article i’ve been trying to write since monday. i’m not sure if it’s done yet but here it is anyway.
As these detention centers demonstrate, this isn’t a fluke. This isn’t certain cops “going too far”. This isn’t even the city of Toronto going too far. This is standard operating procedure.
This model of repression has been the norm for almost 10 years now. We’ve seen it in Pittsburgh, DC, Quebec, Philadelphia, New York, and let’s not forget Miami. It’s been employed, revised, and perfected by different cities all over North America, and the culmination is what we saw in Toronto last week.
So it’s missing the point to be outraged at only these particular cops, or this particular city, or even country. This is a system of control which has been very deliberately cultivated by the same trans-national elites whose interests are represented at meetings like the G20. All levels of power are party to it, from CEOs of mega-corps to heads of state all the way down to the paramilitary foot soldiers with their batons and gas masks.
Our fight has got to be against all of them if we have any chance of winning.” —G20 police used imaginary law to jail harass demonstrators and jailed protestors in dangerous and abusive “detention center” - Boing Boing
20 people arrested at the G20 tell of inhumane treatment at the hands of police
Please, tell me that rape isn’t about power.
the thing that doesn’t come across in this quote, unfortunately, is that amy miller is SO. FUCKING. STRONG. <a href=”http://www.vimeo.com/12925239”>watch the video.</a> to talk about these things hours after being released, to put herself out there in the media that is constantly excusing rape culture and defending police violence and brutality.
i wish i could keep writing out my ideas about the things i’ve witnessed and experienced. i have to go catch my flight to mexico but will try to write some more during my stopover. while i’m away, though, here are some links and info that have completely enraged me.
some quotes from people who were on the ground:
- from m: Reports of multiple sexual assaults of detainees by male officers at the detention centre.
- from k: report from courthouse @ 2122 Finch W. —> heavy police presence, cops blocking cars from entering / exiting. once in the parking lot, questioned heavily and angrily and subject to unlawful search, incl. bags, vehicles, persons. cops taking addresses, license plate #s. standard court security inside. those arrested are being processed in a few different courtrooms, and each arraignment lasts about 5 minutes (!)
- People who need support/counselling/resources relating to trauma/sexual abuse/ police violence etc. from this past week can contact email@example.com. We have access to crisis counselling and other resources. Let’s take care of each other! - SPREAD THE WORD
things you can do:
- join this group on Facebook: Canadians Demanding a Public Inquiry into Toronto G20 (i usually don’t suggest things like this but some people see it as useful)
- if you are in Toronto, and feel safe enough to attend, Protest Police Abuse of Power today at 5:30: more information here.
- Appeal for broad political support for the G20 arrestees. read it and see how/if you can contribute and offer your support.
- KEEP GETTING INFORMED. don’t just watch tv or read the corporate run newspapers; get as many sides of the story. check out the alternative media coverage i linked to yesterday.
- KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT. our resistance did not start this weekend, and it does not end this weekend. think about how these conversations can continue in productive ways. how can we keep fighting for environmental justice, women’s rights, queer rights, disability justice, indigenous rights. how can we put an end to racial discrimination, fucked up immigration systems, and all the forms of violence inherent in the system?
READ: A LA GARCONNIERE tumblr entry about the recent G20 protests in Toronto. She brings up a lot of interesting points about why people are protesting G20 summit meetings and the need to clear up misunderstandings about the purpose behind such protests.
When I read anything about protests and clashes with the police it gives me hope that people are willing to make sacrifices and take a stand against the oppressive nature of certain international organizations like the G20, that completely marginalize developing nations and their peoples. Collective action is vital in sustaining peoples’ movements against the state and is crucial when keeping conversations going about issues of repression, injustice and accountability.
However this being said, I have to admit that I still struggle to understand the true value of protest. Granted I’ve been disenchanted by seeing one to many failed attempts to organize my student populations at my university and the blatant disinterest that many have in rallying together in any for of protest. Protesting is a jokes these days, having lost credibility by the bias news media and the miscommunication of community organizers to effectively relay their message of rebellion. I don’t even know if I can wholly stand behind that as being “the reason” why people of this time period completely disregard “protest” as a chance to create change; it seems to easy and quite frankly, stupid.
This is a question of the ages, why people don’t care as much as you think they should. There are too many excuses! The truth is that people are too content to think outside of themselves and their own precious lives.
Miss Julia brings up the point that due to “a few acts of petty violence” at the G20 summit in particular, people looking in at the situation are quick to dismiss the purpose behind such actions and the reasons why people were protesting in the first place. I think that this is a valid point to make, especially when compared to how people react to violence in sports events and how little we as a society address the value or purpose in that type of violence. We question it through and through if people take to the streets and demand economic equality and the breakdown of “The New World Order”, yet we giggle and make light of violence at sporting events.
It makes sense if people get heated about sports! But oh, if people are angry that mutli-national corporations are stealing land from indigenous tribes or that the great leaders of today continue to back neo-colonial efforts, heaven forbid such nonsensical behavior!
We are made to be, or on our own free will (a scary thought) are uncomfortable with the idea of committing acts against established governments and officials. We are afraid to be political! To think radically! To question authority! To act on the heart! Why is this, when did this become so much more of a problem that it ever seemed to be?
I could worry about this, or just be thrilled that people are fighting back.
I pick the latter of the two!
FIGHT THE POWER IN ANYWAY YOU CAN
TOO MANY COPS, TOO LITTLE JUSTICE!
FIGHT THE POWER IN ANY WAY YOU CAN.
i can’t take this shit anymore. there is so much misinformation out there in response to the G20 protests. i’m going to swamp your dashboard with a bunch of links, articles and videos that call attention to WHY people are protesting the G20 and WHY people are pissed off and WHY the mainstream media is only paying attention to two cars set on fire and petty vandalism and blowing things way out of proportion. but first, some of my own thoughts: stop posting pictures of two cop cars that were set on fire. start talking about what the G20 is, and why people are resisting it. THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO BE TALKING ABOUT.
this is not to try to get you to agree with me. this is to get you to ASK QUESTIONS.
- where are you getting your information from?
- why are all the headlines “vandals mar g20 protests?”
- why are you so angry that two cop cars were set on fire and a few acts of petty violence committed?
- and for some perspective on that note: why AREN’T you so angry what that same kind of violence (perhaps even more violence) happens during the stanley cup playoffs, the nba finals, the world cup?
- but most importantly, why are between 10 and 15,000 people out in the streets trying to make their voices heard? what are they saying and why aren’t you listening?
quickly, i want to address the million “be safe” and “omg don’t get shot” comments i’ve received. don’t worry about me; i am safe. i occupy a relatively privileged space as a young, “white,” able bodied femme-presenting woman. but know that just because i don’t throw bricks doesn’t mean i might not be subjected to violence at the hands of police. the people you need to worry about are amazing community organizers, like my former co-worker syed hussan, who are targetted because they are a person of colour who won’t shut up, arrested before they even get to the streets. the people you need to worry about are the critical journalists who won’t let themselves be a puppet of the state, like my good friend carmelle wolfson’s partner and colleague, jesse rosenfeld. the people you need to worry about are (peaceful) deaf activists being detained and refused an ASL (american sign language) interpreter. the people you need to worry about are someone who uses a cane to get around and is rushed and attacked without warning by police because they fear he has a weapon.
THIS RESISTANCE IS REAL AND IS HAPPENING FOR A REASON. what is the point of saying “stop it! this is my city!” without asking questions? the reason people are out in the streets is because they love this city! because they are angry to see it reduced to a prison. it is because we are fighting to acknowledge the stolen land we live on and restore justice and rights to indigenous people. the reason we are out in the streets is because we see violence every day, at the hands of police officers, of immigration officers, of our employers, of our neighbours in the streets who say sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist things and who sometimes bash us for being who we are. queer, poor, racialized, disabled, marginalized, oppressed but RESISTING! the reason we are out in the streets is because this violence happens every day; you just happen to see it today because it is on the front page and outside your window.
THINK ABOUT THE ACTIVE VIOLENCE THESE SYSTEMS THAT PEOPLE ARE OUT ON THE STREET RESISTING AND CHALLENGING.
WHY WEREN’T YOU ANGRY when you heard about the 1.3 billion dollar spent on “security?”
WHY WEREN’T YOU ANGRY when you heard about the complete waste of time, energy and money to try and distract world leaders from the fact that there are thousands of people in canada who are not putting up with oppression anymore? who not only want, but NEED these leaders to hear us and to change?
WHY AREN’T YOU ANGRY about the 584 missing indigenous women in canada, who are government is constantly and actively ignoring?
WHY AREN’T YOU ANGRY about all the acts of violence, psychic and physical, institutionalized and legislated, that take place in your backyard and around the world every day?
WHY ARE YOU ANGRY NOW?
the police are afraid of us AND THEY SHOULD BE. they can waste as much money as they want under the guise of “security” and “protection” but the only people who need protection are the protestors. we are the ones being rushed at, intimidated, hurt, shot at, tear gassed, pepper sprayed, struck with batons, beaten, and arrested are protestors. violent ones, yes, but far more peaceful ones. people sitting down. people flashing peace signs. don’t take my word for it: see it yourself.
ANGER CAN BE BEAUTIFUL, PRODUCTIVE, AMAZING. transform your anger into something real. get off your fucking computers and cell phones and look around. get angry and use that anger to change the world, you passive bored assholes.
we will not shut the fuck up.
we will shout the fuck up.
we are everywhere. there are millions of us and we are angry and we have the right to express our anger peacefully, beautiful, amazingly, every fucking day of the week.
I support protest. For those of us who live in this city, what I don’t support are people damaging innocent people’s property to make their point. Plenty of people can get angry and then do something productive out of the anger instead of getting on like tantruming little children and raking innocent people and their businesses into the equation. Trying to draw the line between people thinking riotous action is retarded and assuming that it’s because the people calling you retarded don’t know what you’re rioting about is a failure in logic. People can know very well what the rioting was about and still consider violence against innocents to be retarded. Don’t assume just because people disagree with you that they’re ignorant. That just shows your own ignorance. (emphasis mine: garconniere)
i don’t think you read my original post. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THINGS OTHER THAN THE (very few incidents of anti-G20) VIOLENCE. all you are doing here is reproducing those conversations and norms. the same violence, if not worse, happens when sports teams lose or win tournaments and we hardly bat an eyelash. i don’t think there is a point in engaging in these conversations when we should be addressing why people are so angry in the first place. your comments simply fuel the excuses people use to defend police brutality, harassment, and violence in its many shapes and forms. the “property” damage you speak of was intentionally directed at large corporations (hence companies like mcdonald’s, starbucks, etc boarding up their windows as of friday all over the city) and at banks for the specific role they play in maintaining capitalism.
also, VERY IMPORTANT please keep your language in check: “retarded” is extremely ableist and is oppressive language towards disabled people. disabled people have been extremely involved in the resistance towards the G20. read more here, written by the co-founder of DAMN 2025 (Disability Action Movement Now). you may also want to note that in my original post which you responded to, i was calling people out on their use of oppressive language (see: pussies, fucktards, retards, homos, etc). keep yourself in check please.
for those interested in alternative coverage of the G20 protests, here are some helpful links:
- http://yg20.info/ - why the g20 in the toronto? lots of videos, see for yourself.
- rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
- toronto community mobilization network - organizers of the convergence. awesome.
- toronto media coop - links from twitter, youtube, and independent reports.
- the dominion - special coverage here
get informed. share stories.
“I’m extremely angry, I’m extremely disgusted that this is what our money our tax dollars are going to do to put armed thugs on the streets of every intersection of Toronto to target community organizers, the people who are out on the streets to talk about poverty, to talk about racism, to talk about homelessness. This is what we are here to do and we are being targeted before we even get to the streets…
I’m leaving this press conference and going to the streets. I encourage people watching if you don’t agree with this if you don’t agree with this kind of policies intimate if you’ve lost your jobs, if you’re living in poverty, if you’re upset that over a billion dollars of your money was spent on this armed camp in this fortress in our city then please join us in the streets. The only way we can tackle these issues that we’re hear to tackle is if we refuse to be afraid if we refuse to be silent and we continue to get on the streets.”” —
Farrah Miranda speaking at a press conference after being harrassed by the police yesterday. TRUTH.