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Posts Tagged ‘Fredy Villanueva

Audio from Hoodstock ’09/Fredy Villanueva memorial

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Today was the second and last day of Hoodstock ’09, to commemorate the death of Fredy Villanueva, to remember his life cut too short, and to discuss the questions that his shooting still brings to mind. Questions of racial profiling and police brutality, but also of community response & organising.

Below is some quick edits of audio from the event. More to come, and cleaner version will follow… Feel free to use them for your own work; attribution to myself & CKUT 90.3FM radio would be nice, though.

Aujourd’hui marquait la fin de Hoodstock ’09, évènement pour commémorer le mort de Fredy Villanueva, de s’en souvenir de son vie coupé trop court, et pour discuter des questions que cette tragédie soulèvent. Des questions de profilage racial et la brutalité policière, mais aussi de la réponse de la communauté et comment on s’en organise.

Ci-dessous sont quelques pièces audio de l’évèment, monté assez vite… D’autres clips s’en viennent, et des versions plus ‘net’ suivront sous peu… Utilisez les clips pour votre propre travail, mais SVP attribuer-les à moi et à CKUT 90,FM

Patricia, soeur de Fredy Villanueva:

Manon Massé, travailleuse communautaire et candidate de Québec solidaire:

Mohamed Bennis, père de Mohamed Anas Bennis abattu par des policiers du SPVM:

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Written by Tim McSorley

August 10, 2009 at 3:32 am

Who’s afraid of Hoodstock?

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logo-hoodstock-091Hoodstock ’09 is this weekend – two days to mark the passing of Fredy Villanueva, shot dead by a Montreal police officer one year ago this coming Sunday (Hoodstock, by the way, is a combination of the slang term for neighbourhood and, of course, Woodstock). It will allow for a space to discuss the issues that this youth man’s death has raised: poverty, racism, racial profiling by police, gang violence. But it will also be a space of coming together around music and memories. Sunday will see a memorial walk from the site of Hoodstock. The march, scheduled for 5pm Aug. 9th, was called for by Fredy’s family.

All in all it presents itself as a sober, thoughtful and thoroughly necessary event for a neighbourhood, and city, still dealing with the issues that Fredy’s death has raised.

Which made the words used in last week’s Montreal Gazette article all the more frustrating to read:

At first glance it seems a little like the entertainment equivalent of a time bomb.

While the riots that followed Fredy Villanueva’s shooting last year and the fact that emotions could run high this year as well are both valid topics to cover in a piece about this weekend’s events, I find it incredible that a story would be lead off this way. In it’s opening lines it plants the assumption that there is a real threat of violence this weekend, and leaves it to spokespeople for the event to start on the defensive.

The rest of the article gives ample room to event organisers to explain the event, and the question of violence never comes back up. No quotes from residents who fear for their safety, no police saying they will be beefing up security in the area. So where does the introduction come from?

The piece is anonymous, so no way to contact the author to get an explanation. I can only see two possibilities: either a journalist with an agenda, or – maybe more likely given the tone of the rest of the piece – an attempt at a flashy, grabbing opening line.

A journalist with an agenda is arguably the more concerning of the two scenarios. But the second points to a carelessness just as problematic and misleading to readers.

La Presse, on the other hand, has a piece that deals with all the same issues, but manages to eschew the inflammatory first line.

Written by Tim McSorley

August 5, 2009 at 1:46 am

Car wash for a cause: Hoodstock Lav-o-Thon

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timthumb.phpIf you wake up tomorrow morning and decide that your car needs a wash, or even if your car doesn’t really need one – take a drive up to the Super C at the corner of Lacordaire and Henri-Bourassa. That’s where the lav-o-thon fundraiser for Hoodstock ’09 is taking place.

What’s Hoodstock, you ask? There will be more to post about it soon, but Aug. 9th will mark the one year anniversary of the shooting of Fredy Villanueva by a Montreal police officer. Hoodstock will be two days of music, discussions and workshops to reflect on a senseless death and what we can must take from it.

While I don’t like the ‘ticking time-bomb’ metaphor used by the journalist, Hoodstock co-organiser Will Prosper gives a good rundown of the event in the Montreal Gazette.

Written by Tim McSorley

July 25, 2009 at 12:53 am

Posted in Montreal

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Dupuis still doesn’t get it

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Listening to CBC report on yesterday’s events in Montreal North, it seems like Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis still doesn’t get it.

Last night there was a confrontation between police and youth in Montreal North. News outlets are reporting that residents of the Montreal borough called police, disturbed by a group of youth in a nearby park who were allegedly drinking and causing a disturbance. Police say when officers arrived, they were surrounded by the youth and needed to call back-up. Reports go on to say the youth then started throwing bottles and other objects at police and causing damage, including breaking car windows.

It was a different park, but the same area where Fredy Villanueva was shot and killed by police last summer. The hearings into Villanueva’s death have been suspended after most witnesses, including Villanueva’s family, refused to participate for a variety of reasons, including the fact the commission was not allowed to find fault and Minister Dupuis’ refusal to provide funds to help pay for lawyers of those assisting in the public hearings.

The events weren’t a direct response to Fredy Villanueva’s death, but Dupuis’ statements this morning to CBC radio that there is no link between the two events is more than a little staggering. All the more so since on CBC Radio Noon right now, residents, police and community activists are all saying that there is a link. Tensions in the community remain high, they are expalining, and youth are still suspicious of police.

And according to resident Will Prosper, a member of Montréal-Nord Républik, not enough has been done to either improve policing tactics or the living conditions of residents of one of Montreal’s poorest areas despite promises by the city and provincial government to work on both after Villanueva’s senseless death.

Until politicians like Dupuis and folks on the bourough council in Montréal-Nord start to understand all this, and until there is closure on the death of Fredy Villanueva, tensions in the area are doomed to continue.

Written by Tim McSorley

June 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm