Chinese Canadian Women Commemorate December 6th Montreal Massacre

December 6th, 2007

Women's Ambasssador's Program

To commemorate the December 6 the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, volunteers from the Women Ambassadors program will: give one minute of silence while wearing the white ribbon for the women killed because of their gender;

  • play a short drama showing different types of domestic abuse;
  • two Women Ambassadors will tell the stories about Chinese Canada abused women; and
  • talk about why they volunteered to help prevent domestic violence.
  • WHERE: Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, Room A
    5183 Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, ON M1B 5Z5

    WHEN: Thursday, Dec 6 2007 at 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

    http://ccnctoronto.ca/

    Wiretap manhunt; Detectives sifted through tens of thousands of phone calls in hunt for Jane Creba’s killers

    December 7th, 2006

    By BRODIE FENLON, TORONTO SUN
    Thursday, December 7, 2006

    The hunt for the trigger-happy gunmen who killed Jane Creba in last year’s Boxing Day shootings centred on listening in on cellphone calls made by suspects, court heard yesterday.

    The veil was lifted on the massive Toronto Police investigation into the Boxing Day shootings that killed Jane Creba when wiretap evidence was played for the first time yesterday in open court.

    Project Green Apple, a six-month probe that led to dramatic raids on two Toronto street gangs in June, involved more than 250,000 intercepted phone calls, court heard during a bail review for one of the men charged in the raids.

    His lawyer says police were so focused on finding the Boxing Day shooters they ignored evidence of other crimes –including drug dealing and death threats — until witnesses refused to co-operate.


    Click here to read the rest of the article…

    Rapport Youth & Family Services receives $800 donation

    December 4th, 2006

    Brampton, Ontario, December 4, 2006Rapport Youth & Family Services is pleased to accept the donation of $800.00 from Sheridan College’s Student Union.This donation was collected as part of the Student Union’s activities surrounding “Gun Violence Awareness Week” at Sheridan’s Davis (Brampton) Campus.

    Gun violence in Canada is tragically on the rise. The Montreal Massacre in 1989, the Concordia University shooting in 1992 when a professor shot a student, the death of Jane Creba on Boxing Day 2005, and Anastasia De Sousa’s killing at Dawson College in September 2006 are just a few examples that are all very real and very scary.

    With “These are the only guns I need” campaign Sheridan students are creating awareness taking the same style of t-shirt that students buy in the stores, and using it to spread a message with a humour that the students understand.

    The result? Students are talking. They are talking about the edgy campaign to stop gun violence. Students are getting the message, they are spreading the word, and they are on their way to ending gun violence.

    Sheridan College students are, and will remain, committed to ending gun violence.

    The funds raised from the Student Union’s activities surrounding “Gun Violence Awareness Week” will go to benefit ECLYPSE, a program of Rapport Youth & Family Services.The key objectives of ECLYPSE are to provide direct services to at-risk youth between the ages of 12 to 24, who would otherwise have difficulty accessing services through the more traditional approaches in the social services, education, employment and health sectors.

    Their second objective is to provide a healthy, non-threatening environment for troubled youth to socialize, learn and participate in constructive and growth-enhancing activities.The third objective is to promote increased collaboration amongst youth serving organizations to strengthen services in the Region of Peel.

    About Rapport Youth & Family Services:

    Rapport primarily provides individual, family, and group counselling for adolescents and young adults experiencing personal, social, or familial challenges. Clients seen at Rapport are typically between 12 and 20 years of age, and are either residing, attending school or working in the Region of Peel. All services at Rapport are provided on a voluntary and confidential basis, with clients being seen at one of Rapport’s three office locations or in a variety of community settings.

    For further information contact:

    Rob El-Sayed
    Manager of Fund Development & Communications, Rapport Youth & Family Services 905-455-4100

    or

    Rosa Filipe
    Director of Student Awareness,
    Sheridan College Student Union
    905-459-7533 Ext. 5318

    Rapport Youth & Family Services website: www.rapportyouth.com.

    Surprise Arrest in Boxing Day Shootings…

    November 9th, 2006

    Because you may be looking for news about today’s arrests, here are mainstream media reports about developments in the Jane Creba murder investigation:

    http://www.thestar.com/

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/

    http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_5100.aspx

    http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_5144.aspx

    ~ HiMY SYeD ~

    June 13, 2006 - Toronto Police Press Conference

    June 13th, 2006

    Homicide #78/2005, Jane Creba, 15,

    Media Advisory,

    Media Conference,

    Major Announcement, Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 11 A.M.

    Police Headquarters, Media Gallery

    Media Advisory (PDF)

    I’ll be attending this morning’s Press Conference and will blog a report asap.

    ~ HiMY! ~

    UPDATE : You can see photos I took at this morning’s press conference here.

    Another posting with full details is forthcoming…

    Triggering Toronto - March 30, 2006, 7 p.m. - Ryerson University

    March 10th, 2006

    TRIGGERING TORONTO

    Are we doing enough to combat handgun
    violence in Toronto?

    What should we be doing to combat handgun
    violence on our streets?

    On March 30, 2006


    The Ryerson Student Law Societ in Association with CESAR and the School of Criminal Justice Faculty of Arts will be hosting a panel discussion on hand gun violence. Have questions on this epidemic? Good!!! Because our expert group of panelists have answers:

    Guest Speakers Include:

    Chief of Police: William Blair

    From the Centre of Criminology at the University of Toronto: Doctor Anthony N. Doob

    The Chair of UMOVE: Audette Shepard

    From the Youth Cabinet: William Mendes

    WHERE:
    Ryerson University Student Campus Centre
    55 Gould Street, Room: scc 155

    WHEN:
    Doors open at 6:30 pm
    The Discussion Commences at 7 pm

    FORUM 03.10.2006, 6 pm - 9 pm- The Impact of Gun Violence on Black Women: How are we Coping, How are we Responding

    March 6th, 2006

    In recognition of International Women’s Day

    A Forum on

    The Impact of Gun Violence on Black Women:
    How are we Coping, How are we Responding

    On
    Friday March 10, 2006
    6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    Chair:

    Akua Benjamin
    Director, School of Social Work,
    Ryerson University

    Speakers:

    Angela Robertson
    Executive Director, Sistering

    Sandra-Carnegie Douglas
    Co-Chair, Coalition of African Canadian
    Community Organizations

    Julia Farquharson
    United Mothers Opposed to Violence
    Everywhere (UMOVE)

    Tonika Morgan
    Jane Fince Centre

    Organized by:
    Ryerson Carribean Research Centre

    With the support of:

    Sistering

    Congress of Black Women of Canada

    Coalition of African Canadian Community Organizations

    Catholic Schools Have A New Spin On Rap

    January 30th, 2006

    By Anita L Barber
    Music For Life Has Become The 411 Initiative For Change Inc.
    Students get real and abandon the superficiality and violence of gangsta rap at schools like Canadian Martyrs in East York. Catholic Schools have had black artists like Tristan come in and deliver their message about respect, diversity, leadership, and staying original by creative problem solving. They create a rap, mix it (learning about the industry as artists) put it on a C’D with their name and picture. These children are so exited and empowered they talk about it for weeks. It is something they will remember for a life time. It is a building block for character because it allows them to take ownership of the process. It creates self-awareness and empowers marginalized groups and enlightens others who formerly didn’t understand. The music helps to create a tight community not a fight community, It replaces ignorance with knowledge. As Tristan says “knowledge is power.” Education gives children options. 411 initiative For Change is non-profit, non-religious and non-political organization. It helps to build social awareness and community. The children think it is cool and Tristan is fun to work with and a natural in the classroom.
    The 411 Initiative For Change undertakes public education and the promotion of civic participation of young people on social issues that frame their development within their communities; it works to build and strengthen the national action movement on common global issues, in their domestic and international contexts. The 411 Initiative For Change is working to create a world in which all global citizens, and specifically young people, have a say and a role to play in their community, their country, and are active participants in all areas of society and at all levels. The 411 Initiative For Change is a non-political, non-religious organization committed to long-term viable development through partnerships with academic institutions, governments, corporations, community organizations and music industry professionals, agencies and associations. They are relentless in their efforts to use art and culture to improve cultural understanding and to raise awareness on social and humanitarian issues. This approach provides youth with opportunities to voice their opinions. The programs encourage youth to critically analyze issues of concern or of interest to them.

    Mission:*********************************************
    The 411 Initiative For Change uses arts and culture as tools to raise public awareness and foster social change.The 411 Initiative For Change works on development projects aiming for viable long term solutions through bridging education, arts, culture and heritage to social development. Using music and art in the mass media, The 411 Initiative For Change provides civic education and raises awareness on contemporary social issues – sensitizing the public, generating interest and encouraging action to improve social cohesion. The majority of projects are geared towards engaging children and youth audiences and address issues including: citizenship and identity, self-esteem, entrepreneurship, anti-violence, diversity appreciation, multiculturalism, human rights and other thematic critical issues.
    ***************************************************

    This programme would benefit students, teachers, educators, professional artists, expert non-government organizations, government and community leaders. and community centres. This new name will allow them to best expand their programming and operations nationally, and, will be reflective of how they continue to reach out to young people through the media of contemporary arts and culture.

    In the last year, the organization’s initiatives have reached nearly 20,000 young people in Ontario through interactive programs using music and young musicians to engage high school students in contemporary social issues. In today’s turbulent times, The 411 Initiative For Change anticipates and responds to the interests and issues faced by young people in Canada.

    The organization’s ‘Best Practice’: Youth Teaching Youth – Using Music as an Educational Tool for Empowerment and Civic Education, has been nominated for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Award of Excellence as a ‘best practice’ in diversity management and towards combating discrimination in schools!

    Commenting further on the organization’s growth, Executive Director Tamara Dawit reports: ”Our programs are being expanded constantly as interest from schools and partner organizations grows. With over 100,000 young people across Canada slated to be reached through programs during the 2005/2006 academic year, The 411 Initiative For Change is set to maintain its position as Canada’s leading organization engaging and educating young people through arts and culture.

    The unique nature of The 411 Initiative For Change’s model of using artists and music as key agents in social change – from within the education system, demonstrates innovative, timely and effective response to the growing need to identify and practice viable models for social development.

    Contact
    Email: connect@whatsthe411.ca
    www.whatsthe411.ca
    Another great program is Roots of Empathy- Mary Gordon TDSB
    P.S I have pased this information on to a Principal with the Toronto District School Board. If you e-mail someone who might benefit it is as simple as cut and paste- two minutes tops.

    Riverdalians Against Gun Violence (in memory of Jane Creba)

    January 21st, 2006

    Source: www.geocities.com/ragv2006

    Gangsta rap and violence go hand in hand. The images and lyrics are everywhere - on the radio, in music videos and on the boom emanating from car radios. Gangsta rap is really hyped violence, foul mouth lyrics and glamorized ghetto gun worship that enjoys a huge hip hop crowd. This kind of music is being sold to impressionable yound children without any concern for their social development or welfare shopping the streets of Toronto. The lyrics in many songs contain violent and explicit vocabulary about how should justifiably kill someone with sounds of gunshots in the background. It is also music that refers to women as ‘bitches’ and ‘ho’s’. The videos have graphic sexual content, violent imagery and misogyny. Rappers think they own women and can treat them any way they want. Is it any wonter what footsteps their children are left to follow?

    Young children 14, 15 and 16 years old who listen and memorize these rap songs think the behavior is acceptable along with the anti-education mindset because they heard it on television or the radio. The children move to the next step wanting to emulate the rappers lifestyle. It has made a lot of black children think being tough means being black and if you’re not, you’re a traitor. The music depicts life in the hood, a person being incarcerated and dying young is not only an everyday occurrence, it’s a badge of honour.

    Many rappers are criminals. Kids see successful rap artists and they feel their wealth and fame gives them legitimacy.

    Money make a pimp, pimp hoes, hustlas sell dope, thugs gun smoke
    What (echo)
    Money make the world go round, as the world turns
    Money make the world go round, as the world turns
    Nigga I need money to maintain…

    50 Cent
    That’s my name

    Teenagers want to be free of restritctions, are more rebellious in nature and against the establishment. They eat it up. That is where we come in - to be that filter. We need to impose restrictions if we don’t want to be Americanized and turn into a Jerry Springer society.

    A person has to be 18 years old to buy cigarettes, rent X-rated movies, or get into a strip bar/night club, and 19 for alcohol. There are age limits on these things that can endanger young people and there should be an age limit on buying albums with explicit lyrics on them. Even though there is a warning label on the album, they can still buy it because there is no law to prohibit sale.

    How long must we bury our heads in the sand and think Toronto is a suburb. Let’s wake up and start treating these thugs like you would any high risk criminal at large, biker gang or mafia.

    Sign our petition and make noise against gangsta rap and violence in Canada. I am trying to build the biggest petition ever and take it to the new Prime Minister. Our voices will be heard.

    CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

    Anita L. Barber

    Two Events on January 26 - Yonge Street Peace Open Mic Town Hall bumped to February…

    January 21st, 2006

    With two other events now having been scheduled for exactly the same time on exactly the same subject on exactly the same date - Thursday January 26, 2006 -, it made less and less sense for Yonge Street Peace to add to any potential for divisiveness on this important issue, by also holding our ‘Open Mic Town Hall on the Roots and Results of Gun Violence‘, the date of which was announced on live television as early as Monday, January 2, 2006.

    Many of you following this blog have already made arrangements to keep your upcoming Thursday evening January 26, 2006 free and available in anticipation of attending our Town Hall. You all are still encouraged to please attend and participate in either of the following two events:

    Racialization of Crime: Anti-Racist responses to the Guns +

    Racialization of Crime : Anti-Racist responses to the Guns + “Gangs” Debate in Toronto – a Panel discussion with Kike Roach, Dalton Higgins, Rinaldo Walcott and others.

    When: Thursday, 26 January 2006 (7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.)
    Where: Toronto Reference Library (Beeton auditorium)
    789 Yonge St (at Bloor)
    Toronto ON
    Contact: Jody Nyasha Warner
    Regent Park Focus
    tel: 416-863-1074
    catchmail[@]catchdaflava.com

    Details: Are you disturbed by how recent gun violence in Toronto has been portrayed as a “black community” problem? Want to hear another side to the story? Come out to hear notable writers, academics, lawyers and activists critique this framing.

    At the Toronto Reference Library
    (Beeton auditorium). Sponsored by Regent Park Focus – Youth Media Arts Centre.
    For more information 416-863-1074.

    * * *

    We have received numerous emails from residents in Toronto-Danforth’s ward 29 district asking whether the ‘Town Hall Meeting’ to be held in that ward on Thursday January 26, was our ‘Town Hall on the Roots and Results of Gun Violence‘ or if our meeting had been moved from downtown Toronto. The answer is no.

    That ‘Town Hall Meeting’ is intended for the residents of Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth, will cover topics other community concerns like local traffic, it is not intended as a city-wide event. Here’re the details:

    City Councillor Case Ootes
    Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth

    Invites You to a TOWN HALL MEETING

    Special Guests:

    - CHIEF WILLIAM BLAIR, Toronto Police Service

    - STAFF INSPECTOR DAN HAYES, Toronto Police Service,

    54 Division

    Date: Thursday, January 26, 2006

    Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

    Place: East York Community Centre – Gymnasium

    1081 � Pape Ave. (south of O’Connor Drive)

    I look forward to seeing you on January 26th!

    Councillor Case Ootes
    Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth
    City of Toronto
    Phone: 416-392-4032
    Community Office Phone: 416-778-CASE (778-2273)
    email: councillor_ootes@toronto.ca

    “Gangsta Rap” –Violence, Degradation and Revenge–the New Normal on MTV

    January 21st, 2006

    By Anita L. Barber

    While some forms of rap music promote progressive social change, self awareness and are anti drug in their lyrics; “gangsta” rap is the antithesis of that. The infiltration of gansta rap is everywhere. Just ask any student in grade three or four who Snoop Doggy Dog or Curtis 50 cent Jackson is. When you mention a gun while reading a tame Farley Mowat book on Owls, they “ooh and aah”. Shocking, so soon after the death of Jane Creba.

    Gangsta rap portrays the violent nature of inner city life. One must take control over the environment to survive, they protest. Taking on an “in your face” persona means looking after your own self- interest. In this world, money and power are the basis of respect. Most children between the ages of 2 and 18 spend upwards of seven hours a day digesting these media messages in some form. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that with repeated exposure desensitization occurs. It makes destructive anti-social behaviour seem normal.

    A recent study in the United States found that black teenage girls who listen to gangsta rap 15 hours a week on average are :

    • 3 times more likely to hit a teacher

    • Over 2.5 more times likely to get arrested

    • Twice as likely to have multiple sexual partners

    • 1.5 more times as likely to get sexually transmitted diseases, use drugs or drink alcohol

    In addition :

    • Black on black violence escalated sharply when gangsta rap rose in popularity in the 1980’s (according to Canadian statistics)

    • At the same time rural populations also experienced a surge in violence

    • White class adolescents (typically viewed as mainstream) try to pretend to be black. They are dubbed “wiggers”. Gangsta rap is attractive to white and black youth because it is rebellious and anti-establishment oriented. It glamorizes the bad guy who will not be pushed or told what to do. This attitude is all too prevalent in schools.

    • Children who experience behavioural problems have found the perfect vehicle to legitimize their feelings and act out heir fantasies. The music has no respect for life. The message is, “If you mess with me, I’ll kill you.”

    The key element in gangsta rap is aggression which is manifested and sustained in the Rappers’ body language, tone and witty rhymes. In gangsta rap, women are disposable playthings who exist solely for the purpose of satisfying a man’s abusive delight. Where else is it admirable to be callous, rude, cold blooded, unfeeling and defiant? They walk out of a 50 cent movie all revved up like a pit-bull ready to attack. Impulsive and living in the moment they steal our children’s bright futures. For those involved in drugs, crime and killing the music is an expression of their pathetic lives.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a Jerry Springer world. What is alarming is that when one behavior exists, it spreads. Gangsta rap influences how adolescents dress, walk, think. As well, it influences family relationships, school cliques, truancy, race relations and any ethical decisions. Some Rappers are criminals with records – this fact seems to enhance their street “cred”. Others are just in it for quick money and fame. They don’t care about the effect the lyrics have on teenagers who idolize them. They don’t care if it’s good or bad music. It’s all about the hype and the image. Superficiality rules with this genre.

    Teens have committed suicide wearing headphones still playing the gangsta music. Adolescents have a lot of pressures, mixed messages and are a cocktail of hormones. Impressionable and vulnerable our youth need not be cast adrift. We need to de-culture and re-wire their cognitive thinking paired with the rewards for having a work ethic and integrity. Acknowledge life may have dealt you a bad hand but do not use that to rationalize violence, degradation and revenge. Everyone faces some form of discrimination.

    We live in a materialistic, celebrity worshipping society and want fast instant fixes. The idea of preparing for an education in a chosen field is considered an imposition, time consuming, difficult and uncool. It is an age of entitlement. Satirically, it is that lack of education that drives the Rappers’ music into mediocrity. No need to learn the fundamentals of the music profession. These Rappers try to emulate each other rather than create their own unique sound. That would take thought, energy and motivation which are clearly deficient. How fast can we create a product, stylize it and market it? While some artists have talent, most gangsta Rappers don’t achieve longevity in the business. It is not something that will become a classic but rather an embarrassment over time. The gansta Rappers who do survive a lengthy period have toned down their rhetoric, become more inclusive and some have developed a conscience. Rap is a young person’s game. The wise ones progress to movies, talk shows or record companies.

    City Pulse News was covering the sudden and tragic death of Jane Creba which for all appearances was supportive and sympathetic. However, on the same channel, an hour later Much Music was glorifying the gun and gang lifestyle. I had been in the house for only a short time after the second vigil when I saw this on television. I sat down to let my mind escape from the pain. Snoop Doggy Dog introduced Ice –T on stage as “the ultimate gangsta.” The young crowd applauded and ate it up. My stomach turned, for if “all the world’s a stage”, we need the final curtain go down on this hateful rubbish. “Stay tuned for more shooting and violence coming up after this break on Much” .Anything for a buck! There are dichotomy’s everywhere if you take the blinders off. Across the street from where Jane Creba was shot Sam the Record man was at that time selling an underground gang video.

    What can I do?

    • To launch a counter attack against the influence of gansta rap we need economic boycotts of record companies who produce it. We need pickets in front of music and television stations that give it air time.

    • Women groups should lobby against it. The fatherless children should join the march.

    • I want to launch an online petition to ban gangsta gun lyrics. Rappers with a criminal record should not obtain a Ministerial permit.

    • Send a letter to Immigration Minister Joe Volpe demanding that he ban the lyrics. It is just sheer stupidity to spend our tax paying dollars on crime prevention and let criminals tell our children how to achieve it.

    • We should allocate PTA money or some Community Centre funds to rap musicians that promote diversity, anti-bullying, creative problem solving and learning the nuts and bolts of music and the industry. Give them air time.

    • Boycott Paramount Pictures and demand that their billboards and ads be pulled on “Get Rich or Die Tryin.”

    Four dozen murders in Toronto in 2005, out of a total of 70 homicides, involved guns. Even if gangsta rap is banned it will receive play in clubs and on College radio stations. By then you hope one would have developed a critical mind. People will always try to push music to limits and extremes. That acknowledged, we must push back and gain our solid ground. One innocent of any age, race, sex or colour, killed by gun violence is one too many! Make some noise! Apathy is the real killer.

    It’s something you want, 745 chrome spinnin’
    Haters hate that I’m winnin’
    Man i’ve been hot from the beginnin’…
    ‘Cause I can’t control my temper, I’m fittin’ to catch a felony
    Once I squeeze the first shot you know I ain’t stoppin’
    Till my clip is empty, I’m simply
    Not the nigga you should try your luck with , or——with
    Hollow -tip shell struck you with your bones broken, gun smokin’, still locin’

    Reply 50 cent - ‘Stop talkin’

    Gun violence:The best defence is a good offence.

    January 15th, 2006

    If a dog bites you the owner is legally responsible. If people drink in my house and later embark on vandalism or drunk driving I am responsible. If the child shoots someone the parent is ……..

    I attended the vigil for Jane Creba who was a friend to two of my three children. This prompted me to read and research gang violence. A common thread repeated time and time again was parenting and community involvement. While some people are rolling their eyes, consider why children enter gangs in the first place. Partially this is attributable to simply being a teenager, but it certainly does not end there. As adolescents enter this period of rapid physical, social and emotional changes they become more involved with their peers. They begin to question adult standards and the need for parental guidance. It is a time to question values, ideas and experiment without fear of being ridiculed. Naturally the peer group offers friendship, affiliation, support and autonomy, all of which are appealing. .

    Teens will distance themselves and parents will feel less connected but that does not mean we disconnect. We brought them into the world and are responsible for sustaining love, support, guidance and above all communication. It will mean relationship negotiations, involving them in decision making and redefining rules on a case by case basis. It may be a struggle to find the common ground at times. We have to pick and choose our battles, watch them fall and pick them up. It is a battle where losing is not an option.

    Unresolved conflicts, neglect, apathy, distant or unavailable parenting, physical or verbal abuse, are real in all socioeconomic and racial groups. Remember Columbine, those killers were middle class and had all the advantages .In Vancouver there are gang members with university degrees. We live busy lives and want quick fixes. We live in a materialistic and celebrity worshiping society. Music, videos and games even glamorize the gang culture to the point we are desensitized and apathetic. There is undeniably a culture of acceptance in those hot spots of crime where assassins are treated like heroes. I just saw Snoop Dog welcome Ice-T to the stage as the “original gangster” and the song went on to praise that outlaw/crime lifestyle. The crowd ate it up. We are all less than perfect. Perfection is not what is required. It is continual involvement and commitment as a community at enforcing zero tolerance. The old gang member doesn’t look like 50 cent when he is addicted to drugs dying from HIV and looking for their next meal in a garbage can..

    The first defense in protecting our children against gang violence is a good offence. In the same way we warn our children against drugs, smoking and alcohol we must warn them about gang association and encourage them to mentor friends considering this. Let them know of the consequences of being in a gang. We must teach them to not go out with gang members or associate with them. It is our responsibility to teach children ethics, civic duty and to report criminal activities to the authorities. What is cool is to stay in school. Education gives you options. Gang membership gives you a box six feet under the ground.

    My whole point in writing this is there are warning signs early on. You do not become a gun wielding killer overnight. There is no 180 degree turn. I am not saying parents can be psychiatrists or social workers. Kids do live secret lives. However a lot of times the dots are there and just have to be connected. It can be a matter of looking at the moment with fresh eyes. It is easy to be in denial, because you don’t have to take action. No one wants a confrontation after a hard day at work and long drive home. Parents are like gardeners. The weeds pop up and we need to rip them out before they have bigger roots.

    What is a gang?

    A street gang is loosely organized cohesive group with an identifiable leader (formal or informal). They show unity and loyalty in times of conflict. An attack on one member is considered an attack on all members. The gang exhibits disrespect for established authority of any kind, independence and lack of conventional morality. Ironically there is more conformity in the gang than the world they are escaping. It is a real pan to the fire scenario. Once you are in a gang you are in for good- a life, punctuated by a series of no returns. So much for independence and autonomy now. It is a resume of fear, betrayal, greed, suspicion, paranoia, murder, cocaine and methane drug addiction and incarceration. How cool is that? There is guilt for personal family and friends that were killed out of “loyalty” to the gang. .

    Los Angeles has their fair share of gangs. I researched the Joliet Police Department for answers to the difference between gangs and groups.

    Gangs can be distinguished from groups primarily by their

    • exclusivity- cut themselves off from non-members
    • Criminal and antisocial behaviour
    • Violent rivalries with other gangs
    • Loyalty that overrides ethics or common sense
    • Usually have a gang symbol , dress code, insignia in the form of a tattoo or sign
    • History of arrests
    • Regardless of their personal feelings they are to carry out actions of the group
    • They do not question or evaluate rivalries.
    • They are not reflective young people but reactionary.
    • Rivalries tend to be impersonal, random or retaliatory acts against a convenient victim or set who committed the precipitating insult or offence.
    • Families and family members are also fair game.
    • Events after this stage are unpredictable and uncontrollable.

    A few reasons for joining a gang

    • familiar gang involvement
    • personal problems at home
    • feel alienated or marginalized
    • lack of success in school, sports or conventional activities
    • low self-esteem
    • ostracized by cliques
    • crave autonomy, status recognition and fame , money “Get Rich or Die tryin!” mentality”( They don’t want the nine to five job.) They think they are going to die young and want to live large.

    20 Warning signs – Before they cross the line

    This is a compilation some of which came from “Mother’s Against Gang Wars”. Here are a few clues to look at. There are not airtight but serve as a guide. This list is not exhaustive. Be careful not to point the finger. Take stalk. Talk to siblings and explain your concern. The only way to know if your son or daughter, niece, nephew or grandchild, student, neighbor is affiliated with a gang is to talk to them. It takes a village to raise a child. Early warning signs are a barometer to check behaviour. It allows us to get help for the child before it escalates. If you have an intuition, follow it. Truancy does not necessarily lead to crime but it does leave them vulnerable.

    1. Withdrawn from the family and or exhibits a major attitude change

    2. Breaks parental rules consistently and shuts down or argues in a hostile way

    3. Acquires goods and or cash with little or no explanation

    4. Become secretive or deceitful and defensive about activities

    5. Looses of interest in normal activities and interests

    6. Breaks parental rules and curfews repeatedly

    7. Truancy and or poor grades ask for a printout)

    8. Shows signs of drug or alcohol use accompanied with aggressive attitude

    9. Excessive swearing and cursing

    10. Particular clothing, drawings, clothing, books or on the body in the form of an insignia or tattoo. Has paint or permanent marker on his hands or clothes. In possession of graffiti paraphernalia such as markers, etching tools, spay paint, bug spray and starch cans

    11. Has an obsession with the gang culture and lifestyle such as videos, video games, music

    12. Is obsessed with one particular clothing over another. Consistently wears one colour of clothing over another

    13. Wears distinctive jewelry worn on either the left or right

    14. Changes friends and hangs around with new” questionable” characters

    15. Out of control behavior, anger management problems, violent outbursts and delinquency at school or with police. ,

    16. Conflicts become the new normal rather than the exception.

    17. Runs away and stays at friend’s house for a sustained period. Does not feel the need to check in with parents. Inability to account for time away..

    18. Shows evidence of personal injuries and lies about how they were obtained or damage to personal property.

    19. Change in a name or uses hand signs and gestures to friends

    20. Drawings depict fascination with death and violence.

    What can I Do?

    The problem is so multifaceted and involves every member of society that we feel paralyzed and overwhelmed. However, as parents, we can take action at the grassroots level -the preventive side of the coin.

    1. We leave cracks open because we are hurried or due to miscommunication. Always know where your children are and who they are with, and enforce the curfew regulation for anyone who is 16 or 17 years old. They have to be in between 11:00pm and 7:00 am for those 15 years of age 10:00pm and 7:00 am

    2. Give them responsibilities at home and praise them for a job well done. It teaches them the value of work, life skills and raises self esteem. .

    3. Have a serious chat about the real dangers of gang affiliation including intimidation and retaliation against family members. Share your personal experience. Teenager’s ears will perk up if you keep it real rather than lecture. Better yet, show them a video on gang violence. Videos of this nature are offered as a public service from video stores and libraries.

    4. Stand firm on the prosecution of violent crime. Write letters or form a lobby group or join one. Vote for the party that you think will follow through. Go to an open candidates meeting -demand answers and action.

    5. Discourage children from hanging around with gang members. Meet your child’s friends and parents. Find out who they are. What influence do they have?

    6. Occupy your teen’s free time. Give them responsibilities at home. Get them involved in school sports, leagues, recreation activities at the centre or church activities. You can also create your own. Support your children’s involvement in extracurricular activities and other legitimate community events. I don’t mean just a drop- off and pick up

    7. Participate in the community. You are not only being an excellent role model but you get to know your neighbours. Organize or join neighbourhood watch groups. Remove graffiti from around your house or report it to city officials. It should be removed right away because that is how gangs invite rivals and turf wars erupt. Discourage gangs from hanging around your neighbourhood- use the 11: 00 pm disturbing noise or report suspicious actions. Attend community functions and teach civic pride to your children.

    8. Talk about media influences and where you stand. Gangs are often glamorized to appear cool. What is fantasy and what is reality? Teach them how advertising and marketing work. Do they play violent video games like “Doom”, “Grand Theft Auto 3” “or “Counterstrike” -violent games are left to your discretion. They will probably go to a friend’s house to watch if you forbade it. However, why make it easy for them. At least you would have had the discussion about violence and planted a seed.

    9. This is the big one. Stay current in what is going on in your children’s lives at school with friends and other adults. Are there any striking changes in behaviour that don’t match their personal make-up? Ask questions, if you don’t like the answer, do some investigating of your own. . Look in drawers and backpacks.

    10. Contact your law agency to report any gang activity be it a threat or rumor. Use Crime stoppers program (416) 222-TIPS.

    Take heart, this might look like pie in the sky by the preventive level can work. Chicago has dropped its crime rate in half with more outreach workers, by tackling each crime and building community relations. We have a real life Narnia battle going on in Toronto. We will prevail if we join forces and each of us does what we can in our corner of the woods. We owe it to the innocent who have died.

    – Anita L. Barber

    Behind The Music - Too Much!

    January 14th, 2006

    Behind The Music- Too Much!

    Don’t cheer the rapper introducing his bro as “the ultimate gangsta yet”
    Do see the hood killing the innocent, young and unknown for coke and meth
    Don’t dance to the music if you can’t trust the words
    Bring a nine year old to “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is just absurd!
    The mainstream, accepting culture is not capturing criminals, its arresting us.
    Disguised in bling, swear words, hostility, and fashion that says- “get tough”
    “The medium is the message”- has never been more true
    Where red blood once flowed, skin that is now blue

    He is not a hero
    In the character trait department, give the gangster a zero
    Straight, shiny, polished guns
    Thought sexy, glamorized, macho and fun
    ‘Till you get down on your knees and pray
    To turn back time, the split second, that took your loved one away
    Apathy is the real killer
    Not my bubble, fast cellular life, latte or chiller

    Parents, communities whose silence they keep
    Are nothing but a spineless flock of sheep
    Until one day the cold end of the barrel they’ll see
    For in the gang world there’s no immunity
    The cool gang vets are now addicts eating out of garbage cans
    But they can say they once owned a BMW, Rolex and other fancy brands
    Living on the sidewalk, a resume of dead relatives and friends, and dying of HIV
    What good was the revenge, the drugs, that plasma T.V.?

    And once there was a spark
    Fast forward, faded into the dark
    Feel a mother’s raw and continual pain
    Next time you sing the rappers battle refrain
    ‘Cause it will crush a heart like crumpled paper
    No thought to human suffering- what happens later
    Snapshot, the crowning of life, the vision of hope
    Think of the words, the effect, the scope

    Anita L. Barber

    Jane Creba memorial removed from Yonge Street - 01/09/06, 1:00 am

    January 9th, 2006

    Jane Creba memorial removed from Yonge Street

    TORONTO, Jan. 9 /Canadian NewsWire - The City of Toronto, today, removed the Yonge St. memorial to Jane Creba. The Creba family is in full support of the City’s decision. The growing tribute to Jane had become a safety hazard for pedestrians and motorists alike.

    Visit our Web site at www.toronto.ca

    For further information:

    Media contact: Brad Ross, City of Toronto Media
    Relations, (416) 392-8937, cell (416) 919-6503

    Shift Memorial to Trinity Church…?

    January 7th, 2006

    The idea the makeshift site being held at the church behind the Eaton Centre is a good one. It is accessible, not that much out of the way, a more dignified spot, and it might bring a sense of peace to mourners.

    It is also symbolic because here is this innocent, small, almost hidden gem in the middle of corporate, legal ,academic and street corner society. It is right in front of Bell Communications. maybe that can tie in. Communicate to your neighbour Zero tolerance for Guns-Looking at” roots - hard wired for results.” - a certain amount of revenues on Valentine’s Day will go the families or who are missing loved ones- education fund or where they think it would help. Victims would have a face. A kernel for later. Footlocker could take a stand “Put your foot down on violence-” get involved and support these agencies listed-would be current ways to help.

    A.L.B

    Riverdalians for a Safer Tomorrow

    January 6th, 2006

    Young people have experienced an epidemic of gun violence recently in Toronto. Select youth are frustrated, angry, scared, overwhemelmed, and experiencing feelings of powerlessness, alongside their parents. When Yonge Street turned into an open combat zone on Boxing Day, it was a turning point for Toronto, a day forever etched in our minds. The reality is no one is immune when it comes to gun violence. The victims are getting younger as are the criminals themselves.

    We are proposing a Town Hall Meeting at Riverdale Collegiate on January 26 at 7 P.M. to mark the one month anniversary of Jane Creba’s tragic and senseless death. This forum will aid the healing process of Riverdale Collegiate Institute’s student body, staff and the wider community. The mandate of the meeting will be to examine and eradicate the roots and results of gun violence in Toronto. The wider campaign is to ensure that “Toronto the Safe” becomes our shared reality. Gun violence is a multifaceted problem that requires a variety of solutions.

    Everyone is responsible in this campaign, and each and every voice is welcomed, supported and encouraged to contribute in their own capacity and ability. We would like to facilitate The Toronto District School Boards commitment to fairness, equity and shared interest. We need to secure the space, be it auditorium or foyer for this to happen. We need and appreciate your assistance to make sure dreams are never silenced again.

    Youth Town Hall Meetings have been proven to be successful because:

  • They give youth an unfiltered voice
  • Directly involves youth and the community in civil life
  • Combats youth cynicism because it promotes the nobler acts of human nature
  • Will provide a basis of support to mobilize groups into action
  • Help us define our goals and stay on track
  • Communities benefit from new ideas and the energy and enthusiasm of youth
  • Meetings improve racial relations with face to face interaction- not rhetoric
  • Improve leadership skills, self- esteem and create a sense of accomplishment to fill the vacuum of helplessness
  • Provide new friends and interests and connect all ages and backgrounds
  • Are healthy for social development, enriched family life and promote neighbourhood vitality.
  • Clearly demonstrates the love and commitment of parents, staff, and community agencies that will survive beyond any media coverage. ( If there is media coverage it will be limited and managed in a respectable, compassionate and sensitive way to all parties involved. )
  • Town hall Meetings can create a strong web of new solutions to combat a litany of short-sighted legislation

  • The election will be over. We can have a candid accounting of what has been done and where we are heading- a report card if you will.
  • Youth and community can ask the politicians questions directly and evaluate their perspectives on the epidemic of gun violence.
  • Make no mistake, Riverdale Collegiate Institute will be remembered as being the centrepiece of many forthcoming presentations launched at gun violence. We are in the spotlight by accident, but we can use this fact to advantage to send a powerful message that will be determined at this meeting but generated by those close to Jane.

    Tragedy has its way of revealing character. People of character will continue to surface and motivate us to take action and do what we formally perceived to be beyond our reach. The seeds we plant will germinate into other things and have far reaching effects. By talking and communicating we create momentum, move forward, and united in our resolve to make a difference. We can ensure a safer civil and just society with a brighter tomorrow.

    Silenced Dreams

    January 5th, 2006

    An Innocent decision to shop on winter’s day
    Left hundreds of shoppers in harm’s way
    Bubbling laughter, carefree and chirping loud
    A hand holding, connecting, cheerful crowd,
    Joyful, camaraderie, a sense of family time
    But anger, hatred and cowardice lurked in the line

    Beneath the hooded sweatshirt and aloof glare
    Inside the cold eyes of cynicism and hostility and dare
    The trigger was pulled, the silver bullets released
    A crimson tale of violence replaced the former peace
    Driven to extreme instant fixes from playground disputes
    Addicted to scapegoating, deception, control, and stealing loot

    Fear envelopes and panic ensues
    Seconds seem like hours and then the news
    Unfathomable, in denial I try to comprehend
    Why a bright, athletic teen’s life has come to an end
    The gangs came to settle it all
    Why do the best among us have to take the fall?

    A loser took the life of a winner with lofty goals
    Trophies, awards, friendships, outings, cottage vacations, a life that was whole
    Brother, sister, parents, relatives, students and school staff- her voice they’ll never hear
    For silence is a bitter tear
    Of getting a driver’s license, dates, athletic banquet or prom
    For guns violence is so unforgivably wrong.

    I am frustrated, angry and full of rage
    How can we put these animals all in one cage?
    Let them settle their differences at close range in the afternoon light
    For they took an angel forever from our sight
    Relentless and unrepentant fools know this- heaven if filled with spirited heart
    Even though for now we are apart.

    Anita L. Barber

    Anita L. Barber is a teacher. She composed this poem shortly after learning of the murder of Jane Creba. This poem was read at the conclusion of the reading of all 52 names and ages of the victims of gun violence in 2005, on the one week anniversary candlelight vigil and moment of silence on January 2, 2006 at the makeshift memorial for Jane Creba.

    Yonge Street Peace meets with Mayor’s Office

    January 5th, 2006

    On Thursday afternoon, January 5, 2006, members of Yonge Street Peace met at Toronto City Hall for our first meeting since Monday’s Candlelight Vigil and 5:19 pm moment of silence for all 52 victims of gun murder in the city of Toronto during 2005.

    Members present included a parent of a Riverdale Collegiate Institute student, two Raging Grannies, organizers from both the Friday December 30th, 2005 and the Monday January 2nd, 2006 Candlelight vigils and moments of silence, along with participation from a representive of the Toronto Youth Cabinet.

    We reached consensus on the two immediate aims of Yonge Street Peace:

  • to secure an indoor location to house and protect from the elements of winter the ‘makeshift memorial’ for Jane Creba which continues to grow daily outside the front window of the Foot Locker shoe store on Yonge Street, the site of the murder of Jane Creba on Boxing Day, 2005;
  • to seek assistance from the mayor’s office in contacting Riverdale Collegiate and the TDSB in confirming that Riverdale Collegiate will indeed be the location for the ‘Open Mic Town Hall on Gun Violence’ which will happen on January 26th, 2006, on the one month anniversary of the Boxing Day shootings on Yonge Street.
  • Yonge Street Peace is grateful to the Mayor’s office for accomodating us on such short notice to listen to both of our requests listed above. At this time, we do not know of any plans to alter or move the makeshift memorial in any way.

    We will be holding a press conference outlining all details of the Open Mic Town Hall on Gun Violence in the very near future, as soon as initial details are confirmed.

    HiMY SYeD
    on behalf of Yonge Street Peace.

    Gangs with Guns: A growing Concern in Toronto, By Pasquale Fulginiti

    January 5th, 2006

    These days many adolescents have been found to carry weapons like they do cell phones. There are three motives why adolescents carry weapons. Unless we address these motives, no amount of intervention will be successful.

    Seeking Attention

    If children cannot achieve approval and attention through positive behavior, they will achieve the desired attention through negative conduct. Adolescents who carry weapons have learned that their weapons are a sure way of getting the attention they are seeking.

    To help attention-seekers, the Kidstuff Parenting Program suggests to implement a program for youths in their schools, homes and community centres, which focuses on the adolescent’s good behavior and contributions. Attention should be given to adolescents for their hard work and contribution to society. Soon he or she will engage in the appropriate behavior because the pay-off is better and the positive attention is attained.

    Seeking Power

    Adolescents who demonstrate a power-seeking behavior feel they are important only when they are in charge and, therefore, feel respected. By picking up a gun, adolescents attain a feeling of power and control in their lives. In order to discourage this negative behavior, the Kidstuff Parenting Program suggests to implement a program in the adolescents schools, community centres and homes that empowers youths by giving them choices within limits. Studies show that people who are given choices within limits feel a sense of control in their lives. People who feel a sense of control in their lives feel more empowered. By allowing adolescents to experience some form of control and power over what is happening in their lives, adolescents attain the power they seek and feel empowered.

    Seeking Revenge

    Most adolescents with a motive of revenge think they are unlovable and unimportant. They begin to feel important only when they have control over the emotions and feelings of another person through the use of a weapon. Perhaps they have a need to torment someone else in a similar way that they were tormented when they were younger. Revenge seekers are angry and are out to hurt someone else or society in general. In order to discourage this, the Kidstuff Parenting Program suggests to implement a program in the youth’s homes, community centre or schools, which teaches adolescents that “THEY” are loved and accepted but that their “BEHAVIOUR” is unacceptable.

    Pasquale Fulginiti is an Early Childhood and Parent Educator. For information on Parenting Seminars at your schools, daycares, or community centres, visit www.kidstuffseminars.com or fulginitip[@]aol.com

    Other Vigils / Memorials . . .

    January 5th, 2006

    From the Toronto Star: Victims’ kin seek leaders’ input

    “…Elaine Lumley said she is also looking for a way to make handguns an election issue. She is organizing a vigil at Nathan Phillips Square this Friday [ January 6, 2006] at 7 p.m. for her late son, Aidan Lumley, on what would have been his 21st birthday.

    The Trent University student and swim champion was shot in the back outside the Vinyl Lounge nightclub in Montreal during a visit to celebrate a friend’s birthday. No arrests have been made.

    “I don’t know what to do, to be quite honest, and I don’t know what the politicians can do,” said Lumley, a theatre stage manager who raised her only son as a single mother.

    “I’ve never even seen a gun.”

    Please add your vigil / memorial event information in the comments below.
    This blog entry will remain an on-going message thread…

    Rally & March to Bring Back the Peace

    January 5th, 2006

    Hello Toronto,

    In case you missed it, this is YOUR call to action to make Toronto’s communities safer.

    Who: You and every Torontonian, and our friends
    What: March & Rally to Bring back the peace, featuring speakers & local artists
    Where: College & Yonge Sts.
    When: Saturday January 7, 2006 @ 1:00PM
    Why: In 2005 there were 52 shooting deaths in Toronto. Unfortunately, it took until the 52nd gun-related murder for our political leaders to feel the sense of urgency that communities have felt for years.

    The Toronto Youth Cabinet wants to ensure that the 52 people who were murdered in 2005, as well as those before them, have not died in vain. To ensure that change is made, we want to see our political leaders make the investments in us and our communities that will save lives.

    But judging by their actions — or inaction, as the case may be — politicians need the confidence that only the people of Toronto can give them to create the change that has been called for sporadically from every corner of the city.

    This is why we, the youth of Toronto, want everyone to join us as we demonstrate to every decision-maker that impacts Toronto that we will settle for nothing less than decisive action that supports every community in our city.

    If you have any questions, please contact Adam, Director of Council Relations for the Toronto Youth Cabinet at council[@]torontoyouth.com or 416-392-3586


    Amarjeet Chhabra
    Director of Special Events
    Toronto Youth Cabinet

    specialevents[@]torontoyouth.com
    www.torontoyouth.com
    Office: 416.392.3586
    Cell: 416.856.9587

    January 26, 2006 Talking Stick: ‘Open Mic Town Hall on Gun Violence’

    January 3rd, 2006

    One month after the Boxing Day shootings on Yonge Street and three days after the Federal Election, an ‘Open Mic Town Hall on Gun Violence’ will be held, on Thursday evening January 26, 2006.

    The format will be in the Healing Tradition of the First Nations known as ‘Talking Stick’, where whoever holds the stick, has the floor, they speak and we listen.

    Whoever the Prime Minister ends up being on that date, he must attend and listen to the people of the Greater Toronto Area; the voices of the youth; and statements from the friends and family of victims of gun violence. The root causes of Gun Violence and Murder in our city and all cities in Canada has for too long, much too long been ignored.

    Since the boxing day shootings, the conversation has not stopped, Toronto has finally as a city come together and has begun speaking aloud on Gun Violence. Many voices, often contradictory, but with one single refrain: the root causes of gun violence must stop.

    That discussion which began on the sidewalks of Yonge Street at the makeshift memorial for Jane Creba will continue on January 26, 2006 at an ‘Open Mic Town Hall on Gun Violence’.

    We need everyone’s help, in logistics, organizing, outreach, and helping in the three short weeks we have and on the day of the Town Hall.

    We are especially appealing to students, the youth of toronto to participate in the Town Hall, and especially the students and youth of Riverdale Collegiate Institute, where Jane Creba was a star student and athlete, to help get your school to host the Town Hall.

    Please add your thoughts, ideas, suggestions in the comments below.

    Thank You.

    HiMY SYeD
    Yonge Street Peace

    Moving the ‘makeshift memorial’ . . .

    January 2nd, 2006

    The Makeshift memorial after a recent snowfall...

    . . . next door. To the empty store, which you can see gated up here:

    Empty Yonge Street storefront to the left of the Foot Locker store and the makeshift memorial.

    I have been giving this much thought and it is simply obvious: move what the media at first were calling the ‘makeshift memorial’ next door.

    Next door, the storefront to the immediate south of the Foot Locker currently sits empty. Most recently it housed one of those Giant Book Sales types of ‘makeshift bookshops’ which dot the city of Toronto.

    To be fair to Foot Locker, it has been a week now with this growing memorial on their window front and I can only imagine how traumatizing seeing that ‘makeshift memorial’ grow must be for the Foot Locker employees who survived the boxing day shooting.

    Further, I suspect simply removing the flowers and cards and teddy bears overnight and cleaning the sidewalk of melted wax, won’t stop new flowers and messages and cards from being placed there anew within hours.

    Across the Street from Jane Creba Memorial on Yonge Street

    Moving it next door, into a dedicated space which serves as a temporary memorial and safe place of reflection I think is reasonable. The Yonge Downtown BIA (Business Improvement Association) and The City of Toronto should sponsor the funding of a short term lease, perhaps into March or April at the latest, and provide the citizens of Toronto this place to remember and reflect.

    The people of Toronto need a space, this space, to continue the conversation began since the Boxing Day Shootings.

    The Yonge Downtown BIA should pitch in as it was BOXING DAY Sales which brought everyone downtown to begin with, and the City of Toronto should also contribute as this has become a point of pilgrimage for people from all over the Greater Toronto Area.

    List of names of ALL 52 Victims of Gunfire in Toronto during 2005…

    December 30th, 2005

    I hope that a complete list of ALL the names and ages of the 52 victims of gunfire in Toronto during 2005 may be made available here.

    This list of names of fallen Torontonians will be read aloud beginning at 5:10 pm on Monday January 2nd during the Candlelight Vigil.

    The last name to be read aloud on Monday will be, ‘ Jane Glenn Creba, 15 ‘.

    Please help initiate and complete the list of names by adding any of the names and/or ages in the comments below.

    Thank You.

    HiMY.

    MEDIA/PRESS RELEASE - Candlelight Vigil for Jane Creba and Moment of Silence for All Victims of Gunfire

    December 30th, 2005

    MEDIA RELEASE

    December 30, 2005

    For Immediate Release

    Candlelight Vigil for Jane Creba and Moment of Silence for All Victims of Gunfire

    (Toronto) - December 30, 2005- Toronto begins 2006 by healing the wounds of city-wide gunfire from 2005. On Monday January 2nd, 2006 there will be a Candlelight Vigil from 5 pm - 6 pm on Yonge Street between Elm and Gould Streets, including a Moment of Silence at 5:19 pm.

    On December 26, Boxing Day 2005, gunfire erupted in downtown Toronto, resulting in the death of 15 year old Jane Creba and injury to six others.

    The next day, minutes after the yellow police caution tape was removed from the Yonge Street Boxing Day crime scene, what the media has dubbed the ‘makeshift memorial’ for the young victim who we now know as Jane Glenn Creba, began to take shape: at first two bouquets of flowers, then candles, teddy bears, and more important messages of condolence and empathy.

    Since then, friends and family of Jane Creba and Toronto residents who never knew her have been visiting the ‘makeshift memorial’ site located in front of the Foot Locker shop window on Yonge Street, south of Elm to pay their respects, to pause and reflect.

    This city has started a conversation with itself and the ‘makeshift memorial’ has partly evolved into a ‘makeshift watercooler’ discussion on gun violence and its causes within the city of Toronto.

    That discussion will continue with an hour long Candlelight Vigil taking place on Monday January 2nd, 2006 from 5 pm to 6 pm, including a moment of silence at exactly 5:19 pm.

    Vigil keepers will line both the east and west sidewalks along Yonge Street between Elm and Gould holding candles against the backdrop of retailers’ neon signs.

    The moment of silence is to remember ALL 52 victims of gunfire in 2005 in the city of Toronto, including the most recent, Jane Glenn Creba, 15.

    A reading aloud of the names and ages of ALL 52 victims of gunfire in Toronto during 2005 will begin at 5:10 pm. The last name to be read aloud will be ‘Jane Creba, 15′. The moment of silence will take place exactly one week to the minute when Jane Creba and the six others were shot.

    The Candlelight Vigil is ‘BYOC’, bring your own candles and ’BCFO’, bring candles for others.

    In deference to Boxing Day, Business Owners along Yonge Street and elsewhere in the city of Toronto are asked to participate in the moment of silence by stopping their cash registers for one full minute at 5:19 pm.

    For information contact Himy Syed at YongeStreetPeace@gmail.com, Fax: (416) 289-0339 and visit http://www.YongeStreetPeace.TYO.ca

    - 30 -

    Media contact:

    Himy Syed

    80 Corporate Drive, Suite 302
    Toronto, ON M1H 3G5
    YongeStreetPeace@gmail.com
    Tel: (416) 289-3871 / Fax: (416) 289-0339

    Toronto mourns loss of Jane Glenn Creba, 15, Athlete and Star Student

    December 29th, 2005

    Jane Creba, 1990 - 2005Jane Glenn Creba, 15, passed away from injuries from gunfire on Boxing Day 2005. The incident occurred on Yonge Street between Elm and Gould Streets in downtown Toronto.

    Jane’s parents, Bruce Creba and Virginia Barton, released a statement:

    “Our bright light tragically scattered into darkness on Boxing Day, 2005,”

    “Her life has been transformed into a shooting star that will be forever a light for her devoted parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and close friends. A star student and athlete in Grade 10 at Riverdale Collegiate Institute, she will be remembered by her teachers and friends as a loving and caring soul with a cheerful open heart.”

    Not having found a dedicated space online where the many online messages of condolence were being left for the family and friends of Jane Creba, I am creating such a dedicated space here.

    Please add your messages of condolence for the family in the comments below.

    On behalf of the citizens of Toronto,

    HiMY SYeD
    Yonge Street Peace

    Enough! Toronto needs to begin 2006 by healing the wounds of city-wide gunfire from 2005…

    December 28th, 2005

    I’m fed up of all this killing, all these kids killing kids killing kids who are are innocent and out with their parents when it should be a regular afternoon in a public space.

    Thanks Matto… http://www.thenarrative.net/archive/001132.php

    His The Narrative dot net was the first url I dialled up after I
    went online this morning after revisiting the vigil location from
    sunrise until a few minutes past nine or so. Someone had in bad taste
    added a lord of the rings poster overnight, I removed it and kept
    answering media questions and relighting the candles until 9 am.

    I tried to get a moment of silence together at exactly 5:19 pm
    yesterday, Tuesday evening, that woulda been exactly 24 hours since the
    shooting and the killing of the young girl. But only three of the
    passers by stepped up to join me, Frederick, he was working in one of
    the stores involved, said an inclusive general prayer, the three of us said
    Amen after that. That was about 5:30 pm last night.

    REflecting on it today, what I came up with is:

    - A candlelight vigil along both sides of yonge street from at least
    elm street to gould street.
    - People would BYOC it (Bring Your Own Candle) and hold a
    candlelight vigil from 5 pm to 6 pm.
    - The date would be January 2nd, One week from Boxing Day Monday.

    - At 5:19 pm, A moment of silence.

    - The moment of silence I imagine is city wide.

    - The moment of silence I imagine is also all cash registers along
    yonge street shops stopping at 5:19 pm for one full minute.

    - IF this yonge and dundas moment of silence on Jan 2nd, 5:19 pm
    could become a city-wide moment of silence, It would be a moment to
    remind us all about ending the violence and beginning the 2006 year
    with that intention, that reminder.

    I need all your help…

    Please get the word out about the January 2nd 2006 Vigil and 5:19 pm Moment of silence any way you can…

    ~ HiMY! ~