Interesting to listen to the battle for the minds of Canadians being waged by, in one corner, the Harperites, Queen’s Parks and the T.O. cops… and in the other corner, the activist groups, community groups and individual Canucks.
At issue – did the cops step over the line during the Gee-Score protests?
As with most of these issues, the truth likely lies somewhere in betwixt and between. While I am sure that, cops being cops, some did get too rough, covered their badges and name tags, and acted as agents provacateurs. No doubt. And there is video evidence of this.
I posted a vid of a little lady blowing bubbles in the direction of the line of cops where one guy about 56 times bigger than her was being a real asshole and harrumphing that she would be charged with assault if one of the bubbles landed on the big guy. Then the vid cuts to the bubble blower being loaded into a van. Yeah, I know the what-happened-in-between was edited out, but my point was that some members of the security forces were getting way overboard and letting their power go to their already inflated heads.
As for the demonstrators? For sure some of them went waaaaay over the line too. There is no excuse for vandalism and violence. As a pacifist, I believe that protests need not be violent and more sympathy can be garnered for the “cause” if one demonstrates civility. I personally despise those who destroy for whatever the cause may be.
But - and again, there is video evidence – the vast, VAST majority of the protesters were indeed civil. They didn’t throw things aside from epithets. They stayed within the rules. They acted civil. BUT, this god behaviour was not respected in several instances where the police broke up – often violently – groups that were clearly not doing anything wrong. They were exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.
As The Clash said:
Know your rights
These are your rights
Know these rights
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you’re not
Dumb enough to actually try it.