Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Glimpse of a Police State in Kingston

Quite an ordeal in Kingston on Friday and a real eye opener.

We knew that Stephen Harper would be attending a rally at 1:30 at a local restaurant. So wanting to be early, my husband and I decided that we would have lunch there and that way possibly be inside.

We arrived about 11:45 but there was already a heavy RCMP presence and they had the sniffer dog combing the bushes. We waited a bit to see if there would be protesters. I knew the Prison Farm supporters were attending but not sure where they would be setting up.

I saw a small crowd gathering at the back of the lot, so while my husband waited in the car, I went over to see where they were from. It was the prison guard union. They plunked a sign in my hand and before I knew it I was marching. But mostly I just spoke with them. Imagine a group of prison guards marching against the injustice of Harper toward inmates?

My husband soon joined us, along with not only a large Prison Farm contingent, but youth groups, pensioners, the Native community and many ordinary citizens.

We were soon told that we would not be allowed on the lot. Big problem. Our car was there and my husband had locked my purse in the trunk. We asked if we could move the car (the lot was still just about half full and Harper not due to arrive for at least a half hour), and the police officer said that we could, but then we'd be charged with trespassing.

We were told we'd have to wait until the event was over.

As it was approaching 2:30 we grew concerned. The disabled grandson we are raising would be home at 3:30 and someone had to be there to take him off the bus. No cell phone and the protest was so noisy you'd have to move away from it to be heard.

So we approached a police officer, just to see if they'd let me get my purse. Again he said be my guest, but as soon as you set one foot on the lot you'll be arrested for trespassing. I explained the problem and he smiled and said I should have thought of that before I parked on private property.

I told him that we often eat at that restaurant and if they just got someone from inside, I'm sure they'd recognize us. He again just smirked.

So my husband ended up walking home (took him 45 minutes) and then took a cab back to get me.

The officer in the photo at the top was the worst. He warned us about crossing a line (an imaginary line). One woman asked where the line was and he said never mind where it is, but if you cross it you'll be arrested.

Jeff Peters, one of the organizers of the Prison Farm protest group, was walking along the curb with a megaphone, but he lost his footing on the curb and literally fell over the line. The police officers grabbed him, threw him across the car and arrested him on the spot. For falling.

Another man crossed the line (I didn't see where), and another arrest. For crossing an imaginary line.

Is this how Alicia Gordon is going to represent Kingston? With police brutality?

Jack Layton is in Kingston today, for some strange reason. The NDP are a distant third so the best he'll be able to do is split the vote and move us closer to a police state.

There was a day when I would have gone to see him. Now I can't stomach it. We are so close and yet sometimes I feel, so far away. He should be concentrating on ridings where he can win, not ones that could only guarantee a Conservative victory.

What is he playing at?


  1. Arrested for falling?
    Not allowed to go home to get your grandson?
    This is Canada?
    CANADIANS — this will CONTINUE to be Canada if you vote for Harper. Listen to Emily now! We do not want a police state with imaginary lines and arbitrary arrests!

  2. thank you for sharing this emily, was wondering how the experience was for do they think they are spreading their platforms if only supporters are allowed ....why on earth couldnt someone escort you to your car....ridiculous.


  4. I was outraged and WOKEN UP by the G20 arrests in TO last summer. I will NEVER be the same. Canada will NEVER be the same. Expect more arrests of this nature under Harper. In Canada, it is a perfectly LEGAL RIGHT to protest!!! Let us give Steve the heave tomorrow!! I have always voted NDP but must go Liberal in my riding to oust Laurie Hawn!

  5. Emily thanks for telling us what took place.
    At least on August 9th they had a physical barricade that separated one from the 'Police State'& arrest.
    Poor Jeff,he's a 60 year old farmer with a bad hip - I think a farming accident. But he walks with a distinctive limp which has being getting worse.
    I hope he is OK

  6. That's brutal and totally unreasonable. Jack was in Kingston for a rally. I doubt they're in third anymore. The NDP rally there was as big as the one in Montreal and in Toronto. Over 1,000 people. In fact, it was so big, they had to have two rallies, one inside and one outside because there wasn't enough room inside.

  7. Do you live in Kingston? If the NDP take the riding I will be OK. But if they split the vote and the Conservative wins I will be furious.

    Jack promised to support strategic voting to rid this country of Harper and then went back on his promise. If he wins the election I'll support him. If he hands Harper a majority I will be his worst nightmare.

  8. Emily Dee, my heart goes out to you for the authoritarian abuse of your rights that you and your fellow demonstrators suffered. I applaud your courage and your integrity.

    But I'm puzzled - Layton shouldn't have tried to convince Canadians of NDP strengths? That's his job.

    BTW, even yesterday, NDP slogan was:"On Monday – vote for change. Together, we can do this."

    How does that go against strategic voting?

    So if Con candidate gets elected, you will blame Layton yet not hold Contempt Party leader responsible? Nor Ignatieff for wobbly performance?

    I truly don't understand.

  9. I don't dislike Jack Layton but he hasn't endured 2 1/2 years of attack ads. Not a wobbly performance by Ignatieff, but a reputation formed by misleading ads.

    If Jack wins or if we get a combined total of NDP and Liberals seats, enough to remove Harper, I'll be happy.

    But if the entire exercise was just to improve the NDP position and we are back to square one with a Harper government, than all of the work that so many people have done to exact actual change will have been for nothing.

    If Layton wins I will support him and do what I can to help him fight the right-wing onslaught he will face. If he loses and Canada loses, I will find it very difficult to forgive him.

    Because it makes him no better than Harper. Anything for power. So sad.

  10. I should also say that Jack Layton said strategic voting was stupid.

  11. Emily, what a disgraceful performance by our law-abiding police. Or maybe they aren't quite as law abiding as they would have us believe.
    Just what is it that gives them the right to make up arbitrary laws right on the spot?
    It is actions like that which cause riots. There is no doubt that this whole episode needs to be placed at the disposal of EVERY MP immediately. They ALL should reply to this outrage.
    Surely there must be plenty of other photos of this display of police brutality?
    Where can we go from here to bring justice to bear on this ignorant, overbearing cop?