Tuesday, June 29, 2010

disappearing


direct link to 1min recording: disappearing

disappear
into a world
of disappearing forms
where figures
refract,
thick viscous glass
melted sand granules

falling into dream

__
Brenda Clews' poetry, voice and mix. Background music, a section from: "Trio for Flute, Cymbals, and Glass" by Matt Samolis - http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/49419


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Monday, June 28, 2010

Amnesty Internation calls for security review of G8/20 Summit

Amnesty International calls for security review of G8/20 Summit"In a statement today (June 27), the organization expressed "very deep concern" that human rights have "suffered considerably" during the protests in Toronto.
"According to Amnesty, the heavy police presence in the city—as well as acts of vandalism and violence by some protesters—has helped to create an atmosphere of fear that has kept many people from participating in peaceful demonstrations.

"At a time when the public should be encouraged to actively engage in debate and discussion about pressing global issues, the security measures that were put in place in Toronto in the lead up to the G20 Summit held in the city instead narrowed the space for civic expression and cast a chill over citizen participation in public discourse," the organization stated."

  

Yes, I agree with Amnesty International's questions, reasoning and approach. But would say it's our leadership, our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper himself, who promoted a full-fledged police state for the G8 and G20 Summit meetings. And it is a very dangerous precedent.

I repeat, a very dangerous precedent.

This man must be voted out of office. Don't be wooed by so-called achievements of the Summit meetings - look at he was doing in the back room, to his own citizens, to Toronto, and, by extension, to the country.

We don't mean much to this leader of ours, and if we're troublesome, why he has 20,000 now trained  riot cops at his disposal. Certainly enough of a corps to terrorize a peaceful country.

What if some of those 'perpetrators' of violence in the march were linked to the upper echelon of the Federal government? How do we know in what ways we, the Canadian public, might be manipulated to think certain factions (like the hooded, masked Black bloc mob) are dangerous trouble-makers. I'm not saying groups like the Black bloc mob are not dangerous, but do their antics (only vandalism) justify the operation of a 'police state'?

When I think of Jean Chretien, whose incredible leadership we are still benefiting from in terms of the surplus he left that cushioned this country through the recent recession, and ask, would Chretien have brought out the riot cops in full force with a $2 million budget for security if we hosted the G8 and G20 Summits?

No. Chretien, whatever else he was, was for this country. Chretien's loyalty was to the people of this country. Harper's loyalty, if he has any other than to his ambitions, is to big business, those who bank roll his power. Harper, and I say this with sadness after witnessing the last few days of violence and terror in Toronto, is definitely an heir of Mulroney, only more dangerous because smarter.

And it leaves me wondering what Harper might have acquiesced to to justify the enormous expenditure for what is clearly, after all, a police state in Toronto, if only for a week or so.

Riot police aggressively arrested peaceful protesters at Eastern Avenue yesterday. Since when is the right to dissent a violation of the law? And whose "public peace" were the quiet demonstrators disturbing? Residents in the area said they hadn't know there was a protest until the noise of the police motorcycles alerted them, and the noise the police made definitely disturbed 'public peace.'

A taste of an authoritarian police state to prepare us for what?

Out of taxpayers money rather easily gotten, Harper now has a fully trained and armed select corps of officers.

After all the money spent on this show of force, are these trained men and all their expensive equipment meant to languish? To disappear back into the sleepy Canadian milieu?

This weekend saw armoured tanks in Toronto. Isn't this an over-response to some burned police cars and broken store windows? I remind readers of this article, there was no real run on the fence surrounding the Summit, and certainly no concerted terrorist effort to threaten the world leaders gathered here.

Our right as citizens in a democratic state to dissent, to protest public policy, to offer alternative views and opinions, to gather together in numbers from a few to a march of 10,000 to publicize our protests was undermined by police tactics.

When I say dangerous precedent for Canadian society, I mean dangerous precedent. We might ask in what scenarios Harper's group might consider using this armed force again. And how soon?


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Sunday, June 27, 2010

A clip from the G20 Protest Rally in Toronto on June 26th


Direct link to Facebook, where I'm hosting this clip: G20 Protest March, Toronto, June 26th
I've made it accessible to everyone.


A clip from some video I took during the march, near the American Consulate on University Avenue. You can see the police have blocked it off to the public (it's on the right in the footage) and the march continues on the other side of the street south.

Yes, that worried and caring police officer was for real. And I took his advice, slipping out through the back streets, re-joining the crowd of protesters later and then avoiding a few spots of conflagration by slipping into walkways and back paths (I lived in the area for 20 years, old stomping grounds) before making my way home.

More violence ensued as the Black Bloc mob hit the streets, igniting a flare to distract (I passed that corner, missing it by minutes), burning police cars, smashing windows of banks and stores.

At the time of writing, it is close to midnight. Where I live in the city it is quiet, except for the constant drone of police helicopters.

All of the G20 leaders are in Toronto, having met earlier. They are safe, I dearly hope. Riots and violence continue through the night at various spots according to the papers.

Most of all, we Torontonians had wished for a peaceful demonstration of our solidarity. A peaceful march would have shown Harper's huge expenditure on security to be a colossal waste of taxpayers money. Out of the 10,000 who marched, the police estimate there were 100 or so troublemakers. They have caused a lot of damage.

Incidents of undue police violence have also been reported.

I don't know what the thrust towards violence is, but it's on both sides. Sadly.

The rally was great. Many people came, even in pouring rain. Our march was strong, caring, determined, and peaceful. Please remember that we were the majority.


a few stills from the video



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Friday, June 25, 2010

If I Could Write


direct link: If I Could Write


for JP

What would I write if I
                         could
                  write?

I reach over continents
                               and
                                       oceans
into the Parthenon
to find you pressing
the shutter on your camera,
the photograph
you sent.

Or ordered chaos,
                          but this is my life.

A leaf swollen with rain.
Sleeping in a hammock
in a barge with hundreds of others
on the Amazon River in Brazil.
Sun shining on metal.
How sentences
                                     fold 
                         in on each other
like white rose petals.

Days pass endless
waves in the lake.

I found her,
a spirit in the forest of the lake
in the Canadian terrain
where I fast for days.
She broke the spell.
Unexpectedly,
in the silvery leaves of the
maples standing in water.

Abandon logic for metaphor.

Speak in the tongues
                                     of the poet.
I burn the fire
on your eyelids
in my soul.

Those Ionic columns in the heat
of your Grecian photograph.

                         Mirrors
to hide behind.
My polished earrings,
necklace of reflective stones,
shirt sewn with tiny mirrors.
See yourself seeing me.

Clouds that form
a grammar of understanding
of the sky.

The wine
that sweetens your lips.
The dazzle of a sunset
the colour of
oranges.


__
Piano solo accompaniment: Roger Stéphane, 'Lointain,' from his album, Picasso, on Jamendo.

Response to Big Tent Poetry's prompt (where other entries are linked in the comments).

The recording, for some reason, took unexpected hours, and yet I feel strange including it and hope it adds to your reading of the prosepoem.



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