Sitting in a five-foot-by-eight-foot freezing steel cage cell in the early hours of June 27 with six other people, the government's message of silencing dissent and debate around the G20 was self evident.
Hours before I ended up in the benchless and bathroom-less cell, I was beaten and arrested while covering a demonstration that started when over a 1,000 people were forcibly dispersed from Queens Park -- the one official free speech zone.
Picked up in a mass arrest of non-violent demonstrators in front of the Novotel Hotel -- where the protesters had gone to demand answers from G20 delegates staying there and show support to striking workers, I had police regard my media credentials with contempt.
In the fallout of the inaugural handover of global economic dominance from the G8 to the G20, the news has been about the police clashes on the streets of Toronto, followed by a secondary, disconnected story about the decisions of the meetings.
The new enforced consensus of yet another round of brutal structural adjustment programs has been disconnected from the tent cities, repressive police violence, burning police cars and smashed corporate chains surrounding the summit. However, the reality of the clash in the heart Canada's financial capital -- from its streets to its inhumane, makeshift jails for global justice activists -- is that people fighting to determine their own economic future clashed head on with the plans of the G20.
Sitting in the living room of a friend's Mile End apartment just shy of 8:00pm of Thursday, I am called into the street by the deafening sound of clanging pots and pans.
On the residential street lined with Montreal's classic triplex townhouses, people of all ages are gathering with their cookware. Children clang at the doorstep of their friends calling to them to come out.
The now nightly "casseroles" are the latest form of popular outrage to premier Jean Charest's new special law that curbs freedom of assembly and association rights, in a bid to break three months of social unrest.
As 180,000 students continue their 12-week strike against tuition increases, and police respond with concussion grenades, pepper spray, batons, kettling and mass arrests, Quebec's major city is becoming ungovernable.
What was a fairly routine student strike has turned into what many are calling the Maple Spring.
Day after day, protesters wearing signature swatches of red cloth clog the streets of Montreal's downtown chanting anti-capitalist slogans. A minority has responded to police aggression by trashing government offices and corporate windows, building barricades and ripping up concrete to heave onto police lines.
When public safety minister Vic Toews introduced his new anti-terrorism strategy last month, many were stunned to discover the feds were targeting groups -- enviro, native and others -- as sources of extremism.
The announcement was tellingly made just as the Tories revved up their attempts to discredit foes of the Northern Gateway pipeline. But for those who've been making their way through the thousands of pages of RCMP and OPP documents pertaining to the G20 released under freedom of information, this shadowing of dissenting orgs didn't come as a major surprise.
Driven by fear that a second-term Obama administration won't be as lenient towards Israeli expansionism and dispossession of Palestinians as a Republican (or even a first term Obama) administration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using Iran to change the course of the U.S. election. While Netanyahu's call for a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities has kept Washington silent on discussing Palestinians, he is looking to make that permanent by shepherding a coalition of right-wing Western support to push America into another Middle East war.
Through a late surge of support that has redrawn the parliamentary battle lines, Canada's brand of social democracy has been announced the official ideology of opposition for the first time. It came on the back of an understated election that seemed to dodge central issues, including 10 years of war in Afghanistan, ongoing bombing of Libya, and the spread of austerity measures.