I posted this in March, a retrospective on the G20 in Toronto Canada in 2010.
I am reposting it because many of the same tactics are being used against #OWS.
Updates at the bottom. This still is not over, as much as the powers that be want it to go away.
Last June the G20 and the G8 Summits both happened in Ontario Canada.
During those summits a lot of different kinds of people showed up to protest.
The world is often watching, and the world leaders are there to divvy up the spoils of the world, so many organizations go to have a presence. Environmental, human rights, economic justice.....etc...
Last summer's was the "austerity" summit.
That is where 99% of the population is expected to suck it up and tighten our belts, while the top 1% dance the nights away.
During those summits, the Harper Conservatives spent a lot of money, including "security".
And Fake lakes.
How much.....$1 Billion.....As of now. With the Harperconservatives, more could show up at anytime.
In the haste of the G20 planning process, the board gave Blair the go-ahead to purchase a total of $2.3 million worth of equipment the police needed to manage the event. They had the option of keeping equipment that they wanted once the event ended, which was purchased at a discounted rate of 50 per cent. They could return items they no longer wanted.
The police service was able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars through the cost-sharing deal, by purchasing equipment the force was planning to buy anyway — such as a new radio system and new security cameras — at the subsidized rate, said Blair.
The Ontario Government passed laws secretly before the G20 so they could have an easier time creating a police state.
The province has secretly passed an unprecedented regulation that empowers police to arrest anyone near the G20 security zone who refuses to identify themselves or agree to a police search.
A 31-year-old man has already been arrested under the new regulation, which was quietly passed by the provincial cabinet on June 2.
The regulation was made under Ontario’s Public Works Protection Act and was not debated in the Legislature. According to a provincial spokesperson, the cabinet action came in response to an “extraordinary request” by Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who wanted additional policing powers shortly after learning the G20 was coming to Toronto.
Then the Chief of Police "mislead" everyone as to the extent of the perimeter.
Items were in the news just before the G20 and the G8, about terrorist threats and the like.Priming the fear quotient.
The G20 started on a Friday, protesters were told that the free speech zone was going to be in Queens park.
On Saturday a few using "black bloc" tactics broke away from a march and started breaking windows and trashing police cars left in the streets.
Many said that the police just stood and watched.
But that part of the day made the news. It even made the Dailykos with the alarming title "Anarchy hits Toronto"
Despite all the talk from the police that they had infiltrated the "Black bloc"..... They appear to have been caught off guard.
Is any of this sounding remotely familiar yet?
On that Same Saturday afternoon, the police went on a rampage of sorts. Peaceful protesters were terrorized and arrested. Queens Park, the "Free speech zone" became the scene of violence first....Rubber bullets were fired, people were beaten by police....This continued all weekend long all over the city.
Even people shopping or on their way home were labeled as conspirators. A TTC fare collector..In uniform...
Benjamin Elroy Yau, 37, said he was walking along College St. to the Queen’s Park subway station before his 6 p.m. shift when two police officers “tackled” him to the ground and yelled at him to stop resisting arrest.
“I told them I wasn’t resisting arrest, that I was on my way to work. I was in full uniform with TTC shirt, pants, full ID, my employee card, everything,” Yau said on Wednesday. “They said, ‘Really? Well, you’re a prisoner today.’ ”
Moments before, another man had run into him but kept going, Yau said, adding that man was also arrested. There was no protest in sight and not many people in the street, he said.
People were told that "this ain't Canada right now" when they objected to personal searches.
Go to 3:50, and along with that amazingly wrong statement, notice the cop threatening the man with his body language...
Then there was the bubble incident. No further comment, except to say that the cop issuing the threats in this video has gotten litigious and that his Facebook page at one time even listed his job description as "I collect human garbage".
Many police were shipped in from other parts of the country for this extravaganza. Name tags were not present on many of them.They really didn't want to be identified.
Over a 1000 were arrested and detained that weekend. Strip searches, refusal of medical attention, lack of food and water, shameful bathroom facilities. Cages layered in filth and blood......
Media people were arrested, and harassed.
The police trotted out a weapons display they said they had gathered from the G20 protesters, and even that was mostly a sham.
Now, much of this was covered only by alternative and independent media. Some corporate media has glossed by it, briefly.
One police officer has been charged in a G20 beating.
There have been calls for inquiries, many brushed off or simply done in a cursory fashion.
But last week the CBC broadcast You should have stayed at home....
The program The Fifth Estate
They were the most unlikely of troublemakers. There were thousands of ordinary citizens on the streets at Toronto G20 Summit marching peacefully until the police closed in and shut them down. Many had gone downtown simply to see what was going on, only to find themselves forcibly dragged away by police and locked up for hours in a makeshift detention center without timely access to lawyers or medical treatment.
It's been eight months since the G20 and the iconic images are still with us — burning police cars, rampaging mobs, the massive security presence that according to the official story is all that stood between Canada's largest city and chaos. But that’s not the whole story of Toronto’s G20. Astonishing new images caught on camera are now emerging and they expose a troubling new picture of what happened to hundreds of ordinary citizens caught in the huge police dragnet during those three highly-charged days last June.
This has started new calls for an inquiry.
Civil rights violations at last summer’s G20 summit in Toronto go beyond a few “misbehaving police officers and were endorsed high up the chain of command, civil rights groups charged Monday.
The violent dispersal of peaceful protests, mass arrests and “illegal” detentions all point to a concerted police strategy critics said as they came to Parliament Hill to press their case for a public inquiry into the actions of law enforcement officers—and the question of who was directing the entire operation.
This "story" is far from over. There are a few cases before the courts, and the bail conditions set on one man are unbelievable in a supposedly "free" society.
As always the purpose was to create fear, and to make it a scary and less likely occurrence that people will come out and protest and use their right to free speech.
Something that many who attended the RNC conventions already know.
After this happened there was a rally at Toronto police headquarters, Naomi Klein was there.....The police were doing their best to spin, to make it look like that $1 Billion was all so necessary for public protection......Her message....?
"Don't play public relations, do your goddamned job!"
Updates: Just a few items that have been trickling out.....
First, some of the police who removed their nametags for the G20 have found themselves feeling some form of comeuppance.
The Toronto police boardhas taken the unprecedented step of refusing to promote nine officers who were disciplined for removing their name tags during G20 demonstrations.
Chief Bill Blair recommended those promotions and the civilian oversight board’s refusal to agree suggests cracks in what has historically been a close relationship.
On Tuesday, the police association filed a grievance. If the arbitrator sides with the police board, it will make clear a currently gray area regarding the board’s powers to refuse promotions.
Not much, but something.
Anatomy of a fustercluck. Still no admission that what the Government and cops did was just totally wrong on a moral level. But we knew that.
Alex Hundert is still living the most draconian bail conditions. And still working for what he truly believes, within those confines.
Today is the first day of what is scheduled to be an 11 week preliminary inquiry for what the Ontario Crown Attorney’s office calls, the “G20 Main Conspiracy Group Prosecution.” This prosecution will see myself, along with 16 other community organisers spend almost three months in court every single week day, watching and listening as the Crown Attorneys from the Provincial “Gangs and Guns Initiative” present evidence collected by a series of undercover cops who infiltrated community organisations across the country over a period of nearly two years prior to last year’s G20 (an event which saw the city converted into “Fortress Toronto,” as the heads of state from the world’s twenty richest countries, along with more than 10 000 cops, occupied the city’s downtown).
The Toronto G20 protesters, share many ideas with OWS. Like their predecessors at all the G20's.
The “austerity agenda”is a consensus amongst G20 states that, in order to keep the current capitalist system afloat, over the next ten to twenty years, public spending on things like social services, education and health care, will be sacrificed for financial sector bailouts, so that banks and large corporations can remain profitable and viable. The austerity agenda will ensure that the costs of a failing capitalist system will be felt by poor communities.
In Toronto, momentum from last year’s mobilisation against the G20 is being put into coordinated neighbourhood based campaigns against the austerity agenda that is being implemented in this city by the Ford Mayoral regime and nationally by the Harper Government. The “Raise the Rates” campaign is meant to build “a provincial movement to raise social assistance rates to where people can live with health and dignity,” according to the website of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).
We are all truly in this together.
Final updates for this post, Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario who allowed the Public Works law to be used in the first place, was just reelected. Ta Da.
The Toronto Chief of police, Bill Blair, may however be getting a true taste of Austerity.
Officer Bubbles is still pursuing his lawsuit as far as I can tell. I did a google search, and found no updates after November of this year.
In May, the Harpercons were busted using quotes in their rebuttal of the Auditor General's G20/G8 spending report that had nothing to do with that particular report....
“We found that the processes and controls around that were very good and that the monies were spent as they were intended to be spent,” Fraser is quoted as saying in the dissenting report written by Conservative MPs on the committee.
But Fraser says bluntly in a letter to former chair and Liberal candidate John McKay that the quote had nothing to do with last year’s summits. It was taken from a 2010 media report referring to the auditor general’s assessment of national security spending by the Liberal government in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, she says.
The HarperCons were re-elected with a Parliamentary "Majority" in May. Guns, crime, teh Gay and the usual "fiscal responsibility" mythology.
Even Texas says that Harper's crime plan is doomed to fail. Go figure.
The post as it appeared originally, here.