Middle-aged anarchists - Macleans.ca

Middle-aged anarchists

From Ottawa’s accused bank bomber to the G20 Black Bloc organizers, Canada’s radicals aren’t at all what you would expect



Back in the summer of 2002, a quiet, middle-aged Ottawa public servant named Roger Clément began offering the use of his shower to a group of young squatters occupying a derelict Tudor home not far from his modest flat in the city’s occasionally gritty Centretown district. To Marc Sauriol, who owned Clément’s building, the gesture was yet another aggravating display of his tenant’s anti-establishment bent. “I always thought it was ironic that he worked for the federal government,” says Sauriol, who asked Clément to stop inviting squatters in to use the water. “He was always protesting it.”

Those squatters, half Clément’s age, had set up camp at 246 Gilmour St. as part of a protest timed to coincide with the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Alta. The occupation, shut down by police a week later, was designed to highlight what the group argued was a lack of affordable housing in Ottawa, and it targeted a building that had sat vacant for seven years—hence the group’s name: the Seven-Year Squatters. Over the course of that week, 20 or so protesters unfurled banners from the Tudor home’s roof, planted a garden and reinforced the building’s sagging floors. Later, in the raid that evicted them, police broke a back window and hurled canisters of tear gas into the building.

Few then would likely have predicted that members of this band of young, ragtag squatters would remain so deeply committed to radical activism well into their 30s, or that the older man who had been so generous with his shower would now find himself charged in one of the most astonishing instances of anti-establishment violence in recent memory—the May 18 firebombing of a Royal Bank of Canada branch in Ottawa’s upscale Glebe neighbourhood.

Today, 36-year-old Amanda Hiscocks, one of five members of the Seven-Year Squatters to successfully defend herself in court against charges of break and enter, criminal mischief and obstructing police, remains in custody following her arrest on the morning of Saturday, June 26, the very day that chaotic G20 protests in Toronto saw masked, black-clad youths burn police cruisers and smash windows, precipitating the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. Hiscocks, who lives in Guelph, faces various charges in connection to the G20 protests and is scheduled for a bail hearing this week. Authorities had been investigating Hiscocks and a handful of other alleged organizers picked up before the Toronto summit since April 2009.

Said to be a leader of the Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance, or SOAR, Hiscocks’s activist career stretches back to 1996, when police arrested her for planting a garden at Queen’s Park, part of a protest against the Ontario’s government’s food policies. In April Hiscocks led a workshop at the Toronto Anarchist Assembly and Bookfair entitled “The Black Bloc and Diversity of Tactics.” That “Black Bloc” refers to a confrontational brand of protest with roots in European anarchism that emerged at the G20 as small groups of demonstrators infiltrated the crowd, then changed into black to dart away from the pack and wreak havoc. The latter phrase—“diversity of tactics”—refers to a doctrine widely adhered to in activist circles whereby the tactics of others, including the destruction of property, are never dismissed or publicly criticized. Perhaps in keeping with this doctrine, Hiscocks some years ago posted a photograph of herself on a social networking site playfully holding a flaming lighter to a copy of the Pocket Criminal Code.

Another of the Seven-Year Squatters, Amy Miller, is the Montreal freelance journalist arrested at the G20 who later made claims she was threatened with rape by police at a Toronto detention centre. “I was told I was going to be gang banged,” she told reporters. Rachelle Sauvé, a third squat veteran who now lives in Peterborough, distributed free food at the G20 as part of the People’s Kitchen; she was later charged with obstructing police and wearing a disguise to commit an indictable offence (Sauvé told a reporter she was wearing a clown costume to stand out).

That commitment of purpose and the long-standing relationships belie a common view of the G20 demonstrators as hobbyists or kids out to smash some windows. Yet a glance at Canada’s increasingly militant left shows that, far from being driven by socially isolated ideologues or rampaging teens, it is composed of sturdy networks of committed, methodical people organized into “affinity groups”—small, intensely democratic collectives that reject words like “leader” and “organizer,” and insist that executive positions are transient if they exist at all. Such groups can move quickly and fluidly, both during mobilizations on staging grounds like the G20, and more routinely in their communities.

Clément, though at 58 older than the squatters to whom he once offered his shower, and never militant in the past, has shown himself to be similarly active in Ottawa’s leftist scene. Over the years, he has been a frequent participant in demonstrations—helping plan a show of solidarity with protesting teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006, to name one example—and an active member of a pro-Cuba, pro-Fidel Castro association in Ottawa. Sauriol, his landlord for years, recalls seeing protest signs propped up in his apartment, which was otherwise so thick with books he could not see the walls. On one occasion, Sauriol watched as a protest march swept up Ottawa’s Sussex Drive, only to realize it was being led by his tenant.

Identified in media accounts as a public servant, Clément held relatively modest jobs in a career that hopped between federal government departments—most recently the Canadian International Development Agency. “He was known to be a Mensa member,” says a former colleague. “The lore about him was he was really smart but worked in the mail room.” Tall, gangly, with a distinguished grey beard and distinctive walk, he speaks English without the francophone accent suggested by his name. “He was a very nice guy—that’s the thing,” says the former colleague.

Some years ago, Clément took early retirement to care for his younger sister, who was ailing with breast cancer. He moved in with her, caring for her in the months before she died. His sister’s death left him devastated, friends say. At about that time, Jacques Chenail, who along with his wife runs the Ottawa chapter of Not Just Tourists, an apolitical volunteer group that sends suitcases of medical supplies with visitors to Cuba, got a call from Clément. “He wanted us to help him send veterinary stuff,” says Chenail. “He was involved with animal protection, he knew vets, he knew people who did miracles in Cuba for animals. I said, ‘We don’t deal with that.’ You know, we all compensate for things that are missing in our lives. And that’s the feeling we had—that there was something that had stung him or bit him.”

Arrested along with two other men the weekend before the G8 and G20 summits, Clément faces charges including arson causing damage, possession of incendiary material and using explosives with intent to cause property damage. Denied bail, he awaits trial in jail; Lawrence Greenspon, his high-profile Ottawa lawyer, says he is having difficulty sleeping. A co-accused, well-known Ottawa activist Matthew Morgan-Brown, 32, is in custody on the same charges and is slated for a bail hearing this week. The third man, 50-year-old engineer Claude Haridge, faces lesser charges of careless storage and handling of ammunition, and is out on bail.

The RBC firebombing was accompanied by what local media called a “catch-me-if-you-can” video showing shadowy figures emerging from the blazing building seconds after the blast. According to text that accompanies the clip, the bombers targeted the RBC for the role it had taken as a sponsor of the Vancouver Games, which the group said took place on “stolen indigenous land . . . for the benefit of [the government’s] corporate masters and to the detriment of Aboriginal peoples, workers and the poor of the province.” The manifesto hints at further action during the G8 and G20 summits. Before the arrests, Ottawa police Chief Vern White had gone as far as to call the incident “domestic terrorism.”

Even before the bank bombing and the G20 protests, leftist militancy appeared on the rise in Canada. Police in northeast B.C. continue to pursue a bomber who, beginning in 2008, sabotaged EnCana pipelines for months, in one letter citing the “crazy expansion of deadly gas wells.” Earlier, beginning in mid-2005, the Canadian chapter of the Earth Liberation Front, or ELF, a radical environmental group, began taking credit for arsons targeting new housing developments in southwestern Ontario. More recently, using tactics echoed at the G20, protesters in Vancouver broke into small, mercurial groups to rally against the 2010 Games, shattering windows and shouting, “no Olympics on stolen native land.” Then, on July 2, a group calling itself the “Internationalist Resistance” took responsibility for a bomb explosion that gutted a military recruitment office in Trois-Rivières, Que., condemning in a communiqué Canada’s “militaristic practices.”

Such destruction is particularly shocking after years of peaceful demonstrations on the left, and that eerie calm that set in after 9/11—a climate ill-suited to militancy. In reaction to the growing militarization of the police response to protests, activists have upped the ante. The shift has been remarkable. Canada’s last record mass arrest dates to 1993, when 12,000 people opposed to logging at Vancouver Island’s Clayoquot Sound set up blockades, then surrendered to police. Tzeporah Berman, 24 at the time, participated as an organizer, and recalls demonstrators calmly following her instructions to sit on the ground. “The whole wave of a thousand people sat down and it was so silent you could hear a pin drop,” she says. Police arrested 856 of them. The protest is now widely thought to have helped make Clayoquot a household name and save it from loggers.

Though Berman, who is now with Greenpeace, recalls anarchists arriving at Clayoquot seeking to destroy logging equipment and chain themselves to vehicles, she and other organizers said no. “We wanted to make it accessible to a majority of people,” she says. The violent faction simply left. But Berman says that since the 1999 anti-globalization protests at Seattle’s World Trade Organization meetings, no amount of coordination can prevent small but destructive groups from stealing the headlines from peaceful protesters. “That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re seeing an increase of individuals who want to use violent tactics,” says Berman.

Yet the “diversity of tactics” doctrine makes a critique of violence difficult, says Janet Conway, an activist and Brock University sociologist who studies activism: “The whole ideology has functioned to shut down debate.” There’s little doubt also that a generational shift is at work. Peaceful protests like that at Clayoquot, where hundreds sacrificed themselves to police, are more and more deemed old-fashioned, ineffective, doormat-ish. “If you organize a demonstration of 10,000 or 15,000 and it doesn’t get any media play and the government ignores it, that raises a lot of hard questions,” says Conway. “I’m not posing that to be provocative. I’m posing that as an honest dilemma.” But an unwillingness to condemn the tactics of others leaves open a troubling possibility. “The extension of that,” Conway says, “is that there are no pre-given limits.”


Middle-aged anarchists

  1. You appear to be generalizing all anarchists as part of the "militant left". Maybe I'm wrong?

    • It's a pretty reasonable generalization to make. Many groups claim to reject categorization as right or left, but anarchists generally are pretty radical left.

      • there are right-wing anarchists, left-wing anarchists, post-left anarchists, and others who reject left and right altogether.

      • Hmmm, I'm inclined to disagree. It's like Libertarianism: Its encompasses much thought. To call Anarcho-Capitalism, for example, the "militant left" would be quite ignorant.

        • there's also an important distinction to make between 'radical' left and 'militant' left. 'militant' implies a much more aggressive – and constantly aggressive – left than 'radical' does. to say all anarchists are part of the 'militant' left, i would say, is a large generalisation.

        • was designed to highlight what the group argued was a lack of affordable housing in Ottawa

          distributed free food at the G20 as part of the People's Kitchen

          an active member of a pro-Cuba, pro-Fidel Castro association in Ottawa

          All the violent people in the story are hard leftists. That is no coincidence.

          • Since Cuba is a remnant of the Soviet model and given the historical animosity and violence inflicted by the Soviet Union on the Anarchist movement at home and abroad, it shows how confused some of these pampered, white, middle class children are. They need to take their medication more regularly.

          • The ultimate useful idiots had to be the World Peace Movement back in the 1980s. Though they didn't realize it, most of their budget came from the Soviet Union, filtered through numerous surrogates and proxies.

          • Very interesting. I did not know this.

          • British Cold War historian Christopher Andrews covers it in his books Inside the KGB and The Mitroken Archives. The books are based on documents provided by the defectors Oleg Gordyevsky and Vasili Mitroken, both former KGB agents.

          • OK, leaving aside the obvious point made by the authors (that militant demonstrators aren't always youth) and your complete non-sequitur calling them "children", let's turn our attention to the point you're making here. I and most people with a clue would probably agree with your understanding of the relationship of the anarchist movement to the Soviet model. Did it occur to you though that maybe not everyone in this story would actually self-define as an anarchist? Because as far as I can tell, the idea that everyone they're talking about is an "anarchist" (including those who were in Black Bloc -type formations) has only been claimed in the media. The same media who throw the label "anarchist" around like they threw around the term "Red" 60 years ago; that is, mainly as a way of dismissing and marginalizing ideas which may make some (powerful) people uncomfortable. Some of these folks would identify as Marxist or socialist, not anarchist, and some may not even identify with any kind of ideology.

          • "Some of these folks would identify as Marxist or socialist…"

            …which are both leftist ideologies. The original poster doesn't attribute "militant left" to the "protestors" of the G20, but they clearly are. I didn't see any right-winger idealogues walking the streets pushing for financial reform, immigration reform, or conservative family values, just a lot of spoiled brats protesting the rich while they sit on their behinds collecting welfare and walking in and out of detention centres. There were also ethnic groups protesting against this country or for that country, but that was hardly at issue for the G20 and they were certainly more peaceful than these crooks.

          • yeah, 'cause handing out free food (and wearing a clown suit!) are waaaay out there "hard left" violent acts of obvious extremists. blech

  2. Too much ideology and people lose themselves.

    Scientologists are creepy, anarchists are creepier. Islamic extremists are dangerous. Extreme anarchists are no better.

    Everything they see is tainted by their indoctrination. It's sad.

    I had a friend who joined a cult and later took therapy to regain his ability to assess things in a balanced and reasonable way. Essentially, he needed to be liberated from the cultish indoctrination. (like being set free from a blood sucking leach)

    This is what anarchists need. Personally, I feel sorry for them.

    • It would be interesting to see how many of these people arrive at their radicalism through some form of mental illness. When does a "cause" cross the line and become an obsession or compulsion indicative of OCD? When does a conspiracy theory cross the line and become the paranoid delusion of a schizophrenic? At what point does revolutionary zeal become a full-blown manic episode typical of bi-polar disorder? Maybe with better recognition and treatment of mental illness, a lot of these groups would just disappear?

      • Sooo lets look at what the people in this article were opposing….exactly which one of these issues would you consider a 'conspiracy theory'?

        – Homelessness
        – Indigenous sovereignty (i.e. broken treaties, Indian Act governance imposition, residential schooling, etc…)
        – Poverty
        – Corruption
        – Unsustainable resource extraction (in this case logging and hydrocarbons, but there are others)

        Government IS conspiracy. That is to say, that decisions over land use, resource extraction, zoning, investment, etc… are made outside of the public view with little public input. We know that. So what's a 'conspiracy theory' exactly? A theory with no basis in reality? Okay then. So I return to the list above and ask you which one of these things isn't well documented.

        • We could dissolve our government and establish a perfect socialist collective style government in it's place and guess what?

          We'd still have homelessness, poverty, injustice, corruption, unsustainable resource extraction etc. We could add big government social experimentation and control to that as well.

          It's not the system, it's human nature.

          Our current Canadian democratic system has it's many flaws no doubt. It's still a thousand times better than 99% of any of the alternatives.

          The social collective thing scares me. To me it means stripping me of what little charter rights I feel privileged to already have.

          • You and your logic! Excellent post, especially this:

            "Our current Canadian democratic system has it's many flaws no doubt. It's still a thousand times better than 99% of any of the alternatives."

            This would be why people are falling all over themselves to get inton Canada, legally or illegally, risking life and limb, money and family ties, in order to live in this anarchist's nightmare we call home. Anarchists and the like have absolutely no idea how things are in the rest of the world, no frame of reference for what is fair government and unfair government. This guy supports Cuba, a nation that keeps its citizens under political lock and key unable to immigrate, travel, or criticize the government without fear of imprisonment. The 57 or so dissidents being shipped to Spain on account of their opinions is a perfect example.

    • anarchism is not a cult, any more than liberalism, conservatism. You obviously do not understand the issues that you are speaking about.

      • Good point, except that hyper-liberals or hyper (extremist) conservatives can be very cultish as well.

        The point is, anarchists believe that the current system has to be torn down so that a new collective can rise from the ashes. The problem is, anarchists are blind to the potential dangers of the "socialist collective" they want to see installed in place of our current government. You can change the system, but you can't change people.

        The current system, at least, has some checks and balances that preserve certain liberties and charter rights. We would lose these in a socialist collective. I could argue (convincingly) that individuals have more say about their fate in the current system than in any system an anarchist would replace it with.

        If the conservatives overstep than Canadians will hold their collective noses and vote liberal. This keeps the cons in check, to some degree. It's not pretty, but it works. The key to good government is strong opposition. (and honesty, but it's hard to get good government at the best of times)

        Anarchists are blinded by their indoctrination to not see how good they got it and how bad things would be if they had their way.

  3. People are unhappy and feel disenfranchised and disengaged from society, their families, the economy and the political system. Disengagement can happen at any age, social standing or education level. Welcome to our society.

    Some living among us are mad and they aren't going to take it anymore. (that could be a movie line!)


    • Some living among us are mad and they aren't going to take it anymore.

      Their feelings of "disenfranshisement" and "disengagement" and "alienation", and whatever else the sociologists call it, are their own problems, not mine. I don't know what sort of twisted narcissism allows people to think that their own problems, the issues that they hold dear, are just so much more important than the concerns of others that they can go out and break the law and destroy property to make their point.

      Guess what? We all have axes to grind. Their pet causes are not more important than mine or anyone else's, regardless of what kind of "social justice" sheen they put on them. So they shouldn't expect a groundswell of public support when they find themselves on the wrong end of a tear gas canister. Most of us are quite comfortable with what we've built in this country, and we aren't about to scrap it all and start over again because a handful of revolutionary dreamers are upset.

      • "Their feelings of "disenfranshisement" and "disengagement" and "alienation", and whatever else the sociologists call it, are their own problems, not mine."

        Sociology majors possess a moral framework somewhere between a lawyer and an imam. They stand for everything, thereby standing for nothing. This is a country that hands out fifth, sixth, seventh chances to criminals before they ever see a jail cell, where the "poor" are welfare recipients collecting $1200 a month in the mailboxes of their government subsidized housing, who can afford Blackberrys and iPods, who are fat and never hungry; a country where immigrants are given every opportunity to succeed for free or subsidized by tax payers; where Aboriginals are exempt from taxation, Criminal Code of Canada laws, and even the necessity of employment, but this is not enough. I would like to see reform in this country, but not leftist reform – we have had that and it has failed miserably.


  5. I wonder how they avoid trodding on stolen aboriginal land when they're vandalizing property and staging violent protests. Or is occupying "stolen aboriginal land" OK as long as you are destroying something that has been built since the stealing occurred?

    • I'm glad to see you're acknowledging that the land was stolen. I assume that since property destruction on stolen native land is a preoccupation of yours, that you must be really quite upset about the destruction of an area the size of England in Northern Alberta, where the government has existing treaties with the Cree which they are currently violating.

      • Actually, the the entire oilsands operations have thus far disturbed less than 600 square kms. That you can't get even that most basic fact straight invalidates anything else you might have to say on the subject. Thanks for coming out.

        • The area that is slated for development is the size of England.

          • Wrong. The entire known oilsands reserves don't equal the size of England. There is nothing close to that area in planned development. As a small investor, I've been taking an interest in the oilsands for years. If I though they ever had the potential to become that large, I'd be betting the house on them.

          • wow, rager, that is so ridiculuosly wrong. 600 sq km, really? I suppose you're not aware that Alberta's reserves are twice as large as those in Saudi Arabia, and occupy tens of thousands of square kilometers. You can physically SEE, from space, ravaged used-to-be-forrest brown spots thousands of square kilometers in size. Why don't you look with your eyes, rather than trusting biased media sources?

            And to answer your first point, this is why activists always have zero respect for those who speak as you do. You attack with one ill-formulated straw man insult, and expect that to be legitimized by…by I'm not sure what. Most indigenous Canadians are more concerned with acknowlegement that this land belongs to them, not with having Canadians vacate it. And, considering how many of their lives our government and our economy has destoryed, a protestor of Canadian policy is, almost by defnition, always a friend of theirs.

            Learn you facts before you try insulting us. I have zero tolerance for ill-informed insults.

          • The total square km currently used by oilsands development is less than 600 square km, of which more than 50 have already been reclaimed and rehabilitated as required by law. That is a fact that I have verified beyond any doubt. And it is so easily verified that I suspect the idiots repeating the "size of England" lies must actually know they're lying. However, in your case, you seem young and idealistic and naive, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt – that you've been taken. If you wish to believe doctored satellite images used by enviromental propaganda outfits and factoids repeated by irresponsible journalists to inform yourself, that is your problem. You seem like an intelligent guy, and I doubt you'll allow the loons to play you like that forever.

      • The land was not stolen, it was won. You cannot steal land. If the land was stolen, the Aboriginals would not be here because, you see, when I steal from you that means you don't have what I took from you anymore. Aboriginals have their own status, separate and apart from other Canadians, their own laws under Gladue, exemption from taxation, and billions of taxpayer's money being filtered through corrupt chiefs that keep their people living in such squalor. Canadians could not possibly take responsibility for the ruination of an entire people over an issue of war that took place hundreds of years ago. I could not possibly be held responsible for the ruination of even one Aboriginal person's life — I don't have that power. The Aboriginal peoples are just like us, druojajay, they have the power and responsibility of controling their own lives, but no one else's. Just as I cannot make a crack addict give up crack, I cannot make the Aboriginals lift themselves up by their bootstraps nor can I put my boot on their throat.

        • i agree with your logic and/but it is a factual comment and we will leave it as that…it is true no one can make anyone do anything….. unless the person is an invalid and mentally or physically handicapped and even then the law requires a person be authorized to speak or think on that persons behalf…this the dilemma i speak of…it is political, economic, social, cultural, spiritual to an extent and is all encompassing of the individual as opposed to the body politic….

          • but on this topic of anarchy…it is an expression be it a violent one and most have grown up to get when one cries it is received and we string that along through life and then one sees the big picture and realizes… gawd what can be done to change this mess we live in?…thus the mob mentality as opposed to singular action

  6. With age comes wisdom, however sometimes age comes alone.
    A few people don't want to grow up, get jobs and instead leach off of society.

    • True. Unfortunately, about a third of Canada keeps voting them into power.

      • hahaha Thwim, that was hilariously witty.

        and, Jon…you should consider that activist are not leaches, they are just those who are actually wise and have figured out what is actually important to life, as oppose to what is important to the economy, which is what most "adults" consider to be wisdom. Through this self discovery, we've discovered that, SURPRISE, the concept of two decades of schooling, 4 decades of a "career" and 3 decades of retirement is absurdly stupid and determental – emotionally, psychologically, and physically – to the human body. Most activists actually do a hell of a lot more useful work than the average office worker, since the activist has actual motivation and interets in what they spend their time doing. But, hey, if you think it's a great idea to work needlessly to help produce things we can waste our money on that we don't actually ever need, then enjoy :)

  7. I'm a middle aged anarchist living in the U.S. who has organized black blocs in the past. This article gets a lot of things right, which is unusual for a media article on radical protesters, but there are several things I'd like to address. There is no such thing as a "violent faction" within our movement, or even at protests. That's just not how we think about ourselves or how we act. People who use certain tactics at one protest may use a different set of protests at another event. The composition of tactics like the black bloc changes from event to event, so the police and media portrayal of the black bloc as an organization is totally false.

    The person Berman says "no amount of coordination can prevent small but destructive groups from stealing the headlines from peaceful protesters." The purpose of the black bloc has never been to "steal headlines" and even non-anarchist protesters understand that. If organizers of a protest don't want a black bloc, all they have to do is talk to everybody interested in participating in a protest, like the organizers of the Clayoquot did. Anarchists don't blindly think that the black bloc is an appropriate tactic at every protest. Those of us involved in blocs have a history of working with non-anarchist groups.

    I don't think that the black bloc is a violent tactic. I don't consider property destruction to be violence and even when that happens at protests, it is pretty minor. Much more minor than a sports riot. I'm looking at you Ottawa Senators fans. It's not just the younger generation that is more accepting of militant tactics. More and more people understand that "peaceful" protests, in other words, standing around in some park listening to commie speakers, is ineffective. Given that there are so many dire problems that face our planet, our cities, our neighborhoods and our families, something more militant is required.

    • "More and more people understand that 'peaceful' protests, in other words, standing around in some park listening to commie speakers, is ineffective." Interesting. I always felt that protests would have to become much broader to really "jolt" larger government institutions.

    • And smashing crap gets what message across, exactly? That you can't be bothered to put together a well-reasoned argument good enough to resonate with the masses?

      • There were thousands of people in the streets making well-reasoned arguments. Why would you assume that the corporate media is going to tell you about what they are saying?

        • Try answering the question. Smashing crap gets what message across exactly? That you're pissed off? That you're emotionally stunted and can't deal with your own impotent rage?

          Incidentally, I said "the masses" not "mass media", if you don't believe that people can get information except from the mass media then you're well and truly screwed no matter what you do right?

          • As someone who has spent the last ten years working to build alternative media, I don't think that we're screwed, but the task is very difficult. My question was about your assumption that because people are smashing windows, that they or the thousands of others don't have a well-reasoned argument.

            I wasn't personally smashing windows, but thanks for assuming. Maybe you should someone who participates in the black bloc, or an advocate of property destruction.

            I'll speculate: I think that it communicates that people are willing to risk arrest to do a small amount of damage to large corporations. It doesn't do it with a lot of nuance, but I don't think that's the intention. It certainly gets more media attention than other tactics, though the media does seem committed to using it to smear the majority of demonstrators.

          • That'd ring a lot truer if the idiots in the Black Bloc didn't

            A) Generally do damage to franchisees which are often simply small business men who pay for a license,
            B) Didn't try to avoid arrest by hiding, and
            C) Pulled their crap when they're not surrounded by legitimate protestors who are actually seeking to put forth a coherent message, and thus distracting any hope they have of attracting whatever media attention they could.

            Incidentally, I'm all in favor of civic protest, but only when those committing it have the balls to stand up and take the consequences thereof. There's a reason Rosa Parks is venerated and the Unabomber reviled, after all, and those who are advocating property damage have a lot more in common with the latter than the former.

            As for maybe I should speak with someone who participates in the Black Bloc or an advocate of property destructions? Well, my good sir, if you happened to read what I was responding to, I was doing exactly that. Since you decided to thrust yourself in there in his/her defense, I naturally assumed you were of the same character. If not, then maybe you should think twice (or perhaps just try thinking) before speaking for such people, hm?

          • You made an idiotic claim, and then made an assumption about me when I responded. I'm unclear as to how that's my responsibility.

            Starbucks (see here: http://www.starbucks.ca/en-ca/_About+Starbucks/_F… and [various banks] are not owned by "small business men". One of the weaknesses of black bloc is that they don't have control over what everyone does. For the most part, they do their research. That's not to say they're not vulnerable to criticism from other directions.

            The distinction you draw is a tactical one, and that's fine. I've been involved in unmasked nonviolence civil disobedience resulting in arrest, but having seen the way the media spins the crap out of the straightforward statements people write about actions like that, I can see how people get discouraged and go for something a little more direct, with the a higher likelihood of getting away.

          • Why don't you run for office? We have 15% or so of voters casting ballots for a party that has the same anti-corporate ideology as you. They get plenty of coverage in mainstream media without looking like the KKK in black or without torching banks and burning alive their employees as your comrades did in Greece.

          • Oh, so now I've torched banks. I see.

          • No, you've just advocated the torching of banks. You know, by saying it's OK to destroy "small amounts" of corporate property.

          • I'll speculate: I think that it communicates that people are willing to risk arrest to do a small amount of damage to large corporations.

            I'm sure that's precisely what the Greek rioters thought two months ago when they set that bank on fire. Three people were killed. But what the hell. There's bound to be a few innocents lost on the road to revolution. Well worth it I say.

          • How many employees have died because Starbucks and RBC windows were broken?

            If you just switch the topic whenever you feel like it, there's not really much point in discussing, is there?

          • Sooner or later someone loses an eye.

          • If you break the law by destroying property, which also damages the livelihood of others, then you may experience retaliation. You don't have the right to dictate what form of retaliation, because you've already declared you have no respect for the law. Sooner or later, someone will get hurt, because you yourself have declared with your actions that there are no rules anymore.

        • There were thousands of people in the streets making well-reasoned arguments. Why would you assume that the corporate media is going to tell you about what they are saying?

          The old saying, "If you need to raise your voice to make a point, you never had one." comes to mind here. That seemlessly translates to "If you need to destroy stuff to make a point…"

    • If organizers of a protest don't want a black bloc, all they have to do is talk to everybody interested in participating in a protest, like the organizers of the Clayoquot did.

      That's an interesting insight. If true, it must mean that the violent black bloc faction can only operate with the knowledge and tacit approval of the various "peaceful" organizations. Is that what you're saying?

      Also, please do not confuse Ottawa Senators fans with Montreal Canadiens fans.

    • The only problem with violence or destruction of property according to your ideology, is that it ends up only empowering what you are against. For example, if they were to hold another G20, the security would be even tighter and more strict because of what happened from the pervious G20.No different than 9/11. If this was a war on a battlefield, you should see and understand that you are losing battle after battle. You are against government, anti-globalization, want free thought and no government watchdogs envading your privacy. Now look at the age we live in. Thank you for your ancient ideologies, and having more of your tax dollars spent on video cameras and security. We would've been better without it. And only in Canada will a police officer not beat you when burning and destroying public property. Anywhere in the non-west would've resulted in a reality check, which anarchists need.

    • This is my favourite anarchist talking point: "I don't consider property destruction to be violence and even when that happens at protests, it is pretty minor."

      Do you own a car? A bicycle? A house? You would not mind if I did a little damage to your property, would you? I mean, property damage is not violence, correct, so you would not want to call the police and report me. Trust me, it would be for a good reason — I disagree with your political slant and I want to make a point that the *corporate media* would not be able to cover up.

      Thanks for your cooperation.

      • That's right. If someone vandalizes his bicycle, he should be happy. Because a bold anti-corporate statement has been made.

  8. A few masked-up people smash some windows, and hundreds of experts on the morality of violence come out of the woodwork.

    Where are you when the Canadian government is overthrowing democratically elected governments (e.g. Haiti), when it's killing civilians and sending POWs to be tortured (Afghanistan), or turning a blind eye to the fact that people are dying of cancer as a direct result of the toxins from the tar sands?

    If you're upset about a million dollars worth of property damage and not human lives, there is something wrong.

    • You mean the tar sands that are the size of England? Those tar sands?

      If you're upset about a million dollars worth of property damage and not human lives, there is something wrong.

      And you protesters, if given the chance, with your calm, rational nature, would solve all those problems and save millions of lives I'm sure. Well here's the deal: I'll be more inclined to believe that when you and your ilk start acting like adults. I think I'm pretty safe.

      • Yeah, they are the size of England. Did I said "the area already developed"? No, I did not. You can win any argument if you get to put words in the other person's mouth. But it's not that satisfying, is it?

        • You said this:

          "…you must be really quite upset about the destruction of an area the size of England in Northern Alberta…"

          I can't put words in your mouth. Your foot is in the way.

      • sorry, so, by an "adult" you are referring to someone who blindly follows and supports a society sheepishly controlled by marketing and consumerism? or someone who doesn't stand up for what they believe in? or someone who doesn't take the time to consider what is actually important to them and to the world?

        Either way, your definition of "adult" is probably more consistent with the definition for "child." Protestors question, reserach, and propose alternatives for the betterment of soceity. Anti-protestors, such as yourself, follow blindly. Like cattle. Like children.

        • Oh, I see. You are the only one who stands up for what they believe in, who takes time to consider what is actually important to them and the world, etc. Everyone else is sheep or, alternatively, children.

          Dave, you sound really humanist and all, but I would never vote for someone who considers people who disagree with him, that is his fellow man, as sheep. Your disdain for your fellow man is showing.

          • Exactly. The arrogance is astounding. He's the only one questioning. Everyone else, except for him and his fellow travellers, is blind.

  9. My favourite quote from your posting is"I don't think that the black bloc is a violent tactic". If this is the case, why are you covering your face? What do you have to hide?
    I hope the police arrest and put these scumbags in jail for a long, long, long time.
    Contrary to your posting, your group is a violent group that is similar to terrorists (destruction of public property). Pathetic.

    • I think you just answered your own question.

  10. Having come to Canada and left I realized why the heck so many people protest in Canada. The govt is not a democracy it acts like it is but the PM and Mps hae way more powers than any congressman could ever dream of or the president. Then there are the cops. No one likes them much as they act like apes. How many inquires do you all need?

    • Agreed. Canada is just a terrible place to live, and I've had enough of this two-bit, undemocratic, corporatist police state.

      I'm going back to Uzbekistan.

      • When did humans start saying, "yeah, this is good enough, let's stop trying to make things better."??

        1) The biggest issues are with how "developed" countries, such as Canada, treat our "developing" counterparts, and is not an attack on our mostly wonderful, though only quasi-democratic, nation.

        2) Few people suggest Canada is terrible. Most agree on the opposite, actually, peaceful protestors, violent protestors, anti-protestors, most of us. But why does that mean we should stop as is? As soon as we (mostly) all had access to safe water, food, shelter, education, healthcare, and legal protection, we seemed to give up on progressing. I cannot figure out why. Especially when these luxuries so obviously come at the cost of destorying the environment, soceities, and lives of those who don't have them.

        Canada is far from awful, but we have the ability to not be greedy, to not be indirect pilagers and murders, and I think we should pursue that change. If you don't, I am very curious to hear why not.

        • If you're suggesting that our standard of living hasn't increased since we attained basic legal and democratic rights, safe water, food, healthcare and education, you're wrong. However, even if it hadn't, I'm not about to hand the responsibility for change over to people who think property destruction is a viable means of registering opposition.

          • This is a person who claims Canadians are indirectly pillaging and murdering people in developing nations. Kind of interesting that so many of those people then enthusiastically immigrate in droves to its lands. A case of Stockholm Syndrome perhaps?

    • Yeah MPs have so much power

  11. To be blunt the PM the con govt is adding protesters by the minute. he needs to be outed in an election and soon.

    • Then try… you know, outing him in an election. Where does protesting and rioting fit into the equation?

      • man, you are getting on my nerves. Here is a list of things brought to you by protestors:

        -the vote for women
        -worker's rights
        -women's rights
        -student's rights
        -the Charter
        -gay rights
        -the end of the vietnam war

        but…maybe you're in favour of stripping all rights from anyone who isn't a straight, white, Christian, war-supporting, office worker. Politicians, are (or should be, or rather, used to be when Canada was still democratic) swayed by the voices of the people. That is how democracy works. Unfortunately, Canadians are so spoiled with our food, water, shelter, and natural resources that we don't seem to care, and figure a few people in power must be doing a good job. As for Harper, a couple million Albertans who like tax refunds, and a few more million WASPs who just vote conservative because it's been ingrained into them, will keep him in power if protestors don't raise enough of a voice to make them bother to learn anything.

        A few percent of a population will try and control it. A slightly larger percentage will try and change it. The remaining majority will just follow. If you don't have an opinion, and you don't care, your vote should not be worth anything.

        • "As for Harper, a couple million Albertans who like tax refunds, and a few more million WASPs who just vote conservative because it's been ingrained into them, will keep him in power "

          Nice generalization. Only Albertans and WASPs vote conservative. What a maroon.

        • but…maybe you're in favour of stripping all rights from anyone who isn't a straight, white, Christian, war-supporting, office worker.

          Oh, the race card! Play the Nazi card next and you have officially Godwin'd the argument.

        • man, you are getting on my nerves.

          I suspect your nerves were already frayed when you entered the discussion. I know you think I'm a destructive, genocidal WASP oppressor, but I'm not responsible for your nervous condition. You brought that on yourself.

          A few percent of a population will try and control it. A slightly larger percentage will try and change it. The remaining majority will just follow. If you don't have an opinion, and you don't care, your vote should not be worth anything.

          And let me guess, you're one of the "slightly larger percentage" who will try and change it. You honestly believe you and your travelers comprise the vanguard of social revolution. And only those chosen few should have a say in how the country is run, because my vote should not be worth anything. You did come right out and say that, didn't you. With reasonable positions like that, I can't imagine why you need to resort to vandalism and rioting to make your point.

          • In Cuba and N. Korea, the gold star states of leftist ideology, votes are not worth anything. Dave would do well to immigrate to either nation, should they have him, and discover just what happens when a penultimate power like Castro or Jong Il decide that their little minions are a sheep majority whose votes wouldn't be worth anything in the first place so why bother.

            Leftists are hungry for complete and total control over the masses, whom they regard as unwashed miscreants unable to decide for themselves lest the government in the form of a god-like dictator should intervene. They have no regard for laws outside of themselves and their viewpoint, and everyone else comprises the lot of useful idiots they can manipulate like marionettes on a string. These people are cowards terrified of dissenting opinion and absolute in their perceived intellectual superiority. They must be stopped at all costs.

  12. Juveniles sometimes never get over their teenage angst, the big bad world is too scary for them so they retreat from taking responsibility for themselves.

    • When you see them show up on these boards and start presenting rational-sounding arguments in defense of their actions, you see just how dangerously unbalanced these people are. I don't mean in a stark-raving-lunatic sort of way. More like a cold, calculating, seething, ruminating evil genius or mad scientist. Minus the genius and the science.

      • Yes. Because I wasn't at the top of my engineering class…that has nothing to do with science or intelligence, right?

        So, just to clarify, are you saying you are OKAY with the fact that Harper spent a weekend conivingly convincing 20 of the world's leaders to scrap social services funding so that we could pay for bankers' idiocy, rather than making them pay for it themselves?

        And are you okay what most of our production literally kills. Be it tar sands operations killing native peoples, Coca-Cola assasinating union workers, the "democracy" north openly supporting a coup in Honduras, mining leaving contries ravaged and without proper water supply, shall I continue? are you okay with all of these things?

        Open your eyes.

        Part of being an adult, as you say strongly consider yourself, but not us, to be, is about understanding your interaction with the world – not IGNORING it, as you seem to be. Or if you are actually informed, than you are okay with all of this death and destruction. I think that would actually make you the mentally imbalanced person, unless you have another ill-concieved argument that somehow explains how being okay with the death of the innocent, as long as it gets you your range rover and your nice suburban home, makes you an adult. Pleas enlighten me.

        • Did you actually say that Raging_Ranter was mentally imbalanced,, and has an ill-concieved argument…you really, really don't have a clue who your up against do you ?? Stay tuned folks………

        • I don't have a Range Rover. I drive a 2003 Chev Cavalier, but use OC Transpo to get to and from work. I don't have a nice suburban house. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment. In fact, I am just now digging myself out from what a few short years ago, seemed like a lifetime of debt servitude. (Did you assume that because I have some meagre savings in an RRSP, some of which I've invested in oilsands companies, that I was rich?) I have numerous problems with our debt-fueled, mindlessly conumer-driven economy, and could spend all day at the keyboard lecturing you about them. I am both a nature-lover and a conservationist. I am comfortable with neither death nor destruction, and that would include property destruction by anarchists. I was unaware that Coca Cola had ever assissinated anyone, let alone its own union workers. I would be fascinated (and horrified) to hear the story sometime. As for your plea, "Please enlighten me", I'm afraid I'm not cut out for that kind of heavy lifting.

        • "Part of being an adult, as you say strongly consider yourself, but not us, to be, is about understanding your interaction with the world – not IGNORING it, as you seem to be. Or if you are actually informed, than you are okay with all of this death and destruction."

          This passage from Dave's post perfectly encapsulates the arrogance, narcissism and presumptuousness that we see in the mindset of so many anarchists and other self-proclaimed activists. Essentially, he's saying that if you're informed about world affairs and current events, you MUST share his political outlook. Otherwise, you're wilfully ignoring it, or your'e selfish, or you're stupid. Just unbelievable arrogance.

          • you MUST share his political outlook. Otherwise, you're wilfully ignoring it, or your'e selfish, or you're stupid.

            Or you're a rich WASP who drives a Range Rover to his massive suburban house each day, like me. :)

            It's amusing to see how many assumptions he makes about those who disagree with him. He doesn't even realize he's doing it. For if you disagree with him, you clearly must be just another ignorant pawn of the capitalist-fascist state. Obviously you must be rich. Obviously you must be white. Obviously you must own a huge home and drive a gas-guzzling tank. I was going to say that, in my case at least, he got the "white" part right. But some of my ancestry is Metis (Cree in fact) so I can't even hand him that. Even WASP is a mischaracterization. I'm Catholic. Still, I'm white enough that I suppose I should cede him a point, on the basis of good sportsmanship if nothing else.

            Dave is a sad example of what happens when a person takes his politics too seriously. He becomes consumed by them. To the point where those who disagree with him are either apathetic know-nothings, or the enemy. To the point where political opponents must all be complicit in murder and environmental destruction. To the point where he feels the only correct course of action is mass protest and "targeted" destruction of "corporate" property. To the point where he starts to hate. Then he wonders how I could possibly question his mental status. Needless to say, I'm no longer questioning it.

          • The other thing about the mindset Dave is demonstrating is its utter inability to comprehend the fact that intelligent, well-informed, thoughtful and reasonable people could possibly disagree with his view of the world. For example, he appears to be incapable of comprehending the fact that lots of people in this world have considered the great problems that face us — poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, racism, etc. — and have, after extensive, deep and careful reflection, arrived at the conclusion that our system of Western liberal democracy, for all of its considerable warts and shortcomings, is actually the best system of social and political organization that exists at present. As Churchill so aptly put it, "the worst of all possible systems, except for all others that have been attempted." Yet Dave's ridiculously reductionist view holds that there are only 4 kinds of people on the planet: idiots, sheep, selfish people and those oh-so-enlightened anarchists.

          • Leftists immediately denigrate dissidents on a personal level upon reception of contrary opinion. I'm just surprised the race card or allusions to Hitler weren't played immediately. It's only once they get emotionally distressed, which doesn't take much, do they resort to those Godwin "arguments" and it's always interesting to me that the assumption of race accompanied by personal insults is always accompanied by an accusation from said leftist to dissenter of racism. They don't even understand that to sideswipe someone they assume is white on the basis of their presumed "whiteness" is racist in and of itself. They just feel it's okay because they still live in the '50s when whites were majority in the West. That trend is obviously changing now, but they still cling to the Trojan horse of racism in an era where it is and has been socially unacceptable, even criminal, to be outwardly racist to people in the workplace or elsewhere. They feel wonderful standing up for the "underdog," especially since they regard the underdog as being unable to stand up for himself.

          • I was recently challenged by an old friend (a person who recently fell into the description in your last paragraph) who is fighting for Aboriginal rights. When I asked him what was needed for reconciliation to occur (so that we can move forward), he replied, "Blanca, you would all have to kill yourselves for it to even be considered."
            Granted, I'm in no position of great knowledge on the subject, but it's hardly an inviting starting point for a rational conversation…

            Thanks RR for your contributions to this thread.

          • It appears that Dave did the intelligent thing and left the debate…I tried to tell him he was out of his league…..

  13. Age has little to do with wisdom .

  14. http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english… This s a new law that the cops used. They knew they had carte blanche to go ape over people and were protected. You think the CIA was bad? These secret laws make the CIA look sheepish next to the overt abuse of the Ont cops.

    • Anon, you are as afraid of revealing yourself on the interenet as you and your ilk are of marching maskless in a 'protest.' You cannot stand up for your beliefs because you are faceless. No one can see you and no one can take you seriously.

  15. Oh hell, Conrad Black got a more fair process than the cops gave some in the summit.

  16. These pampered, immature, middle class adults belong in the psychiatric ward. They don't make up a political movement.

    • I've been making that same argument, and it's only been solidified since some of them have shown up here to post.

      • Looks like they are winning. You old fogeys should just take early retirement. The last baby boomer retires 2018. Bye bye.

  17. This comment was deleted.

    • Speaking of being ill-informed, and in fairness every non-independent media station gets this wrong as well, "Block Bloc" is NOT a group of people. Black Bloc is a loosly-defined tactic used by certain protestors (not a tactic I personally engage in, either).

      And, moreover, to take one ridiculous banner and use that to exemplify and definite thousands of others' based on that is…well childish. That is not how things work.

      Anarchy, communism, "Block Bloc"….there is no requisite correlation between any of these movements. Supporting either one does not imply support of the other. While I support only non-violent protesting for many, many obvious reasons, it would be foolish for anyone to ignore the irony that, using the immediately obvious Toronto G20 example, thousands of dollars of damage to windows and planted cruisers caused so much more outraged than the $1.4 billion police force that chose not to stop the destruction, and moreover, plaes compared to the destruction the vandalized corporations spread throughout the world on a daily basis.

      So, again, I don't support their destruction. But consider that making a fuss about a smashed window, or even a fire-bombed bank, without considering for example, Coca-Cola's decades of union leader assisinations, or Shell's rampant destruction of food, water, and habitat throughout Western Africa, is extremely ignorant. We seem to care a lot when one Canadian is injured or killed, without batting an eyelid to the fact that most of our consumer products have blood on them. And, if you are going to call my a hyprocrite because I'm clearly on a computer, etc., I am going to pre-empt you by saying: of course I am a hypocrite, it is impossible to live in the "developed" world, and care about human rights and social justice, without being a hypocrite.

      • And, moreover, to take one ridiculous banner and use that to exemplify and definite thousands of others' based on that is…well childish. That is not how things work.

        True enough. But if I had to pick just one banner…. :)

    • anarchists are opposed to mao and all communist states… the banner was probably dropped by the group of maoists who were in the black bloc, not the anarchists.

  18. I disagree completely with your characterization of the "militant left." The EnCana pipeline bombings are not an example of militant leftism. Perhaps you think they are because they are environment-related. Much of the aggression shown towards the gas companies in the West (e.g. Wiebo Ludwig) stems from a form of rural libertarianism – the idea that individuals own their land and have the right to protect it against pollution and resource extraction. It's anti-government, for sure, but not leftist.

    • So five thumbs-downers, anyone care to explain their disagreement?

  19. Something else you missed was that these 'anarchists' are generally white and well-off. The Ottawa bombers tried to claim that they were standing up for Aboriginal land rights, but there were no Aboriginal activists involved. It is a special kind of spoiled white hubris that makes these people think they have a right to speak for other groups such as Aboriginal Canadians.

    • sorry, but our defunct MPs have the right to speak for me? Now that's a double standard. When my rights are being taken away, it is okay for someone else to speak for me, but when I'm being a proponent of equal rights, I'm not allowed to speak outside of my own demographic?

      Interesting….well, that was a good attempt at an argument. With enough experience in empathy, you might understand that it is not unfathomable for a middle-class white Canadian to speak up for aboriginal rights. Especially since activists from within their society are typically abused and assaulted by police since our government is in denial and prefers to pacify them in any way possible.

      • I'm sorry, I didn't mention "defunct MPs," you must have meant to reply to someone else's post.

        But yes, Aboriginal Canadians would rather speak for ourselves than have rich white anarchists bombing banks on our behalf.

        • While I certainly admire some political activists, this goes to what bothers me about many others — their presumptuousness in thinking that they somehow "represent" or "speak for" others (e.g., aboriginals, poor people, women), when they've never actually been elected to any representative position. They just wake up, get out of bed, put a t-shirt with a slogan on, and claim that they're representing thousands or even millions of people. You can legitimately bitch about our politicians and our electoral system till the cows come home, but at least our elected representatives have had the cojones to run in an election, however imperfect that process might be.

      • No, you just think that Aboriginals cannot stand up for themselves, that somehow the 'white man' is so all powerful that their potence has kept an entire people under its thumb for centennia. Aboriginals do not have equal rights to other Canadians — they have surplus rights. Check out Gladue law or tax exemption for examples. However, as a people they have the highest rate of alcohol fetal syndrome, suicide, and alcoholism in Canada. This is a cultural issue perpetuated by supremacist delusions and societal ills within their circles. It has nothing to do with you or I, and Aboriginals have the rights, the wherewithal, and the influence to make a change if they so choose. They do not need saving.

  20. (Just posting so I can follow the replies automatically.)

  21. In striving to prove diversity among the black bloc, this article overlooks the numbers of black bloc who are actually police, and that those police carry rocks and "provoke" uniformed police so they can justify violent crackdowns later on:

    Get informed and ask yourself why police did not lift a finger to stop the window breaking while it was happening. Ask yourself why they instead went after peaceful protesters later on. Ask yourself if window breaking is a worse crime than the acts committed by police (most caught on video live and with testimony from police victims):

    1. Sexual harassment
    2. Sexual assault (i.e. groping female protesters.
    3. Depriving diabetics of food in prison
    4. Arresting people without charge
    5. Holding people for longer than 24 hours.
    6. Keeping homosexuals in a separate holding pen and telling them that "many here (i.e. police) don't appreciate their kind"
    7. Running over peaceful protesters with horses.
    8. Assaulting the elderly and the handicapped.
    9. Lying about weapons seized
    10. Lying about the use of rubber bullets
    11. Lying about a 5 meter law.
    12. The unprovoked use of rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray.

    Please look up the testimony and video on YouTube–the media isn't covering these stories appropriately.

    • This Video is from 2007, and was debated at great length approximently two weeks ago..do you not have anything more current that you could bring to this debate ? Just asking.

      • that's relevant because it shows that police act as agent provocateurs and have been forced to admit such in the past. When they do nothing to arrest vandals then we have to ask the question of whether they were doing so here.

        As for "more current', the rest of my post details the crimes of the police from the 2010 G20 summit. Current enough?

        • Your list might be ''current '' But is it credible ?

          • Yes. About half the items on the list are on video for all to see and/or police have admitted or confirmed. The other half are allegations, with allegations made by several people for each charge.

            Yes, some are only allegations but with regards to the allegations that is why there needs to be a public inquiry–not one done by the police services board.

          • I would bet money that not one of these so called ''allegations'' have made it to the formal written complaint stage. In my opinion if a person is not willing to put his/her complaint in writing, sign their name to it and proceed through the complaint process then the allegations are not credible.

    • Your lies just keep piling. Bring it on, who knows you might convince yourself.

      • Are you referring to me? What am I lying about exactly?

    • In any event, I, and most others on this site, are well aware of the fact that the police often misbehave, do bad things, etc. Duh.

      But to me, it's a huge non-sequitur to posit that:

      1. Police misbehave, do bad things sometimes.


      2. I must become an anarchist, otherwise I am selfish or stupid.

      Which seems to be what you and your ilk are arguing.

      • You speak with rational intelligence Orson Bean…..Well put !

  22. Perhaps you should have mentioned the legitimate reasons why leftists are becoming more militant- the disregard for parliamentary process (2 proroguations of parliament in two years), accelerating environmental degradation and pollution, and total disregard for proper and thorough environmental assessment of government projects, as well as the growing gap between the rich and poor.

    Or maybe you can keep writing shallow articles like this one which completely disregard the legitimate anger against a government that no longer represents the peaceful, environmentally concerned majority, and is protecting itself against criticism against arresting over 800 people, with no justifiable reason at all.

    Please do some research to be equitable for the vast majority who were peaceful, and gave them a voice. I am really losing faith in MacLean's due to your biased coverage of the G20, and saddened by your increasingly right wing voice.

    • So why don't you call up Michael Igatieff, Gilles Duceppe Jack Layton, and ask them to bring down the government on the next confidence vote? Then we'd be rid of this government, wouldn't we? Because surely the overwhelming leftist masses would turf this government out if an election were held, wouldn't they?

    • Your anger stops being legitimate the minute you torch a police car, break a window, or otherwise upset the public peace.

  23. I find it hard to take people seriously when they have to hide their faces.What's their alternative to capitalism?communism?Is that what they want, the government to completely run their lives?The government restricting movement of it's citizens?I don't think they know what they want
    As for Roger Clement he can go live in Cuba if he wants to live in a communist country with military rule.
    And as for their problem with the police ,I would rather meet up with a group of police on a dark street than that gang in the photo.
    "Ya dude anarchism,let's give complete power to the people".I think not, our society is civilized because of laws preventing crimes,which is what most people want,peace.Do these people really want to live in anarchy? we'd be no better than some of these countries with shaky or no legit.governments,violent.If those arrested were in some communist country we wouldn't be reading or hearing about their so called abuse from police because we wouldn't hear from them again,be careful what you wish for.It's not perfect here but at least we have the right to bitch about our government.
    I would like to know how many people at the G20 weren't arrested.

    • you're lumping everyone together, ignoring many important things… the majority of people at the g20 were peaceful and many of those were still arrested… over 8000 people were there, 1100 were arrested/detained… the other 7000 scattered only 306 were charged and i believe only half or less have charges…. that is a very small percentage of people who were actually charged… they arrested so many people illegally, to stop the protest…

      i went there to advocate that we stop exploiting each other and start putting human interest back in canadian gov't… i was not arrested, i did not commit any crimes and do not have a record… thank you your ignorant idea's and pathetic insults do nothing for this country and especially for women. Please I urge you to educate yourself and look deeper into these things before you have so much to say!

  24. A sign of mid life crisis?

  25. Me: Hey, what do you do for a living?
    Clement: I'm an activist.
    Me: Loser.

  26. Me: Hey, what do you do for a living?
    Clement: Well, I worked for the government for several decades, until my sister got sick and I took early retirement to care for her.
    Me: Wow. That's pretty decent of you.

  27. "Anarchy" comes from ancient Greek, and means "without ruler." On the right, such a view manifests itself in the most extreme form of laissez-faire market economics. On the left, it typically emerges as what can be called "social anarchy": i.e. the idea that people can live together in peace without kings, or presidents, or priests, or CEOs, telling us how to live. It is really a continuation of a process going on for millennia: we drove out the gods and replaced them with kings; we drove out the kings and replaced them with presidents and prime ministers and CEOs; now, we drive out the presidents and prime ministers and CEOs and replace them with a people bound together by a moral concern for mutual well-being.

    • So …. a lawless society !! Yup thats going to work allrighty!

      • Read again, true north. It means "without ruler" not "without rules." That "anarchy" has become synonymous with "chaos," "lawlessness," etc. is just evidence of the success of the powers that be of delegitimizing any ideas they find threatening. The concepts of anarchism are much closer to a true democracy than the system we are living in now. Look it up.

  28. I think the same generalization often applied to Muslims also applies to the Left.

    Not all Muslims are terrorists….but the majority of terrorists are Muslim.

    While the majority of Lefties are not anarchists who like to break windows, assault the Police, or torch cars ……the majority of those who do…..are on the political Left.

    Conservatives, however, are more prone to:
    Pay more taxes
    Commit fewer crimes
    complain less
    create/hold more jobs
    write letters to the editor without being ordered to by their "organization"

  29. Couple of points:

    Pele wrote:
    "I had a friend who joined a cult and later took therapy to regain his ability to assess things in a balanced and reasonable way"

    Pele, in Canada we call that organization the "Toronto Star"

    anonanarchist wrote:
    "I don't consider property destruction to be violence and even when that happens at protests, it is pretty minor"

    If you truly believe that destroying property is a good way of making your point….then break you own damn windows. Otherwise, you're a hypocrite.

  30. Anarchists don't believe in a fiat monopoly of governance, a.k.a. the State. There are dozens of anarchist variants. Many anarchists do not believe in violent protest or the destruction of property.

    Some anarchists are very much in favour of capitalism.

    The greatest perpetrator of violence is, of course, the State. Even a Statist would have to admit this fact if he were honest.

    Anarchy does not entail the absence of governance, a.k.a. chaos. Under anarchy, governance is voluntary. There might be a free market in governance, a.k.a. panarchy.

    • In fact anarchists have no idea what they want for the future but are only dissatisfied with the present, and quite probably their own lives. Had they the intellectual wherewithal they could explain easily what it is they propose for the Canadian people and, no doubt, the world. But in areas political they are inarticulate thugs.

      They are spolied children sharing in a violent public tantrum. The great Jean-François Revel summed them, and those like them, perfectly.

      Utopianism's "sole function is to allow its devotees to condemn what exists in the name of what does not."

      That's it in a nutshell.

  31. Speaking of failed dictatorships our glorious leaders recently demonstrated what a police state looks like and flushed 2 billion down the police union toilet. Now these geniuses are allowing the illegal GPS tracking of citizens/workers contrary to the Privacy Act of Canada. Case 341 and 283. Pathetic. Get these idiots out of office ASAP. Demand govenrment ACCOUNTABILITY. Taxes are at 60% total (ie TAX FREE DAY) so I have virtually nothing left to spend. Idiots. I am not your slave. MPs should not be allowed to retire on a full pension after only 5 years of work.