Monday, June 28, 2010

Glorious and Free?

I'd just like to take a moment, a serious moment to discuss the recent happenings in Toronto at the G20 Summit. For those of you who live in Canada but are unaware of the current situation I direct you to the news and/or Youtube. This is a matter concerning a threat to our democratic rights and freedoms as well as your responsibility as a free agent.To be honest, before yesterday I was not even aware of the G20 Summit. After being shocked and baffled by what I briefly saw on the news yesterday morning, I knew that it was a big deal or else people wouldn't be protesting and the protests wouldn't turn into violence. As I learned more about this global meeting and what it stood for and why people in Toronto were so furious with it, I started to get a real sense of just what is at stake. I'm not going to comment on the social reasons behind the oppositions to the G20 Summit because that would take up a whole other post. Instead, I want to talk about the government's response to the protests and the injustices and atrocities that turned the peaceful demonstrators into militant activists.
According to Naava Smolash's account on the recent G20 protest in Toronto and Olympic protest in Vancouver, just prior to the G20 Summit, the government of Toronto past a new which granted the police the right to randomly conduct body searches on and demand I.D. from whomever they fancy. This law was passed unbeknown to Toronto citizens and it is because of this "new rule", random by-standers who my not even be necessarily involved with the protest were stopped and questioned by the police around the G20 Summit convention perimeter. Aside from the unjustifiable authority to violate citizens' privacy, as many videos and journalists documented, the Toronto police also made illegal arrests and attacked peaceful protesters and journalists throughout the day. But perhaps the most perverse thing of it all is that many mainstream media sources have twisted the story and framed the report and referred to the protesters who chose to deliver their message by smashing symbolic and inanimate objects (the most poignant example is of the burning police car with the phrase "to serve and protect" clearly seen in photograph) as "thugs and hooligans". Many people criticize these people as "violent", but my question remains, how is smashing non-living, materialistic property violent while pepper-spraying and striking people with batons "lawful", "just" and "non-violent"?Ten years ago, I immigrated from China to Canada and never in a million years did I expect a violation of human rights would happen here in a country which takes pride in its progressiveness and civil rights. How ironic is this: by exercising democratic principles (namely the right to peaceful assembly and the right from unreasonable search and seizure), the citizens of Toronto were subjected to harassment and arrests? Yesterday's events were almost reminiscent of a history of bloodshed in my home country where thousands died, fighting for democracy and freedom. And twenty-one years later, in a democratic country I see the same type of police-state control, oppression and unjust violation perpetrated against its people. Except in this case the hypocrisy makes it even more disturbing and unforgivable.

I am going to be away until next Monday, so no posts for a bit.

10 comments:

BV xxxxx said...

im a new follower:)
absolutely adore your outfit, especially your denim vest top
follow follow as soon as i saw that
your hair is amazing too
belle xx
ellabellevintage.blogspot.com

vliin said...

strong writings... it's 2 o' clock at night here and although i'm extremely tired, i took the time to read three of your articles (this time of night i usually keep it at visuals-only surfing, means your writings really caught my attention ;)), keep up the good work, i'll be checking back!

♥Mimi said...

oh geez.

i didn't even know about this. i don't follow the news, tho i probably should.

it is a bit ironic.

so.. what i get from your post is

the g20 summit people were protesting a new law which allows the govt to search ppl whenever randomly

by committing acts like burning a police car

and so the police got involved and arrested the g20 ppl and even attacked some of the protestors.

hmm

that doesn't seem right.

but i think the protestors shouldn't have gotten involved with the police by burning a police car in the first place!

okay so they wanted to protest these body searches because they're not just and it's a violation of privacy

but what is burning a police car?

isn't it unjust and a little scary to ppl who are just onlookers of the event?

i'm sure not everybody in the police force or the govt wanted to pass this law...

but i don't have a say in this

bc srsly, i don't watch the news and i never have any idea to what's going on.

great post again!

hopefully i don't sound like an idiot in this comment... :S

cute outfit! your hair is super nice now. spiky like an anime char's :D

see you next monday!

Angelica said...

This is nothing new. The same thing happened at the RNC in New York in 2004...people were protesting completely peacefully and the cops came in and turned it into something violent and starting rounding up innocent bystanders off the street. If you google "police brutality" you'll find all kinds of videos and stuff of cops blatantly violating peoples' civil/constitutional rights...and they NEVER get punished for it, or at least not punished in proportion to what their crime was and how a civilian would be charged. I got brutalized by police back in January (long story) and basically they'll pretend that they have a reason to physically attack you, like you move your arm suddenly and they claim that you were about to hit them, and then when you fight back against their attack instinctually they all jump on you. Then later on of course there's three or four pigs all supporting their version of events. Cops are the absolute scum of the earth, they are given total freedom to beat people, make unlawful arrests, even kill people with little consequence, and if you think that they're going to respect your constitutional rights then you are sadly mistaken. I wish I could still believe in the justice of the law but my experience and the experience of people I know and read about has shown me that we really don't live in America anymore (or Canada in your case). I could make a list of the constitutional rights that the police violated when they arrested me. The only possible good that might come out of this is if it sparks people to mobilize against the government and have a cultural revolution like we had in the 60s, but we can only hope....

ANDWHATELSEISTHERE said...

i can relate to that cos such event of political struggle happens ALL THE TIME in my country. it starts to get to a point where i feel sick with it. democracy in my country is twisted for hypocrites who care for their personal gain, not the people really.

ANDWHATELSEISTHERE

SHOP

Kylie said...

When I saw the headlines for this I clicked through several sites (msn, cbc, etc...) looking for some solid reasons WHY the people were protesting... nothing. Just the descriptions of violence and, as you said, pictures of vandalized police cars and other images which send a clearly "authority as the victim" message. It's ridiculous that the newspapers aren't trying to dicuss the reasons behind why people felt the need to take such drastic measures to protest. Plus, there was so much contraversy BEFORE the summits began anyways, which SHOULD mean the press would dicusss the motivations behind the protesters' actions, if not empatize with their concerns.

And love the denim with denim. Thanks for following me and sweet comments, your blog is great!

<3<3<3

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Saw it on the news...world politic can be quite depressing!
ps: cute vest~

Venla said...

Oh I love your style :D
Sort punk but still cute <3
Followin now.


superhandsomegirl.blogspot.com

Lottie said...

love the outfit!

Mon Cheri said...

you have excellent style
great take on the double denim trend. <3

MON CHERI !