Aggression during G20 perpetrated by police, but demonstrations criminalized by Harper & McGuinty, or “When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called “the People’s Stick.”- Mikhail Bakunin
In my previous post I wrote about one of the McGuinty government’s most egregious hours: McGuinty’s management of “security” at last year’s G20 Summit meetings in Toronto. In today’s Star, Justice Melvyn Green has vindicated the actions of demonstrators at Queen & Spadina on Saturday of the protests. In essence, Justice Green concludes that yes indeed the people were beaten with people’s stick:
“The zealous exercise of police arrest powers in the context of political demonstrations risks distorting the necessary if delicate balance between law enforcement concerns for public safety and order, on the one hand, and individual rights and freedoms, on the other,” Green wrote in a 29-page judgment.
However, while the police should bear responsibility for their actions, they should not bear the responsibility, as the article states, for “criminalizing” political demonstration. That was done by the State.
The head of CSIS, Richard Fadden, before the demonstrations even began stated that the major security concern was not terrorism but the demonstrators. The riot gear, the make shift jails, and the surreptitious, “illegal and likely unconstitutional” enactment of a secret law, all of these preparations are what served to “criminalize” the G20 demonstrations.
And Dalton Mcguinty was instrumental in this criminalization. From The Star on Dec. 7, 2010, “Ombudsman charges G20 secret law was ‘illegal’:
It was “illegal” and “likely unconstitutional” for Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government to pass a secret regulation that police used to detain people near Toronto’s G20 summit of world leaders last summer, says Ombudsman Andre Marin.
In a scorching 125-page report entitled Caught in the Act, Marin said the measure “should never have been enacted” and “was almost certainly beyond the authority of the government to enact.”
“Responsible protesters and civil rights groups who took the trouble to educate themselves about their rights had no way of knowing they were walking into a trap – they were literally caught in the Act; the Public Works Protection Act and its pernicious regulatory offspring,” he told reporters.