Posts Tagged ‘G20 Toronto 2010’

My impression of the representation of the G20 summit was that it did not in fact show most of the cover-up done by the police as well as the laws at the time it took place. Overall my impression was that the Fifth Estate did a good job at projecting all sides of the story, from the police deviance (attacking individuals from behind, giving the order to have the dog attack a person, not wearing name tags to be unidentifiable, using smoke bombs on unsuspecting individuals ,etc), to the small groups of individuals who did damage police cars and buildings as well as the individuals who were detained and beaten by officers for no reason.

As for the issues arising, I believe the issues will be more faced in the direction of the police from its citizens of Toronto and across the country. After seeing the video, I was extremely angered mainly at the fact that the police were able to detain people well over the 24 hour limit, as well as deny them legal counsel and basic necessities (food, water, etc) as shown in the video. I was also extremely angered that there were well over 1100 people detained and only 98 charged with 12 pleading guilty. It showed that the police used additional force and power when not entitled to. Also, another issue that I found upsetting was that at the time the video was made, only 1 officer had been charged. There were hundred of officers breaking the law and more importantly causing bodily harm. The real issues arising will be the public’s lack of trust in its police force and how to proceed with the trust broken.

The police deviance and accountability depicted, I noticed that even after the video of officers using excessive force was shown to the Bill Blair, the police Commissioner, his reaction did not differ as one would suspect. With regards to the accountability, I feel that no matter what the officers would receive, as some only received docked pay and others a few days suspended, it is not enough since clearly damaging a few individuals’ physical capabilities and more importantly their psyche. The trust that is placed in the police is most definitely broken even in myself. After hearing what occurred and talking with friends that went to the summit and seeing it now, it brings back many emotions even though I was not there.

Regarding the title, “you should have stayed at home”, as said in the documentary “I find it offensive”, I too do find it offensive.  The implications of making that statement suggest that the individuals that were detained due to being on a mission to cause trouble or make a statement when in fact most weren’t aware of what was actually occurring and were more curious at seeing a large peaceful protest.

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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

The video below, uploaded by TheRealNews, depicts how a Toronto police officer, A. Josephs, threatens to arrest a protestor during the 2010 G20 event in Toronto for blowing bubbles near Toronto’s Parkdale Community. This officer, whom was later on nicknamed as “Officer Bubbles,” told the young woman that her actions will lead to an arrest for assault. After 20 minutes later, the young woman, along with other protestors were searched and arrested.

From this video, it shows how some police officers are pathetic enough to find random reasons to get someone off the streets.