Hi! I appreciate what you are doing to spread awareness about the whole situation but why don't you post more pictures of the children and people who are dying everyday day in Gaza and let the world see how monstrous Israel is.
I am so, so, so tired of seeing pictures of mangled children, of parents with faces contorted in grief, of corpses that are charred, with missing limbs, with holes in them. A few days ago they were circulating a picture of a child from Gaza who’s skull had been cracked open and hollowed out. Stop it. Stop circulating these pictures.
There’s a reason you only see these pictures of brown and black bodies from third world countries. Think about it for a second, have you ever seen pictures of the dead from 9/11 or the Boston bombing or any of the hundreds of school shootings that happen in the US?
But see those lives matter so much more, you don’t need a picture of a burned body to care, just the thought of it happening is enough to make you horrified. And the thought of anybody publishing pictures from the events I just mentioned probably repulses you, so why don’t you have the same reaction to the images coming out of Gaza?
I used to think that people needed to see these pictures, to know what’s going on, to be forced to care—but it’s fucking bullshit. It’s bullshit that people should have to make an exposition of their private pain for you to care about atrocities against humanity. Knowing what’s happening there should be enough, pictures of destroyed homes and explosions are more than enough proof if that’s what you’re after.
It’s beyond cruel that people who have just lost those that they love, parents who’ve lost little babies, should then be expected to make a performance of their pain so that maybe just maybe this stupid fucking apathetic world will care for once. People are expected to air their grief so your stupid ass will have something to cry over and be ‘moved’ by. I’m so sick of people’s grief being put on display for the disinterested viewer who can switch it off and walk away at any time, who couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like.
There is a certain respect granted to the dead and to the grief of those from privileged backgrounds. To deny someone that respect is to belittle the greatness of their loss and to reduce their pain to the politics it stems from; it is to say their human experiences are somehow less—and it goes hand in hand with the racist and disgusting idea that those brown and black people who live in strife ridden areas, those who have to fight for their lives, somehow value life less. Only those we dehumanize are denied respect like this.
Enough. Stop making a spectacle of their grief, stop making a spectacle of the dead.
“To employ “both sides” rhetoric completely misrepresents the situation. It is not “both sides” who take thousands of political prisoners. Both sides do not systematically torture each other. Both sides do not control each other’s freedom of movement, or access to the sea, drinking water, and education.”—A Plague on One House by Greg Shupak (July 17, 2014)
Many of us who have disabilities, chronic illness/pain, or mental health issues actively struggle to love our bodies for a whole host of reasons. Disabled bodies, unhealthy bodies, sick bodies; like other bodies that deviate from the “norm” (that is: white/abled/cis/thin) that feminism so often reinforces instead of dismantling, our bodies may be accepted by feminism, and other feminists, at a surface level, but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty of what loving non-normative bodies actually entails…well, feminism doesn’t know how to deal with that.
“The selfie is at the forefront of an interesting shift in how ‘truth’ is deployed in relation to photography, whereby taking certain pictures establishes the ‘truth’ of particular subjects, rather than being solely a question of what the image content depicts… It’s not so much the content of the picture itself that marks certain subjects as laughable (or vain, undesirable, narcissistic, selfish, trivial, vapid and so on), but just the mere act of taking it.”—
This reminds me a lot of a younger version of myself (the me who existed before the term selfie became so ubiquitous, the me who thought about photography and self-portraiture all the time) and also speaks to a lot of the anxieties the younger version of me had.
everyone should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).
The Toronto G20 Summit of June 26-27, 2010, hosted by Stephen Harper, was an incredibly expensive undertaking that resulted in massive human rights violations against members of the public at the hands of the police. Despite this, politicians refuse to call a full public inquiry and hold police—as well as themselves—to account … something to think about on the 4th anniversary of the Toronto G20, and as we approach this year’s Canada Day celebrations.
1. Over half a billion dollars was spent on security for the three-day G8/G20 summit.
3. Hundreds were unlawfully detained—kettled— across the city.
Hundreds of peaceful protesters were detained across the city, including in major ‘kettles’ organized by police, in which rows of riot cops in full gear trapped large groups of people in intersections, against buildings and within city blocks for hours, even as heavy rain poured down. In the words of the Toronto Star:
As the skies opened, dumping enough rain to flood the Don Valley Parkway, masses of people were arrested: peaceful protesters, curious onlookers, passersby carrying grocery bags. Many were packed into paddy wagons, dropped off outside city limits or taken to the G20 temporary jail. Dozens were held in the downpour with their hands zip-tied behind their backs.
The Public Works Protection Act (PWPA)—the obscure Word War II-era legislation that gave police special powers—remains on the books despite many promises by the governing Liberals to get rid of it. In his June 2014 annual report, Ombudsman Marin warned that:
The PWPA featured prominently in the massive civil rights abuses during the G20 summit in Toronto four years ago, and the government has twice introduced bills to replace it – only to have them die on the order paper (most recently on May 2, 2014). Given its checkered history, it is disturbing that the PWPA is still on the books, particularly when one considers that Ontario is in the midst of preparations for hosting the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Toronto in 2015.
5. Police engaged in rampant arbitrary search and seizures.
Police forces operating in Toronto engaged in arbitrary search and seizures across the core, often violating basic Charter rights. The Office of the Independent Police Review Director concluded in 2012 that “many police officers ignored the basic rights citizens have under the Charter and overstepped their authority when they stopped and searched them arbitrarily and without reasonable grounds in law.”
6. Police told demonstrators to go to a “designated speech zone” and then attacked them.
Police set up what they referred to as a “designated speech zone” at Queen’s Park (which was also the meeting point for the main march on the first day of the summit) and invited citizens protesting the summit to assemble and demonstrate there. However, by the late afternoon of June 26, police surrounded and charged the area, physically assaulting peacefully assembled citizens who had accepted the police’s earlier invitation.
7. Police violently assaulted peaceful citizens.
Throughout the weekend, numerous citizens experienced physical assaults at the hands of the police. Some were involved in peacefully protesting the G20, while others were simply going about their business in the city. One man, John Pruyn, who wears a prosthetic leg, provided the following testimony at the CCLA’s Breach of the Peace Hearings:
The police ordered me to walk (…) I said ‘I can’t’. Then one of the police grabbed my artificial leg and yanked it right off my leg for no apparent reason (…) He pulled it off, and then told me to put it back on. I just looked at him (…) I couldn’t believe what he was saying. Of course, I can’t put my leg back on with my hands tied behind my back (…) so then he says ‘hop’. And again I said ‘I can’t’. Then he says ‘you asked for it’. So then one police grabbed me under each arm and they started to drag me backwards. As they were dragging me backwards we went over pavement and I had on a short sleeve shirt and my elbows were digging right into the pavement and they were gouged out, both elbows, both sides.
8. Police detained and arrested journalists and physically assaulted them.
A number of journalists were detained or arrested by police across the city during the summit. These included two National Post photographers, Brett Gundlock and Colin O’Connor, who were arrested the evening of June 26, as well as a freelance journalist for the Guardian (UK), Jesse Rosenfeld, who was beaten and arrested in front of Novotel. The latter incident was witnessed by Steve Paiken, host of TVO’s Agenda, who said a police officer “walked over and just … gave him one in the gut…Jesse fell down face-first onto the ground. The same officer then came back, elbowed him right on the back.”
not providing those arrested with sufficient information;
not processing prisoners in a timely manner;
not facilitating adequate access to legal counsel;
not providing sufficient water and food:
Colin O’Connor, one of two National Post newspaper photographers who were arrested during the summit and held in the detention centre overnight, said that “[w]e did not get water for 12 hours.” His colleague, Brett Gundlock, added that “[p]eople were yelling all night, asking for some water.”
not providing reliable access to medical care;
not following international standards with respect to the use of restraints:
11. Canadian police ignored the lessons of the 2009 G20 Summit in London.
The United Kingdom hosted a G-20 summit in London in April 2009 and police actions there also became controversial, particularly after a passerby named Ian Tomlinson was attacked by police from behind and pushed to the ground. He died shortly thereafter, and the officer who attacked him was later charged with manslaughter. Despite this, the police forces working on the Toronto G20 did not heed any lessons from the London experience around the proper use of force.
Indeed, the UK Human Rights Joint Committee report of 2009, an independent government review of policing, cautioned that “protestors have the impression that the police are sometimes heavy-handed in their approach to protests, especially in wearing riot equipment in order to deal with peaceful demonstrations.” And another report by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate of Constabulary submitted after the London summit further recommended that police must “[d]emonstrate explicit consideration of the facilitation of peaceful protest throughout the planning process and the execution of the operation,” and that “[t]he starting point for the police is the presumption in favour of facilitating peaceful assembly.” These warnings from the London experience were roundly ignored by police at Toronto’s G20. (See also the CCLA report »)
12. It remains unclear to what extent the police itself encouraged, facilitated and participated in vandalism.
On the first day of the summit, before the protests began, 17 activists were arrested in an early morning police raid on the basis that they were planning to vandalize a number of businesses in the city core. However, information that emerged in the subsequent trials show that two police agents had infiltrated the group as far back as early 2009, and were actively involved in preparing actions around the G20 summit.
According to the Globe & Mail, “[o]ne officer helped develop a list of locations for protesters to congregate at or vandalize,” and then apparently “advocated for the list to be distributed as widely as possible…” This list included businesses such as banks that were in fact targeted by a few protesters during the summit. Meanwhile, the other infiltrating officer “was such a prominent presence in pre-G20 marches that his face was twice featured in newspapers alongside the activists he was spying on.”
Furthermore, questions have been raised about two police cars left on the known protest route and that were later set ablaze. In the words of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association: “The fires posed a risk to the public. Why were they [the cars] allowed to burn for as long as they did? In the normal course of events, we would expect this to be dealt with very quickly.”
All the above raises some critical questions. Did the police infiltrators play a key role in helping plan acts of vandalism? And why did police not stop the vandalism if it had information about where it was going to happen, choosing instead to indiscriminately arrest people peacefully protesting the summit? Only a full public inquiry can answer such questions.
None of the police forces involved in the G20—that includes Toronto Police, York Region Police, the OPP, the RCMP, and others—have apologized for any of the abuses police officers committed against members of the public during the summit. In July 2012, the head of Toronto’s police board, Alok Mukherjee, offered a “personal” apology for his role in the debacle, but refused to heed calls from the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition for his resignation.
15. And neither have any elected officials.
Much like the police, elected officials at all three levels of government have refused to apologize for G20 abuses. Quite the contrary, then Toronto mayor David Miller said that the police “acted with professionalism and with respect for the people’s right to lawfully demonstrate,” and then Premier Dalton McGuinty was quick to state that he wanted “to thank our police officers for upholding the rule of law.”
16. No public inquiry has been held.
Despite immediate calls for a public inquiry into police actions during the G20 summit, no comprehensive and open investigation has been launched, and little police accountability has emerged.
17. No police officer has been jailed for abuses committed during the G20.
To date, no officer has been jailed for abuses committed during the summit. One officer, Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani, was found guilty of assaulting Adam Nobody (whose nose and cheekbone were broken) and received a 45-day sentence in 2013, but he was immediately granted bail pending an appeal, which will be heard in the fall of 2014.
Contrast this 45-day sentence for a violent police assault on a human being with the 13.5 month sentence given to Alex Hundert for planning to break some windows. Hundert was arrested early on June 26, well before the day’s protests began, and was in jail while some businesses were vandalized. However, prosecutors claimed that he played a role in planning the vandalism and the judge ruled that this somehow warranted a jail sentence that is nine times longer than the sentence given to Const. Andalib-Goortani for far more serious offences.
18. History will repeat itself: police in Australia are preparing for mass arrests at the 2014 G20 Summit in November.
Police in Australia are preparing for the forthcoming G20 summit in Brisbane in November. But already, it appears that history is repeating. For instance, the state police force has already told its officers that they can remove their name tags, which prevents accountability, as Toronto’s G20 experience clearly showed. Moreover, police there have also decided to turn the state’s Supreme Court into a temporary prisoner processing facility for the duration of the summit, and it’s anyone’s guess if this building, which ostensibly symbolizes justice, will become another human rights debacle like the temporary film studio prison during the Toronto G20.
Important, awful, but mostly important… but I can’t help but cringe at the fact that as comprehensive as this list is, there is no mention of the racist targetting of immigrant organizers, namely No One is Illegal, and no mention of the sexual assaults and harrassment. Not even a mention of female journalists being threatened with rape. This is important. Four years later I still can’t find the proper words to name my own experiences, the things I witnessed, the gut-wrenching feelings I still get when I think of what happened, and why.
I also wrote this three years ago in the hopes of processing my complicated feelings about this shit. Can’t believe how little has changed, how little justice has been served. Part of me misses how angry I used to be, how much more hopeful…
“Like slut-shaming, digital-visibility-shaming blames victims for any harm that comes to them and, in so doing, deflects attention from the more powerful actors who harmed others in the first place. Rather than confront the state of our society, we blame the people who “allow” themselves to be hurt by its worse elements”—Indecent Exposure: Breasts as Data, Data as Breasts » Cyborgology (via nathanjurgenson)
Though nearly 20 percent Americans have physical or mental disabilities, studies show that less than 20 percent of medical schools teach their students how to talk with disabled patients about their needs.
More than half of medical school deans report that their students aren’t competent to treat people with disabilities, and a similar percentage of graduates agree. Accreditation and licensing boards don’t require clinicians to demonstrate knowledge or skills in treating patients with disabilities.
before completely dismissing the advantages of technology, pls step outside of your able-bodied perspective & consider what it means for those of us who are disabled + spend countless days of our years confined to our beds, unable to “get up & enjoy life outside of a computer/smartphone screen.” the internet has truly been a blessing for this chronically sick girl.
In the hours of first hearing about terrible event X, whatever moment I still can’t name. An incident, a tragedy, a violence. An event you don’t want to name after the person who perpetrated it - namely because it doesn’t feel like a one-person action. An event you don’t want to name after a place, because it happens every where.
In the minutes after I hear myself yelling at the radio, cringing at the language used by reporters - reporting just to report, not to dig deep, not to understand, not to make sense of it because who can make sense of it in the minutes hours days after such things happen - I find myself thirsting for logic. Craving a voice of rage, not of reason. Often, these come best in the form of frantic emails to close friends, stream of consciousness rambles, the raw anger that is allowed, allowed, allowed.
My way of processing these things have changed lately. I used to be tempted to do as many do: share articles the day of, the day after, the days after. To share them, as if that act of sharing lets others know you are reading about the same death(s), the same women, that you are remembering their names. Names like Loretta. Christina. And when they aren’t named, remembering their ages, the voices of their parents, their friends. Often it makes me relive the awful sinking feeling I felt the first time I heard of the awful thing, the awful thing I can’t yet name.
So, nearly a month later, after remembering to breathe, and reading to try and make sense of things, I think I can do it. Because it feels important to share these words. Because their words helped me sleep at night, to know that people are naming these things, finding the words when I and so many others still cannot.
Tanya Tagaq is an amazing Inuk throat singer who I love very much. I was first exposed to her work on Björk’s Medúlla which is an album primarily composed and constructed from human vocals. She just recently released her third album Animism which is nothing short of incredible and deals with her feelings on colonialism, government, and society. This record is also dedicated to Loretta Saunders and all of the missing and murdered aboriginal women of Canada. This is absolutely one of my new favorite records. Do yourself a favor and listen to it.
On the long list for the Polaris Prize too! Nice write-up over at Weird Canada. Hopefully this gets the album the recognition it deserves.