Monday, June 28, 2010
During the past few days, Toronto hosted a 20-nation meeting which, among other things, was meant to resolve trade agreements and contributions of aid to those less fortunate. Anarchists have been protesting this for weeks for a myriad of reasons- some to protest the government's treatment of aboriginals, some to protest capitalism, some to protest Israel, and some just to start shit. The police arrested around 900 people for possessing objects like bricks and incendiary devices or assaulting officers. A minority of the detained were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and have been simply released.
The Police have been on alert since a bank in Ottawa was firebombed and the YouTube video incited others to destroy banks and other signs of "elitism", as we all know that Canadian banks surviving the recession better than many others is just such a monumental tragedy.
And sure enough, protesters trashed banks and police cars as well as other corporate buildings. But I know Toronto and some of the businesses they damaged are mum-and-pop shops. Toronto is full of locally-owned businesses that were also attacked by these mindless anarchist douchebags. And even if you hate large corporations, you know this is wrong. The little guy is the backbone of any sustainable economy and to attack him is to beat on yourself and your principles.
The right to assembly is not absolute. When protest turns into riot, we have the responsibility to protect the peaceful from the violent, the innocent from the incorrigible. The old Indian guy who runs the souvenir shop is not your enemy, but his hard work was ruined because of mob mentality. And if a cop sees you with a pail full of bricks, it is safe to assume that you aren't building a peace bridge with it. If you resist arrest and wind up with a boo-boo, you deserve it. If you are questioned by Police, blame the hooligans who caused them to be there in the first place. And if you think that Canada is an undemocratic police state I highly suggest walking around Riyadh without a shirt on.
Freedom of Speech doesn't mean freedom to hate and Freedom of Assembly doesn't give you a license to destroy the place that you should call home.
Photos: Top left : The bank I used when I lived in Toronto (Queen and Logan) ; Centre Right : Protester from about an hour ago ; Centre Left : More "peaceful" guys gearing up for the festivities 2 hours ago ; Burning Police cruiser ; College Park still boarded up from Saturdays protests ; Another Cop car ablaze ; Excuse me, Ma'am your car is on fire; And bottom : The beat still goes on today.
Posted by Michel-Exildas Galipeau at 17:05