Posts Tagged ‘police’

Jailed for Reading 1984

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Grad Student Marilyne Veilleix shares a riveting encounter with Montreal law enforcement during her own personal protest of the F1 Grand Prix. Her plan was to ride the metro back and forth while reading George Orwell’s 1984, a novel describing life under a totalitarian regime known as Big Brother. Seems harmless enough, right?

Unfortunately the mere act of nonviolent civil disobedience is enough to get you incarcerated now that a police state has descended upon Montreal.

Riding the subway, reading her provocative book while sitting across from a police officer, someone took her photograph. This was enough to incense the cop, who promptly called for backup. The troops summoned, Marilyne and others were placed against the wall and then escorted out of the metro. They were told that if they returned they would be arrested with no explanation as to why they were kicked out in the first place.

Marilyne describes what happened next:

I committed a terrible act of civil disobedience by going back down into the station and returning to read in a subway car.  When the police officers saw me eating my apple, they shouted at me that they recognized my tattoos and came after me.  I asked them what I had done wrong, other than peacefully reading, and they said that I had disobeyed police orders.  I asked my question again, asking what was wrong with reading in the metro, and I got no answer.  I was put under arrest and the two police officers did a high five to congratulate themselves on their good work.

I was transported, as if I were a criminal, to the SPVM detention centre in downtown Montreal, where they took mug shots.  After confiscating my personal belongings, the officers took me took cell 52, where there were already three other women.  I spent the day behind bars, in a cell with a dirty toilet, sleeping on a bench, without knowing when I would be released.  All this for reading in a subway car, and then repeating this revolutionary act.  Around 3:30 PM, I was released with a citation telling me that all this circus was for a charge of refusing to circulate.

Now you just know some people, upon hearing this story, will feel like that damn hippie got what she deserved. Not only did she antagonize the officer initially with the book, she went on to clearly defied a police order. Lock that bitch up!

But, here in Canada where education ranks amongst the best in the world, you better believe that most of us see something terribly wrong with what happened to Marilyne. It has taken so little for freedom to evaporate and for society to decay into a police state. And look just how quickly law enforcement snatch up any opportunity to exercise authority over their fellow humans.

A few months ago, a college aged person reading a book on the subway would not provoke a response. But now that police have the pretense that there is a war of sorts going on, anyone who fits the bill as a potential threat is fair game. Young? Check. Engaged mindset? Check. Sporting a red square or maybe just some tattoos? Check. Okay, release the Kraken!

If there’s anything to be learned is just how important it is to keep police powers in check right now. Sure, during peace time when everything is relatively calm, law enforcement will keep a low profile. But given a green light, these same personnel can become a free society’s worst enemy, cracking down at the slightest sign of dissent.

This is why we need to speak out against the ham-handed use of police force in Montreal. Just like we need to follow through on punishing cops who overstepped during the G-20 summit. The more we hold power-tripping law enforcement accountable to the public, the less abuse will happen in the future, and the better protected will our freedoms be.

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.

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…)

Insightful Imagery of the Day

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

First up is a whimsical cartoon depicting what many of us have come to know: that underneath the overbearing exterior of power tripping authority figures resides a scared little child desperately trying to protect itself.

Second is a piece decrying the hypocrisy in American politics. This cartoon could be equally applicable to the Canadian Conservatives, except instead of a tank there’d be Harper flying an F-35 to a mega-prison while cutting social services.

That is all. Enjoy your weekend!

Make Cops Wear Cameras

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Imagine if cops had to wear cameras where the video is streamed to a public database. How would they act with an unblinking and unbiased witness forever leaving them open to the people’s scrutiny?

Here’s my prediction: there would be less abuse of power. Police misconduct happens when they know they can get away with it. But under and ever-present eye to watch them, they’ll find it much harder to abuse the authority they’ve been entrusted with. (more…)

Bill C-30: Yay for Now

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Canadians can breathe a sigh of relief, albeit a temporary one. Bill C-30 – the legislation to give police unwarranted access to every Canadian’s online activity – has been shelved!

Don’t, however, take this as a reason to become complacent. The forces trying to cram C-30 down our throats will not rest, so neither can we. It is up to us to stay vigilant against the encroachment of the police state and further erosion of our freedoms.

On the bright side, at least now we know that our voices will still be heard, as long as we speak up together.

Worst of Human Nature Takes Hold in Egypt

Monday, December 19th, 2011

It can be very hard to watch this week’s footage showing Egyptian security forces beating and killing civilians. If there’s anything to be learned from these vile and disgusting acts, it’s that the authority to hurt other humans should be considered amongst the most sacred of all privileges.

Egypt’s soldiers – the men who are now guilty of murder – started out as regular people. They took a job in the military, making their living doing what they’re told. On top of this, they face indoctrination leading them to believe they are fighting for a just cause.

Then, when the order comes and free license is given to beat unarmed citizens with metal rods, some of these troops will excel in their roles as thugs. Just like the young men caught enthusiastically jump-stomping their own brothers and sisters.

The problem, however, is not with the soldiers, but rather with the generals. The leaders who gave permission for violence to happen are ultimately responsible, and when justice prevails they will be held fully liable for the carnage they set into motion.

Violence should only be used as a last resort, and only as a deterrent against greater violence. When decision-makers lend the right to hurt others with such ease, atrocities like those we see across the Middle East will continue to happen.

Of course, it’s all fine and dandy to point out what seems obvious: if we want peace we need to severely restrict the use of violence. But how does this knowledge help anyone staring down hundreds of armed goons? Well, it doesn’t.

But it does give the rest of us something to aim for – which is a world where the general population has the means to hold authorities accountable for their actions.

Fortunately, thanks to the ever expanding reach of citizen journalism, combined with a free Internet through which to exchange stories, institutionalized corruption and injustice will continue to be exposed. Leaders who abuse the powers they’ve been entrusted with will brought to bear for the suffering they cause.

Holding the use of violence in the highest esteem something we’ve either forgotten or never learned. But it is a truth we will awaken to as we usher in a new era of peace for our planet.

Bahrain Still Brutal

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Pay close attention to what is going on right now in Bahrain (seen above), because what is happening there can happen anywhere.

Don’t kid yourself. Disgusting scenes of heavily armed security forces severely beating protesters and blatantly abusing their authority could very well spring up in our own backyards, should we simply neglect our duty to protect our precious freedom.

Democracy doesn’t happen on it’s own. It takes concerted effort by an educated, empowered and engaged population. When the people get too lazy, ignorant, distracted, or fearful, it leaves the door open for outside entities (like corporations and special interests) to discretely strip the public of their power, step by step.

Embrace your responsibility as a co-creator of a new, more just global civilization. Join the millions of people who’ve already flipped the script from passive to active, from observer to player. Be part of the change this planet needs – we can’t do it without you!

American Freedom Under Attack: Nationwide Strike Called

Friday, December 16th, 2011


A state of emergency has been declared for all freedom loving Americans across the nation. The republic is under attack!

Contrary to popular belief, the most pressing threat lies not with foreign extremists, but rather, from an equally radical homegrown form of tyranny. Like a disease, this danger has been quietly spreading within the very heart of the democratic system which entire armies have fought valiantly to protect.

What is it that stands to destroy the personal liberties and civil rights of every single US citizen? Fascist new legislation – SOPA and NDAA – which gives the US military the right to detain and torture American civilians on American soil without any trial, as well as permitting the US government to shutdown entire segments of the Internet at will.

Scary stuff. These are the kinds of laws power-hungry dictators dream about.

Why are US legislators working to pass such ludicrous bills? Here’s one reason: half of all Americans – that’s one in every two US citizens – are officially living in poverty. Stats like that will not go unanswered for long.

George Carlin says ‘they call it the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it’. Well, it seems the people are starting to wake up. And what they are seeing is making them mad enough to stir up a revolution.

Certain powers that be already know this, which is precisely why they are preparing the US government for a war against its own people.

This means the opportunity for delay has now ended. Standing on the precipice of a slippery slope, Americans must act quickly or risk losing the opportunity to ever speak out again.