Lawlessness / Ruined – part 41

From The Tyee:
‘You are telling me what I’ve been doing my whole life is wrong.’ Docked at Hornby Island, boat captain Calvin Siider faced off with conservationists, including Ian McAllister (at right), urging closure of BC’s herring fishery. Photo: Ian Gill.

“BC’s Herring War, and the Sacrifice of the Salish Sea” by Ian Gill (The Tyee)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

When the herring finally disappear, we’ll have only ourselves to blame.

Indeed, it sometimes seems blame is about the only renewable resource we can rely upon anymore. There’s certainly been an abundance of it this herring season in the Strait of Georgia, here in the northern reaches of what’s fast becoming the Salish Sewer.

At the dock of Hornby Island’s Ford Cove, a world-weary gillnet fisherman, Calvin Siider, squared off against a conservation group advocating for the closure of the last commercial gillnet fishery on the B.C. coast.

“You are telling me what I’ve been doing my whole life is wrong,” Siider shouted. “We’re making a little bit of money out of this, and you’re trying to rip that out of our lives!”

Siider, while waiting for the signal to go fishing, was variously sitting, pacing, standing and gesticulating from the deck of his boat, Maile III, out of Sointula. A few feet away, just out of throttling distance, stood Ian McAllister, executive director of Pacific Wild.

Pacific Wild, just a day earlier, had posted a video in which McAllister said, among other things, “We really should be leaving this fish in the water … This is basis for the food supply of the entire Salish Sea, the basis of our coastal economy, and yet we’re turning this wild herring into fish farm pellets and cat food. This fishery should not ever have been allowed.”

There is an echo here of the infamous standoffs on logging roads in Haida Gwaii, Clayoquot Sound, the Kootenays, the Stein Valley, the Skagit, pick your spot — and of the enduring faceoffs over tarsands pipelines and mines and dams and fish farms and tanker bans, among other so-called policy “choices” that we leave to the least qualified people in the world, politicians, to adjudicate, based on what they piously claim to be reliable science that supports their even more reliable need to shore up their prospects of re-election with evidence of economic growth and jobs for middle-class Canadians.

Jonathan Wilkinson, our federal fisheries minister, personifies the Trudeau-era cabinet-minister-as-dittohead. “It’s in the national interest. It’s in the national interest,” they all chant about the orca-killing Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project, all evidence to the contrary. In the case of the herring fishery, “We make our decisions based on science,” Minister Wilkinson says reassuringly, if credulously.

And so this year, while all that science-based management has led to the closure of commercial fisheries in four other major areas of the coast — Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, the central coast and the west coast of Vancouver Island — the minister took the advice of his boffins and approved the extraction of 21,493 tonnes of herring in the Strait of Georgia. By Pacific Wild’s calculation, that’s 130 million fish. As of Saturday, the seine fleet had successfully killed about half that number; over the weekend, the gillnet fleet was on target to finish the job.

an illegal gold mine in Peru

“Welcome to Hell: Peruvian Mining City of La Rinconada” by Andre Vltchek (Dissident Voice)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

No one can agree how high above the sea level that La Rinconada really lies at: 5,300 meters or 5,200 meters? On the access road, a metal plate says 5,015. But who really cares? It is indisputably the highest settlement in the world; a gold mining town, a concentration of misery, a community of around 70,000 inhabitants, many of whom have been poisoned by mercury. A place where countless women and children get regularly raped, where law and order collapsed quite some time ago, where young girls are sent to garbage dumps in order to ‘recycle’ terribly smelling waste, and where almost all the men work in beastly conditions, trying to save at least some money, but where most of them simply ruin their health, barely managing to stay alive.

I decided to travel to La Rinconada precisely during these days when the socialist Venezuela is fighting for its survival. I drove there as the European elites in Bolivia were trying to smear the enormously popular and successful President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, while the elections were approaching.

As in so many places in the turbo-capitalist and pro-Western Peru, La Rinconada is like a tremendous warning: this is how Venezuela and Bolivia used to be before Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. This is where Washington wants the entire Latin America to return to. Like those monstrous and hopeless slums surrounding Lima, La Rinconada should be a call to arms.

“Happy Women’s Day: 30 Airstrikes in Yemen Massacre 23 Women and Children” by Randi Nord (Sana’a via Geopolitics Alert)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Sana’a (GPA) – US-supported Saudi coalition warplanes have carried out another terror attack in Yemen’s Hajjah province. 30 airstrikes on Sunday morning targeted multiple homes killing at least 23 — mostly women and children.

According to local reports, the planes attacked at least 13 houses belonging to the families of al-Hadi, Beit al-Ahdab, Beit Zeril, and more than ten others. 70 displaced women and children lived in the homes who had fled violence, likely in Hodeidah.

Rescue teams have found the bodies of at least 23 victims while another 20 sustained injuries. The US-backed warplanes continued to attack an ambulance and circle over rescuers to prevent evacuation.

It’s common for the Saudi coalition to carry out “double-tap” attacks which target medical teams and media personnel with additional airstrikes.

“Zapatistas Reiterate Support for CNTE After Paramilitary Attack” by ? (teleSUR via Geopolitics Alert)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Mexico’s Zapatistas stood behind the striking CNTE teachers whose blockade was attacked Wednesday by a masked group of paramilitaries who accompanied Mexican state and municipal police, calling the attack a “definitive disaster” in an open letter published Thursday.

Ten trucks loaded with a group of masked men came to the camp at highway San Cristóbal-Tuxtla Gutiérrez in Chiapas, where about a hundred protesters had gathered, forcefully evacuating the only camp that civil society and teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers, or CNTE, held in the state of Chiapas on Wednesday.

The group at first identified as Zapatistas, but locals knew otherwise, according to those quoted in the letter. The paramilitaries, who were members of the PRI-allied Ecologist Green Party, were paid, said the letter. They were protected by policemen, according to witnesses, and “were not, nor are, nor will ever be” Zapatistas.

In a statement to teleSUR, independent journalist Simon Sedillo noted that the open appearance of paramilitaries alongside civilian police forces in Mexico signals an “extremely alarming” development. Sedillo has documented how one of the key criteria for what constitutes paramilitary violence is the fact that it is meant to function in a manner that is deniable by state security agencies, government officials, and vested corporate or banking interests. Wednesday’s violence is only the latest in a long history of incidents where paramilitaries have been utilized against Indigenous people in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero.

So much for hero Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“Ignore the critics. Here’s why Jeremy Corbyn was in Morecambe on Saturday.” by Fréa Lockley (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

On 23 March, it’s estimated that around a million people marched in London to call for a second Brexit vote. Jeremy Corbyn didn’t attend. But despite criticism and questions in the media, there’s a very good reason for this. Because Corbyn went to Morecambe. And there, he was highlighting the devastating impact of Conservative-led austerity in one of the most deprived parts of the UK.

As Brexit chaos continues to dominate headlines, there’s still no clear idea about if, when and how the UK will leave the EU. But in the midst of this confusion, the facts of austerity don’t change.

Morecambe Bay, in Lancashire, is among the “worst 10% of areas in the Index of Multiple Deprivation”. One part is in the worst 5%.

In 2017, an ITV investigation found that teachers regularly report children “going to school hungry and in uniforms that haven’t been washed”. Doctors in the area reported evidence of diseases “like rickets and others linked to malnourishment”.

In 2018, the New York Times also focused on Morecambe to highlight the ongoing impact of austerity. It reported that one teacher regularly found a child rooting through rubbish bins to find food. In the same school, “roughly one in three” children had nothing to eat before school.

Stephen Gowans (Baraka Books)

“‘Rule of law’ states defend Israel’s cold blooded murder of peaceful demonstrators while trying to rob Venezuela of its oil” by Stephen Gowans (what’s left)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A recent independent investigation sponsored by the United Nations Human Rights Council into the killing and injury of unarmed Palestinian refugees who were participating in peaceful demonstrations demanding that they be allowed to return to territories they, or their forbears, had been driven from, concluded that Israeli security forces unlawfully killed almost 200 and injured over 9,000 over a nine-month period last year.

The February 28 report of the Human Rights Council’s independent international commission of inquiry into the protests in Gaza, concluded that Israeli snipers “killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor where they directly participating in hostilities.”

The overwhelming majority of victims, including clearly marked journalists and medical personnel, as well as children, women and persons with disabilities, “were hundreds of metres away from the Israeli forces and visibly engaged in civilian activities” when they were shot. Of the thousands of cases of injury or fatality, the commission found only two in which an individual was engaged in hostilities or posed an imminent threat to life or serious injury.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, right, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, March 11, 2019. Ronen Zvulun | AP

“After Trump’s Golan Heights Announcement, Israeli Politicians Now Pushing for US Recognition of West Bank as “Israeli”” by Whitney Webb (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — After U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he planned to unilaterally recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights — which is internationally recognized as Syrian territory — some powerful Israeli politicians are now petitioning Trump to also recognize Israeli sovereignty over Palestine’s occupied West Bank.

Though Trump casually announced that it was “time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty [sic] over the Golan Heights” last Thursday, he made the U.S.’ recognition of Israel’s claim to the territory official on Monday, at a signing ceremony that was attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump’s willingness to use his executive power to grant Israeli land grabs “official recognition” — such as in Jerusalem and now the Golan — has emboldened far-right Israeli politicians who have long been eager to annex other territories.

What fascists in power have learned in this dark world is that crime goes unpunished and often pays. Well, They feel that it pays, but then they are ruined. Their desires are not normal and their values are twisted.

Mike Pompeo

“U.S. to ICC: We Will Break Your Legs” by Andre Vltchek (New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The U.S. is openly threatening the historically timid ICC (International Criminal Court) and its judges. And unexpectedly, the ICC is hitting back. It refuses to shut up, to kneel, and to beg for mercy.

Suddenly, even the Western mass media outlets cannot conceal the aggressive mafia-style outbursts of the U.S. government officials. On March 15, Reuters reported:

The United States will withdraw or deny visas to any International Criminal Court personnel investigating possible war crimes by U.S. forces or allies in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

The court, which sits in The Hague, responded that it was an independent and impartial institution and would continue to do its work “undeterred” by Washington’s actions.

The Trump administration threatened in September to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States and sanction funds they have there if the court launched a probe of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Washington took the first step on Friday with Pompeo’s announcement.

“I’m announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel,” Pompeo told a news conference in Washington.

“These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent.”

And so it goes… Mike Pompeo’s arrogant facial expression appeared above countless reports and it said it all: the world has to listen to the US dictates, or else!

“Trump Threatens Nuclear War If Russia Protects Venezuela” by Eric Zuesse (Strategic Culture Foundation)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

On March 27th, US President Donald Trump said that “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela, and that “All options are on the table” if Russia refuses to withdraw from Venezuela the protection it has recently provided to Venezuela’s elected Government, which Trump is attempting to overthrow, by an illegal coup. And Vice President Mike Pence, on the same day, said “Nicolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, and it is the policy of the United States of America, at the direction of President Donald Trump, that Nicolás Maduro must go.” The United States is therefore trying to do to Maduro what Barack Obama did to Victor Yanukovich in Ukraine in 2014, and to Muammar Gaddaffi in Libya in 2011, and tried to do to Bashar Assad after 2011 in Syria, and what George W. Bush did in 2003 to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But, this time, there is a difference, because right up front, Russia isn’t allowing it, and is sending men and equipment to Venezuela, to prevent it from happening — in other words, to block the US Government from achieving a conquest of Venezuela.

The word “nuclear” is in the title of the article. You’d think it would also make an appearance in the body of the article, but it doesn’t. Other than that, the article is good.

Ralph Nader

“Look How the Real Trump is Endangering America” by Ralph Nader (Ralph Nader)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent almost two years to produce a $25 million report that is a flat tire…

What a farce and distraction this whole exercise turned out to be! Mueller’s assigned subject was Trump. So, does this prosecutor demand to interview Trump, to subpoena Trump? No. Does this special investigator conclude with any legal recommendations at all? No. He just wants to be forgotten as he slinks away into deliberate silence (unless he is made to testify before the House Judiciary Committee)…

Trump couldn’t have distracted the mass dittohead media any better from his true crimes. Those include unlawful war-making, corruption, wasting public funds, and unlawfully handcuffing or firing the federal “cops” whose job is to save the lives, health, safety, and economic assets of all the American people from big corporate predators across the land.

Consider all the print, TV, and radio time the mass media used on the Mueller Russian probe compared to Trump’s cruelty and viciousness from his brazen “deregulation,” or open flouting of statutorily mandated government missions.

These policies have directly harmed innocent children, the elderly, patients, consumers, and workers and have wreaked environmental ruin, polluting the air, water, and soil with lethal toxins. He proudly took away protections leaving defenseless humans to suffer more deadly coal dust, coal ash, and coal pollution.

He has blocked our government’s responses to the climate crisis looming everywhere.

He has gotten away with massive federal deficits caused by his tax holidays for corporations and the rich, including the Trump family. Take that, next generation of Americans!

“The Homeless 8-Year-Old Chess Champion and Other Horrific ‘Uplifting’ Stories” by Alan Macleod (FAIR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

There’s a certain genre of light-hearted human-interest stories that are common across most news platforms. Soft news, such as an autistic Arkansas teen winning a basketball scholarship (NBC, 11/29/18), a Tampa Bay area photographer helping animals get adopted (ABC Action News, 3/20/19) or an injured tortoise receiving a new 3D-printed shell (Huffington Post, 5/23/16) are designed to pique interest and raise viewers’ spirits.

However, in the worsening economic climate, a growing number of these supposedly “uplifting” stories become unintentionally horrifying after a moment’s reflection. A case in point is the New York Times’ recent article (3/16/19) about Tanitoluwa Adewumi, a homeless 8-year-old New York chess champion—a story, the headline assures, will “make you smile.” The Times details Adewumi’s refugee background, his personal drive and his aggressive playing style, but neither it nor the many other outlets (USA Today, 3/19/19; NBC New York, 3/19/19; London Independent, 3/17/19) that also picked up the story pondered how it was possible for a child in one of the richest cities in the world to be homeless, and what that said about an economic and political system that allows this in the first place…

Some parts of these stories—the protagonists’ determination or generosity, for instance—are certainly admirable. But the accounts as a whole can only be seen as uplifting if we unquestioningly accept the brutal logic of neoliberalism, where a person’s worth, standard of living and even their continued existence are determined completely by their wealth and what they can earn on the market. Neoliberal ideology that promotes individualism and “free enterprise” does not see the rights to housing, healthcare or an adequate standard of living (enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) as inalienable, but rather as commodities to be bought, sold and bargained for on the market.

Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library • Public domain

“Braceros Then and Now: Brutality and Pathological Dishonesty Greet Immigrants in the Age of Trump” by Bruce Neuburger (CounterPunch)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Do a Google search of braceros and you’ll find a picture of a line of shirtless young men being sprayed with DDT as they pass through a gate of a farm labor intake center…

When the U.S. and Mexico made an agreement to bring up hundreds of thousands of Mexican workers under the Bracero program to supply essential labor for a country at war in 1942 the bracero was neither regarded, nor treated as a human being, but as an instrument of production.

Most were Mexican farmers and rural workers whose economic situation was precarious in a country plundered by foreign businesses and dominated by domestic and foreign landowners who controlled almost all the good land.

From 1942 to 1964, bracero workers did a large part of the work on farms from California to Texas and beyond. They were welcomed as laborers in a time of dire need – a welcome that extended to the length of their “contracts”, usually six months, or to the end of the harvest. Once the crops were in, braceros became criminals and were hunted down and deported as such, if they did not leave quickly enough on their own.

I was thinking about this while working at a El Paso refugee center, and as the immigrants, the large majority indigenous Guatemalan rural workers and farmers, passed through. These workers too are coming north to escape crushing economic, and, also, social horrors. Sometimes the analogy to the braceros seems direct, as when those I met were headed to Salinas to work in the celery fields or Florida to work in tomatoes. But this modern day bracero-like flow, has as many women (and children) as men. They are headed to every point on the U.S. map — indicative of the fact that cheap labor from countries to the south is now an essential part of a broad swath of the U.S. economic system nationally, from the fields to office buildings, construction to restaurant and hotel workers, elder and childcare, and so on.

As the original bracero was under “contract” and constant scrutiny, and subject to deportation for any sign of errant behavior, ie protesting unjust conditions, these new refugees, who come seeking asylum, are fitted with ankle monitors and will be kept under the constant eye of authorities.

“Down the hate rabbit hole: why bigotry persists” by Paul Salvatori (NOW)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Home News
Down the hate rabbit hole: why bigotry persists

There’s more hatred online than you can imagine in Canada – it’s literally endless

by Paul Salvatori

March 28, 2019

5:48 PM
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Pegida Rally.jpg

Christian Peña

PEGIDA rally against “Islamism and hate speech” in Toronto on Saturday, March 23.

I spent a few hours going down the rabbit hole of Canadian far-right websites after the Christchurch mosque massacre last week. The experience was as depressing as it was traumatizing.

From overt racism and Islamophobia to homophobic attacks directed at the PM and threats of violence, there’s more hatred than you can imagine in Canada. It’s literally endless.

And, judging by the commentary of their online supporters, it seems the only aim of these groups is to hurt people they don’t like in the name of racial purity. They are in war mode.

As a consequence, the hatred is spilling more frequently into public view in our streets. A few dozen so-called “patriots” representing the anti-Muslim white nationalist group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), showed up for rally at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday, March 23, to warn against “Islamism and hate speech.”

Mayor John Tory condemned “the ideology and tactics of white supremacists planning to demonstrate and disrupt… in our city,” in a tweet before the event. The mayor also let it be known that he had spoken with Chief Mark Saunders and that “plans are in place to deal with it.”

Except, rather than protecting the city from the spewings of the far-right protestors, police ended up protecting them from counter-protestors who showed up to shout them down. Some members of the mainstream media there to cover the event didn’t help matters by making the counter-protestors out to be the bad guys.


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