A mostly awesome day in Toronto. Naturally there’s a few glitches when we protest, that’s why we work from a playbook not plan. We can march to the US Consulate on University Ave in 25 minutes, but this time we were nearly an hour late. Toronto Hash Mob is big on making a grand entrance anyway. If we arrived at two-clock no one would be there to cheer when we show up. There were several reasons for our lateness. Besides being potheads.
The distribution of 1,000 bottles of Free Marc Emery water while we marched down Yonge St. moved us at a snails pace. We handed out informative water to shopkeepers, tourists and shoppers. You can’t get people to accept a handbill, but they’ll gladly take a free gift. This stunt worked marvelous. Thought up by my friends at Toronto creative agency Pixel Dreams.
Normally people on Yonge St. stop to watch what were up too. For those who want better messaging from Toronto Hash Mob we accomplished just that. The water had facts, a website link, QR Code, email pickup and much-much-more. All of us were out late the night before. Making our morning prep work on the Vapor Central donated sound truck then the Pixel Dreams Free Marc Emery bottle water pick up more of chore.
Plenty of prep went into the rally. On the Vapor Central donated sound truck, and Naomi car. Plus the bottles required four hours of labor to de-label and label. A great crew of people pitched in! I estimate over 20 people pitched their individual talents. With 200 attending.
Chris Goodwin picked up the truck at 1030. We began decorating with WhyProhibition and Free Marc banners. Then we headed to Pixel Dreams office to load a half tonne of water. It was a great marketing gimmick. No need to be civil disobedient when you have a product to market. Normally people only have an opportunity to take photo or video of us. This time we stopped to talk to them. And gave them a free gift to remember us.
Toronto Police Service bike cops ensured no one got hit by a car. Giving me a false sense maybe the cops were going to be civil. Instead they were disobedient. The officer in charge couldn’t keep his officers under control at U.S. Consulate. Resulting in an unruly Toronto Hash Mob.
Maddchronic got tagged in for megaphone duties. Working over the facts and chants. Meanwhile Goodwin got dinged for using his cellphone sitting in the cab of the truck while I spoke to the OIC. If the OIC could control his officers I’ll gladly keep an eye on our people. However, officers under his command were surly. Making rude comments about employment, body odor and generally acting very disrespectful.
Toronto Police Service provided contradictory statements on expectations. We already agreed to be across eight lanes of traffic from US Consulate, despite Supreme Court ruling on protesters right to seen and heard, in return we want sound. The pig is a filthy animal, but I love to eat bacon. Given the cops penchant for greatly reducing our turn out in the media, I overly estimate how many will attend. “I’m expecting several thousand.” For the three good cops, we had half dozen bad cops.
It’s a game. A game we decided not play. Officer stated, “We’re going to charge everyone with possession.”
Me “Is that a promise? What about medical people?” Officer “Can you separate the med people so we know?” Me “Your request is discrimination!” End of conversation.
Toronto Hash Mob huddle up deciding to hit Yonge and Dundas Square. Currently home of Toronto International Film Festival. New play in the playbook, never let Goodster decide on direction. So we didn’t. We marched down to Queen St. passing the Eaton centre south side. Then headed north up Yonge St. to the square. It’s estimated 40,000 people are in Toronto’s downtown core on weekends. Marketing agencies hire people to hussle. This summer, I got three bottles of Franks Red Hot, tried bottled diet Coke and and some other crap beverage I can’t even remember. But I accepted it.
Just like how people accepted Free Marc Emery water for your bong or marijuana plants. We used Toronto Hash Mob as street team! By pushing us away from US Consulate the cops did us a favor. There’s no one on University Ave. Everyone is milling on Yonge St. Remarkably the stage was empty when we arrived at Yonge and Dundas Square.
I practically ran to stake our claim. Suddenly people and TIFF festival goers enjoying an un-eventful afternoon we treated to a Toronto Hash Mob performance. “Unfortunately Woody Harreleson was booked today. So you get me.”
During TIFF hotel and restaurant workers have been staging information pickets. Martin Sheen marched one day! Micheal Moore used his stage time to speak about war dodgers. I tagged back in Maddchronic. Who did his routine. Checked on Goodwin who was happily blasting tunes from his sound truck. Then thanked the cops for pushing us into a much better spot.
Maddchronic tagged me back for our finisher. Happy and high he DX crotch chopped when he said Smoke It. Anyone interested in where we get our performing skills from should see our beta site 420Wrestling.
Great day, Toronto! We had so much fun infotaining the public.