I’ve been watching the crazy footage of police in Toronto – or should I say footage of the crazy police in Toronto. You would think these cops have gone completely nuts the way they beat the crap out of journalists and peaceful protestors in unprovoked attacks. But, of course, they haven’t lost their minds – this is government policy!
The G-420 protest held by marijuana activists at Dundas Sqaure was a smoking success with little inference from the cops, but other activists weren’t so lucky.
Though the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, the media chose to focus on a small group of black-clad hooligans and suspected police agents provocateurs (they’ve done it before) who knocked the windows out of local chain stores and set cop cars on fire. This gave the police carte blanche to act as violent as they wanted toward non-violent protestors and get away with it by blaming it all on “anarchist thugs”. It also allowed Harper to claim that the billion-dollar bill for the conference (to the Canadian taxpayer) is justified.
In fairness, a friend told me he witnessed many of the Black Bloc defending other protestors and distracting police – so we probably shouldn’t paint them all with the same (black) brush.
The event was the biggest mass arrest in Canadian history, with unprecedented numbers of reports of police brutality and abuse.
Check out some of this disturbing footage.
In this vid, the cops surround and tackle peaceful protestors.
Cops vs. Canada: here’s one of the police rushing a group of protestors who are singing “O Canada”. Especially creepy.
Large groups of cops rushing into peaceful crowds with batons swinging.
The police were using minivans to grab protestors off the streets and recklessly speed away to locations unknown.
Pure craziness: Here’s one of police opening fire on peaceful protestors and throwing girls in vans.
This is a good piece by The Real News where the journalist filming is punched in the face twice. The footage shows several other beatings.
There is absolutely no justification for what the cops did this past weekend, though police aren’t making any apologies. Unfortunately, the CBC and other networks aren’t showing much of the footage, thanks to round-the-clock coverage of the Queens visit.
If Canadians don’t stand up against this oppressive government, we are the crazy ones.
Here are a few articles about Police State Toronto.
“This time, the cops were out of line” – Toronto Sun
“Activists decry arrests at peaceful march” – Globe & Mail
“Terrifying police raid wakens couple at 4 a.m.” – Toronto Star
UPDATE: Big props to The Georgia Straight and Rabble for some excellent coverage. And FUCK YOU CBC and Peter Mansbridge for your pathetic coverage and sycophantic defending of horrendous police actions – I feel so let down by our public broadcaster!
“Police trampled civil liberties over G20 summit weekend, groups complain” – The Canadian Press
“Ontario NDP calls for public inquiry on security response to G20 protests” – Georgia Straight