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Crime: Thief strikes Ass Pirates’ benefit

Beleaguered Toronto bookshop won't see the proceeds

Montreal’s Anti-capitalist Ass Pirates have been hit by a theft of the nastiest kind: the culprit made off with all the proceeds of a fundraising party.

“It’s frustrating to put so much work into something, and watch the fruits of your labour vaporize,” says Ass Pirates organizer Michael Reeson. “But it’s not something that shocks us. We know there are people out there who do these kinds of things. It’s not surprising, just disappointing.”

The cash in question, an estimated $1,500 collected in support of Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop, was stolen from an Aug 27 benefit event at Montreal’s Le Locale, along with more than 50 CDs and some personal belongings.

“The money was just in a bag behind the bar. Someone must have slipped back there when we weren’t looking,” says Reeson. “We are not a professional production company or anything. We are just a group of kids trying to forge an alternative queer space and sometimes raise money for issues we care about. The thief exploited our unprofessionalism, I guess.”

Now, the Ass Pirates are calling on the larger community to help them solve the mystery and get the money to its worthy cause. Reeson says the Ass Pirates won’t be involving the cops in the matter. “It wouldn’t help. There is no way they would be able to do anything about this and… we aren’t very fond of the police, in general.”

The Ass Pirates, a group of queer activists akin to Toronto’s Limp Fist, had thrown the fundraiser in support of Glad Day Bookshop and its anti-censorship battles. The most recent was a constitutional challenge against the Ontario Film Review Board over an unclassified gay male porn video, which cost the independent bookstore approximately $100,000. Glad Day won the court case, but subsequent legislation has all but ignored that victory.

Glad Day was pleased as punch to be getting support from Montreal queers.

“We’re very happy about it considering how difficult it’s been to get support here,” says Glad Day manager Toshiya Kuwabara.

Too bad all those good intentions won’t pay down the legal bills.