mstainsby at tao.ca
Sat Apr 27 22:47:44 MDT 2002
This came through from a comrade in Montreal yesterday...
The writer of this report sums up something that was a general tactic a year ago
when the anti-globalisation movement was reaching its "peak" (for lack of a
better word)- to divide the protesters into two camps, one "good" (reformist,
`peaceful', "official", "refined", legal- my favourite- "legitimate"), one "bad"
(extremist, violent, dirty, unemployed, mostly white, illegitimate, youthful,
etc etc..and of course, terrorist.). When the immediate actions saw this line
emerge, it was impossible to tell that it would be heightened and polarized so
quickly. So far, the labour leaders have done what exactly to protest this sort
of thing as described below? Gimme a break.
Hang out these little demos and you get rid of all the "little insignificants"
that are the calculous of a larger movement- these "little" actions are the
community work that creates a need for bigger, more sustained ones.
We shall see if the bourgeoisie are successful in creating two camps of
demonstrators. Then we will see who it is that stands with the masses in
struggle the world over- union leaders or "uncouth protestors". Let us hope all
concerned can see this game for what it is. British imperial strategy on the
Eye Witness Testimony to the Montreal G8 arrests, April 26, 2002:
Between 11:30 and 12 noon, I attended a demonstration organized by the
unions in Carré St-Louis to protest the globalization meetings of the G8
in Montreal. The riot police were present, but did not bother anyone. I
arrived at Dominion Park about 6:10 p.m. to check out the second scheduled
anti-globalization demonstration that began at 4 p.m..
The Montreal riot police had cordoned off a group of about 200 people
nearby in the middle of rue Peel at the rue Cathcart intersection. While tense,
there was little movement or noise in the Dominion Park and arrest area
The cordoned protesters were mostly still, and mostly quiet. A few waved
placards and flags. All reports I received from five witnesses stated that
these anti G8 marchers left Dominion Park on rue Peel peacefully and then
were surrounded within several minutes by riot police. There were no
reports of vandalism or illegal activity from the protesters.
North of the arrest area at the Peel and Ste. Catherine intersection, a
crowd of several hundred developed. People who were part of the anti-G8
march but escaped the riot police cordon stated that most of the people
gathering were passer-by's and not part of the anti-G8 march.
I was at that intersection around 6:30 p.m.. Two or three trash cans had
been emptied in the intersection, and one was smouldering from a fire. The
youth with the trash cans were not anyone of the political activists I
recognized from the anti-G8 activists.
Over the next 45 minutes that I stayed in the general area, a growing
number of passer-by's became interested in the scene, and many seemed to
participate in running away from the riot police when they would clear out
the crowd, and then these same people would return when the police
retreated. Some threw objects at the riot police.
Back at the riot police cordon, the mass arrest of the protesters
proceeded calmly. I did not see any acts of resisting arrests both passively or
actively. I saw approximately 6 - 8 people frisked and lead to a police
Returning to Ste Catherine between Peel and Metcalf, a police mini van was
being vandalized by two or three youths (again no one I recognized from
the activists). An activist I know was cautioning people via a portable sound
system not to panic, to be calm, to beware of the danger and the
approaching riot police, and not to do anything that would add to the danger
(like destroying property). This person was trying to prevent a riot, that the
police actions were seeming to provoke.
It seems that the situation developed as such:
A peaceful anti G8 demonstration left Dominion Park. They were immediately
surrounded by riot police. There was no evidence of any lawbreaking
besides the police depriving people of their constitutional right to protest.
Those that were arrested from the anti G8 demonstration were peaceful
Outside this police cordon, many people were attracted to the riot police
show of force and the mass arrest of people. People watching became angry
at the mass arrest. This lead to several acts of vandalism outside the police
cordon. None of the people doing the vandalism seem to be political
activists, nor were they targeted by the police for arrest.
The riot police provoked the ensuing vandalism and potential riot by their
abuse of power when they (again for the second time in two months), mass
arrested young protesters who were peacefully taking a political stand
against the government.
The political activists were non-violent; the police were depriving them
of their rights; and passer-by's reacted to this dynamic started engaging in
vandalism and throwing objects at the police.
It seems clear that certain dissent is illegally being suppressed, and
that the police have been given license to violate the Canadian Bill of Rights.
The government is separating the youth protesters from the older union and
NGO protests. They are targeting the youth for abuse and arrest,
regardless of their similar forms of protests and identical issues they are
They are criminalizing the youth who do not have the resources of the
powerful unions to protect them.
Given the history, I fully expect the police to justify the illegal mass
arrests because of the vandalism that took place by those not targeted for
arrest, and which started 30 minutes after the targeted protesters were
stopped and arrested by the riot police.
April 26, 2002, 10:15 p.m.
weinstei at zoo.net
"Simply BEING a Palestinian in what used to be Palestine is a form of
suicide...slower and more painful than using a bomb to blow up yourself [...]."
- American Jew writing to others, email correspondence.
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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