Thursday, June 16, 2016
The G20 Summit and the Police State in Toronto
It's been almost six years, but I'll never forget that weekend. The weekend of the G20 Summit in Toronto.
When they turned my neighbourhood into an armed camp, more than 1,000 people were arrested.
And I felt like I was living in a police state.
Now Supt. Mark Fenton, the only senior police officer convicted for his actions that weekend, has finally been sentenced.
And the result couldn't be more disappointing.
For three counts of misconduct under the province’s Police Services Act for ordering two mass arrests — including the prolonged boxing-in at Queen and Spadina during a torrential downpour — Fenton will instead lose 30 vacation days and receive an official reprimand.
Or more ludicrous.
“The process is ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous, and doesn’t bring any closure to what happened, and certainly doesn’t bring any justice,” said Paul Cavalluzzo, a lawyer for some of the “kettling” complainants and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
“A reprimand for violating the Charter rights of hundreds of Canadians? That’s absurd.”
For let's never forget what happened. Not only were more than a thousand people arrested and caged like animals...
After Fenton unleashed his riot cops on them like pit bulls...
He kettled his prey...
And held them for hours in the pouring rain...
And for that, 30 vacation days and a reprimand, don't seem to me to be punishment enough.
But then we'll never know who was really responsible for that fascist nightmare.
Because Fenton was getting his orders from Bill Blair, the then police chief of Toronto...
Who was granted the right not to testify by the same judge who gave Fenton his light sentence.
And Blair in turn was receiving his directions from a massive command post 80 km from the city...
Which was in direct communication with Stephen Harper's PMO.
So I've always felt that he had something to do with turning my neighbourhood into a police state.
But like all the others he also got away with it.
You know, almost six years later, I have to at least hope that something like that could never happen again in Canada.
But who knows?
What if Donald Trump becomes President and turns the U.S. into a fascist nightmare? What if the economy collapses? What if war breaks out? What if climate change finally bites us so hard we can't ignore it any longer, or escape its deadly consequences?
And what I do know is that when police officers can violate the Charter rights of so many Canadians in such an outrageous manner, and get off so lightly, nothing can be ruled out.
And nobody can be sure that it couldn't happen again.
For on a brutally hot and humid weekend, it was absolute madness.
And no song has ever summed up that madness better than this one...
And yes, in a world that seems to be spinning out of control, and getting crazier by the day.
Those who don't learn from their mistakes.
Could very well be condemned to repeat them...
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