Home for Father’s Day…

June 20, 2021

(Ed note:  Father’s Day may be a good time to pause for a moment to remember the families pained by the incarcerated family members.  Canadian Families Correctional Network works to ease that pain, to cope with the separation, and to help incarcerated parents learn parenting skills. https://www.cfcn-rcafd.org/ .  They can always use a few dollars for their programs, one of which has been recognized by the UN.)

UNHCR Forced Displacement in 2020
Growing displacement despite pandemic

The latest report on Refugees from the United Nations says that the pandemic has made matters much worse for the growing numbers.  Over the last ten years and in large part from war displacement, the numbers of refugees are stark while settlement has also slowed.   “Despite COVID-related movement restrictions and pleas from the international community for a ceasefire that would facilitate the COVID-19 response, displacement continued to occur – and to grow. As a result, above one per cent of the world’s population – or 1 in 95 people – is now forcibly displaced. This compares with 1 in 159 in 2010…  82.4 million FORCIBLY DISPLACED PEOPLE WORLDWIDE at the end of 2020 as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing public order.” https://www.unhcr.org/flagship-reports/globaltrends/   Related article: Amnesty International  Today, June 20th, is World Refugee Day!   https://e-activist.com/page/email?mid=cc7d68e89eae49c39274ac7debe489be Related article: CTV News – Teresa Wright, Canadian Press   How Canada’s UNDRIP bill was strengthened to reject ‘racist’ doctrine of discovery   https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/how-canada-s-undrip-bill-was-strengthened-to-reject-racist-doctrine-of-discovery-1.5477403

 CBC News – Vanessa Balintec
155-bed health centre serving federal offenders planned for Dorchester Penitentiary – Federal government says the centre will improve access to health care and treatment

Dorchester opened in 1889 and is the second oldest CSC facility in Canada, housing 799 prisons in minimum (302) and medium security (497).  The government is planning to spend $300-400 million establishing a national health centre with allowances for the Indigenous.  Said Federal Cabinet Minister Dominic Leblanc: “This project will make Dorchester Penitentiary a national leader in the health-care treatment of federal offenders and will obviously create good-paying, long-term jobs.”  Critics know that staffing such a facility, in the light of medical staffing throughout other federal facilities and current federal health care, remains the major but unanswered question.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/bilingual-health-centre-to-open-in-dorchester-1.6071624?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar   Corrections Canada – Twitter: “We had a second productive day of consultations on Structured Intervention Units. Thank you to the over 30 organizations and individuals who gave us their time and provided their very helpful input!”  Lots of people are puzzling over this twitter announcement from CSC about a consultation on the use of Structured Intervention Units, otherwise known as solitary.   https://twitter.com/CSC_SCC_en/status/1406026375467839499?s=03   Related article: The Local (PA) – Injustice is blind https://nwlocalpaper.com/injustice-is-blind?s=03

National Post / Washington Post – Antonia Noori Farzan
Video: police officer kneeling on neck of Black 14-year-old boy prompts outrage in Montreal – The teen does not resist the officers, and appears to be handcuffed

This is one of those moments when those who think that wouldn’t happen here in Canada have an opportunity for a second thought – and reaction.  Montreal police were videoed with the knee-on-the-neck while effecting the arrest of a 14 year old boy, Black, handcuffed behind the back and face-down.  The boy does not appear injured physically from the ordeal but says he is now afraid to leave the house.  “Seeing a police officer kneel on the neck of a handcuffed teenager has prompted a fresh wave of calls to ban the practice. The Black Coalition of Quebec noted in a statement that neck restraints have been banned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for decades, and questioned why local authorities would apply different standards.”  https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/video-police-officer-kneeling-on-neck-of-black-14-year-old-boy-prompts-outrage-in-montreal?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1624125546

Fearless (US) Robin Washington
What really happened on Juneteenth — and why it’s time for supremacists and their sympathizers to surrender

The institution of Juneteenth as a national US holiday to observe the freedom of former Black slaves has been very welcomed, even in a scandalously divided Congress and Senate.  But the occasion is also prompting more reflection among all Americans about what is critically missing from the history narrative.  This article, from a Jewish independent newspaper, fills in one part of that history around the famous Texas visit from federal troops announcing the end of slavery.  https://forward.com/opinion/471597/juneteenth-what-really-happened/?gamp=&__twitter_impression=true&s=03   Related article: Repeal of exceptions to slavery and involuntary servitude  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repeal_of_exceptions_to_slavery_and_involuntary_servitude Related article: Constitutional Accountability Center (US) – The War Over the 13th Amendment and Modern Day Slavery – Its “servitude” clause allows prisoners to be put to work and underpaid—i.e. unpaid. https://www.theusconstitution.org/news/the-war-over-the-13th-amendment-and-modern-day-slavery/  Related article: Washington Post – Hannah Knowles   As Juneteenth marks the end of slavery, lawmakers turn their focus to forced prison labor  https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/06/19/13th-amendment-prisons-juneteenth/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F33dfa9e%2F60cf61639d2fdae302875096%2F597720279bbc0f6826c0ca16%2F58%2F70%2F60cf61639d2fdae302875096

The Davis Vanguard  (US) – Sydney Kaplan and Koda Slingluff
U.S. Assigns $2.9 Billion in Compensation to Exonerees – Number of Collective Years Served by Wrongfully Accused Reaches 25,000 Years.

This is one of those truly startling stats in an era when most stats are frightening enough already.  The California group are quoting the National Registry for Exoneration that has estimated the cost in both wrongfully convicted years served and in the compensation paid out by the government for the mistakes made.  “The registry describes this hauntingly, saying, “To exonerees who served sentences of a year or two for crimes they did not commit, it must have felt like an eternity. For those who served decades, the suffering is incomprehensible.”  https://www.davisvanguard.org/2021/06/u-s-pays-2-9-billion-in-compensation-to-exonerees-number-of-collective-years-served-by-wrongfully-accused-reaches-25000-years/

Washington Post (US) – Rob Waters
Calling mental health workers, not police, to deal with mental health crises

This remarkable service to those in mental health crisis in Eugene, Oregon, was founded over 30 years ago, and are known as CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets).  When CAHOOTS shows up at a mental health crisis says Police Chief Chris Skinner, “it has a tendency to de-escalate a situation. That’s the secret sauce.”  One in four people killed by police in the US while in crisis are mentally ill.  “CAHOOTS hasn’t been independently evaluated but the Eugene Crime Analysis Unit estimates it diverts 5 to 8 percent of calls to 911 that would otherwise have been dispatched to police officers. Over 30 years, it has earned broad trust from homeless people, business owners and police officers, said a wide variety of people interviewed for this story.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/mental-health-workers-not-police/2021/06/18/bf250938-c937-11eb-a11b-6c6191ccd599_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F33dfa9a%2F60cf61639d2fdae302875096%2F597720279bbc0f6826c0ca16%2F51%2F70%2F60cf61639d2fdae302875096