Friday, June 25, 2010

Gotta love "Democracy"

For the duration of the G8/G20 summit, there is legislation in place called the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, which goes directly against the Canadian Constitution. Among other things, gives police officers in and near the fenced area:

the power to require anyone entering or attempting to enter or approaching the public work 'to furnish his or her name and address, to identify himself or herself and to state the purpose for which he or she desires to enter the public work, in writing or otherwise'.

The police may also 'search, without warrant, any person entering or attempting to enter a public work'. The police can also search 'a vehicle in the charge or under the control of any such person or which has recently been or is suspected of having been in the charge or under the control of any such person or in which any such person is a passenger'.

Finally, the police 'may refuse permission to any person to enter a public work and use such force as is necessary to prevent any such person from so entering'.

Police may arrest, without warrant 'any person who neglects or refuses to comply with a request or direction of a guard or peace officer, or who is found upon or attempting to enter a public work without lawful authority'.

Neglecting or refusing 'to comply with a request or direction made under this Act by a guard or peace officer' or if you are a person found upon a public work or any approach thereto without lawful authority means you could be found guilty of an offence and be liable to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two months, or to both.

This means that in Canada, people MUST show identification to police officers for no reason (sounds like the Arizona law that has so many people enraged, but with less obvious racial connotations), submit to searches of themselves and their vehicle without cause, and be arrested without a warrant, facing up to two months in prison if they fail to comply? This is taking security way too far.

It's always nice that the most elite people in the world get to throw their billion dollar party that is closed to everyone else, while the "little people" get arrested merely for being in areas near the party that they paid for. I wonder how many peaceful protesters are going to be arrested or worse because of this legislation.

The elitism and issues of social class seem so transparent with regards to this summit that I am baffled at how many people keep telling me that we need this type of security to protect world "leaders" instead of questioning who these "leaders" represent and why the summit exists in the first place.

I should also mention that this was passed secretly, with no public input and little mention until yesterday, and that it is being described as unprecedented in Canada.


  1. I think some people actually believe that the police aren't just protecting the "leaders" but are, for some nebulous reason (maybe because they believe that the police have everyone's best interests in mind), protecting everybody... And that the protesters are dangerous.

    I remember, after the 2000 FTAA summit in Quebec City, that, despite experiencing massive police brutality, so many people thought that we deserved to be treated this way.

  2. And I'm sure the notion that protesters are dangerous is not helped by the media... I have seen news stories about gunshots near The Fence, and another person was arrested with weapons in his vehicle (which the end of the article stated that there was no link to the summit, but who reads that far).

    How many news stories are shown in major papers or television stations that show what is really happening at these rallies, from the actual reason of the protests (example, showing photos and video of the Bigheads without telling what they represent) or the number of people that come to show support to a cause without actually hurting anybody or even breaking any (pre-public works protection act) laws?