24 November 2011

Where's Sergeant Pepper?

You've no doubt seen lots of images of the pepper spraying cop photoshopped onto all manner of iconic and not so iconic images by now. If not, check here for lots more. I'm glad that this thing is going viral and that folks seem genuinely disturbed by the casual violence against peaceful protesters. Our new overlords majority Conservative government is taking a turn in a much more authoritarian and cruel direction and no doubt we'll see more of this.

I was a bit surprised when the various city governments in this part of the world were so tolerant of Occupy protestors at first. In Canada, occupations started on October 15, and mostly were sent packing this past week, though some were cleared out earlier. The protesters were moved out using provisions of city bylaws designed to prevent homeless people from camping in public parks. (I feel sorry for the homeless - it's practically illegal just to exist, let alone all their other problems) They got the parks all tidied up and now nice people can use them again.

There was an interesting article in the paper about how police infiltrated an anarchist group for a year before the G20 summit in Toronto last year. Two officers joined a group, but one was exposed because he wasn't a very good anarchist and he saved his receipts. That little nugget really struck my funny bone - I'm not sure why but I'm still chuckling about it. I have no idea what good came from this undercover operation - it didn't seem to prevent any violence and there weren't very many serious criminal convictions in the end.

Full disclosure: I'm married to a cop, so I'm not anti-police, but I hate to see them used as pawns when the full force of the state is brought to bear against those who would speak out against a system that is already rigged against them.

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