G8/G20 Security Highlights, 16 Jun 10
Toronto Police sources tell 680News that over a dozen uniforms are missing after being sent out to be cleaned over the past few days.
Police fear the uniforms could be used be people to misrepresent themselves as officers.
Toronto police public relations spokesperson Meaghan Gray told 680News she would not comment on the situation but said that security issues are always a concern.
“Certainly during this G20 planning period we’ve asked for our corporate partners to be particularly aware of any of these situations and to report any cases immediately to us.” said Gray ….
Wireless companies say they’ve been told their signals may be jammed during the G8 and G20 summits, but aren’t being given any more information about how thousands of cellphone users could be affected. Wireless industry sources told the Canadian Press that the jamming technology is expected only to be used to create a moving bubble of electronic silence around motorcades ….
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is seeking a court injunction to prevent Toronto and provincial police from using devices until they have been approved as weapons by the government or the controversial “beam” function has been disabled.
The application, filed Monday, describes the long range acoustic device as “a non-lethal weapon that can be set to induce pain,” and argues that the instrument must be approved for use by the provincial solicitor general as other weapons are ….
According to the results of a Google Maps search, the “designated speech area” set aside for protesters of the Muskoka 2010 G8 Summit in Huntsville, Ontario, is an estimated nine kilometers from the actual site of the conference.
A representative of the G8 Integrated Security Unit told the Straight that the distance between the two locations is actually seven kilometers, but nevertheless, far enough away that nobody attending the summit is going to hear the voice of an activist.
However, Sgt. Peter Chamberlain, a spokesperson for the ISU, noted that there is very little difference between a designated speech area and a sidewalk.
“Even though there is a designated speech area selected, the protest groups have absolutely no obligation to use that location if they don’t want to,” he said. But, Chamberlain continued, the site is a location that media outlets are aware of and so can act as a staging ground for activists to speak directly to news outlets ….
When security experts talk about the problems posed by protesters at this month’s G20 summit — the activists who present the “chief threat” to the city and its guests — they are largely talking about a collective of elusive protesters hooded and clad in head-to-toe black.
The Black Bloc, which grabbed international attention for its raucous appearance at the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, is not a group, but rather a tactic used by self-described anarchists who promote violence in the form of property damage and direct confrontation with police.
“They are the chief threat — they are the people we know are going to turn up and cause problems,” said John Thompson, a security expert and president of the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute, an organization that focuses on political instability and organized violence. “They are adrenaline junkies who are there to elicit confrontation.”
The loosely connected activists sport hoods or balaclavas to conceal their identity and, while protesters do not often organize prior to an event, their all-black uniform gives them an air of solidarity.
Peter St. John, a University of Manitoba professor who specializes in security issues, said the Black Bloc is a “sophisticated” and “radical” movement with a history of violence and a penchant for “shop-smashing.”
“These people are doing more than protesting — they are using violence to advance their agenda,” said Mr. St. John, citing Black Bloc-led vandalism at the Vancouver Olympics as an example. “And when you start using violence, you’re really coming under the rubric of a terrorist organization.” ….
As the government defends the more than $1 billion security price tag attached to the upcoming G8 and G20 summits security experts suggest authorities should be preparing to deal with a familiar group of anti-globalization activists known for instigating violence.
The protesters, usually clad in black and who hide their identities with hoods and masks, are self-described anti-corporate anarchists known for hurling rocks at police and smashing store fronts. The group isn’t organized. The term Black Bloc refers to a protesting technique.
Security experts claim these types of protesters represent the one to two per cent who incite violence and vandalism at international summits and they’re the main reason security costs are so high, published reports suggest ….