Talks have been going around my city for the past few years about building a new arena in the downtown core. In and of itself,this isn’t a particularly polarizing topic–I really don’t have a lot to say about where developers choose to build their multi-million dollar projects. The problem is that my city government plans to fund half of the project, and collect none of the revenue. The justification is that by doing so business will flourish in the the downtown core, revitalizing what is now a fairly run-down place. I have some opinions on this, but I am not really educated enough to put in my two-cents either way.
However, as an elective this year I am talking a political science class on Canadian cities, and the arena is often brought up as an example. In the class I am also expected to go and sit in on a city council meeting and write a 1500 word report on what I saw. This week has been fairly light on the homework, so I figured it was a good a time as any to go watch. As it turns out, today was the last public hearing on the arena before councillors vote on a final decision. So rather than the usual half dozen homeless people sleeping, the seats were over 75% full of people coming to watch the proceedings.
In general there wasn’t too much to see. The councellors have all basically made up their minds by now, and listening to other points of view is just a formality to them. After listening to three panels each with 5 speakers, the council agreed to break for lunch. I went over to the trendy cafe across from city hall, and acted important while I typed up a rough draft for an article that is due on Friday (oops…).
After lunch I walked into the council chambers and settled into a seat. The proceedings started punctually, and were similarly as dry as before lunch, but much more tolerable on a full stomach. Between the second and third public speaker, someone in the audience suddenly yelled “excuse me, Mr Mayor, but I have a question for you.”
Then about a dozen people stood up and started chanting “where is the democracy? I want democracy!” soon switching to “We represent the 99%, you represent the 1%”. Everyone else just looked around bewildered at each other, and several eyes landed on me. Other than a few of the protesters, I was the youngest there by about 10 years. I got several accusatory glares from some of the older people, as though I were some how affiliated/responsible for letting them in. I was a little offended by this, and gave them bewildered looks back to express my innocence. I didn’t really know what to do, so by instinct I just kept typing and taking notes of what was happening around me. Eventually the security guards got their act together and began politely asking the protesters to leave. They didn’t put up a fight, but yelled things such as “we want green, not corporate green!” as they were calmly escorted out of the chambers.
While demonstrations such as this certainly make the day go by faster, they are by no means democratic. I am very offended that people think that outbursts such as this are appropriate, it was clearly just a publicity stunt. Had this been a regular city council meeting, I would have at least been able to give them some consideration, but this was a PUBLIC question period, where citizens were provided a platform to express their opinions. I was also disappointed that the protesters didn’t actually make any demands. The man that was about to speak when the protestors interrupted also opposed the building of the arena, but backed up his arguments and provided alternatives for city council.
Breaking standard procedures and cutting people off is NOT democratic, it is anarchy (in a mild form, but you get the point). Sometimes I think people forget what democracy is. Everyone has a right to be heard, but we must also follow the rule of law, to provide everyone their right to be heard.
A spring of discontent in Quebec characterized by scenes of red-clad student protesters erupted into something darker Friday.
Demonstrators hurled projectiles from rocks to flower pots in downtown Montreal, disrupting political events indoors and committing vandalism outdoors. Riot police fought back by swinging batons and firing rubber bullets and tear-gas canisters into the crowd.
Police said some vandals even tossed rocks from an overpass onto a busy downtown expressway. There were no reports of any injuries in those incidents.
But several people were injured — reportedly including police officers — during protests of a broader nature than the weeks-long anti-tuition demonstrations that have occasionally snared traffic in cities across Quebec.
Scuffles broke out and the police used teargas during a mass rally in Athens on Thursday as Greeks railed against government pension reforms needed to meet demands of international creditors.
Demanding an end to austerity, about 50,000 Greeks marched on Parliament in central Athens. Breaking away from the main block of demonstrators, black-clad youths hurled stones and petrol bombs at police officers, who responded with rounds of teargas and stun grenades, Reuters witnesses said.
The angry backlash is piling pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, first elected just over a year ago. With just a three-seat majority in parliament, he is stuck between either pushing the reforms through to appease international creditors, or attracting the wrath of thousands of Greeks.
Bayeux (France) (AFP) – AFP photographer Mohammed Al-Shaikh and the BBC’s Lyse Doucet were among the winners at the annual Bayeux-Calvados awards for war correspondents announced on Saturday in Bayeux, northwestern France.
Three of the seven prizes went to coverage of the conflict in Syria, where a devastating civil war has raged for the past three and a half years.
The international jury, chaired by US veteran foreign correspondent Jon Randal, awarded the first prize in the photo category to AFP’s Al-Shaikh for a series of striking images covering violent demonstrations in Bahrain, which began in 2011.
In the written press category, The Times’ Anthony Loyd — who was beaten and shot at by rebels in Syria — won top honours for his work highlighting the dangers of reporting from the country.
Doucet, a veteran BBC News correspondent, took the television category for her reports from Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, which became a symbol of suffering in Syria.
The long-format television award went to Marcel Mettelsiefen for a report out of Syria for Arte.
In the radio category, jurors rewarded Olivier Poujade from France Inter for his coverage of the French military intervention in the strife-torn Central African Republic.
Alexey Furman took the young reporter’s prize for his photographs of the crisis in Ukraine.
A report out of Chechnya entitled “Grozny: nine cities”, was picked as the best online journalism piece. The win was shared by Gerald Holubowicz, Olga Kravets, Maria Morina, Oksana Yushko, Anna Shpakova, Mediapart and Polka Magainze Chewbahat Storytelling Lab.
AFP’s Manama-born Al-Shaikh, an engineering graduate, said it was “a big honour” to win the photo prize for the coverage of the unrest in his home country.
“There was huge interest for pictures showing the protests in Bahrain, especially in the two years” that followed the first demonstration, he told AFP.
“But life in Bahrain does not stop there. Unfortunately the protest movement eclipsed everything else: people’s everyday lives, society at large. I think there is now room to work on new topics.”
AFP chairman Emmanuel Hoog praised the photographer’s dedication.
“This prestigious award recognizes the long-term work of a photographer who, with great talent and professionalism, continues to be the witness of events which have shaken the Arab world since 2011,” he said.
Created in 1994, the Bayeux-Calvados awards recognise reporting on conflicts and their impact on civilians as well as stories covering the defence of freedom and democracy.
Earlier this week, on the sidelines of the 21st edition of the awards, hundreds turned out for the unveiling of a memorial in honour of the 113 journalists killed over the past year.
Among those at the ceremony were the parents of US reporter James Foley, who was beheaded by Islamic State militants in August.
I’m afraid that I just can’t in a thousand years imagine OP or Megs participating in a poly relationship after all the atrocities and horrors and drama the war has wrought on their relationship. But Pre-War OP and Megs…
Orion Pax and Megatronus:
Orion Pax tries to give you all his affection,
but he’s just a bit awkward about expressing it. He likes the subtle forms of
PDA; holding your hand or resting a palm against the small of your back is what
he lives for.
They have a tendency to drag you into their
numerous ideological/political talks and demonstrations. Though they only disagree
on minor issues, you get to play moderator/mediator during their private
Even though he can’t usually afford it, Megatronus’ll try to
get you and Pax tokens of his love but you have to deny him a lot because damn
it that was your energon ration money you just spent, Megadorkus.
Megatronus is just as affectionate as Pax, but
is more passionate than him. He feels as if you deserve the world and will
gladly do what it takes to give it to you.
Farmers in tractors, lawyers in ties, engineers in hard hats and hundreds of other workers across industries united in massive protests around Greece this week.
On Wednesday and Thursday, people demonstrated against the Syriza government’s long list of proposed economic reforms that included cutting pension costs, and raising tax rates and social security contributions. The debt-ridden government had promised to institute the reforms in exchange for 86 billion euros ($93 billion) in bailout funds from the Eurozone.
The tax increases could take away over three-quarters of some workers’ incomes, the Associated Press reported.
Once a bromance, now a brawl: Trump and Cruz go at it
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. - Once a bromance, now a brawl.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz cast aside any veneer of kindness on Wednesday to trade insults and accusations in a show of hardball politics that demonstrated the stakes for both men in the New Hampshire primary six days away.
The billionaire mogul charged the Texas senator with “fraud” and called for a do-over of the Iowa caucuses. That’s where Cruz’s unexpected victory exposed weaknesses in Trump’s unorthodox, personality-driven bid for the White House.
Cruz shot back with his fiercest attack yet on the man who has dominated opinion polls in New Hampshire, suggesting the reality star doesn’t like the reality of losing. He’s having a “Trumper-tantrum,” Cruz told reporters. “He’s losing it.”
The back-and-forth between two candidates who once made of a show of their rapport underscored the shifting dynamic in a Republican race rattled by the Iowa results.
Cruz’s campaign staff popped champagne on the flight to New Hampshire early Tuesday, proud of stealthily out-organizing the political novice. Trump appeared to take the loss graciously Monday night, but by Wednesday morning he had turned.
“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” Trump tweeted, and his campaign accused Cruz of dirty tricks in telling Ben Carson’s supporters their man was dropping out and they should turn to the Texan.
For all their bluster, the top two were keeping a wary eye on Iowa’s surprisingly strong No. 3.
In a blitz of new Hampshire campaigning, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was casting himself as the sole “unifier” in a deeply fractured party and the man best positioned to beat a Democrat in November.
“When I am our nominee I can bring this party together,” Rubio told more than 300 people at an athletic complex in Bow. “We cannot win if we are divided against each other.”
For Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Hampshire increasingly looked like a do-or-die proposition: Show some momentum or pack it up. They hustled across the state trying to prevent this from becoming a three-man race.
Christie argued, rather hopefully, that the battle for establishment Republicans was down to him and Rubio.
“He knows we have the best ground game here. He knows we have the most support from folks like this,” Christie said.
The long-crowded field continued to shrink.
Rand Paul announced he was dropping out, and that put a new crop of voters up for grabs for the other contenders. The Kentucky senator had tried to improve the GOP’s popularity among younger voters and minorities. But his appeal never broadened much beyond the libertarian-leaning Republicans who backed the previous White House bids of his father, Rep. Ron Paul.
Rick Santorum also ended his White House bid and said he will support Rubio. While Santorum is among the nation’s most prominent advocates for conservative Christian family values, he struggled for attention in the crowded GOP field.
Trump was far away — in Arkansas — but still getting plenty of attention.
“Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified,” he tweeted. “Many people voted for Cruz over Carson because of this Cruz fraud,” Trump wrote.
Before Trump’s tweets on Wednesday, Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler told CNN the senator had apologized personally to Carson, though Tyler said the Cruz team “as a campaign” never alleged Carson was dropping out.
Carson, who is conspicuously absent in New Hampshire, called on Cruz to fire someone on his staff.
“If he does nothing about it that means he agrees with it,” he told Fox News.
Cruz offered no apologies. Instead, he declared that his two young daughters were better behaved than Trump.
“I don’t know anyone who would be comfortable with someone who behaves this way having his finger on the button. We’re liable to wake up one morning and Donald, if he were president, would have nuked Denmark.”
Cruz also talked immigration, environment and foreign policy, keeping to the high-octane rhetoric that has made some establishment Republicans recoil.
“We’re going to light all their stuff on fire,’” Cruz told a group in Henniker, expanding on his promise to carpet bomb the Islamic State group “into oblivion.”
He wasn’t the only one unleashing his attention-getting lines. Opening a town hall meeting at a pub in Lebanon, Christie made a striking comparison between Rubio and himself.
“You don’t want someone on that stage who looks good in a controlled situation in a TV studio, but when the mud starts to get thrown, all of sudden, looks like a deer in the headlights,” Christie said. “You want the old, beat-up, nicked-up pickup truck.”
Later Christie asserted he’s the best Republican to debate Hillary Clinton because he’s a former federal prosecutor.
Referring to the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, he said, “She sees a federal prosecutor on the stage, I’ll beat her rear-end on that stage.”
Bush, meanwhile, told supporters at a campaign stop in Hanover that the next president “needs to be a lot quieter, but send a signal that we’re prepared to act in the national security interest of this country — to get back in the business of creating a more peaceful world.”
As he paused, one woman behind him appeared to start clapping. To everyone else, he urged, “Please clap.”
The crowd obliged.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tussled over each other’s progressive bona fides. The Clinton campaign pushed back against Sanders’ assertion that the former secretary of state was a progressive on “some days.”
“We’ve been fighting the progressive fight and getting results for people for years,” Clinton said at rally in Derry.
The Democrats are to appear at a CNN town hall Wednesday night.
Associated Press writers Thomas Beaumont, Sergio Bustos, Kathleen Ronayne, Jill Colvin, Holly Ramer, Julie Pace and Bill Barrow contributed to this report.