The Daily GRRR! - Oct. 21, 2014 - “Too Bad It’s Only Tuesday” Edition

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Welcome back to SoundFM! You are now listening to The Daily GRRR! live on the airwaves at 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and SoundFM.ca on the web. This is Kathryn and I’ll be your host on this Tuesday morning show for October 21, 2014.

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 Oct. 21, 2014
1. Manitoba First Nation evicts Hydro workers over flood damage concerns
2. Lakota hero Lyle Eagle Tail awarded posthumous Carnegie Medal of Honour
3. Missing indigenous actress found dead by friends after police refused to search
4. Venezuela establishes presidential council for protection of indigenous peoples
5. Australian government’s anti-immigration poster goes viral, draws outrage
6. LGBTQ are accepted by 85% of Catholic youth but bishops still won’t welcome them
7. US judges strike down gay marriage bans as some states fight for their bigotry
8. Utah student protesters defy threats of violence to support feminist guest speaker

1. Manitoba First Nation evicts Hydro workers over flood damage concerns

As reported by West Coast Native News, protesters from a northern Manitoba First Nation are occupying the grounds around a generating station and have issued an eviction notice to Manitoba Hydro for what they say is a violation of their treaty rights. More than 100 protesters from the Cross Lake First Nation north of Lake Winnipeg marched to the hydro dam Wednesday and some have refused to leave the grounds. In a letter to Hydro president Scott Thomson, Chief Catherine Merrick said the First Nation is taking control of its traditional territory and evicting the Crown corporation.

“You do not respect our rights,” she wrote in the letter dated October 6th. “You do not even respect or acknowledge who we are as people. Money and profit — that which you make off our traditional territory and people — is apparently all you care about.” Treaties signed by the First Nation agreed to share the land with the Crown, as long as “you act honourably,” the letter states. Manitoba Hydro is guilty of fraud for using “these treaty lands for your own purposes regardless of what we, as the original title-holders, would have to say about it,” Merrick wrote. A Facebook page dedicated to the occupation showed video of dozens of protesters occupying the site Wednesday and featured a deafening alarm wailing from the station. “I think they figured they would scare us off,” said one post. “Anyways eviction has occurred. Now next thing if they want back in … we talk rent.”

2. Lakota hero Lyle Eagle Tail awarded posthumous Carnegie Medal of Honour

As reported by Indian Country Today Media Network, 28-year-old Lyle Eagle Tail entered the frothing waters of the Big Sioux River in South Dakota last March, in a brave attempt to rescue 6-year-old Garrett Wallace and his 16-year-old sister Madison. The Lakota warrior’s heroism, which cost him his life, has now been recognized nationally, as he is among 21 people awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal, according to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission’s announcement last month. Eagle Tail, whose fiancée had a baby on the way, did not think of himself when he took on the cause of someone he did not know. He was merely picnicking near the falls and saw Garrett fall into the Big Sioux River, disappearing into a thick layer of foam. Madison went in after him, but she slipped under the foam as well. As recounted by the Carnegie Commission, “From another party in the park, Eagle Tail...responded to the scene and let others hold to him as he lay on the bank and attempted to reach Garrett and Madison. He fell from their grasp into the river. Garrett surfaced, made his way to the bank, and was pulled to safety, but Madison and Eagle Tail drowned.”

The honour is of course bittersweet, as a response from Eagle Tail’s father on a Facebook page attested: “Here it is my son.....You’re a hero... Our Lakota warrior!" wrote his father in all capital letters under a photo of the award. “I am so proud of you son, but still my heart is broken… for all to see.......Love you son!”

3. Missing indigenous actress found dead by friends after police refused to search

As reported by Indian Country Today Media Network, a body found by the White River near the Muckleshoot Reservation in Washington state has been identified as award-winning Blackfeet actress Misty Upham, who is best known for her performance in the Meryl Streep-Julia Roberts film August: Osage County. The body was discovered by a three-person search team, and without the help of Auburn police. The searchers were Misty's cousin Robert Upham, Robert Kennedy, and Jeff Barehand, and the body was identified by Misty's father Charles. Filmmaker Tracy Rector spoke with The Hollywood Reporter after the news broke on Thursday:

"First and foremost," Rector said, "the family wants everyone to know that the Auburn police did not help with this situation at all. They refused to help. When she disappeared on Oct. 5, the family knew something was seriously wrong—it was out of character for her to be gone so long without being in touch—and they repeatedly went to the police, who insisted there was no cause for concern."

Suspicions of suicide have been circulated but friends and family insist that this could not be the case. Misty’s friend Juliette Lewis, who also co-starred with her in August: Osage County, has taken to Twitter with her grief and forceful demands for a police investigation into her friend’s mysterious death, saying:

#RIPMistyUpham I am in shock and grief. I pray the police do a murder investigation. They're saying not "foul play" when of course it is.

#RIPMistyUpham Misty spoke out a lot against injustices within Native community. And had known enemies. Police must do an investigation.

4. Venezuela establishes presidential council for protection of indigenous peoples

In celebration of the nationally acclaimed Day of Indigenous Resistance, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro established a presidential council for indigenous peoples, handed over collective land titles to 14 original communities, lowered the threshold age for indigenous pensioners, and announced the creation of an institute to protect the country’s 44 native languages. The South American leader also pledged 5000 new homes for indigenous communities for 2015 through the national housing mission Mision Vivienda, and announced the investment of 575 million bolivars (about $7 million) to address extreme poverty in 396 of those communities.

Aloha Nuñez, the Indigenous Peoples’ Minister, noted that the presidential council was formed as a result of elections held in 2,194 indigenous communities after the idea was discussed in 1,589 countrywide assemblies. Delia Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the Wayúu community of Zulia state, said that the debates leading up to the creation of the council were conducted with respect, tolerance and spirituality, in the interest of enabling diverse indigenous peoples to make significant contributions to the transition towards socialism.

5. Australian government’s anti-immigration poster goes viral, drawing outrage

“Don’t come to Australia! You’ll drown!” is the hard hitting message being sent out by the current Australian government to asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants, in an attempt to discourage more of them from ever setting out for its shores. The controversial new government poster – which has already been printed in 17 languages – reads: "No way. You will not make Australia home.” The blunt language and the ominous imagery, part of the Australian government's Operation Sovereign Borders program, ensured the poster became a global internet sensation this past week.

To underline the Australian government’s point that the danger isn’t worth it, the new poster presents a tiny boat being tossed by a threatening sea. But the Nonprofit Refugee Action Coalition of Sydney has responded angrily to the campaign, claiming that "almost all the deaths at sea have been caused by the appalling response of Australia's search and rescue services, who have been told to prioritize stopping boats, not saving lives.” Threatening asylum seekers sailing to flee oppression and violence in their own countries has struck most commentators as needlessly cruel. Moreover, critics note the disgusting irony that a country founded by Europeans -- at the documented expense of the indigenous peoples -- now has the gall to declare itself off limits to foreigners, but then, that’s the end game of settler colonialism after all.

6. LGBTQ are accepted by 85% of Catholic youth but bishops still won’t welcome them

As reported by The Huffington Post, the Catholic church’s bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to potential gay, lesbian, and presumably bisexual parishioners as well, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families. The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document earlier in the week. The outcome showed a deeply divided church on some of the most pressing issues facing Catholic families, which contrasts starkly with the views of those families themselves, particularly along generational lines.

To quote The Huffington Post, “While the Vatican vacillates over whether to welcome gays into the church, the new kids in the flock seem to have no qualms about the subject.” According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, an overwhelming majority -- close to 85% -- of self-identified American Catholics between the ages of 18 and 29 believe that gays and lesbians should be accepted by society, while a slightly lesser 75% -- still 3 out of 4 Catholic youths -- are in support of legalizing same-sex marriage. This bodes well for a more inclusive and anti-oppressive future in the Western world, with greater potential for fewer hate crimes and more respectful gay-straight relations within religious communities.

7. US judges strike down gay marriage bans while some states fight for their bigotry

Over the course of a single day, the laws were changed in three American states to enshrine marriage equality as long-awaited legal reality. This past Friday, federal judges in Arizona and Wyoming both struck down their states’ respective bans on gay marriage, while Alaska managed to block an appeal by their state to uphold a similar ban that had been struck down less than a week before. In Arizona, the U.S. District Judge barred state officials from enforcing a 1996 state law, and a 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment, that outlawed gay marriage. Just hours later, the U.S. District Judge in Wyoming declared his state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Finally, and also on that same Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to bring marriage equality law into effect in Alaska. The nine participating supreme court justices rejected a last-minute appeal from the state, which had wanted to block a ruling made by a federal judge on the previous Sunday that originally brought down Alaska’s statewide ban. This has raised the number of U.S. states that support same-sex marriage up to 31 out of all 50 states, and that number seems destined to grow as advocates continue to raise awareness and put pressure on state authorities to move beyond their bigotry.

8. Utah student protesters defy threats of violence to support feminist guest speaker

As reported by Utah Public Radio, feminist blogger and pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian decided to cancel a talk that was planned for this past Wednesday at Utah State University, after threats of mass violence were made to Utah State University from an anonymous source. USU police say there was never an imminent threat, but Sarkeesian decided to cancel the presentation after she discovered the university would be unable to prevent people with legally concealed firearms from entering the event because of Utah’s concealed carry law. But when the day of the since cancelled event arrived, a modest but passionate group of around 40 students at USU took a stand against the threats leveled at Sarkeesian during an afternoon protest.

According to USU graduate student Matthew Staheli, an organizer of the protest, “[We want] to send a message to not only those making threats but to everyone that feminism is an important issue that we are facing today and freedom of speech is one of our most important rights, that we shouldn’t allow to be coerced because of threats.” Staheli said he hopes USU reconsiders how the university addresses threats of violence. The university planned to hold the event despite the threats; however, Sarkeesian said on Twitter that she was forced to cancel because security measures were inadequate. Sarkeesian is no stranger to threats of violence. Her criticism of how women are portrayed in videogames has made her a target, at one point forcing her from her home, and the cancellation has sparked conversation about gun laws on Utah campuses.

Midway Music: Dead Hearts by Stars

Feature: “Against Carceral Feminism” by Victoria Law for Jacobin Mag

Closing Song: Superheroes by The Monster Show

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