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

 
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

Last night I went to hear visual artist and activist Del Lagrace Volcano speak about gender, and intersex history, culture & art, at GoMA (a co-production with the Glasgay Festival). The talk was superb, and I urge you to check out Del's work. Sadly, as Del himself pointed out, the evening would have been better attended had GoMA not removed the information from its website in order to avoid controversy. I think it's downright shameful not to promote aspects of the Sh[OUT] LGBTI program -- that GoMA itself planned and commissioned -- because of worry about the reactions of tabloid newspapers and fundamentalists.

This is Del's general artist statement: "As a gender variant visual artist I access 'technologies of gender' in order to amplify rather than erase the hermaphroditic traces of my body. I name myself. A gender abolitionist. A part time gender terrorist. An intentional mutation and intersex by design, (as opposed to diagnosis), in order to distinguish my journey from the thousands of intersex individuals who have had their 'ambiguous' bodies mutilated and disfigured in a misguided attempt at 'normalization'. I believe in crossing the line as many times as it takes to build a bridge we can all walk across." It really is about time the world woke up and recognised that there are more than two genders out there, and (as Del pointed out), that most of us do not actually know what gender we belong to even in the supposedly scientific way (i.e. Have any of you had your chromosomes tested?)

In less important and revolutionary news, I finally took my friend N's advice and started watching True Blood, that American vampire tv show. I've always had a thing for vampire art (and also some less-than-brilliant vampire movies), so I thought I might vaguely dig it. But it's actually really exceptional for a tv show! The characters are interesting, and the idea of good and evil is complexly presented. Fascinating echoes of both black and gay liberation movements are constantly present because of the plot around vampires "coming out of the coffin" and demanding equal rights. Also vampires will screw anyone, they are so open-minded ;-) But I think perhaps what I like best (apart from the sex, blood and gore haha) is the fact that for once an American television show is not set in New York, Chicago or LA. It's set in the south, in Louisiana. It's refreshing to see the south depicted, and not just as a place full of rednecks (haha, rednecks! Vampires. Red necks. Ha.) Two of the main characters are a supersmart black woman and a supersexy out black gay man, and there are also several strong, intelligent white women (as well as ongoing comments about class). I think the show does much to counterract the ridiculous depiction of the south as being full of nothing but uneducated, right-wing fundamentalists.

Oh, and a quick update on ongoing entertainment on the Subcity reviews forum (see my last two posts)... quite fascinating that many of the nasty comments -- about Zorras being sadly unknown on the internet and deservedly linked with Spanish porn, about it not being racist to be bored by foreign languages, and about whether we "even know what misogyny means" -- have been mysteriously removed from the forum. And replaced by people writing very calmly (and supposedly objectively, ha) about how both Y and I are good on our own, but our fusion just doesn't "meld." And how accusations of racism are "unfair." Again, I don't think this is a superbly important debate (mainly because I don't think these guys are interested in listening), but I thought I'd let you know just for the record, so my earlier comments don't sound out of proportion.


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

A few people have commented intelligently and respectfully on the SubCity website, and I thank them for it (see yesterday's post). Others (from SubCity) have made further ridiculous and often offensive statements. I was considering writing a letter of complaint to the station, or commenting in their comments section, but I've decided I won't waste any more breath or time on this. Except to say I find it hilarious that the station bothers to do "reviews" at all (given their guidelines, their reviewers' lack of training or skill, and their whinging that they are volunteers); that it defends racism by saying the racist is just a student and that it's perfectly legitimate to complain if someone is speaking a funny language you don't understand; and that some guy thought he was insulting Zorras by saying that when he searched us online all he found was Spanish porn. That's kinda the point, genius...

Thanks for the entertainment.

xo

NOTE from 9 Oct.: Subcity has removed many of the loaded comments now (without saying that they have been removed). Now they are speaking calmly, and pretending to have a professional opinion...


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Zorras received their first (mostly) bad review today. I'm a pansy but I actually like criticism -- it makes me work harder. In this case, however, the guy had nothing remotely intelligent to say, had no clue about the genre he was reviewing (or much else), and also made it painfully clear that he is both a racist and a misogynist. By the end I was quite relieved that he (mostly) hated us, what the hell would we do with a fan like that?

But seriously, why did the mysterious (and cowardly) "allyrege, subcity fresher" even get the job of reviewer at a supposedly forward-thinking radio station? Why did he fly immediately to a caricature of an overzealous feminist from my use of the word "ouch," a word that has nothing to do with gender? And his comments about Zorras "bad habit of slipping into some unknown language" are just plain offensive. Shame on SubCity Radio for publishing tripe like this. 


 

 

 
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