The Daily GRRR! - Oct. 28, 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 28, 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. 28, 2014
1. Cross Lake FN protesters occupying hydro dam make seriously reasonable demands
2. Hollow legislation to pseudo-ban fracking in Nova Scotia faces eco-criticism
3. Indigenous nations in BC prepare for “new era” of pipeline opposition
4. Indigenous nations in US appeal to Canada to stop Kinder Morgan pipeline
5. Indigenous peoples of Australia invite the world to protest the G(enocidal)20
6. OPIRG Guelph hosts workshop for wannabe radical percussionists!
7. Toronto’s toxic dirt is being dumped into Ontario farmland
8. Parents should be frightened of toxic chemicals in common Hallowe’en products

1. Cross Lake FN protesters occupying hydro dam make seriously reasonable demands

After evicting the employees of a northern Manitoba Hydro station earlier this month, protesters from Cross Lake First Nation have been occupying the site and the province’s premier announced last week that he was willing to consider their demands, acknowledging that the First Nation’s community does indeed have longstanding concerns that need to be addressed. The protesters’ demands include a revenue-sharing agreement with Manitoba Hydro as well as a public apology, shoreline cleanup, and compensation for damages caused by flooding from the dam, which opened in 1979.

As Chief Cathy Merrick stated in an initial press release for the eviction and occupation, “The hydro system floods 65 square kilometres…and causes severe damage to thousands of kilometres of shoreline. Outlying grave sites have been washed away…[and] people have died as a result of semi-submerged debris from eroding shorelines and unsafe ice conditions caused by [the] hydro [dam].” She explains that Manitoba Hydro has violated her people’s treaty rights and must make amends. The band signed an agreement in 1977 after the dam was built, but Merrick said the Crown corporation and the provincial government haven’t fulfilled their obligations.

Although a handful of Cross Lake residents are employed by the dam, there are none of the promised programs to “eradicate mass poverty and mass unemployment”, which is what the community had been led to believe would follow from the dam being built. At a rally on Thursday at Manitoba Hydro’s headquarters in Winnipeg, Chief Merrick asserted the grounds for her community’s actions on the issue: “If you’re not going to be kind to my people, then we’ll take back our land. That’s exactly what we did.”

2. Hollow legislation to pseudo-ban fracking in Nova Scotia faces eco-criticism

As reported by CBC News, the proposed legislation that would put a moratorium on fracking in the maritime province is not being well-received by more discerning environmentalists. Although Nova Scotia is moving ahead with a new law that would ban high-volume for onshore oil and gas, the legislation also includes an exemption that would allow fracking for testing and research purposes, which leaves a gaping loophole open for the dangerous shale gas industry. In the vehement words of one Dalhousie university student who attended public meetings on the issue and believes the law falls well short of a true ban, “The legislation that’s been produced is insulting. It overrides the lack of social license to frack and it tells us that we should accept a watered down version of a prohibition. And I just think we can do so much better than this.”

3. Indigenous nations in BC prepare for “new era” of pipeline opposition

As reported by The Huffington Post, the pipeline project that has long been feared as the most likely culprit to transport tar sands oil overseas to Asia has hit a very promising snag, at least from the perspective of fossil fuel opponents. Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline expansion project is facing a growing campaign of resistance from indigenous nations in BC who have previously fought such projects through direct action methods and are now ramping up their opposition on the legal side as well. Two indigenous communities have already filed lawsuits, and others are apparently banding together to develop further strategies around negotiations, litigation, and the possibility of direct action that would enhance the pressure on corporate and government parties to halt the project altogether. Indigenous leaders involved in these litigious efforts are calling it a “new era” of opposition, and in building on the promising developments in the struggle thus far, this bodes well for all who are working towards a fossil-free future. This juncture also suggests great potential for alliances and solidarity to be cultivated between these indigenous communities and the non-indigenous environmentalists elsewhere in BC, so we look forward to hearing about further developments in their fight against Kinder Morgan.

4. Indigenous nations in US appeal to Canada to stop Kinder Morgan pipeline

As reported by ThinkProgress.org, the leaders of several Pacific Northwest communities are asking Canadian regulators not to approve a huge expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, saying approval would result in a huge increase of oil tankers coming through tribal waters every day, increasing the risk of a devastating spill. Tribal leaders from the Washington-state based Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and the Suquamish Tribe on the Kitsap Peninsula testified before Canada’s National Energy Board in Chilliwack, B.C. on Wednesday, with leaders two more U.S.-based tribes were set to testify the next day as well. All four groups’ testimonies are in opposition to the $5.4 billion Trans Mountain project, which would nearly triple the flow of oil through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to the British Columbia coast.

If the project is approved, the number of oil tankers coming through the Salish Sea — a marine ecosystem that sustains a number of west coast indigenous communities on both sides of the border — would increase from the current rate of five oil tankers a month to eight or nine tankers each week, for a total of 34 oil tankers traversing their waters every month. This project threatens a sevenfold increase in the inevitable danger of an oil spill. As Brian Cladoosby, Chairman of the Swinomish community, told the NEB panel, “It’s not if, but when, one of these tankers run aground somewhere. We are salmon people and [the water] is very, very important to us. It’s central to our culture.” This is the first time U.S. tribes have testified before Canadian energy regulators, and it won’t likely be the last, as more than seven tribes of Coast Salish peoples have announced their intention to intervene in the legal proceedings to evaluate the Kinder Morgan proposal.

5. Indigenous peoples of Australia invite the world to protest the G(enocidal)20

An indigenous peoples’ organization called the Brisbane Blacks is spearheading the resistance movement against the next G20 Summit, which is set to take place next month in the city of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland on the east coast of Australia. The organization’s Facebook page offers an inspiring description, with the stated goals of “Awakening the Black Conscience, Raising Black Awareness, Articulating the Black Resistance” -- and as they explain in the description for their YouTube video invitation (which we’ll play for you in just a moment):

“We invite Aboriginal people from across the continent to take part in events planned from November 8-16 to protest the #Genocidal20 summit of world leaders in Brisbane. Just like the 1982 Stolenwealth Games protests, this will be yet another opportunity for us to make the world hear our voices. [On Twitter, look for the] #DecolonizationB4Profit [and] for more information and updates on the program of events in Musgrave Park (i.e. forums, marches), go to www.facebook.com/brisbaneblacks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Hsw4XnBZrw&feature=share

6. OPIRG Guelph hosts workshop for wannabe radical percussionists!

Have you ever been at a really boring rally? Have you felt awkward chanting, or marching along in silence? OPIRG Guelph wants to change all that with their upcoming workshop, “Drumming for Protests, Marches and Rallies”!

As you may already know, radical marching bands bring music and energy to protests, marches and rallies. OPIRG wants to start a Rhythms of Resistance group in Guelph, and Hamilton’s Flamingo Mutiny Brigade is coming to town to show folks how and help the group get started. Participants in the workshop will learn about the Rhythms of Resistance network and then the group will learn and practice a couple of songs together. OPIRG has real and DIY drums so participants won’t need to bring anything along. And they assure you not to worry if you have no experience! This workshop will be fun for beginners as well as experienced drummers.

We’ve linked to the Facebook event on our podcast page and encourage you to check out the links they’ve posted for more information about activist drum groups, which are sure to get you excited about this fun event!

https://www.facebook.com/events/796634740378570/?ref=22

7. Toronto’s toxic dirt is being dumped into Ontario farmland

As reported by The Toronto Star, the city’s construction boom is unearthing massive volumes of soil contaminated with dangerous heavy metals and petroleum, but it’s nearly impossible to know where the dirt is going because Ontario doesn’t track it. Instead, thousands of tonnes of toxic earth taken to prime farmland from downtown condominium projects are usually discovered accidentally — by neighbours who report bad odours from soil that is supposed to be “clean.” Unsurprisingly, experts warn of long-term contamination of agricultural land and groundwater, often in the Greenbelt or Oak Ridges Moraine. This can happen very easily and on an ongoing basis, as Ontario’s lucrative soil industry apparently operates with little to no government oversight. There’s no regulated tracking system, no proper definition for “clean” soil and not enough rules to govern where the soil is taken. Although The Star asked the province and various agencies to provide some kind of accounting for where all the soil from big dig projects are being dumped, neither the province nor any other agency could provide the information. Such large-scale construction projects include the city’s ever-rising towers of over-priced condominiums as well as the Pam Am Athletes’ Village, a $709 million monstrosity that is being built downtown for the upcoming Pan Am Games and will later be turned into yet more unaffordable housing that will contribute to the ongoing trend of pushing low-income families out of the heart of the city where they might actually be able to access the services they need. Yet another reason why hosting such athletic competitions (like the Olympics) is not only an irresponsible use of taxpayers’ money but also actively detrimental to the residents of the hosting city.

8. Parents should be frightened of toxic chemicals in common Hallowe’en products

As reported by Environmental Defence, new research conducted in the U.S. has revealed a scary level of toxic chemicals in the products sold for kids at Halloween. According to the report by HealthStuff.org, after testing 105 products geared towards little trick-or-treaters -- including costumes, accessories, decorations and party favours -- they found phthalates, PVCs, flame retardants and numerous other chemicals with links to serious health concerns. This research follows on a recall made on this side of the border earlier this year of a “Michael Myers” children’s costume due to DEHP levels that exceeded the legal limits put in place to protect people’s health. For anyone else who, like me, has never heard of the acronymic chemical, DEHP is regarded as a probable human carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, so it’s definitely something you want to keep your kids away from this Friday night. We’ve linked to that report on our website, so for any concerned parents out there, consider checking it out before you send your little monsters out into the night!

http://environmentaldefence.ca/blog/halloween-should-be-scary-fun-not-sc...

Midway Music: Monster Mash (Cover) by The Misfits

Article: “This year, don’t be a racist for Halloween” by Calvin Ratana for The Daily Sundial

Article: “This year, don’t be a racist for Halloween” by Calvin Ratana for The Daily Sundial Article: “Halloween costume shopping: A sampling of the racism for sale” by Native Appropriations

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: This Is Halloween (“Nightmare Revisited” Cover) by Marilyn Manson

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