Posts Tagged ‘ g20 ’

The farce of the Nobody trial

Posted on September 12th, 2013 Be the first to comment

The 2010 G20 demonstrations, along with the repeated slaps to the face that Torontonians received from the courts afterwards, were about to become a clean sweep with the cops completely exonerated in caging (literally) 1,1100 innocent people and breaking  many laws in the process.

Those thousand Torontonians who had no charges laid whatsoever were submitted to quite brutal and demeaning conditions, often after being illegally assaulted by gangs of police who made up their own laws and rules as they went along.

The abuses by police far outweighed any provable good they did on that weekend which, judging by what the cops allowed to happen, had nothing to do with protecting Toronto or its citizens.

The incident of Adam Nobody, though probably more provoked than most bystanders those days, has demonstrated some of what went on that day, resulting in the first (and probably only) conviction of a cop for assault.

Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani, now convicted of assault with a weapon, plus three other officers had the chutzpah to make up vivid stories about Nobody as a troublemaker that day (having made no such notes in their notebooks). At least that’s what the judge thought. The same constable also removed his name tag and badge number before the assault.

Together these would seem to be aggravating charges, no? After all, the police viciously pile charge upon charge on innocent people they want to put the squeeze on. But as we see repeatedly they escape with, at worst, a paid vacation and the reassurance that their brothers, sisters, and supervisors are working hard to serve and protect their asses.

Among the rare times I’ve had an interaction with police that didn’t include them being confrontational and aggressive, one — some physical threats from meth-cooking neighbours — further demonstrated this simple fact to me. They went to their door first first to let them know who was complaining, then visited us to tell us that he’s known to them but that his “alleged” drug production (which the landlord spent many months and much money cleaning up after), and her “personal choice” to prostitute herself out of their premises, were none of our business and we would just have to get along. And while in our place acting like we were ticking them off with our very existence,  they took the time to snoop around, a courtesy they did not extend to the neighbours.

Not accurate? Let’s do the math:

1 conviction to 1000 wrongful arrests, assaults, Charter Rights violations, etc. = 0.1% justice rulings in favour of innocent citizens, 99.9% justice rulings in favour of armed, trained law-breaking paramilitary forces (especially on that day). The established facts are simply that when it comes to crunch time, the Toronto police do not serve and protect the community or citizens, and the courts will back them up.

Of course it’s not fair to say that all cops are in on this racket, and every once in a while we see a successful prosecution, but with numbers like these and story after story of cops getting away with pretty much anything and everything, it is completely fair and accurate to say that this corruption is systemic and far reaching.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Embarrassing Canadian government designated a form of domestic terrorism

Posted on June 10th, 2012 1 Comment

If only this were some sort of April fools joke. No doubt Harper et al consider this yet another reason to keep pushing unbridled dictatorship on us (did you know Lawful Access was back on the agenda again?) Now that I think of it, why isn’t the federal government designated a terrorist organization under these terms?

Along with terrorism and organized crime, “embarrassment to the Canadian government” was considered one of the threats facing security forces at the G8 and G20 summit meetings in Ontario 2010, according to newly released military records.

Filed under: B Sides

Byron Sonne freed, all charges dropped

Posted on May 16th, 2012 Be the first to comment

Thanks to Judge Spiers for injecting some sanity and exonerating Byron Sonne from all charges. The courts, it seems, still provide a level of protection against police abuse. So to that end, good! However, despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, Byron has lost a year of his life, his wife, his house… again I ask what prevents the police from destroying an innocent man’s life like this in the future? What good is a flacid recognition of injustice after the fact?

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay, Why I'm Right

Police violated civil rights and acted illegally during G20. So what?

Posted on May 16th, 2012 Be the first to comment

Another report, another day no one will be held to account. At least this time around it looks closer to the truth, but ultimately the question is, so what? Just more “recommendations” for the police to ignore.

Even officers in place thought the situation untenable, with one describing the incident commander as “maniacal,” the report says. “Where are they going to give them a chance to disperse?” one officer asked. “They aren’t, that’s the problem,” another replied. “Well, that’s stupid.”

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Byron Sonne’s verdict expected today

Posted on May 15th, 2012 Be the first to comment

The media seems hell bent on demonizing this guy by continually calling him an activist, referring to “explosive chemicals” (hair bleach, for example — all perfectly legal), “weapons” (a potato shooter), and really the only charge this is all based on, “inciting mischief not committed” (openly discussing about how the G20 security fence might be breached — but not actually doing it or planning to do it).

To anyone paying attention, it’s obvious that the cops are trying to intimidate him, and in effect you, from even thinking the wrong thoughts when they tell you to grovel like a dog before them. This case is a travesty and should never have been allowed in court. But while the RCMP, OPP, and Toronto police exonerate themselves, Sonne has had his life entirely destroyed for daring to question the dictatorship descending down on us.

If this sticks, don’t think for a second this insanity won’t spread like wildfire. After all, who’s keeping such abuses in check? The cops? The courts? The media?

Police found no bombs when they arrested Sonne, but they did seize an array of legal chemicals, including various acids and hexamine fuel tablets along with laboratory apparatus. They also seized potato guns from his cottage. Sonne was charged with four counts of possessing explosives, and one of counselling mischief not committed in relation to his apparent urging of others to scale the security fence set up around the summit site. Court saw hundreds of photographs Sonne took of surveillance cameras, police and the security fence set up downtown — many posted online on photo-sharing sites — along with suggestions he made on how to scale the barrier.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

RCMP G20 report, let the bullshit begin

Posted on May 14th, 2012 Be the first to comment

Hard to know where to begin on the recent report by the RCMP exonerating itself (surprise surprise) of any wrongdoing during the G20 summit here in Toronto. How about responsibility, for starters. Well, you all remember the infamous kettling incident where the police just rounded up everyone walking through the street, encircled them, and kept them standing in the rain for hours? Who was responsible for that again?

Bill Blair said, yeah, the Toronto Police gave the orders:

“I do acknowledge the operational command decisions were being made by a Toronto police superintendant who was the operational commander at the time here in Toronto,” he said.

How very interesting, considering the RCMP report claims that they were calling the shots.

 The RCMP assumed the role of security lead by authority of the G8 Summit Privileges and Immunities Order, 2010-2, and the G20 Summit Privileges and Immunities Order, 2010. These orders created the legal basis for Canada to host the Summits and, accordingly, provided the RCMP with authority pursuant to the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act to take the lead role for security of the events.

The decision makers for the G8, in descending order, were the Executive Steering Committee, the UCC Commander, the Area Commander and the Site Commander. POUcommanders, if deployed, were given authority to make decisions with respect to the tactics and equipment to be used during time-sensitive operational situations. A similar matrix was created for the G20, but an added level of Jurisdictional Commander, e.g. the MICC Commander, appeared below Site Commander to reflect the addition of the MICC.

When asked what his [ISU’s Lead] expectations were of the UCC Commander and the TACC Commander in this situation, the ISU Lead stated that he would only expect the UCC Commander to get involved if there had been a strategic need to do so (e.g. need for additional resources). The ISU Lead was clear that the kettling was a tactical decision—that is to say, it was made by the Toronto Police Service.

Even more interesting is the claim that the RCMP broke their own rules in kettling protesters:

The RCMP reluctantly participated in kettling protesters at the G20 riots in Toronto in 2010, under orders from the local police, even though the controversial crowd-control technique is not part of the Mounties’ playbook.

So right out of the gate we have the Toronto Police claiming to give orders to the RCMP while the RCMP claims it was in charge (a number of times), and then admitting to using tactics contrary to its own “playbook”. The a TPS tactical decision overrides the RCMP’s stated policies? And who’s in charge again?

Moreover, it is the RCMP stated policy “always” to give crowds a way out.

Then there’s the back-pedaling being done on Bill Blair’s secret law (suddenly and without warning applying it to half of downtown Toronto , even when many people directly asked, certainly made it “secret”):

Documentation provided to the Commission indicates that the Public Works Protection Act regulation was enacted in response to concerns expressed by the Toronto Police Service that officers would not be able to demand identification from those wishing to enter the area in which the Summit was taking place.

“Wishing to enter”? Funny, that’s not how it was either interpreted or enforced. In fact, the law says a few different things that don’t coincide:

Powers of guard or peace officer

3.A guard or peace officer,

(a) may require any person entering or attempting to enter any public work or any approach thereto to furnish his or her name and address, to identify himself or herself and to state the purpose for which he or she desires to enter the public work, in writing or otherwise;

(b) may search, without warrant, any person entering or attempting to enter a public work or a vehicle in the charge or under the control of any such person or which has recently been or is suspected of having been in the charge or under the control of any such person or in which any such person is a passenger; and

(c) may refuse permission to any person to enter a public work and use such force as is necessary to prevent any such person from so entering. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.55, s. 3.

There was no provision for arrest if you didn’t “show your papers” simply walking around the fence, even though that’s exactly what the cops did, even though it’s obvious that this really only applied to people wanting to get inside the “Public Works” area. There’s also a lesser-known tidbit from around that time:

The Integrated Security Unit, comprised of security bodies including the Toronto police, RCMP and OPP, were concerned that lawyers were advising radical activist groups that police have limited right to question, identify and detain individuals near the fenced secure area downtown, Mukherjee said.

Blair made the request after ISU members decided extending the powers in the act, which covers buildings including Union Station and Toronto police headquarters, to the G20 fence, he said.

“The decision makers felt that a clearer articulation of what those limits are would be useful. It was not chief Blair alone. It was the ISU,” said [Police Services Board chair] Alok Mukherjee.

How about that? The RCMP claims in their report it was Toronto Police Services alone that “expressed concern” (i.e. wanted to terrorize people on the street without warrant), yet articles from that time show the RCMP (and the OPP) were in on the push for the secret law right from the get-go.

One of the more blatant lies maintained in the RCMP report is that police acted in good faith by “pre-arresting” people before they had a chance to cause trouble at the G20:

During the lead up to the commencement of the [G20] Summit, intelligence led threat assessments will be prepared by the Joint Intelligence Group (JIG). These reports will document threat levels relating to terrorism threats and planned protest threats.

The ongoing intelligence from these reports will have an impact on the deployment of human and material resources, where the potential for confrontation between protestors and police personnel are likely to occur. G20 Operations personnel conducted Vulnerability Risk Assessments in Toronto in December 2009 of the proposed venue, airport and hotels.

All “targeting” will be based upon criminal predicate: Suspects will be determined based upon their proven willingness, capacity and intention to commit criminal acts and/or create situations that pose public safety concerns.

The RCMP conclusion:

Finding No. 8: The JIG appropriately identified and assessed criminal threats to the Summits.

That a fact? Of the 70 or so pre-arrests that were “appropriately identified and assessed criminal threats”, how many of the charges stuck? Literally none. In fact, this was pretty much par for the course during all police actions during the G20, yet the cops managed to completely miss actual trouble-makers, and this more than once.

These are just three examples in the report. I haven’t even read the whole thing and already I’m finding the stench of bullshit unbearable. If you’re willing to hold your nose long enough and find more “inconsistencies”, I’d love to hear from you and append them here. I’m sure it’s filled with examples of this kind of crap which the mainstream media are missing in favour of easy-to-read, highlighted admissions of failure.


Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay, Why I'm Right

Weekend of weekends (part 4)

Posted on July 9th, 2010 2 Comments

…continued from previous part.

One of the most iconic images of the G20 riots a couple of weeks ago was the that of the burning police car. You know the one:

g20, riots, fire, police car, cruiser, queen street west, toronto, city, life

… Continue Reading

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Weekend of weekends (part 3)

Posted on July 2nd, 2010 Be the first to comment

…continued from previous part.

It’s mostly the rhetoric and misinformation guiding the protest that I take exception to. After all, people were just expressing themselves and exercising their right to peaceful protest which, much to John Clarke’s chagrin, ended up actually being peaceful. There were a few arrests made along the route, that’s true, but I suspect they involved the kind of people that would get arrested any old day, protest or not.

bicycle police, guard, college street, arrest, g20, protests, protesters, toronto, city, life

For most of us on the street the Friday afternoon was more like a parade.

… Continue Reading

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Weekend of weekends (part 2)

Posted on June 30th, 2010 1 Comment

…continued from previous part.

On a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 being granola-popping tie-dyed hippies, and 3 being black bloc anarchists, the OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) protesters on Friday would probably rate at 2. Not outright violent instigation, but prepared to throw a few punches.

ocap, protest, g20, allan gardens, toronto, city, life

You may have already seen the video in which John Clarke bluntly states, “they have given us war, we’re looking to give them war back”, and “things are not gonna to be peaceful”. This speech was given prior to the march and these quotes weren’t taken out of context. Mr. Clarke further urged protesters not to be afraid of the police which, during this protest march, made their presence clear.

… Continue Reading

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Weekend of weekends (part 1)

Posted on June 28th, 2010 7 Comments

I had to see it for myself, dear reader. I knew that nothing like it would be in town for, potentially, the rest of my life. So I had to see it for myself.

I am, of course, referring to the G20 summit that shut down most of Toronto over the weekend. I’m sure most people are now well aware of the outrageous costs surrounding the event and I wanted to see what kind of security that kind of money could buy. Even more than that, I wanted to see how the situation would be handled.

At every one of these meetings there are accusations of police brutality, protest situations getting out of hand, riot police, riot police, and more riot police. I needed to see the instigators for myself and not have to rely on either the media, the police, or the protesters for the facts – they could be quite skewed in all directions. The only way I can say anything with authority is to be right there between the riot police and the balaclava’d opposition.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Lots of stuff happened over the weekend but plenty happened before that. There were a number of protest marches and demonstrations throughout the city that, unfortunately, were lost in the subsequent shuffle. There were also a couple of related news items that I think are worth mentioning.

Despite some of the images you may have seen coming out of Toronto over the past few days, the vast majority of the protests and protesters were entirely peaceful.

g20, native rights groups, protests, protesters, allan gardens, toronto, city, life

… Continue Reading

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures, Videos