” And he reminds, “…of course, even if humanity seems condemned to overall success, you can still mess up your personal life.”

So Happy New Year everyone, and let’s hope we see the whole of it!

Now, I’ll be leaving the usual interview format today to look over the past year’s shows, play a couple clips and adding some musical filler too. I recently spoke with Andy Worthington, the aptly named Londoner who has, for the last eleven years mounted a campaign to Close Guantanamo, the American military prison and torture centre located on occupied Cuban soil. As part of the campaign, Andy has travelled to the US in hopes of inspiring enough Americans to challenge their government to uphold the national beliefs they profess and either put those men remaining in Gitmo on public trial, or release them, as “habeas corpus” the rule established in the Great Charter of England, foundational document of what eventual became the Parliamentary tradition, demands. Here’s Andy in an interview we recorded in January of 2019. But first, a little music to set the mood: Cuarteto Patria from the disc Putumayo Presents Cuba.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andre Vltchek Hong Kong (raw) December 22, 2019

Welcome to GR, etc. And welcome to our last show of 2019. Hard to believe time has flown so quickly, etc. Today, an interview I recorded over the weekend with Andre Vltchek. Andre’s been on the show a number of times over the years, but no matter how many times I’ve introduced him – listing his many accomplishments as a writer of plays, poetry, novels, documentary film scripts, or his many, many articles on the conditions for the poorest of the poor – I never feel I’ve credited enough this remarkable and intrepid witness to the state of the World and his times.

Andre’s many book titles 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’.

Andre is Hong Kong now, working on his latest book, a compendium of these tumultuous last few years of political unrest from Europe and West Asia, to the Americas and Far East.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andy Worthington, Nils Melzer Assange Redux, Janine Bandcroft Dec. 19th, 2019

Last week, Britain followed America’s lead in electing an ultra-conservative, faux populist based on the single premise of, if not making Britain Great again, at least carrying through with the years-old promise to take the country out of the European Union. The great mystery to those looking from outside the country is why?

Why, following the divisive and ill-defined scheme dreamt up by the David Cameron Tories of yore, did the people of that green and pleasant land, rather than punishing the authors, and bungling executors of the disastrous Brexit debacle, decide instead to reward them with massive electoral success?

And for Britons, the greater question now is, what’s going to happen next?

Andy Worthington is an investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. A recognized authority on the American prison at Guantánamo Bay 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 terrible place past and present.

The London-based Worthington is also a singer, songwriter, founding member of the band, The Four Fathers, and urban photographer whose State of London series is a seven plus years-long daily chronicle of that great city. In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues, and is the narrator of the newly released documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about “the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents.”

Andy Worthington in the first half.

And; it’s that time of the year again: Winter has set in, and the short, dark days of the northern hemisphere are beginning to grow old. And so, we hurry home through the cold, seeking comfort in the warm embrace of family and friends, and bask in the solace afforded by the hearth. So, to honour that sentiment, a small hiatus from the usual format to acknowledge our collective desire for a peaceful World and support of those sacrificing so much for it 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 the Day After for Britain.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andre Vltchek, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft December 12, 2019

Exactly one month ago the overwhelmingly popular president of Bolivia was overthrown in a coup d’Etat. Since then, the far-right usurpers have moved quickly to undo all progressive legislation and reforms favouring the poor Evo Morales has enacted over the last 14 years.

As well as terrorizing the population, the regime recognized by Canada and other rule of law paragons has shot down citizens in the streets, killing at least thirty people, while injuring as many as a thousand, and has summarily arrested and detained an unknown number of government supporters and suspected supporters.

The coupsters have also announced wholesale cuts to social programs, and most pointedly, say they will strip the indigenous majority of hard won rights.

Andre Vtchek 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.

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’. Andre is in South America now, recording the resurgent tide of unrest there.

Andre Vltchek in the first half.

And; emboldened perhaps by his successful defiance of NATO and America regarding Russian armaments purchases, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now claiming a swath of the Mediterranean seabed as his own. The Turkish government announced a deal signed with dubious claimants to authority in Libya that would, in Erdogan’s eyes at least, grant Turkey fishing and seabottom mining and mineral rights others are sure to contest.

John Helmer is a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to governments, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. He’s also one of the most widely read Russian specialists in the business world for his news-breaking stories on Russian base and precious metals, diamonds, mining, shipping, insurance, food trade, and business policy.

Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, (co-authored with Claudia Wright) and his latest is the political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’. His latest article at Dances with Bears is, ‘THE SULTAN’S NEW POWER GRAB IS THE MEDITERRANEAN TO THE LIBYAN SHORE – WHAT ROLE FOR THE RUSSIAN S-400?’.


John Helmer and the New Ottoman Empire taking to the seabed 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. But first, Andre Vltchek and Indigenous Bolivia Ready to Go to War Against Fascism.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Matthew J.L. Ehret, Ross Crockford, Janine Bandcroft December 5th, 2019

Last month, Justin Trudeau announced his new cabinet, and primary among changes made was shifting Chrystia Freeland out of Foreign Affairs and into a newly created role as Deputy Prime Minister. Freeland’s previous appointment was a curious one, given her history of impolitic outspokenness, but rewarding her disastrous tenure there with the shotgun seat of our national government is downright mysterious.

Matthew J. L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer, author, and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review. His book titles include: ‘The Time Has Come for Canada to Join the New Silk Road: A Blueprint for the 21st Century’, ‘The British Roots of the Deep State Exposed: A New Trans Pacific Alliance May Now Take Shape’, and in three volumes, ‘The Untold History of Canada’.

Ehret’s articles also appear at, among other places: Asia Times, The Duran, ZeroHedge, and Strategic Culture Foundation where I found his recent piece, ‘Freeland’s New Role As Deputy Prime Minister Puts Her in Second in Command…of the Titanic’.

Matthew J.L. Ehret in the first half.

And; when is enough too much? Yet another condo development at variance with Victoria’s Official Community Plan has Fairfield residents up in arms. But, there’s more to the story than a neighbourhood fighting City Hall. At the heart of community resistance to the proposed, (and council approved) Rhodo town homes at Hollywood Park lay the larger questions of civic planning, municipal governance, and just how much weight should global issues like climate change be allowed to exert on local decision making?

Ross Crockford is an award-winning journalist, editor, author, civic activist and co-founder of the watchdog website, JohnsonStreetBridge.org. His latest article for Focus Magazine, Density on Trial explores the neighbours who would rein in the Rhodo.

Ross is too the recipient of a Western Magazine Award for business writing, the Jack Webster Award of Distinction for investigative reporting, and a National Magazine Award for sports writing, and his book, ‘Victoria: The Unknown City’ is the alt. guidebook to both the seemly and less so sides of town both past and present.

Ross Crockford and Victoria’s planning future seen through a glass densely 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, Matthew J.L. Ehret and navigating icebergs with the Canadian ship of state’s new second in command, Chrystia Freeland.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Yves Engler, Ted Smith, Janine Bandcroft November 28th, 2019

Among other changes to Canada’s government, last week’s cabinet shuffle saw Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland moved out.

Freeland distinguished herself as a vigilant defender of democracy and “rule of law” proponent – especially where those things applied to other governments. But, and it is an enormous one; do Ms. Freeland’s high standards apply to how this country, Canada conducts its business in the World?

Whether supporting coups d’état in Chile, Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ukraine, and most recently Bolivia, or waging regime change wars against countries like Libya, Syria, and the Former Yugoslavia, Canada has a curious, if not unique, way of expressing its support for those things the former foreign minister says she cherishes.

Yves Engler is a Montréal-based activist, essayist, and author. His articles appear at Dissident Voice, The Palestine Chronicle, Rabble.ca, and Pacific Free Press among other places. The latest of his ten books, ‘Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada‘ questions why, despite all evidence to the contrary, Canadians still suffer under the delusion that they and their nation’s government are “a benevolent force in the world”?

Yves is also an key organizer with Disruption Network Canada who has, along with Canadian human rights activist lawyer and journalist, Dimitri Lascaris, mobilized activists to challenge politicians through peaceful, direct action.

Yves Engler in the first half.

And; in an action reminiscent of years gone by, two weeks ago the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club was raided by the Community Safety Unit, new face of British Columbia’s marijuana law enforcement.

Ted Smith is a long-time justice activist and co-founder of the Victoria Cannabis Buyer’s Club, which for more than twenty years has provided cannabis-based products to people with terminal and incurable medical conditions. He says, though waiting for the CSU shoe to drop, the Club was still unprepared for the raid when it came.


Ted Smith and the perils of practicing compassionate care for the sick and dying in Canada’s new “legal marijuana” environment 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, Yves Engler and looking twice at Canada’s moral high horse, and assumed political perspicacity.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Alan MacLeod, Andrew Williamson, Janine Bandcroft November 21st, 2019

For any who doubted “democratic regime change” an oxymoronic euphemism for totalitarian takeover, just take a look at what’s going down in Bolivia.

Less than a week into the overthrow of Latin America’s most popular president, there’s blood in the streets. And, the “new elections” Western governments, environmental NGO’s, and even lefty US presidential campaign front-runner Elizabeth Warren are calling for won’t include Evo Morales’ Movement for Socialism party. That according to democracy champion and self-proclaimed interim Bolivian president, Jeanine Áñez.

Dr. Alan MacLeod is an educator, essayist, and author whose research interests include media theory, propaganda, social media and South American politics.

MacLeod’s first book is, ‘Bad News From Venezuela, 20 Years of Fake News and Misreporting‘, and he served as editor of ‘Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent‘, described as “a collaborative volume which updates Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model for the twenty-first-century media landscape”. Alan’s articles too appear at CounterPunch.org and FAIR.org, where his latest is, ‘The Bolivian Coup Is Not a Coup—Because US Wanted It to Happen‘.

Alan MacLeod in the first half.

And; racism and resource exploitation are also at the heart of British Columbia’s fracked gas industry. As well as running roughshod over First Nations’ rights and despoiling the lands and fresh water of the province, LNG transhipments also pose an unmitigable threat to marine life. ‘The Whale and the Raven‘ is a newly released documentary film screening next week, November 27th and 28th at UVic’s Cinecenta cinema. The film features the spectacular ecology of the Salish Sea and the people desperate to protect and preserve it.

Andrew Williamson is an award-winning, BC-based film producer and director and founder of Off Island and Crazy8’s. Andrew shared production duties on the Canadian/German co-production through Cedar Island Films.

Andrew Williamson and The Whale and the Raven, a “story of humans and non-humans, united by a deep connection to the sea, separated by conflicting plans for its future” 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, Alan MacLeod and the continuing coup that wasn’t in Bolivia.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ellen Moore, Joe Emersberger, Janine Bandcroft November 14th, 2019

The fight against neo-colonism, exemplified by extractivist industry policies everywhere, continues. In Canada, and throughout jurisdictions in both North and South, resource interests and their allies in government have invoked and enacted “consultation” measures. Presented as a means of inclusion for local, primarily indigenous, community participation in the mining, logging, and fossil fuel exploration and extraction decision-making process, in reality consultation only matters when the answer to development is “Yes”.

The Xinka people of Guatemala know this too well. They’ve been struggling for more than a decade to resist transnational capital’s plans for the Escobal Mine in their community, where corruption, intimidation, violence and murder have been the response of proponents.

Mining Watch Canada and American Non-Profit organization Earthworks are currently travelling Canada on a speaking and actions tour, and they’ll be in Victoria this coming Monday, November 18th.

All are invited to hear Xinka Parliament community organizer and paralegal activist, Luis Fernando Garcia Monroy and my first guest, Earthworks’ International Mining Coordinator, Ellen Moore presenting UnderMining Indigenous Rights: Pan American Silver in Guatemala at the Cadboro Bay United Church, 2625 Arbutus Road.

Ellen Moore in the first half.

And; extractivist industries and their proponents are too rumoured behind the violent ouster this past week of the duly elected president of Bolivia, Evo Morales. Canada’s government, in concert with its U.S. counterpart have voiced support for the extrajudicial undermining of the president there, as they both have supported anti-democratic campaigns in Honduras, Venezuela, and Brazil in recent years.

Joe Emersberger is a Canada-based writer whose work, primarily focused on media distortion and confabulation, appears at FAIR.org, VenezuelAnalysis, The Canary, and Counterpunch.org.

Joe Emersberger and opening the hood of the well-worn mechanism of regime change in Latin America 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, Ellen Moore and UnderMining Indigenous Rights: Pan American Silver in Guatemala.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Mathew Legge, Larry Hannant, Janine Bandcroft November 7th, 2019

More than a century and half after Dickens’ observation of living in the “best and worst of times“, we living now on the verge of transformative technologies promising to make of our existence the paradise on Earth so long promised are, instead of grasping the best of all times, stuck in an Iron Age paradigm of endless war and violence. And worse yet, according to my first guest, things are getting worse yet.

Mathew Legge is Peace Program Coordinator for the Canadian Friends Services Committee, the peace and social justice agency of Quakers in Canada. He’s also a researcher in the fields of neuroscience, social psychology, and behavioral economics whose blog, Are We Done Fighting? appears at the Psychology Today website.

Matthew will be on the island next week to speak on the issues presented in his newly released book, ‘Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division‘.

Mathew Legge in the first half.

And; Canadians seem never to tire of making connections with native sons and daughters who have achieved great things abroad. Just one such person is Dr. Norman Bethune. A national hero in China, Bethune’s communist sympathies though has long presented government of Canada propagandists with a dilemma; so, while his humanitarian contributions are undeniable, Norman Bethune may just be, 80 years after his death, the most famous Canadian hero most Canadians have never heard of!

Larry Hannant is a writer, historian, educator, social justice advocate and activist. He’s author of the Robert S. Kenny Prize-winning book, ‘The Politics of Passion: Norman Bethune’s Writing and Art‘, the soon to be released, ‘Bucking Conservatism: Alternative Stories of Alberta in the 1960s and 1970s’, ‘The Infernal Machine: Investigating the Loyalty of Canada’s Citizens‘, and the just out, ‘All My Politics Are Poetry’. Hannant and fellow speakers, Eric Zhao, Parneyan Weera, and Florian Castle will be presenting a commemoration of the life and times of Norman Bethune and simultaneous launch of Larry’s book tonight at the Victoria Event Centre on Broad Street at 7pm sharp.

Larry Hannant, Norman Bethune and the politics of poetry 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, Mathew Legge and strategizing responses to the current wave of hate and divisiveness.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, David Boudinot, Daniel Kovalik, Janine Bandcroft October 31st, 2019

Everyone knows plastic, the stuff almost all of us use daily, as the greatest bane modern civilization has bestowed upon the natural environment. Destined by design to outlive both humanity and the rest of biological life, it seems hardly a day goes by without a new and more destructive facet of this ubiquitous material being unearthed.

My first guest discovered this firsthand when he found “nurdles” while taking part in a Surfrider beach cleanup at Victoria’s picturesque Willow’s Beach.

David Boudinot is the lead Plastic Pellet Researcher at the Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island Chapter.

David Boudinot in the first half.

And; those believing the Bolivarian Revolution down for the count following the death of its most emblematic spokesperson, Hugo Chavez will just have to keep counting.

Though it looked for a while in Latin America, with the wave of corporate cadres and military strongmen brought into power, that the Pink Tide had ebbed, perhaps forever, but the people long benighted by death squad dictators and their Yankee bank backers are risen again.

From Mexico to Argentina, Atlantic to Pacific, there is a groundswell of activism determined to throw off again the yolk of tyranny.

Daniel Kovalik is a lawyer, educator, labour, peace, and justice activist, democracy defender, journalist and author. He teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and was until recently Senior Associate General Counsel for the United Steel Workers Union. Kovalik has observed elections in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Colombia, where he too witnessed the 2016 peace plebiscite promising an end to the generational war there.

Dan’s also served as an attorney for Colombian plaintiffs in cases alleging corporate human rights violations, and is co-recipient of a Project Censored Award for chronicling the murder of trade unionists in Colombia. Some of his many book titles include: ‘The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin’, ‘The Plot to Attack Iran: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Iran’, ‘The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World, and his latest, ‘The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US Is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.’

Dan Kovalik and the rising waters of justice south 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, David Boudinot and the trouble with nurdles.

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/

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft October 24th, 2019

Barcelona has seen street protests, police violence, and property damage for more than a week and half, since the sentencing of separatist leaders to lengthy prison terms for their part in the 2017 unsanctioned Catalonia independence referendum.

Thousands have nightly filled the streets, while an estimated 2 million came out in protest in Barcelona to demonstrate against the court’s heavy-handed rulings. Hong Kong-style disruption tactics have spread too to Barcelona’s El Prat airport, while last Friday a general strike paralyzed the heart of Spain’s richest region.

All this comes as Madrid’s failed federal government readies for a November election; the second this year.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel is Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria’s Political Science Department and Centre for Global Studies. He’s also a native of Barcelona whose Fellowship project at UVic is, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The Exemplary Case of Spain’.

Pablo Ouziel from Barcelona in the first half.

And; two weeks into Turkey’s Syria incursion another mass exodus of civilians from Syria has rendered tens of thousands homeless. It has also forced a veritable blitz of diplomatic efforts from West Asia to Sochi, Russia. Earlier this week, American vice-president, Mike Pence met with Turkish president, Recep Erdogan to negotiate a cessation of hostilities. Tuesday, Erdogan and Russian president, Vladimir Putin agreed a deal that would divide policing of the territory of concern to Turkey, actually halting its military offensive; for now.

John Helmer is a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to governments, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. Some of Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, (co-authored with Claudia Wright) and his latest is the political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’. His latest article at Dances with Bears is, ‘THE SULTAN BLINKED, THE TSAR AGREED TO CLOSE HIS EYES – THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE EXPANDS BY 118 KILOMETRES OF SYRIA’

John Helmer and Russia’s hand in the Grand Syria Game 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, Pablo Ouziel and Catalonia’s lengthening winter of discontent.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Bo Filter, Caitlyn Vernon*, Vanessa Beeley, Janine Bandcroft October 17, 2019

Turkey’s illegal invasion of Syria last week is the latest fracture in NATO’s fragile facade as World peacekeeper and self-professed desire to “live in peace with all peoples and all governments.” And it’s also a blow to NATO’s origin story of being founded on “the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.”

But then few familiar with international realpolitik believed that fable. So, why do nice countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway still participate in the alliance? Why does Canada?

Bo Filter is a long-time peace activist, military veteran, and author of the book, ‘The Cause of Wars and Aggression‘. He’s also a co-sponsor of the petition to remove Canada from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Bo Filter in the first half.

And; escalating climate actions around the World have elicited the predictable response from governments owing allegiance to the economic order millions believe threatens the survival of humanity; arrests, and lots of them.

But some countries are more proactive when it comes to fighting environmental rebellion. A 2015 court case revealed Canada’s intelligence services spied on climate activists opposed to the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline. Environmental organizations taking part in the investigation of the investigators were forced to agree to gag orders, but that hasn’t set well, so the Sierra Club of BC et al, in partnership with the BC Civil Liberties Association, are “seeking accountability and an end to unconstitutional spying on Canadians” in the courts.

Caitlyn Vernon is Campaigns Director at the Sierra Club. She’s spent years working for climate solutions that will provide green jobs, while keeping fossil fuels “in the ground”. Caitlyn launched the Pull Together initiative, that raised more than a million dollars for Indigenous legal challenges to Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipeline approvals, and hosts the podcast, ‘Mission Transition: Powering BC’s Clean Energy Economy’. She’s also the author of Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest.

Caitlyn Vernon and making The Protest Papers 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.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, David Swanson, Joyce Nelson, Janine Bandcroft October 10th, 2019

Wars and rumours of same abound still throughout West Asia, where last week demonstrations for a more inclusive economy in Iraq were met with extreme state violence and the emergence of “mysterious sniper teams” reportedly killing protesters and police alike.

Meanwhile, American military manoeuvres in Syria stoked fears of a renewed Turkish incursion against Kurdish forces long at war there fighting those infamous agents of transnational mayhem for hire, Islamic State.

It’s clear in 2019, the New World Order promised by George H. Bush thirty years ago is but a mire of perpetual warfare.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, broadcaster, and executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org.

Some of his many book titles include: ‘War Is A Lie’, ‘When the World Outlawed War’, and ‘War No More: The Case for Abolition’. David blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org, and is also the host of Talk Nation Radio.

David Swanson in the first half.

And; while the burning question in Canada’s looming election is vital to the nation, what else might we voters still undecided on “who looks best in a canoe?” want to consider before casting our franchise into the polling pot? How about something more prosaic like the privatization of Canada’s water supply and sewage management systems?

The Canada Infrastructure Bank‘s recent announcement it would provide “innovative funding” for just such a scheme is an issue currently left undebated by all federal parties, and entirely ignored by all in the press save, according to my second guest, the lonely alternative media site, Press Progress.

Joyce Nelson is an award-winning Canadian freelance writer, researcher, and author whose articles appear in the Watershed Sentinel and at CounterPunch.org. Some of her seven book titles include: ‘The Perfect Machine: TV in the Nuclear Age,’ ‘Sultans of Sleaze: Public Relations and the Media,’ ‘Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism’ and its newly released sequel, ‘Bypassing Dystopia: Hope-filled Challenges to Corporate Rule.’

Joyce Nelson and ‘Privatizing Canada’s Water Infrastructure Should be an Election Issue‘ 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, David Swanson and wars past not passed, and finding peace in a World Beyond War.

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/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Robert Hunziker, Dave Lindorff, Janine Bandcroft October 3rd, 2019

September 11th past marked more than the eighteenth anniversary of the day western democracy died, it also commemorated the eight and a half years passed since a tsunami slammed into Japan’s Fukushima prefecture.

Today, though not as intended, Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station chugs on, still creating the byproducts if not the benefits of the atomic revolution.

Till now, most of the contaminated water used to continually cool the melted-down cores of the wrecked plant has been stored in a massive tank field, stretching as far as the eye can see. But after eight and a half years, Tokyo Electric, aka TEPCO says they’re running out of storage room. Fortunately however, TEPCO’s got a plan.

Robert Hunziker is an environmental journalist whose climate clarion calls appear in numerous journals and multiple languages around the World and across the internet. He’s also appeared in a variety of electronic media to talk about global climate change, penned numerous articles on the ever-quickening polar ice melt, and written extensively about the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. His latest article on that near-forgotten catastrophe, ‘Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Crisis‘ appears at CounterPunch.org.

Robert Hunziker in the first half.

And; those who reveal unwelcome truths are seldom rewarded. Whether receiving the punishment of whistleblower Julian Assange, languishing yet in British solitary confinement, or threats of similar treatment made by the government of Japan should any journalist there for example have the temerity to dig up dirt on the corruption at the core of its nuclear power industry, these are indeed dangerous times for truth-tellers. Now, America has deployed another answer for troublesome pests in the press and other cage rattlers.

Dave Lindorff is a publisher, investigative journalist, and author. The former Los Angeles Daily News government bureau chief and freelance reporter now writes for and publishes the multiple Project Censored award-winning online news website, This Can’t Be Happening, where a transcript of his recent NPR interview, ‘Dave Lindorff Tells about Finding Himself on the US Government’s Terrorist Watch List’ appears. Lindorff’s book titles include, ‘This Can’t Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy,’ ‘Marketplace Medicine: The Rise of the For Profit Hospital Chains,’ and ‘Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.’

Dave Lindorff and what it takes to make the US Terror Watchlist 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.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 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/