The Toronto G20 Summit

Not your usual observations on

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the people responsible for investigating misconduct by Ontario police, it would seen, could not identify the officers who beat up and injured mostly innocent protestors, and who removed or defaced theirs badges to avoid identification.

G20 police won’t face criminal charges

Globe and Mail, Nov. 25, 2010

The G20, and What Do We Say To Iran?

The more than a thousand mostly peaceful demonstrators detained by the police at the G20 Summit was the "biggest mass arrests in Canadian history."

How can we ever again criticize another country for beating up on its citizens for exercising their right to assembly and freedom of expression after that obscenity!

As to be expected, Public Safety Minister and former Justice Minister Vic Toews praised the police for exercising "restraint" for what the Prime Minister described as "the actions of a few thugs."

Making it hurt so bad

Natalie Gray, 20, of Maple Ridge, B.C., who was hit by two of the projectiles, has finally gotten the Toronto police to admit that they fired rubber bullets at mostly peaceful protesters at the G20 Summit and not blanks as previously claimed.

It would be more than interesting to know why Toronto's finest felt that this young woman needed to be hurt this way, not once but twice.

If this shooting was gratuitous then the ethical line that is suppose to separate how our police forces deal with people protesting real and perceived inequities and law enforcement in countries like Iran (remember Neda) has been blurred, if not crossed. The more reason for an enquiry into the conduct of the police during the G20 Summit. July 29, 2010

The Advisor to Prussian Kings and an Emperor as Role Model

Toronto Police unveil G20 ‘most wanted’ … Det. Sgt. Giroux said the 10 men are mostly wanted on mischief and arson charges. Globe and Mail, July 14, 2010

In the hope of stopping ten mischief makers at the G20, Toronto’s finest arrested more than a thousand mainly peaceful demonstrators, journalists, onlookers and passersby.

Respected English jurist William Blackstone wrote in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s that "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." It is known as Blackstone's Principal and is reflected in our legal system which will err in favour of not convicting an innocent person even if it means criminals will go free.

The Toronto Police appear to favour the argument of Otto Von Bismarck who countered with "it is better that ten innocent men suffer than one guilty man escape”, bettering the iron-fisted Chancellor's ratio by a factor of 10. This is very dangerous for democracy. The police and the Harper government's challenge to our right of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression can not go unanswered.

Jesus, Harper and the Money Changers

What lesson did Stephen Harper take away from Jesus and the Money Changers that he will fight the imposition of a reasonable tax on money-lenders as he plans to do at the G8/G20 summit?

The Scapegoats

On Monday June 19, in Parliament, the man who knows no shame came to the defence of the Prime Minister and his Minister of Public Safety by scapegoating the bureaucracy for the astronomical cost of the G8/G20.

In response to a question from the Opposition, the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that it had all been done by “professionals.”

The G20 and First Nations

Ontario First Nations get a tax break on the new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) by threatening to block roads during the G8/G20 summit. First nations should be wary about using terrorist-like tactics to get their way. It's not how it's done in a democracy, even when you don’t consider yourselves Canadian.

The G20 and Vesicovaginal Fistula

Canadian will be feeling the pinch in their pocketbooks for the cost of the billion dollars, and climbing, three day summit, but remember, if Harper convinces enough leaders at the summit to sacrifice more children to save the unborn, hundreds of thousands of women and girls, mainly in Africa, will be feeling a lot worse, their only relief, an early death.

The Demonstrations as a Bellwether of Thing to Come

As to the large, mainly unfocused demonstrations, it was not unlike those Maude Barnstone talked about in The Fractured Nation Interviews, those that occurred prior to Canada becoming a historical footnote.

Maude: With the exception of the religious fanatics, the people were rebelling against the BBMC [Big Business Media Conglomerate]; against government secrecy; against arbitrary search and seizures; against arbitrary imprisonment and deportations. They were rebelling against the conditions that the BBMC and the government had imposed on them. For some, it was abject poverty, for others, it was because they no longer had a voice in running their country, for still others it was big business’s destruction of the environment … It was a rebellion of the citizens against the BBMC, its influence on the public agenda and the wealth and power it had accumulated at their expense..

The G20 and Robert Dziekanski

During the G20, Torontonians got a taste of what it would be like to live in a Police State with more than one thousand citizens arrested in less than two days and placed in a facility reminiscent of Guantanamo. Some differences and similarities: the chicken wire cages had a roof, the ruff unpainted particle board strip-search room and the complete lack of privacy with all the doors to temporary toilets having been removed. A uniformed police spokesman explained that in normal prisons inmates have no privacy so why should this one be any different.

To put this extraordinary abuse of police powers which was the result of a confusing secret understanding between Ontario Premier McGuinty and Toronto police chief Bill Blair, who admitted lying to the public about the extent of the new police powers to arrest and detain citizens without cause, into some form of perspective we can look to the October Crisis of 1970. During this extraordinary period when a Minister of the Québec government was murdered in cold blood and the British Ambassador to Canada kidnapped, across the country less than 500 people, most of them Québecquers, were arbitrarily detained and only after Parliament, with the support of the majority of Canadians, had invoked the War Measures Act. No secret dealings and lies here, as was the case at the G20.

It could have been worse. Toronto police are, or will shortly be packing more electricity than the RCMP. The fact that tasers were not used on the mostly peaceful protestors by Toronto’s finest may have had a lot to do with the death of Robert Dziekanski. A spokesperson for law enforcement at the Summit made a point of telling the people of Toronto that the police's main arsenal for ensuring they behaved during the G20 would be batons and pepper spray.

If it had not been for the outcry after the distraught Polish immigrant's  inadvertent public electrocution for allegedly threatening four RCMP officers with a stapler, thousands of police officers at the G20 summit would probably have been armed with tasers, and who knows how many of the thousand mostly innocent demonstrators who were arrested with signs and banners which would have appeared much more threatening to law enforcement than a stapler would have been mercilessly zapped with 50 thousands volts of electricity.

Some of those who thought they were peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression would surely have died; others would have suffered painful scaring electrical burns while still others would have suffered permanent damage to their nervous system.

They owe you Robert Dziekanski, they owe you big time.

Bernard Payeur