The Daily GRRR! - January 2nd, 2015 - Waves Through Walls: Prison Radio Edition

The Daily GRRR! HEADLINES for January 2nd, 2015. 1. Sudbury Jail Renovations Stirs-Up Asbestos. 2. More Horrid Migrant Jail Conditions Revealed. 3. Stop Turning Public Transit into a Border Checkpoint. 4. Arrests Plummet Following De facto Strike by NYPD. 5. Virginian Cops Shackle 4 Year Old. 6. ’Serial’ Podcast Highlights Prison Phone Scam. 7. Calls to Repeal the Safe Streets Act. 8. Security Crackdown Continues In Haiti. 9. Support Mumia’s Campaign Against Speech Muzzling Law.
listen to the Daily GRRR!:  dailyGrrr-2015-01-02.mp3

Welcome, I am your host Dan Kellar and you are listening to The Daily GRRR! Waves Through Walls: Prison Radio, on 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario. on the web, today is Friday January 2nd, 2015.

We are broadcasting from the centre of the Haldimand Tract, the occupied Grand River Territory of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations).

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

The clip that kicked off the show is from Mumia Abu-Jamal with his piece entitled Introduction to Nestora Salgado’s Statement . Check for more of Mumia’s podcasts.

Today’s feature is a read of an article by Kevin Edmonds from ricochet called Black men face police violence north of the border too which looks into the shooting death of Jermain Carby at the hands of the Peel regional police in Brampton, Ontario, and the community response to the murder.

Now we will start with today’s headlines:

The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for January 2nd, 2015 
1. Sudbury Jail Renovations Stirs-Up Asbestos
2. More Horrid Migrant Jail Conditions Revealed
3. Stop Turning Public Transit into a Border Checkpoint
4. Arrests Plummet Following De facto Strike by NYPD
5. Virginian Cops Shackle 4 Year Old
6. ’Serial’ Podcast Highlights Prison Phone Scam
7. Calls to Repeal the Safe Streets Act
8. Security Crackdown Continues In Haiti
9. Support Mumia’s Campaign Against Speech Muzzling Law

1. Sudbury Jail Renovations Stirs-Up Asbestos
The union representing workers at the Sudbury jail has said that in the process of renovating the jail’s ventilation system “some employees have likely been exposed to asbestos.” The carcinogenic substance was widely used as insulation in north america before it was discovered toxic when inhaled.

Parts of the jail have been closed off as further investigation into the extent of the asbestos contamination is known, though it is still being used to hold prisoners.

The CBC reports that “Sudbury's John Howard society is calling on the ministry to provide more information on the potential asbestos exposure at the jail… executive director John Rimore former inmates should be informed about what happened.”

"It may be difficult to call them up because they may not have phones, or to send them a letter because they may not have an address," he said.

2. More Horrid Migrant Jail Conditions Revealed

A former prisoner in canada’s migrant detention complex, Muhammed Sillah, has described to globalnews the horrid conditions inside the various jails he was held in over the 297 days of being jailed.

Sillah, originally from Gambia was detained after his refugee application was denied. While a student in Canada Sillah was a vocal critic of the human rights record of the Gambian government.

Noting the smell of human excrement and foul body smells as the predominant odour in the two prisons he was kept in, Sillah, also told of the everyday reality of potential violence from guards or other prisoners.

Telling globalnews “You can be randomly approached by anybody and they will demand whatever they want, and if you don’t, they will set you up for a fight.” Sillah also talked about the problematic gang culture in the jail, and of his imprisonment in the isolations cells in Lindsay
“The snow piled up halfway up my cell window. … Just imagine being in a fridge for 23 hours a day. It was really difficult to sleep at all, or concentrate.”

The jail in Lindsay, which imprisons those convicted of crimes alongside migrants being held without charge, has an above average attempted suicide rate, with at least one inmate a month trying to kill himself.

By indefinitely jailing migrants, Canada is in violation of numerous international treaties and stands isolated in its practices. see for more info on canada’s shameful practices around jailing migrants.

3. Stop Turning Public Transit into a Border Checkpoint
Following the launch of the transportation not deportation campaign earlier in December, No One Is Illegal has posted their demands to Translink and the armed police of Vancouver’s transit system.

The campaign was launched after revelations about the transit cops collaboration with the Canadian Border Security Agency outlined widespread racial profiling in attempts to deport undocumented or otherwise illegalised migrants.

A petition was started to urge the transit police, Translink, and the mayors of the impacted lower mainland cities to end the racist collaboration with the CBSA stating:
“Our public transit system should not be a border checkpoint. Metro Vancouver’s Translink and Transit Police should not ask for or retain immigration status information, and should they learn of someone’s immigration status they should not share that information with CBSA. Ticketing and deporting people for $2.75 unpaid fare is double punishment. Even police agencies in the U.S. are refusing to enforce federal immigration laws.”

the demands are:
1) End the profiling of people on our public transit system and ensure access without fear of criminalization or deportation to all residents.
2) Stop turning people over to CBSA and stop enforcing federal immigration law, particularly given that most Transit Police referrals to CBSA are for situations where no warrant even exists.
3) Terminate the Memorandum of Understanding between Transit Police and CBSA.
4) Ensure that a range of identification is accepted as sufficient to verify identity when needed.
5) Remove CBSA phone numbers as well as all immigration-related databases from Translink and Transit Police databases.

see the petition at

4.Arrests Plummet Following De facto Strike by NYPD 
After two of their officers were shot dead in the streets, the NYPD announced that they would cut down on their enforcement of crimes, and arrests for minor offences have dropped by up to 94%. New York, however, despite the oft-mumbled assurances that we need the police to keep us from eliminating all others in an escalating series of confused settler-colonial consumptions, has not fallen into a crime-riddled dystopia.

With overall arrests down 66%, the :

“Do you want to know what would really happen if the police state ended? What would happen if, say, tomorrow, the war on drugs ended?

About 80% of all the State functionaries from police and prison guards and prosecutors to court clerks and judges and school resource officers would have to find real jobs that people voluntarily pay them to do, since there would be no more need for them to enforce a corrupt war on drugs and generate revenue for the State.

The owners of State-sponsored for-profit prisons would become bankrupt. About four million non-violent peaceful Americans — formerly called “criminals” for smoking a harmless plant — would be let out of steel cages and reunited with their loved ones.

The few officers that were left would be forced to respond to real violent crimes instead of, say, issuing revenue-generating tickets for incomplete stops, raiding people’s homes, shooting dogs, throwing people in cages for smoking a plant, or killing people for selling untaxed cigarettes.”

The article continues: “The de facto police strike unwittingly illustrates the true role of police: to empower, protect, and generate revenue for the State while keeping the people demoralized, scared, or poor. Because of the strike, we are now witnessing the reverse — more freedom for people, and less power for the State.”

We will see if the police continue these “safety measures” into January, and whether the weak assumptions of the dominant broken windows theory continue to fall apart.

It’s not few rotten apples, it’s an accursed orchard. If it was not so, stories such as the next one would not happen daily.

5. Virginian Cops Shackle 4 Year Old
After becoming agitated in his pre-kindergarten class, and tossing up his desk, a four year old boy fromStandardsville, Virginia was arrested, cuffed and shackled by the town’s sheriff’s department. The unnamed child was then tossed into the back of a cruiser and driven to lock-up where he was forced to interact with others arrested by the clearly messed up police force.

The mother of the 4 year old has the Rutherford Institute, an american civil liberties and human rights organisation, intervening in the case with the president of the groups writing a letter which said: “It is self-evident that handcuffing and shackling a four-year-old by a law enforcement officer is excessive, unwarranted and unnecessarily traumatizing.”

Noting the entrentched school to prison pipeline, and the emerging police state, the letter read
“That it was a sheriff’s deputy and not a public school official who handcuffed and shackled this 4-year-old does not detract from the fact that this mother entrusted her son to the care of school officials, trusting them to care for him as she would, with compassion, understanding and patience.”

6. ’Serial’ Podcast Highlights Prison Phone Scam
Over the past few weeks, articles on the high cost of prison phone calls have been spread through the news streams with Bloomberg Businessweek making an interesting calculation to show the absurdity of charges and the system which enables such an absurdity to exist.

Highlighted on’s favourite news stories of 2014 and using the highly popular podcast “Serial” which had its last episode around the solstice, as an example, the authors multiplied the 40 hours of recorded time, by the 2013 national top rate of 89 cents a minute and adding a 3.95$ connection charge, equated that the calls from prison for the show would have cost 2500$.

New rules cap interstate call charges to 25 cents a minute, but local costs remain unregulated and connections charges are soaring as per minute regulations are introduced.

The article also points out that “Instead of competing by offering the lowest-priced calls or the best sound quality, companies such as Global Tel-Link win contracts largely by offering to pay the prisons a portion of the money from inmates’ phone bills. Some carriers pay the prisons up to 96 percent of their call revenue, according to the FCC.”

Prisons depending on this income as budget money will put monetary interests ahead of prisoner access to affordable phone services. This act, adds punishment onto imprisonment, despite knowing outside contact reduces recidivism rates for prisoners.

7. Calls to Repeal the Safe Streets Act
As the 15th anniversary of the Safe Streets Act comes into place in ontario, a surge has come to repeal the legislation which, according the has “has had a negative impact on the safety and wellbeing of people who are homeless or street-involved”.

In an article by director Stephen Gaetz, the professor notes that the SSA was based on american legislation “that had the intention of criminalizing homelessness, or the activities that people who experience homelessness engage in as a means of survival” and was touted as targeting “aggressive” panhandling and other solicitation.

However, as Gaetz writes:
“A review of SSA tickets issued by the Toronto Police Services between 2004-2010 shows that 20% of tickets issued were for “aggressive solicitation,” while the remaining 80% of tickets were for non-aggressive acts that have been criminalized under the SSA. This suggests that despite its stated purpose, the SSA is not actually being implemented to address aggressive panhandling and soliciting.”

Gaetz also highlights that while only 8,086.56$ in fines were paid over the ten years of the study, “Research suggests that implementing the SSA cost Toronto Police Services $936,019 between 2000-2010… taxpayers are still paying for the courtroom, the Justice of the Peace, the testifying police officer and the prosecutor to have the fines imposed.” In the decade of the study, the number of SSA tickets issued rose from 710 in 2000 to 15,224 in 2010.

The Coalition for the Repeal of Ontario’s Safe Streets Act writes that “Laws and practices that criminalize people for being homeless are inhumane, unjust and counterproductive in our efforts to prevent, reduce and end homelessness.”
They add “Such laws and practices – including the Ontario Safe Streets Act - should be repealed and efforts should be made to ameliorate the negative consequences these laws and practices have on individuals who are subjected to them.”

8. Security Crackdown Continues In Haiti
As protest continue in Haiti to bring a people's democracy back to the island and to rid the country of colonial and imperial forces, police attacked a demo on Thursday celebrating the Independence of the country, an event which took place after black slaves revolted and overthrew their french owners at the turn of the 19th century.

While reliable news and video is slow to emerge from the island nation, > The @HaitiInfoProj has been covering the events over the past weeks.

As events continue to unfold let us remember that Canada has long helped to overthrow the elected leaders of Haiti and has supported the dictatorships and puppets that rose to power in the chaos they helped create.

9. Support Mumia’s Campaign Against Speech Muzzling Law
And we finish with a quick call out to support a new campaign for Mumia Abu-Jamal
From the indiegogo site: This campaign will launch the Prison Radio Defense Fund to defeat PA Senate Bill 508 – signed by Governor Tom Corbett – which prohibits prisoners and those formerly incarcerated from speaking publicly. The law targets journalists, non-profits and individuals who aid prisoners in communicating to the outside world.

That's all for the headlines, lets go to some
Midway Musichere is a tune to celebrate the resistance of the socialist fighters in Kobane, who have been under siege by ISIS for several months and by the NATO supported Turkish forces for many years. Here isAwaze Ciya with Şoreşa WaşoKanî - Biji Biji YPG

And we are back, you just heard Awaze Ciya with Şoreşa WaşoKanî
- Biji Biji YPG
 - Long Live Militant Socialist Resistance and the Ongoing Revolution for Freedom!

You are listening to Waves Through Walls edition of The Daily GRRR! Today is January 2nd, 2015, my name is Dan Kellar and we are now moving into the feature portion of our broadcast.

Today’s feature is a read of an article by Kevin Edmonds from ricochet called Black men face police violence north of the border too which looks into the shooting death of Jermain Carby at the hands of the Peel regional police in Brampton, Ontario, and the community response to the murder.

That was a read of an article by Kevin Edmonds from ricochet called Black men face police violence north of the border too

This has been the The Daily GRRR! for January 2nd, 2015. We are on weekdays from 9-10am on 100.3fm CKMS in Waterloo region, and on the web. Check out all our past shows and other Grand River Media Collective work on our webpage

The Daily GRRR! is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

Stay tuned in for more Grand River Radical Radio after we close the podcast.2

Thanks for Listening.