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Archive for June, 2007

Youths Attack Patrol Car

by Jean-Guy Gougeon
Le Nord-Est
June 28, 2007

Protesting against the chief’s decision to call on the Quebec Provincial Police (SQ in French) to temporarily replace the Innu police, fifteen youths destroyed a SQ patrol car in the Ekuanitshit (Mingan) community Sunday morning. Six of them appeared in court on Tuesday.

Around 5:30am two officers responded to a call about a break-in at a corner store. They arrived and examined the scene; as they were walking around the building they came face to face with a gang of youths who attacked them with bats. The two officers had to run to a second patrol car which had arrived.

At the same time the youths destroyed the patrol car, smashing its windshields and lights. A call for help sent to the SQ station at Havre Saint-Pierre brought other police into the Innu community. Two hours later, three youths were arrested, followed by three others who the police claim were brought in by their parents.

The six youths were arrested, and brought to Sept-Iles where they appeared on Tuesday. The SQ had been patrolling the community since last Thursday at the request of the chief, due to problems with the Innu police officers who normally patrol there.

sq.jpg

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Vandals hit city, region offices

BRENT DAVIS
The Waterloo Record, Ontario, Canada
WATERLOO (Jun 27, 2007)

Under a blazing sun, Bernie Vandonk donned a heavy jacket, mask and gloves as he undid the damage caused by a pair of vandals in Waterloo.

Using sandblasting equipment, Vandonk, with the city’s environmental department, sprayed away graffiti that covered the sidewalk in front of the Waterloo City Centre on Regina Street South.

The building’s brick pillars were also targeted, as was the nearby regional Public Health & Social Services building. The graffiti included spray-painted antiwar and anti-government messages, along with several expletives and symbols.

“This upsets me,” Vandonk said. “It’s quite time-consuming to remove, and it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Police believe the buildings were hit at about 3 a.m. yesterday. Surveillance video from the lobby of the regional building shows two individuals spraying graffiti inside the building.

“We stand firm that we will not tolerate this as a community,” Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran said. “Our buildings are not message boards for political statements.”

Waterloo regional police spokesperson Olaf Heinzel said the graffiti is believed to be connected to vandalism which occurred overnight on Sunday.

In that case, several businesses and vehicles were spray-painted with similar messages in the area of Weber and Louisa streets.

“This is not a victimless crime,” Heinzel said. “Someone has to pay to remove these materials.” A damage estimate has not been set.

Police are looking for two young women between the ages of 16 and 20 wearing hooded sweatshirts and jean shorts.

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8 people arrested during St. Jean festivities

Danielle Adams, The Montreal Gazette
Published: Monday, June 25, 2007

St. Jean Baptiste Day festivities were relatively peaceful at Maisonneuve Park this year, with only eight people arrested and no major incidents, Montreal police said this morning.

Two people are facing assault charges after three police officers were injured by bottles and cans thrown at them during the Fete nationale, according to Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe. The officers received minor cuts to their faces, Lapointe said.

Six other people were arrested for municipal infractions.

Those arrested include five adults and three suspects who are under 18.

“It was a good year,” Lapointe said. He added that although there were no arrests at last year’s St. Jean Baptiste Day party, there has been trouble in other years. In 2001, for example, 28 people were arrested after a mob of hooligans vandalized 12 Montreal businesses.

Such outbreaks of rowdiness on the Quebec holiday have become less common since 1999, when the number of arrests reached 100.

St. Jean Baptiste Day is typically the biggest day of the year for the Montreal police, Lapointe said. He would not specify, however, how many officers were on duty yesterday.

 

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day

“Social Cleansing” in Montreal (1997)

Quebec City Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day Riot (1996)

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“Atlantica” Riot: Perspective From A “Black Bloc” Participant

Anonymous
Saturday, Jun. 23, 2007

I’m writing this account to try and capture some of the beauty I experienced in the streets of Halifax that corporate and indymedia can’t seem to articulate. Corporate press is calling us violent criminals while indymedia is focusing on the arrests and not so shocking brutality of the police. Neither show the brief period where people took their lives back and stepped out of the expected norms of dissent.

On June 15th a few friends and I who had formed an affinity group went to the starting rally to join others who came to act as a bloc. I chose to act in a bloc so that I could remain anonymous and have relative safety to engage the state and its proposed freed trade initiative. The Black Bloc also made it so we could show a strong visual presence and put our anarchist politics front and center and not hide our real dreams of a new world. At the rally I was met by seventy others who chose to act in a bloc under the banner “G8 to Atlantica: Resistance is Global”.

The mood was tense as we began to march through the downtown streets cops on either side of the bloc as we passed through Halifax’s main shopping district without incident. At one point the whole march paused briefly and from the bloc you could here “We are! We are! We are beautiful together, we are powerful together” being shouted. As the march approached Parade Square the end point of the demo you could feel the excitement as the bloc prepared to split off and head to the convention center. Half a block before the split garbage bags were removed that were hiding shields made from garbage can lids and people removed flags from sticks and readied projectiles to be used against whatever tried to stop our dissent. Just as the bloc started to split a group of folks threw down the banner and started to run up hill towards the convention center. The rest of the bloc shouted for people not to run and stay together, this set the mood for the rest of the march.

As our bloc got reformed we approached the scattered line of cops guarding the convention center and a smoke bomb was thrown at their line and a cop van was hit with paint bombs as it drove from behind through the bloc. A group at the front carrying shields started advancing at the cops but the rest of the bloc was hesitant (It was found out later people thought the smoke bomb was teargas) so those at the front turned around and started marching back to the financial district we marched through earlier. On our way back corporate media was targeted with paint bombs and shouted at for their lies and misrepresentation of the effects of free trade policies. Our bloc was not there to be a media spectacle but to empower people and inspire action.

Once entering the financial district a bloc participant stepped out from the crowd and splattered the front window of a police van in paint, this is when things got started. We kept moving and the next target was TD Bank which lost three windows as it was hit with rocks and paint bombs. We continued until we came to an intersection where BMO (Bank of Montreal) was hit with a paint bomb and then the police reacted and attacked the crowd. The bloc could have pushed through this attack which was unorganized and outnumbered but people retreated and turned around down the street marching the way we just came. As we marched back TD Bank lost another window and was hit with more paint. We continued on for half a block but then a small split in the bloc happened as some turned around again towards police who had made arrests while others encouraged the crowd to keep moving as the police were gaining the upper hand. This is the point when police moved in and clashes erupted as people de-arrested their friends and fought to escape arrest. I can’t comment on the rest of the march because at this point I became isolated and needed to make my escape but I can say the bloc made one final paint bomb attack on the hotel where delegates were staying before being dispersed.

At the end of the day twenty one people had been arrested and one block member and two police sustained serious injuries. I’ve heard much criticism about what took place some justified and some not but I still left that action feeling more empowered then I’ve been in a long time and hope others are too. The Black Bloc that took place during that action was unprecedented for Halifax and much of Canada and I hope it’s a sign that people’s frustration with pointless marches where we shout demands at empty buildings and politicians who don’t give a fuck has come to a boiling point.

Our planet is dying, Indigenous land is being stolen, state repression increasingly present and destructive trade concepts like “Atlantica” are being pushed through with ease. In North America we can no longer sit idly by or be counted as numbers in the streets while our comrades across the globe directly confront the state and global capitalism. It is time to step up and confront this system whether that be in the militant street actions that took place in Halifax and Germany this summer or in the dead of the night when they least expect us.

Freedom, Love, Anarchy.

Anonymous

[Source: maritimes.indymedia.org]

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Big Business in the Streets

by Anonymous Vancouverite, June 21, 2007

A few officers from the Vancouver Police Department confronted a mass skateboarding session outside a bank in downtown Vancouver today, Thursday, June 21st, 2007, “Go Skateboarding Day”. I heard somebody yell something like “fuck you pigs” at the cops and then everybody started chanting “let us skate” before quickly taking off down the street to cross the Georgia Street viaduct, presumably to go to the skate park underneath it.

I had caught up with the crowd of about a hundred skateboarders as they were skating down Pender Street towards a little yuppie park near Canada Place. Many yuppies appeared to be disgusted at the mere sight of the skate session, as well as how it inconvenienced them from walking around doing their stupid business. A security guard also appeared on the scene and seemed to be calling the cops. A guy with a loudspeaker was telling him from afar to not worry about it because they’d be gone in a few minutes. He was also telling the crowd that the guy was just doing his job and so were we. Money was handed out for landed tricks.

The session moved down the block a bit to a bank and the loudspeaker guy was telling people to not block the doorway, again because they were doing their business and so were we. After this session ended and the crowd was about to take off, the cops showed up and shared some words, and apparently a short argument with the loudspeaker guy. As I described above, somebody yelled some shit at the cops and then everybody erupted into “let us skate!” for a few seconds before taking off.

The event, entitled “Wild in the Streets”, was “presented” and “facilitated” by the Emerica company.

The company encourages skaters to start their own events but discourages conflict. “Under all circumstances, use your common sense and never instigate conflict or allow yourself to be dragged into confrontations of any sort,” they say on their website. Their manifesto criticizes conventional organized skate events as “a misrepresentation of skateboarding, safely and conveniently re-packaged for mainstream corporate consumption.” They say, “Wild in the Streets is about challenging conformity.”

But obviously that challenge can’t go too far, since really interfering with other peoples’ business would threaten Emerica’s.

Nonetheless, their was a rebellious spirit amongst the crowd and fun was had by all, except the cops and the yuppies, and it seems that kids had to skip school to attend. It was a refreshing contrast to the dreary normality of daily life in the city. If only it could have been self-organized rather than an advertising opportunity.

Emerica Wild in the Streets

A different series of Vancouver events also called “Wild in the Streets”

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Exploring by leaps and bounds
Parkour participants jump over obstacles in Vancouver’s west end

CATHRYN ATKINSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
June 19, 2007

WEST VANCOUVER — Three young men warm up along the oceanfront in Ambleside Park in the fading heat of a bright Wednesday evening.

They try forward rolls on the pavement, with leader Rene Scavington teaching them the best way to fold in their shoulders and somersault.

Next, the trio “climb” horizontally along the ground for 10 minutes.

The sequence is completed with jumps on top of two granite pillars, and a leap onto a tree branch 2.5 metres off the ground. This is repeated until the motions are almost fluid.

Mr. Scavington, 22, and his students are practising the basics of parkour, also known as free running. With the aim of getting from point A to point B, participants jump and climb over walls, bus shelters and even buildings.

This occasional use of private or public property as a vertical promenade sometimes brings the traceurs – as parkour athletes are called – into conflict with security guards and police, which has proved as attractive to some participants as the sport itself.

One of Mr. Scavington’s students, Justin Neumeyer, jumps down from a park building on which he has been practising. He joined the program six months ago with three friends from Seacove Secondary School in North Vancouver. The 17-year-old said he first practised indoors for three months.

“My technique has improved greatly because of the classes. It’s a lot harder than it looks in videos, and we’re advancing faster because we practise,” he said, adding that his parents were pleased he had taken up such a “neat sport.”

“They’re happy I’m getting exercise,” he said.

The District of West Vancouver decided to offer a “parkour academy” as part of its recreation program, starting last September.

Derek Lowe, the city’s outdoor program co-ordinator, said the aim was to take parkour away from conflict with authority and property owners. He said West Vancouver’s course in Ambleside Park was the first of its kind in Canada.

Mr. Lowe first met Mr. Scavington at an outdoor sports event and drafted him to be the teacher.

“There’s obviously a need, and we’re happy to help. We became interested in it as an emerging activity, similar to the way skateboarding was regarded 20 years ago,” he said.

Mr. Lowe added that he has received calls of interest from as far away as Whistler and Langley.

“We think parkour is a lower risk than skateboarding or mountain biking because [participants] are not moving as fast,” he said. “Parents like the course because they know their teenagers are learning the safest way to do it.”

The academy offers Monday night indoor sessions at a local gymnastics club followed by Wednesday outdoor sessions at the park. Mr. Scavington said they also practise in downtown Vancouver every couple of weeks, usually in public areas.

He said he had been stopped by police many times since taking up the sport in 2005.

“We know how to handle them a lot better now as far as respect goes. If police tell us to take off, we don’t argue,” he laughed.

Parkour was founded in France over a decade ago and brought to Vancouver around 2002. The James Bond film Casino Royale opens with a 10-minute parkour chase through a building site. Advertisements and Internet sites like YouTube show clips of traceurs on the run.

Mr. Scavington says many people wrongly believe that the sport is dangerous.

“Whatever little you’ve heard about it, you’ll want to forget it,” he said. “From the time it started, parkour was about finding an efficient way to move. There are different levels for that. It wasn’t so much a way to rebel as it was trying to develop a new outlook on fitness.”

Mr. Scavington, who has a background in gymnastics, conceded that he was attracted by parkour’s perceived dangers when he first tried it. “At first, [my interest] was more based on the creativity and rebellion,” he said. “At first I thought it was crazy and dangerous, but it was good that I was afraid at first because I tried to learn more about it.”

He said that taking the program to a gym or park doesn’t take away the rebelliousness.

“It’s not a contradiction. Some people like the idea of trying parkour in a controlled setting,” he said. “And while that might not be the way everyone would like to learn it, the people I’ve trained are getting fit and learning the safe way to do it.”

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Parkour for Commies [and Anarchists]

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Halifax: Discussion of Tactics

by Wannabee Revolutionary Twerps
Thursday, Jun. 21, 2007

A opinion on the importance of the diversity of tactics and a rejection of politics as usual.

We wish to contribute to the existing discussion regarding the militant action that took place in the June 15th demonstration against ATLANTICA that is circulating within our community, as well as clarify and focus the discussion on some points which need to be expressed.

We reinforce that we are not pacifists and never have made the claim to be peaceful. As long as we continue to feel the direct and devastating impacts of globalized capitalism and neo-liberal ideology on our lives, we will not sit passively in wait as the institutions of the State along with capitalist enterprises dictate the conditions under which we live. As our lives and lifestyles are attacked, we will fight back.

The monopoly of violence was contested directly on June 15th. Whenever we enter in conflict with the police, courts and media, there is an inherent power imbalance centralized in the hands of those who defend this monopoly. In our efforts towards the shut down of ATLANTICA, it is important to deconstruct the relationships between the police state and those defending themselves, their demonstrations and future. Our only defense it to attack the continually growing normalization and submission to violence perpetrated by the State and Capitalism in our lives.

We are continually let down by the disempowering and generally ineffective methods of change offered by the State and furthermore recognize that the revolutionary changes we wish to see are unattainable through these avenues, as they require the State’s abolition. We are more interested in exploring tactics that reach beyond the boundaries of the State’s acceptable avenues of change simply because we think they are more effective.

However a sincere acceptance of a diversity of tactics is something we feel is absolutely fundamental to create and sustain a successful and inclusive movement. For the demo on June 15th, a collective body of autonomous individuals, acting out of their own volition, came together and agreed to explore a diversity of tactics, recognizing and respecting each individual’s autonomy.

We hope that the anti-authoritarian movement can continue to grow with respect and solidarity at its roots and that these sorts of discussions can continue to happen in a positive manner within our community.

We have never sought out normalcy, our desires reach beyond the existent.

– A few “Wannabe Revolutionary Twirps.”

[Source: maritimes.indymedia.org]

atlantica2.jpg


Anonymity As a Tactic

by nn
Thursday, Jun. 21, 2007

Regarding the arrestment and subsequent imprisonment of 20 individuals after the anti-Atlantica protest on June 15th, 10 out of these 20 individuals chose to remain anonymous while arrested, until their appearance before court on Monday.

In Canada it is illegal to remain anonymous while arrested. In fact, one will not even be given the opportunity to appear in court until authorities feel satisfied with the accused identification, and will remain in custody until then.

Not giving one’s name when arrested is a tactic that can be used for the purpose of causing confusion and chaos with the police procedure. This tactic however can only be used effectively if there is a large number of individuals who all get arrested and choose to stay anonymous at the same time. This could clog up the system so much that police may release all arrested.

In the context of a mass arrest after an action when all stay anonymous, this can hinder the police’s ability to distinguish one individual from the other and accuse one with heavier charges. It is more likely that the charges would be spread out evenly and that the arrested are treated as a group rather than the investigation and accusations being focused on the police’s random search for the ‘leaders’.

Another very important aspect of this is more ideological in its reasons. Not identifying yourself when arrested shows solidarity towards prisoners who face more severe implications when their identity is revealed (previous or serious charges, deportations…)

This solidarity action can encourage a wider range of individuals to not feel alienated because their identity carries heavier repercussions to their personal freedom, and be more comfortable participating in or supporting a political action.

In fact we do not want to give any legitimacy to a system that divides through national borders, only reinforcing the racist, oppressive and arbitrary separation of people.

It is important to be reminded that this action can only have any impact and effect if a large group of people are committed to making this decision before taking part in any action.

Stay anonymous stay NN!!!!

[Source: maritimes.indymedia.org]

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