20-hour nightmare

Section: 
Editorial

After the weekend activities in Toronto, the G20 strikes me as little more than a game – the cops versus the bad guys (in this case the protestors). The rest of us pay for that little charade that was acted out on the world stage.

 

And how, pray tell, were the “anarchists” able to burn a cop car and break windows downtown with all those cops around?

 

Well, I have the answer to that cop car question.

 

Meaghan Daniel, a graduate of KDSS, and now a lawyer at Klippensteins in Toronto, saw that police car burn.

 

She and another legal advisor were observing the action downtown when they saw police leave the car to help other cops in crowd control. The car was quickly surrounded by protestors and then the riot police arrived and secured it. After the crowd dispersed, the police left it. Daniel watched for two hours as the car was vandalized and then set on fire by a young man who appeared to be drunk.

 

Daniel was yelling at people to stay back from the burning car because there was ammunition in the trunk. Finally police arrived and dispersed the crowd.

 

Daniel and Dave Vasey, who both wrote a regular column for The Independent, spent a lot of time in jail on the weekend.

 

Vasey, 31, was on the front page of the Toronto Star Friday after he was arrested Thursday while exploring the G20 security fence with a friend. Asked to show his identification, Dave said he wasn’t comfortable with that and the police threw him in jail for five hours.

 

Saturday night, Dave and a number of his friends were arrested and jailed at the Novotel Hotel rally.

 

Daniel went to a Jail Solidarity rally early Sunday morning in support of those picked up at the Novotel rally. Police gave them 20 minutes to protest but when the 20 minutes were up, the protestors were not allowed to go – they were taken to jail. Daniel was arrested at 2 a.m. Sunday morning and she and the rest of the group she had been with were released at 10:30 p.m. It was a 20-hour nightmare, she said Monday morning. Her cell received better treatment than some, she said, because police recognized her from court.

 

Daniel said she spent her entire time in jail explaining the law to people.

 

She remembers the police saying to a young girl that her parents wouldn’t be proud of her. The girl replied, “You arrested my dad too!”

 

So Daniel and the 600 to 700 other people made the record book. The G20 arrests were the biggest mass arrest in Canadian history.

 

In a democracy, people should be allowed to protest peacefully, they should not be taken away in handcuffs.

 

I know Vasey, working on his masters in environmental studies at York University, and I know Daniel. They are idealists and peace loving; they are not violent people. The same can be said for many of the others arrested on the weekend.

 

Strange it is that the people who vandalized downtown Toronto appear to have escaped  while the non-violent ended up in jail.

 

We spent $1-billion on security. Downtown Toronto was vandalized. Law abiding citizens were thrown in jail.

Something is wrong with this picture.

 

**

 

Why has the Friends of the Kincardine Hospital aligned itself with the Ontario Health Coalition, the Grey Bruce Labour Council and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union?

 

The above all have their names on a pamphlet being handed out in the area entitled: Do you know what’s really going on at our local hospital?

 

It’s a nasty bit of writing that will do fund raising by hospital groups absolutely no good and perhaps stick a knife in the proposed addition to the hospital.

 

The pamphlet accuses the hospital board of many things. What is the board supposed to do in response, put out a pamphlet trashing the Friends and friends?

 

What is the point of all the finger pointing over the hospital? It will improve nothing.

 

If you want better health care and better hospitals, call your MPP and tell her to raise taxes and put the money into health care.

 

Most people want the health care but they don’t want to pay more taxes.

 

**

 

Fortunately, we have a lot of advertising this week, which makes our news hole smaller than usual.

 

Daughter Sarah got married Saturday so Josh and I were rather busy and didn’t have time to attend all the meetings that occurred Thursday and Friday.

 

So, I’m a father-in-law for a second time and we officially welcome another reporter, Christopher Hodges,  into the family. Chris is a CTV sports reporter in Regina.