Politics and its Discontents: For Those Who Don’t Know Their Place

What do you do when citizens believe that democratic rights should be more than an illusion? Call in the authorities to remind them of their true place in the foodchain. On a related topic, The Star’s Rosie DiManno has an excoriating assessment of yet another free pass given by the SIU to the officers involved ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Wheels of G20 Justice Move Very Slowly

Although I have written countless posts about the abrogation of charter rights and myriad instances of police brutality that occured in Toronto during the infamous G20 weekend in 2010, the story never seems to be over. This past week saw one officer acquitted in the assault of Dorian Barton; Glenn Weddell was found not guilty ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Insular World Of The Police Mentality

I have written several posts in this blog about institutions and their many shortcomings, shortcomings that seem directly proportional to their age. The longer one exists, the more prone an organization seems to becoming increasingly insular, self-referential, and self-reverential. One of the institutions most frequently targeted here is law enforcement. Whether examining local or national ...

Politics and its Discontents: From A Star Reader

My sentiments exactly, Steve: Re: A G20 cop’s close call, Aug. 10 I am a 59-year-old middle-class law-abiding person. That said, I cannot help but remark on the juxtaposition of the description of George Horton’s “crimes” with the picture of police activity during the G20. Horton is accused of wearing a disguise and mischief. The ...

Politics and its Discontents: Two ‘Politicians’ Speak

Now frequently the new last refuge of the scoundrel, the passive voice is very popular with politicians far and wide, even if they don’t hold elected office. In response to a comprehensive report by retired judge John Morden on the police brutality and abuses of Charter Rights committed during the June 2010 G20 Summit in ...

Politics and its Discontents: Enablers Of The G20 Abuses: The Police Services Board

The following is a brief excerpt from a comprehensive report by retired judge John Morden on the police brutality and abuses of Charter Rights committed during the June 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto. In it, he addresses the failure of the Toronto Police Services Board, headed by Alok Mukherjee: “The board has limited its consultative ...

Politics and its Discontents: Apparently, Talk Of Charter Rights Is Just Nonsense

“Guys are talking nonsense and he got nonsense back.” – Sgt. Mark Charlebois in defense of his denial of Paul Figueiras’s Charter Rights during Toronto 2010 G20 Summit. Unfortunately, Sgt. Charlebois is not the only one who feels that our Charter Rights are a risible matter. As reported in today’s Star, the York Police Services ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Star Reader’s Thoughts On G20 Justice

As a reader of various progressive bloggers, I know that the thirst for justice and accountability burns strongly in Canada. The only problem, of course, is that this passion seems singularly absent in those who occupy positions of authority, be they our elected ‘representatives’, heads of various organizations, and, of course, certain police chiefs. So ...

Politics and its Discontents: Christopher Hume on the G20

With a broad range of targets in his column today, including Dalton McGuinty, Harper, Tony Clement and Julian Fantino as additional architects of the 20120 G20 debacle in Toronto, the Star’s Christopher joins in the chorus of those calling for the resignation of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair. Of course, he is under no illusion ...

Politics and its Discontents: Deny, Deny. Deny

In the strange parallel world inhabited by Toronto Police chief Bill Blair, that seems to be the rule governing administrative oversight. When confronted with an authoritative and damning report on the behaviour of your officers, both frontline and senior, attempt to deal with its implications by refusing to apologize for the abrogation of Charter rights ...

Politics and its Discontents: Accentuating The Positive

Perhaps he is a student of Norman Vincent Peale. Perhaps he believes that when you are handed lemons, you make lemonade. Perhaps he prefers to see the glass as half-full, not half-empty. Or perhaps he is just a politician intent on covering his professional rear end. Whatever he is, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair is ...

Politics and its Discontents: Stating The Obvious

While this report from The Office of the Independent Police Review may afford some satisfaction for confirming the obvious, the fact that there were no consequences to the police and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair for being key parts of this orchestrated violation of our Charter Rights renders it pretty much meaningless. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Police Chief Bill Blair Well-Rebuked

Oh, there is much in the news today to report and comment on, but I’ll start with something close to my heart: Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, whom I regard as an unindicted co-conspirator in the police violence that erupted during peaceful protests at the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto. In a previous post, I ...

Politics and its Discontents: More G20 Police Brutality Justice Pending

One of the Toronto police officers identified in the G20 beating of Adam Nobody has now been identified in another incident occurring the same weekend. Const. Oliver Simpson’s employer, the Toronto Police Services Board, is being sued by Nikos Kapetaneas and Caitlin Morgan for the injuries they sustained at the hands (or rather, the feet) ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Little More G20 Justice

In one of the more despicable acts of police brutality during the G20 Summit in Toronto in June of 2010, a paraplegic man, Gabriel Jacobs, was “dragged” from his motorized wheelchair, thrown into the back of a police cruiser and left on the floor of a temporary G20 detention centre where he defecated on himself ...

Politics and its Discontents: G20 Toronto Police Not Paid for Overtime?

Perhaps next time they will be more selective about the number of law-abiding citizens against whom they wield their batons and arrest. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: More On Toronto G20 Incarceration Conditions

As human beings, there is really no way that we can dispute our deeply-flawed natures. Overlooking the terrible depths to which we can sink, the unspeakable cruelties each of us is capable of, and seeking to justify or rationalize away those shortcomings is to choose to remain in a state of willful ignorance that only ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Toronto G20 and the Vindication of Michael Puddy

Kafkaesque is a term loosely and regularly bandied about, usually denoting a process whereby an innocent person is subjected to unfathomable persecution/arrest. It seems an apt word to describe what Michael Puddy endured in Toronto during the G20 protests of June 2010. Not even a part of the protest, Puddy was swept up in a ...

Politics and its Discontents: Has This NYPD Officer Been Watching Video of Toronto’s G20?

You decide. Please sign this petition urging Prime Minister Harper to stop threatening Michaela Keyserlingk and to stop exporting asbestos. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Chief Bill Blair’s Gambit

It is difficult to know exactly what the repercussions will be for Chief Bill Blair, who attempted to go over the heads of his civilian overseers, the Toronto Police Services Board, and appeal directly to Mayor Rob/Doug Ford in trying to stop the mandated 10% reduction of the police budget. In his most recent meeting ...

Politics and its Discontents: What Is A Hero?

Having completed at my wife’s urgent behest the always onerous task of vacuuming, I sat down a short time ago to peruse The Toronto Star. In it there is another story about Anthony Marco, the Hamilton-area NDP candidate running in Tim Hudak’s riding. Already under fire for so-called controversial remarks about nazism, he has again ...

Politics and its Discontents: Two Sunday Morning Links

Echoing some of the sentiments I expressed the other day, this morning’s Star editorial endorses the Toronto Police Services Board’s decision to deny promotions to nine officers recommended by Police Chief Bill Blair. Is it possible that these officers, who behaved illegally by removing their name tags during last year’s G20 Summit, were chosen by ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Toronto Police Board and Bill Blair

It is somewhat heartening that the Toronto police board, which has traditionally enjoyed harmonious relations with the Toronto Police, is showing a bit of spine. As reported in today’s Star, the board is refusing to accept Chief Bill Blair’s recommendation for the promotion of nine officers who brought discredit to themselves and the force, not ...

Politics and its Discontents: Star Readers Respond To Tony Warr

I recently wrote a post detailing the cavalier attitude of retiring Deputy Police Chief Tony Warr towards the police brutality unleashed on his city during last year’s G20 Summit. Frequently a source of inspiration, readers weigh in with their own assessments of Warr’s perspective in today’s issue of The Toronto Star, Well-worth the read! Recommend ...

Politics and its Discontents: Toronto Police: True Blue To The End

Anyone who might be concerned that recent events have put a strain on police solidarity can rest easy. In an article in The Star entitled Retiring deputy chief calls G20 reaction overblown, Tony Warr, who is set to retire at month’s end, has nothing but praise for the actions of police at last summer’s G20 ...