Is anyone else disgusted by the draconian, unjust deep sixing of the Toronto BBQ owner who defied the lockdown order to open indoor dining for three days? This story illustrates exactly why people have become distrustful of the police and government. The $187,000 fine imposed on this business owner is vindictive and doesn't fit the crime. It does explain why small business owners and people in general are suspicious of restrictions that prevent someone from operating a business and earning a livelihood. I just don't think government should have the right to impose such restrictions. The right to earn a living is a basic human right. If you don't want to eat out, then don't. Ensuring social distancing and reduced capacity is one thing, destroying someone's business to make a point that police and government hold all the cards, right or wrong, isn't okay. What recourse does this guy have without taking expensive legal action that he probably can't afford?
We have seen excesses at play from members and factions within the police authorities, kneeling on the neck of a subdued black man, hitting a 70 year-old white man in the face with a baton, shooting a twenty-something indigenous woman based on the police claim that she became aggressive with a knife.
These stories of police brutality arrive in the context of a pandemic that has hit poor, crowded communities hardest, many with large racialized populations. In communities that struggled to begin with, hit hard recently by Covid-19, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that police brutality against such peoples can only ignite a powder keg of pent-up anger and frustration.
Obviously no one in a protest should destroy private property or hurt innocent people. Meeting a misuse of power with a misuse of protest is an unreasonable solution to oppression.
The questions must now be asked.
What systemic policies continue to exist that enable oppression?
What must change in policing and public policy to prevent the misuse of power?
I’ll put forward a few policies that I think should immediately change:
-end all use of force against peaceful protesters
-end the criminalization and use of law enforcement against drug use (not including large scale drug dealing), prostitution (both in the provision and use of such services), drinking in public, and assembling in any sized group (including groups not practicing social distancing)
-end the harassment of people suffering from mental health problems or who are inebriated (and not harassing or hurting anyone)
-redirect funding used to enforce laws against the above mentioned behaviour towards inner city economic development and mental health programs
-end carding of people who are not committing a crime
-ensure that all police are equipped with mini cams that must be active during all forms of law enforcement
-refocus law enforcement on protecting people from violence, theft, and other clear crimes intended to hurt people
What do you think must change?
Forgive the non-mainstream source but there are plenty of corroborating articles out there - but this one seemed to sum things up quite nicely. The "fear mongering" that the Harper government is accused of is hardly that - and if the media would take the time to educate Canadians, we'd all be better for it......knowledge does tend to temper the divisiveness that the opposition parties would like to propagate....
Harper and the Conservatives have been responsible for so many negative, divisive and disgraceful actions that it's hard to keep track of all of them. So, I thought it would be helpful to have a thread to catalogue them.
Here is an opening list:
- Ran huge deficits caused by ill-advised and ineffective tax cuts
- Politicized non-partisan institutions by using or squabbling with the incombents; including the GG, Elections Canada, the PBO, and the SCC
- Dramatically increased the centralization of power in the PMO
- Interfered in the internal workings of the Senate
- Appointed the most partisan and corrupt senators
- Gutted environmental rules and laws
- Used the CRA to attack environmental groups and charities that disagreed with his policies
- Gagged scientists to prevent information that would not support his pro-oil agenda from reaching the public
- Defunded pure scientific research in favour of applied science that would help his industry friends
- Destroyed scientific documents with no assurance that they were digitized first
- After being elected on a platform of accountability, did everything possible to evade accountability
- Was found in contempt of parliament
- Systematically interfered in the ability of Parliament to perform its duties by withholding information, proroguing parliament and writing omnibus bills so massive they couldn't properly be debated
- Undermined democracy by deliberately disenfranchising groups of voters that are not inclined to vote for him and by changing media rules to better allow for negative campaiging
- Damaged our international reputation through one-sided support of Israel and against the Palesinians
- Damaged our international reputation and climate change efforts by withdrawing from Kyoto.
This list isn't even close to being complete. There is a website called shd.ca
Note: if you want to debate the actions of Chretien, Wynne, Pierre Trudeau, or anyone else, you're welcome to open a different thread.
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