The Daily GRRR! - April 17th, 2015 - Waves Through Walls: Prison Radio

https://twitter.com/FreeNykiNow
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Welcome, I am your host Dan Kellar and you are listening to The Daily GRRR! Waves Through Walls: Prison Radio edition, on 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario. Soundfm.ca on the web, today is Friday April 17th, 2015.

We are broadcasting from the centre of the Haldimand Tract, the occupied Grand River Territory of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations).

The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective; and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

The intro music for this episode was from the opening buildup from The Rebel Spell's tune The Tsilhqot'in War

The audio clip that kicked off the show is from Mumia Abu-Jamal with his piece entitled Punks, Predators, and Pigs. Check prisonradio.org for more of Mumia’s podcasts.

Today’s feature is an interview from the DailyGRRR's Julian Ichim with Gary Thompson a labour activist and a worker at the Workers Action Centre. He speaks of the #15andFairness and #FightFor15 campaign and the April 15th Day of Action, as well as the poor labour conditions and protections in Ontario.

Before we get to the feature, let's start with today’s headlines:

The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for April 17th, 2015
1. Harper Loses Another Supreme Court Decision As Mandatory Minimums on Gun Crimes Ruled Unconstitutional
2. Warden At Kitchener Jail Denies Media Access to Nyki Kish
3. Hospital Visiting Hours Restricted for Mother of Man Severely Beaten on First Night in Nova Scotia Jail.
4. Reading Program in New Brunswick Jail at Risk Over Funding and Access Obstacles
5. Racially Charged "Carding" Policies of Toronto Police Blasted by Ontario Human Rights Commission
6. Toronto Police Release Taser Use Statistics
7. Railway Protests Planned In Response to CN Injunction Against Anishinabe Water Ceremony

1. Harper Loses Another Supreme Court Decision As Mandatory Minimums on Gun Crimes Ruled Unconstitutional
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled Harpe'rs changes to the criminal code which came into effect in 2008 are unconstitutional, upholding a 2013 Ontario Supreme court decision calling the laws cruel and unusual punishment.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote in the decision "The government has not established that mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment act as a deterrent against gun-related crime… Empirical evidence suggests that mandatory minimum sentences do not, in fact, deter crimes."

This ruling struck down the three-year mandatory minimum for a first offence of possessing a loaded prohibited gun, in addition to the five-year minimum for a second offence, and will impact many of people currently imprisoned under the law.

The decision from the court is another in a long string of defeats for the Harper government who has consistently shown a disdain for the rights of canadians, Indigenous people, refugees, and others which are enshrined in the canadian charter of rights and freedoms, and codified in many canadian and international laws.

2. Warden At Kitchener Jail Denies Media Access to Nyki Kish
The support committee for Nyki Kish has revealed that in 2014 the warden at Kitchener's Grand Valley Institute for Women denied the CBC's investigative news program "The Fifth Estate" access to interview the imprisoned woman.

Kish maintains her innocence in the 2011 killing of an intoxicated dudebro in Toronto, and Kish's supporters have started a petition to let the CBC know that there is interest in an investigation despite not having direct video access to Nyki.

Writing "Supporters of overturning Nyki's wrongful conviction were thrilled at the fifth estate's request to film an interview with Nyki", the support committee adds "We have seen other episodes where the fifth estate has successfully used phone interviews of incarcerated people to further their investigation and we hope you will look at this option in regards to Nyki's case."

The petition can be accessed here

Full details of Nyki's case can be found at www.freenyki.org or on the Injustice-Anywhere website where Nyki is a featured case http://injustice-anywhere.org/2015/01/08/nicole-kish/. There is also a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreeNyki

3. Hospital Visiting Hours Restricted for Mother of Young Man Severely Beaten on First Night in Nova Scotia Jail.

On the first Night inside Nova Scotia's Burnside Jail, 19 year-old Tyrel Benedict was beaten within a breath of his life, and has since faced a painful and confusing recovery in a guarded hospital bed. The March 10th beating left Tyrel Benedict with brain damage, and his mother, Sherry Benedict, has spent much of the past month by her son's bedside to aid in his recovery, but recently had access to her son restricted to 1 hour a day.

While the province's minister of justice told the CBC. they were just following procedure with the time restrictions citing "safety concerns", Sherry Benedict is seeking legal advice to regain access to her son. While questioning the ability of the prison industrial complex in keeping her son safe, she said "He's not capable of understanding what's going on. He doesn't remember being in jail. He doesn't remember doing a break and enter… He doesn't remember any of this. His brain is not the same, his head is not the same. He's not the same as he was before all of this happened."

Ultimately, Sherry Benedict hopes her son will be released from jail so he may recover from his life altering injuries.

4.Reading Program in New Brunswick Jail at Risk Over Funding and Access Obstacles
Following the death of the founder of the "Mother-Child Read Aloud" program, a program which has spread from its 2000 origin at the Saint John Correctional Centre across the province, country and indeed world, the Elizabeth Fry society has said the program is at risk of ending over ongoing funding issues and new restrictive rules at jails which makes facilitating such programs more difficult.

Marianna Stack, who died at the age of 73 on April 6th started "Mother-Child Read Aloud" which had female prisoners recording readings of books which were then sent to their children on the outside.

Speaking of the implementation of new rules restricting programs for and access to prisoners, Kim Pate, the national ehad of Elizabeth Fry Societies told the CBC "the risk is miniscule compared to the incredible measures that are being taken to restrict things like this kind of program coming in, and access for the community"

5. Racially Charged "Carding" Policies of Toronto Police Blasted by Ontario Human Rights Commission
As disgraced police chief Bill Blair continues to defend the Toronto police force's racially charged "carding" policies, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has added their voice to the discussion, saying "Racial profiling by the Toronto Police Service is a recognized problem in need of an effective solution" and that the new proposed policies are a "Step backwards."

The release from the OHRC goes on to state "to prevent racial profiling, the Policy and Procedure must:
Guide and limit officer discretion to stop and question people
Require that officers tell the people they stop about their right to leave and not answer questions, as much as possible in the circumstances
Demonstrate effective monitoring and accountability including race-based data collection to identify racial bias
Provide transparency through receipts; and
Immediately purge carding intelligence data, already collected, that lacks a
non-discriminatory explanation.
Unfortunately, the current Policy and Procedure fail to do so in their current form."

Now lets listen to a clip that the head of the OHRC, Ruth Goba released regarding the carding policies.

6. Toronto Police Release Taser Use Statistics
In 2014, the Toronto police un-holstered their tasers 205 times, using the electrocution feature around 50% of the time, with 108 of the incidents involving people in emotional or mental distress.

The numbers are up slightly compared to 2013, but down from the 2012 tasing incidents. The 2014 tasings including several children under 16 years old and 4 dogs.

The Toronto Star writes "John Sewell, the former Toronto mayor who leads the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, said Monday he was concerned that emotionally disturbed people were involved in half of the cases involving Tasers. He wants to see an increase in the use of non-aggressive de-escalation techniques, including police offering help to those in emotional crisis."

7. Railway Protests Planned In Response to CN Injunction Against Anishinabe Water Ceremony
Last week, CN rail served an Injunction against Grassy Narrows grandmother Judy Da Silva after she and others announced they were planning on holding a ceremony to protect local waterways from contamination. 3 trains have recently derailed in Northern Ontario impacting watersheds with Via Rail suspending their services from Toronto to Winnipeg for a month following the derailment of a tarsands oil train which damaged the mainline.

Bringing condemnation to the injunction, Alex Hundert related via Willi Nolan on facebook that Da Silva said "I heard the injunction is not much of anything, but for us Anishinabek it is the issue of practicing our ceremonies without hindrance: are we back to 1800's where we need to hide our ceremonies or where we can only be Anishinabek only within the reserve line? Then if we are off the reserve line, we are an irritant to the settlers that enjoy the land freely?"

In response to this the #ThisIsIndianLand day of protest has been called for Sunday April 19th with the facebook page where the callout was posted reading:

CN Rail recently showed up at a First Nations water ceremony to serve a respected community member with an injunction. The blessing was supposed to take place on the tracks and was called off by the Elders, but that did not stop CN from interrupting the ceremony with threats and intimidation. This is a threat to everything we have fought for: our ceremonies, our right to be on our land, and the right to be treated with respect.

Anytime between 9 am and 6 pm on Sunday April 19th go out to a train track near you with a sign that says "Hey CN? This is Indian Land" and wait for a train to go by. That is all you have to do. Do not set even one foot on the track because then this action is completely legal and nobody can stop us or harass us in any way! This is a peaceful protest that will interfere with nobody but it will send a strong message.

It will remind CN of how many of our territories they pass through, and, of how many of us First Nations there actually are. Idle No More stands in solidarity with Grassy Narrows and our Sacred Ceremonies.

See the aptn story for more info http://aptn.ca/news/2015/04/13/cn-takes-action-grassy-narrows-blockade-d...

#ThisIsIndianLand #stopCNintheirtracks #MadeYouLook #RespectCeremony

Thats all for the headlines, now for some
Midway Musichere is Nora Loreto with a cover of the Anti-War tune Think Again.

And we are back, you just heard Nora Loreto (@nolore) with a cover of the Anti-War tune Think Again. Responding to Canada's military in the Ukraine,
Nora tweeted that song at Canada's minister of war @jkenney.
https://soundcloud.com/nora-loreto/think-again

You are listening to Waves Through Walls edition of The Daily GRRR! Today is April 17th, 2015, my name is Dan Kellar and we are now moving into the feature portion of our broadcast.

Today’s feature is an interview from the DailyGRRR's Julian Ichim with Gary Thompson a labour activist and a worker at the Workers Action Centre. He speaks of the #15andFairness and #FightFor15 campaign and the April 15th Day of Action, as well as the poor labour conditions and protections in Ontario.

That was an interview from the DailyGRRR's Julian Ichim with Gary Thompson a labour activist and a worker at the Workers Action Centre. He speaks of the #15andFairness and #FightFor15 campaign and the April 15th Day of Action, as well as the poor labour conditions and protections in Ontario.

This has been the The Daily GRRR! for April 17th, 2015. We are on weekdays from 9-10am on 100.3fm CKMS in Waterloo region, and http://soundfm.ca on the web. Check out all our past shows and other Grand River Media Collective work on our webpage http://grandrivermc.ca

Stay tuned in for more Grand River Radical Radio after we close the podcast.

Thanks for Listening.

END OF SHOW

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