Saturday, September 24, 2005

Protest Report- Toronto

Had a good day- we managed to hit up same day return student discounts so it only costs 14 dollars per person to get to Toronto and back for the big protest. Sounds like it was huge around the White House with even the MSM saying it was above 100,000 though I have heard 250,000 and over 500,000 from Pitt at Truthout. Doesn't matter that much as, the antiwar turnout seems a lot more impressive then the pro-war turnout which according to CNN was 150 which falls far short of their 10,000 goal. London seems to have gone well with organizers putting the figure at 100,000 and police at 10,000.

CTV is saying "hundreds" marched in Toronto but that’s bullshit. The turnout was at least 1500 but I wouldn't have been surprised if it was above 2000 like the last major protest. But the best thing about Canadian protests is that there are no damn liberals at these things. Maybe that's a bad sentiment but the gathering in Toronto does not present as broad a spectrum of people partly because Canada is theoretically not actively engaged in war crimes in Iraq and war crimes in Afghanistan and Haiti are not as publicized

There was an opening rally with eight speakers in front of the US Consulate and a closing rally in front of the Ontario Liberal (spit) party headquarters with four speakers. There were the usual suspects- Council of Canadians, Steelworkers, Communist Party of Canada, Trotskyist League, Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, Young Communist League- Ontario, Worker Communist Party of Iraq, Militant Labour, and of course the International Socialists. I’m afraid I didn't see anything official from the NDP or the Canadian Federation of Students but their members were certainly active as they were speakers and handing out flyers and buttons. So it was diverse as ever on the real Left. There was of course other groups focusing on Venezuela, Haiti, and Gary Freeman.

The Speakers were diverse and representative of the Left. Starting off there was the same 14 year Iraqi girl that started off the last protest (I think she's getting better), Paul Hart- a Iraq war resistor who boosted when he heard Galloway speaking in front of the US Senate, an Vietnam area war resistor, respective representatives from the Christian and Muslim communities, labour union woman, Vice-President of the New Democrats, anti-poverty organizer, Venezuelan union leader who couldn't speak English, Haitian lady, First Nations lady, student leader etc.

The march itself was really good. It was led by half-dozen Iraq War resisters with their families and a group of Vietnam War resisters. I waved peace signs at Consulate guards and riot police but they didn't return them. All the people watching looked either neutral or positive about us although at the very end a man of Indo- Pakistani descent yelled "Idiots" or something to that effect but everyone just ignored him and he walked very very fast away. I got tons 'o lit and we kept the signs.

I have some criticisms off the top of my head. The 14 year old Iraqi girl tried to start up a couple of "Down with Zionism" chants. She didn't build up to that statement very well and she didn't mention a down with Anti-Semitism statement. This rhetoric can too easily be taken out of context and be misconstrued as Anti-Semitism. I mean hell just because you burn Israeli flags doesn't mean you hate Jewish people. Second doesn't have much to do with the organization of the rally- this guy was proudly carrying around an USSR flag. Seriously the Cold War is over man and USSR is not exactly is model you want to emulates. Hmmmmm brutal state capitalism sounds like China. And the third was they have a ridiculous number of police officers guarding a peaceful protest while after it were walking up University Ave.- a major street and these three guys were full out fighting in the middle of the road. Seriously they overreact so much at these protests.

Overall I thought it was a great atmosphere for the day of action. What really brought home to me how much action is needed was a walk through downtown. I saw more beggars and homeless in a few hours in Toronto then I did in four days walking around Havana. Pretty disgusting but I'm sure all our politicians will resolve this by granting the military 12. 8 billion more dollars.

NO TO IMPERIALISM AND WAR! TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN!

It(the invasion) has brought misogynist and ant-working class forces and installed them rulers on the Iraqi society. It has not brought security but rather has turned the society to a jungle in the true sense of the world. This war has not put an end to terrorism. It has aggravated terrorism. It has given a huge momentum to Islamic terrorism world widely. This war put the whole world under the reign of terrorists: the state terrorism led by America and NATO on the hand and the terrorism of political Islam on the other hand. Today it is more obvious than any other time that this war was not to protect us against the weapons of masses destruction. These were all mere excuses to launch this aggression on the society. They were meaningless justifications. This war was a struggle to control the sources of power world widely.
...The Worker-communist Party of Iraq is in the forefront of the struggle to build a world free of wars, militarism and occupation. Mobilizing the masses in Iraq in order to end the occupation, defeat Islamic gangs and rebuild the civil society is the urgent goal of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq.

Long live the humanity’s struggle for a world free of wars and militarism!
Yes to freedom and equality!

11 Comments:

Anonymous TS said...

Well all in all sounds like you had a good time there. You are definitely correct in saying that liberals in Canada don’t attend those rallies, liberals are just conservatives in disguise! When you talk to most of the liberal kids I know on an issue by issue basis they support the conservative platform. Sure true that we’re not actively causing shit in Gitmo and Iraq, and well we’re not exactly causing shit in Afghanistan. We might hand the guys over to the American’s so they can have some “fun” but I really doubt you would see a Canadian women soldier sodomizing an Afghani with a glow stick, but maybe I’m way out on this one.
You know as much as anyone that the Canadian Military needs that money just so it doesn’t collapse from within. Without that money they won’t even be able to do peace time operations let alone baby sit in Afghanistan. In regards to the homeless people, in Cuba they probably force all those drunkards and heroin addicts (they probably don’t have many of those there though) to work making Cigars for the tourists. Wait, I just thought of something, that 12.8 could be used to help deal with the homeless people. We just send a bunch of a bunch of our boys in Coyotes to T-dot a do a little search and destroy training. :) Oh shit, I kill myself.
I got a bit of a complaint myself about the protest. That girl should have been a little more specific about how the down with Zionism was directed as you said but I think more importantly the Worker Communist Party of Iraq should get someone with a little better English to proof read for them!

26/9/05 09:51  
Blogger weech said...

" In the Somalia video, Master Corporal Matt McKay, a former member of the Aryan Nation, complained that he "ain't killed enough niggers yet." In the other, a Black recruit with the words "I love KKK" written on his back in excrement crawled through a gauntlet of blows and urination."
-http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/world/2003/07/273537.html

The Canadian military has demostrated its racism and brutality before esp. in Somalia but also in Bosnia.

And nah I saw plenty of drunks in Cuba but as far as I could tell these drunks had homes.

Even though you joke about dealing with the homeless, death squad solutions are employed in other parts of the world- http://pangaea.org/street_children/latin/sheper2.htm

The Canadian military doesn't need any more money, education needs more money. And we need to get of NATO and NORAD and our 20 year occupation duty of Afghanistan.-http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/08/08/Canada-Afghanistan-050808.html

And Finally yah those Iraq commies should learn how to use spell check.

26/9/05 17:39  
Blogger weech said...

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/09/05/homeless_beating20050905.html

I forgot this most recent example of Canadian forces "professionalism"

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