– Mark E. Smith

The TTC union head whose actual head you would never actually want to pat if you somehow thought he did a good job, Bob Kinnear, has lambasted the petulance and stalking of TTC management and riders, to use his terms. He has also promised to hold “town-hall meetings” with riders.

Union members continually lie to the public by claiming that photography is banned on the TTC. (It isn’t. Only commercial photography without a permit is prohibited.) The union has to adjust to the fact that, in the 21st century, it borders on impossible to buy a phone that doesn’t also include a camera. Most people carry phones. Many carry actual cameras. People are going to use them; it’s allowed. The union must adapt to the 21st century.

All the other issues are dodges. This isn’t about washroom breaks or management interference. It’s all about getting filmed committing a misdeed. Rarely, it is also about being falsely accused of committing a misdeed. I stepped in and corrected such a claim over the weekend.

Let’s reuse an early-Aughties buzzword and call all these people with cameras citizen journalists. They – we – aren’t going away. We will continue to take pictures, sometimes for purposes unrelated to union members. (I have 3,000 TTC photographs. Barely any of them contain any employees whatsoever.)

I am offering to convene a group of what we will continue to call citizen journalists to meet Kinnear and anyone else from the union. We’d do this in advance of the town-hall meetings and in private. (Off the record, if they want.) Who would attend? Everyone I can find who has published what the union would call a stalking or harassing or gotcha! photograph or video, plus a few others. But no hacks from the mainstream media; they’re irrelevant.

We would have an honest discussion, quite possibly with raised voices and a great deal of swearing, about the reasons people take pictures. Only some of those reasons pertain to the union. Then the union could go into these town-hall meetings having been briefed by the actual people they’re really complaining about.

Ball’s in your court, Bob.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.02.09 13:31. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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