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300 arrested at Montreal protest against police brutality

RT | March 16, 2014

Canadian police surrounded an annual protest against police brutality in Montreal, arresting 288 people before the demonstration had barely started.

BiychNpIYAAWbQDThe police claim the protest was illegal as the participants did not warn the authorities of their itinerary.

Montreal’s 18th annual protest against police brutality was cut dramatically short Saturday when police rounded up the participants. Minutes into the demonstration, riot officers converged on Jean-Talon Street and began detaining protesters. According to protesters there was a strong police presence, with police horses, cars and a helicopter on the scene.

“It was a veritable army of police … who occupied the area surrounding the Jean-Talon metro when the protest was to start,” the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality, which organizes the annual protest, said in a written statement issued after the protest.

Police declared the demonstration was illegal and asked the protesters to disperse. However, the activists carried on marching, brandishing banners and chanting slogans, such as “They want us to respect them, but they don’t respect us!”

Riot police then encircled the protesters and began making arrests. The majority of the 288 people who were taken into custody were released shortly afterwards, but four people may be charged under the Criminal Code for assaulting an officer and obstructing the police. Several others could face charges of mischief.

One man sustained injuries to his face during the police intervention and was tended to by paramedics on the site, said officers.

“They refused to share their itinerary, and they refused to give us any details. When we got there, we asked them not to jump onto the street, and they answered by going into the street and yelling at us that they were not cooperating,” police spokesman Ian Lafrenière said. He added that the protest has a bad reputation with the authorities and on previous occasions the demonstrations had descended into violence and rioting.

However, activists had a different version of events and have accused the police of lying about the protesters’ activities.

BiyuANtCIAAx7OT“It looks good in the media — the police can say (all of these) people were arrested, were breaking windows and stuff, but it’s not true. They were doing nothing,” Claudine Lamothe told the Montreal Gazette.

The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality has staged a protest in Montreal every year for the past 18 years. This year they focused their protest on the issue of “social cleansing” where the authorities try to “get rid of people who are deemed unwanted,” the group writes on its website. The group cites an incident in January when an unnamed Montreal police officer threatened to tie a homeless man to a lamppost in temperatures of minus 30 if he did not move along. Following the incident, Lafrenière told the Montreal Gazette that the officer had been reprimanded for his “unacceptable” behavior.

March 16, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California cops defend phone confiscations as video of ‘constant bashing’ emerges

RT | May 15, 2013

Mounting pressure from national media and the local community still has not convinced California police to offer any explanation for why they confiscated cell phone video taken by witnesses who say eight or nine officers beat a helpless man to death.

The Kern County Sherriff’s Office has responded to allegations of police brutality only by stonewalling reporters and the family of David Silva, 33, who died last week after witnesses say police took turns hitting the supposedly inebriated man in the head with their batons. Observers who phoned 911 to report the police abuse were later visited by detectives demanding they turn over any footage captured in the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 8.

The seven Kern County deputies officials say were involved in the incident (the number of California Highway Patrol officers present is still unknown) have not been placed on administrative leave, according to the Bakersfield Californian, and department officials have refused to explain why.

“We’re following the same protocol, as far as the administrative process is concerned, that we’d follow in similar-type incidents,” said sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt. Other law enforcement higher-ups echoed a similar sentiment by implying their silence was warranted by an “ongoing investigation” that could last for months.

The cause of death will be announced pending a toxicology report from the coroner as well as microscopic studies. But the delay in explanations fail to account for why witnesses told local and national media outlets that Silva appeared to die in front of them, after a police beating and while a canine unit looked on, apparently ready to intervene if Silva would have been allowed to stand.

Melissa Quair told the Bakersfield Californian that aggressive deputies showed up at her door and blocked the exit as they seized her boyfriend’s phone, which contained video of the beating. She also asserted that her mother was forced to forfeit her phone, even after the police were told it did not contain any supposed evidence.

“They used more force than was needed,” Quair said. “I told them that they didn’t have permission to say who could go in or out of my house. My mom is disabled and has a lot of doctor and medical numbers stored in her phone. But the detective didn’t care and they told my mom to write all her contacts down on a piece of paper and while she did they watched her like hawks.”

Only one poorly-lit video of the beating has surfaced, but 19 blows are visibly delivered by three officers.

“Constant bashing, this is constant bashing,” Chris Silva, brother of the victim, told KBAK-TV after the tape was broadcast on the local news. “You can count, you know – I can’t keep track. And it hurts my head looking at this.”

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Light on the Dark Side of Dorner’s Rampage

wikimedia

By Linn Washington Jr. – This can’t be happening – 02/11/201

On September 10, 2012 the Los Angeles Times published an article with the headline: “LAPD to hold meetings on use of force policies.”

Top Los Angeles police officials announced those community meetings to counter growing criticism about videoed brutality incidents involving LA police officers in the preceding months, that article noted.

On November 24, 2012 The Daily Beast posted an article with the headline: “In Los Angeles, Questions of Police Brutality Dog LAPD” reporting abuse incidents by officers of that department placed under federal oversight between 2001 and 2009 after repeated brutality and corruption scandals.

Over two months after that Daily Beast posting about LAPD brutality a fired LAPD officer unleashed a murderous rampage as revenge against his claimed unfair firing by the LAPD.

That former LAPD cop, military veteran Christopher Dorner, claimed his attack campaign was retaliation against retaliation LAPD personnel directed against him for his reporting a 2007 brutality incident he observed while on duty.

LAPD officials found Dorner’s brutality claim against a policewoman unfounded and fired him for filing false statements. The father of the alleged victim said his mentally ill son confirmed Dorner’s account.

LA police officials contend that man sustained facial injuries from falling into some bushes while resisting arrest by Dorner, not from the female officer’s kick.

Despite the recent record of brutality detailed in news coverage last fall, a New York Times article on the Dorner rampage inferred brutality by Los Angeles police – brutality that sparked two of America’s most destructive urban riots – was not a current problem.

The last sentence in the seventh paragraph of that February 7, 2013 New York Times article stated: “Mr. Dorner laid out grievances against a police department that he said remained riddled with racism and corruption, a reference to a chapter of the department’s history that, in the view of many people, was swept aside long ago.”

That ‘view’ of many people cited in the NY Times article obviously did not include the views of the dozens participating in an October 2012 demonstration against police brutality outside the LAPD headquarters.

On October 22, 2012 the Los Angeles Times published an article with the headline: “Downtown L.A. streets closed by protest at LAPD headquarters.”

Yes, the 1992 riots that rocked LA following the state court acquittal of the four LA police officers charged in the videoed savaging of Rodney King – a disturbance causing over $1-billion in damages and claiming 53 lives – arguably qualifies as long-ago.

But long-ago does not apply to incidents within the past year like the woman kicked in her groin by a female LAPD officer in July 2012 who died minutes later while hog-tied inside a patrol car.

That ‘view’ cited in the NY Times article is not shared by victims of the incidents triggering those LAPD brass community meetings like the skate boarder suckered punched by police, the nurse slammed to the ground by two officers who gave each other a fist-bump for their take-down and the handcuffed man shot by police.

While ‘many people’ certainly believe or want-to-believe LAPD brutality is long gone, perhaps by reforms implemented during that federal oversight, news media accounts pushing that view without balance of companion context comprise an element (albeit small) in the constant framing of police brutality as isolated incidents instead of long standing, systemic procedure by police across America.

At least that NY Times article referenced racism and brutality unlike many media entities that reported Dorner’s rampage without providing context beyond his crazed reaction to his firing.

The March 1968 Kerner Commission Report on sixties-era urban riots – the majority triggered by police abuse incidents including the deadly 1965 LA Watts Riots – criticized the news media for failing to “analyze and report adequately on racial matters” in America that included coverage of festering grievances like police brutality.

Compounding context-deficient coverage, news media reportage on police brutality rarely examines the central role played by prosecutors in perpetuating the problem.

The Los Angeles DA’s Office pushed one case protecting alleged police misconduct all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 2006 that court’s conservative majority issued a ruling experts said eroded protections for whistle-blowing public employees.

The case involved a veteran LA prosecutor who said supervisors retaliated against him arising from his exposing improprieties by a deputy during a drug investigation. Those supervisors pursued the drug prosecution despite those improprieties and then bashed the whistle-blower for providing the defense details of the improprieties as required by law.

That 11/12 Daily Beast article began with an anecdote about LA city prosecutors declining to charge officers caught lying about a December 2010 incident where a woman was beaten and tazed by four officers, one of whom videoed the incident.

Fired Officer Dorner alleged that his LAPD problems began in July 2007 when his training officer, a female, kicked a man during an arrest outside a hotel. Dorner claimed that training officer and their immediate supervisor compelled him to fudge his official report omitting the kicking, according to court findings.

LAPD officials found Dorner guilty of making false statements relying largely on an Internal Affairs investigation. The IA investigator interviewed the training officer and two hotel employees but neither Dorner nor the victim according to an October 2011 California state appellate court ruling that upheld a trial court ruling rejecting Dorner’s appeal of his 2009 LAPD firing.

LAPD officials, in their administrative proceeding, faulted Dorner for failing to immediately report the alleged kicking incident. Officials brushed aside Dorner’s stated fears of backlash for exposing that alleged misconduct and his having quickly reported that incident privately to two LAPD supervisors he knew whom he also had told about racial slurs directed at him during his police academy training.

Officials also claimed Dorner manufactured the brutality complaint to maliciously deflate an adverse performance evaluation he suspected he would receive from his training officer.

LAPD officials have initiated a reexamination of Dorner’s firing since the rampage began.

Dorner, in an online manifesto posted before his rampage, criticized the fact that officers involved in both the Rodney King and other brutality scandals were promoted not penalized.

An analysis of the Dorner incident prepared by Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher and Mike King, a PhD candidate at UC Santa Cruz reminded that brutality against non-whites remains a “structural function” of the LAPD.

“It is the commonness of excuses for police abuse/murder, the erasure of the victims as collateral damage that should be highlighted when trying to make sense of this broken, rogue, former Los Angeles cop,” Ciccariello-Maher and King wrote.

Photo – credit Wikipedia
Related Articles:

Americans protest police brutality

10 Shocking U.S. Police Brutality Videos Caught on Surveillance Cameras

February 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Violent LAPD Shoots First at Anything Resembling Suspect’s Car

Activist Post | February 9, 2013

Almost proving the ex-cop Chris Dorner’s point in his manifesto of cops using excessive force, LAPD are the ones who appear to be on a rampage against anyone who’s driving a car even remotely similar to the suspect’s.

The video below tells of how cops have opened fire on yet another innocent vehicle “generally” fitting the description of Dorner’s car. Luckily the innocent driver was uninjured.

Previously, two women were hospitalized after being attacked by police for driving a blue Toyota Tacoma while they were delivering newspapers in a quiet neighborhood. Police were looking for a pickup truck of a different color, make, and model with a supposed connection to Dorner.

Upon seeing this truck drive down a residential neighborhood, police began unloading their weapons on sight. There are almost 40 bullet holes visible in this picture.

Dorner’s original complaint against the corrupt cops in the LAPD stems from their use of excessive force against civilians. And during their crazed man-hunt for Dorner, they seem to be proving his point. Whether or not Dorner is found guilty of these shootings, the LAPD and surrounding precincts are not doing their reputation any justice in their handling of this situation.


‘Heroes’ View Us as Little More Than Collateral Damage

By Steven Greenhut

Americans will rarely witness the kind of full-scale manhunt now going on throughout Southern California and the San Bernardino mountains as hundreds of heavily armed police and federal agents hunt down Christopher Dorner, a 33-year-old former Los Angeles cop and former Naval officer suspected of three murders.

Homicides are routine in Southern California, but this one is different. As Reuters reported, Dorner is “a fugitive former police officer accused of declaring war on law enforcement in an Internet manifesto.” He allegedly shot two officers in Riverside, killing one of them, and also allegedly murdered the daughter of the former police captain who unsuccessfully represented him in the disciplinary proceedings that led to his firing.

This isn’t about police protecting the public, but police protecting themselves. When one of “theirs” is threatened or killed, police act like invaders. And like any invading army, the public can expect collateral damage. While the national media focused on the basics of the manhunt, there have been too-few reports on the casualties of the ramped-up police presence.

“Emma Hernandez, 71, was delivering the Los Angeles Times with her daughter, Margie Carranza, 47, in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue in Torrance on Thursday morning when Los Angeles police detectives apparently mistook their pickup for that of Christopher Dorner, the 33-year-old fugitive suspected of killing three people and injuring two others,” according to a Los Angeles Times blog. “Hernandez, who attorney Glen T. Jonas said was shot twice in the back, was in stable condition late Thursday. Carranza received stitches on her finger.”

The quotation from Jonas was priceless: “The problem with the situation is it looked like the police had the goal of administering street justice and in so doing, didn’t take the time to notice that these two older, small Latina women don’t look like a large black man.”

According to reports, Dorner was driving a different color and different make of Japanese truck from Hernandez and Carranza, but whatever. If I were in Southern California this week, I’d keep the Toyota or Nissan truck in the garage given the number of police eager to mete out “street justice.” Police defenders will no doubt argue that this was a fluke, a case of a poorly trained cop overreacting (because he certainly believed his life to be in danger).

But apologists for police brutality will have a hard time with this case. As the Times blog also reported: “About 25 minutes after the shooting, Torrance police opened fire after spotting another truck similar to Dorner’s at Flagler Lane and Beryl Street.” Fortunately, no one was hurt at that one. If there were injuries, the cops would just shrug it off. The second shooting reminds us that this is how police will routinely behave. Police officials will then adamantly defend this behavior even in the federal court system.

For instance, a case that just recently headed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal highlights the disturbing attitude of police officials toward innocent bystanders. The following are details from plaintiffs, in their lawsuit against the city of Sacramento and two of its “finest”:

On April 10, 2009, California Highway Patrol officers stopped a Honda Civic for having illegal taillights. As the officers approached the car, the driver, Manual Prasad, drove away and eventually crashed his car into a wall and started running in a residential neighborhood. Sacramento city police were called and used their helicopter to pinpoint the fleeing man who climbed a tree in a backyard.

James Paul Garcia and six of his friends had the misfortune of being in the yard where Prassad was hiding out. Without any apparent warning and without checking to see if there were innocent bystanders, the officer released a police dog into the yard. Police dogs are trained to attack and hold suspects, but they are not trained to distinguish between suspects and bystanders.

So “Bandit” headed into the yard, spotted the first person he saw (Garcia) and did what vicious police dogs do to people: bit the heck out of him and held him at the ground, as its teeth punctured Garcia’s leg in several places.

The police and the city of Sacramento argue that this behavior did not violate Garcia’s rights and of course sought every type of immunity to delay the case and keep its officers from facing discipline. The city argued that giving an adequate warning could – let’s repeat it now in unison, given that this is the trump card police always use – “jeopardize officer safety.”

In Anaheim a few years ago, police were tracking a burglary suspect through a neighborhood. A young newlywed came out of his house with a wooden dowel to see what the ruckus was about. The officer shot the bystander to death, then handcuffed him as he lay dying. Police officers reportedly were angry at the chief for apologizing to the family.

That case epitomizes the “us vs. them” mentality common among our highly militarized police forces. I wasn’t surprised, then, when years later the Anaheim Police Department acted like an invading army after residents protested some deadly shootings by police (including, apparently, the shooting of an unarmed man in the back).

When police pursue suspects, it is official, acceptable policy for officers to do anything they need to do to protect their own safety, even if it endangers the public’s safety. My advice – if you see police anywhere near you, stay very far away. And hope they don’t mistake your car for a suspect’s car. In their view, we are only potential collateral damage.

February 9, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

10 Shocking U.S. Police Brutality Videos Caught on Surveillance Cameras

By Clint Henderson – This Can’t Be Happening – 10/04/2012

This top 10 list is controversial, and not for the faint of heart. These unnerving videos include police officers and their unwarranted BEAT-DOWNS of the following: a special-ed kid, a grandmother trying to pay her bills at a Hooters, a homeless man with schizophrenia, and a woman already handcuffed and at the police station who had just gotten in a car wreck (no alcohol involved)… to name a few. Do these cops truly believe they are above the law? You decide:

10) Greenville County Police taser and punch 18-year-old in the face 13 times (Sep 26, 2009)

Greenville, SC – An 18-year old beaten over and over by an undercover police officer. As you watch and count the punches, you feel like “Wow, is he ever going to stop…?” Yes, the kid was at a known drug house and was possibly buying drugs or maybe had some sort of connection with drugs, but damn! As a user he’s actually more a victim than a perp.

9) LAPD Officers Slam Defenseless Cuffed Woman to Ground (August 29, 2012)

A security camera from Del Taco captured this footage of a nurse, Michelle Jordan, being pulled over on a routine traffic stop (she was texting on her cell-phone while driving) and handled quite excessively by two officers. Fast-forward to view the bruises on her face and body brought on by the police officers use of excessive force. Note the officers, who included a 20-veteran with the rank of commander, fist-bumping after each man had tackled her.

8) Police Officer Attacks Grandmother at Hooters (Nov 18, 2010)

Fast forward to about 1:00 in the clip to see where the off-duty police officer starts getting rough with this grandmother and Hooters patron in Oak Lawn, Illinois. It all started over an issue with the bill, which got completely out of hand.

7) Denver Police Brutality Caught on Tape, Camera Pans Away… (August 17, 2010)

The video surveillance you see here was actually recorded by the police officer’s own equipment. Knowing that, it’s very interesting how the camera pans away, just as the officer begins pummeling the innocent bystander talking on his cell phone.

6) Officer Beats Special Ed Student Over an Un-tucked Shirt (Oct 27, 2010)

A special needs kid, 15-year old Marshawn Pitts, was at the wrong place at the wrong time in Dolton, Illinois. What began as verbal abuse over something as silly as his shirt not being tucked in, led to strong physical abuse and a broken nose at the hands of an “unidentified police officer”.

5) Houston Police Beat Handcuffed 15-Year-Old Boy (Feb 7, 2011)

The end of a pursuit is caught on a security camera, where 15-year old Chad Holley falls on the ground and surrenders. I don’t think the cops want it to be that easy on him… Watch while he lays there with his hands on top of his head only to get kicked about a hundred times and have his head stomped in.

4) Rhode Island Police Officer Kicks Woman in Handcuffs (Sep 2, 2012)

Here we have a 2009 case where a Rhode Island police officer (Edward Krawetz) kicked a woman in the face, while she sat handcuffed on the ground. The video surveillance only recently went public. Officer Krawetz was convicted of “felony battery with a dangerous weapon” and sentenced to a 10-year suspension — an unusually stiff response to police brutality, which is probably only because the incident was recorded. Significantly, this was actually not his first assault charge (the other’s weren’t recorded).

3) Police Turn Off Security Camera and Beat Woman to Bloody Pulp (Sep 23, 2009)

This woman was taken into the police station under “suspicion of DWI.” She had just gotten in a wreck and the police assumed that alcohol was involved. Fast forward and you’ll see the Shreveport, Louisiana officer turn off the surveillance camera and when it comes back on, you’ll notice the woman lying in a pool of her own blood.

2) Kelly Thomas – Fatal Police Brutality of Homeless Man with Schizophrenia (May 8, 2012)

Kelly Thomas is a schizophrenic drifter who was tased and brutally beaten to death by officers Manuel Ramos and Corporal Jay Cicinelli. It was recorded using surveillance video taken from the Fullerton, California, Transportation Center.

1) Eugene Gruber – Police Brutality and Killing: Jail Security Footage – Chicago (Apr 18, 2012)

Talk about scary. This Chicago Tribune article says it best:

“Eugene Gruber was drunk, hostile and uncooperative when he walked into the Lake County Jail, but a day later, he was paralyzed, had a broken neck and barely registered a pulse after an encounter with guards, records show”

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , | Comments Off on 10 Shocking U.S. Police Brutality Videos Caught on Surveillance Cameras

Island of Impunity: Puerto Rico’s Outlaw Police Force

ACLU | June 19, 2012

A report released by the ACLU in June 2012 concludes that the Puerto Rico Police Department is plagued by a culture of unrestrained abuse and impunity. The PRPD – which, with over 17,000 officers, is the second-largest police department in the U.S – is charged with policing the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

After a comprehensive six-month investigation of policing practices in Puerto Rico, building on eight years of work by the ACLU of Puerto Rico documenting cases of police brutality, the ACLU has concluded that the PRPD commits serious and rampant abuses in violation Puerto Ricans’ constitutional and human rights, including:

  • Use of excessive and lethal force against civilians, especially in poor and Black neighborhoods and Dominican communities, often resulting in serious injury and death. Read More»
  • Violent suppression of peaceful protestors using batons, rubber bullets, and a toxic form of tear gas that was phased out by mainland U.S. police departments in the 1960’s. Read More»
  • Failure to protect victims of domestic violence and to investigate reported crimes of domestic violence, rape, and other gender-based crimes. Read More»

The ACLU’s research shows that these abuses do not represent isolated incidents or aberrant behavior by a few rogue officers, but that such police brutality is pervasive and systemic, island-wide and ongoing. In fact, our research has found that the PRPD’s disciplinary, investigatory, and reporting systems prevent accountability. Read more»

The report offers numerous detailed recommendations, including:

  • The Justice Department should enter into a court-enforceable and court-monitored agreement with the PRPD.
  • The PRPD should develop and implement policies on the use of force, improved training, the investigation of civilian complaints of police abuse, and the discipline of officers.
  • Puerto Rico’s legislature should create an independent and effective oversight body to monitor the PRPD. Read more»

The ACLU’s report comes nine months after the release of a scathing U.S. Justice Department report on the PRPD, which found a pattern and practice of constitutional violations by the department, including widespread use of excessive force. The Justice Department investigation, the findings of which were long-delayed, focused on 2004 to 2008. The ACLU’s report focuses on incidents from 2007 through May 2012.

pr_report_cover.jpg

Read and download the ACLU’s report: “Island of Impunity”

Download the full report » (PDF)
Read the Executive Summary » (PDF)
Descargar el resumen ejecutivo del informe en español » (PDF)

See also:

Slideshow: Police Brutality and Unjustified Use of Lethal Force in Puerto Rico

June 19, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Really Happened at the Montréal May Day Protest?

From Peaceful Protest to Police Brutality

By Andrew Gavin Marshall | The Media Co-op | May 2, 2012

The police line as they are about to charge
The police line as they are about to charge

On May 1, 2012, thousands of students and other protesters took to the streets for the Anti-Capitalist rally in downtown Montréal. I attended the protest with a couple friends, and having read the “news” emanating from the “stenographers of power” (the mainstream media), it’s important to set the record straight about what happened here in Montréal.

The Montreal Gazette reported the events with the headline, “Police respond as May Day anti-capitalist protesters turn violent in Montreal.” This exact story and headline were carried across the English-speaking media fresh for the morning’s papers: with the Vancouver Sun, the Province, the Calgary Herald, the Regina Leader-Post, the Edmonton Journal, and the Ottawa Citizen.

The story, as they tell it, goes like this: it started peacefully just after 5 p.m. (this part is true!), and then it “was declared illegal by police at two minutes after 6 p.m. following violent clashes.” A police spokesperson (who apparently is the only person the media chose to interview for their article) said that, “injuries to a citizen, police officers and vandalism on cars and property were the reasons for declaring the march illegal.” The article then blamed “black-clad youth [who] were seen hurling rocks at store windows,” after which the police began to launch flash grenades, and the riot police moved in after 6 p.m. “using batons to disperse the crowd.” At 7:10 p.m., “a full hour after declaring the demonstration illegal, police announced that anyone who refused to leave would be arrested.”

Peaceful beginnings
Peaceful beginnings

The CBC went with the headline, “More than 100 arrests in Montreal May Day riot.” CTV reported that of the 100+ arrests that took place, “75 were for unlawful assembly, while the remaining 34 were for criminal acts.”

So, arrested for “unlawful assembly”: what does that mean? It means that when the police unilaterally declare a protest to be “illegal,” everyone who is there is “unlawfully assembling,” and thus, mass and indiscriminate arrests can be made. In Part 1, Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is stated that “[e]veryone has the following fundamental freedoms”: conscience, religion, thought, belief, expression, media, communication, association, and “freedom of peaceful assembly.”

Having been at the protest from its beginning, I can say that it was a peaceful march. While there were individual acts of vandalism (the worst I saw was drawing on a bank’s window with a black marker), if police action were to be taken, it should be to arrest the specific vandal. Instead, they implemented collective punishment for exercising our “fundamental freedoms.”

The protest began in the Old Port of the city of Montréal, and made it’s way down rue Notre-Dame, up St-Laurent, and down to the financial district. The mood was good, people were in high spirits, with music, drums, the occasional fire cracker, young and old alike.

What Really Happened at the Montréal May Day Protest?

As we entered the financial district, the presence of the riot police became more apparent. When the protest made it to McGill College Ave. – crossing a wide intersection – as the march continued in its consistently peaceful path, the riot police quickly assembled alone the street below us. The crowd quickly became nervous as the protest was declared “illegal.” Before I could even take a photo of the police down the street in a long line, they began charging the crowd. Protesters dropped their signs and began up the street toward McGill University, while another section branched off along the intended direction, and others scattered.

The march had been successfully split, and the small factions were then being isolated and surrounded. Suddenly, riot police were everywhere, marching up the street like storm troopers, police cars, vans, horses, motorcycles, and trucks were flying by. As one faction of the protest continued down another street, the riot police followed behind, while another massive onslaught of riot police went around to block off the protesters from the other side. When the police first charged, I had lost one of my friends simply by looking away for a moment. After having found each other up the street, we watched as the protest which descended down the street was surrounded by police from nearly every side. It was then that we saw flash grenades and tear gas being launched at the crowd of people. There was a notable smell that filled the air.

As we stood, shocked and disturbed by what had just happened, we made our way toward McGill to see where other protesters were headed when we saw a group of riot police “escort” three young protesters whom they had arrested behind a police barricade at the HSBC (protecting the banks, of course!).

Onward and Upward
Onward and Upward

Up the street, and across from McGill, one protester who had run to get on the bus was chased down by several riot police who then threw him face-first onto the pavement, and as a crowd quickly gathered around (of both protesters and pedestrian onlookers), the police formed a circle around the man and told everyone to “get back!” and then they began marching toward us, forcing the crowd of onlookers to scatter as well. The police then took the young man over to where the other protesters were being “collected” at the HSBC.

There was one young girl, with the notable red square patch on her jacket (the symbol of the Québec student movement) who had to be taken away on a stretcher into an ambulance. We don’t know what happened to her.

As more and more police gathered, we decided it was time to leave, walking down the street through which the police had chased the protesters, remnants of signs, red patches, and other debris spilled across the streets; the remains of a peaceful protest ended with police violence.

The first sign of trouble
The first sign of trouble

This has become all too common in Montréal and across Québec, as the student protest enters its twelfth week, having had over 160 protests, an average of 2-3 per day. As the demonstrations take place, the police have used obscure and unconstitutional city by-laws in both Montréal and Québec City which are so vague in their descriptions that any peaceful assembly or march can be declared illegal. Those who are indiscriminately arrested are fined $500, and if arrested again, are charged between $3,500 and $10,500.

It is clear that the State has decided – unilaterally – that freedom of speech and freedom of assembly do not conform to their specific “by-laws,” and are clamping down on students and protesters in order to quiet and crush the student strike and the emerging social movement which is being referred to as the ‘Maple Spring’. The national media, for its part, has decided to demonize the students, the protesters, and the people; taking the word of a “police spokesperson” over everyone else. Having been at the protest, however, I must question whether these so-called “journalists” were at the same event, because we witnessed two entirely different scenarios.

We entered the march in good spirits, and the police ended it in violence and repression, leaving us standing still, scattered, and disturbed; but our spirits are not crushed, our resolve is only growing stronger, and for each act of violence the police and State impose upon the people, we begin to see them for what they truly are, and thus, what is truly at stake: our very freedom, itself!

Heading down the financial district

Heading down the financial district

The Charge! (it's blurry because we all had to run)
The Charge! (it’s blurry because we all had to run)

this "march" replaced the one they dispersed
this “march” replaced the one they dispersed

protecting the bank
protecting the bank

What Really Happened at the Montréal May Day Protest?

arresting protesters
arresting protesters

throwing protester face-down on the ground
throwing protester face-down on the ground

Girl taken away on stretcher
Girl taken away on stretcher

Also posted by AGMarshall:

The Québec Student Strike: From ‘Maple Spring’ to Summer Rebellion?

What Really Happened at the Montréal May Day Protest?

Canada’s Economic Collapse and Social Crisis

Student Strikes, Debt Domination, and Class War in Canada

Of Prophets, Power, and the Purpose of Intellectuals

The Purpose of Education: Social Uplift or Social Control?

The “Crisis of Democracy” and the Attack on Education

May 3, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What Really Happened at the Montréal May Day Protest?