Dear Mr. Mammoliti,
This past Sunday you exercised your right to film the Pride festivities in downtown Toronto. This action seemed politically motivated, even though it is the taxpayer who pays your salary.
Many Torontonians do not see much difference between your freedom to wield a camera and the individuals who march wielding signs. Your video shows people holding a banner that says Free Palestine, yet it does not show other marchers who held banners that said Free Iran, or Free Tibet. Why the selective scrutiny, and why do you now want to use this selective scrutiny to strip Pride organizers of their funding? Your crusade could result in a 16 million dollar loss in municipal taxes for Toronto, all because you want to show favourtism to one ethnic group over others.
We have come to a point where even having a conversation about a certain country overseas leads to name calling and race baiting. Your desperate actions echo a frightening sentiment that says there are certain rules for some people but not for others. Beyond the hypocrisy there is an unsettling precedent that stifles free speech and diminishes free expression. You purport that your video proves organizers were complicit with certain marchers, but a local conservative journalist witnessed organizers remove a marcher who was wearing a skirt that said “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid’.
This runs counter to your own claims which now appear political and therefore stained with bias and partiality.
Most reasonable people will refrain from wondering if your motives are entrenched in a hatred towards a certain demographic. That would be patently unfair. But the double standard is clear – a sign reading ‘Free Palestine’ is hate speech, but a sign reading ‘Free Iran’ is not. Your opinion is also clear, but the law, as well as the rights of Canadians, are not dependent on Giorgio Mammoliti’s opinions.
If our taxpayer dollars can pay for your renegade political stunts with a video camera, then I do not see why they can’t pay for a parade that actaully helps our economy, even if some people were holding controversial signs.
James Di Fiore