Aka Angel-Demon Baby Daddies and The Bad Stuff.
I left talking about Deblanc and Fiore till the very end for a few reasons – to give more people time to catch up (have you watched Preacher yet? HAVE YOU?) and because I love them so obviously, I saved the best for last. In the comics, Deblanc and Fiore are barely there cardboard standouts that exist to provide some more jokers for Jesse to beat up in his search for God. They come to Earth to look for Genesis, but give up fairly early on in favour of the pleasures of doing cocaine and masturbating. Oh, Garth Ennis, you wacky scamp.
Beware the spoilers for all of Season 1 below, as well as a trigger warning for discussions on suicide & racism.
Bit of a rough post today, but one that I hope will be helpful. This is gathered together from the tips at this fantastic post on Ravishly, “What you can do right now about Police Brutality” (and my hat is off to Lora for sharing the Ravishly post today.)
The City’s page for Complaints and Concerns about the Brantford Police Service states that “The Brantford Police Service views the complaint process as a means of maintaining public accountability, correcting police misconduct, and improving police services to the community.” Complaints must be made within six months of the incident, so there is a time limit. You can choose to speak with someone in person (the informal complaint process) at the BPS office, on 344 Elgin St., Brantford, ON, or
file a complaint online through the Office of the Independent Police Review Director – this is considered the formal complaint process, although there are alternative modes of resolution offered, including mediation. The IPRD is a civilian lawyer who formerly served on the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and Executive Director of Legal Aid Manitoba. The website includes an online form, accessible PDFs of both the form, and the pamphlet on how to make a complaint. However, it is noted on the investigations page: “If, during the course of the investigation, the Director discovers evidence that an officer may have committed a crime, the matter will be referred to the police for further investigation.” Kind of a problem, no?
In Ontario, there are also the Special Investigations Unit, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission that offer independent, civilian investigative bodies for police conduct. The entire text of the BPS complaints by-law is online, but highlights the gaps wherein all decisions tend to be made first by the Police Board, including the decision to bring a complaint to the OCPC. The Brantford Police are represented by the Brantford Police Association in contract negotiations. (Unfortunately, the link wasn’t working today, so I can’t confirm the information found there on their roles in conduct review processes.)
There are some definite gaps and ambiguities in this process that should be clarified and detailed, with civilian input and oversight.
The Brantford Police Services Board appears to meet monthly outside of the summer season, and you can find details, including times and locations on the City Calendar. Unfortunately for those working day jobs, they are all in the afternoons on weekdays. Worse, the link to Agendas and Minutes from previous meetings is dead, which I’ve emailed them to correct, and you can find the archived minutes searching the BPS website. City Council meets on a biweekly basis and is another place to bring up issues of police oversight in the city. The aforementioned site includes contact information for the City Council clerk if you wish to submit agenda items. There’s also an RSS Feed Link that lets you subscribe to any of the public committee meetings.
The Brantford City Mayor is Chris Friel, and you can find out who your ward councillors are on the City’s website. This map will show you what ward you live in, if you’re not sure. Oluo states in the Ravishly essay, “Don’t just ask once. Ask and follow up regularly.” Ask what you can do to contribute to the processes that shape community services, outreach and policing.
“Make police reform a requirement for your vote.” Elections are held on a four-year cycle in our city. The last city elections were in 2014. This gives us two years to make this issue important to people running for elected offices. Judges are not elected at the municipal level, and the next provincial election is not until 2018, so in the meantime, we should probably focus on the government we have and putting pressure on them to adapt.
Our MP for Brantford is Phil McColeman (CON). You can write him at:
Summer Hours – July & August -Monday-Thursday 8:30am-4:00pm Friday 8:30am-1:00pm
108 St. George Street, Suite #3
Brantford, ON N3R 1V6
The Valour Building, Rm 850
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Our MPP is Dave Levac, and you can contact him at:
Room 180, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A2
96 Nelson Street
Brantford, Ontario N3T 2N1
Despite filming police encounters being entirely legal (and brutality being captured on film doesn’t appear to affect sentencing of cops who murder), it may be that an officer will try to confiscate your recording device. There are a number of apps available now that allow users to film discreetly, or uploads to the cloud as it records, preventing someone from erasing the data. Copblock has a huge list of these kinds of apps; while some are US-related specifically, like PocketJustice, many are region-free.
I’ve mentioned this on Facebook, because #BLMTO not wanting to sell their shirts to allies has been kind of a “thing”, but don’t ask what you think they want you to do – ask them what they need. As allies, it’s important our desire to do good (and be seen doing it) doesn’t do more harm than anything else. The community knows what it needs – they even had a list of demands ready to present at Pride. Follow them on Twitter, or Facebook and see what kinds of requests for aid they’re making – and do that!
There’s also Disarm Toronto Police, and “Affected Families of Police Homicide” (no known website, but affiliated with #BLMTO) for semi-local activist movements. Many students at Laurier Brantford’s campus are motivated, passionate people with a desire for social justice and change, and there are always groups needing support there during the school year. First Nations peoples are particularly vulnerable to police abuses, as the #MMIW movement has revealed the complicity of federal, provincial and municipal forces in the death and assault of aboriginal men and women. Both Turtle Island News and the Two-Row Times are good places to keep your eyes and ears peeled for news of activist groups, or people in need of legal defense funds.
This post barely scratches the surface of what we, as allies, can do. But it’s a start – and I hope with some of the research legwork done laid out in one spot, people will be encouraged to get out, agitate for reform and ask for strong statements from our city leaders and police services that condemn racist police actions, and express their committment to ending police brutality and abuses. Things have to change. We can’t let our brothers and sisters live like this any longer. They’ve made their demands clear. Will we stand with them?
Okay, this is kind of a cheater entry into the SNS series because in terms of problematic content, Animal Crossing: New Leaf has very few, barring the lack of customization for skin colour. (And many other writers than me have already tackled it.)
But being absorbed so thoroughly into a game (I’ve logged 131 hours since June 9th!) has left me a mostly-unresponsive meat envelope, intent on getting that perfect fruit, or completing that furniture set, or getting as many bells as I can to stuff into Tom Nook’s greedy pockets – which can be a problem. I described ACNL to someone as “easy to learn, but difficult to master”. Mastery, unlike a lot of other games, doesn’t come so much from skill, but from time invested. Many of the projects you want to complete only occur in real time – if you want to upgrade your house, work isn’t complete till the next day. If you finish paying off a public works project, it won’t be built till the next day. Everything happens in real-time in the game, unlike other sim games where time is accelerated.
It’s also like a very slow-paced MMO – your town gates can be opened so your friends can visit, look around your town, shop the wares on Main Street, trample your flowers and scare your villagers. Alternately, they can open their town gates, and you can go visit them. You can trade furniture with one another, send letters to them or their townspeople, or have really intense conversations:
This I think is the killer crux of the game – the possibilities are pretty much limitless. No matter if you’ve maxed out your house expansions – you can always change the exterior, or completely redo a room. Clothing designs in the shops seem blah? Design your own! Share them online. Keep talking to your villagers to unlock new projects to build, and shopping at your stores to expand their wares and selection. Holidays and festivals have special events and items. Try and get horrible villagers to move, or keep ones you like in your town forever. Save all the bells and get achievements and rewards. Try and max out your bug collection, or your fish one. Collect (genuine) art for your museum.
Alternately, if you’re not a perfectionst with an addictive personality, Animal Crossing is a great game to pick up and play for a few minutes a day. Of course, if you’re susceptible to emotional manipulation, your villagers tend to get sad about your lack of presence, and your town gets covered in weeds. But there’s nothing stopping you from just playing the turnip market once a week, or checking now and then to water your flowers and check your mail.
Plus who could forget this video?
So yeah, I play animal crossing. And I’m only sorry because sometimes I have to push Gary off my stomach so I can catch a rare golden stag. I’m sorry little buddy.