G20 activists jailed for poster
The headline's a bit misleading. The gist of the story is that two guys got caught gluing posters inviting people to protest the upcoming summit onto mailboxes and hydro boxes.
Let's break it down a bit...
Mirshahi, a founder of the Fanshawe College social justice club and Cadotte, who raises money for the Red Cross, Greenpeace and Amnesty International, are accused of gluing protest posters on government-owned mailboxes and hydro boxes.
First off, they're idiots if they're putting this stuff on mailboxes and hydro boxes. It is illegal to vandalize these across the country. This is in London. Surely there were other places they could legally put up their posters. Even small towns have boards, walls and pillars were posters are allowed.
Second, looking at the list of who Cadotte raises money for is enlightening. Red Cross? A once amazing organization that has become nothing more than another useless, if not corrupt, corporation. Their behaviour during the Katrina crisis should have been the wake up call, if not the fact that they are actively helping our enemies in the Middle East. Greepeace? Corrupt. Amnesty International? A mixed bag, there.
And just what, exactly, is a "social justice club?"
"I would have thought young people taking part in the political process would have
been applauded not arrested," said London lawyer Gordon Cudmore, co-counsel for Cadotte.
Yeah. Gluing posters illegally is part of the political process. Silly me. I thought things like voting, running for office, volunteering, etc. were part of the political process, not vandalism. That "environmentally friendly wheat paste" still managed to cause $700 worth of damage.
As for the message on these posters?
slogans such as "Disrupt G20", "Let's Crash it" and "Crisis is Business as Usual."
Well, that third one is meaningless tripe, but the first two seem like calls for illegal action and potential violence to me.
What really had us giggling, however, was this part.
But on the courthouse steps, Cadotte lit a cigarette and said his night in jail was "brutal."
Mirshahi said, "I mean, like, we're in custody for 20 hours. I told them I'm vegan. I don't eat any animal products, All they brought me over the course of 20 hours were two coffees -- which, I don't drink coffee -- and two Nutragrain bars which have milk and eggs in them, which I can't eat."
Brutal? He calls this brutal? What a spoiled, whiney little wuss! He may say he "can't eat" the food because he's a vegan, but it's not the police's job to meet the dietary whims of anyone who might show up in their cells. It's not like he was allergic to eggs. It's not "can't eat," it's "won't eat." He even complains because they offered him coffee! It's his choice to restrict his diet to such an extreme. The rest of the world has no obligation to cater to him.
"I think it perhaps reflects too great a concern on the part of the government to try to keep under control legitimate protest by individuals and not really something one would expect a government in Canada to be trying to do," Ives said.
The problem with "legitimate protest" is how quickly and easily they are turned to violence and rioting. Just look back at past summits for examples. These summits in particular seem to be especially attractive to violent protestors. While one can argue about certain points of things like cost, efficiency, etc., the fact remains that in hosting these events, the government's priority is safety and security. Does Ives really think that Canada isn't as concerned about security than other countries? Or that it shouldn't be?
Cadotte said he still plans to "peacefully assemble in Toronto."
"If this really is a democracy I shouldn't be criminalized for it," he said.
Translation: I should be able to do whatever I want and not be punished for it.