Opening Statement



Monday, 14 November 2016

On The Nov 12th Toronto Trump Protest!


Sunday November 12th's Solidarity is Stronger: Against Hate At Home And Abroad was our first big Anti-Trump protest rally here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. [DetailsI am a late middle-aged, white, second generation Canadian, Toronto born and bred. Am retired. Have lived here all my life. This is what I saw and felt from a local perspective!

Between 4-6 pm hundreds of concerned citizens gathered outside Toronto City Hall. Then marched to the nearby US embassy. However, this was NOT the bigger, upcoming Toronto "Rally Against Trump"! That's on Saturday, November 19th! [Details]

Why protest Trump's election in Toronto Canada? What's it got to do with us?

Lots of confusing news reports about our Toronto Trump Protest have already widely appeared across Canada and the US vis a vis the mainstream media. My blog is, of course, a social media site, but as usual some of the better links are provided below

"Better"? I use the term lightly ...



True to form, our Canadian mainstream media doggedly followed a very old, tried but not-so-true news script in reporting the protest. The more vicious barbs, especially on TV, ignore or dismiss many of the inconvenient truths expressed by our very local, grass root protesters. Very US focused, the biased "news stories" sadly betray the lack of a truly insightful, homegrown perspective. 

The protesters were a very typical, diverse and inclusive crowd of every day Torontonians. If you live here, you would recognize this by the esoteric mix of faces, dress, and our overtly polite demeanour. Wandering into an "angry" Toronto protest usually goes something like this, "Excuse me! Excuse me! Excuse me! Eh? Sorry! Am I in your way?!?" 

Many outsiders might not know this, but Toronto is one of the most multi-cultured cities in the world -bar none! The protesters were an excellent cross section of Toronto's many different racial, religious, economic, social, and lifestyle groups.

LGBTQ? Minority groups? Working families? New Immigrants? Alt-progressive Canadians? These are just everyday Toronto folks -different perhaps, but meaning no harm. Hoping to continue to also pursue the Canadian dream of a good good life. Not having to watch their backs all the time because of intolerance, prejudice, hate and fear!



The real message was actually very clear to see! Simply put; Donald Trump's hateful racist, misogynist and homophobic New World Order is not welcome here! 

The fears aren't hard to understand! Everyday on TV, we see the rise and fall of a modern day Hitler in real time south of our border. Remember learning about WW2 in History class? Often wondering, "How could anybody fall for that?!?", or even "It can't happen here!" 

Trump's hate agenda is pretty hard to deny or miss! It was repeatedly spelled out during his 2016 election campaign. His divisive hate bombs relentlessly pounded our American friends and neighbours into submission daily on the Canadian and US news. 

"The Donald's" ugly, scapegoat and wedge issues? The "divide and conquer" strategy? It should be oddly familiar to us too! It's the same one used in Canada by Stephen Harper, our former Conservative Prime Minister [PM]. He used it, perhaps in a milder form, to win and hold onto power for nearly 10 years! 



We are Canadian! Not Americans! We are happy this way! Trump's vision of change is NOT in our collective national interest as Canadians!

Listen: My wife and I are second generation Canadians. We are very middle class. Have assimilated quite well. Plus we move in progressive circles. As a white guy, I certainly haven't experienced the intolerance shared by many others at the anti-Trump protest. Still, raised in the Catholic social justice tradition, I wouldn't want that to happen to anybody, whether they look or live like me or not!

I've enjoyed a relatively privileged life. Recently retired, I was happy to teach in our diverse Toronto schools for nearly 30 yearsI can remember when Toronto was mostly white and European. It wasn't necessarily a better place to live. Far from it!



Our city has become much more interesting, lively, and enriched . There is a wealth of different people who've come to live here today, from all around the world. I recognize that our country is changing. I want to help a facilitate positive change for everyone, not stand in it's way. 

My life clock is slowly but surely ticking away. That's just not the legacy I want to leave for our children, or our children's children's children.

The Toronto Trump protest was hardly a misguided or hateful event! Fittingly, it was organized by our First Nation peoples. Come sunset, the indigenous drumming ceremony was very moving indeed. So too, their very first hand and knowledgeable speeches about racism and hate. 

A very wide variety of progressive political and human right speakers joined them on stage. They voiced the shared concerns of other "different" citizens also living in our city. Didactic at times, but demonstrating a refreshing political depth, the speeches directly addressed hate and intolerance, in an illuminating, easily understandable manner, always directly related to everyday life here in Toronto.



All in all, despite what you might hear in the news, the Toronto Trump protest was very timely and relevant. It's foolish to silently await for "The Donald" and his ilk to come knocking at our own door! Hoping for the best! We already know the enemy! Recognize his hate filled ways! 

One can only wag our heads in dismay! Despite his appalling track record on the campaign trail, President Elect Trump is busy now trying to convince everybody that he is actually, get this -a very, nice guy! He's even launched a mock "Charm Offensive". 

Hell, why not! Even Hitler used to hug babies! Ugggh! History repeats itself, over and over and over again!

It gets worse! Lock step, Vichy like politicians everywhere are falling in line, expressing their great relief that he has somehow changed! Promising they'll try to work with him now too! 



In Canada, we hear Conservative leadership candidate Kelly Leitch's Trump North musings! We know Doug Ford has been quite clear that he and his family are big Trump boosters

As for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau? He won last year's landslide federal election, promising new hope and change! And now? Think pipelines? TRC? Defence? Legal Cannabis? 

Within the Canadian political spectrum, Trudeau often speaks from the political left of centre. However, so far we have just see him governing from the neo liberal right instead. [1] Sadly, he's even eagerly invited Mr. Trump for a state visit to Canada! 

President Trump?!? Here in Canada??? The man who labelled Canadians as "Snow Mexicans"! Who once threatened to build a Canada Wall along our southern border!




Do our misguided politicians really think they can appease "The Donald". Like British PM Chamberlain seeking to secure "peace in our time" with Adolph Hitler all over again? Concede this or that to Trump! Then he'll be fine! It's complete rubbish! 

Don't be fooled! A leopard doesn't change it's spots! Trump's culture of hate is a long term toxin to the body politic. It must not be welcomed back here into Canada, come what may! 

Some Canadians might misguidedly sympathize with our billionaire bully boy's right wing popular bluster. For example over free trade and defence. Hoping he's a "Wild Card" who'll take on the Washington political establishment. Thinking he'll create "change" for everyday people, the little guy, at home and abroad.

Don't be fooled into complacency! Trump is quite clear -NAFTA and TPP aren't pro-American enough! That's the completely opposite of our own Canadian concerns. With these trade agreements we see an existing, quite decidedly, pro-US corporate thrust instead. Beware: Trump is NOT a progressive economic force! 



Trump's foreign policy musings? They might seem non interventionist at first brush. Some hope he'll "avoid" a new Cold War 2.0 by not getting into any further conflict with Russia over the Crimea or the War in Syria. 

Regretfully, Trump's now got the nuclear button and the Drone War handbook in his explosive grip. For good reason, his very vague and spurious "Make America Great Again" foreign policies are not proving very popular with many of our allies in Western Europe. Nor with our Asian allies. Ditto our Latin, Caribbean and South American neighbours. 

On the home front, many Muslim Americans, LGBTQ's, Native, Latinos Blacks, and the disabled, just like in Canada, worry for themselves, their families and friends. The list of of folks at risk stretches endlessly on and on. 

Many everyday people both in the US, Canada and around the world are living daily in fear. While our enemies grow increasingly vocal. Are emboldened and all too ready to strike out to exploit and fan the Trump flames of hate!



We Canadians, of all stripes, from all our different backgrounds and all walks of life need to speak out now! We need to do so in no uncertain terms. Enough! Let's make it clear from the get-go that Trump's hate agenda is totally unacceptable here!

As a proudly tolerant, inclusive and diverse country, our Canadian needs are very different, as we seek renewed strength to proceed into the very new, different and challenging 21st century ahead. 

Saturday, November 18 is the big Trump protest at Queens Park. From there we march south to the Trump Tower!

Let's not just talk the talk! It's time to walk the walk too!

Hope to see you there! 

In solidarity!

David Chiarelli



FOOTNOTES

[1] = Quite frankly, I've heard the US Fox News like Pro Hillary spin on our Toronto Trump protests. It's ill informed, ridiculous and misleading! US Democrat Hillary Clinton is somewhere to the far right of our own Canadian neo conservative leaders, be they former PM Stephen Harper or even Premier Mike Harris. Sunday's protest wasn't a pro Clinton Democrat or for that matter a Canadian style Liberal rally. By the usual American political standards it was clearly far to the left of all that!

NEWS LINKS

Solidarity is Stronger Mission Manifesto + Protest Details @ Facebook

Rally Against Trump Rally @ Facebook

News links on the protest by the Canadian mainstream media can be found under "Toronto Ontario Canada" in my Teacher Free Speech News + Views blog @ Here!

The Toronto Sun "news" report is particularly vile and despicable Sun

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