Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finished with the G-20? Not even close.

And partly because of this wanker here.

At Wednesday's Public Safety and Security Committee meeting into the G20 fiasco, we heard testimony from two very well-spoken students from Montreal who were arrested in their pajamas at gunpoint from the University of Toronto gymnasium, where accommodation arrangements for out-of-town protesters had been made with the university.

Jacinthe Poisson, a student of International Relations at the University in Quebec, was held for 57 hours under the crowded conditions in the cages now familiar to all of us. Ms Poisson was subjected to three body searches. In her own words :
"At the Vanier Institution I had to lean over completely naked in front of these male guards."
She was released at 4am without money or clothes. All charges against the 100 or so students dormed in the gymnasium were dropped.

Ms Wissam Mansour was also arrested off the floor of the gymnasium but was interviewed separately after being recognized by a Montreal police officer who asked if she knew Fredy Villanueva, the 18 year old fatally shot by Montreal police in 2008.
After interrogation, she was released without charge onto the street in her pajamas with no money, no phone, and absolutely no idea where she was. She somehow made her way back to UofT.

So bearing all that in mind, here are the questions Con committee member Brent Rathgeber pictured above saw fit to put to them.
First they both agreed with Rathgeber that destruction of property and burning police cars was, in Rathgeber's term, "offside".

Rathgeber to Mansour and Poisson : " So what was your goal? What was your end game here?"
Poisson : "I went to peacefully protest. I disagree with some positions of this government."

Rathgeber : "But what was your ultimate goal? Did you think that somehow you would have an effect on the outcome, that the G20 leaders would be so moved by your protest that they would change their policies? Was that your goal here?"
Poisson : "My point was not to protest the G20 but to express my political opinions which I have every right to do."

Rathgeber to Mansour : "What did you hope to accomplish by taking several days out of your busy life to go to Toronto? Was your goal to somehow affect public policy? Was it to have some face time with President Obama? Or was it to cause disruption?"

Mansour : "I'm not proud of living in a Canada governed by Mr Harper. I'm not proud of that and I went to protest against political positions that the government has. I didn't go to see President Obama and I knew Mr. Harper was not going to change his mind even with 30,000 people in the streets. I didn't have a short term goal; I have a long term goal."

Rathgeber : "But what is your long term goal? To overturn the Harper government or is it to defeat capitalism generally? I suggest your goal was to get on the evening news."

Alarming, isn't it?
Rathgeber, a lawyer who also sits on the Justice and Human Rights Committee, appears to have no idea that the half dozen accusations he is making against these witnesses are all things which are perfectly legal.
It is because this government expects to get away with punishing people for legal acts that we have to keep pushing for a public inquiry into the G20 fiasco.
(edited for typos)


thwap said...

My god, but the turd is ... well, ... a turd.

These are the swine that our apathy and our ignorance has put over us.

What a contemptible buffoon.

Orwell's Bastard said...

Man, he's not even interesting enough to make the Little Eichmanns(TM) list.

Boris said...

This government does not understand democracy and therefore has no use for it. That's the kind of tone that leads governments to indefinitely detain people and make lists.

Anonymous said...

Can it be legal to release women onto the streets at 4am in their pajamas?
Good God.

skdadl said...

His questions are so weird. He seems to think that any and all of those goals are suspect -- he's certainly trying to make them sound that way.

But they're not. Citizens are supposed to do those things. He's a lawyer? Help!

Elizabeth said...

What he wants is to portray the protesting public as idiots. As view shared by more people than I care to think about. But when I went for fish and chips in my local Whitby restaurant on the Sunday during the G20, I was treated to many overly loud conversations which this ass would be quite comfortable with. No nasty comments about the 905 necessary. :-)

Peter said...

I don't understand all the opposition to police tactics at the G20. Some say that their rights were violated and they had to sit in a cramped cold cell, without blankets for a few hours. A police car was torched and who knows what rioters would have done if the police were still in the vehicle. I watched the CBC documentary on the protestors who used rap music to incite violence against police. The call by protestors to commit violence or assault was criminally wrong. To proclaim that being searched was a humiliating experience? What about the shopkeepers who had to witness their own potential customers destroying their place of business?

Skinny Dipper said...

Rathgeber: "What did you hope to accomplish by taking several days out of your busy life to go to Toronto?"

Democracy and human rights take up too much of our busy time. Don't vote; just keep working.

Skinny Dipper said...

Peter, I don't accept the violence committed by anyone. However, store owners and merchants lost millions of dollars because people avoided downtown Toronto. Why would I have wanted to go to downtown Toronto only to be hassled by the police for ID? I do not always carry ID with me. I could have been arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A TTC worker was arrested for no reason. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

thwap said...


You don't really understand how a free and democratic society is supposed to work at all, do you?

That was the most putrid, mewling pile of authoritarian drivel I've read in quite some time.

Look at it this way:

Spend a billion dollars to prevent some vandalism.

Vandalism occurs anyway.

Arrest and abuse hundreds of other people the next day just to show you can.

And you support that?

God help us from idiots like you.

Holly Stick said...

Peter you read Alison's post which said "...Jacinthe Poisson, a student of International Relations at the University in Quebec, was held for 57 hours..." and you call that "a few hours"?

How dishonest of you.

Anonymous said...

Thwap is mostly right; however,

"Spend a billion dollars to prevent some vandalism."

Should read:

"Spend OVER a billion dollars to NOT prevent some vandalism."

doconnor said...

What is equally as disturbing is that the Liberals asked few or no questions about the rights violations and focused exclusively on the cost overruns.

Dennis Hollingsworth said...

Here's my Email to the turd and Sanctimonious Steve >>>YOU SIR QUALIFY AS THE JACK ASS OF THE MONTH (from coast to coast to coast) FOR THIS SHAMEFUL ACT OF HOSTILITY DIRECTED AT CANADIANS ... AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE.

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