On July 30th of last year I noticed one of my friends was being treated rather disrespectfully. They were in a Twitter exchange with Sandy Garossino where the conversation led to the TIDES Foundation’s funding of organizations that espouse the use of political violence. My friend made a very valid point, TIDES has funded groups like the Ruckus Society- people behind the violence at the Seattle 1999 WTO (commonly known as the Battle of Seattle). Many of Vancouver’s militant anarchists were there, some are the same people smashed up the Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics, others were at the Toronto G20.
Garossino was very offended by this conversation and (electronically) lunged at my friend’s throat- ridiculing her idea, and publicly declaring: “credibility lost!”. In between she made statements stigmatizing mental health, and so obviously bent the truth that Vivian Krause and Leo Knight felt the need to step in and intervene- both pointed out that Garossino “twisted the truth like licorice”. Instead of making an apology for her behaviour she walked away in the hope it would be forgotten.
Sandy Garossino is the figurehead for one of Canada’s most prominent anti-bullying campaigns…
One of the myths perpetuated by Sandy Garossino and Linda Solomon is that American billionaires can be blindly trusted to be working on behalf of ordinary Canadians. That is, of course, an absurdity- this combination of great power and murky disclosure has triggered some of history’s ugliest periods. But, considering their behaviour, this may be exactly what they want.
The Vancouver Observer’s criticism of Vivian Krause’s work shows just how ugly Garossino and Solomon are willing to get. Their first article not only twisted Krause’s words beyond recognition, but took cheap shots like comments about her age, appearance and employment status. To say this behaviour is tacky would be the world’s greatest understatement- it was a deliberate act to discredit and smear Krause rather than answer her fair questions.
My first experience with this sort of social violence came when I began writing about the Vancouver activist community’s acceptance of violence. When I criticised Harsha Walias’s promotion of activist violence (she’s a global icon for violence, who was also at the WTO) people began to tear at me with deeply personal attacks. In the end, supporters of political violence went as far going as far as labelling me a a sexist, racist harasser- making several anonymously posted websites saying this in the process.
This sort of behaviour can be expected from a pro-violence anarchist, but now it appears Garossino and Solomon are following Wallia’s lead. When I wrote about Solomon’s inaccurate claim to be “Pulitzer nominated” I fell victim to similar attacks. Solomon tried to discredit my story by calling this blog an “attack site”. And, like she did with Krause, Garossino chose to make things deeply personal.
When Garossino tweeted out Solomon’s latest story yesterday (which was a veiled cover-up for her fake Pulitzer nomination) Krause shared my Pulitzer article and asked for clarification. Garossino first tried to deflect the situation, ignoring Pulitzer’s explanation on their FAQ, and trying to explain Solomon’s claim was legitimate. When that failed she fell-back to dirty tricks.
This wouldn’t be the first time Garossino has done this to me. Back in April she went as far as to participate with and encourage the person behind an anonymous Twitter account that was shut-down for abusive behaviour. Yesterday Garossino quoted the smears spread around by the anarchists who tried to block my discussion on non-violence. Her behaviour was as shameless as theirs- Harsha Walia & Sandy Garossino are two socially violent peas in a pod.
In Garossino’s world it’s okay to behave this way- anything to protect Solomon & TIDES from answering fair questions. She’s a deeply privileged woman with a lot of power- a lawyer and business woman who has a regular spot on the radio, and often gets published. There are people who will listen to her smears and forget the fact she’s twisting reality. I’m just a little blogger who’s getting pummelled for daring to challenge Solomon, Garossino & TIDES’ narrative. This is a perfect example of how far people in TIDES’s circles will go to protect their (illegitimate) power.
Garossino doesn’t only restrain her ugly tactics to journalists- she appears to be willing to take cheap shots at anyone who differs with her personal politics. Take this tweet she made yesterday about Toronto mayor Rob Ford:
Garossino’s comment about Rob Ford’s mental health is not only unqualified, but it shows how very far she’s willing to go to discredit people whose politics she disagrees with. More important, it gives us further evidence that she’s unqualified to take the reigns of an anti-bullying campaign. If Canadian kids follow her example, we’re likely to have a very ugly society. This is the second time I’ve observed her stigmatizing mental health- it appears Garossino is desperately in need of some anti-oppression training.
Garossino & Solomon’s behaviour has been shameless. They’ve had plenty of opportunity to make apologies for their gaffs, but it seems this is beyond their ability. It’s time for people to stand-up to their behaviour and say enough is enough. If they’re willing to behave this way to deflect fair questions, they have no business taking leadership positions in our community…
Note: If you want to see further examples of Garossino’s behaviour, please check out my Sandy Garossino page…