Archive for the ‘Cases – Public Order’ Category

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.

Stay home or get beat!

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

The Documentary “You Should Have Stayed At Home” allows viewers to look into first hand accounts of what happened during the G20. The documentary begins with people gathering for the peaceful protest. There were more than 2,000 people gathered in the streets of Ontario. Even at the beginning of the protest there was a massive amount of police presence. A man who was not a political protester but had been present at the G20 to merely watch, noted that the police weren’t n regular gear. They were in full on riot gear and that there was heavy tension in the air. What began as a peaceful protest turned into a violent event. Some of the people involved in the protest began branching off and vandalizing property. At one point in the film you can see a few people jumping on top of cop cars while the police stood from a distance and watched. The documentary illustrates that the police were losing control of the situation and the peaceful protest started to resemble a riot. Back at Queen’s Park there were a large number of protesters who kept the protest peaceful and did not know about the vandalizing of buildings or of police vehicles. Many of the protesters that were there were merely curious and wanted to take a look around. When the officers began to get violent it took these protesters off guard because they hadn’t done anything to provoke the officers.

I think this documentary does a good job at setting up the beginning events of the G20. It provided a clear and mostly unbiased description as to how the police began to lose control of the situation. The documentary interviews many people who were mistreated and abused by officers, so it does give a great inside account of what took place during the G20. It also gives a chance for the police to defend their actions by interviewing the chief of police in Toronto.

The officers who were involved in policing the G20 took part in many forms of police deviance. The most obvious is they engaged in police brutality. Police began to use batons and pepper spray on people who were not engaging in any form of deviant or violent behavior  Police began kicking, hitting and dragging protesters through the street and not following through proper medical care to people who were injured. The problem was that the police were treating the peaceful protesters at Queens Park like a riot crowd when they were not. One older man with a disability was thrown to the ground and his hands were tied behind his back. The officers then pulled out the man’s prosthetic leg. He was not a rioter or pose any threat to the police in any shape or form. The police brutality went so far as to shooting rubber bullets into the crowd. The officers then began to arrest people by the dozens, many of these people were not even involved in the protest.  After the arrest of many people the officers denied the right to see a lawyers to many of the arrestees who asked. The prison cells were small and overcrowded. The police entered a university gymnasium where many students were occupying and began to arrest them. Many students asked the officers if they had a warrant to perform these search and seizures but were told to shut up. Later on the police stated that these students were arrested for suspicion of committing vandalism and mischief and that the police were heavily armed because they were tactical officers. Tactical officers are used when entering a place where there is a risk of violence. In this case, a university room of sleeping students was seen as a violent situation. Another big form of deviance that occurred was the removal of name tags and badge numbers.


I think the statement “You should have stayed home” is humorous. It’s like the idea of when a woman gets raped and the response is you should have worn more conservative clothing. The question is: Why do we tell our daughters to stay home instead of teaching our sons how to behave? The statement “You should have stayed home” deters the problem from the person committing the wrong doing to the victim. This response is just another way for the police to avoid the blame of the events that occurred during the G20. I think the police live in this “You should have stayed home” mindset where their actions will always be justified and its the public’s responsibility to conform and avoid police confrontation.

Gord Hill’s Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book surrounding the Toronto 2010 G20 Summit reveals how the rebels are tarnishing the city and corporate buildings. They are dressed in black and wearing masks to hide their identity while they are being reckless. The issue with this comic is that it shows an us vs. them (police vs. the public). “We as police must fuck them, before they fuck us. The law and the system have tightened around us. We have no choice but to use these tactics of dishonesty” (Goldschmidt & Anonymous, 2008, p.113). The Toronto G20 protest was to be for things like better educational materials and a rally for gender justice, queer, and disability rights. Furthermore, the government spent billions of dollars for guards, police services, riot squad, and military troops. A whole mass of money was spent and paid to the police to ensure the protest was handled properly. Although, there were many complications such as innocent people being arrested, use of excessive force, misconduct, and use of profound language by the police. For instance, “police attacks on ‘non-violent’ protesters resulted in one death – Ian Tomlinson – a local resident beaten by police” (Hill, 2012, p.83).

The first day of resistance began June 21st. It was a hot day, many people showed up to rally and the police did their best to block off the rally. On June 24th, the first day of action, thousands of people showed up to participate in the march to move close to the G20 but were stopped by the police. The comic here shows police deviance and misconduct. On June 25th the author shows the police using unspeakable language towards people that would offend a reasonable person. For instance, in one of the drawings the authors shows police saying “wake up assholes! Show me your hands! Now!” (Hill, 2012, p.87). Police officers are always using these types of words toward the public. The number one complaint against the police is the use of their abusive language. It is mostly used by bent police officers that are sliding into corruption. Moreover, the comic reveals how the police eventually lost control and began to fall apart. Police vehicles were heavily damaged with police officers inside and some were eventually set on fire. The public is being held accountable the things that took placing during the G20 but in fact the police imposing the laws around the G20 had a role in how it turned out.

Overall, the Toronto G20 is one of the worst manifestations to occur in recent history. The G20 poses serious questions on police misconduct. The comic is very interesting and shows how the protesters were being denied their right of public speech and right to protest. Making the police look like the bad guys due to their misconduct and the use of excessive force.

References Cited

Goldschmidt, J., & Anonymous. (2008). The necessity of dishonesty: police deviance, ‘making     the case’, and the public good. Police & Society18(2), 113-135.

Hill, G. (2012). The anti-capitalist resistance comic book. British Columbia: Arsenal Pulp Press.

InfoWarriorsUnite. (Producer) (2010). Video of police assault on Ian Tomlinson, who died at the   london g20 protest [Web].                                                                                                 Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DJNzkIRg_E

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.

http://voiceofniagara.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/john-pruyn-arrested1.jpg

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. 

References

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/

CBC’s Fifth Estate documentary, in my opinion, was largely biased towards the perspectives of the innocent people that were victimized by police during the G20. It fails to show the actual story of the people who needed to be controlled and charged and the story behind the orders that the police were given.

Due to the fact that there were so many police officers on hand for this event; police authority was abused and there was a diffusion of responsibility. Police went as far as taking off their name tags without legitimate means to do so, thereby counteracting the new visibility of policing, which decreases accountability.  The police didn’t care to distinguish between the peace protestors and actual rioters and used excessive force in situations that was not required. “Excessive force… involve[s] the misuse of authority and cover[s] a wide range of forms of unjustified force” (Dean, Bell & Lauchs, p. 208). For example, why would a man with a disability be seen as harmful and need to be aggressively handled? The police officers didn’t seem to exercise any of their own judgement.

Police did not acknowledge the peace protestors and innocent people in the streets, thereby emphasizing the title of the documentary “Should’ve stayed at Home.”  This perpetuates the blame on the public and negates their constitutional rights and freedoms. Furthermore, it justifies the police officers course of action during the G20 event.

Public order policing is a branch of policing that is in need of much development. The documentary continuously made this obvious with the depictions of several innocent people that were victim to police brutality. Many of the issues arising come from the approach police take to deal with situations of crowd and riot control. In my opinion the biggest issue that needs to be addressed is that of police discretion. The police need to be held accountable for their actions and should be reprimanded for acts such as taking off their name tags making them anonymous. To be better prepared, I think supervision and direction should be greatly increased when dealing with police control, especially public order policing.

The documentary made no reference to The Public Works Protection Act, a law passed last minute that was not made public. This law gave the police the power to search anyone who was present at the riot. As discussed in ‘Journal of Prisoners on Prisons’, “a combination of secrecy and misinformation led to widespread confusion about the scope of expanded police powers of search and seizure under a hastily-past amendment to the WWII-era Public Works Protections Act” (p. 8). In my opinion, the documentary failed to capture a realistic view of how and why the policing events during the G20 transpired.

Dean, G., P. Bell, and M. Lauchs (2010). Conceptual framework for managing knowledge of police deviance. Policing

                  and Society, 20(2), pp. 204-222.

Larsen, M., and J. Piché (2011). “A Week in June 2010”, Journal of Prisoners on Prisons 20(2), pp. 2-14.

Gord Hill’s depiction of the events surrounding the Toronto 2010 G20, from the Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book to me seem to misinterpret some of the facts that happened between the people and the public at the G20. Looking at the title page one can see the battle between the people and the police officers. The one issue I seem to have with this comic book is that it seems as if Gord Hill meant only to display the side of the rebels who wanted to go to the g20 to cause harm. The G20 started off as a peaceful operation to get problems across one another. This event also took a lot of policing many police came from different provinces to support this cause. The G20 had an unlimited spending budget to get the job done effectively. The comic tells the reader that much of the one billion spent on the G20 was paid to cops, military troops, and guards.

June 24th was the first day of action. This is also when the people participated in the march. The march tried to move close to the G20 but was stopped din every direction. The picture of the police the next day is what starts to display police deviance. The language used in this comic book to me is what tells the story. The author used provocative words to get the message across of how the police had reactions to the protestors. In one of the boxes you see the sops saying, “wake up assholes! Show me your hands! Now!” I highly doubt that police officer would use these types of word under normal circumstances but when cops are bent on breaking the law they disregard the true nature of policing. The comic tells when the cops lost control of the crowds they took revenge. To me this comic is a little over reacted. The use of words and how the images are contrasted make it seem as if the people were the main cause of this problem when in reality the law had a lot of thing to do with how this even turned to be.

The removal of police tags would have to be the most deviant act the police committed during this even as they were able to beat arrest civilian’s knowing they would not be caught due to the fact that no one could tell the officers apart. The comic. The comic tells us a clash between the police and the public but seems to miss some key components as to who’s fault it really is.

G20 Crossing the line

Posted: April 2, 2013 by glaw74 in Toronto G20 2010

The documentary produced by the CBC called “You should have stayed at home” provides us with insight on the incidents that occurred during the G20. Although it focuses mainly from the point of view from the protesters, it also tries to get the perspective of the police. However, most of the information that was gathered were mainly from “victims” of the G20 riot. The documentary gives an impression that police officers of the G20 acted like one single body. By single body, I mean that it seemed like all the officers were given the same order, or treated the riots and protests like it was a scenario the police had practiced for. The officers treated all protesters and civilians as if they had the potential to be a terrorist.

Issues arising from the G20 incident are mainly directed towards police accountability. Aside from the obvious fact that the police infringed the rights of the people. It feels as if that the police officers knew that whatever action they took during the G20 would go without punishment. This be due to the fact that name tags and badge numbers were removed from their uniforms. This makes it incredibly hard for the public to issue any forms of complaints due to the animosity of the police officers. It is simply impossible to complain about someone if you do not even have that person identity. Another contributing factor that allowed for the police officers behaviour was the employment of the private police. By giving private police bodies peace officer status, it becomes hard for the public to know whether the officer was RCMP or a private policing officer.

I feel that the documentary of the G20 shows that the public is really at the mercy of Policing bodies. There were some footage in the documentary that showed the police arresting and detaining people based on suspicion that was determined by a “point-of-view” standard. For example, during the arrests that took place within the gymnasium, the police officers arrested the people based of “intelligence” that they had gathered. Also they had suspected and believed that the people residing in the gymnasium had the potential to commit mischief. This provides us with the range and way that police can exercise their authority and that it feels like does not allow for any means of challenge.

With regards to the Last statement of the documentary, “you should have stayed at home”.  It implies that the public are pretty much at mercy of policing bodies. It’s almost as if the statement could have been said from the point of view of the police. It implies that the authority that the holds are above the rights that the people have.

 

References:

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/