On September 5th, over 50 people gathered outside the Toronto Reference Library to protest a book launch by former MPP Michael Bryant. They claim his memoir is part of a PR campaign to repair his image after cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard was killed in a August 31st 2009 altercation with Bryant, who was driving at the time.
Bryant’s book, entitled "28 Seconds", deals with the 28 seconds that lead to Sheppard's death and the impact it had on Bryant's life. He read from the book to a private audience in an event organized by the Globe and Mail.
Outside the library, bicycle activists set up tombstones bearing Sheppard's name, each one had a flower placed in front of it.
"He is blaming everyone for what happened but himself. He blames the car, he blames Darcy, he blames the police for doing a shoddy job, but he won't take responsibly himself," said Derek Chadbourne, who helped organize the protest.
"He says he wrote the book to make amends, but he wrote this book to pave his way back into politics" asserted Chadbourne.
Bryant, a former Attorney General of Ontario, was arrested the same night. However, in May 2010, all charges against Bryant were dropped.
"The fact he didn't have his day in court is insulting. It is insulting to Al and it is also insulting to the people of Ontario who want justice" said Chadbourne."
He explained that the protesters were not calling for the book to be banned, but were calling for a boycott of the book. As for their belief that the book is paving the way for Bryant to re-enter politics, Chadbourne added, "we will do our best to make sure he doesn't have a political career again."