May 10, 2009

Anna's titbit

The police violence wasn’t shocking to anyone who knew what to expect. True, it was upsetting, and above all disappointing, but I never expected lines of riot police to be kind and courteous. What was shocking was the hostility proffered by otherwise reasonable people when I explained my role in what happened on April 1st. The protestors were at fault, they claim, and the police shouldn’t be blamed. After all, they were just dong their job, which can’t have been easy given those dirty hippies clogging the city streets. These everymen didn’t care what the protests were for, which I didn’t find so unusual. What scared me the most was that they refused to hear about abuse of power by the police, and about the many ways in which the law was broken by it’s supposed upholders. The police force, usually so quick to condemn protestors, should always be held accountable when they act like violent, psychopathic bullies. Many have pointed out how we should be grateful that the water cannons and tear gas weren’t broken out. It is true that we are living in one of the most liberal countries in the world. Indeed, we have more freedom than the overwhelming majority of people alive today. Yet even here protestors are treated like criminals for exercising their human rights, getting corralled in like animals, deprived of food, water and shelter. If that doesn’t scare you, it should… if the right to peacefully protest should be upheld anywhere, it is here. Stand up for the rights of your fellow human – even if you disagree with everything else the G20 protests were about, the right to peacefully protest should never be compromised.

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