(Originally posted at Comments From Left Field)
At this past weekend’s G20 Summit, Toronto the Good was transformed into Toronto the Garrisoned.
Almost from the moment the summit began, 25,000 mostly-peaceful protesters faced a riot gear clad phalanx of security forces — 19,000 police officers in total, almost 20 times the number of Canadian troops currently serving in Kandahar. Yet it was a small group of agitators determined to make a statement through senseless violence who (in concert with officials eager to delegitimize peaceful assembly and popular dissent) got to drive the media narrative.
Then Sunday’s massive security overreach washed away talk of Saturday’s anarchic orgy in a digital wave of damning, as-it-happened social media coverage, culminating in a rainy, 5 hour “kettling” of over 300 people at Queen and Spadina after a peaceful march turned into a tense standoff. Many of the detained were bystanders who had either joined out of curiosity or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. “It’s not Canadian”, said CP24 host Stephen Ledrew, after innumerable images of cold, drenched Torontonians penned in by riot police had been broadcast, not knowing why they were being held, nor when they would be released.
Some were so desperate for resolution they actually begged to be arrested.
And that’s not to mention numerous clashes between trigger-happy, heavy-handed security officials and members of the news media, many of whom ended up being asked to leave protest areas, detained and, in some particularly disturbing instances, brazenly assaulted in a disgusting circumvention of our grand tradition of a vibrant free press.
By now we’ve all seen now-ubiquitous footage of obsidian-adorned “anarchists” hurling bricks and torching cop cars. Light the flame and the moths will swarm (and, apparently, loot). So why the hell did the brain trust in the PMO decide that the best way to showcase the GTA on a global scale was to hold a big, capitalist photo-op in the downtown core of a major, world-class metropolis, an event almost certain to attract scores of provocateurs?
It was an inexplicable decision that was, to quote Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank, “bewilderingly stupid”.
TVO’s Steve Paikin and Sun Media columnist Greg Weston have said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s secret late-night legislation that granted G20 security forces sweeping detention powers is as bad or worse than the infamous War Measures Act — and resulted in more arrests than the October Crisis (at least 900 at last report). Clearly, a public inquiry (or inquiries) is only way to resolve still-lingering questions about the G20: why Toronto was picked as host site, how the estimated $1B in costs was actually spent and, most ominously, just what exactly was contained in provincial legislation granting extra-judicial powers to smirking security officials (that so-called ‘five metre rule’? Bunk.) Reports from detainees of misogynistic, homophobic and racist treatment by law enforcement officials should also be thoroughly addressed and charges laid if allegations of police misconduct can be corroborated.
If our elected leaders can waste almost one and a half billion bucks of taxpayer coin on an international photo-op and a fake lake they can pony up some quid to determine why their precious G20 summit resulted in a monumental clusterfuck.
(Photo: Jonas Naimark, Flickr)
New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate, one of the Democrats who helped “defend traditional marriage” in the New York Senate last week by voting against a bill that would have made same-sex marriage legal in the Empire State, was sentenced to 250 hours of community service. 52 weeks of domestic abuse counseling and three years of probation, on an assault conviction stemming from a December 2008 incident where he “accidentally” slashed his girlfriends face while beating the crap out of her after he dragged her through the lobby of his Queens apartment building.
Prosecutors had said that Monserrate, an ex-Marine, lashed out at his domestic partner, Karla Giraldo, with a glass in a fit of rage after he found another man’s business card in her purse. The glass broke against her face, cutting her near her left eye down to her skull and leaving a lasting scar.
Monserrate had been originally charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of assault after cutting Giraldo’s face during a bitter argument in his apartment on Dec. 19, 2008. However, in October, New York William M. Erlbaum, who presided over his trial, acquitted him on the two felony assault charges, which carried a mandatory sentence of seven years in prison and would have forced him to forfeit his Senate seat.
Has anything really changed since the now-disbanded Canadian Airborne Regiment held a mess dinner to honour Marc Lepine?* I would like to believe so. I would like to think that these annual memorials and the respectful newspaper editorials and the gentle men who wear white ribbons are making a difference.
But the fact that so many still appear to have trouble with woman-hatred–trying to wish it away, reduce its significance, confine its existence to a “lone madman,” blame it on a nonexistent Muslim bringing-up, or even, on the fringes, excuse it, tells me that we have much, much further to go. Violence against women continues to flourish, including mass murder. Still think Marc Lepine was alone?
Indeed, we still have miles to go in this struggle. April Reign charts the course we need to take:
This year as you remember and mourn the loss of 14 of our sisters remember also the words of Joe Hill; Don’t Mourn, Organize!
Help Equal Voice to get more women elected, fight for strong gun control, support women’s reproductive choice, donate to a local shelter, help a woman or a young girl learn tech skills or use those skills to help others.
In the words of Emma Goldman;
“No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action.”
Let’s get active.
It is ironic, to say the least, that this vote occurred just a few weeks prior to the 20th anniversary of the December 6th Montreal massacre, when Marc Lepine mowed down 14 young women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal with a semi-automatic weapon. Although this bill will not touch the ban on handguns, it will, if it becomes law, eliminate the requirement to register the type of people-hunting firearm that Lepine used in 1989. It was that gruesome killing which prompted the then-Liberal government of Jean Chretien to pass the Firearms Act in 1995, requiring gun owners to obtain permits and to register their guns.
My experience in four election campaigns was that you got nowhere with people opposed to the gun registry if you said that the Montreal massacre was a reason why firearms should be registered. That argument left them cold. There was rarely, if ever, any acknowledgement or sympathy expressed for Marc Lepine’s victims.
The more things change…
If only the GENERAL mainstream media establishment would go after each other with this kind of righteous gusto when warranted — as is DEFINITELY the case here:
“We really don’t want our coverage of the civil lawsuit filed against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to become an exercise in the bashing of ESPN. We’ve got some friends who work there (maybe not as many after today), and we don’t generally believe that the network is evil or corrupt or otherwise nasty.
“However, we do believe that the network is way too large for its own good, and that unless and until a true competitor emerges, it’s up to everyone else to point out those occasions when the emperor is riding both bareback and bareassed.
“The handling of the Roethlisberger case makes us wonder whether there’s a complete firewall between the business functions of ESPN and its journalistic activities. We say this because we’re convinced that the Roethlisberger story initially was ignored due to concerns that ESPN would be jeopardizing its access to the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, who also happens to play for the team with the most loyal and rabid fan base in America.“
The entire post is a must-read, take-no-prisoners smackdown that shows ESPN to indeed “be riding both barebacked and bareassed” (first uncovered by NBC Sports here). And it would seem that the spanking has made an impact, as ProFootballTalk reports in an update:
Technically, ESPN is now acknowledging the report, albeit unwittingly. As of this posting, the “Top Stories From ABC News” box on ESPN.com’s various pages includes the headline, “Woman: Super Bowl QB Raped Me.”
Again, if only…
h/t WAM! co-founder & Yes Means Yes co-editor Jaclyn Friedman
(Her take on the Roethlisberger rape suit and ESPN’s initial refusal to cover the story here)
(image via Cara)
This is the true face of the anti-choice movement: blatant lies, scare tactics, and hyperbolic accusations of “murder”.
And this is the face that the anti-choice movement often tries to hide behind a mask of mainstream “moderation”. Amanda Marcotte at RH Reality Check recently discovered an anti-choice activist handbook that gives tips on how to debate people on this issue without sounding as crazy as they really are.
For example, check out how they recommend dealing with the issue of birth control:
In the section titled “Why Don’t You Pass Out Condoms and Promote Birth Control?,” the authors tacitly admit that sensible people might be put off by the anti-choice movement’s willingness to increase the abortion rate by standing as firmly against contraception, especially the birth control pill, as they do legal abortion. So instead of allowing members to admit their hostility to all forms of contraception, they instruct them to conceal their beliefs until a target has been softened up to hear about their true message–sexual abstinence for all not trying to procreate–through a series of dodgy, misleading arguments, including misinformation about how the birth control pill works.
This tactic is a mainstay of the anti-choice movement: it shows one face to the initiated, and another to the public, especially on the topic of contraception. Once you realize this, the movement’s half-hearted denunciations of Dr. Tiller’s murder, coupled with the enthusiastic return to calling Dr. Tiller a monster, become all the more chilling.
Chilling indeed. Because the true face of this movement not only considers Dr. George Tiller a genocidal murderer… they consider the millions of women around the country who take birth control as murderers, too.
Y’know, if these zygotist yahoos were really concerned about mass genocide on a microscopic level, they’d have picketers marching outside the bedrooms of every Kleenex-hoarding teenage boy in North America. Seriously. We’re talking SUBURBAN DEATH MILLS here, people.
Anyway, In honour of this year’s annual mobilization of dipshittery by the malicious anti-choice analogue to moon-landing hoaxers, we at bastard.logic encourage all our fellow pro-choice peeps to make a donation, whether monetary or otherwise, to your local Planned Parenthood office. Make sure to tell ‘em you are doing so on behalf of the fine folks at the American Life League–and because you obviously hate teh innocent widdle babies. Duh.
One bone of contention, Antonia: saying that anything spawned by the gliberati who rule USian cable NOOZ networks and talk radio even remotely constitutes ‘news commentary’ is akin to earnestly declaring that Barack Obama is an unreconstructed Marxist.
Er, ok–never mind. If America didn’t already exist The Onion would have to invent it.
This may come as a shock to you, but despite conventional wisdom and what Hollywood might have you believe, women–especially professional women–actually get along with each other. So, until you come up with some actual, y’know, proof of acrimony between Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton, as opposed to speculation and conjecture, tell your staff to stop phoning in lazy Page Six-style hit pieces in lieu of purportedly ‘serious’ political reporting. Also, please go see somebody about the ongoing Clinton Derangement Syndrome festering within the ranks of AP’s Washington Bureau; at this point, it’s borderline pathological.
love and napalm,
h/t Ta-Nehisi Coates
Today isn’t about pro or anti coalition rallies, the respective leadership abilities of Stephane Dion vs. Stephen Harper, partisanship, or unelected heads of state. Nor is it about Western alienation, Quebec separatism, parliamentary democracy, or regional polarization. Today isn’t even about the stumbling global economy (although God knows the latest job numbers are hard to put out of mind for long).
Today is about them:
(Click image for more on the Montreal Massacre)
Update 2 12.07: More:
Update 3: And more:
“I am really glad to be back in Calgary, I love Canada,” Avery said after requesting the media to gather around him for a statement after the morning skate. “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about. Enjoy the game tonight.”
The “sloppy seconds” Avery was apparently referring to is ex-girlfriend (and 24 star) Elisha Cuthbert, who is now dating Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf.
Thankfully, the NHL swiftly responded last night to Avery’s sexist douchebaggery, indefinitely suspending him pending a hearing with league commissioner Gary Bettman.
Also, good on the Stars organization for supporting the suspension:
“Had the league not have suspended him, the Dallas Stars would have,” team owner Tom Hicks said in a statement. “This organization will not tolerate such behavior, especially from a member of our hockey team. We hold our team to a higher standard and will continue to do so.”
Apparently there’s a new Avery Rule in the NHL: don’t “wave your lumber” at the expense of women–and check your bitter misogyny at the arena door.
Related: More on Avery from Toronto Star sports columnist Damien Cox, who wonders if “there’s a little bit of Mike Tyson in Sean Avery,” compares the “misogynistic outburst” to infamous remarks made by former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, and finally declares that “Avery is gradually moving towards David Frost pariah-like status. Maybe he can blog on Frost’s new website [links added-mb].” Oh, snap!