I feel like George Orwell’s 1984 has come alive in Toronto. I can’t believe my so-called democratic country right now. The OPP has been approved to use sound canons even though they haven’t been proved to be totally safe. The police have also been given special arrest powers for the duration of the G20. My city, my province, my country is turning into something unrecognizable and just disgusting.
A motion to ban police use of sound cannons during the G20 was dismissed Friday morning by the Ontario Superior Court Justice, David Brown. The police claim they need these sound cannons to communicate with the crowds when it becomes too loud for them to continue communication with the traditional megaphones. But the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Labour Congress are suggesting that the police are using the Toronto residents as guinea pigs to see if these sound cannons are safe. Way to show love to the citizens of Toronto. David Brown’s decision is letting the police use the sound cannons but under limits on their usage. Nice to see that Brown cares about the lovely citizens of Toronto.
As of Friday afternoon, the protest groups were accusing the police of denying them the right to the freedom of speech (granted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) due to the fact the sound cannons will be able to overpower their voices. This brings about a good argument in my mind, the whole issue about what is a right and what is a freedom and the boundaries to freedoms. Honestly, in this case I feel like the rights are being infringed upon since I highly doubt the protestors are going to be chanting death threats. The point of the protests is to improve the conditions of the world – to demand more funding for 3rd world nations, to demand the Harper government lift the undemocratic statement that Canada will not deploy any aid to countries that support abortions, to demand action on climate change, and just to better the world. There is nothing wrong with these protestors and they are doing a great thing by going downtown and protesting for issues in which they believe in. They are the people that we should slave to become more like – the people that don’t just sit around and act as the government and the corporations tell them. They are the people with minds for themselves. These people deserve the right to freedom of speech and the right to be heard as much as the G20 leaders – actually if you ask me, these people have more of a right to be heard than these G20 leaders b/c the right to freedom of speech is under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is granted to Canadian citizens. Tell me, when was the President of China Canadian? Is Barack Obama Canadian? The answer is no. Why are we taking away the rights of the people? Why are we suppressing them and their thoughts? What kind of world are we living in? Why are so little people concerned about the fact our rights are infringed on? I think we are now entering the Orwellian world and these protestors are today’s version of Winston Smith.
Moving onwards, the police have been given special powers for the duration of the G8 and G20 summits. I find this disgusting and just undemocratic. The law that is granting the police these powers was passed quietly by the Ontario government – sounds like the Canadian War Measure act to several critics (as reported by CTV news). The media and the people were not informed of these new laws and many people were searched on Friday morning because they were within a 5m perimeter of the G20 summit area. What a lot of bull – you can’t just search people while they’re out on a stroll with their dog. What if they are found to be carrying a ‘weapon’ such as a leash with studs (you never know what will be considered a weapon at this rate, a guy was arrested and detained yesterday and all he had was a crossbow), are you going to arrest them? What about if they were out for a run and was carrying a ton of Gatorade and an ipod (together it has been rumoured that a bomb could be created), what would you do then? Arrest them for possession of bomb making materials? This law that was passed so quietly enables the police to ask anyone within 5m perimeter of the G20 summit area to state their name and purpose for entering the zone, if the person refuses to answer these questions then the police can search and arrest them. What if the person is a mute? What happens? This law may have been passed democratically but the application is not exactly following the traditions of the country. This law is temporary and will expire on June 28, 2010 but while it was put up on the Ontario e-law website last week the official publication date is not until July 3, 2010 – at this point in time the law would already have expired. Is it right for the government to pass a law and carry out the clauses without informing the people? This is just ridiculous and just humiliating for the citizens of Toronto – we no longer have say or knowledge of what goes on in our city.
Certain parts of my city have been blocked for the G20, undemocratic actions have been taken on by the governments, and infringements have been made to my Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I don’t know whether to be more alarmed that this is occurring or to be scared that the people of Canada don’t seem to care very much about the fact this is happening. Are we turning into robots? Are we becoming the Syme and Parsons of today? Why is it that the world doesn’t seem to care that the rights and freedoms of many have been infringed upon? Is there a justification for these actions? They say it’s for the safety of the people of Toronto, but, is it really for our safety? Or is it for another purpose – to see if we will react if our rights and freedoms are taken away? Are we being used as an experiment? In this case we are not treated as humans with rights but as lab rats.
I just want my city, my province, and my country back. Je voudrais mon village, ma province, et mon payé.