Media Mornings: Thu, Mar 21 — Journey of Nishiyuu 1,500km walk, Charlie Smith (Straight)

W2MEDIA.CA  |  On today’s 7-8am broadcast of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 fm:

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The Journey of the Nishiyuu has swelled to 200 walkers as it enters Algonquin territory. Photo: Ottawa Citizen
  • Interview with Gordon Matthews (Cree Nation of Wemindji) and Nathalie Mathias (Algonquin, Anishinabe First Nation of Lac Simon), both of whom joined the Journey of the Nishiyuu, a two month-long, 1,500 km journey on foot from the roadless far north of Quebec all the way to Ottawa in support of Idle No More. Now reaching almost 200 walkers, the group will be arriving in Ottawa on March 25. Media Mornings caught up with several walkers on the road.
  • Interview with Charlie Smith (editor, The Georgia Straight), about proposals for improving the Lower Mainland’s public transit system, from rapid transit buses to new Skytrain lines and light rail transit. Will it become an election issue?
  • Media Mornings Latin America Report, with Alfonso Osoriodelves deeper into news across our hemisphere, including the prosecution of U.S.-trained ex Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, who is now on trial for widespread human rights abuses.
  • Music: Maylee Todd (“Hieroglyphics”), CerAmony (“Looks Like Change”), Bran Van 3000 (“Discosis”), Michael Archibald (“Together We Stand”)

TODAY’S NEWS HEADLINES

  • TOP STORY: IRAQ WAR ANNIVERSARY — Car bombs and suicide attacks shattered Iraq’s capital yesterday, marking the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion that removed Saddam Hussein and plunged the country into chaos that has killed at least 100,000 civilians (AlJazeera).
  • VANCOUVER: ANTI GENTRIFICATION ATTACKS — Anarchists have launched a “ghetto revolt” against what they call “capitalist assholes” and “gentrifiers”, claiming responsibility for a number of attacks on Vancouver property in postings on an anarchist website (Straight).
  • BC: FOREIGN WORKERS — THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S temporary foreign workers program is creating an “apartheid system” of labour, according to a sociology professor at Simon Fraser University. The status of migrant workers made national headlines last week when Canada Border Service Agency officers took a reality television show’s camera crew along on raids at construction sites in Vancouver. A Honduran worker arrested in that raid, who has a local partner and children, was deported from Vancouver airport before dawn yesterday morning (Straight).
  • BC: GREEN JOBS PLAN — As the provincial election campaign churns ahead, a new coalition of businesses, unions and environmental groups are hoping to change the conversation. The GreenJobsBC campaign is calling on all political parties to outline their plan for transitioning to an economy that offers both sustainability and decent jobs (Tyee).
  • CANADA: TRANSGENDER RIGHTS BILL PASSES — LEGISLATION AIMED AT protecting transgender people from discrimination is on its way to the Canadian Senate. Yesterday, the House of Commons passed Bill C-279, which would add gender identity and gender expression to the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act (Straight).
  • CANADA: PIPELINE APPOINTMENT OPPOSED — An alliance of First Nations leaders is preparing to fight proposed new pipelines both in the courts and through unspecified direct action. Native leaders from both Canada and the United States were on Parliament Hill on Wednesday to underline their opposition to both the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines. Some of the chiefs brushed off the federal government’s appointment this week of a special envoy to look at tensions between natives and the energy industry (CBC).
  • CUBA/USA: GUANTANAMO HUNGER STRIKE GROWS — The number of detainees on hunger strike has nearly doubled at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, US officials have said. General John Kelly, the commanding general responsible for the prison, told a congressional committee on Wednesday that detainees were “devastated” after their “optimism” was dashed that Guantanamo would be closed. A total of 24 Guantanamo captives, up from 15 since March 11, were on a hunger strike and eight of them had lost enough weight that doctors were force-feeding them liquid nutrients through tubes (AlJazeera).
  • ZIMBABWE: RIGHTS LAYWER JAILED — A Zimbabwean court has refused bail to prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, saying she was a flight risk. The group was arrested on Sunday, after the referendum on a new constitution that strengthens civil liberties. The constitution was approved by nearly 95% of voters on Saturday. Its adoption paves the way for presidential and parliamentary elections that will end the coalition the two parties formed after the disputed 2008 poll (BBC).
  • SYRIA: CHEMICAL ATTACK ALLEGED — Both sides in Syria’s conflict on Wednesday demanded an international inquiry into a deadly attack they each cite as evidence that the other has used chemical weapons. The deaths of 26 people in a rocket attack on a northern town on Tuesday have become the focus of a propaganda war between President Bashar al-Assad’s supporters and opponents, who accuse each other of firing a missile laden with chemicals (Reuters).
  • IRAN/ISRAEL/USA: ATTACK PREPARED — The U.S. has pinpoint military attack prepared for Iran, an Israeli official has told Haaretz newspaper. The Israeli security establishment is aware of the Americans’ ongoing moves to tighten the sanctions on Iran and to prepare a military option. Israel has seriously weighed initiating an air force attack over the past several years (Ha’aretz).
  • PALESTINE/ISRAEL: PROTEST CAMP — Meanwhile, Palestinian activists set up a protest camp yesterday in the West Bank’s E-1 corridor, close to where Israel wants to build a new settlement, drawing attention to their struggle during a visit to the region by U.S. President Barack Obama (Ha’aretz).
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