Canada is now officially a police state. Stephen Harper can now send in the riot squad every time Canadian citizens "act up".
Those of us who have been sounding the alarm since the days when he promised soldiers in the streets, are more frightened then ever.
After getting a five year free ride from the media, he has been able to build his empire of state sponsored terror, without checks or balances.
Catherine Porter in the Star writes: Tales of horror from a police state — ours.
I sat in a plain, ordinary downtown hotel seminar room for two days this week, listening, one after another, to utterly jarring stories of police sadism at the G20. Tales of women forced to pee through their jeans. Naked students ordered to lift their testicles for inspection. A woman snatched from a downtown corner and dropped off near midnight in the shadows of Scarborough, no directions or hope of finding her way home.And Murray Dobbin in the Tyee says: This is the Security State Steve Built
The hearings by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and National Union of Public and General Employees were focused on the summit this past summer in Toronto. But it often felt like a history lesson on 1935 Germany.
For those considering issue triage -- picking five or six issues to focus on -- in the fight to rid the country of the current government, one area that is critical to the outcome is exposing the Harper government's construction of the national security state.And yet there are still Canadians out there who believe that what the police did was just. They allowed the real terrorists to run amok, so Harper could get his Kodak moments, and then went after ordinary citizens.
I am referring here to the commitment of the Harper government to implementing policies that increase the importance of a war-fighting military in Canadian society, its preoccupation with tough-on-crime legislation, its blank cheque to security operations like the one "protecting" the G20 summit, and its continued efforts to convince Canadians that they face the constant risk of terrorist attack. The flip side of the coin: criminalizing dissent and trashing civil liberties so that opposition to this agenda can be kept to a minimum.
Those advocating for the poor and homeless. Those protesting inaction on climate change. Those demanding that missing aboriginal women be looked for. Those seeking help for seniors. All of those "dangerous" Canadians who were attacked while sitting and singing "O Canada" or giving the peace sign, or blowing bubbles.
They were simply told by their fellow citizens, that they shouldn't have been there.
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
The G-20 weekend in Toronto was a test for Harper. Just how much could he get away with? He needed to know. And he got his answer. Canadians will let him away with anything.
Bob Altemeyer has studied the phenomenon of authoritarian followers. He speaks of how they allowed the Bush administration to literally get away with murder.
If some day George W. Bush is indicted for authorizing torture, you can bet your bottom dollar [they] will howl to the heavens in protest. It won’t matter how extensive the torture was, how cruel and sickening it was, how many years it went on, how many prisoners died, how devious Bush was in trying to evade America’s laws and traditional stand against torture, or how many treaties the U.S. broke. Such an indictment would grind right up against the core of authoritarian followers, and they won’t have it. Maybe they’ll even say, “The president was busy running the war. He didn’t really know. It was all done by Rumsfeld and others."Stephen Harper didn't know". "It was the Toronto police and that crazy Police Chief Blair who wants to take away our guns".
"Herr Harper spent a billion dollars for security to keep us safe". "What if some of those peaceful protesters walked on our lawn or something?" "If they were beaten they probably deserved it."
As Dawg's Blawg says:
There will be no punishment. And most people, in their ignorance, will support their local police with their eyes wide shut. No matter what. No matter the laws they break. No matter whom they assault. No matter whom they kill.Welcome to Harperland. Seig Heil.