Police State well underway – and Friday miscellany too!

This does NOT give me warm and fuzzy feelings…

‘The public has nothing to fear with this legislation and the way the police will use this legislation. It really comes down to a case of common sense and officer discretion.’— Sgt. Tim Burrows of the G8/G20 Integrated Security Unit

The Ontario Legisl;ature passed, without debate, a special piece of legislation called the Public Works Protection Act. It gives the right for security jackboots to search anyone who comes near the Gee-Wow-Fence.  Police, at their discretion, can deny access to the area and “use whatever force is necessary” to keep people out. And those who refuse to provide the cops with their identity or reason for being there can be fined a few hundred bucks… but here is the kicker:

The regulation also says that if someone has a dispute with an officer and it goes to court “the police officer’s statement under oath is considered conclusive evidence under the Act.”

Say what? This means that the accused is denied the right to a fair hearing, does it not? The police can lie all they want (like the RCMP did in the Robert Dziekanski case) and get away with it.

True, the special powers expire when the summit is over, but from the 21st to the 28th, Canadians will be subject to the same limitations on their freedom as did the East Germans before the Wall came down.

Friday thoughts…

1. Why are there still parents who, despite all of the risks, drive around a busy city with their little kids perched in the front seat or on their lap? I saw this twice this morning? Is this not child endangerment?

2. Why do many male teens who wear ball caps keep the sticker on the brim and not tear it off?

3. My posts about the Great Quake of 2010 garnered just shy of 2200 hits on the 22nd and another 250 yesterday… a new record for a single post! Yay me!

4. Again on the Quake – it was interesting to see how folks reacted when it happened. A few freaked out. A few were confused about what exactly was going on. And some, like one of my colleagues just down the hall, didn’t even notice the quake. I’ve also heard stories about geese feeding on the shore suddenly heading to the water, cats that hi-tailed it to the basement and dogs running in circles. I think there is something primal in all creatures that kicks in when the earth moves.

5. The World Cup is pretty exciting, eh? France and Italy both get knocked out (YAY!). I’m looking forward – and with dread – to the England/Germany clash on Sunday. Wayne Rooney is going to have to be a lot better if the 3 Lions have a chance in this one!

(4020)

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13 Comments to “Police State well underway – and Friday miscellany too!”

  1. If a police state was established, I’d agree with you. But since that is not the case, you’re simply wrong. A specific security measure with specific limitations was enacted for a specific event at a specific place. That’s not a police state, and to call it one shows complete ignorance of what a police state is, and cheapens the term.

    Yes, you can tresspass on public property. You can get a ticket for tresspass on parliament hill, which is public property. Ergo, you can tresspass on public property. QED. Whether that ticket will stand up in court is, perhaps, a matter for another discussion, but since you can be arrested and ticketed there and it is public property, your position is necessarily incorrect.

    And yes, the idiocy was not near the event. That means the security measures worked, to some degree. The fact that this kind of idiocy happened at all justifies the legislation though. It’s going to be held up as the example for future events of this nature.

    • trashee says:

      So fine – let me be clearer. It was an action that a police state would take. Most of the arrests and the police thuggery occurred well away from the event. And I suspect strongly that a number of agent provocateurs were responsible for any violence on the part of the protesters. This is also a common trait of a police state.
      The Parliament Hill example is a little out of context. We are not talking about Federally-owned and policed and regulated lands. We are talking about public thoroughfares.
      Answer me this – if I stepped outside and stood on Scott Street on top of a soap box and decried the government as a buncha morons, would I be charged with trespassing – NO… of course not.
      Mischief, yes. Obstructing traffic, yes. Being stupid.. well, if there was a law, I’d be charged with that as well.
      Sorry Squid dude – but this is a point upon which you and I won’t agree.
      On another point – going to BOLO tonight?

  2. trashee says:

    @Evolving Squid
    A few idiots hell bent on causing harm does not justify the establishment of a police state.
    Deal with the idiots and leave those who are exercising their democratic right the freedom to do so.

  3. trashee says:

    @Evolving Squid
    No Squid dude. You are wrong. You cannot trespass on public property. Period. In a past life I was an urban planner specialising in property law.
    And why is this a big deal?
    This is why:
    http://fillibluster.blogspot.com/
    These folks are nowhere near the fence and in a designated “protest zone”.
    Sorry dude.

  4. Looks like some Toronto douchebags justified this regulation yesterday.

  5. @trashee – you are incorrect. You can be trespassing on “public” property. People get tickets for it on Parliament Hill, for example. Generally, you have to be making an ass of yourself in the extreme, but it does happen. What constitutes public property is pretty much subject to the will of the Crown. You can also get a ticket for crossing the street. Every numbnut who crosses outside of a marked crosswalk or against a light is jaywalking. That the police don’t regularly enforce that law doesn’t make it legal.

    Additionally, public or no, the government is sometimes tasked to provide security for sites. When that happens the property effectively ceases to be public for the duration of the event/situation/whatever.

    Traditionally, the area would be secured by the military under an aid to civil power call-out. Soldiers don’t search you and give you a ticket… They warn you and then bust a cap in your ass. So I think having an intermediate level where regular police do the work is definitely a superior choice. Police are less disciplined than soldiers, however, so I do agree with you partially. Soldiers, incidentally, *HATE* this kind of civil call out because there’s always a handful of assholes who deliberately try and provoke the security. Better the assholes work on police than soldiers IMO. Have you ever been put in that position? I had to start the process to quell a prison riot back in the 80’s. It’s not cool having to turn soldiers into security forces on their own countrymen, even scumbags in jail. I was lucky: the prisoners calmed down when they heard there were 400 infantry coming from up the valley.

    The government has a right to secure these sites, and I see nothing unreasonable in this temporary measure. If they try to extend it beyond the summit, that would be unreasonable.

  6. trashee says:

    @trashee
    But Squid dude – they are NOT trespassing! The fence is on public property and hence one cannot be accused of trespassing! Unless the area has been entered into Land Titles as a property under the purposes of the Act, one cannot trespass on a public area… can you be charged if you cross the street?
    Of course not.
    Re: “security forces, executing their rightful job should have no powers to protect the people and property in their charge”… look – it’s not that – it is the reasonableness of the those powers. And the right of someone who runs afoul of those with those powers to a day in court. The cops will NOT be reasonable – guaranteed… and the legal rights of individual Canadians are being tramped into the pavement.
    This most definitely IS a “big deal”.

  7. Ken says:

    As I was trying to point out over at MCotU, I’m just pointing out the irony that it’s the Liberals passing laws like this (and not the “fascist, dictator Conservatives”), which make people call Ontario a police state.

  8. The problem with this law is what, exactly?

    Are you suggesting:

    – That people should be free to trespass unchallenged?
    – That security forces, executing their rightful job should have no powers to protect the people and property in their charge?

    This is not a blanket law that lets cops strip search you on the By Ward market because it’s a sunny day.

    It is, however, the same basic rules that apply to the military when they are asked to provide security. Historically, they’d just ask the army to do this work. And we all know how soldiers in a security role love to be all cuddles and smiles.

    I don’t see what the big deal is, but perhaps someone here or over at chez Ken can explain it.

  9. trashee says:

    Rule Brittania!!!!

  10. XUP says:

    England is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO going down!

  11. Dave 1949 says:

    Besides the obvious reversion to a police state, which is right in line with everything to do with these summits, what slays me about this is that it goes into effect if you are within 5 metres of the fence.
    Put up a fence and then take another 5 metres of public space.
    AS for England I think more than Rooney will have to raise their game. SO far they have looked slow and sloppy in getting as far as they have. I hope they can pull it off but I doubt it from what I’ve seen so far.

  12. Ken says:

    Interesting.

    The Liberal government passed this bill. Interesting indeed…

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