Finished with the G20? Not even close.
And partly because of the wanker to the left.
At Wednesday’s Public Safety and Security Committee meeting into the G20 fiasco, we heard testimony from two very well-spoken students from Montreal who were arrested in their pajamas at gunpoint from the University of Toronto gymnasium, where accommodation arrangements for out-of-town protesters had been made with the university.
Jacinthe Poisson, a student of International Relations at the University in Quebec, was held for 57 hours under the crowded conditions in the cages now familiar to all of us. Ms Poisson was subjected to three body searches. In her own words:
“At the Vanier Institution I had to lean over completely naked in front of these male guards.”
She was released at four a.m. without money or clothes. All charges against the 100 or so students dormed in the gymnasium were dropped.
Ms Wissam Mansour was also arrested off the floor of the gymnasium but was interviewed separately after being recognized by a Montreal police officer who asked if she knew Fredy Villanueva, the 18-year old fatally shot by Montreal police in 2008.
After interrogation, she was released without charge onto the street in her pajamas with no money, no phone, and absolutely no idea where she was. She somehow made her way back to U of T.
So bearing all that in mind, here are the questions Con committee member Brent Rathgeber pictured above saw fit to put to them.
First they both agreed with Rathgeber that destruction of property and burning police cars was, in Rathgeber’s term, “offside.”
Rathgeber to Mansour and Poisson: “So what was your goal? What was your end game here?”
Poisson: “I went to peacefully protest. I disagree with some positions of this government.”
Rathgeber: “But what was your ultimate goal? Did you think that somehow you would have an effect on the outcome, that the G20 leaders would be so moved by your protest that they would change their policies? Was that your goal here?”
Poisson: “My point was not to protest the G20 but to express my political opinions which I have every right to do.”
Rathgeber to Mansour: “What did you hope to accomplish by taking several days out of your busy life to go to Toronto? Was your goal to somehow affect public policy? Was it to have some face time with President Obama? Or was it to cause disruption?”
Mansour: “I’m not proud of living in a Canada governed by Mr Harper. I’m not proud of that and I went to protest against political positions that the government has. I didn’t go to see President Obama and I knew Mr. Harper was not going to change his mind even with 30,000 people in the streets. I didn’t have a short term goal; I have a long term goal.”
Rathgeber: “But what is your long term goal? To overturn the Harper government or is it to defeat capitalism generally? I suggest your goal was to get on the evening news.”
Alarming, isn’t it?
Rathgeber, a lawyer who also sits on the Justice and Human Rights Committee, appears to have no idea that the half dozen accusations he is making against these witnesses are all things which are perfectly legal.
It is because this government expects to get away with punishing people for legal acts that we have to keep pushing for a public inquiry into the G20 fiasco.