How unfortunate that the peaceful demonstrators in Queen's Park later that day had refused to specifically condemn violent forms of protest. That was all the proof police needed to accuse them of harbouring criminals, making them all de facto criminals and justifying whatever actions police took.
Several of these protesters “actually donned masks” and were carrying weapons en route to the protest site, [police spokesman] McGuire said. The others, he said, were “people who chose not to disassociate themselves” with the Bloc. Toronto Star
And wow, did they ever take action! Mounted cops trampling people underfoot, beating seated people with their batons, darting into the crowd and snatching people, then preventing anyone from seeing or recording what was happening behind police lines. The brutal kettling outside the Novotel Hotel, at Queen and Spadina, outside the detention center on Eastern Ave. and of course the single largest mass arrest in Canadian history - over 900 people, most of whom were never actually charged with anything - because they didn't do anything wrong.
But was this really an "unfortunate series of events" or was it the intended script from the very beginning? Was the purpose of the 20,000 strong Integrated Security Force ever really meant to keep the peace?
Consider this one little fact, gleaned from the wife of one of the officers. During summit duty training cops were shown video of a police officer being dragged into the crowd at a violent protest in Berlin and beaten to death. Now, before you go all "I completely condemn that kind of violence" let's think about what the effect of seeing such footage might have on your average cop. It sure ain't sensitivity training, folks.
Consider too what effect seeing cop cars burning and windows being smashed by black-clad "anarchists" would have on the average cop who had no idea that this was permitted to happen by their superiors. Shame? Outrage? Feelings of impotent rage?
And now consider being told that those supposed peaceful people in Queens Park actually approved of the violence, and were helping the criminals to hide within their ranks. A chance to get back at those violent "thugs", to teach the punks a lesson, to redeem oneself and one's pride.
I believe it takes a lot to get police to turn on their fellow citizens to the degree they did over that nightmare weekend. Of course it helps if they are from out of town, from places like for example Calgary. What's better than a chance to kick some spoiled, commie Toronto butt?
This ugly narrative played out exactly as it has at every recent globalization summit from Seattle, to Miami, to London, to Pittsburg and now Toronto.
1. identify groups who oppose globalization and neutralize their leaders either through intimidation or arrest
2. intimidate the general public through threats of violent riots taking place
3. intimidate protesters through illegal search and seizure
4. expand the term "weapon" to include items of protection like bandanas and gas masks
5. permit vandalism, or if there is no vandalism, instigate it
6. respond with a brutal, military style crackdown on everyone in the vicinity
7. suspend civil rights (with or without the authority to do so)
8. mass arrests
Obviously the essential trigger for this series of events is some form of violence: anarchists, terrorists, black bloc tactics. It doesn't really matter what the label is. They are the bad guys and we will smash your rights to get them and keep you safe. We know you'll understand.
The Patriot Act, the bullshit at airports all over the world, spying, wiretapping, you name it. All are justified in the name of protecting the citizens, when the real purpose is the suspension of civil rights. So let's give a big shout out to the Black Bloc for helping the powers that be, the IMF, WTO etc, to put us all under the jackboot of repression. If they didn't exist, they'd have to be invented.
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