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Web Site

  • Do Black votes really matter?

    By Ajamu Nangwaya

    The voting mobilization campaign is ignoring the lessons of history on the true source of social change. Social movement activism is the difference-maker in forcing the political and economic elite to deal with the needs of the oppressed.

    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2015/05/9602x/lead_960.jpg?1431444525

    In Ontario, the Yonge Street Uprising forced a social democratic regime to create anti-racist and equity programs. Voting in elections did not contribute to this change in government policies.

    The limited concessions by Ontario's political system on the issue of police violence are the result of resistance in the streets and not the outcome of voting.

    In the United States, Afrikan-Americans' protest in the streets and the development of militant organizations brought an end to apartheid in the South and political concessions in the North and South.

    Whenever social movement activism is at its lowest, the political system tends to retake most of the gains that were won during the peak of mass resistance.

    Black votes do not matter. Afrikan-Canadians fighting for social change from below, in principled alliances with other oppressed groups, is what really matters.

    The verdict of history is on the side of Emma Goldman.

    Read more at: http://sharenews.com/do-black-votes-really-matter/

  • Does Less Carding Equal More Gun Violence?

    By Christopher J. Williams

    You can laugh or cry in response to the conveniently alarmist rhetoric issued by police officials that goes something like this: "All of this unwarranted criticism of carding – and, by extension, the implication that our officers are racist – has produced a dangerous situation in which gun violence in Toronto has spiked considerably."

    https://www.tpa.ca/wp-content/uploads/home-banner-1.jpg

    It's basically an updated (and somewhat less rabid) version of the classic Old South claim that halting racist lynching would lead to rampant black-on-white rape. In any era, and in any locale, you can never take your heel off the black neck, you see....

    Of course, one look at the available data shows that, for example, in 2012 when carding was rampant there were 22 shooting deaths (as of August 10) whereas in 2015 – when carding numbers are comparatively very low – there have been 15 shooting deaths to this point of the year. Here are the year to date numbers that allow for year-by-year comparisons:

    Read more at: https://christopherejwilliams.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/does-less-carding-equal-more-gun-violence/

  • Elmardy v Toronto Police Services Board (TAVIS's Repressive Action in the Community)

    "[1] Mutaz Elmardy sues Police Constable Andrew Pak and his employer, the Toronto Police Services Board, for assault, battery unlawful arrest, and for violation of his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Mr. Elmardy says that he was detained by Constable Pak for no reason apart from the colour of his skin.  He says that Constable Pak punched him in the face and beat him.  He was handcuffed and held outside on a cold winter’s night for 30 minutes without any legal basis.

    http://genychances.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2014/11/208-Infographic-01.png

    [2] For the reasons that follow, I find that Mr. Elmardy has proven much of his case on a balance of probabilities.  Constable Pak committed battery on Mr. Elmardy.  Constable Pak violated Mr. Elmardy’s constitutional right to be secure from arbitrary detention.  He violated Mr. Elmardy’s constitutional right to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure.  He violated Mr. Elmardy’s rights under ss.10 (a) and (b) of the Charter that arose upon his detention.  In all, Mr. Elmardy is entitled to damages to compensate him for his injuries and to deter similar incidents in future.  He is also entitled to declarations that his rights were violated to make clear statements by the court vindicating Mr. Elmardy’s rights."

    "[115]     While I have found that Mr. Elmardy exaggerated his evidence and his efforts to prepare his case seemed quite goal-oriented from the outset, this case is not really about money.  Mr. Elmardy cannot have expected a big payday from a couple of bruises.  I accept his desire to show that he is equal under the law and that the law applies to him as a refugee permanent resident just as much as to anyone.  I was moved by Mr. Elmardy’s expression that he came here to “feel the law.”  Perhaps one has to experience corrupt government and lawlessness to consciously feel the well-being that comes merely from being present in a country in which the rule of law matters and all are equal before and under the law.  That police officers shattered Mr. Elmardy’s feeling of the law strikes at the rule of law itself and requires condemnation by the court.

    http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/sites/mediacoop.ca/files2/mc/imagecache/bigimg/jane.jpeg

    [116]     Therefore, I turn to deal with punitive damages.  For the intentional torts of battery and false arrest, in my view, a punitive damages award is appropriate to express the disapproval of the court at the deliberate and inappropriate conduct of Constable Pak.  As for the Charter breaches, administering street justice is the opposite of a society based on laws.  One who is not being investigated for criminality is allowed to walk down the street on a cold night with his or her hands in the pockets and to tell inquisitive police officers to get lost without being detained, searched, exposed to sub-zero temperatures, or assaulted.  It appears that none of Constable Pak, Constable Poole, or the other four officers who dropped by the scene knew this.  It is therefore important for TPS and Constable Pak to hear it from the court and to hear it in a manner that bespeaks the court’s disapproval and shock that such conduct might be considered acceptable in 2011.  The manner in which the officers testified in 2015 was no less shocking.  In view of the contumelious disregard shown by Constable Pak and TPS for the rights of Mr. Elmardy, in my view he is entitled to punitive damages equal to twice his aggregate award so as to triple his recovery.  Therefore I award punitive damages of $18,000."

    Read more: http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2014/2014onsc2952/2014onsc2952.html

  • Fact Sheet on Police Violence against the African Community in Canada (Updated in July 2013)

    Compiled by Ajamu Nangwaya, Ph.D.

    Access to the fact sheet: http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/ajamu-nangwaya/18378

    On April 6, 1911,W. F. Witsue, an Afrikan man, was arrested for allegedly stealing a diamond ring and money from the home of a White family in Edmonton, Alberta. A 15-year-old White girl, Hazel Huff, claimed that she was assaulted and drugged by Mr. Witsue. She also asserted that she had no idea what happened to her while unconscious. This incident took place during a period of white supremacist hysteria by White Canadians and their governments over Afrikan American and Afrikan Caribbean immigration into Canada. It was later revealed that the young woman made up the incident:

    Nine days after initial reports of Hazel’s maltreatment at the hands of black intruder, the young white woman confessed that her entire story had been a racial red herring. Huff admitted that, fearing punishment for losing her mother’s ring, she fabricated the attack by a big “big, burly nigger,” specifically because of the outcry over black immigration.[1]

    The chief of police in the city of Edmonton was aware of this lie seven days before Hazel’s public confession, but he and her family wanted to whip up anti-Afrikan immigration excitement. It was their hope that the federal government would be pressured into further restricting the presence of Afrikans in Canada.

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-E4Ohzki7wkk/VHaWUcLepjI/AAAAAAAACeU/YuTdvB0GvnA/s0/

    On July 19, 1952, Clarence Clemons, a longshoreman, was beaten and arrested by White police officers in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was later admitted to hospital and went into a coma. Clarence did not make it out of the hospital alive; died on December 24, 1952. The police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing by an all-white male jury at a coroner’s inquest into the cause of Clarence’s death.[2]

    On August 9, 1978, 24-year-old Buddy Evans was killed by White police officer John Clark at a Toronto nightclub on King Street West. Evan’s killer was exonerated by a coroner’s inquest, which lasted for 11 weeks and cost the city the princely sum of $200,000.[3] The Afrikan community mobilized against this act of police violence. A protest rally “sponsored by the Sikh-led Action Committee Against Racism” attracted between 1,200 – 2,000 demonstrators.[4]

    Read more: http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/ajamu-nangwaya/18378

  • Fight carding by refusing to talk to the cops

    By Dr. AJAMU NANGWAYA

    "We are creating a society where youth are afraid of police even to the point of hatred. You don't have enough guns and Tasers to control a society that hates police."

    - Kingsley Gilliam, Black Action Defense Committee

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/4f8dd630944e3cab70234555b3b849d6/tumblr_mqwadbk2f61s3souko1_500.jpg

    Carding is an act of state and police violence. It must end through the mass refusal of the people of Toronto, especially Afrikan Canadians, other racialized peoples and the White working class, to share their personal information with the cops.

    The Toronto Police Service is using the surveillance and rights-denying regime called carding to stop, question and document the personal information of people who are not suspected of a crime. This repressive policing tactic has been disproportionately used against Afrikan Canadians and targets racialized working class communities across Toronto.

    The cops claim that carding is an investigative and intelligence-gathering tool that is used in high crime neighbourhoods. According to the Toronto Star, "...only a small percentage of the people in their massive electronic database have been arrested or charged in Toronto in the past decade."

    Afrikan Canadians are stopped in low-crime, predominantly White, class-privileged areas of Toronto at a rate of up 17.3 times that of their White counterparts. Racial profiling is both a means and outcome of this form of apartheid or Jim Crow policing that is a classic form of social containment, over-surveillance and repression.

    Since the appearance of Afrikans in the Americas as enslaved workers for capitalism, the policing and regulating of this group's movement has been a standard way of maintaining their second-class citizens' status. From the days of the Holocaust of Enslavement to today, Afrikans have been resisting the brutal violence that is involved in the policing of their bodies.

    Read more: http://sharenews.com/fight-carding-by-refusing-to-talk-to-the-cops/

  • From Ferguson to New York to Toronto – Disarm the Cops!

    SOCIALISM 2015: this changes everything: an International Educational Conference MAY 22-23, 2015 Toronto

    - Jeff Mackler, National Secretary, Socialist Action USA

    - Ellie Carlson representing the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence.

    - Peter D’Gama, paralegal worker, anti-racist activist, and SA member in North Etobicoke.

    Watch the presentations here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqZ7P0bXD0A

  • Getting Started

    It's easy to get started creating your website. Knowing some of the basics will help.

    What is a Content Management System?

    A content management system is software that allows you to create and manage webpages easily by separating the creation of your content from the mechanics required to present it on the web.

    In this site, the content is stored in a database. The look and feel are created by a template. Joomla! brings together the template and your content to create web pages.

    Logging in

    To login to your site use the user name and password that were created as part of the installation process. Once logged-in you will be able to create and edit articles and modify some settings.

    Creating an article

    Once you are logged-in, a new menu will be visible. To create a new article, click on the "Submit Article" link on that menu.

    The new article interface gives you a lot of options, but all you need to do is add a title and put something in the content area. To make it easy to find, set the state to published.

    You can edit an existing article by clicking on the edit icon (this only displays to users who have the right to edit).

    Template, site settings, and modules

    The look and feel of your site is controlled by a template. You can change the site name, background colour, highlights colour and more by editing the template settings. Click the "Template Settings" in the user menu. 

    The boxes around the main content of the site are called modules.  You can modify modules on the current page by moving your cursor to the module and clicking the edit link. Always be sure to save and close any module you edit.

    You can change some site settings such as the site name and description by clicking on the "Site Settings" link.

    More advanced options for templates, site settings, modules, and more are available in the site administrator.

    Site and Administrator

    Your site actually has two separate sites. The site (also called the front end) is what visitors to your site will see. The administrator (also called the back end) is only used by people managing your site. You can access the administrator by clicking the "Site Administrator" link on the "User Menu" menu (visible once you login) or by adding /administrator to the end of your domain name. The same user name and password are used for both sites.

    Learn more

    There is much more to learn about how to use Joomla! to create the web site you envision. You can learn much more at the Joomla! documentation site and on the Joomla! forums.

  • Given concerns over racial profiling, should the next @TorontoPolice Chief be black? Does race matter? Two different perspectives (with Anthony Morgan, African Canadian Legal Clinic and Ajamu Nangwaya, Network for the Elimination of Police Violence)

    Wednesday, April 15, 2016

    With protests growing around carding and racial profiling, does Toronto need a black Police Chief? 2 different perspectives on this at 6:10.

    http://img.new.livestream.com/events/0000000000377802/ff99c726-1e8a-44f8-9a99-a6a7df46428f_1500.jpg

    Listen to the interview: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/metromorning_20150415_64119.mp3

  • Hamilton police carding policies target vulnerable minorities

    By Riaz Sanyani-Mulji

    Recently the Hamilton Police Service admitted that they do indeed track race-based statistics. In doing so, they've given us proof that racialized citizens, especially black people and aboriginals in this city, are disproportionately carded.

    http://www.cbc.ca/polopoly_fs/1.2739653.1408377431!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/hamilton-deputy-police-chief-eric-girt.jpg

    Finally, the veil has been lifted on the Hamilton Police Service's racist policing. For years, they told those of us who submitted Freedom of Information requests and who met with senior management that they don't record race-based statistics. "We don't racially profile," were their words. They were defensive when we used the "r-word", and told us that they were "colour-blind."

    For too long, both the Hamilton Police Service and the Hamilton Police Services Board ignored the stories we shared, of racialized young people in our community being stopped and searched without cause, of being ticketed for driving or biking while black, or their stories of these interactions escalating into assault by ACTION officers. The ACTION team is a provincially-funded unit arguably tasked with carding, racially profiling and harassing historically marginalized communities. While these are anecdotes of police brutality, not proven in a court of law, it is evident that carding poses the risk for extrajudicial measures such as physical assaults, trumped up or unwarranted charges and ongoing harassment by the police. See, for example, Justice Frederick Myers' finding of facts in the May 2015 case of Sudanese refugee Mutaz Elmardy against Toronto police, where a carding interaction led to him being punched twice in the face by a police officer. Elmardy was subsequently awarded $27,000 by the court.

    While Justice Myers did not rule on this issue, it is clear that carding, or street checks, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code. Policing powers in Canada do not provide for the ability to stop people without cause and coerce them to produce identification. Section 9 of the Charter protects against exactly that — arbitrary detention. And given the litigation commenced by the Law Union of Ontario, a court will no doubt make a ruling confirming this in due time.

    Read more at: http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/5790195-hamilton-police-carding-policies-target-vulnerable-minorities/

  • Hamilton police disproportionately stop and question black people

    Kelly Bennett, CBC News

    Black people are stopped, questioned and documented in police street checks at a disproportionate rate compared to the population in Hamilton, police statistics presented Thursday show.

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/OujP55f0DrE/maxresdefault.jpg

    And the information recorded in all such stops is kept indefinitely in a police database.

    In Hamilton, 11 to 14 per cent of the police street checks were done on black people over the last five years. But only three per cent of the population of Hamilton is black, according to the 2011 Census.

    In the police statistics, 75 to 80 percent of the street checks every year were done on white people — a finding that Chief Glenn De Caire and board chair Lloyd Ferguson cited as proof the service has no problem with racial bias.

    But when compared with the percentage of Hamilton's population that is visible minorities, the numbers showed a disproportionate impact.

    The findings came as part of a report to the police's oversight board, responding to concerns raised that the practice is racially skewed and an infringement on privacy rights.

    Deputy Chief Eric Girt presented information to the board about its street checks, commonly called carding in Toronto.

    Girt defined "street checks" as "police engaging with the community members for investigative purposes" and said they work: Information gathered in street checks is helping to solve a current homicide investigation, he said.

    Read more at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/hamilton-police-disproportionately-stop-and-question-black-people-1.3165182

  • Hamilton police have 'carded' 9,000 since 2010

    By Molly Hayes, Hamilton Spectator

    Hamilton police practise carding and they keep race-based information on file, a report from the service has revealed.

    http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/topstories/2012/12/17/li-decairebudget-620.jpg

    The report on the practice — or "street checks" as the service prefers to call them — was requested at last month's police services board meeting, after a delegation from a local activist voiced concerns around racial profiling.

    The report, presented Thursday, defines a street check as "police engagement with community members for investigative purposes."

    A physical card is kept on each of these interactions, with varying amounts of personal data including name, date of birth, address, and race.

    And there is no limit to how long those files stay in the police database, Deputy Chief Eric Girt said, because they never know when the information could be useful.

    And according to police records, officers have done more than 9,000 of them since 2010. There were 2,432 in 2010, 2,893 in 2011, 1,365 in 2013 and 188 last year.

    In his presentation to the police board Thursday, Girt attributed the steep decline in 2014 to a "chilling effect" felt by police services across North America when it comes to the controversial issue of carding.

    In 2011 (the last year for which census data is available), 15.7 per cent of the city's population was a visible minority. In that same year, according to the report, 25 per cent of those street checked were of a visible minority.

    Read more: http://www.thespec.com/news-story/5749150-hamilton-police-have-carded-9-000-since-2010/

  • How Smartphone Cameras Can Help Affect Police Reform

    By

    Police officers’ use of lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, and, most recently, North Charleston, S.C., a working-class community next to the tourist destination of Charleston, has set off a debate about whether police are too quick to use force. The discussion has also highlighted the way that smartphone cameras grant regular citizens the power to influence the direction of the discussion about police and justice reform.

    The video of the fatal shooting of Walter L. Scott, a black man, by Michael T. Slager, a white police officer, in North Charleston, is the latest evidence of the power of the ubiquity of smartphones to catalyze important political discussion. And Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac reported for The New York Times, it’s not only the smartphone itself that’s seen as an important tool by advocates of police reform. A growing number of apps, produced by activists, streamline the process of capturing and broadcasting videos of police officers interacting with citizens.

    Take Cop Watch, an iOS app that begins recording when you tap its icon and automatically uploads the video to YouTube when the recording is stopped. Darren Baptiste, the creator of the app, told the Times that his app makes recording police encounters easier for citizens and makes the footage less vulnerable to confiscation by authorities. Baptiste says that when they’re photographing the police during intense situations, people may forget to hit record, or may not know how or where to upload a video. And there have been cases in which police confiscated cameras or phones where recordings were stored.

    http://www.theminorityeye.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Darren-Baptiste-500x333.jpg

    Baptiste created the app in collaboration with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence, which is alerted when a user uploads a video. Its staff can review the footage and, if necessary, alert the media and the authorities of any apparent wrongdoing by the police officers involved. So far, the Cop Watch app hasn’t gathered evidence of police misconduct, and usage has been low.

    In the year that the app has been available, about 2,000 people have signed in to the program, and 1,000 videos have been uploaded — mostly showing people trying out the program. “This is truly one of those things that you hope people wouldn’t want to use it,” Baptiste said to the Times. “The main point of this app is to make people talk about why we have an app like this in the first place.”

  • How to Write an Op-Ed Article

    Guidelines from Duke University's Office of News and Communications (Source: http://newsoffice.duke.edu/duke_resources/oped)
    https://lorelleteaches.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/quote-pen-is-mighter-than-the-sword1.jpg?w=225

    Do you have an interesting opinion to share? If you can express it clearly and persuasively in an op-ed article, you may reach millions of people, sway hearts, change minds and perhaps even reshape public policy. In the process, you may also earn recognition for yourself and your institution, all for less effort than it takes to write a professional journal article.

    Duke University’s Office of News and Communications (ONC) has a strong record of placing op-ed articles in many of the nation’s leading news outlets. It has developed these guidelines to help you write an article that newspapers, websites or others may accept for publication. ONC also offers a number of services to help faculty members, students and other members of the Duke community write and place their articles.

    Here are the guidelines:

    Track the news and jump at opportunities. Timing is essential. When an issue is dominating the news — whether it’s a war, a stock market panic or just the latest controversy on a reality TV show — that’s what readers want to read and op-ed editors want to publish. Whenever possible, link your issue explicitly to something happening in the news. If you’re a researcher studying cancer, for instance, start off by discussing the celebrity who died yesterday. Or, look ahead to a holiday or anniversary a week from now that will provide a fresh news peg (and enable editors to plan the story in advance).

    Limit the article to 750 words. Shorter is even better. Some academic authors insist they need more room to explain their argument. Unfortunately, newspapers have limited space to offer, and editors generally won’t take the time to cut a long article down to size.

    Make a single point — well. You cannot solve all of the world’s problems in 750 words. Be satisfied with making a single point clearly and persuasively. If you cannot explain your message in a sentence or two, you’re trying to cover too much.

    http://www.momentum-cg.com/momentum/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Op-Ed-image.jpg

    Put your main point on top. You’re not writing for Science, The Quarterly Journal of Economics or other academic publications that typically wait until the final paragraphs to reveal their punchlines. Op-ed articles do the opposite. You have no more than 10 seconds to hook a busy reader, which means you shouldn’t “clear your throat” with a witticism or historical aside. Just get to the point and convince the reader that it’s worth his or her valuable time to continue.

    Tell readers why they should care. Put yourself in the place of the busy person looking at your article. At the end of every few paragraphs, ask out loud: “So what? Who cares?” You need to answer these questions. Will your suggestions help reduce readers’ taxes? Protect them from disease? Make their children happier? Explain why. Appeals to self-interest usually are more effective than abstract punditry.

    Offer specific recommendations. An op-ed is not a news story that simply describes a situation; it is your opinion about how to improve matters. Don’t be satisfied, as you might be in a classroom, with mere analysis. In an op-ed article you need to offer recommendations. How exactly should your state protect its environment, or the White House change its foreign policy or parents choose healthier foods for their children? You'll need to do more than call for “more research!” or suggest that opposing parties work out their differences.

    Showing is better than discussing. You may remember the Pentagon’s overpriced toilet seat that became a symbol of profligate federal spending. You probably don’t recall the total Pentagon budget for that year (or for that matter, for the current year). That’s because we humans remember colorful details better than dry facts. When writing an op-ed article, therefore, look for great examples that will bring your argument to life.

    Embrace your personal voice. The best of these examples will come from your own experience. Academics tend to avoid first-person exposition in professional journals, which rarely begin with phrases like “You won't believe what I found when I was working in my lab last month.” When it comes to op-eds, however, you should embrace your own voice whenever possible. If you are a physician, describe the plight of one of your patients, and then tell us how this made you feel personally. If you’ve worked with poor families, tell a story about one of them to help argue your point. In other words, come down from Mt. Olympus and share details that will reveal your humanity. In so doing, your words will ring truer and the reader will care more about what you are saying. If you are a student or someone else without a fancy degree or title, your personal voice becomes even more important.

    Play up your personal connection to the readers. Daily newspapers in many cities are struggling to survive. As they compete with national publications, television, blogs and others, they are playing up their local roots and coverage. Op-ed editors at these papers increasingly prefer authors who live locally or have other local connections. If you’re submitting an article to your local paper, this will work in your favor. If you’re submitting it in a city where you once lived or worked, be sure to mention this in your cover note and byline. Likewise, if you’re writing for a publication that serves a particular profession, ethnic group or other cohort, let them know how you connect personally to their audience.

    Use short sentences and paragraphs. Look at some op-ed articles and count the number of words per sentence. You’ll probably find the sentences to be quite short. You should use the same style, relying mainly on simple declarative sentences. Cut long paragraphs into two or more shorter ones.

    Avoid jargon. If a technical detail is not essential to your argument, don’t use it. When in doubt, leave it out. Simple language doesn’t mean simple thinking; it means you are being considerate of readers who lack your expertise and are sitting half-awake at their breakfast table or computer screen.

    Use the active voice. Don't write: “It is hoped that [or: One would hope that] the government will …” Instead, say “I hope the government will …” Active voice is nearly always better than passive voice. It’s easier to read, and it leaves no doubt about who is doing the hoping, recommending or other action.

    http://i0.wp.com/www.collegemediamatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Screen-Shot-2015-03-17-at-6.15.18-PM.png?resize=620%2C400

    Avoid tedious rebuttals. If you’ve written your article in response to an earlier piece that made your blood boil, avoid the temptation to prepare a point-by-point rebuttal. It makes you look petty. It’s likely that readers didn’t see the earlier article and, if they did, they’ve probably forgotten it. So, just take a deep breath, mention the earlier article once and argue your own case. If you really need to rebut the article, forego an op-ed article and instead write a letter to the editor, which is more appropriate for this purpose.

    Acknowledge the other side. People writing op-ed articles sometimes make the mistake of piling on one reason after another why they’re right and their opponents are wrong, if not idiots. They’d probably appear more credible, and almost certainly more humble and appealing, if they took a moment to acknowledge the ways in which their opponents are right. When you see experienced op-ed authors saying “to be sure,” that’s what they’re doing.

    Make your ending a winner. As noted, you need a strong opening paragraph, or “lead,” to hook readers. When writing for the op-ed page, it’s also important to summarize your argument in a strong final paragraph. That’s because many casual readers scan the headline, skim the opening and then read the final paragraph and byline. In fact, one trick many columnists use is to conclude with a phrase or thought that appeared in the opening, thereby closing the circle.

    Relax and have fun. Many authors, particularly academics, approach an op-ed article as an exercise in solemnity. Frankly, they’d improve their chances if they’d lighten up, have some fun and entertain the reader a bit. Newspaper editors despair of weighty articles — known in the trade as “thumb suckers” — and delight in an academic writer who chooses examples from “Entertainment Tonight” as well as from Eminent Authorities.

    Don’t worry about the headline. The newspaper will write its own headline. You can suggest one, but don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it.

    Offer graphics. Until recently, newspaper op-ed pages rarely accepted graphics or photos to accompany op-ed article submissions. This tradition is now changing, especially as publications move online. If you have a terrific illustration, photo, video or other asset that might accompany your article, alert the editor when you send it.

    How to submit an article. Almost all newspapers and commentary sites now post guidelines about how they prefer to receive op-ed submissions. In general, they provide an e-mail address where you can submit the article electronically, but check first. Always be sure to include your contact information, and say whether you have a photo of yourself available.

    Where to submit the article. Here’s a wild guess: You’re hoping to publish your article in The New York Times, with The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal as backups. Well, welcome to the club. These and other national publications such as USA Today receive a staggering number of submissions, the overwhelming majority of which are rejected. You have a better shot at regional newspapers and, especially, at papers serving your own community. Web sites such as “Slate” and “The Huffington Post” are also gaining in importance. Regardless of where you send it, you’ll probably fare best with arguments that are provocative, humorous, personal or unexpected.

    David Jarmul, Duke University’s associate vice president for news and communications, prepared these guidelines for Duke’s op-ed service, which has placed hundreds of articles in newspapers and other outlets across the country and abroad. He previously was the creator and director of a nationally syndicated op-ed article service at the National Academy of Sciences.

    Source: http://newsoffice.duke.edu/duke_resources/oped

  • How we can all stand up against carding

    By Desmond Cole

    As the realities of police carding become more known in Toronto, the public is increasingly rejecting the practice. Sixty per cent of respondents to a recent Forum poll disapprove of carding, the Toronto police practice of stopping civilians who are not suspected of any crime, and documenting their personal identification. Black voters, who admittedly made up a small sample size in the survey, rejected carding to the tune of 81 per cent. Given that innocent black people are disproportionately the targets of carding, this is no surprise.

    Since I wrote a Toronto Life feature on discrimination, in which I documented the many times I have been needlessly stopped or carded by Toronto police, I've received hundreds of messages from people asking what they can do to counter this shady practice. I propose a simple but revolutionary intervention that nearly anyone can take up: if you see a black person being stopped in public by Toronto police, simply approach that person and ask, "Are you OK?"

    In my experience, this suggestion evokes a curious amount of anxiety in people, particularly white people, the vast majority of whom are never arbitrarily stopped by police. They wonder if they might be putting themselves in danger by intervening in a police interaction.

    To this I can only reply that in 2013, black Torontonians were up to 17 times more likely than white residents to be carded by police in certain neighbourhoods, particularly those with a majority of white residents. Those who are not targeted in this way might consider how scary it is for those who live it every day.

    Read more:http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/05/25/how-we-can-all-stand-up-against-carding.html

  • Jane Finch Community's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - protesting police violence

    On a blustery cold day we protested against the racist actions of the cops at Toronto's 31 Division, which is located at 40 Norfinch Drive. This protest was organized by the Jane Finch Action Against Poverty and the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence.

    2015-03-21 (215)

     


    2015-03-21 (347)

    Access the photos: https://jfaap.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/jane-finch-international-day-for-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination/

  • John Tory's Approach to Policing is Supportive of Carding and Racial Profiling

    Time for Action: A Report on Violence Affecting Youth by John Tory, MPP and Leader of the Official Opposition and the Ontario Progressive Conservative Caucus

    http://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/city_hall/2015/03/16/john-torys-presence-on-police-board-fans-the-fire-james/john-tory-and-bill-blair.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox.jpg

    “I am a believer in the “broken window” theory. If we just let the so-called “little things” go because we don’t think they really matter or because we don’t have the resources to deal with them, offenders will conclude there are no consequences to their actions and more brazen and serious criminals acts will follow.”

    Read the full report: Time for Action: A Report on Violence Affecting Youth www.guelphpc.ca/TFA_Report.pdf

  • Justice Through a Lens

     

    Amanda Hess Amanda Hess

    Amanda Hess is a Slate staff writer. 

    About 10 times a day, Darren Baptiste gets an email informing him that footage of police brutality may have been posted to YouTube through software he developed. Baptiste is the creator of CopWatch, an iPhone app that helps people record police-citizen interactions, upload them directly to the Internet, then alert Toronto-based activist group the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence to the material’s existence. Most of the videos that are whisked from people’s phones to Baptiste’s eyes are mundane test recordings by people just trying out the app for the first time. He ends up seeing a lot of shots of people’s socks. But occasionally, the video will reveal a dashboard view from a car stopped in traffic. As a cop marches up to the driver’s side window, Baptiste will watch and wait to see how the event ends. “Thankfully, none of those incidents have gone sideways yet,” Baptiste told me. But with every new email, he braces himself for the worst.

    http://ocap.ca/files/images/Small%20NFTEPV%20Banner.preview.jpg

    CopWatch launched in January of 2014, as if anticipating the year that police brutality would go viral. In July, a New York cop held Eric Garner in a banned chokehold while Garner protested, “I can’t breathe.” A friend filmed Garner’s death on his cellphone from a few feet away. In August, audio of the police shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown was inadvertently recorded by a neighbor, then played back on CNN; several bystanders filmed the immediate aftermath of Brown’s death. In November, a security camera directed at a Cleveland park recorded a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, running around and playing with an airsoft gun. It also recorded cops driving their car onto the grass, jumping out of the police vehicle, and shooting Rice with a real weapon.

    Read more: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/users/2015/04/copwatch_mobile_justice_and_other_apps_for_citizens_filming_police_encounters.html

  • Kimalee Phillip - C-51 can't stop us!

    https://groundationgrenada.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/me-at-npas-event.jpg

    View the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iekMX0PV6pI&list=PLH-xnh1y-tyXLHNvDPeeVKkUuQNGSVVJx&index=8KIMALEE

    PHILLIP is anti-racist, anti-colonial feminist and organizer from Grenada. She is the Equity Officer with CUPE 1281 and does organizing work with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence (NEPV) and the TRCC/MWAR's Black Women's Caucus.

  • Know Your Rights: Do you have to show ID to the police?

    Lawyer, Davin Charney, gives an overview of the law in Canada.http://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/crime/2010/02/10/protester_becomes_lawyer_turns_tables_on_police/protester_becomes_lawyer_turns_tables_onpolice.jpeg.size.xxlarge.letterbox.jpeg

    Produced for the Centre for Police Accountability (C4PA).
    www.c4pa.ca
    www.facebook.com/centreforpoliceaccountability

    Twitter: @thec4paUseful law:
    R v Honoroski 2003 ABPC http://canlii.ca/t/57jz
    R v Moore 1979 SCC http://canlii.ca/t/1z76c

    Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qczxaCe7Moo

  • Large majority opposed to carding

    Few find Chief Saunders credible on the issue TORONTO, MAY 6th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 822 Toronto voters, 6-in-10 oppose the practice of “carding” (60%), and just fewer than half this proportion support it (29%). One tenth have no opinion (11%). Approval of carding is common to Gen X (45 to 54 - 41%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 42%), supporters of both Doug Ford (39%) and Mayor Tory (36%) in the last election, but not Olivia Chow voters (14%), in North York (36%) and among voters with a non-British European background (38%). Opposition to the practice is characteristic of the youngest (77%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 73%), Olivia Chow voters (79%), in the downtown (76%), South Asians (72% - caution: small base size) and black voters (81% - caution: small base size). Few find Chief Saunders credible on carding Just 3-in-10 voters find Chief of Police Mark Saunders’ view that ending carding will lead to increased crime is credible (31%), where more than 4-in-10 find it not credible (43%). One quarter have no opinion on this (26%). One half think carding ineffective at preventing crime One half of Toronto voters say carding is ineffective at preventing crime (52%), and just one quarter think it effective for this purpose (27%). Those who think carding is effective tend to be the same group that favours the practice. Plurality agrees blacks get carded more Slightly more voters agree black Torontonians are the focus of too much police enforcement (41%), while just more than one third disagree with this (36%). As many as a quarter don’t share an opinion (24%). Among black voters, three quarters agree (74% - caution: small base size). Read more at: http://poll.forumresearch.com/post/285/few-find-chief-saunders-credible-on-the-issue/
    Copyright ©Forum Research Inc.

    Read story: http://poll.forumresearch.com/post/285/few-find-chief-saunders-credible-on-the-issue/

    Few find Chief Saunders credible on the issue TORONTO, MAY 6th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 822 Toronto voters, 6-in-10 oppose the practice of “carding” (60%), and just fewer than half this proportion support it (29%). One tenth have no opinion (11%). Approval of carding is common to Gen X (45 to 54 - 41%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 42%), supporters of both Doug Ford (39%) and Mayor Tory (36%) in the last election, but not Olivia Chow voters (14%), in North York (36%) and among voters with a non-British European background (38%). Opposition to the practice is characteristic of the youngest (77%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 73%), Olivia Chow voters (79%), in the downtown (76%), South Asians (72% - caution: small base size) and black voters (81% - caution: small base size). Few find Chief Saunders credible on carding Just 3-in-10 voters find Chief of Police Mark Saunders’ view that ending carding will lead to increased crime is credible (31%), where more than 4-in-10 find it not credible (43%). One quarter have no opinion on this (26%). One half think carding ineffective at preventing crime One half of Toronto voters say carding is ineffective at preventing crime (52%), and just one quarter think it effective for this purpose (27%). Those who think carding is effective tend to be the same group that favours the practice. Plurality agrees blacks get carded more Slightly more voters agree black Torontonians are the focus of too much police enforcement (41%), while just more than one third disagree with this (36%). As many as a quarter don’t share an opinion (24%). Among black voters, three quarters agree (74% - caution: small base size). Even split on whether blacks disproportionately responsible for crime Just more voters agree blacks are disproportionately responsible for crime in the city (39%) than disagree this is the case (34%). One quarter don’t express an opinion (27%). Among black voters, fewer than one quarter agree (22% - caution: small base size) while one half disagree (51% - caution: small base size). Read more at: http://poll.forumresearch.com/post/285/few-find-chief-saunders-credible-on-the-issue/
    Copyright ©Forum Research Inc.
    Large majority opposed to carding Few find Chief Saunders credible on the issue TORONTO, MAY 6th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 822 Toronto voters, 6-in-10 oppose the practice of “carding” (60%), and just fewer than half this proportion support it (29%). One tenth have no opinion (11%). Approval of carding is common to Gen X (45 to 54 - 41%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 42%), supporters of both Doug Ford (39%) and Mayor Tory (36%) in the last election, but not Olivia Chow voters (14%), in North York (36%) and among voters with a non-British European background (38%). Opposition to the practice is characteristic of the youngest (77%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 73%), Olivia Chow voters (79%), in the downtown (76%), South Asians (72% - caution: small base size) and black voters (81% - caution: small base size). Few find Chief Saunders credible on carding Just 3-in-10 voters find Chief of Police Mark Saunders’ view that ending carding will lead to increased crime is credible (31%), where more than 4-in-10 find it not credible (43%). One quarter have no opinion on this (26%). One half think carding ineffective at preventing crime One half of Toronto voters say carding is ineffective at preventing crime (52%), and just one quarter think it effective for this purpose (27%). Those who think carding is effective tend to be the same group that favours the practice. Plurality agrees blacks get carded more Slightly more voters agree black Torontonians are the focus of too much police enforcement (41%), while just more than one third disagree with this (36%). As many as a quarter don’t share an opinion (24%). Among black voters, three quarters agree (74% - caution: small base size). Even split on whether blacks disproportionately responsible for crime Just more voters agree blacks are disproportionately responsible for crime in the city (39%) than disagree this is the case (34%). One quarter don’t express an opinion (27%). Among black voters, fewer than one quarter agree (22% - caution: small base size) while one half disagree (51% - caution: small base size). Two thirds see lack of trust between police and black community Two thirds of voters agree there is a lack of trust between the Toronto police and the black community in the city (64%), while just 1-in-7 disagrees (14%). One quarter don’t have an opinion (22%). Those who agree are most likely to be the oldest (72%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 79%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 70%), downtown (80%), among Chow voters (76%), among those who identify their ethnic background as Canadian or British (72% each) or black (77% - caution: small base size). Read more at: http://poll.forumresearch.com/post/285/few-find-chief-saunders-credible-on-the-issue/
    Copyright ©Forum Research Inc.