I find it a fabulous & comprehensive site, a great tool for the VELORUTION! Mr. Green Viva! To this team Kudos! Very Happy
Below is their intro, for the site Go here: http://takethetooker.ca/
Take the Tooker!
Friends, Toronto City Hall and the Toronto Bike Plan have failed to provide cyclists with a safe continuous east west route. We have been jeopardized for far too long by the self serving politics which not only puts cyclists at risk but all Toronto taxpayers. It is time to say "enough!" and demand change. Our plan is simple, a continuous bike lane along Bloor St and Danforth Ave/Rd between Islington Ave in the west and Lawrence Ave in the east. This lane would connect the current mish mash of bicycles lanes and make them more relevant to our daily needs, not the political needs of councillors. This will be the first step in improving the quality of life for cyclists.
We need your help in making this a reality. Even if you are able to only donate a few minutes of your time a week, between now and the next municipal election, from the comfort of your own home it will help us succeed. Please sign up for our newsletter to be kept up to date on how you can make this a reality.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:03 pm Post subject: Rituals to honor Tooker & community Reply with quote
Rituals to honor Tooker & community
From Angela Bischoff: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to thank you all for honoring Tooker, yourself and your community by participating in the water ritual on or around Mar. 3, the anniversary of Tooker's passing. About 170 people participated in the community rituals in Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, but hundreds of others did their own private water rituals in Van, New York, LA, India, England, and elsewhere.
I believe that such rituals communicate beyond words, and can wake us up to ourselves in a penetrating way, and allow for transformation, healing and awareness. Thank you for opening yourselves up to this exercise.
Here's what Eye Magazine had to say about the Toronto event:
And here's what the Montreal Mirror said about the Montreal event: http://www.montrealmirror.com/2005/030305/front.html
Here's what some wrote me about their water ritual experience:
We went to the river on Mar. 3rd. Zach (3) enjoyed throwing the stones in -- he said 'more!' Claire (5) said to me that day how she is looking forward to seeing Tooker in heaven."
Sally, James, Zach and Claire, Edmonton
We had a magical and powerful gathering at Dufferin Grove park last night! Thirty or forty of us, out in blusterry -10 for 5 hours around a fire that gave our body wonderful heat, with Tooker's spirit warming our hearts. Petals and Pebbles placed in a crystal vessel that was once used by hundreds of children in my Flowing Waters Ceremony, nourished by our souls' wish to embrace our own beauty and reach out when in need of support. Others spoke of working through depression and the insight gained from being deep inside their wounds, and finding the ways to reemerge with fresh perspectives and new wisdom. Songs and chants, howling and cheers were running rampant and whisked off by the smoke to be blown with great force directly to the east. You must have inhaled our potent aromas in Halifax!
Tooker's writings were read with passion, and we celebrated the truth in each word spoken. Last night, under crystalline stars, it was so very clear that Tooker lives on in all of us who actively carry on the work of reclaiming integrity by choosing vital, healthy lives for ourselves and others. His message was strong... whether it is on the front line of activism, in an embrace with a child, in a classroom of new immigrants, engaging with elders, supporting those marginalized or isolated -- each moment we have a choice. And we can waste it or fly with it.
Water was everywhere! The deep snows, Garrison creek below us, the dribbles from wet eyes and noses, water from Lake Ontario, and the steam billowing to the east as the vessel and petals were poured over the flames to end our ceremony. Quite a night!
We sprinkled the pedals for Tooker in the East River today, actually it was colorful local lettuce leaves rather than pesticidy roses... the sun was smiling.
Wendy, New York
And here was what some of the speakers had to say:
We who seek a better world owe each other support in our social, emotional and political lives. Else we have no world at all. Let's look in each other's eyes and commit to "be there" when we see each other stumbling, falling, sad about the state of the world. Humans evolved with tribes and villages around them. We still need that. We will always need that. Separated from our friends and extended family and usual allies, we are vulnerable, and, may take to drugs or bad ideasŠ
We shall never forget Tooker, because, all courage shall remind us of him. By surrounding ourselves with each other, we surround ourselves with courage, and he lives on.
Craig Hubley, La Have Islands, Nova Scotia
Compassion is an __expression of unflinching, tender self-awareness.
When we are courageous enough to really be there for ourselves, and by that I mean really bearing witness to our suffering and pain, our losses, hurts, and sorrow, we are in effect, really and truly taking care of ourselvesŠ
True compassion can arise whenever we refrain from beating ourselves up, rejecting or pushing an emotion away, or clutching and grasping at something or someone we don't want to let go of. When we are faced with difficult, painful life situations, we actually create less suffering for ourselves when we are finally able to gently lean into and be with, bear witness to our hearts and see as clearly as we can, what actually is. This is self-care.
Self-care is where compassion and loving-kindness for ourselves arises, and from this original and sacred place and space of self-care, then we are able to use our own genuine experiences as bridges for reaching out to others. From our own direct and personal experiences of being WITH ourselves and being there FOR ourselves, from our own self-care, we are then really capable and able to be there FOR others, and WITH others.
We aren't freaked out by others' intense feelings or extreme emotions or states of minds as easily, because we have courageously and gently looked after ourselves in those very same kinds of places. We have been brave warriors in the face of our own pain and suffering with gentle but persistent self-care, and now we may have the privilege of bearing witness and being of benefit to others in their struggle.
Sally Issenman. Edmonton
As we know, Tooker was frequently on the frontlines fighting for a lot of just causes, especially for a green and ecologically-sensitive world, but also for decent and affordable housing, for freedom of __expression, for freedom and the right to dissent and protest peacefully in public spaces. Tooker was a very peaceful, a very humane, caring and courageous human being. I deeply respected and liked him a lot. I miss his brilliant, consciousness-raising tacticsŠ I miss his spontaneous and infectious laughter, and much more.
What some people may not know is that Tooker was a psychiatric survivor who unfortunately did not survive.
What's particularly troubling is that this psychiatrist never informed or warned Tooker that Remeron (anti-depressant) can cause suicidal ideas and impulses. The psychiatrist never bothered to ask Tooker if he ever felt suicidal or wanted to harm himself while on Remeron. All this despite the medical fact that researchers, psychiatrists, the drug company CEOs, and government regulatory agencies like the Food & Drug Administration and Health Canada knew that antidepressants -- like Remeron, Paxil, Prozac, Effexor and Zoloft -- can drive people crazy, drive people to suicide. They knew all this years ago in the mid-1990s but covered up this horrible risk and truth. They never told Tooker and the rest of us. For the greedy and amoral drug company executives and psychiatrists, profits were, and still are, more important than people's health. Lying to and with holding critical information about drug risks from patients and the public is more important and profitable than telling patients and the public the horrible truth about these so-called "safe, effective and life-saving" drugs.
Tooker's death is obviously tragic. I agree with Angela when she asserts his death could have been prevented if the psychiatrist had acted ethically and responsibly, if he had fully and honestly informed Tooker of Remeron's serious risks including suicide. Tooker's death should be a warning for all of us. The psychiatrists and government officials in Health Canada are still not leveling with us; they think they're protecting us by issuing "advisories", weak warnings when they should be issuing bans on these killer-drugs.
There have always been safe and humane alternatives to psychiatric drugs and other psychiatric procedures: self-help groups, supportive health teams instead of mental health ACTT teams, good nutritious diet and exercise, meditation, holistic methods, decent and affordable housing, a livable wage, friends who really care about and love usŠ
In the wonderfully wild and alive spirit of Tooker, let us start speaking out and acting out against psychiatric deception, lies and fraud. In the spirit of Tooker, let us start educating ourselves, our friends and others, about the serious health effects and risks of psychiatric drugs. In the spirit of Tooker, let us rededicate ourselves to building more non-medical alternatives to psychiatric treatment and institutions. In the spirit of Tooker, let us continue our empowering struggles for social justice, building a humane, caring and safe world. Tooker has shown us it can be done, it must be done. Tooker, your spirit lives. SHALOM wherever you are.
Don Weitz, Toronto
Supporting Each other in our Activism - and Nurturing and Supporting Ourselves
How to stay activists for a lifetime? In the face of many defeats and discouragement, and despite our despair about the pain and suffering in the world and the ecological challenges that we know must be urgently addressed, we work as hard as we can on the many campaigns that come our way. There is always more to do -- yet we know that burning out will not help in the long run, because this is going to be a lifelong engagement, this work of social change!
So how to stay in it in a sane way?
Start by noticing -- how am I feeling today? If you are feeling dragged down, ask yourself, what do I need?
Remember: we are whole beings. And we need to nurture ourselves - physically, emotionally and spiritually, as well as our minds.
What do I need to energize my spirit?
- Singing, dancing, meditating, communing with others?
- Taking time to journal?
- Getting to a beautiful place, a retreat, training (that's not just task oriented, but will nurture your spirit and inspire you) or just a movie, a night with friends?
What do I need to nurture my body?
- Exercise, massage, yoga, long walks, more rest?
- Do I need more veggies, fruit, vitamin B, iron, zinc, essential fatty acids?
- Take time to enjoy meals, our bodies, time spent with others, away from work
Do I notice my feelings and find ways to express them?
Do I need more emotional support from others, a place to vent?
Would I benefit from a support group, or individual therapy?
Do I need to evaluate how I am spending my time, how a certain project is going, or how a group I am part of is functioning?
Make use of resources:
Find the resources you need -- nurturing yourself is worth it!
Massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, books on nutrition, yoga.
Vitamins, especially B6 and B12, and essential fatty acids.
Therapy, counseling, or learning about how groups can work well together.
And music, friends, and nature.
Find time to savor life on earth - as well as to save it.
Lyn Adamson, Toronto
Depression is the internalization of the ills in our society. That is to say, we get beaten down by our sense of desperation about the world around us, and our role in it. We look at our inadequacies and our inability to feel comfortable in such a hostile world or situation and we then think there is something wrong with us. That we are, as individuals, the sick ones.
The psychiatric approach to understanding depression plays a role in de-politicizing our pain, anger and desperation. It locates the problem at the level of the individual and conveniently ignores the context that gives rise to an individual becoming depressed.
Conveniently, the psychiatric and pharmaceutical complex prey on the vulnerability of those who are depressed. They label us with a sickness and further reinforce the idea that intervention strategies must rehabilitate the individualŠ
I don't mean to minimize the very real difficulties that one may face when dealing with depression, and surely, we need to mobilize as community to support each other. I mean, who doesn't get depressed. And it is common in this day and age for people to contemplate suicide. We should be asking: why are so many people taking their own lives. Sometimes, the pharmaceutical drugs themselves induce people to suicide.
I suggest that, as good radicals, we are behoven to look at the roots of societal problems. When it comes to suicide and depression, we are doing our fallen comrades a disservice if we fail to see past the psychiatric model, and ignore the conditions that give rise these manifestations and behaviours. We need to break through that individualistic isolating model of understanding ourselves, and be wary of false solutions that ignore, or help us become complacent to the actual problems that we collectively face as a people.
Pierre Loiselle, Halifax
I hope those words give you food for thought. Thank you to all the speakers, and organizers, and participants!
We were proud to announce at the community rituals the first recipients of the Tooker Gomberg Greenspiration Fund Awards. We raised about $16,000 post-memorials, which we are committed to contributing to worthwhile activist and educational activities dealing with climate change, indy media, community and cycling.
The Otesha Project http://www.otesha.ca/ has been awarded $1000 for their Coast-to-Coast bicycle tour. Otesha is a group of youth enabling and empowering the next generation to take action towards a sustainable future. This summer they will be presenting to 40 communities across Canada, reaching 10,000 youth.
BoilingFrog http://Boilingfrog.ca/ promotes and distributes activist and independent media committed to issues such as: environment, social justice, poverty, human rights, war, peace, globalization, direct action, etc. We are honored to contribute $1000 to their ongoing Canadian tour.
Riverdale School in Edmonton is creating a natural labyrinth in their schoolyard. In the center will be a large rock with a plaque dedicated to Tooker's memory. We are pleased to contribute $800 to this project.
Stay tuned for more projects to be funded in the future. We thank all those who have contributed to these funds in Tooker's honour. If you'd like to contribute, see: http://www.greenspiration.org/
With so much love, respect and gratitude,
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:14 am Post subject: Tooker was wrong Reply with quote
I don't mean completely, of course. I considered him a friend, and well meaning, but it's easy now to look back at where he and I and so many others stood in the middle of the 1970s and see that we suffered from a bad case of blinkers.
Consider the book Diet For A Small Plant. Fraught with good intensions, and larded with recipes that actually work, the single-focus on complete proteins, to the exclusion of other considerations, leads to a carb-heavy, fat-heavy cuisine, which would, by itself, probably be less healthful than dialing in a quotient of meat.
Similarly, the books by Charlie Wing (sometimes with others), including From The Walls In and From The Ground Up focus so much on saving energy that following his guidelines leads to houses where less is less. Saving energy is all well and good, but in raw terms, turning down the thermostat means you'll be saving energy, but at a price: you'll be colder. His admonitions to avoid opening windows, because windows leak, means that it's hard to get a breeze flowing through a Wing design house, and while maybe it saves energy, consider that changing the air in a building every so often (some suggest a complete air change every half hour) is considered a good thing, so some leakage is not all that unwanted..
Tooker's goal was to make the planet better, and for that we all applaud him. But like F.M.L and Charlie Wing, I think that his approach lacked the balance that we should all take when approaching anything that requires a big decision. I remember Tooker's ride when he was a student at Hampshire-- and thought it was a stand up thing to do when he got rid of it. But carlessness is not appropriate for everyone.
I'm sorry he's gone, and consider it a waste. Clearly he dropped the ball one time when it wasn't safe to do so, and I regret that, as we all do. Blame the docs and Rx companies if you want, but to do so implies that Tooker wasn't responsible for his choices. And I think that is a rap he wouldn't want to accept.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:17 am Post subject: Poem For Tooker Gomberg Reply with quote