Lawnorder: We can has it

Stand back: according to an Angus Reid poll taken earlier this week, the majority of Canadians (and an overwhelming majority of Torontonians) are onside with the police response to the G20 demonstration —

— Surprise!  Not really.

Even if the question had been framed as Kateland suggests in the comments here

If AR had asked ‘were the police justified in violating most innocent citizens charter rights’ – it might have come out differently.

— I doubt it would have significantly changed the results.  People generally have trouble with the concept that protecting the rights of the few ultimately protects the rights of all — for an example of this truly benighted state of mind, look no further than here.   I suspect the general public has no problem with the violation of Charter rights of innocent citizens if they believe that’s the cost of keeping order.

My own *completely unscientific* poll of grocery store customers seems to support this hypothesis.  The majority opinion was that the cops were “damned if they do, damned if they don’t”, a consensus that gives law enforcement a convenient loophole to slither out of for both heavy-handedness with peaceful protesters and failure to respond to the small minority who were shit-disturbing.  Such a response would not have surprised me in Toronto or any other city, but in an area where personal liberty is the prevailing ideology, I was a little dismayed to see so much authoritarian bootlicking. Civil rights seem to lose their sheen when people are made to feel that order has been threatened.

45 Responses to “Lawnorder: We can has it”


  1. 1 fern hill Friday, July 2, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Yes, you’ve put your finger on it, JJ. People do have trouble with the concept that the rights of the few are just as critical as the rights of all.

    I loved the bit where the teacher admitted that Toronto was a ‘bit of police state’. That’s like being a bit pregnant, innit?

    The mentality is: ‘If you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about. I don’t do anything wrong, so I’ll be fine.’

    Yeah. Until you’re not.

  2. 2 Willy Friday, July 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    A few right of center acquaintances, who typically ignore my continuing rants were absolutely pissed over what the cops did in Toronto last weekend and suspect that the cops were undercover and provoking the violence.

    That actually surprised me more than the results of this poll. One victory at a time I guess.

  3. 3 Willy Friday, July 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Oh forgot, the title of your post in hilarious. Lawn Order 😀

  4. 4 Bleatmop Friday, July 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I find that most of the people that I know don’t even know what really went on. Most of them just saw the cop car burning while flipping channels and figured some people getting beat down was the appropriate response.

  5. 5 Brian Friday, July 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    For the “the violation of Charter rights of innocent citizens” to be “the cost of keeping order,” the violation(s) would have to somehow actually prevent a loss of order, or restore lost order. In the video clip you had on the other post, all was calm when the police attacked. So it’s a red herring, or a straw man, or a false dilemma, or one of those other phrases that roughly boil down to “NOT!”

    You might not be surprised at the picture of the poll that you inserted above, but I am.

  6. 6 Jasper Friday, July 2, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    what’s wrong with these communists? what are they asking for? more welfare? Free everthing? … why when left wingers have protests do they always have to destroy something.

    we know socialism fails, look at Greece and Spain, they’re going bankrupt, they can’t afford all of the entitlement programs.

  7. 7 Dave Friday, July 2, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Yeah right, Jasper. And your heavily armed right-wing mouth-breathing heroes did a helluva job just south of the border. Or did you miss the part where Bush deregulated… most everything… gave tax breaks to the rich and they thanked him by taking the globe into a near depression.

    Go have another double-double.

  8. 8 Janus Friday, July 2, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    “…why when left wingers have protests do they always have to destroy something…”

    Oh, as opposed to you right-wingers, who destroy it just because it’s not their own?

  9. 9 Brian Friday, July 2, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Dave, you have to stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

    And how does the aperture through which one breathes denote anything about their worth or intellect? Some intelligent people have sinusitis and allergies…

    The Bush tax cuts gave everyone a tax break. The “rich” (a misnomer, because the taxes are on money flow, not money possession) paid more before the cuts, so their cuts were larger.

    The last two years of Bush’s time in office there was a majority of Democrats in both houses. That, coupled with eh HEAVY regulation of mortgage lending coercing lenders to make loans they never would have, while reassuring them the government would pick up the risk — a Democrat undertaking — is what has contributed to the mess things are in.

    And now the Democrats are amplifying the things they did that led to where we are. Man! Wake up!

    Sorry for the tone, but it is just so exasperating to hear this “blame the Republicans” foolishness. The Democrats have been in the congressional majority for 4 years now, and have had the White house for the last year and a half.

  10. 10 Brian Friday, July 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Oh, as opposed to you right-wingers, who destroy it just because it’s not their own?

    Janus,

    Conservative rallies are frequently commented on by the police as better mannered, and leaving far less trash around. No crowd is perfect, but there is a lot more destruction at left wing rallies.

    Now, in all honesty, I know it is not because of liberals, but because of anarchists taking advantage of the occasion — That’s what happened at the big melee in Seattle four or five years ago — so I see Jasper as not being informed about this, as evidenced by his post.

    But you, too, are missing the mark by a mile.

  11. 11 hemmingforddogblog Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Brian, didn’t we have this discussion once before about “HEAVY regulation of mortgage lending coercing lenders to make loans they never would have, while reassuring them the government would pick up the risk”.

    This is a total and complete figment of the conservative “imagination”!

    Sorry for the tone, but I get pissed when I keep hearing party talking points that have been debunked many times, by people much smarter than you. STOP IT!!!

    “rich” is not a minnomer.

  12. 12 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:03 am

    fern hill

    The mentality is: ‘If you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about. I don’t do anything wrong, so I’ll be fine.’

    Yeah. Until you’re not.

    Bingo.
    It’s mindblowing how often I hear/read people saying “If you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear”… and that attitude crosses all ideological lines. The only variable is the issue being discussed. That same mentality is at the heart of peoples’ willingness to accept the civil rights violations of others — they don’t get that it could just as easily happen to them. Even if they never attend a demonstration, it should be important to them that they at least have the right to do so.

    It reminds me of the backdoor techniques for banning abortion — if those opposed to it can’t get it done by due process, they just try to make it as difficult as possible for women to exercise that right. Same with protesting — if the powers-that-be make it seem like a better idea to just stay home, they’ve accomplished almost the same thing as banning the right to peaceful assembly.

  13. 13 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Willy

    A few right of center acquaintances, who typically ignore my continuing rants were absolutely pissed over what the cops did in Toronto last weekend and suspect that the cops were undercover and provoking the violence.

    Really! 😯 Although, I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising: any real small-government conservative should be outraged by the kind of aggressive policing that took place in Toronto last weekend.

    It’s been interesting this past week to watch the schism developing between Law & Order conservatives and Libertarian conservatives. Many heated discussions going on at SDA 😯

  14. 14 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Bleatmop – You’re right, most people aren’t making the distinction between the 20,000 peaceful protesters and the 200 (or whatever) black-bloc types smashing windows and burning cop cars.

    The media has been very unhelpful in this respect: there’s more ratings in showing a few people on a violent rampage than there is in showing a big shit load of people protesting calmly.

  15. 15 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Brian

    For the “the violation of Charter rights of innocent citizens” to be “the cost of keeping order,” the violation(s) would have to somehow actually prevent a loss of order, or restore lost order.

    Which is why the small minority of violent protesters were allowed to carry on smashing windows and burning cop cars — to give a picture of the lost order that police had to prevent from spreading throughout the entire city 😯 And it worked: across Canada most people think the whole protest was one great big car-burning.

  16. 16 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Jasper

    why when left wingers have protests do they always have to destroy something

    The vast majority of the protesters weren’t destroying anything.

    But you make an interesting point — whether “the left” likes it or not, a small violent element routinely shows up at their demonstrations, especially G20 protests. Compare this to the teabagger parties — they have their nutjob wing as well, but it doesn’t go through the streets smashing windows. This is one of the reasons why the tea party has become more of a political force than g20 demonstrators could ever hope to be.

  17. 17 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Dave – Jasper gets his talking points by email every morning 😛 Socialism fails! Entitlement programs! Greece!

  18. 18 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Janus – I hate to say this, but in his own mentally-defective way Jasper has touched on an interesting point. The teabaggers don’t have any black bloc types following them around, trashing cars and stores. Why is that? I could be wrong, but at this semi-caffeinated point in time, it seems like a question worth considering.

  19. 19 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:58 am

    SQ – Always make a copy of your arguments debunking conservative talking points, because they will always come up again & again. “Wearing down their resistance with repetition” is what we used to call it in advertising.

  20. 20 fern hill Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Hmmm. No vandals at Tea Bagging parties? I wonder how the Black Bloc anarkists could be persuaded to attend these shindigs.

    Or, on second thought, maybe not. Those wingnuts are armed and would probably love to shoot them some window-breakers.

  21. 21 JJ Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 9:29 am

    fern hill – Nope, no vandals at tea parties. 70,000 of them gathered in DC last September and they left a lot of junk food wrappers 😆 but no broken windows.

    This is not to say there are no teabagger vandals — there are, and they occasionally do things like throw bricks through politicians’ windows. But they don’t seem to bring that shit to their demos. And there is certainly no organized group of black bloc baggers who attend tea parties with the express purpose of creating msyhem.

    Could be that the whole protest thing needs an extreme makeover.

  22. 22 Brian Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 11:51 am

    hemmingforddogblog:

    Brian, didn’t we have this discussion once before about “HEAVY regulation of mortgage lending coercing lenders to make loans they never would have, while reassuring them the government would pick up the risk”.

    This is a total and complete figment of the conservative “imagination!”

    Sorry for the tone, but I get pissed when I keep hearing party talking points that have been debunked many times, by people much smarter than you. STOP IT!!!

    The tone is alright, I understand frustration.

    We did go over this before. I alleged that the Community Reinvestment Act was largely responsible for the mortgage meltdown. You pointed out that that was not true, so I brought my allegation more in line with what really happened (and I credit you with helping me with that). The CRA played a role, but not a big one. But congressmen and government agencies brought pressure to bear under auspices other than the CRA. I provided a quote by an individual who described the relationship between the powers that be and lenders at that time. The government indeed played a large role in bringing these troubles to our doorstep, and the CRA played a bit of a role as well.

    So you and I ended up arguing two different points:

    Me: “The government, largely the Democrats, brought this about.”
    You: “No, the CRA did not cause this.”

    You can see that there is a differentiation of topic in those two statements.

  23. 23 Brian Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Grrrrr……… I hate that!

    Please consider the second layer of quotation as being an UNquotation.

  24. 24 Brian Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 11:59 am

    The [Tea Party Patriots] don’t have any black bloc types following them around, trashing cars & stores.   Why is that?   I could be wrong, but at this semi-caffeinated point in time, it seems like a question worth considering.

    I have wondered that, too.   I have a hypothesis, but I really have little to go on, so it is more a guess.

    I think the anarchists understand that the people participating in the Tea Party rallies would forcibly detain them, and turn them over to the police.  The TPPs might even be armed.

    I think the TPPs have a higher regard for the law enforcement establishment (but as you can see from what I have said, my opinion of police is somewhat more jaded), and are willing to exert more physical force to prevent trashing the place than largely more pacifist left wing rallies/protests.

    But, as I said: I’m guessing.

  25. 25 Janus Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    “But you, too, are missing the mark by a mile.”

    No, actually, I didn’t miss it. My particular mark in that comment was Jasper’s flinging around “left wingers” as an epithet, thereby identifying himself as a “right winger.” And Jasper has no trouble at all destroying (or attempting to) what he does not like. Ask him about it, sometime.

  26. 26 Janus Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    @JJ: “It’s mindblowing how often I hear/read people saying ‘If you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear’…”

    I usually come right out and say that I have everything to hide, and therefore fear is a completely sane reaction to such intrusions. That answer tends to stop them right in their tracks while they think about it…and you can tell where they are by the utter stillness and the smell of burning rubber as their thought bearings break down under the load… 😆

    “The teabaggers don’t have any black bloc types following them around, trashing cars and stores. Why is that?”

    Ah…but who, exactly, are the “black bloc?” Why, they’re agents provocateurs! They don’t follow teabaggers because they are teabaggers! They’re not anarchists at all.

  27. 27 fern hill Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Janus, I’m so stealing that ‘everything to hide’ line. 😀 I love watching rightwingnutz heads explode.

  28. 28 Bleatmop Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Why doesn’t the black bloc show up at teabagger rallies? Simple, the police would actually show up and stop them there instead of watch from afar for 90 minutes and call in the media to show the evils of the anti-G20 protesters.

  29. 29 Bleatmop Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    In other news, Chief Blair admits to lying about the ability to search and demand ID of anyone within 5 meters of the security fence. Complete disregard of the law by our own law enforcement officers.

    This has officially become a historical moment in Canada. And not a good one.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/police-admit-deliberately-misleading-public-on-expanded-security-fence-law/article1622864/

  30. 30 JJ Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Brian

    I think the anarchists understand that the people participating in the Tea Party rallies would forcibly detain them, and turn them over to the police. The TPPs might even be armed.

    Yeah, that’s sort of what I think, at least one aspect of it. You guys have concealed carry, so even if no guns are evident at a rally, it doesn’t mean the participants are unarmed — especially at a rally where 2nd amendment rights are one of the issues being supported.

    So in a way, support of firearms ownership positions the teabaggers onside with law enforcement… for a black bloc nutbar to crash a tea party would be like crashing a cop convention.

    The protesters at lefty rallies are obviously viewed as sitting ducks by those who would incite violence. Who’s gonna stop them? The hippies singing Give Peace A Chance? (Maybe they should change that to “Give my 9mm piece a chance”… JUST KIDDING, everyone, don’t throw stuff at me.)

  31. 31 JJ Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Janus

    I usually come right out and say that I have everything to hide, and therefore fear is a completely sane reaction to such intrusions.

    😆 😆 Excellent

  32. 32 JJ Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Bleatmop

    Why doesn’t the black bloc show up at teabagger rallies? Simple, the police would actually show up and stop them there instead of watch from afar for 90 minutes and call in the media to show the evils of the anti-G20 protesters.

    Frankly, I don’t think the teabaggers would even need law enforcement to intervene. These are people who are supposedly very much into the whole personal independence gig — I think if a black bloc moron showed up at a teabagger party they would get their ass handed to them in about 2 seconds by some old shotgun-wielding granny.

    EDIT: Thanks for the link in your second comment. I noticed that earlier in the week — cops making up their own laws now. Cool!

  33. 33 Brian Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Toronto — The Canadian Press
    Published on Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2010 1133 EDT
    Last updated Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2010 2127 EDT:

    There were complaints about police engaging in arbitrary searches throughout the weekend in different areas of Toronto, even far away from the G20 security zone.

    I find it amusing, in a heartbreaking kind of way, that all were up in arms saying that Arizona police would be stopping people & demanding their papers — which hasn’t been happening in Arizona (so far), but it is happening in Toronto.

  34. 34 JJ Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Brian – The cops in Toronto weren’t just detaining & searching anyone who looked like a Mexican. The only profiling they were doing seemed to involve the colour of a person’s clothing. BLACK = BAD 😯 Bad as it was, it’s sort of apples & oranges to compare it with the Arizona law.

  35. 35 Brian Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Well, yeah — there are differences, to be sure.   But the action of stopping people with “Your papers!” seemed to be a significant component of people’s concerns as well.

  36. 36 JJ Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Brian – I almost forgot, happy Independence Day!


  37. 37 JJ Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Brian

    But the action of stopping people with “Your papers!” seemed to be a significant component of people’s concerns as well.

    Agreed. Whatever reason it’s done for, it’s bad.

    I am also actually a little surprised at the degree of acquiescence to cops’ demands — unless you’re driving and it’s a license check (edit: and the random pullovers we have here in BC are also pretty intrusive IMO), I would think the correct response to a cop demanding anything out of a person is “Am I under arrest? No? See ya.”

  38. 39 Brian Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Fighting back against tyranny is demanding. It involves getting arrested sometimes, being denied whatever it is that you’re applying (loan, renting an apartment, job, whatever) for sometimes.

    When I was applying for a job once, they told me that there was a mandatory urinalysis. I asked whether it bothered the guy asking for it — as an American — that it was so contrary to protection from unreasonable searches. He said it wasn’t unreasonable, that he felt it was reasonable to not want drugs in the workplace. I didn’t get the job…

    I have been runnig the vignette through my head this morning of refusing to produce ID, and therefore being arrested, and what the arraignment would go like. They just have SO much ability to ruin citizens’ lives, and for decades after any event (by “event” meaaning a false arrest and so on, not a G20).

    The 14-year-old daughter of my friend who is wrongly in jail tried to commit suicide shortly after he was arrested because she was so traumatized, and her mom (his ex-wife) made such use of the event to malign my friend to his daughter. His life would be so much more permanently altered than it already is, had she died in the attempt.

    He was just a year or two away from retirement with full benefits from the US Post Office, which has now been nullified. He might be able to rectify that, but if he can’t his life is completely altered from what it would have been.

    He has refused to plea bargain, fighting against tyranny. But it is costing him dearly to do so.

  39. 40 Bleatmop Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    While I don’t think the comparison is direct, I too thought about Canada’s own Papers Please law was similar to Arizona’s. However, not based on racism, the rights refused to any person still hurts us all.

    Btw, happy Independence Day to Brian and all other Americans here.

  40. 41 Jasper Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks Canadian friends for the US indepedance day wishes..

  41. 42 Frank Frink Monday, July 5, 2010 at 6:56 am

    The only profiling they were doing seemed to involve the colour of a person’s clothing. BLACK = BAD

    Not exactly JJ. Also a variation of the old ‘DWQ’ (driving while Quebecois) that I used to be on the receiving end of outside the province of Quebec more times than I can count during the 1970s.

  42. 43 Ron Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 10:59 am

    No city should have to put up with the crap Toronto took. I bet that most of the trouble makers were from outside of Toronto. The protesters broker windows and burned cars on purpose, to get attention. Throw them all in jail!!!

  43. 44 Brian Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

        When the monetary fund meeting in Seattle turned to violence, it was a group of pro-anarchy individuals from Oregon who did those things.

        But whether they were from Toronto or not, they still were despicably opportunistic.

      vAs far as throwing them in jail, it sure would have been a good thing if bystanders had forcibly detained them so that they could be arrested at the scene of their crime.  But now we likely will never even know who they were.

  44. 45 JJ Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Brian –

    it sure would have been a good thing if bystanders had forcibly detained them so that they could be arrested at the scene of their crime.

    That is a good point. Why didn’t anyone kick some black bloc ASS?? Remember Flight 93 — now there isn’t a single plane that takes off where the passengers aren’t ready to kick ass if some terrorist dingbat tries to light his shoes on fire. If someone at the protest started smashing things and got their ass kicked (or at least held til arrested) by other protesters, it would make them think twice about showing up in the future.

    Instead everyone stood around with their cell phones making movies of it 🙄


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