Sunday, June 27, 2010

Depressing

Really. I have no idea what to say about this. The whole Blackbloc thing was very disturbing  yesterday. Then today the scenes in Toronto are terrifying in another way. Makes me think there is something very askew about the possibility of protest, about feeling heard, and as we know, but don't seem able to do anything about...the direction Mr. Harper is steering this country.

Raw footage here.

Twitter feed ongoing.

Images of police over-reacting.  Still find it very, very curious that police officers seem to have abandoned cruisers in the middle of the street. Seriously, were those calculated in the cost of the event because it seems rather staged to have done such a thing...

Why all this energy on the fence, on keeping people out, and no thought of a way to have a feed from the protesters to the participants...would it not have made sense to have some kind of way to offer up what protesters wanted to say to world leaders? Would that have been so terrible?

Very depressing.

This just makes a muck of things.

Seriously:
The cost in Canadian currency is $930 million, a figure newspapers and angry politicians have rounded up to a billion. While that figure may be closer to the truth once the final bill is reckoned, it has also encouraged use of the alliterative aspersion “billion-dollar boondoggle.”

By far the largest chunks are for personnel. The security force for the two meetings includes 20,000 soldiers, intelligence agents and police officers drawn from across Canada, a draft of about 13 percent of all available police officers and troops in the country.

The Public Safety Department has budgeted $438 million for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Another $285 million was designated to reimburse local and provincial police departments for the officers borrowed by the federal government. The military gets $72 million.
And this much money allowed for a handful of folks to burn four police cruisers and arrest upwards of 500 individuals...

You just can't get anything for a billion dollars anymore...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that the agents provocateurs strategy is an RCMP favourite. They admit to as much.

The people lucky enough to be there protesting are those that got tired of being depressed, got tired of wondering why a conduit isn't provided for their dissent. I don't mean to take a jab at you Sina. The 1999 protests of WTO meetings were full of actual black-bloc anarchists and were possibly the most successful anti-capitalism/globalization protests in North America in the last fifty years. They actually halted the conferences that would have pushed forward more NAFTA-like trade agreements and really, neoliberalism has just sort of coasted, not grown exponentially as was the plan of the WTO, since then.

One day maybe this invitation of violence from protesters by means of the extreme indifference of the elite, agents provocateurs or not, won't do as they intend it - to link dissent with terrorism, to make people say "these scenes of activism sure are frightening" - but will instead mobilize people in larger numbers.

Lemon Hound said...

Why do you post as anonymous?

Lemon Hound said...

You may be right. I wasn't at the Battle of Seattle and I'm not in Toronto...and to be fair, I think very few people have a clear idea what the hell is really going on. What we know is something is very, very wrong.

I'm wondering where leadership is, as we all are.

Wondering why this thing was able to go ahead...wondering where the hell the opposition is in this country.

Wondering a good number of things.

Have absolutely no answers...

Anonymous said...

"I'm wondering where leadership is, as we all are."

ROTFL!

Lemon Hound said...

I can't believe I forgot the whole Nafta Huffli of 2007 and the very obvious police intervention and incitement of violence in an otherwise peaceful protest...

What country are we living in??