Posted By Sandra Alland

Tonight in Toronto is the launch of Crisis Book: An Anthology Thing (press press press). Get directions and info on this awesome new book here. Y Josephine and I both have new poetry in Crisis Book, and Zorras will be present for the launch via video. Also featuring bill bissett and many others you will dig. If you're in the UK we can get a copy to you without pricey international shipping costs. Just email us (zorras@blissfultimes.ca).

Zorras are playing with Manchester's Ste McCabe and Atlanta's Stella Zine on Saturday at 7:30pm at Edinburgh's A.C.E. Entry by donation, BYOB, accessible. And spooky! Come by before running off to your Hallowe'en parties...

In other news, Toronto elected an asshole for mayor again; this one is called Rob Ford. I read a fascinating blog post by Hans Rollman on Facebook, about how the biggest problems with Toronto's voting system are racism and the resulting disenfranchisment of residents. A large portion of Toronto's residents cannot vote because they're not citizens. Here's a great quote:

"But wouldn’t it be ridiculous to just give non-citizens the vote? Well actually no. Until World War II, half the US states extended voting rights to non-citizen residents; it was the combined effects of the Civil War and then the Cold War that fueled the wave of anti-immigrant hysteria which led to more restrictive voting laws in that country. Today, however, more and more countries are realizing how outdated and backward it is not to allow all residents an equal vote. Belgium, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, and dozens of other countries have opened up municipal elections to non-citizen residents. A growing number of other countries – including Chile, Portugal, Sweden, Uruguay and New Zealand – allow non-citizen residents to vote in national and regional elections too. If Toronto is indeed the world’s most multicultural city, it’s time for it to stop being at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to public policy and basic rights for its multicultural population."

As Emma Goldman used to say, "If voting changed anything they'd make it illegal."


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

10 July, The Real News: Parkdale Neighbourhood Defends G20 Activists (This footage includes a police officer telling a young woman she will be arrested for assault -- for blowing bubbles!)

9 July, Vancouver Media Co-op: Update on Detainees, including how to donate to help those illegally arrested and currently out on bail that includes harsh regulations like house arrest

2 July: video of illegal searches and York Police officer announcing "This isn't Canada"

It's important for us to remain vigilant and not sit by as our rights are revoked. Here are two important sites that collate proof of police abuse:

Toronto Community Mobilization Site: pictures of police abusing protesters

Toronto Mobilize's youtube channel: footage of police abusing protesters

Also: Appeal for public help in exposing police crime

See my previous entries for more links to footage and reports from the G20 in Toronto.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

For those who need counselling after being abused by police at the G20, if you're on Facebook go here or email harmonycounselling@sympatico.ca. It's free.

8 July, Rabble: State of Emergency Video Calls for Public Inquiry

7 July, Toronto Star: City Council Commends Abusive Police

6 July, National Post: Abuse of Men with Disabilities by G20 Police

6 July, The Media Co-op: Jaggi Singh on his Charges of Conspiracy

5 July, Toronto Star: 16 People Still in Custody

2 July, Maple Ridege Times: Summit Ridge Woman Shot with Rubber Bullets

29 June, Racialicious: Jessica Yee on the Anniversary of Oka and State Violence

26 June, Toronto Sun (super-crap paper but they actually carried the story without going overkill on anti-protester BS): Deaf Black Man Arrested for Not Understanding Police

8 July: Blog with Further Allegations of Police Provocateurs


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Footage of police illegally raiding, detaining, arresting, attacking protesters & journalists:
28 June:
Police open fire on peaceful protesters

28 June: 18-year-old describes deploring jail conditions, including gay segregation

27 June: Protesters, journalists and others barricaded and arrested

Police kidnappings

Police Fire Muzzle Blast at Protesters

National Post photographers violently arrested

26 June: Police raid house without warrants

Illegal searches near park

The passing of secret laws that were purposefully misinterpreted and abused:

29 June: Police admit lying
25 June:
Secret laws

Footage & articles about police impersonating or possibly impersonating protesters, especially anarchists:

29 June: Alleged police provacateurs, including clear evidence of one "anarchist" being allowed behind police lines

25 June: Do you know who Che Guevara is?

23 August 2007: Police admit impersonating activists


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

"Pretending that all violence is the same is very convenient for supposedly anti-violence privileged people who benefit from the violence of the state and have much to lose from the violence of revolution." - Peter Gelderloos, How Nonviolence Protects the State (South End Press, 2007)

So much to discuss... I've been really disheartened, not only by the extreme police/state brutality in Toronto during the G20, but also by the simplistic and depressing conversations among otherwise intelligent people about how protesters were "violent" when they allegedly burned abandoned police cars and broke windows of banks and Starbucks, and therefore somehow a) ruined the "success" of the peaceful protests (which were actually unsuccessful because they happened in a police state) and b) justified the extreme police violence, kidnappings, illegal searches, illegal arrests of 1000 people, sexual assault of women activists, segregation of queer prisoners, racial profiling, abuse of people with disabilities, abysmal conditions in illegal jails, denial of access to legal counsel, possible impersonation of anarchists by police officers, and blatant misleading of the public that occurred both before and after windows were broken.

Why would we want to isolate our allies for using different tactics from us? Why would we leave them open to further assault, when they have just marched by our side and in some cases protected us from violent and illegal behaviour by our government and police? (And when it's highly likely that the vandalism mentioned above was in fact instigated by undercover police?) Many people have been more adamant about emphasizing how peaceful *their* protest was (in comparison to activists who may have broken windows), than about condemning the horrific actions of the G20 countries and of their police force(s). This serves only to entrench media and state stereotypes about the "hooliganism" of anarchists who are in fact an important, intelligent and integral part of struggles against oppression.

There's much more to be said about all of this, and it's not a simple or easy dialogue. For now, I leave you with some links to further assess the situation for yourself...

M. NourbeSe Philip on the G20, violence & race: http://www.rabble.ca/news/2010/07/observations-g20-march-queen%E2%80%99s-park-congo

Professor David McNally discusses anarchy & Black Bloc tactics on the CBC: video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/the-black-bloc/16aqkxltm

Amy Miller from The Alternative Media Centre on her illegal arrest and being threatened with gang-rape by police: vimeo.com/12925239

The Globe on misleading the public:

Police admit "weapons" seized from activists are unrelated to G20: m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/weapons-seized-in-g20-arrests-not-what-they-seem/article1622761/

 


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

"Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful moulder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage? -Emma Goldman

There is huge focus on gay marriage these days, and I understand that sometimes we have to take what little privilege we can get in order to visit a loved one in hospital or immigrate in a fascist climate. But what so often gets left out of the argument is how jumping on the marriage train leaves out OTHER people -- different kinds of families, different kinds of love. How ensuring we are not discriminated against in this particular way only changes our own position, and abandons many others to illegality, poverty or a general lack of human rights.

The gay white mainstream focus on "equality" issues like gay marriage and gays in the military reinforces racism, state-sanctioned monogamy and the status quo. It also ignores important issues like poverty, immigrants' rights and lack of housing. Here's an interesting article about how the fight for gay marriage is fundamentally racist, by Kenyon Farrow

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

I'm in this fabulous new anthology in protest against Stephen Harper's (that's Canada's Prime Minister in case you live elsewhere) ridiculous decision to prorogue parliament until after the Olympics, in order to avoid scandal over Canada's complicity in torture. It's called Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament. Edited by Stuart Ross and Stephen Brockwell, check it out!

In other news, over 2000 people gathered in Edinburgh yesterday to kick out the racist Scottish Defense League (which is really The English Defense League who travelled up here to cause shit). The fascists and neo-Nazis were not permitted to march, for the second time in Scotland in two months. Go Edinburgh!

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Besides giving relief money through Partners in Health www.pih.org or www.haitirelieffund.org or as a pleasant diversion you could call Pat Robertson at 1 (800) 759-0700 to give your opinion on the statements he made regarding the tragedy in Haiti- Remember that each call costs the 700 Club $1.


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

The blatantly fascist/racist British Nationalist Party's website currently describes the Copenhagen Summit as an "anti-white guilt hatefest which will see billions more taxpayers' cash poured into the Third World." When will Britian do something about the BNP?

In other news, Borders is closing its doors in Glasgow. In the Metro "news", there were reports of campaigns to keep it open. The quotes were as follows: "I met my wifey at the Starbucks in Borders." "I like watching people passing from the window." and "I enjoyed wandering around." No one mentioned books or magazines. I guess that explains why these "protesters" weren't around to protest the closing of independent bookshops...

I do have to admit that I'm slightly sad to see Borders close, only because it's one of the very, very, very few places in Scotland where you can get at least a minimum selection of independent arts, feminist and LGBT magazines and journals. Waterstones, for example, do not sell a single magazine or journal. This is very scary. And I don't know of one good independent bookshop in Glasgow or Edinburgh that specialises in new books and magazines on a wide variety of topics.

Speaking of the death of books and book culture, have you heard of Google Books? Google Books freaked me out a while back when I read they were scanning billions of books to put online without permission. Now it seems there's a class-action suit against them for copyright infringement, which they deny and yet are agreeing to a settlement about.

It's all very confusing for a poet but it seems that I can get the whopping sum of 30 quid for each of my published books that was stolen by Google. From now on I can also supposedly get payments if people request full views of my books (currently the views are partial yet extensive) or click on advertisements for new cars or breath mints next to my books. I can also decide how much of the work and what sections people can view. Finally I have the option to delete my books from their database, but with the threat that they will not be rescanned in the future should I change my mind (e.g. because Google owns the whole world and it's the only way to read anything.)

My first instinct is to have my books deleted, yet I'm a bit confused. Look here and tell me your thoughts if you're so inspired www.googlebooksettlement.com/

In still other news, Noisy Nights was fantastic! Check out the next one in February. It's the Traverse Theatre's new music night, where they accept scores by new and established composers, then arrange a (usually somewhat bizarre) trio of professional musicians to play them live. I especially loved Robert Irvine on the saw and Judith Keaney on the toy piano. Zorras had a blast, and even sold some CDs, which was impressive to me in such a discerning crowd. Also fittingly the logo for Noisy Nights is a person with a megaphone, and the Traverse is currently showcasing Zorro.

Now back to bed with me. Haven't been feeling well.

xo


 


 
Google

User Profile
Sandra Alland

 
Recent Entries
 
Links
 
Archives
 
Visitors

You have 862734 hits.