On this edition of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5FM, we explore current and former sex worker reactions to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on a challenge to Canada’s prostitution laws:
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- Interview with Susan Davis, a current sex worker in Vancouver and founder of Canada’s first sex work cooperative. She is a spokesperson for the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities – a consortium of sex worker activists which works toward the elimination of oppressive systems and forces that create harm within the sex industry. Davis testified in both major recent federal Supreme Court cases, as well as the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.
- Interview with Trisha Baptie, a former sex worker with 15 years of experience in prostitution. She left the trade in 2000 and has since founded EVE, formerly known as Exploited Voices now Educated – an organization composed of former sex-industry women dedicated to naming prostitution as violence against women and seeing its abolition. Baptie is the organization’s Community Engagement Coordinator.
- Interview with Jennifer Allen, a former survival sex worker and drug addict. Today, she is a human rights advocate and activist, and founder and CEO of Jen’s Kitchen, an advocacy, outreach and food relief service for survival sex workers in the Downtown Eastside. Jen is also one of the co-founders of Vancouver Cop Watch.
- Latin America report with Alfonso Osorio on news across the hemisphere, from Venezuelan elections to a human rights worker assassinated in Honduras, and the ongoing Julian Assage and Wikileaks saga between Ecuador and the UK.
- Music by last night’s Polaris Prize-winner Feist (“Graveyard”), plus all-Vancouver bands: High Society (“One Day”), White Poppy (“I had a Dream”), Ostwelve (“All Nations Healing”)
Today’s News Headlines
- TOP STORY: HIGHWAY OF TEARS MURDERS: The RCMP is announcing it has identified a suspect in the murder of Colleen MacMillen, a 16-year-old woman who was killed nearly 40 years ago on northern BC’s so-called Highway of Tears, the Vancouver Sun reports. Questions remain about the high-profile timing of the announcement only weeks before the release of the final Missing Women Inquiry report, likely to be critical of the RCMP.
- LOCAL: DRUG LAWS: Several hundred people came together on Saturday for a community dialogue on ending drug prohibition, reports Murray Bush for the Media Co-op. The tent event in Oppenheimer Park featured poet Bud Osborn and guest speakers Susan Boyd, Ann Livingston and Deborah Peterson Small speaking on “Mirroring our Vision of a Post-Prohibition World”.
- BC: MARIJUANA LAWS: B.C. municipal leaders will vote tomorrow on a resolution that calls for the decriminalization of marijuana, with some experts saying a prohibition on pot is a failed policy that has cost millions of dollars in police, court, jail and social costs, the Vancouver Sun’s Kelly Sinoski reports.
- CANADA: IMMIGRATION MINISTER EMAIL: A bulk email sent from Immigration minister Jason Kenney’s office to thousands of LGBT voters is raising questions, reports Glen McGregor for the Ottawa Citizen. The email trumpeted steps taken by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Conservative government to protect the rights of gay and lesbian refugees, especially those coming from Iran, but some are questioning how the government knew recipients were gay.
- CANADA: REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth, whose private members bill Motion 312 — accused of being a backdoor attempt to reinstate abortion laws — is scheduled for a vote in Parliament tomorrow, has said that he would stand firm by his beliefs to his “dying breath,” reports Beth Hong for the Vancouver Observer. Yesterday, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that he would vote in favour of Woodworth’s bill.
- US: KINDER MORGAN FINED: The US Environmental Protection Agency announced that North American energy giant Kinder Morgan has agreed to pay a US$316,000 fine for violating risk management provisions at two Wyoming natural gas plants, amid the company’s push to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada, reports Beth Hong for the Vancouver Observer.
- IVORY COAST: TOXIC CORPORATE DUMP: Campaigners have called for a UK criminal investigation to be brought against Trafigura company for the dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast, BBC news reports. The Dutch-based company with London offices paid an Ivorian company to dump the waste in Abidjan.
- CHINA: APPLE FACTORY RIOT: Foxconn Technology, a Taiwan-owned company that makes many of the world’s electronic products, including the Apple iPhone, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard products, halted production at a factory in Taiyuan, central China, yesterday after a riot involving around 2,000 employees at a dormitory injured 40 people, reports Jenny Uechi for the Vancouver Observer. According to posts on Sina Weibo, China’s version of twitter, the riot was sparked after security guards beat one or more workers nearly to death.