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Politics and its Discontents: Not An Obsession

Looking at the sidebar that lists the tags on my blog posts, I see I have written well over 100 entries on the police, most of them dealing with their abuse of authority; some of those abuses include the murder of unarmed or barely armed people, others… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Not An Obsession

Politics and its Discontents: A Powerful Statement

And one that needs no words:Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A Powerful Statement

Politics and its Discontents: The Police – Reluctant Learners In Our Midst

In many ways it is regrettable that the police apparently are not Spiderman fans. If they were, perhaps they would understand an early and painful lesson learned by Peter Parker, his alter ego: With great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Police – Reluctant Learners In Our Midst

Politics and its Discontents: Fear And Loathing

I remember very vividly when I was a young fellow how much the police seemed to be a part of the community. When I was in high school, I had a weekend job in a restaurant that often saw me walking home about 2 a.m., and more times than not I would see … . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Fear And Loathing

Politics and its Discontents: Star Readers Respond To Toronto Police Thuggery

Whether justice will ever be achieved in the terrible death of Rodrigo Gonsalez or the vicious beating of Santokh Bola remains an open question. However, given some compelling video evidence, there seems little doubt in the minds of Toronto Star reader… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Star Readers Respond To Toronto Police Thuggery

Politics and its Discontents: UPDATE: A Police Or An Occupation Force?

Last night, the CBC reported on the case of Rodrigo Gonzalez, the subject of yesterday’s post and the latest to die at the hands of Toronto Police. while the report perhaps sheds no further light on what occurred, it at least graphically brings to the … . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: UPDATE: A Police Or An Occupation Force?

Politics and its Discontents: A Police Or An Occupation Force?

While I realize there is an element of hyperbole in the title of this post, I cannot help but think that for many vulnerable people, the Toronto Police might be viewed more as oppressors rather than as protectors. Yesterday I posted about the beating a… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A Police Or An Occupation Force?

Politics and its Discontents: “There’s always a context in which these things take place.”

So says Toronto police spokesman and perennial apologist Mark Pugash about the beating administered by the police to Santokh Bola, a victim of what the authorities admit was a ‘mistaken arrest.’

Sure looks to me like just another case of police brutality, something the Toronto constabulary is becoming notorious for:

Bola’s lawyer, Michael Smitiuch, told a news conference Wednesday that the video shows police delivering 11 punches to Bola in quick succession, and a total of 20 blows to his head.

“Officer, please, officer,” Santokh can be heard saying in the video. “Let me go, please let me. (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Sandra Bland to be honoured with a candlelight vigil in Ottawa

A candlelight vigil honouring Sandra Bland, organized by Black Lives Matter Ottawa, BlakCollectiv and other allied grassroots movements, takes at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa on Friday, July 31.

The post Sandra Bland to be honoured with a candlelight vigil in Ottawa appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Left Over: Abuse of power & the Re-Education of Police …..

Michael Wood, ex-Baltimore officer, tweets about alleged police brutality Retired Baltimore officer Michael A. Wood tweets about disturbing things he allegedly witnessed on the force

By Lauren O’Neil, CBC News Posted: Jun 26, 2015 8:22 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 27, 2015 10:52 AM ET

This article might be a bit too late in the “sky is falling’ sector regarding the abuse of persons of colour, or police corruption, which, like gun violence, just go on and on and on, the most interesting part of Wood’s tweets, to me, was the fact that he praised higher education as giving him the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Another Route To Justice

Those that follow such things will know that proving police brutality is very difficult. Absent video evidence, the police narrative usually is that the one claiming to have been brutalized was in fact the perpetrator, and charges of assault on police almost invariably result.

Such was the situation that Toni Farrell faced when she was viciously assaulted by OPP Sgt. Russell Watson in 2013, a situation I wrote about in January. Russell’s ‘crime’? She tried to help police find the three men who had viciously assaulted a woman.

Happily, the charge that she assaulted Watson was tossed out by Ontario (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Quebec police unleash violence on anti-austerity protesters [VIDEO]

Protesters hit the streets to protest the Quebec provincial government’s austerity policies. The police unleashed tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets, hitting some of the protesters in the face.

The post Quebec police unleash violence on anti-austerity protesters [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: Holding Police to Account

Late last month I wrote a piece for The Paper News examining the nearly impenetrable ‘blue wall’ that is an ever-present barrier to justice and accountability whenever the police abuse their authority, violate the public’s rights, or otherwise brutalize them. One of the cases I wrote about was the disabling beating OPP Sgt. Russell Watson administered to Tonie Farrell, a 48-year-old Orillia ‘Good Samaritan’ whose only ‘crime’ was to try to help a woman who had been assaulted by three thugs.

The SIU (Special Investigations Unit) did its usual ‘stellar’ job. It found there were no reasonable grounds to (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Perhaps The Police Should Stop Brutalizing People

… instead of blaming protesters for their ill-fortune.

Here is yet another incident that reminds us of the terrible abuse of power these ‘protectors’ of public safety seem quite comfortable with. The ‘crime’ these Louisiana police were reacting to? A young man attempting to video their heavy-handed tactics:

WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: And Speaking Of Police Brutality

The following video is difficult to watch, but the sad truth is that these kinds of outrages occur regularly, as a simple Internet search will show. A witness says that Denver police officers abused a pregnant woman and her boyfriend, and then tried to cover it up by deleting the video from his tablet.

Levi Frasier told KDVR that he was recording as two uniformed officers tried to arrest David Flores, who had been identified by narcotics officers for possessing heroin. An arrest report said that a scuffle had started because Flores had stuffed a white sock in his mouth, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Respect, Fear, and Loathing

If we are completely honest, many of us will admit to a deeply ambivalent relationship with the police. On the one had we look to them for protection against the less ordered elements of society, but on the other hand, in the deeeper recesses of our psyche, we also fear and, at times, loathe them. And on some level we probably recognize that they can be very dangerous if we insist too vehemently on our rights against their sometimes arrogant intrusions into our ‘space.’

Think of the rampant abuse of police authority during the G20 Toronto Summit. Think (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Lest We Forget

Brutality against women can come from those whose duty it is to protect and serve: A Winnipeg woman said this week that she had filed a complaint after an officer beat her in her own home as her 8-year-old son watched.

Lana Sinclair told CBC that Winnipeg police officers showed up on Halloween night to investigate reports of “yelling.” One officer spoke to her son, while another officer talked to her.

“He came up to me and poked me,” Sinclair recalled. “I was sitting on a chair in the kitchen and I jumped up and said you don’t need (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Protecting the Public Trust? – Intersectional Analysis of Police Behaviour

Two very interesting articles about police conduct came out this week, particularly interesting if you juxtapose them.

Ferguson and the cult of compliance

In cases that seem very different, separated by factors such as age, race, gender, sexuality, geography, class and ability, police explain away their actions by citing noncompliance. They do it because it works. They do it because according to their beliefs, any sign of noncompliance is an invitation to strike.

First, we have to recognize the common denominators in many of these incidents: that people who die at the hands of the police don’t obey commands and (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Toronto G20, 4 years later: 18 disturbing facts all Canadians should know

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger


Let us remember that while the US cops are often out of control that it can happen here in sweet old Canada, and has happened many times.

The G20 is a reminder that many would like to sweep under the rug and leave it there.

Sketchy Thoughts: Solidarity with Bobette!

At the last May Day protest, police repression was brutal and a lot of protesters were hurt. Bobette was specifically targeted by the SPVM because of her political activities; they physically attacked her and psychologically harassed her. You can read a summary of what happened to Bobette on May Day afterward. Due to her injuries, Bobette has since then been force to cancel her contracts as a circus artist, which deprives her of income.

Police Impunity Must Stop!

In order, for Bobette, to sue the SPVM for bodily harm as well as moral and material damages, she must raise 4000$ (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Protest Vancouver Police Brutality, 2014 Edition

How many times do you think you deserve to be kneed in the back while you’re already subdued by police on the sidewalk, face-down?

Vancouver Police gratuitous brutality from May 1, 2014.



Does it make any difference if you’re a minor? Or if you were documenting police actions at a May Day march?

Well, while many of us were on The Drive Thursday night doing some May Day things and rebooting Occupy Vancouver, others were downtown. And one person was being gratuitously beaten by a VPD member.

Various video links exist here, which also happens to (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Photo Gallery: May Day 2014 in Toronto The theme of the 2014…

Photo Gallery: May Day 2014 in Toronto

The theme of the 2014 Toronto May Day (International Workers Day) event was Honour Communities: Fight Capitalism. The chilly evening rally started at Alan Gardens, transformed into a march west on Carlton/College, and concluded at Queen’s Park with a few more speeches.

Toronto’s May Day event didn’t get much media coverage, likely because it was overshadowed by two bigger local political stories:1) Toronto’s untrustworthy, unethical, incompetent, promise-breaking mayor Rob Ford having another public meltdown and then taking a leave of absence, and 2) the untrustworthy, unethical, incompetent, promise-breaking Ontario Liberals putting forward their (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Sammy Yatim’s Accused Killer Back On The Job

While the presumption of innocence is fundamental to our justice system, common sense and public sensibilities are always unspoken elements of the equation. This is clearly seen, for example, in jury selection, a good part of which is designed to ferret out and exclude from participation those with prejudgments that could affect the rights of the accused to a fair trial.

With that preamble and proviso out of the way, what I express in the following is simply my opinion, a perspective informed by news coverage of the accused and the aforementioned common sense and public sensibilities.

I have written (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Toronto Police Are At It Again

This is what happens when you have a ‘blue wall’ culture, facilitated by a police chief who often seems more politician than top cop. Sure, it is unfair and inaccurate to portray all police as abusers of their authority, but when it happens again and again, with little consequence, people can be forgiven for being wary of those who are supposed to protect and serve the public.

Here is one such victim:

The above is Curtis Young, arrested in January of 2012 for alleged public intoxication obstructing justice and later assaulting and threatening police officers.

As reported in The Star (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Black boys deserve our tears: On White privilege & police brutality

Sometimes I cry when reading the news. I cry because so many horrendous things happen to people and I can’t possibly understand why this world is SUCH a horrible place.

There are countless stories about the negative stereotypes and police brutality that Black men must endure… but this really broke my heart: “I blame myself, I taught my son to respect cops, not to fear them…