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

Friday, July 02, 2010

Let me be perfectly clear

A few commenters and correspondents have accused me of supporting or at least giving aid and comfort to the Black Bloc Anarchist protesters who grabbed so much attention in Toronto during the G20 summit. Such accusations are, to use the mot juste "crap."  My parents raised me much better than that.

I am most certainly NOT defending the brain-dead attention whores in the so-called Black Bloc, I think they are childish tantrum-throwing clowns. I am criticizing the ham-fisted police response to them, which is not the same thing.
As far as I can see the police played right into the hands of this tiny group of dingbats in Toronto by letting them run wild on Saturday smashing windows and giving them patrol cars to burn and then turned around let the frustrated riot cops off the leash to arrest and even beat innocent peaceful protesters. Entire blocks were surrounded by the police in a strategy called "kettling" in which they seal off an area and arrest everyone in it, protesters, reporters, residents - anyone and everyone on the street. This is a violation of the constitution. Add to that the Ontario government passing last minute laws of dubious constitutionality, in secret no less, and the Toronto police chief adding his own illegal addendums and lying about what the law allowed his officers to do and you a have the results of the G20 on Canada. Previous use of agent provocateurs by the police, such at the Montebello summit two summers ago, have lead to a situation where anytime the there is violence of this nature at a major event, there will always be some question of whether the police were involved. Public trust in the police has been drastically eroded, and not without cause. And THAT is what the anarchists really want.
In that sense, the Black Bloc were very successful. The police - who bragged they had infiltrated the group prior to the summit - did nothing to stop them, but fueled their antics by giving them free rein on Saturday and then used the damage they could have and should have stopped to justify an unconstitutional, heavy-handed response the rest of the weekend and as an object lesson to defend the ridiculous amount of money spent on security.
For the most part the television media lapped it up--pictures of burning police cars were all over the news and no one initially questioned any statement the police made.
One of your favorite journalists, Christie Blatchford, has been pushing this emotional story from Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair about how the black bloc protesters disrupted the repatriation ceremony in Toronto for a Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan. Except that video taken at the event shows absolutely no indication of any kind of disruption occurring. This further erodes the credibilty of both the police and the mainstream press -- another win for the forces of stupid black bloc anarchist wannabe revolutionaries.
I am not a fan of the black bloc hooligans by any means at all. I think they are dangerous, have no agenda except breaking the system and offer no alternatives. Mostly, I think they are bunch of self-important grandstanding assholes and petty vandals. They consider themselves revolutionaries and the job of a revolutionary is to provoke a response by the state, to get them to crack down on the population and thereby provoke antigovernment sentiment and expand support for the revolution. This only works if the state panics and gives the revolutionaries what the want by cracking down and pissing people off -- and that is what happened in Toronto this weekend.

If the cops had just done their job instead of playing PR and political games to serve their own ends, there would be about 50 of the Black Bloc  in jail for variations on the charge of aggravated jackassery, most of them with scrapes and bruises, the rest of the weekend would have gone smoothly and we'd be talking about how badly the government overspent on the summits. Instead, the police and government have sowed the seeds of increasing public distrust in authority and undermined the foundations of civil society--which is just what the Block Bloc wants.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Men in black - Maple Syrup Revolution podcast

Dave of the Galloping Beaver guest stars with me on the Maple Syrup Revolution as we spend a full hour discussing what the heck happened in Toronto and why. Then I go and get all sentimental about my homeland.

This week the Maple Syrup Revolution is having a Two-for-One sale in honor of Canada Day, so get over there and download all the punditry you can stand.


Like this?

 Canada spent about a billion dollars on the G8/G20 summits and had an army of 20,000 cops on call with sound cannons, rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, clubs, shields, body armour, horses, firehoses and everything else short of frickin' laser beams and yet couldn't stop 100 skinny little punks in black bandanas and hoodies -- a group they claimed to have infiltrated prior to the summits. (some might argue they had infiltrated them during the summit too)  Not only did they have the gear and manpower, they were even willing to completely make up imaginary laws to allow them to violate the rights of anyone they wanted to. Now it comes out that the cops were told to stand down on Saturday when the black bloc douchebags were having their little tantrum on Younge Street.

The conservative take on this whole thing has been to tar all the protesters with the same brush and blame the thousands of non-violent demonstrators who were exercising their rights as citizen for not doing the police force's job for them and physically confronting and stopping the terrifying masked anarchists on their own.

Like this guy did.


More here

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Black Bloc in action!

Look! There's a guy in a black shirt and black hat shouting! OMG! He's asking angry questions about a large corporation! And who  knows what he has in that plastic bag or in that shoulder bag -- probably bombs! Quick, get the riot cops to the Eaton Center and start clubbing bystanders!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jail Bill Blair

The Toronto police chief apparently thinks it is a cute idea to play silly buggers with the law. 
Ha ha fucking ha.
This moral cretin has destroyed what was left of public trust in law enforcement in Canada's largest city, if not across the entire nation, for the foreseeable future.
Livid doesn't begin to describe how I feel about this completely wanton abuse of authority.
Dismissal in disgrace? 
Fuck that, I want the sonofabitch in jail.
Of all the crimes that can be committed, short of murder or child molestation I can't offhand think of any that are worse than a POLICE CHIEF making up his own laws. Call it breach of promise, breach of the peace, dereliction of duty, fraud, criminal negligence -- I don't care what charge they come up with, but this man - by his own smug admission - absolutely betrayed the trust placed in him as a peace officer and in doing so violated the civil rights of thousands of citizens. He should be in the Don Jail pending trial and if there is a single crown prosecutor in Toronto with any testicular fortitude at all, he will be in front of a judge by morning -- but I'm not holding my breath.

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?