G20 police action

Many voices are calling for a public, not police inquiry into the police action in Toronto at the G20. The latest is Tabitha Southey writing in the Globe and Mail yesterday.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/of-a-million-g20-stories-in-this-taken-city-this-was-mine/article1627063/

There are comments to her article, including one from a chap who seems to think that we live in a police state where citizens can be arbitrarily ordered off the street by police. He seems to be confusing, as another reader pointed out, the police with the law. In one of Rex Stout’s novels, a policeman is demanding entry to Nero Wolfe’s house. “Open up, in the name of the law,” he demands. the character Archie Goodwin answers mildly, “As you Know, it’s the law that keeps you out.” It’s the law that allows protest that is peaceful.

I watched the protest on Sunday night of the G20 from beginning to end. I watched demonstarters and journalists, dog-walkers and cameramen being encircled, held for “processing’ and bussed off to ..?where? Unlike the day before, I saw no one in black masks( the sight of which enrages me); I saw no vandalism. I admit that for a while the people did occupy the center of an intersection as they were prevented from going forward with their march. I understand they were told three times to move. Apparently this is a magic number after which the police can move in with their circle of armed men.

Ms Southey says she was terrified. I can believe it. I, sitting in my safe living room at more than 100 kilometres away, was shocked and appalled. If the police and the politicians who set the rules have an explanation for the people of this country, let’s hear it. If they knew there were violent individuals, armed and dangerous, in the crowd, show us the evidence. Bring them to court.

Ms. Southey also reports individual policemen mocking the psychiatric patients who had come out onto the street. (I’m not sure how people on the street were being identifies as psychiatric patients. I don’t imagine they were wearing signs.)  Can anything have been more frightening to a disturbed mind than the sight of large men, dressed in black, with helmets and truncheons and guns, harassing and mocking? there appears to be a need for training on many levels.

Who were the police on the streets? Were they Toronto police, OPP(as those on the ground were reporting) members of police forces from other cities? Were they angry because of their experience with the Black Bloc the day before? Ms. Southey reports that they seemed to be spoiling for a fight.

For an another point of view, read Christie Blatchford in the same edition of the Globe and Mail at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/self-anointed-g20-journalists-should-get-real/article1627346/

In her article, most of which has to to with the journalists behaviour, she mentions that police were picking people up for a breach of the police or for a breach of the peace that hadn’t yet taken place. She says this is under the old common law. I believe that the rights and freedoms under the constitution supersede that.

It all took place on a sunny afternoon, in Toronto. Only nature, a severe thunderstorm, seemed to intervene and bring an end to all of it.

Black Bloc …again

So the message of the marchers is lost yet again, not because the people weren’t allowed to march, thousands of them, but because a group of so-called anarchists, thugs in masks who seem to move from city to city only to destroy, are the only ones whose voices are being heard.

Many, not all, of the leaders who are in Toronto, were democratically elected. The voices of their people are heard through them. Who are these men in masks? They represent no one.

No, it doesn’t, Mr. Harper

CBC News – Canada – Maternal plan should unite Canadians: Harper.

Apparently Mr. Harper doesn’t believe that those of us who are pro-choice have strong feelings about it. He thinks we will ignore those feelings in order to “unite” with those who are anti-choice. I don’t care to do that. And I don’t care to “unite ” Canadians by ignoring the realities of women’s life in the third world.

No abortion in Canada’s G8 maternal health plan

CBC News – Canada – No abortion in Canada’s G8 maternal health plan.

The Harper government is in a minority position. Lucky for all of us who remember the fifties and early sixties – the backroom abortions, the deaths, the infections and resultant infertility, the pregnant thirteen-year-olds. what happens if they achieve a majority next time?

They are prepared to condemn women in the third world to much worse than went on here years ago, but after all, they’re  “prepared to talk about family planning.”  No sense that multiple imposed pregnancies break down maternal health, lead to early mortality for women and children left motherless. No sense that is only when the number of children are controlled that women are able to contribute to the economy. No understanding that women drive the micro-economies in the third world as well as managing the family.

Family planning: make the itinerant trucker in Africa use condoms; keep his hands off other women in his travels; support the family he leaves behind; buy the contraceptives for his wife; indeed believe that contraception is allowed by his god. Good luck with that.

The Harper government appears to believe that they have a mandate from the Canadian people to take us backwards. After all, if they think that is the right thing to do internationally, won’t they have to do the same here? This has always been the hidden agenda of the Conservative Party and their fundamentalist supporters, the ones who think that their view of morality is the only one, and should be imposed on the rest of the world.

Abortion is a choice that women and young girls should have. Remember the pregnant eight-year-old rape victim in South America, denied abortion, because her life is less valuable than her embryo. Remember her when you vote next time. Remember them all. This link takes you to a Wikipedia entry of youngest mothers. Please note the incidence of rape, and remember that countless others are unknown. Or dead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_youngest_birth_mothers

Masks Off.

CBC News – Nova Scotia – Masks off at G8 protest: rally leader.

Some time ago I wrote about the Black Bloc, and those who cover their faces during protests. The CBC reports today that the organizers of a rally at the G8 in Halifax are going maskless, or at least asking those who show up  masked to take them off. A good step forward, I say.

Fundamentalist Harper and failure to save women’s lives

CBC News – Money – 10 myths about taxes and filing.

It’s tax time and the CBC has been helpful, publishing a list of myths. Some of them are very old news, but there’s new information too. Worth the read.
I see the Harper government doesn’t think that supporting contraception and abortion rights saves lives. I guess the only lives worth saving are those of embryos.The lives of the women who die in childbirth or its complications, of which there are millions around the world, don’t count. The lives of women who are condemned to repeated pregnancies, without pause, ending up dying at what is by our standard a very young age, don’t count either. Stephen Harper tries very hard to convince us that he’s at the centre of the political spectrum. This sort of pandering to the most fundamental of his supporters shows again that he is not.
Shame on him. Shame on us if he’s elected again.