Monday, May 31, 2010

Canada: G8 and G20 summits - June, 2010

G20 officer: ‘This ain’t Canada right now’
Nicole Baute, Staff Reporter
Published On Thu Jan 20 2011
A York Region police officer confronts a protester on Day 2 of the G20 summit
A G20 incident caught on video that shows a York Regional Police officer telling a protester he is no longer in Canada and has no civil rights is under investigation.
The video shows several activists standing outside of the G20 security perimeter at King St. W. and University Ave. on June 27 while their bags are searched by a group of police officers. The mood is pleasant until a young man in a black T-shirt and cap refuses to hand over his backpack.
Just outside the St. Andrew subway station, a male York Regional Police officer wraps one arm around the protester and tells him: “You don’t get a choice, get moving.”
“Why are you grabbing me, man?” says the unidentified protester, who in another G20 video gives a brief monologue about animal rights. “I didn’t do anything.”
The officer’s badge number, 815, is clearly visible in the video. The officer with that number, Sgt. Mark Charlebois, said in an email that he would love to speak but couldn’t because the matter was before the Ontario Independent Police Review Director.
“If I was sensitive, I would likely be crying all the time with the comments about me,” he said.
No one from the OIPRD was available to comment.
York police media officer Sgt. Gary Phillips said the incident was the subject of a citizen’s complaint.
In the video, a woman’s voice from behind the camera points out that the protesters are not within 5 metres of the cordoned-off zone — the area in which Torontonians were led to believe, erroneously, that they could legally be searched by police officers at whim.
The male protester insists that, as a Canadian, he has the right to refuse the search. But the officer disagrees.
“This ain’t Canada right now,” he says.
While the crowd laughs in disbelief, the officer continues to tell the protester he has two choices: leave, or open his bag. The protester continues to refuse to do either. “I just don’t like to have my civil rights violated,” he says eventually.
“There is no civil rights here in this area,” the officer replies. “How many times do you gotta be told that?”
“I was upset that police officers could make those kinds of statements in a democracy,” says Derek Soberal, co-filmmaker of the film Toronto G20 Exposed, who re-posted the video on his YouTube site.
The video has been viewed more than 40,000 times.

DiManno: How long can Blair stay shackled?
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair addresses the media at a press conference held at the Empress hotel in Victoria, BC.
By Rosie DiManno Columnist for The Toronto Star 
Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
Anybody got the keys to Police Chief Bill Blair’s handcuffs?
Because Toronto’s top cop — indisputably the most powerful municipal law enforcement official in Canada — has got a bad case of the shackles.
Five officers identified by late Wednesday afternoon as cop-on-civilian combatants during the G20 Summit protests and there’s apparently precious little Blair can do about it.
Can’t fire ’em. Can’t suspend ’em without pay, pending a disciplinary hearing. Can’t compel them — if designated by the Special Investigations Unit as subject officers, which hasn’t happened yet with this quintet — to come forth for interviewing by the independent agency.
So what’s a chief for?
Blair, who won’t resign and won’t be fired, will, he vowed to the Star, call the Frenzy Five on the carpet, his carpet, for a . . . what? Dressing down? Stitching up? Bollocking?
“I can’t fire anybody until they’re convicted by a tribunal under the Police Act’s code of conduct,’’ Blair said in a phone interview Wednesday from Victoria, B.C., where he’s been attending a chiefs of police meeting — while a firestorm of controversy rages in this city.
“But once I know who they are, I will order them in. Yes, absolutely.’’
Refusal would be an act of insubordination and possible cause for dismissal.
Subject officers have the constitutional right to decline questioning by the SIU. They do not, however, have any right of refusal against their chief under the Police Act — though nothing they say can be used against them in a criminal prosecution; can’t even be turned over to the SIU for perusal.
That’s the Catch-22.
Hands tied, says Blair.
“We’ve gone to all our senior officers and asked them to identify the (individuals) who are recognizable from video and photographs that have now emerged, including those whose name tags are not evident. Our forensics people are all over it.’’
Toronto Police only have those name tags because Blair insisted on the new rule in 2006. Badge numbers are worn on hats and epaulets — except when they’re removed or covered over, as scores took pains to do before that chaotic scene broke out on the Legislature grounds, 91 cops subsequently docked one day’s pay for the transgression.
“Any information we gather will be turned over to the SIU,’’ Blair continued, if minus the contents of
conversation with officers summoned to his office. “But I can’t get a step ahead of the SIU investigation. The SIU has invoked, and now reinvoked, their mandate as primary investigators. They get first crack.’’
This is the SIU that concluded it lacked sufficient corroborating evidence when probing six specific complaints against officers who allegedly used excessive force against civilians during the Queen’s Park melee. But, acting on fresh visual evidence — including a videotape and still photographs obtained by the Star in recent days — the SIU has reopened its probe, particularly into the baton-wielding pile-on against Adam Nobody, who suffered a broken nose and shattered cheekbone.
As of Wednesday night, the police department had identified five of six officers who engaged in vicious take-downs.
Meanwhile, a twitchy Blair held a news conference in Victoria, belatedly responding to the growing chorus demanding his head in Toronto. Essentially, though, the chief has tossed the ball back into the SIU’s court and its director Ian Scott, the same institution that Blair maligned for its investigative incompetence in a radio interview last week, for which the chief has since apologized.
“The rules are explicit,’’ Blair told the Star, referring to the administrative tangle of jurisdiction. “I can’t just go charging in, in the middle of an SIU investigation. Mr. Scott would go off the dial if I tried that. There are laws. There is a process. The SIU goes first.
“I need cause under the Police Act, if this is a matter of discipline or police misconduct.’’
Yet surely there is cause — the apparent abuse of power, the indefensible bushwhacking of peaceful protesters at Queen’s Park last June, unarmed citizens exercising their right to gather and jeer if they so wished, in a venue specifically designated for the purpose. These demonstrators were palpably not the same scofflaws who wreaked havoc in the city over that scary weekend, smashing windows and torching a scout car. And still they were rousted, rassled to the ground, scooped up for arrest by the hundreds and hustled into a temporary jail.
Six months passed without any outward indication that any of the antagonists-in-blue would be held to
account for overstepping their authority, those who pounded on protesters at Queen’s Park and the many more who wrongfully forced citizens to identify themselves and submit to searches in the misapplication of an obscure “secret’’ regulation that suddenly invested police with exceptional powers of harassment.
That, Blair has conceded, was a mistake. Regulation 233/10, under the 71-year-old Public Works Act — better known as the five-metre rule — was drastically overplayed and grossly extended by police during the summit and probably illegal in the first place, according to a report by Ontario ombudsman André Marin.
Blair is blaming City of Toronto lawyers, who he says were the bright lights who had seized upon the legislation as a pre-emptive resource before and during the summit.
“They were exploring common law authorities that we could use,’’ said Blair. “I asked for clarity. The city’s lawyers sent me a letter saying that I had to make a request to the (Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services). They said that request had to come from police. I had my legal counsel look it over, I signed it and sent it on.’’
On that basis, police were advised — in error — of the five-metre rule.
Blair insists there was never intent to keep the regulation secret, as Marin has charged. And the chief did own up to the error after media exposure. “The advice we received changed. It had been my honest belief that the rule extended to five metres outside the (perimeter) fence. Then I was told, no, it only applied inside the fence and we immediately told everybody in our police service.’’
Blair further contends that officers who demanded civilians identify themselves and allow searches far distant from the security area were not relying on Regulation 233/10 but, rather, on breach of peace arrest authority.
These are details that much of the public will not grasp and many will simply reject. They sense obfuscation when they hear it and the vast majority are not knee-jerk cop-bashers. In the main, these are people who have an ingrained trust of police and respect for Blair. They feel collectively betrayed. They are rightly sore.
Listen. The truth is that Bill Blair is probably the best, certainly the smartest, police chief that Toronto has had in years. Unfortunately, he also presided over the biggest police scandal ever in the city — the “most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history,’’ in the words of Marin, who slammed Blair in his scorching analysis.
“I don’t think anyone can accuse me of not holding my people accountable,’’ Blair told the Star.
But accountability is not laggard, chief, and it starts at the top. So far, that’s not what I’m hearing. Perhaps we just don’t speak the same language.
Baton-wielding officer seen in new photo
Jayme Poisson, Staff Reporter
Published On Thu Dec 9, 2010
It’s our guy, again.
Black gloves. Raised visor. Moustache and goatee. Wielding baton.
Only this time, it’s not Adam Nobody or National Post photographer Colin O’Connor at the receiving end.
Blogger Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy says she was struck twice by that now infamous baton, swung by a badgeless, nameless officer who left a welt on her right hip.
Pictures, along with a written account and a link to a website titled were emailed to the Star by two readers.
The Star does not have a picture of the officer actually hitting Bettencourt-McCarthy, only with baton held high.
The Star does have a video of that same officer jabbing Nobody with a baton, and pictures of him taking down O’Connor. The officer’s identity has yet to be revealed.
Bettencourt-McCarthy recalled police charging the crowd at Queen’s Park on the afternoon of June 26, “dragging people down and beating individuals and dragging them behind barricades.
“I saw a few officers take down a man next to me . . . and they began beating him while he was in the fetal
position on the ground.”
Then, she turned around and “I got hit from behind by an officer. He struck me twice. Then he turned, and I ran.”
The 23-year-old Torontoist blogger made a complaint to the RCMP and got a letter saying it was being looked into. “There hasn’t been a lot of progress in terms of justice,” she said.
In an interview Wednesday morning, Police Chief Bill Blair called the Star’s newly released videos and pictures “exceptionally helpful.”
By the afternoon, the chief said five officers had been identified as a result. Two were previously named by the Star, which ran pictures of them with their name tags on.
At press time, it was unclear whether the officer with the baton was one of the five.
The names will go to the Special Investigations Unit which gets “first crack” at looking into the matter, Blair said.
The independent police watchdog can now decide whether there are grounds for criminal charges.
“I’m quite prepared, and I think it’s going to be demonstrated, to hold my people responsible for their conduct,” said Blair.
In response to Ontario ombudsman André Marin’s biting criticism of the chief for not cooperating in his investigation of the controversial “five-metre law,” Blair said Marin’s mandate was to only look at how the legislation was passed and communicated by Queen’s Park.
Other reviews are currently looking at police conduct during the G20 “and we’re cooperating fully with all of those,” the chief said.
Lawyer Sunil Mathai said he and his client, Adam Nobody, were disappointed to hear Blair did not cooperate with the ombudsman.
“If leadership is picking and choosing which investigations to cooperate with, then there is no accountability coming from the top,” he said.
“It should not take two citizens and the Toronto Star to have to push this investigation forward.”
Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, echoed Blair’s sentiment that officers are duty-bound to report misconduct.
When asked whether he thinks recent events have eroded the public’s confidence in police, he said: “I think that everybody needs to keep in mind that this is a very narrow scope of policing in the city. The G20 was one event. It was a very dynamic and live weekend.
“These are photographs and images of an event but they don’t tell the whole story.”
McCormack said people should wait until a full investigation has been carried out.
For Bettencourt-McCarthy, who is from the U.S., it will be difficult for police to gain back her trust.
“Before the G20 I never had any negative image of the Canadian police,” she said.
Ontario never should have enacted G20 summit security law, Ombudsman’s report says
Anna Mehler Paperny
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Wednesday, Dec. 08, 2010
In their haste to bump up G20 security, Ontario authorities kept silent on a convoluted amendment to 71-year-old legislation that was “illegal” and “likely unconstitutional,” abrogating the Charter rights of thousands of people in the process, says Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin.
Toronto police Chief Bill Blair, who requested the regulation, misrepresented it after officers were trained according to an incorrect interpretation of the law, Mr. Marin said. The chief then refused to speak with or provide information to the Ombudsman investigating its execution.
Police spokesman Mark Pugash argues Mr. Marin was overstepping his jurisdiction by making the request. And Chief Blair, for his part, says he did everything in his power to ensure his officers applied the law correctly.
"I certainly made no effort to deceive anyone or to withhold information," he told CTV Tuesday.
But according to Mr. Marin, the secretive amendment to the Public Works Protection Act put in place
without debate in the weeks leading up to Toronto’s G20 summit shouldn’t have been enacted, period. The 1939 law was originally meant to protect public works during the war. The regulation allowed police to detain, question and arrest without warrant people within the G20 security perimeter. Chief Blair told reporters the Friday before the summit that it gave police those privileges within five metres of the fence.
It even became a source of friction within the Integrated Security Unit for which it was ostensibly created: E-mails from ISU members distance OPP and RCMP forces from the regulation, with one July 1 e-mail noting the regulation was “clearly a [Toronto Police Service] request.”
Community Safety Minister Jim Bradley said Tuesday he is committed unequivocally to adopting the recommendations in Mr. Marin’s report, which include revising the act or replacing it entirely, examining whether the range of powers it gives police is appropriate and developing a protocol on informing the public when police are given added authority. The province has six months to report back on its progress.
Premier Dalton McGuinty wouldn’t comment on the 125-page report Tuesday, saying he hasn’t read it.
Authorities deliberately kept the public in the dark on the law, Mr. Marin told reporters, in what he called “the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history” which “amounted to martial law in Toronto.”
“The ministry at one point said, ‘We could've done better.’ You’re darn right they could have done better,”
he said. “There was a premeditated, planned, conscious decision not to announce the existence of the legislation or the reviving of this act.”
In his report, he said: “By creating security zones to bar entry and by authorizing arrest, it imposed definite limits on freedom of expression.”
The report also found widespread misapplication of the law, with police stopping, searching and arresting people passing well outside the area to which it applied.
But the Toronto Police Service said that simply isn’t the case.
“His allegation that hundreds were detained under the PWPA is entirely false,” Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee said in an interview.
Mr. Marin said he received “zero” co-operation from the police during his investigation. A string of e-mails from between the Ombudsman’s office and the Toronto police indicate Chief Blair repeatedly declined requests for information and to interview his officers and himself regarding the regulation.
In an Aug. 5 letter, the ombudsman’s office asked for “copies of any document” given to police officers regarding the Public Works Protection Act, as well as interviews with five officers and one sergeant concerning their conduct in relation to the regulation.
In a reply three weeks later, Chief Blair’s counsel declined: “While the Chief does not want to hamper the work of the Ombudsman’s Office,” said Jerome Wiley, he has instructed me to advise you that the Toronto Police Service will not comply with the requests in your letter.”
The missive notes the ombudsman “has no jurisdiction over the police,” and adds that “there are civil actions, Ontario Human Rights Complaints, a review by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, a review by the Toronto Police Services Board and a large number of criminal cases which potentially could be affected.”
A second letter, dated Sept. 1, requested an interview with Chief Blair and “any documentation” relating to the regulation. The reply was identical.
“Our position was and is that we are co-operating fully with bodies that have jurisdiction over the police service,” said police spokesman Mark Pugash, noting that in addition to Ontario’s Office of the Independent Review Director and the province’s Special Investigations Unit, the Police Services Board has commissioned its own independent review of police conduct during the G20.
“You have three bodies investigating these issues. Another body comes along that has no authority or jurisdiction – where do you draw the line?”
Opposition has field day after McGuinty admits security law kept Ontarians in the dark
Karen Howlett
TORONTO— Globe and Mail Update
Published Wednesday, Dec. 08, 2010
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says his government acted too quickly and kept the public in the dark when it handed police special powers that violated people’s civil liberties during last summer’s G20 summit.
He made the admission a day after the province’s Ombudsman said the now infamous secret measure, made at the direct request of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, was “likely illegal” and never should have been enacted.
“This was an extraordinary regulation and it deserved more transparency and more debate,” Mr. McGuinty conceded to reporters on Wednesday.
But his comments did little to end the controversy at the provincial legislature, where opposition members called for the resignation of Community Safety Minister Jim Bradley. It was Mr. Bradley’s predecessor, Rick Bartolucci, who was harshly criticized in the Ombudsman’s report for plotting to keep the measure under wraps last June. But Mr. Bartolucci was moved to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing two months later as part of a cabinet shuffle.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak accused the Premier of exercising “extraordinary poor judgment” in enacting powers normally reserved for times of war and for “conspiring” to keep them secret.
“This was not a simple error,” Mr. Hudak said during Question Period on Wednesday. “It was not a simple mistake. The Ombudsman said this was a premeditated plan to keep the general public in the dark.”
New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath accused the Premier of exercising “appallingly” poor judgment and called on him to apologize to all Ontarians.
“Did he really think it was perfectly okay to secretly enact an illegal and unconstitutional wartime regulation?” she said during Question Period. “What happened during the G20 showed a chilling disregard for people’s civil liberties and for democracy itself.”
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin’s report focused on a G20 regulation quietly passed by the McGuinty government last summer that left Torontonians under the impression they could be arrested merely for passing by the summit security fence without identification.
The province and police did not acknowledge until after the summit that the regulation amending the Public
Works Protection Act applied only inside the security perimeter. The regulation “amounted to martial law in Toronto,” Mr. Marin said, and was “the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history.”
Mr. McGuinty said police sought additional powers from the province because they had genuine concerns about security, given that “possibly the top 20 terrorist targets on the face of this planet” were coming to Toronto for the summit.
“We moved pretty quickly on this thing in order to help our police at the earliest possible opportunity,” he said. “We did not take the appropriate steps to communicate this to the public.”
The Ombudsman has no direct authority over police, but he does have the power to investigate the provincial government. In that capacity, his office probed the controversial security regulation and how confusion over it affected the G20 weekend, when the largest mass arrests in Canadian history were made and protesters smashed store windows in Toronto and set police cruisers on fire.
“We acted on the basis of a law that has now been brought into disrepute,” Mr. McGuinty acknowledged.
He said he continues to have confidence in Mr. Blair.


G20 bubbles prompted arrest threat
Kenyon Wallace July 17, 2010 – 11:48 am
A soap bubble floating toward a heavily armed police line during the G20 summit was apparently dangerous enough to prompt one Toronto Police officer to threaten the playful bubble blower with arrest.
The exchange was captured on video and has become a YouTube sensation, drawing close to 100,000 views, while inspiring a charged debate on Fox News over whether one can be arrested for blowing bubbles in the direction of police.
“If a bubble touches me, you’re going to be arrested for assault. Do you understand?” says the officer in the video wearing a badge bearing the name A. Josephs.
“Bubbles?” asks Courtney Winkels, the 20-year-old bubble blower.
“Yes, that’s right, it’s a deliberate act on your behalf. I’m going to arrest you. Do you understand me?” the officer responds. “You touch me with that bubble, you’re going into custody.”
A look of shock comes over Ms. Winkels’ face as she complies with the officer’s instructions to put the bubbles away.
“I was having a conversation with a female officer and I even asked her if my bubbles bothered her. She smiled and shrugged it off so I figured it didn’t….. It’s not like I was throwing stuff at them,” Ms. Winkels told the National Post on the phone from her family’s cottage in Huntsville. “Then this big officer marches over and he’s totally in my face.”
Shortly after her exchange with the angry officer, which took place on the final day of the summit, Ms. Winkels and several others gathered near Queen Street West and Noble Street in Parkdale were arrested. She spent the next 47 hours in police custody moving from the Eastern Avenue detention centre to the Vanier detention centre for women in Milton, before being charged with conspiracy to commit mischief.
The charge is unrelated to the bubble incident, she said, and pertains to the eyewash she was carrying in her capacity as a member of the Toronto Street Medics, an independent organization of volunteers offering medical care to people injured during the G20 protests.
“The police said I could throw it in their faces and temporarily blind them. I was, like, ‘Are you kidding me?’"
She said police had searched her bag the day before and told her she could carry her medical supplies.
Toronto Police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray wouldn’t comment specifically on the bubble-blowing incident.
“A video is minutes in time that doesn’t necessarily accurately reflect all of the circumstances that were involved in that particular situation,” Ms. Gray said. “If the individual in that video feels like she was mistreated by a police officer, she should file a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.”
Ms. Winkels said it was never her intention to antagonize police by blowing bubbles.
“I realize now maybe the bubbles weren’t the greatest idea — but still, it’s bubbles,” she said. “I was just keeping the mood light.”
Toronto police make two more G20-related arrests from ‘Most Wanted’ list
Postmedia News July 16, 2010 – 3:25 pm
Toronto police have arrested two more people on their “Most Wanted” list in connection with the massive G20 protests that wreaked havoc on parts of the city in June.
Two Toronto men — Cody Caplette, 21, and Philip Lee, 28 — were arrested on Thursday.
Both men are accused of damaging a police vehicle during the melee on June 26, resulting in a charge of mischief over $5,000, while Lee is also suspected of stealing police equipment and assaulting another individual at the site.
Mr. Lee faces numerous theft charges and is accused of possession of property obtained by criminal activity, including one charge of possession over $5,000. He also is charged with threatening damage and assault.
On Wednesday, another Toronto man — Ashran Ravindhraj, 25 — was arrested and charged with arson, damage to property and two counts of mischief over $5,000. Ravindhraj, who turned himself in after police released its most-wanted list, is accused of damaging two police vehicles on June 26.
Investigators are scouring thousands of images and hundreds of videos from the violent protests to identify potential suspects.
Police on Friday also identified three other men wanted for mischief charges.
Bryan O’Handley, 19, and Michael Corbett, 29, both of Toronto, and 22-year-old Kurt Roarco were publicly named Friday. Roarco, of no fixed address, is also wanted on an arson charge.
Police said they have more than 60 images of “identifiable people” committing crimes.
A facial recognition program, donated by the Canadian Banking Association (CBA), is being used by police to identify suspects wanted for crimes linked to the protests.
This week, police released images of 10 men wanted in connection with crimes of arson and mischief over $5,000 in addition to another six images of suspects they released last week.
The public helped identify, within 12 hours, three of the six suspects whose likenesses were released last week, police said.
Police now hope the banking industry software will help them sort through 14,000 photographs they have collected from the public.
Toronto Police Service's Photos - G20 Vandals To ID

Toronto police release top 10 ‘most wanted’ list of G20 protesters
Mary Vallis July 14, 2010 – 1:09 pm
Toronto Police have released a Top 10 “Most Wanted” list and related pictures in the hopes of tracking down and charging some of the ne’er-do-wells who took over the streets on June 26, during the G20 summit.
At a press conference this afternoon, Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux said police have already rounded up three protesters whose photos were released by police last week. One of the suspects — Ashran Ravindhraj, 25 — turned himself in and appeared at a bail hearing this morning.
In the new pictures released today, the full faces of some suspects are visible, while others are shown running towards cameras wearing bandannas over their noses and mouths. They are mainly sought in connection with alleged offences of arson and mischief.
One man is wanted for standing on top of a police cruiser and kicking out its windows with rollerblades.
Another man with a covered face is shown holding a bag of rocks he allegedly used to break glass throughout the downtown core, contributing to $300,000 in property damage to Starbucks, Tim Hortons and other businesses.
“Do I think he’s one of the worst? Yes I do,” Det.-Sgt. Giroux said.
A full gallery of wanted protesters is online here.
Toronto Police handout
Left: Not an undercover officer, according to police.
Those without their faces covered were likely locals who “seized on the opportunity,” Det.-Sgt. Giroux said. Investigators are also working with authorities in Montreal to identify well-known protesters who may have travelled to Toronto during the summit.
Using facial recognition software, members of the investigative team is still sifting through 14,000 still photos and 500 videos. Det-Sgt. Giroux encourage members of the public to send in more.
Det.-Sgt. Diroux also addressed rumours that a man who was photographed wearing an expensive jacket during the protests is an undercover officer. The man, rumoured online to be an agent provocateur, is actually “wanted for a number of criminal offences” and will be arrested if found, Det.-Sgt. Giroux said.
G20 Toronto Riots perpetrated by Agents Provocateurs of the Police
by Ghada Chehade
Global Research, July 13, 2010
Smoke and Mirrors
Two weeks after the G20 protests in Toronto it is becoming more and more apparent that what many of us suspected is indeed true: the June 26 ‘violence’ (i.e. property damage and police-car fires) was most likely perpetrated by agents provocateurs of the police. I recall walking back down Yonge Street after the June 26 demonstration and seeing smashed commercial windows and later watching the spectacle of burning police cars on the mainstream news; it all seemed surreal and quite staged. It felt a bit like being in a parallel universe. The demonstration broadcast on TV was not the demo I had just come from. None of the folks I was with during the demonstration saw windows being smashed or cars being set on fire, and when we saw the spectacle plaid out in the media we instantly knew that the vandalism was either staged or provoked, or both. Now evidence is beginning to surface that proves that these acts were at least partly carried out by undercover agents. As was the case at the ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership’ meeting protests at Montebello Quebec on August 20, 2007, it is the agents’ boots that gives them away. In a recent article, Terry Burrows draws on photos from the Globe and Mail to demonstrate that ‘black bloc’ provocateurs and the uniformed armoured police were wearing in Toronto (as at Montebello) the identical government issued combat boots”.
It’s likely that the agents provocateurs went off with other ‘black block’ people away from the larger march to set the stage for what Burrows aptly calls a “massive government / media propaganda fraud.” This orchestrated spectacle of violence and destruction has at least three main functions or effects: it diverts attention away from the G8/G20 and any discussion on how they serve to plunder and exploit the world’s resources, peoples and economies (the very issues raised by protestors); it serves to demonize demonstrators and delegitimize much-needed dissent and protest against global capitalism and its aforementioned devastation and; it serves to justify the billion dollar security bill that Harper put on the Canadian people. After weeks of insisting that the grounds for a one billion dollar police presence was specifically to stop so called black block tactics and ‘violent groups,’ when the time came police were no where to be seen and/or were given clear orders from the command centre that said “Do not engage,” meaning to stand down and do nothing.
Rather than ‘protect’ the downtown district from violence and property damage, police actually used their resources and hugely disproportionate presence to demonize, intimidate and corral protestors. In Toronto police used what Catherine Porter of the Toronto Star calls the Miami Model. This model is used by police agencies at demonstrations across the globe from Genoa to Pittsburgh. As Porter explicates, the formula includes a number of now-common police tactics: The first is information warfare. Leading up to the demonstrations protestors are criminalized and dehumanized, presented as ‘terrorists’ and ‘threats’ that the city needs to defend against. Then there is intimidation, wherein police conduct random searches of perceived activists, midnight raids on organizers’ homes before demonstrations etc. Another tactic is the self-defense rationale by police that “they threw rocks” so we had to use tear gas, rubber bullets and make arrests. In Toronto, rock-throwing, window-smashing “thugs” (as Harper called them), burning cars, and the over 1000 people arrested—only 263 of whom were charged with anything other than breach of the peace —are part of a carefully orchestrated diversion and serve as scapegoats that allow the Canadian national security state to justify the insane cost of security for the summit as well as its police-state tactics and the increased militarization of public engagement. The last ingredient of the model is the police congratulating themselves for a “job well done” regardless of how many people are needlessly arrested (most of them never charged) or abused in the process.
The corporate media are complicit in this model and, as one would expect the result of implementing it is that protestors are demonized in the mainstream and legitimate dissent is therefore delegitimized. The real issues and the grievances of the protestors unfortunately never make the news and instead the act of demonstrating becomes the point of focus. The spectacle of ‘violent protests’ and/or ‘riots’ dominates the headlines and is subterfuge for any discussion on or critique of the G8/G20 and global capitalism.
The Truth Will Come Out
It is hopeful that in the days, weeks and months to come government and police will be forced to admit (under similar circumstances as in Montebello, Quebec in 2007) that much of the vandalism and fire-setting was undertaken by those encouraged, directly or indirectly, by agents provocateurs. It is also hopeful that police will have to answer for their disgraceful tactics—bolstered by regulation—during the G20 demonstrations (in fact a June 9 announcement was made that the Ontario Ombudsman is launching an investigation into the controversial security regulation passed by the province prior to the June 26-27 G20 summit). These tactics, apart from mass indiscriminate arrests, include arresting and beating a deaf man; arresting without-cause and violently removing the prosthetic leg of an amputee; strip searching young women in the make shift detention centre and threatening an Independent Media Centre (IMC) journalist with “gang rape;” and also using an electrical Taser device on another IMC reporter with a heart pacer despite having been informed of his condition and told not to use the devise on him.
It has also recently surfaced that the much-feared five-meter rule never even existed. As it turns out a temporary regulation affecting the Public Works Protection Act, which was approved in secret by Dalton McGuinty's cabinet on June 2 on the request of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, never existed in the manner that protestors and legal counsel were led to believe. The media was complicit in underreporting the approval of the regulation initially on June 2 until they finally dropped the bombshell only days before the demonstrations, not allowing protestors and their legal team to properly and thoroughly examine the regulation. As a result the regulation was misinterpreted by protestors and misapplied by the police to an area beyond the security fence, when in actuality it was in regards to an area inside the security zone all along. Toronto Police chief Bill Blair has admitted that he allowed the five-metre rule to be “misinterpreted” by citizens in order to “keep the criminals out.” Ultimately, it was little more than a trap—one that led both the police on the ground and the protestors to exaggerate the powers police legally had to search individuals and demand identification.
Exposing duplicitous regulatory maneuvers and ‘black block’ agents in government issued attire is without question a necessity and a positive thing for our movements. So too are the demands for a public inquiry into the heinous and illegal tactics of the police against people on the streets. It is critical that we expose the state as corrupt and demonstrate that it will break the law and trample all over our charter and human rights in the process of protecting global capital. If these issues are given more than cursory attention in the mainstream media it will serve to show the state’s despotic hand, and delegitimize police claims and actions against protestors. Still the images of burning cars and broken windows will forever live in the public imagination and many are likely to think of protestors as thugs, even after the police admit they placed agents provocateurs in our midst.
If 9/11 has taught us anything it is that holes in the ‘official story’ unfortunately do little to raise mass suspicion or scrutiny. Simply put, focusing on exposing police and government fraud, lies and abuses is very important but also puts us in a reactionary position with respect to the state. While a focus on the abuses of civil liberties and human rights that occurred during the G20 demonstrations in Toronto is hugely important, it simultaneously serves as yet another departure from the issues we initially came out to protest (the systematic global devastation of people and the environment wrought by the policies of the G8 and G20, and global capitalism generally).
Time to Reassess our Tactics
What is ever more apparent and frustrating is that our movements seem to be increasingly unwilling pawns in a larger systematic strategy designed to distract people away from any critique of the international banking structure and global capitalism while undermining the tactics and hindering the transformative potential of resistance movements. At sanctioned and even unsanctioned marches protestor’s physical movements are increasingly limited and dictated by police and the state. During the G20 demonstrations police corraled and herded us, holding us where they wanted us, stopping the march long enough for riot cops to get into position ahead of us, blocking off key intersections, and attempting to insight some form of ‘violent’ response. As Porter explains, a popular police tactic is “kettling.” Here, “Officers on bike or horses herd protesters into an enclosed space, so they can’t leave without trying to break through the police line. Take the bait; you provoke a beating or arrest.” In the end, the June 26 march in Toronto did not get anywhere near the much hyped about security fence. And even if it had, focusing on “getting to the fence” is not the goal or purpose of the global justice movement (one should hope). It was hard not to feel herded during the demonstration, almost like walking into a trap. They ultimately used our march to create media distractions/spectacles and set us up as being “violent.” As has happened before, our message did not get out; it did not reach the public. In other words, the police state/media used our demonstrations to create and/or perpetuate a negative image of protest in the public eye.
Maybe we need to change our tactics, perhaps holding our demonstrations away from downtown/summit locations so that the state will have no one to frame and scapegoat for their staged vandalism, fires etc., and no ways of justifying these huge security budgets.
Simply put, perhaps it is time to change our organizational, mobilization and agitation model(s) since the police state seems to repeatedly set traps for activists and demonstrators, and use us—with the help of the corporate media—as a diversion from any real discussion of the global social justice issues we are attempting to raise and promote. It may be necessary to consider whether existing forms of resistance and agitation serve to help our movements and causes or undermines them and put us in harms way. Alternative strategies that may be worth exploring could involve organizing in a more covert fashion so that the state does not know exactly when and where to expect us. We could even use the fact that they infiltrate our meetings and mobilization campaigns against them. Here we could purposely spread misinformation at meetings and online about proposed events and demonstrations, leading the state and police to deploy resources and security goons to protests that never materialize. In the case of the G20 demonstrations in Toronto, if we were not there to be arrested by the hundreds and framed for smashing windows and burning cars, the Canadian security state would not be able to justify its billion dollar security budget. What if instead of protesting downtown in the designated zones they expect us to be in, beside the summits, we held our acts of resistance and opposition outside of the city altogether? Then what? Could they blame or frame us for their staged acts of violence if there is no one there to ‘police’ save for a handful of undercover agents posing as ‘black bloc’? If we refused to play our part in the “Miami Model” it may help to show their hand.

It seems clear by now that the state’s policy is one of staging or inciting violence one day (while conveniently not arresting anyone during the actual occurrence of the violence) and then rounding up hundreds of protectors the next day and throwing them in jail (though they are not linked to the violence). The media helps create the manufactured connection between the arrests and the violence by incessantly looping images of smashed windows and burning cars one day and then images of mass arrests and sound bite headlines about the numbers of arrests etc. without any explanation or contextualization so as to suggest (without words) that the arrests must be somehow linked to the violence of the day before. We could deploy a counter-tactic that is fluid—such that if violence and/or property damage were to occur due to so-called black bloc tactics; we do not stick around waiting to be arrested the next day. We could have a contingency plan that dictates that when/if (staged) violence erupts; we disband and regroup according to media savvy back-up plans, perhaps moving our actions completely outside of the downtown area. This is one way to send the public a message of disowning the violence so that we cannot be faulted or scapegoated for it. Ultimately, our publicized plans for demonstrations should be used as bait to mislead and expose the police and media. In turn we gain politically by humiliating the police and leaving nothing for the media to photograph except legions of over-funded riot cops and their undercover agents.
I want to suggest to all of those who are opposed to global capitalism (and its goon the capitalist police state) and the myriad destructions it renders unto the majority of the world and the environment, that perhaps it is time for our resistance movements to get a little more savvy and creative; to use misinformation and infiltration as they have done on us, and perhaps to move our organization and mobilizations underground instead of listing every planned event or action on our websites for the state to read and the media to broadcast. No more being pawns in a rigged game. This is not a retreat; quite the contrary it is a movement toward an evolution in strategy and tactics that may put us a few steps ahead of the capitalist state and ensure both the survival of our movements and the advancement of our agendas and causes. It is time for us to consider whether protests/ demonstrations (and social movement organization and mobilization generally) in their current form further our cause(s) and affect palpable change. Stop being their pawn and start playing with the system. Just something to think about…
I Meet the "Minister of Public Safety"
by Henry Makow Ph.D
July 8, 2010
(Provocateur left alone to create carnage and photo ops.)
Wednesday evening, some friends and I discussed the mayhem at the G-20 Summit in Toronto. We felt the violence was started by undercover cops to justify the $1billion expense, and to condition Canadians for fascism.
Thursday morning, I sat beside Vic Toews, the Canadian Minister of Public Safety on the plane from Winnipeg to Ottawa.
Normally I wouldn't have spoken to him, but when Providence put me in the next seat (in Economy class,) I took the hint.
First, I confirmed that he was indeed Vic Toews; and I identified myself as a blogger on conspiracy and the NWO. I suggested that the G-20 mayhem was a black eye for Canada. First off, the billion dollar expense for security was ridiculous.
Toews' response was to the effect that he was only the cabinet minister, and that he has to listen to his "experts." They tell him what security is necessary, and he has to listen.
This dispelled any residual notions I had about our leaders actually leading. These "experts" might be like FDR's "brain trust" i.e. handlers.
I suggested that Canadians couldn't be too pleased about hundreds of peaceful protesters being handcuffed and thrown into cages in detention facilities for 24 hours.
Not at all, he said, motioning to an item on his Blackberry. The polls show that Canadians are pleased with the government's response.
"But people who were just observers, out for supper, were arrested and detained," I countered.
Well, you know, perhaps they didn't obey a police command to move on, he replied. That's grounds for arrest.
I told him that the consensus on the Internet was that the people causing the violence were undercover policemen; and that the police cars were emptied of valuable equipment and abandoned for the purpose of being set aflame. The police could easily round up the violent offenders but instead gave them carte blanche.
Oh no, he said. Police often remove the computers when outside their cars.
Well I doubt that. Obviously he was obfuscating.
Anyway he said the police were investigating.
Gee, I thought, couldn't we have an independent enquiry?
Anyway, you get the picture. Toews is a Conservative from a rural Manitoba riding. I believe he is a man of honor. But he has obviously bought the party line.
Throwing hundreds of innocent people into cages doesn't contradict his idea of "public safety." Nor is he disturbed by allegations that the instigators were undercover cops. As you have seen, his reaction was to dismiss problems rather than investigate them.
I guess you could say, he is a politician.
The events of the G-2 were another foretaste of the New World Order. The public will not participate in decision-making and will not be able to demonstrate or even express controversial opinions.
Government will be used as an instrument of oppression by big business, which in turn is controlled by the central bankers. The old Left versus Right model no longer applies. It's the people versus the central bankers and their willing dupes and lackeys.
Thorold, Ontario Amputee Has His Artificial Leg Ripped Off By Police And Is Slammed In Makeshift Cell During G20 Summit–At Least One Ontario MPP Calls The Whole Episode “Shocking”
By Doug Draper
July 5, 2010
John Pruyn wasn’t much in the mood for celebrating Canada Day this year.
How could he be after the way he was treated a few days earlier in Toronto by figures of authority most of us were brought up to respect, our publicly paid-for police forces who are supposed to be there to serve and protect peaceful, law-abiding citizens like him.
The 57-year-old Thorold, Ontario resident – an employee with Revenue Canada and a part-time farmer who lost a leg above his knee following a farming accident 17 years ago – was sitting on the grass at Queen’s Park with his daughter Sarah and two other young people this June 26, during the G20 summit, where he assumed it would be safe.
As it turned out, it was a bad assumption because in came a line of armoured police, into an area the city had promised would be safe for peaceful demonstrations during the summit. They closed right in on John and his daughter and the two others and ordered them to move. Pruyn tried getting up and he fell, and it was all too slow for the police.
As Sarah began pleading with them to give her father a little time and space to get up because he is an amputee, they began kicking and hitting him. One of the police officers used his knee to press Pruyn’s head down so hard on the ground, said Pruyn in an interview this July 4 with Niagara At Large, that his head was still hurting a week later.
Accusing him of resisting arrest, they pulled his walking sticks away from him, tied his hands behind his back and ripped off his prosthetic leg. Then they told him to get up and hop, and when he said he couldn’t, they dragged him across the pavement, tearing skin off his elbows , with his hands still tied behind his back. His glasses were knocked off as they continued to accuse him of resisting arrest and of being a “spitter,” something he said he did not do. They took him to a warehouse and locked him in a steel-mesh cage where his nightmare continued for another 27 hours.
“John’s story is one of the most shocking of the whole (G20 summit) weekend,” said the Ontario New Democratic Party’s justice critic and Niagara area representative Peter Kormos, who has called for a public inquiry into the conduct of security forces during the summit. “He is not a young man and he is an amputee. …. John is not a troublemaker. He is a peacemaker and like most of the people who were arrested, he was never charged with anything , which raises questions about why they were arrested in the first place.”
Pruyn told Niagara At Large that he never was given a reason for his arrest . When he was being kicked and hand-tied, police yelled at him that he was resisting arrest. Then a court officer approached him two hours before his release on Sunday evening, June 27, and told him he should not still be there in that steel -mesh cage. So why were Pruyn and his daughter Sarah, a University of Guelph student, who was locked up somewhere else, detained in a makeshift jails for more than 24 hours, along with many other mostly young people who, so far as he could hear and see, had nothing to do with the smashing of windows and torching of a few police cars by a few hundred so-called ‘Black Bloc’ hooligans that weekend?
Why was Pruyn slammed in a cell without his glasses and artificial limb, with no water to drink in the heat for five hours and only a cement floor to sit and sleep on before his captors finally gave him a wheelchair? Why was he never read his rights or even granted the opportunity to make one phone call to a lawyer or his family – the same rights that would be granted to a notorious criminal like Clifford Olsen or Paul Bernardo?
He never received an answer to these questions and, he said, “I was never told I was charged with anything.” Neither were many of the others who were penned up in that warehouse with him, including one person who was bound to a wheelchair because was paralyzed on one side and begging, over and over again, to go to the washroom before finally wetting his pants.
Pruyn said others in the warehouse begged for a drink of water and younger people made futile pleas to call their parents to at least let them know where they were. In the meantime, Pruyn’s wife, Susan, was frantically trying to find out from the police and others what happened to her husband and daughter. She found out nothing until they were finally released 27 hours after she was supposed to meet back with them at a subway station near Queen’s Park.
So what was this all about and why were John and Sue Pruyn arrested if they were part of the gathering of peaceful demonstrators in the Queen’s Park area? Was their crime to dare to come to Toronto in the first place and join with those who express concerns about the G20 and whether it has any concern at all for the environment, for people living in poverty, for fair access to health care and other issues important to people around the world who fall into the category of ‘have nots’?
Pruyn wonders if the idea of the crackdown was to send a message to the public at large that gatherings of opposition to government policies won’t be tolerated. “That is (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper’s attitude,” he said. “He doesn’t like dissent in his own (party) ranks.”
Kormos said some might respond to the crackdown against the G20 summit demonstrators by saying that they should have stayed home or they should not have been there, or that if they were swept up by the police, they should have nothing to worry about if they did nothing wrong. But that misses the point, he said. It misses the possibility that this was another example of the province and country sliding down a path of clamping down on citizens’ right to gather together and express views that may not be popular with the government of the day.
Kormos stressed again that a public inquiry is needed, not only for those demonstrators arrested and roughed up during the summit, but for those shop owners in Toronto that had their stores vandalized by a horde of hooligans with little apparent presence of police officers to prevent it.
Asked if there was any possibility a few hundred black-clad vandals were allowed to run wild to make the thousands of people there to demonstrate peacefully look badly, Kormos responded; “That’s why we need a public inquiry.”
Susan Pruyn agreed. “ We need a public inquiry for all of the people who went (to Toronto) with good intentions and who ended up suffering that weekend,” she said.
The Toronto G20 Riot Fraud: Undercover Police Engaged in Purposeful Provocation at Tax Payers' Expense
By Terry Burrows
Global Research, June 27, 2010
Toronto is right now in the midst of a massive government / media propaganda fraud. As events unfold, it is becoming increasingly clear that the 'Black Bloc' are undercover police operatives engaged in purposeful provocations to eclipse and invalidate legitimate G20 citizen protest by starting a riot. Government agents have been caught doing this before in Canada.
Montebello 2007 Riot Prevented - Identical Boots Exposed Undercover Police Provocateurs
At the ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership’ meeting protests at Montebello Quebec on August 20, 2007, a Quebec union leader caught and outed three masked undercover Quebec Provincial Police operatives dressed as ‘black bloc’ protestors about to start a riot by throwing rocks at the security police. See the following videos documenting this event.
Stop SPP Protest - Union Leader stops provocateurs
Evidence -- Police provoke Violence at SPP protest
The operation was exposed by the following picture of the undercover police wearing combat boots identical to those of the security police arresting them.
(Provocateurs in Montebello wear the same shoes as the Quebec policemen who arrest them!)
See the distinctive yellow dots on the thick corrugated soles of the boots which are the giveaway.
The Quebec Provincial Police were then forced after three days of public outrage to admit that these three men were indeed their officers operating undercover.

Fast Forward to the Toronto 2010 G20 Protest Riot
On Saturday June 26, 2010, the Globe and Mail published on their website a number of photographs taken at the afternoon riot in downtown Toronto precipitated by the ‘black bloc.’
Using these photos, I am going to show you that once again, the ‘black bloc’ provocateurs and the armoured police are wearing the exact same shoes.
Thanks to the Globe and Mail for these very helpful photos.
Starbucks Vandalised
Here an operative throws a metal chair through a Starbucks window. This man’s physique doesn’t look like a seedy ‘anarchist’ to me. Rather, this is the fit strong body of a trained soldier – somebody who puts in a lot of regular gym time. He is also wearing what is really a uniform and rather specialized equipment on his forearm and possibly his hip. Unfortunately in this picture we cannot see the shoes being worn. But we certainly can in the picture that follows, and this is where it gets interesting.

The Provocateurs’ Combat Boots
Below another operative throws what appears to be a rock at another Starbucks window.
Take a close look at the upturned boot.
This is a brand new (? recently issued) very distinctive deep black colour combat boot. Note as at Montebello, the special thick heavy corrugated soles plus what appears to be some reinforcement of the upper forefoot area. Also note the mismatched black and white socks. Is this a recognition code to their uniformed colleagues? The nice heavy shiny new belt also appears to be part of a uniform.

Here is another ‘black bloc’ operative stomping on the roof of a Toronto Police car. Where are the police? He is obviously being “allowed” to trash the vehicle to create what will become the signature media images of the event - burning police cars in Toronto. But stamping on shattered glass and plastic is pretty hard on your shoes.
But his shoes can obviously take it because he is wearing the same brand new distinctive black combat boots as the Starbucks rock throwing provocateur above (go to the Globe and Mail url to see the higher resolution original photo). Note the same thick soles with the deep corrugations visible in an enlargement as a scalloping of the front bottom outer edge of the uplifted left shoe.

The Armoured Police Boots – They Are The Same Shoes!
Now check the uniformed armoured police boots. Note once again the thick heavy corrugated soles and deep black colour.
Here is one in close-up. It is clearly the same boot as the ‘black bloc’ provocateurs are wearing. It too is brand new and shiny as in recently issued for today’s duty.

Here are more of the armoured police boots.
Below is yet a closer view of the armoured police boots. This picture shows the upper part of the shoes more clearly. The police are also wearing what appears to be an additional protective spat module which is strapped on over the shoe’s upper front forefoot area. This looks like an extra equipment add-on to, and not an integral part of, the ‘civilian’ version of the shoe, which is otherwise identical to the police shoes in design, features and colour.
And in close-up

Canadian "Bureaucratic Economizing" Exposes The Fraud
That the ‘black bloc’ provocateurs and the uniformed armoured police are wearing in Toronto (as at Montebello) the identical government issued combat boots, has at least one positive aspect. It looks as if someone in the procurement bureaucracy was at least trying to do some economizing in the spending of the one billion dollars that this G20 fiasco has wrested from the taxpayers. Very sensibly, these bureaucrats wanted to provide the same sturdy combat boots for both the uniformed police officers as well as the undercover ones. How wonderfully Canadian.
But this endearing Hobbit-like practicality has also given the game away. The ‘black bloc,’ if they ever existed as an independent entity, have clearly been thoroughly infiltrated by undercover government agents. In classic covert counterinsurgency strategy these agents manipulate the group to commit violent acts which play directly into hidden government controllers' hands. These controllers manipulate public opinion from behind the scenes through the commission of false flag acts of violence (these are acts falsely blamed on scapegoats other than those concealed perpetrators who are actually responsible.) The psychological operation (psyop) is then accomplished through the propaganda fulminations of the completely controlled and complicit mass media. As in so many similar situations in so many other countries in the past, the goal of this combination of violent acts and lying media propaganda is to invalidate any legitimate citizen protest of the many immoral acts being wreaked upon the peoples of the world by our governments. The techniques of imperial control which have been used so successfully overseas are now being fully deployed against the people at home. Deployed against us. As far as our war-addicted governments are concerned, we are all insurgents now.
But We Canadians Can Stop the G20 Fraud in Its Tracks
As this G20 protest riot fraud continues to unfold, please use your eyes and your cameras to pay attention to small details, like everybody’s shoes! As more and more people wake up from the deceptions being perpetrated upon them, more inconsistencies in the official propaganda story will be noticed. Evidence will tumble forward to expose the whole malignant enterprise even more. We could even stop it in its tracks. No other country has managed to do this yet. But we Canadians could.
Please forward this article as widely as you can and collectively send it to all our politicians and media to put them on notice that we will no longer allow them to participate in the Toronto G20 riot fraud of 2010.
For Canada and for what is good and right and true.
Karl Rove Keynote Speaker at G-20 Summit for Faith and Business Leaders
Toronto on June 25th
By Dr. Charles McVety
Friday, June 18, 2010
Organizers of the G-20 Summit for Faith and Business Leaders are pleased to announce that Karl Rove will open the conference with a keynote address on Friday, June 25th at Canada Christian College in Toronto.
Conference organizer Charles McVety says “as G-20 World leaders gather in Toronto to make critical decisions, we are excited that Karl Rove, a world renowned expert will speak to us on how such decisions impact each of us. We are very concerned that G-20 World Leaders’ wild spending is putting our future in jeopardy. The moral cost to our children may be catastrophic. Mr. Rove’s common sense approach is a voice that leaders should take heed.”
Brian Rushfeldt, Executive Director of Canada Family Action and co-organizer states “Karl Rove has extensive expertise on democratic organization and mobilization and on world affairs to share. His leadership in 75 election campaigns, including helping George Bush become President, makes Mr. Rove a man I look forward to learning from him on how to impact democracy.”
The Conference will begin Friday, June 25th and end with a Rally to Stop Nuclear Iran on June 27th.
Toronto police get 'sound cannons' for G20
Long-range acoustic devices can be used for crowd control
May 27 2010
Jennifer Yang, Staff Reporter
Riotous protesters marching at the G20 summit next month may be greeted with ear-splitting “sound cannons,” the latest Toronto police tool for quelling unruly crowds.
Toronto police have purchased four, long-range acoustic devices (LRAD) — often referred to as sound guns or sound cannons — for the upcoming June 26-27 summit, the Star has learned.
Purchased this month, the LRADs will become a permanent fixture in Toronto law enforcement, said police spokesperson Const. Wendy Drummond.
“They were purchased as part of the G20 budget process,” Drummond said. “It’s definitely going to be beneficial for us, not only in the G20 but in any future large gatherings.”
Protesters plug their ears as Pittsburgh police use a sound cannon at last year's G20 summit. It was the first use of the device in North America.
Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette
Drummond stressed the devices will primarily be used by police as a “communication tool.” The devices double as loudspeakers and can blast booming, directional messages or emergency notifications in 50 different languages; Drummond said Toronto police have used one of the devices already while executing a search warrant this month.
But critics say they are really non-lethal weapons and infringe upon protester rights.
Originally designed for the U.S. Navy, LRADs can emit ear-blasting sounds so high in frequency they transcend normal thresholds of pain. While they are used everywhere from Iraq to the high seas for repelling pirates, LRADs are being increasingly employed as a crowd-control device and at last year’s G20 summit in Pittsburgh, police used them on protesters before deploying tear gas and stun grenades.
The acoustical devices can also be pointed at specific targets, transmitting a “laser” of sound that is less aggravating for anyone standing outside its beam.
Of Toronto’s newly-acquired LRADs, three are handheld devices that can broadcast noise heard from 600 metres away. Their volume can reach 135 decibels, which surpasses the pain threshold of 110 to 120.
The fourth device is a larger model that can be mounted on vehicles or marine vessels and can generate noise reaching 143 decibels, audible from as far as 1500 metres.
To compare, a normal conversation measures at about 60 decibels. The U.S. National Institute on Deafness says sustained noise above 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage.
Drummond acknowledges LRADs can cause permanent hearing damage if used improperly but says Toronto police are developing guidelines for deployment. She said officers will also only use the device’s “alert” function if crowds become riotous and will use the manufacturer’s recommendation of firing short bursts, two to three seconds long.
“The piercing sound would make someone stop in their tracks for a moment,” she said. “Your instinct would be to cover your ears. So rather than being violent, the tendency would be to stop the violence and protect your hearing.”
While Drummond couldn’t comment on how much the devices cost, they were purchased from B.C.-based Current Corporation, which sells LRADs at about $10,000 for the handheld models and about $25,000 for the larger ones, according to sales representative Don MacLeod.
MacLeod said his company trained police officers in Toronto on May 18, sharing deployment guidelines that include shooting a narrower beam of noise in small spaces, since the sounds can bounce off building surfaces or cars.
He criticized irresponsible users of the LRAD, including Pittsburgh’s use of the device last year when officers ran a continuous aural assault as opposed to the short bursts, which Current Corp. recommends.
But MacLeod defends the LRAD as an extremely valuable communication tool, used for everything from evacuation notices and hostage negotiations to riot control.
But Queen’s University professor David Murakami Wood, an expert in surveillance, criticizes neutralizing euphemisms like “communication tools. He says LRADs should be considered potential weapons and large international summits can often be used as testing grounds for new police technologies or techniques.
“They’re being very disingenuous about what this is,” he said. “It emits a sound that is in fact at frequency levels that can go way beyond what human beings can put up with in terms of pain and can be damaging.”
For University of Toronto adjunct professor Peter Rosenthal, a lawyer who has participated in several trials involving Taser deployments, anything that can stun people or crowds should be considered dangerous.
“Tasers were introduced and said to be totally benign but have now generally been recognized as dangerous weapons,” he said. “To start using experimental weapons on people is really outrageous in my view.”
Long range acoustic devices in use
• In November 2005 the crew of the Seabourn Spirit, a luxury cruise liner used an acoustical device to keep Somali pirates from boarding. The pirates eventually turned back.
• At last year’s G20 summit in Pittsburgh police used LRAD to disperse protesters. It was the first use in North America.
• In February last year, a Japanese whaling vessel used it against anti-whaling Greenpeace protesters in the Antarctic.
Canada to spend $1 billion on summit security
By Rob Gillies
The Associated Press
May 26, 2010
Canada's public safety minister says the country is spending nearly $1 billion for security at the G-8 and G-20 summits next month.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday Canada has budgeted up to $930 million Canadian (US$872 million). Toews says hosting two summits back-to-back is unprecedented.
Canada is hosting the G-20 -- the group of leading rich and developing nations -- economic summit on June 26-27 in Toronto.
The G-8 -- the group of leading industrial nations -- is meeting in Huntsville, Ontario, the day before the G-20 summit.
Toews says it is a necessary level of security but opposition parties decried the cost.