Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
If they were right, and you only get one great love, then Toronto may just be mine... and I can't have nobody talkin' shit about my boyfriend ♥ - The G20 Summit and the Destruction of Our City
Dear friends, it has been such an upsetting weekend, hasn’t it? What we all knew would happen – happened. On Friday, the protests started out peacefully. People have been protesting for every cause you can think of: environmental issues, women’s rights, animal rights, homosexual rights, the rights of the homeless and less fortunate, the rights of all Canadians and human beings all over the world.
I respect and understand the protesting. Protests are important, and there is a great need for it here at the G20 summit in Toronto. However, I don’t respect the destruction of our city on behalf of black block individuals who (probably) don’t live here. Burn a few cop cars – fine. Ruining homes, streets, and family businesses – NOT fine. Being harassed by police while leaving your Queen Street apartment to grab dinner – NOT fine. More than 500 people have been arrested. Some, perhaps even most, are innocent people. We live here. The summit never should have taken place here, and our government has put so many people's lives at risk in doing so.
It’s hard to believe that just last week that I was at Iggy & The Stooges at Yonge & Dundas Square, right up near the stage, getting squished and pushed around amongst so many people - everyone taking care of eachother... and now all of this.
I’m still somewhat young and foolish, so I desperately need to point fingers and place blame when something terrible happens to something/someone I love. I love Toronto. It’s my sanctuary. Toronto saved my life. I grew up in a completely dull, and culturally stunted suburb, so by the time I was 15, I was heading into the city on weekends. When I moved to Toronto at 19, I was finally able to be myself. So who can I blame for all of this destruction? Who do I blame for the rioting, the broken windows, the looting, the burning vehicles, the arrests, and the tragedy of our city?
We all knew it was going to come to this. During the G20 summit in Pennsylvania last year, the same issues occurred. Is Stephen Harper really so dense that he thought it would be any different here in Toronto? No, of course not (although I’m not defending the intelligence of this man). He didn’t care. He doesn't care. He doesn’t care about the people who live here in the city of Toronto, who work here everyday, parents who raise their children here. It’s disgusting, and so upsetting. It breaks my heart.
It is bad enough that our country spent billions of dollars to create a fake lake. No wonder people are pissed off – we don’t spend that kind of money helping our own citizens. It’s completely embarrassing, much like Hurricane Katrina and the people of New Orleans suffering while billions of dollars are being spent on a war in Iraq.
The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, commented on the amount of money that Canada has spent to support the G20 summit, “With regard the French G8/G20, even if I can’t confirm the figures that you are talking about in Canada, I can say that in France they will be 10 times less,” Sarkozy told reporters at his closing news conference at the G8 summit in Huntsville. Awesome. A government who respects the people that live in their country. As for the destruction that has occurred in Toronto – will our government be spending some of that money to rebuild our beautiful city? No - the federal government has announced that they will NOT be paying for damages to businesses during the riots. The city fought the government to not have the G20 in Toronto, and now we're left with the bill. Thanks yet again, Harper.
My friend Brian Banks, of Brian Banks Photography, took some amazing pictures at the summit on Saturday. Thanks, Brian, for risking your butt to capture some of what went on in Toronto, especially on Queen Street. Here are some of his shots:
This summit never should have taken place in the heart of Toronto. Now, and for how much longer I’m not yet sure, our hearts are broken.
I’ve collected a few videos I’d like to share with you all – most of them have brought tears to my eyes, so please be warned, friends.
Movie of the Day: Nobody does protest films quite like Russian filmmaker and theorist, Sergei Eisenstein. This is a clip from his film “Battleship Potemkin”. The famous “Odessa Steps” sequence.
Playlist for G20:
- Broken Social Scene – “World Sick” (For those peaceful protestors)
- The Hold Steady – “The Sweet Part of The City” (For those who love Toronto)
- Ohbijou “St. Francis” (A song from their album, ‘Swift Feet for Troubling Times’, which is quite fitting. They are from the Trinity Bellwoods area aswell, so this song is as much of a dedication to them as it is to you, sweet friends.)
Take care of yourself out there, we love you, Toronto.