Sweeping police powers with no limits, military style checkpoints, LRAD sound cannons, huge makeshift prisons and a taxpayer bill of $1 billion
Friday, Jun 25th, 2010
Downtown Toronto has been transformed into a police state ahead of the G8 and G20 conferences, with police given unprecedented powers to to arrest anyone near the security zone who refuses to identify themselves or agree to a police search.
The Toronto Star reports:
“The regulation was made under Ontario’s Public Works Protection Act and was not debated in the Legislature. According to a provincial spokesperson, the cabinet action came in response to an ‘extraordinary request’ by Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who wanted additional policing powers shortly after learning the G20 was coming to Toronto.”
The regulation gives the police authority to question anybody entering the restricted zone from June 14 until June 28, the day after the summits are scheduled to end. As Adam Radwanski of The Globe and Mail reports, there are no limits to police powers during the summit, and no clear legal precedent specifying what they can and can’t do.
CTV.ca reports that there has been an increase in tension in the security zone as police are stopping and searching hundreds of protesters. “If you’re in that zone you’re going to be challenged,” Const. Tim Garland, spokesperson for the Integrated Security Unit told CTV.ca.
Some reports even detail incidents of police randomly stopping people outside the security perimeters who are not even protesters and are merely going about their business.
As our earlier report detailed, Charlie Veitch of the popular London based activist group The Love Police was arrested yesterday in Toronto under the new extraordinary powers for refusing to identify himself.
Police have been preparing for the lockdown for months now. An unprecedented show of force will see up to 20,000 uniformed officers, along with a 1,000 private security guards deployed, as well as Canadian military forces. The security costs are expected to cost the Canadian government (taxpayers) hundreds of millions of dollars, with some estimating the bill will stretch beyond one billion dollars.
Security measures include two large perimeters, walled in with huge 3 meter high fences, with Toronto police in charge of the outer zone and the RCMP in charge of the inner zone. Anyone entering the inner perimeter, where the Metro Convention Centre is located, will be processed through five levels of airport style security screening.
Various checkpoints throughout Toronto have been outfitted with “Magnetometers,” “walk-through metal detectors,” “X-Ray belt driven scanners” and “hand-held metal detectors.”
Residents and workers in the area have been made to register with the authorities to get access to their homes and businesses during the meeting.
The Canadian Forces plans are described as “large-scale operational planning, land and air surveillance, underwater safety and security for the venues and some logistic and ceremonial functions. Support also includes drawing on the CF’s ongoing partnership in the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).”
Protesters will also be subject to designated free speech zones. If they breach these zones they will be forced to move or be arrested.
Police will be using a massive movie studio as a temporary jail. The building is roughly five kilometres from the Convention Centre, outside the two security zones. The plan echoes tactics employed in the U.S. at recent DNC and RNC Conventions, where thousands of protesters were indiscriminately rounded up and kept for up to several hours in temporary prisons.
Police have also been cleared to employ Long Range Acoustic Devices otherwise known as sound cannons.
Civil liberties advocates and activists had requested that a court impose an injunction to prevent police from using the ear-piercing devices, which were used by police and the National Guard to break up protests at last year’s meeting in Pittsburgh.
However, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the devices could be used after police argued they were essential equipment.
In related news, Infowars reporter Luke Rudkowski and fellow activists have been denied access into Canada altogether.
In a telephone interview with Infowars.com, Luke said he was detained for nearly five hours by Homeland Security and Canadian Customs police on the border in Buffalo, New York. Agents went through his car and laptop looking for anything to arrest and detain the activists. After the Canadians denied Luke, Kelly, and Matt entry into the country, Homeland Security on the American side of the border questioned them once again.
This article was posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 at 10:08 am