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West might try to damage Russian-Chinese relations using Aigun Treaty issue

By Uriel Araujo | September 22, 2022

Some analysts have been claiming that Beijing is “breaking” with Moscow over the issue of Ukraine. In June this year the Chinese government conducted military drills in its northeastern border with Russia, while Moscow was mostly preoccupied with its own military operations in Ukraine. This event led some Western observers to speculate, albeit there is no evidence, that this could be a sign China has unfinished business in that border area.

The 1858 Treaty of Aigun established much of the modern border between Manchuria (Northeast China) and the Russian Far East. From a Chinese Perspective, especially since the rise of Chinese nationalism in the 1920, it was an “unequal treaty”, having been signed, as it was, when the Chinese Empire was in a weakened state: it gave the neighboring Russian Empire over 600,000 square km from Manchuria.

As a legacy of the 19th and the 20th century, the Eurasian great powers often have border disagreements. Japan historically has variances with Russia over the Kuril islands, for example, as it has with its other “neighbors” China and South Korea as well. India and China notoriously have theirs too, which, by the way, has not stopped both of them from cooperating with one another, as is exemplified by the fact that they have recently withdrawn their troops from the disputed Ladakh region’s border area, thus moving one step towards the Asian century.

Indian-Chinese cooperation in fact is particularly remarkable, considering the former’s position within the QUAD, which is seen by many as a Western anti-Chinese “new NATO”. Yet even amid serious bilateral disagreements, Eurasian states have shown that there is plenty of room for cooperation on a number of levels, and, in the same way, New Delhi has also maintained close ties with Moscow, while getting closer to Washington. The same logic must apply to Sino-Russian cooperation, notwithstanding their differences over the Northeast China-Russian Far East border region.

In 1969, in this very region, near the Amur river, there was a seven-month undeclared military conflict between China and the Soviet Union, shortly after the so-called Sino-Soviet split. After the conflict, the United States sought to strengthen ties with Beijing by secretly sending Henry Kissinger to China for his now famous 1971 meeting with Zhou Enlai, which in turn paved the way for then US President Richard Nixon visiting China and meeting with Mao Zedong the next year. And yet even with the Sino-Soviet split, the two states managed to stabilize their relations in the late seventies. 

In the more recent past, on 21 July 2008, then Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, signed in Beijing an additional Sino-Russian Border Line Agreement, thus marking the acceptance of the eastern portion of the Chinese-Russian border’s demarcation.

On February 4, in Beijing, a joint statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping famously declared that the friendship between the two states “has no limits”. Such a statement, somewhat hyperbolic as it may be, in any case, from an American perspective, is quite terrifying as it poses a direct challenge to Washington’s ambitions of maintaining unipolarity. 

No friendship is really absolute, but the truth is that Chinese-Russian relations have entered a new era, and Beijing’s trade and investment in the Russian Far East, such as in the Vladivostok Port – Trans-Siberian Railway, must also be seen in this context, as the Belt and Road Initiative investments into the Russian Federation go on. Chris Devonshire-Ellis, publisher of Asia Briefing, writes that both powers view the Heihe-Blagoveshchensk border cities (which sit opposite each other on the Amur River opposing banks) as key strategic development hubs in an access point to the Trans-Siberian railway. That being so, maintaining peace at the border is in the best interests of both Moscow and Beijing, contrary to the wishful thinking of some Western analysts.

In any case, much has been done, in the US-led West, in terms of PR and diplomacy to try to “counter” the “no-limits” friendship concept, and to promote and explore Russian-Chinese points of contention. Thus, in the same way Washington inflates Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments to Putin on Ukraine, it tries to do the same pertaining to Moscow and Beijing and it will certainly try to explore the issue of Manchuria.

Although, under American influence, Japan has changed its stance on Russia partly over the aforementioned Kuril islands, this of course does not in any way mean that China would behave similarly. Chinese-Russian Eurasian strategic interests converge very deeply and both states have sophisticated diplomacy apparatuses to bilaterally pursue collaboration, bilateral disputes apart, while also employing the framework of forums such as the SCO and the BRICS group to coordinate their perspectives together so as to maximize benefits for all.

Uriel Araujo is a researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

Massive rally in Brussels over cost of living

Samizdat | September 21, 2022

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brussels on Wednesday for a “national day of action” to demand higher wages and lower energy prices. According to police, over 10,000 people descended on the Belgian capital as it was revealed that some 64% of the country’s citizens are afraid they may not be able to pay their bills.

The demonstrations were organized by Belgian trade unions, who claim that the average energy bill for families in the country has already increased threefold to more than €700 ($691) a month.

“It’s not that we don’t want to pay, but we can’t pay,” said Thierry Bodson, chairman of the General Labor Federation of Belgium, while speaking to thousands of union activists at the Place de la Monnaie. While the average Belgian family only makes €2,500 ($2,468) a month, Bodson pointed out that it’s “absolutely impossible” for someone below that line to pay their bills.

Addressing the government’s recommendation for citizens to use less energy, Bodson said this was “pointless,” as most Belgians have already taken all possible measures to lower their energy consumption but it was still not enough.

Placards seen in the crowds shared Bodson’s sentiments with some reading “Freeze prices, not people,” and “Everything is going up except our wages.”

The protesters are demanding that Belgian authorities do more to combat skyrocketing prices, and claim they should draw additional resources from energy companies that have reported record profits this year and made billions while the standard of living for average people has plummeted.

Last month, Belgium’s Statbel statistics agency reported that inflation in the country had jumped to 9.94% amid a surge in energy prices, almost reaching a record set in 1976.

Meanwhile, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has warned that “the next five to ten winters will be difficult” due to record gas prices, but stated that Belgium would endure the crisis “if we support each other in these difficult times.”

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Solidarity and Activism | | 1 Comment

Austrian citizens dissatisfied with anti-Russian measures

Protests against sanctions and gas prices are likely to increase in the entire European continent
By Lucas Leiroz | September 19, 2022

Protests against gas prices are rising in Europe. European citizens are increasingly dissatisfied with the directions taken by their countries and organize demonstrations to express their opinions against the EU and its sanctions. In Austria, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand political changes. However, the western media continues to ignore the protests.

On September 17th, the streets of Vienna and eight other major Austrian cities were taken over by tens of thousands of protesters furious at the uncontrolled rise in gas prices and living costs. Although local police declined to reveal their official estimates, sources claim that around 20,000 people attended the protests in Vienna, with around 10,000 others in the cities of Linz, Bruck an der Mur, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt St. Polten, Eisenstadt and Bregenz. 

The protests were organized by several different political groups, but the biggest one was the trade union federation OeGB. As seen recently in other parts of Europe, individuals of different political ideologies came together for a common cause: the improvement of people’s living conditions and the end of the disastrous economic policy that is currently being conducted. Austrian political leaders reported that the main objective of the protests is to put pressure on the governing alliance – formed by a conservative-green coalition -, which the OeGB considers guilty of “watching idly as life becomes unaffordable”.

In Vienna, where the protests were concentrated, a large rally was held by trade unionists. Many criticisms against the government, big companies, and the EU were made during the speeches. Such was the popular mobilization that the Austrian president himself expressed solidarity with the situation and communicated with his voters through his social networks in order to ease popular anger. He stated that he is in solidarity with the people at this time of economic difficulty but was not able to promise any real solution to the problem.

“This solidarity should not only be felt in the heart but, above all, in the wallet of those who are wondering how to pay for their shopping at the end of the month”, Alexander Van der Bellen emphasized when commenting on the protests in a social media publication.

Other local officials also made statements in the face of the protests. The mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig, for example, said that the recent growth in prices is a real challenge for a large part of the population and declared support for the demand of trade unionists for changes in economic policy and salary rises. However, like the president, Ludwig failed to criticize the real root of the problem, which is the adhesion of the European bloc to anti-Russian sanctions, which are generating the current energy crisis.

Most of the western media simply ignored the protests, refusing to report on the events. Another portion, however, reported it “softly”, declining to show the real demands of the Austrian workers. This has been a recurrent tactic on the part of the Western media when reporting the protests against anti-Russian sanctions in Europe: to show that workers are asking for a drop in gas prices, but avoid mentioning that they are aware that this increase is related to the irresponsible European policy of implementing coercive measures against Moscow.

A few days before the protests, in a survey carried out by the Austrian sociological institute Institut fur Demoskopie und Datenanalyse (IFDD) it was revealed that almost 80% of Austrian citizens feel affected by the sanctions on Russia. In the survey, 78% of the interviewees said they had suffered side effects from the sanctions. More than that, 31% of respondents even said they believe that the measures were actually directed against Austria itself rather than Russia, given the impact the country is suffering. In some recent surveys in other European countries, it is also possible to see that local citizens are seeing the sanctions in a similar way, believing that their countries are the real targets of the measures – which reveals how much the European population feels harmed by the attitudes of their own rulers. 

Indeed, European citizens are not wrong in their perception. Sanctions in fact affect Europe much more than Russia itself. More than that, they benefit the US, which has finally managed to destroy Russian-European energy cooperation. It is not by chance that it is Washington that plans and proposes such sanctions, which European leaders have subserviently adhered to, affecting their own interests. So, indeed, these sanctions are designed against Europe. And, knowing this, European governments need to immediately reverse these measures before winter comes and the crisis becomes a real social catastrophe.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, geopolitical consultant. 

September 19, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Anti-NATO protests in Europe likely to increase

By Lucas Leiroz | September 5, 2022

The consequences of the anti-Russian sanctions are causing revolt and indignation among European citizens. In recent days, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Prague demanding an end to the coercive measures against Russia. Similar situations have been also seen in other important cities of Europe. Intelligence agencies already predict that the situation will worsen in the near future, with serious risks of an escalation in internal tensions in European countries. Indeed, these facts make it clear that the European people absolutely reject the interventionist ambitions of the EU and NATO.

On the 3rd of September, one of the biggest mass protests in recent years was seen in the streets of Prague. Current problems such as rising gas prices and security crises have taken thousands of Czech citizens to the streets in protests against the EU and NATO. Official Czech government sources claim 70,000 people attended the demonstrations, but protest organizers say the actual number of participants exceeded 100,000.

Members of different political ideologies and different social movements participated in the event. Nationalists, conservatives, social reformers, leftists, and moderate liberals have united in the common cause of combating negative foreign influence on the Czech government, which is leading the country to adopt an anti-Russian international policy that greatly harms the interests of the population. Not by chance, the slogan of the protesters was “Czech Republic First”, which succinctly expresses the popular and patriotic urges of the activists.

As expected, the main demand was that the Prime Minister Petr Fiala coalition impose limits on the price of gas as a way of controlling the worsening of the energy crisis. Some groups involved have openly called for a circumvention of EU policies, so that Prague could negotiate directly with Moscow for energy supplies. In fact, some groups seemed to hold more moderate opinions and others more radical, however all converged on the need for the Czech Republic to maintain an independent foreign policy that prioritizes national interests, instead of simply adhering to sanctions packages planned by think tanks in Brussels, London and Washington.

A common cause for all participants was the demand for absolute military neutrality, which is an extremely important issue considering that the Czech government was the first to violate NATO’s self-imposed rule of not taking direct action in the Ukrainian conflict. In April, before all other countries in the Western alliance, Prague sent a wide range of war equipment to Ukraine, mainly tanks and other armored vehicles. Until then, the West was only sending financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but Prague started an unlimited military escalation, which has resulted in the prolongation of the conflict with the sending of Western weapons.

In an official statement, Fiala said citizens have the right to protest, but arrogantly asserted that the Czech people are being manipulated by pro-Russian forces. The head of government simply ignored the wishes of the people he was chosen to represent, which is a very problematic issue and reveals a serious status of democracy crisis in the country. No action was announced after the protests, with Prague continuing to suffer all the consequences of anti-Russian sanctions.

Prague, however, was not the only place to witness popular revolt against Western interventionism. In Germany, the day before, violent protests took place in some cities, most notably in Kassel, where 200 protesters faced heavy police brutality as they protested against the supply of weapons to Kiev. Eight protesters were arrested after violent clashes. Also, it is necessary to remember that similar situations had already occurred in many regions of Europe in recent months. In Madrid, the June NATO summit was responded to with large protests by the Spanish population, for example. And, according to the German intelligence, this situation of popular indignation will only get worse and worse.

Sources from security departments in Germany allege that the country is close to facing violent protests. German intelligence seems to have obtained privileged information that different parties would be coming together exceptionally in order to demand solutions to the energy crisis. The mass protests would be being organized by absolutely antagonistic groups, such as Die Linke and AfD, and would still be receiving support from more moderate organizations, such as the CDU’s Christian Democrats. 

The German situation reflects the same scenario seen in Spain and the Czech Republic: antagonistic ideologies and parties are ignoring their rivalries and uniting for a common cause. In practice, this tends to make the protests really massive and strong, attracting citizens from all ideological affiliations.

“So what we saw during the coronavirus pandemic might look like a children’s party in comparison to what is to come”, a German intelligence officer commented during an interview to Die Welt about the protests to come.

For all European countries, the question is the same: abandon the sanctions or face social chaos. The coercive measures against Moscow do not benefit European citizens and do not influence the military scenario in Ukraine, so they simply have no reason to exist. Either European countries adopt a sovereign stance and prioritize their own interests in foreign policy, or the bloc will suffer irreversible damage in its social structures.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

September 5, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 3 Comments

Tens of Thousands Take to Prague’s Streets to Protest Against EU & NATO

Sputnik – 03.09.2022

Earlier in the week, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s government faced yet another vote of no-confidence in parliament, in what is the opposition’s second bid to oust the center-right coalition this year.

An estimated 70,000 people took to the streets of the Czech capital Prague on Saturday, protesting against the government, the European Union and NATO.

The leaders of the protests slammed the government’s inaction in dealing with record-high inflation in the country, including soaring gas and electricity prices, and demanded that Prague signs direct contracts with gas suppliers – Russia included – notwithstanding Brussels’ policies.

“The aim of our demonstration is to demand change, mainly in solving the issue of energy prices, especially electricity and gas, which will destroy our economy this autumn,” one of the demonstration’s organizers, Jiri Havel, stated.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala dismissed the protesters’ demands, claiming that they did not hold “the interests of the Czech Republic” at their hearts and accused them of being “pro-Russian”. Fiala did not elaborate on how rapidly growing prices are in the country’s best interests.

Fiala’s government recently survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote called by the opposition in light of his cabinet’s inaction in the face of soaring inflation. Fiala won the vote, which was preceded by a 22-hour-long marathon debate. His coalition holds an eight-seat edge over the opposition in the 200-seat parliament.

September 3, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

Occupation raids, attacks Palestinian organizations: EU, US and Canada are complicit!

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | August 21, 2022

In the early morning hours of Thursday, 18 August, armed Israeli occupation forces invaded the offices of seven prominent Palestinian NGOs, civil society organizations and human rights defenders: the Health Work Committees, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Bisan Centre, Defence for Children International – Palestine, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. These organizations have all been designated by the Israeli occupation as “terrorist” in retaliation for their advocacy and community organizing work for Palestine, and then labeled “illegal organizations” in a military order covering the occupied West Bank of Palestine.

The invading forces ransacked the offices, confiscating computers, legal client files, documentation, printers and monitors and leaving clutter behind — as documented by the organizations’ surveillance cameras, recording the occupation forces’ invasion. The doors of the organizations were welded shut and a paper military order affixed to the door declaring their operation “illegal” under the occupation’s (illegal) military orders.

The organizations declared that they would not be silenced by these attacks, holding press conferences and returning to the offices to reopen them and continue their work. The attacks received widespread condemnation not only from Palestinian and pro-Palestinian forces but even from European governments whose policies and practices consistently target the Palestinian people and their fundamental rights.

Now, on Sunday, 21 August, occupation intelligence authorities — the Shin Bet — phoned Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin to threaten him with interrogation and arrest if the organization’s work continues, while Defence for Children International – Palestine director Khaled Quzmar was summoned to and held under interrogation.

“Terror” Designations and Political Control

The invasions, interrogations, ransacking and attacks on these organizations reflect the failure of the occupation’s regime of “terror” designations to undermine their work. In 2021, not only did the regime designate Al-Haq, Addameer, DCI, Bisan, the UPWC and the UAWC as “terrorist” organizations — quickly followed by the military orders banning their work in the occupied West Bank of Palestine — it earlier in the year designated Samidoun (on 21 February 2021), followed by three more organizations. Previously and in a similar pretext, the occupation had issued a similar designation against the Health Work Committees along with designations of groups including the Arab Organization for Human Rights UK, the Palestinian Return Centre and Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

As we noted at the time, this

“indicates just how meaningless the term ‘terrorist’ is in the hands of the Israeli regime. It means precisely any organization, activist, or freedom fighter that challenges Zionist colonialism through any method or means of resistance at all. The flurry of ‘terrorist’ designations for organizations working to expose Israel’s crimes and organize Palestinians underlines this reality….These designations are not attacks on individual organizations but against Palestinian human rights defenders and those around the world who stand up for Palestinian liberation — and, fundamentally, the Palestinian people as a whole, especially the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons. They attempt to repress growing support for the legitimate resistance of the Palestinian people and confrontation of imperialism and Zionism.”

Further, it is clear that the use of such designations is intended to further political control over Palestinian society. These designations hinge on the allegation that organizations are close to one or another Palestinian resistance organizations, most commonly the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine or Hamas. Israeli officials have shopped around “evidence” to various governments that is so weak so as to be ludicrous, consisting almost entirely of unsubstantiated statements or on the idea that employing a person who supports a political organization (or, in some cases, relatives of people in political organizations “designated” by the occupation) is “funding” that organization by paying employees a salary for doing their job.

While it is obvious that these are false claims, the objective of this type of attack goes beyond simply lobbing allegations. Indeed, the European governments that have criticized the attacks and designations have also repeatedly affirmed their willingness to “examine evidence” and “act” if the Israeli regime “proves” that popular organizations, civil society groups and human rights advocates are in some way “tied” to Palestinian resistance movements. Not only are the organizations “innocent” of the Israeli claims, the claims themselves are fundamentally repugnant. The Palestinian people have the right to resist occupation and to be a part of political, social and armed movements in that resistance; this is not “terrorism” but an essential right of people under occupation and colonization.

Rather than affirming the right of Palestinians to resist and to organize themselves to achieve those goals, these European governments instead use these attacks to impose even greater political scrutiny and conditions. In many cases (such as the Netherlands), these governments recommend or require that all employees of these organizations must not be associated with any “banned” Palestinian political organization. If Palestinians are part of a political party or movement, they must be unemployable and impoverished: this is both the argument of the occupation and of the European states providing a meager “defense” of Palestinian civil society.

For the European funding agencies and many large foundations, supporting Palestinian NGOs has never been primarily about empowering or supporting the Palestinian people to achieve their liberation but rather about redirecting Palestinian energies into “state-building” and/or “reform” projects that exist within the confines of Oslo. Time and time again, these forces have introduced new conditional funding mechanisms and restrictions on everything from the political affiliation of individual employees to the names of buildings and schools.

European Union: Partners in Colonialism and Apartheid

This is borne out once again by the statement of nine European states — Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden — which invokes the promotion of “democratic values and the two-state solution,” a fundamental contradiction as the so-called “two-state solution” itself is the legitimization of the colonization and occupation of 78% of Palestine and no solution at all for the Palestinian people. This brief comment lays bare the real political motivation for European involvement in funding Palestinian organizations, which is to limit rather than to achieve rights, justice and liberation. Further, the statement notes that “should convincing evidence be made available to the contrary, we would act accordingly.”

Here, the “evidence” being referred to would be any “links” between these NGOs and the Palestinian resistance. By including this statement in their alleged defense of the organizations, these European states actually encourage the occupation to continue its raids and ransacking, confiscation of files, arrests and interrogations, in an attempt to manufacture such “evidence”.

Of course, the position of these states themselves — members of the aggressive NATO alliance, defenders of the Israeli occupation in international arenas — is all too clear. The European Union, while rejecting the designation of advocacy and civil society organizations, continues to designate Palestinian resistance organizations as “terrorists.”

France continues to imprison Georges Ibrahim Abdallah while doing almost nothing to advocate for its citizen Salah Hamouri, jailed without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention, as the government attempts to criminalize Palestinian activism, such as the Collectif Palestine Vaincra. Germany not only engages in weapons deals with the occupation, it also engages in severely repressive practices against Palestine organizing, particularly Palestinian communities in exile and diaspora, from the expulsion of Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat and Palestinian torture survivor and feminist Rasmea Odeh to the ban on 15 May Nakba demonstrations in Berlin. This is not to mention the links between Zionism and European colonialism from the very beginning of the Zionist project.

Now, Israeli prime minister and war criminal Yair Lapid is scheduled to come to Brussels on 6 October to convene the “Association Council” with all EU member states’ foreign ministers, for the first time in 10 years. This is the council under the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the agreement that provides for free trade for occupation products inside the EU and allows for occupation institutions to receive European grants for research and development.

Ending the EU-Israel Association Agreement is a long-time demand of the Palestine solidarity movement, but despite their expressed “concerns” about the violent repression imposed on Palestinians, these European states are planning to welcome Lapid and convene the Association Council after a long hiatus, celebrating their complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Canadian government has refused to make any meaningful statement about these attacks, despite posing as a defender of “human rights.” U.S. officials stated their “concern,” while continuing to provide $3.8 billion in military support to the occupier.

**

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network affirms that these attacks are part and parcel of the ongoing war on Palestinian existence and organization, carried out by the Zionist state and supported by the imperialist powers that ally with the Israeli occupation, as well as Arab reactionary regimes engaged in “normalization” and the Palestinian Authority. While PA officials declare their public support for the targeted organizations, the PA continues to engage in security coordination with the occupation, declined the use of its security forces to defend the organizations, and has even previously detained leaders, directors and staff of these organizations challenging its repression at the behest of the occupier.

We reaffirm that the primary way that we can confront these designations is by intensifying our organizing, action, mobilization and resistance to bring down the structures of colonialism, implement the right to return for Palestinian refugees, and support the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners and of Palestine, from the river to the sea. This includes campaigning to bring an end to the so-called “terrorist lists” used to terrify Palestinian communities and Palestine solidarity organizers, which only provide a weapon in the hands of the occupation and encourages it to engage in further specious designations.

We also urge all to take action to confront Lapid’s visit on 6 October in Brussels and to bring down the “EU-Israel Association Agreement,” an agreement built on the colonization of Palestine and the massacres targeting the Palestinian people. It is incumbent upon all institutions and organizations concerned about these raids and about the Palestinian people to adopt and implement the boycott and international isolation of Israel, including at the United Nations and its bodies.

Further, we urge all to join us in organizing to march in Brussels on 29 October for the March for Return and Liberation to the European Parliament, to demand an end to European complicity, involvement in and support for the colonization of Palestine, the siege on Gaza, the imprisonment of Palestinians and the denial of millions of Palestinians’ right to return home.

samidoun@samidoun.net

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia Backs Comprehensive Military-Technical Cooperation Amid Formation of Multipolar World: Putin

Samizdat – 15.08.2022

Russia supports the development of “comprehensive” military-technical cooperation with other countries, including joint drills and the sales of weapons systems, and highly values its many allies and partners across the globe, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

“I want to emphasize that Russia stands for the widest possible development of military-technical cooperation. Today, in the conditions of a steadily emerging multipolar world, this is especially important,” Putin said Monday at ARMY-2022.

“We highly appreciate the fact that our country has many allies, partners and like-minded people on different continents. These are states which do not bend before the so-called ‘hegemon’, their leaders are showing strong character and do not bend,” he added.

The Russian president said Russia is ready to present its partners across Latin America, Asia and Africa with “the most modern weapons systems,” from small arms and armored vehicles to artillery, warplanes and drones. He recalled that Russian armaments have built up a reputation across the world for their reliability, quality and efficiency in real combat conditions.

Putin extended a formal invitation to Russia’s allies and partners to take part in joint command-staff exercises and other drills, and expressed confidence “that by developing broad military-technical cooperation, by pooling our efforts and potential, we will be able to ensure reliable security for our countries and the world as a whole.”

Putin also pointed to the “great prospects” Russia has in the training of foreign servicemen and improving their qualifications, saying that thousands of soldiers and officers from countries around the world are already proud to call Russian military academies and officer training schools their alma maters.

The president thanked Defense Ministry for organizing the forum, saying it would help strengthen international security and stability. He also expressed gratitude to Russia’s weapons makers for equipping Russia’s ground forces and Navy with modern weapons, including those being used in Moscow’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

ARMY-2022 kicked off on Monday across several venues in the Moscow region and will run until Sunday. The forum and expo is combined with the International Army Games – a friendly military competition in which 12 countries are taking part. The games will run until August 27.

August 15, 2022 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Eight-Day Strike Over Below-Inflation Pay Offer Looms at UK’s Biggest Container Port

By James Tweedie – Samizdat – 05.08.2022

The bank of England warned on Thursday that the British economy was headed for a recession in the fourth quarter of the year, while think-tank the Resolution Foundation predicted inflation could hit 15 percent by the start of 2023.

Dockworkers at the UK’s biggest consumer goods port are set to strike later this month over pay — as inflation soars amid sanctions on Russia.
More than 1,900 members of Unite, Britain’s largest trade union, will walk out at Felixtowe port on the North Sea in Suffolk for eight days from Sunday August 21 to Monday August 29.

That was after employer Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison, refused to increase its pay offer of seven per cent. Dockworkers accepted a rise of 1.4 percent in 2021.

“Strike action will cause huge disruption and will generate massive shockwaves throughout the UK’s supply chain,” said Unite national officer for docks Bobby Morton, but insisted that “this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.”

“It has had every opportunity make our members a fair offer but has chosen not to do so,” Morton said. “Felixstowe needs to stop prevaricating and make a pay offer which meets our members’ expectations.”

Further talks between the union and management are scheduled for Monday.

The bank of England warned on Thursday that the British economy was headed for a recession in the fourth quarter of the year, while think-tank the Resolution Foundation predicted inflation could hit 15 percent by the start of 2023.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said the firm and its parent company were “massively profitable and incredibly wealthy,” and “fully able to pay the workforce a fair day’s pay”.

“The company has prioritised delivering multi-million pound dividends rather than paying its workers a decent wage,” Graham charged. “Unite is entirely focused on enhancing its members’ jobs, pay and conditions and it will be giving the workers at Felixstowe its complete support until this dispute is resolved and a decent pay increase is secured.”

Workers in other sectors are threatening or have already taken industrial action over pay as the cost of living has soared — driven by a combination of massive government relief payments during the COVID-19 lockdown and the embargo on energy imports from Russia as retaliation for its special military operation in the Ukraine.

Rail Unions RMT and ASLEF held strikes in June and July, with more on the cards as talks with employers remain deadlocked.

Even doctors have threatened to walk out over their demand for a 30 percent rise this year.

August 5, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | | 1 Comment

Hezbollah rejected US support offer to stop confrontation with Israel: Nasrallah

Press TV – July 22, 2022

In a rare interview recorded some 20 years ago and aired this week, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says the resistance movement rejected American offers of money and support that were made in exchange for its elimination from the Arab-Israeli conflict equation.

Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen channel is airing a five-part documentary series dubbed “40 and Beyond” about Hezbollah. The series comes on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Hezbollah as well as the 30th anniversary of the election of Nasrallah as the head of the movement. The episodes include an unseen interview of Nasrallah with Ghassan Ben Jeddou, current CEO of al-Mayadeen.

In the third episode of the series, Nasrallah says the United States made several offers to Hezbollah after the liberation of southern Lebanon and western Bekaa in 2000, aiming at neutralizing the movement and eliminating it from the Arab-Israeli conflict equation.

The United States was trying to convince Hezbollah that Shebaa farms were not worth a conflict and that the issue could be resolved through dialogue, Nasrallah said.

According to the top resistance figure, what the United States was offering in exchange for the movement’s neutralization included working out a solution about the issue of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli prisons, recognizing Hezbollah’s political role and its inclusion of Hezbollah into the government, providing the resistance with a significant financial aid to rebuild the liberated areas, and removing Hezbollah from the so-called terror list.

Washington was also asking the Lebanese movement to abandon its military and financial support for the Palestinian Intifada, said Nasrallah.

These offers, he said, were strongly rejected by Hezbollah because the movement sought to help the Palestinians and considered Israel a permanent threat to Lebanon’s security.

American authorities repeated the same offers after 9/11 following its declaring of war against organizations it recognizes as terrorists, added the resistance leader.

Hezbollah was established following the 1982 Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon. Since then, the popular resistance group has grown into a powerful military force.

The resistance group fought off two Israeli wars against Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, forcing a humiliating retreat upon the regime’s military in both wars. The movement has vowed to resolutely defend Lebanon in case of another Israeli war.

In an interview with Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam news network in early January 2022, Nasrallah also pointed to the offer by the United States to turn its back on Palestine and end confrontation with the occupying regime.

“Previously, they (the Americans) sent us a delegation on behalf of Dick Cheney to negotiate a halt in our support for Palestine and attacks against Israel. In return, they said that they would pay us billions of dollars and even allow us to have our weapons, an offer which we naturally opposed,” he said.

Lebanon and the occupying entity are technically at war since the latter has kept the Arab country’s Shebaa Farms under occupation since 1967.

“We do not recognize the existence of Israel. This is the land of Palestine,” Nasrallah said.

July 22, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Court Strikes Down “Quarantine Camp” Regulation in New York State

By Bobbie Anne Flower Cox | American Thinker | July 19, 2022

We have had a tremendous victory here in New York: a Supreme Court Judge has struck down Governor Kathy Hochul’s forced quarantine regulation! On July 8, 2022, Judge Ronald Ploetz ruled that the “Isolation and Quarantine Procedures” regulation is unconstitutional and “violative of New York State law as promulgated and enacted, and therefore null, void and unenforceable as a matter of law.”

Shockingly, New York’s Governor, Kathy Hochul, and Attorney General, Letitia James, plan to appeal the decision. Yes, that’s right… the Governor and AG, both unabashedly support quarantine camps! One would think that this fact, in and of itself, would be disturbing enough but add to it the fact that they’re both running for election this November, and you can see just how unconstitutionally brazen and wholly out-of-touch with New Yorkers each of these “leaders” is.

For anyone who missed my prior article on this horrific forced quarantine regime,  the regulation truly shocks the conscience. Without exaggeration, it’s something out of a dystopian horror movie. It gives the unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Health the power to pick and choose who they want to “detain,” if they believe it’s even possible you might have a communicable disease. They don’t have to prove you’re actually sick.

And when I say “detain,” I mean lock you in your home or force you from your home into a facility. The government chooses which “detention center” and the length of your stay there is purely at the government’s discretion. That’s right: No time limit so it could be for days, months, or years…. Furthermore, there is no age restriction so that the government could force you, your child, your grandchild, or your elderly parent into detention.

This illegal quarantine regulation allowed for endless possibilities of abuse because there were no due process protections built in to safeguard against government abuse. Once targeted by the DOH, you would have no recourse whatsoever: No chance to prove that you aren’t actually infected with a disease. No chance to confront your jailers, see their supposed evidence against you or challenge their quarantine order in a court of law before getting locked up. Judge Ploetz stated in his decision that the regulation “merely gives ‘lip service’ to Constitutional due process.”

It gets worse. In the true fashion of a dictatorship, the government could tell you what you could and couldn’t do while in quarantine. For example, bureaucrats and politicians could decide to deprive you of your cell phone or internet access, thereby totally cutting off your communications with the outside world. They might also decide to restrict your food intake or force you to take certain medicines or “treatments” that the government deems appropriate. They could even choose to discriminate against those with certain views or beliefs, creating political prisoners, all in the name of supposed “health and safety”.

Judge Ploetz noted in his decision that, “[i]nvoluntary detention is a severe deprivation of individual liberty, far more egregious than other health safety measures, such as requiring mask wearing at certain venues. Involuntary quarantine may have far-reaching consequences such as loss of income (or employment) and isolation from family.”

I fully concur and so, when I first read this regulation last year, I knew I had to strike it down. It was clear to me that this “regulation” violated the separation of powers that is so clearly laid out in our Constitution. It violated existing New York State laws that have been on the books for decades. It violated due process protections.

I knew that, if I didn’t strike it down, then “quarantine facilities” could become a new norm in New York State. And if that happened, I knew it would spread like a cancer to other states across the nation. At that point, there’d be no place left to run and hide. This was not a fight only for New Yorkers; it was a fight for all Americans.

An inspirational note: When I started this lawsuit, I had no support whatsoever. Because I’ve been handling the case pro bono, nobody else wanted to work with me for free and it was near impossible to find anyone who shared my vision and my strategy for success. You see, this was the very first lawsuit of its kind in the entire nation and, very possibly, in the world. So, it took a tremendous amount of my time, energy, and resources to execute.

The Governor and her co-defendants are represented by New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James. She has hundreds of lawyers working for her, all armed with unlimited resources. After all, it’s our tax dollars they use to pay all those attorneys. It’s truly a David v. Goliath story, especially because, while I once worked in a large, prominent, international Manhattan law firm, for the past 20+ years, I’ve had my own small law office in the suburbs of NYC. Since I’m handling this case pro bono, I don’t have the Attorney General’s team of attorneys or her unlimited resources.

Eventually, I found a few fabulous allies. Namely, my petitioners (Senator George Borrello, Assemblymen Chris Tague, and Mike Lawler) and, eventually, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, and Assemblyman Joseph Giglio who filed an Amicus Brief to support my case. Plus, attorney Tom Marcelle, who is now running for New York State Supreme Court judge.

After months of battling against the AG, last week we won the case! I’ve successfully struck down a severely unconstitutional regulation that the Governor and her Department of Health brazenly issued without any care whatsoever for the rights of the people. Now, I hope that other attorneys in states across the nation can use my lawsuit as a roadmap to help them strike down unconstitutional regulations in their states. Even international attorneys are contacting me to learn the details about how I structured and won this case. I hope it will aid them, too.

During one of my recent interviews, the host posted a picture of President Kennedy with a quote, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” She said that quote reminds her of me. Well, I hope that quote and this story inspire you to try!

Senator Borrello and Assemblymen Tague and Lawler are calling on the Governor to back off an appeal and to let this decision stand. If you’re a New Yorker, you can help with this effort. Call, email, or write to Governor Hochul (518- 474-8390 Twitter: @GovKathyHochul) and the Attorney General (800-771-7755 Twitter: @TishJames) to tell them that the voters do not want an appeal filed; that an appeal would be going against the will of the people; and that it would be a tremendous waste of taxpayer money.

To find out more about our monumental lawsuit, sign up for weekly updates, or support the lawsuit, go to www.UnitingNYS.com/lawsuit. You can find me on Substack at: https://attorneycox.substack.com/

July 21, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Are angry Dutch farmers spearheading an uprising against the elites?

By Kathy Gyngell | TCW Defending Freedom | July 12, 2022

Ignored in the media feeding frenzy over Johnson’s resignation were no less than 30,000 Dutch farmers who last week rose up in protest against new nitrogen emission limits set by their government and who are fast bringing their country to a halt. You would think it would be a lead new story, but no.

Only yesterday did any British mainstream newspaper pay attention to this huge story. The Independent took time out to tell its readers that ‘Anger simmers for Dutch farmers who oppose pollution cuts’.

That is not however how social and alternative news media outlets have been reporting this drama. The Dutch government’s new edict will require farmers to so radically to curb their nitrogen emissions, by up to 70 per cent in the next eight years, that it will mean a massive reduction in the number of livestock they can maintain resulting in the loss of their livelihoods and, some say, a State take-over of their farms. It’s for this reason they have been blocking supermarkets, distribution centres and roads, a protest to which, shamefully, the police have responded with brutality, opening fire on tractor-riding farmers and arresting others.

Maybe large farming companies could, at least hypothetically, meet these (climate) goals but for smaller farms, often family-owned over several generations, these new environmental regulations are so extreme they’ll be forced out of business.

That’s why farmers are blockading roads and refusing to deliver their products to supermarket chains, and why the Netherlands is starting to suffer serious shortages of eggs and milk. The global impact is not without significance either. Just as so many people remained unaware until recently how dependent the world is on Ukraine for wheat and fertiliser, enlightenment is yet to dawn about global food dependency on the Netherlands.

In a rare (mainstream) article on the subject last week in Newsweek, Ralph Schoellhammer, an Austrian assistant professor of economics, explains that the Netherlands is the world’s second largest agricultural exporter after the United States, a country of barely 17million inhabitants, a food superpower. Given global food shortages and rising prices, the role of Dutch farmers in the global food chain, he writes, has never been more important: ‘But if you thought the Dutch government was going to take that into account and ensure that people can put food on the table, you would be wrong; when offered the choice between food security and acting against “climate change,” the Dutch government decided to pursue the latter.’

It appears to be an extraordinary own goal, given post Lockdown supply chain problems and the impact of the Ukraine war, but such is the zealotry of these political climate ideologues that they are prepared to attack their own people, just as Pierre Trudeau did with the Truckers. Like Mao, they seem to have little regard for the cost in human lives and suffering in order to achieve their revolutionary goals. And a revolution it is, driven by global elites who can afford high food and energy prices.

Schoellhammer believes that ‘there is a growing resistance by the middle and lower classes against . . . the “luxury beliefs” of the elites, as everyday folks realise the harm it causes them and their communities’. Let’s hope there is.

Rebel News reporter Lincoln Jay, embedded with the farmers since last week, reporting back to Laura Ingraham of Fox News last Friday said ‘the farmers genuinely believe that this is going to destroy their livelihoods’. He believes ‘these new environmental policies are going to make it practically impossible for the younger generation here in the Netherlands to get into farming’.

You can watch the interview here.

In a more recent Rebel News report with Lewis Brackpool he says that the Dutch farmers are not backing down against ‘the authoritarian climate agenda of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’ who they describe as a World Economic Forum insider; and that the farmers’ rebellion is now countrywide, and has brought parts of it to a halt. In the northern town of Drachten, not far from the German border, they watched waves of farm tractors form a convoy along the A7 highway. In Leeuwarden, tractors blockaded government buildings, and farmers tried to confront provincial government officials.

Elsewhere it’s been alleged that that the Dutch minister who pushed the nitrogen law that grants the government the power to expropriate the farmers’ land has a brother whose online supermarket is one in which Bill Gates invested $600million. The Epoch Times reported yesterday that the Dutch Government’s strategy is even more invidious; that the plan is to take the farmers’ land and convert it into housing.

Rutte of course is not the only example of a government’ leveraging ‘climate change concern’ against specific segments of the economy and working people at a time when it will inflict maximum damage. The Western Canadian Wheat Growers have warned that Trudeau’s proposed fertiliser emissions reduction will devastate Canadian prairie farmers, with serious implications for the country’s food security. These also are the heartlands of conservatism in Canada that are targeted.

Whether the Dutch farmers will be the spearhead of what Schoellhammer predicts will be a ‘popular uprising of working-class people against the elites and their values that started with the Canadian Truckers and is crossing the globe’, only time will tell. He says the sympathies of the Dutch are not with their government; they are solidly with their farmers that polls indicate that the Farmers Political Party, formed just three years ago in response to the new regulations, would gain 11 seats in Parliament if elections were held today (it currently holds just one seat out of 150).

The real worry he notes is that the ‘elites are behaving much as they did in Canada and the US, and not just those in government. He points to mainstream media outlets refusing to even report the protests, or when they do, ‘casting the farmers as extremists’; acting as in effect as government mouthpiece.

That, so far, is the problem here too. At the time of writing the main print and broadcast media outlets are still ignoring the Dutch farmers protest – with the honourable exception of guess who but Mark Steyn on GB News.

You can read the full Newsweek article here. 

July 12, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Solidarity and Activism | , | 1 Comment

The Collapse of the Canadian University and the Rise of the Church of Covid

By Maximilian C. Forte | Zero Anthropology | July 3, 2022

February of 2022 was a particularly dark month, both in Quebec and in Canada generally. In Quebec, we had the expansion of the use of “vaccine passports” to large, well-ventilated box stores; a curfew had been imposed in January (and was lifted after nearly three weeks); the demonization of the so-called “unvaccinated” reached a fever pitch, first in regime media, then in government pronouncements—a new tax on the “unvaccinated” was promised, and it was promised to be “significant”. Apparently the solution to the problem of Omicron defeating the non-vaccines, was to blame those who spared themselves the useless and potentially harmful injections. By the end of the month, the Canadian federal government invoked the Emergencies Act to crush a popular, peaceful protest—the Freedom Convoy. Bank accounts of hundreds of protesters and donors were frozen; protest leaders were arrested and jailed on trumped up charges, while other protesters were trampled by horses or arrested at gunpoint by policemen outfitted in a manner almost identical to soldiers; and protesters’ private property was seized and/or vandalized by the police. What the dictatorial Justin Trudeau called a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views,” was accurate only as a description of his own regime, according to multiple surveys (like this onethat one, the other one, and now this). Everyone in Quebec was subjected to a new round of restrictions: the closure of businesses and churches; schools going back online. As mandated by the federal side of the regime, the “unvaccinated” were not allowed to leave the country, and they were banned from travelling by air or rail within Canada—the only country in the world to do that. An Iron Curtain was slammed down on Canada, and parts of that curtain remain intact. And then we all got Covid thanks to Omicron—for everyone I knew at the university, students and myself included, whether injected or not, the sickness was a total non-event and certainly far less severe than the common cold or a seasonal flu, even for those with multiple comorbidities. Some students were forced to quarantine at home with sick family members, and still did not get sick. All of this upheaval was meant to shield us from catching this?

In this dark, miserable month of authoritarian aggression against Canadians’ human rights and civil liberties, universities remained absolutely silent, because they were absolutely complicit. It is to this point that the following is directed.

On February 2nd, 2022, Reinfo Covid Quebec (a very large organization of health professionals, scientists, professors and citizens, numbering more than 10,000 members), organized and hosted a press conference titled, “The Collateral Damage of Government Measures” (“Dommages collatéraux des mesures gouvernementales”). The entirety of the professors’ panel in which I participated can now only be seen on Rumble (and Part 1 can be seen here). The event was mostly in French.

Before I continue, let me thank everyone in Reinfo Covid Quebec for their amazing organizational skills, their dedication, their professionalism, their courage, their high spirits, and their warmth. I thank them also for creating a momentary liberated zone for us: in contravention of government regulations, we met without masks, sitting shoulder to shoulder, laughing and chatting in large groups, for an extended time—no anti-social distancing, no useless breathing obstructions, no fear. In the darkness of February, they offered a warm and welcoming light.

My presentation (the video below), was in English. What follows beneath the video is the longer version of the remarks I had prepared, which appears only in print.

The Collapse of the Canadian University and the Rise of the Church of Covid from Maximilian Forte on Vimeo.

The Collapse of the Canadian University

When a Canadian university tells a professor in the natural sciences that, “this university does not recognize natural immunity,” then we have arrived at the lowest intellectual point in the history of our universities. Natural immunity is a basic biological fact. For it to be struck from recognition gives you just one indication of the assault on science and on academic knowledge committed in the name of a “public health emergency” that was used to justify irrational, capricious, arbitrary, harmful, and discriminatory impositions.

Self-censorship has prevailed in Canadian universities, encouraged by castigating the few who express doubts, and by university administrations that present unsubstantiated monologues that advocate for restrictions and for dubious pharmaceutical products. We are further hampered in Canada by an inadequate number of public intellectuals, while we instead have a surplus of public relations intellectuals with close ties to pharmaceutical companies and to corporate media.

This is a country which has now purged a wide range of scholars in the natural and social sciences, and the humanities, because they expressed dissenting views and stood by the ethics governing their disciplines. Academic freedom is now, de facto, cancelled. Tenure is also, de facto, nullified. Faced with the first real test to their integrity and their ethics, the vast majority of Canadian scholars failed to stand up and speak out.

Rather than serve as a source of diverse perspectives and challenging questions, universities instead fell in line with encouraging mass panic. This conformity has not only damaged public discourse, by taking leave of our duties as the critical conscience of society, it has damaged universities themselves, and I think the damage is now irreparable. University presidents have repeatedly produced unquestioning endorsements of the so-called “vaccines,” masking, and social distancing. Universities have internalized the “vaccine passport” system. Professors have been enlisted to police their students by enforcing mask mandates. Faculty unions have loudly advocated for tougher restrictions, such as mandatory inoculation. This is an extremely dangerous precedent, where one’s place in a university can be cancelled at any time based on one’s health status. Just as dangerous is the Canadian university being conscripted by the state-corporate alliance.

What will remain as a simply inexcusable and unforgivable reality of this period, is that open scientific debate was blocked during what was called a “pandemic”. Asked to rise up to meet history, Canadian academics mostly preferred to stand down. Consequently, the university itself has fallen as victim of this emergency, with limited prospects for recovery.

The Rise of the Church of Covid

As an anthropologist, I have asked myself: what is happening here? And why is it happening? I think of religion and ritual, the making of community, and the art of secrecy.

The intense pressure to conform is, it seems, an attempt to cement a community of believers. Strict rules of belonging are imposed, and those who disagree are excluded. This community has invented new rituals to mark it as a community with borders, and to elevate certain knowledge beyond the realm of questioning. Rituals include ones such as “masking,” which as dubious as it is in preventing transmission and infection, is much more useful as a political symbol that is masked as a moral virtue. Masking also diminishes personal identity, which is one of the unstated intentions, while (anti-)social distancing means that this paradoxical community (united by separation) is one that coheres but not within itself—instead it coheres through adhesion to an abstract “common good” (which is neither common, nor good).

This community has invented its own rite of passage: a form of baptism, of purification in the name of salvation, with “the vaccine” worshipped as the saviour.

The high priests of this community—the administrators, the approved scientists—have made their knowledge special and magical by raising it above questioning. This is the role of censorship and even secrecy, in creating subjects and propositions that are taboo. Those who are not anointed and do not follow in the path of the saviour, are the damned.

The alleged common good—said to be imperilled by a dangerous, unclean “Other” who has not been ritually purified through “vaccination”—is a common good that expects tribute to be paid, and without reciprocity to members of the community whose rights have now become conditional privileges. In reality, it is not so much an objective community, as it is a method of extracting tribute, service, and submission—not so much a community as it is an exploitation scheme.

It is surprisingly self-reflective of Pfizer to call its new (not distributed) injectable, Comirnaty, in a play on the words for “community” and “mRNA,” for this is a community of devotion and service to mRNA technology. It is an imagined, even imaginary, community that flows from the point of the needle; in reality, actual living communities have been divided if not destroyed with the ritual mandates and restrictions that were ushered in to march the masses into the “vaccine” centres. Whether due to fear or mandates that left no choice, citizens were pressed into service for Pfizer and Moderna—and then they were patronizingly told that “we are all in this together” and condescendingly thanked for “stepping up and doing their duty”. Meanwhile, the massive flow of profits went in only one direction—for example, in the direction of building a massive new 417-foot-long mega-yacht for Jeff Bezos, for when he is not journeying into outer space.

Writing as a political economist, Professor Fabio Vighi provided a complementary explanation:

VirusVaccine and Covid Pass are the Holy Trinity of social engineering. ‘Virus passports’ are meant to train the multitudes in the use of electronic wallets controlling access to public services and personal livelihood. The dispossessed and redundant masses, together with the non-compliant, are the first in line to be disciplined by digitalised poverty management systems directly overseen by monopoly capital. The plan is to tokenise human behaviour and place it on blockchain ledgers run by algorithms. And the spreading of global fear is the perfect ideological stick to herd us toward this outcome”.

In his new book (Where Are We Now? The Epidemic as Politics. London: ERIS., 2021) the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben outlined some more parallels between Covid pandemicism and religious thought and practice. He argues that, “the transformation we are witnessing today operates through the introduction of a sanitation terror and a religion of health. What, in the tradition of bourgeois democracy, used to be the right to health became, seemingly without anyone noticing, a juridical-religious obligation that must be fulfilled at any cost” (p. 10). Reflecting further on the meanings of this highly leveraged if not outright invented crisis, Agamben points out how “science” has acquired the properties of religion:

“It is as if the religious need that the Church is no longer able to satisfy is groping for a new habitat—finding it in what has already become, in effect, the religion of our time: science. Like any other religion, this faith can produce fear and superstition, or it can be at least used to disseminate them. Never before have we witnessed such a spectacle of divergent and contradictory opinions and prescriptions, typical of religions in times of crisis. These opinions range from the minoritarian heretical position (one that is nonetheless represented by distinguished scientists) that denies the seriousness of the phenomenon, to the orthodox dominant discourse that affirms this same seriousness and yet differs within itself, often radically, on the strategies for facing it. And, as always happens in these cases, some experts (or so-called experts) manage to gain the approval of the monarch, who, as in the times of the religious disputes that divided Christianity, sides with one current or the other according to his own interests, before subsequently imposing his measures” (p. 20).

“The analogy with religion must be read to the letter,” Agamben asserts, adding: “Theologians declared that they could not clearly define God, but in his name they dictated rules of behaviour and burned heretics without hesitation; virologists admit that they do not know exactly what a virus is, but in its name they insist on deciding how human beings should live” (p. 33).

Prof. Douglas Farrow, a colleague at McGill University where he teaches theology and ethics, had much more to say on these issues in his article, “Enrolled in the Religion of Fear”.

In this New Church of the Eternal Pandemic, where states of emergency act as the crowning religious festivals on the annual calendar, universities train students in the methods of reproducing the authorized, orthodox theology. Dissidents, in some noteworthy cases, are publicly flogged to send a lesson to others, while boosting the morale of acolytes.

Update: Punishing Resistance to, and Critique of, the Non-Vaccines

Many dozens of professors across Canada have been suspended without pay, or terminated outright for refusing to disclose their private and personal medical status, in addition to those who have been suspended and/or terminated because they openly rejected the new non-vaccines.

Before continuing, a note of clarification may still be necessary for some. Why non-vaccines? First, because the CDC changed its definition of “vaccines” in August of 2021, to accommodate the new products being developed for the market, which did not meet the previous CDC definition of “vaccine”. Second, because these are called gene therapies in the pharmaceutical industry itself; by the FDA they are formally referred to as investigational new drugs; in the legal arena, they are classed as prototypes by Pfizer itself. Note also that “emergency use” investigational new drugs are defined by the FDA itself as “experimental”. We can thus call these products experimental gene therapies to be brief, all complaints notwithstanding.

Personally, I know several dozen of these suspended and fired academics, through my membership in Canadian Academics for Covid Ethics. That is where we have met, corresponded, and co-authored some Op-Eds. Separate from CA4CE, I have received correspondence from at least three dozen more professors across Canada, some of which later joined the CA4CE. I will have much more to say about professors’ non-compliance, and the results, in future follow-ups on this site.

For now, I want to direct your attention to the very latest instance of the New Church of Covid (an ex-university), punishing two professors for publicly criticizing the experimental gene therapies used against Covid, one of whom was injured by taking these products. I am speaking here of Professors Patrick Provost and Nicolas Derome at Laval University. Professor Provost, whom I know, was the more prominent of the two in the media, having authored a recent article critical of Quebec’s disproportionate response, using the Quebec Health Institute’s own data to show just how overblown have been the impacts of Covid. Indeed, a separate study which was not the subject of controversy, provided evidence of the fact that Quebec had 4,033 excess deaths between March 2020 and October 2021, but reported 11,470 Covid-19 fatalities—almost three times as much: “It’s the biggest gap recorded in Canada during the pandemic”. In reporting on the same study, it was admitted that, “Quebec doctors included COVID-19 as a cause of death in medical reports more liberally than doctors in other provinces did”. The alleged impacts of Covid were then used by the government to cause real psychological, physiological, economic, and social harms with lockdowns and various other restrictions and mandates. For having challenged the dominant narrative, Patrick’s article was not only removed from the Web by its publisher, he was suspended for eight weeks without pay by Laval University.

Fortunately—and this has been rare in Canada—the Laval University faculty union has vigorously taken up the cause of both professors. This is plainly a fight about academic freedom. The Quebec Federation of University Professors has also endorsed their fight. Amazingly, in a sharp departure from its complicit silence, if not support for quashing the academic freedom of dissenters, the Canadian Association of University Teachers finally felt compelled to speak out in support of those targeted by Laval.

What makes the matter even more interesting is that the very same Quebec government whose pandemicist narrative has reigned throughout the past two (plus) years, recently passed an Academic Freedom Law (Bill 32). Many individual faculty and their unions in Quebec protested this law when it was first introduced, and seemed to be running interference for politically “woke” university administrations. Even the FQPPU criticized how the law was drafted and promoted. Along with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, I instead supported Bill 32, and I did so in a lengthy email on the subject that I sent the Minister. The same Minister of Higher Education who shepherded the law, Danielle McCann, has been forced to come out and condemn Laval University. Minister McCann then cited the situation at Laval as evidence that Bill 32 was necessary, and on this point she is correct.

We thus have a situation where a law—originally intended to shield professors who used “the N-word” in an academic context and for academic purposes, thus designed to hobble the importation/imitation of US culture wars into Quebec—is instead put to its first test with academic free speech against a narrative pushed by the government itself. Professors Provost and Derome have a straightforward case for grievance, and one which would likely win in the courts if it came to that. Laval University has in the meantime disgraced itself, in prime time, and it has broken the law.

For more on this, see the extensive list of media coverage compiled by Reinfo Covid Quebec on its page dedicated to this case (scroll to the bottom). One can read the page in English here. See also Douglas Farrow’s critique: “A Repressive Political Act—Université Laval rejects academic freedom and does violence to science”. Those who follow Zero Anthropology in Telegram would have received an abundance of coverage of this case over the past week.

For my part, I was hoping that the message in my video above would not be validated so much further, so close to home, in such short order.

“I would like to raise awareness about how our society is evolving, it’s not in a good direction. It is getting to the point where private interests will be directing our country, we will just be servants”—Dr. Patrick Provost

July 3, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment