Joined: 10 Mar 2010
|United We Rock!
By Kevin Adgey
No this is not some photoshopped picture. She is actually holding a bubble caption made of cardboard!
Toronto, Canada - June 4, 2011: A concert and exhibition remembering the Armenian Genocide was held at the popular Yonge-Dundas Square. Entering from Yonge Street you are greeted by a large event banner and two rows of tents populated by organizations related to free speech and expression and education. On stage was a concert of various genres with the goal to educate and entertain the public as the venue remembers the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1918. From the organizers website (www.unitedwerockconcert.com):
"United We Rock! The Concert for Human Rights is a free-to-attend concert and exhibition at Toronto's busy Yonge & Dundas Square. Featuring independent musicians from Toronto and abroad, as well as the involvement of numerous Canadian Human Rights interest groups, the concert aims to unite Canadians in the goal of global respect for Human Rights. Specifically, four categories of Human Rights violations are brought to the forefront: Genocide, war crimes, racism, and the restriction of the freedom of expression. Partnering and participating human rights interest groups inform the public about the issues and show us how we may make a difference today!"
A large banner greets you at Yonge Street!
So the venue was a mixture of tents with different organizations providing information about who they are and what they do, and a concert open to the general public. A group of us arrived at the square just after a heavy rain and thankfully for the event the skies brightened up and the event went ahead. What you will see above and below are many of the tents and organizations at the venue and some shots of the concert.
One of the many organizations at the event!
Also note that even though the primary reason for being of this venue was the Armenian Genocide, the venue and organization also opened up to other groups of like mind. Partners with this event includes organiations such as: Oxfan Canada, Genocide Watch, STAND Canada, Canadian Museum For Human Rights and Int'l Institute: Genocide Studies. Once again from their website (www.unitedwerockconcert.com):
"Collectives of individuals who advocate for human rights often tend to only look after the issues that closely influence their community or ethnic group. Human rights violations, however, are all interrelated; The tolerance of one act of injustice paves the way for the next. It is only when these groups unite and begin to take action on issues outside their regular realm of affairs that the synergic benefits of collaboration can be realized, and the vicious cycle may be escaped.
The Armenian Advocacy for Human Rights is an umbrella organization of numerous Armenian cultural, student, youth, and religious organizations that came together to organize this event, calling for unity among human rights advocate groups..."
Another organization at the event!
I will now reproduce the conclusion of the description of the event from the organization's website and then see if the description matches the reality of what I saw there (www.unitedwerockconcert.com):
"This event is not one that is afraid of its shadow - It is decisively for individuals who have a profound respect for Canada's multi cultural social fabric, and wish to see Canada emerge as a significant actor in a global setting, as a champion of human rights. It is a reflection of the progress we have made in the past, such as the global "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) movement. It is also a celebration of the steps that lie ahead, such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Most importantly, this event is a call for change within each of us."
The concert stage setup!
The United We Rock Concert turned out to be a bit more cerebral than most concerts combining entertainment and education in one venue free to the general public. I found that the rhetoric found at the website actually played out truthfully at the venue and this article serves its best purpose to reinforce that fact. This is an annual event and we hope it continues that tradition.
The concert is about to begin!
From files of Kevin Adgey.