According to me…..

Posts tagged ‘police’

Jumble of Thoughts


Just some things that are on my mind – and it doesn’t take much to fill it, so occasionally I must empty!  lol

1.  Why would the Toronto Star publish an article saying that they have the first picture of the *first mass appearance of the Black Bloc* on the weekend of the G20 – outside of the police station…. (August 21, 2010 page IN3)  I mean, I have videos and pictures from Allan Gardens…. before the march began.  The pictures and videos are of them getting changed into the black attire they are so well known for, and people with them shooing away anyone with a camera.   I’m sure others have this documentation too.  I heard the police beside me discussing them… as they walked past me on the march.  This was on Friday, before all the problems – they could have stopped this.  Sigh.


2.  If police here are so interested in stopping drag racing, then why don’t they keep tabs on them on the net?  There are websites where these drivers all chat and they discuss when and where their next meet is… If I can find these sites, why aren’t the police?  Twice we’ve called them to report these activities… and twice no police car has shown up.

These ones
http://www.gtaltima.com/index.php
And these ones
http://www.torontomaxima.com/

3.  I think a new wave has hit Toronto…. Twice today on my bike someone in a car randomly screamed out the window at me.  Not words, nothing like that…. one person, a younger fella, just screamed out the passenger window, and not twenty minutes later, and older gentlemen, driving yelled BANG out his window.  Just things to startle a biker… And that’s not a very nice game at all.  How will they feel if they startle someone so bad that they wipe out and die?  Is this Rob Ford induced mania?


Just stuff…. circling around in my noggin.

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PRIDE 2010 – Finally. lol


Ok, I’ve sorted through the pictures and decided which are my faves, so now I can BLOG it. lol

First thing that happened… a security guy with Pride was telling folks to move along.  Something was going on, I think with EMS fellas.. and he was herding people along… he comes up to me and asks if I was taking pictures, I said no, not a one… if you know me… lol  So he tells me to delete them!!!  Ha ha ha… not on your life.  Then I turned back and took a picture of HIM for good measure. lol

Pride Security

Pride Security


After that it was all fun!  Except for… well, no, including nearly getting myself arrested. lol  Some of the police still had on their stern faces, left over from the G20.  It was a different atmosphere altogether from last year.   I don’t think the crowds were as big, or as free spirited.  There was a wariness in the air.  That aside, I still had a blast.  Or perhaps because of that. lol  This one kept telling me to move back… until finally I told him I was 44 and made it this far all by myself – and I was pretty sure I had enough sense to move back when the vehicles passed.   When he got really ratty with me I told him to go get his riot gear on and be a man…when he got on his radio I decided I should stop poking the bear and move along.  Ha…see?  I’m not dumb!  lol

Police

Police

The manager of Java Jive, one of my fave hangouts – coffee shop – he did some singing and I just happened to catch the end of his show. The pix aren’t too great, but here he is anyway, ’cause he’s just lovely!!!  🙂

CLICK HERE to join their facebook!!

Eugene

Eugene

And there were the usual wonderful costumes to see… just be thankful I’m not posting the peeny weenies. lol  Men walking about naked… not sure what that has to do with expressing your sexuality except that you are an exhibitionist. lol

Um...Clown?

Um...Clown?

On one of them newfangled two wheel things.  Lean forward, it moves.

On one of them newfangled two wheel things. Lean forward, it moves.

No Idea...and no one was in it.

No Idea...and no one was in it.


The washrooms – ack…don’t ask.  This poor fella just came out of one and was washing his hands…you could smell them from quite far off. lol  See?  I’m giving you all the nitty gritty, the entire skinny – good and bad.  lol I can assure you, the shirt did NOT help.  Groan.

Washroom Adventures.

Washroom Adventures.


My most most most favorite part of Pride is the drummers.  Terrato – from Montreal.  And I was lucky to see them again!!!  We had to run down Yonge Street, then Gerrard and back up Church to catch them, but catch them we did. lol  Even spoke to Joe, the main leader guy.  They didn’t play as long this year after the parade, only about a 20 minute thing.  Last year they seemed to go on forever!!  I think it was the heat, they mentioned already losing one band member to the heat and exhaustion. 😦

Joe, jumping!

Joe, jumping!

A Dancer

A Dancer

These two are terrific!

These two are terrific!


G20 Riots in Toronto.


Well, what is there to say about all this?

Too much, that’s what.

There’s a lot of info.  I’m going to need a coffee for this one!  Ok, coffee is brewing. 🙂

To start off with – the media.  They have published nonstop over the last month or so about the costs.  About the fences, and fake lakes, and cost of security, and number of security / police being brought in.  They have really helped in getting the public angry at the government.  Publishing the truth or not, you hear it everyday and you see people starving, homeless, treated unequally – and you start to wonder.  The government said there was no money to feed it’s own people, yet here we are – spending like money is no issue.

You have Toronto – homeless folks are being rounded up and hidden away in a newly built holding jail.  You have a new lake.  How much did this cost?  Why not spend that on our already troubled lakes?  Boarded up windows, and security.  77 new security cameras placed in the downtown core… where they were considering removing the already existing cameras.  Police presence is felt by all.  So now Toronto is becoming *tidy* and a police state.  Enough to put anyone on edge.  They remove garbage cans, bus booths, mail boxes.  They take down trees, old trees.  They build a fence around the area to be *protected*.

Then they tell us we can’t travel in certain areas of our own city.  We can’t use our cell phones in our city – they will be jammed.  If you go anywhere, make sure you have ID.  Don’t fly kites.  Don’t take pictures.  Reports of police smashing people’s cameras.  All main attractions are to be shut down.  The PATH is shut down.  That’s an under the city walkway.  It connects most of downtown through tunnels, with stores and such.

Everyone knows that a G20 is THE place to protest. Some folks say that they shouldn’t have held it here.  Why not?  We want free speech and freedom, liberty, all that… why can’t they come here?  Toronto WAS a peaceful place.  Saying they should have gone elsewhere is the same as telling us where we can or can’t protest.  So they tell the public that the only legal place they can rally is at Queen’s Park.  A rally is held at Allan Gardens instead on Friday, and it’s peaceful – as are all the rallies and marches here, normally.  The police are suddenly authorized to search you illegally.  We got to the rally and they were going through everyone’s bags – one woman I was with is a hair dresser, they took her hair cutting scissors… her livelihood.  They have the right to arrest you – without question and their word is law.  Yep – no questions asked, if you are arrested within these two days – the police don’t even have to defend their side.  You are wrong.  End of story.   They tell us that they can tear gas us, or pepper spray and that they have this sound, sonic boom thing.  They get marginal use – there are rules behind using it, but they can if need be.  You go on a peaceful march and the police surround you, put on riot gear and push forward into you.  Intimidation?  Do you think that people will just say, oh, ok…and go home?  In Canada we are allowed to gather and be heard.  It’s not illegal, well, it wasn’t until we got guests for dinner.

Riot Gear

Riot Gear

I’m going to go get my coffee, I’ll be right back.  Alright.  I’m ready.

So the next day, Saturday – you have the *legal* rally at the proper allocated location.  It’s advertised as a family gathering put on by local unions.  Great!  Terrific!  If the police behaved the way they did on Friday, then Saturday…well, I don’t need to say it.  It’s all over the news.  A splinter group goes off to wreak havoc.  This group is well known as anarchists – Black Bloc.  This group WAS in attendance on Friday.  They were marching beside me at one point and I overheard the police discussing them.  They marched in single file, all holding a piece of black cloth to hide behind, and they were dressed all in black, identities covered.  The police had them on Friday.  Maybe legally they couldn’t touch them on Friday, so they had to wait for something to happen first.   But you would think they’d have been ready for this?   Except that they were already given the power to arrest for no reason.

Black Blok

Black Bloc

This group breaks off from the main march (which had been described as a parade up to this point) and they begin destroying everything in their path.  They are clearly seen all over the news, smashing, breaking, jumping on things, throwing things.  Yes, they were violent.  No, I don’t think they are from Toronto.  People have traveled by the bus loads to get to Toronto for this G20 business.  It would appear that about this time mob mentality took over… and they got followers.  This went well into the night.  The roar died down at about 3 am, with 480 people jailed.  Perhaps it was the perfect forum for folks to finally display their anger at the treatment they’ve been receiving.

I strongly believe that if the government provided no welfare whatsoever, and left folks to die in the streets that there would be a massive social uproar.  Well, this IS the case.  They are starving their people.  People are homeless.  Massive unrest is the only thing that will get their attention and bring about change.  If folks sit quietly at home – hungry, alone – what change will occur?  None.  But if people rally together and fight for change, and get loud and strong enough, then change must come.  We vote those politicians in and then they starve their people and refuse to hear them.  They hold the G20 (top 30 folks, according to themselves) to decide our fates without hearing us.  Without a shred of decency.  All it comes down to is money.  Big corporations.   Bail out the big companies, but starve your peoples.  The very people that put you in office.

The police pushed for war here.  They did NOT do a good job.  They incited part of this.  Yes, these fellas came here with violence in their hearts and with malicious cause… to destroy or distract from the causes and issues we are all fighting for.  But I saw them.  I saw what really happened.  We had the police chief on tv saying that they never tear gassed and they never used rubber bullets.  But they did – it was caught on film and rubber bullets found in the road.  He later admitted to the tear gas.  This is a new age, Mr. Blair…we have cameras on all our phones.   The media coverage was extensive.  How are you hiding the truth?   Now you are just a liar.  And Mr. Blair?  How can they be heading NORTH on Queen????  Do you even know what city you are in?  lol

Two police cars set on fire.  Why were they there in the first place – parked in the middle of the street for no apparent reason.  Unattended.  And who set the fires?  After seeing the behavior of the police I certainly see this as a valid question.

You get news coverage, the likes of Gord Martineau.  He interviewed John Clarke of OCAP.  Well, if you can call it that, but what he really did was attempt to bully and trample Mr. Clarke.  He wouldn’t let him finish a sentence, and interrupted him in such a way that anyone else would have thumped him a good one.  Then at the end of the so called interview, his eyes glazed over and with a disdainful and insincere look he thanked Mr. Clarke for his time.   He did not, for one second, really want to hear what John Clarke had to say….he was there to pick a fight and place blame.  Thankfully Mr. Clarke is no sissy, held his ground and even managed to get a word in edgewise.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

Questions:  Has this given Toronto a black eye?  Was the violence too extreme?  I think people understand that the initial rioters were not from here… that normally Toronto is known for its peace.  I also think that the anger and violence was taken out on the wrong people… shop owners.  They are just trying to make a living.  They lashed out at the small guys… when it’s big corps that needed to feel the heat of their angst.  And was it really their cause?  If the citizens here did that you could say it was to get attention for their issues, and that they had finally had enough… but it wasn’t…so were they here simply to riot?  On one hand I’m glad they did it… something has to be done, and it has to be drastic for the *higher* ups to take notice.  Obviously they aren’t listening…

In the same breath… would anyone have listened if this hadn’t happened?   Has this overridden any of the voices that should have been heard.  Distracted attention as I believe it was meant to do?  I suppose time will tell.  Let’s not forget, there’s still today – and they plan to *attack* again.  Insofar as all this is concerned…why don’t the top 30 just Skype like everyone else? lol

Ah, finished just in time.  That was a great coffee!

June 25th Rally and March!


It was a chore just to get there.  🙂  I got on the subway and they had closed from Woodbine to Broadview.  This meant waiting on a shuttle bus – that never came.  Luckily I know my way around the city and went around.

I really enjoyed this!  The rally was peaceful, there was music and laughter… people coming together with hopes – a gathering of like minded souls.  There were some incredibly creative methods of getting messages out there.

Women and Maternity Rights Women and Maternity Rights
Women and Maternity Rights

This guy had a body attached to his behind.. with the head vanishing up the..ahem.

This guy had a body attached to his behind.. with the head vanishing up the..ahem.

Drummers

Drummers

All Sort of Music

All Sort of Music

Then we got to hear John Clarke speak – and I just adore him!  He is one of THE best speakers I’ve ever heard on ANY topic.  He is so motivating and I’m lucky to have heard him three times now.

John Clarke, OCAP
John Clarke, OCAP

The march began!  We all knew it was risky going in, and everyone was ready.  The police presence was huge, as was expected – but I was surprised there weren’t any police on horses or bikes – the last march saw them in abundance.   The march was incredible.  We took the same route as the last march – which means up Carlton, past Yonge… and through there – if you know the area – it’s like a huge wind tunnel with all the tall buildings on either side.  This time was magnificent.  The chanting echo climbing up the buildings, empowering.  People gathered on their balconies and on the sidewalk, cheering and taking pictures.

The March

The March

Once we were about to cross Yonge Street the problems started.  The police had – unbeknownst to us until a whispered rumor trickled down the line – started forcing the marchers back to from whence it came. lol  But the back, where we were close to, was still going forward.  I noticed a lot of police bicycles suddenly pull up all along the sides of the parade.  The police got off their bikes, put the kick stands up and removed their helmets.  Then they put on riot helmets.  I nudged my two partners (we all went with partners) and advised them of what was going on and that I felt something was afoot.

Just then the people who had come to the rally and dressed all in black (Black Blok), hiding their identities, came along side the marchers – in a long procession – single file, carrying black cloth, all sewn together, to hide behind.  Right beside us.  On the other side we had some guys with bandanas over their faces.  We know this was in case of pepper spray, or tear gas.. but the police beside us were discussing who they were keeping an eye on.  We were basically in the worst place possible. lol  I pointed these facts out to my partners and we all agreed that maybe we should pull out.  The police wouldn’t let us leave… so we went to the very back of the march and were finally allowed out.

Black Group - Hidden Identities

Black Group - Hidden Identities


As we stood watching the rear of the crowd – a row of guys got in front of the – suddenly there – row of bicycle police.  The guys with the signs kneeled down on the pavement in front of the police on bikes and were chanting… then they got up and did a group hug.

Police PUSHING Protesters Forward
Police PUSHING Protesters Forward


In front of the police on bikes was a row of police on foot, in riot gear… these officers started to advance, pushing the row of sign laden guys up to Yonge Street… slowly… and the guys were dancing and frolicking in front of the police, taking their time, unconcerned….poking the bear, as it were.  Luckily no one got hurt there.

Police at the Rear

Police at the Rear


They pushed the entire crowd up past Yonge Street… and – we didn’t know this until after – but the crowd had stopped because the police had arrested a man.  A man that tried to cross their barrier… he wanted to go to the store –  he was deaf.  They took him to the newly created Jail holding cells on Eastern.  His friends knew what happened and stayed at the jail through the night chanting and demanding his release.

The police had brought in two big trucks that are used for moving prisoners from jails to courts, and back.  They then backed them out.  Pure intimidation.  Then they brought in the horses… these police officers followed the march.

The march that I was in later returned to Allan Gardens – where we had started – and built a tent city to protest homeless issues.  They slept there, chanting unill about 11:00 pm, peacefully, and had breakfast in the morning – with the intent of returning to today’s march – “Get Off The Fence”.

I was going to go today, but I’m exhausted. lol  It didn’t take much to be talked out of it – since it was raining and I am starting to feel rather run down.  Tomorrow is the hard core march – the militant march – where groups will confront the G20 at the fence that was built to protect them.  I won’t be part of that.  In fact, my daughter just called to make sure I’m not there…there’s pure mayhem downtown right now.  Today was supposed to be peaceful, there are children there – but someone blew up a police car, apparently. 😦


G8 Summit?


G8_Huntsville

G8_Huntsville

Call me daft, but I don’t understand.

The summit this year is being held in Canada, yay us… but it’s being held in Huntsville.  Huntsville!!!  It’s three hours away from Toronto.  225 KM.  Really??

So WHY are they adding 77 new cameras to the downtown core?  Can you say *excuse to add more cameras*?  They had decided before this came to be that there were enough cameras…hell, they were going to remove some!!

And why are our streets downtown smothered in police rounding up every person they can – homeless, bike riders, your usual suspects in petty crime… they’ve already got over 80 people off the streets.  They are all doing overtime.  You can’t move without seeing them.   The event isn’t until the end of June… and they’ve converted the old Film Studio down on Lakeshore to hold prisoners.

WTF?  Is it just me or has this world gone a little wacked?  Do they suppose that homeless folks are going to hitchhike to Huntsville to do harm to these special people?  Do they really even suppose folks care?  I would think they are busy locating food, or somewhere to sleep and that the G8 summit is the last thing they care about – or folks on bikes…they’re going to ride out there, are they?   I know those folks down in that area of Toronto, and they could give a rat’s ass!!!  Seriously – governments…get over yourselves.

And, last – they’ve decided to allow people to rally at Queen’s Park.   LOL  That’ll really impact the world leaders way up in Huntsville.  lol

~~~Walks away shaking head and mumbling…….

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