sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (luke cage)
• I'm going to be reviewing Luke Cage over at [livejournal.com profile] terror_scifi. I just posted the first review, and I'll try to keep it to a weekly schedule if school permits. Incidentally I'm only two and a half episodes in and trying to avoid spoilers, so if you binge-watched it this weekend, try to keep schtum, okay?

• It's been an epic time of concerts. There are more concerts than I can reasonably attend given that I have this annoying need to work for money and such, but I am still managing to hit a lot of concerts. Legendary Pink Dots last Tuesday, the Levellers on Friday, Billy Bragg next Tuesday, and Stiff Little Fingers, Tanya Tagaq, Peter Hook, and Dido and Aeneas all in the near future.

I can't stress enough how completely brilliant the Levellers were. I've never seen them live before, and they were just incredible. I ended up right at the front and danced for like two hours straight.

• Went to the big $15 and Fairness demo on Saturday. It was worth attending.

• I think the pedometer on my phone is fucked. It's seriously undercounting my steps compared to what I'm used to, except for at the Levellers show, where it thought I somehow walked 7000 steps during the time I was inside the Opera House. I checked all the things that it could possibly be and they were all functioning normally, which lead me to the conclusion that Apple wants me to buy a new phone but since I don't want to do that, Apple's going to end up with me buying a Fitbit instead.

• L'shana tova to everyone celebrating it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)
It was a bit on the cold side, but in the interests of being able to look my kids in the eye tomorrow and myself in the mirror tonight, I went to the Black Lives Matter Rally in front of the U.S. Consulate. It was a huge crowd (especially since, as far as I know, it was organized yesterday, and also it's Toronto in November) and very well-organized. The mic kept cutting out, unfortunately, but what I could hear of the speeches were powerful and passionate.

I have some bad cell photos to share with you. Sorry about the blurriness, but you can get an idea of the scale.

tumblr_nfmb4nP0kB1r2vmy7o1_1280
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tumblr_nfmcxhCRYY1r2vmy7o1_500
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sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (she)
So I was in Hampstead today, participating in the Justicia for Migrant Workers vigil commemorating the eleven people killed in a van crash six months ago. The situation today is no less dire—if anything, it's gotten worse. Six migrant workers have died in the last two weeks. The drought conditions have caused crops to fail, meaning that many of the migrants who come here to cultivate and harvest our food—often paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of doing so, earning below minimum wage and barred from unionizing—were summarily deported to their home countries. Changes to unemployment mean that many Canadians who would otherwise be eligible for EI will be forced to take jobs that previously only migrants would, pitting the reserve army of the unemployed against the already dreadfully exploited farmworkers. Part of the struggle for better working and living conditions involves recognizing that these folks even exist and reminding the country of the horrific lives they lead, just so that we can have cheap food.

The call-out from Justicia:
Six months have passed since the tragic accident that killed eleven people near Hampstead, Ontario. Amongst the dead were 9 migrant chicken catchers from Peru. The impact of this accident has been felt across the hemisphere as families struggle to cope in the wake of this accident. To commemorate the sixth month anniversary, Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) is organizing a March and Vigil entitled 'Remembering the Dead, Standing up for the Living'. It will take place Sunday July 22, 2012 starting at noon.

Working with the survivors of the accident, the march and vigil is being organized to raise awareness of the thousands of migrant workers who have been injured, become or sick while working in Canada.

The survivors of the crash, Javier and Juan, wish to break the invisibility not only of their situation but to raise the profile of the conditions faced by migrant workers across Canada. Their message is clear: Federal and Provincial laws designed to protect migrant workers don't work! Fundamental steps need to be taken to ensure that migrant workers are treated with respect and dignity. Our demands are as follows:

Safe working conditions
Status upon arrival
No fees for work
Equal access to all entitlements
Modernize labour laws to reflect the realities of migrant workers
No repatriations and deportations

Where can I find more information?

web: http://www.justicia4migrantworkers.org/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/100416336771056/
email: j4mw.on@gmail.com


Photobucket
"Buy Ontario" doesn't sound too wholesome now, does it?

more pictures under here )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)
I am a bad, bad blogger.

Like the rest of the English-language media, I've been totally crap about blogging what's been happening in Québec, which is only the most politically significant event in the country right now. I mean, I've been re-linking to a bunch of things on Facebook, but that's not the same as getting the word out about what's been going on there, what those red squares are all about, and the massive violations of civil liberties that are taking place while the rest of Canada has a long nap.

Okay, so it all started with a student strike over tuition rates. Yes, Québec tuition rates are the lowest in the country. Entitled Boomers, forgetting all about their own advantages, say that Québec students are spoiled brats for wanting them to stay that way. I say, if your city has the lowest amount of homicides, does that mean you should raise that rate to be on par with the rest of the country? A post-secondary education is mandatory for any job above minimum wage (and increasingly required for minimum wage jobs), and tuition rates are a barrier that keeps lower-income people out. Period. Québec's low tuition rates have kept the province more egalitarian (that and universal daycare).

So it's not just any strike, but the largest in Canadian history. And it's been violent. By which I mean the cops have been gassing and shooting these kids. Several young people have lost eyes because the cops are aiming for their heads.

If that's not enough to hit all your rage buttons, the government just passed an emergency law, Bill 78, drastically restricting civil liberties, particularly around campuses. It initially defined a "riot" as a gathering of 10 or more people; that was later amended to 50, which still rules out some of your more exciting dance parties. There have been mass arrests and kettling, the same techniques that, two years after the G20 here, have been deemed illegal and immoral.

And yet the movement keeps growing. The students aren't discouraged, the protests keep getting bigger, and are drawing international support. Even—and you're going to love this one—the National Post is coming around:

“Entitlement.” We hear that word associated again and again with student protesters in Quebec. Usually, it’s preceded by the words, “sense of.”

“They think someone owes them a living,” disgruntled critics harrumph. “Wait until they get into the real world.”

Setting aside the fact that this intergenerational hectoring dates back to Socrates, let us ask: Who exactly is making the charge? Quebec has had low tuition rates for a half century. That means almost every living adult in the province, having already been afforded a plum goodie, is now wagging his finger at the first generation that will be asked to pay the tab. So who really is entitled here?


So that's why a lot of us are wearing red squares. This has become much more than disgruntled students not wanting to spend half their careers repaying a massive debt. This is about class, and wealth distribution, and equal opportunities for all.

And it's kind of amazing.

cut for video that autoplays )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (iww manifesto)
Things [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby is already sick of hearing:

"Violence!"
Which is very seldom the actual violence of the cops cracking in heads or Barrick Gold literally and figuratively raping the Third World. No, it's always, "some Black Bloc moron smashed a Starbucks, boo-hoo, violence is WRONG." I don't have a high opinion of the Black Bloc, but it's slightly higher than my opinion of people who go on about the Black Bloc as if they're the only non-electoral political force worth mentioning.

"Anarchists did/plotted/thought [insert bad thing here]"
One of these days it's actually going to be anarchists doing it. I'm pretty sure this time it was meth heads, though.

"Occupy is unfocused and has no leaders or demands."
Stop trying to make me be an anarchist again.

"Occupy is the most important political movement in the history of ever."
STFU hippie.

"Cops are people too!"
Yes, they are. Some people are assholes.

Drum circles.
Can we stop with the drum circles? I swear to God yesterday I saw a drum circle entirely composed of 18-year-old girls dressed like they were from the 60s, and I couldn't suppress a rant about how they probably were not in any way politically active before six months ago and did they go out and buy all that stuff, or was it in their closets already? And if so, how did it get there? Anyway, if the Left really wants to get anywhere it must abandon drum circles. Damn kids get off my lawn.

"911 was an inside job/Obama is a Nazi Illuminati Muslim Communist NWO dupe/whatever conspiracy theory is in these days"
Thanks to Jon Ronson, I'm now more affectionately amused than irrationally irritated by conspiracy nuts. We still need to purge them though.

"Street protests don't do anything!"
Yeah, you're right. You know what's a lot more effective? Sitting on your ass, eating Cheetos, and posting to Facebook about how street protests don't do anything.

Okay, that's it for the rant. Here's how Toronto's May Day looked.

Photobucket

cut for big )

Shorter [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby: May Day was awesome but haters gonna hate.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (iww manifesto)
If nothing else happens today, May Day 2012 will be forever remembered as the year the Left remembered about graphic design.



post 'em if you got 'em )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (zizek)
Zizek on the Avengers, Occupy, and oh really, do you need an excuse to listen to Zizek rant about things? It's Zizek being himself. Also, he's not dating Lady Gaga. If you were wondering.

I accidentally a whole anti-protest guide to anarchists. Is this bad?

In his court motion warning that Karn is an “anarchist,” Richmond’s Deputy Assistant Attorney Brian Telfair doesn’t allege the possibility of any violence or property destruction. Instead, he cites a blog post by Karn about acquiring government information through legal requests. The title? “FOIA Rocks!”

Linkdump

Mar. 23rd, 2012 05:12 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (teh interwebs)
My LJ has been rather repetitive lately, all B5 and spinal tumours, so I thought I'd share some interesting, inspiring, and horrifying articles and posts that have caught my eye but that I've been too preoccupied to blog about.

Most of you have probably already read The White Saviour Industrial Complex, one of the many excellent critiques out there of Kony 2012.

In addition to the library workers out on strike (and inside city workers likely joining them soon), Air Canada workers staged a wildcat strike. For obvious reasons I can't join the solidarity actions, but if you can, you should. Also, this is one industry that I feel even the most right-wing, anti-union bigot ought to agree needs to be paid well. I mean, do you want the guy who helps land your plan to be overworked and underpaid?

The largest political protest in Canadian history happened yesterday, with 200,000 students, teachers, parents, union activists, and others striking against proposed tuition hikes. (That article's in French; the English-language press has been stupid about the whole thing. Here's an English article from the CBC, but it downplays the numbers and significance.

Via [livejournal.com profile] symbioid, a heartbreaking article about the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Via [livejournal.com profile] hano, Robert Bales is not the victim. (Robert Bales being the murderous scum who slaughtered 16 Afghan civilians, including children.)

Via [livejournal.com profile] marlowe1: Hey, frum parents! Get your daughter a facelift or she'll never find a husband. I posted some pretty shocking links above but there's something about this one that is just a special kind of wrong.

Watch Bruce Schneier trounce the former head of the TSA in a debate about security.

signal-boosting a petition against forcing American ISPs to police downloads )

ETA: Because the above is pretty grim, watch this video about a blind stray dog living in a trash dump until she's rescued by nice people. It will make you cry but it has a happy ending, I promise.

City Hall

Jan. 17th, 2012 08:25 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
It looks a lot like cops are busting people at City Hall. From Stop Ford From Destroying Our City's live reports, however, it also looks a lot like we're winning—the Honourable Wife-Beater's proposed cuts were rejected.

Wish I could have been there, but such things are not compatible with getting enough sleep to function at work.

ETA: Good news confirmed.

ETA II: One of my friends and Fellow Workers was arrested and AFAIK is still in jail as of this morning. If you want to send messages of solidarity (especially if you're a Wob) PM or e-mail me.

ETA III: Hey, this is kind of like a liveblog. It's sad that I'm getting all of my updates from Facebook.

First, the link round-up:

Police crack heads as major budget cuts reversed.

City council reverses many key Ford cuts, passes budget the mayor never wanted.

Video from TVAC:



Update from another FW: Our mutual friend is out of jail but may have a concussion. Looks like he has a lawyer but stay tuned.

I wish I'd been there last night. It was a pretty major victory, even though the Honourable Wife-Beater's steamroller never should have been allowed to get this far in the first place, even though it's a compromise measure, and even though four people were arrested and at least one man was sent to hospital. It means that life in Toronto will be a little better than it would have been, and that the anti-Ford, pro-city movement can gain momentum.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (watchmen orly)
If so, you will like this badass sign made by the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] neko_zoi:



I am also a terrible [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby for not blogging on the protests in Russia at all and not making the solidarity demo here last week (when the revolution comes, I really hope it's not on a school night). Anyone have any good analyses they'd care to share?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fighting the man)
Your goal, ladies, gentlemen, genderqueer, and sundry others, is to be more like Dorli Rainey, badass octogenarian. This retired schoolteacher has the Seattle PD quaking in their boots so hard they had to pepper-spray her, lest she foment global insurrection against their ruling class masters. This was not enough to keep a superheroine like Rainey down, and she got right back up and continues to fight the Man.

May we all follow her example and become just a little more awesome.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)
Well, I suppose it already began in Oakland, but that's Oakland. The Guardian has a useful guide to who is getting their heads cracked in where.

Here in Toronto, the city tried to evict the occupiers from St. James Park, but failed because of a little thing called the law. Hah! The courts will hear arguments from both sides on Friday; until then, Bill Blair's brownshirts have to back off.

Tonight at 11 pm, there's a rally in support of the occupiers at St. James Park. I can't go for obvious reasons, but if you do not have to wake up at an ungodly hour, you should. Sid Ryan, in his open letter to fellow union activists, notes that where police have attacked, they've done it when crowds have thinned and particularly when labour bigwigs and the media have left.

Honestly, I would have expected the reaction to have started much sooner than it has. Locally, the fact that the police have been under greater-than-usual scrutiny following their riot at the G20 has prevented the Honourable Wife-Beater and his goons from going all-out on the hippies. I'm inclined to believe that in general, OWS has been allowed to go on simply because politicians would like an excuse to do away with public parks altogether so that developers might build condos there.

At any rate, I encourage everyone who can to help out in some way. Shit's about to get real.

P.S. If you go to the rally tonight, the legal support number is 416.833.6137 or TTY at 416.619.0422. Write it on your arm with a sharpie.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (moloch)
Join the Marines out of some misguided sense of patriotism, probably.

Do two tours of duty in a pointless quagmire of a war.

Come back home and take part in a peaceful demonstration.

Get your skull fractured by a cop's tear gas canister.

Land of the free, baby!

(My best to Olsen and all other victims of the Oakland PD's brutality.)
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)


I wish I were in New York.

Related: We are the 99%

Whenever I think about capitalist economics—really think about it, at its most basic—it blows me away. To think that we (collective we, not this particular corner of the internet) can't possibly conceive of an alternative. To think that angry mobs with torches and pitchforks are the exception rather than the rule. If one thinks about wealth distribution and is not immediately enraged (and I say this as a person who benefits far more than I suffer from the system), one isn't thinking hard enough.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
Gentle Readers, we have won a victory this week.

It is kind of an odd victory. I, like many others, managed to make it happen by doing nothing special. I, like many others, spent the last few days at work—hell, I wasn't even fooling around on the internet—but apparently, the very fact that I and others like me exist has our Honourable Wife-Beating, Drunk-Driving Mayor running scared.

You see, tomorrow at noon there is a mass meeting scheduled in Dufferin Grove Park to oppose Ford's proposed cuts to essential city services. This scares the Honourable Wife-Beater. So Dufferin Grove Park is mysteriously being "closed" tomorrow.

Now, you can't really close a park, and short of actually surrounding it with cops like they did during the G20*, you can't really stop people from meeting in one. So the whole thing is basically an exercise in making the meeting inconvenient, except it's not that inconvenient because activists at rallies are used to holding their pee for a few hours. Unlike our mayor, who seems to have pissed his pants, terrified that the city has turned against him.

Gosh. All we did was say we were going to have a meeting! And the Toronto Parks management (but of course it wasn't their idea; people hold much bigger rallies at Dufferin Grove all the time) suddenly takes the drastic step of closing a popular park on one of the last sunny Saturday afternoons of the year.

Make no mistake. This is a sign that the Fords and their lackeys are terrified of popular resistance to their agenda. This pathetic attempt at a crackdown is a demonstration of the cowardice at City Hall.

So come on out, bike-riding pinkos, and pinkos who walk, transit, wheel, and skateboard around the city, come out everyone on social assistance, all the poor and the marginalized and the dubiously housed, all the racialized and immigrants and queers and disabled, all the students and intellectuals and workers and cultural elitists who read too many books. Dufferin Grove Park, tomorrow, 12-5. Let's show the Fords that we love this city more than they hate it.

Today we made a rich bully quake in his boots by doing absolutely nothing.

Just wait until tomorrow when we start to organize.

P.S. The monorail is a gravy train. $270 million extra, sheesh.

* Except...I think the cops are actually on our side for this one, weirdly enough. It's their jobs on the line too.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)
I went to this today. The Star gives an estimate of "hundreds," which was probably accurate; it was a pretty small demo, consisting of a whole bunch of people I hadn't seen in awhile. I didn't actually get near the demo proper because I just kept running into folks I knew and having conversations. Brigette DePape, Rogue Page, was adorable; in general, there were better speakers than usual, though significantly worse music.

There are good bands out there who write political songs, even in Toronto. If they can't or won't play demos, perhaps we shouldn't have musical interludes at all. It would be better than hastily-written songs that don't scan.

At one point, a conspiracy theorist decided that I should read his pamphlets. This was probably not wise, as I immediately got excited and asked about lizard people. He avoided the question in favour of a convoluted theory involving ice cream and the Rothschilds and One World Government. I then got even more excited and told him that, what a coincidence, I was part of said conspiracy, and that I figured that if there was going to be a One World Government, I should get in on that. He became visibly upset and asked, plaintively, "BUT DON'T YOU KNOW ABOUT BIOMETRICS?" I replied that of course I did and I couldn't wait for them to come out with new ones.

I am a bad person.

Later, I mused aloud on where these conspiracy theorists, particularly the Truthers (who sent one representative with a full-colour placard, t-shirts, DVDs, and so on) got all their funding from, as it costs money to produce DVDs and they were handing them out for free. [livejournal.com profile] sphinctourist suggested that they might be funded by the Bilderberg Group.

Anyway, it was great being out in the nice weather and catching up with friends. I am increasingly dispirited about the prospects of any significant progress coming out of the whole debacle last year. There is no peaceful, legal way to hold the police accountable for beating people and ruining lives, no real restitution for the people who were jailed, lost their jobs, lost their relationships, and continue to suffer PTSD. I think the Star has actually been doing an awesome job at nailing down the worst offenders and highlighting the stories of activists who suffered the worst brutality, but when it comes down to it, the vast majority of people in this city and country seem to feel that it doesn't matter all that much or that it couldn't happen to them, and are increasingly inured to abuse of power. Maybe they even like it, I don't know. No one trusts the cops anymore but no one has proposed any sort of solution either.

In related news, the NDP have been awesome, holding a 39-hour filibuster to stop back-to-work legislation against the locked-out postal workers, but CPAC is now reporting that the bill passed despite their best efforts.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (she)
Latest thing that Canadian-owned mining company Barrick Gold is doing to people of Tanzania and Papua New Guinea: raping them. That's not a metaphor, either.

Cracked has some astute analysis of the Twitter revolution.

Want to know how much extra the cops made for beating us all up during the G20? Millions.

Ottawa riot cops who answered a midnight call and raced to make it to Toronto by Sunday morning each billed $2,079.99 for a single day’s work.

Three police officers from the tiny township of Stirling-Rawdon made more than $25,997.66 in overtime pay alone.

One Hamilton cop earned $31,590.27 in six weeks.

My favourite quote is this:

All the officers were paid time and a half, Ford said, because they were called in on days off. He said the more than $2,000 paid to each officer was fair, because when you include travel time “the officers worked 37 hours straight.”

Travel time? The poor dears! If I got paid for travel time, everyone would be up in arms about overpaid teachers. I travel 15 hours a week for work.

SlutWalk!

Apr. 3rd, 2011 05:48 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)
I imagine that some of you would like to see SlutWalk photos.

Toronto is pretty cool sometimes, and here's why: A member of our corrupt and rancid police department remarked that I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this, however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized. This, at York University, where rape is tragically common. In response four women organized a massive demonstration to stick it to the cops, the city, and the patriarchy.

slutwalk

more under here )

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