On Burning Cop Cars and Stagecraft

Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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7 Responses

  1. I think it’s unfair to brained people like Bakunin and Tolstoy to call the black block “anarchists”. Can we call them “violent hippies” or something instead?Report

  2. Tim Ellis says:

    I was at these protests, and the mood of the city altered palpably as it became more and more apparent that the police were simply beating the shit out of people. At first everybody was just bothered by the hassle of avoiding the protesters; by Monday the whole city had turned against the police, thanks largely to video like the one above.

    And this: http://mynews.ctv.ca/mediadetails/2886697?collection=742&offset=0&siteT

    And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL4Ibo29oMo&feature=related

    Then there’s also the fact that the cops (who have been caught faking it before; see Montebello summit ) are alleged to have planted “anarchists” and allowed the cars to burn, as noted here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbLU9tdDwxo&feature=related

    Sorry for the swarm of links, but I’m still pissed about this whole deal and felt compelled to share. I was indifferent before the protests, but after watching them first hand, and talking to people who had just been beaten in the face while they were sitting on the ground, my outrage meter has filled right up.

    As pointed out, the worst part is it all could have been avoided by just leaving the G8 members out in Huntsville and having the G20 go out there. But as you said, it’s all about the street theatre.Report

    • Rufus in reply to Tim Ellis says:

      @Tim Ellis, Actually, I just had a conversation about this with the neighbours who were in Toronto, although not protesting, and they said the same thing- it was a lot of people being herded and beaten or arrested by the cops. All for a billion bucks, in the middle of a recession. Also my neighbour was thinking the same thing I am about the police abandoning an unlocked car in the middle of a protest for no apparent reason, which sounded a bit paranoid when I said it.Report

      • Tim Ellis in reply to Rufus says:

        @Rufus, I think just about everybody is thinking that. My fiancee’s uber-conservative dad – never big on questioning the police – even brought it up while I was up there.

        I mean, it’s hard to justify a billion dollars when people are just sitting there singing, so you need some burning cop cars to realign people behind you. It’s all PR.

        Of course, shooting people at point blank range with tear gas guns or beating them in the face with riot shields and batons – and letting it get captured on film – is going to wind up negating all that PR. Thanks are in order for modern technology and the internet.Report

  3. Barry says:

    And a few smashed Starbucks windows doesn’t even count as a small-college victory celebration in the States.Report