G20-Toronto participatory inquiry in full swing
by Denis G. Rancourt
The 2010 G20 police state mass aggression in Toronto has led to unprecedented alternative and popular media coverage. Photos, raw video footage, video reports, Indy media articles, independent radio reports, documented testimonies, and social media commentaries are pouring in.
Taken together, this spontaneous and autonomously produced information is the evolving factual, interpretative, and recommendation parts of a self-organized participatory inquiry into the police state crimes of G20-Toronto. It will be more complete and more true than any official report from a government-appointed inquiry or than any ruling from a group action lawsuit.
We don’t need daddy to tell us what happened or that “mistakes” were made. We need daddy to be subjected to the consequences of having designed and allowed this mass aggression. A few of those consequences are and should be the lawsuits, the official inquiries, the human and civil rights organization condemnations, the negative media coverage, demotions and firings, the loss of credibility and legitimacy, and much more.
One of the most disturbing results of the participatory inquiry, at a systemic level, is that these cops aren’t just pigs.
The targeting, intimidation, and terrorizing of protestors - treated like “the enemy” in a war – was, like with all recent anti-globalization protests, systematic. The patterns described by the thousands of victims (from psychological intimidation to broken skin and rape, e.g., HERE, HERE) are identical. These are no ordinary pigs. These thugs had to be trained to execute these manoeuvres against civil society.
It is the modus operandi of US anti-democratic terrorism to train the military hit squads of client states (for example in Latin America) to search out and destroy civil society: union leaders, activist teachers, independent media, community organizers, etc.
Exactly the same tactics are being used against activists and organizers in Canada. The cops are trained to view activists, not as the much needed societal agents that they are, but as “the enemy” that must be destroyed. Pre-emptive arrests, bogus charges, ad-hoc interrogations, imposed restrictive undertakings, and much more.
This extends to campuses such as the University of Ottawa where bogus criminal charges are routinely levelled against activist students (see reports on the UofOWatch blog). And it extends to the streets where anti-poverty organizers and the homeless themselves are targeted and into every workplace and school where anything but “cooperation” is quashed.
These cops are not just racist (all-ists) individuals because of their particular personal circumstances. Their language and actions show that they are trained into a military culture where protestors and activists are the enemy and are to be rooted out and intimidated away from societal participation. They aren’t just pigs. They are anti-democracy commandos.
All the cops that let the one cop brutally attack Guardian journalist Jesse Rosenfeld (HERE) and that did not arrest their criminal colleague are as guilty as the main physical attacker. There has to be a strong militaristic culture among these cops for them to allow their own brutality in full public view, often with cameras rolling.
Let us demand (publicly pressure) that the official public inquiry and legal disclosures include an investigation into police training and tactics regarding the profiling of activists and the intimidation protocols for demonstrators.
Of course the cops are people too. That’s why it’s not a waste of time to be straight up with them and to face them down and to expose them and to justly punish them and their bosses. They’re not just pigs.
Addendum: I make the following concrete tentative suggestion for detainee support. Organize workshops about the legal process and how to represent yourself. Represent yourself, plead not guilty and go the full distance to trial. The Crown has the burden of the proof and must completely disclose its case and evidence to you before you make your case. Ask for disclosures as soon as you can. The disclosures can be shared after trial with the media. This will so expose the false and ludicrous bases for arrests… and it will put the cops on the stand and the disclosures will name the cops. Team up with others who can help. Don’t let a lawyer representing you make a (for your own good) corrupt compromise deal with the Crown.
Denis G. Rancourt was a tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009 by a president who is a staunch supporter of Israeli policy. [See www.academicfreedom.ca] [Other social activism essays by Denis G. Rancourt are listed HERE.]