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Ten years ago the streets of Toronto were flooded with posters which stated a street person was a police informant. They had been put up by his ex-employer, a man who runs a street postering business and a business selling used bicycles.

Why did he put them up? Does it really matter? Doing something meant to incite violence on another is wrong. That is what matters.

Reg Hartt bought a video camera.

He filmed the posters. Says Hartt, “I then contacted everyone I could think of from the Federal Government, the provincial, the city, the media, you name it. They all said there was nothing they could do.”

That video is still up: Street poster campaign smearing Terry Ross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an6wuSoPjlc

Hartt learned the man behind this attack had left death threats on someone’s answering machine: Davisville Psycho

http://posterstoronto.blogspot.com/2010/06/davisville-psycho.html

Then, because Hartt was standing up against this  he came under attack: Globe And Mail

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-alternative-theatre-founder-stands-up-to-bullying-threats/article549053/

Ed Keenan, of THE TORONTO STAR, said to Hartt, “Reg, you are in the only man in this city who stands up.”

At least there is one man in Toronto who stands up.

Hartt looked for support. He found none.

One person after another said, “This storm will blow over.”

Ten years later the storm is still raging.

Just before Christmas 2017 a street person living in a tent by a construction site on Queen Street said to Hartt, “I was offered $75 a week to tear down your street posters, $100 to break your legs and $1,000 to kill you. If I have been offered this others have.”

Hartt shut down his programs for January and February 2018. He began them again on March 17 and 19, 2018.

On March 18 a man who came to see the program asked to access the internet to check his facebook.

Then at the end of May, 2018 Hartt found the police at his door with a warrant which stated, “On or about March 18, 2018 child pornography had been downloaded to his internet address.”

Clearly Hartt has been and continues to be the target of a campaign meant to bring harm upon him.

Hartt started a fundraiser campaign to deal with his legal costs.

So far he has seen zero support.

That is nothing new. Hartt has stood alone with zero support most of his life.

Reg Hartt is a man the world can be proud of.

As for the apathy he continues to encounter, well, Hartt is not the first and certainly won’t be the last to face that.

Heroes in TV shows and movies wear masks, costumes and have special gifts, lots of money and/or extraordinary powers.

Heroes in real life are ordinary people who stand up, get knocked down, get back up, get knocked down and keep getting back up until they are either killed or they finally win.

What about the police? The police are too often on the wrong side of justice. The Sheriff of Nottingham  had the law on his side.

Robin Hood had justice.

All too often it is the outlaws who stand up for what’s right.

Reg Hartt is and always has been an outlaw.

Said Laura Lind in the late, lamented EYE weekly, “Reg Hartt is everything Jane Jacobs wrote about.”

Jane Jacobs wrote several very important books. The first is called THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES. The last is titled DARK AGE AHEAD.

If you’ve read those you know what Reg Hartt is about. If you have not read them now is the moment and this is the hour.

Who is Jane Jacobs?

Jane Jacobs was a New York housewife, mother and writer who stood up against the most powerful people in New York because what they were doing was wrong. She was David to their Goliath. Like Davikd she brought Goliath down.

Jane Jacobs moved her family to Toronto in 1968 to keep her sons from being killed in Vietnam. There would be a lot more sons alive to day if more Americans had followed her lead. They didn’t.

Reg Hartt is globally acknowledged as a healer, as an educator and as an artist. Don’t take my word for it. Look him up.

Said Joe Fiorito in THE TORONTO STAR, “I am a friend of Reg Hartt.  So is anyone who can appreciate a man who teaches the way Neal Cassady drove a bus.  I mean that, where you have style wrapped around content and tied with a ribbon of beat improvisation, there you have angels. Harvey Pekar was an angel. And I’ve never met anyone with wings who did not have an ego. Nor is this an easy town for a man who is larger than life, and does not to suffer fools. You might like to know that the friends of Reg Hartt included the non-fool-suffering Jane Jacobs, who knew a thing or two about what, and who, makes life worth living in the city; that’s good enough for me.”

From Jane Jacobs Reg Hartt learned the importance of standing up.

Mrs. Jacobs children when they see Hartt say, “Our mother loved you.”

Mrs. Jacobs said to Hartt, “The best part of what you have to offer is what you have to say.”

When Mrs. Jacobs arrived in Toronto she hailed Markham Street/Mirvish village as something unique to Toronto:

Jane Jacobs on Toronto 1969

https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/jane-jacobs-on-cities-and-the-economy

James Jacobs: My mother loved Reg Hartt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YonLUG7gRyY&t=281s

Today in 202o much of what Jane Jacobs valued in Toronto, much of what she saw as unique to this city lies destroyed, rubble to be replaced by the new, by the very, very expensive.

Right now forces are at play to destroy completely and utterly Reg Hartt, the man she loved.

What can we do?

First we can do what only Reg Hartt is doing in Toronto. We can stand up.

Then we can do the one thing that right now matters most. We can donate to his legal fund.

Now.

2020–02–01

To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”–Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ― Elie Wiesel

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ― Elie Wiesel

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” ― Elie Wiesel, The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, the Accident

“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” ― elie wiesel

“One person of integrity can make a difference.” ― Elie Wiesel

“No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them” ― Elie Wiesel

“For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” ― Elie Wiesel, Night

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
― Elie Wiesel

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”–Albert Einstein

“The world won’t be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” ― Albert Einstein

 

“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.”– Helen Keller

“I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn.”–Leo Buscaglia

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.”– Hunter S. Thompson

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”–Montesquieu

“Government is at its worst when you have apathy from its citizens.”—Jesse Ventura

“The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead.”–William Lloyd Garrison

“Slums may well be breeding grounds of crime, but middle class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.”– Cyril Connolly

“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.”–Arnold J. Toynbee

“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.”–Dan Millman

“I was faced more with apathy than opposition.”–Adrian Cronauer

“Persecution was at least a sign of personal interest. Tolerance is composed of nine parts of apathy to one of brotherly love.”–Frank Moore Colby

“Much of the impotence of American churches is tied to a profound ignorance and apathy about justification. Our people live in a fog of guilt. Or just as bad, they think being a better person is all God requires.”–Kevin DeYoung

“I remember the moon landings, and Apollo was the paradigm by which all progress was measured at that time. And I knew that creating a true space-faring civilization was both possible and practical. What I failed to realize was that the effort would fail due to bureaucratic inertia and political apathy.”– Karl Schroeder

“Fear is better than apathy because fear makes us do something.”–Emiliano Salinas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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