We have the right to PROTEST!

Posted: April 5, 2013 by duck19 in Policing's New Visibility, Toronto G20 2010

CBC Fifth Estate documentary “You Should have Stayed at Home,” is a biased depiction of the viewpoints of the citizens who were protesting. CBC and generally the media we rarely see the positive steps taken, rather the media focuses on the negative because that is what the viewers want to see. Democratic viewers wish to see where their rights are being abused. Everyone has the right to protest and no one needs to stay home.

We as a society are defined by the law, and how we should act when a representative of the law is present amongst us. However, this footage clearly shows that police being that authority figure did not represent themselves well to deserve any sort of respect or obedience from us as functioning members of the society. In this documentary, it discusses important issues such as police accountability and deviance.

Part of policing is taking accountability and being responsible. The officers removed their names and badge numbers which took away the accountability. They would not get singled out to be held responsible for their actions. The police used excessive force and did not rationally think things through. For example there was a gentlemen who only had one leg, they took away his prosthetic leg and locked him up. He even said how someone else joined him in the cell who was paralyzed on one side. The police seemed to target everyone and anyone, they did not use proper judgement in trying to stop those who were actually causing trouble.


The police are supposed to prevent others from taking part in illegal actions, however during this summit it was the police who broke many laws. They were the ones doing things illegally, people were stripped of any rights that they had.

Innocent people and peaceful protestors were harmed. They did not do anything wrong they were exerting rights that they had. These rights were taken away by the police, even though the police had no right to treat them that way. This shows how even though no one is above the law, the police had decided that they were above it and could do anything. In this day and age there are cameras almost everywhere to record what happens in society. However, even though we have seen what happened there were no consequences for the police for what they did. Due to the names and numbers being removed it makes it harder for there to be any justice.

With the title “you should have stayed home” it implies that the police have total control over society. They decide what members of society can and cannot do. It’s almost like a “big brother” approach. They have total control over everything and no one else is able to do anything about it. If you stay at home they will leave you alone but once you’re out in public they have control and can do whatever they like and you can’t do anything about it. This is what gives policing a bad name. Although there are good and bad cops, it’s the bad ones we see in the media quite frequently as in this documentary by CBC. People should not have to “stay home” they should be able to go out into the world and give their opinion on what is happening. Police officers are there to ensure people can leave their homes without fear, however, the actions of the police show otherwise. They put fear on the streets instead of taking it off.

With the G20 summit many people wanted to have their views heard, and they were doing it peacefully. People wanted to see what was happening and they have every right to know what is happening as it impacts them directly. All those leaders met and their decisions impact society as a whole so people have rights to want to know and see what is going on. 


The Fifth Estate. (2011, February 25). You should have stayed home: G20 untold stories. CBC news. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2010-2011/youshouldhavestayedathome/

  1. Mike Larsen says:

    I do not understand how you have concluded that the CBC documentary represents a biased depiction of the G20 events. I am open to this assertion, but I would like to see some clear statements about where and in what way the documentary was biased.

    You explain the documentary title thusly:

    “If you stay at home they will leave you alone but once you’re out in public they have control and can do whatever they like and you can’t do anything about it.”

    I think that this is an excellent statement that captures the essence of the title and its troubling implications.

    You then state:

    “Although there are good and bad cops, it’s the bad ones we see in the media quite frequently as in this documentary by CBC. ”

    I do not think that it is at all fruitful to use the ‘good cops vs. bad cops’ framework to make sense of the events of the G20. This was an organizational problem. As Punch (2009) provocatively notes, there are no individuals in organizations.

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