Greek Neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn Rejected by Greek Voters (2/2)

In Part 2 of my interview of Greece’s former Deputy Defence Minister, Costas Isychos, Mr. Isychos explains that, in austerity-ravaged Greece, support for the far-right remains strong despite the electoral defeat of Europe’s most brazen Neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn.

Mr. Isychos also argues that the incoming New Democracy government is unlikely to effect meaningful changes to Greece’s foreign and defence policies and that it will maintain the Greek state’s alliance with the right-wing governments of the United States and Israel, which are depriving Palestinians of their rights under international law.

Part 2 of our discussion can be seen here:

Justin Trudeau heckled for complicity in Yemen genocide and the subversion of Venezuelan democracy

June 24, 2019

Today, as Justin Trudeau walked to the podium at an event in Montreal celebrating la Fête nationale du Québec, I told Mr. Trudeau that Canada’s arms sales to the monstrous Saudi autocracy have rendered him complicit in the Saudi genocide in Yemen.

This is the video of my disruption:

 

Meanwhile, author and activist Yves Engler denounced the Prime Minister for his government’s relentless efforts to subvert the elected government of Venezuela.

This is the video of Mr. Engler’s disruption:

 

As Mr. Trudeau walked by us, he glanced back at us and said “I’m glad to see that the NDP showed up.”

(Video credit: Achille Lascaris).

 

 

 

Quebec Bans Public Workers from Wearing Religious Clothing or Symbols

‪This week, I spoke with Marc Steiner of The Real News Network about Quebec’s newly adopted Bill 21.

As I explained to Marc, I wholeheartedly support the separation of religion and state, but banning Quebec’s public servants from wearing religious symbols is the wrong way to ensure the state’s secularism.

It is entirely possible to ensure that the state remains neutral on the question of religion while allowing all public servants, whatever their religious beliefs may be, to wear religious symbols in the workplace. Respecting their freedom to do so does not amount to imposing a state-sanctioned religion on the citizenry.

Ultimately, Bill 21 is a frontal assault on religious freedom.

It must not stand.

My discussion with Marc Steiner can be seen and listened to here:

Human Rights Lawyer Condemns Canada’s Support For Honduras’s Repressive Regime (2/2)

June 21, 2019

Last week, while travelling in Honduras with an international human rights delegation, I interviewed anti-government protesters who had blocked traffic for miles by occupying a bridge in the city of El Progreso.

One of those protesters was Prisilla Alvarado, a lawyer who represents imprisoned, Honduran human rights defender, Edwin Espinal.

Ms. Alvarado condemned the Canadian government and Canadian extractive corporations for their complicity in human rights abuses in Honduras.

My interview of Ms. Alvarado and other protesters on the El Progreso bridge can be watched and listened to here:

Honduran Security Forces Tear-Gas International Human Rights Delegation

Last week, I and five other members of an international human rights delegation attended a blockade in the city of El Progreso in Honduras.

The blockade had been erected by protesters who are peacefully resisting the radically neoliberal policies of Honduras’s illegitimate President, Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH).

As I and other members of the delegation were gathering information from protesters, Honduran riot police rained tear gas down on our delegation and the protesters.

For the Real News Network, this is my report of what happened:

 

The other members of our delegation were Professor Michael Berghoef of Ferris State University, Pedro Cabezas of the Central American Alliance Against Mining, Associate Professor Amanda Grzyb of Western University, Professor Emeritus Bernie Hammond of Western University, Ainhoa Montoya, a Lecturer at the University of London, and Matias Santiago of El Progreso Radio.

 

Honduran Security Forces Tear-Gas Human Rights Delegation

June 14, 2019

On June 7, 2019, I travelled to Honduras to join a six-member delegation for a human rights fact-finding mission.

The focus of our delegation’s fact-finding mission is local resistance to resource extraction in Botaderos National Park.

As I reported on June 9, the Aguan River valley, a fertile region in the north of Honduras, is now suffering from a water crisis due in large part to the presence of vast African palm plantations owned primarily by Dinant Corporation. Dinant is controlled by members of the Facussé family, one of Honduras’s wealthiest and most powerful families. Dinant has been associated with the deaths of over 100 peasant farmers.

Members of the Facussé family also control mining corporation Los Pinares Investments. That corporation has obtained a concession from the Honduran government to develop an iron oxide mine in Botaderos National Park, which is adjacent to the Aguan River Valley.

Local farmers and environmental activists have sought to prevent the construction of the mine, fearing that it will contaminate the region’s dwindling water supplies. The government of Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH), whose current term was procured by means of a brazen electoral fraud, has responded violently to their resistance to the mine.

Our delegation has come to Honduras during a period of heightened political and economic instability in the country. With the blessing of the IMF and Western states, the illegitimate JOH regime has pursued a radically neoliberal economic and social program, resulting in sharp increases in poverty and unemployment. Recent steps to privatize healthcare and education have provoked massive opposition and frequent protests.

One of the main tactics now being used by opponents of the regime is to blockade important roads and highways across the country. Yesterday, while travelling by vehicle from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, to the Atlantic coast, we encountered two such blockades.

We departed from Tegucigalpa after meeting with representative of the Honduran government, including the Vice-Minister of the Environment, Carlos Pineda Fasquelle.

The first blockade we encountered lay on the highway connecting Tegucigalpa to San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras. The following video shows the long line of vehicles that were brought to a standstill by that blockade. At the beginning of the video, a woman sitting in the back of a pick-up truck can be heard chanting “Fuera JOH!” (Out JOH!).

 

We encountered the second blockade a short while later, on the outskirts of the city of El Progreso. Our driver, Matias Santiago, got us as close to the blockade as possible. We then exited our mini-van and began walking toward the blockade. Continue Reading ›