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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lessons learned? 

Orwell's Bastard flags this posting about the G20 police riot from the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition:
. . . While sleeping on the floor of a University of Toronto building, [Quebec students] were woken by a police raid. About 110 students were arrested and taken to the Eastern Street detention centre where they were strip-searched, charged with conspiracy, and then kept for 36 - 48 hours before being given bail and released. They were required to return to Toronto three times for procedural matters before the court, On October 13, three and one half months after being charged, the students were told that all charges would be dropped.
This seems similar to strategies used in other parts of the world against students threaten them with the humiliation of strip-searches and jail, then leave them dangling for a while before announcing that there were no grounds for arresting them in the first place. The might be contrary to the Charter or Rights and Freedom, but once the police have used these tactics in Canada and emerged without consequence, other police might decide this is the way to behave.
O.B. concludes
As things stand currently, there doesn't seem to be any effective institutional remedy, even in the face of massive and egregious violations of the Charter. In other words, the cops know perfectly well that they can use the highest law of the land for toilet paper, and nobody's going to call them on it.

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