The image in the circular frame is blurry; as though seen through the bottom of a shot glass held in front of the eye, drifting focus on an object some four-hundred meters away. The figure is a thin vertical stripe in the middle of the magnifying lens.
There are voices in the background of the video, men or boys bantering in the manner of a sports bench, or locker room.
There's a small jolt, and the distant figure is seen to drop to the ground. A rise in the voices; excitement now on the bench for a scoring shot.
Tamer Abu Daqqa, standing in Gaza December 22, 2017
"Son of a bitch!" one shouts.
"What a legendary film! I haven't seen this kind of thing for a long time."
The man brought down so far away, in a field in Gaza, is of course Palestinian. The rifleman, shooting with such cool precision, an Israeli soldier. The voices cheer in Hebrew. Hundreds of meters away, Arabic voices are raised too, as young Palestinians run to the aid of their fallen comrade.
Though almost everyone claims to love animals many of us still eat them, and most of us try not to think too much about the terrible treatment humans mete out to our fellow Earthlings. But beyond vegetarianism, veganism, and rescue pet adoption what's a compassionate person to do?
Primates of the Animal Protection Party of Canada and their allies have brought this year's Animal Advocacy Camp to Victoria to explore just that. The ACC takes place this April 14th at Camosun College's Gibson Auditorium and features a number of keynote speakers covering a variety of topics.
Tayler Zavitz is one of those and she'll present, 'Empathy as Terrorism? The Criminalization of Animal Activism in Canada'.
Tayler's a PhD candidate at UVic's Department of Sociology whose research focus is the repression of animal activism and the criminalization of dissent in Canada and holds degrees in Political Science and Critical Sociology, (with a focus on Critical Animal Studies) and is a current student scholar with the brand new, Animals & Society Research Initiative at the University of Victoria. She's also a reviewer for the Journal for Critical Animal Studies.
Tayler Zavitz in the first half.
And; Monday morning, missiles again flew into Syria, killing at least seven and wounding scores more. Though they didn't admit responsibility, Israel is implicated. Merely the latest of in a series of unanswered military assaults on its neighbour, this latest comes at critical point in Syria's long and bitter war. Over the weekend, US president Donald Trump promised "action" in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack against civilians in Douma, the last stronghold of pro-jihadist groups in besieged Eastern Ghouta. And, while Trump and his allies in NATO condemn without benefit of an investigation Bashar al-Assad's government, Russia has issued its own Red Line, saying should any Russians in Syria come under fire, Moscow will consider that an act of war.
Eva Bartlett is an independent Canadian journalist and activist who has lived in and reported from Gaza and Syria over the last decade. She has been one of the few Western witnesses of the destruction of war from where the missiles and bombs land, and one of even fewer to chronicle both the effects on its innocent victims, and to fix properly the responsibility on those waging it. Eva is currently preparing for another foray into Syria, even as the Washington's war drum beats louder.
Eva Bartlett in the second half.
And; Victoria activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Tayler Zavitz and meeting up with animals' best friends at Victoria's Animal Advocacy Camp.
“Comrade Putin, we have successfully stockpiled novichoks in secret for ten years, and kept them hidden from the OPCW inspectors. We have also trained our agents in secret novichok assassination techniques. The programme has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but now we are ready.
“Naturally, the first time we use it we will expose our secret and suffer massive international blowback. So who should be our first target? The head of a foreign intelligence agency? A leading jihadist rebel in Syria? A key nuclear scientist? Even a Head of State?”
“No, Tovarich. There is this old retired guy I know living in Salisbury. We released him from jail years ago…”
“With respect Comrade Putin, are you sure he is the most important target to reveal a programme we have put so much resource into for ten years?”
“Yes. I sit here every day and I cannot concentrate on the affairs of Russia or the World as all the time am thinking of Sergei Skripal. I should never have let him out of jail to spend his life buying lottery tickets and eating in Zizzis. But you must make absolutely certain to kill him.”
“Don’t worry Comrade Putin, we have been training in secret novichok assassination techniques for ten years. We even have an detailed manual explaining our methods. We will spread the novichok on his outside door handle (fiendish laugh).”
“Are you sure comrade? Is there not a danger it will wash off or get diluted?”
“No Comrade Putin, it never rains in England.”
That is, genuinely, in every detail the official British government version of what happened in Salisbury, including the ten year programme and the secret assassination manual.
Despite this story being one of the most improbably wild conspiracy theories in human history, it is those who express any doubt at all as to its veracity who are smeared as “conspiracy theorists” or even “traitors”.
All copyright on this article is waived. Feel free to use, translate and republish as you wish.
Good news out of Britain: Former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, apparently poisoned in Salisbury a little more than a month ago, are still alive. Sergei is said to be in critical but stable condition still, and it seems Yulia is strong enough to speak, though is as yet being held incommunicado.
While being of particular relief to the friends and families of the stricken, the recovery of the three provides too much needed diplomatic space for a thus far vitriolic Prime Minister Theresa May to climb down from her government's vilification campaign against Russia - at least long enough to ascertain why the Skripal's fell sick in the first place, and then determine the provenance, if any, of alleged agents, chemical and otherwise involved.
After all, no-one wants to create an international incident of it - do they?
Michael Jabara Carley is an author, educator, and essayist. A professor of history at the Université de Montréal, his research and writing focuses on relations between Russia, the USSR, and the "West". His book titles include: 'Revolution and Intervention: The French Government and the Russian Civil War, 1917-1919', '1939: The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War II', and his latest, 'Silent Conflict: A Hidden History of Early Soviet-Western Relations,' and he's in the process of writing a book chronicling the "serendipitous" creation of the "Grand Alliance," key to the defeat of Hitler in World War II.
And; it's said, "Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan" and no axiom fits more aptly the situation with Cannabis in Canada today. While Johnnie-come-lately former police officials and politicians join the boards of newly formed weed corporations, hitching their wagons to the shooting star of profitability legal access affords, the people who fought the law to help the sick watch on. But not to be sidelined, in its 23rd year, the Vancouver Island Cannabis Buyer's Club is still going strong and ready to continue the fight for truly unfettered access.
Ted Smith founded the Vancouver Island Cannabis Buyer's Club to provide cannabis-based products to people with terminal and incurable medical conditions. He faced harassment and arrest, and took his case all the way to Canada's Supreme Court - and won!
Ted Smith and Canada's new legal understanding of cannabis in the second half.
And; long-time Victoria activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will join us 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 Victoria in the coming week. But first, Michael Jabara Carley and stoking a hotter Cold War 2.0 with Russia.
The current state of anti-Russia hysteria is reminiscent of earlier dark chapters of American history, including the rush to war in Iraq of the early 2000s and McCarthyism of the 1950s, Patrick Henningsen observes.
If there’s one thing to be gleaned from the current atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria in the West, it’s that the US-led sustained propaganda campaign is starting to pay dividends.
It’s not only the hopeless political classes and media miscreants who believe that Russia is hacking, meddling and poisoning our progressive democratic utopia – with many pinning their political careers to this by now that’s it’s too late for them to turn back.
As it was with Iraq in 2003, these dubious public figures require a degree of public support for their policies, and unfortunately many people do believe in the grand Russian conspiracy, having been sufficiently brow-beaten into submission by around-the-clock fear mongering and official fake news disseminated by government and the mainstream media.
What makes this latest carnival of warmongering more frightening is that it proves that the political and media classes never actually learned or internalized the basic lessons of Iraq, namely that the cessation of diplomacy and the declarations of sanctions (a prelude to war) against another sovereign state should not be based on half-baked intelligence and mainstream fake news. But that’s exactly what is happening with this latest Russian ‘Novichok’ plot.
Israeli military officials promised to expand its killing of Palestinians in Gaza if the planned six-week Great March of Return protest campaign continues.
Friday, during 'Land Day' commemorations of the beginning of the Nakba, or "catastrophe" as Palestinians refer to the establishment of Israel on their lands, the Israeli Defense Force, (IDF) met unarmed demonstrators with troops, tanks, drones, and the "100 snipers" promised earlier in the week.
The snipers, from perches behind earthen berms overlooking the estimated 30,000 strong demonstration, opened fire, while IDF regulars sent hails of rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas projectiles into the throng, and drones rained gas canisters on the men, women, and children from above. Tank fire too added to the chaos and destruction, and casualty count.
The Associated Press, (AP) reported Saturday, 15 perished from gunfire outright* and, according to their hospital sources, more than 750 have been and are being treated for bullet wounds, while twice that number are said to have suffered other injuries.
According to the AP, Palestinian hospital authorities at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital said of the 284 injured received at its emergency ward Friday, the "majority" were bullet injuries. Hospital spokesperson, Ayman Sahbani said of those, 70 were under the age of 18, and 11 women.
Sahbani said, of the estimated 40 surgeries performed Friday, and 50 more planned for Saturday, all were for bullet wounds.
"These are all from live bullets that broke limbs or caused deep, open wounds with damage to nerves and veins," he said.
Hundreds of thousands turned out Saturday in Washington, D.C. for 'March for Our Lives'. Though estimated at more than half a million voices strong, the throng's call fell beyond Donald Trump's earshot; the president being out of town at the time.
But the message was heard in cities across the United States and in towns around the World, where a growing chorus against gun violence inspired mass demos.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is an author, lecturer, educator and human rights activist. She's currently on tour promoting her latest book, 'Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment'.
Some of her other titles include: 'An Indigenous People's History of the United States', 'The Great Sioux Nation: Sitting in Judgment on America', and the books of her Memoir Trilogy, 'Red Dirt' 'Blood on the Border', and 'Outlaw Woman'.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz in the first segment.
And; in breaking news, Germany acted on a Spanish warrant for the arrest of Carles Puigdemont, fugitive leader of Catalonia's ruling separatist coalition Sunday. It's the latest development in the six months-long political battle for the heart of Catalonia. Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow at UVic whose project in progress is, ‘Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.’
Pablo Ouziel and the Spanish president's latest Catalonia brain fit in the second segment.
And; Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events bulletin to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and 'Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment'.
Evidence submitted by the British government in court today proves, beyond any doubt, that Boris Johnson has been point blank lying about the degree of certainty Porton Down scientists have about the Skripals being poisoned with a Russian “novichok” agent.
Yesterday in an interview with Deutsche Welle Boris Johnson claimed directly Porton Down had told him they positively identified the nerve agent as Russian:
You argue that the source of this nerve agent, Novichok, is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of it?
Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory …
So they have the samples …
They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, “Are you sure?” And he said there’s no doubt.
I knew and had published from my own whistleblowers that this is a lie. Until now I could not prove it. But today I can absolutely prove it, due to the judgement at the High Court case which gave permission for new blood samples to be taken from the Skripals for use by the OPCW.
Unceded Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver) — Twelve protesters were just arrested on Burnaby Mountain after peacefully refusing to leave Kinder Morgan’s front gates. Three more took their place.
Following the estimated 10,000 person-strong march and rally against Kinder Morgan March 10, demonstrations of resistance have continued at Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Mountain tank farm, where the company plans to triple the number of tanks holding diluted bitumen and crude oil in this densely populated suburb of Vancouver.
Janet McDonald, a palliative care nurse from Victoria, arrested on Wednesday:
“As a health professional, I have come to understand the value of life. This pipeline represents death for the people, animals, and plants that depend on a healthy planet to survive, and we need to do whatever we can to stop it. This is one time we can really make a difference. There area lot of us here and still coming”
We have a special program for you today for a couple of reasons: I'm joined live and in-studio by a pair of my favourite fellow primates, Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft is here, as is local greentrepreneur and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic.
If you listen regularly, you already know, Janine and Christina bring us the Left Coast Events Bulletin, your vital guide to some of the good things to get up to in and around Victoria week in and week out.
Today we three together form the Lean Green Gorilla Radio Funding Drive Money Raising Team - and we've got a beastly hunger for your figurative banana dreams!!!! See below for more...but suffice to say, you can begin by dialing 250-721-8700 NOW...
On March 13, while on his way to the besieged Gaza Strip, two 33-pounds bombs targeted the convoy of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah. Hamdallah was visiting Gaza, through the Israeli border checkpoint, Erez, to open a large sewage treatment plant that, if allowed to operate regularly, will make life easier for hundreds of thousands of Gazans, who have endured a perpetual Israeli siege since 2006.
The Prime Minister's visit was also seen as another important step in the reconciliation efforts between the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah - led by PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, in the Occupied West Bank - and Hamas, led by former Prime Minister, Ismael Haniyeh, in Gaza.
Although reconciliation efforts have, for years, been half-hearted at best, the latest round of talks between both groups led to a breakthrough in Cairo last October.
This time, Palestinians were told that the two factions are keen on establishing unity, ending the siege on Gaza and revamping the largely dormant Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) institutions. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad were to join the PLO at some point in the future, leading to the formulation of a unified Palestinian political program. And, perhaps, this keenness at ending the rift has led to the attempt on Hamdallah's life.