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Mid-Week Round Up: December 4

December 4th, 2014     by Ronak Ghorbani     Comments

Yesterday a grand jury in Staten Island, New York decided to not indict Daniel Pantelo the white police officer who put Eric Garner, an African-American man, in a chokehold which led to Garner`s death this past summer. The incident was filmed and in it you can hear Garner repeatedly saying that he cannot breathe. The New York Police department banned the use of chokeholds over twenty years ago and yet Pantelo will not be facing any charges over the death of Garner. The grand jury decision ignited protests across the U.S. as it follows on the heels of the Ferguson decision to not indict Darren Wilson, a now former officer, who shot unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown to death. Follow the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates about the protests and cases.

More on the Eric Garner case:

Similar to the Brown and Garner cases, a grand jury in Ohio decided to not indict the police officers who shot and killed John Crawford III, an African-American man, in a Wal-Mart store last month. On December 1st it was announced that charges had been dropped against Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley who fatally shot seven-year-old African-American girl Aiyana Stanley-Jones while she was sleeping.

Last week in Toronto people gathered in front of the U.S. embassy and held a rally in support of the protesters in Ferguson. The rally emphasized that the racialized targeting of Black bodies by police is not isolated to the United States and that this type of profiling happens in Canada as well. One rally slogan was: Stop police brutality against Black lives everywhere from Mike Brown to Jermaine Carby.” Jermaine Carby was shot to death by police in Brampton, Ontario this past September.

Former CBC radio Q host Jian Ghomeshi has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of what is being described as “overcome resistance—choking.” The Toronto Star has created an interactive web page explaining what the charges mean under the Canadian Criminal Code. Kathryn Borel, a former producer at Ghomeshi’s show Q, has written an article detailing the harassment she faced from Ghomeshi and the lack of support she received from Q’s executive producer and union.

December 6th marks the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre in which fourteen women were shot to death by Marc Lepine at Ecole Polytechnique. Minister of Justice and Attorney General Peter Mackay made a statement during question period in the House of Commons about the massacre and how “we may never understand … why these women were singled out for this horrific act of violence.” To which NDP leader Tom Muclair responded “It’s because they were women.” Mackay’s comments have been met with a lot of criticism on Twitter as his comments minimize the real evidence of violence against women.

A 23-year-old woman, Tuğçe Albayrak, was beaten to death in Germany by a group of men after she confronted them for street harassing two teenage girls.

A group of students at Norman High School in Oaklahoma staged a walkout in support of three students who say they were raped by the same male student who has now been arrested.

Huffington Post Canada has released a list of the best 13 Canadian albums of 2014 with Tanya Tagaq’s Animism at number five.

Canadian feminist magazine GUTS is holding a sex survey and wants to hear from you: “While preparing our upcoming sex issue, the GUTS editors realized that one of the things we love about sex is talking to our friends about it: hearing and telling stories that are funny, serious, sexy, and sometimes just weird. We want to hear your stories, so we created this completely anonymous survey. Feel free to respond to one or all of these questions.” You can respond to the survey here.

Tags: activist report, news flash, race and racism, rape culture, recommended reading

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