Rob Ford does the right thing and shows up for the flag-raising for Pride Week. He still needs to resign though. Because he's a glaring incompetent. But for the record, this is what you do. IF you ran for public office and hid the fact that you're a racist or a homophobe or a misogynist and you then find out that, as a representative of the people you're expected to show up at events by and for your despised demographic, you should bite the bullet and overcome your stupid prejudices and play along. Because it's your fucking job. I understand why some people at the flag-raising might wanted to have started jeering Ford (his "surprise" arrival was no doubt calculated for maximum political effect) but it is more important that he be encouraged for working to improve himself. (And, again, he should then resign for being totally incompetent.)
Thomas Walkom has a brain fart in responding to the G20. He not only trashes the Black Bloc and the dorks who took the bait and set the police cars on fire, he trashes the protesters themselves:
But what McNeilly had no mandate to discuss — and therefore didn’t — were the proverbial elephants in the room.Now, I've spoken well of Thomas Walkom for years. So I don't think this is a case of my only noticing when he does something wrong. But he really did do something wrong here.
First, why did Prime Minister Stephen Harper insist on holding, in the downtown of Canada’s largest city, an event almost sure to attract violence?
Second, what exactly were the protesters protesting?
That there would be trouble at the G20 was a given. Demonstrators have dogged international gatherings since 1999. Almost all have involved some degree of violence.
But another group bears some responsibility for what eventually happened: the protesters themselves.
Don’t get me wrong. Anyone has the right to protest anything. But I never could figure out what most demonstrators had against the G20.
Unlike, say the World Trade Organization or the Summit of the Americas, the G20 was not pushing globalization. Indeed, it was attempting to remedy those excesses of globalization that had caused the financial crisis of 2008-09.
And unlike the G8, which is an exclusive rich nations’ club, the G20 includes a broader range of countries — from South Africa to Brazil.
It’s not clear that the left-leaning government of Brazil, for instance, is trying to promote a soul-destroying corporate agenda.
Yet none of this seemed to matter. Demonstrators used the same old chants even when they didn’t fit the facts.
In the end, it was like a rote exercise: the protesters protested; the vandals vandalized; the police went nuts.
"I don't even know what they're protesting!" is one of the most brain-dead, cliched responses to these demonstrations. Here's some advice: Read their signs! Right off the top of my head I remember that there were protests against the imposition of austerity in response to the economic-financial crisis. There were protests against the Tar Sands and the Enbridge Pipeline. (Hopefully to embarrass harper in front of his guests.) There were protests calling for accountability for the financial crisis. And, if Walkom honestly thinks that Brazil is incapable of acceding to some aspects of the neo-liberal agenda then he's a far less sophisticated observer of world politics than I give him credit for. But, as I said, I think it was just a brain fart.
Neo-liberal stooge Jean Charest has introduced his own version of the Enabling Act of 1933 in response to the continued student protests. I'll say it again: I fully support the Quebec students who are protesting this increase in tuitions. Good for them for having tuitions half as expensive as anywhere else in Canada and for fighting to keep it. Our federal and provincial governments have given up tens of billions of dollars over the years in tax revenues, ostensibly to promote economic growth. This growth hasn't materialized. In fact, if you'll remember, we're mired in the economic doldrums resulting from the greatest financial crisis the world has ever seen as a result of this deregulation and financialization. "Go Fuck Yourself" is a more than adequate policy response to these shit-heads and their chump enablers.