Friday, June 24, 2011

Chief Blair had never heard of kettling before he saw it done at G20

Yes, you read that right.

I'm sitting here right now on the anniversary of the G20 listening to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair tell Carol Off on CBC's As It Happens that he had never even heard of kettling before he saw it being done at the G20 on TV .
He had to look it up the next day, he explained, where he learned it was a police tactic used in the UK - unlike here, he went on, where we don't box people in without giving them an egress.

So where was he, asked Carol Orff, between 5:30 and 8:30 when the order was given at 5:30 to kettle some 300 peaceful people in the rain for hours and then charge them all with conspiracy?
Well he was over at the Intercontinental Hotel - "by invitation" - meeting President Obama, who shook his hand and personally thanked him for the great job he had done on security. When he left the hotel it was raining, he said, and it was after that he saw the kettling on TV and made the call to shut it down, saying it was all over.
Off asked him who gave the kettling order; he said he didn't know.

So if Bill Blair was just a figurehead with no idea what commands were given on the ground and still doesn't know, who gave the order?
[Edited to add the hotel name and times given by Off]


Boris said...

If true, the man must resign his commission or be fired for failing to control his own troops. If false, the man should be fired for lying. But none of these things will ever happen here.

Anonymous said...

I heard it too.
As you say - unbelievable.


Toe said...,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=2f0b529cc702bde9&biw=1024&bih=584

Kettling is Illegal, period.

double nickel said...

Wow. Words fail

Kev said...

And here I thought this little gem was bad

“Of course, we’re there to protect peoples’ rights to demonstrate lawfully and peacefully, but when there is a significant threat to public safety and a breach of the peace, we’ve got to take the steps necessary to protect the innocent people of this city and to protect property,”

Can't top the kettling comment though

Alison said...

At the beginning of the CBC clip, Blair explains his role as part of the Integrated Security Unit in charge of G20 security:
"Quite frankly I was not involved in much of the planning. I was aware of some of the things that were being planned, I was being briefed, but I was not the Operational Commander, I was not on the Unified Command Team or in the steering committee."

So Blair was indeed just the figurehead.

From the ISU site :
"Safety during the Summit was ensured by Integrated Security under the guidance of Royal Canadian Mounted Police in partnership with Toronto police, police of Ontario province, armed forces of Canada, and police of the Regional Municipality of Peel."

Putting on my tinfoil hat for a mo ...
Rather odd perhaps that Blair was away at the hotel "by invitation" for that three hour kettling period. Yet he apparently had authority to shut it down.

Nadine Lumley said...

The Miami Model Part 1/10

What is the Miami Model?
When police stick to phony script

I called Naomi Archer to find out. She is an indigenous rights worker from North Carolina who happened to be giving a lecture on the Miami Model yesterday at the U.S. Social Forum — the G20 for community activists.

Archer, who was in Miami as a liaison between protesters and police, has a 40-box checklist to identify the Model. Here are the main themes.

• Information warfare. This starts weeks before the event. Protesters are criminalized and dehumanized, and described as dangerous “anarchists” and “terrorists” the city needs to defend against.

“Often, a faux cache is found,” says Archer. “They are usually ordinary objects, like bike inner tubes, camping equipment, but the police make them out to look threatening. It lays the groundwork for police to be violent and it means there’s a reduced accountability of law enforcement.”

• Intimidation. Police start random searches of perceived protesters before any large rallies. They are asked where they are staying, why they are walking around. Police raid organizer’s homes or meeting places, “usually just before the summit, so there’s maximum chaos organizers have to deal with,” says Archer.

“All this is meant to dissuade participants. The best way to make sure you don’t have a critical mass of people taking over the streets like in Seattle is to reduce the numbers at the outset.”

This is usually made possible by last-minute city regulations, curtailing the right to protest. In Miami, the city commission passed a temporary ordinance forbidding groups of more than seven to congregate for more than 30 minutes without a permit.

• “They threw rocks.” That’s the line police use after tear-gassing or beating protesters most times, Archer says. Urine and human feces are variations on the theme. But it’s always the protesters who triggered the violence. A popular police tactic is called “kettling.” 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. And of course, there are the famous agent provocateurs, outted publicly two years ago in Montebello. Police officers dressed up like militant protesters to protect the peaceful crowd, they say; Archer says it’s to instigate trouble.

Alison said...

Thanks, Nadine.
Catherine Porter's
When police stick to phony script in today's Star continues at Nadine's link here.

Anonymous said...

I read, that Harper was flexing his muscles. It was he who ordered fractured bones and beatings. I wasn't even surprised when I read it.

The police also tried to cause trouble, in a peaceful demonstration. Their faces were covered. When they were asked to take off their face covers, they refused. They were accused of being cops. They were accused of trying to cause trouble. The face covered houligans, then left.

When ever this sort of trouble occurs, the orders come from on high. That's the only place, those orders can come from.

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