I recently sent an email to several journalists at Channel 4 News regarding their reporting of the Gilet Jaunes movement in France. I chose Channel 4 News for the very same reasons I have written about in detail previously: the programme presents itself as uniquely radical in the mainstream media, a lie that it is vitally important to expose because as long as the public believes there is, at least, one news source willing to challenge the elite power brokers on issues of social justice and foreign policy then they will not only believe the narrative promoted by Channel 4 News – a narrative as compromised by alignment with corporate power as the one pushed by all other corporate news outlets (a clue is in the word ‘corporate’) – but they will also fail to seek out truly independent news sources free from corrupt political influence.
The public will then remain dangerously ignorant of the true scale of the moral crimes being committed in their name. Crimes which, make no mistake, have cost lives. In regards to foreign policy, rapacious regime change is dressed up as ‘humanitarian intervention’ in a propaganda campaign that would be neither possible nor successful without corporate stenographers willing to take a distorted message straight to the people. Suppressing the truth and often directly colluding in fabricating reports is what Channel 4 News has been exposed as engaging in. It’s not journalism by any clean definition.
When you read below the shocking facts that were so carefully omitted from the Channel 4 News coverage of the Gilet Jaunes protests think for a moment how this same programme, and these very same ‘journalists’, would have reacted had this happened in Syria. Or, indeed, in Hong Kong and Russia, protests in both places having been the subject of recent Ch4N reports. Is it all becoming clearer now? The journalists concerned are: Paraic O’Brien, Harry Smith, Jessica Savage, Keme Nzerem, Fatima Manji. You can watch their reports on the Channel 4 News website. At this time I have not received a reply from any of them, which is no surprise. After all, what could they possibly say to justify suppressing the facts set out below. I must thank Vanessa Beeley before I finish for her outstanding work on the Gilet Jaunes and for providing so much important information. The email:
If correct, you’ve all presented reports on the Gilet Jaunes movement and, more recently, some of you on the Hong Kong protests.
Re the Gilet Jaunes you did not inform the Channel 4 News audience of the up to 20 protesters who lost eyes, the 4 who lost hands, had fractured jaws, were placed in an induced coma, or sustained other serious or life-changing injuries after being targeted by police using the LBD40 bullet launcher or the GLIF4 grenade during the protests which caused the EU Commissioner for Human Rights to speak out after a visit to Paris to voice her concerns. (See photos and videos of the injuries below). Although you have used phrases such as:
‘the thuggish elements this movement represents’ (Paraic).
‘protesters posing for trophy shots with the chaos they’ve unleashed’ (Harry?)
‘tear gas and baton charges to try to quell the disturbances”police say sixteen of their officers have been injured’ (shots of police escorting an old woman out of danger).
Two hundred arrests ‘of what they call militants of the far right and the far left’
In contrast:’Independent French journalist, David Dufresne…recorded 157 injuries to the head including 18 who have lost an eye, fractures of the jaw and comas in the most severe cases; 11 hand injuries, in 4 cases resulting in the loss of a hand. 8 back injuries, 28 injuries to the upper body, 40 lower limb injuries, 3 injuries to the genital area, 48 unspecified injuries and 55 cases of intimidation, insults, repression of press freedom infractions. One eighty-year-old was murdered on the 1st December 2018 in Marseilles – Zineb Redouane was killed when a tear gas grenade was thrown in her face by the security forces. According to Dufresnes this is the list of the more serious injuries, an estimated 2000 – 3000 more GJs have been “lightly” injured during the protests since November 2018′. https://bsnews.info/gilets-jaunes-civilians-in-police-crosshairs-as-macron-adopts-totalitarian-state-practices-to-suppress-dissent/
French neurosurgeon, Dr. Laurent Thines launched a petition to stop the use of these weapons telling an interviewer that the injuries being treated in hospitals were equivalent to war wounds and declaring: “I am not a politician, above all I am a doctor and a citizen of France – I was so shocked, as a neurosurgeon, by the seriousness of the wounds inflicted upon peaceful protesters”.
The GLIF4 grenade, contains 25g of TNT and ‘has been condemned by an internal French police laboratory inquiry and recommendations submitted to the Interior Ministry for the banning of their use in crowd-control operations’
Below are photographs and videos showing police action and protester injuries, including video of the volunteer fireman who was placed in an induced coma after being shot in the back of the head.
But what I am asking is can you – any of you – explain why this extreme violence, reported in independent media, was not reported by you and Channel 4 News? Your audience will have had no idea this was going on, but more significantly, can any of you – honestly – say that if the Hong Kong (or Russian) police were unleashing this level of violence on protesters you would ignore it? What I’m asking you to question is why ignore state violence in France? And highlight state violence in Hong Kong or Russia? Here is the photographic and video evidence of police actions in France:
The aforementioned person who was put into an induced coma after being targeted by police was volunteer fireman, Olivier Beziade, a father-of-three in his 30s, who was shot in the back of the head in Bordeaux on Saturday 12th January 2019. (Photo: Stephanie Roy on Twitter) Video of the event below:
Here is video of the event – notice the exchange between police and jeans wearing private security: ‘they don’t know it’s us’; ‘go pick up the casings’. Watch to the end to see the injured Beziade: GILETS JAUNES: Volunteer Fireman in Coma after being hit in back of head by Flashball Bullet
Video of a protester shot in the face and refused treatment: Gilets Jaunes Acte XII – Man shot in face is arrested, not taken to hospital
This photo (below) also appears to back up reports of private security being given these weapons to use on protesters as we can clearly see individuals in civilian clothes wielding them:
I would be very grateful for any response
Alison Banville (independent journalist and social justice campaigner)
Alison Banville is co-editor of BSNews