The man on the telephone said he’d been walking by the infamous intersection at St Clair Ave, by David Balfour Park, right around midnight.
The place was crawling with cops. He wanted to warn other gay men.
Welcome back to spring, and the land of Community Action Policing – the CAP program. It means a cop on every corner (paid huge amounts of overtime that could pay full-time salaries for more than 10 street outreach workers).
And it means and a whole bunch of coppers patrolling your neighbourhood park. And they’ve going to target faggots.
Last summer, even a safer sex educator from the Black Coalition For AIDS Prevention was hassled in the ravine. So were lone men sitting at benches or wandering about looking at the scenery. Hookers were worse off than ever. Squeegee kids – the ones escaping their homophobic families, maybe – were carefully written up on those awful file cards, the information typed into a database when the police get back to their desks at the end of shift and complete their paperwork.
This year, we need to be prepared.
Take care of yourselves – and each other. And call your community paper with what’s going on out there.
It’s going to be a long hot summer.
Eleanor Brown is Managing Editor for Xtra.