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Saturday, January 15, 2011

They won't get away with this!

Well, who could have foreseen it? Especially during budget season.

Obviously it's going to be a matter of competing narratives over the next little while.

In one corner, the Blue PR machine is going full-tilt boogie over the tragic death of the heroic Sergeant Russell, with all the emotionally loaded imagery and language, and a storyline carefully calculated for maximum drama and maximum face time. This is going to be on every front page and lead every newscast until further notice.

In the other corner, more and more ugly details continue to emerge regarding the brutal, sadistic, incompetent, and criminal behaviour of more and more cops during the G20. (Again, tips of the chapeau to Dr. Dawg, LFR and thwap. And to the Star – god knows they're not always on the ball, but they're kicking big-league tuchus on this.)

Late to the party, I know, but again – another opportunity to emphasize the point about the futility of waiting for meaningful institutional response. As Jymn points out, it's not as if there's going to be anything close to genuine accountability. Anybody who's waiting for the SIU or the Ombudsman or the Ministry of the Attorney-General or the Police Services Board to do anything should bring a good book.

Nope. Best strategy for progressive activists, I'd submit, is to crank up the opposing narrative. The more buzz there is about asshole cops ripping off artificial limbs, threatening women prisoners with gang rape, and now breaking a guy's arm, twisting it behind his back and laughing about it, the more people will question the wisdom of giving the cops a blank cheque politically, financially and institutionally.

No illusions, comrades. From Bill Blair on down, the police culture's going to be milking this for all it's worth. We don't have their megaphones, their PR budget and their direct line to every assignment editor in the country, so we'll need to work that much harder.

(Of course, we'll need to grow thick skins, lest we be accused of insensitivity. I'm booking extra time with my therapist.)


  1. I stand by my post at Dawg's blog. They're entitled to their funerals and to their grief. I feel as bad for the families and friends they leave behind as I would for any other individual.

    But cops have, statistically speaking, a very safe job. Sometimes they die heroically and sometimes they die in ordinary ways. Miners die. Construction workers die. Nurses die. Factory workers die.

    But none of that changes the fact that they were all a bunch of cowardly pigs during the G20 weekend. All of them. The goons who mocked, humiliated, and beat innocent people and the close-lipped fucks who are letting their buddies walk free.

    And judging from their own video-cameras in their own jails, they abuse Canadian citizens on a regular basis, with an apparently justified sense of impunity.

    I used to be very open-minded about cops. I suppose at one stage in my life I was constantly "harassed" by them (always being stopped and asked where I was going), but I was courteous, they were polite, (I'm a white guy), and that was that.

    But now, because of their brutality and/or silence, I don't trust any of them. I believe they're all swaggering bullies or gutless time-servers. They crossed the line and they defile our protests with their stinking presence.

  2. There's comin' down the street
    They're comin' right down the middle
    Look how they keep the beat
    Why they're as blue as the ocean
    How the sun shines down
    How their feet hardly touch the ground
    Jolly Coppers On Parade

    Here come the black-and-whites
    Here come the motorcycles
    Listen to those engines roar
    Now they're doin' tricks for the children
    Oh, they look so nice
    Looks like angels have come down from Paradise
    Jolly Coppers On Parade

    Oh, mama
    That's the life for me
    When I'm grown
    That's what I'm want to be

    They're comin' down the street
    They're comin' right down the middle
    Look how they keep the beat
    Why they're as blue as the ocean
    Oh, it's all so nice
    Looks like angels have come down from Paradise
    Jolly Coppers On Parade

    More lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/r/randy+newman/#share

  3. Posted a short (respectful) comment on the local paper's website today about the tastelessness of these grandstanding police funerals. Nothing but PR arm-twisting by their union dressed up as "camaraderie".

    Got called "insensitive", "disgusting" and every other name in the book, but you know what? Ny gut tells me I'm not wrong.

  4. I spent my afternoon looking at older footage of Officer Bubbles, flagpole stealing police, and many other examples of police infringing on canadians rights. From Bromell to Macormack,Blair to Fantino, these guys don't deserve our respect and with the funeral finnished, it's time to turn the cooker back on. We can't let the goons "get away with it". When you have them on the ropes, go for the body blows. I would still like to know where the sarge of Guns and gangs spent his time at the G20 and did he wear his badge with pride?