Friday, 2 July 2010

Revealed: Why Democracy in Canada Is in the Crapper

As I said when I blogged about the cash intended for frail friend returned by Canada Post, I gotta share this.

Also, it involves one of the members of the frail friend's support group.

A few days ago, a gang email went out to inform us of a change in status for our friend. Normally, I'd just reply to the sender individually, but with Toronto under seige and friend being from Toronto along with many of his now-faraway friends and family, I hit 'reply all' after adding this to my response to the sender:
I’m being a bit of brat in replying to all. But Torontonians certainly know and the rest of you probably heard of the police state Harper turned Toronto into over the past few weeks and of the shocking brutality and idiocy of the past weekend.

We can’t let them get away with this.

There is a Facebook group (I know, I know) demanding there be an independent inquiry into the whole mess. It’s growing like mad, over 25,000 members in two days.

But even more important is to sign the petition also demanding an inquiry at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Bonus: Read what the usually 'law and order/hang 'em high' Toronto Sun has to say.

And please pass these links along to right-thinking people.

fern hill

There are about ten of us. Two of them I consider close friends, others casual friends, two or three barely acquaintances.

As with anything like this, I thought maybe a couple would act on it, a couple more would mean to but forget, the rest would ignore it and maybe a couple of those would be irritated at my presumption. Oh well.

One responded promptly with 'done and done', but then she's a good union gal.

I was not expecting the reply I got last night from one of the bare acquaintances. Here it is unedited:
Hi fern hill,

I probably should`nt reply to this e-mail, as my reply does not support your view.To me your response is both immature ( the kind of reaction I expect from my teenage students ) and one that ignores the stupid and irresponsible acts of vandalism that occurred Saturday in Toronto.
While I do not support the Polices behaviour on Sunday, I was appalled at the images I saw on t.V. Saturday night. I think maybe the Police where too patient and passive during these events ( burning Police cars and windows beening broken ).
I hope you do not support all this damage done by a bunch of reckless young people who wanted to stick it to the MAN!!!! We are the men and women that will have to pay for the clean up. For me ( as an x-Torontoian ) I was embrassed (not by the Police ) but by the ignorant Thugs that took away all focus real protestors with valid concerns
deserved. My Toronto ( I lived there for 25 years ) was belittled by these pathetic acts of defiance.
I am not sure you really understand the responsibility Toronto had to protect all the dignitaries involved in the Summit.I agree that a bit of a Police State existed during the Summit, however there was no serious incident inside the fence. As the host City we had a HUGE responsibilty to protect all those involved in the summit and keep them safe.
While the building of a fence around the Summit Site was offensive to many, the shooting or bombing of visiting leaders would have been far more disturbing to me, then a few days where my personal movement was comprimised. As a teacher I deal with choosing between protecting my students ( and maintaining order ) and allowing them to express themselves . Sometimes, personal freedom has to give way to the security of the group as a whole.
While I do not condone what went on in Toronto last weekend, I do understand why the Police did what they did. Demanding an inquiry is foolish and a waste of money. That money should go to the shop owners who had windows broken and other individuals who suffered damaged they can not afford to absorb.Wasting money on yet another costly and in the end ineffectual inquiry is something I can not believe an intelligent person would suggest.
I hate to say it fern hill but you need to get out into the real world.Only those terribly oppressed or living in a vacumn would support such a petition, Name

I was stunned. I was at sweetie's last night after the Queen's Park protest and he was stunned too. We talked for hours last night about it, asking deep questions like 'WTF????'

I just replied.
Wow. I haven’t been lectured to by a sanctimonious yet screechingly ignorant highschool teacher in decades. Great fun was had by both sweetie and me with your missive. We particularly enjoyed the many spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

My mistake was in thinking that friends and supporters of [frail friend] would also be friends and supporters of civil rights, democracy, and justice.

My bad.

I did think, however, that if recipients were doubtful but interested they might accept the premise from [frail friend]'s friend that something bad had happened and at least check out the column I linked to at that radically leftwing rag, The Toronto Sun.

I find it sad that you preferred to use your time lecturing me rather than informing yourself.

I am an activist* and citizen journalist**. I was at the protests, including the Canada Day one yesterday. I have been following closely the anti-democratic crusade of Harper and the ReformaTories for years and especially the transformation of my city into a fortress over the past month.

You are a middle-class school teacher being spoonfed sound-bites from the corporate media. In Hicktown, Ontario.

Fine. While you exemplify part of what’s wrong with democracy in this country, you are entitled to your own opinion.

You are not, however, entitled to your own facts.

The largest mass arrest in Canadian history occurred in Toronto over the weekend. Larger by far than arrests made under the War Measures Act during the October Crisis — you know, that period when real terrorists were really kidnapping and killing real people.

The police were ordered ‘not to engage’ with the 75-100 vandals on Saturday, but no one knows by whom. Contrary to the Police Services Act, police cars were abandoned, perhaps to serve as irresistible targets. There are credible reports — though not yet proven as at Montebello — that police officers acted as agents provocateurs. (I’d put links in, but why bother when you won’t read them?)

The next day the police went on a rampage of their own — beating and arresting peaceful protesters, reporters, and passers-by. Did you catch Steve Paikin of TVO giving his eye-witness account of the beating of a reporter from The Guardian? I think that was on television. There’s rivetting video of about 200 people corralled in a tactic called ‘kettling’ for four hours in bucketing rain at Spadina and Queen. That video has not appeared on television. Yet.

Their stories are coming out, even though we don’t know how many people remain in jail.

And then there are the many lies from police brass. The secret new law that didn’t exist. The weapons confiscated from protesters, except most of them weren’t weapons, and the most weapon-like items did not come from protesters. The cortege for the fallen soldier that was disrupted by protesters except it wasn’t. Again, I’d offer links but what the hell for?

Civil rights were trampled. The tax-paying citizens were lied to. Police neglected their duty. An entire city was placed under martial law.

And many of us would like some accounting for this insanity.

I hate to say it, Name, but you are an ignorant, sanctimonious cunt***, who should get out more and stop watching television. In Hicktown, Ontario.

But hey, I’ll stand up for your rights anyway, even if you don’t value them.

And, since I can’t imagine either of us having anything further to say to the other, I’d appreciate it if you’d delete my name from your address book, as I will yours.

I pity your students.

fern hill

Sad, innit?

* bit of exaggeration but I do get my butt out to protests and rallies
** I hate 'citizen journalist' but 'blogger' didn't have the required gravitas
*** yes, I went there


Luna said...


That was fucking awesome! Bravo!

Deno said...

"I hate to say it, Name, but you are an ignorant, sanctimonious cunt***, who should get out more and stop watching television. In Hicktown, Ontario."

fern hill

You send a unsolicited e-mail to a person you barely know with your views of what happen in Toronto last weekend and when they take the time to answer you with their opinion of the events in Toronto you have the gall to insult them for the crime of disagreeing with you.

You are one disgusting human being fern hill? You give anyone with a left of centre point of view a bad name with this disgusting behaviour!

To use your own words "I hate to say it, fern hill, but you are an ignorant, sanctimonious cunt"


fern hill said...

You are entitled to your opinion, Deno. And entitled to your pitiful reading comprehension. Perhaps you are a former student of the illiterate teacher's.

I sent unsolicited links to people who share a love for a particular person, who himself is an activist and lover and protector of civil rights. Said people were perfectly free to ignore me.

This person chose to lecture me, call me immature, unintelligent etc. while clearly ignorant of anything but mainstream media propaganda. I responded.

But thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but in October 1970 there were about 6 real terrorists who killed one provincial minister and kidnapped a British diplomat. There were also quite a few naive wannabes and RCMP spies in the FLQ outfit. It is quite possible they knew where the Rose brothers (who deservedly went to jail for murder) were all the time. But they used that as an excuse to arrest avec 400 people like singer Pauline Julien who had done absolutely nothing. It was a scare tactic and also a way to tar the separatists. Whether you like them or not René Lévesque was a gentleman who NEVER condoned violence.

fern hill said...

Anonymous, I agree. It was a scare tactic and way out of line. But there was real violence being done to human beings. Not store windows kicked in as here. This was waaaaaay out of line.

WILLY said...

Scary stuff, I hope this, shall we say, unaware teacher, is teaching Home EC or Gym, because anything else could be harmful to their students development.

k'in said...

Sorry fern that you were subjected to this Haileyer-than-thou lecture---and good on you for fighting back!

We're at a dangerous turning point. On Friday, even the knuckle-draggers in the MSM were lecturing their knuckle-dragging dittoheads that it wasn't cool that Blair?/Miller?/McGuinty?/Fantino?/Steve? had colluded to pass (or did they?) a "regulation" to give the police "special" powers to arrest & detain. Looks like your (obviously not an English) teacher is one of those "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" types that haven't (yet) had a bad experience. After last weekend, a lot of people had their "first bad experience".

This was worse than the FLQ situation, which was bad. We were under attack from the state, the enemy was/is our own government.

fern hill said...

'Haileyer'. Good one, k'in. :D

(Note to others: ancient history.)

Anonymous said...

Great response to your weird ex-acquaintace, fern!


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