Related rabble.ca story:
Over past months, reports have multiplied of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) visits to the homes and even workplaces of people working for social justice. In addition to its longstanding and ongoing harassment and intimidation of indigenous peoples, immigrant communities, and others, the spy agency has become much more visible in its surveillance of movements for social justice.
Given the abysmal state of things -- with no progress on climate change, financial markets still operating as unregulated casinos and oil continuing to surge freely into the gulf -- it's not surprising that many people feel the world is being poorly managed. Millions respond by drifting into apathy or hedonistic consumerism.
But there are others who are so passionate about the fate of the Earth that they feel compelled to do more than shop. They want to object, to let world leaders know they disapprove. These are the types of people who plan to protest at the G20 summit later this month in Toronto.
The RCMP-led Integrated Security Unit (ISU) of the G20 is refusing to rule out the use of Agent Provocateurs to get protesters to commit illegal acts, the Toronto Media Co-op has learned.
During a G20 forum on April 30th held by Toronto City Councilors, Constable George Tucker, a member of the G20 planning team responsible for Public Affairs, Communications & Corporate Relations, was asked if Agent Provocateurs would be used.
He responded: ""I'm not at liberty to discuss security issues in an open format".
However, a question remains that police have not been asked: is the use of Agent Provocateurs legal? If not, why won't police rule it out?
The leaders of the G20 countries, along with their central bank governors, the IMF, World Bank and the EU will be in Toronto in five weeks, on June 26-27, 2010. That's nearly 20,000 delegates, 15,000 armed police and 5,000 media personnel all descending to make it a very hot June weekend, indeed.
Pride Toronto has been moved from its original location but the tourists will also be here, as will thousands of protestors, activists and delegates. The real question is: will Toronto's residents and long-term social movements join them?
As the G8 development ministers prepared to meet in Halifax from April 26 to 28, the city's grassroots mobilized, with a colourful, festive community-based opposition rallying in public spaces.
Were it not for these protest speeches in the public parks, the large Sunday march in Halifax's downtown streets, and an early Monday picket, the G8 meeting in Nova Scotia would have gone largely undetected by the public.
The "G8 Welcoming Committee," as the coalition named itself, includes organized labour unions, First Nations groups, student organizations, women's groups, and environmental networks.
Conservative U.S. pundit Ann Coulter was scheduled to speak at the University of Ottawa on March 23, but the event was cancelled before she even showed up. Organizers have tried to blame hundreds of student protesters, saying they infringed on her free speech rights.
But it wasn't students, the University of Ottawa or Ottawa police who cancelled Coulter's speech, as some reports claim. The event was cancelled by Ezra Levant, a self-styled "free speech" martyr who helped organize Coulter's three-city speaking tour in Canada.
Judy Rebick, from her office in downtown Toronto, complained that "when a spontaneous anger against the Black Bloc emerged on social media, people berated us for ‘dividing the movement.'" She says that, in fact, "it is the Black Bloc that is dividing the movement."
She is wrong.