One of the first things I learned when I moved to Budapest was to beware of the police. The dreaded Rendőrség were as equally well known for their low IQ’s as they were for their unpredictability and occasional violence. The Communist government liked them this way; dumb enough to be controllable, yet scary enough to keep people in line.
I experienced the horrors of Soviet style policing first-hand in Moscow where I was robbed at gunpoint by a cop, forced to pay numerous “fines” to the traffic police, and had two colleagues (expatriate accountants) who were brutally beaten. The first thing I thought watching Quinton Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in Moscow’s infamous Slavyanskaya Hotel was how similar his stories were to some of those I’ve heard from my Russian friends.
I’ve heard so many horror stories about Soviet era policing, there’s one thing I’m very certain about- the 1917 Russian revolution is in no way a good model for reducing police brutality (neither are the works of Chairman Mao). Of course, not having lived through decades of horrors, the speakers at Thursday’s police brutality protest think differently. As one so eloquently said, the only way to stop police violence is to smash the “racist, imperialist” capitalist system!”.
Adding further irony, the protest’s participants included a guy recently denied entry to the US on terrorist grounds, a man who was once accused of inciting a riot, and a stereotypically unpleasant lawyer who upset an indigenous woman with his politically incorrect language. A good time was had by (almost) all.
Socialism: Because Communist Cops Are Less Brutal Than Capitalist Pigs
Thursday’s event was emceed by a young woman wearing a CUPE 3902 hat. The 3902 is a militant teachers assistant’s union that’s currently on-strike and waging war on the University of Toronto. Accusations are being made that their supporters vandalized a heritage building last night. Their sister local CUPE 3903 recently published a video for the 3902 that calls for students to “organize and smash the state”.
Besides the emcee’s hat, one of the first things I noticed was how the signs were being carried by unlikely people. There were two well-dressed white guys carrying the “Jane Finch Action Against Poverty” banner, the Black Action Defense Committee’s banner was in-part held by a guy who comes from Romania. The audience included many of the usual suspects I see at labour movement led events.
John Clarke was one of the the first speakers, he’s the leader of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)- a cretinous group of including many pro-violence militants that is best known for organizing the Queens Park Riot in 2000. Clark was charged with inciting a riot but was later let off the hook.
Clark’s speech was reminiscent of the firebrand mentality that landed him in handcuffs back at Queens Park. He basically said that it’s impossible to reform the system and that the only way for people to fix it is to organize and to “fight back”. Protesters fought back at Queens Park by throwing Molotov cocktails at the police, it’s scary to consider how OCAP plans to fight now.
The next person at the mic was a spokesperson from the Movement Defence Committee who introduced herself as “Jan”- she described her group like this:
“a coalition of lawyers and legal activists that come out to provide support to social movements by acting as legal observers”.
Next, Jan showed the group a “know your rights” flyer and explained that the MDC staffs “a legal number where anyone who is ever arrested or has a violent incident with the police they can call and support you with free legal advice and counsel” if protesters are criminally charged.
The “legal observer” concept was first introduced to Canada during the 2010 Olympics by David Eby (formerly the head of the BC Civil Liberties Association, and now a BC NDP MLA). The idea is that “neutral” legal observers will be on-site at protests observing for when police overstep the law. Curiously, during the Olympics, the legal observers were called-off shortly before a group of violent thugs smashed- up the city (Eby has yet to have explained why his observers were recalled that day).
Jan’s next statement was filled with good ‘ol anti-police rhetoric that sounds like it was spoken by Eby himself:
“we need to protect the rights to protest and their right to freedom of expression. And, I salute everybody because you have to be so brave to do that around the issue of police brutality- because of the way that we’re targeted, and surveilled, and intimidated in doing this important work.”
Of course, what she didn’t tell the audience was how members of the MDC have worked closely (both in the context of legal cases and street organizing) with militant activists that sell a “smash the state” agenda. Could it be that the reason the police are be paying attention to the MDC is because some of their members and close allies are hardcore extremists?
The last interesting speaker was a woman who expressed vitriolic hate against Canada. She started off with a bit more scaremongering:
“We need greater numbers, we need more people coming out- those that are affected by this the most are afraid to come out.”
She followed-up with some anti-Canadian rhetoric:
“I’m her to shut-down this racist, imperialist, capitalist society- that has no worth, no value, and no purpose in Canadian society”
Julian Ichim- A Tale Of One Idiot:
Julian Ichim was one of the first people I met at the protest. Despite the very large gap in our world views, we’ve almost always managed to have civil conversations. The first thing I asked Julian about was his recent incident when the Department of Homeland Security assessed him as terrorist risk.
Julian responded to me reiterating a false allegation he wrote on his blog accusing me of calling him a terrorist. I explained to him (for a second time) that I’ve never called him a terrorist- in fact, I actually once mocked the US Consulate for publishing a security warning about one of his protests. He responded by making another false accusation that I’m a heartfelt monarchist (for the record, I gave flowers to the Queen when I was a child- she’s a pretty nice girl, but I worry that monarchies are outdated).
Julian’s claim is that he was stopped by DHS in Ireland while he was on his way home from a November, 2014 journey. His trip included visits with his comrades at the 32 Counties Sovereignty Movement- DHS views them as a terrorist organization. It would be easy to wonder if Ichim intentionally booked his flight through the US- he already knew about 32CSM’s terrorism status, and he’s a notorious attention whore. DHS, of course, denied him the right to fly through the US.
My instinct tells me it’s unlikely that Julian Ichim is a terrorist- though law enforcement might have more information, there’s no evidence of him ever conducting a terrorist act. It’s more likely that he’s a just true believer- one of the useful idiots whose energy and enthusiasm has historically been quite valuable to terrorists and other dark souls.
Regardless, Julian’s history raises so many red flags that it would be dangerously incompetent for security services not to track him. People who work with Ichim need to be aware that there’s significant risk they too may risk seeing their activities tracked in RCMP & CSIS Access To Information Requests.
Davin Charney Acts Like Jerk, Offends Indigenous Woman:
Davin Charney first graced the pages of this website in August 2012 during the mystery of the hairy legs. Convicted G20 rioter Kelly Pflug-Back and other arrestees complained that the Toronto Police Service profiled their arrests based on the fact that they had hairy legs. Charney previously represented Pflug-Back in a 2009 defamation lawsuit against the Guelph Police- her co-complainant was Julian Ichim.
Charney began his journey as an über-left protester, later morphing into an über-left lawyer who has taken a hard focus on the police. Charney and Ichim have a long history together- chillingly, both previously worked together leading a Kitchener youth centre called The Spot.
When I first met Davin Charney at an anti-police march in May, 2014 he leered at me with an incredible amount of anger. Yesterday was my second experience meeting Charney, and I can only say it was as unpleasant as the first. Using an angry tone, he came up to me saying “you can tell your readers that I think you’re a goof”. I politely responded explaining how his behaviour was unbecoming of a lawyer , “goof is a really tacky word Davin”. All of a sudden an indigenous woman standing beside us got very upset saying “don’t use that word, it’s used against my people”. I politely explained she should direct her concerns to Charney.
I agree with her, the word is impolite. Davin Charney is a jerk, as are many of the people in his circle. As for their protest, the premise that their “isms” would create a world without police brutality was so unbelievably stupid that it can only be understood by the people inside of their cult. Police brutality exists under all systems of government- that said, it happens a whole lot less often here in Canada than in Russia.
A New Chart:
One of the last things Julian Ichim said to me on Thursday was they he’s getting impatient about when I’ll be releasing Venezuela Unmasked Part II- joking that he’s tempted to write a parody piece about why it’s not yet been released. Ichim has been at the centre of Ontario’s militant community for a very long time, there’s a lot of history to learn. I’m still working on the article, stay-tuned.
If like Julian, you’re also impatient, I’ll leave you today with a chart that’s a work-in-progress- I’ll post it to a larger page sometime in the next few days.
[Use your mouse scroll or the up/down buttons to zoom, hover over a link to see the person/org’s networks, click on them to see more details]: