Font Size

When forces in a city want to destroy a person they rig a sex scandal Jane Jacobs wrote in THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES. Forces in Toronto have been trying to destroy me for decades. This is public record. The police were led to believe I was making and selling child porn by the same person responsible for these anonymous flyers. The police did their job. They did it well., The charges were withdrawn after a thorough search of the computers and hard drives seized in my home revealed no evidence to support them. Those charges were reported in THE TORONTO SUN and THE TORONTO STAR. They were then published in other media and on the web. Not published is that they were withdrawn. One day over a beer in her home Jane Jacobs said of the newspaper in front of her, “I hate that paper.” It was THE TORONTO STAR. I do not hate the paper. However as a man in NOTHING SACRED said of newspapermen, “The hand of God, reaching down into the mire, couldn’t elevate one of them to the depths of degradation!”

I thought Mitchell Raphael was a friend. He has been silent.

One day Bobby Naismith walked with me while I was posting flyers for my programs. I had known Bobby since Rochdale College in the 1970s. To my surprise I learned he was homeless. I said, “Come with me.” Bobby said, “I have no money.” I said, “I know that.”

I hear an awful lot about helping the homeless. It usually comes with a plea for government financing. I turned my back on government financing decades ago in my teens. I have been helping the homeless in this city equally as long. Not only that I have stood up for defenceless people when I saw them slandered on the streets with thousands of anonymous posters put up by James Gillis (aka Dr. Jamie) while people in authority keep saying there is nothing they can do.

One of the homeless people I helped was Bobby Naismith whom I knew from Rochdale.
Another was Chris Colledge who walked in here one day to see a friend of his I’d also brought in when he was homeless. Chris said, “I’m homeless! What can I do?” I said, “I have room for you.”
Mitchel Raphael is a gay writer who has seen the attacks on myself posted on the streets for decades. Not only has he been silent about them (THE GLOBE AND MAIL wasn’t) he looks across the street when he passes by my house. That’s fine with me.
Bernie Farber has been here. I have made him aware of the fire I’m passing through. He chooses to be silent.
Ditto Olivia Chow and our city councillors. Silence equals Death.
I did not know Aditya Shanker was the face of gay youth India when he asked to live with me.
One day I got an email from a Black kid from Germany who had suddenly found himself through no fault of his own homeless.
A young man who been living in a tent came here and found a home.
Perhaps if I just pretended to care and sucked on the government teat the folks in power would care but the powerful have never cared for the powerless except to line their pockets. .
Hell, when I try to contact my City Councillor and our Mayor I get silence.
I’m not complaining. I’m stating. Most of us get silence. Silence equals death.
I am not silent.
This city has a homeless problem not because the people living in it do not care but because as Jane Jacobs said, “At the top there is a very high level of mediocrity.”
In 2004 Jane Jacobs last book was published. People said she was wrong. I know she was right.
Her kids say, “Our mother loved you.” I reply, “I love your mother.”
I’m getting more than a little fed up with a culture that does its best to do its worst to people under the pretense of caring.
The latest to run the gauntlet is Buffy Ste. Marie. She’s not the first. She won’t be the last.
We are living in the dark age Jane Jacobs saw. It is going to get darker. .
Usually when cities say they need to clean up they start by shoving the people on the bottom around.
That is what Robert Moses did. It is what this city has been doing to myself and others.
Among the hundreds of thousands of anonymous flyers designed to get me murdered are some that ask: “WHAT WOULD JANE JACOBS DO?”
The answer is that Jane Jacobs would do what Olivia Chow has refused to do from when I sent her office the video of the anonymous street poster attack on Terry Ross in 2010 and what her office seems to refuse to do now.
Jane Jacobs would stand up. She would speak up. She would not shut up until the people destroying this city are run out of it.
Don’t talk to me about the homeless. I’m helping them. .
Margaret Meade said, “Never underestimate the power of one person to change the world for the better. Too often that is all that does it.”
I have changed Toronto for the better. I am changing Toronto for the better.
That is public record: “Reg Hartt had an incredible impact on the city. No one else is doing it. No one else has ever done it.”–Rob Salem.
Like the man said, “No one else is doing it.”–Reg Hartt 2023-10–28.

Olivia Chow’s office was silent in 2010 when I asked her to help stop the anonymous hate poster attacks on street person Terry Ross. Her office is still silent today in 2023. “Someone ought to do it, but why should I? Someone ought to do it, so why not I? Between these two sentences lie whole centuries of moral evolution.” “Someone ought to do it, but why should I?” Author and activist Annie Besant identified that sentence as the motto of people who are moral cowards: those who know about an injustice but do nothing to address it. Very few of us have completely avoided that behavior. Most of us, including me, have now and then chosen to serve our need for comfort instead of standing up against corruption or unfairness. But I think it’s more important than usual that you don’t engage in such moral cowardice now. More depends on your integrity and bravery than you realize.—Rob Brezsny

« »