Posts Tagged ‘demonstration’

Democracy for Hong Kong

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

When free markets and democracy get skewed by the power and influence of large business, we get the bastardized version of capitalism called corporatism. And when corporatism is allowed to run amok, the top 1% of 1% of the people consistently get richer and more powerful while everyone else systematically grows poorer.

Case and point, Hong Kong. Touted as one of the world’s freest markets, it is producing a record number of new millionaires. The formation of these newly rich comes at a heavy toll: the bulk of the Hong Kong people facing a 30 year high for income inequality.

Given that the corporate stranglehold over their government is set to tighten, they have little hope to reform their state using existing political channels. Any politician that rises to power will already be part of the corrupt game, and any real revolutionary figure would be weeded out well before taking a seat in office.

This leaves few options. One thing the people of Hong Kong could do is unite. By taking the streets, coordinating and mobilizing online, they could forge an entirely new democratic mechanism and channel the warranted angst from the vast majority of the people into tangible political clout. Only then will their voice be heard, and only then will they get the reform they desire.

What the Hong Kong people are going through serves as a microcosm for what the bulk of humanity is experiencing. Right now, powerful forces are subtley yet steadily stripping power away from the entire human race in order to widen their already mind-numbingly fat coffers.

For years now, every single one of us has been under threat of an impending corporatist plutocracy. Only with unity and solidarity will we have any hope to overthrow our billionaire overlords and their minions.

Fortunately, this is already happening. The world’s people are waking up. Slowly but surely, our global eyes are opening, allowing us to see ourselves for the first time. And one thing we will quickly learn is just how powerful we can be when we work together. After that, it’s just a matter of steering our species towards a more just civilization for all.

The Whole World is Watching Montreal

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

109 days. That’s how long they’ve been protesting in Montreal. Over 3 incredible months. What started out as a demonstration against an impending 80% tuition hike has now blossomed into a full-out fight for civil rights.

Now, whether you’re Canadian or an unCanuck (a term I’ve never heard used until just now), there are many great reasons you should be paying attention to what is happening in Quebec. Here’s three:

Reason 1: It’s massive. Over 400,000 people – 1/4 of Montreal’s total population – have been out in simultaneous protest.

Reason 2: It’s about more than tuition fees. The movement has always targeted the systemic corruption in government, highlighting the way powerful corporations and big business get taxpayer-funded benefits while taxpayers themselves get the shaft.

But now that Premiere Charest clumsily stifled the right to protest, the movement morphed into protecting individual liberties, saving our precious democracy, and, most importantly, sending a clear message that we will not stand idly by while civil rights get violated.

Reason 3: The Montreal uprising is just a sign of things to come. Humans everywhere on earth are undergoing a great awakening. The internet is fostering a social revolution, shifting unprecedented powers into the hands of the masses. Governments, corporations and other major institutions will prove no match for millions of coordinated humans working together in real time.

A new day is coming, where actual democracy gives everyone a voice. With this newfound solidarity we will build a more just global civilization. People will take priority over profits, cooperation will supersede competition, and a brighter, more secure future will be upon us.

Montreal Protester Crippled, Comatose

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

(This is the edited, slow-speed version. Original copy here.)

One of Montreal’s protesters is now in hospital with brain damage, severed spine, broken vertebrae and little chance of recovery, according to reports.

As seen in the video above, the unidentified man has a brief scuffle with an officer, apparently holding on to the officer’s bicycle for a few seconds. Almost instantly, the man is full-speed tackled to the ground by another officer, striking the protesting man in the back of the neck with a police baton. The violent collision sent the man’s limp body to the ground where his head walloped against the concrete.

After this, numerous police swarmed the unconscious man, keeping a knee on the back of his neck. He was jarred around while police searched and handcuffed him. Over 30 minutes passed as paramedics finally tended to the comatose man.

All this took place over a week ago. The mainstream media remains utterly silent. The identity of the man still has not surfaced.

This begs the question, what will happen to the police officer who all but killed a guy? Repercussions must be dealt to this bad cop, otherwise police will think they can get away with it. And so far it seems as if they are going to.

Quebec People Respond to Government Encroachment

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

(The police demand prior knowledge of rally routes. This is what they get!)

Quebec Premiere Jean Charest is in hot water. A few days ago he passed some short-sighted, heavy-handed emergency laws. These laws, when applied to their full extent, could easily cripple free speech. This misstep has only aggravated Quebec’s youth rebellion. Now, instead of just having to deal with pissed-off students, Charest now has to contend with most of the province being mad at him.

Seeing their precious freedom being infringed upon, Quebeckers sprung into action by the hundreds of thousands. They do not like what Charest has done, and they seem intent on banging pots in the streets until their voice gets heard.

The problem with the contested legislation – Bill 78 – is that it puts the right to protest directly under the control of the police. Anyone demonstrating without prior approval from a police department will face stiff fines or worse, like some entitled security thug punishing offenders with impunity. Yes, I’m talking about you, Canadian Pepper Spray Cop!.

Another problem with Bill 78 is that special provisions target coordinators of so-called ‘unlawful’ protests, who can also be punished whether they partake in the actual demonstration or not. So now anyone who spreads reasons to be disgruntled with government and dares to call for action could end up fined or arrested.

As much as it sucks to see heads of Canadian office trying to force ridiculous laws, witnessing the people’s response more than makes up for it. Clearly, they are as mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore.

Right on! Hopefully Charest buckles sooner than later, and every single Canadian politician gets a reminder as to the power of the people.

Constable 728: Canada’s Own Pepper Spray Cop

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Remember the infamous Pepper Spray Cop? Yeah, that guy whose callous use of toxic chemicals on peaceful UC Davis students earned him a lasting spot in Internet memeology. Well, it seems we Canadians now have our own more feminine version – Constable 728.

Watch as she proves the old adage: give someone a hammer and pretty soon everything looks like a nail. Just like if you give people a badge, powerful weapons, and the loosely sheathed authority to use them, a select few will unleash said powers at a moments notice.

Check out the video. Whatever what happened in the moments before, whether or not the students were warned, there is no evidence that this use of pepper spray was at all warranted. All that is clear is a disgusting abuse of power by an actor of the state.

Unconstitutional? Undemocratic? Certainly unCanadian. No matter how you may feel about the ongoing student protests, this incident cannot go unpunished. Otherwise we will just be opening the door to more of it in the future.

Quebec Crushing Charter of Rights

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Watch out, Quebeckers, North Korea is coming. And its name is emergency Bill 78.

Penned during an all-night session by Premier Jean Charest’s government, this bill sets strict limits on public demonstrations and threatens stiff penalties to anyone trying to exercise their right to gather in protest and exercise free speech.

“This bill, if adopted, is a breach to the fundamental, constitutional rights of the citizens,” says the bar association president Louis Masson, who goes on to note how “The scale of its restraints on fundamental freedoms isn’t justified by the objectives aimed by the government.”

The precedent set here isn’t just bad for Quebec, it’s bad for our entire country. If they can do it there, why not everywhere?

So a handful of individuals seize the protests as opportunity to resort to vandalism and violence and the entire movement gets punished. How typical! No wonder police go undercover to disturb the peace… it so readily negates populist uprisings.

Which is really too bad, because I love what the students have been doing. I love their energy, their spirit, and their tenacity in the face of a domineering establishment. And really, their cause is just. Sure, they already pay the lowest tuition in all of Canada, and the hikes are relatively small. But that’s no reason not to expect better.

Instead of hating on Quebec’s students for being engaged in our democracy, maybe a better question is ‘Why aren’t the rest of Canadian students out demanding lower costs for themselves?’

Police Violated Civil Rights – G20 Report

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Dark days happened in 2010 as security forces caused the largest mass arrests in Canadian history.

Now, a new report confirms what many already knew – during the G20 summit police violated civil rights, detained people illegally, and used excessive force.

The 300-page report finds that “Numerous police officers used excessive force when arresting individuals and seemed to send a message that violence would be met with violence,” continuing on to state “The reaction created a cycle of escalating responses from both sides.”

The report also lambasted the unprecedented use of ‘kettling’, where protesters are corralled by riot squads into closed off areas to be detained and arrested. It is during kettling, where protesters are backed into a corner, where clashes can reach a boiling point and fatalities can occur.

So police were overbearing and essentially silenced attempts at peaceful protest. But what else is there to expect when the government spends 664 million on security? Had nothing happened, the price tag might have seem unjustified.

Still, what is most damning about this entire report is the utter lack of accountability. The authors of the report seem appeased to know their recommendations might be considered by police departments in the future.

But this does little to protect Canadian free speech. How about some firings or fines or something to teach the police a lesson? If anything, the lack of repercussions will just encourage more of the same in the future.

What would be nice to see is a clear message sent to police departments across the nation: do not stifle dissent, do not crush protests, do not silence free speech, do not impede peaceful assembly. Otherwise you will face stiff consequences.

Until that happens, ham-handed security will be free to trample our rights the next time we unite against the injustices of the system.

Update – May 17, 2012 Senior Toronto police commanders are expected to be charged in coming weeks for a variety of misconduct offences over their leadership at the G20 summit in June 2010, according to reports from the CBC.

Awesome! This is more than just a slap on the wrist, or at least it could be.

May Day General Strike Tomorrow

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Just a reminder that the May Day general strike takes place tomorrow. No school, no work, no banking, no buying – all to protest the threat of corporatism and to show solidarity with the world’s migrant workers. Over 125 cities are involved, and there is a comprehensive directory if you are interesting in joining. (more…)

Canadian Cops Crush Peaceful Protests

Friday, April 27th, 2012

MONTREAL: Seizing upon the distractions of a public protest, a handful of unruly miscreants take the opportunity to vandalize private property. In response, heavily armed police units crack down on the demonstration as a whole, claiming protection of the public good.

Peaceful assembly: 0  Police State: 1 (more…)

Worth Watching: Uprising 2012

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Here’s the best call to action I’ve seen in a while: Uprising 2012 by the Freedom Information Network.

For a video like this to have a dramatic effect on the population it would have to be seen by millions and millions of people, like Kony 2012.

Still, humans are fast approaching a state ready for this to happen. Maybe not quite yet, but it won’t be long.

In less than 5 to 10 years, the world’s social consciousness will be prepped for radical ideas to sweep through, fostering upheavals to the status quo, enabling a wide-spread redistribution of power and a reposition of priorities.

When humanity awakens as a species, nothing will ever hold us back again.