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Ear to the Ground

Power to the Police at G-20

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Posted on Jun 25, 2010
Flickr / cobby17

Toronto’s CN Tower is seen through a chain-link fence erected ahead of this weekend’s G-20 summit.

Canada’s Ontario province, possibly inspired by the decade-long assault on civil liberties in the U.S., has secretly passed a regulation allowing Toronto police to arrest anyone near the security zone for the upcoming G-20 financial summit who declines to identify himself or herself or submit to a search.

One lawyer said of the new regulation, “It reminds me a little bit of the War Measures Act.”  —JCL

The Star:

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.

However, Toronto’s police chief says concerns about the new powers – which he requested – are overblown.

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, wanted additional policing powers shortly after learning the G20 was coming to Toronto.

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Peetawonkus's avatar

By Peetawonkus, June 25, 2010 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

If all politicians are bought and the ruling class and their rent-a-cops continue closing off all avenues of protest, they’ve only left one option open.

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By NZDoug, June 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

Cant these jerks use video conferencing?
Traffics bad enough without these do-nothings.

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By gerard, June 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Again a report that slanats by what it omits:

1.  No protest group was identified or asked for comment or interview so that goals and methods could be announced broadly ahead of time Only the puffed up expectations of mostly unidentified officials or police, reflecting the knee-jerk attitude that protests are something to be feared.
2. That fear reflected by quoting from a couple suspicious or discomfitted individual citizens.
3.  Entire emphasis on what “might happen.”  No information about which protest groups are planning what activities for what reasons, legitimate or othrwise.
4. Windows boarded up as visible evidence ahead of time and pictures taken and exhibited as increase pubic expectations of probable violence.
5. A story of a couple minor arrests, with little reason given, little explanation of individual intent, leaving an atmosphere of intimidation.  If you don’t ... you too will be ....

It’s the same old same old:  “Reporting” totally from one side and careful ignoring of all others, maligning them in absentia nevertheless.

These tactics are signs of a “security” system that must present itself as necessary and on the ball.
and newspapers that ask no counter-questions because they want to present only one side.

Advance fear used to stimulate resentment and increase likelihood of trouble ahead.

These tactics are as old as the sixties—and before.  The powerful State, with all its powerful machinery, comes out ahead of time in full regalia and pretends to be “protecting” the public from goals and activities the powerful State doesn’t even want to know about, let alone understand. Or want the public to know about and understand. (That’s how powerful the ideas of the protesters are.)

The only answer to counteract such security overkill is the utmost openness, non-threatening behavior, calm, pleasant, conciliatory attitude possible on the part of each and every participant—a totally unrealistic expectatioin and unrealistic compliance demanded by overwhelming power. And insistence upon open intercommunication before hand. The trick is to make this machinery look ridiculous when they try to elicit an appearance of “crunch time” in order to justify themselves, as they almost certainly will.

Stereotyped Anarchist tactics (masks, breaking windows, throwing stones etc.) —a definite no-no!  Therefore police will try to elicit such tactics in order to prove the need for squelching civil liberties—at least for the time being.

The fact that the regulations were passed in secret without common public knowledge is a dead giveway, probably indicating resistance to cooperative planning with protesters’ groups ahead of time.

Truthdig owes its readers a fuller accounting of what goes on at these conferences—and doesn’t go on—and an explanation of counter-actions.

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By Secret Chief, June 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Also, the security firm that was chosen does not have a license to work in the province. When asked why, the federal government said that they hired a third party to vet the selection process, but refused to answer any question about it, invoking the good old “national security concerns” to justify the lack of transparency.

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By rollzone, June 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

hello. financial dictators comparing notes incites
angry reactions wherever they pollute with themselves:
so why are they not teleconferencing -but instead,
flaunting their power? their public identity may one
day result in successful Kamikaze retribution by an aggrieved public, if everyone remembers the first rule
of the “Fight Club”.

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