CBC reports today that, "(Police) confirm they will have dozens of anti-riot weapons that were originally developed at the request of the British military for crowd control in Northern Ireland."
"But the British military never really deployed the ARWEN for its intended purpose because they feared the weapon looked too menacing..."
"The weapon, the ARWEN 37, is promoted as ‘less lethal'. The gun is designed to fire tear-gas canisters and large, 37-millimetre plastic bullets - also referred to as rubber bullets - from distances of up to 100 metres."
"Ontario Provincial Police Const. Mel Tourigny refused to divulge where or how the weapon might be deployed during the summits of world leaders this week. But she confirmed the weapon is one ‘use of force option' that could be deployed, in addition to stun guns, batons and tear gas..."
The Toronto Police have also purchased LRAD sound cannons for the summit that can reach 135-143 decibels in volume, which surpasses the pain threshold of 110 to 120 decibels. Sustained noise above 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage.
SCRAP THE SUMMITS
The arming of police with this kind of weaponry sends the wrong message about our democratic right to protest and poses an unnecessary threat to public safety.
And all this for million-dollar-a-minute photo-op summits that will not advance climate, water or trade justice.
To join the Council of Canadians call to scrap the summits, please send your message athttp://www.canadians.org/action/2010/scrap-summit.html.
The CBC report is at http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/06/18/arwen-weapon-summits.html.
Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications, Council of Canadians
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