Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rallies For Democracy Planned. We Will Get it Back Yet

There are now almost 48,000 people demanding a full public inquiry into the police brutality at the G20 in Toronto. There appears to be pretty substantive evidence that there were police provocateurs. $1.3 billion for security so they could just randomly beat people up.

There are also many democracy rallies planned, something that is becoming the norm with this government. It's Mike Harris all over again and Guy Giorno was in charge than too. I've had enough. He's never run for office but has become a one man wrecking crew.

One more person who didn't feel much like celebrating Canada Day:

John Pruyn wasn’t much in the mood for celebrating Canada Day this year. How could he be after the way he was treated a few days earlier in Toronto by figures of authority most of us were brought up to respect, our publicly paid-for police forces who are supposed to be there to serve and protect peaceful, law-abiding citizens like him. The 57-year-old Thorold, Ontario resident – an employee with Revenue Canada and a part-time farmer who lost a leg above his knee following a farming accident 17 years ago – was sitting on the grass at Queen’s Park with his daughter Sarah and two other young people this June 26, during the G20 summit, where he assumed it would be safe.

As it turned out, it was a bad assumption because in came a line of armoured police, into an area the city had promised would be safe for peaceful demonstrations during the summit. They closed right in on John and his daughter and the two others and ordered them to move. ... One of the police officers used his knee to press Pruyn’s head down so hard on the ground, said Pruyn in an interview this July 4 with Niagara At Large, that his head was still hurting a week later. Accusing him of resisting arrest, they pulled his walking sticks away from him, tied his hands behind his back and ripped off his prosthetic leg. Then they told him to get up and hop, and when he said he couldn’t, they dragged him across pavement ...

This whole thing was such an expensive waste of time and yet look at the damage it's done. How can we ever trust the police now? The people who are supposed to protect us, turned on us. Who gave the order? Who torched the cars? Why were the police told not to stop the vandalism of the Black Bloc?

We can't bury this. It's far too big of a black mark.

The Quebec press is still talking about the G20, but the focus of the debate shifted last week. In the days immediately after the summit wrapped up in Toronto, pundits focused mainly on the communiqué and on the financial costs of holding the summit in a major urban centre. But over the past several days they turned attention to the police response to anti-G20 protests.

In a La Presse column Wednesday, Agnès Gruda agreed with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s assertion that the police crackdown (after a relatively small group of protesters vandalized police cars and private property) was “disproportionate, arbitrary and excessive.” Ms. Gruda quoted a student from Montreal who recounted her 40-hour ordeal in a detention centre after being arrested with about 200 other Quebec students during an early morning raid at the University of Toronto. Ms. Gruda called the student’s treatment by police “troubling” and condemned the police’s decision to arrest hundreds of peaceful protesters, who she argued should not have been “denied their right to express their opinions loud and clear.”

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