2012-05-19 TO: MP Blake Richards re his private member’s bill to make it a crime to wear a mask at protests. Remember Montebello, it was the police who wore the masks.
Please consider forwarding this to police and military officers you might know.
Blake Richards is the Conservative MP for the Alberta constituency called Wild Rose. He wants to make it a Criminal Code offence to wear a mask at a “riot or an unlawful assembly”.
From his blog http://www.blakerichards.ca/about.cfm
In October 2011, Blake introduced Private Member’s Bill C-309 in the House of Commons. The bill if passed would make it a new Criminal Code offence to wear a mask or to otherwise conceal one’s identity during a riot or an unlawful assembly. The bill has garnered the support of police chiefs in major Canadian cities, including Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria.
Should I support Blake’s call to make it illegal to wear masks at protests? . . . Email sent to Blake:
Dear Blake Richards,
I believe you would want to know this event that involved masked protesters. I also sent a brief to the CBC Radio programme, “Day 6” that interviewed you on the morning of May 19.
EVENT: SPP meetings in Montebello, Quebec. Peaceful protest.
The only protesters who wore masks were POLICE OFFICERS. They were trained and assigned the role of turning the protest violent.
It is all on video, along with the later statement by the head of Quebec Police (Surete) that yes, the “protesters” were actually police officers.
Peaceful protesters tried to stop these “violent protesters” from using rocks against the line of uniformed police officers who were holding shields and wearing riot gear.
An observant person noticed that the “violent protesters” were wearing police boots and shouted it out. The legitimate protesters then reached in and yanked down the masks so that others could catch the revealed faces on video.
Through video footage, the officers were later identified. The head of the Quebec police was then forced to make a public statement, admitting that the masked “violent” protesters were police officers. He excused their actions.
Links to the video of the Montebello footage and the Police response are contained in http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=747
For at least 15 months, demands for a public inquiry went unheeded. An inquiry was eventually announced. As far as I know, it was never held. No one was ever held to account.
It is illegal to incite violence. When it is masked police offers who are doing it, under the direction and blessing of their superiors, then implicitly sanctioned by the Government (no action to correct), we have descended to a police state.
The documentary film, Battle in Seattle, (huge WTO protests) makes it clear that in some cases it is a police (National Guard) strategy to ALLOW violence to get out-of-hand BEFORE they step in with tear gas and rubber bullets. (Violence discredits the protesters AND makes citizens reluctant to protest). Montebello is ample evidence that in some cases it is the police themselves who instigate the violence, who are the provocateurs.
Governments and Police officials took lessons from “The Battle in Seattle”. (It took place in the U.S. but remember that Canadian and U.S. military and police are now “integrated” and have “compatible doctrine”. Also note: The WTO, the SPP and the SPP successor organization have a common base: transnational corporate interests.)
It seems to me that the Officials took two things away from Montebello:
- Disguised police officers planted in a crowd must not wear police boots OR, maybe it is safer to CONTRACT OUT such work.
- They can do whatever they want: Canadians are dumb, uninformed and without backbone. Canadians won’t stand up for ANYTHING. The talk about defending what the veterans fought and died for in World War Two (democracy) is meaningless rhetoric.
Another brief point: Media portray the Quebec protests as student protests over tuition hikes. They fail to note that the largest protests in Quebec happened on Earth Day and are about the failure of Governments to protect the Environment. http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=5143
Failed protection of the environment, the SPP and its successor organization, corporate influence in Universities, failing democracy, widening income gaps – – the ROOT is the same: large corporate interests being served by Governments and public institutions.
- Protests will continue to escalate because NOTHING is being done to address the root cause: the Government, Police Officials and Universities have become tools to serve corporate interests.
- Montebello is misleading VIEWED IN ISOLATION. The mistake of “officials” is to add insult upon insult. Growing protest tells me that Canadians know the dangers; they are standing up – with much more to come, unless Government officials start to aggressively defend
and serve the public interest.
I am thinking of supporting your call to make it illegal to wear masks at protests (unmask the police). However,
- it should also be illegal for police officials to contract out their “work” (they will do that if they are “unmasked”).
- there also needs to be extremely strong whistle-blower protection for police officers.
Thank-you for your consideration.
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APPENDED: LINK TO CBC Interview with Blake Richards.
Most Recent Podcast
Day 6 Podcast – May 19, 2012
Unmasking Quebec protesters; Download To download a file, right click and save.
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