Who’s listening?

Jan 18, 2022

All night buses for housing

The most recent deep cold in Toronto led to a warning declaration by the city and the use of city buses overnight for protection by some homeless people, where kindly bus drivers allowed, drawing attention to the deplorable situation, made worse by outbreaks of Covid in some shelters:  (cf attached string of comments as well)

Dr. Rima Berns-McGown  https://twitter.com/beyrima/status/1482527839014510596?s=03


The Senate of Canada – Senators Petitclerc and Pate

43 Senators sign a letter asking the government to initiate an experimental basic income in the province of PEI.  More good news! Led by Senators @CPetitclerc and @KPateontheHill, 43 Senators have signed an open letter calling on the Canadian government to work with PEI to launch a Basic Income Demonstration Project!  Letter at:   https://sencanada.ca/media/368757/e

 The Breach (Canada) – Martin Lukacs
Canadian police expanding surveillance powers via new digital “operations centres” – Documents reveal municipal police establishing surveillance centres as “force multiplier” for law enforcement

Breach Media.ca reports on developments within the field of surveillance by police using digital technologies, and secrecy around who and how the surveillance is carried out, mostly, it appears, using US corporations.  “According to government documents, the centres are modeled after fusion centres created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security post-9/11. The U.S. fusion centres, which began with a focus on combatting terrorism but later expanded to criminal and political activity, have been criticized for indiscriminate surveillance and civil rights violations.”  An added issue is the funding buried in police budget increases.  https://breachmedia.ca/canadian-police-expanding-surveillance-powers-via-new-digital-operations-centres/

Lawyer’s Daily – David Dorson
Prison, a view from inside

The author is a convicted person offering ‘an insider’s view’ of jail and prison.  The description goes from sentencing through holding cell to transport to provincial jail and later likely to a federal prison.  What is striking is the denial of personhood and handling people as though they were simply freight to be stored until the system dictated some change.  Some related articles at the link…  https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/criminal/articles/32769/prison-a-view-from-inside-david-dorson?nl_pk=40ed8ea4-637a-4d76-870f-04f0eeae7de8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=criminal

Passages (Canada) – Davide Mastracci
A Guide to Bullshit, Power-Serving Journalism Phrases – These phrases function as PR for police, victim-blame sexual assault survivors, support Canadian foreign policy, and minimize racism.

Writers in Canada are often confronted with dilemmas around the best turn of phrase to avoid compounding undesirable images and social implications.  Most professional writers use the Canadian Press guides.  This unusual article speaks to many of those terms and explains the subtle differences in a turn of phrase.  Think about ‘Canada’s Indigenous People’ or ‘officer involved shooting.’  https://readpassage.com/a-guide-to-bullshit-power-serving-journalism-phrases/?utm_campaign=Bulkly&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=ySocial&utm_content=Bulkly13816

Maytree Advancing Justice Series – Anthony Morgan / Elizabeth McIsaac
Confronting anti-Black racism through the courts, community activism, and government action

Maytree Foundation’s series explores the relationship between human rights, poverty, racism and the criminal justice system (The link also has the previous articles in the series). Morgan, a lawyer and human rights advocate with a distinguished advocacy history, is interviewed by Elizabeth McIsaac, President of the Board of Maytree.  https://maytree.com/publications/confronting-anti-black-racism-through-the-courts-community-activism-and-government-action/?mc_cid=1a2226f5f7&mc_eid=d3ca2ffb1f

Restorative Approaches to Elder Abuse – Eva E. Marszewski, Peacebuilders Canada

This is a one hour video dramatizing the contrast between the usual criminal / court approach to elder abuse through theft, and the restorative justice approach.  The role playing involves an actual case of theft from a parent by the son.  The first part is the court route and the second part the restorative justice approach, each part about 30 minutes.  Eva warns that the actual circle takes considerable care and preparation.  http://prismalight.com/client/srj3/

N.Y. Times / WION News (Ohio) – Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
In a First, Ohio Moves to Put Body Cameras on Guards in Every Prison – The state is distributing 5,100 new body-worn cameras, the most extensive commitment of any state as corrections facilities across the country push for better surveillance.

“This is ultimately about safety, transparency and accountability for everyone who works or lives in our prisons,” Ms. Chambers-Smith (Ohio’s head of the state prison agency) said in a statement.  There are already many cameras in the prisons but the goal of full transparency suggests the need for additional views of encounters between guards and persons incarcerated, to augment for blind spots.  The move was also partially prompted by the death of a person under confusing circumstances in early January.   https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/14/us/ohio-priso-body-cams.html  Related article: AP NEWS.com- Andrew Welsh-Huggins Prison systems adding body-worn cameras to security plans  https://apnews.com/article/business-prisons-violence-ohio-california-c5380b608fcebe0af82d6729205f31d0

Tweet: Radley Balko
Virginia’s new Attorney General disbands the entire Conviction Integrity Unit without warning

“I’m trying to think of a charitable reason you’d disband a unit that works to free innocent people from prison. I can’t think of one. Virginia has seen 53 exonerations since 1989, including 18 wrongly convicted of murder.”  (cf string) https://twitter.com/radleybalko/status/1482789179390152709?s=03  Related article; The Marshall Report – Maurice Chammah   Anatomy of a Murder Confession – Texas Ranger James Holland became famous for cajoling killers into confessing to their crimes. But did some of his methods — from lying to suspects to having witnesses hypnotized — ensnare innocent people, too?    https://www.themarshallproject.org/2022/01/18/anatomy-of-a-murder-confession