K6 & HAMSMaRT Weekly Newsletter no. 24
September 8, 2020
Dear HAMSMaRT and Keeping Six Supporters: Happy Labour Day! This time of year always feels like a fresh start, even though most of us have been out of school for many years. Read the bolded sentences below to get the main points from our weekly update.The September volunteer sign up schedule is live!Sign up to go on outreach, bake, or decorate paper lunch bags. If you are a registered volunteer, you should have already received the sign up link – shoot us an email at email@example.com if you haven’t received it. If you are not already registered as a volunteer and want to join the volunteer crew for September, sign up here https://keepingsix.org/volunteer. Our work with the encampments is ongoing. Dr Jill Wiwcharuk and Lisa Nussey wrote an op ed published in The Spec further articulating our position. You can also read our letter to council here and the letter written by our lawyer here, which we have decided to release to the public as well. We remain committed to dialogue on this issue and are eager to work with the City to come to some resolution. Once we have any updates about the injunction, we will share them with you! Dani Delottinville and Lisa Nussey from Keeping Six spoke at the Community Teach In on defunding the police September 3rd.Dani shared with attendees that “for us the global pandemic has only intensified and crystallized the need for alternatives to policing. First, because most of all the services and spaces that people rely on were closed during the pandemic. But, not the police. Libraries, drop-in spaces … bathrooms, all closed. Policing carried on … all the funding, resources and energy that goes into arresting, charging, detaining on poverty and drug related charges could be so much better used, on almost anything… Let us be clear: the opioid epidemic and the rampant loss of life and potential is not a law and order issue, it is a public health crisis. Anytime we are mobilizing law and order resources to deal with a public health crisis, we are only exacerbating the problem.”Defunding the police is directly tied to reconciliation. Police violently enforce colonial laws that remove Indigenous people from their land, in order for private businesses to make money. We are deeply concerned that the OPP has arrested people who have attended the 1492 Land Back Lane encampment, including Indigenous journalists and researchers. For anyone reading this, please take action – this is an excellent time to ask the institutions you are part of to go beyond land acknowledgements and publicly support Indigenous sovereignty, or at the very least call for a peaceful resolution without militarized police violence. You can also contribute to the legal defence fund here. This week, Scholar Strike is happening across Canada and the USA. From the Scholar Strike Canada website: “Scholar Strike originated in the U.S from a tweet by Dr. Anthea Butler who, inspired by the striking WNBA and NBA players, put out a call for a similar labour action from academics. The Canadian action is aligned with the one in the U.S., in its call for racial justice, an end to anti-Black police violence and it adds a specific focus on anti-Indigenous, colonial violence. Scholar Strike is a labour action/teach-in/social justice advocacy happening on September 9-10, 2020.” The website has a list of online events you can join. At McMaster, Syrus Marcus Ware from the School of the Arts is hosting a Scholar Strike Canada Roundtable Discussion and Teach In, about art and activism in Black organizing. Finally, in recognition of labour day during a global pandemic, take a minute to learn more about the Decent Work and Health Network’s campaign for paid sick days. In August, the DWHN published Before It’s Too Late: how to close the paid sick days gap during COVID-19 and beyond. The report is a comprehensive, well researched look at paid sick leave – and the consequences of not having it – across Canada. Most striking was the finding that 58% of workers in Canada do not have paid sick days. And yet paid sick days protect both individual and community health. “There is no question that infections often spread quickly and easily in workplaces,” said Dr. Monika Dutt, Family Physician and Public Health Specialist from Nova Scotia. “As you will see in the report, cities with paid sick days saw a 40% reduction in influenza rates during flu waves compared to cities without.” ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE THIS WEEK: DONATE TO FUND REPAIRS TO KANYENKEHAKA KANONHSES via GoFundMe – they are $6130 away from their goalDONATE TO THE SIX NATIONS LAND DEFENDERS via e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.orgASK THE INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS you are affiliated with what they are doing to move beyond land acknowledgements and support the Six Nations land defenders at 1492 Land Back LaneVOLUNTEER to decorate brown paper bags for outreach lunches, bake sweet treats, or go on outreach, by signing up here.DONATE CASH (or ask people in your network to donate) here.DONATE LIKE-NEW/EXCELLENT CONDITION TENTS, SLEEPING BAGS, FLEECE BLANKETS, OR TARPS by emailing us email@example.com.