Sunflower Skins

July 3, 2010

Experiment 3: The Temporal City and the Timeless Idea

Filed under: experiments, prose — Tags: , , — Sunflower Skins @ 2:19 am

It began. And people came to the imagined city, the one created by so many. It was a great dream of collective minds, all frustrated by the country’s current social and economic state, desirous of change for themselves, for the world. But these people arrived in a city they didn’t know was in disguise. Even in the safest places, there was now danger; by the end of the weekend, the imagined city had been beaten and arrested and intimidated, truth only revealed later through emerging digital documents.

The They had deemed the city temporal and therefore subject to numerous infractions: hours didn’t matter to strip-searched, dehydrated kids in detention centres;  hours spent in confusion and fear, antagonized by a black bloc, were worth nothing; hours were lost to sitting in the rain, surrounded by an army of police. The timeframe has been dissected. We are learning what happened in the days governed by non-existent law. Floating on its own in space, that city was two: the one imagined by the people and the one created by The They. And the latter stomped its heavy, ugly foot on the former, allowing chaos to take place while money and force was used in unreasonable, unnecessary places.

The singing and v-signs continued long into the nights, echoing long after hundreds of arrests had been made.

Now that it’s over, the city we imagined still remains: one free of vandalism and unjust search and seizure, one without a dark and destructive underground or a violent and threatening security enforcement. Cut art’s funding and then detain the thug who protests it? Fix the economy by targeting minorities and arresting the peaceful? No way! The imagined city is not like that. The one we imagined we’d have, the one we believed possible last week is still achievable. I think I can see it if I close my eyes.

Basic human rights is not a new idea. Freedom is the oldest word, but only after repression. Keep talking about what happened at the Toronto G20, free speech and civil liberties from the cage.

And know your rights. The imagined city will uphold them.

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