Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Morning G8/G20

Good morning everyone. Today is Friday June 25, 2010. The G8 has started and is off and running up in Huntsville. As well protesters and activists are starting to ramp up their activity for the G20 Summit here in Toronto tomorrow. Every one is on edge and twitchy like you wouldn't believe in the downtown core. The temperatures and humidity aren't helping matters. So let's get down to it.

Yesterday a man was pulled over and stopped in a "suspicious" looking vehicle and arrested. I was alerted to this by a friend on the net. Believe it or not Fox News broke this story before CTV up here. Go Canada.

Next, the Provincial Legislature passed a law on June 2 very quietly that gave police greater arrest powers:
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.

A 32-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, who wanted additional policing powers shortly after learning the G20 was coming to Toronto.

This was a new one to me. I though that if the police requested I.D. you had to show them. Then again, I have always been a law abiding citizen.

Of course the first person arrested under this law is screaming rights violations to the Toronto Star. And yes he's an activist that's been in trouble before.

Meanwhile in Huntsville. A couple of peaceful protests. Not to shabby considering. I am all for peaceful protests. Having people speak there minds is a good thing. I just hope it stays that way up there. I believe it will. It's too far away from all sorts of amenities for your typical run of the mill activist. We shall see though. The day is still young.

Here's an interesting article from the Toronto Star, "Violent protest at summits tends to backfire on the protesters". It goes along pretty good about how the violent confrontations seem to detract from the message. Then the message goes all wobbly when the writer interviews a professor that says the violent activism isn't terrorism:
The amount of violence, in other words, has come to denote the severity of the issue — a bit of shorthand some protestors clearly understand.

In that light, it may be tempting to see violent protests and acts of terrorism as part of the same continuum, which is what police officials did last month in equating the firebombing of a Royal Bank branch in Ottawa with terrorism.

But that would be an unhelpful simplification, argues Wesley Wark, associate professor with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. “There’s a lot of daylight between violent protest, even anarchist protest, and terrorism.”
I am sorry. The minute you use violence to punctuate your message and try to stifle other people from talking it is terrorism. There are people not going to work, businesses shutting down, and so on. No violence yet, but the history of the WTO conferences and other G8/G20 summits leads us to believe that it's coming.

And finally a video summation of yesterday from the Toronto Sun.

Ooops, almost forgot. The judge in a case about the "Sound Cannons" will be handing down his decision on the use of them this weekend. I will try to keep on top of this as well.
See you all later on. Got a lot of things to keep my eyes on.

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