Friday, July 02, 2010

G20 : Letter of the Day

"What is the difference between being told that you do not have the right to public assembly and being told that if you do assemble you run the risk of being injured or arrested? In the first instance, your right has been taken away. In the second, if you stay at home, you have given up your right. The only way to protect your right, therefore, is to assemble after all.

The caution to stay away came officially from the American government, but no Canadian authority contradicted this. The high fences, newly purchased crowd control devices and the assembly of an army of 19,000 security officers served to reinforce this warning, which was essentially a threat.

The most frightening thing that could have happened would have been if the streets of Toronto had been empty last weekend. That is the only reason I went to Queen’s Park last Saturday afternoon. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

No one is looking for any sympathy, but the next time there is news coverage of demonstrators protesting against a stolen election and being beaten by riot police in some Third World country, let us give thanks for the rights we do have. They will continue to stand up for us as long as we stand up for them."

Patrick Heenan, Mississauga

as posted in the Toronto Star and tweeted by the Divine Ms Z.

Good letter, huh?

Meanwhile over at NaPo, Kelly McPoll-land is happy to report that after watching the same footage of the same guy smashing a window on the TV news dozens of times every night, 1,003 Canadians told an Angus Reid poll they were disgusted by what happened at the G20 demos :

Poll finds G20 protesters blew it big time
Respondents were asked about their feelings about the demonstrations that
took place in Toronto during the G20 summit.
Two-thirds of Canadians (69%) are disgusted, 59% are ashamed, 57% are angry, and 54% are sad. In Toronto, the proportion of respondents who reported negative feelings was higher (Disgust 81%, Anger 74%, Sadness 65%, Shame 61%)

Notable that even at NaPo, more than half the commenters below the article pretty much agree with the feelings expressed in that poll - although for entirely opposite reasons - and a number link to the Canadians Demanding a Public Inquiry into Toronto G20 facebook page -currently over 36,000 members - where the commenters have no difficulty at all articulating why they are disgusted, ashamed, angry, and sad.

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