Inside Torontanamo — My Experience Inside the G20 Detention Facility
Well, it’s been an interesting weekend, for everyone I expect but for me it has been, well, cataclysmic … almost literally, given the torrential rain (look up the Greek etymology of cataclysm.) As I write this the protests continue but for me they are done: an embarrassingly stillborn and somewhat childish prank has me facing weapons charges with a potential six month jail term, and banned from any future protests due to the bail conditions that I agreed to in order to get released, despite the obvious charter violations represented in an order to avoid any public demonstration.
I’m sure you all saw the endlessly repeated footage of burning patrol cars and the debris of broken windows along Queen St left by the rampaging Black Bloc on Saturday night.
Although I was in the city, I, like most of you, saw this only in snippets on the evening news: although I participated on the main march Saturday afternoon, and spent some time addressing Toronto’s finest on a megaphone, in the evening I decided to go and see Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. With all the damage you’d think there must have been a large, uncontrollable mob raging through Toronto’s streets but if you do the math on 15,000 cops and other assorted security personnel versus the maybe 30 or so black bloc I saw advancing through the march on their way to initiate havoc, well, it starts to look like maybe the cops were letting it happen.
In fact some eyewitnesses reported that they saw large groups of cops standing by while the black bloc did their thing. Eyewitnesses at the scene of two of the burning police cars insist that officers of the so-called peace drove them up, jumped out, and walked away leaving the cars next to the protesters following which, the cars exploded. Talking to the media outside, after my release, my understanding was that this use of ‘decoys’ had since been confirmed by the police.
In protest after protest, at summit after summit, in city after city all around Canada, in the United States and in many other countries as well we hear afterwards that undercover police officers infiltrated the Black Bloc with the express purpose of provoking violent retaliation against the peaceful protesters by the massed ranks of law enforcement. The tactic in this case has expanded to the more or less open detonation of incendiary devices in public space, with the obvious intent of framing a movement composed of pacificistic vegan hippies as deranged, violent lunatics looking only for an excuse to pillage and destroy.
As a general tactic, this is what is known as a false flag attack. It has been widely used by militaries and security apparatuses throughout recorded history: when a pretext for war is needed, you dress up some of your guys as the enemy, have them attack you in some symbolic, futile fashion and then pounce. It is done far more often than many people appreciate and, at trade summits such as these – where the highest minions of the world-gobbling greed goblins who are behind most of the effed up shit dominating our increasingly alarming headlines are gathered – it has become almost de rigeur.