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Posts Tagged ‘G20’

The Real Protestors of Toronto G20

So Tommy Taylor, who wrote the harrowing account of his detention, posted a video on his facebook of the cop cars getting torched at Queen and Spadina. It is really interesting to watch as the so-called anarchists, who torched the cop car, are dressed like American tourists. The group at the end sure looks like cops, but hey, they could also be disgruntled Republicans.

What caught my attention in this video was not the supposed undercover cops, but the appearance of “The Dude” otherwise known as “Crazy Yoga Guy”. This guy is one of various characters that will be engrained in internet culture due to memes, which will undoubtedly continue long after people forget about the injustices that occurred this weekend.

The two characters that I believe will go down in internet history are “The Dude” and “Zombie Police Lady” (AKA Scary Cop Lady).

“The Dude” was obviously looking for attention as he started his day perched on a statue.
"The Dude" looking for an audience

He then got into the unlocked cop car on Queen and Spadina.
Officer Dude

The Dude was then rescued from near destruction by a good samaritan.

Poor Dude!

The Dude was not very popular and my friends cheered when he was arrested, but I still love you Dude!

The other real star of the G2 was “Zombie Police Lady”, who was a plain clothes police officer wielding a baton at the crowed at Queens Park.

She is actually far more popular than Dude and already has numerous memes dedicated to her.

Here she is superimposed on a bottle of vodka.

One of the best meme's of Zombie Police Lady

Here she is next to Chuck Norris

Texas Ranger Zombie Lady

My personal favourite is this passionate one from the facebook group dedicated to her

Even zombies can make love

I am just waiting for Bravo to create a show with these two, hey I would watch!

Toronto G20: Kafka Style

June 30, 2010 2 comments

I am still in shell shock regarding the events of the weekend. I realize that in many parts of the world, widespread state violence is the norm, but I am of the privileged class and have never been subject to it before. Yes, when I was younger I was in some protests opposing the Iraq war, where things got pretty heated with the cops. I also accidentally got stuck in an anti-Bush protest in Rome where the crowd was tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets, but this pales in comparison to what Toronto turned into this weekend. I saw people indiscriminately arrested and beaten by the police, 500 (the detention at Queen and Spadina has now been estimated at 500 people) of my fellow citizens detained for three hours, citizens illegally searched and over 900 people arrested and put in cages.

Some of you may know that Canada was once subject to terrorist groups. One of the worst of these terrorist groups was the FLQ, which was a group consisting of French separatists. In the 70s the FLQ detonated 95 bombs in Quebec and even kidnapped and killed the Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte. The War Measures Act was enacted and 497 individuals were arrested, about half of the amount arrested in Toronto over the weekend. I don’t know about you, but I think the FLQ was a little worse than the 50 or so 16-year old vandals. It is crazy that police arrested more people during the G20 protests than the October Crisis. Also, the leaders of the FLQ ended up getting sent to Cuba to chill on the beach, and were never subject to the conditions of the Toronto detention centre.

More reports are coming out every hour regarding police abuses and how those arrested were treated. One of the most disturbing is Amy Miller, a journalist, who accuses police of threatening to rape her.

One of the most compelling accounts, I read, was a note on facebook by Tommy Taylor who got arrested. Like many Torontonians, Tommy wandered around the city during the G20 (our mayor, in fact, told people to go out). He happened upon the peaceful protest at the Novotel, where Steve Paiken valiantly tweeted from, on Saturday night. Tommy and his friends stayed to sing John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance when the riot police boxed the crowed in. Tommy stated that numerous people, who were not part of the protest, were boxed in, including a couple leaving dinner at the keg and people walking home from work. Tommy was subject to dehydration, starvation and abuse at the detention centre. He gives a very even handed account, and even states that many police officers were upset with their orders (though “I was just following orders” is not an excuse in my book)

Tommy and his girlfriend Kate about to be arrested

Please read his account here

I was crying when I read this and I do not know how anyone could support the measures taken by the police after reading Tommy’s account.

Many people have a hard time questioning the police because they are supposed to be there to protect us. Before the G20 debacle, I had great respect for the police (I even very briefly dated a cop).

I have now lost a lot of confidence in the police force, and as Naomi Kline said “Don’t play public relations, do your goddamned job!” There was no reason the police could not have stopped the black bloc (they were getting paid 1.2 billion dollars). It disturbs me that, according to Kline, they were sending out press releases while the black bloc was destroyed Toronto, stating that the violence demonstrated why the 1.2 billion dollars was necessary.

I don’t doubt that most cops are good people, but I have a big problem with spending so many of my tax dollars (1.2 billion) on overtime and weapons of destruction, only to have my city turned into a war zone.

I urge everyone to contact the Mayor of Toronto, David Miller (mayor_miller@toronto.ca), Your MP
and MPP
and insist there be an independent inquiry.

I would also urge people email Bill Blair a message calling for his resignation, as it has now come to light that the police lied to the population and did not have the right to search people without a warrant outside of the security fence. Here is his email (officeofthechief@torontopolice.on.ca)

Police State

June 28, 2010 6 comments

I used to be fairly involved in political issues, but decided against doing much for the recent G20 in Toronto. I had some bad experiences this past year at school, and now would rather communicate with people rather than take part in divisive events. For the G20, I actually wanted to hear what the leaders had to say. Don’t get me wrong, I was upset about the 1.2 billion dollars it cost to hold the G20, and I was concerned about holding it in downtown Toronto, but I had a “wait and see” attitude going into the event.

On Saturday I decided to go shoe shopping instead of risking the rain at Queens Park (yes I realize I am a very frivolous person), but I had numerous friends at different points in the downtown core, either taking part or watching the mayhem.

My family was actually at Queen and Peter eating lunch at where the so-called “black bloc” ran amuck. Apparently there really wasn’t very many of them, and they were mostly kids. The most disturbing aspect of the mayhem was the police stood by and watched it happen.

My beautiful sister eating lunch while riot police watch mayhem on Queen St.

This occurred at almost every point the destruction occurred:

James Ruehle, a 49-year-old contractor from Pickering, a half hour’s drive from Toronto, saw the burning of the three police cruisers.
Ruehle was stopped in his truck at the lights at the corner of King and Bay streets in the city’s financial district as the protesters approached.
Three police vehicles zipped past the line of traffic into the intersection, where they stopped with lights flashing. A group of about 20 to 30 police then began to congregate but an officer Ruehle thought was a police captain ordered them back.
“The cop was yelling at them ‘Back up!’ ‘Put your batons down!'” said Ruehle.
The police in the cars, he said, then amazed him by backing off, leaving the cruisers running in the middle of the intersection with their lights flashing and doors open.
“It was like an invitation G (to the protesters),” said Ruehle.

I have no proof that anything nefarious occurred, but as I tax payer I want an explanation as to why these cars were left unattended.

I was reminded how Quebec police were caught being agents provocateurs at the North American Leaders summit in Montebello, and I also want assurances that did not happen here:

While some police officers abandoned police vehicles to the “black bloc”, other began to violently suppress a rally in the so-called “free speech zone”.

At Queens Park they also indiscriminately arrested a CTV News producer Farzad Fatholahzadeh who was visibly wearing media credentials.

Farzad was held in abhorrent conditions (he stated he was not given water for hours), where he witnessed injured people not receive medical attention.

Farzad was not the only journalist targeted by police, Steve Paikin from TVO, witnessed fellow journalist Jesse Rosenfeld get punched and arrested by police.

There is also this video of another journalist Jesse Freeston punched by police.

The last straw, for me, was watching what occurred Sunday night at Queen and Spandina. Police corralled 250 people (some who were just waiting for the streetcar) and detained everyone for 3 hours in the rain without cause or explanation. This was a travesty and made me disgraced to be Canadian.

The Police have a lot of explaining to do!

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