Welcome to Montréal, Québec – where civil disobedience has been turned into a revenue generator for the city’s police department.
Using an unethical and possibly illegal method called ‘kettling’, Montréal Police gather around a gathering and slowly process all the people there, issuing fines they may or may not collect. Assuming everyone pays up, the estimate is Montréal’s police made nearly $180,000 last night. I call this method unethical because it is specifically designed to prevent people from being able to get away.
Or disperse as police so often request.
As you can see by this video, police have a total advantage against the protesters, one of whom decided to bring his guitar.
Or perhaps he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That would be anywhere within fifty feet of an SPVM constable at any time of the day; our boys and girls in black and blue will gladly break into your home and throw you down the stairs (say if they think you might be drunk, as an example). Or if you live in the Plateau, or wear black, or happen to be a minority. Whichever’s most convenient.
Here’s constable Stéphanie Trudeau using her using the choke-hold to subdue an old man; local policing at its finest:
And most terrifying of all, this is all happening with the full consent of those who both run the city of Montréal, its police force, as well as the government of Québec, currently managed by the insufferable gasbag wannabe country-destroyer Pauline Marois.
A woman who was praised but months ago for finally bringing a woman’s touch to the old boys club of provincial politics. No more paternalist, police-heavy practices! she said while awkwardly clanging pots and pans. We all thought, at the very least, she’d do the right thing, find other methods of funding our universities and kill the bills that have so infringed on our federally protected right to freedom of assembly and conscience.
But I suppose therein lies the problem; if you don’t want to be a part of Canada, you’ll likely be disinclined from appealing to your federal government for assistance (not that it would happen, though at least our MPs could make a stink in Ottawa, coordinate class-action lawsuits against the SPVM for criminal violation of individual rights etc etc.)
Marois knows these students voted for her back in September, but despite this has decided not to pressure the city of Montréal nor the SPVM to cease this obscene and vile practice.
Unless the money collected is being used to fund higher education in Québec.
At which point she’d be an evil super-genius of epic cartoon proportions.
That would be preferable to our current state.
That of being an international joke and national embarrassment.
Where the hell is the leadership in this province, this city?
Who defends the interests of the people from the abuse as we see above?
There are other non-violent means of executing social and political change, outside the realm of non-violent (though for the time being illegal) protests and demonstrations. Organization would be a good place to start, and how Montréal’s activists vote this coming Autumn (i.e., whether they vote en masse for someone who will repeal P6 and kick pathologically abusive police constables to the curb) will be a demonstration of whether grassroots political organization truly extends beyond the all-to-often party atmosphere of public protest in our city.
Il faut que ça change.