Saturday, March 19, 2005

Protest Report for Toronto

Here is some hot off the presses reporting on my trip to the Toronto March 19th protest against War and the Occupation of Iraq among other things.

We went fairly early at about 1230 and there wasn't too many people there- mostly just communists hawking their various pamphlets and newspapers- "1917", "Workers Vanguard", "Spartacus", etc. I noticed lots of police presence with their flex cuffs and at least 10 troopers in riot gear and on horseback in groups of two. Saw at least two very obvious plainclothes policemen- I really don’t know who they thought they were tricking.

Nathan Phillips square in front of Toronto's City Hall started filling up a bit past 1300. The crowd was diverse as can always be expected but the four speakers was fairly predictable. i.e. 14 year old Iraqi Muslim girl, American war resistor (deserter in rightwing lingo), some labor/union leader, and Marilyn Churley- deputy leader of Ontario's New Democratic Party. There were four American War resistors with their wives and children there. One of the resistors was younger then me.

Anyway I had a Socialist Worker placard I picked up from a bundle with a fist and proclaiming no to US Imperialism in Iraq, Iran, and Syria on one side and on the other it told Paul Martin to let American War resistors stay in Canada. My brother had a Troops Out Now placard with blood spots and messages against Racial Profiling and Secret Trails and telling Canada to get out of Afghanistan. There was the expected Che, Marx, Marley, and Fidel flags as well.

The march was good- very peaceful with lots of onlookers because it stop a good part of downtown Toronto's traffic. Lots of drumming and slogan chanting. My favorite was "Shame, shame USA, How many kids did you kill today?" very similar to the Vietnam era "Hey, Hey, LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?" Only confrontation I saw was a group of maybe ten anarchists tops boosting to the other side of the road past a barrier and leading maybe 70 people that way. But bicycle police grabbed the loudest anarchists and dragged them along I dont think they got arrested and their groups joined the main group soon enough.

Lots of Muslims it seemed, many with signs demanding the withdrawal of American troops and the disarming of Islamist and Nationalist groups in Iraq. Only groups was handing out pamphlets on Islam but they didn’t have much luck the Commies did way better in that regard. Lots of camaramen professional and amateur and some decent press coverage. There was a group of maybe a dozen high school students but the side of the road yelling “We want Rock, Paper, Scissors.” They had Pink signs saying "This is Pink". They were having a good time at least. Only saw one joint and a fattie blunt the whole time so that was disappointing.

Anyway good march and great fun came back with pockets full of communist literature. I would say there were probably over 2000 people there so a decent turnout the marching group was long and the square was full and since this my first protest so my figure probably isn't accurate.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

your hardcore aiden, what can i say? thats awesome

19/3/05 17:21  
Anonymous TS said...

Your lucky the cops didn't go Montreal/Seatle WTO on your ass... Well no acutaly, that would have sucked. It is good that you enjoyed the protest, all I can say is you would never catch me at one.

20/3/05 10:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you no shame? You are protesting the liberation of 25 million people who lived under a brutal dictator that killed 1 million Iraqis and caused 15% of the population to flee and go into exile.

Haven't you noticed the rumblings going on in the Mid East due to the Iraqi elections?

Why are leftists so morally bankrupt?

I bet you were one of the loony liberal leftists who gleefully cheered on Terri Schiavo being slowly starved to death...

5/4/05 03:22  
Blogger weech said...

The highest estimates of Saddam's victims run up to 300,000. The Lancet British medical journal puts the figure of Iraqis killed by the American invasion at 100,000. Now thats in two years while Saddam had 30 years.

I haven't read your 15% figure before and I dont believe its accurate. But lets say it is then its pale in comparsion to the percentage of Palestians forced to leave their homes. Today if Iraqis are going anywhere it is out of the country esp. Christians.

Occupation isn't liberation buddy just ask Eastern Europe after they were 'liberated' by the Soviets in WW2.

The Iraqi elections did not start these 'rumblings' they have been going on for quite some time.

'Morally Bankrupt'- no I dont believe so. I think AMerica backing Saddam to the hilt all those years was wrong and that genocidal UN sanctions enforced by American and British military power was wrong, and the illegal, preventive war of conquest launched against the Iraq people and its ensueing occupation is wrong and unjust.

I must confessed I didn't pay too much attention the Terri Schiavo situation. But it seems to me the right has tried to exploit Terri's suffering for their own political ends.

I apreciate your comments next time could you please leave a name anonymous person.

12/4/05 13:33  

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