Tag Archives: g20

gliberals

posted by missmsian

I made up a word while watching news coverage of the G20 rioting yesterday. Let me explain.

glib: having only superficial plausibility; marked by lack of intellectual depth

liberal: having political and social views favouring reform and progress; tolerant of change

gliberal: a self-righteous, theoretical liberal with a big mouth and little purpose. Generally middle- to upper-middle class. Almost always vegan. Frequently spotted at protests yelling uncreative slogans like “F*ck the police!” and “Corporations kill!” (Yes, they do. But so could you with that brick.)

And, yesterday, Toronto had an onslaught of them.

“Dear Protesters, now that you have destroyed an Urban Outfitters where will you get your Che Guevara T-shirts? #g20.” — @TDotOpenLetter, 4:42 p.m., June 26, 10

Thanks to gliberals, the TTC was virtually shut south of Bloor for more than 12 hours. City workers started cleanup at 2 a.m. and continued into Sunday.

Who do you think is most likely to take public transit? Who would be hired to do city garbage and cleanup? Not the bigwigs of the corporations and banks they tried to dismantle. That’s glibs for you: removed from real life while claiming to be anti-corporate and anti-colonial. Please.

I’m not talking about those who were out there with a message. Taking it to the streets is legitimate and important and necessary. Sometimes, covering up to prevent recognition is, too.

And I’m not saying non-violence and police-approved protest is the only way. But there’s a way to use purposeful violence and then there’s gliberals.

As if throwing a rock through Starbucks is going to solve anything. Yeah, their coffee’s expensive, but no more than your organic beans and soy. We’re all in the same game, player.

“Trashing American Apparel? Urban Outfitters? Starbucks? Are you protesting the world leaders or hipsters? What’s next, the Apple store? #G20.” — @tspreen, 6:45 p.m., June 26, 10

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

my anger wants to write

posted by dj trishna

I’m so angry right now. It’s one of those nights where you’re so angry, you can’t sleep, no matter how hard you try to distract yourself. I didn’t even know I was this angry. I let myself cross off a few things from the old list of to-dos and felt at 5AM it was finally time to retire. I thought I exhausted myself so that I would be able to sleep.

Turns out my anger has other plans.

My anger wants to write.

Write about the racial profiling and police harassment I was the target of tonight. Surprise!

And it’s not even that that’s really bothering me. It’s that I didn’t think that my race was a factor in it. That’s what bugs me.

I assumed my activist history and involvement in G20 organizing were the grounds for their harassment.

Tonight I was pulled over by the cops.

On my bicycle.

When I was biking around a low-income neighbourhood of town.

Shocking, I know.

The officer was so freaking smug, believing himself to have caught me in the midst of doing so much wrong.

“Have you ever been in trouble with the police before?”

“No.”

He asked me that about 4 different times before calling in my license and pulling up squat.

Before that happened though, he enjoyed lecturing me on speaking back and being rude after I had asserted my rights to him.

He was sittin pretty, waiting for the call to come back saying that I had a history or was involved in something scandalous.

Nope. Just ridin my bike around with my white male friend.

“Why didn’t you want to give me your I.D.?”

“Because I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.”

“And you weren’t. But how was I supposed to know that? What do you expect would happen if I let off every person who refused to give me I.D.? There’d be an awful lot of offenders out there wouldn’t there?”

“And what do you expect when you decide to pull over a woman of colour at night who isn’t violating any laws?”

Except that the last sentence was in my head, burning behind my tongue, fighting to make its way out.

I silenced myself. I silenced my anger.

And here I am up at 6 AM paying the price.

He didn’t choose to harass my friend, he didn’t even speak to him. He chose to harass me. He chose to threaten me, lie to me, and try to get me in trouble, he tried to make me take the bait, and I didn’t.

So why am I angry?

Because he still won. Because he thought he was doing me a favour by not giving me a ticket. Because he was able to feel comfortable in harassing me without just cause. Because he got away with doing it.

But mostly because I silenced myself in the face of his blatant racism.

And it’s because I couldn’t conceive of it in that way. As the sentenced formulated in my brain, I struggled with the thought of bringing the “race card” into play. The fact that I could even think of it like that signifies a huge problem, it’s called “internalized racism” and it apparently just doesn’t go away no matter how much theory you read, campaigns you organize or how deeply you identify with anti-racism (this isn’t to say we can’t deal with it, but that is another post in itself). It’s a reality that comes with being brown (read: non-white).

I reacted that way because I’ve internalized those global systems of oppression that tell us the officer was “just doing his job”. It’s true. He was. But I forgot momentarily that his job is to harass people of colour and those who occupy other-ed identities. His job is to police what is considered normal.

He said I was suspicious for being out so late at night in a “seedy neighbourhood”. Here, “out so late at night” can be substituted with “of colour” and “seedy” with “poor”.

I was unable to confront him because I was faced with confronting the global system of oppression in that moment.

But here and now, in my room breathing steadied and feet on ground, I recognize that his ultimate victory lies theoretically in quelling my resistance.

And while I feel violated, dehumanized as well as disgusted with the system and upset with myself, my resistance is far from being over.

If anything, he just reminds me why I need to do the work that I do.

See you in the streets, officer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

a few reasons to protest

posted by missmsian

A friend asked me (very sincerely) why so many are planning to protest during the G20 summit. I don’t want to paint protestors in one gigantic brush, but here are some reasons why some people may be heading down to Queen’s Park in two weeks:

1. Girl talk – the Belinda Stronach Foundation organized a G(irls)20 summit for 18 to 20-year-old women to talk about issues that affect girls in the 20 countries that will be meeting.

Some of the biggest issues raised are eradicating poverty, maternal health and women’s access to the market and education. In this “post-feminist” world, and especially in the ostensibly women-friendly West, we seem to conveniently forget that women are still underperforming economically and are still the majority of victims of sexual violence.

Will these issues be taken seriously by G8 and G20 leaders, or will they be dismissed as girl talk*?

*Side note: why are these 18- to 20-year-olds referred to as “girls” instead of “women”? Seems like an attempt at dismissing them due to age.

2. BP oil spill – enough is enough.

If Joe Random dumped oil into Lake Ontario, he’d be charged. How can we hold corporations responsible for their actions like we would hold individuals responsible? We need to start dreaming up ideas.

3. Where oh where? – if you thought women were missing from the agenda, Indigenous peoples are faring far worse. According to a Toronto Star article–and thank goodness at least one media outlet has pointed it out–issues affecting Indigenous peoples aren’t on the summit agenda.

Never mind issues. Ontario’s First Nations chiefs weren’t even invited to the summit. The one that’s taking place on their land. Oops.

I just learned that Australia is considering overturning a policy that restricts what Aborigines in the Northern Territory can spend welfare checks on, apparently to reduce the number of people who would might spend them on alcohol instead of essential needs. What? This even exists? We need to really talk about what signing the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People means. And, remember, Canada hasn’t even signed it yet. Oops again.

I don’t think it’s the place of non-Indigenous, self-described allies to spearhead the efforts, but I know if any protests and actions have been planned on summit days, I’ll be there in solidarity.

4. Random anarchist link – for some reason, all G20 protestors have been portrayed in media as anarchists. I don’t think everyone who protests is interested in self rule. In fact, I think many people who are thinking of protesting want to do so in order for the various world governments to hear their concerns. That means they’re willing to work within the system.

I’m not anti-government. I’m anti-irresponsible government. That’s a reason to take it to the streets.

5. $ecurity cost$ – okay, so we have enough security in place to ensure Angela Merkel won’t get a tan and Nicolas Sarkozy can keep his hair plugs pie-free.

I can think of a billion better uses of that money–one for every dollar wasted.

6. G20, not G190+ – in 1975, France unilaterally decided six countries could discuss issues affecting the globe. In 1976, Canada joined the party. In 1997, Russia was included and, thus, the G8 was formed. I bet they’re really proud they’ve expanded to G20.

I wonder how feasible it would be to protest their self-importance.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

dropping rhymes, not bombs

posted my missmsian

I feared it would come to this. The latest cause for panic regarding security for the upcoming G20 summit in Toronto isn’t the discovery of bombs strategically planted under office buildings (“hey, boss, we found the WMDs, but they weren’t in Iraq”). It’s a music video.

And since “G G20 CRASH THE MEETING TORONTO 2010” was posted on YouTube, Canadian media have been demonizing AK and Illogik, the two dudes who produced it, calling the rap a rallying cry for anarchists to firebomb T.O. Stephen Harper looks about ready to lose his toupee–errr, his cool.

Have you even listened to the lyrics?

Okay, maybe a few protestors will choose property damage as a way to spread their message. I can even imagine rich, white, suburban kids heading downtown to flip some cars for jokes.

But, from their catchy lyrics, these guys seem like they’re trying to organize a more diverse collective than that. They encourage people to raise their fists in solidarity with accessibility, gender equity, environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty and migrant justice. They are “against the war [in Iraq], against empire and colonization.”

Hmmm …  a group of engaged citizens with real ideas about timely, significant issues, calling for “power to the people”? Sounds like a democracy to me. I thought that’s what we like to pretend we’re all about.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized