Demand for G-20 public enquiry, Part 3

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writer writer's picture

I'm not worried. Thanks for the clarification, Catchfire, and apologies for the misidentification.

derrick derrick's picture

One thing that I haven't seen discussed yet, apologies if I missed it elsewhere haven't had chance to read all the threads...

Reports on the arrest and charge of 4 alleged members of "SOAR" say that the group had been infiltrated since April 2009 by undercover cops. SOAR is the small, little known group that issued the 'Get Off the Fence' call to split the big 'People First' rally. Both SOAR and 'People First' issued callouts for 1pm Sat, a clear attempt to divide/split, and -- for what it's worth (not much apparently) -- an obvious violation of the rhetorical commitment for the ever-euphemistic notion of "respect for diversity of tactics". Many people, publicly and privately, tried to argue that this split should be avoided, that their callout should be moved to another time so as not to cause to division and endanger other people who came to participate in the rally and march but who had not consented to the 'tactics' of vandalism etc. One question I want an inquiry to investigate is what role did the undercover officers have in keeping the SOAR callout for 1pm, insuring the division/disruption/overshadowing of the larger rally?



Cytizen H

observer521 wrote:

That is exactly what I saw, the bb huddling together ready to run. The police were watching that.

Does anyone know someone who is involved in getting the inquiry, a lawyer, etc. Its time for me to submit what I saw, I just realized the 911 call I made for a firetruck that never came, is criminal negligence by someone in the police state. The Steve's Music sign melted, it could have caught fire. I was very worried that car  fire would jump, or explode a kill some people.


What is this  Who set it up? 

Citzen H you said you were arrested, will you be sharing your experience with us?


Is there any information about the the 4 people arrested for coming out of the sewer or the 3 people in the car going downtown that had molotov cocktails. I am curious what happened to these 7 people because it was quite sensationalist and contributed to the narrative that the city was a powder keg giving police reasons for their clampdown.

Cytizen H is a website set up by a lawfirm in town. It was given out to everyone at the healing circle at Christie Pits for those arrested. And, yeah, I am going to be writing up my whole experience of my time at the summit. I will likely only post the bit about my arrest here. The rest might be redundent (spelling?). If anyone else here on babble got arrested and detained, let me know if you need any help contacting others in the support network that's being set up. We're working on civil liberties complaints and on a potential class action.

remind remind's picture

'kay writer, if you are not worried. then neither am I....


What, me worry?


These may already have been posted elsewhere, I haven't time to search right now. Fenton's piece ties in the police 'microcosm' to the G20 New World Order 'macrocosm'. The second piece is a personal recounting with lots of vids appended:

Unfolding Police State

"In the wake of the G20: as Canada's democracy trembles, a new global architecture emerges.."

Fear and Mayhem in Toronto

"In this report I am going to try and give you a quick overview of what I personally saw and experienced.."

writer writer's picture

Lawyer Brian Iler to David Miller: "Our liberties, always fragile, are at such serious risk if these abuses are not addressed effectively."


kropotkin1951 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

The next person who engages this black bloc provocateur ("opinionator") should be banned. Not counting this post, of course. Innocent

Unionist you are offensive.  Lets start using the word jewish as a funny insult or maybe trade unionist as a funny insult.  You defame the people who should be your allies and you sound like the MSm.  You sound like an Israeli apologist referring to HAmas everytime you mention the black bloc. It is tiring and boring. Its bad enough having the trolls buy into the MSM propaganda but day after day you keep repeating the same shit here.

I have the feeling that something is bothering you. You are following a very harmful pattern:

1. Unionist condemns masked arsonists and vandals as assholes and police agents.

2. Kropotkin attacks Unionist.

3. Unionist attacks the notion of "diversity of tactics" and predicts that this weekend has nailed its coffin.

4. Kropotkin attacks Unionist.

5. Unionist makes an off-colour joke about some troll "opinionator".

6. Kropotkin attacks Unionist.

So, what to do?

Regardless of your silliness, I'm never going to stop considering you as an ally, because we stand for the same causes. So give it up, my friend.

writer writer's picture

Michelle has been mentioning a video of someone stopping another person from smashing a window. The sequence can be found here, about 40 seconds in:


Check out the CTV caption:

In this dramatic 10 minutes of unedited video shot by a CTV News cameraman, anarchists move up Yonge Street vandalizing anything and everything in their path -- only one Toronto resident and a security guard try to stop them.


No mention of cops missing just blaming citizens.


Who is that dink with the CUPE flag blacking the cameras, clear shot of his face.

Can somebody please screengrab the 4 or 5 non-masked helpers who tried to interfere with the cameras.


Is there away to download that video before it disappears forever. There are some good hard evidence of unmasked helpers.


I attack your point of view.  Your constant need to dehumanize people who should be your allies even if they are deluded and misguided. If the union movement had made a stand when the fascist were merely on the rise we might be in a far better place. But it didn't and not because activist union members like myself didn't suggest it loudly and peacefully.  You are rewriting history and giving your organization a nice place in it.  

You in your comfort and privilege attack the angry powerless people who feel the states power far more than you likely will. You demand just like an Israeli apologist that we all condemn the violence of the few amongst us. Like I say to them I say to you; never will I condemn my allies while the police beat the crap out of them no matter what irresponsible actions they have taken.  Focus Unionist their is a bad guy and it isn't the radical wing of Hamas. I will not condemn them although I personally think the indiscriminate launching of rockets is bad bad tactics. I don't give a fuck whether you live in the same country. Israeli settlers live in Gaza and they like the IDF.  

Actually the thing that really sticks in my craw is your denial of others peoples realities and the insistence that the marginalized angry young peopler need to put in their place by the righteous trade unionists.  It steams.  Go back to protecting your members which is what many unions still do well.  They certainly are not about to grow gonads and start leading a mass movement only sit on the warm sidelines and try to tell others the proper parameters for Vichey protests.


Well, until a public inquiry can be called, someone's doing something to move it forward ...

New Democrats make formal request for committee hearings on G8/G20 security

Wed 30 Jun 2010

OTTAWA - New Democrat Public Safety and National Security Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) has written a letter to recall the House of Commons Public Safety committee to study all issues surrounding security at the G8 and G20 summits.

The letter has been circulated to other parties for their signature, and will trigger a committee meeting within five days of its receipt by the committee clerk.

"The implementation of summit security has raised critical issues that the committee needs to start work on immediately," said Davies. "Serious questions have been raised about the conduct of security personnel, violations of civil liberties, violence and property destruction and the questionable political decisions that led to these problems.

"After spending $1 billion on security, Canadians deserve answers."


You focus, Kropotkin. The radical wing of Hamas (or whatever) will never be condemned by me. That is the sole sovereign affair of the Palestinian people. I support their struggle unconditionally. Same with Afghanistan. I do not demonize the Taliban or anyone else.

Here - in Canada - dealing with the disruptors is OUR job. Not the U.N.'s; not NATO's; not the Canadian cops; not the Canadian state; OURS. If you and I can't distinguish between what serves our movement and what corrupts and defeats it, we alone - not the cops, not the fascists, no one else - will be to blame.

As for identifying me with "the unions", how about if I blame you for all the failings of "the anarchists" over the decades? That would be really spiffy and comradely and rational, wouldn't it? Maybe we should blame every Catholic for the filthy crimes of the Pope? You should really settle down and give your head a shake.

And stop talking to me about angry marginalized young people. They are not the ones burning and smashing. They are police agents. And for the few that are deluded and not agents, let us do to things: 1) stop them; 2) give them healthy alternatives. You think that's simple. I don't. But even if we can't give them winning formulas right away, that doesn't mean we should stand idly by and shrug our shoulders while they do the bidding of the fascist cops. No way, never.

remind remind's picture

Thank you for noting that OO, excellent start....WTG Don!


Check out the cops at 6:52 standing by the TTC truck. A minute later bricks are peeled off the street right where they were, no hurry, no panic, these guys knew they would not be arrested. CTV could have got a great shot of the peeling of briks and cops 10 feet away if they had the right angle. Either the cops and truck moved or CTV refused to include them in the picture.

But the caption says "citizens did nothing" nothing about the handful of cops who did nothing.


kropotkin1951 wrote:

What I find peculiar is that people on this board think there is a right to protest in Canada. LOL

You have a right to protest until a judge tells you to stop and then you go to jail if you continue.  If the Riot Act is read in Canada (I think I read somewhere they read it at least once during the weekend) then you have to disperse that is the law in this country. 


Which is true - except that never happened. A shame, they could have tried out their new sound cannon that way.


kropotkin1951 wrote:

Unionist you are offensive.  Lets start using the word jewish as a funny insult or maybe trade unionist as a funny insult.  You defame the people who should be your allies and you sound like the MSm.  You sound like an Israeli apologist referring to HAmas everytime you mention the black bloc. It is tiring and boring. Its bad enough having the trolls buy into the MSM propaganda but day after day you keep repeating the same shit here.

article: 'how the black bloc protected the g20'




Well, it is what it is, as the idiots say.   Can't undo what the Black Block did or didn't do.


Instead of getting all wacky on each other, I think we should be putting our best thoughts forward on how best to exploit this great victory.




-do you mean this?  because I still view the whole dynamic from a social movement perspective.. around the g20 as certainly not a victory, but a learning experience (as all such events are) - the most salient learning points for me are around the use of violent tactics and the needed move to a nonviolent diversity of tactics.... 


No police for 1.5 hrs in this video from twitter below, as the vandals break windows and deface property.
The Stars timeline was from around 3:30-5:30 with no police.

Whoever ordered the police to take a coffee break for 2+ hours while the black-block clowns were Breaking/Entering...that is who should be down at 629 Eastern.
A dereliction of the sworn duty to protect the citizens and property of Yonge St. and Toronto from vandals.

Even YouTube shows one citizen give a BB-vandal a bodyslam, and end his stealing a smartphone from Bell at College Park, which is about 15 SECONDS away from Police Headquarters around the corner.

A judge needs to find out why Toronto Police did nothing for about 2+ hours, as breaking/entering was happening on Queen and up Yonge, and within seconds of the Police Headquarters.

(from Twitter)
Photojournalist follows Black Bloc rampage for 1.5 hrs. No police.


That is a lie a judge will not believe, as its a lie that can be proven. The cameras will show it.

They had fire engines and water-canon behind the fence, very close by. The streets to the south were clear, as the south area was blocked by riot-police. A paramedic van was in the middle of Queen, and it was open. Riot-cops were casually a few feet away, chilling out. Hot dog vendor was open right beside the paramedic van.

Thanks for sparking my research, that will help with the lies being told by whoever blocked the firetruck or water-cannon, that was not deployed. Also, I first saw the car on fire from University, as it was on the radio already? I walked slowly across Queen to Spadina, watching the smoke billow from the car. That is about a 20 minute walk? It was like a street festival, wide open, stores open, except for the burning car, and riot-cops relaxing (literally)  on the side-streets. There was no danger, except the burning car! My first concern on arriving on the scene was the danger from the car exploding and killing people, thus my talks with the police on site sitting around the corner with their helmets off doing nothing, and they refused to do anything, and did not seem to care, they ignored me, and just one guy shrugged when I asked why nothing was being done and someone could get killed. He shrugged, and I was incredulous at the lax and negative attitude of the police on-site. Aren't they sworn to protect?

I then called 911 and she said they had heard about it , and still have the record of the call.

Whoever was running the police response, is either negligent, incompetent, or insane. They could have torched Queen St. if the flame jumped, and it almost did. The owner of Steve Music might be interested in this evidence, as well as the investigating authorites. (ones that care about Toronto and Queen St). No one should be allowed that level of negligence, incompetence, or recklessness, and laxness in their duties.


opinionator wrote:

observer521 wrote:


...the truth is now coming out, that the police were ordered NOT to arrest the vandals on Sat. by their commanders.
The lies told by the police and media are over. Its the police order to NOT arrest the vandals, that is the crime.
Not sending in a firetruck, I don't know what that is, that is beyond a crime. That will be up to someone to decide.
Who is going to investigate the police, RCMP, OPP, and federal, provincial, city gov't?
This is beyond anything.

I remember the streets were rather blocked, so may your 911 call could not be answered due to traffic problems. Oh, and you saw what the protesters did to the police cars, just think what they could do to the fire truck!


The reason the police were not too concerned about their burning car was because they knew the gas tank was empty. I wonder how many police drive around with empty tanks. If any of those four cop cars had full gas tanks they would have exploded in to the air. I guess we can count ourselves lucky that all four cars were completely empty. Wink



Kaspar Hauser

Consider taking a minute to add your names to this Amnesty International e-mail campaign demanding an independent review of the security arrangements at the G20:



 because I still view the whole dynamic from a social movement perspective..


See, that's where you have the advantage over me.  I have to plod along, flailing, mired as I am in reality.


Again, G20 summits are all carefully stage managed photo ops by the biggest pros in the biz, and one way or another, by design but I think mostly by accident, we've been handed an embarassment of riches in the PR department.  

Nobody is talking about what Harper and the rest of them wanted to be talked about.    That's what counts in this, and this is why it's a rather fantastic victory, that, unless we get all analytical, or start wringing our hands about this and that and start dividing ourselves over this and that, can pay divends over and over and over again.


But, do go on adharden, don't let this dullard stop you from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

remind remind's picture

Pretty much agree with your whole stated position along this line of realization, Tommy.


Is this the glimour of light that starts the dispelling of the dominator trance, I wonder....


The only problem with the empty gas idea, is that I saw how the car got there. It was following the march to Spadina.

The black-boink charged east on Queen, back against the grain. A few minutes later non-riot police biked into the crowd in a PANIC, as people were jumping on the squad car? They were going in to rescue an officer, and you know how that goes.

They then started to fight off a few ruffians with their bare fists, and those little batons. That went into a stand-off, until some riot-cops came and moved them away.

So the black-boink Queen east charge  surprised that cop in the car, as they attacked the car. I think it was a FLUKE that the car did not catch Steve's Music on fire, it melted the sign. Its luck no one got killed or fried.

Didn't The Star have the story about the guy who lit up the car? He seemed a bit deranged, and the car got lit up much later,  and the flames were huge for a long time.



but there was another abandoned cop car just east of Spadina too. It may be a plant, it may be just normal, they do leave cars around during events, they rarely get burned of course.


I have never seen an abandoned car by the cops.

I have to disagree tommy. This is the perfect solution for harper, everyone is worried about protesters and cops. The water gets muddy, the media complies with the cover up...a happy audience just happens to get a queenly visit 2 days later

Menawhile the big meeting to carve us up into smaller peices ISN't being talked about. This is not a victory. They have called for us to lose the little we have at the billion dollar buffet and no one is talking about it at all. Its not a win for Harper if people are outraged at us getting austerity while they wine and dine and give more tax cuts to the wealthy while we poor plebs are told to tighten our belts 3 or 4 more notches.

We get a pleasant distractuion or two that the media will drop in a few weeks without even being asked to.

If I thought we would actually see something come of police provacateurs or people changing their tune about our police state I would agree with you, but it isn't happening. Tom Flanagan is an asshole but what he said does reflect what a number of people think WTR to protesters, rightly or wrongly. Even if evidence is found to the contrary these people will not change their support of state power to smash down the protesters.


The police wanted the scenes of burning police cruisers and smashed store windows thinking it will justify the egregious amounts of money Harper transferred to them.  Instead the police ended up committing a much more serious crime: effectively aiding the destruction of the streets they are paid to protect. Plus, mass arresting innocent people on Sunday that had nothing to do with the destruction they allowed the day before.



Mayor Millers is behaving very weirdly and poorly, as many have said. Look at these tweets and times.

3:30 (approx) the back-block mob begin to vandalize by Queen/Spadina (no police action to stop them)

4:42 - Police send Mayor Miller a tweet saying " Black Bloc Protesters getting violent"

Uh no, they had been vandlizing for an HOUR already, all the way down Queen.

4:42 @torontoist: Chris Bird: "there is no other way to describe the cops except incredibly restrained."

Why are the police "restrained"? That is negligence. As well, the local police at Queen did act aggressively at about 3:30,  and then is seems they were ordered to take a coffee break and let the vandals run amok.

So did the Chief phone Miller, and they decided to not do anything? A store owner grabbed a vandal, and tried to get a cop to arrest hiim, and the cop walked away.
That is negligence.

If you look at Millers Tweets, they are all about how the police are doing such a great job. Meanwhile, the city got vandalized due to NO police presence and no proper police action to maintain the peace.

This is probably why Miller is just saying all his wrong and inappropriate stuff, and does not want a review. Because he knows the police blew it, and perhaps his cell phone records will show him talking with the police chief or something?

Blair and Miller are just trying to cover their own asses, frankly. And independent review will show they blew it. This is why Miller wants to sweep it under the rug. Welcome to reality. 


Then to try to make-up or cover-up for their negligence on Sat aft, they then gave horrible police orders to just arrest everyone they could grab, and fill up their jail. Then they can just try to blame the animals in the streets for everything.

Then investigate themselves, and say what a great job they did.

The innocent people who were arrested, are the fig-leaf the police brass who gave the bad police orders are trying to hide behind. This is why they are lying.  One of the senior police commanders lied right to my face on Monday, repeatedly, about the facts of what went on.

The police are covering-up for their own negligence, and over-reaction, and mis-deeds.

ok, now it all makes sense, especially Mayor Millers position of wanting to let the police cover it up, as he is involved himself. After all, no one died, just 900 illegal police arrests, no big deal...

Perhaps the class-action lawsuits will force the facts to come out.

After looking at all this...ya know what? People in power do bad things, and then try to cover it up to save their own careers and reputations! Shocked!

But this is so serious, every level of gov't in Canada, local, provincial, federal, and every level of police in Canada, local, OPP, RCMP...want to cover it up, as they all have their fingers in it.

Ok, now it all makes sense.

writer writer's picture

[url=]Joint lawsuit planned for G20 arrestees[/url]: Overwhelmed with calls, Civil Liberties Association is working on suing police forces | Toronto Star



Unionist said: 

I agree, writer - but my question is, what should we do? How can we organize better to ensure that our next mobilization will be better able to defend itself and get its message across? We can expose and condemn and denounce the cops, and so we should - that's why a public inquiry (or better, a truth commission) will be great, if it's used to bring forward hundreds of testimonials and videos etc. And that's the proper subject of this thread. But ultimately, we can't control what the cops do. We should take control of our own movement and ensure it achieves its ends.

Having said that, this discussion (my bad) belongs in the thread on tactics. The call for an inquiry must, absolutely, focus on the cops and their masters, and nothing else.

I completely agree with holding police accountable - for every reported incident of threatening and excessive force, detention conditions, unlawful searches and arrests, misinformation, etc.,  but also believe firmly that without an attitude of fundamental respect for the role that police play as an institution in our society in protecting people from harm, more space will be created for violent tactics that either directly target the police or provoke spectacles with shows of force... this goes to well post g20... (follow hyperlinks in bold for articles related..)

scott scott's picture

adharden wrote:

 (follow hyperlinks in bold for articles related..)

Yes, we know, you post those same links in every single post! ;)


:)   The black magic of hyperlinks.. I haven't really gotten any response on the newer one yet.... or substantively on the first, that's why a throw 'em out there... we've got some important debating to be engaging in, in the months ahead - babble is a great space for this... plus, makes it easier to follow my reasoning rather than scrolling up the page to search for the links... 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yeah, adharden. This is a discussion board, not a traffic funnel for your blog. If you want to discuss the issues, discuss them here rather than repeatedly linking to your blog. Such relentless PR is considered spamming. The occasional link is ok but this is bordering on obsessive.


But the point of a discussion forum is to discuss things here, you know? This is a conversation, not just a "read my opinion over there" kind of thing.  If everyone did that, all these threads would be nothing but, "Oh yeah? LINK."  "Okay, sure, but LINK."  "Okay, I see your point, but LINK."

This is a place for discussion among the people here, not just to direct traffic to your own site.  It's fine to link to your site, but doing it in every single post makes people think you're just spamming to promote your site instead of actually engaging in the discussion.


Catchfire, Michelle, would you agree or disagree with the proposition that a fundamental or situational disrespect for police undergirds the tendency to engage in violent tactics that either a) target them directly or b) provoke a police response through destruction of property etc.?  If you find yourself tilting toward agreement with this type of point, to that end, what do you make of the necessity to fundamentally respect the role of police services in the role they play in ensuring a healthy civil infrastructure, analogous to water and electricity services?  The absence of such respect, in my view, is opening up too much space for violent or violence-provoking tactics that create spectacles that do nothing to advance the questions and issues/concerns with neoliberalism, war, imperialism, climate change/the need to move to a postcarbon society etc.... (*note - the distinction between what I mean by 'fundamental and situational' disrespect for police is clarified in the second newest article on my blog - 'respect for police: a fault line for activists' - blog link in my above post.. ;)

Hyperlinks are useful because they provide a shorthand to reference an assertion or an argument... or can I assume that you don't like the arguments, so take issue with my use of hyperlinks?  Are the arguments annoying to you, or just the practice of using hyperlinks?  Would it be acceptable if I was hyperlinking to someone else's article - just not my own?  Why?  What would the distinction be there... I could smell Catchfire coming after your comment, Michelle, because I believe - I think correctly - that Catchfire agrees with either a tacit or explicit condoning of violent tactics (aka a status quo 'diversity of tactics', rather than one built on the principle of nonviolence..).... I clarify what I mean better by DoT in the two DoT articles hosted on my blog - which, until we've cleared up my quesitons here, I suppose I dare not link to! ;)

best to everyone... 

p.s. no advertising on my blog, just arguments... - the sidebar on the right is my 'google shared items' - no revenue there... ;)



Papal Bull

adharden, I've been reading your links!


However, as a long time internet denizen and lovely member of this lovely community, it would be mad hype if you were to post a quote that you'd really like discussed with a link to your blog and then we could butt heads here ;)


Here, only catchfire and a select few can ban you for disagreeing over who will win the World Cup. I don't know your allegience in the game, so I can hardly comfortably post on your blog! ;)

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

adharden, you have said many times that your purpose of linking to your blog is to get responses on the blog rather than here. Indeed, your last post is probably your longest post to date and for a change it actually refers to the conversation at hand. The problem with iinking to your blog is, aside from the fact that incessant self-promotion is rarely an attractive trait, you assume your arguments to be in toto and finite, rather than plastic contributions to a larger, organic discourse. I mean, no matter how these discussion progresses, your posts link to the same arguments again and again as if they always, without fail, provide some imaginary solution to the contradictions under discussion. That's impossible. So thanks for responding to the trhead of discussion in your last post.

Your comments about the police demanding a priori and ex ante respect also betray privilege not afforded to those who come into violent contact with state forces on a daily basis--i.e. the poor, people of colour, and other marginalized and oppressed groups. It also defines "violence" from a decidedly one-sided perspective, ignoring and hence excusing state-sponsored violence as a daily strategy of the state contra dissent. Indeed, this is something that is under constant discussion here on babble.

As for your sense of smell, unless you have any evidence for what you assume I do or do not "condone," I'd ask that you keep your assumptions to yourself.


Besides the self-promotion angle, I've found perhaps a more direct way to explain the problem to adharden (links suppressed):

Babbler: Hey, adharden, how's it goin' dude?

Adharden: See my "Daily Feelings Update" blog item.

Babbler: Crazy weather we've been havin'!

Adharden: Please click on "Environment Canada historical meteorology comparisons".

Babbler: Whatcha doin' tonight?

Adharden: Oh, I don't know, one of "Toronto Calendar of Events Spring-Summer 2010".

Babbler: Ok man, sayonara!

Adharden: [url=



Catchfire wrote:

adharden, you have said many times that your purpose of linking to your blog is to get responses on the blog rather than here.

Hey Catchfire - I have to call you on this - I would rather discuss things on babble because my blog has a cumbersome moderated comments function, so I don't know where you're getting that.. plus I reallllly like that babble is a public discussion... 


Catchfire wrote:

Your comments about the police demanding a priori and ex ante respect also betray privilege not afforded to those who come into violent contact with state forces on a daily basis--i.e. the poor, people of colour, and other marginalized and oppressed groups. It also defines "violence" from a decidedly one-sided perspective, ignoring and hence excusing state-sponsored violence as a daily strategy of the state contra dissent. Indeed, this is something that is under constant discussion here on babble.

As for your sense of smell, unless you have any evidence for what you assume I do or do not "condone," I'd ask that you keep your assumptions to yourself.

I will sidestep Unionist's humour-as-thinly-veiled insult angle and return to points - I wouldn't link to my posts if I didn't think they were germane to the discussion - that's for me to decide, isn't it?  Or is it for you to decide (the corporate 'you', or a moderator) - that would be a strange way to discuss.  

I don't believe that Catchfire, Unionist or anyone else would - with a straight face - deny the role that police play in a healthy civil infrastructure.  Israel-Palestine (for example) lacks such a structure for obvious reasons.  Police protecting us from harm is exactly 'state-sponsored violence'.  Police deserve our respect, fundamentally speaking, but they should be held to account for deviations from this role or when they individually or in an specific setting (e.g., g20) engage in harm through excessive force, theats, etc. ... Our issues with poverty, inequality and the oppressed go far, far beyond the police.  The 'state' is not an enemy in the pursuit of social justice to confront and transform these forms of violence - for more on my approach to violence, see my blog... ;) - (the DoT articles) - I follow Johan Galtung's conception of violence (direct, structural, cultural), a peace studies scholar.  He's a proponent of peace by peaceful means, but there's a role for the legitimate use of violence for protection (by police) - which to me, is a vital part of a healthy community... Am I right to assume, Catchfire, that you have an issue with 'the state'?  Is 'the state' not worthy of your respect (or needs to be done away with, i.e. some form of philosophical/political anarchism), and thus the police aren't worthy of it, either?  Or on a related note, are you in fact asserting that the police should not be offered any (latin abbreviation of your choice) respect whatsoever?  Does this come from a loathing for the state?  Does this colour your approach to social justice by tilting you toward support (tacit or explicit) for violent tactics?  

On a more procedural note, my questions on the hyperlinks are still unanswered here, as Catchfire, I had to call you on the fact that in no way have I ever wished to switch the venue of discussion to my blog... in fact I prefer it here.... I do think that some of these points strike deep nerves in terms of activist tactics, and I am not surprised that they are bringing out strong opinions.  Long live strong opinions... and dialogue...  

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

adharden wrote:
Catchfire wrote:
adharden, you have said many times that your purpose of linking to your blog is to get responses on the blog rather than here.
Hey Catchfire - I have to call you on this - I would rather discuss things on babble because my blog has a cumbersome moderated comments function, so I don't know where you're getting that.. plus I reallllly like that babble is a public discussion...

I interpreted comments like this:

I haven't really gotten any response on the newer one yet.... or substantively on the first, that's why a throw 'em out there...

to mean that you hadn't gotten a response on your blog; but perhaps you meant here on babble. If that's the case, I apologize. At any rate, you link to two or three blog posts you've written on every single post you make, without exaggeration, often in quick succession. How could we not have read them? At any rate, so you don't feel persecuted, know that you are far from the first blogger who has been censured on babble for self-promotion. It's considered spamming here, and not allowed. So please link in moderation. One link, once and a while, is fine.

You have a fairly narrow view of how the left characterizes the police. Here's a hint: most don't consider them allies, and many don't feel they are essential to civic infrastructure at all. They view them as stewards of state power, not of its citizens. And before you marginalize those views as "anarchists" or whatever, they are held by a large array of viewpoints across leftist thinking. "Straight faces" notwithstanding.

And to be frank, I am getting quite creeped out by your repeated attempts to smear my views of violence as a protest tactic. I've been quite clear on how I view the subject, through PM correspondence with you and through my posts over years and years on babble. Yet you continue to suggest that I have some sort of tacit support for what happened this weekend in Toronto, and likewise insinuating that I support the RBC bombing. I can't believe that a postdoc has such poor reading skills, so I can only assume you are doing it deliberately. It's the same tactic you take in your repeated harassment of statica on her blog, and it's disgraceful. You are welcome to your views, as sheltered and as myopic as they may be, naturally, but when you begin to engage in wormy smears of my beliefs and character, it's unacceptable. Stick to the issues and leave the psychoanalysis at the door.

No Yards No Yards's picture

The idea that we must "respect" any institution is a assumption, and that's all it is.

Respect is earned, and not earned once and no more effort required.

The police and government, in order to have our respect, must first do at least two things:


1) Respect the citizens for whom they work (remember, it is they who work for us, and not the other way around.)

2) Earn that respect at all times.

If the police are doing their jobs properly then they are doing what they are being paid to do. That to me does not invoke any need to provide any more respect than anyone else doig their job properly ... if the police and government believe their positions requires a higher level of respect, then it is they, not the citizens, that have the problem.

Great leaders EARN great respect for doing their jobs in a manner that goes beyond the ordinary ... I respect Tommy Douglas because he did great things in his position as MP and Party leader ... if he were simply fuckwad no-name MP in row 5 seat 8 in the backbenches, then I would consider him as worthy of no more respect than would normally be given any other person in any other profession doing a "mild to middling" job. 

Same goes foe the police ... they do not deserve respect, they earn respect (being held accountable is a totally different issue, and has absolutely nothing to do with "deserving" respect, we can hold people accountable whether we respect them or not) ... they lost any so called "right" to respect this weekend when they abused their powers. No one abusing their powers "deserves" respect, and anyone that suggests such a thing doesn't have a fucking clue as to the meaning of the word respect.


As soon as we start believing that some group of people "deserve" respect, we become at best suckers, and at worst stupid people setting ourselves up to be abused.



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