The write time

Writer, broad­caster, jour­nal­ist and ac­tivist — Toronto’s Des­mond Cole has moved the de­bate for­ward with his in­tel­li­gent writ­ing and pas­sion­ate com­mit­ment by Ron John­son

Bayview Post - - News -

Five years ago, Des­mond Cole filed his first story on po­lice card­ing. Af­ter a con­tentious bat­tle, Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice ended the prac­tice of ob­tain­ing in­for­ma­tion on in­di­vid­u­als (dis­pro­por­tion­ately young black men) ob­tained dur­ing ran­dom stops, but it has none­the­less kept the data. Cole took things into his own hands last month when he dis­rupted a Po­lice Ser­vices Board meet­ing de­mand­ing the in­for­ma­tion be de­stroyed. It was an­other step in Cole’s re­mark­able jour­ney from jour­nal­ist to one of the city’s lead­ing ac­tivists. So when he re­signed from the Toronto Star, it rep­re­sented the loss of one of the city’s most ex­cit­ing young voices. So we tracked him down to see what hap­pens next. about white supremacy be­ing a force that, I think, is an over­ar­ch­ing phi­los­o­phy of what it means to be Cana­dian. Peo­ple are los­ing jobs and be­ing held to ac­count over racism. Maybe the time of ex­cuses is com­ing to an end? I don’t be­lieve that it’s end­ing. First of all, we need to ac­knowl­edge the rea­son the [Write mag­a­zine] edi­tor lost his job and the rea­son school board trustee Nancy El­gie re­signed is that the peo­ple be­ing at­tacked, black and in­dige­nous peo­ple, put a tremen­dous amount of labour into dis­rupt­ing, re­belling and fight­ing back. It is clear this would not have hap­pened with­out them.

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