Monday, June 28, 2010

Proud to be Canadian

she said facetiously. I am a product of the '60s, the generation that popularized protests, peace marches and sit-ins. I believe in peaceful protest.

The rioters in Toronto were not protesting anything. Their sole purpose was to loot and pillage. I suggest there is not an abundance of loose bricks and rocks in downtown Toronto so I will assume those goodies were brought to the G20 event. I can't see that burning vehicles and destroying private and public property served any purpose but to embarrass Canadians.

Regretfully some of the protesters who attended got caught up in the fray. I will liken it to 'running with the bulls' and when you do so you run the risk of being gored. When police are trying to quell a riot they don't have time to check your credentials and hear your story. You are simply caught in the net.

For those who will be charged I hope fines will run into the hundreds of thousands and that the money will be used to pay for some of the damage. The good news for the next host country is that these criminals will be blocked from entering their country as a result of criminal records.

It was not a proud time for Canada but it certainly gave PM Steve creditability for the money spent on security. I can't imagine the hue and cry had one of the visiting leaders had been hurt or killed.

And now we will hear of the police brutality from those detained. And of course, their rights.


  1. Here's what bothered me the most about the rioters, are the small locally owned downtown Toronto businesses really the appropriate target for unleashing your frustration with human rights violations, international governance, environmental issues and other 'causes' that these lunatics claim to protest against?

    I'm sure the multinational interest groups and companies sure shuttered when they heard that the locally owned mom and pop grocery store had a brick thrown through window or perhaps when indie vintage store saw their door kicked in and merchandise exposed. Great outlet and way to be heard rioters, I mean as someone looking on the whole situation I can really relate to what you did and understand your message.

    Screw the fines, these rioters should be thrown in prison and if any of them happen to be Canadians then tag on a 'treason' charge to boot. Please don't go soft on these people Canada, do whatever you can to make them pay for the rest of their lives. Anyone who supports their actions is an idiot.

  2. Similarly anyone who supports the police brutality is an idiot. I agree the rioters are fools, but for $1 Billion dollars, we should have police officers who randomly arrest people, then don't feed them or give them water or allow them a phone call....then don't charge them. Including journalists!!!

    Did you see the video of people at Queen and Spadina singing O Canada, then without any notice, the police charge them and start tackling people and arresting them? That seems like quite a ridiculous response....for the amount of money spent on security, then shouldn't be so sloppy and needlessly aggresive!

  3. oops...that should read:

    but for $1 Billion dollars, we SHOULDN'T have police officers who randomly arrest people, then don't feed them or give them water or allow them a phone call....then don't charge them.

  4. Alan,

    As far as I am concerned anyone who chooses to associate themselves with the rioters is subject to arrest and detention until the situation can be resolved.

    If you truly believe this is an example of police brutality go try and see what how police handle and treat detainees (including some of the so called great countries such as Sweeden). What about officer safety? Is that of no concern to you? The allegations of police brutality are typical and expected anytime rioters (aka protesters) gather for one of these G20 or G8 summits. I have yet to see one summit where the rioters showed up where police brutality wasn't alleged. As for the rioters rights??? Anytime you start throwing bricks through innocent people's window (and violating their rights) then all is fair game. You can't spit on other people's rights and then claim that your rights are being violated, but I guess these hippie rioters don't believe in thinking about others outside their 'causes'.

    As for your accusation of illegal detainment, as mentioned earlier in the interest of officer safety until the situation is resolved anyone detained at these protest/riots should be detained until the situation is completely under control, whether that is hours or a weekend. When you choose to insert yourself into a situation such as that you better be prepared for the potential consequences. If you are in a crowd where people are burning cop cars and encouraging mass destruction then you are fair game to be detained. As the mistress mentioned, in a scene of chaos there is not always time to hear the story of each individual.

    As for the journalists that you mention... let's be real the only journalists that I heard were detained where rioter/protesters who claimed to be 'independent media' and held no press credentials. This is akin to the Mistress (no offence Elaine) showing up at the G20 and demanding access and treatment as media. A couple of bloggers who think they are media got detained while rioting, big deal.

    As for not allowing a phone call, please brief yourself on the laws of Canada and your rights to a phone call. It is not as you seem to believe where you can demand a call on the spot and receive it. During riots and mass protests the important thing is to quell the problem and then proceed to deal with troublemakers after.

    You have swallowed the typical rioter/protester garbage hook line and sinker. These accusations could have been released two weeks prior to summit and are as predictable as the sun rising in the morning.

  5. Alan are you referencing the video where at the conclusion of O'Canada the protesters advanced their line and began approaching the officers before they were chased back?

    I would hardly say the police started tackling and arresting people. Each video I have now watch from that occasion shows nothing like that going on. In fact, the officers rush the line after the protesters tried to begin staging another illegal sit in and once the line was sufficiently pushed back the officers retreated. Quit spinning the facts to advance your own agenda.

  6. Hello all
    I think it is unreasonable to expect that in mob situations when police are detaining hundreds of people over a short period of time that anyone should expect to be "processed" immediately.

    As for their comforts during detainment, I find it hard to believe that all these people had ready access to food and phones - unless of course they were looting grocery venues or restaurants, while engaged in mob activity. Most local jails use McDonalds, or its equivalent, to feed their overnight stays. I expect some will claim a violation of the rights for not having a choice of menu or the quality of the food.

    The people who cry the loudest on their rights are usually the ones who feel free to violate the rights of others in support of their own. You may have the right to peaceful demonstration, but other have a right to peace and enjoyment of their premises. And police have a duty and a right to enforce the law. I dare say there were probably more people jostled or bruised by the unruly mob than by police.

  7. ok...let's be journalists.

    Here is the Globe and Mail journalist that was part of a rally. Is it a legit enough newpaper for you?

    As stated above...quit spinning facts to fit your agenda. I not once condoned the rioters....but the right to assembly and to protest is important. Protest marches helped get women the vote, which seems pretty important to me. Just because some people are intent on high jacking a peaceful protest, does not mean that peaceful protesters (or residents on their way home!) should be punished and mis-treated by police.

    I have heard many stories of police officers being friendly and helpful...but there are also police officers who definitely were out of line...and similarly to the rioters, they should be held accountable.

    Bill McCormick, Prez of the Police Assn was recently on CP 24 news at noon with Judy Rebick and he said his members were under orders not to arrest to black bloc people while they were breaking windows and setting fire to cars. When Stephen LeDrew asked why, he said that sometimes it's hard for the front line cop to understand the chain of command but he was going to ask questions of the Chief.

    That seems quite bizarre. Why would the police officers be told not to stop violence from occuring???? It definitely raises questions of what the polices intent was.

  8. oops, here's another wannabe journalist tackled by police....oh wait, he's a national post photographer standing next to a non-violent protest.

    National Post Staff June 26, 2010 – 10:51 pm

    Two National Post photographers were arrested Saturday night during anti-G20 demontrations in downtown Toronto.

    Brett Gundlock, a staff photographer for the Post, was tackled and taken away by several police officers in riot gear as they attempted to disperse protesters hanging around near the Ontario legislature.

    Kier Gilmour, a photographer for Canwest News Service who witnessed the arrest, said the officers knocked Mr. Gundlock to the ground and then dragged him away. He had been standing with several other media photographers at the time.

    “They slammed him down, onto his ass so to speak, then they dragged him back up and pulled him back to the police line,” Mr. Gilmour said.

    Colin O’Connor, a freelance photographer working for the Post, was also apparently detained.

    Mr. Gilmour said the police were being very aggressive in trying to disperse the remaining demonstrators near Queen’s Park, which is several blocks away from the secure zone where the G20 meeting is taking place.

    “They kept screaming ‘it’s time to go home, it’s time to go home.’”

    He said that every few minutes a group of officers would rush the crowd at a full sprint and grab a few people. The protesters were not doing anything violent or provocative at the time, he said.

    The photographers were believed to have been taken to a specially built detention centre east of the downtown core. More than 100 people were believed to have been detained and taken to the centre last night. The Post had received no communications from the detained men as of 10:30 tonight.

    Read more:

  9. Alan, you mention that peaceful protesters should not be punished for the actions of a select few rioters. I can understand that, but anyone who has a sane thinking mind and experience in protesting knows that the G20 summits are infamous for the protests and especially violent protests that they draw. For months and weeks leading up to the summit is was widely expected that there would be the extremists who would show up at the summit and act as they did. People knew that full well going into the event and still decided that they would willingly show up and walk alongside those people intent on creating violence.

    Are you honestly advancing the theory that people were unaware of past G20 summits and thought that these would simply be peaceful protests? Come one now, we could have had this discussion last week and we could've known what to expect, why do you think the perimeter fence and billion dollars of security are there in the first place.

    By advocating G20 protests and demonstrations as a peaceful protests is demeaning to peaceful protests and takes away from the cause when ordinary people look at this. The Million Man March was a peaceful protest, G20 protests are not.

    It is easy to to point fingers at the police and is easy pickings, but think a little about their safety and when violence is erupting around them and ask how are they to determine the threats from the non-threats? Until a rioter actually throws a brick at an unsuspecting officer how do you identify the violent protesters from the non-violent.

    As for your journalist link, did you actually take the time to read it? You simply reinforced my point, here is a quote from YOUR link:

    "Lisan Jutras was on the streets of Toronto this weekend taking in the events and watching the many demonstrations. In the end, she was one of the citizens held at Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue on Sunday night, only to be released just before 10 p.m. Lisan works at The Globe and Mail and although she wasn’t accredited for the summits or on assignment"

    So again, I point out that the any instance of a journalist being detained that I have heard has focused on those without media clearance, AND THUS FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS DEBATE NOT A MEMBER OF THE MEDIA. Please find me one Media person with proper credentials and authorization that was detained? I'm not interested in those who are there on their own personal agenda and happen to be affiliated with a media outlet.

  10. Anon above, read through the facts of the situation you posted. The photographers (one a freelance without proper Accreditation) did not have their press badges visible. I guess going undercover to gain better shots of the rioters and putting yourself in danger comes with some drawbacks, if you are prepared to take the risks for the better photos then be prepared to pay the price.

  11. Alright you last couple commenter are obviously not going believe anything but what you want to, so here, see this video of a journalist (yes independent...but with a press pass!!!) who was arrested and threatened with rape by your precious, perfect police officers.

    You will likely say she was asking for it, being young and interested with covering the legal protests that were going on in our free, democracy, but well, that your prerogative. It unfortunate.

  12. I'd kind of assume you used the same logic with the aboriginal men who were aboriginal and drunk and got picked up and taken out to the QE power plant. They were asking for it being aboriginal in this town. How could the police officers react any differently. They have to put up with poor people, disheveled people all the time....if we just intimidate a few, then the rest will fall in line.

  13. Real classy comparing riot officers at a G20 summit to the scum that picked up aboriginals and dropped them off to their death in freezing Saskatchewan.

    I'm simply saying, that on a grand scale of things the police at the G20 summit did an admiral job in keeping the peace....hear that keeping the peace. Our laws allow allow the police to detain people in order to do so. The protesters decided to mingle with the rioters and that was their choice, in the interest of the MAJORITY of Canadians the police took the steps necessary in order to keep the peace and maintain order.

    Finding individual stories and the odd event in a weekend of activity the magnitude of this does nothing to discredit the job done. Congrats to the police for protecting your rights so that you can voice your indignation at those who uphold the rights and values that you so dearly preach.

    Look at every past G20 summit and the accusations of the police in every single one of those countries. By your logic it was impossible for the police to have gone through this weekend without accusations such as the one above. At EVERY summit accusations worse than those here have been brought forward. It's a no win situation, put yourselves in their shoes for a day as they are surrounded by thousands of angry chanting protesters with no idea of who will be next to assault them or destroy property, but then again it is much easier to sit and preach and point to isolated incidents in an attempt to discredit the entire force.

    So when G20 summit is finished will you above posters simply return to spitting on our soldiers? Gotta love when people think their rights trump other people's rights and liberties.

  14. Man the way some people on here are posting they make it sound like Canada is the fourth Reich. Maybe if some of the posters here ever decided to take a look around the world they would realize what a great place Canada actually is, and what an open and free society we live in.

    If they think the police brutality is bad here I invite them to provide me a model country. Where per se are the police more behaved and respectful than Canada? Where are rights more openly recognized and freedom given to citizens?

    I guess there will always be complainers in every society, to those who think the police brutality is so bad I invite you to exercise a right that is not afforded to many people in the world... pack up and leave if you don't like it. You're only happy when you are complaining anyways.

  15. police officers threatening women with rape or gang bangs isn't cool. As mentioned above, they did some good work and some people 'protesting' committed criminal acts and should be punished, but are honestly saying it's ok for a police officer to threaten a woman with rape??? and remember it was people who were released without charges.

    Yes, we have it pretty good in Canada, but that doesn't mean it's ok for police officers to threaten to rape women who were arrested without a charge. It blows my mind that people would suggest that it is ok. That was the comparison with regards to the Saskatoon police. Not that what happened in Toronto is on par, but the reaction of 'no they are police officers, they are inherently good and never do anything wrong, lets ignore or hey, let's condone the horrible things that they did (yes, threatening rape is can't disagree with that!).

    On a whole they might done a good job...I'm still undecided on that...but that doesn't mean people should be outraged with the ones that didn't o a good job.

    You seem to want to condemn ever person that was at a protest (or walked near one on their way home or to work!), but when I suggest that some police officers where out of line, you get so annoyed. Kind of ridiculous really...and definitely shows your bias, so as mentioned above, you likely will continue trying to spin things to blame everything those young, lefty protesters, even the peaceful one, but then ignore anything that police officers have done....letting those police officers of the hook for threatening to gang bang women who were arrested for being near a protest.

  16. Every profession has its bad apples, but on the whole each of us appreciate police when they come to our rescue at a time of need. And since police are human (I hope) that even they will react negatively if under duress for a prolonged period of time.

    I will end my comment with thankfulness that no one was seriously injured or killed as a result of the mayhem.

    And I do think the Federal Government has a duty to Toronto in helping to pay for the mess left behind.

  17. Okay, I have finally had time to watch the video of the woman being threatened with rape. Without trying to blow her off, as obviously it is a serious allegation, let's look at the reality of the situation.

    1) This video was played off as an officer threatening rape. It is actually an interview of a woman who is ALLEGING these things. There is no evidence of this and we have not heard the officer's side of the story yet. To have one poster insinuate it as fact and another poster (right above this post) run with it and accuse others of spinning it for not taking it at word value is rather absurd. Sure it may warrant an investigation, but if there is one thing we can all agree on it's when someone stands in front of a microphone and says something that is not evidence that it happened.

    2) What is the officer's version of the events?

    3) If you listen to her she never alleges that the officer's threatened to rape her, which leads me to believe that a couple of your never watched the video. Her allegation is they threatened to have her in jail and make sure she is raped there. Technical yes, but nonetheless a distinction and as Anon above has concluded erroneously the officers did not threaten to 'gangbang' her.

    4) Where does it note anything about having a press pass? She is from alternative media outlet, she mentioned nothing about a press pass and being an authorized journalist. Again, calling yourself a journalist does not make you one. How do you know she had a pass?
    This all keeps coming back to one central point, where is there any proof? Every example above points to unsubstantiated allegations. I'm not simply trying to spin everything that is posted but rather simply looking for tangible proof to back up the allegations. In most every video, picture that is released there are people with cameras all over the place. Yet not one person has come forward with a documented incident of police brutality.

    Again, please don't assume that I am defending officers at any cost. I have protested before when I felt strongly about something and support people's right to do so. However, people fail to realize that at summits such as these the protests are of a different nature and choosing to associate with that is a decision that each makes. Furthermore, if you want some interesting reading go to some of the radical's websites and read the manifestos. Some of these sites note that an effective tool in the public relations battle is the effective reporting of false incidents. Not saying all are false, but to condemn the work of thousands of officers who risked their lives in the name of keeping the general public safe based simply on he said she said accounts is pretty weak. For all we know, these accounts could be from members of activist groups planted to lob such accusations (I'm not insinuating this is what happened, just saying it has happened before and until I see proof I'm not going to be like poster above and take what she says as fact). Again, I urge people to look back at every single G20 summit and look at the accusations against officers, they're all the same and mostly worse than these.

    Seriously, can I get one documented account of police brutality against a journalist? What with all the police brutality being alleged you would think something was caught on camera, by someone, somewhere.

  18. Actually she does allege the officer threatened to rape her.

    Here is a quote from a cbc story. She's filed an official complaint now, so hopefully we get the full story.

    "So you think you're a journalist. You won't be a journalist after we bring you to jail," the 29-year-old recounted an officer saying to her in her complaint. "You're going to be raped. We always like the pretty ones. We're going to wipe the grin off your face when we gang bang you. We know how the Montreal girls roll."

    Read more:

    You seem pretty misguided. Do you really think there will be full story with evidence of the threat to rape two days after the event?

    As for a press pass, she states that in the video. Watch it again.

    You keep asking for documented proof. I would be very surprised to not see any, considering the amount of journalist who have reported on the police's overly aggressive acts, but for now, we'll just have to read the media reports and try to decide who's story to believe....already the police chief has admitted to lying to the media and has been caught trying to show off weapons seized that have nothing to do with the protests, so it will be interesting to see what comes of it all. Based on the police chief straight up lying to the media...I'm guessing their is more to the story than just allegations from freelance journalists.


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