The Next Movement

This happened to me this past Friday right outside the fenced G20 secure zone in Toronto:

Police: Can I see your ID?

Sina: I don’t have my ID with me.

Police: You don’t have your wallet with you?

Sina: Well I do. I’d just rather not show my ID to you, since I don’t have to. It kinda creeps me out.

Police: Actually, by the Public Works Protection Act, anyone within 5 metres of that fence can be arrested if they don’t provide ID. So if you have your ID with you I’d suggest you provide to me.

Sina: Listen, I don’t want any trouble. Can I just turn back and go home? I don’t really need to pass by this area, and I really don’t want to show you my ID.

Police: No you may absolutely not go. Please hand over your ID.

Sina: argh [reluctantly hands officer ID]

Police: [looks over ID] Where were you born?

Sina: I’d rather not say. I’m from Canada, I’m Canadian.

Police: You know, this will be a lot easier if you cooperate. If I think you’re obstructing public safety I can arrest you and I really don’t want to have to do that.

Sina: argh. I was born in Thailand.

Police: I thought you said you were born in Canada.

Sina: No, I never said where I was born. I said I’m Canadian, which I am.

Police: Where you are from?

Sina: I’m from Canada.

Police: No but where are you from? Where are you parents from?

Sina: They’re Canadian too.

Police: Where did your parents originally come from?

Sina: argh. They’re from Iran.

Police: So you’re not Canadian.

Sina: No, I’m Canadian.

Police: You see when people ask me where I’m from, I tell them I’m Canadian but my parents are from Guyana.

Sina: That’s great for you. I’m not “Canadian but” though, I’m “Canadian”.

blah blah blah…. This went on for a good 30 mins. He asked where I lived, where I worked, where I went to school, when I graduated, etc….and wrote everything down. My favourite was “do you have a street name?”.

I’m really glad the officer educated me on the fact that I’m not Canadian — and not even because I wasn’t born here, but just because I’m not a “real Canadian”, which I think meant “white” or something. It’s actually good to know, otherwise I would have been really confused as to why my civil rights were being so blatantly violated using what turned out to be an invented law.

Just for the record, the officer was very very very polite and was genuinely a nice guy, even if it doesn’t seem so the way I summarized it above. We may have had different views on what it means to be Canadian, but that’s okay. I know he was just doing his job, was an honest man, and for sure he didn’t know that the 5-metre law was actually fabricated (no one did) — and so I don’t blame him for anything. I sincerely love police officers and have great respect for the dangerous work they do every day and did this past weekend. In fact, other than the initial shake-up which left me feeling dirty, I was generally okay with this incident. That was, until I found out the 5-metre law was, actually, not a law at all. It wasn’t, well, anything. It was completely fabricated. The media had been reporting for several days of this “new secretly passed law”, and not even the premier thought it was necessary to make a clarification. Great.

The police inventing imaginary laws and then demanding citizens abide by them? Just not cool with me.

What have we become?

Every little stupid mistake that has been made

Sina: I’m going to be your enemy from now on. just think of me as your arch nemesis.

Kelly: fine. just send me your usual break up email and this will all be over

Sina: I don’t even know what you’re talking about

Kelly: I dunno sina, you’re notorious for your break up emails

Sina: I am? like. really? because I can’t think of one….

Kelly: you were going to write one to that one girl who I am referring to vaguely for some reason

Sina: okay, I’ll give you that. but that doesn’t really count. whatever man, can we stop analyzing me?!

Kelly: ok ok! relax!

What could be worse than a break-up email? Easy.
Bonuses: one, two

It’s hard for me to pretend

Kelly: are you gonna break up with me?

Sina: break up with you???

Kelly: it seems like you break up with everyone.

Sina: what the hell are you talking about?

Kelly: first X, then Y. then almost Z. one day you’re gonna wake up and decide to break up with me.

Sina: I think you’re being a little dramatic. just because I don’t want to be friends with X anymore doesn’t mean I broke up with them.

Kelly: whatever