Sunday, November 23, 2008

False and Illegitimate AGM, part two - A Report Back

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Tonight about approximately 20 locked out programmers/volunteers and community allies showed up to El Mocambo to peacefully protest the illegitimately AGM, called by tony barnes, mike phillips. dj snapp, d. james, josie minor, doug barrett and the rest of "their" board. This AGM was to replace the other illegitimately called session scheduled for October 29th at Oakam House - a meeting that did not take place due to lack of internal support and consensus as well as outside pressure and protest.

The CKLN mismanagement and board have been looking to carry out an AGM to justify their process to the RSU so that student fees held in trust could be released in full to them (monies desperately needed since the most recent fundraising drive failed to bring in as much financial support from community as it had in past years). Since the meeting of the 29th involved police participation at the request of CKLN mismanagement, the SCC building administration cancelled the station's rental privileges within Student Centre premises. The Ryerson Student Union had already warned mismanagement in past occasions that police presence was not welcomed in the building.

Also, the RSU had on several opportunities encouraged mediation and a reasonable resolution of this dispute. Most recently, their legal counsel met with CKLN mis-reps and their legal counsel to address the "AGM" which was re-scheduled for the 23rd of this month. At this meeting both CKLN staff and mis-reps and their lawyer agreed to postpone this meeting until a list of eligible attendees was sorted out and agreed upon by both sides (the legitimate board elected months ago and the illegal board that includes recent student appointments and dismissed community and volunteer mis-reps). In a clear violation of an agreement made in good faith between two parties and their legal counsels, the mismanagement and "their" board decided to go ahead with their scheduled illegitimate AGM tonight at El Mocambo.

The meeting was only open to those who were approved volunteers (by mismanagement), Ryerson students, and community supporters who had donated $50 in the most recent fundfest. These requirements made the event exclusive and exclusionary. But not all were allowed in, d. james was positioned by the entrance hiding behind two club security staff with a list in hand to check who mismanagement and "their" board had agreed would be considered legit participants at "their" meeting. Doug Barrett was also on door duty, though not too close but overlooking from a set of stairs, making sure that his colleague and security would carry out orders. Metro Toronto Police on bike were also called and stationed on the sidewalk (between 3 to 6 officers from time to time).

A peaceful and informative picket was set up outside the club. Flyering was done to educate those who were attending as well as the general public. Speeches were given to raise the issue that this was not a legitimate meeting and that this action was being carried out in bad faith and in an exclusionary manner. Many of those of us who attended this picket tried to get inside to bear witness but we were all turned down by security at the instruction of d. james. Some were pushed aside and verbally abused and/or disrespected by those who support this unjust and illegitimate behaviour.

Half of an hour to 8 pm, we got word from the inside that the meeting was not happening as seamlessly as irrationally expected. People were questioning mismanagement and "their" board on a variety of issues and that no elections had taken place thus far. The body count inside was estimated to be between 25 and 30 at the start. Toward the 7:30 pm mark, 3 people had left the meeting because "there was too much shouting and arguing" and not much was being done in terms of discussion and decisions.

The weather was chilly but the energy was good. Kudos to Owen, Don, Cathy, Oriel, Joeita, Jeff and Lilka for all the prep work and for bringing flyers, banners and megaphone to help carry out this important action, and to all of those who came out and stood there for an hour or two to bear witness to this injustice.

in community,


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