W2MEDIA.CA | On today’s broadcast of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 fm, we interview Diana Thompson (wife of deported undocumented worker Tulio Renan Aviles Hernandez) & migrant justice organizer Alejandra López Bravo, on CBSA workplace raids and reality t.v. Plus Carolyn Bennett, Aboriginal Affairs critic for the Liberal Party of Canada.
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- Interview with Diana Thompson, whose husband Tulio Renan Aviles Hernandez was deported to Honduras late last night. He was one of six men detained by Canada Border Service Agency at a Vancouver construction sites, the entire incident filmed by a reality television show that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews personally signed off on as the show’s de facto producer.
- Interview with Alejandra López Bravo, a community organizer with immigrant and refugee communities, who knows several of the men detained by the CBSA and is involved in a campaign to fight their deportations and others like them.
- Interview with Member of Parliament Carolyn Bennett, the Aboriginal Affairs critic for the Liberal Party of Canada, about the new federal budget and legislation impacting first nations communities, including a new work-for-welfare rule applied to Native social assistance recipients.
- Interview with Charlie Smith, editor of the Georgia Straight, about a new BC Auditor General report alleging the province is inaccurately claiming to have balanced its carbon footprint, while companies profited. Plus the RCMP is rebuffed in its efforts to go after a former police psychologist.
- Music: Manu Chao (“Clandestino” – recorded live at a immigration detention camp in Arizona), Lal (“Belong”, album “Deportation”), Derek Miller (“7 Lifetimes for Chief Spence”), The Caravan (“What’s Up Steve?”)
TODAY’S NEWS HEADLINES
- TOP STORY: CBSA DEPORTS HONDURAN WORKER, APOLOGY DEMANDED — It is the latest development in a harrowing story that captured headlines after the Canada Border Service Agency raided workplaces in Vancouver, rounding up undocumented workers all under the watch of a reality television show — for which documents have revealed Public Safety minister Vic Toews personally signed off as de facto executive producer. Late last night, Tulio Renan Aviles Hernandez was deported from Vancouver’s airport to Honduras, the second detainee to be forced out of the country, his wife and two children unsuccessfully pleading to say goodbye. The detainees’ Lawyer, Zool Suleman, is today demanding apologies from the parties that have subjected them to what he called unwarranted public scrutiny (Media Mornings).
- VANCOUVER: POLICE PUNCH CYCLIST — A Vancouver cop who was caught on tape punching a man’s face during an arrest Tuesday night has been put on leave. The victim, Andi Shae Akhavan, was biking home in Yaletown at around 10:45 p.m. when two officers pulled him over and accused him of running a red light on Beatty Street (CTV).
- ALBERTA: OIL SANDS RIVER LEAK — Two days after a Suncor Energy oil sands facility in northern Alberta leaked industrial waste water, area residents remained in the dark about what contaminants may have spilled into the Athabasca River (Globe & Mail).
- MANITOBA: PROTEST GREETS FIRST NATION FISCAL LAW — Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt unveiled a First Nations financial transparency law yesterday in Winnipeg, but his announcement was cut short by Idle No More protesters. The legislation makes it mandatory for First Nations to publicly post audited financial statements and the salaries of chiefs and councillors. But those speaking at the announcement were soon drowned out by protesters, who banged drums and yelled at the minister. Pam Palmater, an Idle No More activist and Ryerson professor, said there is grassroots opposition to the new law because it gives the federal government too much power over First Nations (CBC).
- CANADA: UN FAMINE AGREEMENT PULLOUT —The Harper government is pulling out of a United Nations convention that fights droughts in Africa and elsewhere, which would make Canada the only country in the world outside the agreement (Globe & Mail).
- INDIGENOUS: FUNDING AGREEMENTS — “Against the wall.” “Despicable.” “A gun to our heads.” First Nations from coast to coast of Canada are using strong language in reaction to changes in this year’s financial contribution agreements from the federal government, with one Alberta band even planning to take a complaint to the United Nations if Aboriginal Affairs doesn’t budge, Windspeaker newspaper has learned. In a problem that is affecting bands in almost every province, chiefs and councillors say some First Nations are being required to “sign off” or “endorse” controversial omnibus legislation, which has come under fire for gutting environmental review processes, imposing changes to band governance, and easing industrial development of reserve lands (Windspeaker).
- USA: CIA CLANDESTINE APPOINTMENT — A woman had been placed in charge of the CIA’s clandestine service for the first time in the agency’s history, but brings with her controversy including her part in destroying evidence of US torture. The woman, who remains undercover and cannot be named, helped run the CIA’s detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and signed off on the 2005 decision to destroy videotapes of prisoners being subjected to treatment critics have called torture. The clandestine service is the most controversial part of the CIA. It sends spies overseas and carries out covert operations including running the agency’s ongoing drone campaign (Washington Post).
- USA: DRONES KILL POLICY — Meanwhile, in other US military news, army bases, universities and companies involved in Barack Obama’s drones programme are to be targeted in a month-long series of protests by activists keen to build on the renewed public focus over the president’s controversial policy (Guardian).
- CUBA/USA: GUANTANAMO HUNGER STRIKE GROWS — The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is urgently sending a doctor to Guantanamo Bay because of a growing hunger strike among detainees. A Pentagon spokesman says 31 of 166 detainees are now on hunger strike, but inmate advocates say the number could be at least double that. The inmates – many of whom are being held without charge – are angry at the US failure to resolve their fate as well as allegations of seizures of possessions and desecration of the Quran by guards (BBC).
- TURKEY/ISRAEL: GAZA FLOTILLA COMPENSATION — Israel and Turkey began talks this week about compensation Israel will pay the families of victims of the 2010 flotilla raid which killed nine activists on the ship the Mavi Marmara carrying medicines and construction materials to Gaza, which is under Israeli blockade (AP).
- EGYPT: ACTIVISTS ARRESTED —Egypt’s top prosecutor issued arrest warrants this week for five activists at the forefront of the country’s revolution on suspicion of inciting violence against members of the president’s Muslim Brotherhood (Guardian).
- TUNISIA: WORLD SOCIAL FORUM BEGINS — In Tunisia, thousands of people marking the opening of the World Social Forum in Tunis, an alternative to the economic and political elites’ annual event held in Davos, have marched through the streets chanting pro-democracy and womens rights slogans (Al Jazeera).