Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Side Bar Events At The "Coalition" Protests!
By Maurice Ali, Founder: IAIJ
December 6, 2008 - Toronto, Canada: Here is the news behind the news. These events get all sorts of coverage up front. Now I intend to give you the coverage you don't see.....
My first item of note is the three brave young lads from the University Of Toronto who actually had the balls to go to the anti-coalition protest at Queen's Park with their pro-coalition/environmental signs and chants complete with dog! The trouble started when one of the crowd (usually an organizer) came up to them and a small pushing match evolved. In come the police and the group was told to leave the public premises and stand on the side walk.
I was the only one to show an interest and I decided to give the trio an interview. Amazingly the leader of the group was reluctant to give his name or even be photographed, this subsided when I pulled out my much maligned press card and the interview began (I had to add this as people constantly ask me if there is any need for a press card with url support - yes there is!!!!!). Anyway they told me their story and the group they represent and it was all - in the end - very peaceful. It does raise the argument on whether they should have been asked to leave, disturbing the peace one officer told them. Interesting question as there was the pro-coalition event within walking distance of the event. Otherwise I would be all over the organizers for the treatment of these students.
Next up is the so-called unfair attention paid to the pro side as opposed to the ant-coalition protests. Photos showed that the CBC (at least) was at both events held at Nathan Phillip's Square for the pro-coalition and Queen's Park for the anti-coalition protests. The thing to remember, though, is that Jack Layton and Stephan Dion were at the pro-coalition event, while a provincial politician John Tory was the only name at the anti-coalition event. Naturally the two federal leaders will get more attention on the national broadcast so the bulk of the media were there. I have to say that I would have made the same call without any political leaning in this situation. So yes, there was indeed more media at the left-wing event, and no, it was not part of the "left-wing conspiracy."
Broadcast van at the pro-coalition event!
Ordinary news van at the anti-coalition event!
Finally I present my own "rumble through the jungle" of news broadcast from the grunts who braved the cold weather to record the usual political prattle at these events.
The gang had the usual assortment of Sony broadcast camcorders at the event. Those lenses they use are very expensive and give you the usual clean images you see at night even though the press area was quite far from the stage.
Above you see a "press box" with the feed from the microphones at the stage. This one may actually just be for the CBC with their remote transmitters plumbed into the box. Note also the cell phone used to co-ordinate all that "traffic."
Back to the equipment, more cameras in the press area, and also the tripods. Geez, I love these tripods. The Miller probably costs about 6,000 dollars alone. My best at FOF is a crappy Manfrotto that would look the part beside these beasts. The 503 head, though, is clearly inferior to the pro heads here. The difference are pans that don't start with a judder and hold a critical position. You do get what you pay for.....
The photo above shows a small monitor being used instead of the viewfinder. This is becoming more common as we move to high definition with cirtical focus needed that a two inch screen in the viewfinder just won't give. And I love that lens on the machine! So there is my take of the event. There was much more union activity at the pro-coalition event - but then everyone expected that and more grass roots participation at the anti-coalition event (just check out the amount of home made signs).
That is my two cents of this day in Canadian history.....