Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toronto mounted police blockade G20 meeting place




Downtown Toronto, Canada’s commercial capital and largest city, was besieged by several thousands of police in gas masks and riot gear Friday and Saturday as protesters gathered in the city centre to mark the holding of the G8 and G20 summits in Canada this weekend. The now familiar sight of black uniformed riot police armed with tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades, shields and batons greeted the protesters as they attempted to make their way down Yonge Street, Toronto’s main shopping area.

The police denied using tear gas in the city although most of them were wearing gas masks and British Sky News television showed a tear gas launch in the Queen’s Park area of the city. The overwhelming show of force shocked Torontonians as public transport was disrupted and shops and banks closed in a fevered attempt by the state authorities to create an atmosphere of fear, terror and intimidation in the city got underway.

Close to the Ontario Legislature building at Queen’s Park on Saturday, a small gathering of protesters who had assembled in what had been agreed beforehand with the Police would be a “designated speech area” for legitimate use by the demonstration was attacked by riot police and the area cleared as the Police reneged on their previous agreement. This type of nefarious tactics is now a regular pattern of state responses to peaceful protest and demonstrations at these “summits” which, at a cost of $1BN to Canadians,are a complete waste of money. Despite the fear-mongering by politicians obsessed by their own pompous arrogance, the protesters don’t want to confront them personally but, want to show that the majority of ordinary people are opposed to their disastrous economic and social policies and their pursuit of brutal campaigns of murderous violence against people in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere in the world.

In a secret agreement on 02/06/10, Ontario Liberal Party Premier, Dalton McGuinty, agreed to extend police powers of arrest and detention under the Ontario Public Works Act by designating the police fence at Union Station and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, just west of the south end of Yonge Street where the G20 meeting will be held later today, as “public works” and concealed this from public knowledge until last Friday, thus preventing civil liberties lawyers from challenging the legislation in the courts ahead of the summits. The secret deal allows Toronto police to arrest without warrant, search and detain any person who goes within ten metres of the "public works" fence. This is a scandalous contempt for civil rights unprecedented since Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s use of wartime emergency legislation in his 1970’s confrontation with Quebec separatism.

The use of such legislation and restriction of civil liberties which now automatically accompanies the arrival of the G8 and G20 caravans to any city shows the utter contempt for democracy and civil rights by these politicians and their determination to ignore public protest against their wasteful and murderous policies on a world scale. Hypocrites all, spouting lies and false declarations of respect for democratic process and public opinion. Democracy and civil rights, although constitutionally established, are set aside at the whim of corrupt politicians and police.

Another familiar aspect of these summits nowadays is the attendance, unwanted and uninvited by the organisers of peaceful protest, is a group of masked individuals known as “Black Bloc” who infiltrate the larger demonstrations intent on committing acts of violence and damage to property and giving the police the excuse they want to attack the peaceful protest. This correspondent witnessed such events in Strasbourg, France in April 2009, where similar acts of violence took place at the protest against the NATO 60th Anniversary Summit held in that city, also attended by Mr Obama and the rest of the NATO leaders.

The most notable thing though, which I witnessed, was the appearance of numbers of persons dressed as “Black Bloc” protesters being ferried away in police vehicles, not under arrest, but fraternising with the police as if they were part of the overall police operation. This was being done some distance from the main demonstration which was being viciously attacked by the French paramilitary CRS and was only seen by me from the back window of a pub where I had taken shelter from CRS throwing tear-gas and blast grenades at anything that moved in the street outside. Canadians should be wary of television reports and police descriptions of these so-called “Black-Bloc” activities. At least some of them, as I witnessed in Strasbourg, are definitely police “agents provocateurs” and a previous incident in Quebec,in 2007, documented at the end of the video here below, proves.

(Second video: leading Canadian economist on G8 fakery)


Ath Cliath/Dublin 27 Meitheamh/June 2010

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