Monday, July 12, 2010

Monte Solberg, The G-20 and What it Means to Wear a Uniform

Monte Solberg is upset. And why is Harper's former Reform MP upset? He's upset that we are upset over the senseless violence that occurred during the G-20 in Toronto, when police turned on citizens but were told to allow the vandals to run amok.

Scenes of burning police cars and property being destroyed were used to justify the 1.3 billion dollar price tag for security. These Reformers did not think it through however, because watching those images only begged the question: where is the security and what exactly did our $1.3 billion buy?

But Solberg also missed another very important point. The right to protest.

Monte Solberg's almost blanket condemnation of protesters at the G20 summit in Toronto is disappointing, short-sighted and shallow. ... He criticized the "allegedly peaceful protesters" for failing to "rein in the brick throwers" and for clapping and cheering when the violence started. He should know that police discourage members of the public from intervening. As for the clapping and cheering, how does he know they were not Black Bloc participants, who change in and out of costume in mid-protest?

Solberg goes on to say the "legitimately arrested" were the overwhelming majority, which flies in the face of news reports that most of those arrested were eventually released without charges. Then there was the condescending comment that the protesters "obviously aren't articulate enough to channel their angst into persuasive arguments." If that wasn't enough of a cheap shot, he added that it might be a challenge given their "exotic" ideas.

So I would like to ask Mr. Solberg what he defines as articulate and what constitutes an "exotic" idea.

In 2003 Solberg took part in protests against then prime minister Jean Chretien's decision not to go to Iraq. At one of these protests when confronted by anti-war protesters in Calgary (Jason Kenney also helped to organize this) "About two dozen antiwar protesters chanted "Stop Killing!" as the war supporters filed out and shouted "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"

Apparently Canadian members of Parliament chanting "USA! USA!" is much more articulate than a plea to "stop killing". And we would hardly consider a plea to "kill" simply because George Bush told them so, to be "exotic".

And speaking of George Bush, our own Jim Flaherty and Stockwell Day spoke at a "Friends of Bush" rally in Niagara, in support of the 2003 US invasion. And despite the fact that most Canadians, "exotic" or otherwise, did not support Bush, Flaherty and Day were allowed to protest without riot police beating the crap out of them.

And lets not forget another rally sans riot squad, with their very articulate signs "Adam and Eve , not Adam and Steve". Stephen Harper himself spoke at that one.

And despite the fact that he lied to these people about ending same-sex marriage, he was even allowed to do that. After all, that was back in the day when Canada was still a democracy.

These people can take comfort in knowing that the only reason their beloved Steve did not go there, was because he was trying to fool Canadians into believing he was a moderate. His own homophobia is well documented.

And let's not forget the rally after Guy Giorno demanded that his employee Stephen Harper not include abortion in his maternal health initiative, telling him instead to play to his base. Many of these pro-life rallies include very "articulate" signs with images of aborted fetuses. It doesn't get much more "exotic" than that.

And then there's Jim Flaherty's friend Charles McVety, who led a protest at the G-20 demanding a stop to Iran's nuclear weapons, despite the fact that they have no nuclear weapons, while Israel has enough to blow up the whole damn universe. There's no secret that his group "Christians United For Israel" are lobbying for a preemptive strike by Israel so they can fulfil their "end times" prophesy.

I wonder how many of his crew got arrested?

Canadians protest for many reasons. It's how we get our point across to our government. Protests have accomplished a great many things including the right to protest. This is clearly a government that does not allow dissent.

And by the way, Mr. Solberg. When you march at a "pro-war" rally, you cannot also march at a "pro-life" rally. It's one of the many reasons why you have no credibility, which makes you a perfect columnist for the Sun, but a lousy spokesperson for anyone else.

A Few Updates

Canadians Demanding Full Public Inquiry in to G20 Violence now has almost 53,000 members. Please join and show your support.

Some views from a protest protesting the G-20 violence by the people hired to protect Canadian citizens: G20 Protesters to Toronto: We will not shut up, we will fight.

There is a law office that will be launching a class action suit. They are looking for videos and other evidence of Harper sanctioned abuse.

The Torontoist also has a lot of great photos and videos, including a comment from a Canadian soldier who knows what it means to don a uniform.
I did not put my life on the line and watch my best friends take their last breath to come home and watch the largest gathering of law enforcement this country has ever seen... cowed to the point of inaction as the city and its citizens endure the wanton destruction to their homes and business, only to have it answered by a heavy handed and indiscriminate hammer blow ..

... just as I would not stand for injustice within my own house... I will not stand for it in theirs. I have met countless officers who uphold our laws with dignity and professionalism. I would gladly give my life for anyone of them.What will not stand is when under the guise of 'security' police are given sweeping powers with no chance of reciprocity, the need to explain themselves or chance to defend against bullying tactics employed on a peaceful gathering of my country's citizens.

When you put that uniform on you are no longer John Smith of Toronto. You are a member of the Canadian Forces, just as you are a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer, or an Ontario Provincial Police Officer. A government employee who's mandate and training is to PROTECT the public. Not to protect themselves from threats within the public. It is their job as the civilian arm of our nations security to be the blue line between those that would see our way of life burnt to it's end and the Canadians who see more than a simple flag.Instead they formed a black wall and responded to WORDS with unrelenting, armed and often random VIOLENCE.
Something to think about Monte Solberg.


  1. You have a highly unlikely ally now - Randy Hillier, the most right-wing member of the Ontario Legislature. Seems the Tea Party conservatives don't agree with the governments either...

  2. Wow. Randy Hillier. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.