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I like the idea behind Jane's Walks but it seems that the rich liberals running this one are using our suffering as coffee table banter.
I liked this quote from the guy who will be leading the walk:
"I saw my local Starbucks get smashed and I ran out to protect it," he said. "I wanted to stop that kind of thing from happening.
Or this one (particularly disgusting given that people are still in jail, on house arrest or on trial for the G20):
"We have to remember, this wasn't Berlin," he said. "It's great to be hyperbolic about these things for effect but at the end of the day, we survived it."
yikes, that should be urbanism not ubanism
So will they be going to the sites of the recorded police violence or just to the place where the bait car was burnt and the anti-union Starbucks where the windows where broken?
Will they visit the staging grounds and relive the Cossack style charge of the TO horse back police? How about the famous bubble arrest is that on the tour? How about the charge and baton kissing given the protestors singing Oh Canada in the streets. Those are the images seared in my kind.
Seriously if this is only going to highlight the property damage then could some activists in TO please upstage them and remind the media of the real story.
So how does this stop any of you from showing up and sharing your side of the story?
It seems to me that Toronto belongs as much to these people as it does to you, and that these are their neighborhoods, too and that they are as entitled to their opinions as you are. It also doesn't look like they entirely disagree with a lot of posters here on babble about G20. The comment about the Starbuck's was followed by the information that the same guy was "kettled". I notice that got left off here. Does liking the Starbucks give negative points that neutralize the kettling points? Why shouldn't they have a Jane's Walk? It seems like an innovative way to use the established event.
Lots of people got "kettled" but these two clowns are more concerned with the safety of their "local" Starbucks than the people that were brutalized. The fact that they refer to "hyperbole" means that they don't have any friends or commrads that are still paying the price for being organizers.
They are whitewashing the G20 with a liberal narrative meant to normalize the event as if it were not a huge act of cops and politicians abusing people.
[quote=Le T]They are whitewashing the G20 with a liberal narrative meant to normalize the event as if it were not a huge act of cops and politicians abusing people.[/quote]
Yet because it's a Jane's Walk, it shouldn't dissuade those like you to offer a counter-perspective. Just a suggestion.
Christ...this could lead to people being "G20 re-eneacters". like those Civil War obsessives on MY side of the border. God help you.
Well, it would be interesting to see what happens if people tried to do pro-truth street theatre along the "Walk" route. I'd suggest bringing camcorders and cel-cams and doing live feeds.
Wow G20 protests compared to the Civil War. I hope you didn't strain any brain muscles with that leap of logic
Thread title typo fixed.
That "local Starbucks" line is tragically hilarious. And a fair bit of hyperbole itself.
Le T, I saw this article when friends on FB had linked to it. Then I read the article. Fucking hell. I completely agree with how you've presented it.
Talk about a middle-class whitewashing of infringement of civil liberties of the police and the largest mass arrest of people in Canada, ever. Now it seems that it was done with our full and complete complicity apparently. And re-writing the story less than a year after it happened, when activists are still living with the effects (Singh's recent trial in which he strategically pled guilty, for example).
I wasn't comparing G20 protests to the Civil War-I was comparing re-enactments of some battles to re-enactments of other battles. No disrespect to the G20 activists or to those who fought to end slavery in the U.S. was intended.
Maybe someone should show up to their walk dressed as cops, cuff them and throw them in the back of a van for a few hours.
Are you people aware of how media works?
I explained to the reporter that while damage could be fixed — and, as we made clear on the Walk, damage to property is *not* violence, violence happens to people — living in a neighbourhood means you develop relationships with those who work at local businesses - even the Starbucks.
So when I saw a tweet during the G20 about someone trying to start it on fire I thought about those workers and the people who live above the store so I rushed out to see what I could do.
When I arrived a young guy was harmlessly tossing out water bottles. No problem - it's property not people. I shrugged it off and returned home.
I explained all this to the reporter but she chose to leave it out. Unfortunately, it seems her editing has resulted in self-righteous pricks drawing their own conclusions about me and my motivations.
Anyway it was a great walk. People came and talked about what they experienced and how they felt about what happened to their neighbourhoods.
We ended the walk at 410 Richmond where we had snacks and drinks at Trinity Square Video. We're all so hopelessly bougie. Please save us, oh you, the politically pure.
I'm David Demchuk, the other organizer of this walk. I have long admired the journalism on rabble, the comments from whining entitled armchair activists not so much--and this thread is a case in point. If you couldn't take two hours out of your lives to join us and help make the walk what you wanted to be (as 60 other people did, including queer activists, labour activists, progressive journalists, members of the Surveillance Club, people who were caught up in both the Novotel kettling and the Spadina/Queen kettling, and people who experienced harassment, police violence, detainment and rights violations at Queen's Park, Allen Gardens and other parts of the city), you could certainly have taken two minutes to look up the walk yourselves online (http://janeswalk.net/walks/view/dont_wear_black_a_g20_walk/) and read our description of it rather than that in the Toronto Star. As Justin noted above, the quotes we gave were truncated--mine about Berlin for example was in the context of a discussion about temporarily and permanently divided cities and how those cities typically are bifurcated along ideological boundaries under the pretense of protecting each side of the other. We also made very clear the distinction between vandalism (against objects) and violence (against people and living things) and spoke about how language has been sloppily used to push an agenda suggesting that protecting property is more important than protecting human life--or defending human rights. And we also spoke of how, sadly, the events of the G20 weekend really only caused outrage in the media and in many activist circles because they were happening to a largely white largely middle class tourist-activist group who had never experienced these abuses before--but that citizens in Regent Park, at Jane and Finch and in Lawrence Heights, and in cities across Canada and in G20 countries around the world experience them every day. It's too bad you didn't bother to come and join in this discourse...but judging on what I've read here, I doubt you'd have had much that was useful to contribute and that most of it would have gone over your heads. So, on second thought, thank you for staying away. Our walk and our discussion was better for it.
Welcome David. As a poster who lives on the other side of the continent and also as one who is no longer temporally able bodied (as you so obviously are) I find your condescending remarks disgusting.
Do you normally walk into a group of people and tell them all they have nothing useful to contribute. I can't figure out why you have a problem getting people out to your events with your open and inviting style of leadership.
Hi David and Justin, welcome to babble and thanks for clarifying your position. I understand your frustration and feelings, but I'm sure you will agree that the Star's depiction of your story does not do justice to either your walk, your position on the G20, or your investment in the Toronto-area activist community. Based on the story, I, who, like Northern Shoveler, live in Vancouver, read a parroting of the liberal narrative of the G20 protests (emphasis on property damage and "extremists"); which I'm sure you didn't intend. You have to admit, though, a single, out-of-context quote expressing concern for one's "local Starbucks," deserves at least a snicker.
Many babblers, including those who post in this thread are also experienced activists and have plenty of experience dealing with mainstream media outlets who remain antagonistic to radical politics. Rather than attack our allies, perhaps we should look for common ground and condemn the journalist who perverted your intentions. And I'm referring to both babblers and your Jane's Walk comrades.
Hey David and Justin. Apologies for my anger, clearly the Toronto Star has achieved a little divide and conquer.
I really take exception to your characterization of us as "armchair activists". The reason that i was so angered by this article is because i am active and many of the people who continue to pay the price for being organizers at the G20 (mostly people of colour, people without citizenship and Indigenous people) are my friends and comrades.
From your own admission it sounds that you two were not that connected to the organizing around G20 resistance nor did you participate in the protests so saying stuff like what i've quoted bellow is a little silly:
[quote]It's too bad you didn't bother to come and join in this discourse...but judging on what I've read here, I doubt you'd have had much that was useful to contribute and that most of it would have gone over your heads. So, on second thought, thank you for staying away. Our walk and our discussion was better for it.[/quote]
Clearly you did no wrong and we're at fault.
At fault for what? I think we're all in agreement that the Star is "at fault" for their hatchet job on what you say was your full message. I don't see how that gives you license to come in here and make assumptions about who and what is an activist. If you're interested in clarifying the record, please do. If you're interested in retaliation or spitefulness, well, we don't need it.
I'm actually interested in you telling us what actually happened on the walk. What do you say?
Indeed. So am I.
If you are interested in reading about what happened on the G0 Jane's Walk, I encourage you to do a search on twitter for the commentary that was provided by a number of our participants: @goldsbie @sherrybgood @paisleyrae @starstriding @caseyoraa @vitty10 @dreahouston and of course @farrowjane, who was kind enough to launch our walk for us and deal with issues from building security staff, media and police. And you can feel free to message any of them to ask about their experiences.
Ok, so you guys didn't participate in the G20 and feel comfortable leading a tour to explain it. Then when people here raise concerns about your representation you both dedicate multiple paragraphs to telling us what armchair activists we are because we didn't go on your walk. When we ask you to describe the event that you held to represent the G20 you've got nothing but "check twitter".
You guys do any court support? How 'bout donation to the legal defence fund? Any connection to the orgs or movements that coordinated the G20 protests? Will you be writting a letter to the Toronto Star to correct their misrepresentation of your walk?
Here's the thing, "Le T": I owe you nothing.
I feel no complusion to legitimize myself to you. I was there on the G20 weekend and I've since marched in support of those who were arrested.
But as you're the High Priest of Political Credibility apparently I need to have my motivations vetted by you or I'm a "clown."
And, to be clear, our tour wasn't an attempt to "explain it," but to offer an opportunity for others to tell their stories. You don't own this.
It wasn't the Toronto Star who "achieved a little divide and conquer," it was your comments here. You decided to interpret out of context quotes as entirely representative of my feelings about what happened at the G20 in Toronto. Yes, I plan to write a response to the Toronto Star readers: "Don't believe everything you read in the newspaper."
So that would be a "no". Have a nice day.
You don't own this.
So why didn't you come on here and tell us that we were duped by the MSM and explain yourself? Instead you came in and insulted everyone for reacting to a press story that misrepresented you. You mention the misrepresentation but then you chose to enflame the situation with nasty back biting instead of laughing about how easy it is to be deceived and how insidious that type of thing is too any movement building.
You chose to be the total tool of the Star and came on here and continued to be divisive and then made it personal. What kind of community building is that? You see your allies being duped and you blame them and shit all over them instead of correcting the Star piece. A little ridicule for us not getting the real story would have been in order. A full out flame war is gross. I don't tweet because most things of importance require more words, unless you are a haiku master.
Read your sentence above and look in the mirror while doing it.
Frankly, many of the posters on this thread read a lot more of their own biases and shoulder-chips into the article than were there. Granted, the article didn't fully explain what Union Stayshyn's and daviddemchuk's opinions and full gist in doing the Walk was about, but it didn't sound like such a big hairy appropriating deal as it was made out to be. Some of us love a good teapot tempest, don't we?
The other point, Northern Shoveler, is that by defending themselves to you or Le T, they are allowing that you are the arbiters and they are obligated to make it okay with you that this walk happened. You are automatically in the power position. Why you should be regarded as being in such a position, I'm not sure.
Pecking orders and purity tests. Very socialist of you all.
This is a chat forum that happens to be like my living room. I expect people who come in to respect the people already here. Pecking order and purity test. That is a nasty insult from a right wing perspective. Now would you like tell us the benefits of the corporate structure? Maybe you can explain how a franchise operation like Starbucks is a good thing for our economy. Maybe explain how allowing rich people to hide their oppression of the poor behind the corporate veil is a good thing.
I mean if all you've got is right wing slurs then you might as well finish you thoughts and get into extolling the virtues of capitalism compared to socialism. I am not a socialist don't call myself one but I note you think it is a word to be used as an insult. I need a nice cuppa now. Got a tea bag I can borrow?
Again, bias and shoulder-chip resulting in a personal attack.
I don't have a right wing perspective, I'm a social democrat. And do remember that you're in my living room, too - and I've got seniority, sunny boy. (That's a joke, btw, as the mods will tell you, seniority is no free pass here. Just want to make it clear that I am not serious - although perhaps you'd have next pegged me as a union activist for having used the word "seniority".)
Nobody here has treated Union S or davidd with much respect - why should it be accorded to you? Why are you more special?
If you could just try for a moment to follow the logic in my previous post: If you demand they defend, who are you? The arbiter of what's lefty enough in terms of how they're structuring their event? As I recall, there was a lot of disagreement about how "lefty" the property destruction of the G20 was or wasn't. I'm not going to argue that point, nor I think were Union S and davidd trying to. Maybe it would be good to have some continuing discussion on that. If I'm reading correctly, both the article and the posts here seem to indicate that was the original intent of organizing the walk.
Demanding a defense silences. It makes the point that only one point of view may be discussed. And it puts you (among a few others) in the position of having the authority over the organizers to say what they may or may not talk about.
So this would be where I'm talking about pecking order and purity of political thought. That's the problem with human beings. We're twisted little status monkeys even when we're socialists and we're often wildly inconsistent. Because the last time I checked, these weren't very socialist sentiments. Well, the first one, anyway.
I'm not sure just how pointing out that their voices also deserve to be heard turns me into Margaret freakin' Thatcher.
bias and shoulder-chip resulting in a personal attack.
Thank you for that clear and succinct clarification of your first post that I responded too. I agree completely!!!
Have a nice day. Go lecture a coworker or employee if your a boss because I sure as hell don't need your condescension other than as comic relief.
Right, well this turned into a nice thread. I hope Jane's walk does even better next year, and hopefully its spokespeople will have learned a thing or two about how to talk to the media.
I like adma's suggestion about having a g20-themed Jane's Walk which resists mainstream liberal narratives of the protests. If indeed this is what David and Justin's walk was all about, it's a shame they didn't take the opportunity to tell interested parties about it--although I can see why they feel personally attacked. I hope they understand the difference between a soundbite in a MSM story and two real, hotblooded activists who have an investment in the community.
Just so long as you don't have to question your own dogma, eh?
Dogma is a real bitch.
What are you trying to say about me that you gleaned from a few posts on an internet site. My ideas are different than yours so I am in turn dogmatic and socialist (that favourite insult of social democrats) imposing an undemocratic pecking order and purity tests.
Maybe you don't understand your own language but you are in fact repeating some of the most famous red baiting lines ever used.
You have really impressed me so far with the depth of your analysis and strength of your reasoned arguments.
Cripes, knock it off you two. You are both using classic red baiting/capitalist drone slurs against the other, and it's tiresome. Just don't engage. Back to the subject matter.
Catchfire, I disagree. I have never intentionally "red-baited" in my life. I resent the accusation. I also resent the implication that posters must whip out a resume to show whether or not they have socialist cred before engaging in discussion or suggesting that we need to question our socialist assumptions from time to time.
[quote=Catchfire]I like adma's suggestion about having a g20-themed Jane's Walk which resists mainstream liberal narratives of the protests. [/quote]
Or my point was more that the inherent, ideal nature of a Jane's Walk allows for such resistances to be sounded. Otherwise, paradoxically, the suppression of such resistances would be contrary to what Jane Jacobs herself (as opposed to a lot of her self-styled acolytes) allowed for...
I just want to address this "demanding a defense" thing that seems to be thrown around by Timebandit, and Union S.'s "I don't owe you anything".
It's a matter of responsibility. These two took it upon themselves to organize a Jane's walk around the G20. They spoke to the MSM and obviously had a major impact on the direction of the walk (whether or not they will admit it). They also don't seem to have participated in the G20 protests and seem to have little connection to the groups that organized the protests. I wonder if the reasons that people were protesting were a part of the route or just the sexy protest sights?
The only thing that they have contributed to this discussion is defensive name calling and a dismisive "go check twitter" when asked to explain what was covered on the walk that they organized. It's interesting that they spent more time talking to the Toronto Star than they do writting about their event on babble. They have decided that they are above explaining their event to the lowley citizen media despite claiming that they were mis-represented by the MSM.
So let's not pretend that this is some kind of "purity test". And let's not pretend that liberal analysis of social movements isn't often disconnected from the actual struggle and tends toward academic curiousity.
Of course they have a "right" to talk about it. And we have a "right" to critique the terms in which they do so. Who is talking about "owning" anything? I think it's clear who "owns" the G20 narrative: the Toronto Star and its ilk. We're talking about taking it back.
And I'm sure you know that "bitching" is a misogynist term that violates babble policy.
If it happened in their neighborhood, whether they were protesters or not, they have a right to talk about it, and from their own viewpoint. It's now part of the history of their place in the world.
You can't own an event that happens to other people, too. Just because their role or position in the event was different than yours does not give you the right to demand explanations. You are in no position to grant permission.
They did leave the event open for you to add your narrative to the story. If you chose not to, don't bitch them out for having a different view of things.
ETA: I disagree with you about the purity test. There's a pervading feeling of "They weren't even protestors, how dare they talk about G20." The immediate response to simply the word Starbuck's was to note that they must not have any lefty cred. And when they post here, it's demanded that they pony up what cred they have - and in a pretty damned hostile way.
I can understand that you are very invested in having your narrative of the G20 protests portrayed. However, I don't think someone else talking about their experience of it, whether it's more in line with MSM versions or not, needs your blessing to do so.
Give me a break, Catchfire. If you're "taking G20 back", then I'm just a feminist taking back the term "bitch", so we can call it a draw. Far more offensive terms have been used on babble (a POC using the "n" word, eg.) and it's been allowed. Let's not pretend that babble policy is inflexible and that you're not applying it with a heavy hand at the moment because I'm pissing you off.
I'm also a woman applying it to a pair of men. Nice turnabout, eh? I should get extra points for wearing my identity politics with panache today.
Your post is unclear. First, you can't "own" the G20. Then you're "taking it back". I think there's a marked sense of ownership in some of the posts, and an unwillingness that G20 is something that also happened to non-protesters on their home turf. They shouldn't have to defend their narrative any more than you should have to defend yours. The difference is that nobody has asked you to defend yours here. This has been more tantrum than critique, with nothing more substantive than "they weren't even protestors".
The really sad thing is that all this could have been an opportunity for discussion.
I'm sorry to disappoint you, TB, but you're not pissing me off. "Bitch" is not allowed on babble, especially with such tinny claims that you are "taking back the term." I don't see how you can make such a claim when you are using in exactly the same misogynist way it's come to mean. You've never made much of an attempt to understand "identity politics" (a term you throw around as a pejorative), so it's no surprise this attempt at a travesty fell flat.
As for the rest of your post, you're the one talking about ownership, not me. But if we do use those faulty terms, there's not much of a contest. If we are going to tell stories about our neighbourhoods, communities and cities, they need to learn to live side by side one another (that's part of the "identity politics" thing you usuallly miss), so of course they need to defend themselves. I'm happy enough to defend my explanation--there wouldn't be much point in having one if I wasn't. What shuts down the discussion you mourn is talk of "ownership" which seeks closure rather than intercourse.
So, I share your disappointment that Justin and Dave didn't take the opportunity to talk to babble about their project, and we're content with the MSM representation. I checked out the twitter convo, and aside froom "great walk!" etc., there wasn't much else. I'd like to hear more, of course, but based on how this discussion has progressed, I don't hold out hope.
First of all, my defense of the use of the term is only as tinny as your reprimand. I'm fairly certain I know more about misgyny than you do, and I disagree with your assessment in the context and use of the term within the phrase as I've used it. But if you think you can be a better feminist than I am, knock yourself out.
Although I do not recall there being an actual ban on the word. If you could direct me to that particular decision, I would be pleased to read it.
It's not that I don't understand identity politics. It's more that I think there are some serious flaws in the way that it is treated here. I also, philosophically, think that, while there are some points to be made, identity politics overall has some deep flaws. As a long-time member, I've watched the evolution of babble and the way in which identity politics have developed as part of the culture of the site. Telling me that I've never attempted to understand, that I "usually miss", etc, is crossing the line between moderating and getting personal. You are not moderating when you go there, you're patronizing.
I don't think the walk organizers weren't "living side by side" the other groups involved in G20. What I saw here was a lot of hostility and an unwillingness to live and let live from the posters here directed toward the walk people. They were open (even in the article, IIRC) to people coming and sharing their stories. They didn't take the opportunity to discuss here, and I can entirely understand why. There was outrage that they like Starbuck's, ergo they must be all bad - would you jump into that if you were in their shoes?
While we're at this: You accused me up thread of red-baiting. Classic, even. Could you please provide a concrete example of how I did so, in the interest of not treading there again?
Hey, Timebandit. Snert and I were just accused of using frat boy humour in another thread by Catchfire. Welcome to the Club.
My reprimand was soft because I knew you'd get your back up about this and was hoping a gentle request would avoid conflict. We can always dream, eh?
[quote=Timebandit]While we're at this: You accused me up thread of red-baiting. Classic, even. Could you please provide a concrete example of how I did so, in the interest of not treading there again?[/quote]
[quote=Timebandit]Pecking orders and purity tests.[/quote]
[quote=Timebandit]Just so long as you don't have to question your own dogma, eh?[/quote]
These were the same tenor as NS's comments about your "extolling the virtues of capitalism," etc.
ETA: Caissa, you are walking the line. Take a breath.
I'm not aware that I am breaking any Babble policies, Catchfire. With all due respect, I don't think I am the one that needs to take a breath.
Timebandit, I don't think this is getting anywhere. I've asked you to stop your reparté with NS, and you have. Great. If you'd like to return to the Jane's walk, please do. But if you want anything more from me, you'll be disappointed. I've explained myself, and you can either find that explanation satisfactory, or you can't. At any rate, the matter is closed.
Okay, but that's a little thin. I explained the dynamics of deciding to accept being on the defensive, and I supported why that's a form of setting up pecking order. I said nothing about left or right, and actually pecking orders happen on both the left and the right. Centre as well.
As for the purity test: The sense was that, unless they were protesters, they were just wrong. Defending a Starbuck's is wrong. Liking a Starbuck's in his neighborhood defined one of the walk organizers. Can you please explain how that doesn't look like a purity test? Is it impossible to be a good lefty and still indulge in the occasional grande latte?
ETA: I also believe I pointed out that neither behaviour was very socialist. How could that possibly be red-baiting?
Dogma. Would that phrase be okay if I applied it to a poster who was spouting Randian ideals on babble? I'm pretty certain it would be, and I'd be just as likely to. Again, no reference to left or right, simply that NS had a position and would not listen to the other side of the argument - instead, imputing a lot of crap to me that I never said. Consequently, they were not at all in the same tenor as what NS said.
ETA: Red-baiting is defined as to accuse, attack, denounce or persecute as a communist, socialist or anarchist or for sympathy to the same. I didn't do that - I suggested that the posters in question were silencing the other side. I didn't question or diss their convictions in any way, simply their mode of interaction and denouncement of other people.
Now, when I make a claim, I at least make an attempt to back it up with something the other poster has said. I think I've done so here, and that takes this well out of the realm of red-baiting. I think your accusation is baseless and I would like an apology, please.
Again, I've added a definition of red-baiting to my post above. I did not red bait. Your accusation was wrong. I deserve an apology.
It's no more than I'd do if I were wrong.
Honestly, I wouldn't be off topic if you hadn't made a baseless accusation and then refused to acknowledge error. It's okay - even a moderator can screw up occasionally. We won't hold it against you. Might even respect you more.
Yes, I am disappointed. This is pretty goddam sad.
[quote] Liking a Starbuck's in his neighborhood defined one of the walk organizers. Can you please explain how that doesn't look like a purity test? Is it impossible to be a good lefty and still indulge in the occasional grande latte?[/quote]
Stop misrepresenting me, ok? What he said was that he was sitting in his home until he heard that the Starbucks was under attack (those crazy anarchists could have been murdering the workers or something, right?) when he went down and determined that low and behold there was no violence he went back to his home to sit out the rest of the day in, oh i don't know, his armchair.
This isn't about "owning" the narrative. It's about being critical to how the G20 events are presented in media. These guys--who again, seemed to have no connection with the movements that lead up to protests--have decided to present the protests to the MSM and lead a Jane's walk about it. I think that the Jane's walk is a cool idea but like adma pointed out it really depends what stories are presented and the route that the walk takes. So they stop at the Novatel and talk about mass arrests, and they stop at the Starbucks and talk about smashed windows and passing out water bottles. Did they stop at the mining companies who are destroying the planet and displacing Indigenous Peoples and murdering union activists? Did they stop at the RBC and talk about how they are financing the Tar Sands? Did they stop on Bay street and talk about record bank profits while poor people, Indigenous Peoples, and migrants are made to pay for the economic slump that was caused by those bankers? We'll never know because the leaders of the walk have refused to tell us anything about it except that it was better that we weren't there.
I'm not sure that getting to the depth that you'd like to is the intent of a Jane's Walk. They're more about local history and direct experience of a place and its events. Perhaps that's the root of the problem, here - your expectations are very high, almost unattainably so.
ETA: And you hadn't clearly expressed your own thinking until now - you were just very critical of the organizers, who seemed open enough to allowing you and people who share your thinking to come and add their stories.