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Rights Back At You

Author: Amnesty International Canada

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Amnesty International Canada examines anti-Black racism, policing, and surveillance in a brand new podcast, Rights Back At You, hosted by Daniella Barreto. We delve into stories of resistance and meet the people making change unstoppable. From facial recognition and the right to protest to the war on drugs and defunding the police, this series connects the dots and passes the mic to people building a better future now. Together, we unravel the Canada you think you know and challenge the systems that hold back human rights.
6 Episodes
Shownotes Episode 5Transcript available HEREContent Note: This episode mentions children in immigration detention and residential schools.Borders have long been sites of colonial enforcement about who can come and go and how Indigenous peoples are treated. Canada is no exception. Increasingly, governments look to technology to make potentially life-or-death decisions about whether a person fleeing danger should be allowed to cross a border. What happens when that technology reinforces bias and makes unreliable choices? Author and activist Harsha Walia leads us through how borders came to exist and how Canada has used them to keep out "undesirables" from the country with tools like the Safe Third Country Agreement. We connect with Joy Henderson, an Afro-Indigenous person whose own experience with the oppressive power of borders means they're unable to claim status in Canada. We chat with Jamie Duncan, a PhD student and researcher about how deploying artificial intelligence at the border can reinforce systemic racism in some disturbing ways. And finally, Petra Molnar, a researcher who authored a report with Citizen Lab at the Unversity of Toronto, explains her work on how the border is often a test site for invasive surveillance technologies on asylum seekers.Take ActionCanada: End the Safe Third Country Agreement – Amnesty International CanadaFurther ResourcesCanada: Leading human rights groups challenge Safe Third Country Agreement at Supreme Court – Amnesty International CanadaREPORT – Canada: Abuse, Discrimination in Immigration Detention – Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International CanadaBOOK – Harsha Walia “Border and Rule”REPORT – Bots at the Gate: a human rights analysis of automated decision-making in Canada’s immigration and refugee system – Petra MolnarMigrant Rights NetworkCanadian Council for Refugees – Safe Third Country Agreement
4. Walking While Black

4. Walking While Black


Transcript available HERE. Content note: this episode is about racial profiling“I'm aware that any time I have an interaction with police that my life could be in danger-- or my freedom.” - Gyasi SymondsAfter he was accused of jaywalking and then followed back to his workplace, Gyasi Symonds won his racial profiling case against the Halifax Regional Police. But street surveillance of Black people continues across the country. What's behind calls to defund the police in Canada and what does public safety mean? Does it really mean more police on the streets? We learn from El Jones about the history of defunding the police and abolition, and how technology tends to exacerbate surveillance issues that already exist. We then cross the country to meet Tonye Aganaba who organizes with Vancouver’s abolitionist group defund604, to hear about their work and the people’s budget they conducted. Finally, we sit down with Chuka Ejeckam, a political researcher who talks us through some of his research on comparative police budgets and breaks down the Vancouver Police Department’s video game-style recruitment content on social media.Further resources:Carding and Anti-Black Racism in Canada - Amnesty International CanadaTAKE ACTION: Canada: Stop Anti-Black Racism and Overpolicing - Amnesty International CanadaAnti-Black Racism and Policing: Keep up the Pressure - Amnesty International CanadaHalifax, Nova Scotia: Street Checks Report (March 2019), Scot WortleyDefunding the Police: Defining the Way Forward for HRP Tari Ajadi, Dr. El Jones, Harry Critchley, Julia RodgersBOOK: Simone Browne “Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness”Defund604 Network and their People’s BudgetChuka Ejeckam “Defunding the VPD is an investment in public safety and collective well-being”Africville Forever – a podcast about Africville, Nova Scotia
Shownotes Episode 3Transcript available HERE. Content note: this episode contains mentions of sexual violence “I feel like people would have cared more… about this injustice if I had just died.” - Rowa MohamedRowa Mohamed showed up to support her neighbours at an encampment eviction and was injured by police during the protest. Her experience of violence is not unusual – Black Muslim women are often treated with suspicion, like they don’t belong. What happens when people “fight crime” with home surveillance technology and treat their own neighbours as suspects? We chat with Hannan Mohamud about the surveillance of Muslims and the proposed “barbaric practices hotline”, connect with Ottawa’s Coalition Against More Surveillance and the resistance they’re engaged in to stop proliferation of surveillance technology in their neighbourhoods, and finally we connect with Dr. Chris Gilliard who walks us through the pitfalls of luxury surveillance and how doorbell surveillance cameras threaten our human rights.Further resources:Protect the Protest - Amnesty InternationalHamilton Encampment Support NetworkCoalition Against More SurveillanceBOOK: Andrea Ritchie “Invisible No More”REPORT: The Toxic Culture of Misogyny, Racism and Violence in the RCMPWomen working with RCMP suffered 'shocking' levels of violence, sex assaults, says reportARTICLE: Chris Gilliard ““The Rise of Luxury Surveillance”
Content note: episode contains mentions of death, injection drug use and brief mention of suicide around  [4:02] - [5:46]Transcript available HERE.“They’re not cops anymore. They’re soldiers. And we are the enemy” - Hugh LampkinHugh Lampkin leads us through his experience as a harm reduction trailblazer in the Downtown Eastside with the grassroots group VANDU. He tells us how he and other activists had to smuggle naloxone from a conference before it was widely available in Vancouver, and learn exactly how this lifesaving drug works to reverse overdoses. We also visit Hugh's friend, Dr. Mark Tyndall, to see the MySafe machine, a smart harm reduction intervention making waves in the community - what benefits it has and what questions still remain when it comes to systemic racism in tech solutions. We speak with Vince Tao from VANDU and Meenakshi Mannoe from PIVOT Legal Society to examine the fundamental questions at play when it comes to the war on drugs, homelessness, and police violence.*note: MySafe is an important tool in the range of harm reduction interventions available to interrupt drug poisoning deaths. If you liked this episode, check out Crackdown, a podcast hosted by VANDU member, Garth Mullins.Further resources:Ending human rights abuses in drug control - Amnesty InternationalRecommendations to States on steps to ensure human rights in drug policy - Amnesty International Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU)’re running an art fundraiser right now: PIVOT Legal Society “Stop the Sweeps Report” MySafe Manifesto for Research in the Downtown Eastside: BOOK: Robyn Maynard “Policing Black Lives”BOOK: Ruha Benjamin “Race After Technology”BOOK: Harriet A. Washington “Medical Apartheid”
Content note: brief description of death by police around [19:15]-[19:40] Transcript available HERE“I think it was a very strategic ploy to try to harm me, intimidate me and send a message not only to me, but to my community.” - Derrick Ingram In our first episode, Derrick “D-Wreck” Ingram leads us through his experience of being trapped in his apartment, surrounded by the New York Police Department. In the summer of 2020, he shared a photo from a Black Lives Matter protest and, shortly afterwards, it seemed the police ran it through facial recognition software to track him down. If police can track down protesters like Derrick, will we think twice about speaking out? We explore how state surveillance of protesters threatens fundamental human rights and our very ability to protest for social change. We delve into how this plays out in Canada, speaking to journalist Bryan Carney, lawyer and researcher Yolanda Song, and researcher Jon Penney. Further resources:Ban the Scan - Amnesty International’s campaign to ban facial recognition around the world Protect the Protest - Our protest rights are under attack. Check out Amnesty International’s new flagship campaign to ensure protest rights are respected and protected globally Surveil and Predict: A report from Citizen Lab: A Human Rights Analysis of Algorithmic Policing in Canada Surveillance Technology Oversight Project Bryan Carney’s key reporting: ‘Project Wide Awake’: How the RCMP Watches You on Social Media Subscribe at 
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