Tuesday, 22 May 2012

You shall not mask!

So this new legislation put into effect by the Quebec government, or the city of Montreal (or the government of Canada), which bans the wearing of masks, and makes it mandatory to advise police of plans to protest in large groups, has had little to no impact. And why should it? It is a silly law intended to revoke our rights to be counted but not identified, and to revoke our right to protest. True, Montreal has practically been a war-zone for a third of the year now, but can that all be blamed on protestors?

We've already seen pretty compelling evidence that the Police instigate 'breaking stuff' by planting their own masked protestors into the protests, and they have been called out on it in Quebec already. Toronto was likely more of the same, and there have been plenty of police issues called out in the Toronto G20 protests. It is true that I have not seen similar footage of masked bandits breaking things wearing police issue boots in Toronto, but it's likely that the Toronto police had watched the Montebello footage and realized they must wear all non-police issue street clothes, because we are paying close attention to the details.

As for informing police of protest plans and routes in advance, would this not make a 'protest against police brutality' an easy target for police brutality? I am also not sure how one informs police of plans nobody knew about before-hand. Remember the Rodney King riots in L.A.? Those were droves of angry citizens piling into the streets with no pre-planning whatsoever. When court cases have unpopular verdicts and people show up to protest the failure of justice, this is not generally planned either. Even when these things are planned, they tend to be anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian, and often anti-police, why should we have to invite the very people we are protesting against to the party?

I did have one ironic thought on this mask ban: won't this make it more difficult for the masked police infiltrators to try and incite violence in these protests if they are not allowed to wear masks anymore? With that in mind, maybe the mask ban is a good thing... Doubtful, but one can always hope.

I am thinking the best way to attack this foolishness is this: I will inform police when I go downtown, just in case I meet some friends and we discuss things and get angry about it... If we all do our duty and advise police that we could potentially become an angry mob at any time for whatever reason, they should re-write this crap pretty quickly.


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