Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Helen Caldicott, Nils Melzer (redux) April 2nd/5th, 2023

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded April 2nd and 5th, 2023.

Just thirty years since the fall of the USSR and end of the Cold War, the atomic Mexican stand-off between East and West is hotter than its ever been. At this moment, nervous fingers hover above buttons and toggles that once triggered mean the end of everything we know. Worse, with the advent of AI, human agency is no longer required; its messy, indecisive moral acid removed from the Earth-ending equation.

Dr. Helen Caldicott is a physician, author, and lecturer who has for more than forty years studied, written, and campaigned against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their derivatives, delivering impassioned speeches and making imprecations to both the politicians and power-brokers overseeing the precarious atomic tinderbox, and more importantly, imploring the people step up to stop the madness.

Helen Caldicott’s book titles include: ‘If You Love This Planet,’ ‘Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer,’The New Nuclear Danger,’ ‘Depleted Uranium: Metal of Dishonour,’ ‘If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth,’ and her most recent, ‘Sleepwalking to Armageddon’ in which she assembles contributions from the world’s leading nuclear scientists and thought leaders to “assess the political and scientific dimensions of the threat of nuclear war today.”

Helen Caldicott in the first half

And; Reporters Without Borders was to pay a visit to Julian Assange, the journalist wasting in Belmarsh Prison, London this week but in yet another example of arbitrary cruelty at the last moment authorities refused the RSF visit, barring too for good measure Assange’s wife, Stella.

April 11th marks the four year anniversary of Julian’s incarceration, under the harshest measures the British penal system can mete out. He’s held not for any crime committed in Britain, or against Britain, but because an American warrant seeking his extradition is “in process”.

June 6, 2019, I recorded an interview with Nils Melzer, then the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Melzer visited Assange in May of that year and subsequently issued a public call for Assange’s immediate release, along with a searing rebuke of both his current jailors in Britain and those in America who would be if their extradition petition is executed.

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

Song: Behind These Prison Walls

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: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Joe Emersberger, Nils Melzer (2019) June 16, 2022

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded June 16th, 2022

Last week, CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador began a popular protest over rising food and fuel prices and the neoliberal policies of Guillermo Lasso’s government. Across the country Monday transportation hubs, government offices, and oil productions facilities were blockaded. The actions prompted a quick response from Lasso, whose military and police launched an operation to snatch CONAIE president, Leonidas Iza; a move the confederation denounced as “arbitrary and illegal”.

Joe Emersberger is a Canada-based engineer of Ecuadorian descent. He’s a writer and activist, and co-author with Justin Podur of the book, ‘Extraordinary Threat: The US Empire, the Media and 20 Years of Coup Attempts in Venezuela‘. Emersberger’s many articles focusing on Western media coverage of the Americas can be found at FAIR.org, CounterPunch.org, TheCanary.co, Telesur English, and ZComm.org, among other places.

Joe Emersberger in the first half.

And; Britain’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel is charged with making the final decision on the extradition of Julian Assange to America from his current incarceration in London’s Belmarsh Prison, and she’s expected to make that decision imminently. The publisher, journalist, and founder of WikiLeaks has been held in isolation within the maximum security facility since being dragged from asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy three years, two months and five days ago.

Hundreds of doctors have petitioned Patel to deny extradition based on Assange’s frail mental and physical health. A similar argument was made by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Nils Melzer after visiting Assange with two medical experts “specialised in examining potential victims of torture and other ill-treatment” shortly after his arrest in 2019. Melzer’s demand for Assange’s release was ignored then, as have been myriad subsequent appeals to the UK government from all quarters.

Nils Melzer and the torturous destruction of Julian Assange, from an interview we recorded in June of 2019, in the second half.

But first, Joe Emersberger and Guillermo Lasso’s presidency one year on: The perfect Sturm und Drang.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing since 1998. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: cfuv.ca.  Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Johnny Vedmore, Nils Melzer (September 2019) March 24th, 2022

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded March 19th and 20th, 2022

Two years along and the Covid-19 epidemic is deemed done, by omission. Though the sickness goes on, Big Media has dropped the topic like a hot, rotten potato. But, before moving on, there’s still a few questions of interest yet to be answered about the Sars-CoV-2 outbreak and its provenance; questions demanding more than an empty declaration of victory and tantalizing suggestions of a brand-spanking new war to follow, “after these brief messages from our sponsor“.

Johnny Vedmore is an Investigative Journalist, Musician, Activist, Presenter of the Fungi Monkey Podcast, Video Creator, and Writer for UnlimitedHangout.com. His investigations and films can be found at his website FungiMonkey, and JohnnyVedmore.com, where I discovered his recent article, ‘The Wellcome Five – The Proximal Origin of Covid Control‘.

Johnny Vedmore in the first half.

And; Britain’s Supreme Court last week refused to hear Julian Assange’s appeal of a High Court ruling allowing afterall his extradition to the United States. Assange has been imprisoned without trial in London’s Belmarsh Prison since his unprecedented expulsion from asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy April 11th, 2019. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer visited Assange during his first month at Belmarsh and described conditions of his incarceration in blistering terms in a statement released to the media. By all accounts, things have not improved for the prisoner.

UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer in place of Steve Poikonen in an interview we recorded in September of 2019 on Julian Assange’s long punishment by process in the second half.

But first, Johnny Vedmore and Wellcome Trust, the “uncontrollable behemoth” in our midst.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio and 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, Ron Ridenour November 2, 2020

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s home edition, recorded on this date, November 2nd, 2020.

This week America’s election carnival will come to a head. What happens over the months following is anyone’s guess, but there’s less uncertainty for the Julian Assange extradition hearings in London’s Old Bailey where presiding magistrate, Vanessa Baraitser adjourned proceedings saying, “One way or another, my decision is likely to go after the US elections.” The hearing will resume January 4th, and Baraitser will assuredly rule as bidden to by whomever will reside on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Ron Ridenour is a journalist, author, editor, and peace and social justice activist. The ex-pat American has lived and worked in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia and currently calls Denmark home. He’s worked too as a special correspondent and freelancer for numerous publications in Europe the US, and Latin America, and served as press aid to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales and the governments of Cuba and Nicaragua. Some of Ridenour’s many book titles include: ‘The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert’, ‘Cuba: Revolution in Action’, ‘Backfire: The CIA’s Biggest Burn’, and his latest, still in progress, ‘Winding Brook Stories’.

Ron’s articles feature at numerous online sites, including on ThisCantBeHappening.net, where his ‘A Horror Story in Two Parts: Will England Send Assange-the-Messenger to America’s Dungeons?’ and ‘A Travesty of Justice: UK Caters to the US Government’s Desire to Crush Assange’ appear.

Today, Ron Ridenour and coming out of the trenches for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

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/

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, Joan Roelofs, Nils Melzer, Janine Bandcroft June 6, 2019

America’s vast military apparatus is much more multi-dimensional than even its most fervent fans realize. Beyond war and readying for war-fighting, America’s Army, Navy, Marines, and Space Force also work hard at preserving wildlands and vital marine habitat, where wildlife and sea creatures alike can take refuge from the increasingly noisome presence of human industry.

REPI, or the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program could be described as the Department of Defense’s version of a “New Green Deal”, (if you’re inclined to believe it) or as it says, “a key tool for combating encroachment that can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations.”

Joan Roelofs is an educator, author translator, prolific academic writer, and essayist with an especial focus on the political power of the nonprofit sector. The Keene State College Political Science Professor Emerita is also author of the books, ‘Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism’, and ‘Greening Cities: Building Just and Sustainable Communities.’ Her recent article at CounterPunch.org, ‘“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!”‘ questions the ways and means of one of the lesser known arms of today’s ubiquitous military octopus.

Joan Roelofs in the first half.

And; journalist and publisher, Julian Assange is in dire physical and mental condition. He was to appear for his extradition hearing in London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court Thursday last, but was deemed too ill to attend either in person or via video link from Belmarsh Prison. Assange has been held in isolation since his forced extraction from the Ecuadorian embassy April 11th, with few visits being allowed for his lawyers and supporters.

On May 9th, United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer and “two medical experts specialised in examining potential victims of torture and other ill-treatment” were granted access and their assessment is a blistering indictment of both his current and would-be jailors.


Nils Melzer and the case for Julian Assange’s immediate 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 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, Joan Roelofs and when nature endangers the Pentagon.

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/