Commentary: Radio-Canada Misinforms Canadians about Palestinian Solidarity in Montreal

July 28, 2014 by

Open Letter to the CBC Radio-Canada Ombudsman.

Mainstream media in Canada claims to provide a neutral stance when reporting on issues related to Palestine.  Being neutral means reporting on facts and providing proportional coverage of those facts. On July 19th, Radio-Canada, Quebec’s largest French-speaking news outlet and a beneficiary of Canadian public funds, wrote a news article about a Montreal Palestinian solidarity demonstration that omitted important facts and misrepresented the events that occurred.

The first thing you learn in journalism school about reporting on facts is to always report on the 5 W’s:  Who?  What?  Where?  When?  Why?

Radio-Canada failed to mention why this particular protest was organized and generalized the entire demonstration as “pro-Gaza”.  Saturday’s protest was organized particularly to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s ruling that deemed the Israeli Separation or Apartheid Wall illegal. Protesters were opposing the continued building of the illegal wall, which is built inside the border of the Occupied West Bank. Through the construction of this wall Israel has managed to illegally annex a considerable part of the Occupied West Bank, separating communities and families.  Protesters were not only demanding an end to Israel’s assault on Gaza and Canadian support for Israel but also an end to Israel’s blockade on the Gaza strip, occupation of Palestinian land, and its violations of international law.  They wanted to remind Canadians that the assault on Gaza is part of a broader problem.  Protesters called for people to engage in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign to end Israeli Apartheid, which was mentioned nowhere in the article.

The article failed to accurately mention what happened at the protest. Aside from a small incident that took up half of Radio-Canada’s article that we will talk about later in this letter, Radio-Canada failed to mention that the “giant Palestinian flag” that protesters were carrying is actually the longest Palestinian flag in the world; a Montreal record-breaking achievement that took place this past May. Organizers were trying to break a second Guinness world record by gathering the largest number of signatures on the flag. It will be taken to Occupied Ramallah in September and will be displayed at the Yasser Arafat monument. Radio-Canada also failed to mention that some of the organizers were marching while holding an imitation Apartheid Wall, which was a clear visual clue as to why the protest was organized in the first place.

Protesters were marching while holding an imitation Apartheid Wall

Protesters were marching while holding an imitation Apartheid Wall

Radio-Canada simplified facts by labeling all protesters as pro-Gaza supporters rather than identifying the different groups who endorsed the rally, which would have demonstrated to the reader the extent to which resistance to Israeli policies is organized and growing in Montreal.  Organizations that endorsed the demonstration include Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), the Middle East Solidarity Collective Tadamon!, the Coalition for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPP), the Quebec Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN), the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW-STTP), The Quebec National Teachers Federation (FNEEQ-CSN), and the Conseil Régional FTQ du Montréal Métropolitain (CRFTQ-MM), among others.

Radio-Canada even got the “where” wrong!  Yes, the protest began and ended on the streets Saint-Laurent and Gary-Carter but the article failed to mention that this location was chosen because it is directly in front of the Montreal G4S Office. G4S is a British-Danish security company that supplies services and equipment to Israeli prisons where Palestinians are held without charge or trial in Administrative Detention and where the torture of Palestinians has been reported by human rights groups as a regular occurrence. The company also supplies the full-body scanning equipment to the more than 500 checkpoints that operate along the Wall that impede Palestinian freedom of movement.  Protesters called on the Quebec Government, which holds shares in the company, to divest from it just as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation did last month, as part of a wave of recent international BDS successes.

On the plus side, Radio-Canada can proudly claim that it got the when right since the protest did indeed take place on July 19th.

Not only were these facts omitted from the article but what Radio-Canada did choose to report on was a disproportionate and sensationalist version of events. At the beginning of the protest, a woman waving an Israeli flag entered the crowd of Palestinian supporters.  When she was asked to leave and refused to do so, one of the protesters tried to take her flag from her resulting in her falling down.  She was quickly brought to her feet by the other protesters and was peacefully tolerated by the protesters for the remaining two hours of the demonstration as she marched down the street waving her Israeli flag.  In total, the confrontational moment lasted no more than a few minutes out of a two-hour demonstration.

Pro-Israel protester allowed to walk peacefully among the Gaza-solidarity protesters

Pro-Israel protester allowed to walk peacefully among the Gaza-solidarity protesters

Radio-Canada chose to dedicate half of its written article; 5 out of 6 pictures; and 1 of 2 videos to this one Israeli supporter, citing that her cousins who live close to the Gaza strip are in danger every day.  Not once in the article did Radio-Canada mention the hundreds of Palestinian deaths or the thousands of Gazans wounded since Israel began its assault on Gaza on July 8th nor did it interview any Palestinians who have lost family members due to Israeli attacks.

Radio-Canada chose to title the article “A Brief Incident at the Pro-Gaza Demonstration in Montreal” and provided a subheading that reads “A Gathering that could have turned out Badly”.  Since when has it become news to report on what might have happened? This article serves to create a sense of fear and tension that was not present at the rally.  It also misrepresents the Israeli supporter as the victim when clearly the victims are the hundreds of Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli air strikes and ground invasions.

It’s really incredible that people who denounce Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians can’t even be heard in an article dedicated to a Palestinian solidarity demonstration.  It is disproportionate coverage of events when one Israeli protester’s story is told above the stories of the other 300 protesters.

This is an example of poor journalism, questionable professionalism, and undoubtedly bias coverage of events.  Worst of all, it makes part of a larger problem of mainstream media’s unwillingness to present Palestinian issues in a fair and proportional manner.  How can Canadians have an informed understanding of issues related to Palestine when news outlets like Radio-Canada misinform them?  It’s time for the Canadian media to take its ethical responsibilities seriously and provide fair and accurate coverage of Palestine and Canada’s role in allowing Israel to continue its mistreatment of the Palestinian people.

We encourage all consumers of Canadian media to denounce articles like these in order to build a more educated Canadian population on the issue of Palestine.

Under the Olive Tree is a Montreal-based community radio program in solidarity with Palestinians aired live every Thursday from 11am – 12 noon on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal and on CFRC 101.9FM in Kingston, Ontario from 4pm – 5pm.

To listen to Under the Olive Tree:
http://www.mixcloud.com/UnderTheOliveTree/
For Under the Olive Tree news updates:
https://www.facebook.com/uot.ckut

Night Vigil for Gaza

July 28, 2014 by

On July 25th , dozens of Montrealers met at night for a quiet vigil at the Montreal Old Port. While overlooking the Saint-Laurent river, protesters lit candles and released sky lanterns in the memory of the hundreds of Palestinians who have died since July 8th.

Protester holding a candle in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protester holding a candle in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protester holding a candle in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protester holding a candle in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters preparing a sky lantern in the shape of a heart.

Protesters preparing a sky lantern in the shape of a heart.

Protesters holding a candle in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters preparing a sky lantern in the shape of a heart.

Protesters preparing a sky lantern in the shape of a heart.

Protesters preparing a sky lantern in the shape of a heart.

Protesters preparing a sky lantern in the shape of a heart.

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protester holding a candle in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protester holding a candle in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Protesters holding candles in the memory of the Palestinian victims

Photos courtesy of CKUT’s radio program, Under The Olive Tree.
http://www.facebook.com/uot.ckut
http://www.mixcloud.com/undertheolivetree

Gaza-Solidarity in Montreal: 5 Actions in 10 Days

July 27, 2014 by

(A special report from CKUT’s program Under the Olive Tree)

Mobilization in solidarity with Palestinians continues to intensify in Montreal, as Friday saw the 6th protest against Israel’s war on Gaza since the offensive began on July 8th.  Hundreds of protesters have gathered in Montreal to demand an end to Israel’s deadly air and ground offensive in Gaza that has killed over 1,060 Palestinians and wounded over 6,000. Protesters are demanding an end to Israel’s colonial occupation of Palestine and are calling on the Canadian and Quebec governments to end their complicity with Israeli breaches of international law.

JULY 16

After the first protest took place on July 11th, hundreds of Montrealers gathered again on July 16th to march through the streets.  Jasmin and Amal, two women from Gaza explained that “it’s just not fair what’s happening to the kids, to the women, to the men.  I just want Canadians to step up and say it’s not ok, it’s not right what’s happening”.

2 Protesters from Gaza - July 16

2 Protesters from Gaza – July 16

Read the rest of this entry »

Hundreds Gather once again in Montreal in Solidarity with Gaza

July 24, 2014 by

Since Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” was launched on Gaza two weeks ago, a massive mobilization campaign has taken place worldwide to protest against Isreal’s aggression against Gazan civilians. Over 718 Gazans have been killed and over 3,750 injured since July 8th when Israel’s operation was launched.

As Israeli bombs continue to drop on Gaza, Montrealers have been marching on the streets in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Bellow are photographs taken during July 23rd protest.

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Read the rest of this entry »

Mobilisation for Gaza Continues in Montreal

July 22, 2014 by
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Protesters holding the longest Palestinian flag in the world.

Since Israel began its military assault on Gaza 2 weeks ago, Montrealers have been pouring into the streets to denounce Israel’s disregard for international law, its occupation of Palestinian land, and its apartheid system.  Over 620 Gazans have been killed and over 3,750 injured since July 8th in what Israel is calling “Operation Protective Edge”.

After Montreal’s protest of july 11th, Montrealers took again to the streets on July 16th and 19th to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people and demand the immediate end of this indiscriminate and deadly assault on Gaza. This report covers the last 2 protests.

 

(A special report from CKUT’s program Under The Olive Tree)
Under the Olive Tree is a Montreal-based community radio program in solidarity with Palestinians aired live every Thursday from 11am – 12 noon on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal and on CFRC 101.9FM in Kingston, Ontario from 4pm – 5pm.

To listen to Under the Olive Tree:
http://www.mixcloud.com/UnderTheOliveTree/
For Under the Olive Tree news updates:
https://www.facebook.com/uot.ckut

Montreal Mural honours the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women

July 22, 2014 by

blog photo

To download audio, click here 

This Saturday, July 19th, The Missing Justice collective and The Centre for Gender Advocacy hosted an event to celebrate the completion of a new public mural on Saint Laurent on the wall of the anarchist bookstore L’insoumise. The mural denounces the injustice against indigenous women and honours the lives of all the indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered. The evening was full of prayer, music, speeches and a beautiful hoop dance. CKUT’s Jehane Yazami and Alice Dutrut were there.

Montrealers Protest Israel’s Deadly Assault on Gaza and Call for an End to the Illegal Israeli Apartheid Wall

July 21, 2014 by

For the third time in less than 10 days, hundreds of Montrealers took to the streets on July 19 to demand an end to Israel’s war crimes and violations of international law.  Ten years after the International Court of Justice ruled Israel’s Apartheid Wall illegal, the wall continues to divide Palestinian families, expropriate Palestinian land, and serve as a visual reminder of the system of Apartheid that Israel has instilled both within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and within Israel proper.

Protesters in the hundreds marched through the Jean Talon district demanding an end to Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza that has killed over 435 Palestinians, one third of whom were women and children, since Israel launched an offensive operation entitled “Operation Protective Edge” on July 8.

Protesters stopped in front of the G4S Montreal Office calling for its boycott and divestment. G4S is a British-Danish security company that supplies services and equipment to Israeli prisons where Palestinians are held without charge or trial in Administrative Detention and where torture against Palestinian political prisoners has been proven to be rampant.  It also supplies the full-body scanning equipment to the more than 500 checkpoints that operate along the Wall that impede Palestinian freedom of movement.  Protesters called on the Quebec Government, which holds shares in the company, to divest from it just as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation did last month.

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Protesters carrying the longest Palestinian flag in the world

Read the rest of this entry »

Report from Bill C36 Hearings

July 18, 2014 by
Robyn Maynard of Stella speaking at the Bill C36 hearings in Ottawa. Photo: CTV News

Robyn Maynard of Stella speaking at the Bill C36 hearings in Ottawa. Photo: CTV News

From Monday,July 7 to Thursday, July 10 the justice committee heard testimony from actors in the sex work industry to hear commentary on the proposed Bill c36, named the ‘Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act’, which would criminalize the purchase of sexual services, replacing the previous law which was struck down by the supreme court last december in the bedford case.

This piece features the voices of:

Robyn Maynard, of Stella, a community group located in montreal created and run by sex workers to support sex workers, gave testimony at the hearings on Tuesday, July 8.

Chris Atchison is a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Victoria, and is working on ‘sex, safety, and security: a study of the experiences of people who pay for sex in canada’, and gave testimony at the hearings.

Supreme Court Refuses to Protect Grassy Narrows’ Treaty 3 from Provincial and Corporate Actions

July 18, 2014 by

 

Members of the anti-logging blockade at Grassy Narrows First Nation quietly marked its 10th anniversary on December 2, commemorating a decade of fighting to keep logging corporations and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources off their traditional territories. (Photo: David P. Ball)

On Friday, July 11 the Supreme Court refused to recognize the role that the federal government had in protecting Grassy Narrows’ Treaty 3 from provincial and corporate actions–in this case, logging in Ontario. CKUT’s Tiffany Lam spoke with Grassy Narrows’ Chief Roger Fobister to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court decision and the government’s role in working with indigenous communities.

For more information on the Supreme Court decision click here

For more information on the Grassy Narrows struggle click here

6 Nations Shuts Down Line 9 Construction Site

July 18, 2014 by

six-nation-protest-north-dumfries

Click here to download audio

Thursday morning members of the 6 Nations community and their allies interrupted work at a Line 9 construction site to protest the building of the environmentally detrimental pipeline. After a standoff, the Enbridge workers were forced to back down and removed their equipment. Aaron and Adina spoke with 6 Nations activist Danielle Boisson about the action.

 

For more information:

http://www.stopline9-toronto.ca/

Montréal activists hold anti-racist soccer tournament

July 18, 2014 by
Photo: Rima Bkri

Photo: Robin Dianoux

Click here to download this report.

In the lead-up to the World Cup final, a group of soccer aficionados gathered to play a very different kind of game. Over the years, and most recently in its incarnation in Brazil, the FIFA World Cup has been accused of everything from neo-colonialism to racism, including by FIFA’s own anti-racism task force. In the wake of World Cup preparations in Rio de Janeiro and the way the games had played out thus far, some critics have claimed that the game of soccer itself has fundamental issues.

Activists from the Immigrant Workers Centre co-organized an anti-racist soccer tournament in the Montréal neighborhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The idea was to show that a different way of playing soccer – not FIFA’s, and not the World Cup’s – was possible. Participants ranged from die-hard activists to die-hard soccer aficionados, and everywhere in-between. CKUT’s Carla Green was there.

Hundreds Gather in Montreal for the Second Time in Solidarity with Gaza

July 18, 2014 by

The Palestinian death toll continues to rise ever since Israel launched its “Operation Protective Edge” against the Gaza Strip on Tuesday July 8th.  At least 274 Gazans have been killed to date.  In response, a massive  mobilization campaign is taking place worldwide to protest against Israel’s aggression against Gazan civilians. Hundreds of Montrealers took to the streets last Friday July 11th. They marched again this week on Wednesday July 16th.  As protesters held the longest Palestinian flag in the world, they demanded an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and the Canadian Government’s complicity with Israeli war crimes, calling for citizens to boycott, divest, and sanction Israeli Apartheid.  

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Protesters gathered in front of Mont-Royal Station.

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Activist addressing the crowd.

Read the rest of this entry »

Celebration of the Completion of a Public Mural for Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women

July 18, 2014 by

MJ-Mural-

To download audio, click here 

This Saturday July 19th at 6pm, the Center for Gender Advocacy is hosting a celebration for the completion of a public mural commissioned by Missing Justice. The mural, which is located on the wall of the anarchist bookstore L’insoumise, stands as a public statement to denounce and demand attention to violence against all indigenous women, and honor the lives and spirits of those who have gone missing or been found murdered. CKUT’s Alice Dutrut and Jehane Yazami talked with Alisha Mascarenhas from the Center for Gender Advocacy about the upcoming event.

Montrealers Denounce Israeli Aggression in Gaza, Push for Boycotts Against Apartheid

July 17, 2014 by

Interview with Freda Guttman live on CKUT’s Off the Hour

Photo: Rima Bkri

Photo: Rima Bkri

Click here to download this interview

Hundreds of Montrealers took to the streets again on July 16th for the second time in a week to denounce the Israeli aggression in Gaza under the so-called “Operation Protective Edge”, and to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The demonstration was organized by Tadamon, and called for a deepening of the campaign of Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israeli apartheid.

CKUT’s Carla Green was reporting live from the demonstration, and spoke with 80-year old artist and activist Freda Guttman. Freda reacts to Israel’s current campaign of airstrikes against the people of Gaza, and reflects on what tangible actions people in Canada can take to end the Israeli aggression and occupation.

For more information and reports on Gaza solidarity protests in Montrea:

www.ckut.ca/news

www.tadamon.ca

Émission spéciale de En profondeur sur le cyclisme à Montréal

July 15, 2014 by

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Pour télécharger cette émission, cliquez ici

Ce lundi le 14 juillet de 17h à 18h à En profondeur, une panoplie d’invité-e-s viendront discuter en direct du parc Lafontaine des enjeux du cyclisme à Montréal. Depuis le groupe féministe queer Les vélobabes, jusqu’à l’atelier communautaire La voie libre, en passant pas Environnement jeunesse, la Coalition vélo Montréal et Une porte une vie, nous disséquerons les défis qui s’offrent aux cyclistes montréalais-e-s. Venez nous voir et partagez votre opinion!

Les invitéEs sur l’émission incluent:

Zvi Leve http://coalitionvelomontreal.org/

Emily Hill https://www.facebook.com/groups/velobabes/

Pierre Rogué http://uneporteunevie.com/fr/

Veronique Arsenau http://2roues4saisons.com/

Alain Deschamps http://www.rtm-lvl.org/ et https://www.facebook.com/GirlsNightInRTM

Jacques Desjardins http://www.lemab.ca/

En profondeur est diffusé ce lundi soir de 17h à 18h spécialement en direct du parc Lafontaine devant la maison des cyclistes.

Hundreds Gather in Montreal on Friday to Denounce Yet Another Israeli War on Gaza

July 14, 2014 by
(A special report from CKUT’s program Under the Olive Tree) 


Hundreds of people gathered on Friday July 11
th in downtown Montreal to demonstrate support for Palestinians and to protest against the recent assault by the Israeli Army on the Gaza Strip. Since Tuesday July 8th, over 180 Gazans have been killed by Israeli air strikes, many of whom are children and over 1,120 Palestinians wounded in what Israel is calling “Operation Protective Edge”.

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Hundreds took to the streets to express their solidarity with Gaza

Emergency protests were organized around the world to denounce the brutal attack on Gaza.  Hala Marley, a member of the Montreal-based group Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) explained that the Montreal protest was started by a citizen initiative that then drew in larger organisations from across the city.  Even though brought together by tragic events, there was a strong sense of solidarity and empowerment among the protesters as they held the longest Palestinian flag in the world covered with messages of hope and encouragement for the Palestinian people. Read the rest of this entry »

Anti-Copa, Resistance Art, and Brazil’s World Cup Struggles

July 9, 2014 by

Graffiti painted by Brazilian street artist

 

Anti-Copa, Resistance Art, and Brazil’s World Cup Struggles

An interview with Andalusia Knoll

Click here to download audio

As we approach the World Cup final match, protests and discontent continue on the streets of Brazil’s cities in what is known as the “anti-copa” movement. To get a sense of what is happening on the ground, CKUT’s news collective spoke with freelance journalist Andalusia Knoll. Andalusia had been reporting on the anti-copa movement in Brazil for several weeks.

For all of her reports, check out her Twitter account @Andalalucha

 

Making Vancouver a Sanctuary City: An Interview With Shireen Soofi

July 8, 2014 by

noiiflag

 

To download audio, click here 

There has been a recent a push trying to make Vancouver the next sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants in North America. This policy would prevent Vancouver police and city employees from reporting an individual’s legal status to the Canada border service agency, unless that person was suspected of a crime. CKUT’s Ali Dutrut and Jehane Yazami spoke with Shireen Soofi, a member of the No One is Illegal collective based in Vancouver.

A very CSA picnic: Montreal’s Autonomous Social Centre celebrates its 5-year anniversary

June 12, 2014 by
One of the CSA's most important achievements: getting the city to give them Batiment #7 in 2011

One of the CSA’s most important achievements was to get the city to give them Batiment #7 in 2011 (photo by La Pointe Libertaire)

 
To download the audio, click here
Five years ago, on May 29 2009, a group of a few  hundred people occupied a disused factory near the Lachine canal. Together, they hoped to reclaim this space and transform it into an Autonomous Social Centre, a building that would represent the community spirit of Pointe Saint Charles. Pointes Saint Charles is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the borough of Le Sud Ouest in Montreal. Today, it is one of the most affected areas by gentrification in the city.
An Autonomous Social Centre is different from a community centre in that it is completely separate from the state; a space created and sustained by the people, for the people. This is exactly what activists celebrated at the end of May, when they held a picnic on the banks of the Lachine Canal. We were there to talk to a few participants who have been involved since day 1, and understand their motivations.
For more information, visit lapointelibertaire.org and centresocialautogere.org

The Anti Capitalist Convergence: a worldwide battle gets local

June 12, 2014 by

CLAC's mascott Clacoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To download audio, click here

As we reached the end of the Anarchist festival in Montreal last week, let’s not forget that anti-capitalism movements are still in full-swing. CLAC, a Montreal organization that regroups several anti-capitalist movements, has been involved in the fight against capitalism for several years now. This radical left organization contests economic institutions and regularly organizes demonstrations against major international meetings such as the G8, the G20, and even the F1 Grand Prix back in 2012.  CLAC organized a protest action, on June 10th, to bring attention to the problems underlying the 20th international economic forum of the Americas. What the problems can an anti-capitalist movement run into in Canada? How does the CLAC get its message across? We talked to Fred Burrill, a member of CLAC, who was at the demonstration on June 10.


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