Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Police Service’
- In Libya, the Brits & Germans may have done it, and the Dutch tried it, but Canadians aren’t planning on doing it. “The Canadian military has no plans to conduct extraction raids into Libya and citizens who want out of the chaotic North African nation should make their way to embarkation points, the commander of the mission said Friday …. “There are no current plans to extract Canadians,” Lt.-Col. Tony DeJacolyn told The Canadian Press in an interview from Malta. “The current concept of operations is to move Canadian entitled persons and instruct them to move to points of exit, whether it be by sea or air.” ….”
- Of course, this story focuses on the KEY element of the Libyan evacuation effort in the lead paragraph. “Instead of rations, tents and makeshift showers, the command post for Canada’s military-assisted evacuation from Libya offers fruity drinks, poolside umbrellas and spa packages. Lt.-Col. Anthony DeJacolyn, the commander of that effort, has yet to indulge. Instead, the Pickering native and his team are pulling 21-hour days at Malta’s five-star Excelsior Hotel in an attempt to get to safety the Canadians remaining in Libya. Efforts in the early days of the crisis had mixed results. Charter planes were turned back midflight. Others that could land at the airport in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, were forced to return empty because no evacuees were ready to get on board ….” Have they run out of news angles so soon?
- More whining (this time from the International Committee of the Fourth International) about Canada in Libya. “…. Like the other imperialist powers, the Canadian government is depicting its plans to intervene militarily in Libya as born of altruism—of abhorrence at the repressive actions of Colonel Gaddafi’s regime, fear for the lives of ordinary Libyans as the country descends into civil war, and concern for the spread of democracy in North Africa and the Middle East. This is poppycock. If Canada’s government is plotting with the US and the European Union to intervene in Libya, it is because the popular upsurge that has toppled Mubarak in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia, hobbled Gaddafi, and challenged governments throughout North Africa and the Middle East is threatening vital imperialist economic and geo-strategic interests ….” Riiiiiiiiiiight.
- Meanwhile, remember the Canadian Peace Congress’ position on Canadian military forces headed to Libya, calling for less militarism and more “solidarity”? A good response from Patrick Ross over at the Propagandist: “…. Muammar al-Gadhafi doesn’t pay attention to Canadian protest rallies. I know: crazy, right? But somehow he just doesn’t care about what I hope will be thousands of Canadians – conservative and progressive alike — coming out to show their support for Libyans fighting for freedom in their own country. At times like this, solidarity can be a pretty great thing. But solidarity won’t stop a Libyan Mirage fighter jet from strafing a peaceful protest rally. But a Canadian CF-18 shooting it out of the sky sure as hell will. So it’s really this simple: either the so-called “peace movement” needs to be prepared to accept some kind of foreign intervention in Libya – whether it ends with a no-fly zone, or merely begins there – or they will have to accept what Muammar al-Gadhafi has been doing to his people ….” Well, Canadian Peace Alliance, which is it?
- A Toronto cop shares his story from Kandahar through Canada’s web page on Afghanistan.
- Toronto Terrorist Gets Life Sentence “Shareef Abdelhaleem, the final member of the Toronto 18 to be sentenced for his crimes, has been handed a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years. Abdelhaleem, 35, was sentenced Friday just before noon for his role in a homegrown terror plot to detonate bombs at the Toronto offices of CSIS, the Toronto Stock Exchange and an Ontario military base. He was found guilty last year of participating in a terrorist group and intending to cause an explosion. Ahead of his sentence, Shareef delivered a 23-minute rambling speech, in which he claimed he never intended to harm anyone. He also said that Canadians have been silent on the blatant injustice of his case…. ” More MSM coverage here.
- Alleged Edmonton Terrorist Back in Court “An Edmonton accused terrorist facing extradition to the U.S. is trying to block seized evidence from being sent south until the validity of the search warrant is examined. In a Court of Queen’s Bench hearing Thursday into the case of Iraqi-born Sayfildin Tahir-Sharif, defence lawyer Nate Whitling said an inquiry is necessary to make sure there were no Charter rights violations when police raided the 38-year-old’s north-side apartment on Jan. 19. “There has been an attempt to evade this inquiry,” said Whitling, suggesting authorities were attempting an “end run” by passing along evidence seized in the search to U.S. officials before ensuring the warrant was proper. “What we are saying is this was, in substance, a search and seizure and they should have followed the proper procedures,” said Whitling. Federal prosecutor Stacey Dej denied anything improper had taken place stemming from dual investigations by the American and Canadian authorities and said the RCMP had “acted responsibly” in its handling of the raid ….” More MSM coverage here.
- Alleged Ottawa Terrorist Still in Court “There is more than enough circumstantial evidence against former University of Ottawa professor Hassan Diab to justify his extradition to France, a federal Crown lawyer argued on Friday. Urging Justice Robert Maranger to ignore “emotional pleas” from Diab’s lawyer, prosecutor Jeffrey Johnston said the relatively “low standard” of evidence required by Canadian extradition law has been amply met during the protracted two-year proceedings against Diab. The Lebanese-born Canadian is wanted for murder and attempted murder by Paris police for his alleged role in the bombing of a synagogue in the French capital in October 1980. Diab, 57, says he is an innocent victim of mistaken identity ….”
- “The results of a sweeping federal review of veteran health services are being kept secret and former soldiers are losing out on benefits as a result, stakeholders say. “There’s something amiss,” said Liberal Sen. Percy Downe, who has been pressuring the government on the issue. “What we have is a cone of silence.” Since 2005, the Tories have been touting the Veterans Health Services Review as one of the most extensive ever undertaken by Veterans Affairs. It was meant to identify gaps in access to health programs plaguing this country’s vets – everything from spousal and burial benefits to the evolving needs of newer veterans. In 2008, then minister Greg Thompson told a Senate committee the review was nearly complete. “It is going to provide us with a way forward in terms of how we provide services to our veterans,” he said. But when Downe pushed the feds for information from the report in 2010, he was told the recommendations were “protected information.” ….”
- A hearty “well done” to Royal Canadian Regiment Colonel of the Regiment Walter Matheson Holmes for his work with those members of the regimental family needing help. This, from a statement announcing his Meritorious Service Decoration (Military Division): “Since June 2006, Colonel of the Regiment Holmes has been providing leadership and has been dedicated to The Royal Canadian Regiment. He championed the development of the Regimental Veterans’ Care Cell, as well as the sourcing of private funds to support both wounded soldiers and the post-secondary education of the children of fallen soldiers. These initiatives have enhanced the quality of life for both serving and retired members of the regiment. His service has brought great credit to The Royal Canadian Regiment and to the Canadian Forces.”
- The new Canadian training mission in Afghanistan takes shape (based on 3PPCLI?) “A battle group of Canadian soldiers originally intended to backstop the withdrawal from Kandahar is expected to form the nucleus of the country’s new training mission in Afghanistan. The general commanding the transition says a battalion-sized force of soldiers from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry had been set aside in case of emergency during the pullout, but military planners have determined it’s no longer required with the flood of American troops in the region. Brig.-Gen. Charles Lamarre says the scope of the training mission, expected to include 700 troops and 250 support staff, has yet to be determined. “We’re waiting for direction on what that structure will be; where it is Canada will put troops; and the location that will make the training mission work,” Lamarre told The Canadian Press in an interview. Whether the entire battalion or selected elements are used is still being debated ….”
- One Toronto cop’s story in Kandahar: “I spent nine months in Afghanistan, helping train police officers and patrolling with the military. I’m not a churchgoing man, but I’ve never done more praying in my life “
- Canada’s Governor General/Commander in Chief calls programs offered at Owl’s Head by ASF and Soldier On for injured soldiers “inspiring.” More about the Adaptive Sports Foundation here, and Soldier On here.
- Rallies planned to celebrate the end of Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan. “Veterans’ advocates are planning rallies across Canada to mark the end of the Afghanistan combat mission. The main event will be held in Ontario’s Niagara region July 9, with a series of smaller rallies in other communities to welcome home and thank the troops. Organizer Michael Blais said various veterans’ associations, vets’ motorcycle clubs and American veterans’ groups will be invited to take part in a weekend of activities that will include entertainment and military-themed exhibits. He said the objective is to honour soldiers for their duty and sacrifice. “I think Canadians have done an outstanding job in Afghanistan under very adverse circumstances and we should, as a nation, stand up when our troops have fulfilled the mission,” he said ….”
- “Dismissed by the Canadian Forces, Robert Semrau begins the next stage of life—as a civilian.”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: More attacks alleged on cops, convoys in Kandahar, Zabul.
- “A majority of Canadians see Arctic sovereignty as the country’s top foreign-policy priority and believe military resources should be shifted to the North from global conflicts, according to a new opinion poll. The survey also found that Canadians are generally far less receptive to negotiation and compromises on Arctic disputes than Americans. “That traditional notion of what is a Canadian is kind of challenged by this. We sound more like what people would say Americans would sound like dealing with international issues. That’s quite an eye-opener,” said Neil Desai, director of programs and communications at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. The findings are based on an Arctic-security poll of more than 9,000 people in the eight northern countries: Canada, the United States, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. The surveys were conducted by Ekos Research for the Munk School ….”
- F-35 Tug of War Latest: Former Canadian generals say, “Canadians need to be able to see through the many misconceptions that surround the F-35 acquisition, which is a vital element in the securing of our nation’s future”
- “A federal decision on whether the U.S.-based manufacturer of Canada’s new fleet of navy helicopters will pay millions of dollars in fines for late delivery will be made next month. A spokeswoman for Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose says Sikorsky’s request for Ottawa to excuse the latest delay for delivery of the Cyclones has been formally refused. But the company has appealed the refusal and a senior civil servant will make the final call on whether it musst pay $45,000 per day for up to 120 days of delay. Sikorsky told the federal government on Nov. 22 that it wouldn’t meet its Nov. 30 deadline to begin delivering the early version of the fleet of maritime helicopters because of an issue “outside of its control.” Sikorsky did not elaborate at the time. Rebecca Thompson, Ambrose’s spokeswoman, says the director general of the Public Works and Government Services Department will decide on Sikorsky’s appeal in February. The federal government originally ordered 28 Cyclones in 2004 with a delivery date of November 2008, but there have been delays in the more than $5-billion contract on at least two previous occasions ….”
- Canada’s Defence Minister dropping by Winnipeg to make an Air Force announcement, “in support of the Air Force’s role in the defence of Canada.”
- Big suicide bombing at Moscow airport, in the area where folks were waiting for loved ones to get off planes (i.e., no security to go through) – here’s what Canada’s PM had to say about it: “…. “The use of violence against innocent people must never be tolerated and we condemn those responsible for this horrible act. On behalf of our Government and people of Canada, I extend my deepest condolences to the Russian people and, in particular, the families and friends of those killed and injured in this tragedy. The international community faces an ongoing threat of terrorism and must remain vigilant as we work together with our allies to prevent future attacks. “While there are no known Canadian casualties at this time, our embassy in Moscow will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
- A Canadian Forces media advisory says Canada’s next contingent (a battle group based on troops from the Royal 22nd Regiment from Valcartier, Quebec) is beginning its deployment to Afghanistan – bonne chance, and stay safe!
- Canadian troops in Kandahar are now working for a new American boss, according to the Canadian Press. Meanwhile, the outgoing commander of Regional Command South, British General Nick Carter, is quoted by UK media saying that squeezing Taliban supply lines is making it harder for the insurgents to make IEDs: “The price of ammonium nitrate has increased 10 times. Basic IED components by 11 times. With these constraints and the economic impact of the poppy blight this year, we believe it is difficult for them to go on the offensive.”
- One sign of success in Kandahar, according to a story posted to the Government of Canada’s Afghan mission page? “Increased participation at local shuras shows that people are turning to their government to get things done. In southern Afghanistan, that means security operations are achieving a positive effect.” I hope so, but I’d be happy to see comments from those more in the know about such things.
- “It is in the early spring that they are going to have to start looking inward” - this from a Canadian officer just back from Afghanistan, quoted by Postmedia News, regarding how Canada will “rapidly begin winding down as much as three months before a July 1, 2011 deadline set by the House of Commons”.
- A reminder that it’s not JUST soldiers working hard in Afghanistan, from the Toronto Star: ” “Some things you just can’t change, so you have to make the best of it,” added the Jamaican-born police officer. “Most people can’t see it, but what we’re doing here is great.” (Toronto Police Service Constable Toronto police Constable Phillip Sinclair, 36) is one of 32 Canadian police, including several Toronto police officers, working against the clock in Kandahar to help the Afghan police force shape up before Canada’s military mission is set to end next July….”
- Is everyone in Cabinet happy with the Omar Khadr plea bargain, including serving part of his sentence here? Apparently not, if you believe this from this blog post by a Sun Media senior correspondent on Parliament Hill: “…. Conservative cabinet ministers are not happy with the Khadr deal and the reality that he will be returned to Canada next year and free shortly thereafter. On Monday when cabinet gathered to prepare for question period tempers flared. According to sources at the meeting and those close to cabinet ministers, there was yelling and accusations. Top Conservatives are also not happy with the way the Khadr deal was handled. The deal appears to have been sealed while Prime Minister Stephen Harper was travelling in Europe and there is the suggestion that foreign affairs officials used this time to offer and accept more than Harper was willing to. Diplomatic notes were exchanged with the Americans on October 23rd in the middle of Harper’s trip to Switzerland and the Ukraine. The question now is, was Harper fully aware? ….” My guess: would something this big go down WITHOUT the PM’s approval, no matter where he was in the world? If he could be reached, he could provide input.
- Canadian Press says: “A trove of leaked internal Veterans Affairs documents suggests bureaucrats knew from the beginning that a new system of benefits would mean less cash for injured soldiers with one analysis projecting savings of up to $40 million per year….” And who’s fault is it? According to the Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn, quoted by CP as well, “the Conservative government is only cleaning up the mess the Liberals left behind when it comes to benefits — or lack of them — for injured soldiers….” BTW, CP, any chance of sharing some of those documents with the public?
- Blog Watch: “UBC Student Brian Platt travels to Afghanistan for a 10-day trip to explore how the country has changed, and the role students and universities are playing”. Check it out – it’s great stuff. Meanwhile, my fave new acronym describing non-governmental organizations (oxymoronically) organized by governments: GONGO (Government-organized NGO). More on that, and how Afghanistan’s new Youth High Peace Council(link to ISAF news release) might be considered one, here at the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban claims responsibility for more than 30 killed in Kandahar, Zabul attacks
Enjoy your day!
…. The arrival of our war dead at the Coroner’s office always begins with a 2:00 PM arrival at CFB Trenton, and the trip from the base to downtown Toronto almost invariably takes about two and half hours.
The Anarchists and Trots lunged out of Allen Gardens up on Carleton and made a fast march towards Yonge Street, getting as far as College and Yonge with baseball bats and the occasional slingshot firing ball bearings (I overheard a police radio talking about molotov cocktails, too). In short, they got within about 150 metres of the Coroner’s Office just as the motorcade was arriving. The timing was not accidental.
It was clear that a lot of the out-of town police were taking the opportunity to pay their respects for one of our war dead and their presence was heavier than usual; but in the 15 minutes before the arrival of Sgt Macneil’s body, things got confusing. Buses and vehicles for hundreds of police in riot gear were suddenly heading into the Grosvenor/Bay intersection. The cops were frantically juggling traffic space and trying to get vehicles in place right up to the last minute. About 200 cops in riot gear were martialled right from their buses just as the hearse and the cars carrying Sgt Macneil’s family went by. Within seconds of the coffin being carried into the Coroner’s office and the last of his escort and family following, the riot squad marched by on the way to fend off (the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) ….
Lotsa Jail Birds, Lotsa (Proposed) Protests
…. On the streets of Toronto, the mask of “liberal democracy” has slipped off and the police reminded us of the State’s willingness to use blatant violence against its own population in the face of popular dissent. And thanks to citizen journalists, the alternative media and even some in the corporate media, the truth of what happened in Toronto is slowly emerging.
In order to make sure that the actions of the police state are fully exposed, we must keep up the pressure on the police and the government.
We must also publicly demonstrate our solidarity with all those arrested so that they are released as quickly as possible and charges are dropped against all those caught up in the net of the police state.
In Toronto, solidarity rallies outside detention centres and police stations are already taking place. But just as police forces from across the province converged on Toronto for the G20, so our resistance must spread out from the epicentre of oppression to every corner of the province.
Common Cause thus calls on all those concerned to take the fight back across the province and across the country.
Starting this Wednesday, June 30, we are calling for solidarity rallies outside police headquarters in as many cities as possible ….
Where are the latest ones planned so far?
June 30, 2010 in Hamilton
5:00pm at Hamilton Police Headquarters
155 King William Street
June 30, 2010 in London
6:00 pm at London Police Headquarters
601 Dundas St (Dundas and Adelaide)
June 30, 2010 in Windsor
6:00pm at Windsor Police Headquarters
150 Goyeau Street
June 30, 2010 in Ottawa
7pm at 474 Elgin Street (Ottawa Police Station)
July 1, 2010 in Montreal
1pm carré Phillips,
“Toronto Police seize machetes, sledgehammers, hot sauce from protesters”
Probably held and stashed away from the activists building a cutting, hammering, more tasty new world, right?
To Those Who Claim the Torched Police Cars Were Empty:
They weren’t – this from the Toronto Star:
…. At least three police vehicles were set ablaze by breakaway protesters, one belonging to Staff Sgt. Graham Queen, a father of two.
There are conspiracy theories that the burnt cruisers were “junk vehicles” planted by security officials to incite violence or distract anarchists from reaching the G20 fence. But Queen said he was driving west on Queen St., trailing an organized protest march, when a wall of black suddenly descended on his cruiser.
It was the Black Bloc, a group of darkly dressed anarchists that splintered from the main march at Queen St. W. and Spadina Ave. and were rushing toward the financial district.
Queen said his attackers started wordlessly banging on his car windows and jumping on the roof before quickly moving on.
Fellow officers came to his aid but were surrounded once more by protesters. Queen said he was struck by a pole. “I was hit in the back of the head,” he said.
Queen’s supervisor told him not to get back in the car due to the shattered glass and he removed some equipment while waiting for a tactical team. Because of the increasing violence and evolving chaos, he was forced to abandon his cruiser at 415 Queen St. W. in front of Steve’s Music Store.
Queen said he later learned his car had been burned while watching the news ….
Try to do the right thing, and whaddya get?
Sid Ryan, the union activist who worried about police “agents provocateurs” instigating violence, had this to say in the Toronto Star:
…. Rally organizers, including the Ontario Federation of Labour, worked diligently to ensure that our democratic right to lawful assembly would be respected, and that citizens could participate in a safe and peaceful event.
To this end, we liaised with the Toronto Police and cooperated at every turn. On the day, hundreds of volunteer marshals facilitated what was an extraordinarily successful event, given the tension that had pervaded the city in the days before.
Shamefully, a small number of hooligans used the cloak of our peaceful and lawful demonstration to commit petty acts of vandalism in the streets of Toronto. These actions were as deplorable and inexcusable as they were violent and self-serving ….
How is he perceived among some of the anti-capitalist hard-core?
Yeah, THIS Gets the Message Out There
If there is any consolation to be had, at least we can sleep easier knowing that the torture endured by the officers in the video above was worth it, since it helped the protesters get out their important messages in a valuable, productive manner that is bound to win support from from everyone who sees it.
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
To Those Saying the Police Didn’t Do Their Job….
…. some don’t see it that way:
There you have it – evidence from a self-proclaimed activist that it WASN’T agents provocateurs, right?
For more from all sides,
check out the page o’ links here.
Techie Arrest This (via Milnet.ca) from a Toronto Police Service news release:
On Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at approximately 2 p.m., as a result of an ongoing investigation, Toronto Police Service officers executed a search warrant at 58 Elderwood Drive, in the Bathurst and Lawrence area of Toronto. Byron Sonne, 37, of Toronto, has been arrested and charged with: 1) Intimidation of Justice System Participant by Threat 2) Intimidation of Justice System Participant by Watch and Beset 3) Mischief interfere with property 4) Attempt mischief 5) Possess explosive for unlawful purpose 6) Weapons dangerous. (….)
And just who IS Byron Sonne? The Toronto Star has pulled together some interesting information – he appears to be an IT security consultant who may not have been happy with the amount of money being spent on security for the Summit Season. CBC techie correspondent Jesse Hirsch says he heard Sonne say he “was trying to trigger alerts by buying innocuous items” as well as “monitor police & share via twitter”. One opinion, from a former employer:
None of the posts (via Twitter) made threats or suggested potential for harm. His talk is innocuous. And this all looks like a very large over-reaction from a police service that felt somewhat embarrassed that someone was publicly calling them out on their failure to encrypt their communications and poor placement of security cameras.
Here’s some of Sonne’s posts from his Twitter account over the past while:
don’t forget design flaw in most G20 fence: holes are small enough to thread big bolts in for extra leverage and grip #g20report these would be handy for scaling G20 fences; the ones I have at home would fit the smaller grid fence http://tinyurl.com/36hs6vp #g20report New videos of G20 Fence line finished uploading http://www.youtube.com/user/torontogoat these ones got me some police trouble #g20report
You be the judge. Sonne’s bail hearing reportedly continues Saturday.
Why They Won’t Denounce Violence
Globe & Mail columnist Marcus Gee nails it:
…. The fact is that activists find the violent fringe useful. Violence draws television cameras – if it bleeds, it leads – and cameras draw attention to the struggle. Activist leaders may not throw bricks themselves, but many will be quite content if others do. And when it happens, you can be sure they will blame the violence entirely on the police. To sock the copper and cry police brutality when he hits back is the oldest trick in the book. Activists are already calling the fence and the massed police a “provocation” – in other words, a green light for brick tossing ….
Sound Cannon Legal Fight Begins
A decision on whether so-called sound cannons can be legally used against G20 protesters will come Friday. An Ontario judge is hearing arguments today from two civil rights groups that want an injunction preventing their use. Lawyer Paul Cavalluzzo says Toronto residents should not be used as “guinea pigs” to see whether the sound cannons are safe. Cavalluzzo says the devices have the potential to permanently damage hearing ….
What Next – Locusts? First, there was the earthquake felt in Toronto. Now, a tornado not all that far from Huntsville:
A funnel cloud apparently touched down in Midland, Ont., tonight, damaging many town businesses including a trailer park. ‘‘If you saw the movie Twister, that’s pretty much what happened,” said Alisdair MacLean, the business manager of Midland Toyota on the town’s main thoroughfare, King Street ….
What DIDN’T Cause the Earthquake
Twitter smartass @G20Security is trying to reassure us regarding alternative theories of the earthquake that rattled Toronto and Ottawa Wednesday. His mythbusters:
Rumours are FALSE that Canada’s #G20 gift to Obama is a “tectonic plate”. No further rumours, or #fakequake, will be entertained.
Rumours are FALSE that “the quake was felt even by Scrooge, The Grinch, and the Prime Minister”
Rumours are FALSE that the “world’s most powerful vibrating dildo” is part of #G20 entertainment expense. You people are sick.
Rumours are FALSE that “Canada’s pension system is on shaky ground.”
Rumours are FALSE that it was “unstoppable rumbling of protester dissent”. This is a particularly cheesy and unimaginative rumour
Rumours are FALSE that it was a “vuvuzela attack”
Rumours are FALSE that it was “The HST impacting consumers”. This rumour is particularly esoteric and unhelpful
Rumours are FALSE that “Quebec is trying to separate”
Rumours are FALSE that a tsunami warning has been issued for G20 Lake.
I feel better already.
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 ….