Reader Letter To The Silo Regarding Motion 103 And Hamilton Protest Rally

Dear Silo, there was a protest rally held at City Hall in Hamilton this past weekend. The purpose was to discuss or protest “Motion-103 “the motion put forth by one Ms. Iqra Khalid to stop as she sees it “Islamophobia.” For many the idea of “M-103” seems almost redundant as hate speech and any sort of hate crime based on religion is already under the “Criminal Code, The Charter of Human Rights & The Constitution.” Some have opined that Ms. Khalid is grandstanding & perhaps they may be correct.

The protest was as it went peaceful & low key. The police presence was minimal and well placed. Directly on site there were six uniforms, but a bit further back there were two mounted units, and further back out of sight behind city hall were three more mounted units.

The speaker at this event was a Muslim woman who was well spoken and exhorted the crowd with slogans, chants & political sayings, touting the Liberal regime and downplaying the Conservative aspect.It was my understanding that there would be both aspects of this motion represented at the protest, but for the near 3 hours I was present I only heard one side of the story [but] perhaps another side spoke later. I saw on the 6:00 pm news, things turned a bit ugly, and the police stepped in to quell any further incident, so who knows.

For many, it seemed a “ family event,” and I saw a few children there, [but] in my humble opinion [this] is no place for kids. In the “ Vietnam” years when the protest was clearly in many cases, a daily event, there never were any children present, mostly due to the fact protests can at any given time turn from something sedate to an angry, ugly mess, ergo no kids. I for one seriously have to ponder the parental abilities of such an action.

There was a few tables set up, all proffering their political views, the Communist Party, ( the mainstay at any protest), a painting table where you could add your hand to a large almost like paint-by-numbers setup where you could if so inclined could add your hand to it. There was a Muslim table set up and two young men who would engage you in conversation about their faith and handed out books & pamphlets, one of them at the time I stopped by, was engaged in a somewhat intense conversation with a Christian young man. Several people were working the crowd by handing out flyers, pamphlets and flash cards with their message on it. The “ Socialist group”, ever present at any event, was handing out small flyers promoting  worker solidarity,” the Marxist group was there too, handing out flyers to combat racism, the “ No Borders Manifesto,” an 18 point small booklet promoting a “ grassroots movement “ to promote the movement to the “ new world.” There were “ Stop the War Coalition,” the “ Know your Rights,” group & “ Hamilton Against Fascism,” and regarding [this]protest it seemed a well-rounded outpouring that way.

As I said, as protests go it was for the 3 hours I was there a peaceful, almost fun event. Later after things went south and everyone had done their barking and bitching sessions, they packed up their wares, printed material and children, and went home to read the tea leaves of the event and to generally pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

Protests are an integral part of the Canadian fabric and should be allowed at all times. The message I received from this one was that the potential for “ free speech,“ could be quashed possibly if this motion is put into a bill and becomes law. Do we have concern?? Perhaps as many feel we do, and it becomes the responsibility of all of us, to be open-minded, observant of what our government says and does. It falls to us to yes question what they tell us so that democracy as we live it will be ongoing and ever present so that we may all move forward with a proper sense of things for all who live and come to this great country we know it.

 

James R. Charlton

New “Vape Jazz (tronica)” release from Ganfunkel features Miles Davis Alumni

Three years ago in late May whistleblower and resistance warrior Edward Snowden flew to Hong Kong and changed the way the world understands surveillance. On the third anniversary of Snowden’s flight and subsequent exile, Simcoe, Ontario native Rik Ganju releases “The Outlaw Edward Snowden Vol. 1”. Personnel on this jazz tronica release have toured and recorded with the Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley, Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding and Zakir Hussain.

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden

Street art prodigy Felix the Third – frequently covered in art magazines such as Juxtapoz – contributes the album art

Ganju releases this, his third album, under the name Ganfunkel – a band thriving in a new genre called Vape Jazztronica. Highlights on this release include a ferocious cover of Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana.

Though now living in California, Ganju has maintained ties with local musicians including Jarrod Barker, a Port Dover based composer whose new collection of compositions will be released June 28th by recently formed cutting-edge Brazilian record label Duobox.

Rik Ganju
Rik Ganju

The Outlaw Edward Snowden Vol. 1” has received praise from multi-Grammy nominee Taylor Eigsti: “…I love it….sounds like you made a lot of great decisions…you should be very proud…huge congrats”. Taylor has toured this year with Chris Botti and Sting and contributed to the soundtrack of Don Cheadle’s biopic film about Miles Davis, now in theatres. For the Silo, Cece Bratton.

For more information visit Ganfunkel.com and enjoy free listening at- https://soundcloud.com/ganfunkel/hellscraper

Silo recommended! Click Me :)
Silo recommended! Click Me 🙂

 

A Second Look At Ontario Bill83 AKA SLAPP

Dr Evil Canadian free speech, journalistic powers or lack there of are back in the news. Here is a related story  about Ontario’s Bill 83 from last year that deserves a second read.

Bill83. The threat of abusive lawsuits claiming damages like slander and defamation is deterring  a significant number of Ontarians from speaking out against big business on issues of public interest.

Our tweet from Feb22 2015 shows an interest in related freedom of expression concerns.
Our tweet from Feb22 2015 shows an interest in related freedom of expression concerns.

Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) are lawsuits brought by companies with the specific aim of distracting or silencing defendants. The defendants, usually ordinary citizens or public interest groups, feel threatened by the prospect of paying legal fees over several years and the possibility of paying large damage awards in the end. Even if the lawsuits have no merit, they often result in a “chill” on free speech in general because SLAPPs are also meant to intimidate the general public who are watching it all play out in the media.

John Gerretsen Attorney General Kingston and the Islands.
John Gerretsen Attorney General Kingston and the Islands.

Attorney General John Gerretsen has introduced Bill 83 ( In its 2nd reading at the time of this original posting, now referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy CP) to address this dubious use of Ontario’s publicly funded court system. The proposed legislation would force the courts to identify within 60 days whether a suit was in the public interest or an intimidation tactic to limit debate on an important local issue.

In communities facing fast paced economic development, this legislation is sure to play an important role in protecting the ordinary courage of citizens to tell their story, to share local knowledge and research findings and to insist on an authentic community vision for a healthy and sustainable future. For the Silo, Leslie Cochran. Originally published in print March 21, 2014.