Fw: An Example of Violence

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@idirect.com)
Sat, 15 May 1999 15:06:05 -0400


----- Original Message -----
From: Brian <burch@tao.ca>
To: <burch@web.net>
Cc: <toronto@tao.ca>; <act-cuts-ont-l@list.web.net>; <fnb-l@tao.ca>
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 1999 1:19 PM
Subject: An Example of Violence


 brian burch
 burch@tao.ca

 THOUGHTS FROM AN ANTI-HARRIS DEMO

          It is just after noon on Saturday, May 15th.  A couple of hours
ago
 about 20 people gathered for a peaceful protest against cuts to welfare and
 other aspects of a harsh political agenda.  We gathered at the Air Canada
 Centre where Mike Harris was to speak on the subject of welfare cuts.
 Those protesting were present to try to bring to the attention of Mike
 Harris the actual harm his policies have on the people of Ontario.
         When Mike Harris left the campaign bus, the protesters moved
forward
 but stopped when confronted with police.  Without warning, the police began
 to shove people, then pulled out battons and started to club people across
 the legs and shoulders.  Then then tackled and beat to the ground Gaeton,
 one of the protesters.  At least one protester claims to have saw a cattle
 prod used against the him.   And, as is often the case, the one severely
 beaten by the police was charged with assault police.  At the time of
 writing, it is believed he will be held in custody overnight for a bail
 hearing to be heard
 Sunday, May 16th at 9:00 a.m. at Old City Hall Courts (Queen and Bay in
 down town Toronto).
         Despite this example of violence, not one of the protesters
 responded in kind.  When the police shoved, people did not push back.  When
 struck by a baton, the protesters did not strike back.  When the police
 beat to the ground a protester, the demonstrators stayed relatively calm.
         The media already has described the protest as a violent one.  And,
 on the part of the police (whose union supports Harris), there was obvious
 violence.  However, the protesters were models of non-violence---not using
 force despite severe provocation.
         The Harris agenda is one of violence---using cuts to social
 services, housing and welfare to cause massive suffering across Ontario.
 It is not surprising that violence is used to punish those who dare to
 raise an alternative violence.  What is surprising, and very encouraging to
 those of us who advocate non-violent resistance, is that those concerned
 with justice
 are not responding violently.
        The mainstream media is portraying the myth of the violent
protester.
 This is not often the case.  Violence does occur at demonstrations,
however.
 Tories and their supporters in blue are behind it.
     Details on the effects of the welfare cuts in Ontario can be found at:
 http:// www.welfarewatch.toronto.con.ca/ promises/ summary.htm.  Find out
 more about concepts Mike Harris isn't willing to hear.



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