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letter to the editors of the Toronto Star, re: "Most think G20 police actions justified, poll finds" ( June30)

by Kristiana


Dear editors,

I was alarmed by this headline, until I discovered the slanted and vague
contents of the Angus Reid poll featured in your article. My first
question, which was strikingly not published in the story, is: When was
this poll taken?

It is July 1 today, and I am still uncovering stories (in your paper and
others) of bystanders, workers and young people caught up in a crowd on
Saturday night or Sunday, penned in by police in riot uniforms without
any warning, unable to leave, detained for hours, then arrested,
handcuffed, brought to a filthy, freezing human zoo for a dozen more
hours without being offered food, water, access to a phone or a lawyer,
adequate toilet facilities or any statement of their rights, then
released with all charges dropped and put outside in the rain without
their shoes. I am still hearing dozens more stories of people shoved,
kicked, beaten, searched and harassed by police in uniform and plain
clothes, without any justification or warrant being presented.

News of conditions inside the "detention facility" and news of the
number of arrestees (more than 1000 people, the largest mass arrests in
Canadian history) was only published on Monday; as were lies spread by
Toronto police chief Bill Blair concerning the rights of police within a
so-called "security perimeter" and a cache of "weapons" that included
items taken from non-G20 arrests and featured such threatening tools as
tennis balls and bicycle helmets. The results of any poll taken about
opinions toward G20 events prior to the evening of June 29 would have
questionable validity. The views of a deluded mass of media consumers,
who have seen burning police cruisers on TV but have had no access to
balanced information for developing an understanding of the facts, must
not be construed as informed public opinion.

My second concern is with the phrasing of questions eliciting feelings
of Canadians toward the protest. The presentation of the poll's results
was angled to suggest that respondents felt extremely negatively toward
protesters. However, I would have to count myself among those who feel
"disgusted," "ashamed," "angry" and "sad" about the G20 demonstrations:
not because of the actions of 20,000 activists who spoke out against the
financial policies of the G20 and the exhorbitant $1.2-billion price tag
for security at the summit; but because of the actions of 20,000
officers who turned Canada's greatest city into a terrifying police
state and beat, searched or detained hundreds upon hundreds of innocent
people without cause or explanation.

As far as I'm concerned, the actions of police over the past weekend
were far more terrifying and violent, and will have much longer-lasting,
negative repercussions on Torontonians' well-being (not to mention the
city's economy and safety), than any window-smashing or car-burning that
took place in the business district.

Sincerely,
Kristiana Clemens
Kingston, Ontario

re:
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/830832--most-think-g20-police-actions-justified-poll-finds

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Kristiana (Kristiana Clemens)
Kingston, Ontario
Member since Juin 2010

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Commentaires

A few extra comments

A few extra comments (assuming the the Toronto Star article was not just somebodies idea of a bad joke, which it may be ...)

"The majority of Torontonians believe police actions against G20 protesters were justified, according to a new poll"
The Majority of Torontonians were not at the protest
"Fifty-three per cent of Canadians and 86 per cent of Torontonians watched the protests closely or moderately closely"
Fifty-three per cent of Canadians and 86 per cent of Torontonians thus base their opinions on mainstream media
"The Angus Reid poll, which surveyed 1,003 Canadians and 503 Torontonians ... believe police treatment of protesters was justified during the G20 summit.
I could find 1,003 Canadians and 503 Torontonians who disagree. I call B.S. on your sample population.

A May 2003 Gallup poll by CNN showed that 76% of Americans thought the Iraq war was justified. A subsequent August 2004 poll showed that 67% Americans felt they had gone to war for the wrong reasons. Does this prove that the war was justified in 2003, but not in 2004? or does this simply show that Americans formed their opinions to go to war based on leading, second-hand information?

The article "Most think G20 police actions justified, poll finds" is, fact, quite poignant - Most Canadians are being misled by the mainstream media, which explains why the social justice movement is still considered a minority.

Thanks for the article Kristiana,
- B

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