Gord Hill’s The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book = Cops Bad, Protestors Good

Posted: April 5, 2013 by amanbains23 in Toronto G20 2010

Gord Hill’s The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book depicts some of the events that occurred during the Toronto 2010  G20. This comic to me comes across as containing some bias. Although, violence was demonstrated by both the police and the protesters  the main theme of the comic focuses on police violence. There are a lot more illustrations of the violence that police officers engaged in than the violence protesters engaged in. Police officers are shown using foul language towards citizens for no reason, and being a lot more violent. The illustrations of protesters engaging in violence are all violence towards property, there are no illustrations of protesters expressing violence towards police officers. Furthermore, the wording used to describe the police and their actions is negative. For example, it is stated that the police engaged in a “campaign of revenge, fueled by their humiliation at having lost control of the streets”.  On the other hand, when protesters are described the tone is neutral and positive. For example the illustration of protesters damaging property is written in a neutral tone, there is no condemnation of their actions. Also, there are illustrations of protesters being peaceful for example sitting and singing “Oh Canada”. However, there are no illustrations of the police being peaceful. In one illustration where the police are not engaging in violence but simply standing, there is a negative comment by a police officer saying “nothing to see here, keep moving!” Thus, the police are constantly depicted in a negative light.

Additionally, I do not believe that the full story is depicted in the comic. For example, the comic states that police officers raided homes and arrested soar organizers however, the comic does not given any explanation of why. There must be some reason as to why police officers entered homes and arrested these individuals. Also, the comic states after sitting protesters finished singing “Oh Canada” they were charged by police officers. Again, there is no explanation as to why police officers did this. The comic seems to suggest police officers expressed violence towards protesters for no reason.

The issues that arose from the Toronto 2010 G20 include the use of excessive force by police officers and the “us versus them” mentality of police officers. After the Toronto 2010 G20, the police was scrutinized by the public and media regarding their violence. Additionally, investigations where held regarding police brutality and police officers were charged. Also, photos and videos posted online show police officers on one side and protesters on another side. This tends to further increase the separation between the police and the public.

  1. Mike Larsen says:

    You note that:

    “There are a lot more illustrations of the violence that police officers engaged in than the violence protesters engaged in.”

    On this point, it is important to understand the distinction that anarchists engaged in black bloc tactics draw between ‘violence’ and ‘property destruction’. The former typically involves the infliction of interpersonal harm – punching someone, hitting someone with a brick, or shooting someone with a rubber bullet or tear gas canister, for example. The latter involves vandalism and symbolic acts of destruction targeting physical objects and financial symbols.

    What do you think about this distinction? It is a topic of much debate. Do you think that it makes sense to establish a moral distinction between violence against persons and destruction of property?

    For an interesting discussion of the nature of black bloc tactics, see http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/6625:concerning-the-violent-peacepolice-an-open-letter-to-chris-hedges

    You note that “the police are constantly depicted in a negative light.”

    This is true.

    Do you think that authors, commentators, and others have an obligation to depict events through a lens of moral neutrality, where both ‘sides’ are depicted equally, or should they prepare narratives that reflect their interpretation of events?

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