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Canada indigenous chief Allan Adam battered during arrest

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Media captionPolice dashcam footage captures the violent arrest of Allan Adam

Video of an indigenous chief’s violent arrest has shocked Canada, turning a spotlight on systemic racism in the country’s police force.

The footage shows Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam being floored and repeatedly punched by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer.

The confrontation took place in Fort McMurray, Alberta, on 10 March.

Protests demanding police reform have spread across Canada recently after spilling over from the US.

Although RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki initially said she “can’t say for sure” whether systemic racism is a problem with the police, on Friday afternoon she released a statement saying “systemic racism is part of every institution, the RCMP included”.

“Throughout our history and today, we have not always treated racialised and Indigenous people fairly,” she wrote.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for an independent investigation.

What does the video show?

Image copyright Submitted photo

Before the public release of the footage on Thursday night, the local RCMP division said they had reviewed it and found the officer’s actions “reasonable”.

The incident begins when an RCMP officer approaches Mr Adam and his wife over an expired licence plate.

The nearly 12-minute-long video, recorded by a dashcam from the RCMP officer’s vehicle parked behind Mr Adam’s lorry in a casino car park, begins with Mr Adam having a tense and profanity-laden discussion with the officer.

“I’m tired of being harassed by the RCMP,” he says.

Mr Adam and the officer continue to have a heated argument. At about the 4:45 mark, the officer tries to arrest his wife, twisting her arm behind her back until she says: “Ow!”

That is when Mr Adam gets out again, shouting: “Leave my wife alone!” He pushes the officer away. Everyone gets back in the vehicle.

Backup is called, and Mr Adam gets out of the lorry. The officer begins to arrest him, and Mr Adam says “don’t touch me”, using an expletive. That is when a second officer runs at him full speed, knocks him down, and repeatedly punches him while shouting: “Don’t resist.”

The incident is being investigated by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which oversees incidents involving police where someone is hurt.

What do Allan Adam and his lawyer say?

Mr Adam told Canadian media: “Because we are a minority and nobody speaks up for us, every time our people do wrong and the RCMP go and make their call, they always seem to use excessive force.

“And that has to stop. And enough is enough.”

Mr Adam’s lawyer Brian Beresh wants his client’s charges, which include assaulting an officer and resisting arrest, to be dropped. Mr Adam is next due in court on 2 July.

Mr Beresh has practised law for 44 years, and says police violence against indigenous people has been a constant issue.

“I’ve seen this from the first day I’ve started to practise,” he told the BBC.

“I’d like there to be some positive action taken by the RCMP, in terms of how they can prevent this from happening again. If this can happen with my client who’s a respected chief, what about the First Nations person who is living on the street, who doesn’t have my client’s standing?”

The final straw

Analysis by Robin Levinson King, BBC News, Toronto

This video comes not so much as a surprise, but as a final straw to those who have for years been demanding an end to systemic racism and police brutality.

Over the past two weeks, thousands of Canadians have marched in mostly peaceful protests held in cities across the country for the Black Lives Matter movement. While the protests may have been sparked by the death of George Floyd in the US, the Canadians marching have been clear to say that systemic racism is not just an American problem.

In addition to Mr Adam’s arrest, the recent deaths in police custody of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a black woman in Toronto, and Chantel Moore, an indigenous woman New Brunswick, have become touchstones in the wider discussion about race and policing in Canada, which has included calls to defund police.

Although Canada is often praised for its politeness and multiculturalism, especially in comparison to the US, it has its own legacy of violence and oppression of indigenous and black people to contend with – a legacy which continues to have ramifications today.

While only 5% of the population is indigenous, indigenous people make up about a third of the prison population. Last November, the Globe and Mail published an analysis that showed that indigenous people made up a third of deaths in police custody.

While most Canadian police forces do not track race-based data, media reports find that black Canadians are also more likely be stopped by police and experience police violence.

What is the political reaction?

Calls for an end to racial injustice are gaining traction. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday he has “serious questions” after watching the video.

“We have all now seen the shocking video of Chief Adam’s arrest and we must get to the bottom of this,” he said. “The independent investigation must be transparent and be carried out so that we get answers.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Last week, he marched in a Black Lives Matter protest and has said Canada has a problem with systemic racism “in all our institutions, including in all our police forces, including in the RCMP”.

But Mr Trudeau also faces serious criticism both personally and politically, especially after photos surfaced during last autumn’s election campaign of him in black face.

He has also been under scrutiny for not making greater strides at indigenous reconciliation.

Last year, a government report into murdered and missing indigenous women found that Canada was complicit in “race-based genocide” against indigenous women. Many of the report’s recommendations have yet to be implemented.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53027704

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Security and Sustainability Forum-With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider. 10/22/2020

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Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs

With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider

October 22, 2020

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm EDT

The next webinar in the SSF series, with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson, will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. Claudine Schneider is Hazel’s guest.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinars with Hazel and guests.

Register

Claudine Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”

October 22nd webinar with Claudine Schneider and Hazel

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

[email protected]

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

Source: https://www.ethicalmarkets.com/63564-2/

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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