UPDATE: The Case of The Hairy Legs!
A story just came out a short while ago about some women who are initiating a G20 lawsuit because they were profiled by the police because they had ‘hairy legs’. There was a quote in the article that immediately caught my attention:
According to the lawyer, the provincial police watchdog — the Ontario Independent Police Review Director — found an officer wrote in his arrest notes that “all parties appear to be protesters; back packs; clothing and females all have hairy legs.”
The wording seems very similar to a line from Pflug-Back’s article:
“He leered at my bare legs and told me I needed a razor. Another tied my wrists with zip ties and proceeded to rifle (sic) through my purse.”
Perhaps this is only a coincidence- but, it is most interesting timing, isn’t it? Back to the original story:
Studying Black Bloc anarchists can sometimes be a rather entertaining pursuit- and, other times, quite painful. Today’s story is more on the entertaining side, though reading their words can often hurt one’s brain. Kelly Pflug-Back, who has been incarcerated for the next eleven months for her violence during the G20, has written her memoirs form her previous stay in prison.
She shared this with us on Julian Ichim’s blog. Ichim is Pflug-Back’s ex-boyfriend- he’s also a violence promoting Black Bloc anarchist who has recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Toronto for his arrest during the G20. If you have read my previous articles on Ichim, you will probably remember the video I posted of Ichim where he leads a chant singing “Off the pigs, Time to pick up a gun”:
Pflug-Back writes about how the day she was arrested during the G20. In the preamble, she refers to Alex Hundert’s arrest as a “preemptive kidnapping”- this helps set the stage for the twisted views of the rest of her article. She then talks about the arrest, how the police came out from an unmarked van, pushed her down to the ground, and detained her. She then complains how the police ‘rifled’ (sic) through her purse during the arrest.
If one reads enough anarchist/radical discussions about being imprisoned they may be led to think that Canadian prison guards and police are sexist, racist, homophobic rapists- there’s not one I’ve read that didn’t paint this picture. Pflug-Back’s story is no exception:
“A number of the guards passed the time by spewing racist, homophobic, classist, and sexist harassment at prisoners, or threatening them with further brutalization. A number of women were threatened with rape.”
The problem is that more often than not this is an exaggeration. Incidents like when Lauren Gill lied on Vancouver’s CKNW radio confirm this. The other clue this isn’t so common is that one hardly hears of lawsuits being made for such action- it it were as ubiquitous as the anarchists would make you think, wouldn’t we see regular legal actions about it?
Here comes the best part where Pflug-Back meets with a prison chaplain and compares herself to Jesus:
“So I went to the prison Chaplain, for the sheer novelty. He was a square-jawed man in a gray suit, with the bearing of a Televangelist. He told me I was in prison because I had sinned, and that I had to repent for these sins. I was in my current situation because the Devil had led me astray.
“But Jesus was a political prisoner!” I said. “The Devil didn’t tell me to do anything; I’m a political prisoner like Jesus!” He thought I was crazy.”
Is she kidding- or, perhaps she is delusional? A political prisoner is someone who is put in prison because of their political beliefs. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a good example- he was put in prison for writing derogatory comments about the Soviet Union. What he did not do was smash windows, or terrorize innocent people. For Pflug-Back to call herself a political prisoner is an insult to all those people who suffered for their freedom of speech.
I have friends in the former Eastern Bloc who have suffered through great pains as political prisoners. Each time I hear or read an anarchist claim the same martyrdom it makes my stomach churn. This sort of talk desensitises people to the concept of political prisoners- when/if the real thing ever happens in our country, people like Pflug-Back will be partially responsible for letting it get that far.
Embellished claims of rape, political imprisonment, and police brutalization are damaging to the real incidents. This sort of behaviour must stop, or a lot of people will get hurt for real in the future.