Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pulling the Plug on Dissent

Pulling the Plug on Dissent

C. L. Cook

Senior Editor
PEJ News
Victoria, Canada

July 25, 2006

I read of the Moscow Times’ decision to sack Chris Floyd with great disappointment, but not surprise. It’s clear, the ubermensche rulers of the world brook no dissent. They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to corner the “mainstream” media, but controlling newspapers, magazines, radio, television, cinema, and large swathes of internet information isn’t enough; as long as there exists a single voice emanating even the smallest of soapboxes, the paranoid psychopaths currently laying waste to the world will not sleep soundly.

I was unsurprised too to read of the classless manner in which the new editor executed his charge; compassion, understanding, and courtesy are “quaint” old notions, beyond the imaginings of the apparatchiks of our Brave New World birthing.

Though no match for Chris’ decade-plus efforts to bring some notion of humanity to the readers of the Moscow Times, and more recently to broader Cyberia, I came home tonight to find my own little soapbox trodden under the boot of authority. PEJ News is a not-for-profit web news site. We’re a small group of local activists and allies abroad, trying to emphasize Peace, Earth, and Justice. This month, after thousands of hours of dedication by our completely unpaid volunteer editors, writers, techies, and administrators, we were on record pace, boasting what would have been a near half-million page views for the month of July. But, our progress was abruptly halted.

With neither notification, nor consultation PEJ’s “server” pulled the plug. When they finally got back to us, we were informed the site had been harbouring spammers – we’re a site with the most stringent ethical guidelines going, recently pulling Google © ads due to that company's knee-buckling performance in China – and that was it. Our tech. dude is yet to be granted access to any of the “evidence” supporting their charge.

The Canadian government recently announced its intent to revisit “freedom of speech” laws in this country. It’s a small surprise, considering Canadian “War President” Stephen Harper’s enthusiastic support of both America’s and Israel’s horrendous criminality, he would too follow their lead obediently in further “limiting” citizen’s rights in Canada. I wonder too if Harper is aping his friends south of the border, and allowing Canada’s spy agencies to pressure communications companies, in an attempt to silence dissenting voices.

We’re still waiting for word from our self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner “server;” but for now, as Lebanon burns, and Iraq burns, and Afghanistan burns, and Palestine ever burns, we are, temporarily at least, voices without a box to stand on.

"Steve" down at our "server" Doteasy.com invites everyone "Join the hosting revolution." If any are familiar with the work PEJ.org was attempting to do, (and if not, check out my contributions here at Empire Burlesque for a sample of at least one editor's political philosophy) perhaps you may accept "Steve's" invite. He asks any further contact be addressed here: https://www.doteasy.com/ContactUs/Reply.cfm?C=328747-882569550

Chris Cook is, until recently, a contributing editor to PEJ News, and host of Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.

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