The Daily GRRR! - Jan. 13, 2015 - “Too Bad It’s Only Tuesday” Edition

The Daily GRRR! HEADLINES for Jan. 13, 2015. 1. US activist convicted of environmental terrorism gets early release. 2. UWaterloo lecturer publicly defends unjustly fired campus café worker. 3. Anonymous threatens to out members of misogynistic Dalhousie group. 4. BC First Nation implements 100-year community development plan. 5. Zapatistas organize first ever Worldwide Festival of Resistance. 6. US researchers link recent earthquakes to fracking along Ohio fault line.
listen to the Daily GRRR!:  DailyGrrrJan13.mp3

Welcome back to SoundFM! You are now listening to The Daily GRRR! on the airwaves at 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and on the web. This is Kathryn and I’ll be your host on this Tuesday morning show for January 13th, 2015.

As always, we are broadcasting from the heart of the Haldimand Tract, the occupied Grand River Territory of the Six Nations, which we continue to recognize as Haudenosaunee land.

The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

We will begin today with headlines:
The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for Jan. 13, 2015 
1. US activist convicted of environmental terrorism gets early release
2. UWaterloo lecturer publicly defends unjustly fired campus café worker
3. Anonymous threatens to out members of misogynistic Dalhousie group
4. BC First Nation implements 100-year community development plan
5. Zapatistas organize first ever Worldwide Festival of Resistance
6. US researchers link recent earthquakes to fracking along Ohio fault line

1. US activist convicted of environmental terrorism gets early release

As reported by The New York Times, a man serving a 19-year prison sentence for environmental terrorism won an early release from prison on Thursday, with a California judge approving a settlement between defense lawyers and prosecutors that acknowledged that the authorities had withheld documents during his criminal trial. The man, Eric McDavid, 37, was the subject of an activist entrapment case led by a pink-haired informant who began covertly working for the F.B.I. at 17 after writing a community college paper about infiltrating political protest groups. In 2007, McDavid was subsequently convicted of conspiring to bomb several targets near Sacramento as part of a radical environmental campaign. The authorities said he plotted attacks against government and commercial facilities that he believed were harming the environment, including cellphone towers and the Nimbus Dam in California. McDavid’s case played out as part of the crackdown on environmental activism throughout the U.S., including the FBI’s sweeping investigation of arson attacks
claimed by Earth Liberation Front. McDavid has served nine years in prison and was due to serve ten more, but in light of the new evidence of the Feds failing to disclose documents in his trial, McDavid is set to be released immediately.

Mr. McDavid’s lawyers had asked that his conviction be vacated, saying that the federal authorities had withheld information that could have bolstered his defense at trial, including a request by officials for a polygraph examination of the informant, code-named Anna, and various messages between her and Mr. McDavid. Federal prosecutors disputed the value of the material, writing that “none of the omitted items were even remotely exculpatory”. But in a settlement approved Thursday, both sides agreed to McDavid’s immediate release “to avoid the expenses and risks of further litigation and to advance the interests of justice”. Under the agreement, the judge accepted a guilty plea to a general charge of conspiracy and then sentenced McDavid to time served. The judge also granted McDavid’s motion to vacate his original conviction and the associated sentence of 235 months, allowing for his release in exchange for McDavid waiving his right to any future civil claims against the authorities, such as a lawsuit for wrongful conviction. In the words of McDavid’s lawyer, “Today we corrected one of the most egregious injustices I have ever encountered in my legal career ~ if you consider being released after nine years of wrongful incarceration justice.”

2. UWaterloo lecturer publicly defends unjustly fired campus café worker

As reported by The Record, a University of Waterloo instructor is coming to the defence of a UW café worker fired for giving out free hot drinks and snacks for months. As campus authorities would describe it, 43-year-old Marilyn Boutilier lost her job after she was caught on camera at Browsers Café handing out free coffee and tea and an occasional sandwich and muffin to a handful of university employees. But Barb Bloemhof, an economics lecturer at UW who has patronized the café for five years, paints a different picture of the benevolent service worker. She says she once saw Boutilier — a single mother with two children — give a break to a hungry student who didn't have enough money for a muffin, kindly telling the student to pay her later instead. But they didn’t even need to, as Bloemhof explains: "Someone down the line paid for it. The student was behind me or I would have paid for it ." While UW said giving freebies to university employees constitutes a breach of trust, Bloemhof says Boutilier was instead showing UW community members “the kind of humanity that Waterloo is known for”.

Bloemhof says poverty and hunger are real issues on campus. She thinks café staff should be allowed to use their judgment and give out an occasional freebie to someone who can't afford to pay: "This is the kind of integrity that's all over the boilerplate of the university. To sanction somebody for doing what we say we do is wrong," she said. In any case, she believes Boutilier should have been warned, not fired. Boutilier, a 28-year employee, admits she shouldn't have given free drinks and snacks to employees, but thinks a warning or short suspension would have been appropriate. As another example of Boutilier’s integrity, the university has confirmed that Boutilier found a purse on university grounds a few years ago and turned it in to be returned to its owner ~ along with the passport, credit cards and $3,800 cash that it contained.

Boutilier’s union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, is challenging the firing, while a grassroots petition calling for the university to rehire Boutilier has been organized by the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group — UW’s longstanding on-campus social justice organization. The petition has so far collected over 250 signatures from UW professors, staff, students and members of the KW community. The first 140 signatures were sent to university president Feridun Hamdullahpur, food services director Lee Elkas and associate provost Marilyn Thompson before the Christmas break. The group is still collecting signatures and will send them off in a few weeks. People wanting to sign can send an email to

3. Anonymous threatens to out names of misogynistic Dalhousie dentists

**Trigger warning for threatening comments about sexual assault**

As reported by, following weeks of public pressure and calls for expulsion, Dalhousie University in Halifax has suspended 13 dentistry students who were members of a Facebook group containing graphic rape jokes and sexist comments. Last Monday, as a new term dawned on the Dalhousie campus, university authorities announced that the students were suspended from clinical practice but did not indicate if they will still be allowed to attend classes. That afternoon, unsatisfied with the school's light-handed reprimand, an offshoot of the hacker collective Anonymous threatened to release the names of students who participated in the group unless Dalhousie expels them. The 13-person private Facebook group, dubbed the "DDS 2015 Gentlemen's Club" for its all-male membership, has since been deleted, but leaked screenshots show group members voting on which female classmates they'd most like to "hate fuck," and joked about drugging women with chloroform and nitrous oxide. In one post, a student wrote, "Penis: The tool used to wean and convert lesbians and virgins into useful productive members of society." Another student commented underneath, "And by productive I'm assuming you mean it inspires them to become chefs, housekeepers, babysitters, etc."

The story first broke on Dec. 15 when CBC published screenshots of the group's conversations with the posters' identities censored. Before the winter break, Dalhousie announced the male students involved and the female students affected would take part in a restorative justice process. However, this was met with public ridicule, especially after it became clear Dalhousie didn't consult all the women affected by the Facebook posts.

4. BC First Nation implements 100-year community development plan

As reported by The Globe and Mail, in three large greenhouses southwest of Victoria, members of the T’Sou-ke First Nation are nurturing 15,000 wasabi seedlings as the small community’s latest business venture. The 15 months it’ll take before harvest is a long time for a greenhouse crop, but the T’Sou-ke – with about 250 members and 67 hectares of land – are in it for the long haul. The Pacific Coast Wasabi business is part of the community’s 100-year vision for energy security, food security, cultural renaissance and economic self-sufficiency, all centring on traditional indigenous values. While other First Nations in British Columbia debate the pros and cons of partnering with resource companies on pipelines and LNG production, the T’Sou-ke have aimed at setting a standard in sustainability, independence and alternative energy. To date, this has included solar power, electric vehicles and sustainable food projects.

Funds from the wasabi farm, which are expected to bring in big profit while being environmentally friendly, will go into expanding an existing organic community garden and a 70-hectare oyster farm pilot project in the Sooke Basin. On the energy side, all the First Nation’s administration buildings run completely on solar-generated power, as well as a nearby charging station for solar-run electric cars. The shiny solar panels, complete with a Coast Salish design, are part of the nation’s three solar-generation systems – the largest photovoltaic project in B.C. when it was built in 2009. The T’Sou-ke have also partnered with local governments on a renewable energy program and are working with higher levels of government to mentor remote communities on alternative energy.

5. Zapatistas organize first ever Worldwide Festival of Resistance

As reported by Popular Resistance, from December 21, 2014, through January 3, 2015, some 2,600 people from 48 countries gathered for the first Worldwide Festival of Resistances Against Capitalism. The event, organized by the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) and Mexico’s National Indigenous Congress (CNI), took place all over Mexico and the majority of participants travelled together in a mass caravan of buses (not without mechanical problems and police interference) to the different regions to share and listen stories and strategies of resistance, to strengthen their cultures of resistance, and to build lasting networks locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. Thanks to the excellent grassroots indigenous organizing, the impacts of the festival will reverberate amongst the participants and their resistance communities for years to come.

We’ve linked to the full account of this event on our podcast page for today’s show:

6. US researchers link recent earthquakes to fracking along Ohio fault line

As reported by The New York Times, not long after two mild earthquakes jolted the normally steady terrain outside Youngstown, Ohio, last March, geologists quickly decided that hydraulic fracturing operations at the new oil-and-gas wells in the area had set off the tremors. Now a detailed study has concluded that the earthquakes were not isolated events, but merely the largest of scores of quakes that rattled the area around the wells for more than a week. The study, published this week in The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, indicates that hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, built up subterranean pressures that repeatedly caused slippage in an existing fault as close as a half-mile beneath the wells.

The number and intensity of fracking-related quakes have risen as the practice has boomed. In Oklahoma, for example, quakes have increased sharply in recent years, including the state’s largest ever, a magnitude 5.7 tremor, in 2011. Both state and federal experts have said fracking is contributing to the increase there, not only because of the fracking itself, but also because of the proliferation of related wells into which fracking waste is also injected. Those injection wells receive much more waste, and are filled under high pressure more often, than regular oil or gas wells. The sheer volume of pressurized liquids has also been shown to widen existing cracks in these faults, which in turn increase the risk of earthquakes even further. These risks will continue to rise as long as fracking for natural gas is allowed to continue, though the recent bans on fracking in multiple US states provide some hope and a positive example for Canadian provinces to do the same.

Midway Music: Save Our Waters by Kinnie Starr feat Ja$e El Niño

Feature: Two critical takes on the issue of misogynistic dental students at Dalhousie University, starting with...

Judy Haiven’s article “Misogyny at Dal: When We are Sick of Being Forced Down the Middle Road of Apology and Contrition”

...followed by an editorial from El Jones entitled “Being a Dentist is Not a Right” (both c/o the Halifax Media Co-op)

The Daily GRRR! is on weekdays from 9-10am on 100.3fm CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and on the web.

The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

Closing Song: The End of the Bridge by Chris Arnett