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