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How I Got Arrested and Abused at G20 in Toronto, Canada
July 1, 2010 2:02 AM   Subscribe

How I Got Arrested and Abused at G20 in Toronto, Canada We are thirsty again; it's been 15 hours in police custody. Still 39 guys overcrowded. Getting very scary. Awake for around 30 hours. Had one sip of water and cheese bun. People are detained, kept cuffed in cages for 23 hours with insufficient food, water, hygiene, and space. Many of them just happened to be in the wrong part of Toronto and had no connection to the protest.
posted by Zarkonnen (110 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is the same illegal bullshit that NYC pulled during the RNC- lock people up in shoddy, filthy makeshift prisons until the event is over, then let them go and pay settlements to anyone who sues, assuming the cost of the settlements to be part of the cost of the overall cost of the event. The human garbage that thinks this sort of behavior is acceptable shouldn't allowed near sharp implements, let alone positions of authority.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:18 AM on July 1, 2010 [49 favorites]


@Pope Guilty: Much agreed. I think the really scary thing is that lots of people in power see breaching people's fundamental rights as something that can just be budgeted for financially. Since these conventions and summits move every time, and since those victims who stand up for themselves are just given money and told to shup up, people in power can abuse it with impunity.

(Yes, I tried to leave the editorialising to the comments. I mean, what the hell, Toronto?)
posted by Zarkonnen at 2:27 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I posted this in its original Facebook form in the knife-edge thread already, just so you know, but maybe not everyone can read that?
posted by skwt at 2:27 AM on July 1, 2010


Jeez...its as if the G20 delegates demand to distance themselves from the population that they govern over.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:40 AM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


One man yelled 'We are people! We pay your salary through taxes!" the officer yelled "You don't paying any fucking taxes, look at you!", the university educated, employed man in awe asked "What the hell do you mean?" He walks away laughing.
Disgusting. I thought you were better than this Canada.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:43 AM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm sure bad things happened, I suspect this guy was detained, but the dramatic tone of this blog post is a bit over the top...

And, he lost part of his credibility as the 100% innocent when, while talking about people sharing the number to legal aid, he said "I already had it on a post-it note". Why?

And, of course, only the gay couple hugged?
posted by HuronBob at 2:46 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The unexpected plot twist of the new millennium is that Canada isn't the benevolent peace-loving earth-friendly giant we thought it was.
posted by kanewai at 2:48 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


And, he lost part of his credibility as the 100% innocent when, while talking about people sharing the number to legal aid, he said "I already had it on a post-it note". Why?

Hahahahahaha. Are you serious?

You're aware what the policing of every G8/G20 of the last decade has been like, right? Are you seriously implying that only the guilty would take the precaution of having access to a legal aid number when these events are known for large numbers of people being arrested and detained without charge?

I'd like to see if you'd still think the piece is 'over the top' if you had been arrested for walking down the street. Or, indeed, peacefully protesting.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:49 AM on July 1, 2010 [43 favorites]


I agree completely with Pope Guilty. We've got limits on fines, settlements, and prison terms largely to protect people from capricious politicians, but here we've got those limits protecting the capricious politicians.

We've theoretically solved the genocide problem by allowing genocide to be prosecuted abroad. We treat war crimes similarly by allowing foreign nation to prosecute if the usual jurisdiction declines. I'd like seeing the gloves taken off with respect to serious enough human rights abuses too.

We cannot however simply assert war crimes style universal jurisdiction for say violations of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In particular, Islam has rejected the UN UDHR from the very beginning, never mind China.

We might however assert universal jurisdiction for violations the freedom of speech protections afforded to a foreign national by their home country, assuming those protections were not adequately handled by the violating country.

For example, if an American was convicted of holocaust denial in Germany, they could turn around and sue Germany in the U.S. U.S. courts would then need to consider the German situation.

In this case, any foreign nationals detained could sue city officials in their home countries, given the police action was obviously designed to inhibit speech, we might find larger judgments than local courts would meet award. I doubt you could collect on any judgments, but they'd be a black mark against the city.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:58 AM on July 1, 2010


I've been detained while protesting, Happy Dave. I've been up against riot police with clubs and shields and tear gas. My comment was my opinion that this blog post needs to be read with a grain of salt.

This guy reminds me of the time, back in 1967, me and a couple of friends decided we would do some sightseeing during the height of the riots in Detroit... yep, we were stopped by the police, yep we were detained, and yep, we were stupid... And now we tell some pretty fantastic stories about that night!
posted by HuronBob at 3:01 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


For example, if an American was convicted of holocaust denial in Germany, they could turn around and sue Germany in the U.S.

Surely this is a bug, not a feature?
posted by Dysk at 3:01 AM on July 1, 2010


Wherever the G8/G20 goes, the same thing happens. Petty national distinctions are clearly for the proles - it's pretty obvious that the top of the pyramid sees itself as one club, and wants the same door staff on every outing.
posted by WPW at 3:13 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


As Pope Guilty said, this sounds exactly like RNC 2004 in NYC. Emmanuel Goldstein covered it and actually was arrested, great article here IIRC with pics and audio too.
posted by Joe Chip at 3:16 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sounds a bit like Stanford Prison experiment. Why didn't some of those jerks who said they didn't agree with what was going on go smuggle some media personal into the chaos? Because they were cowards. Governments get away with this crap when good cops do nothing.
posted by An algorithmic dog at 3:26 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been detained while protesting, Happy Dave. I've been up against riot police with clubs and shields and tear gas. My comment was my opinion that this blog post needs to be read with a grain of salt.

Fair enough. I don't agree. It's a short leap from thinking that a description of wire cages, 15+ hour no-charge detentions and suppression of peaceful protest is 'a little over the top' to the kind of thinking that says 'what are you complaining about, they didn't bust out the dogs, fire hoses and rifles on you'. It trivialises something that should not happen in a liberal democracy.

We're a long way from 1967 and the police excesses of that time. That doesn't excuse spending $1.2bn on a massive dick-waggling exercise and then arresting huge numbers of people to justify that expenditure, in a never-ending vicious circle of 'justification' and 'response'.

Put it this way, if the security exercise had done it's job, they'd have arrested a couple of dozen people who set fire to things and broke things (who were apparently largely left alone according to press reports) and most of those cells would have remained empty. But if you've only got a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And if you've only got riot suits, shields, batons, flexcuffs and pepper spray, everyone under 25 or not wearing a suit looks like a target.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:29 AM on July 1, 2010 [23 favorites]


Wrong Place, Wrong time.....

Hell!! what's wrong with a riot anyway :P
posted by Bacillus at 3:41 AM on July 1, 2010


For example, if an American was convicted of holocaust denial in Germany, they could turn around and sue Germany in the U.S. U.S. courts would then need to consider the German situation

What what, in the butt?

Holocaust denial in Germany can be a criminal offence ... And a US court would have no jurisdiction to hear a claim against Germany for prosecuting a crime committed in Germany, whether it is by a German or a foreigner. It is a funny thing called sovereignty.

Hell ... US citizens can't even be pulled into the International Criminal Court in the Hague for war crimes because the US isn't a signatory to the treaty ... and thems thar War Crimes I am talking about ... like actual genocide.
posted by jannw at 3:47 AM on July 1, 2010


ok ... so perhaps I should clarify that as US Soldiers
posted by jannw at 3:53 AM on July 1, 2010


Stress the system.
Distort the system.
Characterize the distortion as the essence.
Intensify stress until system snaps.
Get hit.
Cry to mommy.
posted by Faze at 4:03 AM on July 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


"When we get out I'm gonna say being in a cell with 40 guys sucked, until we found a condom..."

Heh.

One guys asks "Why is there so much butter?" the officer replies "It's not butter, it's margarine." he jokes back "I can't believe it's not butter!"

This is what I love about most Canadians:

They're easygoing and have a cheerful disposition. Even when shit gets dark the pilot light inside the heart stays on.

By "most Canadians" I exclude the filthy pigs leering at freezing teenage girls in wet clothes, laughing at hungry/thirsty/scared people, locking minors with adults in cramped cages and making rude comments to women requesting feminine hygiene. That's fucked up. No matter what the protesters may have done, that shit's not cool. Boo.
posted by stringbean at 4:09 AM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Couldn't thos one go into the open thread?
posted by fixedgear at 4:11 AM on July 1, 2010


Afaik, any country's soldiers can be tried for crimes against humanity by any country that's willing, hence the term universal jurisdiction.

Yes, the U.S. has signed but not ratified the ICC treaty, but that just strengthens jurisdiction by any other nation. Yes, the U.S. may take political steps to block prosecutions of U.S. soldiers, but that's not immunity either.

I've no idea what actual legal tests might be needed to apply universal jurisdiction to freedom of speech, but obviously there's an enormous difference between Germany holding a full scale trial for holocaust denial vs. some city police thugs beating people up because the G20 gave them some cash, and that was my whole point.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:15 AM on July 1, 2010


Looks like a faithful reproduction of the 2003 WTO visit to Montreal, at which me and 300 of my closest friends were kettled, then detained for over 30 hours. That sucked. About a year or so ago our collective cases were settled with the cops basically admitting to illegal action, but suffering no consequences. The Toronto cops are obviously well versed in that event and its ramifications, and similarly everyone will get let off in the end... six or seven years down the road.

Happy Canada Day, patriots!
posted by Chichibio at 4:29 AM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


One man yelled 'We are people! We pay your salary through taxes!" the officer yelled "You don't paying any fucking taxes, look at you!", the university educated, employed man in awe asked "What the hell do you mean?" He walks away laughing.

This attitude is really common among police officers when asked about policing protests. A 'friend' of mine, and I use the term loosely, is a police officer in the UK and when I was complaining to him about the handling of the G20 protests in London, he described the protestors as a crowd of dope smoking hippies who are all on the dole and are just out to cause trouble.

Adopting this view of the protestors legitimates the action they are told to take against them, and it is exactly this view that needs to be changed.
posted by knapah at 4:42 AM on July 1, 2010 [14 favorites]


Adopting this view of the protestors legitimates the action they are told to take against them, and it is exactly this view that needs to be changed.

Absolutely - secondarily I would also say that I think it's problematic that whether one pays tax, smokes dope or makes any other personal choice should be a basis for being on the receiving end of a baton.

The sole, single justifiable reason for arrest should be actual or threatened violence. And no, standing on the street shouting isn't 'violence'.

Really, turning up to a protest dressed for a battle is just a self-fulfilling prophecy, on both sides. I've been on plenty of protest marches where the cops wore nothing but hi-vis jackets and soft hats. No guns either, given it was in the UK. Funnily enough there was little or no trouble.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:06 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


One man yelled 'We are people! We pay your salary through taxes!"

Because saying this always goes so well. Police officers everywhere love to be reminded of this.
posted by fixedgear at 5:14 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


And, he lost part of his credibility as the 100% innocent when, while talking about people sharing the number to legal aid, he said "I already had it on a post-it note". Why?

I (on the advice of my sister) recommended this to anyone who might have had to walk or bike through downtown St. Paul during the RNC. It didn't matter if you were a protester or not, it didn't matter what your purpose for being there, really.

It was a good idea to have it on you because what the Hell are you doing walking on a public sidewalk anyway, Commie? And if you're crossing the street, it's obvious you're a bombthrowing anarchist because that is the only kind of person who has the unmitigated gall to cross a roadway on foot. By God, we should have your ass deported back to Pedestria, you freedom-hating Pinko!
posted by louche mustachio at 5:17 AM on July 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Because saying this always goes so well. Police officers everywhere love to be reminded of this.

Nobody should have to curry favour with a police officer by flattering them.

This police officer should have been defending civil society: instead, he was working to suppress it.
posted by lucien_reeve at 5:28 AM on July 1, 2010 [15 favorites]


he described the protestors as a crowd of dope smoking hippies who are all on the dole and are just out to cause trouble.

Adopting this view of the protestors legitimates the action they are told to take against them, and it is exactly this view that needs to be changed.


I agree with that, although I also think that even if they were "dope smoking hippies who are all on the dole" that still wouldn't make it even remotely okay, and I think the fact that some officers appear to believe that some people don't deserve the treatment and protections they are guaranteed by law is an even bigger problem than believing that everyone who protests is a hippie.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:06 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


tl:dr : if you keep reading this guy's prose until the end you may wish he was locked up for longer.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:07 AM on July 1, 2010


Because saying this always goes so well. Police officers everywhere love to be reminded of this.

Police officers should be reminded of this every day. It should be on posters in every locker room and stenciled on their bathroom mirrors.

If serving the public is not a source of pride for them they should not be doing it, because if they are not public servants they are just bullies and tyrants.
posted by Artw at 6:12 AM on July 1, 2010 [30 favorites]


Hey, if Mayor David Miller was encouraging people to get out do things in the city, why not? [...]The free speech zone was shut down, so I guess there was nowhere else to go.[...]There are journalists in here, a couple comes out of The Keg and tries to leave, they are told, "It's too late." Too late for what they ask, and are told nothing. We ask again (Kate has become quite distraught and upset) if we can please leave and are told, "You should have left when we told you." Wait, what? When? Everyone is saying the same thing. They the phone number for legal aid starts making the rounds, people write it on their arms and hands (I already had it on a post-it note). They guy from the Keg can't believe it. They guy in the wheelchair on his way home is stunned. The confused guy with cerebral palsy is freaking out and scared.
I read the whole thing and it is nightmarish; a litany of petty injustices that would particularly rankle a middle class, law-abiding citizen who has never been arrested before: being handcuffed for 23 hours, being held without charges, having to beg for water, being stuffed in an over-crowded freezing cell with nowhere to sit but the floor. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would be to discover that the system doesn't protect your rights as well as you once imagined.

I don't know what the answer is to the insanity that the G2o/G8 summits have become-- this madness of "security spending" and trampling on the rights of the local citizens. The only thing I can think of is a huge boycott where every business closes, every citizen leaves the area. The only way that would ever happen is if ordinary people become aware of what takes place. The free dissemination of information on the internet is a good start, but we all know that there is too much noise to signal ratio for the truth to make much of an impact. Documentary makers? Gonzo journalists? What's the answer?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:14 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know what the answer is to the insanity that the G20/G8 summits have become

Option A: Police them better (i.e. more sympathetically)

Option B: Hold them on islands, or places where there is a physical barrier between "threats" and "assets."
posted by MuffinMan at 6:20 AM on July 1, 2010


G20 fucking the hell off to Skull Island would be the prefered solution there.
posted by Artw at 6:26 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Police officers should be reminded of this every day. It should be on posters in every locker room and stenciled on their bathroom mirrors.

If serving the public is not a source of pride for them they should not be doing it, because if they are not public servants they are just bullies and tyrants.


This, a millon times. The father of an ex of mine was a retired cop, and he was very candid about his opinion of the police. I'd asked him why he decided to become a cop, and he'd said it was because his little brother used to get bullied a lot, and it made him sick to see people getting pushed around and taken advantage of. When I then asked if he thought most police were similarly motivated, he looked at me as if I were crazy. "Oh god no. At least 80% of them are the bullies themselves."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:29 AM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Who knew that capitalism would put up some resistance?
posted by Phanx at 6:30 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


The thing I love (and by love, I mean hate) the most about this is the inevitable law suit settlements will be paid from tax dollars. But, hey, the police were just doing their jobs.
posted by ryoshu at 6:53 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only thing this thread is missing is blaming Obama for they way the protesters were treated.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:04 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stress the system.
Distort the system.
Characterize the distortion as the essence.


"Stress the system?" Because global capitalism was going just swimmingly until 150 kids in black showed up in Toronto?

That's where the breakdown began, in your opinion?
posted by regicide is good for you at 7:07 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


It boggles me that, once you're cuffed, a person has the expectation that now a police officer would be expected, demanded to engage in a semi-philosophical question about the role of the police in a civil society.

Dude, you're cuffed. You think now the police are going to go, "yeah, you're right, I am a civil servant after all. Here, let me get you out of that cell and get you some aromatherapy going..."

You never heard about Martin Luther King screaming about taxes in jail. He just sat down and calmly wrote a letter from a Birmingham jail.

The ONLY successful protestor in recent memory, and we've learned NOTHING from him.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:29 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Really, turning up to a protest dressed for a battle is just a self-fulfilling prophecy, on both sides.

I agree with this. I don't like ANY part of this G8/20 shit. Flying in cops from Calgary is just asking them to want to dress up and beat the hell out of people. I know a few cops in Calgary and they're plain old fucking meathead bullies. I'm not surprised they did this at all.

At the same time, the part of the FPP that I read seemed to have a very similar flavour to all victim accounts in these situations - there are holes in it, and it reads overly naive. I totally agree that everyone there has a right to peaceful protest, but goddamn - recognize that this has basically been set up as a battle ground. Shit's going to happen. If you're willing to stand up to a cop that wouldn't recognize the Charter to save his piggy little life then fine, so be it. This is Canada, you'll eventually get due process and those who did this will probably pay. There's a fundamental disconnect between ideal and reality in a situation like this. A bully's initial instinct is to just hit first and deal with it later. That's the reality of a situation like this - especially when there ARE little shits rioting and justifying the use of force by police. It must have been very confusing for everyone.

I think things have always been this way - we just see and hear an awful lot more than we used to. Individuals now control media as much as any establishment. 20 years ago this guy's story wouldn't have been published. Anywhere. Now, we read it instantly. Something happens and there are 20 people recording it with their iPhones and posting it to YouTube. Have we really changed much, or are we just hearing about these things that much more?
posted by jimmythefish at 7:31 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude, you're cuffed. You think now the police are going to go, "yeah, you're right, I am a civil servant after all. Here, let me get you out of that cell and get you some aromatherapy going..."

That's not my argument. My argument is the cops shouldn't be fucking cuffing people in the first place, unless they are actively breaking things and setting them on fire.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:33 AM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


By the way, for a "fuck the police" palate cleanser, step out of this thread and check out the other thread on the blue today about a pair of yahoos killing two cops with an AK-47 ...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:42 AM on July 1, 2010


Faze: Get hit. Cry to mommy.

Yup, far better to practice your contrarian craft on the internet, where they can't hit you.

Better Part of Valor and all that.
posted by vanar sena at 7:58 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I posted this in the Knife Edge FPP, but How I Ended U in a G20 Jail by a CityTV reporter is a decent piece.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:07 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's not my argument. My argument is the cops shouldn't be fucking cuffing people in the first place, unless they are actively breaking things and setting them on fire.

Apparently the cops left the people that were lighting shit on fire alone. It's dangerous business arresting violent people. Much easier to grab the guy having a smoke outside the restaurant.
posted by ryoshu at 8:41 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sure, he had it bad, but look what this poor guy had to put up with (YT link).
posted by malphigian at 8:52 AM on July 1, 2010


You know, I see and read about people expecting/demanding to have their rights explained to them when they are arrested all the time, and some people really fixate on that and think they are being denied something if it doesn't happen. However, the police don't have to advise you of any rights if they aren't questioning you (identifying you doesn't count as questioning).
posted by Menthol at 8:55 AM on July 1, 2010


Well, I suppose I should say in the US.
posted by Menthol at 9:07 AM on July 1, 2010


Adopting this view of the protestors legitimates the action they are told to take against them

This is entirely true.

Also entirely true: adopting the view that the cops are inhuman robot tools of the state (and if you don't think a lot of protesters have this view, let me tell you to think again) legitimates action taken against the cops or the state.

Cops and protesters honestly have a lot more in common than either side thinks.
posted by mightygodking at 9:23 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fuckin' hell. More I read about this, the bigger the travesty. Alvy's link is an excellent sort of bookend to the account in the OP, especially if - like me - there's a part of you that kinda wants to strangle people who write shit like "the Free Speech Zone is awesome, there's all kinds of causes, we can go take a look" even when you find their grievance totally legit.

I'd like to think it's shit like this, this fetid stinking pile of cynical authoritarianism and plain incompetence that's accumulating thicker and thicker with each passing month, that will eventually relegate the whole Harperite worldview to the dustbin of Canadian history. These are not the values of the Canada I grew up in. And I grew up mostly on military bases, for fuck's sake.

I'd like to think we're coming to the end of this. But I'm having trouble staying optimistic. Even - especially? - on Canada Day. Here's the National Anthem in Cree. Only way I can stand hearing it today, I'm finding.
posted by gompa at 9:25 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


People are more upset about kids dressed in black burning cars than they are about men dressed in suits burning nations.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:33 AM on July 1, 2010 [15 favorites]


Cops and protesters honestly have a lot more in common than either side thinks.

Except the cops can kidnap you, hold you against your will, beat you, taze you and even kill you without any sort of legal retribution. Other than that? Totally the same.
posted by ryoshu at 9:34 AM on July 1, 2010 [13 favorites]


mightygodking: You mean, they both view each other as a monolithic block that thinks in lockstep? Which side do you subscribe to then, since you do the same damn thing?
posted by absalom at 9:46 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


People are more upset about kids dressed in black burning cars than they are about men dressed in suits burning nations.

And some are more upset about sanctioned bullies terrorizing and intimidating people they are supposed to protect.

And some people are upset about all of the above.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:51 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is what I love about most Canadians:

They're easygoing and have a cheerful disposition. Even when shit gets dark the pilot light inside the heart stays on.


Yes. And we live in burrows in the ground, and never have to wear shoes because our feet are so naturally furry.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 9:55 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is the worst I have read so far.
posted by avocet at 10:07 AM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Except the cops can kidnap you, hold you against your will, beat you, taze you and even kill you without any sort of legal retribution.

Yeah, and it's right there on Page 13 in the manual.

"Thank you for your interest in joining the police force! Police work is serious business -- you will be expected to kidnap, beat, taze and even kill citizens. However, the job also has serious benefits, the least of which is that you will be able to do all of the above without any sort of legal retribution. There's even free coffee!"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:09 AM on July 1, 2010


Non-rhetorical question:

If it costs $1B to hold these events -- even portions of these events -- in heavily populated areas, perhaps these events should not be held in heavily populated areas?

I'm aware that much of the G20 work happened 150 miles from Toronto. Why not all?
posted by effugas at 10:12 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


@effugas: I've never understood that either. Considering what these groups are (probably) up to, it makes no sense whatsoever to conduct their business in major cities where their activities draw so much attention. If they're gaining something from situations like this, it's very hard to see what.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 10:31 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


People are more upset about kids dressed in black burning cars than they are about men dressed in suits burning nations.

That's cus one of these was caught on video, while the other was not.
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 10:35 AM on July 1, 2010


I've avoided knowing about Toronto as much as I can- even now all I'm doing is reading the comments here- because ever since S11 (Melbourne, 2000) I'm fucked in the head about police violence because of the police violence I witnessed.

It's the same fucking shit every damn time, except the powers that be seem to be getting better at laying on the authoritarian bullshit so thick it's hard to believe IT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

Which I suppose is part of the point.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking of....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/30/AR2010063005200.html
posted by jhandey at 10:59 AM on July 1, 2010


"I'm aware that much of the G20 work happened 150 miles from Toronto. Why not all?"

What I heard was that they couldn't find housing for all the people who were coming. And what developed nation would routinely expect anyone to go without shelter, right?
posted by rusty at 11:00 AM on July 1, 2010


I'm aware that much of the G20 work happened 150 miles from Toronto. Why not all?

Official explanation: The initial plan was to just hold a G8 in Muskoka (very posh rural cottage country north of Toronto), but once the G20 was added at Big Steve's request, there simply wasn't enough accommodation etc. for everyone's entouragerie.

Conspiracy Theory No. 1 (very plausible, IMHO): The Muskoka region is in the federal riding of Industry Minister Tony Clement, a key Harper deputy. Clement won it in 2006 by 28 (!) votes. The carnival fiasco of both the G8 and G20 events (which could've been easily accommodated by the many enormous resort hotels throughout the region, if not all on one site) might've hurt Tony's chances of re-election. Whereas downtown Toronto's dead to the Harperites and always will be, so fuck 'em if they get all bent out of shape by police state tactics.

Conspiracy Theory No. 2 (less plausible): The whole thing, which looks like gross incompetence, was actually an elaborate, intentional fuck you to Toronto, love Uncle Steve. He and his allies wanted to provoke a conflict, knowing the mainstream media would reduce it to a battle between (indefensible) provocateur rioter anarchocommie jobless hippie barbarians at the gate and Peace, Order & Good Govt. Plays well to the Harper base in places like the prairies and the 905 belt of Toronto suburbia. Gives Harper and his gang too much credit, though, I think - they're simply not that gutsy or that clever, and it's too risky for as hyper-calculating mind as Steve's. Too many variables, too much left to chance. Might still burn his ass, given the number of Decent Citizens who got swept up in the rabble. (Or am I too optimistic on that count?)
posted by gompa at 11:02 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, I see and read about people expecting/demanding to have their rights explained to them when they are arrested all the time, and some people really fixate on that and think they are being denied something if it doesn't happen. However, the police don't have to advise you of any rights if they aren't questioning you (identifying you doesn't count as questioning)

Here in Canada, the police do indeed have to advise you of your rights if they detain you. It's actually part of the Constitution:

10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention

(a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;
(b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and


In R. v. Feeney, Justice Sopinka (who quite literally wrote the book on evidence), said
"The requirement that a person be informed of his or her s. 10(b) rights begins upon detention or arrest[my emphasis]. According to R. v. Therens, detention under s. 10 of the Charter occurs when a peace officer assumes control over the movement of a person by a demand or direction." (Para. 56)

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle against authoritarian repression of your civil liberties!
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: Well, I suppose I should say in the US.
posted by Rumple at 12:07 PM on July 1, 2010


Jesus. I read the whole post, and it sounds terrible. The ability or ordinary people to put on a uniform and enjoy the suffering of others never fails to astound.
posted by Dasein at 12:16 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


G20 cops ‘threatened women with rape’
posted by homunculus at 12:53 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


You folks need to read avocet's link:
As the van began moving and the door to the van closed, the two thugs in the back seat pulled me around so that I was laying face up with my head almost in between the passenger and driver seat. As they were doing so, Thug A was punching me in the stomach, just hard enough to shock someone who is delicate but not hard enough to harm me. As they punched me and turned me over, they said statements such as “stop struggling,” and “stop punching.” (Again, my hands were cuffed.) I immediately realized that they may be making such completely erroneous statements because we were being recorded, and I loudly stated “I’m not struggling. I am not resisting arrest.”

Thug A sat on top of me over my pelvic area. My handcuffs were digging into my wrists. My only goal was to live through the experience without losing my humanity, my spirit, or my presence of mind, to find out where I was being taken, and to find out as much as I could about these thugs, whether they were officers or some sort of private contractors, i.e. paramilitary groups.

Thug B then squeezed my throat with his right hand, digging his thumb deeply into my carotid artery area, on the right side of my throat. He held this for perhaps ten seconds, as Thug A stepped on me, re-adjusting himself overtop of me. I almost passed out at that point as the carotid artery is the chief artery that supplies blood to the brain. At some point during or before this strangulation, I wet myself. Urine seeped into and through my clothing. Darkness almost overtook me, but I held on and I did not lose consciousness.

During this whole time the thugs were calling me names such as: “cunt,” “bitch,” “whore,” and “street trash.” A constant barrage of their statements were phrases such as “Look at this street whore.” In addition, Thug A was making statements such as, “So you think you can smash up Toronto? Think again, you dirty bitch.”

When I did not lose consciousness from choking, Thug B punched the right side of my head with his left fist. This was done at least once, and may have been repeated. I did not lose consciousness, but I began telling them, “I am a good person. I don’t know why you are doing this to me. I did not harm anything or anyone.”

As I was saying this, Thug A, who had been sitting on top of me, began patting around my skirt. “Why is she wet?” he yelled. Thug B replied that I had “pissed” on myself. Thug A then expressed disgust and began calling me horrible names, and deriding me for “pissing on him.” He stopped sitting on my pelvic area and moved further down my legs.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:07 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh hey look it's Montebello all over again.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:54 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Non-rhetorical question:

If it costs $1B to hold these events -- even portions of these events -- in heavily populated areas, perhaps these events should not be held in heavily populated areas?


Seriously. Haven't these clowns err heard of Skype? Why incentive could their be to stage these high profile meetings that always end up being awful for human rights, everyone?
posted by orville sash at 2:31 PM on July 1, 2010


Jesus. Copyediting issues. Mea culpa.
posted by orville sash at 2:32 PM on July 1, 2010


My unwavering opinion against the death penalty has been waivered.

If any of this is true these monsters need to be put down.
posted by Talez at 2:36 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously. Haven't these clowns err heard of Skype? Why incentive could their be to stage these high profile meetings that always end up being awful for human rights, everyone?

If they used Skype they wouldn't be able to have really expensive dinners in incredibly posh hotels waited upon hand and foot by enough people to ensure that they really know quite how important they are.

The decisions have all been made months ago by civil servants anyway.
posted by knapah at 2:50 PM on July 1, 2010


My argument is the cops shouldn't be fucking cuffing people in the first place, unless they are actively breaking things and setting them on fire.

This was one detail that really had me fuming. Why did the cops keep everybody handcuffed in the cells for hours on end. Oh right. Because it was convenient.

By the way, for a "fuck the police" palate cleanser, step out of this thread and check out the other thread


Why would we need a palate cleanser? When the police are carrying out bullshit activities, we don't need to turn our heads and distract ourselves with something else. We need to make sure this kind of stuff stops happening.

You folks need to read avocet's link:

Something's happened to the link. The only thing up there now is the Title, a picture and then comments. I clicked back to her name and the list of her blog entries but nothing is showing up on the story page.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:52 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


That is absolutely horrifying. I teared up reading the article linked in the post, and the article about the woman who was assaulted was deeply frightening. Great post, Zarkonnen.

At the risk of sounding naive... I know the G20 are powerful puppetmasters that put the Illuminati to shame.. but why exactly do the local police turn into these fascist cartoons whenever they're around? Are they supervillains who have mastered the art of mind control or what?
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 3:34 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


You folks need to read avocet's link:

Here's another link to the account of Lacy MacAuley's arrest, in case the first link is down.

Disturbing stuff.
posted by orme at 3:35 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's also on her blog.
posted by homunculus at 5:12 PM on July 1, 2010


I occasionally entertain fantasies of returning to a Canada that is anything like the one I left 20 years ago.

Or I used to, anyway.

On the other hand, I had my head put through some drywall by police in Vancouver for being in the wrong place at the wrong time a few decades back, so none of this surprises me all that much.

It makes me really sad to see this unfold -- it's just another notch downwards in a continuing series, of course. I vainly hope that it will wake up some Canadians to how our deepest principles, the things that make us actually proud to be Canadian, have been systematically compromised and marginalized for a long time now.

But I'm not optimistic.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:10 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


mightygodking: You mean, they both view each other as a monolithic block that thinks in lockstep? Which side do you subscribe to then, since you do the same damn thing?

Perhaps you are unaware, but mightygodking was an accredited journalist for torontoist.com for the G20, and wrote extremely balanced pieces looking at the problems that occurred.

Conspiracy Theory No. 1 (very plausible, IMHO): The Muskoka region is in the federal riding of Industry Minister Tony Clement, a key Harper deputy.

...

Conspiracy Theory No. 2 (less plausible): The whole thing, which looks like gross incompetence, was actually an elaborate, intentional fuck you to Toronto, love Uncle Steve.


Why choose? The two together make perfect sense. They knew ahead of time that Deerhurst couldn't accommodate everyone--the Japanese alone brought an entourage of 1200 people. So Harper picked Toronto--forcing Pride to move by a week, one might add, losing the city a lot of money because many of the people who come for Pride arrive the weekend before the parade. Didn't this year!--and then deliberately picked a part of Toronto that would paralyze the entire downtown core. There are convention centres at the airport that could have easily held the event, with a plethora of hotels nearby and quick access to highly secured state jets for the G20 leaders in case of emergency, not to mention not fucking up the business engine of Canada for a week.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:37 PM on July 1, 2010


While I empathize with Lacy for what she had to go through--which she categorically should not have had to go through, even after one ingests some salt with her account--this sort of nonsense is just... gah:
All of my attackers were likely abused in some way as children, and had likely made choices born of fear. I, on the other hand, am making choices born of love to protect and serve future generations by giving voice to those who question the G20, its polices, and its dominant malevolent philosophies. It is my good choices which brought me here, protesting the G20 even at the expense of my personal safety, because protesting oppression is the right thing to do.
Really?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:41 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh god, her cognitive dissonance is a problem. "I was never, never allowed to make my one phone call in the time that I was detained. I was able to exercise my right to call the US Consulate, but if I had been allowed to make my one phone call I would have been able to arrange for bail. That did not happen."

Uh.. you did get a phone call. You called your consulate. Buh?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:46 PM on July 1, 2010


I've been reading these accounts with a frightened awe for the past few days and I can't get them out of my head. This is seriously fucked up shit that no one can justify. I read these reports and I'm fill with anger, then impotent fear as I realise that these fuckers are getting away with this shit. It's like something out of Children of Men or Brazil except its actually happening. The Lacy MacAuley arrest was shocking.

A Few points though....

Firstly -

The unmoving riot officers had arm badges saying they were from Calgary. Then all at once, they took some pill and took a sip from the tubes attached to their riot gear.

What the fuck is this? Are they drugging their officers? The mountain of Gatorade bottles suggests something. Considering the beaviour of crazed looking female 'officer' in this clip I wouldn't be surprised

Second- The police cars were left unmanned and no one stepped in to stop the violent rioters? Something is not right there.

Third (and most importantly to me) - Can we all now agree that protest is dead? It is useless as a means of change. All you're doing is playing into the hands of these thugs and allowed them to beat you down and show how tough they are.

Imagine instead that no one had turned up to protest. That the streets were empty and you had these meatheads wandering around with no excuse for a fight. It would be glorious. They would look like the biggest dickheads around and it would take away their power. We all teach children to ignore bullies, why can't it be the same here. It wouldn't be letting them win, it would be making them look like useless tools.

Protest is dead. No one should turn up to the next G20 summit. Fuck them.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 8:30 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


This really does get more and more sickening as each day goes by and more stories come out. The most disheartening thing is this poll, that claims that 73% of Torontonians support the actions of the police. Maybe it jusn't hasn't sunk in yet.
posted by Crane Shot at 10:04 PM on July 1, 2010


"just" hasn't sunk in yet, that is
posted by Crane Shot at 10:05 PM on July 1, 2010


You know, honestly, if I was standing outside a restaurant having a cigarette and was pulled off the street, arrested, held for 22 hours with no phone call, crammed into a cell, deprived of food, deprived of water, and mocked by the people I rely on to protect me, I'm not sure I would ever recover. I'm pretty sure that event would so thoroughly savage my view of the world around me and my place in that I would never find solid ground again.

That's without the violence, strip searches and team humiliation. With those added on top, I'm not sure I'd come out sane.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:37 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is so outrageous that I am almost without words. What a nightmare in supposedly one of the freest and nicest countries in the world. I'm starting to think these bloody events are practice runs. I am in shock just reading about this, nevermind what the detained "protesters" went through. I pray to God that there will be an open inquiry into this but almost certainly no real justice would result.
posted by blue shadows at 1:53 AM on July 2, 2010


Woo, Tommy gets a FPP! Although it sucks that this random blogger stole Tommy's post and didn't provide a link to the original post. I've known this guy for 10+ years now, he was the MC at my wedding.
posted by antifuse at 8:00 AM on July 2, 2010


I feel the need to share this amazing little gem from the Toronto Police website -


This gem
posted by Fred Wesley at 8:46 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


this amazing little gem from the Toronto Police website

Well, I am reassured!

1. Anonymous citizen writes to Chief Blair, expressing concern about tactics of police at G20.

2. Chief Blair replies, calling citizen naive and uninformed.

3. Chastened citizen apologizes, salutes Blair.

Unnamed total non-strawman writes and is swayed to the chief's cause once the chief insults him. This is a very good tactic, and one I will have to keep in mind the next time I screw up at work.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:57 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Remember, boysengurls, you only have rights when they choose to recognize them. Otherwise, you are nothing but a tool. Either useful, or broken and useless, to be tossed aside with the garbage. In the event you are found useful, be proud! Otherwise, shut the fuck up and die.

Forget all that crap about "public servants". Open your damn eyes and get it through your heads, that's bullshit. We're the servants, they're the masters. You will pay lip service to it being the other way around because it sounds good, and then we can claim to be better than the band of thugs running some other patch of dirt.

Capitalism won, because capitalists are in control. Deal with it, or be ground to paste by the heel of the next boot.
posted by Goofyy at 9:58 AM on July 2, 2010


73% of Torontonians support the actions of the police.

Good lord, I am so ashamed of my country right now. These people are the definition of useful idiots. I actually feel like I'd support vigilante justice against these cops at this point. I'm in my mid-30s. I shouldn't be in a position where I'm hoping for comic book heroes to save me.
posted by Kirk Grim at 11:08 AM on July 2, 2010


This seems like a good place to (re)post this: Capitalist Pyramid.
posted by hippybear at 11:25 AM on July 2, 2010


That would seem to roughly cover the situation.

/raises glass.
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on July 2, 2010


A Boonta's Eve Communications Tale
posted by Fred Wesley at 12:51 PM on July 2, 2010


So Blair is in receipt of "thousands" of supportive phone calls and emails, as of Monday afternoon, and has time to respond to his 1 detractor within 34 minutes. That's bloody amazing! I'm only halfway through my 12 emails from last night, and the day's half over!

They're not even trying to come up with a believable story and still 73% of Toronto supports them. All apologies to those who went through hell last weekend at the Toronto police's hands, but 73% of your city is getting exactly the police force they deserve.

To be fair, it was labelled an email "tale". I think they left out the word "fairy."
posted by Kirk Grim at 1:13 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the reason that 73% of the city support the Toronto police is because those 73% consist of people who left the city during the G20, or were unaffected by the protesting/arrests, and don't know anybody who was arrested. Most people in society live in their own little bubbles, and could really care less about anything outside of those bubbles.
posted by antifuse at 1:24 PM on July 2, 2010


I'm also curious about when the poll was taken -- after the Black Bloc rampage, but before the police rampage? Or after the police rampage, but before Blair's admission that he just started making up laws off the top of his head? Or maybe everyone's just in denial. I don't think the gravity of this has really hit home for a lot of people yet.
posted by Crane Shot at 1:29 PM on July 2, 2010


Hahahahaha, like 90% of the population cares if the police beat the shit out of people.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:32 PM on July 2, 2010


Hmmm, Billy must be busier today. I emailed him 43 minutes ago and still haven't got a reply.
posted by Kirk Grim at 1:38 PM on July 2, 2010


This seems like a good place to (re)post this: Capitalist Pyramid.

The pyramid has since been updated.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:16 PM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hahahahaha, like 90% of the population cares if the police beat the shit out of people.

I think most people do care, but they just don't want to believe that "our" cops would inflict injustice on this massive a scale. So they'll jump through whatever mental hoops are necessary to think that everyone who was brutalized "had it coming". The rock-throwing vandals? That's pretty easy. The peaceful protesters? Well, they WERE protesting, they should've known better... the people who were just passing by? Well, they shoulda known better than to be downtown... on it goes. Hopefully as more of these stories come to light, more and more people will start saying "what the fuck?"
posted by Crane Shot at 2:30 PM on July 2, 2010


Update: Tommy proposed to his girlfriend Kate at the rally on Thursday. :)
posted by antifuse at 10:18 AM on July 3, 2010


I feel the need to share this amazing little gem from the Toronto Police website

"Sorry! You do not have authorization to view this story"
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:55 PM on July 5, 2010


A 57-year-old amputee says he was “brutalized” and “humiliated” by police patrolling the G20 summit when they confiscated his prosthetic leg, labelled it a “weapon” and ordered him to “hop” into a paddy wagon.
posted by homunculus at 11:17 PM on July 7, 2010


Might be a little late but I found this linked on my buddy's blog about the use of agents provocateurs at the G20 and at previous Canadian protests, and how the police work with the 'Black Bloc' by purposely abandoning police cars directly in the protest routes with the gas caps removed.

'Police State Canada' vimeo link.

I was going to do an fpp but figured it would get deleted. I don't know if it has been posted previously or not.
posted by chugg at 10:45 AM on July 9, 2010


I believe it was linked upthread, but sometimes at Canadian G20 meetings, the alleged black bloc are the cops.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:40 AM on July 9, 2010


Great video of police trying to intimidate passers-by into consenting to illegal searches.

Quote from an officer: "This isn't Canada anymore". Oh god I hope they get taken to court...
posted by anthill at 7:50 PM on July 11, 2010


Toronto police officer follows through on threat to arrest G20 activist for blowing bubbles during a mass detention in Toronto's Parkdale community.
posted by homunculus at 8:22 AM on July 13, 2010


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