Life after the G20 protests - Macleans.ca
 

Life after the G20 protests

Two activists who spent 24 days in custody are out and talking—and the police are still listening


 

Darren Calabrese/CP/ Photograph by Andrew Tolson

Leah Henderson was in bed when she heard the police break down her front door and tell Alex Hundert, her fiancé, and Mandy Hiscocks, the couple’s friend and fellow activist, to hit the floor. It was just after 4 a.m., and Henderson, who is 25, had a second or two to wonder whether she should get her pants on; when she saw the red dot of a gun scope bounce down the hall toward her, she decided against it.

This was in the early morning of June 26, the day that protests against Toronto’s G20 summit would devolve into a chaos of smashed windows and blazing police cruisers, much of it wrought by militant Black Bloc demonstrators. Crown prosecutor Vincent Paris has described Henderson, Hundert and Hiscocks, part of a small group of activists arrested during pre-emptive raids that day and now facing G20-related conspiracy charges, as “executives” of an anarchist group that helped organize the havoc. Their arrests, he added, followed a 14-month police investigation.

Now, after 24 days in custody, Henderson and Hundert are out on bail—$100,000 apiece—and each face nine charges, including conspiracy to assault a peace officer and conspiracy to obstruct justice. (Hiscocks, 36, faces outstanding charges and is out on $140,000 bail; she now lives under house arrest at her sister’s Ottawa home.) They are serious charges—Hundert faces a count of counsel to escape lawful custody—commensurate with the part authorities say they played in planning violent political protests that caused property damage into the hundreds of millions of dollars and triggered the arrests of over 1,000 people. The Crown has appealed the couple’s bail, a rare gambit lately seen in terrorism cases; the matter is slated for Superior Court on Aug. 19.

Yet during an interview with Maclean’s at Hundert’s mother’s home in Toronto’s Earls­court district, where Henderson is under house arrest, they present themselves as polite and articulate—social justice activists whose deep concern with both Aboriginal self-determination and the environment approaches the religious. With their chunky black spectacles, tattoos and long hair—his is worn in a ponytail—they accept the prospect of more jail time with almost martyr-like resignation. So severe is their anti-colonialist philosophy that they call themselves “settlers.” Such sympathy with militant First Nations groups is a common thread among Canada’s leftist radicals.

They refuse to discuss their roles in the G20 rampage, citing a publication ban, and will not comment on the mayhem; yet they stop well short of condemning it. Hundert is 30 and under house arrest at the home of his father, a Toronto health care consultant. His mother is a social worker who teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University, where Hundert himself studied global studies and religion. A former Whistler, B.C., ski bum, he did not become deeply involved in radical politics until he took part in a barricade that members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation, north of Kenora, Ont., set up in 2006 to protest nearby logging. He went on to work with Aboriginal activists during the Caledonia land claim that year and, in the ramp-up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, participated in a Guelph, Ont., protest in which an Olympic torchbearer was knocked over mid-run. Henderson, who met Hundert at the Grassy Narrows actions, which she helped organize, is from a left-leaning Edmonton family, and has been quoted on political issues as a protester in local newspapers since her early teens. A paralegal, her income pays the couple’s bills.

Weeks before his arrest, Hundert told the Toronto Star he had been approached by CSIS officers wondering about his plans for the G20. He refused to speak to the agents. Yet he may have already given them a good idea of what his intentions might have been. Writing on the left-leaning Rabble.ca, he defended the Black Bloc, calling it “a wrecking-ball tactic that makes space for more mainstream or creative tactics,” concluding: “People and communities are under attack and it is time to fight back. If you’re not willing to stand up and fight, or to support those who are, please at least get out of the way.”

The story of the couple’s stay in prison can sound at times like an ironic retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. Arrested at gunpoint, then handcuffed—the police eventually put Henderson’s pants on for her—the trio began hearing their cellphones ringing madly as they sat outside the couple’s rented Bloor Street apartment in a police van; their fellow activists elsewhere in the city were also being raided. Henderson and Hundert were the first to arrive at the east Toronto film studio that police used as a temporary G20 detention centre—a place the size of a football field made all the more cavernous because it was still empty. Later, transferred to prisons in Milton, Ont., Hundert read the Bible, did pushups and watched World Cup soccer. Henderson and the other female G20 arrestees passed the time doing yoga and, out of bits of paper and empty sachets of sugar, fashioned a makeshift version of the Settlers of Catan board game.

They argue the charges and the police response to the G20 protests reflect a growing tendency in Canada to criminalize political dissent. Last week, after seeing the couple quoted in news reports—relatively innocuous statements in keeping with Hundert and Henderson’s anarchist bent—officers called their parents, who are acting as sureties, to warn that the couple risked breaching their bail conditions and could be rearrested. According to the couple, the police told the sureties that direct quotes in news reports posted online could be interpreted as attempts to communicate via the Internet, or as an attempt to organize public demonstrations, both violations of their conditions. “The conditions don’t prohibit people from speaking to the media,” OPP Inspector Dave Ross says. “It was what was being said that was viewed as being a violation of the bail conditions.” Counters John Norris, Hundert’s lawyer: “It is unusual to have bail terms interpreted this way. It goes well beyond the bail orders and anything that the police ought to be doing in a constitutional democracy.”

Other oddities have cropped up as part of the G20 prosecutions. There is the matter of the temporary Public Works Protection Act regulation that authorities said gave police a mandate to search and demand ID from anyone coming within five metres of the G20 security fence. It emerged later that the law never afforded authorities that option, and that police and the Ontario government neglected to correct the misapprehension until after the summit. When 31-year-old Dave Vasey, the only person charged under the rule, arrived at court last week with his summons to appear, he found his charge had vanished from the computer system. “We were all excited to go to trial,” says Vasey, a York University graduate student. “That it was lost was pretty convenient for the powers that be.”

Then there is the 53-year-old man, Gary McCullough, whom police arrested a day before the G20 summit began after discovering he was hauling a crossbow, a chainsaw and jerry cans in a homemade box strapped to the roof of his car. Though police later said his arrest had nothing to do with the G20 and even suggested he would not be charged, McCullough remains in jail in Milton over a month later and now faces one count of weapons dangerous. His defence lawyer, James Carlisle, says McCullough, who lives in a rural area north of Toronto, is a diagnosed schizo­phrenic who would in any other circumstance have been quickly released on bail. Yet Carlisle says the case has been “coloured” by the G20, not least because the matter continues to be handled by the special team of Crown attorneys tasked with the G20 prosecutions.

(The complexities here can be almost laughable. Rachelle Sauvé, a G20 protester from Peterborough charged with obstructing police and wearing a disguise to commit an indictable offence, must have had some satisfaction when a Peterborough, Ont., newspaper printed a clarification headlined “Not in costume” explaining that an article stating she’d been “wearing a clown outfit when she was arrested” was incorrect. “Sauvé says she wore several costumes throughout the week to stand out,” it says, “but was not in a costume at the time of her arrest.” Maclean’s also reported Sauvé was dressed as a clown.)

Meanwhile, Henderson is looking forward to Sept. 4, when she will travel to Edmonton to attend her younger sister’s wedding as maid of honour—a trip that required some negotiation with the Crown. Still, she is not permitted, as per the conditions of her bail, to spend time alone with her own fiancé. One or other of their sureties must chaperone the couple.


 

Life after the G20 protests

  1. "It emerged later that the law never afforded authorities that option, and that police and the Ontario government neglected to correct the misapprehension until after the summit. When 31-year-old Dave Vasey, the only person charged under the rule, arrived at court last week with his summons to appear, he found his charge had vanished from the computer system."

    In a nation of laws, how can the arresting officer, Chief Bill Blair and the Ontario's minister of public security — who all publicly exercised and proclaimed a false power of arrest — NOT be facing charges of official misconduct, false arrest and imprisonment? They should be charged, given conditions of release and a court date. If necessary, Crown's from outside of Ontario should be brought in to handle their prosecution.

    Instead, they are trying to pretend they never exceeded their legal authority, never arrested and never imprison Mr. Vasey. They've gone as far as deleting records of an arrest that was covered by the nation's media extensively.

    Are we a nation of laws or not?

    • Police are well aware that they can pull lots of improper, unconstitutional and even illegal stunts with minimal threat of consequences. It rarely happens so publicly though. I am also amazed Blair wasn't fired and thought it should have happened as a matter of course.

    • Move to Russia, Amateur!!

  2. “The conditions don't prohibit people from speaking to the media,” OPP Inspector Dave Ross says. “It was what was being said that was viewed as being a violation of the bail conditions.”

    In general I have little sympathy for the G20 protesters and would like to see the ones who engaged in rioting/vandalism hit with everything the Crown can throw at them. But this quote above is very troubling. Is it their violence and rioting that is being prosecuted, or their ideas? If the latter (and the quote above makes clear that OPP Inspector Ross thinks their bail is contingent on the ideas they promote), then this is terrible.

    To paraphrase a wise man, give me freedom of speech and I can win back all the others.

    • Are you really suggesting taking out all the "conspiracy to commit" offenses?

      ps I agree it is a concern that the police seemed to use intimidation to keep this couple from making what amounts to PR statements.

      • I often find it difficult to discern whether you are missing the point intentionally or unintentionally.

        What the hell does "conspiracy to commit violent protest" have to do with freedom of speech?

        • Well they are charged with conspiracy, which is just ideas about things to do with others and with being organizers which in this case would involve using the web and other media to spread a message. They really are being charged with having ideas and communicating with others. Yes, those ideas will have to be shown to constitute a plan.

          Given the nature of their offense, it seems unlikely that their bail conditions would not involve who they could talk to, and the types of information they could communicate.

          That said, the police certainly appear to be out of line.

  3. ya mess with the bull ya get the horn

  4. If only we had the penal capacity to lock up all protesters, what a utopia we would live in.

    This was a police force that didn't see demonstrators or pedestrians as members of the public, but enemies of the public. The police arrested innocent fellow citizens for being in public, and still have not explained why coherently.

    If we allow the police to ignore fundamental rights for a weekend, what will we do if they need us to ignore violations for a week? A month? Where do we draw the line, or do we even draw one at all?

    At what point do we say that the state also has a responsibility to follow the law?

  5. You truly can judge the book by it's cover.Love the Yoga and reading the Bible shtick

  6. I hope the the over-reactions of the police and the idiotic politics that led to the Summit of Discontent are dealt with in the appropriate forums and I also hope that the legitimate protesters and innocent bystanders who got swept up in the chaos get appropriate compensation.

    That said, IF these two are guilty of these charges I hope the system deals with them appropriately. They should be held responsible not just for the specific acts of violence tied to them but also their substantial share of responsibility for the entire summit debacle. The organizers of the violence disrupted thousands of peoples lives, and put many of those lives in jeopardy. Neither the fact that the police screwed up nor the fact that Harper should never have put the summit in Toronto should be used to justify the actions of the organizers of the violence.

    • I think we are all forgetting that these so called incidents were very likely put in motion in order to
      justify the Extreme measures & multimillions spent by the govt. These young people are scapegoats!!

  7. Rumor has it they know Feisal Abdul Rauf personally.

  8. Mike T thinks:
    "It's incredibly absurd how much resources are being spent on persecuting people who engaged in a little vandalism"

    Hey Mike…couple of questions.

    1. What if it was the wall of YOUR house or business being spray-painted?
    2. What if it was YOUR window being smashed
    3. What if it was YOUR car being torched?

    I bet you would feel a little differently.

  9. Stewart Smith stated:
    "Neither the fact that the police screwed up nor the fact that Harper should never have put the summit in Toronto should be used to justify the actions of the organizers of the violence"

    Stewart, the police may have screwed up to some extent, however, given the activities these protestors were engaging in, I would say they didn't screw up too badly. No one died, and no one was seriously hurt.

    As for the summit being held in Toronto….I disagree with what you infer. The point being, a civilized country such as Canada SHOULD be able to have a summit anywhere they wish to hold it.

    Just because a bunch of socialist losers and anarchists decided to crash the party…..is not reason enough never to have one.

    • "Other oddities have cropped up as part of the G20 prosecutions. There is the matter of the temporary Public Works Protection Act regulation that authorities said gave police a mandate to search and demand ID from anyone coming within five metres of the G20 security fence. It emerged later that the law never afforded authorities that option, and that police and the Ontario government neglected to correct the misapprehension until after the summit."

      Pretty sure someone dropped the ball.

    • a civilized country such as Canada SHOULD be able to have a summit anywhere they wish to hold it.

      A civilized country with responsible leadership would have sought to minimize the disruption to uninvolved persons, and to minimize the risk of arresting uninvolved innocent bystanders. Neither of those unfortunate circumstances were minimized by the irresponsible decision to hold their little get-together smack dab in downtown Toronto, chasing away the Blue Jays, sealing off the CN Tower and other public locations, closing down offices, disrupting mass transit, disrupting passenger rail travel, disrupting travel to and from several university hospitals for patients and families and staff, …

  10. "…fashioned a makeshift version of the Settlers of Catan board game". Am I the only one who thinks thats awesome? Settlers is rockin.

  11. Ah, Stephen Harper's Canada, where political prisoners are threatened by the police for talking to the press.

  12. The jerks are out on bail, with conditions. Throw the jerks back in jail and confiscate all the bail. These jerks must be made to really, really pay for their disgraceful conduct. They are sick PsOC. If they really want to be worth something, they could elect to act as point for Canadian Army patrols in Afghanistan. Then they could join the 'pink clouds' instead of the 'black clads.'

    • I think you are forgetting something called the rule of law.

      Does not matter how egregious their conduct was (in this case, it seems limited to conspiracy as they were arrested before any vandalism began), and IMO vandalism is a relatively minor offence and cases from the G20 shouldn't be treated differently.

      You say you want to make them "really really pay" through mandatory conscription no less – one of the most contested issues of national sovereignty re: the British Empire in Canadian history. That is dangerous, dangerous thinking. IMO the most severe penalty these people deserve is a lot of community service.

  13. Gee, the protesters get a small taste of the kind of society that they put a whole lot of effort into protesting for, and suddenly our government is "scary"? Maybe there's a lesson here, like "Hey, all you Marxist protesters! You want Marxism? We'll give you a real good whiff of Marxism and then you see what you think!"
    Problem is, your average Marxist ain't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, so maybe all that effort was moot.

    • Why do you think they're Marxists? Evidence would point to them being anarchists. Do you just assume everyone smarter and more empathetic than you is a Marxist?

  14. police and the Ontario government neglected to correct the misapprehension until after the summit. When 22-year-old Dave Casey, the only person charged under the rule, arrived at court last week with his summons to appear, he found his charge had vanished from the computer system…..The jerks are out on bail, with conditions. Throw the jerks back in jail and confiscate all the bail. These jerks must be made to really, really pay for their disgraceful conduct…..You say you want to make them "really really pay" through mandatory conscription no less – one of the most contested issues of national sovereignty re: the British Empire in Canadian history.

  15. Last note:

    I know it's not scientific, but has a stereotype ever fit better than it fits these two?

    Fat homely girl with horn-rimmed glasses supporting a deadbeat unemployed hippie.

    • WOW James, It makes me very sad that you would pre judge a young women you have never even met.
      We are living in the year 2010 and I guess prejudice is alive and well.

      • Cathy, you did note my preamble correct? The part about not being scientific? The part about stereotype?

        As for pre-judging her. Sorry. I judged her AFTER the fact. Here they are:

        1. She's a left wing nutbar protestor.
        2. She is fat.
        3. She is homely
        4. She wears horned rimmed glasses
        5. Her boyfriend is an unemployed hippie/peacnik with no talents, and hence no job
        6. She is supporting this deadbeat.

        So….guess I'm not pre-judging, insomuch as I'm pointing out the obvious.

        Sorry Cathy….if you are offended because you also fit the description, my apologies. The comment was not meant for you.

        • What I am sorry about is that you know nothing about these young people.. They are both highly educated and
          they are trying to make a difference in the world. For the record James she is my niece.. If she were your daughter or friend, would you be saying those things?

          • Cathy, pay no heed to this chauvinistic, paternalistic, ignorant, hateful fool. In his few meaningless posts here he has proven that he doesn't understand what beauty and ugliness truly are. My guess, based on far more evidence than he is using to judge your niece and her fiancee, is that "James in Halifax" is so unhappy and unsatisfied with himself and with his own life that when those whose politics he dislikes rise up with entire communities standing behind them it frustrates and confuses him and so he lashes out. He is the worst kind of person we have in this country. Leah is the best kind of person we have in this country. Our futures rest in her hands and her allies' and in those she helps to rise up speak out.

          • Hiya, Trip,

            Just a quick note. I'm actually VERY HAPPY and satisfied with my life. In fact, I"m so happy I neither condone, nor engage in any of the following activities:
            -window breaking
            -car burning
            -police assaulting
            -taxpayer draining
            -whining, complaining
            -overeating

            I would surmise that someone who would engage in those activities has the anger management issues or is very dissatisfied with their lives.

            But that's just me.

          • Thanks Trip, I M SURE that most people feel the same way in their hearts, I hope that is true,, Cathy

          • I'm sorry, Cathy in courtenay, but if your niece thinks burning cars, breaking windows, and otherwise making a nuisance of herself is how to change the world….then I would question the education you mention.

            as an aside……do you agree with her methods. Did you teach her the methods…or do you just hang around the sidelines and let her take the fall?

            Just curious.

            Lastly…….I have several nieces. None spend their time thinking of ways to destroy the property of others' to "make the world a better place." Instead, they hold down jobs, pay taxes, and spend their time "NOT DESTROYING OTHER PEOPLES' PROPERTY." In effect, they already make the world a better place simply by being in it. I don't think your niece and the deadbeat can make the same claim.

            Clear enough for you?

          • James, these young people were not on the streets when any of these incidents occured/ FYI…
            I don't believe anyone with children or who even claim to like children would speak like you do. I feel
            sorry for you…
            Thanks Trip for your great insight..

          • Cathy, your neice and the deadbeat were known to promote Black Bloc activities as well as support others' who carry out the same actions. In fact, your niece and the deadbeat were simply the organizers who helped other's carry out these acts. The fact they were under surveillance and stopped is an indication of good police work.

            So, they didn't need to be out on the streets. They had other dupes do the dirty work for them.

            As for my children……I'll tell you what. If they ever move to your neighborhood I will teach them this:

            1. Don't break Cathy in courtenay's windows. She may be a socialist stooge…but that isn't against the law.
            2. Don't assault Cathy in Courtenay. She may hang out with idiots and say things you don't like, or live in a way you don't approve of…..but she has that right. Respect it.

          • 3. Don't set Cathy in Courtenay's car on fire. She may use it to drive around protesting from city to city…but that is her right. Respect it.
            4. Don't make fun of Cathy in Courtenay's weight, or the weight of her fat niece. True, she's protesting on occassion for the plight of the poor and malnourished, but hypocrisy is not illegal. Respect her rights.

            So there you have it Cathy in courtenay. I will teach my kids not to do any of the following:
            -break windows that don't belong to you.
            -set cars on fire
            -assault the police
            -plan large scale vandalism and detroy property in Canadian cities simply because you are angry.

            Now, Cathy in courtenay, please call your niece and the deadbeat and pass the advice along.

  16. ''Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. ''
    John F. Kennedy

  17. ''Activists'' are the enemy now? Really? That's interesting, because the vast majority of the people who were peacefully protesting and demonstrating during the G20 were doing so for your rights and mine AND, shocker, are on the government's payroll to do so? To the tune of billions. Those donations you give to the United Way? Guess where they go, to non-profit organizations that deliver cost effective programs and services to everyone from the unemployed to childcare and newcomers to grandma's lift to the doctor or hospital. Every Canadian has used their services at one time or another in a way that the government can only dream of.

  18. They are ''activists'' because they speak for those who cannot and those days and hours of marching and beatings and detention? That was unpaid, volunteer time, baby! And willingly so. Peaceful protest is enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, yet they have to fight the cops and the politicians for what is already theirs – the right to express themselves and gather peacefully which they did and those mega-jails? Not for criminals, oh no, in Harper's Canada, they're for those of us who dare to speak up, speak out, and agitate – get your 1 suitcase ready, boys and girls, cause the Black Boots and Herr Harper are thundering down the road! He wants YOU!

  19. @ James
    When you refer to protesters, who are you actually referring to? The ones that got their heads bashed or the ones the cops ran away from? The ones that arrested a young girl for standing minding her own business and blowing bubbles? Or maybe it was the 65 year old man whose artificial leg was snapped off and he was told to hop to the paddy wagon or perhaps it was the woman who ran next door, for 2 mins. without ID, cause this is Ontariariario, CANADA, don't you know and who would think they'd get arrested right outside their front door or perhaps it was the young hearing impaired man who didn't stop and was brutally beaten by police and detained for l8 hours without an interpreter… Have I frosted your cold, cold heart yet?

    • Couldn't have said it better myself

    • Hey Jude asked:
      "When you refer to protesters, who are you actually referring to/"

      I'm referrring to the onese who :
      -broke the windows that did not belong to them
      -dressed in black and firebombed cop cars and banks – and then changed clothes to mix with the "peaceful" protestors who did their best to protect them after the fact.
      -threw rocks at the police

      Does that clear things up for you?

      As for the examples you cite……..they are not the folks at which I am directing my comments. Those folks were treated poorly and someone needs to answer for it.

  20. So, Leah Henderson and Alex Hundert, the high-minded ³activists² are so
    > anti-colonialist they consider themselves ³settlers?² Well, it¹s their
    > business how they see themselves. Chances are they also think of themselves
    > as some kind of moral beacon that other Canadians should look up to, even
    > though in most cases, we don¹t;even when the mainstream media tacitly
    > suggests we should. If we wanted their brand of Marxism to be the law of
    > the land, we¹d vote for it. Canadians who aren¹t professional protesters
    > generally understand that any wealth in any society comes from free
    > enterprise. There¹s no wealth for Marxists to try to divert if a Capitalist
    > doesn¹t create it first. They are entitled to their beliefs, though I have
    > a feeling that other people wouldn¹t be entitled to theirs for very long if
    > Henderson and Hundert or people like them took over. cont'd…

  21. cont'd…

    Back to the ³settler² thing, though, what are they really saying? That
    > every single Canadian who is not aboriginal has no right to be here? Or is
    > there a certain number of generations after which a family might qualify and
    > if so what is it? What about those who are of mixed aboriginal and
    > non-aboriginal descent? Would there be some kind of genetic threshold to
    > determine who is a citizen and who is a settler? Do they realize how
    > damnably racist the concept they are putting forward is? Do they realize it
    > ¹s a recipe for turning Canada into an ungovernable territory of feuding
    > nations, much like today¹s Afghanistan?

    cont'd…

  22. cont'd…
    The history of Canada has had its tragedies, revolving around war, conquest
    > and the displacement of people that results from it but so does every other
    > nation on earth. Do they think that European, Asian or African nations are
    > fixed entities that have always been in existence and have always been
    > inhabited by the same people? Even the most cursory reading of world
    > history reveals this to be a laughable idea. Just about every nation on
    > earth has seen invasions, counter-invasions, conquest and situations where
    > one group displaces another. Long before and indeed long after European
    > contact, native North American tribes warred with each other, enslaved each
    > other, drove each other out of various territories and generally acted just
    > like the rest of the world. Who could possibly sort out who is justified in
    > controlling which part of North America? cont'd….

  23. cont'd…
    What about a European society like
    > the United Kingdom? How would you begin to determine what territories are
    > for the descendants of Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, etc., assuming you¹ve
    > figured out what to do with the millions of people who are of mixed
    > ancestry? Once again, you¹d be taking a prosperous first world nation and
    > turning it into another unstable war zone. cont'd…

  24. cont'd…
    The only way to really help aboriginal Canadians is to abolish the whole
    > concept of tribal entities as well as the hopelessly corrupt reservation
    > system that goes with it. Well-paid chiefs might not like the idea and
    > neither would most leftist radicals but the best thing that could happen for
    > the average First Nations Canadian is the abolition of ³Indian status² and
    > similar concepts and its replacement by a common Canadian citizenship along
    > with common rights and responsibilities. First Nations Canadians can easily
    > take control of their lives as individuals (not as tribes) if they are no
    > longer fettered by 19th century laws and the self-serving parasites that
    > profit from them.

    • Thanks, Frank.
      I had an aboriginal friend who was involved in the peaceful protests at the G20. I earnestly asked him what he believed was necessary in order for resolution (between aboriginal community & "settlers") to occur. He told me that myself and my fellow colonialists would all have to kill ourselves for resolution to even be considered. Seriously.
      I wondered if it had been something I said to deserve such beration…. after all I didn't know much about the subject. But the more research I do, the more I begin to think along the lines that you posted. Thanks for articulating it for me.

  25. Hey Jude wrote:
    "They are ''activists'' because they speak for those who cannot and those days and hours of marching and beatings and detention? That was unpaid, volunteer time, baby! And willingly so. Peaceful protest is enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms"

    Hmm…you must have missed the part about:
    -breaking windows
    -setting fires to cop cars
    -burning down banks
    -assaulting the police
    -vandalism

    Sorry…….when it comes to these two, and folks like them, the term peaceful is not in their vocabulary.

    Their life sucks…..so they try to make the changes required so that EVERYONE's life sucks.

    Sorry Jude….The vast majority of us have nothing to protest. We don't need advocates.

    In fact, most people who demand change….do it at the ballot box. These protestors should try it sometimes. And they need to accept the results of such actions.

    • Oh my sweet lord, where to begin…

      First of all, the two community organizers discussed in this article were arrested BEFORE the hour and a half of vandalism took place on Saturday afternoon. Also, the bank firebombing took place three weeks before the G20, in a different city.

      Secondly, these two are antiwar activists. I do believe the word "peaceful" is in their vocabulary.

      Thirdly, you write: "The vast majority of us have nothing to protest". This is the most ignorant, bigotted and blindly naive comment i've read in a while. For the privileged and apathetic few this might be true. But anyone from a marginalized community, or who is differently abled, who don't fit in to normative social frameworks, and their allies all have something to protest. Anyone who cares even a little bit about this planet and the people around us have something to protest. Organizers like Leah and Alex help make this possible.

      Finally, democracy is a process. Not a competition. It doesn't end with a vote.

  26. Trip asked:'
    "Oh my sweet lord, where to begin… "

    To which I reply:
    You could begin by writing something that is even remotely accurate, but after reading your previous rantings I can see that I shouldn't get my hopes up.

    Trip goes on:
    "For the privileged and apathetic few this might be true.

    To which I reply:
    If by priveleged and apathetic you actually mean, working, skilled, and talented then you may be on to something.

    • Trip again:
      "But anyone from a marginalized community, or who is differently abled, who don't fit in to normative social frameworks, and their allies all have something to protest"

      To which I reply:
      Define Marginalized community. Do you mean the junkies in drug addicts in the downtown eastside of Vanvouver? The drop out's in toronto, the squegee kids…..etc..etc…

      Normative social framework?

      You mean folks who hold down jobs, pay taxes, obey the law..etc..etc……those folks?

      And Trip saves the best for last:
      "Finally, democracy is a process. Not a competition. It doesn't end with a vote"

      Actually, Trip….it pretty much does. At least for most people who actually contribute to society.

  27. [youtube 7S1nHvvkzvA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S1nHvvkzvA youtube]____Yes violent protesters like these at the SPP in Montebello such be stopped arrested and sent to prison….

    Stop watching FOX, CTV and all the other Mainstream Media News..who do you think owns them? Find some independant news infomation and stop being a bunch of sheeple!

    Thank you, go back to your regularly scheduled program…everything is OK.

    • Way to go. "Sheeple" is so clever and original.

  28. Um I was reading this article and it says "the part authorities say they played in planning violent political protests that caused property damage into the hundreds of millions of dollars and triggered the arrests of over 1,000 people. The Crown has appealed the couple's bail, a rare gambit lately seen in terrorism cases; the matter is slated for Superior Court on Aug. 19." How the hell can they print this BS? HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!!!!!!!!! IT WAS 200 WINDOWS AND 8 CARS that got destroyed or burned along with some spray paint. I WAS THERE MOMENTS AFTER THIS HAPPENED AND IT WAS A FEW MILLION DOLLARS TOPS (not to down play it but hundreds of millions of dollars, really). THERE IS A REASON THE POLICE HAVE YET TO RELEASE A $ FIGURE AND IT IS BECAUSE IT IS SO LOW.

    This article is yellow journalism of the worst kind… NOBODY SAYS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS IN DAMAGES… NOBODY!