Not in Canada…

Jan 13, 2021

Global News – Stewart Bell
Canadian Proud Boys in ‘panic’ as platforms go offline and government talks of terror listing

The immediate and visceral reaction to the incitement of insurrection in the US has prompted consideration about the Canadian presence of Trump radicals and other far right groups.  The result is that the far right such as our own Proud Boys has begun disappearing from visibility.  The sites for Canada, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary have been taken down.  The disappearance is likely only that and these group will re-surface under other guises.   Related article: National Observer – Max Fawcett   Rigged Canadian election? Why Canada’s Conservatives can’t seem to quit Donald Trump   Related article: iPolitics – Michael Coren  Could what happened in Washington last week happen here?  Many Canadian Catholics have similar values and views as non-Catholic Canadians. But there’s an active and militant fringe to the church here, too.’    Related article: National Newswatch – Robert Danisch and William Keith – The Conversation The U.S. Capitol violence could happen in Canada — here are 3 ways to prevent it

 The Atlanta (US) – Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research
 Denial Is the Heartbeat of America – When have Americans been willing to admit who we are?

The article, by the author of How to be an Antiracist, critiques the reaction of many who disavow any consistency between the Capitol incident and who we really are.  History, says Kendi, shows that the racism that prompted the capitol incident is exactly who we are and that the response has been enormous denial of that history and its impact on Blacks and minorities in the United States.  Kendi calls for a new start by acknowledging the history and committing to rooting out the problem, policies and practices.  Related article: MSNBC – The Historical Context of the Trump: The pro-Trump Mob and the legacy of lynching  (Joy Reid talks to Kathleen Belew and Nikole Hannah-Jones about the pro-Trump mob and how it fits into the legacy of lynching in the United States.)

Denver (Colorado) Channel 7 News – Stephanie Butzer
Denver Sheriff Department hires its first chief of mental health services

The decision to hire by the Denver Sheriff’s Department is a promising indication of the potential for serious change in policing and at once perhaps a good example of how to re-direct police funding to mental health issues.  The hire, Dr. Nikki J. Johnson, Psy.D., CAS officially joined the sheriff’s department after an extensive background in mental health services in a variety of correctional / prison settings.    Related article: WHYY (Philadelphia)  –  Dante Jones   Without a home and arrested: What I learned about police while homeless

The Guardian (UK) – Mattha Busbey
Call for UK prisons to trial free cannabis to see if it cuts drug deaths – Exclusive: police commissioner says move may also decrease violence and help inmates beat opioid addictions

See how far we have come!  The call in the UK by the North Wales PCC (Police and Crime Commissioner), Arfon Jones, reacting to an influx of illegal drugs brought into prisons by staff, says:  “The aim of the game is to make prisons safer. If they’re serious about reducing violence in prisons they should be addressing the causes and that’s psychoactive substances. Plus there’s a whole range of issues that cannabis would be geared to reduce the risk of.”

Keri Blakinger

Lisa Montgomery was executed yesterday (Jan 12) in Terre Haute, Indiana, by federal justice department officials.  Blakinger who promotes justice issues for the Marshall Project tweeted the commentary of Montgomery’s lawyer who said in part:  “Though Pres. Trump could not be the hero we asked him to be, we are here to say to every woman & girl who has been victim of violence & degradation: You matter. Your pain matters. You are more than a victim. You are a survivor…We should recognize Lisa Montgomery’s execution for what it was: the vicious, unlawful and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power.”    Related article: The Intercept (US) – Liliana Segura    Trump’s Execution Spree Is Not About Him. It’s About Us.  The killings in Terre Haute may look like an aberration, but they are part of a violent tradition that Americans have long accepted.