The Daily GRRR! - April 3rd, 2015 - Waves Through Walls: Prison Radio

Justice For Cindy Gladue poster by @DaniParadis
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Welcome, I am your host Dan Kellar and you are listening to The Daily GRRR! Waves Through Walls: Prison Radio, on 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario. Soundfm.ca on the web, today is Friday April 3rd, 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 aclip from Democracy Now! with professor Johanna Fernández, a long time friend and supporter of Mumia Abu-Jamal speaking on his still unfolding medical emergency. For the latest updates on Mumia's Condition, check prisonradio.org.

Today’s we feature two articles with reads. The first, from Leena Minifi, called "Cindy Gladue case: a reminder the justice system is broken for Aboriginal women" from ricochet speaks to the dehumanisation of Cindy Gladue and other indigenous women, and indigenous sex-workers by the the so-called justice system and the media.

The second read is from Stefan Christoff (@spirodon) with a piece from mediacoop.ca called Fighting austerity in Québec is tied to Canada and colonialism. The piece highlights Thursday's massive protests in Montreal and calls for the rest of Canada to support the anti-austerity struggle being waged in Quebec.

Now we will start with today’s headlines:

The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for April 3rd, 2015
1. No Justice, No Peace! Canada Wide Demos Honouring Cindy Gladue
2. The Solitary Confinement Death Of Ashley Smith is Remembered in a New Theatre Piece
3. Academics Call Bullshit Over Attorney General's Untrue Statements on Solitary Confinement
4. Matt DeHart's Awful Trip Down South
5. Mumia Hospitalised After Diabetes Remained Undiagnosed In Jail
6. Support The Compassionate Release of Prisoner Peter Collins

1. No Justice, No Peace! Canada Wide Demos Honouring Cindy Gladue
Demonstrations took place on Thursday in many of canada's major cities, and several smaller centers to express outrage over the acquittal of Bradley Barton, a truck driver from Ontario accused of killing 36 Year-old Indigenous woman, and sex-worker Cindy Gladue.

Last month, the all white, 81% male jury in Edmonton accepted that Gladue had "consented" to "rough sex" so Barton could not be found guilty in her death, regardless of the fact that he caused her injuries.

While outrage over and condemnation of the verdict were immediately expressed, on Thursday, thousands of people from all over so-called canada participated in demos in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa and a host of smaller cities like Kenora and Nogojiwanong to demand justice for Cindy and for the crown prosecutor to appeal the jury's verdict.

Around noon EST on Thursday, it was announced that the Crown prosecutor in Edmonton had indeed filed an appeal to the not-guilty verdict. While the appeal is a proper step for justice, many have noted that if the canadian state and the judicial system was actually interested in justice, an appeal would not be necessary, as Barton would have been found guilty of his violent crimes the first time around.

In a press release for the Toronto demo, Christa Big Canoe, the Legal Advocacy Director at Aboriginal Legal Services stated:
"Cindy Gladue was killed in 2011. Her body is not whole in its resting place. In any other context this could be seen as desecration of her remains, but in this judicial process it is called preservation of evidence. It is simply horrific. It appears that the Court did not contemplate Cindy’s dignity, death rites, or any Indigenous perspective on caring for the dead." She concluded "We all want to see justice be done but never at the cost of human dignity.”

Stay tuned in after headlines as we have more on the calls for #JusticeForCindyGladue

2. The Solitary Confinement Death Of Ashley Smith is Remembered in a New Theatre Piece
Based on the story of the isolation and death of 19 year old prisoner Ashley Smith in Kitchener's Grand valley Institute for Women, Watching Glory Die, a new play from Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Judith Thompson, has opened in Halifax for a limited run.

While the play itself is a deliberately fictionalized account of Ashley Smith's life which ended tragically in 2009 after the teen hung herself while under full supervision of prison guards following extended stays in solitary confinement, according to the Halifax Chronicle in the play "Glory, incarcerated for minor offences at age 14, has a compulsive nature that leads to an ever spiralling clash with Correctional Service Canada. Rosellen, the girl’s adoptive mother is trying to remain connected to her daughter while Gail, a prison guard, is walking the line between her “orders” and her conscience.

Ashley Smith spent much of the final 3 years of her short life confined to a prison cell 23 hours a day with little to no access to the outside, before taking her own life in front of prison staff.

The play runs in Halifax until April 12th at the Bus stop theatre.

3. Academics Call Bullshit Over Attorney General's Untrue Statements on Solitary Confinement
In an op-ed suprisingly published by the national post, Univerity of Toronto Trudeau Scholar Kyle Kirkup blasted the attorney general for trying to cover-up the wide scale overuse and abuse of solitary confinement in canada's jails by refusing to admit that solitary confinement is used. Kirkup states "The Attorney General is dealing in semantics." by calling Canada's use of solitary confinement "segregation"

Kirkup notes"In the federal prison system, one out of every four people has spent time in solitary confinement (or administrative segregation or, for that matter, any other term you want to use to describe the cruel and unusual practice of placing people in total isolation for up to 23 hours a day without knowing when or how they will be released)."

Additionally, Kirkup writes "The United Nations Special Rapporteur has identified the prolonged use of solitary confinement as a form of torture. There is a large body of empirical scholarship documenting the wide-ranging human-rights abuses associated with the practice, which causes everything from psychosis to hallucinations to suicide. Indeed, nearly half of all suicides in Canadian prisons occur in solitary confinement, with the overall prison suicide rate being seven times that of the general public… Given these stark realities, the Attorney General wants to do everything in its power to avoid calling the prolonged isolation of people in federal prisons solitary confinement."

That the Attorney General tries to shift the language away from Solitary Confinement and fails to acknowledge the problem associated with it, Kirkup argues, "we may be years away from redressing the daily human-rights abuses experienced by people in Canada’s federal prison system."

4.Matt DeHart's Awful Trip Down South
After his deportation from Canada last month, american whistleblower Matt DeHart has been through at least 3 jails before arriving at his current location in the windowless basement of a jail in Bowling Green, Kentucky. DeHart is being targeted by American officials for his involvement in the computer security and free information communities and was tortured by the American FBI before seeking refuge in canada.

Just before leaving canada to support her son in the states, DeHart's mom, Leann, wrote on Matt's support page:
"My son Matt has seen the ugly and inhumane side of US jails and prisons. After his deportation from Canada, he ended up in a County facility in Niagara, New York that granted tours for the public to see their beautiful facility — if you can call a jail beautiful. On the website, the facility boasts of how it deals with inmates it considers unruly. There is a video showing someone being extracted by full combat geared guards and then forced into a submission chair. The facility is quite excited about this."

She added: "Matt moved to Ohio for a short time and then on to Oklahoma. As you travel south, the food becomes steadily worse and in many cases unrecognizable. In Oklahoma, the nightly fare was bologna sandwiches and corn chips. Sometimes the inmates wouldn’t get fed until 8:00 at night — if the staff remembered to feed them. One day, for entertainment there, the guards tasered a man, put a hood over his head and rolled him on by in a submission chair for all to see. When Matt arrived at the Oklahoma facility, inmates were sleeping on the floor."

Leann added that "Being a vegetarian for the past year, Matt now deals with diarrhea from the less than nutritious fare. In Canada, correctional facilities have to follow the government guide for nutrition. Most of the inmates, as Matt noticed, rarely became sick. Unfortunately, most US jails and prisons will provide food that is not fit for human consumption."

Both Leann and Paul DeHart left canada with an international support contingent to ensure they had a smooth crossing of the border back into the states, where they can support their son.

5. Mumia Hospitalised After Diabetes Remained Undiagnosed In Jail
Earlier this week political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was rushed to the hospital in diabetic shock after 3 agonizing months in and out of the prison infirmary where doctors failed to diagnose his condition.

A phone zap was quickly organised to demand that Mumia be treated properly and for his family to be able to visit him, and due to overwhelming response, prison officials had no choice but to allow visits, albeit in a severely limited fashion.

The latest update from prison radio tells us that Mumia's blood sugar levels have stabilised and as of Thursday night, he has been sent back to the prison infirmary at SCI Mahanoy - the same infirmary which failed to diagnose the onset of Mumia's diabetes, and whose poor treatment of the imprisoned journalist led to the emergency trip to the hospital in the first place.

As Mumia recovers from this health crisis, the new reality of diabetes means Mumia needs our support more than ever. If you can pleae donate to his care fund at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mumia-abu-jamal-needs-medical-care-now

You can also call the jail to demand that Mumia’s family, attorney and sister Pam Africa be allowed visitation in the infirmary: 570-773-2158 x8102.

6. Support The Compassionate Release of Prisoner Peter Collins
Following up to a February story on the situation of "lifer" Peter Collins, supporters are once again asking people to call for the compassionate release of prisoner Peter Collins.

Collins, is suffering from an aggressive form of bladder cancer which will soon take him from the physical world, and many are calling for the canadian state to release him from prison, so he may live out his remaining days on the "outside".

Noting that Peter faces a deportation order if released from jail, a call out from supporters note that UK officials are fine to take Collins back into England for him to live out his final days.

Collins has served 23 years of a 25 year life sentence and has been eligible for parole since 2008. On the inside Peter has continued his work as an artist and prisoner rights activist who campaigned to get HIV prevention and harm reduction services in prisons.

The letter notes that if Peter is not released soon he will likely be too sick to travel home, and asks people to "Please consider writing a polite and considered letter in support of his
release."

Folks can write letters asking for Peter's Compassionate Release to the Parole Board of Canada, 516 O'Connor Dr, Kingston ON, K7P 1N3

A form letter can be found below.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Letter Requesting the Compassionate Release of Peter Collins

Parole Board of Canada
516 O'Connor Dr,
Kingston ON,
K7P 1N3

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is ___. I am writing regarding compassionate release for Peter
Collins.

Peter has been rated low risk to re-offend; he has followed all directions
in terms of his Correctional Plan and has completed all programs for which
he is eligible. He has demonstrated his ability to function outside of
prison during multiple medical and compassionate escorted temporary
absences. His work for charitable and community-oriented organizations has
been acknowledged both internationally and by the National Parole Board
itself. Peter has spent the better part of the last three decades trying
to make amends for the suffering that he caused when he killed Constable
David Utman. He has worked to personally transform himself, and to make
the world a better place.

One of the reasons provided in the past for denying Peter’s parole has
been that the only form of release deemed appropriate to him is a very
gradual and structured release, and yet because of his deportable status
any steps that might be considered consistent with a gradual and
structured release have been rejected as being of no benefit. There has
been little recognition that Peter is considered a low risk to re-offend.
These are some of the reasons why he has not been transferred to a lower
security prison, and remains incarcerated today.

Last summer Peter was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bladder cancer
and began to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment. On January 12th
of this year, Peter was informed by his doctor that the cancer had spread
to his stomach walls, lungs, and now his bones (particularly his spine),
and that any treatment moving forward will be palliative. He is in
considerable pain. At this point, the doctor has been clear that Peter has
only months left to live.

Section 121 of the Correctional and Conditional Release Act, which
addresses parole by exception, states that parole may be granted at any
time to a prisoner who is terminally ill. This applies to any prisoner,
including someone serving a life or indeterminate sentence. Peter is
entering the 32rd year of a Life 25 sentence.

It is important to note that British Public Protection Officers have no
concerns about Peter returning to England to live out his final days.
Unfortunately though, if the Parole Board leaves it too late, Peter may
become too sick to be able to travel overseas.
As such, I am asking that you support Peter’s request for compassionate
release.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thats all for the headlines, now for some
Midway Musichere is Buffy Sainte-Marie & Pete Seeger with the tune Cindy

And we are back, you just heard Buffy Sainte-Marie & Pete Seeger with the tune Cindy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8_9mohCUeE

You are listening to Waves Through Walls edition of The Daily GRRR! Today is April 3rd, 2015, my name is Dan Kellar and we are now moving into the feature portion of our broadcast.

Today we feature two articles with reads. First up is a piece from Leena Minifi, called "Cindy Gladue case: a reminder the justice system is broken for Aboriginal women" from ricochet speaks to the dehumanisation of Cindy Gladue and other indigenous women, and indigenous sex-workers by the the so-called justice system and the mainstream media.

That was the piece "Cindy Gladue case: a reminder the justice system is broken for Aboriginal women" from Leena Minifi on ricochet.media.

Now we read Stefan Christoff's (@spirodon) piece from mediacoop.ca called Fighting austerity in Québec is tied to Canada and colonialism. The piece highlights Thursday's massive protests in Montreal and calls for the rest of Canada to support the anti-austerity struggle being waged in Quebec.

And that was Stefan Christoff's mediacoop.ca's piece called Fighting austerity in Québec is tied to Canada and colonialism.

This has been the The Daily GRRR! for April 3rd, 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

The Daily GRRR! is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

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

Thanks for Listening.

END OF SHOW

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