Bird’s-Eye: More and more stories have come out about the excesses perpetrated by some of the G20 police forces on non-violent protestors. And that raises vital questions: why didn’t the police act against the black bloc group who were the most violent? Is there any point to non-violent protests that won’t get covered and that may get you arrested and hurt? We have a cartoon, a painful personal story of a protestor and his son, and few theories we’d like to share….
* Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call Toronto cartoon from The Torontoist
* Defeat David Ker Thomson counterpunch
We have seen the future. This is it. More troops, more brutality, more police pretending to be protestors and smashing whatever they want at $80/hour, more acceptance from a population that will submit to any limitation on its freedom as long as it can pay someone to make them feel temporarily safe.
We were brave. We have been hunted on our own turf like dogs. We love dogs, and find no animosity in our hearts even for the horses that bore down on us over and over.
“Son,” I’ve been saying to my tall fourteen-year-old, “we should do something together as father and son. Shoot some pool, maybe catch a movie.” In the end, the bonding activity was to be hunted by cavalry and foot soldiers amongst campus buildings in which I have often taught, near Knox Church where pictures of our great great and great great great grandfather hangs. Our people have been protestant for a long time. We didn’t go looking for trouble that day, but we dealt with it.
* Mixed Bag of Innocents and Agent Provocateurs Creates Confusion menwithtinfoilhats.com
Another cause for concern is that the police purposely avoided arresting black block “anarchists,” so as to create the impression of mayhem and lawlessness around the city, and then use that environment as a justification to crackdown on other civil and peaceful protests. It is a very cynical tactic, and it is practiced by many polices forces across the world, both in “democratic” countries, as well as in dictatorships. Even more criminally outrageous was the obvious use of agent provocateurs in the black bloc group that hijacked a peaceful protest on Saturday afternoon and then proceeded to steer it towards a violent direction…
* Summit Protests Are Obsolete Al Giordano Narcosphere
Does anybody really think that police agencies would have left unguarded vehicles in that path if not to get that desired image onto the evening news? And the “Black Bloc” dupes fell for it! Who, among the working class and poor, would follow these white upper class fools anywhere? What separates them from any rank-and-file pyromaniac? That they attach a cause to their attempted rampage? Well, what is that cause? “Whose streets? Our streets”? Clearly they mean theirs and not “ours” in the sense that the streets belong to all the people. Otherwise they wouldn’t be pushing and threatening the people’s own cameras away. If those guys ever did gain power, they would be as violent and bullying as those that have it now. And that is evident to most members of the public who refrain from joining in such protests even when we agree with the overall causes expressed.
And to think: At least twice in recent months, in the same city of Toronto, there were two creative actions – neither of them “protests,” per se – that were designed, and succeeded, to win over hearts and minds and public support.
On April 29, 2010, students of Canada’s National Ballet Schools held a “flash mob” action at the Eaton Centre Mall in Toronto. Watch it while imagining had the G-20 protesters organized something similar and how different and better the impact would have been….