In the Blog
Mid-Week Round Up: October 15
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Over a thousand people from across the U.S. gathered this past weekend in St. Louis and Ferguson, Missouri for Ferguson October, a four-day activist event full of protests and community actions in response to the shooting death of African-American teenager Mike Brown. The weekend focused on highlighting the practice of police violence and how that violence targets racialized bodies. As the Ferguson October website states:
“Droves of people, many of them young and black, took to the streets of Ferguson to demand justice for Mike Brown. Millions stood in solidarity as protestors were met by a brutal and militarized response by local police departments.
Our country can no longer deny the epidemic of police violence facing Black and Brown communities. Mike Brown is now part of a long list of people like John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant and countless others who have been unjustly killed by police. Their lives mattered.”
This past August British Columbia saw its largest environmental disaster take place at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley Mine. The mine’s tailing pond, which is an artificially constructed pond used at mine sites and oil sands which is a mix of water, sand, clay, and contains leftover residue from the resource extraction, broke and spilt millions of meters of contaminated water and mine residue into Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake, Quesnel Lake, and even into the Fraser River Watershed. In response to the disaster, The Secwepemc established a monitoring checkpoint and encampment at the entrance of the Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley Mine and are on day 73 of their struggle, you can check out their Facebook page for daily updates and the hashtag #imperialnomore.
Toronto’s municipal election has seen a steady stream of racism and sexism toward mayoral candidate Olivia Chow. Similarly, Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam who is running for re-election has received attacks over her sexual orientation and gender. This past weekend Munira Abukar who is running for city councillor of Ward 2 discovered one of her campaign signs had been defaced with sexist and racist remarks.
Education activist Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. At the age of 17 Yousafzai has already led an international campaign drawing attention to gender inequality in access to education. Yousafzai herself is a survivor of a terrorist attack when she was shot in the head at the age of 14 for her education activism. As Ms. Magazine reports: “Addressing the United Nations on her 16th birthday in 2013, Yousafzai said, ‘Terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness,fear and hopelessness died, strength, power and courage was born.’” You can watch her 2013 speech at the United Nations Youth Assembly here.
The fourth-annual Geek Girl Con took place in Seattle, Washington this weekend. As Bitch magazine reports, “Geek Girl Con’s mission to create community among women in science, technology, and arts took on a feeling of added urgency this year, as sexist harassment of women working in video games has been front-page news these past two months.” For coverage of the convention and pictures of the creative costumes and vendors, check out this piece on Bitch.