U.S. Organizers Join Canadian Protests Against G8/20
No to Criminalization of Dissent!
One Humanity, One Struggle!
The U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization (USML0) and other activists from the U.S. stood together with tens of thousands of Canadians to denounce the anti-people agendas of the G8/20 and stand up for the rights of the peoples. All stood proudly during a week of protests, representing the fighting stand of Americans to join with Canadians and all the world’s peoples to say No to the Anti-People Agendas of the G8/20! No to Criminalization of Dissent! One Humanity, One Struggle! By organizing to participate in these actions we took up the duty of Americans to stand against the wars, aggression and militarization of the U.S. and represent the drive for rights, including the right to govern and decide. USMLO banners flew high, Defend the Rights of All, No to U.S. Imperialism and U.S. War Crimes, Fight for the Fraternal Unity of the Peoples! Directly participating and being part of the various actions gave expression to this fraternal unity, which develops on the basis of organizing inside the U.S. for the change the people require and standing shoulder to shoulder with all those worldwide doing the same.
The U.S. dictates these agendas to the G8 representatives of the imperialist system of states and to the larger G20 group (the Group of 8 includes the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia). Meeting behind closed doors and behind massive fences and police lines, decisions impacting all the world’s peoples are taken by a handful of government executives.
The undemocratic G8/20 Summits, with their massive police violence are representative of the path of war and fascism being demanded by U.S. imperialism. This was seen in the brutal Gestapo actions against protesters and the monopoly media’s repeated efforts to claim that the protests are violent — while it is the G8/20 agendas of more poverty, more war and repression and more attacks on the rights of all that are violent and must be condemned.
Despite harassment at the border, arbitrary searches, use of tear gas and mass arrests, despite every effort to intimidate and frighten people, militant demonstrations were organized the entire week of June 21-26. Women, indigenous peoples, immigrants, workers and their unions, anti-war, environmentalists and community organizations all participated. The youth were front and center in all the actions, repeatedly imbuing them with a determined stand for rights and against the violence of the state. The outrage at the injustice of the G8/20 agendas and repeated police violence, which included mass arrests of 1000 people, has meant that demonstrations are continuing — in Toronto and all across Canada. Everywhere people are defending the right to oppose the anti-people G8/G20 agendas, demanding that police be held accountable and the impunity stopped.
Voice of Revolution urges our readers to become more fully informed and follow developments by reading TML Daily at cpcml.ca. We salute all those from the U.S. who participated and all those in Canada who are providing an example to the world that the anti-people G8/20 agendas, including their criminalization of dissent, will not pass!
No to Criminalization of Dissent!
One Humanity, One Struggle
People First Rally and March, June 26
Resounding Mass Condemnation of Anti-People Agendas of G8/20
A week of intensifying actions to condemn the anti-people agendas of the G8/20, the militarization of Toronto and criminalization of dissent culminated on Saturday, June 26, with more than 30,000 people from all walks of life taking to the streets of Toronto. They came out to oppose the anti-democratic measures of state repression, attacks on the people and the fascization of society that are part and parcel of these agendas in order to block the people from having a say and exercising control over their lives. All those issues that are of great concern to the people and which are sidelined by the international ruling elite were put front and center: recognition of the rights of all, especially women and indigenous peoples; defense of Mother Earth; opposition to governments in service of the monopolies; restriction of monopoly right; demands for peace and justice; opposition to aggression, war, occupation and state-organized terrorism by the Anglo-American imperialists and others; opposition to the social violence of neo-liberalism; sovereign control over the economy and natural resources, and so on.
Oppose Disinformation About the Toronto Days of Action!
TML once again denounces the police tactic of making alleged protestor violence a central theme of the Toronto Days of Action Against the G8 and G20. This disinformation seeks to block discussion over the policies of the G8/20 and the power of these arbitrarily selected few countries to decide agendas, which are detrimental to the peoples of the entire world. Ultimately, it seeks to wreck the formation of the social and political forces, which take a pro-social stand against this wrecking activity. In this regard, TML condemns the role played by the monopoly media and even some trade union organizations, which have joined this bandwagon and are diverting attention from the hugely successful expression of denunciation of the G8 and G20 by making the issue the alleged violence of some demonstrators. All of it is to divert attention from the fact that it is the state, which is violent and owns and controls the instruments of violence, not the demonstrators.
The authorities justified the militarization of Toronto in the name of ensuring “security.” This clearly amounts to protecting monopoly right and the interests of the foreign powers that Canada serves, not the people or their democratic rights. Why would leaders of the allegedly most democratic countries in the world fear the people so much that they must be protected from them by fences, police forces armed to the teeth, and fascist laws? As TML Daily stated on June 25, the aim of the fascist measures at the G8/20 was to intimidate everyone to stay away, to convince everyone that social and political activists are violent, to create a pretext to criminalize dissent, to prepare everyone to accept the violence the agencies of law and order were preparing to unleash, and to get the Canadian working class and people to accept a police-state.
To their honor, workers, women and very large numbers of youth condemned and rejected the atmosphere of anarchy and viol ence that was created by the authorities. They persisted in denouncing the neo-liberal, anti-social agenda of the G8 and G20 despite attempts to trap them into confrontations with the police. Despite the criminal actions of the police, the people’s forces made the days of action in Toronto against the G8/20 Summits a resounding success! Congratulations to everyone who participated, without exception and a special congratulations goes to those who courageously set the tone by standing up for the people’s right to go to the fence to protest the G8 and G20. It is the right of the people to express their conscience freely and they were justified in condemning the arbitrariness of the authorities who first announced that people would be permitted within five meters (15 feet) of the fence and then, without notifying anyone moved the police lines blocks away from the fence. It is the police authority which is responsible for the anarchy and violence in the streets of Toronto, not the protestors. Shame on those who participate in attempts to justify the violence against the protestors in the name of security.
TML reiterates its unconditional support for all those detained because of expressing their opposition to these undemocratic bodies and their anti-social agendas.
All Out to Oppose the G8/20!
No to the Criminalization of Dissent!
Toronto Community Day of Action Against the G8/20
Militant Mass Action Declares,
“Our Voices Will Not Be Silenced!”
Thousands of people took to the streets of Toronto on June 25 to express a resounding No! to the militarization of Toronto, the G8/20 and their anti-social agendas and to put forward the demands of the peoples of Toronto, Canada and the world for human-centered alternatives and the recognition of rights.
A militant spirit of defiance characterized the day, starting with the fight to simply enter Allan Gardens to assemble for the rally and march. In a provocative manner, police arbitrarily snatched flagpoles, searched and denied people entrance. The youth quickly organized to defend the people and designated a point of entry on the edge of the park effectively preventing the police from isolating or stopping anyone.
Speakers at the rally expressed the broad demands of the rally and march to oppose the illegitimate G8/20. They denounced the spending of $1.2 billion to protect those who make decisions every day against the people’s interests and deny them their rights. The G8/20 were denounced as being incapable of providing solutions for the people. The speakers also vigorously condemned the militarization of the city and the sweeping powers granted to the police.
Women from various collectives led the way as everyone poured into the streets. Chants of G8, G20, They Are Few We Are Many! Whose Streets? Our Streets! Whose City? Our City! They Say Stay Home — We Say Fight Back! Protesting Is Not a Crime — No More Cops on Overtime! filled the air. Each time the police blocked a street and forced marchers to stop chants rang out: This is What Democracy Looks Like — That is What a Police State Looks Like! and Let Us March!
Attempts by the police to instigate a confrontation did not succeed and the demonstrators marched back to Allan Gardens to set up a tent city and plan for the next day’s events. A jail solidarity action was organized for those detained by police. Later in the evening, participants from a public forum to oppose the G20 came to the park to show their support.
TML salutes all those who are taking a stand against the G8/20 throughout the week and calls on everyone to go all out to defy an authority that is anti-people and uses its power to impose anti-people agendas and measures.
Oppose the Police Tactics at the G8-G20 Protests
United Steelworkers Local 1005 congratulates its members and pensioners who participated in the protests against the agendas of the G8 and G20 in Toronto, especially in the Saturday Day of Action. So too we congratulate the members of the Hamilton unions and, most importantly, the youth from our city who together with thousands of others courageously defied the campaign of fear which sought to persuade them not to take a stand against the G8/G20 agendas and in defense of their right to protest and express their views.
As many of you know, Local 1005 USW stood firmly with the youth. As a matter of principle we chose to stand with the sons and daughters of the people to defend them against the wild and vicious police attacks and obstruction.
The truth is that the police attempted to block the demonstration from proceeding towards the security fence way before any alleged vandalism took place. Even though millions were spent to build a security fence and the public was prohibited from entering anywhere near the G20 proceedings; even though on top of this a secret regulation was passed which prohibited the public from entering an additional area of five meters (15 feet) from the fence, on the actual day of the demonstration the arbitrariness of the authorities was such that the police in fact blocked the demonstration from accessing an area larger than the security zone the public knew anything about.
We opposed this arbitrariness and clearly condemn both the outrageous police tactics and the justifications for those tactics. Prime Minister Harper says they are justified to provide security. The activities of what he calls demonstrators who he says use “black bloc tactics” show it is worth it. This is what, in our opinion, Canadians will have to make up their minds about. What are called “black bloc tactics” are like the tactics used by none other than the Special Forces of the U.S. and Canadian armies. The fear mongering and threats of the police, repeated by the media, are right out of the manual on how to conduct a dirty war. We directly witnessed such things both in Quebec City and Montebello. Attempts to identify these tactics with the protestors is mischief making with the explicit aim to justifying a police state. To their great merit, all those who stood their ground at the protest on Saturday represent the great hope that Canadians will never agree with such things.
The government and police are creating a climate of anarchy and violence and the media are feeding it. Nothing they have done can be called the rule of law. The police are making the law and Canadians who refuse to agree to this are targeted for attack. The problem is not only those caught up in the web under the hoax that they are collateral damage. We must specifically defend the fighting forces. This is what the war against fascism taught the world.
Once again we congratulate all those who stood their ground and oppose the anarchy and chaos caused by the police in Toronto so as to justify a police state. It must not pass.
For more information: call 905-547-1417 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.uswa1005.ca.
Street Medics Call for Independent Investigation into Injuries Caused by Police
Medics were among those from the U.S. that participated in the G20 activities. They report harassment and brutality by the police from the very beginning. Medics were detained while carrying cases of water on the sidewalk. They were detained and repeatedly searched simply walking on the sidewalk for having gas masks and respirators, with some confiscated by police. Medics were among those arrested, also on false charges, including having their equipment, such as bandage shears, labeled as weapons. Despite this the medics remained spirited and undeterred in their important efforts to assist those beaten by police, those contending with teargas tear gas, providing water, and more. And while police repeatedly targeted medics, as they did journalists, people on the streets came to their aid. In one instance, for example, medics got the assistance of a street vendor to transport a protester with a serious head injury to the hospital.
In further taking up their social responsibility, volunteers who provided first aid at the G20 protests this weekend are calling for an independent investigation into injuries caused by police. “There has been a lot of focus on violence against property, but we are calling attention to violence against people,” said Sarah Reaburn, a nurse.
Toronto Street Medics, the collective those from the U.S. worked with, is an independent organization of volunteers with various levels of health training. They provided preventative health services and emergency first aid to protestors and bystanders.
“During the week, we gave out water and sunscreen, but also dealt with severe injuries. All of the serious injuries were inflicted by the police. From Saturday’s reports alone, we assisted multiple people who had been hit over the head with police batons, trampled by horses and many who were pepper sprayed,” stated Reaburn. The Medics escorted several victims to nearby hospitals who were later diagnosed with concussions and broken bones. Many injuries were captured on camera and have begun to circulate over the Internet. Aside from Toronto Street Medics, others were providing first aid, hence these initial reports are an underestimate.
“We saw people seriously injured behind police lines who we could not reach on Saturday and Sunday. We are concerned for these individuals. They require immediate, independent assessment at a hospital,” stated Abeer Majeed, a family physician. “In addition to Amnesty International’s call, we demand an investigation into violent police action at these protests. This must be conducted by an independent body without ties to the police and the Integrated Security Unit.” Dr. Majeed went on to assert, “People were beaten simply for exercising their right to demonstrate.”
Street Medics faced barriers in many instances. Several medics were detained by police and intimidated, despite identifying themselves. Medical equipment, such as gauze, bandaids and gloves, was confiscated. In some instances, medics were barred from entering areas where people were injured.
Media contacts: Sarah Reaburn or Abeer Majeed
Post G8/20 Summits
Thousands Condemn Gestapo Methods Used Against G8/20 Protests
Thousands of Torontonians rallied outside the Toronto Police headquarters at Bay and College in downtown Toronto on Monday evening to vehemently condemn the Gestapo methods used during the G8/20 protests. They came together to demand the immediate release of all prisoners — more than 900 in all — who were arbitrarily detained and arrested. Hundreds remained in detention as of Monday evening.
What started as a rally called on very short notice rapidly swelled in numbers to 3000-4000 people. People from all walks of life, especially the youth, came out to condemn the suspension of civil liberties via sweeping powers secretly granted to the police. They denounced the police violence used to intimidate and suppress the people’s just demands and their opposition to the G8/20, as well as the $1 billion of public money used to criminalize dissent in the name of summit security.
Hundreds of police were positioned outside the police headquarters. A police helicopter hovered overhead while gangs of police swaggered on surrounding street corners, menacing, threatening and searching passers-by. Police photographers blatantly snapped photos of anyone and everyone. Police arrogance in the face of public condemnation had been buoyed by public statements earlier in the day by Toronto Mayor David Miller. Even in the face of now widely reported and documented accounts of arbitrary searches, seizures, unprovoked assaults, detentions and arrests, Mayor Miller rushed to declare the police innocent and to support them, while blaming the G20 protesters for the state repression.
However, neither denial, blaming the victims nor continued displays of brutish force, threats and intimidation kept people from coming out and taking their stand at the rally. They shouted “Shame on the Police! Free the Prisoners!;” “This Is What Democracy Looks Like — That Is What a Police State Looks Like!” They denounced Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Toronto Chief of Police and the Ontario government for suspending civil liberties and enacting emergency police powers. Several speakers applauded the people and condemned the state organized violence aimed at suppressing dissent.
As the numbers continued to swell the rally turned into a huge demonstration that marched through the downtown core. More and more people joined in as the march went across College Street, down University Avenue and over to Toronto City Hall. As it went past the U.S. Consulate, people took up the chant “This Is What Democracy Looks Like -- That Is What Hypocrisy Looks Like!” At times there were as many as 5,000 people in the street. Onlookers joined in or cheered and took up the slogans and chants. At one point on Queen Street police tried to move in to arrest several demonstrators but the demonstrators resisted and prevented the police from the snatch-and-grab operation. The police had to retreat.
A full four hours later the demonstration wound its way back up to the Provincial Legislature at Queen’s Park. There were now 4,000-5,000 people present. At Queen’s Park they denounced the McGuinty Liberal provincial government for enacting special police powers during the G8/20 Summits and for the state organized violence of the police aimed at suppressing public condemnation of the summits.
Hundreds of people then continued on to the detention center set up on Eastern Avenue, where hundreds of protestors were still incarcerated. They stayed late into the night shouting support and demanding the release of their comrades.
This was a powerful expression of the mood and stand of the people of Toronto in defense of the right to conscience and to organize resistance to the neoliberal politics of monopoly dictate, war and aggression that the G8 and G20 Summits spew out against the whole of humanity. Time and again similar scenes were played out around the city throughout the weekend of protests, where hundreds and hundreds of local residents surged into the streets to condemn the Gestapo-like tactics of the police, the mass arrests, arbitrary detentions, brutal physical assaults etc.
All out to support the resistance and spirit of defiance of the people, especially the youth, who are fearless in standing up to this reaction that is the G8 and the G20!
All Out to Oppose the G8/20!
“Sweeping Police Powers” Are Unacceptable!
No to the Militarization of Toronto & Criminalization of Dissent!
On the eve of the mass demonstrations against the G8 and G20 Summits, it has become known that the Cabinet of the Ontario government used the so-called Ontario Public Works Protection Act to pass a “regulation” on June 2, giving police “additional powers.”
The Toronto Star reports: “The regulation kicked in Monday and will expire June 28, the day after the summit ends. While the new regulation appeared without notice on the province’s e-Laws online database last week, it won’t be officially published in the Ontario Gazette until July 3 — one week after the regulation expires.
“According to the new regulation, ‘guards’ appointed under the act can arrest anyone who, in specific areas, comes within five meters of the security zone.
“Within those areas, police can demand identification from anyone coming within five meters of the fence perimeter and search them. If they refuse, they face arrest. Anyone convicted under the regulation could also face up to two months in jail or a $500 maximum fine.”
At least one person has already been arrested under the new regulation, even though he was acting within the law, as understood at the time of arrest, and did not learn of the new “power to arrest” until after his release from police custody.
G20 security fence in downtown Toronto prior to the secret regulation going into effect. (Billy Goat/Flick)
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the Ontario cabinet for passing this secret regulation behind the backs of members of its own Legislature, to say nothing of the contempt this dictatorial maneuver exhibits towards citizens and residents of the province.
Despite spending $1.2 billion dollars on security, the governments of Canada and Ontario cannot intimidate the people of this country into giving up their right to conscience and their right to express their views publicly about the G8 and G20. The people are determined to use the occasion of the Summits to let the entire world know the anti-social anti-people nature of these organizations and the Harper Party in power in Ottawa.
With these new additional police powers, the governments of Canada and Ontario are upping the ante to criminalize dissent and scare the people away from expressing their views in public. The monopoly media play a big role to justify the militarization of Ontario with headline after headline of threatened mob violence and weapons caches. Other agents planted within the ranks of the people’s forces, blame the people and their resistance to oppression for the escalation of repression and militarization of Ontario. This attempt to blame the protestors for police repression and to isolate the forces prepared to defend their rights is the last straw and should be vigorously opposed, as the youth and fighting forces are doing. Blaming the violent tactics of the government and police on those who are actively resisting oppression completely confounds the fact that the state is the cause and organizer of repression, not the people’s resistance to oppression.
Also, certain elements suggest that so long as police violence and repression are legal, it is okay and acceptable. That is truly fascist logic and completely unacceptable! Are we to abandon the verdict of history and now believe that even sending people to death camps was okay because it was legal? Are we to condone the criminal activity carried out by the big powers in the Security Council of the United Nations or the U.S.-led NATO that sanctions provocations to instigate war and crimes against the peace under the hoax that they have been duly adopted by this or that powerful state or group of states and are therefore “legal” and okay? No, these so-called legal crimes are still criminal; they are unacceptable and must not pass!
It has been pointed out that this new regulation is likely a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. CPC(M-L) would like to point out that it is just as likely not a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which, it should be remembered, contains the “reasonable limits” clause giving the state the power to make legal any violation it deems necessary to suppress the people and their rights.
Regulations such as the one passed under the Ontario Public Works Protection Act tend to cite security or national security as the justification. Categories such as national security are notoriously ill-defined. Experience has shown Canadians that security and national security are routinely defined in a manner that protects monopoly right and the interests of the foreign powers that the governments of Canada serve. Those interests of the most powerful states of the G8 and G20, particularly those of the United States, and the manner Canada will serve those interests are not discussed with Canadians. They remain a matter of ministerial discretion.
In this regard, CPC(M-L) notes that the sketchy criteria used to determine who is a security risk or an agent of a foreign power was clearly exposed as unacceptable in the outrageous interview given to the CBC by the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Richard B. Fadden. This man clearly considers China and other unspecified foreign powers to be enemies, and those who participate in activities associated with these foreign powers are therefore suspect. Fadden does not appear to consider those ministers and parliamentarians who are agents of the United States’ foreign policy or the foreign policy of the State of Israel to be foreign agents! It seems his interview was intended to bully certain countries into complying with Canada’s G8 and G20 agenda, including its bid to become a member of the Security Council of the United Nations. If this were not the case, then why would the Harper government not remove Fadden immediately for such a provocative and ill-timed interview?
One thing is certain; the people are blocked from debating the issues and deciding the policies they want the country and provinces to follow. The Ontario government introduced this new police regulation completely behind the people’s backs, using the authority of a 1990 Public Works Protection Act. Under the auspices of this Act, anything or anywhere can be declared a public works, including a place of work. The government has declared a vast area of downtown Toronto a public works, where police have sweeping powers to keep out the public and arrest anyone who even comes near. Under the legal authority of this Act, the people’s demonstrations or other activity carried out on public land can be attacked, declared illegal and “offenders” prosecuted. The people are told that this is justified because the state has legalized the repression. This state-organized repression and violence cannot be justified because it is not just!
Uphold public right, including the right to conscience, dissent, expression and to organize!
Yes to the cause of the peoples of the world for peace, their right to be, their right to economic, political, cultural and social affairs that favor them and their well-being and not the foreign powers who are plundering their resources, committing crimes against the people and preparing their militaries for a third world war.
Let it be known that CPC(M-L) will unconditionally support all those who are arrested, harassed or injured in the course of upholding their right to conscience or expression. Laws that legalize police harassment, violations of conscience and expression and the right to organize under the hoax of exceptional circumstances cannot be justified. Anti-people laws are not just, and the state cannot transform something that is unjust into something that is just simply by passing a law or regulation.
CPC(M-L) firmly upholds the view that the people not only have the right but the duty to defy an authority that is anti-people and uses its power to impose anti-people agendas and measures.
In this regard, CPC(M-L) also takes this occasion to condemn the aspiration of the Harper government to use this G20 summit to “persuade” various countries to support a Canadian bid to be elected to the UN Security Council. The last thing the peoples of the world need at this time is a vicious U.S. yes-man on the Security Council of the UN who in the name of freedom, democracy and human rights will oppose the right to be of countries such as Iran, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, the people of Palestine, Lebanon and the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and even Europe. (TML Daily, cpcml.ca)
Down with the G8/20!
No to State Attempts to Criminalize Dissent!