G20 Brings The War Zone To Toronto, Kanada
During the much-hyped G20 summit that took place in Toronto, Kanada over the weekend, the world was exposed to the dark underbelly of one of the West’s dysfunctional democracies. From being caged on the streets by riot police, to being caged in a mass detention center, the voices of activists were shut tight. And the gathering of the world’s leading politicians produced little; skeptics say that the global government agenda is heading towards a cliff.
As The National Post says, national sovereignty remains intact and in demand: "But in fact the Toronto summits represent a near total collapse of efforts to create some kind of overarching centre of global economic power. Despite repeated reference to strong collective commitments to international cooperation, sustainable development and macroeconomic co-ordination, the G8/G20 separately and jointly agreed to go their own ways and avoid collective action as much as possible."
Although it is good news that global leaders didn’t agree on any sweeping changes, it is too early for supporters of localism and small "C" capitalism to breathe a sigh of relief, because G20’s inaction could be reversed with the onset of major global crises, such as the total collapse of the global economy. And while the summit was brief, it did not pass without controversy. As Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and other elected leaders discussed global policy at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, blocks away G20’s Integrated Security Unit approximately arrested 900 people, the most ever in Canadian history.
Police forces repeatedly herded unsuspecting protesters into a corner, and then collectively arrested them without provocation or warning; intimidated and punched national and foreign journalists; disrupted peaceful and spontaneous protests; in short, they created disorder where there was order. And all of their actions were justified under the cover of "security."
But what kind of threat can 10,000 peaceful protesters pose to 19,000 police officers that are trained in the dark arts of crowd control? It is an almost 2:1 police to protesters ratio. By comparison, in Seattle, during the 1999 WTO protests, there were 2,000 police officers, and over 50,000 protesters.
There have been voices critical of Toronto’s lukewarm protests, but from my understanding, the small divide between the number of police officers and protesters in Toronto reflects cowardly, and overtime-hungry cops more than tamed, and scared citizens. People who expected a larger citizen turnout similar to Athens, Greece should remind themselves of the difference between Greece’s economy, and Kanada’s economy.
The main thing to take away from Toronto’s summit is not the level of protests, but the level of police repression. In anticipation to the G20’s security challenge, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair requested, and was immediately granted, without question, and without public knowledge, draconian police powers. The grave measure is disconcerting to say the least. It has a created police appetite for complete domination of city streets in the event of any future civic emergency.
Jennifer Yang of The Toronto Star reported that the new law that was specifically created for policing during the G20 was done in absolute secrecy: "According to Vasey’s lawyer, neither he nor his colleagues at the law union were aware of this draconian new regulation. Des Rosiers said the CCLA and protesters have met with summit officials on several occasions and the regulation was never mentioned."
The new law was used by police against any homosapien that did not bow down to a police officer’s demands. Jesse Freeston, a journalist for The Real News Network, was arrested, and so was Jesse Rosenfeld, a journalist affiliated with London’s Guardian.
Another cause for concern is that the police purposely avoided arresting black block "anarchists," so as to create the impression of mayhem and lawlessness around the city, and then use that environment as a justification to crackdown on other civil and peaceful protests. It is a very cynical tactic, and it is practiced by many polices forces across the world, both in "democratic" countries, as well as in dictatorships.
Even more criminally outrageous was the obvious use of agent provocateurs in the black bloc group that hijacked a peaceful protest on Saturday afternoon and then proceeded to steer it towards a violent direction. In the article called, "The Toronto G20 Riot Fraud: Undercover Police engaged in Purposeful Provocation At Tax Payers’ Expense," Terry Burrows informs us that the shoes worn by members of the black bloc exactly match those that were worn by police officers. He writes:
"The ‘black bloc,’ if they ever existed as an independent entity, have clearly been thoroughly infiltrated by undercover government agents. In classic covert counterinsurgency strategy these agents manipulate the group to commit violent acts which play directly into hidden government controllers’ hands. These controllers manipulate public opinion from behind the scenes through the commission of false flag acts of violence (these are acts falsely blamed on scapegoats other than those concealed perpetrators who are actually responsible.)"
It is obvious that message from the top was that black bloc thugs are free to destroy private property, and torch cop cars, but colorful hipsters, teenagers, and middle-class citizens can’t be allowed to move an inch without constant police surveillance and intimidation. One of the objectives by the police in using agent provocateurs was to have "controlled destruction," so that the massive amount of money that was spent for security would be judged as acceptable, and even necessary.
The police propaganda created the desired effect in the public mind, and in the media’s coverage of the protests. People are enchanted by public theater, and what better theater is there than police cars in flames, stores vandalized and looted, and streets covered in smoke? These images, and not facts, will influence public opinion in the perilous weeks, and months ahead. Also, the black bloc thugs and violent "radicals", whose numbers are overstated, now serve as targets for public ridicule and anger, in place of criminal banksters and corporate looters.
Naomi Klein spoke on the police’s lack of credibility about its claims that it was solely interested in protecting the public on Democracy Now on June 28, 2010:
"And so, we have a police commissioner named Julian Fantino, who’s now started to talk about activists as organized crime. He says it’s not enough to call them thugs, they’re organized criminals. So, what’s dangerous here is that in order to justify their own unjustifiable actions, they need to overinflate a threat.
And so, that has played itself out in two ways: one, by allowing what happened on Saturday to happen with almost no intervention; and then—that was stage one—and stage two was using that inaction as justification for scooping up hundreds of other activists, beating up journalists, just going on a rampage. Now, it they were serious about getting the people who had broken the windows, they would have done the arrests there at the time. But that’s not what they’d done."
Two years ago, at the start of the Beijing Summer Olympics, Klein wrote in an article called "The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0," that China’s police state extravaganza would be emulated in America. Klein:
"It’s easy to see the dangers of a high tech surveillance state in far off China, since the consequences for people like Jun are so severe. It’s harder to see the dangers when these same technologies creep into every day life closer to home-networked cameras on U.S. city streets, "fast lane" biometric cards at airports, dragnet surveillance of email and phone calls. But for the global homeland security sector, China is more than a market; it is also a showroom. In Beijing, where state power is absolute and civil liberties non-existent, American-made surveillance technologies can be taken to absolute limits."
There are various definitions of a police-state. Gonzalo Lira has written a precise one in his article, "Is the U.S. a Fascist Police-State?":
"A police-state is not necessarily a dictatorship. On the contrary, it can even take the form of a representative democracy. A police-state is not defined by its leadership structure, but rather, by its self-protection against the individual."
The rise of the police-state in North America and Europe has been a long, and largely hidden process. But despite the use of democratic rhetoric by Western leaders to cover up the machinations of elite power, the majority of people in the West are greatly unsettled by recent developments in their societies. Some vigilant souls have documented the trend towards Big Brother surveillance, and martial law at every step in the ongoing march towards one-world tyranny. Journalist Tom Burghardt is one of those souls. In his article, "Beyond Orwell: The Electronic Police State, 2010," he writes that, "so-called "Western democracies" are not far behind beacons of freedom such as China, North Korea, Belarus and Russia when it comes to repressive police measures."
Any resistance to the worldwide police-state will be criticized through the lens of "violent extremism." And most people will probably concur with the government’s claims of security, and threats about terrorism. Due to the destabilization of our societies, the increase of police repression will be viewed by a lot of brainwashed people as a necessary response to riots, and crime. It is already well engraved in the people’s psyche that police officers, and military troops are "heroes," and "protectors," and such labels are unlikely to wear off anytime soon.
A police-state feeds on group-think mentality, and some people love that, especially individuals that feel personally powerless. Throughout history, people have supported atrocious government policies, from war, to persecution of a particular group, so it should not be out of the question that a lot of people will endorse mass detention centers, police torture, and government surveillance.
Toronto experienced what a highly-advanced police-state feels like during the G20 summit, and the terror of its repression has left everyone in a state of shock. People are unsure what their city will face in the future. Whatever it is, it won’t be pretty. It is delusional to believe that Kanada will avoid the political and economic fate of Amerika, and Europe, because Kanadian leaders are just as guilty of hypocrisy as leaders of other Western countries.
In December, 2009, Lawrence Cannon, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, joined Western leaders in criticizing the Iranian’s government crackdown on peaceful protests, saying: “The Government of Canada condemns the use of brutal violence by the Iranian security forces and once again calls upon Iran to meet its human rights obligations.” If you replace the Government of Canada with the Government of Iran, and Iranian security forces with Canadian security forces, in that sentence, it will be just as true.
Unlike a couple of years ago, Kanada can no longer get away with confronting and attacking regimes in the Middle East and say that they’re actions are justified in the interests of "democracy," and "human rights." Kanada’s recent threats against Iran for its nuclear programme are like those of one despotic regime to another despotic regime.
The current global political reality means that no country in the world respects the values of freedom, and democracy. Human rights have been abandoned by all leaders. Governments in the West are criminalizing public dissent, and cracking down on protests by using the most technologically advanced tools, and the most brainwashed thugs, that are available to them.
Once Israel and America attack Iran, the battles of World War III will not just be located in the Middle East, but in Western countries, too. And last weekend, Toronto got its first look at its war zone.