The distateful under-belly of the Tamil protest in Toronto

Discrimination and hate-speech mar protest

(read the rest here – Canada News)

Harassing the homeless: deplorable conduct

One incident, not reported in the news until now, revealed to me the distasteful underbelly of the Tamil protest movement in the GTA and their view of the community they have chosen to live in. I work for Project417 a grassroots charity that helps the homeless out on the streets of Toronto. I’m out there several nights a week with volunteer groups of about ten to fifteen people, meeting with our homeless friends who are absolutely without shelter, sleeping on the streets of Toronto. As we passed the Tamil protest one night recently on University Avenue in front of the Court buildings we were headed to visit one friend, a homeless lady who has been sleeping nearby for several months – right through the depths of the winter…

Groups of protesters began visiting her, many of them Tamil Canadian youth. They yelled at her, they swore at her. They told her to leave, because they didn’t want her sleeping there. They said she was dirty and indecent. They said they didn’t want to be near her disease (their faulty asumption, our friend is healthy). They called her a prostitute (whore) and a drug addict, neither of which is the case. Unfortunately, I was supervising several youth volunteers (youth, by the way, who were with me delivering food and friendly smiles to the homeless) and had to leave, so I don’t know how the night progressed, but I fear the worst.

Here is an example of a not so desirable, but instructive view of the Tamil protesters. Claiming to be speaking out for fairness and a humanitarian cause – they prove to be blind to the needs of people in their own GTA communty…

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New Orleans, Gulf Coast Brace for Hurricane Gustav Monday, and Tropical Storm Hannah on its Heels

Satellite Image Hurricane Gustav - Hannah

Satellite Image Hurricane Gustav - Hannah

Hurricane Gustav will reach major hurricane status by the time it reaches the central Gulf coast early in the week. Uncertainty still remains about whether Hanna will add to the misery by late next week. The current forecast takes the eye of Gustav into the coast of Louisiana, west of the Mississippi Delta, late on Monday or early on Tuesday. However, all interests along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to South Texas should monitor Gustav and prepare accordingly. The heavy rain and winds from Gustav will test levees breached during Hurricane Katrina. However, the storm surge will be less across Lake Ponchratrain if the hurricane makes landfall over the southwestern coast of Louisiana.

According to the Times Picayune in New Orleans, Gov. Bobby Jindal said that Louisiana will open contraflow traffic patterns on interstates by “early, early Sunday morning”. Preparations are being made to evacuate people out of at least 19 parishes where a state of emergency has been declared.

Project417, planning a Katrina re-building visit in November hopes that Gustav and Hannah do not add to the devastation of New Orleans and the gulf coast this time.

Visit Project417 to Help with Hurricane Relief

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Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday – Calls for Rich to Help Poor

Mandela Turns 90

Mandela Turns 90

Nelson Mandela, the man who ended apartheid in South Africa, marked his 90th birthday, calling for the rich to do more for the poor. “If you are poor, you are not likely to live long,” he said at his house in the Eastern Cape. He said:”There are many rich people… who can share with those not so fortunate who have not been able to conquer poverty”.

I’m so thankful for Mr. Mandela. I grew up from a young child all the while Mr. Mandela was imprisoned for his opposition to apartheid in South Africa. When he was released from prison, became South Africa’s first black President and put an end to the racist apartheid policy, the world became a better place. It gave me hope, that one person can rise above oppression and overcome injustice if they just hold on to their dreams. Ending apartheid was not just a South African phenomenon – it changed the world by shining light on the darkness that is racism and promoting peaceful multicultural co-existence.

Nelson Mandela, showed today, even on his 90th birthday, that his fight for justice is not over. Once again, even though he spoke of conditions in South Africa, the principal is universal throughout the world: the rich must do more to help the poor. This applies not only to individuals, but also to countries – countries like Canada who have been blessed with an abundance of resources and wealth. Just as Mr. Mandela says of his own country, so Canada has riches we should “share with those not so fortunate to conquer poverty.”

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More Than Good Intentions – Social Justice Working

A great new blog from Toronto, by a group committed to changing the community and helping the needy by getting out and DOING something. One of the founders, Victoria, came for short term summer missions with me years ago and has never lost the desire to be involved in social justice issues for the poor and homeless

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