It's Canada Day and raining; fitting for funerals always look better that way. I'm neither naive nor a romantic; I've written too many obituaries for Canadian soldiers needlessly killed fighting the 21st Century version of the Great Game in Afghanistan to harbour still the myths of Canada's good and peaceful intentions abroad.
I've witnessed enough too of the brutality and criminality now common among police forces across the nation to still believe they are a force designed to serve and protect the interests of any but Canada's slim elite, themselves seconded to rule in the interests of trans-national corporations.
We recently saw what amounts to a kind of coronation for the court of the faceless Corpocracy at the G20 summit in Toronto. There the police went to ridiculous lengths to convince the powers behind the thrones Canadian democracy would not prove a hindrance to the global dominion of the few, as represented by turnstile bureaucrats and the courtiers assembled.
The protection of these worthies was merited an expenditure that would, in days past, been sufficient for a NASA shuttle launch, (perhaps an idea for the next planned meetings?).
The three day confab price tag is said to be an amount that, as well as being the rough equivalent of the cost of running the state broadcast organ CBC for a year, would also be sufficient to house, at market prices, the Greater Toronto Region's estimated 80,000 under and unhoused citizens for a year.
The majority of that public lucre doled out to as yet unidentified beneficiaries is said to be for "security costs." More than a billion dollars for a weekend's worth of safe conduct for a social soiree that could likely have accomplished better its stated goals using Skype and a laptop.
How can we know if this meetings of ministers of finance and financiers was a success? The rabble, so assiduously kept a long arm's length of the law from the action, must read behind the lines to take any meaning away from this exercise. The highlight declarations emanating the G20 summit are a commitment of sorts for the world's largest economies to eviscerate the public service, reducing their budget deficits by half, while raising taxes to make good the astronomical debt bubble created by unrestricted investment houses from New York and Toronto to Tokyo, Rome, Paris and London; an approach more than half the nations in attendance think is risky, given the precarious state of the global economy.
And, as with other G20 moments where motherhood promises to fund are made, this time the rose-coloured promise is the mother of motherhood issues. Maternal health for the less rosy coloured untermensch, though a salve looking good on paper, is as with past summit promises to eliminate poverty in Africa, and to provide AIDS drugs to the poor, is likely to be quietly forgotten before the next circus convenes.
So, what can we paying for this take away?
In Toronto: Police brutality, torture, illegal arrest and detention; busted limbs and heads; a trashing of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and, the great divide between We the People and They the State Police made painfully obvious.
On the other side: Police used the time and money to stock their already bristling arsenals; and, for intensive bonding and training sessions, where they could share new ways and means to humiliate and subjugate those they ostensibly joined up to serve and protect.
While the corporate and state presses remained largely supportive of the gross excess of both the financial and social costs of the summit before and during the G20, they have been quick to enjoin criticism now, charging from their bunkers to snipe the wounded. None are more wounded than Toronto's police chief, who the CBC exposed lying during a press conference about weapons seized from those attending demonstrations, both legal and less so.
Toronto PD called the press conference to reveal to the world why the billion dollars spent was necessary, displaying to the media a wide array of exotic weapons that would outfit nicely a Mad Max remake. There, police chief Bill Blair proudly displayed pistols, rifles, maces, mail armor, knives, gas masks, crossbows, and a chainsaw... Chainsaws!?
You may think you missed the television images of the black clad, masked horror wielding the whining chainsaw through the mass of horrified storm troopers; or been in the toilet when the chain-mail clad archer was firing crossbow bolts into fleeing crowds of terrified Torontonians during the "street riots." You missed them not; the chainsaws and crossbows were not actually taken from anyone at or near the G20. They were props added to the contraband arsenal, presumably for effect.
No crossbows, no chainsaws: Check.
So, the billion dollar question is: How much of what the Toronto police chief has to say is true (for the media it seems: Who cares; let's on to the next story)? But, as my favourite policeman used to say:
"Just one more thing..."
Brian Barrett hails from the shire of Whitby, near Toronto. The 25 year old swain was on his way that cursed day to the city when all was commotion. He wasn't going there to protest, but was armed and ready for battle.
Alas, poor Brian ran afoul of Sheriff Blair's black guard whilst en route to his joust.
Verily, Brian belongs to one of those groups of gamer geeks who love nothing more than to live out their fantasy battles. Dressing up in Medieval costume, they meet in park settings to swing foam swords and axes at each other.
Rightly feeling a-feared for the safety and security of the land, the wise and clever guardians of good Fortress Toronto, on finding Brian furtively walking through Union Station, foam weapons in hand, clapped the rascal in irons, taking from him his vile instruments of destruction.
Poor Brian languished in the Big Smoke's dungeon for hours before his release, but his weapons remained.
On returning home to the shire, what should Brian see on yon boob tube but the wicked Sheriff of Hog Town displaying his wares of war for the world to see, saying of them they disturb the peace of the city.
Sayeth Brian to the scribes then;
"He turns around and states that they are specifically dangerous terrorist items that were solely intended to hurt police. That's unacceptable to me."
Yes, good Brian it is unacceptable to me too. And it is unacceptable Canadians allow liars, thieves, traitors, and blackamoors dismantle the law of the land, the ancient and good Common Law, the Great Charter many fought and died for over the centuries before we inheritors of the decent society arrived.
We see Canada become a nation where the people are ruled not with justice but are lorded over as serfs, suffering the caprices of the high and mighty.
Chris Cook is ssociate editor of Atlantic Free Press and hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca
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