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When Kenneth Ramsden won his battle over street postering it was hailed as a victory for Freedom Of Speech. That’s what it was.

The Supreme Court of Canada defended street postering as freedom of speech for people without access to mainstream media (magazines, newspaper, radio, television, etc..).

The City of Toronto and other cities had fought hard against that freedom. They lost.

The City of Toronto took a long time defining its street poster Bylaws. When they did those Bylaws were eminently fair and extremely well thought out.

People are allowed one poster per subject per kiosk. That poster can not be larger than 8.5 x 11 inches.

A lot of folk don’t like that ruling. I do. I have always found 8.5 x 11 inches an effective size. The big plus is that size leaves room for others. Posters larger than that steal space. There is a limited amount of space available.

For nearly twenty years now I have been engaged in a battle with people who poster for hire. These people not only ignore the City Poster Bylaws regarding size and quantity, they also take down and destroy posters they are not paid to post.

The only way you can guarantee your poster goes up and stays up is if you pay these people.

Now I would think that people who have written about this battle would take the time to research the laws and think about the issues at stake, especially in the media.

Thing is, they don’t.

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

She’s right. They are.

Kenneth Ramsden was promoting his band when the City of Peterborough charged him. There was a time when the streets were wonderfully alive with posters promoting bands. Not today.

Today the city’s poster kiosks and utility poles are covered with multiple copies of oversize posters promoting subjects also being promoted in mainstream media. The people who put these posters up charge anywhere from 25 cents to $1 or more a poster which may not sound like much but which run into big money when quantity comes into the picture.

What has happened is what has happened in so many areas. People have taken something meant for everyone but most especially meant for those least able to pay for it and turned it into something only those who can afford to pay can use.

I would think that journalists who write about the abuse of our freedoms would understand this. Certainly, Jane Jacobs did.

Thing is, they don’t.

The battle between myself and commercial posterers is most commonly described as a feud.

It isn’t. It’s me standing up for Freedom Of Speech against those demanding payment.

Hart House Theater at The University of Toronto completely ignores the City Bylaws. Their posters are 11×17 inches. We often see multiple copies of their posters up on the kiosks. Posters that were on the kiosks before Hart House Theater posters were posted are either covered over or taken down to be thrown into the trash.

I have also found my posters and those of others torn up into confetti sized bits of paper than posted in clumps behind posters for Hart House Theater (I have taken pictures and videos of this).

Nor is Hart House Theater the only repeat offender. There are many of them. All of these groups and organizations advertise in mainstream media. They have no legal right to street poster. That right is explicitly reserved for those who cannot use mainstream media.

Additionally, myself and others have found and continue to find ourselves the subjects of vicious anonymous posters designed to bring violence down upon us: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-alternative-theatre-founder-stands-up-to-bullying-threats/article549053/    .

Just before Christmas 2017 a street person I had helped said, “I was offered $30 a week to tear down your posters, $100 to break your legs and $1,000 to kill you. The thing is, if I have been offered this, others have.”

Then, at the end of May the police raided me with a warrant that stated that on or about March 18, 2018 someone had downloaded child pornography to my internet.

That date was interesting because I had stopped promoting my programs for the winter because the cold weather makes people bunch up and move fast which means people don’t stop to read posters. I had begun them on March 17 & 18. On March 18 a fellow who came to the program asked if he could check his emails.

I introduce my programs with a talk that runs most often thirty minutes. When I introduced the film this fellow was not in the audience. When I came out he was in the hall outside. Nor was he here when the film ended.

Child pornography is an emotional red flag issue. Put that headline into print the uniformed are quick to express their opinions.

What is true is that the one person standing up for the rights of everyone has now been smeared with the brush that practically guarantees every one will turn against him.

As it happens I am recognized internationally for both the educational and artistic value of my work.

When the police were here I pointed out to them a file that I said could be child porn. That file concerns a man named Jesse Dumanch who was raised as a child prostitute on a U. S. Army Base in Germany. Pictures of him inspired the lust of police officers, politicians, influential business people and others. All of this is a matter of public record.

Proverbs states Get yourself wisdom and, in your getting, get understanding. Wisdom without understanding is vanity. Understanding only comes when we know as much as we can possibly learn.

Our child pornography laws state:

(6) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section if the act that is alleged to constitute the offence

(a) has a legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice or to science, medicine, education or art; and

(b) does not pose an undue risk of harm to persons under the age of eighteen years. 

This boy was raised on an army base in Germany. He was raised as a prostitute. Police officers, politicians, influential businessmen looked at pictures of him. They then paid to be with him. Dumanch was one of many children raised to be prostitutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaedvSHNMFc , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmkW5DHUe8M , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vnewjt8u4g .

 

When the police asked why I had the materials I replied, “Research.”

The police said, “We don’t accept that.”

They were right not to. It is not their job to decide. That is the job of the court.

While being interrogated at the police station I learned that the person the police turned to was the man who runs one of the chief commercial street posters businesses in Toronto. It was this same man who had posted the materials talked about in the 2012 Globe And Mail article. He had also filed a complaint with the police against myself in 2014. He at one time lived with me. Asked why he moved out he stated that he was uncomfortable with my making videos of young boys.

When he lived here I did not own a video camera. I bought my first video camera in 2010 to document the thousands of flyers that went up overnight around the city stating that one of this man’s former employees was a rat, a police informant.

That man is James Gillis aka “Dr. Jamie.”

As a result of his testimony I found myself being raided.

At the bottom this is about Freedom of Speech.

Under the law I am allowed to possess the materials I possess if their purpose be educational or artistic. In my case they are both.

Under the law I am allowed to post street flyers if I do not have the means (money) to access mainstream media.

This is about Freedom of Speech. It is about my freedom of speech and about your freedom of speech.

Like many who have stood up I find myself standing alone.

Why do you think Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Worse than the words of our enemies is the silence of our friends.”

This being Black History Month it is more than appropriate to be standing up for that which Martin Luther King Jr. stood up: Freedom.

Somehow it seems, the people who stand up for freedom historically have always stood up alone.

Somehow, those folks also either find their names destroyed in some manufactured scandal the media is more than eager to promote or, like Martin Luther King Jr., their lives ended by an assassin’s bullet.

The thing is those standing up for freedom are standing up for everyone including their murderers.

My father taught me to stand up for everyone. He also taught me to expect no one to stand up for me.

He was a helluva’ man.

I don’t expect THE TORONTO SUN to understand nor stand up for these issues.No one does.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, THE NATIONAL POST, THE STAR have understood them and do stand up for these issues.

Nor do I expect city inspectors to (though some do).

Jane Jacobs long ago taught me most of those sold their birthright for a bowl of soup.

–Reg Hartt 2/20/2019.

 

As can be seen in this video people who street poster for hire routinely rip down and destroy posters they are not paid to post. THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA defended street postering as FREEDOM OF SPEECH for people without access to mainstream media. People who poster for hire limit that freedom to those who can afford to pay them. There is big money to be made in postering for hire.

For decades Reg Hartt has found himself under attack. Those attacks include anonymous hate phone calls. When the callers realized their numbers are on record they stopped calling.

For nearly twenty years James Gillis (aka Dr. Jamie) has been posting hate on Toronto’s streets. He is seen here posting flyers searing Reg Hartt. Despite the evidence of this abuse MLS staffers turn a blind eye. Gillis also lodged a complaint with Toronto police which states that when he lived with Hartt he moved out because he was uncomfortable with Hartt making videos of young boys. Hartt did not own a video camera when Gillis lived with him. Hartt bought his first video camera in 2010 to record Gillis’s street poster attacks on his ex-employees Terry Ross: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an6wuSoPjlc&t=510s , and Daniel Goggin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v96QfcjaR2U&t=33s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWrubgHwJfc&t=26s     .

MLS Inspector John Sophocleous and others who have seen these videos have replied, “It’s not our job.”

They are right. It’s not their job alone.

It is the job of all of us to stand up and speak up when we see stuff like this happening.

Jane Jacobs said of Toronto in 1969,  “There doesn’t seem to be much creativity at the top. It seems to me that Toronto has a split personality, a civic schizophrenia. On one level there is the spirit of individuals and small groups who do things…what you might call the vernacular spirit. This is all very informal, ingenious, quite romantic and full of fun, a great deal of fun. It seems to me that the official spirit of Toronto is stamp out fun. It’s pompous, impressed with mediocrity if its very, very big and expensive.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUO20–hXw8

John Sophocleous is part of that mediocrity.

Reg Hartt has long been part of the city’s vernacular spirit.

 

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