Monday, June 28, 2010
Here's the thing. Cops were deployed to do something they didn't need to do. The main builk of demonstrators on Saturday had their peaceful march and had returned to Queens Park, the designated protest zone. There was no need at any point for riot formations. Ludicrous. And no need to clear the area, that had been set aside for the use of demonstrators.
Meanwhile, the only real lawbreaking was allowed to take place without a single cop in sight. While the best-equipped police that a billion bucks can buy attacked the peaceful demonstrators, the real criminals were allowed to smash and burn unchecked. There was a chance to apprehend them in the act, as their rampage went on for over 40 minutes. I wonder, would police have let real terrorists get away so easily? It's a pretty significant tactical blunder not to allow yourself the option of detaching part of your force to meet any immediate opportunities, ie perps in the act. It shows that they were completely unprepared to deal with any real threat. Bill Blair has some explaining to do.
As it is, the closest thing Toronto came to terror was at the hands of police: random arrests, beatings, pepper spraying people who were sitting down, and of course their little game of push me pull you. Activists were arrested before the fact. An innocent man was awoken in the night with a police gun pointed at his face. Young people were arrested merely for having gas masks. Others were arrested when they were unable, due to being surrounded on all sides by riot cops, to disperse. Journalists were beaten and arrested. Rights were suspended, not just within the 5 meters of the security zone, but all over the city.
And the real bad guys? The so-called Black Bloc? They were allowed to rampage with impunity. 20,000 cops could not or would not stop them.
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