This video made my morning.  Setting aside some CP solidarity bias, this guy is awesome.  The BBC clearly wanted to seek public support against the protests against this video, but McIntyre did not let that happen.  I wish I could shake your hand man.


Here in Canada, we experienced similar incidents during and after the G20 where many people with disabilities were mistreated and the hands of police, and though people did fight back, the issues did not recieve nearly this much public attention.  People with disabilities were allegidly abused by police, or police accused other protesters of being mislead into attending.  We do have a mainstream disability movement, but where were they to support the victims of violence and seek the solidarity of others during the G20? (crickets chirping)

I’m starting to believe that the mainstream disability movement in Canada is happy to play victim, or stand by as a silent bystander while individuals fight for their rights.  Occasionally you might see a letter or two, but it seems like people are really afraid to make disability issues into public issues.  That is a shameful slap in the face to our history.  I congratulate McIntyre for taking the step to connect his issue, which could have easily become isolated as a disability issue, into a call for broader struggle. I hope someday we can fight beside you.

This is a great start, but I think to truly be effective we need to open up discussion to issues of ableism as well as audism that took place in and around the G20.  Such incidents speak to me of a need for better police training on these issues.  Perhaps this is something to bring up with the mayoral candidates as well.

Here are examples of some of the incidents that took place:
What I’d like to know is, where were the disability advocacy organizations to fight for the basic human rights of these people?  Organizations like the ARCH Disability Law Centre who are supposed to defend the human rights of people with disabilities.   Not to mention the countless other disability organizations that preferred to close down rather than take part in the G20, or the events that followed.
If there was ever a time for the disability movement to show it’s solidarity with the average person with a disability in Canada, this is it, and yet we continue to hide in the shadows.  How can we expect things to change for people with disabilities if we continue to hide out of the public eye as we did before people with disabilities had rights?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has provided publications for American Law Enforcement, sadly Ontario has not kept up with the United States in this area, but instead has chosen to keep important provincially funded areas like police and healthcare unaccessible.  Where are the passionate disability activists we need to fight for this type of legislation?
Hopefully some of them will at least be here:
August 7
6:00pm – 8:00pm
OISE/UofT, Room 2212, Second Floor
252 Bloor Street West (St. George subway station) Toronto

We have all heard the stories of the Toronto Police Services denying
interpreters, accusing Deaf people of “faking”, interpreting attempts
to communicate as violence, misunderstanding facial expressions that
are a part of our grammar as anger, and countless other acts of
audism, discrimination, and violence. It is time to do something about

Join us in sharing our stories and coming together as a …united
community of Deaf, oral deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and
hearing allies! We will share our experiences in a public forum to
promote healing, equality and change. This will be the beginning of a
long process of achieving change within the Toronto Police Services
policy, training, and sensitivity to our diverse communities.

ASL interpretation provided. If you require accommodations or
childcare, please contact Jenny Blaser
as soon as possible.

Endorsed by the LEAF’s Youth Commission, Signs of Support, Ryerson
Student Union, OPIRG, and the Association of Part-Time Undergraduate

by Doug Draper / July 7th, 2010

John Pruyn wasn’t much in the mood for celebrating Canada Day this year.

How could he be after the way he was treated a few days earlier in Toronto by figures of authority most of us were brought up to respect, our publicly paid-for police forces who are supposed to be there to serve and protect peaceful, law-abiding citizens like him.

The 57-year-old Thorold, Ontario resident – an employee with Revenue Canada and a part-time farmer who lost a leg above his knee following a farming accident 17 years ago – was sitting on the grass at Queen’s Park with his daughter Sarah and two other young people this June 26, during the G20 summit, where he assumed it would be safe.

As it turned out, it was a bad assumption because in came a line of armoured police, into an area the city had promised would be safe for peaceful demonstrations

during the summit. They closed right in on John and his daughter and the two others and ordered them to move. Pruyn tried getting up and he fell, and it was all too slow for the police.

As Sarah began pleading with them to give her father a little time and space to get up because he is an amputee, they began kicking and hitting him. One of the police officers used his knee to press Pruyn’s head down so hard on the ground, said Pruyn in an interview this July 4 with Niagara At Large, that his head was still hurting a week later.

Accusing him of resisting arrest, they pulled his walking sticks away from him, tied his hands behind his back and ripped off his prosthetic leg. Then they told him to get up and hop, and when he said he couldn’t, they dragged him across the pavement, tearing skin off his elbows, with his hands still tied behind his back. His glasses were knocked off as they continued to accuse him of resisting arrest and of being a “spitter,” something he said he did not do. They took him to a warehouse and locked him in a steel-mesh cage where his nightmare continued for another 27 hours.

“John’s story is one of the most shocking of the whole (G20 summit) weekend,” said the Ontario New Democratic Party’s justice critic and Niagara area representative Peter Kormos, who has called for a public inquiry into the conduct of security forces during the summit. “He is not a young man and he is an amputee. . John is not a troublemaker. He is a peacemaker and like most of the people who were arrested, he was never charged with anything, which raises questions about why they were arrested in the first place.”

Pruyn told Niagara At Large that he never was given a reason for his arrest. When he was being kicked and hand-tied, police yelled at him that he was resisting arrest. Then a court officer approached him two hours before his release on Sunday evening, June 27, and told him he should not still be there in that steel-mesh cage. So why were Pruyn and his daughter Sarah, a University of Guelph student, who was locked up somewhere else, detained in a makeshift jails for more than 24 hours, along with many other mostly young people who, so far as he could hear and see, had nothing to do with the smashing of windows and torching of a few police cars by a few hundred so-called ‘Black Bloc’ hooligans that weekend?

Why was Pruyn slammed in a cell without his glasses and artificial limb, with no water to drink in the heat for five hours and only a cement floor to sit and sleep on before his captors finally gave him a wheelchair? Why was he never read his rights or even granted the opportunity to make one phone call to a lawyer or his family – the same rights that would be granted to a notorious criminal like Clifford Olsen or Paul Bernardo?

He never received an answer to these questions and, he said, “I was never told I was charged with anything.” Neither were many of the others who were penned up in that warehouse with him, including one person who was bound to a wheelchair because he was paralyzed on one side and begging, over and over again, to go to the washroom before finally wetting his pants.

Pruyn said others in the warehouse begged for a drink of water and younger people made futile pleas to call their parents to at least let them know where they were. In the meantime, Pruyn’s wife, Susan, was frantically trying to find out from the police and others what happened to her husband and daughter. She found out nothing until they were finally released 27 hours after she was supposed to meet back with them at a subway station near Queen’s Park.

So what was this all about and why were John and Sue Pruyn arrested if they were part of the gathering of peaceful demonstrators in the Queen’s Park area?

Was their crime to dare to come to Toronto in the first place and join with those who express concerns about the G20 and whether it has any concern at all for the environment, for people living in poverty, for fair access to health care and other issues important to people around the world who fall into the category of ‘have nots’?

Pruyn wonders if the idea of the crackdown was to send a message to the public at large that gatherings of opposition to government policies won’t be tolerated. “That is (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper’s attitude,” he said. “He doesn’t like dissent in his own (party) ranks.”

Kormos said some might respond to the crackdown against the G20 summit demonstrators by saying that they should have stayed home or they should not have been there, or that if they were swept up by the police, they should have nothing to worry about if they did nothing wrong. But that misses the point, he said. It misses the possibility that this was another example of the province and country sliding down a path of clamping down on citizens’ right to gather together and express views that may not be popular with the government of the day.

Kormos stressed again that a public inquiry is needed, not only for those demonstrators arrested and roughed up during the summit, but for those shop owners in Toronto that had their stores vandalized by a horde of hooligans with little apparent presence of police officers to prevent it.

Asked if there was any possibility a few hundred black-clad vandals were allowed to run wild to make the thousands of people there to demonstrate peacefully look badly, Kormos responded; “That’s why we need a public inquiry.”

Susan Pruyn agreed. “We need a public inquiry for all of the people who went (to Toronto) with good intentions and who ended up suffering that weekend,” she said.

We have all heard the stories of the Toronto Police Services denying interpreters, accusing Deaf people of “faking”, interpreting attempts to communicate as violence, misunderstanding facial expressions that are a part of our grammar as anger, and countless other acts of audism, discrimination, and violence. It is time to do something about it!

Join us in sharing out stories and coming together as a united community of Deaf, oral deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and hearing allies! We will share our experiences in a public forum to promote healing and change. This will be the beginning of a long process of achieving change within the Toronto Police Services policy, training, and sensivity to our diverse communities.

Saturday July 24, 2010 at 6:00pm
Location: OISE- U of T

ASL interpretation provided
Prayer Space Nearby
Child-friendly event.
Wheelchair accessible venue
If you require accommodations, please contact Jenny Blaser at jb.signsofsupport@gmail.com as soon as possible.

Endorsed by the Legal Education Action Fund Youth Commission and Signs of Support

Published On Sat Jun 26 2010
Brendan Kennedy Staff Reporter

Family and friends of Emomotimi Azorbo, a deaf protestor who was arrested Friday, waited at the west-end courthouse where all G20 bail hearings take place this morning in the rain.

Azorbo, 30, was arrested at the intersection of College and Yonge after when he did not heed police commands to stay off the road, his friends say.

“I was asking them (police officers) to talk to me so I could talk to him,” said Azorbo’s friend, Saron Gebresellasi, who was with Azorbo when he was arrested.

“They were all yelling at him and he didn’t understand.”

Gebresellasi said they were about to cross Yonge street to get water from a convenience store when police officers started yelling at Azorbo as soon as
he stepped off the sidewalk.

Gebresellasi said police refused her request that she use sign language for Azorbo. Azorbo was handcuffed by police and shuttled into the Winners store
area, Gebresellasi said, saying the situation deteriorated from there.

“He couldn’t sign to me, because his hands were cuffed behind his back. I could see the anxiety it was causing him. He tried to spell letters with one hand and I could barely make out that he was asking me to stay, to not leave him.”

Gebresellasi said she asked police to let her stay with Azorbo until another interpreter arrived, but they refused. Friends believe he spent the night in
the Eastern Ave. detention centre set up for G20 arrests.

“I know it would have been a traumatizing experience for him, because he wouldn’t be able to communicate or understand anything,” Gebresellasi said.

Azorbo’s mother, Sophie, started crying when Gebresellasi recounted her son’s attempt to communicate while handcuffed. She said he works in the kitchen of a North York restaurant.

Jeff Pansuik, a deaf advocate who was also at the courthouse for Azorbo’s hearing, said the situation is not unique and police need to develop better protocols when arresting deaf people. “It’s not new; deaf people are denied interpreters all the time.”

Pansuik said deaf people should be handcuffed in the front, which would allow them to sign better.

“Handcuffing a deaf person is like putting duct tape over a hearing person’s mouth,” he said. “It’s a violation of their human rights.”

See also, “Deaf Man Arrested In G20 Protest Gets Bail”

Reproduced from http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829015–deaf-protester-expected-in-court-today?bn=1

By John Rae
June 16, 2010

At major local, national and international gatherings that discuss issues facing the future needs in our society, it is common to consider the
inequities of women, the discrimination facing indigenous groups or racial minorities, and nowadays one can expect calls to discuss the future of our
planet to be high on some groups’ agendas. This is perfectly appropriate.

But so often, the needs of the world’s 1/7 of our world’s population who live with a disability, and who are often among the poorest of the poor and
most marginalized members of all nations, are so rarely even on the radar screens of these meetings, let alone on their agendas. the rest of the human
rights community why we continue to be left out in the cold, and what are human rights groups that talk a good line about inclusion prepared to do to
become truly inclusive of all who live on the margins?

Major gatherings like the Peoples Summit that are organized around G-8 or now G-20 events provide community organizations with a rare opportunity to
spotlight examples of collaborative work among a variety of equity seeking groups, for there is much overlap. For example, many of us are a member of
more than one group; women are found among racial minorities, indigenous
peoples and persons with disabilities, and men are also found among racial minorities, First Nations communities, or persons with disabilities.

Unfortunately, this rare opportunity is too often lost, as events, interesting and stimulating though they may be, generally discuss only one
group, and rarely focus on the inter-sectionality that must be the future way of operating, if we are truly interested in building a world where the
rights and participation of all peoples from all over the world, regardless of age, race, ancestry or disability are welcomed, understood and included.

John Rae
1st Vice President
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians

Posted from; http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/?p=1515