There is so much to write about, that I have not managed to put something together… I have decided to include someone else’s reflections on the last weeks G20 protests in Toronto, as a prelude:
i don’t endorse violence. i don’t think it’s the ideal way forward to a better society. i think all sane people would agree. heck, i don’t even endorse vandalism in the “service” of social change. i’m conservative that way. but the disproportionate reaction (to the disproportionate mainstream media coverage) to the image of a burning car and some broken windows at the G20 summit in toronto needs to be put into perspective.
i won’t bother with the obvious comparative study of the isolated “violence” of a handful of protestors versus the overwhelming violence practiced day in and day out at the expense of millions upon millions of human lives by national states the world over in order to secure their geopolitical interests. too easy. too obvious. too fundamental.
i will however, point out that unless you’ve been in the situation of being a direct, physical and psychological target of overwhelming and belligerent street-level force FUNDED BY YOUR OWN TAX DOLLARS, it can be hard to understand the frustration and rage that can build over the course of an afternoon let alone over the course of a lifetime.
hell, you don’t even have to have experienced it directly. just sitting on our couches in our homes, cursing the stinking system, we all know that the state has a monopoly on ultimate violence and total control. otherwise it wouldn’t exist as it does, right? things would be different, cause we would have gotten up off our couches and changed it if we were operating on a level playing field. but their is no level playing field between the state and its subjects. citizens plainly have insufficient institutional power to derail the sociopathic behaviour of the prevailing order. frustration and rage is the predictable result.
that frustration and rage is exacerbated when you’re pitted face to face against a wall of riot cops who are alternately corralling and intentionally provoking your otherwise peaceful demonstration into a corner, firing rubber bullets at you, detaining and searching you with no cause, hitting you with batons, singling out and abducting organizers, impersonating protesters, firing gas canisters intentionally at head level, exploding sound grenades by your ears, permanently damaging your body with exposure to chemical bombs (all based on personal experience by the way) and then having it all portrayed in the media as if it were YOU that needs to be restrained and punished rather than the megalomaniacs on the other side of the fence that continue to plunder and pillage the planet at these obnoxious publicly-funded private-parties of the global elite.
in these situations, there is only so much futility a person can take before their rage can get the best of them and a burning cop car or a smashed bank window starts to look pretty appealing. yes, these are futile acts, but what do we expect people to do when they are treated like shit and the justice system does nothing to intervene on their behalf?
sure, ideally we could all rise above it and aim for a perfect, superhuman state of restraint. sure. and yes, ideally i too would prefer the demonstrations were strictly peaceful (for strategic reasons mainly) and that other, more polarizing means of demonstration and protest and disruption occurred outside of these public gatherings (where they would be more effective).
but the people who manage the security state won’t let that happen anyways. they WANT violence. they provoke it. why? it justifies their absurd budgets. it lets them test and refine (and demonstrate to the rest of the population) their methods of population control in a managed setting, preparing for the day that the shit really hits the fan and the police state finally gets to give up any pretense of democracy. why else would they have the summit in fucking downtown toronto, where spirited protest was absolutely certain to occur, rather than on some cruise-ship in the atlantic where it could all be completely avoided? these are essentially war-games being staged on our nickel. and we, the people, are the enemy.
so let’s just try to keep things in perspective when corporate media habitually fails to hold concentrations of global power to any sliver of account and instead chooses to replay footage of a stupid burning cop car on a loop for hours on end as their marquee story.
there are plenty of examples of independent video footage of cops provoking and mistreating people at the G20 summit surfacing on the net. do yourself a favour and check them out and ask yourself how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of it. or if it were a member of your family.
that’s all i got to say.
Posted by Jesus H. Chris on June 27th, 2010