Posts Tagged ‘G8’
- Some alleged terrorist bad boys, University of Manitoba alum, are being sought by the RCMP. “A four-year RCMP national security criminal investigation, known as Project Darken, has resulted in arrest warrants being issued for two former Winnipeg residents on terrorism-related charges. RCMP investigators in Winnipeg have compiled evidence that two Canadian citizens, Maiwand Yar and Ferid Ahmed Imam, conspired to travel to Pakistan for terrorist training, with plans to later join the insurgency against NATO forces in Afghanistan. Ferid Ahmed Imam, age 30, is being sought on charges of instructing to carry out terrorist activity and conspiracy to participate in activity of a terrorist group. Maiwand Yar, age 27, is being sought on charges of conspiracy to participate in activity of a terrorist group and participation in activity of a terrorist group. Both individuals are known to have traveled to Pakistan in March 2007. The current whereabouts of Maiwand Yar and Ferid Imam are unknown. These charges are being laid in absentia and Canada-wide arrest warrants have been issued for both men ….” Even CSIS’s Prairie Region boss made a statement on this one (PDF, via Army.ca). More from CNN here, Agence France-Presse here, A reminder: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada’s constitution, guarantees the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
- A few more details on one of the chaps, courtesy of the FBI: “A superseding indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court yesterday charging Ferid Imam, also known as “Yousef,” with providing and conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda, aiding and abetting the terrorist training of Najibullah Zazi, Zarein Ahmedzay, and Adis Medunjanin, and using a destructive device in furtherance of crimes of violence.1 The indictment was unsealed in coordination with Canadian authorities, who earlier today announced terrorism charges against Imam, who is a Canadian citizen. According to the Eastern District indictment, Imam aided and abetted Zazi, Ahmedzay, and Medunjanin’s receipt of military-type training from al Qaeda when the three men traveled to Pakistan in 2008. Zazi, Ahmedzay, and Medunjanin subsequently returned to the United States to carry out a plot to detonate improvised explosive devices on behalf of al Qaeda. This plot was uncovered and disrupted by law enforcement authorities in September 2009. Zazi pleaded guilty to his role in the plot on February 22, 2010; Ahmedzay similarly pleaded guilty on April 23, 2010 ….”
- Canada on a No-Fly Zone for Libya: We don’t reject the idea out of hand, but there’s no consensus among G8 members yet (plus we need a U.N. Security Council resolution).
- Interesting where some of those weapons and weapon parts Canada’s been selling ended up: “…. Almost $1.1 million worth of military goods were exported to Yemen in the reporting period. Most of those exports were aircraft, unmanned airborne vehicles and other aircraft equipment “specially designed or modified for military use.” Another $80,000 was dedicated to “specialized equipment for military training or for simulating military scenarios,” while less than $1,000 was exported to Yemen for “ammunition and fuse-setting devices, and specially designed components.” In 2009, Libya received more than $85,000 in military exports from Canada, with most of that total -$80,000 -going to military simulators ….” The full DFAIT report is here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) “The federal government is planning a campaign to “better inform” Canadians about the costs of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jets, according to one Conservative MP. The upcoming campaign comes on the heels of a report from the Parliamentary Budget Office last week that estimated the 65 jets Canada is buying could cost $29.3 billion, not the $16 billion the government had projected. But Tory MP Laurie Hawn, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence, said the government has “fundamental” problems with the PBO’s methodology. One of those problems is that the PBO’s estimate of the plane’s cost is based on historical data of cost-per-weight of other military aircraft. “We’re not buying a sack of potatoes here. We’re buying a high-tech piece of gear,” Hawn said. “That (methodology) may work well from a purely statistician, bean-counter perspective, but we don’t think it reflects the real-world actual costs of technology, materials or components going into the airplane. “That’s where we are coming up with our numbers, and we’re confident in them,” he added ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Meanwhile, south of the border where the F-35s are being tested/made, a government watchdog group says change is happening (but it’s also slowing things down). “DOD continues to restructure the JSF program, taking positive, substantial actions that should lead to more achievable and predictable outcomes. Restructuring has consequences–higher up-front development costs, fewer aircraft bought in the near term, training delays, and extended times for testing and delivering capabilities to warfighters. Total development funding is now estimated at $56.4 billion to complete in 2018, a 26 percent cost increase and a 5-year schedule slip from the current baseline ….” (h./t to Mark Collins for this one).
- How Canada’s Conference of Defence Associations reads the latest government spending plan for 2011-2012 when it comes to defence (PDF).
- Private Thomas Lawless, 1889-1917, CEF, R.I.P. “Nearly a century after his death, Private Thomas Lawless, a Canadian First World War soldier whose remains were recovered and identified on January 10, 2011, was buried today with full military honours at La Chaudière Military Cemetery, in Vimy, France …. Private Lawless was born on April 11, 1889, in Dublin, Ireland, and enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Calgary, Alberta. He was a member of the 49th Battalion, CEF, who fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Veterans Affairs Canada has provided support to the family members of Private Lawless and has also coordinated their participation in the interment ceremony ….” More from the Canadian Press here and Agence France-Presse here.
- “Repairing an aging federal air base in Labrador is not important for some members of the Canadian military, according to documents obtained by CBC News. “Infrastructure at Goose Bay would be an extremely low priority. Little would be accomplished at Goose Bay and infrastructure reduction measures would have to be taken,” wrote Major Nanette Fleissen in a February 2009 letter advising senior military officials about air base repairs. The internal Department of National Defence documents show the 5 Wing Goose Bay air base requires about $128-million worth of work ….” Again, I can’t find a link to any of the documents, so I guess nobody’s sharing them.
- “The national tax dollar watchdog is warning the feds not to get carried away with the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 next year. And even if a recently reported figure of $100 million for the commemoration is wrong, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is still cautioning restraint. “They’re going to have to borrow this money, whatever the costs are. Let’s be clear about this, they don’t have this money kicking around in a cookie jar marked ‘Bicentennial War of 1812 Fund’,” said Scott Hennig, the federation’s national communications director. “The government needs to be darned sure this spending is absolutely necessary. And we’re not even talking about fighting a real war here, where you might be able to justify borrowing money to go into debt, we’re talking about re-enacting one.” According to a media report Monday, the bicentennial celebrations will include re-enactments of the war’s famous battles, repairs to monuments and plaques, a national essay-writing competition, a documentary, a new visitor centre at Fort York in Toronto, and a new website dedicated to the war between the U.S. and Canada that resulted in the White House and Capital Building being burned during a British raid on Washington in 1814. A government source denounced the $100 million figure reported Monday, saying the government was planning to spend “significantly less.” Officials at the department of heritage declined interview requests from QMI Agency, but a spokesman for Heritage Minister James Moore said the government would be announcing details of the bicentennial “in due course ….” What? No puppets with South East Asian music re-enacting the battles? I’m crushed ….
It Really Doesn’t Get Clearer than This on Cops Using “Agent Provocateurs”
None of the (Integrated Security Unit) partners use so-called “agents provocateurs” – personnel intended to infiltrate and provoke action on the part of protestors or other organizations. In fact, the role of the police is to de-escalate tensions and preserve the peace.
Any protest organizers willing to be that clear about NOT using or condoning violence?
The message, via Twitter:
The police brutality in TO begins ….
Just saw police harass activists. Steal flag poles
Check this video to see the exchange, and how reasonable and open to discussion the protesters are.
Why take to the pavements of Toronto against:
The Vancouver Peoples’ Summit is sending a busload of protesters to Ontario to take part in G8 and G20 demonstrations next week. The 15-person bus with the words, “The Peoples’ Vision” painted on the side will arrive in Toronto on Thursday. Ries Memtink said he’s getting on the bus because the government isn’t listening to the concerns of Canadians about climate change, poverty, human rights and other issues. “People are concerned. And especially right now in Canada we have a democracy that’s not totally functioning,” he said. Memtink plans to keep his protests peaceful, and while some activists may be violent, he said he doesn’t understand why the government would waste so many millions of dollars on security …. “There’s no burning bras or picket signs or loud hailers or nobody’s throwing rocks around here,” (Vancouver Peoples’ Summit organizer Hunter) Moyes said. “We’re trying alternative tactics, in fact one of the subjects at my climate change table today is how do the tactics of activism have to change.” ….
I’ll believe that when I see it.
The Fun Begins!
Hundreds of noisy G20 demonstrators shut down traffic in downtown Toronto on Monday protesting the heavy police presence in the city. With the gathering of world leaders just days away, anti-poverty activists and others rallied at Allan Gardens. Chanting slogans such as “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Justice now!” the demonstrators — some masked, others wearing T-shirts with slogans or carrying banners — marched through the streets. They blocked intersections, briefly occupied an Esso gas station then walked past the Eaton Centre …. One protester was arrested. The demonstrators plan to stage another march during Tuesday afternoon’s rush hour ….
Jail support for indigenous sovereignty activist arrested at today’s (Monday’s) demo. All night at Eastern Ave. and Pape Street ….
Counsel for Ottawa Firebomb Suspects Not Happy
A lawyer for one of the men accused of firebombing an Ottawa bank is taking the federal government to task for commenting on the charges. Lawrence Greenspon said Monday it’s not right for public figures to talk about a case before the courts, noting a presumption of innocence is “a fundamental pillar of our criminal justice system.” “And I think it’s at the very least inappropriate to have public figures commenting on the nature of charges once those charges have been laid,” said Greenspon, who represents 58-year-old Ottawa resident Roger Clement. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews issued a statement Saturday applauding police shortly after they held a rare Saturday morning news conference to announce charges against Clement and two other Ottawa men ….
“I commend the outstanding cooperation between law enforcement agencies that led to these arrests. The dedication and tireless work of police has once again succeeded in making our communities safer …. We will follow this case with interest.”
Protest Theme o’ the Day for Tuesday?
Calling all: queers, homos, transfolk, gender benders and blenders, fierce femmes, leather daddies and mamas, poets, voguers, artists, brazen butches, freaks, riot grrrls and bois, MCs, porn stars, singers, dancers and ruckus causers! Organizers of tomorrow’s day of action for queer rights have released a call to action against the G8/G20 Summits in Toronto. June 22, 2010 Day of Action: “Bring your bedazzled balaclavas and colourful masks if you want, along with something hot pink (extra armbands will be available), signs, banners, noisemakers, instruments!” Meet: 4:30 pm @ Queen Street and Yonge Street …. I sure damn hope that the Roving Kiss-In Action will still go down; I’ve noticed it’s been taken off the Toronto Community Mobilization Network’s calendar …. Please Note: Do not attempt to kiss a police officer. While everyone might be enchanted by how great the event is, touching a cop anywhere on their body with anywhere on your body could lead to an assault charge ….
For more from all sides,
check out the page o’ links here.
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 ….