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Queer Kiss-In #g20report: Podcast #3

by G20 Alternative Media Centre

Welcome to the third installation of the G20 report for Jun 23rd 2010. The G20 Report is your daily rundown of news about the G8 and G20 summits in Toronto and Huntsville straight from the streets of Toronto produced by the Alternative Media Centre.

In today’s report: Queering the G20, building stronger anti-mining coalitions, and a look at actions to come.

Tuesday marked the second day of themed resistance to the G20. It was highlighted by the Queering the G20 Kiss-In, organised by queer activists and allies. Amy Miller reports.

People are coming to Toronto from across Canada to express their outrage and solidarity against the closed door summits and the security lock-down of the city. One of these groups is the Feminist League for Agitation Propaganda. It began in Halifax as a women and trans space for organising against the G8 development ministers on April 26th and as a response to what many saw as an anti-capitalist movement too heavily dominated by men.

Kayleigh McSwain and Kaley Kennedy are two of the FLAP activists who joined in the Queering the G20 actions. McSwain explains to us why they came to Toronto, and Kennedy the message they brought to the march.

While a completely peaceful demonstration, there were reports of one incident of arrest and police brutality. According to observers, one man was pinned to the ground and beaten by several officers as he was cuffed. He was repeatedly kneed in the back while officers smashed his face against the ground as police formed a bike chain around him, trying to block the view of the beating from media and march participants, before Hauling him into Queen subway station. Organisers reported that the man was held for six hours and initially charged with possession of a weapon. All charges were dropped when the weapon turned out to be a clear plastic water bottle. Police were unavailable to confirm the incident.

Mining activists from Montreal and Toronto also gathered on Tuesday to discuss how to continue to strengthen the movement against extractive industries in Canada and abroad. Recognizing that extractive industries are a key part of the Canadian economy, and that the actions of these companies at home and abroad often feed social conflict and lead to displacement and environmental destruction, they issued a call for a continent wide solidarity against increasing mining activities in Latin America. They will be organizing together towards an international day against open pit mining on July 22 2010.

Many of the participants of that forum will be found on the streets of Toronto today for the latest themed day of action, this time focusing on environmental and climate justice. Cameron Fenton explains how the Toxic Tour of Toronto came about.

The tour will be followed tonight by a People’s Assembly on Climate justice at 7pm. The forum takes place at room SCC115 at the Ryerson Student Campus Centre, 55 Gould St.

The Toronto Community Mobilisation Network will also be holding its last fundraiser of the week. The Go Fly A Kite dance party is taking place at The Boat (158 Augusta avenue). Along with dancing, people will be making kites: Kite flying is an act of resistance in Toronto these days. It has been banned along with other high flying activities like hang gliding, parasailing and launching rockets.

The G20 report is produced by campus community radio and independent journalists at the Alternative Media Centre dedicated to covering the G8 & G20 summits. For daily podcasts visit http://news.ckdu.ca; for late breaking round-the-clock coverage, visit http://2010.mediacoop.ca.

 

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Topics: Solidarity

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Comments

Biased Coverage of Queer Rally

RE: Coverage of Queer Rally: Open Letter for Broadcast News Reporters

Open Letter to the  Broadcast Media,

Just a note to say how unprofessional and biased your coverage was last night of the Queer Rally. All of the networks featured footage of a lone protester, who was not even a participant of the rally, being handcuffed and lead away, rather than covering the message of the Queer Protest rally itself. By the way, the charges were dropped on that protester as he was carrying a clear water bottle, not a weapon- and the police pummelled him to the ground unnecessarily, hitting his head twice on the cement.

Were we at the same rally? The rally I attended was joyous, clever, and addressed issues of the freedom of speech, health access for all, the distaste for privatization of civil society, and gender discrimination in a series of very funny street theatre sketches with cheerleaders, PM Harper with high heels, and kissing penguins.

Please- stop looking for the negative, and supporting the police state- and cover the messages in the rallies themselves. We deserved better and intelligent coverage, and we got a strange form of censorship and discrimination from those who should know better as you are being denied access to information by the PM's office as well, and I predict, will be even further during the Summits.

And yes, the rally was several hundred people, not 'small' by any other standard than Toronto, because only courageous people are coming out due to the excessive police presence.

Please be more considered and just with your future coverage of other rallies- we have a lot to say, and the right to say it.

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