On September 1st a group of professional protesters were left to wreak havoc on the streets of Toronto. They blocked traffic, harassed motorists, and eventually smashed the windshield of a woman’s car. Toronto cops were there to manage the protesters, but they only protected their own police stations- people on the streets were left to fend for themselves without protection. The result was a major embarrassment for the Toronto Police Service, and a wake-up call for Torontonians about the current state of political policing.
Your Humble Narrator broke the story, and published the film of the mayhem and window smashing. It appears that someone within the US Government’s security apparatus came across the article and used it in a security alert, warning American citizens about a “dangerous” situation in downtown Toronto. The problem is that they exaggerated and got much of the story wrong.
The alert was issued for a demonstration planned on September 30th in front of the Ontario Superior Court on University Avenue. The courthouse is across the street from the US Consulate, so it makes sense they’d be tracking what happens there.
Here’s their explanation of the risk:
“A demonstration is planned for today in front of the Ontario Superior Court at 361 University Avenue, across from the Consulate, beginning at 10 a.m. Demonstrators plan to show solidarity with a well-known Toronto based anarchist and G20 protester who is scheduled to appear before the court this morning. At this time a handful of Toronto-based anarchists have confirmed their intention to attend. Earlier this month a similar event was attended by 20 – 30 individuals from the same group, who blocked downtown traffic and were captured on video smashing the windows of moving vehicles.”
The court appearance they’re referring to is for Julian Ichim- one of the most distasteful professional activists in the country. Contrary to the alert, Ichim is not an anarchist- when people refer to him as one he’s very quick to correct the error and explain that he’s a Maoist. If you’ve been following this site for the past year you’ll remember that Ichim was one of the protesters who interrupted last year’s Remembrance Day ceremony.
Ichim’s a world-class lowlife but, as Your Humble Narrator reported last year, he’s more of a fly in the ointment than a physical threat to the city’s security. Regardless, somehow US security analysts tried to paint a picture that the 20-30 protesters were a threat to the consulate’s (and American citizen’s) security. This shows an incredible amount of naïveite- if the cops are doing their jobs right, a small group of anarchists can hardly overwhelm the city. The G20 was a different situation, 1000’s of people from different union and other organizations were out protesting- it was only with their cover that the anarchists were able to successfully wreak havoc.
If you read the story about the September 1st incident you’ll already know what’s wrong with the last part of the consulate’s alert. The person who wrote it said that anarchists were “smashing the windows of moving vehicles”- the reality is that only one vehicle was damaged. That said, several motorists were harassed by them.
So, while it’s true that Toronto’s militant anarchist community poses a danger, this situation posed a very minimal risk. The alert is so inaccurate it leaves one wondering if the analysts behind the report were blatantly incompetent or if the US government is exercising a fear mongering campaign. Your Humble Narrator is inclined to believe the latter- having lived in Russia and read many of the US Embassy’s outrageous alerts there.
One of the more infamous alerts warned people to stay away from a Canadian run establishment called the Hungry Duck– a place once labelled as the wildest bar in the world. Most expatriates interpreted this as a puritanical effort to keep American men away from the dangers of Russian women. Those (of both genders) who knew better went regardless and had the time of their lives.
There is some truth to the warning- as the G20 proved, Canada’s anarchist community poses a genuine risk to the community. And, after getting burned for overreacting on the day after the G20 violence, the Toronto Police Service has had a tendency to let the anarchists to openly commit crimes without fear of reprisal.
But Julian Ichim’s court hearing wasn’t dangerous, and nobody was really at risk (remember, he’s an idiot). What Torontonians (and American expatriates) really need to worry about is the upcoming 2015 Pan-Am Games. Miscreants like the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) are already preparing for the games- backed and funded by militant unions.
This will only be prevented if the government and police can get past the embarrassment of the mistakes they made during the G20. It’s time to start investigating the union leaders, politicians, and ‘activist’ organizations behind these violent actions and expose them before the Pan-Am games begin. It will also be necessary to look at the weaknesses in our justice system.
Ichim’s case is the perfect example. Crown prosecutors made the decision to charge him with an indictable offence that proposed a maximum two year sentence. The judge decided that the Crown overreached in their charges- the criminal code states that his actions were a summary offence, and weren’t indictable. There were many mistakes prosecuting G20 criminals- one professional protester, Dave Vasey, showed up in court only to find that the Crown had magically lost his charges in the mail. Ottawa (and Queens Park), we have a problem.
Your Humble Narrator is concerned that there’s not enough political will to take action to prevent a replay in 2015. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is facing an election soon, and the current government appears to be afraid to rock the boat. Several Toronto police officers have spoken off the record and said that they’re afraid of reprisals for arresting anarchists and other militant protesters. The result is that militant protesters and unionists have been allowed to run wild. Unless this changes quickly, we’re likely to face a wild ride during the games.
I’ll leave you today with a video of three union executives partnering with the anarchist community and trying to intimidate the police- when it comes to predicting what happens in 2015; Sid Ryan, Tony DePaulo & Ken Lewenza are key people to watch…