Poor storm gates of Rosedale
Under a waxing moon, an unruly procession snakes through the winding, tree-lined lanes of Rosedale to the beat of makeshift drums. Angry chants bounce off of the ample, curved windows of gargantuan houses: "They are rich because we are poor.' Police stand unsure, silhouetted by floodlights mounted like birds of prey on tall brick walls.
"A millionaire got the equivalent of money received by 17 families on welfare,' declared OCAPer Sarah Vance to the 100-plus people who gathered earlier in the park across from the Rosedale subway station for a free feast.
Would a symbolic display of plebian anger motivate the obscenely rich to pay more taxes to fund the 40 per cent raise in social assistance rates sought by OCAP and its allies? If you're rich, you got there by keeping all your money for yourself.
But if you build your neighbourhood like a mid-millennial citadel, aren't you kind of asking for a mob every now and then? It's the genuine medieval experience. Residents should probably consider themselves lucky no one brought a battering ram.
The poor party like kings as they wind through the dale. All these looping, diving and cresting streets. The normal rules of urban design -- grids, for accessibility and navigability -- have all been thrown out here. It speaks to hostility toward accessibility, to a sense of being apart from the rest of us.
Yet for a rich fortress, Rosedale is poorly designed to defend itself against barbarians at the gates. The overgrown lawns and meandering roads make it hard for police to form lines; rabble-rousers routinely rollick across these lawns, right up to doors. Police spend most of their time sighing and doubling back.
Amazingly, no arrests are made. Perhaps the police can't help feeling a little resentment of their own toward the disjunct between their lot in life and that of those they defend. Or maybe they're under orders not to muss anyone's lawnicure.
"The media were asking us if we weren't being unfair to the residents of Rosedale,' says OCAP organizer John Clarke through a megaphone. Behind him, an effigy of Dalton McGuinty goes up in flames, provoking playful cheers. "I'd say we've been all too kind."