In Chicago This Weekend, Echoes of Toronto 2010

As protesters and Chicago police geared up for the NATO meeting that starts tomorrow, Canadians were reminded of the G8 and G20 summits their country hosted in 2010.

The G8 meetings were held away from any big city, so there was little protest activity while G8 fat cats conferred on June 25-26, 2010, in affluent Huntsville, Ontario. G20 participants in Toronto, on the other hand, were greeted by thousands of activists on the streets.

G20 protesters, in turn, were treated to the brutal hospitality of Toronto police, Ontario Provincial Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, other cops and Canadian military personnel. It was quite the Bizarro World lovefest, with some 10,000 armed enforcers doting on citizens who were exercising their rights to assembly and expression.

By “doting on,” I mean – among other things – bashing heads, handcuffing and throwing people into vans. More than 1,100 people were arrested.

In one notorious incident captured on video, a bullying cop who was trying to get a man to show the contents of his backpack told the guy to “smarten up and listen,” and then told him “This ain’t Canada right now” and “There’s no civil rights in this area.” As you can see in the video, the bully-cop was accompanied by colleagues who remained disturbingly quiet while he used his size to intimidate a much smaller person and told that smaller person that his civil rights simply didn’t exist at that moment. It was a shameful moment in policing.

Dozens of protesters were injured, and several of them went to hospitals for their injuries. (To be “balanced,” let’s note that dozens of officers reported injuries. I don’t know of any requiring hospital care, however.)

An “independent” (i.e., non-police) investigation of the events of late June 2010 in Toronto concluded that police violated Canadians’ rights and used excessive force. Those conclusions, announced a few days ago, came as no surprise to anyone who was paying attention to the news back in late June 2010. Disciplinary hearings have been sought for some, but it seems few if any officers will face serious consequences for their thuggery. In fact, I’ll bet all of them got pats on the back for a “job well done” right after the summit. Even the aforementioned bully-cop.

Today I’m seeing news reports from Chicago, where a thuggish mayor (and former Obama chief of staff) has pledged to keep order in the streets while NATO officials meet to discuss keeping the world safe for global capitalism or democracy or whatever.

The thousands of protesters in the Windy City can expect roughly the same treatment as their comrades got 23 months ago in Toronto, one supposes. Or maybe a little better – but “better” by whose definition?

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9 Comments

  1. The last two posts here emphasize the brutality of two govt’s on this side of the Atlantic. There is some going on in EU … not nearly as awful as MidEast and over here. I have a friend in Chicago who told me this morning that the feels “wrong” and it scares her. She’s no Occupy-er nor protester or even in sympathy… she just went to do unavoidable shopping and it didn’t ‘feel right’. Well, I don’t think any place is feeling alright… and I’m not feeling too good myself. At least in Canada they have not legislated through the PM’s office an NDAA where the office of President Obama not only signed but applauded the stripping of rights. GAD.

    Like your parallels Mike.

  2. Hello Stimpson and All,
    Speaking of Chicago, I thought I would pass on this bit of information to show how ignorant and mislead the Conservative publics is. Well here is some food for thought and I suggest the Ultra Conservative Wing Nuts apply some “Critical Thinking” here.

    Mr. Joey Ricketts who touts as a prized possessions of owning the Chicago Cubs, has been building a political operation seeking to curb government spending that could reach a crescendo in August with an unexpected, multimillion dollar attack on President Obama.

    The over wealthy 1% Joey Ricketts expects to spend $10 Million on the anti-President Obama advertising, but in the same breath and voice is looking for political and financial “Corporate Welfare” support of tax payer’s money to make renovations to the 98 year old Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field baseball stadium.

    Yes, it appears that Little Joey Ricketts has $10 million for attack ads against the President but has no money to renovate his own Chicago Cubs’ baseball stadium and thinks it should be paid for by the Working Middle Class Tax Payers’ “Corporate Welfare”……Isn’t American Capitalism GREAT for Little Joey Ricketts?!?!?

  3. Jack Jodell says:

    Stimpson,
    I am very glad to hear you are in Chivago this weekend raising hell with those master exploiters! I’ve been a bit distracted lately dealing with my brother’s cancer, so this post was welcome news. Thank you for it!

  4. Krell says:

    It seems like all these protests and clashes are facing better and better equipped storm troopers.

    While austerity measures are being pushed, cuts are being demanded, and taxes are being cut… the tech just gets better and better for putting down the masses of protest.

    Oppressing large portions of the population and stomping down protesters seems to be a growth industry, doesn’t it?

    • Vigilante says:

      Looking at some photos, it’s beginning to look like riot police are getting more armor than our troops in Afghanistan. What does this trend portend?

      • osori says:

        I think they’re scrimmaging and testing tactics, dealing with fairly benign crowds made up mainly of idealists (no criticism intended of these folks, meaning for the most part they are not insurrectionists). I would think Homeland Security (who fund this shit) will feed this into their databases as they prepare for a possible increase in confrontations. Easier to get funding for Homeland Security/Military waste than to fund social services and fiscal policy which would address the problems.

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