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Canada: Democracy or
Police State?
(a People- & Planet-Friendly Portal & Guide)

(A) Is Canada Becoming A Police State?
Related Events & Broadcasts
Articles & Press Releases
News, Resources & Announcements
Directory of Links, Articles & Resources
More Quotes to Inspire Thought & Discussion
What You Can Do
Chronology of Past Events

The People- & Planet-Friendly is a free weekly e-newsletter of peace, environment, sustainable living & social justice events, workshops, courses, festivals, films, broadcasts, resources & jobs in Ontario & beyond. Free weekly e-mail subscription:

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(A) Is Canada Becoming A Police State?

Canada, a police state?!? If you are in the middle class – and avoid community involvement and political dissent – you could easily have no idea of what's going on. If you follow only the mainstream media, you might think police violence is a rare occurrence, perhaps "provoked" by the victims, or trumped up by activists.

In this edition you will see plenty of evidence to the contrary. Including disturbing yet fascinating articles by and about Sinclair Stevens (former cabinet minister under Brian Mulroney); Naomi Klein (author of No Logo); Elan Ohayon (two-time U of T Governing Council representative); and many others.

What can we do about police violence and intimidation? What happens if we stay at home and "stick our neck out for nobody"? Or, on the other hand, what happens if we begin to assume that all police are bad, and treat them as such? In the bigger picture, what will happen if we fail to stand up for journalists and activists – for free speech, freedom of assembly, and a free press? What can we do, as individuals and communities, both to protect the vulnerable and to preserve democracy?

This edition offers the tools to answer some of these questions and more. Is police brutality a cause, or a symptom of a greater problem? Is it just a matter of poor policing, or is it by design – a sign of a failing democracy? With spiraling social and environmental problems, are governments and corporations moving to make positive change? Or are they digging in and fighting to protect the status quo at any cost? When does democracy stop – and fascism begin?

If you're concerned about these issues and live in the Toronto area, don't miss the public meeting this Wednesday night at OISE, in downtown Toronto. There are allegations of police brutality against dozens of the 500 or so people who demonstrated outside the Progressive Conservative leadership convention in March. The listing for this public meeting, as well as a more detailed press release, is included below.

Further down, you will find a digest of information and resources, an extensive directory of links, and just a few suggestions of "what you can do". Many more ideas resources and groups can be found by following the links.

For many of us, the people who have been victims of police and state violence are often "out of sight and out of mind" – and it is easy to avoid the topic. This is what Martin Niemoeller was speaking of, in a different place and a different time, but with increasingly disturbing parallels:

"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me... and by that time, there was no one to speak up for anyone." - Martin Niemoeller, Pastor, German Evangelical (Lutheran) Church [slightly paraphrased] (Human Rights Web)

– Peter Blanchard

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(B) Related Events & Broadcasts

Five events in Toronto, plus a CBC radio broadcast (in order by date).

What Really Happened At The Tory Convention, Wed April 10, 2002, 7-9pm, Toronto. Public meeting on the police violence that occured at the recent Progressive Conservative convention in Toronto on March 22 & 23. Including a report from the Ontario Common Front legal committee; video footage of police violence from March 22nd and 23rd; first hand testimonies from victims of police violence and a perspective from Anna Willats, member of the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition and the Committee to Stop Targeted Policing. Organized by CUPE 3903 members and friends. OISE, 252 Bloor W., room 2212, (St. George subway). Info: Ontario Common Front - Toronto OCF-Toronto Tory Convention Hotline: 416-760-2463. OCF-Toronto e-mail list: to subscribe e-mail to with the words "subscribe ocf-toronto" in the body of the message. [more details in press release, below]

Alternatives To War & Militarization: A Peace Conference, Fri-Sat Apr 12-13, 2002, Toronto. It is the multi-faceted, methodical building of a peace based on sustainable living and justice for all that is humanity's only hope. Explore opportunities for progress in a unipolar & inequitable world; discuss resistance strategies and alternatives to war and the militarization of state functions; identify changes already underway that signal the possibility of a better world. $20/day incl. lunch & refreshments. Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 10am-5pm. Location: Metro Hall, 55 John (at King; near St. Andrew subway). Registration & payment can be mailed or made in person at the St. Lawrence Centre, 27 Front E. M5E 1B4 (near Union Station). Info: or call 416-366-1656 and ask that a brochure be mailed or faxed to you. Conf.pdf [topical links: ]

Court Support Lunch, Tuesdays until May 7, 2002, 1pm-2:15pm, Toronto. Come out to a weekly lunch to show support for the 33 people currently facing trial for charges stemming from an anti-poverty demonstration at Queen's Park (June 15, 2000). Enjoy a cheap lunch, keep updated about the trials, and show your solidarity for those undergoing the isolating court experience. In the current climate of civil liberties it is important that we all stand together. Every Tuesday until early May. $5 suggested donation (all proceeds go to cover court costs). Church of the Holy Trinity, just east of the Eaton Centre, west of Bay between Queen & Dundas. Info: paul daniels

View From The Summit (film), Tues April 16 (evening), 2002, Toronto. Toronto premiere of this production of the National Filmboard of Canada. Seven filmmakers record an extraordinary view of the Quebec City summit, by following six players on both sides of the barricades: Thomas d'Aquino (president of the Business Council on National Issues, representing Canada's 150 largest corporations); activist Graciela Rodriguez (from Argentina); Philippe Duhamel and his non-violent group Operation Salami; Tania Hallé, an anthropology student and member of the anarchist movement CLAC (Convergence of Anti-Capitalist Struggles), who defends a range of protest tactics, including festive demonstration, peaceful obstruction and active disruption; and Inspector Pierre Goupil of the Sûreté du Québec, commander of the Red Battalion, the main police unit responsible for keeping the peace during the Summit. Followed by a panel discussion chaired by Judy Rebick. [I think this event is free/by donation, but I'm not sure - ed] Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor W. (Bathurst subway) 416-516-2330. [editor's note: Be sure to stay for the discussion following the film, as there have been accusations of bias, and these are sure to be brought to light during the discussion - ed] Independent news coverage on the summit & protests:

Journalism & Democracy, Tue Apr 16, 2002, 9:05pm, CBC Radio Broadcast. In a University of Regina forum, journalists and media critics debate whether journalism can still address and develop public issues when corporate convergence is changing the reporter's role from inquirer to seller of information products. On "Ideas", CBC Radio One, across Canada (FM 99.1 in Toronto; also shortwave, satellite & internet RealAudio) Ideas airs Mondays- Fridays 9:05pm Eastern time. Cassettes & transcripts available. Full schedule at: [topical links: ]

Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, Thurs April 25 (afternoon), 2002, Toronto. Presentation of draft policy regarding police behaviour at demonstrations, to the Toronto Police Services Board. We would like to ensure that at least half a dozen groups and individuals make presentations to the Board on the 25th. The brief will be much more effective if there are a number of speakers in support. Please let us know if you will be able to make a presentation. [more details in press release below]

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"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that." – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(C) Recent Press Releases & Articles

This section includes three recent press releases. The first is about the public meeting in Toronto this Wednesday.

What Really Happened In Toronto, March 22-23?

The newsmedia have reported that on Friday and Saturday, March 22nd and 23rd, on the occasion of the provincial government's leadership convention, over 500 people from the Ontario Common Front (a coalition of over 80 community, student, anti-poverty and labour groups) converged in Toronto to protest several years of severe neo-liberal restructuring and cuts in Ontario caused by the provincial tory government.

What the newsmedia have not reported is the extreme levels of repression and violence that police unleashed on demonstrators over the two days. Police far outnumbered demonstrators, aimed guns and tasers at them, clubbed them with batons, knocked cycling demonstrators off their bikes, confiscated union flags and shot tear-gas at people. About 1 out of 8 demonstrators were brutally arrested, bound by tight handcuffs, thrown in vans for several hours, strip-searched and denied a phone call to their lawyer.

The story of this excessive police violence must be told. To this end, members of CUPE local 3903 from York University have organized a public meeting at which all those concerned may see and hear for themselves proof of the terrifying escalation of police violence at political demonstrations.

What Really Happened At The Tory Convention
Wednesday, April 10th, 2002, 7pm to 9pm
OISE, 252 Bloor St. West (St. George subway), room 2212.

This public meeting will include a report from the Ontario Common Front legal committee, video footage of police violence from March 22nd and 23rd in Toronto, first hand testimonies from victims of police violence and a perspective from Anna Willats, member of the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition and the Committee to Stop Targeted Policing. Organized by CUPE 3903 members and friends.

[from a posting to the Ontario Common Front Toronto e-mail list. Ontario Common Front - Toronto Website: OCF-Toronto Tory Convention Hotline: 416-760-2463. OCF-Toronto e-mail list (a low-volume moderated list): To subscribe e-mail to with the words "subscribe ocf-toronto" in the body of the message. ]

Police Behaviour At Demonstrations

Draft Policy & Invitation for Feedback & Presentations
Toronto Police Accountability Coalition 416-977-7947

Toronto Police Accountability Coalition has been working for some months on a draft policy regarding police behaviour at demonstrations, for presentation to the Toronto Police Services Board. This is the fifth draft, and it has taken into account the responses made to a draft posted on our web site ( in January and widely distributed.

We are interested in getting feedback from Toronto organizations and community groups, as well as endorsement and support. If you or your group has any comment, or wish to let us know you think it is headed in the right direction, please contact us at We hope to collect comments and responses from groups in the hope we can finalize our position by the end of March, and file our brief with the Police Board in the first week of April for presentation at the Board on the afternoon of April 25. As well as your comments, we ask for your support. We would like to ensure that at least half a dozen groups and individuals make presentations to the Board on the 25th. The brief will be much more effective if there are a number of speakers in support. Please let us know at if you will be able to make a presentation.

Thanks. – TPAC

Police Behaviour At Demonstrations (5th draft, Mar 10, 2002)

Police now assume most of those who attend political demonstrations are criminals, and that demonstrations are a criminal activity where marchers must be searched and confronted at virtually every turn. This is wrong.

We need new rules for police behaviour at demonstrations to ensure that members of the public can attend these events without fear of consequences for their personal safety because of police action.

Better rules are also needed for police managers. Because of current police policies, demonstrations now eat up an inordinate amount of police time and resources, producing no positive output. This is a poor expenditure of police resources and is as a general rule unnecessary.

As well, a more relaxed and sensible approach by police, where demonstrators would not be provoked by massive police presence and the use of intimidating equipment, would reveal that the majority of demonstrations were self-policing.

For these reasons, it is time to have a better set of guidelines for police behaviour at demonstrations, guidelines that are appropriate for the vast bulk of demonstrations in Toronto. Our suggestions are as follows:

(1) The greatest police concern should be to ensure that the rights and freedoms of citizens are upheld, including the right to political dissent, and the freedoms of speech and assembly. Police should be familiar with court decisions regarding the rights of citizens in this area (including rulings on preventative searches and arrests, strip searches, reasonable proximity to protest sites, and the proper laying of charges, and act in accordance with them at all times.

(2) Police should assume that the demonstration will be peaceful.

(3) Police language and behaviour must be respectful of demonstrators, and neither demeaning nor threatening. Police statements should be free of foul language.

(4) All police officers should be clearly identified, wearing police badges and numbers, and wearing regular police uniforms. Undercover officers should not be deployed.

(5) Good communication on the part of the police is critical. This will only be possible if, from the beginning, police communicate in a non-hostile and co-operative manner. Police officers in charge should introduce themselves to demonstration organizers and inform them of police intentions at every step of the demonstration.

(6) Police presence and behaviour should be limited and as unobtrusive as possible.

(7) 'Preventative' detentions, arrests, and searches of demonstrators are contrary to the law and must not be done.

(8) Street Medics should be treated as a positive resource by police at demonstrations, and should be treated with respect. Police should not confiscate their supplies.

(9) Police should neither videotape nor photograph demonstrations or demonstrators.

(10) Neither horses nor dogs should be deployed at demonstrations. They are highly intimidating and can risk or cause serious injury to themselves or others.

(11) Pepper spray and tear gas should not be used.

(12) Guns should not be pointed at individuals.

(13) Police armaments should not be on display.

(14) Helicopters should not be used, as their main impact is to intimidate.

We request that the Toronto Police Services Board adopt these guidelines for police behaviour at demonstrations in the city. In cases where the Chief feels these guidelines are not appropriate for a specific demonstration, board approval should be sought to set aside these guidelines in favour of others which the Chief clearly formulates for Board approval.


To present this to the Toronto Police Services Board on April 25, we'll need to get it to the Board secretary by April 5, this Friday. Please provide comments to by close of day on Thursday April 4. Also, please indicate whether you will be able to be present and speak at the Police Services Board in support of this approach on the afternoon of April 25.

[from a posting to the e-left e-mail list, March 13, 2002].

International Day Against Police Brutality

TORONTO, March 15, 2002 - Community groups from diverse Toronto communities gather to denounce abuses of police power and to mark International Day Against Police Brutality. The broad coalition is speaking out against the unchecked growth in police budgets and erosion of civil liberties.

The group is demanding:
- an end to racial profiling;
- an immediate repeal of the Safe Streets Act;
- a coroner's inquest into the police killing of Dudley George;
- a halt to any plans to acquire police helicopters.

"Police depend on intimidation and aggression to keep marginalized people in line", says Anna Willats of the Committee To Stop Targeted Policing. "Our demands reflect our determination to name and oppose all forms of police instigated violence against the people and neighbourhoods they target - most recently two men from Nigeria who were victims of a violent takedown by Toronto police."

The rally takes place on Friday, March 15th at 1:00 pm at Toronto Police Headquarters, at College and Yonge. Speakers will include Pierre George (brother of Dudley George) and representatives from the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, Committee to Stop Targeted Policing, Latin American Coalition Against Racism, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and Stop the Choppers.

The rally will be followed by a march to the Coroner's Office to demand an inquest into the killing of Dudley George. A formal request to the Coroner was made in September 2001 by Pierre and Carolyn George, but the Coroner's Office has not seen fit even to respond. Pierre George quips: "Is the Coroner still alive?"

"Police abuses affect all of us," states Dr. Lauraine Leblanc, sociologist and coordinator of the Metro Network for Social Justice, who will be speaking at the rally. "From street sweeps of street-involved youth to racial profiling of people of colour to police crackdowns on the homeless and on protesters, it is those most marginalized by our society who are most visibly affected. But if their civil liberties can be so grossly denied, how safe are your rights?"

March 15, 2002 marks the sixth year of this international day of protest and solidarity against police brutality. It first began in 1997 as an initiative of the Black Flag collective in Switzerland along with the help of COBP (Citizens Opposed to Police Brutality) of Montreal. This date was chosen because on March 15th, two children, aged 11 and 12, were beaten by the Swiss police. March 15th will also see the sentencing hearings of two activists, June 15th defendant James Semple at Old City Hall (Queen and Bay) at 10:00 am, and Samuel Tassew, charged in the Safe Park action at Allan Gardens, at College Park (Yonge and College) at 11:00 am.

This event is organized by: Anti-Racist Action, the Committee to Stop Targeted Policing, the June 15 Defence Committee, Latin American Coalition Against Racism, the Metro Network for Social Justice, Stop the Choppers, and the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition. For more information, call the Metro Network for Social Justice at (416) 351-0095 x237 [ ]

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(D) Related News, Resources & Announcements

The Real Threat To Public Safety - "Police around the world have a standard explanation for violence at protests – the friendly Mr. Rogers-type officers were pushed beyond the limits of human endurance by violent provocateurs intent on anarchy. Apparently, there are only so many "Hey hey, ho ho's" trained officers can take before snapping, charging into fleeing crowds and wailing away with nightsticks, cattle prods, pepper spray, tear gas, plexi shields, stun grenades or whatever else is handy that won't look as bad as a Kent State rifle attack when it's replayed on the evening news. Generally, the press accepts this riot-police-as- victims scenario. But what happens when a riot squad is sent out to contain a large demonstration that turns out not to exist? Do the police – unprovoked for once – actually reveal themselves as kindly, good-natured Gandhi types? Well, no. At least, that seems to be the lesson to be learned from the strange case of Elan Ohayon...." - Eye editorial, Nov 16, 2000. More at:

Crackdown: When Police Wage War Against Activists - "On Oct 20, University of Toronto student Derek Laventure attended a protest outside the Ontario Tory convention. He saw a police officer drag away a fellow activist and he was heard to say, "That's not right." Next, witnesses say, he was brutally assaulted by several police officers, thrown against a barricade headfirst (his eye was so bruised, it swelled shut), and arrested. His crime? Allegedly carrying a weapon and using it to assault a police officer. The "weapon" was a black flag..." - Naomi Klein, The Globe & Mail, Wed Nov 15

Liberals Limit Debate On Anti-Terrorism Bill "If you are not yet familiar with the most critical bill to be discussed in Canada since its founding, please become familiar quickly... Most have heard the phrase 'power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. To not recognize that this phrase defines the nature of this bill is to forget that the police forces who are gaining considerable new powers are human like the rest of us. ... By passing this law, the Liberal government are themselves playing into the hands of terrorists. ... a threat to Canadians, our physical safety andour democracy, greater than any physical threat that a terrorist could attempt." - Russell McOrmond. [related: ]

Guide To Surviving Bad Policing - Handbook. Informing youth about the realities of police violence and the legal system in Ontario. Info: OPIRG-Toronto 416-978-7770 or Parkdale Community Legal Services Linda Chen 416-531-2411 x254

Cops Are Tops, Environment Last - This month saw the final vote on the 2002 Toronto Budget. It was not a pretty sight. Public programs, public transit and public space is simply not a priority for this City Council. What can you do? Toronto Civic Action Network: Council Watch: [March 2002]

Stop The Choppers - Police want two or more helicopters in the air, up to 24 hours a day. The cost: $2.5M/year, during a time of massive budget cuts. Yet a London, Ontario study of police helicopters shows they don't reduce crime levels. Hear former Mayor of Toronto John Sewell & others present the real story behind the helicopters.

What Is A Street Medic? - Street medics are volunteers with training in street first aid. They provide preventative education, emergency first aid, and aftercare at demonstrations for social change. Oftentimes, they manage a clinic space at larger potests. Street medics play a role in social change as they care for the health and safety of activists. We maintain our neutrality as providers of medical care with a commitment to treating anyone in need. - Police violence, not protestor violence, in Ottawa:

Street Medic Training - Toronto Street Medics are looking into offering a weekend-long medic training course in the coming months. The training will only be offered if we have enough confirmed participants. If you would be interested in becoming a trained street medic or affinity group medic, and could attend such a training, please contact Alison: [related: Police violence, not protestor violence, in Ottawa: ]

Reclaim The Streets Lawsuit - "A lawsuit against various Toronto police officers and the Toronto police force itself was launched in the aftermath of the arrest of Kevin Thomas and Brian Burch on the charge of "Unlawful Assembly". This charge was laid as a result of our participation in the 1998 Reclaim the Streets Celebration in Toronto. January 28th is the date that this lawsuit finally goes to court." - Brian Burch "Brian Burch and Kevin Thomas ... are seeking over $500,000 in specific and general damages as a result of their experiences when they were charged with Unlawful Assembly while present at a peaceful 1998 Reclaim the Streets protest in downtown Toronto. Taking this action was not an easy decision to make. However, it was felt that something had to be done to respond to the growing criminalization of public protest in Canada. I urge all those concerned with civil liberties to financially assist Burch and Thomas in their efforts to fight back against police abuses. Cheques should be made payable to Brian Shiller in Trust and mailed to Shiller Layton Arbuck, 70 Bond St., Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1X3." - Clayton Ruby (lawyer and editor of Canadian Rights Reporter). Info/witnesses/ evidence/donations: or leave message: 416-651-5800 [received from via Food Not Bombs list ]

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(E) Directory of Links, Articles & Resources

Police Brutality
Toronto Police Accountability Coalition (USA) (USA)

Fighting Police Abuse (for more, see "Police Brutality", above)

The Case of Dudley George

The Case of Jaggi Singh (Naomi Klein)

The Case Of Elan Ohayon
(see also Nov. 10, 2001 listing in "Past Events" section, below)

Police Brutality Victims Across Canada

What Really Happened In Quebec City? (Sinclair Stevens)

What Happened At The June 15 OCAP Protests?

A Police State In The Making
(by former Tory minister Sinclair Stevens, Globe & Mail 2001/04/21)
(or )

"War On Drugs" or Police Profiteeering From Drug Trade?

What Is Fascism? - a philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism.

Why Don't We See This In The Media?

Civil Rights & Human Rights - "Democracy Is More Than..."
Cdn. Civil Liberties Assoc.
Law Union of Ontario
Democracy Watch
Cdn. Journalists for Free Expression
Open Government Canada
Toronto Police Accountability Coalition
Civil Rights.Org
Human Rights Primer
Human Rights Web
Democracy Is More Than...

Freedom of Speech, Association, Assembly, Protest

The Anti-Terrorism Bill (Bill C-36) "Secret hearings? Frozen bank accounts? Snitch lines? Wiretaps? Secret lists? Trial by hearsay? Jailed 72 hours without access to legal advice? Racial profiling? Is That The Canada We Want?" (from a poster for the Nov. 19 Civil Liberties Forum, with NDP leader Howard Hampton and many others). (Book: The Security of Freedom)

Protest Tactics: Violence vs. Nonviolence

Nonviolence & Civil Disobedience (excellent video; see Oct 12, 2001 listing in "Past Events" section, below)

Activism & Advocacy Tactics In General

Conflict Resolution Resolution/5 hints.HTM Resolution/Conflict_Resolution.html

Alternative & Independent Media
People- & Planet-Friendly
Straight Goods
Indymedia (international)
Common Dreams
Toronto Video Activists

Police Forces & Associations
OPP (Ontario Provincial Police):

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(F) What You Can Do

(1) First, educate yourself. Follow some of the links above; attend a public meeting; ask lots of questions of others who are there.

(2) Write or call your Member of Parliament. To find out who your MP is and his/her contact info, call 1-800-677-3355. All you need is your postal code. They will provide the constituency address, telephone, and fax. Or go to:

(3) Write to the Prime Minister, the Senate of Canada, and the editor of your local newspaper. Talk to your friends and neighbours. Speak up at school, at work, at meetings of local community groups.

(4) Join or support a group or association such as the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition (; the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (, or the Law Union of Ontario ( Support independent and alternative media. For more suggestions on what you can do, see the links above, especially the sections on "Police Brutality", "Civil Rights", "Activism", and "Nonviolence".

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(G) Quotes To Provoke Thought & Discussion

"The greatest purveyor of violence on earth is my own government." – Martin Luther King, Jr.(quoted by former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark (more)

"You are free to say whatever you like, until the people start listening to you. Then you become a threat to the state." – Bob Olsen

"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me... and by that time, there was no one to speak up for anyone." – Martin Niemoeller, Pastor, German Evangelical (Lutheran) Church (Human Rights Web)

"If you're not turned on to politics, politics will turn on you." – Ralph Nader

"Powerlessness and silence go together. We...should use our privileged positions not as a shelter from the world's reality, but as a platform from which to speak. A voice is a gift. It shoud be cherished and used." – Margaret Atwood

"Freedom is participation in power." – Cicero

"Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction" – Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes?" – Michael Moore

"The only thing that can pry open a closed heart and a closed mind an open heart, and an open mind". – Wilfred Bricker

"Instead of condemning people, let's try to understand them. Let's try to figure out why they do what they do." – Dale Carnegie Resolution/5 hints.HTM

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(H) Past Events (2001 & early 2002)

The following events have already occurred, but the descriptions and contacts may be of interest. Note that some of the e-mail addresses and phone numbers may have expired. To receive notice of upcoming events before they occur, subscribe to the People- & Planet-Friendly, a free weekly e-mail newsletter ( For some other e-mail lists, see

Police Helicopters Public Forum, Thurs Mar 8, 2001, 7-9:30pm, Toronto. Toronto Police want two or more helicopters in the air, up to 24 hours a day. The cost: $2.5M/year, during a time of massive budget cuts. Yet a London, Ontario study of police helicopters shows they don't reduce crime levels. Hear former Mayor of Toronto John Sewell & others present the real story behind the helicopters. This is your only chance to hear a public discussion on how the helicopters will affect Toronto. Do you want to see millions of your tax dollars go to this unproven, noisy & intrusive form of policing? Would you trade libraries, community centres or other City programs for police helicopters? Also with Paul Whitehead (author of the London study); Eric Greenspoon (President, NoiseWatch). Help stop Harris & corporate funding of the choppers! Free/donation. City Hall, Committee Room 4, 100 Queen W. at Bay (Queen or Osgoode subway). More info: Helen Armstrong, Stop the Choppers 416-604-9972

Guide To Surviving Bad Policing - Handbook Launch, Thurs Mar 15, 2001, 7pm. Informing youth about the realities of police violence and the legal system in Ontario. DJ's, musicians, poetry, performances, politics. Free/donation. Now Lounge, 189 Church. More info: OPIRG-Toronto 416-978-7770 [also Parkdale Community Legal Services Linda Chen 416-531-2411 x254 ]

Police Brutality & The "Just Us" System, Sat Mar 17, 2001, noon, Toronto. Rally with speakers on Ipperwash, Jamieson Inquest, fight against Targeted Policing, School of the Americas Watch. Dudley George's birthdate. Provincial Court House, 1 block north of Queen on University Ave. (Osgoode subway). More info: Coalition for a Public Inquiry into Ipperwash 416-658-7485

Police Violence & The Struggle For Justice, Fri May 4, 2001, 7:30-9:30pm, Toronto. With Carmela Gentles, Yvon Gesinghous, Maria Judas, Anna Willats, Brian Benn. Rogers Communication Centre, 80 Gould (Dundas subway). Free. Info: International Socialists 416-924-9042

Quebec City Chemical Attack - Public Speak-Out & Launch, Thurs May 10, 2001, 2pm, Toronto. Last month in Quebec City Canadian authorities engaged in an unprecedented chemical attack on its own citizens. Tens of thousands of people, especially young people, were attacked with toxic gas. The official story is that the authorities acted "responsibly" and "with restraint", and that those who were arrested were violent protesters. The truth is very different. Gather in front of City Hall to demand a public inquiry into police aggression in Quebec City. Hear/tell first hand stories of abuse & aggression at the hands of the police. Participate in launch of a mass leafleting campaign to tell the real story of what happened in Quebec, and urge people to phone the Prime Minister & their MP's to demand a full Public Inquiry. We are deeply concerned about this attack on our civil liberties that took place in Quebec City. If such a police response goes unchallenged it may become the norm whenever Canadians disagree with their government. Gather in front of City Hall! Info: Tooker Gomberg 416-534-9348

Amnesty For Summit of The Americas Protestors! Tues May 22, 2001, 4pm, Toronto. 463 people were arrested at the protests against the Summit of the Americas and the FTAA in Quebec City last month. Many are facing trials on arbitrary charges. The government is using police & courts to wage war on critics of its far-reaching & undemocratic trade deals. Stand up for your rights; demonstrate our rage against police silencing critics of the government. The Canadian state has a long history of repression -- targeting people of colour, queers, poor people, youth, First Nations fighters (Oka, Stoney Point, Gustafsen Lake Burnt Church), anti-fascists, animal & earth liberators, anti-poverty activists, critics of the police, anti-capitalists. It is vital that we are not intimidated into silence by these actions but rather stand up, make ourselves heard and carry on organizing resistance movements. Old City Hall Courthouse, Queen & Bay (simultaneous rallies in Quebec City, Montreal, and internationally). Info/endorsements: Anti-Racist Action 416-631-8835 [ ]

Manipulated Media: Justification For Police Violence, Thurs June 14, 7-9pm, 2001, Toronto. The arrest of "Germinal 5" was used by the police to justify their violence against the protestors in Quebec City. How the media was manipulated by the police to give validation for using tear gas, rubber bullets & other brutal means to quell public dissent. Also: videos by TVAC & videographer Erin Oke, shot in Quebec City on the streets & at the fence. See what the media wouldn't let you see. Also: Catch Da Flava newspaper special edition with articles on Quebec City from young writers who were there. Listen to voices of diversity as they talk about their experiences in Quebec City. Photos of Quebec City will be shown in the lobby. TVAC's video will be available for sale. A fundraiser for Quebec City legal defence costs (by donation). Innis College Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave. (at St. George St., one block south of St.George subway). Info: [ ]

Police & Political Dissent, Tues June 19, 7:30pm, 2001, Toronto. Public forum on the police's role regarding political dissent in a democracy. With Olivia Chow (Toronto Councillor); Paul Copeland (lawyer); Kim Derry (Officer in Charge, #52 Division); Roger Obonsawin (Aboriginal Activist); Amanda Quance (Ryerson student), Michael Valpy (Globe & Mail Columnist). Bloor St. United Church, McClure Hall, (Bloor & Huron, 1 block east of Spadina subway, enter from Huron St parking lot). Info: Chris Watson (Trinity-Spadina NDP Riding Assoc)

Police Brutality & Abuse of Authority Protest, Wed Aug 1, 2001, 1pm, Toronto. Bellevue/Augusta Park (Kensington Market). Free meal provided by Food Not Bombs. [416-214-0289 ]

It's A Riot (documentary film), Fri Aug 3, 7pm, 2001, Toronto. A shocking, explosive voyage into the bombastic epicentre of the recent riots in Quebec City. Half documentary & half comic drama, world renowned film sensation, Trailervision sent a crew into the riots to shoot satirical trailers. However, they got more than they bargained for. The crew came out with stunning documentary footage that features never before seen aspects of the watershed event - bombs being detonated, the shocking overuse of tear gas, beautiful pagan rituals and bizarre confrontations with police. Also includes satirical movie trailers shot there including, The Immortals and Say It as well as's ever controversial Office-Sex 7. Stunning, riveting, funny. 65 minutes. $3/$4/$7. Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W. (Bathurst subway). 416-516-2330 [ ]

Traffic (film), Wed July 11 & Thurs July 12, 2001, Toronto. An absolutely terrific look at the absurdity of the so-called war on drugs. Inter-connected, subtle and powerful, stories look at police, drug-dealers & politicians as they go about their conflicting business. Oscar for director Soderbergh. 147 minutes. German with English subtitles. $3/$4/$7. Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W. (Bathurst subway). 416-516-2330

Defending The Right To Dissent - Support the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Thurs Sept 14, 2001, 7:30pm, Ottawa. On June 15th, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) organized a demonstration in front of the Queen's Park in Toronto. During the rally a full-scale riot, provoked by police actions, broke out. A large number of protesters were injured & arrested. Later, OCAP organizers were arrested. The charges and the restrictive bail conditions imposed on these activists are a frightening example of the growing criminalization of the democratic right to political protest that is taking place. Hear first hand the events that took place on June 15th, the police crackdown that followed, and how to support the charged protesters and the anti-poverty struggle. The "Riot" & the Aftermath: panel with Shawn Brant (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty); Jean Claude Parrot (Cdn Labour Congress); Lynn Bue (CUPW); James Pratt (Carleton U. Students Assoc.) St. Joseph's Oblate Centre, 153 Laurier St. E. (at Cumberland). Free/by donation. [received from]

Insurgent Video From Ontario & Beyond, Sat Sept 23, 2001, 6pm, Toronto. 6pm: "Cops" (Buster Keaton). 6:30pm: "38 Short Films About The OAS" - Toronto premiere. An expose of the human cost of corporate globalism, a case study in nonviolent direct action, and an illustration of Canada's reliance on military force (over 5000 police in Windsor) to silence peaceful dissent. See police confiscating medical supplies; watch protesters barricade OAS buses; hear about the links between Maquiladoras & Canadian privatization. Presented with all the humour, excitement and - you bet - violence of a Hollywood spectacle. (copies for sale: $20/$10 unwaged). 7pm "Fighting to Win" - video of the June 15 homelessness protests at Queen's Park. Followed by informal discussion. By donation. At the Anarchist Free Space, 254 Augusta, Kensington Market. More info, preview tapes or interviews: Jonathan Culp 416-536-6092 [related: ]

The Criminalization Of Global Dissent, Fri-Sat Oct 5-6, 2001, Ottawa. The Corporate-Security State: an international teach-in on the use of global police and militaries to protect corporate globalization against people & democratic dissent. As the anti-corporate globalization movement grows our governments are acting more and more as collaborators protecting global corporate interests. The tools of repression - tear gas, rubber bullets, blacklists and even live ammunition - are being used against people and democratic dissent. And, the global war system, while pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the pockets of global military producers protects western capital around the world. The consequence is a growing gap between rich and poor, environmental degradation, growing violence and war, and the loss of democracy. Workshop themes: the hidden fist of the free market; economic warfare; globalization of the arms industry; private wars, defending corporate interests; policing the movement and our communities; the world police (nato) and the global war system; masters of space to be masters of the economy; the corporate-security state; strategy for an historic era: the global democracy movement (protecting human and social rights, and the environment; creating economics for people; and a time to end war). Organized by an international coalition of unions and peace and anti-corporate globalization groups. To be held during the meetings of the NATO-Parliamentary Assembly. Info: Peter Coombes, End the Arms Race 604-687-3223

Global Cops: The Corporate Security State's Assault On Democracy, Oct 5-6, 2001, Ottawa. An international teach-in on the use of global police and militaries to protect corporate globalization against people & democratic dissent. As the anti-corporate globalization movement grows, our governments are acting more and more as collaborators protecting global corporate interests. The tools of repression - tear gas, rubber bullets, blacklists and even live ammunition - are being used against people and democratic dissent. And, the global war system, while pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the pockets of global military producers, protects western capital around the world. The consequence is a growing gap between rich and poor, environmental degradation, growing violence and war, and the loss of democracy. After each panel there will be follow-up workshops for participants to further discuss the issue. 9am: Terrorism & War with Deborah Bourque (CUPW); Svend Robinson MP; Jean Grossholtz (Mount Holyoke College). 10am: Corporate Economic Warfare with Ed Bianchi (Kairos Aboriginal Rights Committee); Tony Clarke (Polaris Institute); Jane Stinson (CUPE). 11am: Private wars: Defending Corporate Interests with Emmanuel Rozental-Klinger (Canada Colombia Solidarity Campaign); Owens Wiwa (AFRIDA). 1pm: The Military Enforcer of the Free Market with Steve Staples (Council of Canadians & Intnt'l Network on Disarmament & Globalization); Diana Johnstone (researcher & author). 2pm: The Criminalization of Dissent with Lyndsay Poaps (Check Your Head); Jaggi Singh (Researcher & Activist); Aziz Choudry (GATT Watchdog). 3pm: NATO: The World Police & the Global War System with James Bissett (Former Ambassador to Yugoslavia); Senator Doug Roche (Author and Former Ambassador to Disarmament); 4pm Master of Space with a Nuclear Fist with John Valleau (Science for Peace); Alice Slater (Global Resources Action Center on the Environment); Andrew Lichterman (Western States Legal Foundation). 7pm: The Corporate Security State (different location, see next listing). Organized by an international coalition of unions and peace and anti-corporate globalization groups. Full day: sliding scale $20-$60/subsidies; evening panel only: $5. St. Joseph's Parish, 151 Laurier E. Info: Peter Coombes, End the Arms Race 604-687-3223 (click on campaigns, then "Global Cops") [see also next two listings]

The Global Democracy Movement: Strategy For A Historic Era, Sat Oct 6, 2001, 9am-noon, Ottawa. Round table chaired by Tony Clarke ( This is an historical moment; building the movement for the long-term; protecting ourselves from corporate state violence; protecting human & social rights & the environment; creating economics for people; a time to end war. St. Joseph's Parish, 151 Laurier E. Organized by an international coalition of unions and peace and anti-corporate globalization groups. Info: Peter Coombes, End the Arms Race 604-687-3223 (click on campaigns, then "Global Cops")

An Evening On Non-Violence, Fri Oct 12, 6:30-9:30pm, 2001, Toronto. Documentary screening: "A Force More Powerful", speaker from Peace Brigades International, discussion to follow; while drinking fairtrade coffee or tea. [This unique & insightful video on nonviolent social movements, originally aired on PBS, is a must-see. It includes footage from the civil rights movement (lunch counter sit-ins); Indian independence movement (Gandhi's salt march); South African resistance to apartheid; Chilean non-violent overcoming of Pinochet regime; Solidarity revolution in Poland; Danish resistance to the Nazi occupation in World War II. - ed]. All welcome. Free. At Alternative Grounds, Toronto's Fairtrade Coffee House, 333 Roncesvalles (at Grenadier; south of Dundas West subway). Info: Miriam or Rebecca 416-534-5543 [link to related readables & resources: ...searching the web for "a force more powerful" also turns up many other sites (try - ed ]

Stop Police Violence - Public Forum, Fri Oct 26, 2001, 8pm, Toronto. The International Association of Chiefs of Police meets in Toronto Oct 27-31. They are expecting over 11,000 chiefs, sheriffs and other police personnel to take part in events at Sky-dome and Metro Convention Centre. The convention includes a military trade show, where companies like Beretta, Glock and Taser Intntl. sell their weapons & products. A coalition of community groups has come together to ensure that the other side of policing -- police violence -- is made visible during this trade show. Public Forum with Dudley Laws (Black Action Defence Committee); Jane Doe (women's rights activist and successful complainant in an historic civil suit against Toronto Police); Pierre George (brother of Dudley George); and Ali Mallah (Chair, Toronto Chapter, Cdn. Arab Federation). Trinity St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor W. (west of Spadina). Info/endorsements: 416-656-2232

Stop Police Violence - Rally & March, Sat Oct 27, 2001, 9:30am, Toronto. Please see Oct 26 listing above for background info. Meet in Grange Park for music, theatre and a few speeches (Beverly St., south of Dundas, behind the AGO). From there, we will be marching down to the Metro Convention Centre at 11am, to coincide with the convention opening ceremonies. Info/endorsements: 416-656-2232

Stop Police Violence - Workshops, Sat Oct 27, 2001, 2-6pm, Toronto. Please see Oct 26 listing above for background info. Workshop participants include Shaheen Kamadia (mother of Faraz Suleman, killed by York Region police), Maria Judas (friend of the family of Otto Vass, a man who was killed by Toronto police), Erica Lawson (African Canadian Legal clinic), and many others. Also: speakers' corner; video room. Sidney Smith Bldg., 100 St. George (south of Harbord). Info/endorsements: 416-656-2232

Jailed Anti-Poverty Activist Bail Review, Fri Nov 10, 2001, 10am, Toronto. "Early morning Oct 21, Elan Ohayon, UofT PhD Student and member of the UofT Board of Governors, was arrested in Allan Gardens. He was assaulted and his video equipment was destroyed. Elan and a group of protestors have been sleeping out at Allan Gardens every Friday night since the OCAP Safe Park in August 1999. They have been protesting the lack of affordable housing and the lack of safety on the streets for the homeless. Elan was dragged, in his sleeping bag, from his tent by six riot cops, beaten & charged by assault police. The police currently want to impose the bail condition that Elan be prohibited from going to Allan Gardens. He has been held in the Don Jail since Oct 21 because he refuses this bail condition. Elan believes he has a right, as well as a duty, to go to Allan Gardens to protest the plight of the homeless." A fund will be set up to help with his legal costs. Come out to support Elan! Courthouse, 361 University Ave. Contact Chris Ramsaroop 416-832-4932 or Oriel Varga 416-978-0831

Protection From Terrorism? Or The Creation of A Police State? Wed Nov 21, 2001, 7pm, Hamilton. Forum on proposed Bill C36 (Anti-Terrorism Legislation). Please come join the discussion, with With Dr. Roach (Professor of Law, UofT); Dr. Greenspan (Civil Liberties Assoc., Hamilton); John Hucker (Deputy Secretary General, Canadian Human Rights Commission); Dr. Kubursi (Professor of Economics, McMaster; President, National Council Canadian-Arab Relations; Rolf Gerstenberger (Local 1005 USWA); Jaggi Singh (Social Justice Activist & Organizer); high school & university representatives. McMaster Univ., Health Sciences Room 1A6. Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Civil Liberties (Hamilton). Info:

Who Killed Dudley George? Fri Mar 1, 2002, 7pm, Toronto. Doors 7pm; drumming 7:40pm; program starts at 8pm. "Dudley George, an unarmed Native activist, was shot dead by the OPP on Sept. 6, 1995. He, along with a handful of fellow Stoney Point band members, were peacefully asking for the return of their sacred burial ground located at the site of Ipperwash Provincial Park. The force exhibited by the police that evening has been linked to communications from the premier's office to the OPP requesting "action". Harris initially denied these communications. Sam George (Dudley's brother), and other family members desperate to uncover the truth, have filed a civil suit against Mike Harris and the provincial government for this murder, a suit which they will drop if a formal public inquiry is convened. Supporting the George family is an indication of our commitment to a world that treats all people with respect. By steadfastly and calmly pursuing their suit, the George family has demonstrated the highest level of commitment to building a just society. They are behaving as good elders and good teachers should: pointing the way for the rest of us toward a most worthwhile goal. In doing so, they deserve both our respect and our active support. We have engaged in massive, peaceful protests, to clearly demonstrate our concern about the Harris Tories' deceitful abuse of democratic power. Many of us vividly remember seeing riot troops in Hamilton and at Queen's Park, where the Tories were demonstrating their "get tough" policy. Dudley George and his companions were direct victims of this. It is crucial that despite the Tories' intimidation tactics, we get to the bottom of this case." An evening in support of a public inquiry and the Ipperwash Justice Fund. With Gordon Peters, Lillian Allen, Tantoo Cardinal, Frank Dreaver, Peter Edwards, Sam George, Jani Lauzon & Arthur Renwick, George Leach, Simon Ortiz, Murray Porter, members of SkyDiggers, Sylvia Tyson and others... $10/$5 students & unwaged. Convocation Hall, U of T, King's College Circle (near Queen's Park subway). Advance tickets: Native Student's Assoc., First Nations House, UofT; Toronto Women's Bookstore; Pages Bookstore; This Ain't the Rosedale Library; Native Canadian Centre. Info: 416-537-6100 x62 [more in links directory, above]

Law Union Conference, Sat Mar 2, 2002, 9:30am-5pm, Toronto. Concurrent workshops: 9:30-10:45am: Cyclists & The Law; Animal Rights & The Law; Dismantling Legal Aid. 11am-12:15pm Policing Issues; Gender Identity & Access To Places; Living On The Edge. 1:30-3pm Civil Disobedience: Justified & Necessary? 3:15-5pm Plenary Discussion : Legal Aftermath of Sept. 11. Opening reception Fri. evening. More. The Law Union of Ontario is a group of progressive lawyers, law students & legal workers. All welcome. $5-$30. Childcare. OISE, 252 Bloor W. (St. George subway). Info: 416-926-8034 x153

Dudley George: Behind The Headlines of The Ipperwash Court Case, Tues Mar 26, 6:30pm, 2002, Toronto. A evening with Sam George & Murray Klippenstein. Dudley George died on Sept 6, 1995, during a confrontation between members of the Kettle & Stony Point Band and the Ontario Provincial Police. For the past five years, members of the George family, represented by Mr. Klippenstein, have pursued a wrongful-death lawsuit which has generated considerable political controversy. Please join us to meet the two people at the centre of the court case. Mr. George will explain what his brother's death has meant for him, his family and aboriginal peoples in Canada. Mr. Klippenstein will explain what has motivated him to devote thousands of hours of unpaid time to the case and give his views on the significance of the case for all forms of progressive politics. At our invitation, both will reflect upon the connections between aboriginal rights and the protection of nature. (Annual Douglas Pimlott Memorial Lecture). Followed by coffee & socializing with our two speakers. Free. Innis College Town Hall, 2 Sussex (just off St. George, 2 blocks south of Bloor). Info: Doug Macdonald 416-978-1558 [related: ]

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(this page is: revised Apr 7, 2002)