Annoying Behaviour. Really? (part of the continuing articles

Graeme Bacque (
Fri, 30 Jul 1999 21:01:20 -0400

----------forwarded message----------
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 20:39:43 -0500
From: Gary Morton <>
Subject: Annoying Behaviour. Really? (part of the continuing articles on
 state Toronto)

Annoying Behaviour. Really? (part of the continuing articles on police
state Toronto)

     * Just below this little essay is clip from a post sent out on the
TAO list about some annoying police behaviour. 

     The word annoying has developed a new power in recent weeks as the
mayor and councilors admit that their target policing wasn't really
brought in to catch those few shotgun killers, but was in fact
instituted so the police can crack down on annoying behaviour.

     Translated - annoying means if you are somehow poor or dress in an
alternative fashion, you are annoying. And all those little things that
aren't quite illegal now are punishable.

     Remember those great champions of civil rights like Councilor
Olivia Chow? Well now they've gone soft and say that yes the police are
sweeping up the poor but there aren't complaints of beatings or torture
so it is okay.

     The key here seems to be that only those of the undesirable classes
can do things that are classed as annoying. A cop can get in your face
and do anything he wants to you, and it isn't annoying unless he grabs
you by the throat and pounds your face into the pavement. And even then
he'll likely say you were resisting arrest.

      This weekend about a thousand fat cops at police HQ will be
watching the monitors as cameras film everyone at the huge Caribana
celebration. A police helicopter outfitted with a camera will buzz the
crowd for those all-important shots of dancers' thighs that the regular
surveillance might miss.

     Is this annoying, to be watched by Big Brother Cops everywhere you
go? Can't even scratch your ass without suddenly realizing you might be
up for indecency charges. Damn right it is and if those folks down at
Caribana were smart they'd all get together and do a mass mooning of
those cops and their cameras. Maybe that would get the message across.

     The whole argument in favour of target policing is in fact
annoying. Soon they are going to say that protesters are annoying and
sweep them up. Elections, they are damn annoying too, so why have them?

     I know they mostly don't like poor folk and panhandlers, and I even
agree that some panhandlers are annoying. But there are some compromises
you have to make in order be living in a free country. Probably what I
find most annoying, are rich politicians, reporters and cops who want to
attack homeless people out there in the dizzyingly hot streets.

 ------------- Here's the other guy's annoying tale.

     For anybody not aware, the city has budgeted two million dollars to
pay our local cops time and a half to swarm "problem" areas in town and
harass homeless people and other "trouble makers". These cops are given
the green light to indiscriminately hand out tickets for everything
under the sun, all in the name of making the neighborhood "safe".

     I was walking to the subway to get home last night on Queen street
at about 12:30am. I went into the all night variety store and noticed
two cops follow me in. I went over to the cooler to pick out a drink.
One of the cops comes up and stands behind me and says something like
"You're taking a long time to pick a drink." I just kind of ignored such
a banal statement and grabbed a juice and some pastries.

     I walked back onto the street and the whole area was just crawling
with cops, and most of them were busy harassing people that weren't out
spending money. I heard one cop ask a guy that obviously wasn't out
clubbing why he was out so late. Causing trouble?

     As I walked up to University Ave, I came across two cops harassing
two homeless people. They had one guy up against the wall, while they
wrote up tickets or some shit. The other guy was apparently next in

     I walked right up to guy number two, and asked if he felt safer
with these kkkops patrolling the streets. The guy was really upset, he'd
just been standing there.

   So I offered him the pastries and drink I just purchased.

     "Hey, what do you think you're doing?" one cop barks in his best
storm trooper imitation voice.

     I just ignored him and handed him the food. The cop walks up to me,
and gets right in my face.

     "What are you gonna do? Beat me up?"

     "Would you like that?" he replied! What the fuck!?!?

     I could only reply, "You're not making me feel very safe," and
walked away.

     Two million dollars well spent!