Developing: A bad month for Resistance media just got much worse

Hekmat Aboukhater- Mint Press News suspended on TikTok, The Grayzone’s fundraising campaign frozen by GoFundme, and now The Cradle’s Facebook page is unpublished. Independent journalism is losing a war and few people seem to notice.

Truly Independent media sites have unfortunately become few and far in between, and in an age where media is dominated by corporate, state-sponsored, or pretend independent media like Bellingcat and the Intercept, independent outlets have provided a much-needed — and in some cases a winning — counterargument in vital debates relating to foreign interventionism and forever wars.

Whether it’s Aaron Maté from The Grayzone’s investigation into the OPCW Douma scandalThe Cradle’s reporting on inhumane sanctions, or MintPress News (MPN)’s exposés against the Western-backed psy-op machine ‘The White Helmets,’ these sites have long provided the only answer to Western propaganda. Now these rare sites are being surrounded by an ever-tightening web of censorship, financial exclusion, and direct threats to their personnel.

MintPress News

Founded by Mnar Adley in 2012, MPN is an investigative watchdog organization that focuses on American interventionism, special interest group lobbying in Washington, and the Palestinian cause. Some of the site’s leading writers are propaganda researcher Alan Macleodpro-Palestine rapper Lowkey, and Israeli dissident Miko Peled.

On the 31st of July, after a year-long deep-dive into the US State Department’s ties to Social Media giant TikTok, the platform banned MPN’s entire channel without explanation. MPN is no stranger to censorship and de-platforming as it has in the past gotten both its Paypal and GoFundme accounts suspended and its PayPal balance seized.

Addressing the de-platforming, MPN founder and director Mnar Adley told Al Mayadeen English:

“Gofundme’s targeting of MintPress and Grayzone is yet another example of how we are living in an intellectual no-fly zone where dissenting journalists — who provide an alternative perspective to the drum-beating lapdog media who serve the pockets of the weapons manufacturers at Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and think tanks in Washington — are being economically sanctioned and being treated as suspect…If you read the board of any of these tech giants from Google, Twitter, Facebook and Paypal, they read like a gallery of warmongers and their agenda is clear: To control the free flow of information and target the bank accounts of anyone who dares question the official narrative of the Pentagon or State Department.”

Following GoFundme and PayPal’s actions, Adley announced a fundraising campaign on alternate crowdsourcing website indiegogo.

The Grayzone

The Grayzone is an investigative journalism site whose aim is to expose the crimes of empire. Founded in 2016 by journalist Max Blumenthal, the site has grown to become a major voice in the fight against the Western propaganda wars waged around the world in places like Nicaragua, Palestine, and Syria.

Last May, The Grayzone’s Kit Klarenberg was detained in Luton Airport just outside of London for 5 hours by British Anti-Terror police. This detainment came on the heels of Klarenberg’s viral investigative piece exposing the CIA’s recruitment of two 9/11 hijackers.

This Monday, a GoFundme fundraiser that Blumenthal launched to support three of the outlet’s journalists was frozen after amassing upwards of 90,000 dollars in donations from 1,100 donors. Blumenthal was informed by “Sabrina” from GoFundme’s Trust and Safety Team that the fundraiser was under review, and after promising “to keep him updated” proceeded to ignore all emails sent for the next 9 days until Blumenthal decided to pull the plug and move the fundraiser to Spotfund.

  • Email sent to Blumenthal by Sabrina from GoFundme’s Trust and Safety team.
    Email sent to Blumenthal by Sabrina from GoFundme’s Trust and Safety team.

The fundraiser attracted the ire of NATO sycophants and “Israel” lobby accounts on Twitter/X when it was revealed that the highest donation came from renowned Pink Floyd artist and Palestinian rights activist Roger Waters.

Asked to comment by Al Mayadeen English, Blumenthal had this to say:

“It’s clear from the campaign of repression that is targeting anti-war and anti-imperialist news outlets like MintPressThe Cradle, and The Grayzone that the Western sanctions regime that seeks to starve and immiserate people from the countries we cover like Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, … is targeting its own citizens inside the West who disrupt the official narrative about what it’s doing abroad, and at the same time, it refuses to take responsibility for what it’s doing to us by hiding, through privately owned Silicon Valley platforms and influencing them from behind the scenes to circumvent free speech protections in order to control that narrative that threatens it.”

The Cradle

This site has made waves since its inception as “a journalist-driven publication covering West Asia” by elevating voices from within the region rarely heard in English-language media.

Since 2021, the site has broken stories on the illegal US military presence in Syria documenting its theft of Syrian oil and wheat, and most recently, in an explosive investigative piece, The Cradle exposed the Kurdish role in the 2014 Yazidi genocide in Sinjar.

This Monday, The Cradle columnist Sharmine Narwani posted a screenshot on Twitter/ X showing the site’s Facebook page completely grayed out with one alert box saying that the “Page had been unpublished.” As of the 28th of August, the rapidly growing outlet had 3.8K likes and almost 10k followers.

After a 24-hour review period, the site was re–published but the team was notified that it will be subject to restrictions as the site “does not qualify for recommendation” according to Meta’s policies. The Cradle informed Al Mayadeen English that they also had their TikTok account suspended without explanation last month.

  • A screenshot provided by Narwani showcasing The Cardle’s unpublished Facebook page
    A screenshot provided by Narwani showcasing The Cardle’s unpublished Facebook page

When asked to comment about the unpublishing, Narwani said:

“Propaganda is the US’ frontline tool for creating narratives that help manage its global hegemony. Compliant media is therefore essential to maintain the American storyline. The Cradle and other new media outlets are viewed as a threat because our responsible journalism blows holes in Washington’s spin. So prominent online platforms like Facebook have been directed to de-platform us, to ensure that our news reports, investigations, and analysis reach fewer people.”

When asked why the censorship campaign has ramped up recently, Narwani evoked a number of global geopolitical conflicts and structural changes:

“from the Syrian war to … Ukraine and western Africa, they have lost control of the narratives. With access to multiple viewpoints, readers can now more easily discern fact from fiction. It is the loss of this control that has sped up the West’s rapid decline, so they’re rightfully afraid of The Cradle and other new media.”

Not The First Nor The Last

In her comment to Al Mayadeen English website, Adley recalled a similar case of financial censorship that took place a decade ago, “We saw the targeting of bank accounts … first with WikiLeaks when PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard took direct orders from the State Department to prevent the publisher from receiving donations.”

Indeed, as of the writing of this article, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and ultimate beacon of both freedom of the press, and its repression, is serving a 5th year in London’s Belmarsh high security prison for exposing the Pentagon, State Department and UK’s crimes in the Middle East and elsewhere.

  • Developing: A bad month for Resistance media just got much worse
    Screenshot from Wikileaks’ Collateral Murder leaked video showcasing one of the US’ war crimes in Iraq.

Who Defends The Defenders?

Back in 2021, Narwani wrote in The Cradle’s introduction article, “Journalism that doesn’t get into trouble with authority is not journalism at all.” It is becoming clearer by the day that the authority that’s moving against these resistance media sites is doing so behind the curtains of Meta, Youtube, TikTok, Paypal, and GoFundme, and that Silicon Valley as a whole has become an arm of Washington’s war to salvage its failing propaganda narratives around the globe.

Adding to the censorship campaigns against these three outlets is another, more cynical battle that’s long been lost over on Wikipedia. On the white pages of the world’s encyclopedia, NATO and “Israel”-lobby-linked operatives have systematically vandalized the pages of the three outlets and their journalists along with the pages of other respected journalists who have dared counter the Western narrative like Seymour Hersh, Glenn Greenwald, and Matt Taibi.

After The Grayzone’s Kit Klarenberg was detained for his writing, the UK’s National Union of Journalists withdrew its defense of him after a pressure campaign led by pro-NATO operatives. Therefore, one must ask:

As the enemies of independent media ramp up their attacks on these organizations and censor their voices in more brazen ways, who will defend them? When Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Nicaragua, and more recently, Niger and Gabon were the targets, these three sites with their few journalists spoke up. Now that they have become clear targets, who will speak up for them?


0 thoughts on “Developing: A bad month for Resistance media just got much worse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *