celebrating jack: rise up

I missed this song in the 80s, along with the video, filmed on the streets of Toronto. Perhaps it was a Canadian thing that didn't cross the border very much, but I only know "Rise Up" from the 2011 NDP election campaign.

Yesterday, like most of you, I found Lorraine Segato's rendition powerful and moving. I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of other progressive people who had packed Picaud (Metro) Square to celebrate the life of Jack Layton. Stephen Harper and other dignitaries inside Roy Thomson Hall were awkwardly swaying and clapping, but I've heard that many people in the balconies - and certainly many of us outside - were punching our fists in the air. Rise Up! Rise Up!

By the way, Rob Ford didn't clap, and he didn't rise up. We saw him leaving the funeral, walking down King Street with an eight-person police escort.

I hope to write about my day celebrating and mourning Jack later today or tomorrow, with our photos of the memorials.

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