“Law Enforcement Watchdog to Probe G20 Police Action”

This is welcome news.  Last June 28th – 30th we covered the police assaults on peaceful demonstrators after allowing “Black Bloc” vandals to run amok in downtown Toronto for ninety minutes. We also drew attention to the fact that the police have a recent history in Canada of planting agents provocateurs during political summits to foment violence and provoke police action.

The Harper government spent nearly a billion dollars on security for the summit — security which evidently failed and resulted only in the arrest of hundreds of innocent citizens, the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.

A billion dollars.  Compare that to what the Brits paid for the G20 security in London in April 2009 — $28 million — and the Americans in Pittsburgh in September 2009 — $12 million.  Okay, so rounding that out, the Harper government spent $900 million more than the Brit and American summits combined.

Where did the money go?  Who received it?  And why was so much of it needed?

Frye on police power:

But in an atmosphere of real fear and real suspicion the police must become both more efficient and more tolerant if they are to be of any use in defending democracy. Otherwise, they will be not only unjust to individuals, but dangerous to their own community. (Canadian Forum 29, no. 346 [November 1949]: 170)

(Thanks to Ross Belot for the tip)

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