True extent of cops' actions
i am the father of the child who was taken into custody by Toronto police during the Gatekeeper Squat action. Unfortunately, Mike Smith's report (NOW, November 27-December 3) omits a substantial and crucial part of what my son Saoirse and I were subjected to on that day, leaving the reader with an incomplete and even erroneous view of the extent of police actions. Despite providing identification that confirmed I was Saoirse's father, an officer told me that the only way I would ever get my son back was to get into a police car. When I got into the car to receive my son, however, we were driven from the scene without ever being told where we were being taken or why we were being held. Finally, we arrived at 51 Division, where child services was prepared to process us. Clearly, the police were intent on forcing us into a meeting with child services.
Contrary to what Smith writes, the police did not "decide" to let us go. I simply took a gamble and, citing the fact that I had not been charged with anything, walked away (hoping but not at all certain) that the police would not pursue us. It is on this basis that we are currently pursuing legal action against the force.
Jeff Shantz, Toronto
Kids as political pawns
re mike smith's on guard for Whom? Parents who take their children to political protests run by OCAP, a group that is infamous for its activist behaviour, are unfit parents. OCAP despises all those who don't agree with their anarchist, anti-police opinions. They don't just show their displeasure with words, but with their violent actions. Using children as political pawns is bad enough. Forcing them to participate in potentially violent protests where they are clearly in danger is disgusting and inexcusable. Monica Howard, Toronto
Trailer-park Nazi trash
i'd like to thank now magazine for printing Honey-Glazed Racism (NOW, November 27-December 3). Not only did Mr. Kheraj encounter the trailer-park Nazi trash customers, but what about this establishment's manager, who clearly heard the slur and still asked him to leave, using the 20-minute-maximum rule as his lame excuse?
Didn't Mr. Kheraj purchase a lunch and later buy a hot chocolate? It's so comforting to know that we still have strong public backing to keep racism alive and kicking in Canada.
I hope the old broad and the heroic Tim Hortons manager sleep well at night, because the last thing we need is black men and women standing up for their rights in our "multicultural" country.
S. Patel, Toronto
Slur met with silence
since when do a 20-minute seat- ing limit and "no reading" policy (if there actually is such a policy at Tim Hortons) take precedence over racial harassment? I was in a state of rage and disbelief when I read about Sean Kheraj's confrontation and the fact that no one in this cramped, lineup-out-the-door Tim Hortons could find it within themselves to stand up for him. Elaine Yuen, Toronto
Smearing all whites
sean kheraj is as much of a racist and a demagogue as the person he is writing about. He smears us all in his rant against one person. What he takes for apathy on the part of onlookers is shock; something nearly all of us feel when we see displays like the one he describes.
Canada is not the only nation on earth where we might hear the words "Why don't you go back to your own country?" Nor are whites alone the ones who speak them.
Reg Hartt, Toronto
just wanted to thank Jennifer Polo for the well-written and informative article on crack kits in Toronto (NOW, November 27-December 3).
The Safer Crack Use Coalition and the work we do has been covered/featured in many newspapers. This is the first accurate and intelligent article I have seen on the subject. Thanks for the excellent work.
Lorie Steer, Safer Crack Use Coalition, Toronto
william booth, founder of the Salvation Army, was fond of saying that you have to use the Devil's tools to do God's work. Pollution Probe has often achieved its ends brilliantly by jumping into bed with the enemy and turning them into allies. Decades ago, I was on the board of Pollution Probe when it worked with then "evil" Loblaws to pioneer "green" products.
Pollution Probe was able to further its goals by using its share of profits from those products, and the public became aware of the need for environmentally safe cleaning products and the value of unbleached paper towels.
The apparently paradoxical relationship with Inco (NOW, November 20-26) is just another example of Pollution Probe's skill in creating strategic liaisons in the interest of a better environment. Looks strange but works well!
David Schatzky, Toronto
Turn young on to politics
so jake dudas has the adman blues for his part in selling out extreme sports (NOW, November 20-26). Well, Jake, at least you didn't sell your country down the river. Just flip the page and read Steve Staples's article about missile monger Paul Martin and you'll see what I mean.
You say you want a challenge? Try to sell kids on politics: after all, they'll be the real losers when Martin's busy pushing up the daisies. They just don't know it yet.
Max Blanco, Toronto
Living in the natural world
re saving red hill (now, november 27-December 3). Red Hill Valley is Canada's largest urban park never officially signed away by treaty. We have to become citizens of the natural world if we are to survive the problems we all face as brothers and sisters, say the old Wisdom Keepers of Mother Earth. We need to work together for our children's future so that our children may benefit the way we have.
We need to communicate, be creative and most of all be compassionate to all life forms, because everything has a right to be happy. The Red Hill Valley is being neglected by a leadership that supports business and not the forces that sustain life.
Urban sprawl, the epitome of a cash concrete economy, and petroleum consumption will only be stopped when human beings learn to defend our animals, birds, fish, rivers, lakes, streams and forests.
We all can find strength and healing in defending the natural world of earth, air, fire and water and following natural laws. I want to thank NOW for supporting our chiefs, clan mothers and faith keepers. For all our relations,
Danny Beaton, Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation, Toronto
Oil crisis in the stars
kudos to rob brezsny for bring ing up the bad news in his horoscope for Sagittarius that "scientists believe global oil reserves are 80 per cent smaller than generally predicted" (NOW, November 27-December 3). Worse news is that other energy luminaries, including a former VP of Total Elf Fina and the VP of the Iranian National Oil Company, predict that we may already have peaked and decline may begin within the next few years.
A world with less and less of the oil that has fuelled our civilization for 150 years may be just around the corner.
Gregory Greene, Toronto
Avril's foibles - who cares?
what the fuck? have you guys gone completely corporate? Do you really give a fuck how Avril Lavigne and Chantal Kreviazuk act at a fundraiser (NOW, November 20-26)?! The fact that you named Bell Mobility puts you in bed with the enemy. Or maybe you know your new target audience better than I do. This would explain the CHFI and other bullshit in this year's Readers Poll rankings. Tony Quesoso, Toronto
having endured the patience- testing two-hour-plus Primus appearance at the Kool Haus, I have to wonder if Brent Raynor attended the same show (NOW, November 27-December 3). Notwithstanding Raynor's factual inaccuracies - they actually opened with To Defy The Laws Of Tradition - the "rumour" that they were playing Seas Of Cheese in its entirety was such a well-known fact that the tour was actually dubbed the Tour De Fromage.
I spoke with many long-time fans who found this to be one of the most disappointing concert experiences in recent memory.
Due to their apparent inability to tolerate one another onstage, the band seemed incapable of connecting with the audience either. Each member of the trio seemed to be in his own world.
There was mathematical precision but no chemistry. And given their affinity for hometown faves Rush, you'd think they could've busted out at least one Rush riff just for fun. Alas, they clearly weren't having fun and couldn't get out of there fast enough. A four-N show, Brent? Hardly.
Stuart Green, Scarborough
re your review of the barbarian Invasions (NOW, November 27-December 3). I understand what you're saying about this maybe not being Denys Arcand's best work, but I just saw it and it's much more than a three-N movie. It's heartfelt and poignant, and I enjoyed it very much. Great work, Arcand. Ilios Steryannis, Toronto
Selling out leftist views
i noticed you gave up a half page for a Canadian Armed Forces ad (NOW, November 6-12). I just wanted to let you know that I would rather pay to read your leftist views than watch you sell them out. Jeff Conlin, Toronto