Two weeks ago, on the fifth anniversary of the blackout, we reclaimed the streets. At 9 p.m., three parades became one and marched into the intersection of Bloor and Spadina. And took it over. For five minutes. Or maybe it was ten. Chris Bilton says it was fifteen. There were jugglers and fire dancers and trombones and drums and trees and a picnic table on which sat a kiddie pool in which there was standing a “human statue” spraying water with a hose. For one tiny fraction of one day of the year, the intersection did not belong to cars, although they could turn right if they wished. It was ours. Not “ours” as in pedestrians or cyclists or hipsters or activists or whatever. Just ours. Public. Space.
We were there until the cops showed up. A couple squad cars coming from each direction. After a short speech from Mickey Mouse, we dispersed quickly and calmly, some walking down Spadina but most moving over into the newly-liberated Matt Cohen Park at the southeast corner to continue partying, Newmindspace style. The police weren’t angry, just confused. They handled it well and, once we were out of the intersection, went on their way.
Cycling activist and filmmaker Martin Reis (aka Tino) made a video, which he sent to us the other day. Enjoy.
After the fold are both sides of the communiqué/manifesto that was distributed in leaflet form.