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Yesterday CBC Hamilton put out a story on their website about a local activist who has a surprise visit from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The article painted a picture of an innocent man being ‘threatened’ by CSIS agents for simply writing an article titled Harper Is Wrong Demonizing Iran. It sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Reading this story one is likely to think it’s about a dissident in China, Iran, or Turkmenistan- not Hamilton. But, are things really that scary in Canada or is there more to the story? In this case, there’s much more- in fact, the CBC’s article misses so much of the story that readers are left to wonder if it was intentional…
The CBC describes Stone as a “labour and anti-racism advocate”. It’s not so interesting how labelled him as what they didn’t tell us. Stone is one of the most prominent anti-Israel protesters in Canada- here’s a video of him speaking at the controversial Al Quds rally in Toronto last year. Considering that Iran is one of the world’s most anti-Israeli governments, you’d think the CBC would have mentioned his affiliations and how they relate to the story.
When Stone appeared on the Iranian government owned PressTV in January he was given a different identity- they introduced him as a “protester from the Idle No More movement”. This is significant because it starts to explain why CSIS took an interest in his work. PressTV, the Iranian government, and their Canadian agents have been actively working towards inciting indigenous revolts.
Last year, when the Iranian and Canadian governments began their recent bickering, PressTV began partnering and promoting Canadian revolutionaries. One of the epicentres of PressTV’s activity has been at the University of Lethbridge’s Globalization Studies program. It’s a one-man department led by Professor Anthony James Hall- one of Canada’s more prominent conspiracy theorists. (Parents, keep your kid’s far away from Lethbridge…)
Joshua Blakeney was Professor Hall’s star pupil. Together they organized dodgy 9/11 conspiracy ‘trials’ (which most people in the 9/11 truth community looked at with distaste), travelled to Cuba to revel in Castro’s revolution, and drummed-up fantastical stories to feed to PressTV. And, wow, did they ever come up with some whoppers!
One of the most mind-boggling examples of their work together was the case of a Sto:Lo woman in British Columbia who had an ongoing court case over her allegedly breaking fish conservation laws. Blakeney’s story goes over-the-top in his portrayal- right to the point where Professor Hall is quoted saying he believes that the Canadian government is intentionally trying to kill BC’s salmon population in an effort to enact genocide on indigenous people.
At first glance this all looks very comical, almost harmless- most reasonable people figure to themselves “who’s gonna believe that crap anyway”. The sad fact is that a lot of people do believe this crap- it’s on TV, right? They also broadcast these stories into Iran- what better way for the Iranian government to save face after Canada withdrew diplomatic relations?
Professor Hall, and PressTV have also been caught promoting the adventures of Kevin Annett– a con-artist who faked the discovery of a mass grave of residential school survivors in Ontario. Hall has conceded that Annett is a fraud, but PressTV continues to promote Annett’s outright lies over global airwaves (and the Internet).
The PressTV show where Blakeney and Stone appeared together wasn’t much different than Blakeney’s other work- there were the same exaggerations and misrepresentations of the truth. One of the most telling (and perhaps racist) statements came from Blakeney after his tirade on Attawapiskat:
“A diamond mine, which often sends diamonds to Israel…is profiting lucratively from the historic territories of Canada’s indigenous peoples.”
First the obvious- this is an incredibly stupid statement. The fact of the matter is that Attawapiskat is also ‘profiting lucratively’ from the diamond mine. The band has an agreement with DeBeers, and about 20% of the people in the band have been employed there. But, more important, see how Blakeney connects indigenous issues with the Israel/Palestine conflict?
This brings us back to Ken Stone- one of Canada’s most radical supporters of the Palestinian side. Considering Stone’s vehemently partisan rhetoric, it’s hard to label himself as a ‘peace activist’. It’s equally difficult to see the guy as an anti-racism crusader- too many people in his Al Quds circles thrive on racialised hate. His “no justice no peace” t-shirt says a whole lot too.
But the CBC article fails to mention any of these facts. They simply posed Stone as a harmless labour/anti-racism activist who had an unexpected visit from CSIS. They also didn’t pay much attention to the the fact that Stone was recently in Tehran as a guest of the Iranian government.
Like it or not (I’m in the not category) Canada is currently in a state of cold-war with Iran. Iranians, and their Canadian agents, have been actively stirring up false and exaggerated stories in an attempt to spur revolts inside our country. The fact that Ken Stone got a visit from CSIS is not a story- the real story would have been if CSIS had omitted to visit someone like Stone. He’s treading a very fine line.
The even bigger story is, why are people like Professor Hall and Joshua Blakeney allowed to continue what they’ve been doing…