Sorry to have been so quiet over the last couple of days.
My ‘little baby’ was moving from his co-op intern job back to school, about 10 hours’ or so drive apart – and I just happened to be the driver.
So, over the last 3 days or so, I have been, driving, moving, driving, moving and…driving.
When I got home early this morning, I went into a deep, well-earned sleep!
While I was asleep, this afternoon, I received an email from the government department in charge of putting on the events in Parliament Hill, giving me the permit yo hold a “Free Speech Wall’ event on September 13th, 2015 from 1-3pm.
Now, I did start the proceedings to get this event approved back in June. I was asked to wait 3 months. Since, the last time, the ‘approval process’ – 10 days or less according to the Gov of Canada website – was so short, I started the negotiations in June 2015, and, as per request, waited till after the whirlwind of ‘Canada Day’ (plus the time the bureaucrat I truly and honestly believe was doing everything possible in his power to make this happen ‘was back in town’ to ‘rush this through personally’), I submitted my official request for permit in early/mid July.
Plenty of time -right?!?!?!
During all of this, I was very clear that I would need two to three weeks between the permission is granted till the time of the event (I selected the 13th of September – the first Sunday following Labour day and thus satisfying the ‘3 month period’ that was requested of me by ‘the powers that be’) to be able to publicize it properly and get proper citizen involvement in this event.
I had requested permission for a ‘Free Speech Wall’. Along the models that have been springing up on all the College and University campuses in North America, as per theFIRE.org.
And, while I was sleeping, recovering from that whole cross-country moving event of my ‘baby’, I had, indeed, been granted the permission to hold this event.
11 days before the event date.
7 business days prior to the event date. (To get printing and all publicity done – since investing the money prior to any permit being granted seemed rather questionable, at best. Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me!!!)
Which, if I may be perfectly honest, is not exactly ‘within 10 business days’, or anywhere close, of my application….nor does it leave me enough time to properly publicize this event!!!
I cannot help the feeling that this, indeed, is what the ‘powers that be’ had aimed for: despite the best efforts of well-meaning bureaucrats, the permission came at such late a date that, regardless of my efforts, it will prove the event to be a failure since nobody will show up. Because to pull a major event like this, with just 11 days notice, is just a teeny bit difficult.
Less than 2-3 weeks will not give enough time for either ‘my Toronto, nor ‘my Montreal’ people enough time to organize buses to bring people to the event. This eliminates 70 to 80% of the people who were planning to come to my event!
Plus, the RCMP folks (who really, really did not want to be recorded in what they said) told me I was not permitted to promote this as the follow-up or alternative to the Draw Muhammed event – I had to stay within the ‘free speech’ framework when publicizing it or they would, and I quote, ‘pull the plug’.
At this point, I explained to them (again) about my repeatedly injured shoulders and requested they cuff my hands in front, not behind me, since I have insufficient shoulder mobility for that and I would not wish it to be misunderstood as an attempt to resist arrest…
What do you say, my dear readers: will you come to participate?
Or, should I call the RCMP on their attempt to sabotage this event by not giving me enough notice to do proper publicity?
Please, DO let me know – I will count on your numbers should you say you will come!!!