First the Toronto Police was all praise for the actions of the police, now they want an inquiry. Not a full public inquiry, mind, but just one man, looking into what happened. No parameters have been set, and this inquiry will not be into the role of the Mounties, or the OPP.
To me the most egregious action was what happened on Sunday night: the rounding up of citizens, holding them in difficult circumstances without regard for their need for food, water, toilet facilities or ongoing medical care, including for example insulin, anti-epileptic drugs, cardiac medication. People in the crowd said the police wouldn’t talk to them, so how were they to judge whether an individual had needs that should be met. I’ve heard people say that the people shouldn’t have been there. That’s not the point. They had the right to protest, and they surely had the right to be walking along the street minding their own business, even if that business was watching the crowd.
To me the questions are who made the decision to corral those people, on what basis and did the man or men in charge know the decision was taken before or after they saw it on television. It doesn’t really need a public inquiry, just some frank talk from however high the questions have to float before they are answered. I understand Harper has gone for a photo-op to Saskatchewan, so perhaps McGuinty or Miller will have to do.
On another note, it cost 4 million dollars or thereabout for the Queen’s whole visit. A reckoning on the 1 billion dollars spent for security would be nice while they are telling us some facts.
CBC News – Canada – Sentencing act to cost billions: report.
The security for the G8/G20 costs 1.2 billion. The new jail terms cost billions. The law and order agenda. In Toronto this weekend we saw what that really means.
The results of all that money in Toronto: property damage, indelible memories of black-hooded thugs roaming unchecked; ordinary citizens treated like what….cattle, hardened criminals, terrorists? I watched it for several hours Sunday night, as people were encircled, man-handled, herded, hoping that someone would say something that would justify the disregard for civil rights. No one did. Eventually the police chief, Bill Blair, according to the Globe this morning, called them off. Today he said it was a large and dangerous protest. Not according to the press who were in the center of the crowd. People claimed that the police surrounding them were OPP. Who was in charge?
There were severe thunderstorms, torrential rain. No one talked to the people in the crowd. If an individual spoke to a policeman, he was arrested. People were approaching the line to get arrested so they could get out of there. A tactical decision they said. Whose?
They were apparently searching for the individuals who were in the black bloc, believing that they were going to strike again. Some said they had found weapons along Queen Street.
As I understood the powers granted under some obscure act, the police were allowed to ask for id and search within 5 metres of the fence. They were a long way from the fence, and the meetings were over.
The fence came down today. The mayor wants Ottawa, that is us, to pay for the property damage. Who is going to hold the police accountable for their actions? Or at least demand they explain them?