Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chanting in the rain

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon at the Toronto Humane Society Protest.

Some of the main organizers of the protest: Nikki, Mel, Marcie, James, Sam

Marcie talks about her experiences working the night shift at the THS. "The dog died in my arms."

Sam talks about governance at the THS

Marna, from Big on Beagles rescue, talks about the importance of working with rescues and also plugs Toronto Animal Services. Yaay, Marna!

The last time I was in a protest (maybe I should say, caught in a protest) I was tear gassed and the riot police were doing that baton on shields banging thing but that was an age and a country away.

Today's protest at the Toronto Humane Society, was, by my rough estimate, around 200 people. It was an afternoon of interspersed chanting, mostly directed at Tim Trow, and listening to speakers talk about their experiences with the Toronto Humane Society. The bicycle police stood around with us in the rain trying not to smile and every so often would remind someone to please stay within the marked off areas.

The speakers did an excellent job but unfortunately the megaphone they were using did not and I'm pretty sure the people at the edges of the crowd couldn't hear most of what was said. Still, being the polite Canadians we stereotypically are, everyone remained courteously quiet whenever someone was at the stand.

Tim Trow was nowhere in sight. Actually, no official from THS made any kind of appearance as far as I could tell - although I hear a few THS vets were in the crowd, incognito, giving their support. When I left, the pile of donated goods from members of the protest group for the shelter's animals hadn't yet been picked up by anyone inside.

Most of the local news stations showed up and there were videographers who captured the whole thing so I'm not going to go into details about what was said as I'll just post the link as soon as it becomes available.

Here's a little taste, though, from someone who wasn't officially listed as a speaker but felt strongly enough to take the stand:

The important thing to remember is that this protest is just round one. It's going to take a lot more than just a few voices on a Saturday afternoon to unseat the entrenched directors at the THS so that the much needed changes to animal care can be implemented. Today, people were just testing their voices, testing their alliances, testing their strengths.

Round two is coming up.


Social Mange said...

Thanks for the pics, Fred. Good turnout for a miserable day!

Anonymous said...

CBC Newsworld is running adds for the THS?all accross Canada where the situation is not as well known. Should't someone notify the CBC to perhaps stop the adds until the air is cleared. I am sure people are sending donations from across Cancda to the THS without knowing the facts.

Onthetrailsagain said...

You know, I would have hoped with all the advertising on Craigslist and all the promotion through the Globe, the turnout would have been higher.

I couldn't make it as I had to work, but my heart was there.

Lets just hope that something comes of this.

If not, another protest will have to be arranged.

Anonymous said...

I was working my Saturday shift in the nursery during the protest. Although Tim Trow did not show up to the protest, the buzz inside the shelter that day was that he was up in his office with a few shelter supervisors using an expensive high tech camera with a zoom lens and trying to identify people in the protest group.

Also, when the 12 pm shift arrived for their nursery work, the doors were locked. To keep out the people who were going to portest, maybe? But it also kept out volunteers for a while.


Social Mange said...

OMG, Timmy was spying on the crowd??? Too funny! Next time, let's get Nixon and Trudeau masks!!! Make him crazy! *LOLOL*

Anonymous said...

Trow has a little police state at the THS. They spend over $200,000 on security for camera work, private investigators, etc... During the protest they hired 15 security guards (billed at $15/hour for 8 hours) Their supervisors are hired for security experience. There are no less then six cameras at the front entrance, and scores of other cameras. The cameras are of the highest quality, and include optical zoom and a seven day capacity to store video. The cameras are fed into a central viewing room. Trow also has viewing screens within his office, and also a live feed he can view from home.