Day: June 9, 2021
No mass protests after Honolulu police shoot, kill Black man
HONOLULU — Lindsay Myeni and her South African husband moved to Hawaii, where she grew up, believing it would be safer to raise their two Black children here than in another U.S. state.
Three months after they arrived, Honolulu police shot and killed her husband, 29-year-old Lindani Myeni, who was Black.
“We never thought anything like this would ever happen there,” Lindsay Myeni, who is white, told The Associated Press in an interview from her husband’s hometown, Empangeni in Kwazulu-Natal province.
To some, Lindani Myeni’s death and the muted reaction from residents, is a reminder that Hawaii isn’t the racially harmonious paradise it’s held up to be.
The couple moved to Honolulu from predominately white Denver in January.
Hawaii, where white people are not the majority and many people identify as having multiple ethnicities, felt right: “We were refreshed to be back to somewhere that is so diverse.”
Of Hawaii’s 1.5 million residents, just 3.6% are Black, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Yet in Honolulu alone, Black people made up more than 7% of the people police used force against, according to Honolulu police data for 2019.
While there have been some local gatherings and small protests decrying Myeni’s death, it hasn’t inspired the passionate outrage seen elsewhere in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed last year by a white officer in Minnesota, and other killings by police.
Myeni’s death “would have generated mass protests in any other American city,” said Kenneth Lawson, a Black professor at University of Hawaii’s law school.
“When you’re told you live in a paradise and you point out that it’s not paradise for people of color, that makes people uncomfortable,” he said.
One reason for a lack of outrage, he said, is that police have released limited details of what happened. “What’s being revealed is what they want us to see,” he said.
According to police’s account of the fatal shooting, Myeni entered a home that wasn’t his, sat down and took off his shoes, prompting a frightened occupant to call 911. Outside the house, he ignored commands to get on the ground and physically attacked officers, leaving one with a concussion, police said.
Police released two brief clips from body camera footage, but it’s difficult to make out what is happening in the dark. Three shots ring out and then an officer exclaims, “Police.”
A wrongful death lawsuit Lindsay Myeni filed against Honolulu alleges police were “motivated by racial discrimination towards people of Mr. Myeni’s African descent.”
Simply by being Black, he was seen as an “immediate threat,” that the Asian woman who called 911 needed to be protected from, she said.
Now-retired police Chief Susan Ballard, who is white, said at the time that officers reacted to Myeni’s behavior, not his race. “This person seriously injured the officers and their lives were in jeopardy,” she said.
Myeni’s widow thinks he mistook the home for a Hare Krishna temple next door. Earlier in the day, the family had visited culturally significant places as they drove to Oahu’s north shore. At one point, the couple prayed together, she recalled, because something felt off. He seemed stressed.
Because of that, she thinks her husband, who was Christian and connected to his Zulu culture, was seeking out a spiritual place in his new neighborhood.
Shortly before the shooting, she spoke to him by phone. He was on his way home, some five blocks away.
He was wearing his umqhele when he was shot, his widow said. The traditional Zulu headband, along with taking his shoes off at the door, meant he went to the house with respectful intentions, she said.
She believes their races contributed to a waning of shocked sentiment over his death. “White people don’t come from Hawaii, stereotypically. Black people don’t come from Hawaii, stereotypically. So even though I’m three generations of being there, if you look at my skin, you’ll say, ‘Oh must be a haole,’” she said using the Hawaiian word for foreigner.
But Myeni was indeed a newcomer to Hawaii, which might have contributed to the general reaction to his death, said Daphne Barbee-Wooten, former president of the African American Lawyers Association of Hawaii.
“Whereas if it was someone who people knew for a long period of time who got shot or killed, I think there might be more outrage because they would have been neighbors, gone to the same church,” she said.
“And I think a lot of African Americans who live here are outraged,” she said. “But do they take to the street about it? Not really.”
The are various reasons for that, she said, including people with military jobs who might not be allowed to protest publicly or those who are waiting to see results of an investigation into the shooting.
Ethan Caldwell, who is of Black and Asian descent and an assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of Hawaii, said he can personally relate to the Myeni family feeling Hawaii would be relatively safer.
“I always ask the question to my students, safer for who?” he said. “Black folks have been present in the Hawaiian Kingdom since prior to the illegal annexation, but rarely do we see, hear, or disassociate them with the military in Hawaii in the present.”
Even though Hawaii is one of the few places where people of color are the majority, there are still anti-Black sentiment — at institutional and individual levels — he said, noting how businesses in Waikiki boarded up their windows ahead of a peaceful Black Lives Matter march last summer.
“We may not necessarily feel the same level of racism, anti-Blackness, discrimination, prejudice here as we do on the continent, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t face micro-aggressions on a daily basis, more so for some people,” Caldwell said. “I think some people might be more willing to deal with those because it doesn’t necessarily mean that their lives are at-risk.”
“But I think when it comes to seeing the more recent cases and the distance closing, the fact that it even happens here also puts some of that into question as well,” he said, referring to Honolulu police shooting and killing a 16-year-old Micronesian boy on April 5.
Another possible reason the death hasn’t prompted mass protests is because Hawaii strives to be seen as being different from the strife on the U.S. mainland, said Akiemi Glenn, founder and executive director of the Popolo Project, whose group name uses the Hawaiian word for a plant with dark purple or black berries that has also come to refer to Black people.
Acknowledging that Hawaii experiences racial bias in law enforcement like other parts of the country “explodes the myth that this is a paradise — whether it’s a racial paradise or vacation paradise — from all of your troubles on the mainland,” she said.
Before his death, Lindsay Myeni said her husband didn’t encounter racist incidents in Hawaii. She remembers that after a month here, he hugged her one day when he returned from the gym and thanked her for bringing him to Hawaii.
“And people are warm and friendly and they they’re outgoing,” she said. “And all the things he loved about South Africa, Hawaii has a lot of those.”
In Denver, police stopped him while walking because he matched the description of a crime suspect. In South Africa, she would get “ugly stares” from some white people who saw her with a Black man.
“But we live among Black people in South Africa and they’ve always been welcoming to me,” she said.
Lindsay Myeni is trying to extend her visa to stay in South Africa and will try to apply for permanent residency through her son.
“Hawaii is my home, so I really feel like I broke up with my country and my state and like maybe I’ll go back there one day,” she said. “It’s really hard to say, but right now I just can’t fathom even visiting.”
Magome reported from Johannesburg.
No mass protests after Honolulu police shoot, kill Black man – ABC News (go.com)
Canadian govt looking to create border ‘biometrics’ authority to validate travelers’ vaccine status
OTTAWA, Ontario, June 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says it has an “urgent” need to create an “Office of Biometrics and Identity Management” that could be used to verify the vaccine status of all Canadian and foreign travelers who enter the country.
A tender notice or Notice of Proposed Procurement (NPP) posted to the Public Services and Procurement Canada website on June 7 states that the CSBA already has three companies with experience in the biometrics field who are interested to set up the new “biometrics” office.
Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that travel restrictions will be eased for those who are fully “vaccinated.” The CSBA NPP was posted only shortly before this announcement.
“The Agency requires this organization to assist with the immediate establishment of an Office of Biometrics and Identity Management and to work with the Agency in researching, planning for and rapidly developing a strategy and roadmap related to the use of Digital solutions enabled by supporting technologies in biometrics, in response to the COVID 19 situation and other operational priorities,” reads the tender notice, which is active until June 21.
The tender notice goes on to note that the chosen “contractor” will bring its “knowledge, capabilities, and experience to support CBSA’s urgent need to establish a biometric strategy, biometric foundation and ultimately a Biometrics Authority (Centre of Excellence).”
Specifically, the CSBA is looking for the “contractor” to assist them in the “development of a comprehensive approach and plan to manage, evolve and adapt in using biometrics.”
The tender notice states that the “contractor” will help the CSBA to “deliver the mission of the agency while considering our interrelationship and joint ventures with other federal government departments and agencies and our international partners.”
A person’s biometric information can be in the form fingerprints or an eye scan, and unlike a paper credential are highly personal.
According to a Canadian Press report, Tamir Israel, who works at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic in Ottawa, said that while he “welcomes” the use of biometrics, they can pose potential privacy risks.
“I am deeply concerned at the substantial increase in biometric use that this procurement document implies. Biometric recognition and identity can be highly intrusive, and we have seen significant pressure to adopt facial recognition technologies in particular at border crossings,” said Israel.
The timing of the NPP for the creation of an “Office of Biometrics and Identity Management” comes only a week after the Canadian COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel said the federal government should look to begin work on a system to “validate proof of vaccination for arriving travelers as soon as possible.”
The panel recommended that Canada end its mandatory and controversial COVID-19 two-week quarantine hotel program.
This hotel quarantine program is currently the center of a lawsuit against the government on behalf of multiple parties who are being assisted by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).
Today, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that as soon as early July, Canadians who have had the full two doses of a COVID-19 shot do not have to quarantine for 14 days as long as they produce a negative test.
Intergovernmental Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Wednesday that Canadians can expect soon “more of an idea about” what is to come with the new rules, but the “vaccination is key.”
“The first phase we’re considering now is aimed at allowing fully vaccinated individuals who are authorized to enter the country to be able to cross the border without having to stay in a government-authorized accommodation,” said LeBlanc
The news came only a day after Trudeau said Canada is looking to ease border restrictions, but only for those who had been “fully vaccinated.”
“In the weeks to come, we will have more to say about the measures that we could relax for people who have had two doses,” said Trudeau to reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s very clear that even though one dose has allowed us to significantly protect Canadians, to remove many of the pressures from our public health systems, it is still an incomplete protection and we need people to get the full two doses of their vaccines and that’s why easing of restrictions will be focused on Canadians who are fully vaccinated.”
Trudeau said everyone should get “double vaccinated” with two doses of a COVID-19 jab, as the “science” says that is the best way to fight COVID-19, ”particularly when it comes to some of the new variants of concern, like the delta variant,” said Trudeau.
Trudeau said yesterday that the full details of easing border measures will be announced at a later date.
A Canadian Press report says the Trudeau Liberals were expected today to announce that those who have had two doses of the COVID-19 jab will no longer have to quarantine for a 14-day period.
Since early January, the Canadian federal government has required all air travelers coming into Canada to present a negative PCR or LAMP COVID-19 test to their airline before being allowed to board the flight. Even with a negative test, one has to stay in a government-approved hotel for three days, after which they can go home if they test negative for COVID-19.
Today’s new rules waive the three-day hotel stay for those who have had the COVID-19 jab, but they still must test negative.
Trudeau recently said his government is “right now” working on “certificates of vaccination” for travel with its allies, saying they are to be “expected.”
Recently, Trudeau’s office claimed that a “broad consensus” has been reached among the nation’s premiers working to create “a proof of vaccine credential” system for travel.
Lawyer says government ‘cannot’ deny activities and services to those who choose not to get the jab
Kindle Pejovic, a lawyer for the JCCF, told LifeSiteNews that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prevents the government from denying “activities and services to those who choose not to receive the experimental COVID-19 vaccine for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. The more entrenched this separation of society becomes based on vaccination status, the more ostracized the unvaccinated citizens will become.”
LifeSiteNews reported that Manitoba officially launched an immunization card program for those who have “received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine,” allowing the vaccinated freedom over those who choose not to get the experimental shots.
The announcement came a month after a source within the Manitoba government warned LifeSiteNews about it.
The source told LifeSiteNews that he believes the main reason for the card is for travel.
“Requiring the use of this service will undoubtedly further segregate people and create a ‘lesser class’ of sorts,” the source told LifeSiteNews.
Health Canada has authorized four COVID-19 injections for adults, all with connections to abortion. All of them have been associated with severe side effects such as blood clots, rashes, miscarriages, and even heart attacks in young healthy men.
Currently, no Canadian province has implemented any type of “vaccine passport.” However, most allow people to access their vaccine status online.
In May, Quebec began to send as “electronic proof” a vaccination confirmation in the form of a QR code to those who had received a COVID-19 jab.
Thus far, conservative premiers in Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have not yet publicly spoken out in favor of or in full opposition to so-called “vaccine passports.”
In April, the JCCF released a powerful video highlighting concerns surrounding COVID-19 “vaccine passports,” and the mandatory vaccinations being touted by some provincial governments.
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Canadian govt looking to create border ‘biometrics’ authority to validate travelers’ vaccine status | News | Lifesitenews
US-funded Belarusian regime-change activist arrested on plane joined neo-Nazis in Ukraine
Belarusian regime-change activist Roman Protasevich, whose arrest on a grounded plane caused a global scandal, fought in Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and was cultivated by the US government’s media apparatus.
high-profile Belarusian regime-change activist whose detention on a forcibly grounded airplane caused an international scandal has extensive links to neo-fascist groups, which his political sponsors in Western capitals have conveniently overlooked.
Far-right activist Roman Protasevich was traveling on the Irish airliner Ryanair on May 23 when the plane crossed into Belarusian airspace and was ordered to land by state authorities. Protasevich was subsequently taken off the aircraft and arrested.
The incident triggered a wave of denunciations by Western governments, and a new round of aggressive sanctions on Belarus. Many anti-interventionist critics pointed out the hypocrisy of the US government’s condemnations, recalling how, in 2013, it forcibly grounded the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales in an egregious violation of international law because it wrongly suspected he was harboring NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Effortlessly ignoring Washington’s own precedent, Western governments and major corporate media outlets blasted the government of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as a brutal dictatorship while lavishing praise on Protasevich, portraying the prominent opposition figure as a heroic human rights defender.
What they refused to acknowledge is Protasevich’s recent history serving with a neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine, and his extensive ties to other right-wing extremist organizations.
A leader of Ukraine’s notorious Azov Battalion, an explicitly neo-Nazi militia that uses white supremacist imagery, publicly acknowledged that Protasevich joined the fight inside Azov. A Ukrainian newspaper reported that Protasevich worked with the neo-Nazi militia’s press service.
Numerous photos discovered by another Ukrainian media outlet show Protasevich in the ranks of the Azov Battalion, clad in a military uniform and holding an assault rifle.
Protasevich was also photographed wearing a neo-Nazi t-shirt with swastikas on it.
Protasevich personally admitted in an interview to traveling to Ukraine and spending a year battling pro-Russian forces in the eastern war zone of Donbas. He is even suspected of possibly posing with an assault rifle and a military uniform on the front of Azov’s propaganda magazine, which is emblazoned with a large neo-Nazi symbol.
The influence of Azov and similar ultra-nationalist groups in Ukraine has extended well outside of its borders, spilling over into neighboring countries in Eastern Europe, while also influencing politics in Canada and even Hong Kong, where Azov extremists joined a Western-backed “color revolution” operation targeting China.
Like Azov, Protasevich has benefited from direct support from Western governments. Just as the neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia received weapons and military training from the United States in order to fight in its proxy war against Russia, Protasevich’s media career was launched by a US government-backed outlet, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), which was created by the CIA as part of an information war against Moscow.
Washington’s RFE/RL even interviewed Protasevich back in 2015 for a puff piece promoting foreign far-right extremists who joined the neo-Nazi Avoz Battalion in Ukraine. Using a pseudonym, Protasevich spoke of his experience fighting and being wounded in the Pahonia Detachment, a group of Belarusian fascists who joined Azov.
The RFE/RL article clearly describes Protasevich as a “soldier,” not a journalist. And in his testimony the Belarusian extremist stated openly that he was fighting on the front line when he was hit by shrapnel. Protasevich also explained that the Pahonia Detachment was not separate, and that he and other Belarusian fighters were embedded in Azov units.
Western government-backed color revolution seeks regime change in Belarus
Roman Protasevich is among the most high-profile Belarusian opposition figures to be cultivated by Western governments in a regime-change operation targeting their home country.
In 2020, a protest movement in Belarus quickly morphed into a Western-backed attempt at a so-called color revolution. It aimed at overthrowing the government of President Alexander Lukashenko, a former Soviet collective farm director who has ruled Belarus since 1994 and maintained some Soviet-style policies, while pursuing friendly relations with Russia and China.
To the chagrin of the US and its EU allies, Lukashenko has overseen a relatively state-led economy with greater public ownership and more robust social programs when compared to his post-Soviet neighbors, which imposed neoliberal shock therapy and integrated their political and economic systems into NATO and Western financial markets.
While imposing suffocating economic sanctions on Belarus, the US government and European Union member states have poured millions of dollars into anti-Lukashenko groups, particularly media outlets, while helping to establish a parallel government in exile, called the Coordination Council, led by NATO-backed opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
A pair of Russian pranksters posing as Tsikhanouskaya tricked top officials from the US government’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA front that funds opposition groups in countries targeted by Washington for regime change, into admitting that they had trained and funded the leaders of the attempted Belarusian color revolution.
“A lot of the the people who have been trained by these [NED] hubs, who have been in touch with them, and being educated, being involved in their work, have now taken the the flag and started to lead in community organizing,” stated NED Senior Europe Program Officer Nina Ognianova, who previously served as the Eurasia program coordinator at regime-change lobby group the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
“We don’t think that this movement that is so impressive and so inspiring now came out of nowhere, that it just happened overnight. But it has been developing, and we have our modest but significant contribution in that by empowering the local actors to do the important work,” Ognianova openly told the Russian pranksters, known as Vovan and Lexus.
Also on the prank call was Carl Gershman, the decades-long president of the NED, and a former activist on the American anti-communist, social-democratic left who later became a Reagan-era neoconservative and has led the CIA front since 1984.
Thinking he was speaking with Tsikhanouskaya – the Belarusian version of Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó – Gershman outlined the extensive support the US government’s regime-change arm has provided to the Belarusian opposition, and particularly its media apparatus:
We have four institutes, and I think all of them are active in Belarus. Two of them I think you know well, because they work very, very closely with you and your team and the Coordination Council, and that’s NDI [National Democratic Institute] and IRI [International Republican Institute], our two party institutes.
And they’re under the NED umbrella, and we fund their work, you know, that works on strengthening parties and their messaging, their public outreach, their communications. And I know that they’re working with you [Tsikhanouskaya] and your team very, very closely.
And we also have a business institute that’s associated with our Chamber of Commerce in the United States, the Center for International Private Enterprise, that we have funded to work with the private sector in Belarus, to set a vision and a framework for a post-Lukashenko private economic recovery of the country.
And we have a labor institute, a trade union institute association … and in addition to these four institutes, and our labor institute, which supports the independent unions in Belarus, we also make grants directly to organizations in Belarus, and have done so for a very, very long time.
And the critical area here, first of all, is free media. We support the journalists … We support people if they have to flee the country, we support their temporary stay in other countries, and all the needs that they have.
We have been working around the country, in the eastern part of the country … on civic participation, and we’ve made grants to groups. We also have worked in the western part of the country on free media … where we’ve supported citizen journalism.
US government-funded Belarusian infowarrior fights alongside Ukrainian neo-Nazis
Roman Protasevich is one of the main Belarusian infowarriors whose career has been cultivated by the US government.
Following his arrest, Franak Viačorka, a top Tsikhanouskaya advisor who has also long been funded by Washington and its soft-power arms, tweeted that he and Protasevich had worked as “Havel fellows” at the US government’s propaganda arm Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
RFE/RL, which was originally called Radio Liberation from Bolshevism, was founded by the CIA to function as an information warfare weapon against the former Soviet Union, and continues playing the same role against the Russian Federation today.
Besides his stint at Washington’s RFE/RL, Protasevich also worked at European Radio for Belarus, a right-wing outlet funded by the governments of the United States, Poland, Netherlands, and Lithuania.
Viacorka noted that his friend had run a popular opposition propaganda channel on the messaging app Telegram, called Belamova, which was created by another US government-funded Havel fellow, Ihar Losik.
Operating from Poland, Protasevich also operated a Belarusian opposition Telegram channel called Nexta. Protasevich used these large platforms from abroad to organize protests and destabilization operations against the Belarusian government.
Protasevich fits the precise profile of the foreign-based Belarusian infowarriors funded by the US government, as NED President Carl Gershman had admitted: “We support the journalists … We support people if they have to flee the country, we support their temporary stay in other countries, and all the needs that they have.”
Through the attempted color revolution, Protasevich has collaborated closely with Tsikhanouskaya, coordinating messaging for her regime-in-exile.
Immediately before his detention, Protasevich was in fact with Tsikhanouskaya in Greece for an opposition conference. He served as her photographer, taking photos of the Belarusian opposition leader as she met with top Greek officials, including President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
Protasevich subsequently flew from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuana, the base of Tsikhanouskaya’s parallel government, when his plane, Ryanair flight 4978, crossed into Belarusian airspace and was ordered to land, and he was arrested.
The European Union forcefully condemned the arrest. Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU Commission, called on Belarus to release Protasevich, while publicly offering the opposition a €3 billion ($3.67 billion USD) “investment package” if they overthrew Lukashenko – essentially bribe money to grease the gears of regime change.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the grounding of the airliner a “brazen and shocking act.” The State Department released a statement lionizing Roman Protasevich as a brave “journalist” representative of “independent media,” and former CIA agent-turned-State Department spokesman Ned Price demanded the “Lukashenka regime” release him.
While Western governments and corporate media outlets have vigorously marketed a Hollywood-esque portrait of Protasevich as a plucky grassroots reporter challenging a thuggish dictator, there is more to the story than the simplistic Western narrative has allowed.
The Ukrainian newspaper Mirror Weekly published a report on May 24 acknowledging that Protasevich had served in the press service of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.
Ivan Katchanovski, a political scientist at the University of Ottawa and expert on Ukraine, noted that Western media outlets have totally ignored Protasevich’s work with the notorious neo-Nazi militia.
Following the reports, Andriy Biletsky, a Ukrainian neo-fascist politician and former commander of Azov, confirmed in a Telegram post that Protasevich had indeed fought alongside the neo-Nazi militia.
Biletsky said Protasevich was wounded in the fighting with pro-Russian forces, although the former Azov commander insisted that Protasevich was engaged primarily in information warfare and not combat.
Biletsky lavished Protasevich with praise and, warning of the possibility of Belarus unifying with Russia, called on fellow far-right Ukrainians to join Belarusians in overthrowing the Lukashenko government.
While the former Azov leader claimed Protasevich was not involved in combat, photos that were subsequently published by the Ukrainian news website Strada directly contradicted his denial. The outlet found numerous images showing Protasevich holding an assault rifle while wearing Azov’s uniform, standing next to fellow neo-Nazi soldiers.
US-funded Belarusian regime-change activist arrested on plane joined neo-Nazis in Ukraine | The Grayzone
Roman Protasevich’s dramatic arrest by Belarus has caused outrage. But why is Western media failing to report his neo-Nazi links?
By Paul Robinson, a professor at the University of Ottawa. He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history, and military ethics, and is author of the Irrussianality blogShould the murky past of an activist standing up against a dictatorial government be ignored for the sake of winning a PR war? Some believe so, but the case of Roman Protasevich shows the risky consequences of ignoring the truth.
It’s probably safe to say that before this week almost nobody in the West had heard of Belarusian opposition activist Roman Protasevich, the editor of a Telegram channel banned by officials in his native country. On Sunday, however, all that changed.
Protasevich became an international cause celebre after the passenger jet he was traveling on from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to the Belarusian capital Minsk, and he and his girlfriend, Sofia Sapega, were arrested on the tarmac.
With fame comes attention. It wasn’t long before critics threw a spotlight on Protasevich’s past, casting doubt on his credentials as a hero of liberal democracy. Instead of championing Western values, they said, the activist is a neo-Nazi groupie, who had had fought with the notorious Azov Battalion in Ukraine.
Proof of the Belarusian’s service with the far-right-led militia was soon made available, with photographs circulating online, as well as statements by both his father and the regiment’s one-time commander Andrei Biletsky. Questions remain as to whether Protasevich served in the outfit’s propaganda department or as a front-line fighter, but his association with the regiment is no longer in doubt. Meanwhile, pictures have emerged of him wearing a T-shirt with neo-Nazi insignia, as well as stories of his involvement with Belarusian nationalist militia.
But does any of it matter? Lots of people do stupid things in their youth, but then move on. What matters is what Protasevich is doing now. Why drag up all of his past baggage?
These are not unreasonable questions. It is fair to wonder why Protasevich’s far-right connections have any relevance to his arrest and the diversion of a civilian airliner.
Fundamentally, the charges leveled by the Belarusian state against Protasevich have nothing to do with his links to the far-right. Instead, they concern his work organizing anti-government protests in Belarus. If it could be shown that, in the process of doing this, the activist propagated far-right views, then his background might indeed be relevant. But if all he was doing was mobilizing opposition to what many believe was a fraudulent election, then his dubious past is neither here nor there. He was engaged in legitimate democratic activity and should be set free.
Second, his political views have no bearing on the legal status of Belarus’ action in diverting his aircraft. Either it’s legal to ground a passenger jet to arrest a wanted man or it isn’t – the political opinions of the passengers are irrelevant.
And third, bringing up those opinions may be seen as an attempt to excuse an illegal act by simply changing the conversation.
Mention of Protasevich’s fascist links deflects the conversation from the abusive nature of the Belarusian regime to the alleged sins of its opponent. The victim becomes the offender. It could be argued that participating in that game is a gift to the authorities, and that discussion of anything that detracts from resolving the humanitarian crisis in the country should be avoided.
These are all fair arguments. But they aren’t the full story.
For starters, it is fair to say that media reporting should be accurate and complete. Describing Protasevich as a “journalist” or “reporter,” and painting him as a democratic activist, without mentioning his far-right connections, deprives readers of understanding the full picture. People may get an entirely wrong impression of who he is – simply because editors think the public can only deal in terms of heroes and villains.
Second, the moment that somebody engages in political activity, their past is effectively fair game. The essence of democracy is accountability, which, in turn, requires full disclosure of facts and that all those engaged in politics account for their past activities. Protasevich cannot claim a right to privacy for the mistakes of his youth.
Third, facts shouldn’t be suppressed just because they are politically inconvenient. Democratic principles rule out the notion that uncomfortable truths should be locked away in a cabinet, only to be let out when it’s safe for the public to know them. Once we head down that path, any pretense of democratic freedom goes out the window. People deserve to know the truth.
Beyond that, this case also raises some important questions concerning the types of people that Western states and political activists hold up as their champions. In an article for Politico, journalist Leonid Ragozin argued that Protasevich was exactly the sort of person that the West should be supporting in order to promote democratic change in countries such as Belarus, insisting that states should “provide people like them with safe havens and opportunities to do their work in the EU.”
According to Ragozin, “by embracing the healthy part of society in both countries and working together with people like Protasevich and Navalny to build a common European future, the EU will do more to bring about the end of dictatorships than any number of sanctions can ever offer.”
But is it really fair to call somebody with Protasevich’s far-right connections “the healthy part of society”? Most people would probably think not. But if society at large doesn’t know about the activist’s past history, the absurdity of Ragozin’s proposal wouldn’t be as obvious. Suppressing the truth, in other words, can have dangerous consequences – in this case, committing to supporting “healthy” parts of society which look far sicker than they should.
It’s often said that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend.’ But this isn’t true in every case, and the promotion of extremists can have highly negative consequences. Ukraine is a prime example of this sad reality. The pro-Western revolutionaries who overthrew president Viktor Yanukovich in 2014 did so with the support of far-right groups, despite championing a more liberal stance themselves. Both they and their Western backers pretended that the neo-Nazis didn’t exist, or if they did, assumed they weren’t a problem. But others did notice them, and their presence helped to delegitimize the new government and sparked rebellion in eastern Ukraine.
This all shows that you ignore unpleasant truths only at your peril. Protasevich’s murky past is irrelevant to the rights and wrongs of his arrest, and it may indeed deflect attention from the misdeeds of the Belarusian state. But that doesn’t mean that we should act as if that past doesn’t exist – people deserve to hear the full story. Fair reporting requires one to tell the truth – the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – not only the bits of it that suit the agenda.
Roman Protasevich’s dramatic arrest by Belarus has caused outrage. But why is Western media failing to report his neo-Nazi links? — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
Houston Methodist Hospital orders staff to withhold adverse reactions caused by covid vaccines from official records
Jennifer Bridges, a nurse at Houston Methodist Hospital, has come forward with more information about her employer’s criminal attempts at suppressing the truth about the dangers of Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines.
Bridges told Del Bigtree during a recent episode of The Highwire that she and her coworkers at Houston Methodist are now forbidden from logging any adverse reactions to Chinese Virus injections on the company’s official records.
“Every time a nurse or another employee comes out with an adverse reaction, they basically tell them in the ER … ‘No, it’s not an adverse reaction. This is just an intolerance.’ And they don’t report it properly and they don’t address it properly,” Bridges explained.
“And I’ve actually been in contact with somebody in the hospital system that deals with, like, the charting and the finalization of people’s charts … They have told me that officially Methodist has told them, ‘Do not list any adverse reactions on anybody’s chart related to the vaccine.’”
Houston Methodist was also in the news recently for a lawsuit that was filed by at least 112 of its employees who say they are being unlawfully coerced and threatened into getting jabbed as a condition of employment.
“People are being told to not talk about this, not address it, and not label it on charts,” Bridges says about Houston Methodist’s fascist behavior. “As employees, [we] have to go to the system and document these adverse reactions because Methodist is not doing it.”
Houston Methodist, Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates are all guilty of crimes against humanity
Meanwhile, the Chinese Virus house of cards is crumbling by the day as more revelations from the Fauci Emails emerge, painting a picture of total corruption, fraud and crimes against humanity hinged on the back of a global “pandemic.”
If Houston Methodist does not take a step back from its medical fascism crusade, it could soon find itself on the wrong side of history facing the same potential punishments that Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates and the other successors of Josef Mengele who are in clear violation of the Nuremberg Code may soon face.
Does Houston Medical’s leadership really want to face possible war crimes charges concerning these fake “vaccines?” Do they really want to find themselves mired in litigation as they continue to drag their reputation through the mud with each passing day?
This writer would certainly never get an operation there, as who knows what kind of medical “accident” might occur under that type of leadership. Who in his right mind would ever put his life in the hands of medical personnel who see nothing wrong with discarding the Hippocratic Oath while lying about the damaging effects of experimental gene therapy injections?
“Their boss claims 99% compliance on the shot-taking. 99%? Seems high. What did they do to get that, if true? We know there were adverse events,” wrote one commenter at National File. “They are required to report them but choose not to? How does an employer keep 26K employees in line? Oh yeah, they kick them out.”
“This covid madness continues to ruin people’s lives, one way or the other,” this same person added, emphasizing the ridiculousness of all the Chinese Virus nonsense. “All shots (vaccines) are not alike and frankly, neither adults nor kids need most of the ones they want to push on the population, but especially this deadly Covid-19 stuff.”
More related news stories about the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines and medical fascism can be found at ChemicalViolence.com.
Sources for this article include:
Houston Methodist Hospital orders staff to withhold adverse reactions caused by covid vaccines from official records – NaturalNews.com