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Jane Jacobs, author of THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES, saw street posters as the newspaper of the street.

Cities made street postering illegal in Canada. This lasted until the Supreme Court of Canada in The Ramsden Decision made street postering legal for those unable to access mainstream media (magazines, newspapers, radio, television to name four). That definition means most of us.

Cities very reluctantly accepted this decision. The City of Toronto , after a long period of reflection, enacted street postering bylaws which are extremely well thought out and eminently fair. Street poster size is limited to 8.5 by 11 inches. Only one poster per subject is allowed on the kiosks.

The only problem with this is that the city refuses to enforce the Bylaws. Street postering has become a jungle ruled by those who poster for hire.

A street person I had helped told me just before Christmas, “I was offered $30 a week to tear down your flyers, $100 to break your legs and a thousand dollars to kill you. The thing is, if this offer was made to me it was made to others.”

It most certainly was.

I personally have been under a sustained and vicious attack that has included anonymous death threats on the phone, daily seeing my flyers (and those of other people promoting their concerns and events) shredded into bits and placed in lumps behind over size posters put up by commercial posterers.

People (including city employees) regularly fault me for this mess. I am not the author of it.

I am, however, a witness to it.

I am also a witness to the fact that a surprising number of people willingly turn a blind eye and a deaf ear but, then, that is always how it has been.

Nonetheless, as Margaret Meade said, “Never underestimate the power of one person to change the world for the better as all too often that is all that does it.”

One thing those few who do stand up must remember is that the ranks of those who stand up have always been thin. They always will be. The second is that we must never ask others to stand up for us or with us.

The best have always stood alone.

The reward comes when people say, “You saved my life.”

I hear that often. 6/12/2018.

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