The Daily GRRR! - Oct. 27, 2014 - Your “Ugh, Monday Morning” 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 Monday morning show for October 27, 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. 27, 2014
1. Gov may pick ‘preventative detention’ over basic rights after Ottawa shooting
2. Russell Brand calls out Harper on propagandist handling of Parliament attack
3. UK police to pay activist £425,000 for trauma of relationship with undercover cop
4. Men’s rights group stealing donations through fake violence against women website
5. South Carolina argues “stand your ground” law can’t apply to domestic violence
6. #Muslims4Ferguson call for end to racial profiling on Day Against Police Brutality
7. Cold Lake community bands together to clean up vandalized mosque
8. Comedian urges Redskins to adopt a ‘sunburned white person’ as new mascot
9. New research shows live theatre increases tolerance and empathy in students

1. Gov may pick ‘preventative detention’ over basic rights after Ottawa shooting

As reported by The Guardian, the Canadian government indicated on Thursday that it intends to speed up proposals to toughen the country’s anti-terror laws in the wake of the attack on parliament in Ottawa, including a measure that would allow ‘preventative detention’. The governing Conservatives have made no secret of their plan to install new anti-terror powers, giving the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) even more powers to track, investigative and detain so-called homegrown terrorists. Harper promised the proposals would be brought forward, proclaiming, “They need to be much strengthened, and I assure you, Mr Speaker, that work which is already under way will be expedited.”

Details of those new powers have yet to be released, but justice minister Peter MacKay indicated to reporters that they will include measures to allow the preventive detention of suspected would-be terrorists. Opposition parties, in turn, are warning that the government, in the wake of the Ottawa attack, is rushing to adopt expansive new spying powers without considering the consequences. This is frightening to many who have already been concerned about the state of civil liberties under Stephen Harper, but what must be considered all the more is that these heightened security measures, if they are put in place, will not be wielded equally by those with the power to do so. Over-reaching powers like preventative detention will no doubt be enacted through racial profiling of those who are already most at risk of police brutality and imprisonment in our society. Moreover, it will increase the already-astronomical number of people currently imprisoned without charge or conviction in Canadian detention centres, a growing population disproportionately made up of asylum seekers and those waiting for trial. Canada is the only member country in the United Nations that continues to practice indefinite detention, in violation of international law, and those who would be incarcerated through such ‘preventative detention’ measures could easily be vanished in the same way as a result of this law.

2. Russell Brand calls out Harper on propagandist handling of Parliament attack

The British comedian is not impressed by the Prime Minister’s statement on last week’s shooting in Ottawa. Harper's address to Canadians after Wednesday's gunfight on Parliament Hill was the subject of "The Trews," Russell Brand's YouTube series in which he dissects media coverage of current events. He says Harper's repeated emphasis on terrorism and Islam are a subtle way of advancing a Conservative political agenda focused on increased military deployment. Brand’s enthusiastic critique goes on for a full 15 minutes and wraps up with his succinct and spot-on conclusion that "the incidents in Ottawa are being used to advance a narrative that will not only entitle them to further wars abroad, but will entitle them to inhibit our freedoms.”

3. UK police to pay activist £425,000 for trauma of relationship with undercover cop

In the words of The New York Times, “She was a 22-year-old campaigner for animal rights. He was an undercover police officer sent to spy on her. But the relationship went far beyond what might be deemed the norm between snooper and snooped-upon.

“In the mid-1980s, the woman, identified only as Jacqui, formed a relationship with the officer she thought was a fellow activist, a longhaired leftist who said his name was Bob Robinson. In 1985, they had a son [after which he abandoned her and disappeared]. Only in 2012 did the activist discover from a newspaper article that Bob the left-winger was in fact Bob Lambert, a married police officer with children of his own, who had been assigned to infiltrate the militant Animal Liberation Front.”

This past Friday, it was reported that the police would pay the woman £425,000, which works out to roughly $680,000, as part of a settlement to head off a formal lawsuit. The payment is said to be the first of its kind, but unfortunately, the law enforcement practice of assigning undercover operatives to infiltrate activist groups and social movements is widely assumed to be ongoing. In fact, an extensive book on the subject was released just last year, entitled “Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police”. Penned by a pair of award-winning investigative journalists, the 350-page tome uncovers 40 years of state espionage by a clandestine unit whose classified job was to monitor British civilians dubbed ‘subversives’ -- that is, environmental activists, anti-racist groups, and animal rights campaigners like Jacqui. According to The Guardian, the traumatized woman has been receiving psychiatric treatment and even contemplated suicide since finding out the truth of her past relationship with the father of her son. UK police are still resisting legal claims from at least 10 other women who say they have suffered emotional trauma after discovering that their one-time boyfriends were undercover officers, so while a public trial will not follow in this case, it is hoped that this settlement will at least set a precedent for further investigation into these horrible abuses of state power.

4. Men’s rights group stealing donations through fake violence against women website

A misogynist group is attempting to co-opt a well-known international campaign against domestic violence, setting up a fake website intended to confuse visitors who may be trying to donate to the cause. WhiteRibbon.org is attempting to divert supporters looking for the White Ribbon Campaign, a nonprofit group in Canada that engages men in the effort to stop intimate partner violence. It was founded in 1989 in response to the “Montreal Massacre,” in which a 25-year-old gunman shouted “You’re all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists!” before opening fire and killing 14 female students. Since then, the White Ribbon movement has spread to other countries like Scotland and Australia, and it maintains a relatively popular Facebook page.

The real sites have international URLs, like www.whiteribbon.ca. The fake campaign, however, is hosted on www.whiteribbon.org — something that may trick Americans into thinking it’s the United States’ official chapter. There’s even a fake Facebook account to go along with it. The fake site urges people to be wary of “false White Ribbon initiatives” dedicated to addressing “violence against women,” telling them to donate to its group instead. But the dishonesty is actually being furthered by www.whiteribbon.org itself. As reported by We Hunted The Mammoth, a blog dedicated to tracking anti-feminist online groups, the fake site was set up by A Voice For Men — an infamously misogynist forum dedicated to “men’s rights activists.” Indeed, when you click on the “One-Time Paypal Donation” button on the fake White Ribbon site, it leads to a donation page for A Voice For Men.

For those who aren’t familiar with it already, the so-called men’s rights movement believes that feminism harms men, and is primarily fueled by patriarchal resentment over the women’s rights movement. That’s why so-called “men’s rights activists” take issue with the real White Ribbon Campaign, which seeks to challenge “harmful ideas of manhood that lead to violence against women.” A Voice For Men’s fake site makes it clear that this framing is offensive to them, writing that “family violence is a serious problem that knows no gender” and “we cannot address this complicated, critical problem by pointing the finger at one sex as the default perpetrator and at another sex as the default victim.” While violence can, of course, be perpetrated by people of all genders, anyone with a basic understanding of this world knows that violence against women is an overwhelming issue that is, in fact, caused by misogynistic (that is, woman-hating) views with which we are all bombarded on a daily basis by mainstream culture. This oppressive brainwashing must be tackled alongside its effect, which is the undeniably ugly reality that violence against women is a sociological problem.

5. South Carolina argues “stand your ground” law can’t apply to domestic violence

As reported by Slate.com, South Carolina has an expansive "stand your ground" law that paves the way for someone to get immunity from prosecution by declaring that they killed another person in self-defense. Liberals have been critical of these laws, arguing that they make it far too easy for violent people to deliberately provoke or escalate confrontations and then avoid prosecution when things get out of hand. (There is some proof that such laws correlate with a rise in the murder rate.) There are also concerns that the laws are unfairly applied, due to massive racial disparities in who successfully invokes "stand your ground" to avoid punishment. Now comes a reason for women to be especially worried.

In South Carolina, prosecutors are trying to argue that a woman's right to stand her ground in a domestic dispute is less than a man's right to stand his ground with some stranger he's gotten into a fight with. It has been reported that three women were charged with murder in such circumstances, despite the existence of the state's strong "stand your ground" law. Now, in a court case that has gone on for nearly two years, a judge ruled earlier this month that Whitlee Jones, who killed her boyfriend in self-defense during a night of violence that was also witnessed by neighbours, did indeed have a legal right to kill him in such circumstances. However, prosecutors are now planning to fight the decision, arguing with clear bias that “stand your ground” laws should only cover stranger danger and not domestic violence situations, which research has shown is far more likely to result in violence against women.

6. #Muslims4Ferguson call for end to racial profiling on Day Against Police Brutality

As reported by The Huffington Post, the official autopsy report for Michael Brown came out on October 22 -- the same day the Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation has observed a National Day of Protest since 1996. To mark this important day, hundreds of Muslims took to Twitter to show their solidarity using the hashtag #Muslims4Ferguson. Organized by the Muslims for Ferguson Facebook group, which launched on August 21, the Twitter event invited Muslims everywhere to join in conversation with local imams and civil rights activists. The group wrote on its Facebook page:

“Too many lives have been lost in communities of color because of the criminalization of black and brown bodies — who are being killed and imprisoned and abused because of their dark skin… We are coming together to say no more Mike Browns, no more John Crawfords, no more Ramarley Grahams, no more Eric Garners, no more Renisha McBrides, no more Trayvon Martins. As Eric Garner said before he was murdered, ‘It ends today.’ Join the discussion to learn what Islam teaches us about justice and solidarity, and our role in standing up against injustice in our society.”

7. Cold Lake community bands together to clean up vandalized mosque

As reported by the CBC, the words "Go home" and "Canada" were sprayed across the front face of the building sometime Thursday night and vandals had smashed two of the mosque’s windows. "When you’re coming in the morning for a peaceful prayer, it is hard," said one of the mosque’s board members. "This is our home. My kids have been born and raised in Cold Lake. … I have been in Cold Lake since 1996."

But only a couple hours later, it was a much different sight. Over the course of the morning, dozens of people from the town showed up to help repair the damage. Some helped paint over the damage, while others taped their own messages to the window reading "You Are Home" and "Love Your Neighbour." One Cold Lake resident, who came down to the mosque with his daughter to deliver flowers, says he wanted to show that the vandals didn’t speak for the majority of the people in town: "It’s sad,” he said. “I mean, these guys are peaceful. I think it is important for the community to show them that we know the difference between extremists and a religion.”

8. Comedian urges Redskins to adopt a ‘sunburned white person’ as new mascot

As reported by the CBC, despite years -- if not decades -- of criticism and calls for them to change their name and mascot, the Washington Redskins have made perfectly clear that they won't be voluntarily abandoning their controversial moniker any time soon. "We'll never change the name,'" was the team’s stubborn, racist owner’s now-infamous response to USA Today in 2013. "It's that simple. NEVER. You can use caps." Noting the team's refusal to budge on a name-change, comedian Hari Kondabolu has now come up with a creative solution of sorts. In a post to Tumblr late last week, he said, "If the NFL’s Washington Football team won’t change their name, then perhaps they would change their logo... to a severely sunburned white person?"

In the video explaining his seriously funny campaign, entitled “A Creative New Way to Help People Understand How Racism Works”, Kondabolu’s explanation continued as follows: "Let me guess — some of you think this is equally offensive. No. Equally offensive is changing the San Jose Sharks logo to a shark eating a white person — and honestly, those are only equally offensive if we lived in a society where white people were driven from their ancestral homes, routinely exploited, and forced into brutal poverty by SHARKS, and then played for a team owned by SHARKS. Then, it would be equally offensive."

The Daily GRRR! is on weekdays from 9-10am on 100.3fm CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and http://soundfm.ca on the web.

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

Closing Song: Terrorist? by Lowkey

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