Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Cavanagh and Pedro Cabezas, David Rovics January 17, 2024

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded Jan. 17th, 2024

January 11th marks the first anniversary of the arrest of the “Santa Marta 5” in El Salvador. Known as “The Water Defenders”, the five were instrumental in bringing about a 2017 national ban on mining in the country. But now political winds have shifted, with current office-holders eager to reverse the ban. Part of that determination apparently includes using the courts to neutralize inconvenient impediments.

Over the past week transnational environmental and social justice organizations mobilized in defense of the five men, manifesting demonstrations in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Washington, DC. Press conferences were called, letter campaigns launched, and “State of Deception“, an exhaustive report on the findings of an international delegation investigating the charges was released.

Pedro Cabezas took part in the virtual press conference, along with John Cavanagh and others. Pedro is coordinator of the Central American Alliance on Mining, ACAFREMIN; while John, as well as being a past UN economist, is currently a Senior Advisor at the DC-based Institute of Policy Studies. Both are co-authors of The Water Defenders report, ‘State of Deception: A fact-finding report on El Salvador’s detained water defenders, the potential return of environmentally destructive mining, and the state of human rights under the Bukele administration’.

John Cavanagh and Pedro Cabezas in the first half.

And; for the last 100 and more days and nights Israel has visited Hell upon the heads of the people of Gaza. That what it is doing is an outrage against humanity is beyond question, and indefensible; and yet the bombing continues. Millions around the World have taken to the streets and public places in their towns and cities – especially those in Western capitals – in efforts to shake support by their respective governments of Israel – if only by omission of censure – for the killing. So far to no avail.

David Rovics is a confessed “Singer/songwriter, writer, anarchist, dad, and lover of life,” (not necessarily in that order). He’s been expressing his outrage in song, as he has done on so many issues for so long. The result is a collection of twenty songs, compiled in the album, ‘Notes from a Holocaust’. He says, “I wrote them to bear witness to the genocide of the Palestinian people that continues by the hour as I publish this album.”

David Rovics and killing war with music in the second half.

But first, John Cavanagh and Pedro Cabezas defending The Santa Marta 5, El Salvador’s Water Defenders.


Songs: ‘If a Song Could Raise an Army’

‘Once the Last Palestinian’s Killed’

Artist: David Rovics


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at Gorilla-Radio.com, GRadio.Substack.com, and the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Julia Barnes, David Rovics February 12th, 2022

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded February 12th, 2022.

Not content with the massive ecological damage created by land-based metals mining, industrial interests are now viewing the oceans of the world as the next frontier. Deep-Sea Mining, known too as Sea Bed Mining, is the next big thing – and we’re told it will be a part of the solution to humanity’s carbon pollution problem. Once again, technologists promise they’ll fix the environmental problems they and modern society has created with technology, with technology. But, not everyone is convinced.

Julia Barnes is an environmental champion and award-winning filmmaker of the documentaries Sea of Life and Bright Green Lies. Julia is aligned now with an array of ocean defenders, contributing her talents to the effort to kill Deep Sea Mining in the cradle.

Julia Barnes in the first half.

And; the Great Spotify Debate rages on, gathering adherents and detractors by the moment. You’ve likely heard of the furore Canadian rock legend, Neil Young began with his ultimatum to the online audio content streaming behemoth, saying its platform wasn’t big enough for both he and talk show giant, Joe Rogan. Spotify replied to Mr. Young’s demands by removing what music of his it had – doing little, incidentally to cool his spleen – so good for Neil. But, what about the majority of musicians whose music appears on the platform for a pittance; what does Spotify mean to them?

Rabble-rousing, anarcho-socialist type, David Rovics, whose frequent essays on political issues and societal observation are featured at CounterPunch and Dissident Voice.org among other places describes himself as a broadcaster, musician, blogger, and author of the novel, ‘A Busker’s Adventures’. But, he’s more than just those things. David is also a husband and parent, alt-media maven, resident of the famously restive Portland, Oregon, and man with a special talent for pissing people off. His weekly program, This Week with David Rovics can be found through his website, DavidRovics.com, where you can read his essays, listen to his hundreds of original songs, or catch some of his hundreds of interviews. David also has picked bones with Spotify Inc. for years, and assays into it again in his latest essay, ‘Neil Young, Joe Rogan, and a Swedish Billionaire‘ with a twist.

David Rovics and picking again at that pustule of the modern music reality, Spotify in the second half.

But first, Julia Barnes and smashing the Deep Sea Mining Pandora in its box.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Kirsten Francescone, Dan Kovalik, Janine Bandcroft October 29, 2020

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded live-to-tape via Skype on this date, October 26th, 2020.

There is jubilation in Bolivia, as the people’s representatives are again in power following the removal by force of arms last year of president Evo Morales’ MAS party. The party’s new iteration, under the leadership of Luis Arces, won an even larger majority than last time, sweeping away the coup perpetrators. Canada was among the first countries in 2019 to confer legitimacy on the coup, and following its lead Canada-registered mining company Orvana Minerals used the opportunity the extreme-right political shift presented to undo labour agreements already signed and sack its unionized workers.

Kirsten Francescone is the Latin America Program Coordinator at MiningWatch Canada. Kirsten lived and worked in Bolivia for five years prior to commencing her PhD in Anthropology and Political Economy at Carleton University.

Kirsten Francescone in the first half.

And; while the landslide election victory of Evo Morales’ MAS party was and is cause for elation throughout Bolivia and the Americas for those long-suffering under the heel of El Norte, Luis Arces’ supporters can be forgiven if their celebrations are tempered with caution, considering what happened the last time it won elections there.

Dan Kovalik is a lawyer, educator, labour, peace, and justice activist, democracy defender, journalist and author. He’s also a recipient of the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford Law School, a frequent lecturer, oft sought television and radio political commentator, and his articles appear online at the Huffington Post and Counterpunch, among other places. His latest book is, ‘No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using ‘Humanitarian’ Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests‘.

Dan Kovalik and Bolivia’s second chance in the second half.

And; CFUV Radio broadcaster and host of Plant Powered Radio, 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, Kirsten Francescone and following the foreign corporate/government power nexus 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: https://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/