Indigenous People in Mainstream Medias

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As stories about Indigenous people are rarely covered in mainstream medias, same images about them come back again and again. According to Steve Bonspiel,  people tend to be dissociated from their lands and ressources they use. That is why, find a new way to reconcile those two things was the purpose of the Panel about Indigenous People in Mainstream Medias organized at Mc Gill University on March, 21st. Indeed, issues about Indigenous People are often marginalized in mainstream medias where they are portrayed as being primitive, violent and devious, or passive and submissive. Such depictions have become a comfortable frame of reference each time there is a question about Indigenous people, even though very few non-Natives have had the opportunity to meet a Native person in real life.

According to the panelists Steve Bonspiel – Editor at The Eastern Door – , Jessica Deer – Staff Reporter at The Eastern Door-, and Nakha Bertrand – Editor at Ricochet – Français–  who attended the Conference, mainstream medias should share stories about Indigenous lives and stories about the community for people to know and understand better communities without judging or producing new stereotypes about the ”un-known”.

On the subject, the final report made by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in June 2015 admitted the lack of knowledges journalists had about Indigenous people implying a bad coverage of their real life.  It stated:

The country’s large newspapers, TV and radio news shows often contain misinformation, sweeping generalizations and galling stereotypes about Natives and Native affairs. The result is that most Canadians have little real knowledge of the country’s Native peoples or the issues that affect them.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission found little change in Canadian media coverage in the two decades since, concluding that ” this historical pattern persists “.

As long as journalists won’t ask real questions to Indigenous people as well as give a real critical viewpoint about issues which Indigenous people face  in their everyday life, we won’t be able to understand each other and move on. We need to give a voice to the voiceless !

Rap Battle Against Police Brutality

Listen to Wednesday Morning After – Rap Battle Reports

On Wednesday, February 15th was organized the Rap Battle Against Police Brutality at Le Belmont in Montreal. CKUT was at the event and met Montreal emcees, poets, Concordia students and community members to tackle the issue of police brutality. This charity event may raise awareness on this relevent topic and advocate justice to people who have suffered from police brutality. The Rap Battle allowed people to share their stories, encourage people to act and work on new solutions as a group. Instead of competing, the Rap Battle gave voices to everyone upon a same issue rarely mentioned.

“It is a systematic problem that needs to be address and change raising our voices and unit in a peaceful way” – Max

 Joshua Clarke – Scynikal (End Of the Weak International freestyle champion), Meryem Saci and Waahli aka Wyzah from Nomadic Massive, UrbN LogiX, Marley C (Voyage Funktastique), Strange Froots, Tshizimba, Shemar Gordon, Sereni-T, Warrior Minded, Shanice Nicole, Dan Parker Montreal, Stel La, Nazim Elnur, Gabriel Duchesneau, Fallon, Sylvia Stewart Artist, Edward Kezber (Nautic), Fenton Benjamin (Boz), Ikey Beauvais (Kahnawake emcee), Nicolas Alpha Deh, Jazor Ollintzin, Tino Sananikonen AKA DJ 0n1t , and Benzo Are O Why  performed during this event and all donations went to Montreal Noir and Families of Sisters in Spirit.

CKUT supports this event and invites you to join the next Rap Battle upcoming on March, 29th Against Consumerism at the Belmont.

Countdown to Trump Inauguration

With the upcoming inauguration of the president-elect down south, CKUT’s News Collective would like to share some thoughts from Masha, a member of Russia’s Pussy Riot.

Pussy Riot is a feminist protest punk-band-meet-art-collective that uses performance and music to disseminate their defiance. The group’s “guerilla performance” in 2012 at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow brought them international recognition and a two-year jail sentence for mocking Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for the, then, presidential candidate.

In 2016, Pussy Riot again spoke out against the American president-elect. At the time of the interview, Trump was the Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential election. In response to his success, two songs – “Straight Outta Pussy” and “Make America Great Again” – were released. Both their lyrics and music videos challenged his demonstrated misogyny, racism, and classism.

When asked about Trump, Masha described him as “a crazy asshole.” The interview further explores why tactics employed by feminists in the US and Canada cannot be compared with feminism’s tactics in the Russia, how the rise of Trump resembles that of Putin, and how the media can distort public opinion about struggles against the status quo.

The CKUT News Collective would like to encourage its listeners to go out and show solidarity with DC’s disruptions of Inauguration Day in Montreal.

McGill Casual Worker Strike Comes to a Close at Snowden Video Conference

AMUSE marches through Leacock 132 condemning attendees (credit: @elenarazlogova)

In light of the Association of McGill University Support Employee’s (AMUSE) five-day strike, CKUT sat down with one of their executives and bargaining members to address their reasons for their work stoppage from October 29th to November 2nd. 82% of the AMUSE members who showed up for the strike vote voted in favour of strike action on October 20th.

AMUSE, McGill’s contract worker union, represents 1500 workers who work all across campus, including Athletics, the McGill Bookstore, and Enrolment Services. The strike was sparked by an impasse in AMUSE’s negotiations with McGill, specifically on the clause regarding McGill’s Work Study program. However, casual worker dissatisfaction ran much deeper, particularly for employees who were not students. More information in the above embedded interview.

The interview was carried out on Monday, the half-way point of their five-day strike. At that point, AMUSE had disrupted various on-campus operations and events, including sporting events and McGill’s Open House. They had also started a hashtag – #istandwithAMUSE – for people to share their experiences on social media. Or pose for a selfie with a sign.

No employees were hired to scab their work, likely because they had declared an end date to the strike. However, Open House did see various full-time permanent employees and higher-up administrators carrying out their work, such as giving campus tours.

The highest profile event that AMUSE disrupted during their strike was Media@McGill’s video conference with Edward Snowden. Before the talk started, AMUSE marched through the lecture hall, shaming the room for crossing their picket lines. A mixture of cheers, jeers and boos ensued. AMUSE picketed all the entrances, handing out flyers which described their conditions, why not to cross their picket line, and that they did not intend to stand against Edward Snowden’s message. Picketers underscored that their picket lines were to draw attention to Media@McGill’s history of ad hoc, precarious contracts.

Nevertheless, a picket line was set up at the entrance for media. A rally also set up camp among the line of hopeful attendees, pushing the message that their rally was the better activity for the evening (The line for Snowden snaked from Leacock, past the Arts Building, down the stairs to McConnell and up all the way to Trottier).

Ironically, Snowden expressed sympathy for their cause saying that “It’s very very very hard to be the least popular person in the room.” And yet at the same time, he also expressed apprehension about journalists being treated as regular citizens (in the context of recent findings that the SPVM and SQ have been tapping journalist communications for information).

Notably, strike pay was only available to workers who chose to work at least a four-hour strike shift. Strike pay was $53 for a four-hour picket shift if you worked under 20 hours a week and $75 for a four-hour picket shift if you worked over 20 hours a week. If members worked more than one AMUSE job, they were told to combine the hours to calculate the total. Several members expressed to CKUT about their discomfort with being compensated only if they picketed. Interestingly enough, Snowden had brought up the right to being a private citizen in his video conference, specifically the right to understanding how governing bodies made their decisions (“Why shouldn’t we get compensated if we don’t picket?”) and the right to keeping controversial views private (“I don’t want to picket in the rain”).

Casual workers have returned to their posts as of Thursday November 3rd and hope to hear updates with negotiations with McGill that will restart November 10th.

A Demand for Social Housing: Blue Bonnets Demonstration in C.D.N.

CKUT News spoke with Jen from the Cotes-Des-Neiges Community Council regarding the Blue Bonnets public demonstration, which took place the morning of June 22nd. The demonstration raised awareness and increased engagement towards the development of a large social housing project, proposed for the now-empty lot near Namur Metro.

This piece was produced for CKUT by Claudia Edwards

Anti Racial-Profiling Event

racial profiling
On March 21, the CSU Legal Information Clinic hosted a discussion and workshop concerning legal nuances in cases of racial profiling in policing.
Businessman Joel Debellefeuille gives a testimony of his Driving While Black experiences, and of subsequent interactions with courts, the Police Ethics Commissioner, and the Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi then discusses the obstacles to effective civil rights protection in Quebec.
This piece was produced by Natalia Kalicki.

Living on the Streets: Toronto vs MTL

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Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/

https://archive.org/embed/RealDeRealEnMp3“>Download here

On March the 15th, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) officially released its report Out in the Cold on the state of the Toronto shelter system . The study’s findings are based on numerous interviews with service users and workers. It points out to a shelter system in crisis, plagued by constant overcrowding, harsh living conditions and a city government unwilling to take action.

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Source: OCAP report “Out in the Cold”

CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed one of the writers of this report for a summary of the OCAP’s findings. Some of the statistics are hard to believe. For instance, 81% of the people surveyed stated that they had been denied a shelter bed because the shelters were full (see the chart above)! Equally shocking, in most shelters occupancy levels exceeded 90% every night. This is highly problematic given that  overcrowded shelters lead to a high stress environment, a poor night’s rest and health issues. Luckily, OCAP volunteers and engaged citizens are taking action against this situation. Check out this video to get an idea of the scope of the protests happening in Toronto. 

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Francois Boissy

To get a sense of the state of the shelter system in Montreal, we also interviewed Francois Boissy who is the director of operations at La Maison du Pere, one of the largest homeless shelters in the city. He points out some of the differences between the way the cities of Toronto and Montreal deal with their homeless populations.

Aside from the administrative aspect of the shelter systems of Toronto and Montreal, an important question remains: “how does it feel, for people on the ground, to experience the shelter system in both cities?” Michel, an ex-homeless man that lived on the streets for two years from 2009-2011, explained to our reporter his personal experience with Montreal shelters. In this fascinating interview he talks about the reasons why he became an itinerant in the first place, the different shelters he slept in,  food conditions and how shelter services helped him get out of the streets. We are truly grateful for his trust in sharing this story, the full interview is available for stream and download below.

Download here

More More I want More!

  • For the history of the Toronto shelter system click here. 
  • Find a critical (but pretty short!) analysis of the Montreal shelter system here