Is This For Real?

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Mark All
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We’re seeing a lot of performance politics these days, particularly from our elected leaders who fancy themselves progressive. This allows them to evade criticism from media, would-be allies, and others in power while they remain complicit in systems of anti-Black violence. Oumar talks to Celina Caesar-Chavannes, former Liberal Member of Parliament about her experience being tokenized, excluded, and eventually left to burn by her own party while they continued to create a performance of a progressive politics. She also shares her advice for creating change and surviving in institutions that are designed to crush us.
Though we are increasingly aware of how carding and street checks disproportionately impact Black and Indigenous communities, we are decreasingly aware of the myriad of ways in which we are constantly surveilled. Oumar talks to Harsha Walia (BC Civil Liberties Association) about algorithmic policing, WIST, and the insidious nature of technological surveillance. Harsha also shares her thoughts on the hopelessness of reform, and how calls for the defunding of police are rooted in community safety.
Our communities have been calling to defund the police for decades. But despite a wealth of research, lived experiences, and successful examples of divestment from police, our local government continues to increase the police budget while cutting community services. Oumar talks to Batul Gulamhusein about the complicity of our municipal politicians in police violence and how we should approach next year’s election and the future beyond that. How can we elect leaders who we actually trust? How are we investing in the community mechanisms of care? And if we’re not calling the police, who are we calling?
It’s plainly obvious that the most vulnerable people are the most heavily policed. Along with a lack of mental health and addiction supports, this creates a cycle where vulnerable populations remain in poverty or enter our punitive justice system. Hannan and Oumar talk to Shima Robinson, an organizer at the recently-closed Pekiwewin camp, about police targeting of homeless populations, the importance of de-escalation training, and the need for transit accessibility. We also speak to Mark Cherrington at the Coalition for Justice and Human Rights about the fear of police, lack of police accountability, and what a world without police might look like.
Phone cameras and social media have given Black people a way to expose the oppression our communities face at the hands of police. Police violence is nothing new, but the fact that it seems new to some is a testament to how our predominantly white media organizations have failed to challenge those in power, failed to treat Black people with dignity, and failed to cover glaring injustices while enjoying their privilege. Oumar and Hannan look into Canadian media’s friendly relationship with police forces, the sinister ways in which Canadian media organizations actively silence BIPOC journalists, and how this method of “journalism” leaves racism unchecked.
As a podcast that strives to properly communicate the experiences of Black Edmontonians, it’s been difficult to produce content with only one voice. Today we’re introducing a co-host, Hannan, who will bring important perspectives and talents to the project! Hannan and Oumar discuss their goals for this podcast and the importance of editorial freedom.
After a failed school board motion to suspend Edmonton’s school resource officer (SRO) program, police will remain in schools this September. Bashir talks about his obstacles in uncovering information about the program, while Oumar meets with a teacher who provides exclusive insight into her horrific experience with an SRO.
Sifa Ngeze was involved in a vehicle accident in 2018. When her husband, Jean-Claude Rukundo, arrived to check on her, police pinned him to the ground with one officer's knee on his neck. Sifa and Jean-Claude reflect on this traumatizing experience in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder and the calls for police accountability. We spoke again to Tom Engel, founder and Chair of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association Policing Committee, about the disturbing commonality of this brutal practice and the complete lack of disciplinary action.
Oumar speaks with Moe Tesfay about his experience of police mistreatment as a veteran and local business owner. Tom Engel recounts his 20 years as Chair of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association Policing Committee, and explains the lack of police accountability from our current systems of politics and law.
Oumar and Bashir meet at Dickinsfield Junior High and discuss how this upbringing shaped their relationship to policing in Edmonton. Avnish explains his work in the legal field and why police accountability is necessary for building safer communities.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Oumar Salifou
Podcast Status
Jun 12th, 2020
Latest Episode
Mar 10th, 2021
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
33 minutes

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