No family…

June 9, 2021 

A twitter from Amira Elghawaby
Statement from the Afzal family who have lost four family members in hate attack… A statement no one should ever have to write

Related article: Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles and Raisa Patel   Words are not enough to eradicate hate, say Muslim Canadians   “Racism and hate is a pandemic. I mean, for God’s sake, how many more people have to be killed?”

The – Jasmin Zine

Muslim family killed in terror attack in London, Ontario: Islamophobic violence surfaces once again in Canada   “While Canadians may be shocked and blindsided by this mass murder, the ingredients for this tragedy have long been in the making. The warning signs of white nationalist violence have been glaring… But it’s not only far-right fringe groups that hold anti-Muslim views.”


Toronto Star – Alyshah Hasham, Alex Boutilier and Wendy Gillis
Police say killing of Muslim family in London, Ont. was ‘planned, premeditated act motivated by hate’

This is Canada today.  “A Muslim family out for a Sunday walk at dusk were intentionally run down by the driver of a speeding truck who targeted the family because of their faith, London, Ont. police said — a “hate-motivated killing” the city’s mayor called an act of mass murder… At 8:40 p.m. on a clear and warm night, a black pickup truck driven by a lone man mounted the curb of a busy London intersection and struck a family of five as they waited to cross the street…The driver sped off, leaving a scene of chaos and tragedy.”  Four of the five are dead and one in hospital.”   Related article: The Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze   Five Muslim pedestrians deliberately hit by driver, four dead, in alleged hate attack in London, Ont.   Related article: CBC News – Nick Boisvert    Here’s what Ottawa has said, and done, about Islamophobia and attacks on Muslim Canadians   Related article: Toronto Star – Raisa Patel  Trudeau, federal leaders commit to fighting hate in wake of attack on Muslim family in London, Ont.   Related article: Muslim Association of Canada – Mariam Manaa   Islamophobic hate crime takes the lives of 4 members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario

CBC News – Desmond Brown
New Hamilton popcorn store to shine light on what happens when people go to prison – ‘It’s actually going to be like a story-telling micro museum,’ former inmate Emily O’Brien says

We need all sorts of variation on the narratives associated with prisons to get to the point of understanding how unhelpful the experience is and how we could be helpful to offering second chances to those caught up in the experience.  Popcorn store proprietor Emily O’Brien has five flavours of popcorn, an engaging narrative available about her experience in prison and what second chance really means.  “It’s not just about the popcorn. It’s definitely more about the story and where people could really learn and engage and maybe help change their perspective on people that have been incarcerated and open up their eyes as well,” O’Brien said…  “We’re targeting anyone who supports second chances, or anyone who likes a feel good story, and anyone who likes to learn.”  The local MP, Pam Damoff, says:  “Emily O’Brien served time in prison and is on a mission to change our views about rehabilitation and the importance of second chances.”

 National Newswatch – Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
Motion passes urging feds drop court actions on rulings regarding First Nations kids

While the country stands in shock over the mass grave of 215 children at the residential school in Kamloops, the impact of an unmitigated failure to confront the harm from the official government policy of colonialism and elimination of the Indigenous culture seems to be getting more focused,  The government itself is the chief protagonist in the widely acknowledged need to redress the harm to Indigenous children when the government position is to fight in court every accepted measure to repair the harm.  “…parliamentarians from all five parties teamed up Monday to demand Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority government abandon the judicial reviews to be heard in Federal Court next week.”  The motion which passed 271-0 with some Liberal abstentions is none binding but voices the opinion of the House.

 Bureau of Justice Statistics (US)  – Tracy L. Snell
Capital Punishment, 2019 – Statistical Tables

The table has a comprehensive statistical report on the exercise of the death penalty at both federal and state levels, recording both those states (with the feds) which have capital punishment on the books and those which don’t, the numbers executed, those on death row, those states re-assessing the final penalty.  The report is a 27 page downloadable pdf at

Workers (US) – Betsey Piette
Solitary confinement ‘torture chambers’

This is the place where solitary is alleged to have started and where supporters hope they will be able to end it: Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia.   HB1037, now before the Pennsylvania legislation, “would cap the maximum days in solitary confinement at 15. This is in accordance with U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners — named the “Nelson Mandela Rules.”

The Atlantic – George Packer
How America Fractured Into Four Parts – People in the United States no longer agree on the nation’s purpose, values, history, or meaning. Is reconciliation possible?

The link offers what may be considered a reflective analysis of what narratives make up the often perplexing and divisive public life of the US.  Packer has four groups – Free America, Smart America, Real America, and Just America – and suggests that understanding the origins and life of these narratives may well facilitate a clearer understanding of that public life and the way to change it.  We Canadians may find parallels.