Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

This Might Be The Big One

St. James Park, Toronto

The whirled-wide occupation brought thousands of protesters to the intersection of Bay and King in Toronto on Saturday.  That corner is dominated four-square by pillars of the large bank monopolies in a nation that likes its banks big and few.  State media choppers held themselves pendant as fat fruit against a sky of scud and scurry–rain was promised–while their ground-level counterparts were outsize hummingbirds dipping their boom mikes into the nectar of the happy crowd.  Jesus, I was thinking, maybe this is the big one.

Everything was orderly as marshals in red armbands directed folks east towards St. James Park.  The cruciform crowd uncoiled itself  from its banks into a thick half-mile long snake and tested its vocal strength.  Police were everything they weren’t during the G20: friendly, few, and open to banter and questions.  Officer Suddes would come over to me and keep me informed about crowd size as things went along.  1500, he ventured at first, then 2000.  I lost him in the crowd but it was all love for a day.  Things were on their way to 3000, though.

I was waving my pen and notebook around, and people were coming up and volunteering quotes.  If there were any undesirable elements besides me, they were doing their work in side alleys.  Really, I haven’t felt this much positive energy since around 2005 at some big anti-war rally in London in old England.  And it’s not just kids, either, although the faces you tend to see at the front are younger.   Steel workers, teachers’ unions–there’s a good spread.  At the park, a multi-faceted community bloomed into instant viability.  I checked out a copy of Hamlet from the new library, which on Day One was fifty books on a blanket.  Tents flowered.  Assemblies general and specific went about their tasks as if they had lived in the park since the last time tents looked this beautiful west of the Don three hundred years ago.  Saturday was a good day.

By Sunday night, food, shelter, medical, press, stations for assembly, meditation, and so on, already had the feel of permanence.  The park’s a good one because it’s ribboned with berms (it was once a burial ground) so that there’s plenty of high, dry ground for wet weather.  As I moved about the encampment before and during a general assembly, the glossolalia of the little groups in earnest conclave against the background of call-and-response speech from the larger general assembly was a hum of human thought and aspiration, lovely as a prayer.

People of Toronto: send your youth to the encampment.  There will be some danger, but it is primarily in getting there across a city given over to automobile traffic.  Visit yourself.  Bring food, blankets, ideas.  Don’t miss this.  It feels like the big one.

*   *  *

Stay tuned for Friday’s full account of the October 15th demonstration, including all the undesirable elements you’ve come to know and love about our street-level reporting here at seawalk-the-ungoogleable.  My poet avatar goes on a wild back-alley spree hunting undercover cops, takes aside Big Man Bob, a politician, and offers to go cop-hunting with him, and so on.  All good nonviolent fun.  No hijink too low.  And of course as official CounterPunch reporter, I get all the interviews with people.  With people, and also with cops.  Also all the latest from St. James Park.

David Ker Thomson files from Toronto.  Write him at dave dot thomson at utoronto dot ca.


More articles by:
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail