The Daily GRRR! - Mar. 2, 2015 - Your “Ugh, Monday Morning” Edition

The Daily GRRR! HEADLINES for Mar. 2, 2015. 1. Angry questions remain after another transwoman of colour found dead in T.O. 2. WPIRG rings in UW’s Int’l Women’s Week with fierce roster of campus events. 3. Art+Feminism hosts 2nd annual Wikipedia edit-a-thon for women and the arts. 4. Petition grows against Cdn taxation of “non-optional” menstrual care products. 5. Kellogg factory workers leave message in last box of cereal made in London, ON. 6. UN says small-scale organic farming only way to feed entire world sustainably. 7. Pan Am winners to wear medals from mining co. known for human rights abuse.
listen to the Daily GRRR!:  DailyGrrrMar2.mp3

Welcome back to SoundFM! You are now listening to The Daily GRRR! on the air every weekday morning from 9-10 a.m. here at 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and on the web. This is Kathryn and I’ll be your host on this Monday morning show for March 2nd, 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 Mar. 2, 2015 
1. Angry questions remain after another transwoman of colour found dead in T.O.
2. WPIRG rings in UW’s Int’l Women’s Week with fierce roster of campus events
3. Art+Feminism hosts 2nd annual Wikipedia edit-a-thon for women and the arts
4. Petition grows against Cdn taxation of “non-optional” menstrual care products
5. Kellogg factory workers leave message in last box of cereal made in London, ON
6. UN says small-scale organic farming only way to feed entire world sustainably
7. Pan Am winners to wear medals from mining co. known for human rights abuse

1. Angry questions remain after another transwoman of colour found dead in T.O.

As reported by Muna Mire in a rather personal article for VICE Canada, “Sumaya Dalmar...was a light and a breath of fresh air. An out and proud Somali trans woman, she was the sort of person who was so authentically herself she gave others around her permission to do the same. But now Sumaya is one of an alarmingly high number of trans women of color whose lives have come to a premature end so far in 2015. To speak of her beauty in the past tense is painful because like Lamia, Leelah, Ty, Penny, Bri, Yazmin, and so many other transwomen of color who have died just this calendar year, she left us too soon. When she passed early Sunday morning at just 26 years of age, she left her community reeling with loss. Police are investigating her death but it has not been ruled a homicide, despite posts on social media claiming otherwise.

“Sumaya's death throws into sharp relief that, in moments when we collapse the personal with the political, as Teju Cole has said, certain bodies become unmournable. While we are busy making a literal and figurative cult of death around trans bodies, we forget to pay attention to the ways we shortchange living, breathing trans women in our communities. The pain felt by trans women of colour always becomes legible when it's too late, and even then, their humanity is not respected.

“As Asam Ahmad explains: "Death is only tragic if we insist on pretending that violence and suicide isn't the norm when it comes to the lives of trans women, especially trans women of colour. If anything can be called tragic, it is a society that has normalized such disproportionate levels of violence against trans women that self-harm is the only answer many can find. This normalized violence impacts every single aspect of trans women's lives—from using public bathrooms to accessing healthcare to interacting with law enforcement." Sumaya's family and friends are demanding that police take the investigation into her death more seriously. An LGBT liaison is not much of a comfort to anyone when the TPS communications department posts updates on the investigation into your friend's suspicious death sandwiched between routine traffic posts and a photo of a lost dog. On the contrary, the rage this inspires is subsumed into an even sharper grief. If trans women of colour aren't outright ignored by institutions that should serve them, they're insulted, misgendered, or blamed for their own deaths.

2. WPIRG rings in UW’s Int’l Women’s Week with fierce roster of campus events

First up, at 3pm this afternoon in the Student Life Centre’s Great Hall, WPIRG and Cinema Politica are co-hosting a screening of the documentary film “The Gulabi Gang” ~ In Bundelkhand, India, a revolution is in the making among the poorest of the poor, as Sampat Pal Devi and the fiery women of her Gulabi Gang empower themselves and take up the fight against gender violence, caste oppression and widespread corruption. They want to change the unchangeable with an organised social action and unification. It's a picture of rural India and a story about underprivileged, especially a story of Indian women.

“The Gulabi Gang” (film screening):

Next, on Thursday, March 5, from 11:30am to 1pm in the Women’s Centre office (which is room 2101 in the Student Life Centre), there will be a workshop called “Understanding and Resisting Misogyny and Patriarchy: Lessons from Feminist Organizing at UW” ~ Co-facilitated by Elana Hashman from the group Women in Computer Science (WiCS) and Filzah Nasir from WPIRG’s Women of Colour Discussion Group, this is Part 1 of 4 in WPIRG’s March 2015 Anti-Oppression 201 Workshop Series. As the workshop description explains, “Misogyny and patriarchy shape UW in ways common to campuses everywhere. It also takes specific forms at UW, a campus heavily integrated into the still predominantly male worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Drawing on their experiences as feminist organizers at UW active within and beyond "STEM spaces", our speakers will discuss some of the key ways that misogyny and patriarchy operate at UW and some of the ways that they can be resisted and challenged.”

“Understanding and Resisting Misogyny and Patriarchy: Lessons from Feminist Organizing at UW” (workshop):

And finally, while not organized or affiliated with WPIRG, there will also be an International Womyn’s Day Showcase at The Boathouse in Victoria Park on Sunday, March 8, starting at 7pm. That’s the official International Women’s Day, and the lovely local ladies performing will include Janice Lee, Charlena Russell, Beth Murch, Laura Dyck, Becky Reesor, and additional special guests yet to be announced! Tickets will be available at the door on a sliding scale of $10-20. No accessibility information is provided for the event, but true to the last time I visited this venue, the one-room space and bathrooms all have gently sloping ramps at their entrances for greater physical accessibility.

3. Art+Feminism hosts 2nd annual Wikipedia edit-a-thon for women and the arts

Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well-documented; in a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female. This lack of female participation has led to an alarming dearth of content about women and art in the world’s most popular online research tool. In response, February 2014 saw over 600 participants convene in 31 locations across six countries for Art+Feminism’s first Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, an all-day event designed to generate coverage of women and the arts on Wikipedia and encourage female editorship. Over the course of the day, over 100 new articles were created, and at least 90 improved–including articles about female artists, feminist artistic movements, and feminist scholarship. Following the success of the event, the organizers were named to Foreign Policy magazine’s 2014 list of Leading Global Thinkers. Now, Art+Feminism is pleased to announce its second annual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. This year’s event will take place at The Museum of Modern Art on Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m and include tutorials for the beginner Wikipedian, ongoing Wikipedia support, reference materials, childcare, and refreshments. Satellite edit-a-thons will also be held over International Women’s Day weekend (March 6-8) in over 70 venues across the U.S. and around the world, including the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, as well as online in a Google Hangout. For full details on how to participate, check out the Art+Feminism page, which we’ve linked to here on the podcast page for today’s show.

Art+Feminism 2nd Annual Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon:

4. Petition grows against Cdn taxation of “non-optional” menstrual care products

As reported on Care2, The Petition Site, items like contacts and incontinence pads are exempt from taxes in Canada, and yet taxes still have to be paid on menstrual products, including pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. For anyone with a uterus, the purchase and use of these products is not optional, and this is the grounds for a new petition for menstrual products to be exempt from GST. While this may not seem like a big deal to someone who either doesn’t have a uterus or is simply fortunate enough not to have to fret about the added costs of being on the rag every month, far too many people don’t fall into either of these categories and face a bloody nightmare when their periods arrive. As Maya Oppenheimer mused in her article for VICE UK earlier this year, “Sanitary ware in the UK is classed as a "luxury, nonessential item" and is taxed at 5 percent. Precisely what could be considered luxurious about stemming the monthly blood flow that, as women, we don't really have much say over, is a perpetual question. But without the means to purchase these simple "luxuries," homeless women are constantly forced to go without. …Zoe, 21, told me that she was routinely caught short. "When I was on the streets, I actually found it easier to get food or toothbrushes than stuff for my periods," she says. "There was nowhere to find that stuff and I was obviously too embarrassed to ask strangers for it.”

We’ve linked to that article as well as the Canadian petition against the taxation of menstrual products on the podcast page for today’s show.

“For Homeless Women, Having a Period Isn’t a Hassle, It’s a Nightmare”

Petition: Canada, Let Menstrual Pads and Tampons Be Exempt from GST!

5. Kellogg factory workers leave message in last box of cereal made in London, ON

As reported by the London Free Press, Timmins high school history teacher Stephane Gaudette found a sad souvenir of London’s industrial history when he sat down to a breakfast of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes this week and found a note written on the box in Sharpie, saying “Please read bag!” The inner plastic bag bore a handwritten message that read, “This is the very last bag of Canadian cereal for the Canadian market from Kellogg’s London Ontario plant.” It was dated Friday, December 5, 2014, and signed by Kellogg workers Mike Cascadden, Ray Gonsalvez and Frasier McAuley, all with more than 20 years experience at the plant. The Kellogg plant closed Dec. 21 after 107 years in the city, putting more than 500 people out of work. Kellogg has another plant in Belleville but production from the London plant was shifted to the United States, and Cascadden said he came up with the idea to document the conclusion of their production because the plant was “in his DNA.” Four generations of his family worked for Kellogg, and his extended family had invested a total of 184 years in the factory. Reminiscing, Cascadden explained, “That day I made the last box of cereal and got my friends on the line with me to sign it was filled with emotions. I knew the impact this last box of Frosties would have on the over 600 families that worked at Kellogg.”

7. Pan Am winners to wear medals from mining co. known for human rights abuse

As reported by, Barrick Gold and the Royal Canadian Mint have unveiled the design of the medals to be awarded to athletes at this summer's Pan Am Games. 4,000 competition medals will be awarded during the course of both the Pan Am and ParaPan Am Games, and it’s unfortunate that this will in turn promote the irresponsible practice of open pit gold mining, especially considering that, these days, more than enough gold is being obtained from recycled sources rather than fresh extraction. What’s worse is that the contract was awarded to Barrick Gold, a mining company whose abuses are well-documented and widespread. In particular, the three mines highlighted as sources for the Pan Am medals have their shoddy sub-histories:

For the gold medals: The Hemlo Gold Camp is located on the north shore of Lake Superior, where workers have reported numerous cases of lung ailments at these mines, while the company has consistently fought worker compensation claims for these ailments. In the year 2000, the Pic River indigenous community living downstream from the mine reported having to replace their water treatment plant in order to remove cyanide from their drinking water. And the risks will continue well into the future, as the closure plans for the Hemlo mines do not include appropriate disposal or treatment measures for the massive piles of acid-generating toxic waste rock, nor do they evaluate the risk of groundwater contamination to the area through seeps from the tailings areas and underground workings.

For the silver medals: Despite Barrick's claims that they are improving the quality of the water surrounding Barrick’s Pueblo Viejo Mine in the Dominican Republic, health concerns appeared shortly after Barrick began work on the mine. According to the Economist Magazine, residents claim that the new mine is poisoning rivers, causing illnesses to local residents and causing deaths in farm animals. They want the government to release the environmental-impact assessment for Pueblo Viejo, which it has so far refused to do. An article in Al Jazeera also claims that the Pueblo Viejo mine is what activists point to when building resistance to other mining projects throughout the country.

For the copper, a.k.a. bronze, medals: Barrick's Zanzibar Mine used nearly 7 billion litres of water in 2013 alone, despite being located in Chile's "bone-dry Atacama desert". While water efficiency efforts are being made by local residents, water scarcity has "pitted mining companies against farmers and others who fear for the quality and quantity of their supplies," according to a Reuters article about the mine. Conflicts over water have come to a boil in Barrick's other Chilean project, the Pascua-Lama mine, where construction was halted and Barrick was handed the largest fine in Chilean history because of violations to environmental regulations in this sensitive ecosystem.

Midway Music: Second Wave Goodbye by War On Women

Feature: “Someone Tell Me That I’ll Live: On Murder, Media, and Being a Trans Woman in 2015” by Kai Cheng Thom for XOJane

Closing Song: (Take Back) The Revolution by Gossip