"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Toronto the good

Cripes, you leave the country for a dozen years or so and it turns into a fascist police state. Maybe my family should reconsider our plans and relocate to somewhere more agreeable. Like Iran.
Now, admittedly the cops here are restrained--in the United States, this guy would have simply been tasered after using the word "bullshit" and arrested for "public obscenity" or some other bullshit charge, but charging an apparently peaceful crowd like this? Not to get all teabaggy or anything, but I want my country back! Stephen Harper said we wouldn't recognize Canada when he was through with it, and he was right. This is the kind of thing that used to happen in Burma or Cuba, not Canada. I am ashamed of my homeland and at a bit of a loss as to how I'll explain to my kids that this is where we are going to live - a country where police beat up journalists like their father.
And fuck you, Dalton McGuinty.

"Gentlemen, get the thing straight once and for all– the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder."
-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, 1968

Update: My fellow inkstained wretch from the Galloping Beaver, Alison has some telling videos posted on the nature of the Black Bloc rampage, the widespread use of plainclothes cops in "snatch squads," many of whom, interestingly,  are dressed much like their Black Bloc counterparts.

More updating: The objections of my good friend and former tag-team wrestling partner Sanganjaya Boy in the comments respectfully acknowledged -- and yes, Japan has a reprehensible "guilty until proven innocent" system when it comes to policing, but we aren't talking about Japan here, we are talking about Canada -- if this isn't the action of a police state, or at the very least an appalling abuse of power by the police, then what is?


ck said...

Welcome back Reverend, for whatever it's worth.

And just think if Steve gets his majority, how much worse it can get!

The economic sadist is all pleased at David Cameron's latest Draconian budget; I only hope some of Clegg's minions develop a conscience and break the coalition over there. Actually, I've been hoping for the breakdown of that coalition for other reasons,but...

I have to ask though: why on earth did you come back, knowing about Sadistic Stevie spiteful? I'm telling you, if my husband and I were young enough to be employable elsewhere in the world, we would leave Canada in a heartbeat.

I'm telling you, if Harper gets his majority, I really will work for the 'yes' side in the next referendum on Quebec separation.
I've always been on the fence on that one, noticing federalism hasn't worked, but concerned about what a sovereign Quebec would look like, but honestly, even with their weird language laws; after seeing the pictures of what happened in TO over the wee-end and the police state it turned into before hand, those language laws seem a lot more tame.

Sangenjaya Boy said...

First rule of journalism- you need to be there to really understand the context of what happened.

I was.

I went to Yonge and College to pick up my wife from work and get her out of there. Sadly, I arrived at the time the "protesters" were attacking Starbucks, TD, Winners etc.

As a result, if my tone is a little pro-cop, maybe you can understand. I didn't really ever anticipate ever throwing a punch or putting someone on the ground.I don't think I've been in a fight since I was in middle school. Maybe if the cops had been a little more heavy handed at first and we weren't so concerned with peoples' "rights" as opposed to their "responsibilities" as citizens that wouldn't have been necessary.

Many "Canadians" seem to think that freedom of speech means that there is some sort of imperative for others to listen to them. It doesn't quite work like that. People can say or think whatever they want but that doesn't mean anyone else is compelled to listen to them. (Conservative, Liberal, Transgendered Environmentalist, Secular (fill in religon) feminist, misanthropic tie salesman and so on)

The good news is Canada is not a police state- in fact, the cops showed a great deal of restraint for the most part throughout. The protesters (who aren't bound by ANY rules whatsoever) did whatever they could to incite, harass and aggravate the cops to provoke a response.

I don't like Harper any more than you do and he's a complete jackass for allowing it to be held in Toronto. But a police state? Dude, you live in Japan where daily life is more a of a police state than most of what you would have seen here this weekend. Detention for no real reason? (Japan wins) Detention without a bail hearing in 24 hours (Japan wins 23 days to 24 hours) Detained for walking at night? Japan wins again. Detained for being without ID- again Japan.

Then again, that's what I remember. Perhaps things are different outside Tokyo.

I hope that your transition to living in Canada is a fairly smooth one, but really, I'm surprised at you believing the hype that you see in media etc.

As for the media being detained- they were given frequent warnings to get behind the line. Many of them hid their media credentials as well. Then you have the "citizen journalists" and "activist journalists" who are mouthy and pushing their agenda and in some cases trying to get the mob going. And you think because they were arrested that it's evidence of a police state?



I still have mad love for you my ice-dancing partner and you will always be the Colonel.

But someone has to provide a dissenting voice from what you read online in the Star.

Sangenjaya Boy said...


I'd go with "appalling abuse of power by the police" to describe the situation.

It was the police state part I objected to primarily. I heard a few too many shrill voices whining about how Canada had become a police state in the aftermath and it got to me after a while.

I brought up Japan only to help differentiate between a police state (that is ongoing and has no forseeable ending to it) with an aberration- Canada during the G20.

That being said, the police (and the Conservatives) have a lot to answer for.

Harper will be turfed in the next election provided one of the opposition parties can produce a warm body to run against him. It looks like the police are going to get a pass on this one- which is a problem because I recognize the argument that if they got away with it once........

Happily, I will have a chance to experience my favourite police state in action this month.

If you're in the neighbourhood and are allowed out to play, there could be a whiskey or two awaiting you at Moby's.

Good to see that you're still writing.

Be good,

Nearly Kichijoji'd but shanghaied instead.

Brian Orser/Sangenjaya Boy