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The Daily GRRR! Dec 31 2012

by Grand River Media Collective

Dec 31, 2012,

And you are listening to The Daily GRRR! on 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario. Soundfm.ca on the web.

We are broadcasting from the heart of the occupied Haldimand Tract, Haudenosaunee territy of the Six Nations of the Grand River.

Grand River Radical Radio is a project of the Grand River Media Collective, and you can visit us via our website at grandrivermc.ca

The Daily GRRR! is supported by WPIRG, LSPIRG, and the Community Radio Fund of Canada.

My name is Dan Kellar and I will be your host today, filling in on the Defending the Land Dispatch heard here every Monday and Tuesday morning.

We begin today with The Daily GRRR! headlines for Dec 31th, 2012, closing out the year with...

The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for Dec 31st, 2012
1. Federal government says Canadians’ personal info is lost, but not defrauded (yet)
2. Police, FBI in cahoots with banks for crackdown on Occupy movement
3. Canadian mall surveillance in violation of privacy rights
4. Breastfeeding mother made to leave Nova Scotia retail store
5. George Bush not dead yet, despite wishful thinking from Germany
6. Another First Nation decries mercury poisoning, pleads for government’s help
7. Ontario MPPs greedy for mining, forestry in 2013

1. Federal government says Canadians’ personal info is lost, but not defrauded (yet)
A USB key loaded with the personal information—including Social Insurance Numbers—of roughly 5000 Canadian workers has gone missing. But the government doesn’t want you to worry.
According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the department which handles such delicate information, everyone whose information would be found on the drive has been contacted and assured that there is “no evidence that any of the information...has been used for fraudulent purposes”...though, of course, there’s no way to know for sure until such fraud is reported later on down the line, when it’s already too late.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/12/28/privacy-commissioner-hrds...
Though this case was apparently an accident, it gives us even more valid reason to be concerned with how much of our personal information is made available to the government—and by the government to other parties, as in our next story.

2. Police, FBI in cahoots with banks for crackdown on Occupy movement
New documents have come to light which reveal a frightening collaboration between Wall Street’s financial fat cats, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police to orchestrate the violent crackdowns on Occupy protests last fall, which they considered a “terrorist threat”.
The news broke Saturday in UK paper The Guardian with an exposé by American left-wing journalist Naomi Wolf—already acclaimed for her book The End of America, which outlines how democratic societies like the United States can descend into fascism with ten scary steps taken by the administration. Her current scoop is an extended example of this, as she writes here:
“The documents, released after long delay in the week between Christmas and New Year, show a nationwide meta-plot unfolding in city after city in an Orwellian world: six American universities are sites where campus police funneled information about students involved with OWS to the FBI, with the administrations' knowledge (p51); banks sat down with FBI officials to pool information about OWS protesters harvested by private security; plans to crush Occupy events, planned for a month down the road, were made by the FBI – and offered to the representatives of the same organizations that the protests would target; and even threats of the assassination of OWS leaders by sniper fire... (p61).”
Though the documents are linked in the story and available for viewing online, being so liberally redacted, they won’t tell you much more than Wolf has already reported.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crac...
http://www.justiceonline.org/commentary/fbi-files-ows.html

3. Canadian mall surveillance in violation of privacy rights
Coming off the chilling effects of Occupy surveillance, the seemingly minor issue of undocumented video surveillance in shopping malls is thrown into a much more threatening light. According to a University of Toronto study spearheaded by members of the Identity, Privacy and Security Institute, of the hundreds of cameras operating in 2 prominent Toronto-area malls—the Eaton Centre and Square One—none met the legal standards for alerting shoppers that they are being watched.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association takes issue with this, explaining that this is “a question of not depriving people of the opportunity to make a decision themselves about what they want to share and what they do not want to share and that's a fundamental aspect of human dignity.”
As the study concluded, “The findings of this study raise disturbing implications, as both video surveillance penetration and capabilities are expanding rapidly without appropriate understanding, transparency, oversight or accountability.” That’s the growing trend with governments these days, and we’re right to be worried.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/12/27/video-surveillance-camera...

4. Breastfeeding mother made to leave Nova Scotia retail store
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/12/28/ns-breastfeed...
In a blatant act of close-minded discrimination on Christmas Eve, young mother Kendra-Ann Nugent was told to leave a Claire’s accessories store after she began breastfeeding her baby daughter—despite the fact that breastfeeding has been legally designated as a human right in the province of Nova Scotia for over a decade.
This is the second incident of its kind within a week’s time, indicating to some extent the still-existing fear and loathing of women’s bodies and mothering in modern society. It hits close to home for many families and can often hurt, as Nugent herself admits.
“I left the store immediately. I was pretty shocked and I was upset. I felt bullied,” Nugent said. "I that all mothers in Nova Scotia should have the right to breastfeed… and feel comfortable while doing so." Nugent has also said that, as far as she knows, no customers had complained about her breastfeeding before the store employee asked her to leave.

5. George Bush not dead yet, despite wishful thinking from Germany
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1308487--george-h-w-bush-obitu...
Though now 88 years old and ailing, former president George H.W. Bush has not actually passed away, according to a hasty correction from well-respected German news agency, Der Spiegel. He had been held in hospital and intensive care since last week, but is apparently making a comeback, surprising the media who obviously figured we’d seen the end of him.
After removing the unfinished obituary for the previous Republican leader, calling him “a colorless politician”, the German magazine casually apologised on Twitter for its slip-up, claiming business as usual: “All newsrooms prepare obituaries for selected figures...The fact that the one for Bush senior went live was a technical mistake. Sorry!”
Sorry to disappoint, they seemed to say, that the world will still have two Bush men to contend with. According to the obit, George H. W. Bush (Sr.)’s bad public image is only tempered in comparison to that of his son, the even more infamous Republican president George W. (Jr.). George Sr.’s unfortunate presidential actions included, most notably, the spearheading of NAFTA, the controversial North American Free Trade Agreement which advanced unethical economic globalisation and sparked the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, followed in turn by the growing anti-globalisation movement worldwide.

6. Another First Nation decries mercury poisoning, pleads for government’s help
Like their downstream neighbours in Grassy Narrows (Asubpeeschoseewagong) First Nation, members of the Wabauskang First Nation have been suffering for decades from mercury poisoning due to resource development in the English-Wabigoon river system, upon which they and other First Nations have long depended for their food and water.
However, unlike Grassy Narrows which has make news and received support—albeit not nearly enough—their home community has not received compensation or even recognition for their sufferings. That’s why 73-year-old Wabauskang elder Betty Riffel has written recently to the media, asking for action to be taken.
Describing most poignantly the infant deaths she attributes to the mercy poisoning, Riffel is righteous in her claim to the mercury disability compensation board, which was established in by the government in 1986 and provides support for people at nearby Grassy Narrows and Wabseemong First Nations. Having directly sought their support for her community for decades, in apparent futility, she has made public her claim in the hopes that things will move forward before their time runs out.
“There aren't many of us left, only nine. Those of us who are still alive are sick and suffering from the effects of the poisoning. We are old, and it seems to us that Ontario and Canada are just waiting for us to die because it will be cheaper than helping us.”
The full text of Riffel’s letter is available on line.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2012/12/28/tby-mercury-p...
In light of these legacies, we ought to be wary of further “resource development” into lands impacting First Nations communities—unlike Ontario MPPs, it would seem, according to our next story.

7. Ontario MPPs greedy for mining, forestry in 2013
Apparently, the big push for economic growth on the political agenda for the Ontario government next year will be to open up the northern area of our province—nor to mention the Indigenous nations still living there, which is in fact does not mention—so we’ll be seeing further ecological devastation in the pursuit of short-term profit if they get their way.
While liberal MPP for Sudbury insists that the government must promote more mining, with a New Democrat MPP from the so-called “Nickel Belt” region is in agreement that this is the best answer for producing better paying jobs, representation from Nipissing argues instead for more forestry. With governance like this, the many diverse ecosystems of Ontario are at stake. We’ll have to wait and see how the Liberal leadership race shapes up in January.
* * *
Those were the headlines for today, our final Daily GRRR! for 2012. It’s been quite the busy year for folks trying to make change, and Rabble.ca has offered up a poll for readers and listeners to decide their own, alternative “newsmaker of the year” for 2012. While the student-social movements we saw in Quebec this spring have taken top billing as the year’s most notable story, close behind is Chief Theresa Spence and the Idle No More movement for Indigenous rights and sovereignty. We expect the coverage of this inspiring uprising to continue well into 2013, with the political situation still hostile towards Indigenous nations and leaders, particularly those struggling to hold the Canadian government accountable for its obligations under our treaty agreements, which are just as binding today as they were centuries ago. We’ll hear more on this from Vancouver-based writer and activist Harsha Walia for today’s feature in a few minutes, with her analysis of the Idle No More movement in the context of its racist haters, from right-wing media and politicians to the Canadian public; she discusses how their attitudes perpetuate colonialism even further and explains how the responsibility for decolonisation rests on all of us, citing “co-existence through co-resistance” as both our obligation to one another and the best collective hope we have for the future. A critical issue to focus on as we begin another new year—what will you do to make a difference, to decolonise your own mind and works towards healthier relationships and communities? For some inspiration, here’s a song from renowned ______ journalist and hip-hop artist Wab Kinew, commemorating some of the many heroes of Indigenous communities across this land. (Also be sure to check out his blog at wabkinew.ca and the recent Huffington Post article in which he outlines how Idle No More is, in his words, not just an “Indian thing”: http://wabkinew.ca/idle-indian-thing/)

Midway Music: Wab Kinew - "Heroes"

And we are back, that was Wab Kinew with his song “Heroes” and you heard it here on 100.3fm, CKMS Waterloo, Ontario, and Soundfm.ca on the web. Now, as promised, we have as feature for today Harsha Walia’s “Debunking Blatchford and other anti-Native ideologues on Idle No More”.

Feature:
Article: "Debunking Blatchford and other anti-Native ideologues on Idle No More" by " Harsha Walia" from "Rabble.ca"
http://www.rabble.ca/news/2012/12/debunking-blatchford-and-other-anti-na...

And that’s our show for today, folks; thanks for tuning in to The Daily GRRR, heard every weekday morning from 9am to 9:30, and today’s Defending the Land Dispatch, produced by Kathryn Wettlaufer and edited by Stefan Ralli. I have been your host, Dan Kellar, and you can find podcasts of all past Grand River Radical Radio broadcasts, as well as info on upcoming events and other useful links, on our webpage at grandrivermc.ca. In the meantime, keep listening here on 100.3fm, CKMS, in Waterloo, Ontario, and Soundfm.ca on the web.

Closing Song: Geoff Berner - "Victory Party"

 

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friendly neighbourhood anarchist, rad dad, land defence enthusiast, decolonial digger, radio pirate, indy journalist, systems geographer. noline9wr.ca chippewassolidarity.org

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