Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This is F*cked up. Time for a national inquiry.

Police may not get it, feds may not get it, but at least a Toronto punk group called ``Fucked up`` understand that a systematic abuse of human rights is at play in the issue of missing and murdered native women. And I am not being anything but sincere when I thank Fucked Up for their support.

Police have dragged their heels on cases of missing aboriginal girls and women. For example in the case of missing teens Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander, police initially assumed (despite strong evidence to the contrary) that the girls had run away, and used this as an excuse to stall an investigation of even the the most obvious of clues, for example searching through the the girls emails.(full story)They also let inane jurisdictional issues interfere with the investigation. (More here).

Similarly when Hilary Bonnell went missing only a few weeks ago, police delayed issuing a news release on her disappearance, failed to organize a search team and failed to issue cross-Canada bulletins or alerts until days after the teen went missing. (Story)Compare this to police reaction in the equally tragic disappearance of Brendan Crisp, a Caucasian boy who police suspected of running away following an argument with his parents. Within days police organized massive aerial, marine and ground searches.(Story.) Tragically, Brendan was found dead a few weeks later.

I am not trying to compare heartaches. Every child, woman, or family member gone missing is heart-rending. My point is police consistently fail to respond as they could or should to aboriginal families and this should no longer be ignored.

Support on this point came from an unlikely place today. Upon winning a Polaris music prize a hardcore punk band, known as Fucked Up said they would use a $20,000 cash reward to host a fund raiser to help support families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. (Full Story Below).

While there may be irony in the mental image this conjures up, (Bad boy canuck musicians standing up for aboriginal women) there is certainly no irony in the gratitude I want to express to Fucked Up: Sincere thanks guys, for using your moment in the sun to shine light on this issue.

The real F*ck-ups here are the police and RCMP. Clearly there is need for a national inquiry to slap the police into doing their jobs.


Fucked Up. That Would Be the Winner of the 2009 Polaris Music Prize
Leah Collins September 22, 2009

The Toronto harcore band's current album, The Chemistry of Common Life, was honoured as the best Canadian album of the year, and awarded a $20,000 prize.

That news, however, didn't immediately register with the band's frontman, Damian Abraham -- though his slow-take apparently had nothing to do with the fact he was growling, drenched in Red Bull and wearing nothing but bunched up ginch and a belt (tightened around his forehead) while chomping through a two-song set moments before the prize's announcement.

"I was like, did they say Joel Plaskett?" joked the singer at a press conference immediately following Monday night's private gala. "The whole time I was like K'naan, Joel Plaskett, K'naan, Joel Plaskett and I was like 'oh man, I can't believe we won, that's insane.'"

"This to me is like the best moment because for the longest time I really felt like we were outside the community and music scene," said Abraham. "And now it's like if we're outside we stole the biggest prize in Canada."

As for that prize -- a nice, even $20,000 -- Abraham told reporters that the band intends to put it towards a benefit record they plan to release in time for Christmas. "There are over 500 missing aboriginal women in Canada and we're going to put out a record to try and draw some attention to it and raise some money for these people," he explained.

In addition to Fucked Up's gala-closing performance -- which featured members of Lullabye Arkestra and first ever Polaris winner Final Fantasy (how's that for a spoiler?) -- all artists on Polaris' shortlist performed live for the 400 guests packed into Toronto's Masonic Hall.

And while only Fucked Up managed to inspire a food (and chair) fight post-set (or, to be fair, maybe we should only lay the blame on Malajube and Patrick Watson's tables), the audience took in shows from Hey Rosetta!, Elliott Brood, Great Lake Swimmers, K'naan, Malajube, Joel Plaskett, Chad VanGaalen, Patrick Watson and Metric.

The Polaris Music Prize honours the best Canadian album put out between June 1 and May 31, 2009 and is selected by an 11-member Grand Jury the night of the gala. It is judged based on artistic merit alone.



Wideye said...

That is the coolest of the coolest news. They're on Face Book - become a fan and support them. I'll definetly buy their CD....Punk....takes me back to the olden day....

Anonymous said...

WooT! I facebooked these f*ckers!

Love you crazy bitches this blog warms the cockels of my heart.

Hazel Main

Wideye said...

Hey thanks Hazel! We try our best....so thanks for the support. We'd be able to post more regularly but there is a lot to do in this world....and I want a BB so I can blog live from anywhere - not that there is a Santa out there (no kids read this right...and if so - kiddies? Santa only delivers to good people and I'm a bitch.) Besides, actions speak louder than blogs, and me and Ward like to be active. ;O)

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