The Daily GRRR! - Mar. 30, 2015 - Your “Ugh, Monday Morning” Edition

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Welcome back to SoundFM! You are now listening to The Daily GRRR! on the air every weekday morning from 9-10 a.m. here at 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and SoundFM.ca on the web. This is Kathryn and I’ll be your host on this Monday morning show for March 30th, 2015.

As always, we are broadcasting from the heart of the Haldimand Tract, the occupied Grand River Territory of the Six Nations, which we continue to recognize as Haudenosaunee land.

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

We will begin today with headlines:
The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for Mar. 30, 2015
1. Gross amounts of Cdn garbage piles up in the Philippines in spite of protests
2. Provincial government gives fast rejection to ban on fracking across Ontario
3. Full day women’s self-defense course offered at sliding scale in Hamilton
4. Kenya’s rape prevention program gives girls self-defense and boys an education
5. Petition calls for pardon of 49,000 prosecuted under UK’s anti-sodomy law
6. Sweden’s official dictionary adds gender-neutral pronoun to next new edition
7. ‘Scandal’ star Kerry Washington advocates intersectionality in GLAAD speech

1. Gross amounts of Cdn garbage piles up in the Philippines in spite of protests

As reported by the Vancouver Observer, fifty containers of Canadian garbage, including used adult diapers, are languishing in the port of Manila in the Philippines. The containers, which have been sitting there for two years, have sparked protests in the island country by environmental and public-health activists. The activists say the containers hold toxic and hazardous waste, although a recent study by Philippines officials suggests they’re simply stuffed with household garbage. In any case though, Canadians’ trash is a stain on the Manila shore and an embarrassing testament to the first world’s widespread failure to clean up after itself.

Late last year, the Philippines government recommended the containers be returned to Canada under the provisions of the Basel Convention, which prohibits developed countries from shipping waste to developing nations. But a spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs reiterates the government’s long−stated opinion that the case is a private commercial matter involving a Canadian company and its partner in the Philippines. Jim Makris, head of Chronic Inc., the Whitby, Ont., company that sent the containers, could not be reached for comment, but in predictable irresponsible fashion, he denied last year that his company shipped the garbage overseas.

2. Provincial government gives fast rejection to ban on fracking across Ontario

As reported by Global News, an NDP private member’s bill to ban high volume hydraulic fracking to produce natural gas from shale in Ontario was quickly shot down by the Liberal government this past Wednesday. NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns had introduced a private member’s bill to have Ontario follow the lead of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New York and ban fracking. As Tabuns explained, fracking poses substantial risks to groundwater, which is combined with toxic chemicals under extreme pressure to fracture shale deposits to free up natural gas for extraction: “There’s no need for Ontario to risk environmental damage and lawsuits by leaving the door open to this controversial practice,” he said. “Let’s learn from the hard experience of others and act now.”

However, Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro said the Liberal government will not impose a ban on fracking, giving a typically vague explanation about unspecified government intentions and remaining non-committal on all matters beyond their refusal to ban fracking: “We’re internally reviewing what our plans will be and we’ll go forward on that basis,” Mauro told reporters. “We won’t be going forward with a moratorium. The review will determine what our next steps will be.” But the NDP said Ontario needs to impose a moratorium on fracking before companies exhaust other deposits and come looking for licences to explore for natural gas in this province. There’s a shale deposit being exploited in Pennsylvania that extends under Lake Erie to its northern shore in Ontario, and potentially other deposits in the province, so the government should act now to block exploration, Tabuns insisted. “As gas developers run out of places to exploit, they may well turn to Ontario,” he said. “So we have an opportunity now before we get drawn into this, to block it from happening.”

3. Full day women’s self-defense course offered at sliding scale in Hamilton

On Saturday, April 11th, from 1-4pm, Hamilton’s anarchist social centre The Tower will be hosting a three-hour Wen Do self-defense course. Wen-Do is the longest running self-defense organization by and for women in Canada. Since 1972, Wen Do has been providing empowerment and self-defense training to thousands of women and girls in Canada and in Japan. Wen-Do provides a survivor-positive, pro-diversity, activist-friendly safer space for attendees. This workshop is open to all women and girls ages 10+ and course content is designed to be accessible to women of all abilities.

This 3-hour workshop will include a combination of physical techniques and discussion. All physical techniques are designed to be used against physically larger and stronger attackers. We celebrate our stories and our experiences in this workshop - we are smarter and stronger than the world tells us we are! The workshop will be facilitated by Shailagh Keaney, a community-accountable activist and self-defense instructor. Shailagh has been with Wen-Do Women's Self-Defence since 2010, supporting many women and girls through the process of boldly becoming the power that they never knew they had. With roots deep in radical movements for social justice, Shailagh recognizes that the violence that we experience is systemic, and that our survival is crucial to creating a more just, more liveable world.

Once again, this three-hour workshop will be held on Saturday, April 11th, from 1-4pm, at Hamilton’s anarchist social centre The Tower. The cost is $0-$30 sliding scale, and space is limited! To register and reserve your spot, email thetower@riseup.net!

4. Kenya’s rape prevention program gives girls self-defense and boys an education

As reported by Upworthy, for years Kenya has faced an epidemic of sexual assault, with 1 in 4 women and girls living in Nairobi having been sexually assaulted. Schoolgirls were frequently raped by friends and boyfriends, and clothes have been torn from women's bodies in public. So in 2010, the group No Means No Worldwide began offering self-defense classes to Nairobi schoolgirls, teaching them how to fight back against attackers. In its early stages, the program focused on providing women in the poorest parts of Kenya with self-defense skills in an effort to empower women rather than shame them.

After launching No Mean No, the program founders worked to develop Your Moment of Truth, a separate program for boys. It was sparked by discussions had in the early No Means No sessions, when girls told instructors that the biggest problems were the boys themselves, with the most common attackers turning out to be boyfriends. The program learned that many boys believed it was justifiable to rape girls who are out alone after dark, wearing miniskirts, or taken on expensive dates. So the No Means No founders developed Your Moment of Truth to intervene with young men who will end up facing the choice of whether or not to try to rape someone. The program saw success from the start, with rapes by friends and boyfriends dropping 20% in schools that taught the program. This will be reported on later this year in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, which plans to publish a study highlighting the positive effect this training has had on young men. The study found that boys who go through training were not only less likely to harass girls themselves, they were also more likely to intervene when witnessing a girl being assaulted by one of their peers. Kenya plans to build on this success even further, and by 2017, every secondary student in the capital of Nairobi will undergo this assault prevention training.

5. Petition calls for pardon of 49,000 prosecuted under UK’s anti-sodomy law

As reported by MSNBC, in a matter of hours after Graham Moore took home an Academy Award for his adapted screenplay of “The Imitation Game” – a film about the gay mathematician Alan Turing, who broke the Nazi Enigma Code during World War II and invented digital computing – gay rights advocates in the UK delivered a petition to the British government calling for officials to pardon the tens of thousands of men who, like Turing, were prosecuted under England’s anti-sodomy law. In the words of Matthew Breen, editor-in-chief of The Advocate who started the Change.org petition in January, “Each of these 49,000 men deserves the justice and acknowledgment from the British government that this intolerant law brought not only unwarranted shame, but horrific physical and mental damage and lost years of wrongful imprisonment to these men.” In 2013, the Queen issued an official posthumous pardon to the Enigma codebreaker, who died of an apparent suicide in 1954 – two years after he agreed to undergo chemical castration as punishment for violating England’s Labouchere Amendment, an anti-sodomny law that criminalized “gross indecency.” That amendment was repealed in 2003, nearly 120 years after its inception, but this much-needed change didn’t extend to pardoning the 49,000 other men who were prosecuted while the law was in effect. The petition to finally do so now received more than half a million signatures, including those of Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Turing in the film, and his co-star Keira Knightley. Turing’s real-life relatives delivered the petition to Prime Minister David Cameron on February 23rd, but the world is still watching and waiting to see if the Queen will take heed of these collective pleas for long-awaited justice.

6. Sweden’s official dictionary adds gender-neutral pronoun to next new edition

As reported by The Guardian, the official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, according to an announcement from the editors at the Swedish Academy. “Hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the dictionary’s latest edition. The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender – either because it is unknown, because the person is transgender, or because the speaker or writer deems the subject’s gender to be superfluous information. In the words of one of the Swedish Academy’s editors, “For those who use the pronoun, it’s obviously a strength that it is now in the dictionary.” The word “hen” was coined in the 1960s when the ubiquitous use of “han” (he) became politically incorrect, and was aimed at simplifying the language and avoiding the clumsy “han/hon” (s/he) construction. Apparently, the word never really took hold among the Swedish masses, but it resurfaced around 2000 when the country’s small transgender community latched on to it, and its use has taken off in the past few years. Moreover, the gender-neutral pronoun can now be found in official texts, court rulings, media texts and books, and its use will only grow with formal recognition in the language’s official dictionary.

7. ‘Scandal’ star Kerry Washington advocates intersectionality in GLAAD speech

On March 21st, at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated actress Kerry Washington was honoured with the LGBTQ organization’s prestigious Vanguard Award, given to those in the entertainment industry who promote equality in their work. Washington became the first black woman to headline a network TV drama since 1974 when she took on the role of Olivia Pope on the hit show Scandal, executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and recognized for incorporating LGBTQ characters and storylines. And in her eloquent seven-minute acceptance speech, Washington made an inspiring call for intersectional action.

Kerry Washington’s acceptance speech for GLAAD’s Vanguard Award: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruv8As-_CMg

Midway Music: When The City Lights Dim by Cold Specks

Feature: “The Weight of a Magazine for Sex Workers: What a group of workers’ rights activists learned from starting a publication to give people in the sex industry a voice” by James Hamblin for The Atlantic
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/writing-and-for-sex-wo...

Closing Song: Blank Maps by Cold Specks

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