This might my favourite article ever from the Toronto Sun. It certainly ain’t known for breaking stories, but this one is just…golden. The mainstream press directly cites insider police sources stating that cops were told to “stand down” during the G20 protests in Toronto, while the Black Bloc smashed up Queen Street and trashed a few cop cars.

“The officer said that eventually there was “a clear order from the command centre saying ‘Do not engage’ ” and, at that point, smelling weakness and no repercussions, the downtown was effectively turned over to the vandals while police, up to 19,000 strong, were ordered to stay out of it.”

Of course we all know what happened next. Over a thousand virtually random arrests, massive human rights violations, and an almost unbelievable number of clear violations of Canadian law. There are still people in jail on trumped-up “conspiracy” charges – why is nobody investigating the police? Who will police the police?

At the time of this posting, the top comment is from a restaurant worker who was arrested, beaten and witnessed some ugly stuff. He concludes with “I will protect myself from police from now on even if it means prison or death. I am not alone.” I don’t know that I’d ever have the stones to post something like that online – I know people being accused of bomb-making for baking cupcakes.

This kind of repression does not work. It only enrages people. If the bloody and violent history of our species shows one thing, it’s that people eventually compensate for fear with anger and aggression. 19000 cops can easily handle some anarchist rioters – admittedly, most of us ain’t that big. There’s a few million more people in Toronto, though, and many of ’em are a lot bigger, and a lot tougher (look at the Stanley Cup Riots). They gave these cops a billion dollars to stop rioters, and not to go overboard on everyone else. Not arresting people at random with make-believe charges is a basic request of police – they’re trained for it. And now that the summit’s over, they have to walk the streets without a Roman Legion backing them up. How will they, personally, be able to make this up to everyone who trusted them?

More News updates:

The Federal Conservatives are fillibustering to prevent the the opposition (a majority in parliament) from launching an inquiry into policing during the summit, and their role in particular. Link.

A Globe and Mail Timeline of the Make-believe “five metre rule”.

Provincial liberals backpedal, claim they gave the police no extra powers, and are condemned by the conservatives.

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