Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I see that when Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair attended a Pride Week function yesterday he got a rough reception.
And no doubt he deserved it, for allowing his city to be turned into a police state. And for trying to make a monkey out of us.
But it's also a sad situation, because Blair is the most progressive gay-friendly police chief this city has ever had.
And one thing bothers me. Who was really giving the orders?
Why aren't more reporters asking RCMP Chief Superintendent Alphonse MacNeil to explain himself?
And why would police run an operation in the streets of Toronto from a command centre 200 kilometres north of the city?
Or was it really run from Ottawa...by the Harper Cons?
Yup. So many questions.
And so few answers.
We need a public inquiry.
And we need it NOW.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
OK. Let's face it eh? Everybody lost at Stephen Harper's piggy party.
The decent people of Toronto who were intimidated, brutalized, denied their civil rights.
And caged like animals.
Police Chief Bill Blair, who once had a reputation as a progressive cop, but now looks like a bully, a liar, and an idiot.
In an attempt to bolster support, Toronto Police displayed a range of weapons – from a machete and arrows to gas masks and cans of spray paint – that officers seized from G20 summit protesters.
However, police also included objects taken from a Whitby, Ont., man who was heading to a role playing fantasy game in Centennial Park Saturday morning. As was reported by the Globe on Saturday, Brian Barrett, 25, was stopped at Union Station for wearing chain mail and carrying a bag with an archery bow, shield and graphite swords. His jousting gear was seized by police, but was on display Tuesday, even though he was not charged and police told a Globe reporter it was a case of bad timing.
The small shop owners who had their windows smashed, because an army of police officers couldn't protect the city's busiest street, from a handful of anarchist goons.
Also on the list of losers the city's dying tourist industry...
Because you try telling people now that Toronto is a safe city, with a real lake, and a HOT music scene.
And of course the entire population of Canada who will be paying for this piggy party for YEARS.
It's all outrageous, and we definitely need a public inquiry.
But right now I need a day or two to recover from this Gorilla Show, and search for my sense of humour.... that I lost while being chased by a cop on a horse.
So I thought I'd start by sharing this video...
Because isn't nice to know that some losers are more loosers than others eh?
The bad news? That video is going VIRAL. So now they're laughing at us all over the world.
The good news? If we focus on blaming the man really responsible for this Gorilla Show debacle.
The loser of losers may finally lose his job.
Before he gets a majority.
And does it all over again...
When I heard about this demo.
More than 1,000 loud but peaceful Torontonians – furious at police tactics, the G20 and seeing their city hijacked – converged on Toronto Police headquarters on College Street late Monday afternoon. Parents, businessmen, protesters and grandparents chanted and drummed in front of dozens of police officers before marching through downtown and converging on Queen’s Park for a dance party.
I almost didn't go. After three days of wandering around a city turned into a police state I was just so beat.
But then I thought I just had to go because I want everybody to know that this gorilla show was not all about a burning police car and some broken windows. As some in the media seem to think.
Because I saw it all, or a lot of it, with my eyes wide open.
And it was all about this.
A brutal assault on the people of this city.
By bringing in thousands of heavily armed strangers and throwing up barricades everywhere to regular traffic, frightening off good and decent citizens, Canadian authorities created a ghost town in the heart of our city.
They took our city to hold a meeting and bullied us out of the core, damaging the commerce of thousands of merchants and inconveniencing the entire population. Then, they failed to protect our property
I'm not a cop hater. And I realize they were just following orders. But the way they were allowed to intimidate, jail, and abuse the rights of so many innocent citizens is simply unforgivable.
In Toronto the Good, we saw a law passed and enforced that was more anti-democratic than the War Measures Act. And we saw twice as many people arrested over a single 24-hour period in Toronto -- more than 900 at last count -- than what took place during the October Crisis in Quebec 40 years ago. And that event is in our history books as the most notorious abuse of civil rights in modern Canadian history.
And I'll never forget the hatred in the eyes of some of them...as if we were THE ENEMY.
Or the way I was almost arrested several times for doing absolutely nothing. Just staring at that Planet of the Apes spectacle with my eyes AND my mouth wide open.
And rage in my heart.
So anyway I dragged my weary ass to today's demo.
And boy was I glad I did....
Because it was awesome. Young and old together. And the sweet sound of FREEDOM.
I just hope Great Ugly Leader and his fascist
Canada is not a police state.
And the streets belong to the PEOPLE...
Sunday, June 27, 2010
So that's how Stephen Harper's Billion Dollar Boondoggle and Gorilla Show ended.
With a raging thunder storm, and one final spasm of madness.
With police charging a peaceful group of protesters, photographers, and people just caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Boxing them in like animals.
Leaving them sitting in the pouring rain for hours.
And then arresting them one by one.
You guys are saying 'Wrong place, wrong time'," a police officer said to two detainees who argued they were just passing by. "Yup," replied a young man in his early 20s. But that didn't make any difference -- the handcuffs stayed on and the two continued to be processed by officers who read them their rights and told they they had the right to call a lawyer. Whether or not they had the opportunity to call a lawyer is a different question.
And all I can say is how very fitting. Because this Gorilla Show has been insane from start to finish.
The bottom line? The police lost control of the situation because they were too obsessed with keeping protesters from getting within three blocks of this fence.
So they allowed vandals to run amok in other parts of the city.
And then over reacted by treating innocent citizens like CRIMINALS.
The peaceful protesters got burned by these sinister goons.
Who drowned out their message. Turned ordinary citizens against all the protesters. And allowed Stephen Harper to claim today he was right to spend a billion dollars on security.
When of course all it showed was that he was CRAZY to hold a summit in the heart of Canada's biggest city.
Tonight the protesters were all suddenly released, without any charges being laid.
Which leads me to believe that the Toronto police have a lot of embarrassing questions to answer.
And I've got two good ones eh?
Who the hell gave them the idea that we're living in a police state?
And when do they plan to arrest him?
I missed the peaceful G20 protest because I had to work, but I couldn't avoid this one.
I was just trying to go home.
I tried to give the The Fence a wide berth.
Because now you can be arrested for just getting too close to it.
But no matter what street I took I kept getting blocked by these guys.
Then I'd walk another block only to run into another group of police officers.
One moment they would hold back a crowd of mostly peaceful protesters, curiousity seekers, and those just trying to go about their business.
In their locked down city.
The next moment they'd let them surge past them.
Only to block their path again.
And my way home.
With another line of riot police.
So I'm not surprised that a small group of mindless anarchist was able to go on a rampage in this police state atmosphere of total chaos.
Or that so many other people are also angry at being treated like The Enemy in the place where they live. Because I know how they feel, and I don't blame them.
Just like I don't really blame the police officers either because they are just following orders. But innocent people are getting roughed up.
So all I can say is that everything that happened today was totally PREDICTABLE.
And this is only adding insult to injury.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office condemned the violence. In a statement, Dimitri Soudas said free speech is a principle of Canada's democracy, but "the thugs that prompted the violence earlier today represent in no way, shape or form the Canadian way of life."
Because this isn't my Canada either.
And Stephen Harper is entirely to blame for his criminally irresponsible decision to hold a summit in the heart of Canada's biggest city.
If he didn't know this might happen he's an idiot and should be dismissed for gross incompetence.
If he did, and he thought he might win some votes in Toronto with his phony law and order agenda, he should be ARRESTED.
Oh well. I finally made it home. It's raining now. The situation is cooling.
But if Harper thinks he can get away with this boondoggle of a gorilla show, he is sadly mistaken.
For we will REMEMBER...
Saturday, June 26, 2010
As I said about a week ago, I've always wondered what it would be like to live in the kind of police state Stephen Harper would create, if he ever got a majority.
Well now I know.
Wearing bulletproof vests and helmets with the visors down, some 30 officers shoved their way through the crowd.
“This is what a police state looks like!” shouted one man before an officer sent him reeling with a kick to the groin. Another man was shoved repeatedly by police as he lay on the ground.
Because I've never seen so many police officers, there were many tense moments. And it almost turned into a nightmare on Elm Street.
At Elm Street, just north of the American consulate, police blocked the street. Officers donned gas masks and readied tear gas guns.
While a double line of officers in riot gear, holding shields remained at the front, about 200 extra officers, some on horseback, stood ready to reinforce them from behind. Officers also locked the gates to the perimeter fence for the first time.
It all ended peacefully, but with so many police and so many demonstrators, on a brutally hot afternoon, it could have ended horribly.
But you be the judge, because I made this video...
The bottom line: we need these summits like we need a hole in the head.
And by deciding to hold this gorilla show in the heart of the country's biggest city...
Stephen Harper has clearly shown he is unfit to govern.
Because only in my nightmares.
Is this my Canada...
(click pic to enlarge)
Friday, June 25, 2010
Toronto's waterfront is one of my favourite places to hangout and play.
But I've never been so glad to get away from it as I was this evening.
Because it's not a welcoming place anymore.
It's a scary place full of police officers from all over Canada.
More police officers than I have ever seen. Patrolling or lounging about in groups of ten or twenty.
With their black uniforms, their riot helmets, and their gas masks.
Cruising the bay in all kinds of boats.
Or stopping people in the streets.
And despite this police occupation the air is thick with menace.
Today it's a guy with a chainsaw and a crossbow... who knows what tomorrow will bring?
So you can imagine how I feel when I read this.
You have to feel sorry for the poor Canadians. With a right-wing government hell-bent on massive public expenditure cuts, they have to fund not just one grand international summit with the G20 this weekend, but two, with the G8 summit on Friday. And in separate places. The G8 summit takes place in Muskoska, the G20 meeting in Toronto. All the security, the transport and accommodation doubled.
And for what? So that Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, can play host to world leaders and preen himself on his and his country's continued importance? We're back to the worst years of the G8, when world leaders could parade themselves with an air of importance while achieving very little of economic value, and certainly nothing that couldn't have been done in a few telephone calls between the relevant premiers and their staffs.
Because ain't that the truth? That's what we're getting for our billion dollars. A bill we'll be paying for years. And the laughter of the world.
Oh boy. I hope Canadians remember this ghastly fascist spectacle, because I know I will never forget it.
Montreal may be my home, my city by the river. But I have come to love this city on a lake...a real lake.
And just like my country.
I want it BACK...
I'm glad to see that the organizers of the Toronto Gay Pride parade have decided to reverse their ban on the words "Israeli Apartheid."
Although I'm not surprised. Because gay people have too many enemies to waste time fighting each other.
Just like I'm not surprised that Jonathan Kay is spewing this kind of hyperbolic garbage.
Because anyone who calls the gay parade a hate parade is either an idiot or a homophobe...or just plain CRAZY.
And before he tries to inflict collective punishment on the gay community, maybe Kay should first ask Frank Dimant of B'nai Brith what he's doing hanging out with this ugly collection of religious extremists and homophobes.
Or ask the Canada Israel Committee why it's insulting gay people, and hanging out with bigots like Kathy Shaidle.
Talk about HATEFUL. How dare these right-wing Israeli lobbyists try to intimidate the gay community?
And while he's at it, maybe Kay can also ask Dimant why he's isn't planning to challenge Pride Toronto's Solomonic decision.
This means that when (QUAIA) fly their banners with the words Israeli Apartheid, they leave themselves open to a complaint from B'nai Brith, the group that originally pressured Pride to take action against QUAIA. That sets up the possibility of a fascinating legal hearing in which pro-Zionist groups will have to articulate exactly why the words Israeli Apartheid are anti-Semitic or, at least, discriminatory.
By taking QUAIA to court.
"We're disappointed in Pride's recent decision," he told NOW. "We thought the organizers acted courageously and that there wasn't going to be any hurtful words that would cause tremendous pain to the Jewish community.
"But we don't want to involve ourselves in a confrontation with the gay community."
Right. Victory is sweet. It was a good fight.
But I'm just glad it's over. So we can concentrate on some of these other gay issues.
Like this one. Or this one. The ones that threaten or diminish our lives right here in Canada.
Oh yeah. And one more thing. Judith Timson can stick her stilettos where the sun don't shine.
Better hurry. The forces who are licking their chops at a chance to discredit and dismantle not just the pride parade, but gay pride itself, aren't going to let this opportunity go by. And that really would be a tragedy.
Because I don't wear stilettos or plead for ANYTHING. Nobody is going to discredit or dismantle our parade, let alone our gay pride.
The Gay Pride Parade will ALWAYS be political, part of our long march to freedom. And the march to freedom of all other oppressed groups.
But this year I'm marching with Brian for Brendan
“It’s a real problem in our schools,” says Burke. “It’s a problem for gay kids, for small kids, anyone different. I hate bullies . . . I didn’t realize the magnitude of the problem. What Brendan would have wanted was for me to continue some of these things.
The gay community has reclaimed the pride parade.
And NOBODY will intimidate us again. Or tell us what to do with OUR parade.
Because we are the gay people of Canada.
And we are FEARLESS...
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Oh dear. This is the kind of story that can make life seem like a jungle.
You know how humans love to wage war, slaughter their neighbours, and steal their land?
Well now we know who to blame for those bad habits.
After years of field observations in Uganda's Kibale National Park, John Mitani of the University of Michigan and several colleagues have concluded that chimps wage war to conquer new territory.
But of course, sadly, we are also to blame. Because it takes two to tango.
And as I once explained, we really should have gone with the bonobos.
The Pan troglodytes chimps he studies are one of two subspecies. The other is called Pan paniscus, also known as bonobos, and, says Mitani, "the latter, as far as we know, aren't nearly as aggressive with respect to intergroup relations. Yet they're equally close to us."
Who prefer to make love not war. With everyone. All the time.
Instead of dating those violent chimps.
And look, not only do those hunky bonobos prefer sex to killing. They also share their food.
What a concept eh?
Oh boy. Some mistakes you can recover from....like Stephen Harper and his Cons. Just flush them down the toilet and start all over again.
But when you make the kind of monkey mistake we made so long ago.
It can haunt us FOREVER...
Oh. My. Gorilla. As if it wasn't scary enough living in the shadow of the G20 summit. There I was this afternoon putting the finishing touches on my will.
When suddenly the earth shook.
“It was unbelievable,” said Susan Ashley, who lives in a 10th floor apartment at Victoria Park and the Danforth. She was working on her computer when she it began: “Everything was swaying and shaking … I felt like I was in my car.”
Her dog started barking and Ashley ran to the hallway, where everyone on her floor was streaming out. “I didn’t think it was the end of the world, but it was scary.”
And like everybody else in my neighbourhood I assumed the WORST...
Or even worse than that. Because I've got an active imagination eh?
And I couldn't help wondering...does a biological weapon or a dirty bomb go BOOM?
Like this well known terrorist...
Because let's face it in my traumatized hood these days every second person looks like a terrorist or a CSIS agent. And as I've said before, the last thing we need is Halloween in June.
So naturally I didn't stick around to find out what was going on. Like everybody else I just ran. Just not too quickly eh?
Because with snipers on the rooftops you don't want to attract too much attention... even if you don't wear a hijab. Like quite a few of my poor
And I didn't want to be shot while terrorized AND bitterly disappointed:
A picture fell off the wall outside the prime minister’s office, but the PMO was not evacuated.
But then, just when I thought I wouldn't be able to hold my breath a second longer, came the all clear. The Neighbourhood Security Commmander picked up his bull horn and shouted.
"OK fun time's OVAH. Everybody back inside, and make it snappy or ELSE..."
It turns out it wasn't a dangerous terrorist, or a dirty bomb, or a biological weapon.
It was just Stephen Harper.
Whew...I mean phew. What a relief eh?
The man should be arrested for holding a summit in a residential neighbourhood AND an active earthquake zone.
But I figure after the way he embarrassed us at the last summit.
Better now than LATER...
P.S. What? You don't like my stinky story? OK. Next time I'll post it to Twitter and it'll be even BETTER.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
As the police presence in my neighbourhood continues to grow by the hour.
Not just in the streets, where now they're starting to ask you to show your papers please.
But also on the lake...
As the atmosphere grows more tense and oppressive.
It's really weird eh? It still looks like Canada.
But it sure doesn't feel like home.
The core of the city, bisected and encircled by fences, which one can’t see through or over, patrolled every minute by squads of police, feels more like Cold War-era Berlin. Anxiety fills the air.
“There’s hardly anybody at work. It’s like a skeleton crew,” added Ms. Ellery. “You feel like you’re in the zoo, Berlin Wall, in a different country. Every day last week you saw more police. First Toronto police, just a few, and then groups of four, and then more groups of four, and now Mounties. It’s crazy. It’s weird."
It's like a bad dream. The Harper majority, the police state, the sirens, the 30-car motorcades, the flashing red lights...
It's so surrealistic and just plain crazy even the ridiculous wingnut Lorne "Grunter" Gunter almost makes sense.
The preparations are staggering — so staggering someone should have given their head a shake over the wisdom of hosting the leaders of the 20 economically strongest nations in the world in one of the busiest downtowns in the Western world.
And all for what? Can you name the top achievement to come out of each of the last four G20 summits? This level of disruption of citizens’ lives is unacceptable in a free country.
And when the Grunter cries fascism you KNOW we're in trouble.
But then I remember that so is Stephen Harper. And I feel so much better.
Because the bottom line is that a billion dollars is a lot of money for a three-day whoop-de-do.
To understand the challenge of plowing through that much money that fast, consider the sheer magnitude of a billion. If you were lucky enough to have $1 billion in $1,000 bills, stacking them would require 10,000 piles of 100 each. Or think of it as some industrious internet mathematicians have: A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
And we may be paying for this summit now, but Stephen Harper is going to pay for it LATER. Over and over again...
Apart from boggling minds, the billion-dollar summit cost threatens the Prime Minister’s reputation as a prudent manager. It’s a small jump from summit security costs and a fake lake to awkward questions about how wild spending has turned surpluses into deficits.
So sure. This gorilla show may be sinister and scary.
And a monumental pain in the ass.
But if it has a happy ending.
I don't mind a bit...
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
You don't have to know much about anything to know that Stockwell Day...the Con we call Doris...is an absolute idiot.
But can't that old homophobe even do his job?
As you may know the U.S. State Department is warning Americans to stay away from downtown Toronto. Which will kill the city's struggling tourist industry at what is normally one of the busiest times of the year.
Even though the city has never looked shinier...
Or safer. That's a cop on the corner drinking out of a portable water fountain. And I counted about a hundred today...in a three block area.
So what does Doris do? He makes the Americans sound reasonable. And the city sound dangerous.
"And when I'm talking about thugs I'm talking about thugs, I'm talking about the anarchists and the violent groups who have already indicated that they're going to be there and they're going to cause trouble."
Instead of telling the Americans to get a grip on themselves.
Toronto is a great place to visit in June...
Especially if you love horses.
And do these people look dangerous?
I mean really. Can't that old Con do his job? And when is he going to be FIRED?
If Doris can't downplay the threat instead of escalating it.
Couldn't he at least try to reassure the Americans?
By singing this song?
Because everybody in my neighbourhood is singing that song these days.
And dreaming of the day we can give Doris and his incompetent Cons the HOOK.
Que sera sera baby. It can't come soon enough...
Monday, June 21, 2010
Uh oh. Worldwide Porker Alert. The Cons are heading out on a Global Bragging Tour.
With Canada just days away from hosting the G20 and G8 leaders’ summits, a team of federal cabinet ministers, led by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, hits the road Monday for an international tour to boast about the nation’s record during the financial crisis and how other economies should look to Canada for leadership in the post-crisis era.
I suppose the obvious question is why would those porkers waste even more money by waddling out to meet the world, when the world is coming to them next week?
But asking that question is of course as useless as asking why they would build a fake lake when there is a real lake right next to place where the leaders will be meeting.
One that judging by this picture I took this afternoon, is looking
And then there's that other obvious question: what on earth gave the porkers the right to do any bragging? When these facts speak for themselves:
(1) The Cons didn't didn't eliminate the deficit, the Liberals did. All the Harperites have done so far is take an $18-billion surplus and turn it into a $60-billion structural deficit.
(2) The Cons had nothing to do with regulating the banks. On the contrary Harper and his funny money gang used to howl and scream and talk in tongues about how EVERYTHING should be de-regulated.
And then of course there's the question NOBODY dares ask.
Because it's too embarrassing eh?
Why oh why are they sending Jason Kenney to London?
Fortunately for what's left of our dignity, the answer to that one is easy. They are just doing a little campaigning, hoping if they repeat the Big Lie that they are good financial managers, Canadians will believe them.
When of course they won't. Not after the fake lake. So why are they making fools out of themselves...with OUR money?
Answer: Because they are desperate.
How desperate? Oh VERY desperate.
Just ask the Cons...
Golly. It takes a lot of bucks to make a boondoggle, it takes a lot of eggs to make an omelet.
The Cons are quaking in their
And I'm getting HUNGRY !!!!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
One of the few funny things about Stephen Harper's Billion Dollar Porker Summit, apart from the fake lake, is this giant woodpecker pecking away at a telephone pole right outside the place where the leaders will be meeting.
Because it just seems so appropriate for a wank fest of that magnitude. And I wouldn't be surprised if after a couple of days in Harperville, the summit leaders start calling it Steve.
As in very pretty, but not too bright, extremely irritating, and possibly dangerous.
Which reminds me of how this ghastly gorilla show in my neighbourhood has made an old and controversial Liberal attack ad look practically PROPHETIC...
OMG. I KNEW they didn't make this up. It just took a little bit longer to happen.
Top military snipers who served in Afghanistan will be stationed on the rooftops of highrises around the Metro Convention Centre when leaders of the G20 countries meet June 26-27, officials say.
“There’s going to be a massive—absolutely massive—presence of police and security on the ground like you’ve never seen before.”
Great eh? Soldiers in the streets. In Canada. In MY neighbourhood.
Golly. I knew Stephen Harper had this weird crush on Stalin. I knew he's a lousy economist. But this is ridiculous.
But then when I look at this old cartoon it also seems prophetic...
Because now I know who the insurgents are...the people of this riding who NEVER vote Conservative.
Oh boy. I'd like to say that we're all LIVING for the day when the Cons are defeated. As they will be after this grotesque gorilla show.
Busloads of out-of-town police were reportedly being shepherded inside the former Toronto Film Studios on Eastern Ave., where police have set up a hush-hush temporary jail for processing detained protesters.
But of course right now, thanks to Great Peckerhead Leader, who put his boondoggle of a summit in the middle of a residential neighbourhood.
And snipers on the rooftops.
We're just hoping to survive eh?
And so is Woody...