Photo from : Montreal police pepper spraying bar patrons during protest melee (video) By Benjamin Shingler, Canadian Press , Ottawa Citizen , May 20, 2012
Above photo: The student movement's red square spreads beyond Quebec. As protests raged in Montreal, Arcade Fire played with Mick Jagger on Saturday Night Life in New York City. Lead singer Win Butler sported the red square on stage. (NBC.com)
Two journalists were swept up and arrested as ranks of riot police surrounded a group of protesters near the intersection of St. Laurent Boulevard and Ontario Street. One of the reporters was wearing a ski mask to protect against police chemical irritants, and was lightly injured in the fray.
Both were held for 20 minutes and told by a police officer that he "didn't give a f—k" they were journalists, before being let go, according to La Presse.
So as in the USA the local storm troopers that is the riot squads make no distinction between violent out of control protesters and peaceful protesters , innocent bystanders or journalist .
Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly , freedom of the press no longer recognized as rights in Canada. The only thing that matters is supposedly law and order .
One of the issues is whether or not police , riot police, who look a lot like storm troopers in their full battle dress swinging batons and spraying mace / pepper-spray are helping to calm the situation or in fact stoking the fires deliberately to undermine the protesters and their initial grievances.
Watching the actions of police reminds us of the actions of police in oppressive regimes around the globe such as Bahrain , Pakistan,Honduras and so forth. By gearing up for rioting the police are in fact created situations that look like massive rioting when in fact it is a small minority of protesters and undercover police and other paid "Agent Provocateurs" who are engaged in premeditated , planned violent actions.
Montreal Police harass and threaten people lined up to enter a bar
L'attaque de la police montée à "Le P'tit Bar"-Manif Nocturne 23 Mai 2012
Published on May 24, 2012 by ongunsu
J'ai tourné cette vidéo pendant que j'étais coincé dans le P'tit Bar de me protéger de l'a brutalité policiere. Les polices montées attaquent les clients sur la terrasse du bar et essaye de entrer dans "Le P'Tit Bar" sur St Denis!
I shot this video while I got stuck at "Le P'tit Bar" to protect myself from police Brutality. The mounted police shamelessly terrorize the people on the terrasse of the bar and trying to get in to "Le P'tit Bar" on St Denis !
Montreal protesters defy demo law and clash with police - Montreal - CBC News
and from CBC news:
Dozens arrested Two journalists were swept up and arrested as ranks of riot police surrounded a group of protesters near the intersection of St. Laurent Boulevard and Ontario Street. One of the reporters was wearing a ski mask to protect against police chemical irritants, and was lightly injured in the fray. Both were held for 20 minutes and told by a police officer that he "didn't give a f—k" they were journalists, before being let go, according to La Presse.
Provincial police were called in for the second night in a row, as were officers on horseback. In various parts of downtown, constables fired tear gas and muzzle blasts at crowds. What began months ago as a student strike against the Liberal provincial government's plan to hike tuition fees by 70 per cent over the next five years has ballooned into a broader social movement supported by several of Quebec's major labour, environmental and political groups.
The movement picked up some celebrity backing in the last few days, with documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and Montreal band Arcade Fire lending their support. Moore is calling Quebec's student movement "amazing," and on Sunday tweeted: "Canadians are in revolt in Quebec over new gov't law limiting democratic rights. No news of it in US press. Their uprising is inspiring #ggi."
Videos dencouncing bill released The student movement's most popular hashtag is #ggi (grève générale illimitée, French for general unlimited strike.) The international hacker collective Anonymous has also taken an interest in the growing Quebec movement. One of the collective's Twitter accounts tweeted "Goodbye Quebec. Hello Quebecistan," and warned of future actions against the Quebec government. The group, which regularly hacks into government websites around the world, also released two videos denouncing Bill 78 and planned tuition increases. "Resistance is futile," a computer-modulated voice stated in one video. "The hour of war has come." The website for the Quebec Liberal party and the province's Education Ministry were down for portions of the weekend in an apparent cyberattack. Anonymous, however, did not claim responsibility. Student organizers estimate that 150,000 college and university students are still on strike.
Rex Murphy's attitude is revealed by his referring to the student protests as being a matter of students playing "hookey" and therefore should be dismissed out of hand.
For Rex law and order is more important than exercising one's rights or taking to the streets/Our Streets when the police and government engages in its own violent actions or is dismissive of the rights of all Canadians.
All laws he seems to argue no matter how wrong or ill-advised or which contravene the rights of Canadian citizens must be upheld. So for example if certain minorities are discriminated against that would not give them the right to commit acts of civil disobedience by breaking the law. So the Black person who in the 1960s insists on sitting in an area designated "Whites Only" Rex would side with the property owner and the police and would set the dogs on them.
Rex's other solution is taking part in useless debates over various issues. Merely debating over an issue as they do at Osgood Hall or Harvard or Oxford is not necessarily a sign of a healthy democracy it is rather just another game played by those in power.
For instance Rex's solution to any accusations of police brutality is to set up a series of debates about what does or does not constitute "police brutality" rather than defining police brutality making it prohibitive and punishable. One wonders if he is the sort of knuckle dragging neanderthal who supports the police or military or our secret police unconditionally. In other words all who are targeted by police at protests or at airport security and so forth are to be treated as guilty until they can if they are permitted to argue their case.
So if some protesters are violent than all are to be considered to be guilty of violence . So he advocates guilt by association and believes in collective punishment. In Rex's utopia any serious social, economic, political differences are resolved by so called civilized debate. But he forgets that our democratic society has gained rights not merely by someone like Rex pontificating but just as often by public actions aimed at getting the attention of the media and thereby the general public and eventually by elected officials and the top 1%. Women, Blacks, Gays etc. manage to get their rights enshrined after decades or centuries of protests and acts of Civil Disobedience. Rex seems to be under the impression that these rights are handed out to various groups without any struggle. Labor Unions didn't just refuse to work as he suggests but protested, marched in the streets tying up traffic and fighting with the Fascistic draconian police and military to get their rights recognized.
These rights have been hard fought for and there is a need for due diligence to maintain and where necessary to increase one's rights.
Rex forgets that the government and the ruling class have no interests in ensuring the rights of the 99%. It is only when the people demand that their grievances be not just heard but also taken seriously that change comes about.Rex Murphy by the way of a sidebar is part of the reason the CBC the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is no longer a trustworthy source for national news or even international news. The CBC at times sounds no better than FOX News or CNN as it panders to a neo-liberal, Neoconservative audience who brand anyone who airs a grievance legitimate or not as "WHINERS" . He and the CBC do not appreciate being reminded that Canada is moving away from where we were a decade ago towards a more conservative pro-monopolistic Capitalist society in which the rich fraudsters are rewarded lavishly while the rest get poorer . People are supposed to be grateful just for living in Canada or having a minimum wage job.
Commentator CBC's Neo-Liberal Rex Murphy's solution to unrest in Quebec sounds all too familiar as he posits blame on all protesters for the actions of a violent minority-His solution beat up and arrest all protesters and let God Sort out the innocent from the guilty.
Rex Murphy states he supports the democratic right to protests and yet is against any protests which may inconvenience other citizens.
Rex Murphy is all too happy to turn the water canons and the gas on protesters who engage in acts of civil disobedience. One can imagine that Rex Murphy would be pontificating and tut tutting the likes of Martin Luther king Jr. or mahatma Ghandi for encouraging acts of civil disobedience. He doesn't mind protest as long as they are quiet orderly and more or less an invisible non-invent. Many who support the students in Quebec or the Occupy movement in Canada and the USA and elsewhere for the most part do not support violence and vandalism but with these at times massive protests there is bound to be a small group who have their own agenda and will use violent tactics.
Rex of course says nothing about the unnecessary violent response by the police even against peaceful protesters.