port-hope.netia.ca http://port-hope.netia.ca en-US http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss socportals@mediacolo.com The Dance Floor At Pride Is Essential To Revolution. So Is Defunding The Police. As told to HuffPost associate editor Connor GarelIt was the first time I ever thought to myself, Oh, there’s a place for me. I was 22, and it was the summer of 1999, or 2000, and I was walking around the Pride festival in Toronto without seeing too much diversity, without seeing too many Black people. Then, suddenly, I stumbled upon Blockorama. Out of nowhere, I found myself in this sea of Black queer and trans people, hundreds who had gathered and set up DJs in this parking lot in the Village, filling it out. It was beautiful. There was music, and there was dancing, and I remember feeling — maybe for the first time, though I’d been out since I was 14 — truly at home. Watch: Meet Syrus Marcus Ware, whose art brings visibility to Canadian activists. The dance floor is essential to revolutionAs an artist and an activist, I’ve learned how important the dance floor is for queer people. I’ve been organizing with Blockorama for 17 years now. These spaces are essential to the revolution. We’ve met our lovers in these spaces. We’ve met activists in these spaces. We’ve become politicized in these spaces. When we spilled out at night into the alleys around Club Manhattan, in the late 1990s, we were creating community. When AYA and Zami — social support groups for Black queer folk — would go out together to the bars on Church street to try to confront some of the anti-Blackness, to go and to take up space, they were creating spaces of activism. These are political sites — clubs and parties.Pride began as a protest. It’s still a protest.Pride is one of those spaces, too. Parties like Blockorama end up becoming these homecomings. They end up becoming the basis for us to find community — to be connected with other people, to see ourselves reflected, to be celebrated, to be in a Black-affirming space. And, for some people, this is the only time of year they get to do that. It’s home. It’s safety. It’s a nourishing space. It’s a space of survival. It keeps the movement going.Pride began as a protest. It’s still a protest. Fifty years later, the revolution is still happeningI think it’s very telling that, right at the beginning of Pride month, which is a month meant to commemorate the organizing efforts of Black trans women fighting police brutality in the late 1960s, we’re witnessing the exact same protests, 50 years later.Right now, we’re seeing the Black Lives Matter movement, which is largely led by Black queer and trans people — including me — rising up against police brutality and saying, “We will not take this anymore.” I think it’s important to remember that it was just a few years ago when Black Lives Matter Toronto stopped the Pride parade for 30 minutes — in part, to demand the removal of uniformed police from the parade — and we were heavily criticized by so many white queer people for doing that. They supported having police there.  Now, it’s interesting to see all of the calls to defund the police come from even the most unlikely sources. This was the message we had in 2016. And it seems the rest of the world has finally caught up.  What we were looking for in that moment, in that 30 minutes, was solidarity. Pride, particularly in Toronto, started directly as a response to police brutality in the bathhouse raids of 1981, and that specific violence would have destroyed spaces where our communities gathered intentionally. Police didn’t just raid bathhouses during Operation Soap. They destroyed them. They took sledgehammers to them. They purposely tried to destroy places where we gathered. And what we were saying when we stopped the parade was that this police violence is still happening. Maybe it’s being done now to a different part of the same community — Black queer and trans folks specifically — but it’s still happening, and we want support. That’s what we were asking for.What we’re seeing now is people realizing what the police force truly is. Every day, on national television, police are showing themselves to be what they are: a brutal, violent force that is decidedly anti-Black and white supremacist. And so we have to think about Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major, and all of the queer trans women of colour who stood up against police brutality, and whose efforts gave us many of the freedoms we have now. They did that because they had nothing left to lose. And so how dare we ignore or erase their legacy. Reform is not a solution. We’ve tried reforms. We’ve tried countless things to make the police presence safer, to make them less racist, to fix the system. But the system isn’t broken. It was built this way. This is what the police were designed to do. They’re just carrying out the actions of the state. They were intended to be on the streets, brutalizing our communities. No amount of money, or training, or body cameras, or a Black police chief will stop the killings of Black and Indigenous people. This is not about reform; this is about abolition. We need to continue the work of those who made Pride possible until the project is done.Pride might be online, but that doesn’t change its urgencyPride is happening online this year. And one of the things I’ll miss, about Blockorama specifically, is the crowd — how you can’t walk two feet without seeing someone you haven’t seen in a year, and you have this sudden moment to reunite. It’s hard to replicate that energy online: the shoulder-to-shoulder jostling, thousands dancing and getting free, the feeling of being in close quarters, the possibilities.Some things will be missed. I’m sure we’re all going to come out of this whole thing with a real yearning and a desire for human contact. But there are other things we’re gaining from this moment.One of the biggest challenges with Pride has always been accessibility, and having it online immediately makes the festival more accessible for disabled people. So there are going to be people who are coming to Pride this year who may never have been able to go before. And with these online dance parties, all of the stresses and pressures of getting ready and going out are lost. You can be cooking, or cleaning, and be participating at the same time. It’s a way to bring your life into the community, and your community into your life, in a more intimate way. We get to see a little bit of people’s homes, and to spend time with them there. Having a space where you can come and just be is still important, even online, and especially for those quarantining with homophobic relatives who don’t understand who they are, or trans people who are being deadnamed by their families. Not everybody is in a safe or supportive environment where they’re quarantining. Pride being online this year doesn’t make it any less important. We can still use online gathering as a space for activism. We can pick up the causes people are fighting for — like prisoner support funds, or fundraising efforts for Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s family — and use these online dance parties to find out when the next march is, how people are getting involved in their communities, and what we can do to help. You can have whole conversations with people you otherwise never would have engaged with.   Pride, an irresistible revolutionI’ve been working in organizing for about 25 years, and I’ve had a professional art practice for just as long. I’ve always been guided by this Toni Cade Bambara quote: “The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.” That’s what I want to do. I want to make the idea of revolution irresistible.  We are living in a world that just isn’t working for so many of us. We could live in something that is so much more beautiful, where we could actually have our freedoms, where we could have actual safety and security, where we could have everything that we needed to survive and to thrive. I believe that’s possible. Black Lives Matter Toronto says they want to see 50% of the Toronto Police’s $1.1 billion dollar budget redirected to Black, Indigenous, racialized, impoverished and other targeted communities.Here is @syrusmarcusware of @BLM_TO sharing some of their demands: pic.twitter.com/7LU71bAvWS— Tashauna Reid (@CBCTashauna) June 19, 2020I need my daughter to grow up in a world where trans people’s lives are celebrated and supported. We rarely see trans people live to be elders, since we’re so often killed because of transphobic violence. I want an end to that. Pride is, and always will be, a time to make the revolution irresistible — to call for greater activism, to create more safety in our communities — as much as it’s a space to celebrate the fact that we’ve survived another year and that we’re here together: that we’re here, we’re queer, we’re trans, and we’re not going anywhere. That we’re taking up space, because these communities belong to us, too. Have a personal story you’d like to share on HuffPost Canada? You can find more information here on how to pitch and contact us. RELATED Nightclubs Have Closed, But A Hot New Queer Party Is Happening Online Defunding The Police Will Save Black And Indigenous Lives In Canada I Want Black People To Fill Their Lungs In A World Intent On Stealing Our Breath Defunding Vs. Abolishing The Police: What’s The Difference? http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/925254-dance-floor-pride-essential-revolution-so-defunding-police Tue, 23 2020 14:28:16 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/925254-dance-floor-pride-essential-revolution-so-defunding-police Port Stanley, Elgin County, Ont., beaches officially open: ‘I think everyone is very excited’ Monday marked the opening of all the beaches in Elgin County after Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced all beaches and restaurants with outdoor patios would be able to as part of Phase 2 of the province's reopening plan. http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/925011-port-stanley-elgin-county-ont-beaches-officially-open-i-thin Mon, 22 2020 22:11:37 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/925011-port-stanley-elgin-county-ont-beaches-officially-open-i-thin Toronto cop part of organized crime group involved in vicious tow truck wars, chief says A corrupt Toronto police officer was part of a criminal organization that used stolen encrypted police radios to unfairly profit in southern Ontario’s lucrative and dangerous tow truck wars, police said Monday. Eleven people were arrested in the anti-corruption and organized crime probe, including a police constable and seven tow truck drivers. The constable was so entrenched in a towing cartel he not only profited by sharing police equipment and information, he also owned a car rental service and two tow trucks being operated by members of the group, police alleged. A police radio decrypts private communications between officers, allowing users to listen in. A consortium of tow truck drivers could then be the first to learn of traffic collisions and arrive at the scene to solicit towing business and other services, police said. Several tow truck employees from three different towing companies had access to three stolen Toronto police radios, at least one of which was stolen from police by a police officer, Supt. Domenic Sinopoli alleged. Three radios were recovered — one of which went missing in February 2018, suggesting the scheme may have operated for more than two years. Highlighting the organization of the towing consortium, collision information from the radios was distributed using an internet app to other tow drivers who paid a monthly subscription fee. “The industry is rife with corruption,” Sinopoli said. Toronto police’s Professional Standards Unit, which internally monitors the ethics and integrity of its members, started investigating theft of police radios last August. “As the investigation took on some life, the corruption revealed itself,” said Sinopoli. “What we learned was a consortium of tow trucks were in possession of stolen police radios and were utilizing the encrypted transmissions to facilitate their business interests.” The arrested officer, Const. Ronald Joseph, 47, of Toronto, who has been with Toronto police for 11 years, allegedly helped members of the consortium get a genuine police radio, which was then cloned and the cloned version checked back in with police. “He used his position to steal and transfer a police radio that would give advantage to the group with respect to the ability to intercept police communication, attend more accidents or perhaps evade police detection,” Sinopoli alleged. Joseph is also accused of being paid for telling the group of accident locations as well as profiting from tows and rentals from his own business interests. “The officer would receive monetary compensation for the tow trucks, he would receive kickbacks for the tips he provided and he would receive referrals to his car rental agency,” said Sinopoli. Toronto police knew Joseph owned a car rental service but were unaware of his ownership of tow trucks, he said. The scheme started to unravel in May, when officers stopped a tow truck driver on Highway 400. The officers found a genuine Toronto police radio in the tow truck, Sinopoli said. The driver, Kevin Lima, 27, of Barrie, Ont., was charged with dangerous driving and released at the scene. Police discovered the radio had the same identification as a radio at 22 Division. When officers examined the radio still being used by police officers, it was found to be a clone, meaning a replica that looks and acts like the real thing. A few weeks later, police searched several homes in Toronto, Barrie and Brampton and found a second Toronto police radio, reported lost or stolen from 14 Division. Also found were numerous other radios that appear to be from other organizations, possibly police agencies, and parts used for cloning radios, police said. Sinopoli said organizations will need to come in and try to identify their radios. Then, on June 9, three tow truck drivers arrived at the Costco parking lot near the busy highway intersection of Highway 401 and Allen Rd. Police found a third Toronto police radio and a loaded 9mm handgun, Sinopoli said. All three were arrested. Lima was one of them, along with Jacob Villeneuve Portela, 21, of Toronto, and Giuseppe Carfora, 27, of Guelph. More police searches came on Thursday, at five homes and seven businesses in southern and northern Ontario. Along with the 11 arrests police seized six tow trucks, a loaded handgun and $35,000 cash, police said. Joseph worked in 22 Division, in the city’s west-end, that includes a stretch of the busy Gardiner Expressway. Sinopoli said Joseph’s link to the group appears to be through a business relationship with Lima. He said he was uncertain how their relation was first built. Joseph was first arrested earlier this month as part of the probe and charged with breach of trust and theft. He was arrested again on Thursday and charged with gangsterism — specifically participating in the activities of a criminal organization and commission of an offence for a criminal organization. He also faces charges of taking secret commissions, attempt fraud, breach of trust, possession of device to intercept private communications, trafficking property obtained by crime, counseling forgery and counseling breach of trust. He is suspended with pay pending the outcome of court proceedings. Sinopoli said the alleged organized crime group was the towing consortium itself, rather than a previously known group such as a gang, biker club or Mafia clan. Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said the towing industry needs attention. “We’ll do everything we can, especially internally, to see what gaps may exist within our organization and tighten up on those,” Saunders said. “It’s not just up to the Toronto Police Service. I think what we need to have is a multi-layered approach involving different layers of government and also looking at the regulatory processes that exist.” Lima faces the same gangsterism charges as Joseph, as well as of intercepting private communications, interception of radio-based communications, possession of property obtained by crime, possession of a device to intercept private communications, trafficking in property obtained by crime. Also facing gangsterism and various other charges are: Francisco Mike Portela, 41, of Toronto; Mark Wolfe, 50, of Toronto; Leonardo Ciulla, 21, of Mississauga; Hernani Capela, 32, of Vaughan; Michael Carreiro, 28, of Mississauga; and Francesco Caruso, 49, of Toronto. Charged but not facing organized crime charges is Tyson Plourde, 39, of Brampton. They have a court appearance scheduled for Sept. 4. • Email: ahumphreys@postmedia.com | Twitter: AD_Humphreys http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/924957-toronto-cop-part-organized-crime-group-involved-vicious-tow Mon, 22 2020 19:29:35 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/924957-toronto-cop-part-organized-crime-group-involved-vicious-tow Coronavirus: Lethbridge Pride Fest celebrates 12th year while adapting to changes After record-breaking attendance at last year's Pride parade, the Lethbridge festival is happy with growing its attendance this year. http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/924664-coronavirus-lethbridge-pride-fest-celebrates-12th-year-while Sun, 21 2020 21:21:08 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/924664-coronavirus-lethbridge-pride-fest-celebrates-12th-year-while Alberta and B.C. have reported hundreds of #039;excess deaths#039; that weren#039;t linked to COVID-19 Above-average levels of deaths have been reported in Alberta and B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic, including hundreds of deaths that have not been linked to the novel coronavirus. http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/924578-alberta-and-bc-have-reported-hundreds-039excess-deaths039-we Sun, 21 2020 17:12:36 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/924578-alberta-and-bc-have-reported-hundreds-039excess-deaths039-we Pandemic fears may have led N.S. gunman to withdraw hundreds of thousands of dollars prior to massacre, RCMP say Mounties are pushing back on a media report that suggested Gabriel Wortman’s massive cash withdrawal in late March may have been related to undercover work as a police informant or agent. http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/924503-pandemic-fears-may-have-led-ns-gunman-withdraw-hundreds-thou Sun, 21 2020 13:37:58 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/924503-pandemic-fears-may-have-led-ns-gunman-withdraw-hundreds-thou Invasive gypsy moth has Port Franks residents and Lambton Shores mayor at odds 'Not only is this ecosystem a national treasure, it is globally rare and we have a responsibility to ensure its survival,' says a Port Franks resident about the gypsy moth infestation. http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/923886-invasive-gypsy-moth-has-port-franks-residents-and-lambton-sh Fri, 19 2020 16:03:36 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/923886-invasive-gypsy-moth-has-port-franks-residents-and-lambton-sh Ban on Huawei would have #039;limited#039; consequences for Canada, says former spy chief OTTAWA – A former chief of Canada’s spy agency thinks China could only inflict “limited” harm to the nation and its Five Eye allies if Huawei was banned from their 5G networks. “Let me say something from Canada’ perspective (…) I would argue that the amount of harm that China can do to any one of our countries is in fact limited. Would there be short-term pain? Would there be perhaps serious pain for a little while? It is nothing like the kind of pain that might be felt by Vietnam or Malaysia or some countries in that part of the world,” Richard Fadden said Monday during a webinar titled “All Five Eyes on 5G”. By “our countries”, the former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was referring to members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance: Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. “Everybody sort of reacts and said, ‘China’s there, they’re so important, we can’t antagonize them.’ I would argue that our countries would not be materially hurt in the medium to long term if we said no to Huawei,” added the former national security advisor to prime ministers Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau. Two experts from the U.S. quickly agreed with his assessment. “There are a lot of impressions of China as this 10 foot economic giant. But if you look at the actual numbers, the amount of reliance on China for trade is relatively small,” said Martin Rjasser, a former senior intelligence officer at the CIA. Fadden and Rjasser were two of five cybersecurity experts representing four of the intelligence allies (an expert from the U.K. was absent) during the webinar organized by the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. The topic of the day: what will happen to the Five Eyes alliance if any of the members don’t ban Huawei from their national 5G network like the U.S.? NP View: As Ottawa dithers, Canada's major cellular providers shun Huawei Canada’s military wants Trudeau to ban Huawei from 5G networks: report Canadian governments give Huawei millions in funding while debate rages over its 5G role Canada still hasn’t decided if it will allow Huawei to bid on the construction of critical 5G infrastructures. Then last week, the U.S. said it would reassess its intelligence sharing with Canada if the Trudeau government allowed Huawei into 5G. In an interview with the National Post on Tuesday, Fadden said “its time for the government to take a decision”, and that decision should be to ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G. Fadden also argued that it was time that Canada actually studied the potential impact and costs of a diplomatic and economic retaliation by China if Huawei is barred from the nation’s 5G network. “We should make a really careful review and not only rely on the research that characterizes China as a phenomenal market,” Fadden said. But why is Huawei’s potential involvement in our country’s 5G wireless network such a hot topic anyway? That’s because 5G promises to be a technological game-changer thanks to much faster connection speeds and greater bandwidth, which will permit new or expanded use of digital technology in business and recreation. With so much private and/or secret information travelling along Canada’s future 5G networks, cybersecurity will be more vital than ever. Many experts are concerned that involving Huawei in building Canada’s 5G network would open back-door vulnerabilities exploitable by the Chinese government, described in 2018 as “one of the biggest threats facing our countries” by CSIS’s current director, David Vigneault. “Huawei is a Chinese company in the sense that it’s not state owned, but it’s operating in a sector considered strategic by the Chinese state and it’s clearly subject to direction by the Chinese state,” Fadden said during Monday’s webinar. If Canada and other Five Eyes allies were to follow in the steps of the U.S. and outright banned Huawei from participating in the building of its 5G network, Fadden thinks they would lose “some” trade opportunities in China. Fadden also said any Chinese retaliation could involve reducing the number of overseas Chinese students. But also, “we would have fewer (Chinese) students, which I personally think would not be a bad thing since there are arguably too many in some of our countries. But I think that’s an issue that we don’t talk about enough,” the former CSIS director added. During an interview Tuesday, he said Canada was one of those countries. “There a some views that some universities have become overly dependant on students from one country (…) I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing for us to simply accept a student on the basis that they have money,” he said. In an interview Tuesday, Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada’s ambassador to China between 2012 and 2016, said Fadden is right on all points. St-Jacques also told the National Post that his opinion on Huawei has changed considerably over the past weeks. Whereas he used to believe that there was a way to involve Huawei in Canada’s 5G network safely, he now firmly believes the Chinese company should be barred from the project. “Seeing how China has manipulated data about COVID-19, seeing how China has reacted towards countries that act in ways it doesn’t appreciate, and knowing how crucial 5G will be to economies in the future, it’s clear that involving Huawei would create a vulnerability” for Canada, Saint-Jacques explained. “The trust with China is gone,” he concluded. • Email: cnardi@postmedia.com | Twitter: ChrisGNardi http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/922662-ban-huawei-would-have-039limited039-consequences-canada-says Wed, 10 2020 11:00:37 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/922662-ban-huawei-would-have-039limited039-consequences-canada-says Conspiracy theorists have a new global supervillain — Dr. Anthony Fauci In the eyes of many ordinary, if unusually skeptical Americans, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a sort of real-life Ozymandias, the nefarious criminal mastermind in Alan Moore’s graphic novel Watchmen . Ozymandias is the architect of a scheme in which a biologically engineered creature the size of a small skyscraper is teleported into the middle of Manhattan, killing millions and persuading the United States and the Soviet Union, at the height of the Cold War, to unite against what appears to be an alien invasion. Manufacturing a cataclysm to entrain a New World Order — the internet’s vocal conspiracy theories love this brand of supervillain. As they see it, Dr. Fauci is no scientist. He is a bad guy of unimaginable power and influence, and the author of our current state of affairs. Fauci, who had been absent from centre stage for a spell, surfaced on Tuesday when he spoke at the BIO International Convention . He described COVID-19 as “his worst nightmare,” a harrowing disease that “took over the planet” and “devastated the world.” 'My worst nightmare': Dr. Anthony Fauci says coronavirus outbreak will not end until vaccine found Dr. Fauci and the coronavirus task force disappear as Trump goes all-in on reopening 'I'm a scientist': Anthony Fauci rebuffs Rand Paul after senator questions pandemic decisions But rather than heed these words as fearsome warnings, the public has tended overwhelmingly to reject them, in no mild terms. Simply plug “Fauci” into Twitter, and you will find incredulous disdain: he is a liar, a phoney, a plant. He’s been wrong about the scale and severity of the coronavirus before, and therefore cannot be trusted; he’s drumming up needless alarmism deliberately, to deter people from protesting or to thwart U.S. President Donald Trump’s otherwise soaring approval rating. He’s been in hiding; he’s been suppressed. Fauci’s a fearmonger. Fauci’s a fraud. The accusations are rampant — and mad. The most extreme of these accusations have the lunatic zeal of fantasy, an inventiveness and complexity that read like science fiction. Fauci, these awakened skeptics believe, fabricated COVID as a means to annihilate the American economy and pave the way for China to supplant the U.S. as the leading global superpower. He’s been working in league with Bill Gates, an avowed covert war criminal, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, the official Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx, the Clinton family, Barack Obama, George Soros, and according to one helpful infographic , Bono. Nor does this enterprise stop with COVID. The demonstrations mounted across the United States in the wake of the killing of George Floyd are not actually real protests against racism and police brutality. They’re part of the grand design — and Fauci is behind them. U.S. President Donald Trump, of course, is envisioned in many of these scenarios as being brutally victimized by Fauci and his cabal of malefactors. But Fauci conspiracies do sometimes cross party lines. Theorists on the left have proposed that Fauci has been muzzled by the establishment, forcefully sidelined to prevent him from continuing to humiliate the president; others have argued that Fauci is surfacing now with dire warnings in order to dissuade protesters from going out and continuing to congregate — that he’s a mouthpiece of the Trump administration doing his bidding to curb these burgeoning movements. This widespread spread of conspiratorial intrigue is suggestive of how intensely our trust in authority has been eroded over the last several months. It’s not enough for many people to simply defer to medical experts, or to trust the evidence presented about the spread of an infectious disease. The doubt has mutated into something else. Sheer disbelief. http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/922658-conspiracy-theorists-have-new-global-supervillain-dr-anthony Wed, 10 2020 21:30:19 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/922658-conspiracy-theorists-have-new-global-supervillain-dr-anthony Canadians on Pride in the pandemic: What ‘began as a protest continues to be a protest’ "While we might be missing the parade and the parties, there is a way in which the current protests around the world against police violence have a lot to do with what pride stands for," one expert said. http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/921455-canadians-pride-pandemic-what-began-protest-continues-be-pro Sat, 13 2020 13:00:41 GMT http://port-hope.netia.ca/news/921455-canadians-pride-pandemic-what-began-protest-continues-be-pro