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(March 15–21, 2006)

Lucia Bazan

The Burrard Inlet

Mark Banas

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 2 PM EST

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© 2006 Mark Banas, All Rights Reserved.

On the third anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, anti-war protesters gathered in the plaza outside of the Central Courts building in downtown Toronto. Not coincidentally, this is directly across the street from the US Consulate. Perhaps due to a "potential conflict" between these continental neighbors, fences were erected and riot police we stationed around the Consulate (whose walls constitute an international border of a sort).

Although the protest included a march through the city streets, no other location was guarded or had 100 foot, fenced and patrolled perimeters. While part of the protest was directed at Canadian involvement in Afghanistan and calls for human-rights oversight worldwide, the overall direction of the anger was obvious. As an American living in Canada, this panorama and scene brought to mind the poem "Mending Walls" by Robert Frost and its oft-repeated line "Good fences make good neighbors." For me it is very obvious which side of the fence I am on.

A curious side note: When I set up my tripod and unusual photographic equipment, rather than attracting attention and questions, people from the protest group visibly moved away from me, and many of the riot police officers decided to reposition themselves a great distance away. In this case there was also a "border of uncertainty" around me and the panorama shows this.
"Portable VR Gear:" Canon 300D DSLR Sigma 8mm fisheye lens Agnos MrotatorC panohead Feisol 3401 tripod

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