Like with the G20 last summer, every once in awhile my eyes are drawn back to Toronto. Right now, at 330a, in Toronto there is a people’s filibuster going on. Hundreds of people are crowded into meeting rooms at Toronto City Hall to present deputations to the City’s Executive Committee.
As usual, Mayor Ford blusters. As he mispronounces everyone’s name, at least those that aren’t pure WASPy in nature, he apologizes. But his apology seems half-hearted. He cuts off speakers, even though he starts their time while they’re still pulling out their chair to sit at the mic. Councillors are given a minute; when applause continued after one speaker he told Councillor Joe Mihevc that since “they are your people” he didn’t get to ask his question, even though Joe clearly couldn’t speak overtop of the clamour.
I’m watching via the 680 news site, and reading the Twitter feeds at #TOCouncil and #TOpoli. People have been following this all day. Some people have been in the room all day. It is unprecedented; in my years of organizing around city budget’s I never saw this happen. People were cut off, council refused to sit etc. Of course, that was before there was a central committee that we were allowed to speak to. The city scattered us through the various committees which spread us out and pitted us against each other.
I’m so tired, they’re on speaker of 206 of 300. But I’m staying up to watch until everyone has had a chance to speak.