Nov 27, 2021

Toronto Star – Omar Mosleh and Jeremy Nuttall
Photojournalist and filmmaker released after RCMP arrests in Wet’suwet’en territory spark outrage

A dispute has boiled over the access of Coastal GasLink to natural gas to a pipeline project in North West BC on land claimed by the Wet’suwet’en Nation.  Two veteran reporters were arrested and held, with others, for three days also sending media reps across the country into more rage at the RCMP who were enforcing and injunction obtained by Coastal Gaslink.  Amber Bracken, who had been working for the Narwhal news outlet at the time of her arrest, and documentary filmmaker Michael Toledano had been among more than a dozen people, including Indigenous land defenders and elders, arrested by the RCMP.  Most were released after three days in custody and a promise not to intrude into the prohibited zone again and to appear in court in February.  The RCMP claims that neither reporter identified themselves as reporters, a claim disputed by the reporters themselves.  The situation remains tense.  Related article: BC Tyee – Andrew MacLeod  Punishment for Pipeline Protesters, but Not for Pipeline Firm’s Violations?  In the legislature, Green Leader Sonia Furstenau points out a stark contrast.   Related article: CBC News – Jorge Barrera   RCMP expected stiffer resistance during raid in B.C. pipeline, land rights conflict  – Opponents of Coastal GasLink project were calling for ‘war,’ RCMP says

 City News (KW)
Encampment being removed in Kitchener (update) – The eviction is being led by regional bylaw

The decision to clear out the homeless and destroy their personal possessions saw action last week in the face of considerable increases in the policing budget.  What rankles advocates is that the contrast in funding, in fact, is acknowledging that there is no alternative for the people in the encampment at Stirling and Charles Street in Kitchener.  Related article: Ground up – KW Encampment removals are horrendous acts of police violence.   Related article: Family Counselling Center – Waterloo Being homeless should not be treated as a crime.  Related article: CTV Ottawa –  Ottawa Police Chief faces budget pressures  Related article: Re-allocate Waterloo Region – Unpolicing the Regional Budget – A statement from ReAllocateWR

Yahoo News Canada
Annual cost of prison isolation units to be $2.8 million each, budget officer says 

This astonishing revelation by Canada’s budget officer is more than startling given the struggle to have Corrections Canada abide by the human rights declarations of both the courts and the UN.  Now called ‘structural intervention units’ solitary confine by 2026 will cost a whopping $2.8 million per individual unit – 15 to date (10 for men, 5 for women), and CSC is saying that they will need 32 units in total.  For the 32 units the anticipated price tag will be $91 million.   Is anyone watching?

Amnesty International – A conversation on immigration detention and mental health
Join us in conversation with “Amina,” a former child immigration detainee.

At the age of 7, Amina and her family fled Afghanistan and sought refugee protection in Canada. Upon arrival, they were detained. She is now studying to become a refugee lawyer so that others can have a better Canadian story.

ZOOM Event: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 8:00 PM EST (5:00 PM Pacific)

To register:   (If unable to participate, the event is being recorded and Amnesty International will send the recording.)

N.Y. Times (US) – Christine Chung
After Meeting with Victim, Former Missouri Officer Is Cleared of Assault –  The charge was dropped after the former police officer and the woman she shot outside a supermarket in Ladue, Mo., agreed to meet with a mediator over Zoom, prosecutors said.

Given the civil and justice atmosphere in the US these days, this event has to be worthy of special note.  Ashley Hall was suspected of shoplifting and the police officer, Julia Crews, says she confused the laser with her gun and unintentionally shot Hall in the back outside the supermarket.  St Louis Country prosecutor Wesley Bell just announced that the assault charge against Crews would be dropped, and that Hall and Crews both sought a restorative resolution.  Related article: CBS News  Former Georgia district attorney booked on charges of obstructing Ahmaud Arbery case

CTV News – Rachel Aiello
Feds tabling new bill to ban conversion therapy on Monday

The effort to ban conversion therapy as a means to “cure” homosexuality is on again with the federal liberals.  “Conversion “therapy” as it’s been called, seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, and has been opposed by numerous health and human rights groups.”  The new bill, on the House of Commons agenda for Monday  was promised within 100 days of the new government and is said to be stronger than its predecessor.

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)  Guest Blogger Sophie Wainwright, Senior Policy and Communications Officer at the Drive Project.
 Domestic abuse perpetrators need more than a criminal justice response: Shaping the domestic abuse strategy

Wainwright advocates for a comprehensive response from all agencies confronting the issue of domestic abuse.  She lists what her group, Drive Project, thinks is essential for an appropriate resolution and she gives five essential elements for the legislation, concluding with another five specific justice related items.   Drive Project web site: