Saturday, September 29, 2012

My problem with some activists out there.

There was a posting on the Occupy Canada Facebook page with this photo:

BREAKING NEWS : City of Toronto Workers Destroy Free Community Food Garden Amid Growing Food Crisis

This morning workers from the City of Toronto were ordered by City of Toronto Parks Director Richard Ubbens to remove all live plants and food from the People's Peas Garden in Queens Park. They were ordered to take the plants and food to the dump and lay sod overtop of this most beautiful free community food garden, without warning, without a chance to remove the rare heirloom plant species or harvest the food. The garden was planted by Occupy Gardens and allies on May 1st, in defense of local and global food security. While the garden has been growing undisturbed for nearly 5 months, with the help of hundreds in the community, the city deliberately decided to have it removed upon the eve of the Autumn Jam: A Harvest Party and celebration of sharing, community and free local food, which is happening tomorrow from
12-6pm at the garden in Queens Park (northwest section).

The reason? The people did not have permission to grow free food on public land. I come from a city and country where one does not need permission to do the right thing. We are experiencing a "glocal" food crisis, where more and more people are lining up at food banks for kraft dinner and peanut butter, waiting lists for community gardens are growing, food prices rising, and our leaders are nowhere to be seen. Rather they are hiding behind their desk ordering the workers to destroy whatever hope we have left.

We need help sharing this story far and wide.

We will be having our Autumn Jam harvest party/vigil tomorrow as scheduled from 12noon-6pm in the northwest section of Queens Park.

As a side note - last Monday Sept 17th gardeners travelled to Ottawa on a Peas Keeping mission for national, global food security, where we planted a free heart-shaped food garden on Parliament Hill, at which point the RCMP stomped on the plants and threatened arresting people, we removed the plants and relayed the sod.

Thanks so much for your time and help,

In Peas, Lovage & SOILidarity!

Jacob Kearey-Moreland- Occupy Gardens Toronto

RCMP Stop Occupy Toronto From Planting Garden On Parliament Hill

Monday, October 1st- Right to Food Rally - NO GARDEN IS ILLEGAL
we are bringing the garden to them and are going to plant a free food garden at city hall

Now I seriously think that community gardens are a good idea. A way for those in need to get some fresh veggies. However the fact that they decided to plant in Queen's Park without permission was a huge mistake. What they ended up doing was wasting everyone's time, energy, and having their crop destroyed.

Yes it was a douche move to pull up the garden after months of having it grow there, and to destroy all the veggies, I agree. What should have happened is these people go out and ask permission first. Who knows, maybe they would have gotten it? At worse they'd have been told no, and would have then been able to find a different place to plant.

I've been reading people's reaction to this and it seems some miss the point of activism. The point is not to break the law as some have said, but to make the world a better place. Sometimes you might be left with no choice. Some laws are wrong. This does not mean you decided to break any law you want to try to do something good. When you do that it is not heroic, and it is not activism. It is being entitled and lazy.

Let's not forget what matters here... those who are hungry. If you want to help them, then make a full effort to help them, not a half ass lazy one where you get to cry victim because you didn't bother to find out if you were allowed to do something at all.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

THIS is pride?

Photo by Brett Gundlock/Boreal Collective. Rob is restrained by Kevin, following a fight with another member of their group, January, 2010, in Calgary. Rob and Kevin are members of Western European Bloodlines.

The Calgary Herald just released an article about some white power boneheads by photojournalist Brent Gundlock, filled with interesting and rather gross photos taken... well, tell you what. It's early and I have not had my coffee yet. You can read the full article and view some of the photos here.

I'll just point out that the article calls this lot skinheads. They are not. Calling these people skinheads is like calling Protestants the Klu Klux Klan.

Anyway, I'm off for my morning coffee.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Green Lantern - Muslim hero?

Normally I try to keep this blog about things skinhead, or local to Toronto. However the past 2 weeks things have been sort of nuts what with right wing Christian nutters writing me death threats due to my not thinking protesting by walking your dog to a mosque is a Canadian Values thing or going to end radical Islam through the world (although it did amuse me that the death threats I got from the Christian nutters pretty much echoed  the tone of groups like the Taliban.. tisk tisk).

So one more post about Islam and then it is back to skinhead stuff for the next little while.

D.C. Comics has announced that the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps. to take the oath is an American born Muslim from Dearborn Michigan. You can read all the details here.


Congrats to D.C. for doing this. Normally Muslims are shown as the bad guys in pop culture, or at best as minor characters. This will be the first time a Muslim has taken the main stage in North America that I can remember ( Little Mosque On The Prairie being the only other thing coming to mind without the help of a Google search). Odds are for a lot of people this will also be their first introduction to Muslim culture aside from what they see on the news. Which kind of makes me sad.

There are people in comic book fandom who are complaining that "This is just a P.C. move by D.C., and what will they do next, make Superman Muslim too?"

I was never a big D.C. fan (except for their Vertigo line). I grew up in the Marvel camp (go Spider-Man!) but even I know that more than one man has worn the power ring of the Green Lanterns. The fact that this time the new GL happens to be a Muslim should not be a big deal. Muslim children in Canada and the U.S.A. have a hero they can relate to. What is so bad about that?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Canadian Values or pure hate? Walk your Dog In Front Of a Mosque day

For the past week there has been an event page on Facebook called Walk Your Dog In Front Of A Mosque Day. This event claims to be standing up for "Canadian values and freedoms".

Basically what happened is some radical Muslims decided to hold an al Quds Day event at Queen's Park in August. The JDL (Jewish Defence League) showed up to protest the event. Allen Einstoss, ( not associated with the JDL ) decided to walk his 165 pound mastiff dog named Cupcake with an Israeli flag tied to it's neck right up to the radical Muslim protesters.

Mr. Einstoss was punched in the chest by one of the radical Muslim men. Mr. Einstoss shoved the man back. The police grabbed and arrested Mr. Einstoss and threatened to charge him with trying to incite a riot and assault. Some time during the punch to the chest and the shove back it seems Cupcake got kicked as well.

Now anyone with any common sense can see that Mr. Einstoss was there with his dog to protest the al Quds day supporters. He was not just some man out for a walk when he had the bad luck to be assaulted by Muslims and then arrested for it like so many seem to believe.

The police dropped the ball when they arrested Mr. Einstoss and not the Muslim man who punched him in the chest.

Queen's Park made what many people felt was a mistake for allowing the al Quds day rally to happen at Queen's Park.

The Walk Your Dog In Front Of A Mosque protest has decided to target this mosque right when Muslims will be going to pray.

Dharminder Kumar of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy has said that this event is a peaceful one, about love and Canadian values. However a quick look at the events page shows some of the most venomous hate and anger that has been seen in a long time. Mr. Kumar himself even takes part in the hate by calling Muslims "muzzies" and "pakis".

Some of the more vocal hate filled supporters have even posted photos of Anders Behring Breivik, Norway's notorious Muslim killer, calling him a hero and saying the Muslim children he slaughtered were "traitors to Norway".

This event and its supporters have stated to say over and over that they are not racist, and it is not a racist event. I've been giving it a lot of thought, if it is racist or not. Islam is a religion after all, and anyone of any culture and colour can become Muslim. But then I noticed all of the photos, all of the videos posted, all seemed to only show the Arabic and African side of Islam. Calling Muslims "sand niggers", drawings showing Muslim men about to rape children...

I truly believe that not everyone supporting this event is a bigot or racist. But a hell of a lot of them are. Any Muslim who dared post on the event page talking about Islam was insulted, was called a liar, and dismissed. Any non-Muslim who questioned the logic of protesting at this mosque rather than at the police station, or at Queen's Park was told that they were secretly a Muslim ("muzzie") plant, a left wing loon, and dismissed.

A few days ago someone started a blog highlighting the comments that a number of posters have been making. Reblog A Racist. This blog seems to be updated daily with new venom filled screenshots from the event page.

A few people who supported this event have been turned off by the hate shown and decided not to go, which just helps prove that not everyone who supports the event is a bigot.

Muslims have been in Canada since the 1950s. Yes there have been a few that were evil (the Honour killings of the three daughters by their parents). But you can not damn a whole group of people for the actions of a few. If we start to do that the Christian churches would have a lot to answer for (KKK and WBC come to mind).

Is this event hateful? Bigoted? Racist? You be the judge. What Canadian values are, and mean is up to you.