Vancouver Co-op Free and True Radio Not So Free and True
Co-op lawyers threaten Arctic Beacon with libel over Pastor Annett story
By Greg Szymanski, JD
Aug. 15, 2010
After an article saying Canadian Pastor Kevin Annett’s long running radio show was pulled off the air indiscriminately for content, Vancouver Co-op Radio lawyers told the Arctic Beacon to pull the story or face libel charges.
Truth is a perfect defense to libel and we believe Pastor Annett’s version of the story.
Knowing the longstanding feud between the Vatican and Pastor Annett, we feel Co-op radio has been pressured by Rome through its agents in the Canadian government and media to silence Annett.
Annett in September is planning his second protest in Rome this year and people close to the story feel the Vatican is trying to silence his voice as well as put an end to his trip to Rome.
The story appearing Aug. 12 in the Arctic Beacon will remain as published, adding to it these additional comments from Pastor Annett:
In the wake of my unilateral banning without due process from the premises of Vancouver Co-op Radio last Monday, August 9, and efforts by the station staff, through their lawyers, to justify this unreasonable banning through misinformation and misrepresentation, I hope this will clarify what’s going on:
- Since at least early April, when I was in Europe on a lecture tour, an unknown man who bears a strong resemblance to me has been circulating throughout the downtown eastside of Vancouver and deliberately discrediting me through words and deeds designed to alienate my supporters and the community at large. According to eyewitnesses, he has offered native people money, made racist and sexist remarks to them, and on at least one occasion, entered the premises of Co-op radio with another person late one night to engage in actions clearly designed to defame me.
- The identity of this person is still unknown.
- The use of impersonators to discredit those in my network has happened on at least one other occasion, against my supporter Royce White Calf of the Oglala Lakota Nation, after he, like me, began to speak publicly of governmental involvement in the trafficking of native children in B.C.
- I must assume that this impersonator is the person referred to in the staff’s letter that banned me, who appears on videotape inside the station with another person in the early morning of Tuesday, July 20, 2010.(see note, below) The station staff therefore have banned me under a false assumption, namely, that I am the man in the video; and yet, having made this mistake, none of the staff bothered to consult me, show me the video, or ask for my version of this incident, but instead, proceeded to bar me from the station without any such due process or discussion. I must ask why they did so, with such haste, in this unusual manner.
- I state categorically that I am not the man depicted on the video in question, and was not on the premises of Vancouver Co-op Radio at the time and date alleged in the letter from station staff that banned me from the premises. The automatic assumption by the staff that I was that man, and their making public this erroneous assumption in writing, constitutes defamation of my character.
- It has been my strong impression that for several years, program director Leela Chinniah has been looking for an excuse to terminate my program Hidden from History, and has been under pressure from unknown parties to do so. Her attempt to control the content of my show, bar homeless and native people from my program, and her outright demand to me that I not have Reg Argue on my show, all indicates this.
- I cannot know if Leela Chinniah and other staff members know the identity of the person impersonating me, or if they are colluding with him in this obvious set up of me. And yet it is odd how easily this impersonator and his partner gained access to Co-op radio at that time of night, and how their presence there went on for hours without interference by security personnel who monitored the events by camera during that entire time. These events strongly suggest collusion by station staff and/or Portland Hotel security in an apparent attempt to frame me for misconduct.
- On the basis of these facts, I demand that Co-op radio staff rescind their banning of me from Co-op radio station premises, cease engaging in any further defamatory actions, words or assumptions towards me, withdraw their demands in their mis-dated letter of August 10, 2010, issue a public statement of apology to me, and allow me to return unhindered and not harrassed to my normal operation as chief programmer for the Hidden from History show every Monday.