I hope that most Canadians are able to look past the vandals and "anarchist" thugs depicted in much of the G20 protest coverage and recognize that Canada flirted with totalitarianism over the past week as our elected officials directed security forces to take measures including blocking legitimate discussion and demonstration sought by peaceful protesters.
Our elected officials will use the actions of the criminal element within the protest ranks as a much needed diversion to deflect attention from their own culpability in this debacle called Harper's G8/G20.
Many new Canadians hail from authoritarian regimes. I wonder what they are thinking about when they view the G20 protests on screen? Are they primarily concerned with real and perceived lawlessness? Or are they more concerned about the state going after innocents who merely wanted to express their opinions in our supposedly free and democratic society? I hope Canadians new and otherwise alike are more concerned about innocent families being awoken by police with guns drawn and reporters being beaten by police and Canadians signing O' Canada! being charged by police or the largest mass arrests in Canadian history than they are about the actions of a few thugs.
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression issued a media release citing other cases where journalists had been detained or assaulted:
- Two National Post photographers Brett Gundlock and Colin O'Connor were arrested and charged;
- CTV News Channel producer Farzad Fatholahzadeh was detained;
- Freelance journalist Jesse Rosenfeld was beaten and arrested by police;
- Liem Vu, an intern with the National Post, and Lisan Jutras, a Globe and Mail journalist, were among those detained for four hours at Queen and Spadina;
- Real News journalist Jesse Freeston was punched in the face by a police officer;
- Torontoist journalist Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy was struck by a police officer with a baton;
- Video journalist Brandon Jourdan was thrown to the ground and beaten by police.