You Should Have Stayed Home

Diogenes's picture
ImaWinner4 (28K)

In the four years that we have lived outside of Canada, there have been some events that have surprised, shocked, and angered us. Now we are wondering if we should return.

The worst, without a doubt, was on June 26 & 27 last year in Toronto. That is when Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosted the G8/G20 meetings. Harper has barely commented on the most important events that weekend. His majesty stays above it all.

His government has made every effort to thwart a proper public inquiry. Instead they have supported a hodge-podge of toothless panels, committees, and review boards populated by people more concerned keeping their jobs and ducking responsibility.

G20-Toronto-Police-Kicking-Unarmed-and-Tied-Up-Civilians (42K)

Arms were broken, faces kicked, a prosthetic leg ripped off a senior. Some had nasty bruises from rubber bullets, fired by goons clad in the anonymity of riot gear and gas masks, with their velcro name tags removed, or their badge numbers missing or altered. The images, the videos, and the testimony collected on the internet has been, to be kind, both incredible and surreal.

What happened that weekend was disgusting. Over 1100 people were arrested, detained, beaten, abused.

- 2 -
g20-toronto-arwen-riot-cop (29K)

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name

Over 90% of those arrested and detained were never charged with anything. Some who have plead guilty did so to a lighter offence of no consequence - a plea bargain offered by the crown to get out of jail NOW and put this whole sordid mess behind them. It worked.

Of the remaining charged, no convictions yet. Don't expect many either.

Consider the unfortunate case of the Dorian Barton. He was knocked down from behind by riot cops as he and his buddy were having their picture taken. He was then dragged by one arm to a paddy wagon. His arm was broken, his shoulder dislocated, his faced kicked. Then his hands were tied behind his back. He was denied medical treatment for 5 hours.

But what's puzzlin' you is the nature of my game

In spite of all of this, Dorian Barton has been charged with not one, but two offenses! Citizen of Canada, it might be good to sit down as you read this:

  1. Obstructing a police officer in the line of duty.
  2. Unlawful demonstration.

The story of Dorian Barton is part of an excellent episode from the CBC's documentary series The Fifth Estate. The February 25. 2011 episode is titled You Should Have Stayed At Home.

Maybe the title is a cynical take of the attitudes many Canadians had about the protests that weekend. The show is 45 minutes long and wastes too much time interviewing Toronto police chief Bill Blair. Maybe this is for the benefit of judicious souls who need unequivocal proof that Blair is nothing but a chickenshit bureaucrat who will never admit to a mistake and never take responsibility.

Update: the YouTube link below is no longer available. Thankfully I was able to watch it before it was pulled. The CBC video stream is blocked outside of Canada. Pity.

More Updates: the CBC removed the geo-fencing on this episode of The Fifth Estate, so now it's available to Canadians in other countries. Thank-you CBC.

- 3 -
G20-Toronto-Police-Shooting-Rubber-Bullets (43K)

- 4 -

Just as every cop is a criminal
  And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails, just call me lucifer
  Cause I'm in need of some restraint

The YouTube video on the left is a bit long (over 2 hours). That said, it is a great compilation of videos from the internet, especially with respect to the the sequence of events that weekend.

You can see for yourself that the cops gave those 'black-bloc' vandals lots of room to do their thing, even clearing the way for them in Toronto's banking district. Then the finale - abandoning two cop cars quite intentionally and for no apparent reason at all, except perhaps, to serve as vandal bait.

burningCopCar (17K)

It worked - the two cop cars were set on fire. Burn, baby, burn.

A beautiful photo opportunity was created for the mainstream media. The images of burning cops cars and the black-bloc vandals smashing windows appeared on TV and in newspapers across the nation.

- 5 -

All the authorities, they just sit around and boast

The public lapped it up. Black Bloc - evil. Burning cop cars - bad. Smashing the windows of Canada's banks (best in the world) - anarchy! Canada cannot stand for this! Clamp down! Lock 'em up. Who do they they think they're ****in' with anyway?

Chief-Bill-Blair (15K)

The ruse almost worked. A week later, Toronto city council voted unanimously to "commend the outstanding work" of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.

There was a lone dissenting voice though, on an ammendment to hold an external review: councillor Rob Ford.

In the continuing dystopian drama that is now Canada, this facist councillor was subsequently elected as the Mayor of Toronto!

How they blackmailed the seargeant-at-arms
RobFord (21K)  into leaving his post

Here is what Rob Ford had to say at the time (excerpts from the Toronto Star article)

Ford, alone in his vote opposing the inquiry, said that in the face of anarchists who ran down Yonge St. smashing shop windows, our police were too nice.

I don't think there should be an inquiry or review, of police actions, none whatsoever, said the Etobicoke North councillor. Our police force was more than polite, more than accommodating with the protesters, in the face of taunts and worse, he added.

If I was chief, I would have moved in Saturday afternoon and cleaned house, instead of waiting until Sunday to make mass arrests, Ford said.

- 6 -

When truth is stranger than fiction

I couldn't believe what I was reading. I thought Toronto was part of Canada, not some weird alternate universe.

But those pesky videos kept appearing on YouTube. And those annoying cell phone pictures kept being posted in blogs and, eventually, in newspapers.

There is very good evidence that the cop cars were left to burn.

There is very good evidence that the police planted agent-provacatuers in the crowd. After all, they have done it before. There is very good evidence that this was a bungled operation, a horrible abuse of human rights, a travesty of civil liberties in Canada.


No one has taken responsibilty. No one has admitted a mistake. All we get are excuses and lies. A public inquiry is the only answer, if only to provide the faintest of hopes that this will never be repeated again in Canada.

If we have an election, I hope every Canadian will ask their respective candidates what they thought of the G20 in Toronto and if a public inquiry might be a good thing.

You maybe asking the future leader of the country. Please Canada, pick the right one this time