Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rally for a G20 Public Inquiry

Hey there - I got this through good, old Facebook, that great mobilizing tool. We need to keep up the pressure for an independent, public inquiry and, even better, the resignation of Police Chief Bill Blair - the lying dog.

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Join us in a peaceful protest on Canada Day.


Over the course of the the G20, police have ignored our civil liberties through illegal searches, detentions, and mass arrests -- with Chief of Police Bill Blair making up the law and misleading the public as he went along. Countless people have been profiled, harassed and many people have been beaten on the streets and in their homes, shot at with rubber bullets and gassed without provocation.


The Toronto 900 are the biggest mass arrest in Canadian history and have been denied basic legal rights of access to lawyers, phone calls, food/water, medications while being kept in cages. There are accounts of detainees being taunted, female prisoners strip-searched by male guards and threatened with sexual assault, a prisoner who is deaf denied an independent sign language interpreter, and specific targeting of Aboriginal, Francophone and Queer prisoners.


The political prisoners need to be released immediately. We need an independent inquiry over the criminalization of dissent. We need to take our city back.

Those of you not in Toronto: We will be having solidarity protests in various cities on the 17th. Please join this group and help organize and spread the word!

http://www.facebook.com/specialshi?v=wall&story_fbid=751379792437#!/event.php?eid=139227296091761

Not on facebook? Go to http://torontoparticipates.ca/ for details!

THIS IS IMPORTANT! GET THE WORD OUT! TELL YOUR FRIENDS! EVEN IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT YOURSELVES!

G20 Weaponsgate: A Page Out Of Israeli Propaganda Book

I must admit that I thought it a little funny that amongst the so-called weapons intended for use against the G20 that police bigwig Bill Blair put on display for the media were medieval siege fashion-wear. And with good reason. It turns out that it was all a crock of shit.
You see, the arrows that Blair claimed were going to be doused in gasoline and lit on fire a la Robin Hood and his Merry Men were actually confiscated from a guy who was on his way to a medieval role-playing society. They had nothing to do with the G20 - and Blair knew it. Same with the machetes and the chainsaw and the chainmail armour.
It's stunning to me that everything this guy has said has turned out to be an utter lie and yet nobody is asking for his head on a platter. Would any of the rest of us mere plebes be able to lie about several key things - including things that put others' lives in danger - and not get canned from our jobs? Apparently there is one rule for the people at the top and one for the rest of us.
But actually, it's more accurate to say that the other people at the top, who could have Blair turfed in a heartbeat, support this strategy. We know this because it's used over and over and over again to the usually gullible mugs who work for the media. It was done years ago in Miami as part of the ramp-up to justify attacking protesters against the FTAA.
And it was done recently to justify Israel's murderous assault on the humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza. After murdering 9 people, including several who received multiple gunshots to the head, mob execution style, the IDF proved that the passengers were dangerous by releasing photos of all the weapons that they were carrying. Clearly the IDF were only defending themselves - like the Toronto Police.
As the two photos here demonstrate, those devious Turks (Muslims, the lot of them) were up to no good and intending to take on the Israeli commandos with violent attacks using dvds (think Chinese throwing stars), kefiyehs (Palestinian national symbols are particularly dangerous to Israeli commandos - like garlic to vampires), some steak knives, and a wrench or two. But worst of all in the following picture - the ship had on board a power tool. Those murderous buggers were a bloodthirsty lot and clearly intended - as the photo demonstrates - to cut some Israeli handrails but bloody fast.
Conclusion: Cops and paramilitaries the world over are fucking obtuse. The only thing that makes their cravenly stupid attempts to justify various horrors possible are the even more stupid members of the media who swallow it like Jim Jones Kool-Aid. While I don't think that anyone should be subject to police batons, boots, tear gas or lockdowns, if it rattled a few brain cells into active life in the heads of a few journalists, it can't be such a bad thing that they got a taste of what is usually reserved for us rubes. Perhaps they've started to notice a not-so-subtle pattern emerging.

Germany Wants NATO Afghanistan Drawdown

German Defence Minister questions role of Nato in Afghanistan war - Europe, World - The Independent: "Germany is arguing for the aims of Nato's operations in Afghanistan to be significantly scaled down and wants the alliance to adopt criteria to ensure that it never commits itself to a similarly open-ended mission in future."

This is big news. If Germany, the biggest economy in the EU, is calling for NATO to seriously reduce its numbers and role in Afghanistan - and to never commit itself to such imperial/colonial adventures again - it's hard to see how we could be entering anything but the end game for the Afghan War.
And while the war hasn't been as politically destabilizing as Vietnam, for a whole raft of historical reasons, it will nonetheless be a major blow against western occupation-style interventions. This is another nail in the coffin in the War on Terror, christened by Dubya back in 2001, following the program of those now almost-forgotten hawks of the Project for a New American Century.
America and NATO have been exposed as being, like the former USSR, lacking in even the power to crush an exhausted population and a not very popular (at least initially) insurgency led by a ragtag group of refugees and farmers. It's worth remembering that, at its peak, Britain was able to suppress multiple uprisings and even in its twilight years could still crush the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. Could this also be the beginning of the end of NATO?

Iran slams Canada human rights abuse

Iran slams Canada human rights abuse: "'The use of various violent tools and ways to counter a peaceful rally is by no means justified. The move by the Canadian government is a blatant breach of basic rights of citizens to freedom of expression,' Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday."

It seems only fair that if the Canadian government can be hypocritical bastards towards Iran, that the Iranian government should return the favour. What's more disturbing is that neither Canada nor Iran have a sense of irony about it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is Afghanistan War Tanking?

June deadliest month for NATO in Afghanistan - The Globe and Mail: "“Helping to train and equip host nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at. There is nothing easy about it,” he said."

So said the new major domo in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, after former head honcho, Gen. McChrystal, was unceremoniously given the hook by Obama.
Somebody might want to point out to him that designing and building an airplane while it is in flight is physically impossible. But, then, maybe he knows that already...

Newsflash: Cops Break Law To Stop Lawbreakers

When I read Toronto cop boss Bill Blair's media offensive to demonstrate that their dress rehearsal for a police state was necessary I felt angry. But, you know, this dude is so damn crazy that I can't decide if I'm scared or relieved that there is no sane plan behind all this suspension of civil liberties.
Now, it seems, the police lied about what our rights were during the G20 summit. Now, I'm no lawyer but I can't imagine that it isn't illegal to deliberately mislead the public about what are and are not the laws of the land. It seems pretty straightforward, I can't go into a theatre and yell fire and the chief of police can't arrest me for breaking laws that don't exist.
Admitting this seems like the act of a man who has seriously lost the plot. I think that there is a very sound basis to force this Machiavellian freak to resign.

G20 Golfball Terrorists Threaten Our Way Of Life

Weapons seized in G20 arrests put on display - The Globe and Mail: "The “weapons” included items not normally considered dangerous, including bike helmets, bandanas, golf balls, a baseball bat, bamboo poles, a drill and goggles."

Oh my God - apparently some people had golfballs and were going to hit a birdie at the G20. Good thing we spent $2 billion on this boondoggle. Why, if those cyclists with their helmets had headbutted the world leaders, who knows what would have happened. And that's why we had to suspend the civil liberties of everybody in the same time zone as the summit and raid the homes of veterinarians (after all, who knows the damage that a well-thrown cat could cause amongst the G20 pigeons!).
Seriously. Who the fuck are these people? Arrows with sacks that were going to be lit on fire? Really. I guess that these would-be Russell Crowes and Kevin Costners are unfamiliar with the basic laws of physics, thinking that they can fire a flaming sock on the end of an arrow. This is just a media offensive to justify an absolutely disgraceful attack on the rights of anybody with a functioning brain.
I had the misfortune of suffering from insomnia last night and happened upon an interview with Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair justifying the Sunday night attack on anybody who happened to be in the neighbourhood of Queen & Spadina - one of Toronto's busiest downtown corners.
"This was not a site where somebody casually walked up to catch a bus. It was clearly a large and dangerous demonstration."
Ah, so there's the rub. It was dangerous. And how do we know this? Well, the people did sit in the road and sing the national anthem before the cops charged them. And, as everyone knows, the national anthem is a pretty terrible song, musically speaking. And when sung by a large crowd that could only be construed as a premeditated assault.  But then, Blair's leap of logic to justify forcing people to sit in a torrential downpour, or face threats of gang rape, or be denied basic civil rights, including the right to go potty or not have your hands turn blue from zipcuffs, is acceptable because all right-thinking people support him. After all it is only "advocates for the anarchists [that] are offended. I can live with their offence."
This guy should be forced to resign and Mayor Miller, the "progressive" mayor, should be forced to apologize.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Protest police abuse of power: 5:30pm today at Police HQ, 40 College St

Got this in my facebook inbox from the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War this morning. Worth passing along.



Please forward widely.

Items in this message:
1) Protest police abuse of power
2) Support the G20 arrestees
- - - - -
1) Protest police abuse of power

Protest police abuse of power during the G20 Summit in Toronto
Show your solidarity with those who've been arrested
Defend civil liberties

R A L L Y
Monday, June 28
5:30 p.m.
Toronto Police HQ
40 College Street

Be there to defend our rights to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom to dissent!

Event on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122237507819100
- - - - -
2) Support the G20 arrestees

Appeal for broad political support for the G20 arrestees

From: http://movementdefence.org/G20appeal

The MDC’s Summit Legal Support Project is appealing to the movements it supports to mobilize a show of political strength and solidarity for the over 900 people arrested in the last four days. The Toronto Police and the ISU appear to have lost control of their 'prisoner processing center,' denying arrestees meaningful and timely access to counsel while beating and arresting those peacefully protesting their detention outside.

Despite assurances to the contrary, only a handful of people have been released, including those held for many hours without charge. Arrestees are given incorrect information about the bail process they will be subjected to, and friends and family members gather hours early at the courthouse, located far from the city center and inaccessible via transit. Our lawyers call in and are told that there is no one available to make decisions or wait for hours at the detention centre, only to be denied access to their clients. Hundreds of people are in custody and we know from experience that the vast majority of those charges will disappear and yet the cell doors remain shut.

We need to step it up and build a political response. We need many more voices – especially prominent ones – to say that the abuse and incompetence at 629 Eastern Avenue must stop. We must demand that all levels of government take control of the police forces under their command. We need to ensure that courts and crown attorneys act to enforce constitutional rights rather than collude in their violation.

Free the Toronto 900!

The Movement Defence Committee

For more information, visit:

http://movementdefence.org/G20appeal

The "Complicity Of The Crowd"

This is my favourite quote so far from the coppers to justify the indiscriminate clampdown on the right to protest. It's by Chief of the Toronto Police, Bill Blair:
“Unfortunately, their criminal activity was made a lot easier by the complicity of the crowd,” he told CP24. “And so we had to contain and control the crowd in an effort to control those criminals.”"

Can you imagine? Mob rule I tell you. These protesters exercising their democratic rights are just animals. We need to box them in, making them sit in the rain without access for toilets for hours and hours on end - because they won't cooperate with our clampdown. I will grant that people who show up to peaceful protests with molotov cocktails are idiots who unnecessarily endanger the safety of other protesters - more, that is, than the belligerence of the police already endangers them - but let's be honest: the idiots are being used as a cover to justify the wholesale suspension of civil liberties. But there's another insidious side to this clampdown: the PR dynamic that makes it palatable to the public. It works like this: permit the idiots to run amuk on Saturday to justify all future clampdowns during the course of the G20. I am deeply suspicious, for instance, that the police left those two cars in the street, completely unprotected, for the sole reason that they would be a magnet for fools to trash (perhaps given a little encouragement by provocateurs? it wouldn't be the first time Canadian police have used provocateurs - the Ottawa SSP demos exposed a couple of rock-wielding, pseudo-anarchist cops). Once you have scenes of "violence" for the media to screen over and over and over and over again (how many times did those damn cop cars burn?) then all the future arrests are justifiable because they will be indelibly related back to those burning cop cars. So, nobody this morning will be shocked to read that nearly 900 people were arrested and held - 900 PEOPLE! - for the crime of protesting. Instead, the average non-political person will simply think "jeez, those people are terrible, they had to arrest almost 1,000 of them."
And Bill Blair's statement says it all - by the mere act of protesting, we are complicit with the acts of a tiny minority.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What the media ignored: 25,000 peacefully demonstrate against G20 policies in Toronto

Working For The Clampdown

Alright people, let's all get a grip. That means you too, Mr. Mayor. It's worth noting that the G20 contains some countries that are responsible for the deaths of millions of people in wars, repression, imposed economic policies that devastate economies, not to mention the ass-dragging of all of them when it comes to climate change, which is already leading to extreme weather events, with more to come. In the face of this it is hypocritical in the extreme to give the kind of coverage that has dominated the news of a few windows broken and a couple cop cars torched.
Don't get me wrong, I think that the Black Bloc are dummies for playing into the cops' hands and providing an easy excuse to ignore the real issues raised by the vast bulk of protesters who were out yesterday. And, as seems likely, the cops left their cars as good targets for anarchists to target for the photo-op it provides, justifying the billion dollars wasted on security, it still doesn't mean that the anarchists had to torch it. This is not about violence vs. non-violence or about property damage vs resisting corporate evils. This is about how to build a movement that can stop the horrors that are being visited upon the planet by the governments represented at the Summit and the corporations that they protect.
Let's be clear: breaking windows will NEVER stop or even hinder capitalism, at most it will cause an increase in insurance premiums that will be passed on to working people via higher prices. Anarchists could torch a hundred cop cars and all it would mean is a tax increase on working class people to buy a hundred more. At worse it will offer an excuse for the cops to do what they are now doing - clamping down on dissenters with indiscriminate round-ups in the streets. With the image of the burning cars in the minds of the population, it will make it that much more difficult to oppose the clampdown. For all these reasons, the Black Bloc, are elitist, anti-democratic and profoundly counter-productive to the real tasks, which are to build a truly mass movement that takes on all the existential challenges we face as a species and a planet.
But, let's also be clear, these guys are gnats on the ass of the problem, which is global capitalism and imperialism. When you set a few Starbucks windows next to the Israeli apartheid regime (which Starbucks supports and has funded in the past), which kills and imprisons millions in Palestine, denying the most basic human rights to the population in Gaza, including murdering nearly a dozen people for the crime of trying to deliver humanitarian aid, the Starbucks windows are insignificant. When you juxtapose the burning cop cars with the billowing oil in the Gulf of Mexico that may destroy the entire coastal eco-system for generations and lead to a vast oceanic dead zone - as dozens of other deep water drilling platforms continue to pump oil to feed the world's insatiable appetite for that poisonous hydrocarbon - well, the cop car is nothing.
Ah, but the media say, people want to see the exciting images of people smashing things. Of course, everyone slows down to check out a roadside car accident. But they don't drive around the block again and again to see it over and over and commit every detail of the crash scene to memory. There are other things to move onto. So too should the media move on to the far more important and far more chronic issues that plague our planet and which are being contributed to by the countries at the G20. Ah, but don't hold your breath. The media's complicity in all this; the fact that they swallow and regurgitate undigested the communiques of the G20 as though they are truth and fetishize the minor property damage caused by a statistically insignificant minority of the protesters is proof of that. Alas, the media too are corporations and they have their own bias.
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