Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where Do We Go from Here? The G20 Summit, Black Bloc, and the Canadian Left

By Ali Mustafa
New Socialist Group


Public outcry continues to grow across Canada over the widespread abuse of civil liberties during the recent G20 Summit in Toronto. Over 1,000 people were rounded-up and arrested between June 26th- 27th, resulting in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. While the majority of those arrested have since been released, at least 16 people remain under strict bail conditions and face a variety of serious criminal charges. Countless others who managed to avoid arrest were indiscriminately searched, detained for hours, and even violently attacked by police.

Indeed, all the warning signs of a ‘police state’ were present: a pervasive state of fear and paranoia loomed over the city; freedom of movement was heavily restricted; massive police presence was encountered at every turn; ‘Big Brother’-like CCTV cameras closely watched over every move; and demonstrators stayed tightly together in groups, too afraid to travel the streets alone.

Yet what is particularly troubling about the G20 Summit is not so much the unprecedented $1 billion security cost or sweeping police power put on display but the new ‘age of austerity’ that promises to follow – one that will look to fully exploit the new precedent of state violence now in place. Just like any ‘moment’ of crisis, whether the long-term fallout will translate into the normalization of a new austerity regime or the mobilization of a new Canadian Left in response remains to be seen. The immediate question before us now is where do we go from here?

Read more HERE.

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