Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rehtaeh Parsons - How is Canada failing women?

Rehtaeh Parsons
Judge Jamie Campbell, who upheld the publication ban in Halifax, wrote in his decision that “the ban serves no purpose,” though he had no choice but to uphold it. Waiving Rehtaeh’s privacy rights “would be a good thing, if it could be done just for this case, just this once,” the judge wrote.

I find it very ironic that the justice system which failed Rehtaeh while she was alive are now trying to hide themselves and cover their asses now that Rehtaeh is dead. I find publication ban to be absolutely useless in this case as the only way that all of us have been able to preserve dignity for Rehtaeh is remembering that RCMP and judicial system in Nova Scotia failed her and her family terribly.

Its completely mind boggling as how there has been systemic push towards shaming and silencing of sexual violence victims like Rehtaeh Parsons.

One of the main reasons I decided to write about Rehtaeh as RCMP Nova Scotia refused to take information from Anonymous collective. It sounded very ridiculous especially when RCMP and other policing agencies in Canada have anonymous tip lines?!?

This systemic push is not only from "boys will be boys" mindset from the people but its also heavily ingrained in mainstream publication media who think that lives of victims and survivors do NOT matter.

Anonymous Hacktivists
Its only recently that with the case of Jian Ghomeshi, sexual assaults of MPs on Parliament Hill that the conversation started around #BeenRapedNeverReported.

Before anyone goes and claims any victory anywhere, we have a long way to go esp in a country where only 0.3% of sexual assault cases get conviction.

In November, I planned to do a local event as a memorial to Montreal Massacre. The theme of the event was to explore what has changed for women in Canada in the last 25 years on violence against women and to make it a part of 16 Days of Orange campaign initiated by UN. Rehtaeh is very important in Canadian context but also the way justice system works for girls who get sexually assaulted.

I was fortunate to meet with Glen Canning when he was in Toronto and we were able to do a small interview, I hope the readers will enjoy it.

Talking about Rehtaeh and keeping her legacy alive is important because the only way we were able to challenge the failing system by having a huge outpouring against it. Its also the only way to ensure that this kind of gross miscarriage never happens again! Institutions like RCMP and judiciary need to know that people of Canada are watching them and they will hold them accountable!

A petition was started on her birthday on December 9th which would had been Rehtaeh's 19th birthday. The petition asks for prevention of prosecution of those who are using Rehtaeh's name in connection with charges against her attackers.

There is also a campaign going on social media, details of which can be found here.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Organizing Tales: When shit goes wrong for no reason

We are planning to do an amazing event to remember Montreal Massacre victims and I guess we were not expecting to receive this kind of backlash against our guest speakers. But here we are dealing with the nonsense and we are committed to take this onwards anyway.

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, I highly recommend coming out and listen to amazing lineup. Here is the poster of the event and here is the organizing struggle for safe and positive space for everyone.

Website last updated 2013