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 !

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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.

26th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre: Panel Discussion

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Image Credit: rabble.ca

Click HERE to download the Mp3 of the panel.

In commemoration of the Montreal Massacre that happened on December 6th, 1989 in École Polytechnique, CKUT’s Off the Hour hosted a panel discussion to analyze the event once again and the impact it had on the feminist movement and gun control laws.

CKUT’s Rose Woolhouse, Kateryna Gordiychuk and Emily Enhorning had a chance to speak to Maureen Bradley, a filmmaker, who produced a short documentary in 1995 titled “Refraiming the Montreal Massacre”; Rose Marie Whalley, a community radio programmer and a board member at Center for Gender Advocacy; and Kevin Vowles, a Community Engagement Manager for the White Ribbon in Toronto, that empowers men and boys to take a stand against violence directed at women and girls.

The panel tried to unveil the social circumstances within which the crime against women occurred by addressing the issues of gender violence in general and the work done to prevent it in the aftermath of the event.

Although, the speakers said that the issue receives much more acknowledgement nowadays, they emphasized the persisting facts of violence against women and girls in modern society.

83% of all police-reported domestic assaults are against women. This pattern is consistent for every province and territory across Canada.(Canadianwomen.org)

A big part of discussion was dedicated to the media portrayal at the time of the massacre and how the news reporting consequently framed the public’s reaction to the crime. Maureen Bradley, one of the speakers, produced a documentary “Reframing the Montreal Massacre” two decades ago to address this issue.

The matter of violence against women is not an issue for feminists only, but it must be recognized and acted against by all societal structures. Kevin Vowles, one of the speakers, talked about his extensive educational work with White Ribbon, an organization that teaches boys and men to react to gender violence.

What I see when engaging men and boys is that they are willing to come forward, stand up, and say something when they see violence and rape culture happening. White Ribbon encourages men and boys to move away from harmful gender norms.  When men and boys start truly getting in touch with their emotions (transcending toxic masculinity), moving away from straight anger, we can end violence against women.

– Kevin Vowles shared with CKUT after the panel discussion

Listen to an insightful discussion on the framework in which the Montreal Massacre occurred and its consequences. Rose Marie Whalley, one of the panelists, also provides a live account from the feminist demonstration held soon after the crime.

Indigenous Youth Activist Deplores National Energy Board’s Decision to Grant Enbridge Line 9B

Photo credit: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/line-9-pipeline-work-halted-by-protests-in-toronto-1.2449229
Photo credit: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/line-9-pipeline-work-halted-by-protests-in-toronto-1.2449229
[audio https://ia801503.us.archive.org/10/items/VanessaGrayInterviewFinalCutMp3/Vanessa%20Gray%20interview%20(Final%20cut)%20mp3.mp3]

Click here to download audio.

On June 18, the Canadian government’s National Energy Board (NEB)–an independent economic regulatory agency for pipelines, power lines, and oil and gas importation–imposed further conditions on Enbridge Inc.’s controversial Line 9B pipeline reversal project, stating that it must perform hydrostatic testing along three of its segments before it officially begins shipping crude oil. The thirty-eight-year old pipeline that runs between Sarnia and Montreal was supposed to begin its operations last Fall. 

While the NEB has reported only seven oil spills, a CTV W5 investigation revealed last year that Line 9B has had at least 35 of such incidences. This aging pipeline, along with others in Ontario, continue to affect the nearby ecosystems, lands, and waters that Indigenous and other communities live and thrive on.

“It’s an industrial genocide [against Indigenous people]. These companies are on stolen land. They continue to release and spill and expand with more projects that continue to put our health at risk,” said Vanessa Gray, a member of Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines, in an interview with CKUT’s Emma Noradounkian. She discussed how this project threatens Indigenous communities and ways of resisting the pipeline project and other pipelines in the province of Ontario.

Migrant Justice Activists Rally to Bring Home Deported Mexican Teen

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[audio https://ia601505.us.archive.org/5/items/SABRallyJune16/SAB%20Rally%20June%2016.mp3]

Click here to download this report (Right click, then “save link as”)

On his 17th birthday last October, Daniel was separated from his family and deported alone to Mexico by the CBSA. Over the past 8 months, Solidarity Across Borders has been leading the effort to return Daniel to his family and community in Montreal. The campaign is now taking aim at the Quebec Minister of Immigration, demanding that Daniel be allowed to return and that the government introduce a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in regard to immigration status in public schools. CKUT’s David Zinman was at yesterday’s rally organized by Solidarity Across Borders in front of the office of the Immigration Minister.