Layman's Lens

Life is beautiful.

Archive for June 2010

Born

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The hospital is on Lake Ramsey which used to hold the record for being the largest lake within the limits of any one city until in 2001 when the City of Greater Sudbury was created and now lake Wanapitei holds the title...

My mom and I standing in from of the hospital in Sudbury where I was born. It used to be called the General Hospital. I understand it is slated to be torn down.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Sudbury

Waiting

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The protest really would have been better for everyone if it had been sunny. Raincheck?

One of the street car drivers decided to get out and wait out the protest on Saturday morning at Queens Park. Everything was still peaceful up to this point. The hoodlums revealed themselves later.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

Posted in G20

Seen and Heard

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Boomboxes making a comeback?

After the 1997 APEC summit in Vancover, a Canadian judge concluded that in the future “A generous opportunity will be afforded for peaceful protesters to see and be seen in their protest activities by guests to the event…”.

Peaceful protesters have the right to be seen and heard. It is a shame that the destructive acts of a few hundred destructive hoodlums have drowned out  thousands of constructive peaceful voices at the G8/G20. Don’t let anarchist mayhem overshadow messages of peaceful demonstrators.

I’ve heard many imply that demonstrators don’t  know what they’re protesting, or even if they do, there’s not much point in protesting because it won’t change things. I disagree with both these statements:

What are you even protesting against?

I can’t speak for others, but here are 3 messages I wanted world leaders to know about when I joined the protest on Saturday:

1. Foreign control of Canadian resources is dangerous because foreign companies can’t be expected to treat our workers with respect.

Nickel workers have been on strike in my hometown of Sudbury for nearly a year. Inco was bought by a Brazilian company Vale in 2006. Since then Vale closed mines and have cut 900 jobs. The contract dispute is the result of Vale wanting to cut pensions and benefits because “…Sudbury is among the company’s highest-cost operations…”

In the past, contract disputes were resolved by compromise. Vale shows no willingness to compromise and will likely wait out striking workers until operations can be brought back online using replacement workers or until the union eventually gives into their demands. There is nothing to stop Vale from imposing further benefit/pay cuts either.

2. The G8/G20 countries must stop breaking promises to support people with HIV/AIDS in Africa

In 2005, the G8 promised universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment by 2010. They will fall US$7 billion short of this  target. Not only will they not make good on their past promises, now the G8 will be further cutting back its funding over the next 3 years.

3. Water must be declared as a fundamental human right

The World Bank required the Bolivian government to privatize it’s water supply in Cochabamba in order to receive funding. The government complied and the cost of water shot up as a result and it became illegal to even collect rain water. Some were spending more than a 1/4 of their wages to buy water. It is unethical to limit anyone’s access to water in this way.

Protests can work

The case of water privatization also shows how protests can work. It was only after citizens of Cochabamba took to the streets that the Bolivian government backed down.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Posted in G20

G20 Street Furniture

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Adds a trashy twist to the draconian lockdown...

Garbage bins have been removed near the security zone for the G20 along with newspaper boxes, benches, bus shelters and even small trees.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

Posted in G20

G20

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Must be hard to run in all that gear...

I’ve never seen so many police in one place – all decked out with riot helmets and gas masks. There’s a quiet eerie mood in the security zone near Union station as the G20 gets underway. The police officers seem to be having a good time though.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Posted in G20

Wi-Fi Bunnies

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There were three tables of bunnies like this at the show all dancing/singing together...

Dancing, singing Wi-Fi bunnies performing as part of Luminato in the distillery district.

Apparently these bunnies can read your emails to you out loud...

You can get your own Wi-Fi bunny for only $114.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Posted in luminato

Big Bens

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So much more economical to use photos as souvenirs.

I never buy souvenirs but I love going into souvenir shops.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Posted in UK