by Joe Warmington
Can writing a sarcastic but clearly tame blog comment really land two cops at your doorstep?
It happened to Blazingcatfur blogger Arnie Lemaire Wednesday for musing “OISE and the TDSB need to be purged, or burnt to the ground whichever is more effective.”
He’s, quite rightfully, upset about it.
But, often critical of the Toronto District School Board and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Lemaire said he will not back down from efforts to “intimidate” him.
“Dear TDSB, You Can’t Silence Me,” was a headline on the blazingcatfur.blogspot in response.
But, what they clearly can do, is bring in the police to investigate.
In what can be described as more TDSB theatre of the absurd, an obscure six-week-old blog comment resulted in police visiting his home like one might see back in the day of the Stasi in communist East Germany.
“We received a knock at our door a little after 8 a.m.,” said Lemaire. “Two detectives from Toronto Police Services identified themselves and asked if they could come in to discuss a matter.”
Enter Det.-Consts. Irene Liska and Sergiy Lobanets, from 32 Division.
They presented “a photocopy of my post about the TDSB teaching children that the Black Panthers were a harmless social justice organization link” and specifically the “OISE and the TDSB need to be purged, or burnt to the ground” stinger.
It was almost laughable. He thought everybody would understand it was meant figuratively and obviously not literally.
“It was nothing but a rhetorical flourish. It’s the language of blogging,” said Lemaire.
That police would be called in for this, might be as out of bounds as was when they arrested a father in another school board because his child drew a picture of a gun. Unlike in that incident, where a man was strip searched, Lemaire said, these officers were professional.
“That said, I have to wonder why a non-threat was reacted to with near hysteria by the TDSB and investigated while death threats to Tarek Fatah do not merit consideration by the TPS?” asked Lemaire. “To my mind this was simply an effort by the TDSBto intimidate me into silence and is plainly an abuse of power. It won’t work, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that an organization that holds up psychopaths such as Che Guevara and the
Black Panthers as role models for children would resort to such thuggery.”
He added he “assured them I had no intention of torching the TDSB.”
Police, he said, “were immediately satisfied with that explanation and assured me there would be no charges.”
So that’s the end of it?
Not for Lemaire.
He said police told him the complaint came from TDSB spokesman Shari Schwartz-Maltz and he would like a direct answer from her on why?
Schwartz-Maltz was “not in the office” but in her absence, fellow TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird explained “when certain words or terms are used in relation to schools or the board, they are flagged — as per protocol — to the Toronto Police Service without exception to determine if there is any threat that would require further investigation.”
Lemaire vowed he won’t be run out of town.
“The TDSB has long been a target of this blog, and evidently is not a favourite of the thin-skinned, politically correct twits who run that radical leftist cesspit,” he wrote. “My efforts have been responsible for publicly embarrassing the TDSB on several occasions, starting with the Mosqueteria, their teaching that only whites are racist, their homage to Che Guevara and of course their advocacy of Veggie Sex for children. These posts have brought deserved public scorn upon the TDSB and their sting increased manifold when major media outlets picked up the stories.”
The TDSB has removed the latest Black Panther link.
For that and all of the other victories, Lemaire believes, one phone call delivered some pay back.
Meanwhile, a photographer was recently overheard saying he was “heading over to city hall to shoot the mayor and his children.”
In an office with intelligent people, no one seemed to feel a need to call police.
Categories: Contributor Columns