Perception Is Reality

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

(This is a guest post by Scott that continues from June 29th)

After they had charged about 25-30 feet, they stopped and held the line. The crowd started signing ‘Oh Canada’ and sat down in the road to protest the charge. What happened next, made me want to stand up and fight. As soon as we were done singing, the police charged at us again. Some of them even used their shields as offensive weapons. Theres a difference between using a riot shield as a tool for crowd control, and using it as a battering ram.

The following is a guest post by my friend, Scott Young. Please note: the material is emotionally charged.

My weekend started out just like a lot of other Torontonian’s. Stay as far away from downtown as I possibly could. But as the weekend wore on, the news reports came in on what was happening down there. I knew that this was history and I knew that I would never be apart of anything like this again. So I charged up the phone and headed downtown.

I have recently been reading up about the aspects of Italian culture for my course. Among other things, I have read the historical aspect as well as the cultural aspect of life from authors such as Bocaccio, Machiavelli, Pico, and studying the life and notes of Da Vinci.

This leads me to express my thoughts on a very sensitive subject. Back then, the Church held temporal powers and attributed its clutch on these powers as a divine right. Just like the divine right to talk about the message of God. I will not get into the historical aspects of the political aspect here and try to back up my understanding which will be evident from reading.

However, the law that is considered Islamic, or as we now refer to this as “Islamization,” it leads me to think of the true nature of politics in Islam, and religion in general. There is no demoracy when it comes to God. God gives you a command and you either follow or you don’t. A follower of God (of whichever religion) finds no flaws in His commands and does not challenge them by means of court or parliamentary debate. The laws governing an Islamic government should ideally be called “best practices” or policies. Politics and government is not an inherent component of Islam as a religion, but as Muslims, nation-states may choose to implement laws based on best practices derived from Islamic teaching.

What I am trying to say, I believe, is that while I see that temporal power is a right of the Church (in the 13th-15th centuries), in Islam there were recommended guidelines concerning nation-state law, and it was no divine right.

A country may choose to be capitalist or communist. Similarly it may choose to be an Islamic republic, implementing recommended Islamic practices.

N.B. Islam allows for non-muslims to be governed under their respective laws, trade and consume items permitted under their religion, as well be free to choose.

I hope this makes sense and someone can talk about this.

It was a cool, wet afternoon. The CUPE 3903 members however were still at strike, ever strong. There was a little less spirit that I saw.

A Cupe 3903 member asked a bunch of us if we were there to support the picket lines. We would have to sign in so as to deter and keep track of “strike busters.” These guys come in pretending to be members of CUPE and they start leading the strike away. Didn’t make sense to me. I was asked to sign in so as to make sure I was not a strike buster or undercover guy.

Wow. Disturbing as it was, I spoke a little more about this to the individual who spoke to me about this (name withheld). Just so people know, you are not legally obliged to support the picket lines, the TAs or have to give out any of your personal information including your name if you choose not to. The property they are striking on is right on the outskirts of the campus and as such is public property. Inside campus, you are protected by the private boundaries of the campus and as such may retaliate by informing the CUPE member that it is illegal to solicit and strike within private property.

There were a lot of supporters, however, who showed up at the strike. Some were from founders, some from student clubs, and some just honking their horns waving and showing support to the TAs.

There was also an incident at the York Gate entrance where a York Police officer had come to question and perhaps file an incident report regarding some scuffle. A TA was informed that he need not give his name to anyone and that the picket lines he was on was entirely legal. The TA looked shook up but he got back into the groove of things eventually.

And oh yeah! There were free Smarties being distributed to supporters! haha!

Here are some pictures from the Cook Road and York Gate entrances. For further updates, please keep tuned into Design, Photograph, Communicate.

I have just come from the first day of the CUPE 3903 strike at the Sentinel and Assiniboine entrance of the York University, Keele Campus. There are roughly 60 TA’s positioned at this spot. Some are making music, some are demonstrating with their banners and posters, while many others are incharge of security and traffic barricades. From what I have seen, the demonstration is very professional. There are no rioting individuals, the music is calm and peaceful, and the members are very courteous and open to discussion. Each person I have seen so far is smiling.

The drivers of the vehicles are also very supportive. From what one of the TA’s have said, they do not want the strike to go on long. This shows that they understand the repercussions of the strike and their responsibilities towards students. At the same time it is imperative that the administration and students understand these consequences.

I says students because it was disheartening to see some members of a rented house at the Village on Assiniboine road standing on their balconies with a big bed sheet saying, “Fuck u, TA’s.” It is a rather unfortunate site which demonstrates that even now, students do not understand what this is all about. While conversing with two TA’s at the intersection, the gentleman asked why I thought they were against the TA’s. While I said this was ignorance of the gravity of the situation, the gentleman (whose name has been withheld) noted that perhaps they are just having their own fun. In fact, students should be relieved since the strike came about just at the apex of the school semester and the strike has averted students to take drastic measures due to the extension of deadlines for assignments and exams.

The other TA standing next to the gentleman recommended that we still keep abreast with the coursework and catch up in the case that we are lagging behind.

Photographs will be up soon. For updates, please keep tuned in to Design, Photograph, Communicate.

The York Federation of Students will be hosting the Day of Action to drop tuition fees on the 5th of November. Please meet at Vari Hall at York University at 10 AM sharp.  Also, if you play any instruments such as the clarinet, trombone, trumpet, drum, flute, etc., we are looking forward to making some noise, sort of like a marching band, but not entirely. Please contact myself or the YFS office. More information may be obtained at the Drop Fees website.

It is a very arduous task, if not impossible, to affirm whether it is the privately or publicly owned media that facilitate democracy and act as a counterweight to institutions of power. The reason in part is the existence of various schools of thought on notions of the public sphere, the constitution of democracy, and cultural hegemony. Another facet of this conundrum draws from the problems of cultural integration and dominant ideologies, and how they are very intricately connected to these notions of democracy and publicity. In this paper, the author will attempt to discuss the differing schools of thought on the public sphere, moving on to discuss the nature of both the public and private media, drawing a conclusion as to which form serves a democratic way of social life.

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About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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