Visit ArabTopics.com

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

I've been advised that I can expect to be terminated from Canadian Journalists for Free Expression this coming Tuesday evening and have pre-emptively been removed from my social media roles and the organization's website back-end. The cause for this termination, I have been informed, will most likely be the official cessation of the organization's operations and its semi-permanent closure. Congratulations Canada, you've killed free speech. I have learned that in the last week, a half-dozen resignations have been tendered on the organization's executive committee and Gala committee, including the resignation of the acting Executive Director and President of the Board. Those resignations came after we published a statement calling on Canada to condemn the woundings and killings of Palestinian journalists by Israel during border protests.

The best reason I have been given thusfar for the organization's collapse is that CBC employees who were powerful contributing members of the Gala fundraising committee resigned after they or their handlers at CBC disapproved of the statement, which condemned the Israel Defence Forces. A full version of the four paragraph statement is appended below. The organization has been in a fundraising crunch for some time. I have previously overheard at least one CBC employee telling members of the organization that their producer had pressured them to withdraw their support for CJFE in response to past controversial statements. This also happened when the organization took a position opposing the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 (formerly Bill C-51). A protest letter to Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, condemning the killings and wounding of journalists and protesters in Gaza appears to have been sufficiently controversial for the worst-case scenario to play out.

Writing and publishing statements and protest letters is what is expected of me as per my job-description. It is clear that I am being punished for doing my job. I was asked to keep this a secret until Tuesday, but an hour ago, I was notified that the Board of CJFE pre-emptively ordered the statement removed from the organization's website. As it is the subject of a spirited online discourse, a clear decision has been made to make this matter public. I was also notified that the organization's Executive Director, who gave notice of resignation last week, complied with that request. Since CJFE moved to remove (see: censor) the piece from the internet I've also been forced to go public. It is troubling that pressure exerted by public employees at the state broadcaster has lead to the censorship of a protest letter by an advocacy organization. It is my opinion that this illustrates an attempt by public employees to exert undue influence over a civil society group, ostensibly on behalf of a foreign government.

The order to remove the piece from the internet came a day after a Palestinian journalist was killed, and well after partner organizations the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders all published similar statements calling for condemnation of attacks against journalists and unarmed demonstrators. CJFE took the lead ahead of many western press freedom organizations when it spoke out about the violence toward journalists in Gaza. It also received the brunt of public criticism. Our statement was castigated on social media by The Globe and Mail's Doug Saunders, The National Post's Jonathan Kay and even Canadaland's Jesse Brown referred to the statement as 'stupid' in a Twitter post. Notably, none of those journalists protested when CJFE sent similarly strongly worded protest letters to the Governments of Iran, China, Croatia etc. on behalf of journalists or protesters facing violence in those countries. Those past statements were also universally applauded by CJFE's board.

My confidence in the independence and ethics of the journalistic profession in this country has subsequently been shattered. It is clear that systemic racism, elitism and influence peddling at the top of Canadian media has created a permissive culture which is trying to legitimize the use of deadly force against journalists and demonstrators, even manifesting at the core of an organization whose mission is purportedly the stalwart defence of free expression. I have heard some people suggest that "The Media" is a monolithic entity, which is controlled by funding and funding relationships. It is whispered in dark corners that people who break ranks in journalism and publish without institutional cover, are 'made an example of' if things they write upset the industry's key players or threaten their interests. I can tell you that while this isn't universally true now, it's naturally the end goal of an industry establishment to exercise narrative control over its members wherever possible. This is often achieved through intimidation, harassment, public humiliation or by leveraging financial connections. I know this last point is true, because it is what happened to me.

-------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------

Posted below for posterity is the full text of the statement which cost me my job:

CJFE is gravely concerned by the extrajudicial killings of demonstrators which occurred on March 30, 2018 in Gaza. It has been reported that the Israel Defence Force (IDF) used sniper fire, tank rounds and “less lethal” munitions like tear gas during a civil order event on the militarized border between Israel and Gaza. The United Nations reported that 15 Gazans were killed and more than 1000 were wounded. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms has stated that among those wounded in the massacre are many journalists.

We acknowledge the fact, as Israeli authorities have stated, that border demonstrations at the “March of Return” in commemoration of Palestinian “Land Day” were disorderly and boisterous in nature. We also recognize that the use of lethal force to respond to boisterous demonstration or civil disorder is an anathema to the principles of democracy, freedom and justice. Similar incidents have occurred in Tunisia, Syria and Ukraine. If similar incidents transpired in 2018, in any other country, the condemnation from the international community would be swift and clear.

Canada is recognized internationally as a close ally of the Israeli state. It is incongruous to profess support for democracy, human rights or press freedom while ignoring the deleterious effect that this repression by an allied state has on these values. Failure to condemn the IDF's brutality will undermine Canada's moral authority when condemning similar acts by any other nation-state. Targeted attacks against demonstrators and journalists must be condemned wherever they occur. Canada must speak out to defend universal principles of human rights, democracy and press freedom.

The Government of Canada must condemn the one-sided use of military force against civilian demonstrators and media in Gaza, must immediately call for a cessation of these brutal practices, and must use all available diplomatic, political and economic channels to pressure Israel to initiate a fulsome and transparent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the massacre, which left 15 dead, and more than 1000 wounded.

Source: 
The Real News

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 168
Pass Blue 208
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 416
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 2578
FEE 4600
Marine Le Pen 380
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 910
Mohamed Omar 371
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 18
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 107
Vetenskapsradion Historia 152
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 217
Les Crises 2799
Richard Falk 166
Ian Sinclair 108
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 9478
Kafila 472
Gail Malone 39
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 9732
Vanessa Beeley 125
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5629
Paul Craig Roberts 1814
News Junkie Post 58
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 4771
Sir Ken Robinson 24
Stephan Kinsella 99
Liberty Blitzkrieg 851
Sami Bedouin 64
Consortium News 2672
21 Century Wire 3544
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 88
David D. Friedman 152
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1514
Tom Dispatch 523
Levant Report 18
The Saker 4306
The Barnes Review 527
John Friend 474
Psyche Truth 159
Jonathan Cook 145
New Eastern Outlook 3977
School Sucks Project 1775
Giza Death Star 1916
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 613
GMWatch 2299
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 967
Le 4ème singe 90
Jacob Cohen 208
Agora Vox 15499
Cercle Des Volontaires 436
Panamza 2187
Fairewinds 117
Project Censored 946
Spy Culture 528
Conspiracy Archive 76
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 570
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 835
Independent Science News 80
The Anti Media 6664
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 292
The Mind renewed 442
Natural Society 2619
Yanis Varoufakis 1001
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 145
Porkins Policy Review 423
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 597
Libyan War Truth 335
DeadLine Live 1913
Kevin Ryan 63
BSNEWS 2080
Aaron Franz 235
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 145
Peter B Collins 1564
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 10775
Climate Audit 224
Donna Laframboise 438
Judith Curry 1131
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2382
Syria Report 78
Human Rights Investigation 91
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 11918
Laura Wells Solutions 44
Video Rebel's Blog 436
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 20477
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3014
Northerntruthseeker 2385
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4712
AntiWar.com Blog 3072
AntiWar.com Original Content 6948
Corbett Report 2361
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1199
Webster Tarpley Website 1103

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public