Sunday, June 27, 2010

Anarchists and Terrorists and Boogey Men, Oh My!


We all want simple explanations of everything, don't we? Nothing too complex to give us a headache, to make us question the media spin which is being served morning, noon and night. I'm sure I'm not alone in that I get tired of it all. Tired of sorting out the chaff from the wheat, the lies from the truth.

Like the Ontario police forcing through last minute legislation for unheard of suspension of basic human rights and granting themselves the use of extraordinary measures in Toronto, spouting off about anarchists and terrorists. Who are they trying to intimidate with these words?

Why, ordinary protestors like me and you. What a deterrent to the subdued masses to see heads being crunched by batons, full body and private vehicle searches, people hauled off to jail, rubber bullets fired into crowds, sound cannons deafening those who dare to speak up for the rights of the downtrodden. Makes one think twice about going out with a placard, right?

Who are these anarchists, one might ask. Well, they're often plain clothes police themselves, stirring up the crowd, breaking windows, whipping up the hysteria, planting rocks and weapons.

A study has been made of this phenomenon by Naomi Archer, an indigenous rights activist.

She has studied the Miami Model* of this kind of warfare against peacefully protesting citizens and has come up with a 40 box checklist, amongst which are:

• Information warfare. This starts weeks before the event. Protesters are criminalized and dehumanized, and described as dangerous “anarchists” and “terrorists” the city needs to defend against.
“Often, a faux cache is found,” says Archer. “They are usually ordinary objects, like bike inner tubes, camping equipment, but the police make them out to look threatening. It lays the groundwork for police to be violent and it means there’s a reduced accountability of law enforcement.”
• Intimidation. Police start random searches of perceived protesters before any large rallies. They are asked where they are staying, why they are walking around. Police raid organizer’s homes or meeting places, “usually just before the summit, so there’s maximum chaos organizers have to deal with,” says Archer.
•“All this is meant to dissuade participants. The best way to make sure you don’t have a critical mass of people taking over the streets like in Seattle is to reduce the numbers at the outset.”
•This is usually made possible by last-minute city regulations, curtailing the right to protest. In Miami, the city commission passed a temporary ordinance forbidding groups of more than seven to congregate for more than 30 minutes without a permit.

Read more here:

And in case there's doubt about any of this:

More than 270 people were arrested in Miami during the summit seven years ago.

How many were convicted, in the end?

“None,” says lawyer Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, who was the president of the Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union back then.

None.

It will be most interesting to see how many Toronto protesters will be convicted.

And that's the real story.

*It refers to police tactics used in Miami seven years ago, during the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit, and, more importantly, the protests erupting on the streets outside.

17 comments:

  1. That makes me want to go over and be a protester myself. Hand me a placard.

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  2. They're getting paranoid again, I guess, expecting or suspecting a repetition of 1960s protests and riots....and consequent tragedies.

    I'm not defending it though - seems like totalitarianism and/or fascism. :-(

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  3. Nora:
    Me too. The voice of the people is very threatening to our slavemasters.
    XO
    WWW

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  4. T:
    And an awful choice it is. Not that us little folks ever had a voice, just the illusion of one from time to time and now that's gone :-(
    XO
    WWW

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  5. Pauline:
    Amen, fascism sneaks in like this - same thing in Germany in the thirties, we only name such repression afterwards.
    XO
    WWW

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  6. The Northern Ireland Assembly is trying to pass a new Public Assemblies Bill that would require 37 days' notice of any gathering of more than 50 people. Clearly they're getting nervous about reaction to proposed spending cutbacks. Opposition to the bill has been curiously muted so far.

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  7. Nick:
    This is what fascism looks like: unarmed protestors at the G20, singing the National Anthem of Canada, physically charged by armed and shielded police.
    This is not my Canada as much as the NIA bill is not your UK.
    We've arrived, my friend. The police state is here.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. Just a note: the police do not make legislation.The Ontario Liberal government passed that law by order-in-council.

    Another note: the OPP here is going around visiting the homes of folks that are against the big (break down in cold weather) wind farms being built in their backyards. So the cops are equal opportunity harassers.

    Wanna be left alone by the cops when you protest? Go get a Indian status card.
    Just a note to some of your commenters: If Canada was a totalitarian state there would be no protestors.Just ask the Chinese the starving North Koreans, the Iranians, the Syrians,the Cubans, the Burmese etc.

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  9. Brilliant post! I totally agree with you! And these tactics are used across the globe. Those who are corrupt and shameless enough to rob and defraud the people are unscrupulous... there are too many "coincidences" for this to be yet another conspiracy theory.

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  10. Hey, steady on! Fortunately western countries are still a long way from being communist-style police states, the repression is still very selective and non-routine. But when it IS employed, granted it's often sickeningly violent and ruthless.

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  11. GFB:
    My point was in this post that the police are behind the cries of 'anarchist' and 'terrorist' when it comes to these protestors!
    By these means they limit free speech as it intimidates the rest of us. I am certainly one.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. PC:
    Demz Wot Rulez Us call the shots. All the time. The days of free speech are over.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Nick:
    Only when big corp is threatened by the truth do we see this in the large (as in the G20) and in the small - the most recent being the smackdown of McChrystal by Obama.
    I find this slow shredding of the right to the freedom of citizens appalling.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Nick:
    Sorry for the haywire construct of that last sentence - you catch my drift ;^)
    XO
    WWW

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  15. My protest days were in the Vietnam era. This stuff reminds me of then. But today it is so fragmented. Then there was one issue and one opponent. Now it's hard to get hold of what the problem is -- just everything is a mess.

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  16. 20CW:
    I think the police presence - and infiltration - has never been more powerful than now.
    Plus the newer weapons - sound cannons! - mein gott!
    XO
    WWW

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