A Bigger Kind of Heart Breaking

The State can break your heart too…

I’m not talking about YOUR state – like Oregon. I’m talking about the tight weave of government/police/military/corporations that exist everywhere.

In fact, when is The State NOT breaking your heart? That may be  the question.

When we heard the G20 was coming to Toronto we first thought “WHY?” Why put such a thing right in the center of the largest city in Canada? A group of wealthy countries meeting to talk about the economy and how to make sure they keep their fingers in the pie. Nothing else. They don’t even have TIME to talk about anything else because they come for TWO DAYS! So our environment, our health,  ability to find affordable housing, the institutionalized abuse of animals, the entrenched racism/sexism/homophobia in our societies… all this is never touched upon. They argued over how much to cut budgets. Then they go back home and nothing changes.

So the city put up fences that covered blocks. People living in the area had to get special passes to get in and out of their own apartments or places of work. 20,000 cops showed up (four times more than the last summit meeting in Phili). These cops had tazers, guns, tear gas, pepper spray, water and sound cannons. The use of the sound cannon had to go through a court to enable it to be used!

Regular people were already in a tizzy over the militarization of the city even before the atrocities started happening.

A whole week of people’s summits and marches took place even before the delegates met. 20,000 people marched at the big rally on Saturday June 26. Thousands of people marched for Aboriginal rights, women’s rights, environmental standards, stronger health care, immigrants rights etc etc every day of the week.

If you’ve seen or read mainstream media coverage they use the words “violent”, “riot”, “clashes”. I want to tell you in the strongest way possible in writing that this was simply NOT THE CASE!

Out of the thousands and thousands of people that took part in all the demos and workshops for an entire week the only thing that happened to “make us look bad” was about 60 people smashed some windows and spray painted mostly big corporate chain stores. (There was some damage done to indie stores and I definitely don’t condone this.) (There were also a few cop cars damaged. But please question how in the world this could have happened with 20,000 cops in the area…)

That was it. No demonstrators fighting with cops (“clashes”), no people fighting cops, themselves, burning, trashing, looting (“riot”). NO VIOLENCE.

And what did we get in return for the rest of our 98% calm, but spirited, protesting? 1000 people arrested, hundreds having even nothing to do with the protests. Hundreds beaten, abused, denied water and food and toilets, mocked, slurred, left out in the cold rain for 5 hours, locked up in cages with no charge from 12 – 30 hours, wallets and clothing and press cameras taken away and not returned, shoes not returned…


It is an OUTRAGE!

And the mayor says the police acted well. And the premier says there will not be an investigation (he doesn’t want to be bothered).

My city wanted to try and win some global brownie points by hosting this. My city is afraid of their citizens and felt the need to bring in strong arms. It is the nature of capitalism to be afraid of regular people expressing their opinion – they might rise up!
And then they twist in the knife as they implied we are over reacting about the violence we experienced at the hands of the cops. Yes, that TTC guy who was just on his way to work, who got jumped and beaten and then when his supervisor came to vouch for him he was STILL arrested – he was over reacting. When a guy with a baby in an apartment who just happened to share a house with some young activists was held at gun point – he was over reacting. When a small group of singing activists were suddenly attacked for no reason and shot at – that was over reacting. When a journalist was told she better be good or she’d get raped – she was over reacting.

My city broke my heart last weekend. My city hurt me so bad I wanted to hurt them back. I saw what they did with my own two eyes, I experienced disrespect and downright violent acts directed towards me. Yeah they were from people dressed all in black – but they weren’t the famed Black Bloc!

It was a really intense week that didn’t end on the Sunday. We had marches and gatherings for the next week. It will continue as we fight to have inquiries and we get together our class action civil liberties lawsuit. We will make them pay! We don’t have to use their violence, we don’t even have to smash their property (although some folks will choose to show their anger this way.) We will fight with our words and fists clenched in the air, we will do creative civil disobedience to get their attention. We will take care of the 1000 people who got arrested and the other thousands who have been traumatized. We will not let them get away with this!

It is unbelievable that I kept going and participating for as long as I did. Generally I only have enough energy to really get me through half a day. But a week before everything started I decided to give VEGA a try. It’s a complete food powder that you add to juice, water, or smoothie. I tried the Whole Food Smoothie Infusion. It’s a green powder that is gritty – even in a smoothie.

available at Panacea in Toronto!

I knew I wouldn’t be getting too much food into my system as I biked round and round and marched here and there, so I thought it would be good to get the Vega that I could add to fruit and almond milk. It has a definite “green” taste, but it is mostly hidden with the addition of the fruit. The grittiness isn’t too bad (lots say they can’t tell) – and I am able to get this stuff down every day.

Anyway, I highly recommend the stuff. It’s a little pricey but it seems to last quite a while… and if it can add a few hours of productivity to my day – I’m all for that!

Here are some photos that you might not have seen because mainstream media was focusing so much on the black bloc:




Broken Heart Vegan Tip #12: Don’t let your heart breaker get away with it! Make sure you tell them how much they have hurt you. Who knows, they may be stupid enough that they don’t even know! It’ll make you fell better and it’ll make them think about their actions.

Broken Heart Song #12


July 4, 2010. Uncategorized.

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