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Australia: Petition EN3196 – Alternate treatment options for Covid 19

Petition Request

Millions of Australians are extremely concerned about the federal government’s push to force hastily approved and poorly tested novel vaccines on the population, when adequate long term safety data is unavailable.

It is also is of great concern that many notable doctors and medical researchers reporting successful treatment using cheap, safe generic anti viral drugs appear to be ignored by the government and TGA, due to these generic drugs being of little commercial value and not sponsored by pharmaceutical companies for approval by the TGA.

We therefore ask the House to formally request that the TGA assess the use of Ivermectine and Hydroxycloriquine, in the recommended dosages and combination with complimentary drugs, based on the peer reviewed studies and data, and the recommendation of notable Australian medical researchers such as Professor Thomas Borody and Professor Robert Clancy.

We ask that the house requests this of the TGA in the absence of sponsorship by a pharmaceutical corporation, seeing as both of these drugs are generic and of little commercial value to an individual company, and due to the conflict of interest many of these companies have with competing patented vaccines of far higher commercial interest.

We believe that if this is performed thoroughly and transparently it will restore public faith in the federal government, and also provide confidence to the public that all options for treatment are being honestly explored.

The petition is currently open for signatures. [until September 29th]

To see more and sigh the petition, see here: aph.gov.au

September 13, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 2 Comments

Deaths From Covid Vaxcine are government mandated genocide

NZ OUTDOORS PARTY | SEPTEMBER 12, 2021

A rush of student deaths and serious heart problems since the government’s decision to roll out the Pfizer vaccine to 12-17 year olds is government mandated genocide says the NZ Outdoors Party. The rollout to teenagers only started a few weeks ago, and already two deaths and two other post Vax admissions to Starship hospital have been reported. Another two serious post vaccine injuries in students are under investigation, including a boy who collapsed in Whangarei and another in the South Island. All are understood to have been healthy until sudden post vaccine heart issues, attributed to blood clots or myocarditis. These are well known adverse effects of this mRNA injection, which is known overseas as the #clotshot.

“The Prime Minister is floundering as the community networks are proving far more efficient at collecting and sharing information than the bureaucrats” says Sue Grey, co-leader of the NZ Outdoors Party. “This highlights one of the problems we have been raising for months. With a novel vaccine that is yet to complete clinical trials, there should be active follow-up of each recipient, to check on their health and to ensure all adverse effects are reported and assessed. The devastating effects on so many families could likely have been avoided if only the government had been more pro-active and transparent about the harm.”

Information obtained under the OIA shows that Medsafe, the government regulator, declined consent for the Pfizer Vaccine in January because it was not satisfied that the benefits exceeded the risks. Since then Medsafe has acknowledged the Pfizer Vax may cause myocarditis, pericarditis and thrombocytopenia ( blood clots).

In February the PfizerVax was given “provisional consent for the restricted treatment of a limited number of patients”, and subject to 58 conditions requiring more research and information.

After the High Court case raised questions about the legality of the Vaccine rollout, the government undertook an emergency law reform within 24 hours to remove the restricted use.

Recently the age limit was reduced to 12 year olds. it is understood the Prime Minister wants to inject everyone in New Zealand.

Despite its own advisors concerns, government advertising has repeatedly claimed the PfizerVax is “safe and effective” and “approved by Medsafe”. The Prime Minister herself claimed this recently in Parliamentary question time.

Many doctors and communities are furious about the ongoing devastation the PfizerVax is causing, and that people are not being told about the risks. A petition calling for an immediate suspension of the Vaccine rollout to teenagers launched today reached over 2000 signatures within hours. http://www.oursay.co.nz

The Outdoors Party says the ongoing rollout must stop immediately, and the government must start to listen both to the people they were elected to represent, and to the many doctors and international experts who have been issuing warnings for months.

“This programme must stop today, without any further excuses, and whoever is responsible must resign immediately” says Outdoors Party President Alan Simmons . End For more information call Alan Simmons alan@outdoorsparty.co.nz 0274 980304 or Sue Grey 22 6910586 suegreylawyer@gmail.com

September 12, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | | 2 Comments

Anti-Tyrany Protests Growing Worldwide, Truckie Victory In Australia

By Brian Shilhavy | Health Impact News | September 8, 2021

All across the world there were massive protests against medical tyranny and COVID vaccine passports this past week, but most of these are not being reported by the corporate media.

In Australia, people are reporting that the cell phones of truckers were blocked so that they could not communicate and take photos and videos of their nationwide strike, which is apparently still in effect. There have been videos of empty shelves in some grocery stores, but the corporate media is reporting that it has nothing to do with the trucker strike.

South Australia, however, did drop their COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truck drivers.

In France, the reports are that the demonstrations against the vaccine passports are getting larger and larger every weekend.

I have put together a short video update, which also includes massive protests in Brazil, allegedly against pharmaceutical companies.

The corporate media in Brazil has reported that at least 32,000 people have now died after taking one of the COVID shots. See:

Over 32,000 People DEAD in Brazil Following COVID-19 Vaccines According to Official Media Report

We are also now seeing video clips of local protests in the U.S. One in New York City over the Labor Day weekend, and one in Waikiki, Hawaii.

This is from our Bitchute channel, and it will also be on our Rumble channel shortly.

September 8, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Solidarity and Activism, Video | | 1 Comment

Ticket Sales “Flatlining” as Rebellion Against Vaccine Passports Grows

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | September 6, 2021

Ticket sales for events in the UK that could require vaccine passports are “flatlining” according to industry insiders, as the rebellion against the onerous system grows.

The government has asserted that it will continue to pursue the policy despite multiple warnings that it will create a two tier society and put countless venues out of business.

From the end of the month, people seeking to enter a nightclub in the UK will have to prove that they have been double jabbed.

Proof of a negative test will no longer be accepted despite the fact that vaccinated people can still carry and pass on the virus.

With nightclubs operating at a net profit margin of 15 per cent, and with around 25 per cent of young adults in the UK remaining unvaccinated, the industry faces potential financial ruin.

The scheme is also expected to cover all venues where crowds of over 500 people gather, which includes some of London’s larger west end theatres.

“There is a significant proportion of people who don’t want to use passports or are not vaccinated. It has settled at 20 per cent in France. We expect something similar here,” said Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of Hospitality UK.

Nicholls noted that with the industry already struggling desperately as a result of lockdowns, the administrative costs combined with the loss of income as a result of people staying away will deliver “a further nail in the coffin of returning for many venues.”

According to Michael Kill, of the Night Time Industries Association, ticket sales for events at the end of September and beyond are already “flatlining.”

“We are seeing a lot of pushback from people who don’t want to come and have to show their health status on entry,” he told the Telegraph.

Plans to introduce the passports are also going ahead despite Israel, which was the first major country to launch a similar scheme, now experiencing its highest COVID wave since the start of the pandemic.

Numerous major European countries have also been rocked by weeks of protests and rioting against the measures, while many businesses in France have simply stopped enforcing them.

As we highlighted earlier, the BBC is already reporting that vaccine passports are going to be rolled out with no mention of the fact that in a democratic society, such a scheme would require a Parliamentary vote.

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

Support our campaign to repeal the unjustifiable and dangerous Coronavirus Act

By Kathy Gyngell | TCW  Defending Freedom | September 6, 2021

THE Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on March 25 last year after passing through the House of Commons without a vote, such was the panic engendered by media images of overwhelmed medical services in Italy and Imperial College’s massively exaggerated Covid death predictions. The Act granted the government emergency powers to handle the Covid-19 pandemic. These allow the government to limit or suspend public gatherings, to detain individuals suspected to be infected by Covid-19, and to intervene or relax regulations in a range of sectors to limit transmission of the disease, ease the burden on public health services, and assist healthcare workers and the economically affected. Areas covered by the act include the National Health Service, social care, schools, police, Border Force, local councils, funerals and courts.

The Act was originally designed to expire at the end of March 2022 without interruption, but thanks to former Brexit Secretary David Davis it became subject to a six-monthly renewal vote in Parliament. Davis’s amendment tabled on March 21 last year to restrict the Act to a ‘brick-wall stop’ of one year failed, but this and the threat of a backbench rebellion led to the government’s own amendment to the Bill requiring parliamentary renewal of its powers every six months. The first of these came at the end of September 2020, the second in March 2021. Each time, shamefully, its extension has been voted through by a large majority of MPs. Only 24 MPs voted against the first time, and a very disappointing 76 the second time.

The one party to date to make a formal stand against its extension are the Liberal Democrats. Their leader, Ed Davey, has accused the Government of making ‘false claims’ over the need for an ongoing Coronavirus Act to enforce emergency lockdown restrictions. Notable critics to take a stand against it in the Conservative Party include Sir Charles Walker, Sir Graham Brady and Sir Desmond Swayne.

The argument that the Coronavirus Act is not important because most of the restrictions that have been irrationally imposed on society have been under section of the 1984 Public Health Act is mistaken. Nothing has been more symbolic of the slide into tyranny than this rubber-stamped Act. Numerous prosecutions have been attempted and indeed made under its provisions. If MPs fail to repeal it for the third time they will be allowing the government – and indeed the media which they appear to lead by the nose – to continue with the charade that there is a Covid crisis national emergency. There is not.

Powers in the Act remain dangerous. Schedule 22 gives the government extraordinary powers to prohibit gatherings, meaning that protests, vigils and political assemblies could be banned. It has never been activated in England and so is plainly unnecessary, but neither is it proportionate in a democracy. All the time it sits on the statute books it poses a threat to the right to free expression, freedom of assembly and democracy.

The fact is that none of the measures were ever necessary. They were granted in the middle of a panic to prevent a worst-case scenario that never came to pass. Since then the government has used these powers irresponsibly, if not abused them. The Coronavirus Act has made the problem worse, not better. There was and is no justification for extending these powers. All the data accumulated in the last eighteen months says this Act is not needed, as has been documented endlessly on these pages, on Lockdown Sceptics (now the Daily Sceptic), by HART and by numerous other independent scientists and doctors. As James Delingpole put it brutally and accurately at the beginning of the year, most of the government Covid statistical analysis is bollocks and designed to engender false fear.

Now, in less than three weeks, the vote for renewing this unjustifiable Act is coming up for a third time.

In March we advised readers to write to their MPs and set out a specimen letter. We fear repeating this letter is a waste of time. We suggest instead that readers concentrate their MPs’ minds by telling them that if he or she fails to vote against this next Coronavirus Act extension you will be giving your vote to the LibDems next time round, as the only party taking a decisive stand on the Act’s immediate repeal, or any other emergent party taking an equally decisive stand.

We’d also encourage you to sign this Repeal the Coronavirus Act petition here and forward it to like-minded friends.

Finally we invite readers to suggest or design their own TCW Defending Freedom car and window stickers to promote our ‘Repeal the Coronavirus Act’ campaign. And we invite your suggestions, below the line and via email to info@conservativewoman.co.uk on how to further our campaign and which other groups we could or should join forces with.

It’s time to end the charade. It’s time to end this legislative symbol of fear and to take away these tyrannical powers from an immoral government that looks quite capable of using them. Please make your voice heard.

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Top Misinformation Article Attributed to Chicago Tribune

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | September 2, 2021

According to Facebook’s content transparency report for the first quarter of 2021, released in mid-August 2021, the most popular article shared on the platform between January 2021 and March 2021 was about a 56-year-old Miami, Florida, obstetrician who died two weeks after his first Pfizer injection.1

The story initially ran in the South Florida Sun Sentinel 2 April 8, 2021, and was republished by the Chicago Tribune that same day.3 The doctor, Dr. Gregory Michael, received his first dose December 18, 2020.

Three days later, he developed small spots on his hands and feet, which prompted him to go to the emergency room, where they found he had an abnormally low blood count. Platelets stop bleeding by clotting, and when platelets drop too low, internal bleeding can occur, resulting in what looks like blood blisters on the skin.

Michael remained in intensive care for two weeks, but no matter what they did, his platelet count refused to budge. During the night of January 3, 2021, he died of a massive stroke. According to the coroner, the COVID injection could not be ruled out as a contributing or causative factor.

In a Facebook post, Michael’s widow stated he’d been “very healthy” and that he’d been a COVID-19 vaccine advocate. His death caused her to question the safety of the shot, however.

“I believe that people should be aware that side effects can happen, that the vaccine is not good for everyone and in this case destroyed a beautiful life, a perfect family and has affected so many people in this community.” she wrote. “Please do not let his death be in vain please save more lives my making this information news.”4

Even Viral Content Has Minor Reach

According to The New York Times,5 Facebook held off on publishing the first-quarter report for fear the findings might “look bad for the company.” Executives decided they wanted to make some “key fixes to the system” before releasing it. That’s why it wasn’t published until August.

Interestingly, the report reveals that even when something goes viral, the total number of views is still a tiny fraction of the overall content. Even the biggest accounts make up but a small portion of overall content views. Combined, the top 20 accounts with the most views during the first quarter — which included UNICEF, The Dodo and LADbible — accounted for only 1.18% of all U.S. content views.

As noted in the report, this “shows that, even though it may seem like a page or post has extensive reach on the platform, that isn’t the case when measured against the total amount of content available on the platform.”

Facebook Calls Out CCDH for Manufacturing ‘Faulty Narrative’

As you may know, an obscure one-man organization funded by dark money called the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has published several reports, including “The Anti-Vaxx Playbook,”6 “The Disinformation Dozen”7 and “Disinformation Dozen: The Sequel,”8 in which the founder, Imran Ahmed — an unregistered foreign agent — claims to have identified the top most influential “anti-vaxxers” in the U.S.

In a completely unexpected turn of events, Facebook is now calling out the CCDH for having manufactured a faulty narrative without evidence against the 12 individuals targeted in its reports (myself included).9

This is important, seeing how the CCDH reports have been the primary “reference” source of authority used by media and government officials to smear, threaten and infringe on American citizens’ right to free speech.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security even lists promulgating “false narratives” around COVID-19 as a top national security threat, which basically puts a “domestic terrorist” target on the backs of those of us who have been identified by the CCDH as the most prolific “superspreaders” of COVID misinformation.

As reported by GreenMed Info :10

“Google now shows an astounding 84,700 search results for CCDH’s defamatory phrase ‘disinformation dozen. ’Amazingly, this includes 16,000 news stories within the international press, approximately 100% of which are word-for-word amplifications of CCDH’s claims/defamatory statements and reported uncritically as fact.

In addition, the Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and president Biden all used CCDH’s report as the sole source for their own defamatory accusations, reaching a dangerous rhetorical climax on July 20th when Biden stated that these 12 individuals are literally “killing people” [by spreading misinformation].”

No Evidence to Support ‘Misinfo Superspreader’ Claim

In an August 18, 2021, Facebook report, Monika Bickert, vice president of Facebook content policy, sets the record straight, and in the process, demolishes the CCDH’s claims:11

“In recent weeks, there has been a debate about whether the global problem of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation can be solved simply by removing 12 people from social media platforms. People who have advanced this narrative contend that these 12 people are responsible for 73% of online vaccine misinformation on Facebook. There isn’t any evidence to support this claim …

That said, any amount of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation that violates our policies is too much by our standards — and we have removed over three dozen Pages, groups and Facebook or Instagram accounts linked to these 12 people, including at least one linked to each of the 12 people, for violating our policies.

We have also imposed penalties on nearly two dozen additional Pages, groups or accounts linked to these 12 people, like moving their posts lower in News Feed so fewer people see them or not recommending them to others. We’ve applied penalties to some of their website domains as well so any posts including their website content are moved lower in News Feed.

The remaining accounts associated with these individuals are not posting content that breaks our rules, have only posted a small amount of violating content, which we’ve removed, or are simply inactive.

In fact, these 12 people are responsible for about just 0.05% of all views of vaccine-related content on Facebook. This includes all vaccine-related posts they’ve shared, whether true or false, as well as URLs associated with these people.”

It’s worth restating the key point in this quote: Combined, the top 12 individuals and organizations identified by the CCDH as being responsible for a whopping 73% of vaccine misinformation on Facebook, are in fact only responsible for 0.05% of vaccine-related content — 1,460 times lower than the CCDH’s outrageous claim. That’s no small discrepancy.

CCDH Claims Blasted as Unjustified and Biased

Bickert goes on to refer directly to the CCDH report “The Disinformation Dozen,”12 stating:

“The report13 upon which the faulty narrative is based analyzed only a narrow set of 483 pieces of content over six weeks from only 30 groups, some of which are as small as 2,500 users.

They are in no way representative of the hundreds of millions of posts that people have shared about COVID-19 vaccines in the past months on Facebook.

Further, there is no explanation for how the organization behind the report identified the content they describe as ‘anti-vax’ or how they chose the 30 groups they included in their analysis. There is no justification for their claim that their data constitute a ‘representative sample’ of the content shared across our apps.”

CCDH Meets Definition of ‘Hateful Extremists’

Ironically, while the CCDH claims to “counter hate” online, and Ahmed sits on the Steering Committee of the U.K. Commission on Countering Extremism, CCDH itself actually meets the Commission’s definition of hateful extremists.14 In the 2019 Commission document, “Challenging Hateful Extremism,” the term is defined as:15

“Behaviours that can incite and amplify hate, or engage in persistent hatred, or equivocate about and make the moral case for violence; And that draw on hateful, hostile or supremacist beliefs directed at an out-group who are perceived as a threat to the wellbeing, survival or success of an in-group; And that cause, or are likely to cause, harm to individuals, communities or wider society.”

In addition, in the forward of the report, lead commissioner Sara Khan notes that “Hateful extremists seek to restrict individual liberties and curtail the fundamental freedoms that define our country.”

All of these definitions and clarifications of what hateful extremism is fit the CCDH to a T. Ahmed manufactured data to create a false narrative that 12 individuals pose a threat to the well-being and survival of the whole world, and then used that narrative to incite hate against us and curtail our freedom of speech.

Who Fact Checks the Fact Checkers?

In related news, the self-appointed arbiter of factual truths, NewsGuard, has had to backpedal in recent months and issue dozens of corrections to “fact checks” in which they’ve labeled the Wuhan lab leak theory as a debunked conspiracy theory with no basis in fact.

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, NewsGuard has wrongly down-rated 225 websites for articles mentioning the lab leak theory.16 In reality, there’s far more evidence to support the lab leak theory than any other theory, but it took over a year before the weight of this evidence became too obvious for the media to ignore.

NewsGuard’s erroneous fact checks were recently highlighted in an August 11, 2021, report by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER).17

AIER decided to take a closer look at NewsGuard after receiving a request for comments on a NewsGuard fact check article regarding AIER and the Great Barrington Declaration — a statement written by public health experts from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford that calls on government to implement focused protection rather than lockdowns and self-isolation. AIERS investigation found that:18

“… NewsGuard falls far short of the very same criteria for accuracy and transparency that it claims to apply to other websites. Most of the company’s fact checkers lack basic qualifications in the scientific and social-scientific fields that they purport to arbitrate.

NewsGuard’s own track record of commentary — particularly on the Covid-19 pandemic — reveals a pattern of unreliable and misleading claims that required subsequent corrections, and analysis that regularly conflates fact with opinion journalism in rendering a judgement on a website’s content.

Furthermore, the company’s own practices fall far short of the transparency and disclosure standards it regularly applies to other websites … NewsGuard’s staff primarily evaluates scientific claims by appealing to the authority of public figures who they designate as ‘experts’ on the subject in question.

Their approach generally avoids direct examination of the evidence surrounding contested claims, and instead cherry-picks a figure to treat as an authoritative final word … many of their preferred authorities are political officeholders rather than persons trained in scientific or social-scientific methods.

By selectively curating cherry-picked political authorities rather than evaluating evidence directly, NewsGuard’s approach to fact-checking effectively sidesteps the scientific method. This strategy is rendered even more problematic by the general lack of scientific expertise within NewsGuard’s team of writers.

We examined the educational credentials, including the highest degree listed, for 28 publicly identified staff members on NewsGuard’s website. The company’s staff page reveals shockingly little expertise in either the hard sciences such as medicine or social sciences such as public policy, economics, and related fields …

Most NewsGuard articles on Covid-19 topics and policies are written by [NewsGuard Deputy Editor for Health, John] Gregory, whose only identified qualification is a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts … Gregory would not qualify as an expert in most of the fields he is responsible for fact-checking …

Of course, non-experts have every right to offer opinions on scientific and social-scientific matters. Whether or not they should be taken seriously as fact checkers or act as arbiters of scientific disputes is another question entirely.”

NewsGuard Staff by Field and Highest Degree Attained

newsguard graph

NewsGuard Apologizes for Erroneous Fact Checks

After being confronted about its erroneous fact checks on the lab leak theory, NewsGuard offered the following apology in a statement sent to AIER:19

“NewsGuard either mischaracterized the sites’ claims about the lab leak theory, referred to the lab leak as a ‘conspiracy theory,’ or wrongly grouped together unproven claims about the lab leak with the separate, false claim that the COVID-19 virus was man-made without explaining that one claim was unsubstantiated, and the other was false.

NewsGuard apologizes for these errors. We have made the appropriate correction on each of the 21 labels.”

AIER commented on the apology:20

“Gregory and his colleagues appear to have simply decided that their own premature dismissal of the lab leak hypothesis equated to ‘fact’ and proceeded to penalize other sites not for factual errors, but rather for diverging from NewsGuard’s own editorial position on the same subject.

When this position turned out to be mistaken, NewsGuard pivoted to remove the errors — albeit in non-transparent ways that downplay the significance or pervasiveness of their mistake.”

NewsGuard Fails to Fulfill Its Own Credibility Criteria

In their report, AIER goes on to apply the criteria NewsGuard uses to evaluate a website’s credibility to NewsGuard itself. It’s ranking? A paltry 36.25 out of 100. According to AIER:21

“This website fails to adhere to several basic journalistic standards, and should be used with extreme caution as a source for verifying the reliability of the websites it purports to rate …

When we see fact checkers like NewsGuard, who not only fail to uphold their high-sounding principles but even publicly encourage working with the government to suppress speech, we should raise red flags.”

The NewsGuard ratings are meant to influence the reader, instructing them to disregard content with cautionary colors and cautions. That it would serve as the thought police of the technocratic establishment that seeks to silence dissent and bury information that doesn’t help move the Great Reset agenda forward is no surprise.

Especially considering its primary startup capital came from Publicis Groupe,22 a PR group that represents most of Big Pharma, including vaccine makers, and Big Tech. NewsGuard is also backed by Microsoft23 and Google.

The Publicis Groupe has been manipulating what people think about commercial products for nearly a century. Over that century, this advertising and communications firm bought or partnered with targeted advertising avenues, beginning with newspapers, followed by radio, TV, cinema and the internet.

With revenue avenues secured, Publicis’ clients and partners built a global presence that dominated the advertising world. Be it tobacco or sugar, Publicis Groupe found a way to promote and strengthen big industries. Publicis was recently sued24 for its deadly and illegal marketing of Purdue Pharma’s opioid products.

When you consider that Publicis describes its business model approach as putting clients and their needs and objectives at the center of all they do so their clients can “win and grow,” it’s easy to see what’s driving NewsGuard.

Overall, NewsGuard is just another big business aimed at keeping the chemical, drug and food industries, as well as mainstream media, intact by discrediting and eliminating unwanted competitors and analysts who empower you with information that runs counter to any given industry’s agenda.

If you’re as disturbed by censorship as I am, be sure to contact your local library today to find out if they’re one of the more than 700 libraries using NewsGuard. If they are, then ask them if they’re aware of NewsGuard’s censorship of truthful news that is now encroaching on scientific freedom and threatening the very roots of our democracy.

If your local library is using NewsGuard, it would be helpful to start a campaign to get it removed. Contact your neighbors and let them know what is happening so they can kick out this public health threat. Likewise, whenever you see someone referencing reports by the CCDH, call them out on it.

Sources and References

September 2, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

La Résistance: French Create Their Own Makeshift Restaurant Again to Protest Vax Passports

Reims demonstrators return in greater numbers

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | September 2, 2021

Another example has emerged of French people creating their own makeshift outdoor restaurant in protest against the country’s vaccine passport system.

Video footage out of Reims shows large numbers of people, including many families, camped out on the street enjoying picnics in defiance of the new rule, which bans the unvaccinated from entering bars, cafes or restaurants.

Vaccine passports are also being used to prevent people who haven’t been jabbed from using public transport and accessing a multitude of other venues.

The sit down protest took place at Place d’Erlon, near to restaurants that demonstrators are unable to enter because they haven’t taken the clot shot.

This is the second time the protest has taken place in this location, although this time the numbers appear to be even larger.

As we highlighted last month, anger at the vax pass system is running so rampant that many businesses are refusing to enforce it.

Former Google software engineer Mike Hearn revealed how compliance with the new rules was minimal as he was able to enter numerous venues without showing proof of vaccination or a valid negative test.

This contrasted with the early days of the introduction of the program, during which police were seen patrolling cafes demanding to see people’s medical papers.

September 2, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

‘Blood for Blood’: On Jenin and Israel’s Fear of an Armed Palestinian Rebellion

By Ramzy Baroud | MintPress News | August 26, 2021

The killing of four young Palestinians by Israeli occupation soldiers in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, on August 16, is a consequential event, the repercussions of which are sure to be felt in the coming weeks and months.

The four Palestinians – Saleh Mohammed Ammar, 19, Raed Ziad Abu Seif, 21, Nour Jarrar, 19, and Amjad Hussainiya, 20  – were either newly born or mere toddlers when the Israeli army invaded Jenin in April 2002. The objective, then, based on statements by Israeli officials and army generals, was to teach Jenin a lesson, one they hoped would be understood by other resisting Palestinian areas throughout the occupied West Bank.

In my book, Searching Jenin, published a few months after what is now known as the ‘Massacre of Jenin’ or the ‘Battle of Jenin’, I tried to convey the revolutionary spirit of this place. Although, in some ways, the camp was a representation of the wider Palestinian struggle, in other aspects it was a unique phenomenon, deserving of a thorough analysis and understanding.

By the end of that battle, Israel seemed to have entirely eliminated the armed resistance of Jenin. Hundreds of fighters and civilians were killed and wounded, hundreds more arrested and numerous homes destroyed. Even voices sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle have underestimated Jenin’s ability to resurrect its resistance under seemingly impossible circumstances.

Writing in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, on June 10, 2016, Gideon Levy and Alex Levac described the state of affairs in the small camp. “Jenin, always the most militant of the refugee camps, was battered and destroyed, suppressed and bloodied, by Israel. These days its spirit seems to be broken. Every person is dealing with his own fate, his own private struggle for survival,” they wrote. The title of their article was “Jenin, Once the Most Militant of Palestinian Refugee Camps, Waves a White Flag”.

Being suppressed and shattered by an overwhelming force, however, is entirely different from “raising the white flag”. In fact, this truism does not just apply to Jenin but to the entirety of occupied Palestine, where Palestinians, at times, find themselves fighting on multiple fronts: Israeli occupation, armed illegal Jewish settlers, and the co-opted Palestinian Authority.

However, May 2021 changed so much. The Israeli attempt at ethnically cleansing Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, the subsequent war on Gaza and the unprecedented uprising of unity, bringing all Palestinians, everywhere, together, lifted Jenin and other Palestinian areas from their state of despondency. The stiff resistance in Gaza, in particular, has had a direct impact on the various fighting groups in the West Bank, which were either disbanded or marginalized.

An unprecedented scene in Ramallah, on May 17, tells the whole story. Tens of fighters, belonging to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which is affiliated with the Fatah movement – the political party that dominates Mahmoud Abbas’ PA – marched on the streets of Ramallah, where the Authority is situated, in a relatively calm environment. The fighters chanted against the Israeli occupation and their ‘collaborators’ before clashing with Israeli soldiers, who were manning the Qalandiya military checkpoint.

This event was quite unusual, for it ushered in the return of a phenomenon that Israel, with the help of its ‘collaborators’, had crushed during the Second Palestinian Intifada –  or uprising – between 2000-2005.

The Israeli military understands that the May war and uprising have triggered an unwelcomed transition in Palestinian society. Long-suppressed, occupied Palestinians are ready to rebel, eager to move on, beyond octogenarian Abbas and his corrupt clique, past the stifling factionalism and self-serving political discourses.  The questions are how, where and when.

This is precisely why Israel is back in Jenin, once more trying to teach the nearly 12,000 refugees there a lesson, one that is also meant for Palestinians throughout the West Bank. Israel believes that if the nascent armed resistance in Jenin is suppressed now, the rest of the West Bank will remain ‘quiet’.

According to Palestinian journalist, Atef Daghlas, the Israeli occupation forces killed ten Palestinians during their frequent nightly raids on Jenin. Eight of the victims have been killed since the end of the Gaza war alone. There are two main reasons behind the increased number of casualties among the Palestinians in the last few months: first, the increased number of Israeli raids – where occupation soldiers, often disguising themselves as Palestinians, enter the camp at night and attempt to capture young Palestinian fighters; second, because of the growing number of youth enlisting in various resistance groups. According to Daghlas, the rifles carried by these youth are purchased by the young men themselves, as opposed to being supplied by a group or a faction.

“Blood for blood, bullet for bullet, fire for fire,” were some of the chants that echoed in the Jenin town and its adjacent refugee camp, when the Palestinian residents carried the bodies of two of the four killed youth, before burying them in the ever-crowded martyrs’ graveyard. The fact that Jenin is, once more, openly championing the armed struggle option is sending alarm bells throughout occupied Palestine. Israel is now worried that an armed Intifada is in the making, and Abbas knows very well that any kind of Intifada would spell doom for his Authority.

It is obvious that what is currently taking place in Jenin is indicative of something much larger. Israel knows this, thus the exaggerated violence against the camp. In fact, two of the bodies of killed Palestinians are yet to be returned to their families for proper burial. Israel often resorts to this tactic as a bargaining chip, and to increase the psychological pressure on Palestinian communities, especially those who dare resist.

It might be relevant to note that the Jenin refugee camp was officially formed in 1953, a few years after the Nakba of 1948, the year when historic Palestine was destroyed and the State of Israel was created. Since then, generation after generation, Jenin’s youth continue fighting and dying for their freedom.

It turns out that Jenin never waved the white flag, after all, and that the battle which began in 2002 – in fact in 1948 – was never truly finished.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press).

August 31, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 6 Comments

Palestinian organizer and former prisoner Ghassan Zawahreh seized by Israeli occupation forces

Ghassan Zawahreh
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | August 20, 2021

Ghassan Zawahreh, Palestinian former prisoner and longtime struggler for justice, was seized from his home in Dheisheh refugee camp by Israeli occupation forces in the pre-dawn hours of 19 August 2021. Zawahreh has been repeatedly detained since 2002, when he was only 14 years old. He was last released from Israeli occupation prisons on 4 March 2021 after 28 months jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention. Almost every time he is released, he may spend only a few months with his family and community before being ripped away once again for arbitrary imprisonment with no charge or trial.

During his last detention, Zawahreh highlighted the injustice of administrative detention, announcing his boycott of the military courts: “Administrative detention is a heinous crime for the ages. What is even more criminal is the occupation’s attempts to mislead through mock courts and charades where the executioner and the ruler, dressed up in military suits, represent the Occupation and its crimes.”

He has spent nearly 16 years in total in Israeli prisons; his brother Moataz Zawahreh was murdered by Israeli occupation forces as he participated in a popular protest in Bethlehem in 2015. Moataz had actually returned home to Palestine from where he was studying in France to support Ghassan, who was engaged in a long-term hunger strike against his imprisonment without charge or trial. He won his release in December 2015, only to be seized again by occupation forces seven months later.

Ghassan Zawahreh mourns his brother after his release in 2015

He was in his last year of studies in social work at the Open University of Jerusalem when he was arrested in 2008, and has been prevented from completing his studies through multiple arrests.

He is well-known in the camp as a community activist and volunteer in popular programs that provide social services to people in the camp. He worked as a taxi driver in order to support his family, on the Bethlehem-Ramallah road.

Administrative detention was first used in Palestine by the British colonial mandate and then adopted by the Zionist regime; it is now used routinely to target Palestinians, especially community leaders, activists, and influential people in their towns, camps and villages.

There are currently approximately 550 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention, out of 4,750 Palestinian political prisoners. These orders are issued by the military and approved by military courts on the basis of “secret evidence”, denied to both Palestinian detainees and their attorneys. Issued for up to six months at a time, they are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians — including minor children — can spend years jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention. There are currently nine Palestinians on hunger strike to end administrative detention without charge or trial.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network demands the immediate release of Ghassan Zawahreh, dedicated struggler for Palestine and leading political prisoner repeatedly attacked by Israeli occupation forces, and all of his fellow Palestinian political prisoners. We are committed to organize, struggle and work to achieve the liberation of Palestinian prisoners, and the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.

August 23, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Statement of Non-Compliance with Mandatory Vaccination in Canadian Universities

By Maximilian C. Forte | Zero Anthropology | August 20, 2021

At the start it was not even a university, but Seneca College. Then it was the University of Ottawa. Then Carleton University, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Toronto. Now it is almost every university in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The law faculty at McGill is also demanding it, presumably to save the university from expensive litigation (an implied threat, and one that strangely assumes that only one side of a debate can litigate in court). If it happens first in the United States, then almost immediately it is copied and pasted into policy in Canada. It is coming everywhere: mandatory vaccination for all faculty, staff, and students.

As a tenured, full Professor in Canada, it is my duty to encourage all faculty to be united in non-compliance with such measures.

Mandatory vaccination pressures are issued allegedly in accordance with “public health”. However, they are mandated through neither parliaments nor legislation, but are instead issued unilaterally by governments under the umbrella of “emergency measures”.

Typically, such vaccination mandates stipulate the following: faculty, staff, and students must show proof of full vaccination in order to access campus and perform their duties. If they do not do so (and some allow refusal only on grounds of medical or religious exemptions), then they must submit to still undefined special measures, such as frequent testing (perhaps twice each week, using rapid antigen tests), and masking at all times and in all spaces on campus.

This will be, for most Canadian faculty, the first if not the only real test of their integrity and dignity, and their purpose as scholars and intellectuals. It is absolutely essential that they not fail this test from the start.

It must be emphasized that this is not a position that can be taken only by non-vaccinated faculty. Action to prohibit and prevent discrimination, and actual abuses of human rights, is a stance to be taken by all faculty, whether fully vaccinated or not.

Rather than following the alternative science narrative tied to the private interests of pharmaceutical corporations and those of politicians, we should expect Canadian universities to encourage critical thinking that—as is now commonly endorsed and celebrated—“speaks truth to power”. This would be in line with Canadian universities’ many recent statements in support of social justice. To see these same universities immediately fail the first real test of their avowed commitments, is both shocking and disappointing.

In particular, mandatory vaccination pressures plainly and indisputably discriminate against employees who are members of particular religious and ethnic communities, in such a way and to such a degree that any claims to upholding “equity, diversity, and inclusivity” become completely unravelled. Not sustaining this commitment in one area, and expecting it to be sustained in other areas, is obviously neither credible nor tenable. Furthermore, the policy which imposes such discrimination is in direct violation of a number of laws and human rights codes, both here in Quebec and in the rest of Canada.

First, faculty should notify senior administrators that at no point, and under no circumstances, can they be compelled to involuntarily release any private information about their personal health statuswhether they have been fully vaccinated or not. Such a mandate violates the rights of all, not just some. Such compulsion, that lies outside of the terms and conditions of employment as established by contracts or collective agreements, would be plainly illegal on a number of fronts, including violating existing laws as exist in Quebec and the rest of Canada. At no point when we were interviewed and then hired, were any of us informed of any health requirements to perform our jobs. Established policies for universities to maintain safe working environments place that burden on university administrations—they do not imply any demand for health screening and injection of faculty.

We should be particularly concerned about the apparent effort to pressure people into vaccination. As universities that staunchly uphold ethics in research, following federal requirements, this policy instead negates voluntary informed consent. Consent cannot be mandated, by definition. The policy also violates the principle of do no harm, by not advising members of the community that compliance with this policy could result in experiencing adverse effects, ranging from the mild and trivial, to serious injury requiring hospitalization, and in some cases even death. We have not seen any language warning about adverse reactions and possible death anywhere in the policy announcements.

The compulsion to vaccinate also runs afoul of legal provisions that prohibit discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, and political beliefs.

What universities are also backing is an emergency measure, but they have not furnished any proof of an emergency. Rapidly spreading viruses are common to our university communities, as with each cold and flu that sweeps through a university population every year, even multiple times in a year. The condition of “rapid spread” and “contagiousness” is not, in and of itself, any basis for an “emergency”.

University administrations should rest assured that, as was usual, when employees develop any symptoms of any sickness, they will automatically refrain from coming to campus, as they have done when they had colds or the flu. Non-vaccinated faculty therefore represent no actual nor potential “threat” to the health of the community.

We must also point out that in the early fall of 2009, some Canadian faculty contracted H1N1, and in some cases they had to be absent from class for weeks. At no point did any university administration in Canada manifest any concern about this fact. It is important to recall that in 2009, the World Health Organization declared H1N1 to be a “global pandemic,” under the very same definition it then used for Covid-19. By enacting radically different measures today, Canadian universities are thus directly at odds with their own practice, from the recent past.

Second, if the consequence of non-compliance with such mandates are that faculty must undergo frequent testing—despite having no symptoms—then this would be unfair and discriminatory treatment based on assumed health status, and that too is illegal and lies outside of our terms and conditions of employment. Being a professor at a Canadian university has never been advertised as a position that comes with a health requirement, or a requirement for medical screening in order to perform one’s duties. Moreover, given that it is now solidly established that the fully vaccinated do carry as much viral load as the non-vaccinated, and do transmit the virus, to then subject one group of persons (assumed to be non-vaccinated) to testing, while exempting others, is obviously unfair discrimination.

One can only conclude that such a discriminatory bias is meant to punish a particular group, to hinder them in carrying out their daily work requirements, and to continue singling out healthy people as a problem. It is also obvious psychological harassment, and thus directly violates most Canadian universities’ own published workplace policies.

Before attempting to unilaterally transform the terms and conditions of employment, university administrations must at least sit down and negotiate with faculty unions. Over the past 18 months, we have seen professors suddenly required to work from home, which is work not required under existing terms and conditions of our employment—it is simply not in our job description, and most are not trained for online teaching. Conversely, we have now seen them barred from continuing remote delivery when this is their first choice. Now we see those who are assumed to be non-vaccinated being forced to undergo testing, regardless of symptoms, and regardless of possible natural immunity (which is irrationally and unjustifiably dismissed from this entire discussion).

The discriminatory testing requirement is thus another apparent legal violation, and it has no place at any Canadian university.

The announced policy is a violation of human dignity: it imposes psychological pressure through a regimen of punishment designed to make the performance of one’s ordinary work duties increasingly onerous and unsustainable. It reaches the point where we could argue that it constitutes a breach of contract.

The announced policy also demands that those who are assumed to be non-vaccinated (i.e., they do not furnish proof of full vaccination), must be visibly and publicly set apart from the rest of the community (i.e., masked where others are not masked). Given the prevailing mass psychosis that incites blame, disrespect, and even overt hatred against non-vaccinated persons, to make such non-vaccinated persons openly stand apart is to jeopardize their dignity and integrity.

Third, Canadian universities must not be pressured, and should not comply with any pressures that force their participation in a regime that violates human rights. As we are only now becoming aware of the real extent of atrocities committed at Canadian Residential Schools, which closed only in the late 1990s, Canadian educational institutions ought to be extremely wary of yet another wave of government demands for harsh, segregationist, and punitive measures in the name of “saving” people.

The administration of Canadian universities may reasonably respond that they are merely following government mandates. Any government mandate that is itself an extra-legal measure, imposed without legislative support, is not one that can be used to force a university into also violating either the law or human rights conventions established under international law, to which Canada is a signatory.

Any compliance by an individual with extra-legal extreme measures could also be read as tacit consent, which would then legitimize such measures which are backed neither by established laws, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms nor—it must be noted—are they backed by any scientific support.

The administrations of Canadian universities are best advised to be prudent, and on the right side of both the law and justice. They must immediately rescind any such policy issued under the heading of a vaccine mandate. They should also be aware that failure to do so exposes them to litigation from those at the receiving end of discriminatory treatment, not just from faculty and staff, but from an even larger number of students.

For any Canadian university to try to justify human rights abuses, because they are what the government ordered, is truly Nuremberg-worthy.

Fourth, any mandate must acknowledge that the burden of proof rests with those issuing, following, and enforcing the mandate. In particular, governments and university administrations in Canada must provide fully documented proof of the following—keeping in mind that widely spread fear is not proof of any emergency other than a psychological one:

(1) That there is indeed a current public health emergency, as an objective and verifiable medical fact, and not as an artifact of government decrees. The greatest number of hospitalizations and deaths in Canada occurred during the so-called “first wave” of March-May, 2020. There has been no repetition of those numbers since then. Even then, we are basing this on assumptions: we assume that people were infected with Covid-19, using flawed testing at a time when the virus had not been isolated, and when the amplification cycles were too high—and we did not follow WHO guidelines that advised against relying exclusively on PCR tests in making any clinical diagnosis. We also did not routinely conduct postmortems to establish the cause of death of most elderly victims in the spring of last year. On top of that, it has since come to light that even among those who were already close to the natural end of their lives, they were often subjected to starvation and dehydration—fear kept away many workers from nursing homes, which then resulted in the neglect of residents. We have also learned that, at least in Quebec, such elderly and frail patients were given morphine that suppressed respiration and which, in almost all cases, quickly resulted in death. Thus we do not yet know the exact size and nature of even the “first wave,” the worst and arguably the only real wave we had.

(2) That infection is spread only by the non-vaccinated. We now know definitively that the advertised “vaccines”—those in use in Canada—do not protect the injected from infection, nor do they stop them from spreading the virus, or even falling sick and dying from the virus. If the fully vaccinated can—and do—spread the virus, then any requirement for frequent and rapid testing must equally apply to them. Failure to do so is proof of discrimination on the basis of health characteristics.

(3) That by advertising the need for vaccination, that the university population is not being misled about the real protection such injectable products afford. Countries such as Israel, which vaccinated more fully and more quickly than Canada, are now witnessing a situation where the overwhelming majority of the infected are the fully vaccinated. In both Israel and the UK in recent weeks, the fully vaccinated account for the majority of Covid deaths. Without even speaking of death, which is extremely rare for anyone exposed to Covid—vaccinated or not—in both Europe and the US there are now several hundred thousand cases of serious adverse reactions. Universally it is acknowledged—even by the manufacturers themselves—that the effectiveness of these injectable products is declining to the point where any protection they might have offered increasingly drops to insignificant levels.

(4) That “cases” are a measure of anything significant. The term “cases” has been abused and distorted: anyone deemed to test positive for Covid-19, has been categorized as a “case”. This is despite the fact that they may have had no symptoms, or if they had symptoms they were mild and required no treatment. Typically a real case involves someone needing treatment as a patient, usually in a clinic or hospital. Therefore it needs to be proven that a rising number of so-called “cases” is any reason for extraordinary measures, especially when hospitalizations and deaths are but a tiny fraction of what they were during the first wave.

(5) That natural immunity is not real and does not matter. Nowhere in these mandates is there any language concerning natural immunity—natural immunity is assumed to not exist, or is assumed to be irrelevant. If those issuing, complying with, or enforcing such mandatory vaccination cannot address this scientific point, then the credibility of their entire argument collapses. On that basis alone, non-compliance would be fully justified and warranted.

(6) That healthy people can be assumed to be bearers of sickness. These workplace vaccine mandates all assume that healthy, even young and healthy people, who are not vaccinated are a “problem”. The healthy are assumed immediately and in advance to not only being actual or potential bearers of infection, but also being the sole bearers of infection, and of being solely infectious. Show the scientific support for this argument, and show it overcoming contrary scientific research.

(7) That the so-called “Delta variant” is in fact “more dangerous”. Being more contagious does not equal more danger of sickness and death, as attested to by published government data. Show the scientific proof for the fact that the Delta variant is a significant variation, not just one that varies by 0.3% of characteristics compared to the original Covid-19. Show the data that proves beyond a doubt that it causes more hospitalizations and deaths than the original Covid-19 ever did. Without this proof, the rationale for such mandates is null and void.

(8) That “herd immunity” can only be achieved with vaccination of 100% of a population. In particular, show the scientific support for achieving such immunity by using injectable products that confer no immunity at all. In addition, show the scientific support for the idea that herd immunity discounts natural immunity—see point #5 above.

If there is little or no scientific support for these positions, then there is no rational justification that warrants a mandate issued on medical grounds, in the name of safeguarding public health. In that case, the policy demands non-compliance and it must be rescinded.

If what remains is merely fear of danger, then in certain instances such fear of danger may in itself be a call for urgent psychological therapy or even psychiatric treatment. This is especially the case where fear is sustained in the absence of evidence or in denial of reality, and where it clearly does harm to the persons holding this fear, who then harm others (by issuing discriminatory mandates, for example).

It must also be recalled that during the height of the lockdowns, well before “vaccines” became available, and even before masking became mandatory, millions of Canadian workers operated in close quarters for long hours every day, and yet deadly outbreaks were few and far between. It remains to be shown why now, with vaccination and masking and numbers only a microscopic fraction of what they were, it is now necessary to go to extreme lengths to ensure 100% vaccination, using products that clearly cannot confer immunity. Such products are not only obviously and indisputably ineffective as tools of immunization, they can also be dangerous.

The announced measures, we already know, will do absolutely nothing to curb the spread of the virus. Knowing that means the policy is being followed for reasons not having to do with public health. We should thus reaffirm our commitment to non-compliance with this policy.

Lastly, if what universities really fear is exposure to litigation, then there is a very simple answer to this concern: ask all those who wish to access campus to sign a waiver that the university bears no responsibility for anyone who may become ill on campus (assuming it can even be proved they became ill on campus). If there is widespread fear of infection, a university could also allow for continued working and learning from home for those who prefer that option. Whatever the option may be, every possible option should be investigated without resorting to extreme and discriminatory measures that violate human rights and the rights of citizenship.

[Canadian faculty are encouraged to adopt and or adapt this statement, in whole or in part, for use in their individual institutional settings, and they can do so without formally crediting this statement, even though it is published under a Creative Commons license. French translation follows.]

DÉCLARATION DE NON-CONFORMITÉ À LA VACCINATION OBLIGATOIRE DANS LES UNIVERSITÉS CANADIENNES

August 22, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Hamas congratulates Afghan people on liberating their land

Palestine Information Center – August 16, 2021

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The Hamas Movement has congratulated the Muslim Afghan people on liberating their land from the American occupation.

In a press release on Monday, Hamas said that the victory that was achieved by the Taliban Movement and its courageous leadership came as a culmination to its long struggle against the American occupation over the past 20 years.

Hamas said that the ousting of the US occupation and allies from Afghanistan proved that victory is the destiny of every occupied nation struggling for the liberation of its homeland.

Finally, the Movement has wished the Afghan people and its leadership every success in achieving unity, stability and prosperity in their liberated land.

August 16, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , | 1 Comment

Lima Group Loses Lima

By Yves Engler · August 11, 2021

The Canadian instigated Lima Group has been dealt a probably fatal blow that ought to elicit serious discussion about this country’s foreign policy. But, don’t expect the media or politicians to even mention it.

In a likely death knell for a coalition seeking to overthrow the Venezuelan government, Peru’s new Foreign Affairs Minister called the Lima Group the country’s “most disastrous” ever foreign policy initiative. Héctor Béjar said, “the Lima Group must be the most disastrous thing we have done in international politics in the history of Perú.”

Two days after Béjar’s statement St Lucia’s external affairs minister, Alva Baptiste, declared: “With immediate effect, we are going to get out of the Lima Group arrangement – that morally bankrupt, mongoose gang, we are going to get out of it because this group has imposed needless hardship on the children, men and women of Venezuela.”

Prior to Baptiste and Béjar’s statements, the Lima Group had lost a handful of members and its support for Juan Guaidó’s bid to declare himself president had failed. Considering its name, the Peruvian government’s aggressive turn against the Lima Group probably marks the end of it. As Kawsachun News tweeted a Peruvian congressman noting, “the Lima Group has been left without Lima.”

The Lima Group’s demise would be a major blow to Trudeau’s foreign policy. Ottawa founded it with Peru. Amidst discussions between the two countries foreign ministers in Spring 2017, Trudeau called his Peruvian counterpart, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, to “‎stress the need for dialogue and respect for the democratic rights of Venezuelan citizens, as enshrined in the charter of the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” But the Lima Group was established in August 2017 as a structure outside of the OAS largely because that organization’s members refused to back Washington and Ottawa’s bid to interfere in Venezuelan affairs, which they believed defied the OAS’ charter.

Canada has been maybe the most active member of the coalition. Former Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland participated in a half dozen Lima Group meetings and its second meeting was held in Toronto. That October 2017 meeting urged regional governments to take steps to “further isolate” Venezuela.

At the second Lima Group meeting in Canada, a few weeks after Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself president, Trudeau declared, “the international community must immediately unite behind the interim president.” The final declaration of the February 2019 meeting called on Venezuela’s armed forces “to demonstrate their loyalty to the interim president” and remove the elected president.

Freeland repeatedly prodded Caribbean and Central American countries to join the Lima Group and its anti-Maduro efforts. In May 2019 Trudeau called Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel to pressure him to join Ottawa’s effort to oust President Maduro. The release noted, “the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Lima Group, underscored the desire to see free and fair elections and the constitution upheld in Venezuela.”

In a sign of the importance Canadian diplomats placed on the Lima Group, the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers gave Patricia Atkinson, Head of the Venezuela Task Force at Global Affairs, its Foreign Service Officers award in June 2019. The write-up explained, “Patricia, and the superb team she assembled and led, supported the Minister’s engagement and played key roles in the substance and organization of 11 meetings of the 13 country Lima group which coordinates action on Venezuela.”

Solidarity activists have protested the Lima Group since its first meeting in Toronto. There were also protests at the second Lima Group meeting in Canada, including an impressive disruption of the final press conference. At a talk last year, NDP MP Matthew Green declared “we ought not be a part of a pseudo-imperialist group like the Lima Group” while a resolution submitted (though never discussed) to that party’s April convention called for Canada to leave the Lima Group.

Hopefully the Peruvian and St Lucia governments’ recent criticism marks the end of the Lima Group. But, we should seek to ensure it doesn’t disappear quietly. We need a discussion of how Canada became a central player in this interventionist alliance.

August 14, 2021 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment