Sunday, June 27, 2010

Justifying their powers and budget

"Rewind to just before the riot happened, thousands of us marched in a very briskly moving group until we hit the intersection of Spadina and Queen. Folks from the labour movement tried in vain to encourage the march to move back up towards queens park, but the mood was clear. Many thousands of protesters were interested in being closer to the summit and letting the police know that we couldn't be intimidated.

"But nothing official was planned. Labour walked back up the street leaving thousands to mill about in the confusion of what to do next. And in that confusion, several hundred people changed their clothes and took off together running down queen street while thousands of riot cops picked their noses. In full police view, they let a mob destroy banks and trash Yonge street.

"And while riot cops had shields AND bikes and thousands of dollars in body armor to protect them from the remaining peaceful protesters, somehow they were so scared of us that they abandoned police cars."

The police spokesperson told Metro Morning today that they waited until later when it was safer to make arrests but that cannot be true. I was there and like David I believe the cops could have arrested the Black Bloc right at the beginning of the action but they abandoned their police cars and allowed them to burn, not even calling the fire department until the media had lots of time to photograph them. They had a water cannon but they didn't even use a fire extinguisher. Why?

A comment released to a media outlet last night from official police spokesperson tells some of the story, " We have never tried to curtail people's rights to lawfully protest. All you have to do is turn on the TV and see what's happening now. Police cars are getting torched, buildings are being vandalized, people are getting beat up and the so-called "intimidating" police presence is essential to restoring order. That is the reality on the ground."

Police playing politics, justifying the expense and responding to the critiques building all week about excessive and arbitrary police powers. A politicized police force is unacceptable in a democratic society. There are serious questions that must be answered and they have not been satisfactory answered.

2 comments:

Fillibluster said...

I agree. How do you have 20,000 cops in a city on full alert, but NOT ONE on Yonge St. to stop the actual vandals?

Rev.Paperboy said...

well said!

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