Save the date! #SWF13

the regina mom is so very excited! As you regulars are aware, she attended the Women’s Forum des Femmes in Ottawa in October and had a fantastic time.  So, she brought the idea home and is happy to invite you to save the date!

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Saskatchewan Women’s Forum 2013

 

If you are interested in women’s rights, in connecting with individuals and organizations who have been working on women’s issues recently and through the decades, and in spending a weekend learning, having fun, and moving a women’s agenda forward in our province, then:

 

Please set aside Friday, January 18 (evening) and Saturday, January 19, 2013!

 

We are a coalition of women and organizations who have come together to plan a Saskatchewan Women’s Forum taking place at the Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon. For too long, we have been having conversations in isolation from each other about the current context that women and women’s organizations find themselves in. So we are creating this opportunity to collectively develop how we can move forward on the issues that we care about.

 

We are currently finalizing our program, which will be centered on women’s stories and respectful of intergenerational, intercultural and diverse experiences. If you are interested in attending, please respond back to us (at michelle.beveridge@oxfam.ca, 306.242.4097)) and we will ensure you receive the program and registration package by mid-December.

 

In the meantime, please save the date! And get in touch with us if you would like to be part of the planning, to volunteer at the forum in any number of capacities, or have other ideas for us.

 

Registration is $50/person. (Please let us know if you are in a situation where you would only be able to attend with a reduced rate, or conversely, if you are able and willing to donate  money to assist in covering a portion of registration for others.)

 

Sincerely,

Michelle Beveridge and Katelyn Jones, Oxfam Canada, Saskatoon

Sue Delanoy, Elizabeth Fry Society, Saskatoon

Diane Fletcher, Vadis Group, Saskatoon

Lori Hanson, U of S, Community Health and Epidemiology, Saskatoon

Laura Hopkins, Saskatoon Women’s Community Coalition

Lori Johb, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, Regina

Audra Krueger, U of S, Centre for the Study of Co-ops, Saskatoon

Darla Leard, Canadian Labour Congress, Saskatoon

Barb Macpherson, YWCA Saskatoon

Adriane Paavo, Prairie Lily Feminist Society, Regina

Priscilla Settee, U of S, Native Studies, Saskatoon

Lenore Swystun and Samantha Mark, Prairie Wild Consulting, Saskatoon

Laura Westman, Saskatoon

Bernadette Wagner, Regina

 

Legitimate what?

Over the past couple of days, the regina mom has read a number of pieces, some humourous, in response to a statement by US Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri,  regarding the medieval concept of legitimate rape.

How long has this no-pregnancy-in-rape theory been around?
“The idea that rape victims cannot get pregnant has long roots,” says Vanessa Heggie at Britain’s The Guardian. Think 13th century. One of the earliest British legal texts — Fleta, from about 1290 — has this familiar-sounding clause: “If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.” Samuel Farr’s Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, a treatise from 1785 (second edition 1814), elaborates: “For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, it is not likely she would become pregnant.”

What’s the medical underpinning of this theory?
From medieval times until the 19th century, doctors and laypeople alike widely believed that women only conceived if they had an orgasm, since the presumed female “seed” — needed to complement the male sperm to achieve pregnancy — was thought be secreted only during sexual climax. “By logical extension, then,” says Heggie, “if a woman became pregnant, she must have experienced orgasm, and therefore could not have been the victim of an ‘absolute rape’.”

Interestingly, and in stark contrast to what the right wing nut jobs (RWNJ) in the US have been saying, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon recently shared their findings into a hormone that’s present in semen. They now believe it “nudges a woman’s body to ovulate.”

In a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Saskatoon-based researchers and their colleagues in Chile went sleuthing in llamas and cows for the identity of a seminal fluid protein they’d previously found sends a signal to a female’s brain. That signal prompts the female brain to release hormones that stimulate ovulation.

Veterinary biomedical sciences Prof. Gregg Adams, who is with the university’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says he expected to find a brand new protein in the seminal fluid. Much to their surprise, they found this poorly-understood protein (called ovulation-inducing factor or OIF) is the same molecule as an old friend in the nervous system that’s critical for normal neuron function.

the regina mom cannot wait to see how the RWNJs respond to this piece of legitimate science!

Violent Repression & the Agenda of the Elite – A Collection of Important G20 Stories

Further to yesterday’s post about what some women have endured at the hands of police while detained by Toronto’s horrific police force during the G20 demos in Toronto, here is a compendium of links put together by my friend, Pete Garden, who runs Turning the Tide Bookstore in Saskatoon.

Dear friends, fellow community members and supporters of Turning the Tide Bookstore,

As many of you know, 20 of the most powerful people in the world and their respective entourages gathered in Toronto and Huntsville, Ontario for the G8/G20 meetings. Protecting them was a $1 billion dollar security apparatus including a 6 km long security fence and thousands of police and private security. Mobility of the entire city was limited by the security presence and in many areas of downtown Toronto, Charter rights were suspended before the meetings even began. The events which unfolded over the weekend saw thousands (some say upwards of 25,000) of protesters taking to the streets to bring their challenges and concerns with the policies of this elite group of leaders to the attention of the world. The weekend also saw militant protesters in the black bloc attack corporate property and police vehicles followed by the largest mass arrests of protesters (nearly 1,000 people) in Canadian history.

While black bloc tactics of property destruction were a divisive issue within the movement and public at large, protesters were united in one voice against the draconian police crackdown on overwhelmingly peaceful protests. According to long-time social justice activist an author Judy Rebick who as at a press conference with police representatives today, the Toronto police have admitted to receiving stand-down orders while property destruction took place and many people suspect that police cars were abandoned in the middle of streets as decoys to attract vandalism and were let to burn for over 30 minutes for media photo-ops. Many believe that the police used this situation as a pretense to brutally repress protesters not involved in property destruction (about 50 to 100 people were involved in the vandalism while nearly 1000 have been arrested).

Meanwhile, independent media journalists and social media tools were used to document what happened over the weekend and what thousands of people around the world are seeing is quite shocking. Other independent and a handful of mainstream were providing substantial critical coverage of what was going on within the G8/G20 meetings.

Many of us have been glued to our computers watching as our friends in Toronto bravely challenged the security apparatus and felt brunt of the violent crackdown of the state. We hope that once you have seen and read about what happened over the weekend that you will take action both to support the protesters who were arrested and do what you can to hold our governments and the police forces responsible for their actions.

What we hope to provide here is some of the most important coverage and analysis of the events that unfolded on the streets and behind the fences at the summit.

Taking Action:

Stay tuned for the announcement of a Saskatoon fundraiser for the G20 arrestees.

http://movementdefence.org/G20appeal
Appeal for broad political support for the G20 arrestees.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canadians-Demanding-a-Public-Inquiry-into-Toronto-G20/131026933597789
Facebook group demanding a public inquiry into the actions of the police in Toronto

Call your Member of Parliament, write a letter to your local newspaper, call in to radio shows, mobilize your friends.

The Issues:

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/6/28/toronto_police_arrest_over_600_in
Democracy now! has produced the best video piece overview of the summit and the issues of the protesters were raising.

http://www.rabble.ca/rabbletv
Rabble livestream rebroadcast of “Shout Out for Global Justice Teach-in” on June 25th with Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Vandana Shiva, Leo Gerard, Maude Barlow, Pablo Salon, and Clayton Thomas-Muller

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/g8-g20/opinion/sticking-the-public-with-the-bill-for-the-bankers-crisis/article1620729/
Naomi Klein’s analysis of how the G20 leaders are sticking the public with the bill for the banker’s economic crisis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3vRNBeMwVA
An interview with Vandana Shiva about the (il)legitimacy of the G20

http://www.metronews.ca/edmonton/canada/article/564338–harper-rejects-advice-to-eliminate-production-subsidies-for-oil-sands
Harper refuses to eliminate subsidies for the tar sands

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/free-market-stealth-economics-g20/3867
Free Market Stealth Economics at the G20 – An analysis of the threat of bilateral trade agreements

Police repression and the security apparatus:

Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Heb9BXjYcII
Peaceful protesters singing O Canada rushed by a line of riot police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiLt40d_AbU
Police attack a peaceful group gathering outside the jail to support their fellow activists

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7OA920pbv8
Journalists attacked, deaf man arrested for failing to hear police orders

http://vimeo.com/12925239
Independent journalist Amy Miller describes detention including rape threats, strip-searches of women by male officers and touching that could be considered sexual assault.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZgjX5vHt2o
A young man embarrasses police before protests by demanding his Charter rights while entering a public park

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaYbq484abs
Police surround protesters and attack at Queens Park on Saturday

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/fr/video/compilation-videos-about-police-violence/3897#comment-4727
Compilation of videos on police violence

Articles:

http://www.thestar.com/article/828876–porter-when-police-stick-to-phony-script
The Miami Model – the blueprint used by Toronto police for repression during summits.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/828367–g20-law-gives-police-sweeping-powers-to-arrest-people?bn=1#article
Secret law passed to give police powers to violate charter rights and arrest.

http://rabble.ca/news/2010/06/challenging-toronto%E2%80%99s-corporate-security-walls
The link between the security fence construction and Canada’s arms industry

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829921–i-will-not-forget-what-they-have-done-to-me?bn=1
“I will not forget what they have done to me” – 20 people arrested at the G20 tell of ‘inhumane’ treatment at the hands of police

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/world/americas/28security.html
A New York Times article critical of the police crackdown.

http://transformingpower.ca/en/blog/toronto-burning-or-it
Toronto is Burning! Or is it? By Judy Rebick – a look at the media distortions in the coverage of Saturday’s events.

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/%E2%80%9Ci-woke-gun-pointed-me%E2%80%9D/3836
“I woke up to a gun pointed at me” – Pre-G20 house raids target activists and neighbours

The Black Bloc

http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com/2010/06/g20-capitalism-is-attacked-in-streets.html
Agree with them or not, it is important to understand the black bloc and why people engaged in more militant tactics.

http://vimeo.com/12920201
Professor David McNally discusses the political ideology of Anarchism and the black bloc tactic.

Thank you for reading and please forward to your networks

UppityUpdate: TorStar editorial re the “brutal spectacle”

Brad Wall, meet Saskatoon!

Just over five months in office and Premier Brad Wall has more than a video scandal on his hands. He and his SaskParty have managed to rile up a significant portion of the citizens in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It appears that he’s getting a bit more than he bargained for by pulling the plug on the Station 20 West Community Enterprise Centre, a broad and innovative community-based project that transforms contaminated wasteland into an environmental showcase and will bring much-needed attention to a core neighbourhood:

The Station 20 West Community Enterprise Centre

An innovative three-storey state-of-the-art structure, located at 20th Street West between Avenues L and K on Saskatoon’s West Side, will be a home to:

  • non-profit community organizations
  • public institutions
  • for-profit businesses and cooperatives

Working Together Works.

The Station 20 West CEC will integrate the delivery of needed community services and programs such as:

  • medical and dental
  • access to healthy food
  • jobs, training, housing

This initiative is a model one and it is one which has garnered broad-based support from not only the community of Saskatoon but also from people across the province. It’s not surprising then that more than 2,500 folks showed up for a Community Walk in support of Station 20 West. From the Saskatoon Star Phoenix:

Thousands gather to protest Station 20 West cuts

Danielle Mario, TheStarPhoenix.com

SASKATOON – The sidewalks around the block designated for Station 20 West were filled with a throng of people taking part in the largest demonstration in recent Saskatoon history.Between 2,000 and 2,500 people gathered on the lot at the corner of 20th Street West and Avenue L on Saturday morning to protest the provincial government’s recent decision to take back $8 million in funding for the development, which was to feature dental and medical clinics, public health and nutrition programs, and a co-op grocery store.

Demonstrators started trickling onto the empty lot at 9 a.m., and within the hour, the area was filled with people of all ages.

“It’s not about politics. It’s about the community,” said Sheila Pocha, co-chair of the project’s board of directors.

“I think that’s the real problem. (The government) never met with us, and never saw our financial plan. It’s sustainable, it’s viable, and it makes a lot of sense. The government is telling us to go find an old church, or an old school, or an old Barry Hotel now.”

It seems to me that the real problem now is Premier Brad Wall’s narrow, ideological bent, nothing more, nothing less.

Shame on you, Premier Wall! And shame on former Premier Lorne Calvert and his NDP administration for not providing secure funding for this project when it was first requested!

h/t to Sean in Saskatchewan

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