Category Archive for 'Human Rights'

Post-G20: Articles and a Video

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

There will be another rally in Toronto on Saturday, July 17. See “G8/G20 Communique: Saturday’s Civil Liberties rallies across Canada and other solidarity events”.

The CCLA has filed complaints with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD). See “Canadian Civil Liberties Association files complaints against G20 police”. Not sure if anything positive will come out of it. I think Police Chief Blair has already made up his miind and that the OIPRD may just well be a “kangaroo court”, but I guess let’s wait and see what happens.

“Community groups launch their own investigation into police actions during the G20 Summit”, but can’t make any assurances regarding the confidentiality of submissions.

“Harper G20 agenda a direct attack on public sector workers, says Labour Council president” is an audio file. It’s a short interview.

“Photos: G20 public inquiry rally” links to lots of photos of last Saturday’s rally.

The below video is a testimony of one of the arrestees.

That’s all for now about the post-G20 issues.

~~~C

Post-G20: Rallies, More Articles and Videos

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

It’s been a while since I blogged about the G20 and it’s associated civil liberties/human rights issues.

A few peaceful rallies have taken place since the G20. The latest is scheduled for July 17 – see “Update on G20 Days of Action across Canada on July 17”. The rally in Toronto took place on July 10. Torontoist.com’s article, “With Yet Another Rally, the G20 Protest Movement Gets Sophisticated” provides some coverage of and commentary on this rally.

There was a rally on Canada Day (July 1st) for a “Public Inquiry into G20 Security Measures.”

Following are tweets from @SimaSaharZerehi

March ends with chants in Queen’s Park: “this is what democracy looks like!” #g20 #g20report
March turn towards Queen’s Park from College #g20 #g20report
20 minutes ago via Twitterrific
Protestor pointing to cops: “they’re wearing black, they’re on bikes, they must be Black Block” #g20 #g20report
25 minutes ago via Twitterrific
Crowd chants: “wasted, wasted, billion dollars!” #g20 #g20report
27 minutes ago via Twitterrific
Police line blocking road north on Bay & east on College #g20 #g20report
31 minutes ago via Twitterrific
Retweeted by you
March moves west in College-several people yell shame at cops as they pass #g20 #g20report
32 minutes ago via Twitterrific
Crowd sing O’Canada standing before line of cops on College & Bay #g20 #g20report
33 minutes ago via Twitterrific
Crowd chants “get those animal’s off those horses” #g20 #g20report
34 minutes ago via Twitterrific
March turns north on bay-chanting “our Canada” #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21lu1i
about 1 hour ago via Twitpic
Crowd chants:”protesting’s not a crime-no more cops on overtime!” #g20 #g20report
about 1 hour ago via Twitterrific
While chanting “freedom of speech under attack – unite fight back” the march turns east on Dundas #g20 #g20report
about 1 hour ago via Twitterrific
“our city!” chants the crowd #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21lpe2
about 1 hour ago via Twitpic
Today’s march & rally twice as large as Monday’s #g20 #g20report
about 1 hour ago via Twitterrific
Several thousand strong march moves south on University Ave #g20 #g20report #fb http://twitpic.com/21ln61
about 1 hour ago via Twitpic
Crowd now several thousand strong #g20 #g20report #fb http://twitpic.com/21ll26
about 1 hour ago via Twitpic
March route: South on University, East on Dundas, North on Bay & back to Queen’s Park #g20 #g20report
about 1 hour ago via Twitterrific
Protests begins to gather for march, gathering behind Samba Squad #g20 #g20report
about 1 hour ago via Twitterrific
Kate accepts marriage proposal in front of cheering crowd #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21lisf
about 2 hours ago via Twitpic
Tommy Taylor gets down on one knee & proposes to girlfriend Kate #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21lipk
about 2 hours ago via Twitpic
Taylor: “I kept begging for water & I begged & than I passed out-I can’t wait until they release the footage” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Taylor: “before today I was never anti-police, those officers put all police to shame” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Taylor: “we were handcuffed the entire time” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Taylor: “we told them there’s a 16 year old boy in here. That kid was in there for the full 24hrs I was” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Taylor: “8 hours in detention, no water. I’m a Canadian citizen & I had to beg for water” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Taylor: “I’m ashamed 2 say I was not a protestor-I was out going 2 dinner with my girlfriend, enjoying t city when arrested” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Tommy Taylor & his girlfriend was not protesting when he got arrested in front of the Novotel #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Tommy Taylor one of 900 people detained speaks #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21lfib
about 2 hours ago via Twitpic
Mullah: “we the people of Toronto, the people of Canada, we will not be bullied, we will not be censored” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Mullah: “when u go home tonight mark in ur calendars on July 1st I stood up for Canadian human rights & civil liberties” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Ali Mullah from Canadian Arab Federation speaks #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21lehe
about 2 hours ago via Twitpic
“Free, free the detainees!” chants the growing crowd #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Khan: “The real thugs we saw on the steers were the police” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Khan: “despite the 1billion dollars & showcasing of weapons it didn’t work, people came out on Saturday, Sunday, Monday” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Sharmeen Khan from Toronto Community Mobilization Network speaks to crowd #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Shanaaz Gokool: “the cost of security can never be @ the cost of human rights” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Shanaaz Gokool: “go to amnesty.ca & demand accountability from Harper & McGuinty” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Shanaaz Gokool: “All findings from independent review must be made public” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Crowd at Queen’s Park grows rapidly as speeches continue #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Shanaaz Gokool calls for independent review into police action & violation of human rights in Toronto #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Shanaaz Gokool from Amnesty speaks to crowd #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21laud
about 2 hours ago via Twitpic
Cartwright: “it’s the cold hard light of day that must be brought into account” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Cartwright: last incident of mass arrests in this city was in 1981 in the Bath-house raids against the gay community #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Cartwright speaks of history of Chinese exclusion passed on Canada Day #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
First speaker John Cartwright President of Toronto & York Region Labour Council #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21l938
about 2 hours ago via Twitpic
Crowds chant “protesting is not a crime – no more cops on overtime!” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Crowds chant “A billion dollars – Wasted” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Crowd chants ” Hey,hey, Ho, Ho, Bill Blair has to GO!” #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21l82u
about 2 hours ago via Twitpic
Crowds chant “what do we want-Public Inquiry-When do we want it-Now!” #g20 #g20report
about 2 hours ago via Twitterrific
Several hundred already gathered at Queen’s Park #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21l746
about 2 hours ago via Twitpic
Crowd of anti-police brutality activists behind to form at Queen’s Park #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/21l4dd
about 3 hours ago via Twitpic

Following is an amusing video about the G20. If you go to the youtube page for it, you can find the lyrics there.

Rabble.ca’s article, “Was Stephen Harper the hidden hand behind the G20 fiasco in Toronto?” consists of a video by The Real News Network.

This video has some good commentary. Also, if you pause at 5:26 into the video, you can see the budget for the G8/20 weekend. What is “Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness”? “How to beat civilians” seminars? Why would the RCMP need $500 million (and change)?

Here is the budget breakdown from the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, as shown in the video above:

RCMP $507,459,400
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness $278,310,228
National Defence $77,570,000
CSIS $3,137,483
Health $2,266,619
Canadian Border Services Agency $1,180,070
Transport $1,240,581
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority $399,399
Public Health Agency of Canada $583,330
Industry $2,839,000
Contingency Reserve (Fiscal Framework) $55,000,000

Following are few more articles of note:

“G20 capitalism is attacked in the streets of Toronto”

“G8/G20 Communique: G20 activist claims police pulled off his prosthetic leg”

“Medics at G20 protests speak out against police brutality”

“All of the serious injuries we treated were inflicted by the police. While violence against property received a great deal of coverage, violence against people — broken bones, cracked heads and eyes filled with pepper spray – has yet to feature prominently in any mainstream media. Our teams of medics witnessed and treated people who had been struck in the head by police batons, had lacerations from police shields and had been trampled by police horses…

Street Medics faced barriers in many instances. We witnessed people being seriously injured behind police lines who could not be assisted. Our concern for these individuals is immense. Several medics were detained by police and intimidated, despite identifying themselves. Medical equipment, such as gauze, band aids and gloves, was confiscated. We were intimidated and made to feel that what we were doing was illegal. In fact, we were simply providing first-aid…

as a community, we must begin to recognize a pattern: the criminalization of dissent.”

The “criminalization of dissent” is indeed a pattern amongst human rights abusers. Tyrannical governments find it necessary to silence those who oppose the government because they are afraid of others joining the cause of the dissenters. In more severe human rights cases, this form of silencing involves killing or brutally beating dissenters or making dissenters disappear. In Human Rights Watch’s World Report for 2010, Kenneth Roth writes in his article, “The Abusers’ Reaction: Intensifying Attacks on Human Rights Defenders, Organizations, and Institutions”:

Certain abusive governments, sometimes working together, sometimes pursuing parallel tracks, are engaged in an intense round of attacks on human rights defenders, organizations, and institutions. The aim is to silence the messenger, to deflect the pressure, to lessen the cost of committing human rights violations.

The techniques vary from the subtle to the transparent, from the refined to the ruthless. In some cases, human rights activists—be they advocates, journalists, lawyers, petition-gatherers, or others who document and publicize abuses or defend victims—have been harassed, detained, and sometimes killed. Organizations have been shut down or crippled. The tools used range from the classic police raid to the more novel use of regulatory constraints.

The perpetrators of these attacks are not limited to classic authoritarian governments such as Cuba and China. Democracies such as Sri Lanka have increased the pressure on local and international human rights groups that documented violations, as have governments that hold elections but fall short of democratic rule, such as Russia.

It is because the criminalization of dissent is a clear pattern that we have cause to worry that things may worsen in Canada under Harper’s government. I’m just really surprised no one got shot or Tasered to death.

“Of my illegal detention (with 899 others) and the G20 protests”

Ben Powless’ article above is well worth reading. Well-written. Lots of photos. (He was smart and switched out his SD card before he got arrested that night; though how he kept the SD card on him, I’m not sure I want to know, hopefully in his pants pockets)

“TTC worker caught in G20 police sweep”

I had heard through Twitter about the TTC worker being arrested. I’m glad to see a news article about that case. I still find it insane that some people still think that innocent civilians weren’t arrested. If you weren’t a protester or a journalist, you were a “thrill-seeker”. It’s amazing what some people will tell themselves to make themselves feel better at night. Fact of the matter is that people should be able to walk around public streets without being told which way to go, without being told to leave, and without fear of being arrested. Those civilians who make excuses for these arrests, who stand behind the police force and government on this, are complicit in the violations of people’s civil liberties/human rights because they’ve tacitly agreed to the/this police state.

Some more videos that I think are important to watch:

Rabble.ca asks Did you see these G20 ‘provocateurs’? See video below.

Something to note: the Black Bloc tactic involves camouflaging yourself in black amongst a group of others wearing black. It also involves covering your face so you’re not easily recognized.

G8/G20 Communique: Journalists attacked by police at G20 protests

“First they came for the activists, then they came for the media…” (Refer back to the link above to Kenneth Roth’s article.)

Some more videos can be found at G20 Protesters Being Abducted, Bundled Into Unmarked Vans In Toronto.

That’s it for now. Don’t forget about the Day of Action on July 17th.

~~~C

AI Canada: Independent Review of G20 Security Measures Urgently Needed

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Amnesty International Canada writes:

The G8/G20 Summits were supposed to have been a chance to talk about putting human rights at the heart of global fight against poverty. Instead, the voices of thousands were silenced or ignored and the headlines dominated by images of burning police cars and broken windows.

We urgently need an independent review of the security measures adopted and the range of police actions taken in association with the G20 Summit in Toronto.

While we welcome the forthcoming review to be undertaken by the Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) Summit Management After Action Review Team, this is not an adequate response to the concerns of Amnesty International and other organizations and individuals. The TPS review is not independent, nor does it enable public participation or cover the wider range of actors involved, including various levels of government.

Please sign AI Canada’s “Take Action” on this issue. There are 1058 signatures, WE NEED MORE! Here is the letter being sent to the Canadian government:

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

I recognize that providing security for the G20 Summit in downtown Toronto was not an easy policing challenge. I am concerned, however, that the security measures and police tactics adopted to deal with incidents of violence and peaceful protest have resulted in extensive violations of the rights associated with peaceful protest and due process, including rights to freedom of expression and assembly and the right to be protected from arbitrary arrest.

I call on the Canadian government to cooperate with the government of the province of Ontario to launch an independent review of the security measures put in place for the G20 Summit in Toronto. The review should include opportunities for public input and the results should be released to the public. The review should consider:

• The impact of security measures, including decisions about the location and venue, on the protection of human rights, including the freedoms of expression and assembly.

• The ways in which police operations and the use of legal provisions such as the Public Works Protection Act have impacted the rights of the many thousands of people living, working and operating businesses within and near the G20 security zone.

Yours sincerely,

AI Canada has also outlined a framework to use for the review:

The review should be given terms of reference that will facilitate and ensure cooperation among the different levels of government involved in summit security – federal, provincial and municipal. It could take the form of a public inquiry or other process that is independent and comprehensive. Here are some of the human rights concerns that should be investigated:

• The security challenges inherent in the location and venue that was chosen for the Summit (the downtown core of Canada’s largest urban centre).

• The failure to ensure public input into and awareness of the designation of the G20 security zone under Ontario’s Public Works Protection Act and the implications of the designation with respect to police powers of arrest.

• Whether the extensive police build-up in the lead-up to the Summit and the overwhelming and intimidating police presence on the streets of Toronto may have deterred members of the public from participating in peaceful protest and/or may have in any way fueled or provoked the likelihood of acts of vandalism and other violence.

• Whether the police response to acts of vandalism and other violence during the afternoon of June 26 was adequate.

• Whether adequate measures were taken to protect the rights of individuals living and working in and near the G20 security zone

• The justification for wide-sweeping arrests during the evening of June 26 and throughout the day on June 27, many of which appear to have failed to discriminate between individuals who may have committed crimes or been reasonably suspected to be planning to commit crimes, and individuals who are reported to have been involved in legitimate protest or to have simply been passers-by or bystanders.

• Whether appropriate steps were taken to ensure that conditions of detention complied with recognized standards for detention.

Amnesty International is an independent human rights organization operating world-wide. They answer to no government, but are a legitimate voice in the United Nations providing the UN and governments with advice and recommendations on how best to deal with human rights issues world-wide. I strongly recommend supporting Amnesty International Canada by signing this “Take Action” if you want answers regarding the events of this past weekend relating to the G20. Our human rights are at stake, they were denied us this past weekend. It should not have happened and it should be prevented from happening again. There is “No Security Without Human Rights”.

~~~C

G20 Aftermath: Some more articles…

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Additional articles can be found on my Shared Items page

“Freed From 629 Eastern Avenue, G20 Detainees Speak”

Fenton remarks that he and others were “imprisoned not for breaking the law but for disagreeing with the police.” Ghomeshi echoes this, saying: “we were criminalized for our activism. We should be encouraged to demonstrate peacefully.” She’s ready to talk about what she experienced, and lays out a challenge for her fellow Torontonians, and for people across the country: “Are we going to stay silent and condone this? I know what we”—those in the room on Sunday night—”will do, but what will Canadians do?”

“Conditions for detainees at 629 Eastern Avenue are illegal, immoral and dangerous”

Even if I agree (and obviously I don’t) to the police’s justifications of their deplorable and illegal actions over the weekend, it’s even more disgusting that they couldn’t even give these people blankets, medicine, more than a few cheese buns, more than a couple of dixie cups of water, and the list goes on. We know the budget they got for security measures. Where is the money?

“G20-related mass arrests unique in Canadian history”

Police said the 77 CCTV cameras set up for the G20 will be taken down – it’s just not clear when.

Police still have information about upcoming protests, said Integrated Security Unit spokesman Constable Rodney Petroski.

“When they’re confident the security risk is over, the cameras will come down.”

All things considered, do they really think we should believe that they’re going to take them down? The security threat is over, the G20 is over, stop making excuses.

“Outraged protesters rally against police”

“I’m pissed off about what is happening in my city,” said Klein, who accused police officials of “using the G20 summit as their personal ATM.”

“Your bosses got caught with their hands in the cookie jar,” she said, citing the far lower security costs for previous G8/G20 summits.

“Stop playing politics and public relations with our friends’ lives and let them go!”

Jason Jensen, 23, said he went to the rally because he was offended by police actions over the weekend.

“The police broke the law,” he said. “They’re supposed to take the hits and retaliate if need be. They’re not supposed to take pre-emptive strikes.”

“Police defend crowd trap at Queen and Spadina”

The decision to box people into the Queen St. and Spadina Ave. intersection Sunday evening was made after police saw protesters believed to be part of the so-called Black Bloc, police said.

Two words to describe how I feel about “kettling” being used this weekend on innocent people with no clear indication that there were Black Bloc present – “morally reprehensible”.

“Confusion rife at G20 bail court”

The cases of Leah Henderson, Amanda Hiscocks, Peter Hopperton and Alex Hundert, among the 14 accused of being associates of the Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance or S.O.A.R, were put over to July 6.

Howard Morton, lawyer for three of the 14, objected when matters were delayed because, he charged, too few justices of the peace were made available by the judiciary.

Speaking about family members of the accused who had come to bail out his three clients but were sent home two days running because of delays, he said: “This is their first exposure to the criminal justice system and they don’t like what they see. “

~~~C

Fighting for Freedom and Our Human Rights – What’s It All For?

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

In light of the recent events surrounding the G20 protests, I’d like to review a tiny bit of history and then share some commentary.

June 26, 1945 was a historic moment for the world – the United Nations (UN) was created. After suffering through two world wars, the UN was created for the purpose of preventing the possibility of a third world war. Then, on December 10, 1948, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In Canada, in 1982 under the leadership of then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, a legacy was given to all of Canada – the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCRF). The CCRF was written in the same spirit as the UN UDHR and provides for essentially the same human rights.

I would like to direct attention to the “fundamental freedoms” given in section 2 of the CCRF (I also note the correlating Articles from the UDHR in brackets). Section 2 reads:

“Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion [Article 18];
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication [Articles 18 and 19];
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly [Article 20]; and
(d) freedom of association. [Article 20]”

I note here that Section 2 applies to “everyone”, not just to Canadians. Also, since these same rights are found in the UDHR and Canada is a party state to the UN and thereby, also the UDHR, Canada must apply these rights to everyone regardless of citizenship or nationality.

I particularly note this because of the very nasty sentiment some people have expressed over the weekend – that is, simply because some protesters over the weekend may not have been Canadians or from Toronto, they did not have the right to come to Toronto to protest the G20. I find that kind of sentiment repulsive, offensive, and not very humanitarian. It is quite contrary to the spirit of the UDHR and the CCRF, which contain ideals many Canadians are proud of. These same Canadians who express this nasty sentiment of “it isn’t your streets, go home” (as if it was even a smart comeback to “Whose streets? Our streets!”; and I feel I should point out that the peaceful protesters were chanting that, not the vandals – just responding to someone’s remark that “They’re my streets too, stop destroying them!”, never mind that the damage is not as bad as people imagined) are also the very same Canadians who don’t wish to lose their rights and freedoms. Oh, I am quite aware that many Canadians here were scared over the weekend and stayed home, well away from the protests (and as it turned out, it wasn’t the protesters you had to be afraid of, it was the police – the vandals as far as we can tell did not hurt anyone as other civilians weren’t their targets), but simply because these people chose to NOT exercise their rights and freedoms as given in the CCRF, does not mean their rights were taken away. Rather, they enjoyed the privilege of staying home watching other people have their rights trampled upon by the police all the meanwhile exercising their rights to freedom of expression by complaining online about the protests (if you don’t want human rights for everyone, then go live in China) and how badly it ruined their weekend and so on. For the record, it ruined my weekend too. I was hoping nothing bad would happen because of the G20, and was hoping to relax by playing Final Fantasy 7 and maybe going running, but I do not blame the protesters for exercising their fundamental rights and their human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The few who weren’t peaceful should not outweigh the efforts of 25,000 peaceful protesters. It was the police broke the law this past weekend (see the section on “legal rights” in the CCRF, many of which are also covered in the UDHR) and instigated (and engaged in) a lot of the violence that occurred. What the police did was unconstitutional and is a human rights violation. It is also morally reprehensible considering thousands of civilians put their trust in the police to protect the people, not the rich, elite behind the big fence having their outrageously extravagant big party (oh, sorry… G20 Summit). But getting back to to Section 2 of the CCRF, it applies to everyone regardless of citizenship or nationality.

Furthermore, citizenship and nationality is a disputable topic to some. In this day, when we have instant communication to anywhere around the world due to the internet and computer technology, nationality to me seems to be a dying concept. Arguably, it is a useless concept and can contribute to sentiments like those noted above. It is also interesting to note that some of those sentiments come from people who may not have been born in Canada. Now, if I thought like these people and wanted to be as unenlightened as them (and being upset about your weekend being spoiled is no excuse because like I said my weekend was disrupted too, but what went on this past weekend was much more important than my weekend being spoiled), I might say to them “bug off, you go home, you weren’t born here, I was” (because I was born here), but of course I don’t because I just don’t feel as territorial as others (Mother Earth, Gaia, is for everyone). Recently, I have started to consider that nationality often separates one group from all others. Nationality is often used to develop a cohesive bond amongst a group of people so that together they can get a sense of who and what they are – it gives them a sense of community, and often it creates patriotism. However, at the same time, this sense of nationality and also patriotism contributes to the “us versus them” mentality – a mentality that needs to disappear for the sake of all humanity if we are ever to achieve world peace. Yes, world peace. That is what these protesters ultimately want, but unfortunately we have to fight for that because there are others (*cough* “Adolf Harper” *cough*) who just want power and authority to bully everyone else around, to exert their will over others, to dominate and control, to take away the rights and freedoms that others have worked so hard for that we, this generation, have inherited.

Let’s get back to this troubling notion of nationality and citizenship. I personally know and have known many people who migrated to Canada and ultimately wanted to stay here. To do so, they go through the process of “naturalization” and become “naturalized citizens”. (Read a bit about “naturalized citizen” versus “born citizen”.) These people come here to Canada because they want the protection of the CCRF (whether they know much about it, but because of the process of naturalization, I’m sure they must know at least the basic fundamental freedoms and rights they are being granted by becoming Canadian citizens) or they want to be here because “Hey, Canada is a great country!” (Well, for now it is, let’s hope this weekend isn’t a bad turning point for human rights in Canada; it’s bad, but I, like others, are worried it may get worse and are willing to fight to prevent that from happening.) Now, what’s irked me is that some of the people who fight to stay in Canada aren’t willing to stand up for the rights and freedoms that they were granted by becoming naturalized citizens. It is astounding to me because I would think that the mere fact that they wanted so desperately to stay here should mean that they should also want desperately to fight for the very same rights and freedoms that allowed them to come here in the first place. On the flip side, we also have some Canadians who were born here who just won’t stand up for these rights. It’s disheartening.

I shake my head and fists at these people in frustration (not anger). Don’t they get it yet? They have inherited a remarkable legacy, the CCRF and the UDHR, yet through their complacency they may lose the rights and freedoms granted to us by these laws all the meanwhile looking down on those willing to fight for these rights. The people fighting for these rights aren’t fighting for just theirs, but yours as well. They fight for my rights, as I will fight for theirs. We must, like so many others before us, fight for them. No, “we won’t shut the f*ck up!”

Reading Jessica Yee’s “20th anniversary of Oka and the continuation of unearthing human rights at the G8/G20”, I share her sentiments:

Now I owe who I am today because of activists and communities of people who wouldn’t shut the f#$! up no matter what the consequence for the last few hundred years.

However it’s not as if the struggle has ever really stopped. It hasn’t. The actions that have taken place around the G8/G20 from Indigenous people, women, people of colour, the poor, the working class, queer and trans people and disabled people have decades, if not centuries, of baggage that lead up to this point of where we are at with zero accountability from governments for the continuation of oppression.

I will not allow your work to be obliterated now or ever. Please know that I stand with you for speaking the truth from your heart which no government, police, or jail can silence.

I may not be a descendant of a First Nations group, but I am part of a “visible minority” in Canada, as I am a first generation Chinese-Canadian (my parents originally moved here around 1950). I grew up in the Trudeau era, and I am aware of the how hard it was to even get the CCRF entrenched in our constitution. I am aware of the history of the United Nations and the UDHR and why it was formed. I have lived in Canada my whole life feeling safe and secure knowing that we have these rights and freedoms. There is “No Security without Human Rights”. I grew up with these rights and freedoms thanks to the people who fought for them. Without that, where would I be today? For that, I have always been proud to live in Canada, and it was very sad to see those rights and freedoms suspended and trampled upon over the past weekend (the first arrest was on Friday). I hope that I can continue to say that I’m proud to live in Canada, even though right now all I can think is “Shame on the government!”, “Shame on the police!”.

I’ve also come across sentiments expressed by detractors that protesters and human rights activists are overly idealistic, they aren’t realistic and that things can’t be changed. To them, I say that even if the end, the outcome, is the same, it does not matter. What matters is the possibility of making the changes because we never know what can be possible. To give up like that is self-defeating. Where would we be today if others thought like that throughout history? I quote (from the TV show and comic “Angel”), “If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do” Because if that’s all there is to life, then I’d rather “fight the good fight” than be complacent and watch it all go to hell. Someone on Twitter shared this quote from Samuel Adams, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds…”

My heart goes out to all the protesters this weekend and also those who rallied at the police headquarters on Monday night. I only wish that I was there with you in person instead of in spirit. For me, it was hard to not be there helping. I did the only thing that I could, and that was to write about what was happening, express my support for our right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and continue to hope that others will read, listen, and consider my words carefully.

With love and compassion in the hopes of lasting world peace,
~~~C

G20 Aftermath: Police Should “Do your goddamned job!”

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

From rabble.ca, I have two videos to share.

“Naomi Klein to police: ‘Don’t play public relations, do your goddamned job!'”

After the widely condemned police brutality during the G20 Summit in Toronto, crowds gathered for a protest in front of Police Headquarters in Toronto on Monday, June 28, 2010. There, Naomi Klein tore into the Toronto Police for choosing to “play public relations” instead of doing their job. Filmed by Tor Sandberg.

For someone who isn’t a public speaker, she did an awesome job at Monday’s rally (certainly better than the police did theirs).

Some of my thoughts yesterday were:

Why is freedom of expression one of the more important human rights? Because without it we wouldn’t be able to fight for other human rights! That’s why it’s important to support peaceful protests/demonstrations.

For the record, I’m sure there are some good cops, but the safety of the people should be a priority above “following orders”. I hope many officers think about those priorities carefully in the aftermath of the G20 protests.

Additionally, I hope many officers think carefully about what Naomi Klein said at the rally on Monday. Their bosses got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. It’s time they owe up to that – admit what they did was wrong. It’s bad enough that the police broke the law – constitutional law and also on an international level, human rights law – but do they have to insult us with blatant lies and police propaganda? Do they really think the Canadian public is that blind?

At this point, I have to write about something that I have been thinking about for a while now, and that is “The world is watching”. I heard this in relation to the story of Neda, the Iranian girl who was shot last year during the protests against the Iranian elections. The phrase “the world is watching” originally comes from the song, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron. While the song was a commentary on media and how television does not accurately portray real events (hence, “the revolution will not be televised… the revolution will be no re-run… the revolution will be live”), I think with the way media has changed since then, media has become more real than its old counterpart, television. Modern media for most people consist of their computers and mobile phones. We can communicate instantly online now and easily share media items such as photos, audio files, and videos not only from our laptops but also our mobile phones. Most mobile phones are designed with a camera. Anyone with a mobile phone can quickly take photos, record videos or audio files, and quickly upload. Quick uploading of photos can be done on sites such as Twitter along with short simple messages. Site like Tumblr or Plurk allow you to upload videos from your phone as well. Because of this, I’d say that yes, now the world really is watching. Over the past weekend, I kept up-to-date on events on rabble.ca’s Twitter account. (Originally, I was using the “g20” search on Twitter, but was annoyed at many of the ridiculous messages, I wanted real news about the events, so I went to rabbleca which apparently sent out many of their journalists to cover events.) So, yeah, here was real lifestreaming news. And anyone can do this now.

Lots of photos and video evidence came through this past weekend showing the police brutality and yes, the vandalism from a small group of people. But through that real footage, we can start to discern the truth of these events. “The world is watching”, do the police really think they can dish out their propaganda and we will believe them? Watch the next video.

“G20 Toronto: Did the ‘black block’ get green light to rampage?”

The police were fully aware of the rampage and watched the black block from a distance at a number of locations. It wasn’t until they had dispersed into a crowd of peaceful protesters who thought that they were in a sanctioned area that the police took action beating innocent people with batons and spraying them with pepper spray.

Why was this allowed to happen? Police abandoned police cars at Bay and King when they didn’t need to, why? Was this allowed to happen so the Harper government could justify an outrageous security bill when there was no credible terrorist threat (according to CSIS)? Who led this group of vandals? Were they infiltrated by government paid provocateurs as was the case in Montebello where police with masks and rocks attacked their own riot squad?

I have the same questions as many others. We want answers for what happened. I know quite well that the wheels of justice take some time; thus, I sincerely hope Amnesty International Canada has an independent review into these events (they have already called for one). A public inquiry would be good too. As much information as we can get on these events is helpful. A “Rally for a Public Inquiry Concerning the Actions at the G20” is to take place on July 1st (Canada Day) at Queen’s Park from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. Other rallies across the country are being organized now – “The fight back is on! Solidarity with the Toronto 900 rallies organized across the country”

~~~C

G20 Aftermath; Protest at Toronto Police HQ

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Here are tweets from rabbleca yesterday regarding the “Jail Solidarity Rally”. They are protesting against the illegal arrests and detention of hundreds of peaceful people this past weekend.

RT @HiMYSYeD: It’s Midnight… NOW we can walk near any damn fence we feel like in #Toronto without fear. #g20 p.s. Sleep Well.
about 4 hours ago via UberTwitter
@marygkosta getting lots of mixed msgs on the Harsha Walia situation. Some say it is rumour still.
about 4 hours ago via UberTwitter
RT @apastdenied: plz spread word: I’m looking for ppl who suffered racism from #G20 cops willing 2 share story for article
about 4 hours ago via UberTwitter
@AntoniaZ it was on CP24 noon hour show. McCormack and @judyrebick were on as guests (via @corvinr)
about 4 hours ago via UberTwitter
RT @ndp_blogs: Where to file an official complaint about police in relation to the #G8 or #G20. http://bit.ly/dATAgE
about 4 hours ago via UberTwitter
RT @corvinr: Police union prez Mike McCormack says his members were ordered not to engage the black bloc. Will (cont) http://tl.gd/26ncls
about 5 hours ago via UberTwitter
RT @marygkosta: @rabbleca Harsha Walia detained. Her partner Harjab just sent out notice & @j4mw confirms.
about 6 hours ago via UberTwitter
@bevansauks not that I know of
about 6 hours ago via UberTwitter in reply to bevansauks
@bevansauks not that I know
about 6 hours ago via UberTwitter in reply to bevansauks
RT @travellingdoris @democracynow was rare media outlet along with @rabbleca to report on Cdn military mom protest #g20 http://bit.ly/cLS5PE
about 6 hours ago via UberTwitter
@kk Neuseum!
about 6 hours ago via UberTwitter in reply to kk
Exactly RT @AntoniaZ: On The Agenda right now, @spaikin asking where the cops were when Black Bloc was trashing Yonge Street. #G20
about 7 hours ago via UberTwitter
Protesters back at Queen’s Park. No reports of rubber bullets or mounted cops chasing people. @yeeguan #thankyou #G20
about 7 hours ago via web
Blair said Spadina/Queen crowd was warned to move. But crowd was detained for black bloc suspects. @yeeguan #contradiction #G20
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @g20updates: Sign seen at protest: “$1B on security and all I got was this lousy fracture.” (via @boyreporter)
about 8 hours ago via web
Bike officers at the front of the crowd going north on University look as confused as everyone else. @yeeguan #G20 #cp24
about 8 hours ago via web
Ben Powless @redman0380 & Jesse Rosenfeld are on the Agenda with @spaikin articulating black bloc tactics v/ @tara_cssdp
about 8 hours ago via UberTwitter
RT @HiMYSYeD: Police are ‘coralling’ us into Nathan Phillips sq. #g20 #voteTO #toronto #cdnpoli http://twitpic.com/20u5cz
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @CTVtoronto: CP24 reports Osgoode subway closed now as Queen reopens. Expect more of this as the protesters move. #g20
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @tamera: Heading back up University now. #G20
about 8 hours ago via web
Quaia event tonight: RT @corvinr: RT @goldsbie: This is the most impressive cross-section of the city’s artists, (cont) http://tl.gd/26knej
about 8 hours ago via UberTwitter
Party in the streets at Queen and Bay, taking are mofo streets back! #g20 v/ @krystalline_k
about 8 hours ago via UberTwitter
Crowd moving back north on University. @yeeguan #G20
about 8 hours ago via web
@yeeguan Crowd moving back west from Nathan Phillips Square. #g20
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @snotforprofit: Protesters sheepishly looking at Jazz tents -Fest Volunteer jokes to cop: “there were only 20 folks here before, this is great!” #g20
about 8 hours ago via web
Mix of confused tourists, #Jazzfestival goers, & #g20 marchers fusion in Nathan Phillips Sq. /v @HiMYSYeD
about 8 hours ago via UberTwitter
RT @julespenner: Policeman at City Hall standing next to ice cream vendor: “Whose ice cream? Your ice cream!” Smiles all around.
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @remarkk: Love that the rally to #reclaimTO joined the Jazz Festival! That’s the spirit. And now…@theagenda with @spaikin #G20
about 8 hours ago via UberTwitter
RT @ericsquair: Is there enough space in Nathan P Square for all these people?
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @nowtoronto: Thousands flowing into Nathan Phillips Sq #g20
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @snotforprofit: We’re about to show the abandoned Toronto Jazz festival what democracy looks like #g20
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @tamera: We’re apparently going to the Jazz Fest. #G20 at least the music will be good.
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @HiMYSYeD: ‘____ Privilege’ as #g20 marches past an ‘unprotected’ U.S. Consulate on University Ave. #voteTO #cdnpoli #toronto http://twitpic.com/20tz9f
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @krystalline_k: At City Hall, where is Miller!
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @SusanGapka: “This is what democracy looks like.” PEACEFULLY Marching past Toronto City Hall westbound Queen St.
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @Adam_Giambrone: Dundas & Queen cars on Diversion, Bay and Carleton cars back to regular service.
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @g20mobilize: March heading east on queen, chants of ‘1 billion dollars wasted, wasted’#g20report
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @CTVtoronto: Protesters appear to have been stalled at Queen St. W. and University Ave. @CP24’s Caryn Lieberman observing the scene. #g20
about 8 hours ago via web
RT @noizangel: Cops starting to follow protets w/ bike cop cordon on E side of University, turning along Queen. Not sure what’s up with that. #g20
about 9 hours ago via web
@yeeguan It appears police have blocked Queen West at Nathan Philips Square. @cp24 #g20
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @CTVtoronto: Protesters heading eastbound on Queen St. W. after turning off University Ave. #g20
about 9 hours ago via web
@NoLore i’ve seen them with security all weekend. @yeeguan CBC showed up with their own security. #wtf? #g20
about 9 hours ago via web in reply to NoLore
RT @RickTelfer: Crowd chants: “They are few, we are many!” Approaching US consulate. #fb #g20
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @shawnmicallef: So many people – Toronto a kilometer long – happiest atmosphere seen in ages – cannot kill Toronto http://twitpic.com/20tsjp
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @torontoist: Rally has turned into a march down University #g20
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @noizangel: Crowd is relaxed, v. mixed, people off work, w/kids & dogs, hugging. Huge. Hope reports of police on Simcoe are just-in-case. #g20
about 9 hours ago via web
@Richard_Florida Any thoughts on the Toronto Police Service this past weekend? @yeeguan #G20
about 9 hours ago via web in reply to Richard_Florida
RT @HiMYSYeD: Dear #Toronto, THIS IS the Pride Parade. Pride in Human Rights. Pride in respecting fellow Torontonians. #g20 #voteTO #toronto #cdnpoli
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @AntoniaZ: Your papers please! Twitpic http://bit.ly/aQa8Yx #G20 #Arrestfest
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @tamera: Drums play as we head down University. Police are letting us roll. Huge crowd. This is T-dot. #G20
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @nowtoronto: Police in vans and on bikes following protesters as they head west on College. #g20 continue to check nowtoronto for news updates. Peace.
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @CJSFNews: Journalist Amy Miller on threats of rape in #Toronto detention centre http://bit.ly/aDdi5a #reportG20 #G20 #resistg20
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @jenhassum: Damage has been done to Toronto, but this march shows that spirits are not broken.
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @HiMYSYeD: Bike cops & Paddy Wagons both Parked & Moving around Gerrard & Bay intersection #g20 #voteTO http://twitpic.com/20toug
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @hyfen: Protectors marching west on College. “Let them go!” is the chant. #g20 http://yfrog.com/j5fkvj http://yfrog.com/0ihsiwgj
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @CP24: The subway is currently bypassing Queen’s Park station on the University line due to the current protest against the police on College & Bay
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @julespenner: We are on the move. To Queen’s Park?
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @2JamesClark: Now marching west on #College. “Whose streets? Our streets!” #G20 #policestate
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @RickTelfer: police protest over, crowd (and me) now marching west on College towards Spadina (gulp) #fb #g20report
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: McNally “we’re gonna move out together cause our power lies in unity in solidarity” #g20 #g20report
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: We’re heading west on College #g20 #g20report
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @balkissoon: CBC Radio One reports one woman says she was threatened with rape by police in the detention centre. #G20
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @krystalline_k: Dave Vasey (twice arrested) “Show those fuckers we aren’t afraid”
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @andrewbrett: As I left protest, guy taking photos of police horses was stopped and searched. #g20 #policestate
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @krystalline_k: Crowd at 1,300 people and spirits are high!
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @amp6: New speaker, new chant: “This is what Toronto looks like!”
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Taylor Flook detained protestor speaks about her experience #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/20tk1e
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Flook: “there were strip searches & women made to bend down & spread their legs” #g20 #g20report
about 9 hours ago via web
RT @UnionSt: Terry Fox is here. Well, guy who played Terry Fox in the TV movie is here. Or was he Iceman? Either way, good ally.
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @coraclepots: live web cam toronto anti-brutality protest http://www.justin.tv/soundsofthecity
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Debra Collin from UofT speaks to crowd #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/20tim5
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @PialiRoy: Some local prov. govt employees were let go at 4:30 to leave before the protest started otherwise ‘might not get out’
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @nowtoronto: Star attraction Naomi Klein up. Out come the iPhones.#g20
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Klein: “stop playing politis & public relations with our friends lives & let them go” #g20 #g20report
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Ben: “we must stop the criminalization of our social Movements” #g20 #g20report
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @snotforprofit: Crowd demographics: Like a day in TO.. Commuters, mixed ethnicities/ genders – sign holders are different ages that I can tell #g20
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: “Shut it down” crowd repeats regarding detention centre #g20 #g20report
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @marygkosta: Please RT. Refugee rights activist & lawyer Harsha Walia confirmed arrested in Toronto. #g20
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Ben Powless Mohawk student activist speaks to crowd about being arrested at Novotel hotel #g20 #g20report
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @pmoharper: DEAR TORONTO POLICE: by executive order, you must hereby play ‘Dancin’ in the Streets’ on your LRAD. Thank you.
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @q_e_d: Police lines at Yonge getting thicker #g20report #g20 http://twitpic.com/20tdy7
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @g20mobilize: Judy Rebick standing on a speaker in a sea of people all chanting ‘we won’t shut the fuck up’ #g20report
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: “get those people out of jail” repeats crowd #g20 #g20report
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @q_e_d: “We Won’t / We Won’t / Shut the Fuck Up” chant #g20 #g20report
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @NoLore: Just had this sent to me: cops arresting someone inside at College Park #g20 #g20isover http://twitpic.com/20tbc7
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @krystalline_k: Cops are inside College street subway station but letting people through
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @NoLore: Riot cops seem to be suiting up at #ryerson, in alley behind Jorgenson. #copsoffcampus #g20 #g20isover
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @RickTelfer: Giant & growing crowd chants “po-lice state has got to go” #fb http://twitpic.com/20tavb
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @krystalline_k: Police are letting people through Eastern entrance to rally off Yonge street
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @julespenner: We could really use a functioning soundsystem right now. Hey, at least it’s a gorgeous day! Standing, waiting.
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @ShireenJ: Torontonamo Bay – new moniker for detention centre on Eastern. Something’s wrong when press, security guard, TTC worker in uniform detained.
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @CTVtoronto: CP24’s George Lagogianes says 3,000 people in front of Police HQ. Peaceful protest so far. #g20
about 10 hours ago via web
@marygkosta Let us know what you hear!
about 10 hours ago via web in reply to marygkosta
RT @shawnmicallef: Big anti violence demo in front of police HQ – no blackbloc – these are Torontonians – citizens – canadians http://twitpic.com/20t73c
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @nowtoronto: Yonge line of cops has just opened allowing more bike cops in.#g20
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Rally speakers: Naomi Klein, David Mcnally & Judy Rebick #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/20t62l
about 10 hours ago via web
RT @g20updates: #TTC streetcars headed east on College are being redirected down Bay St. due to protest, @andrea_ball reports #g20
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, this police state has got to go” chants the crowd of now 1000 people #g20 #g20report
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @blogTO: According to @CP24 anchor police threatened to cut their crew’s camera cables if they didn’t move back enough.
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @NoLore: “Abuse of power” people are chanting. I think we’re well over 1000 people. #G20 #g20report
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Crowd chanting “Buse of power” #g20 #g20report
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @andrea_ball: Police and protesters have moved into the street, now one lane apart http://twitpic.com/20t2oz
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: “2-4-6-8 we don’t want a police state!” chants crowd #g20 #20report
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @thismagazine: The scene at the jail solidarity rally in front of Toronto’s police HQ rigt now: http://twitpic.com/20t2v2
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @nowtoronto: Two lines now guarding HQ. Group of riot cops ard corner.#g20
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @NoLore: I’d say at least 1000 people here #g20 #g20isover http://twitpic.com/20t2em
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Hundreds of cops protecting their headquarters #g20 #g20report http://twitpic.com/20t2jc
about 11 hours ago via web
Incredible roaring of crowd assembled for jail solidarity at College and younge #g20
about 11 hours ago via UberTwitter
RT @nowtoronto: NOW @ police violence rally in frt of pol HQ. Phalanx of cops many w/ bikes in front. The lines have been drawn. The new normal. #g20
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @Vcrow: Judy Rebick, Naomi Klein, Ben Powless and more speaking out in front Toronto Police Station, Yonge and College 5.30 pm today!
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @RaveenaAulakh: #G20 Anyone know of a man with a prosthetic leg who was arrested at Queen’s Park on Saturday evening?
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @andrea_ball: Lots of people standing across the street on College, not much going on yet protest-wise though
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @krystalline_k: Please retweet! Frak! Typo! It’s 416-273-6761
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @krystalline_k: Please Retweet: Got confirmation that legal # is 416-273-6762
about 11 hours ago via web
RT @durabilite: Be careful if going to rally – man just detained with his wife and young child, wife asking crying and asking why.
about 11 hours ago via web
Budget police vans spotted around Yonge & St. Clair. Heading north? South? Anyone have details?

Seems like everything is back to “normal”. However, according to Brent Patterson “many are still unjustly being detained and need to be released, and the city has yet to shed the police-state feeling that has smothered it these past few days.” (See “The aftermath of the summits”.)

I will be reading news on Google Reader. Noteworthy items will be found on my “shared items” page.

~~~C

G20 Protests; Is it Really Over?

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Follow me on Twitter – @feyMorgaina. Things are happening too fast for me to keep blogging about them right now – and I’ve been blogging all weekend.

Here’s a few other videos:

“Watch: Union president Dave Coles lays down the line to police”

Dave Coles told rabble.ca “At one point a row of police with masks and balaclavas got down on their knees and got ready to shoot C.S. gas at us. That’s when I started talking to them. It seems to have worked because they didn’t gas us.” (See “Eyewitness accounts of police brutality and indiscriminate arrests”.)

“Toronto Police attack peaceful protesters and journalists”

In this video you can clearly see the police arbitrarily grabbing people. I’d like to know since when it was criminal to be filming in public? It certainly isn’t violent. This video can also be found here.

Toronto Police Attack Peaceful Protesters and Journalists at G20 Protests from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.

And here’s a video of plainclothes cops getting in on the action against peaceful civilians. Some people have noted that someone dressed just like the Black Bloc runs through. Police don’t even stop him. Agent provocateur? Watch: 45 seconds into the video, he comes into the video on the right side.

Now, for some news articles I didn’t get to yesterday.

“G20: Police arrest at least 70 at University of Toronto”

A number of protesters were found wearing black clothing, though Ms. Mulle didn’t say how many. Protesters wearing black clothing, who dubbed themselves the Black Bloc, were believed to have caused the majority of damage at Saturday’s protests. Ms. Mulle also did not say how many weapons of opportunity have been found.

So, they arrested 70 who may have been the cause of vandalism. Does that really justify suspending civil liberties and trampling on human rights for the week? “Weapons of opportunity”? And the police only carry “tools”?

“CCLA denounces the sweeping arrests at G20”

Reporters arrested, CCLA civil rights monitors arrested, over 500 people in detention, police unwilling to provide access to lawyers, cellphones seized, what is going on? Police will say that 4 to 7 police cars were set on fire and that there was much looting and spray painting, pop cans and rocks were thrown and more vandalism was planned at the fence or elsewhere. Is the policing proportionate to the threat?

It is still unclear why the people gathered at Queen’s Park at 5 pm were suddenly charged by riot police. It appears that the small group of black clad vandals was still out to spray paint and throw rocks in windows. Certainly, however, not all those at Queen’s Park fell into this category. Since then, over 500 people have been arrested and none are being released. It would appear that the presumption of innocence and the protection against arbitrary arrest had been suspended during the G20.

CCLA is concerned about the conditions of detention: people were being denied access to lawyers, they were unable to contact their families and were not promptly released.

“G20: Post photographers spend night in detention centre”

They were taken into custody at about 6 p.m. on Saturday while attempting to photograph clashes between police and demonstrators. Both men were charged with obstruct peace officer and unlawful assembly. Neither photographer was accused of any violent act. Instead, they were “amongst violent people,” and allegedly failed to comply with a police order to disperse, a Crown attorney alleged in court on Sunday. The two men spent about 24 hours in custody before the Crown consented to their release on bail.

“Guilty by association” too? We have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty under both the Canadian and the UDHR.

Here’s a recap on the weekend from rabble.ca –
Photo blog: Toronto police arrest and release G20 protesters;

and also from the Toronto Star‘s photoblog – “Peaceful beginnings, violent ending as G20 protests grip Toronto” and “Arrests, releases and rain”

Elsewhere, the New York Times writes “Police in Toronto Criticized for Treatment of Protesters, Many Peaceful”.

Here’s a commentary from the Guardian
“May Toronto’s G20 be the last”.

Today, protesters gather outside Toronto Police Headquarters. Their cause? Fighting against the illegal arrests and detention of hundreds of people this past weekend, a characteristic of a police state.

The G20 may be over and O. Reg. 233/10 may be revoked as of today, but the anger and hurt over what’s happened this past weekend isn’t going away any time soon.

~~~C

Video Coverage of the G20 Protests (“Welcome to ‘Harperland'”)

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Here’s a few more videos that I hadn’t had time to post on here. These are courtesy of the Torontoist.

Video of cops refusing people entrance into a public park – from Torontoist’s G20 Live: Friday.

G20 – Allan Garden Protests from Torontoist on Vimeo.

Video regarding concerns for the deaf man that was arrested and put in handcuffs. Needed an interpreter that wasn’t a police officer. The next few videos are from Torontoist’s G20 Live: Saturday.

G20 – Emomotimi (“Timmy”) Azorbo Arrest from Torontoist on Vimeo.

Were the cops just hanging back waiting before they moved in? We know the cops “expected” the Black Bloc and also the anarchists to come out. What’s the truth here?

G20 – Police Car on Fire – Yonge and Bay from Torontoist on Vimeo.

This video shows the smoke from the burning car in the distance and a group of police just hanging around. Waiting for specific orders? To me, looks like more spectators here than protesters.

G20 – Police Car on Fire – Yonge & Bloor from Torontoist on Vimeo.

Below you can see simple civilians and tourists trapped at Queen and Spadina. These were not protesters. Some of the tweets on my blog post just before this one indicate that some just wanted to go home after and were wanting to get arrested just to “get out of there”. This video was captured before the police charged the civilians. From Torontoist’s G20 Live: Sunday.

Here is the on-ground video of the police charge at the civilians (the same police charge that Meghann Millard captured on camera). Guess the police don’t like the anthem?

G20 – Cops Charge Protesters at Queen and Spadina, After “O Canada” from Torontoist on Vimeo.

That’s all the videos from the Torontoist. I will post more if I find some good ones.

~~~C
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