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Archive for March, 2009

Police confirm end of Niagara Detention Centre riot

Sat Mar. 28 2009
ctvtoronto.ca [Ontario]

A riot involving 17 inmates has ended at Niagara Detention Centre late Saturday afternoon.

Police offered few details on the riot, but they did confirm that the inmates were wearing masks and did have control of a portion of the facility.

There is no word on what sparked the riot, nor if any injuries occurred.

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Inmates face off against jail guards

Posted By DON FRASER , ST. CATHARINES STANDARD
Monday, March 30, 2009

A standoff between guards and 17 inmates at the Niagara Detention Centre in Thorold lasted almost five hours Saturday.

Niagara Regional Police say the situation started at 11:20 a. m. in the ground-floor day room range area.

Corrections staff kept the disturbance confined to the area.

The NRP responded as a precautionary measure and acted as support outside the facility. Ontario Provincial Police were also present.

A corrections negotiator was brought in to deal with the situation. The inmates demanded some concessions during negotiations, but police did not reveal any details.

Some inmates also began to make weapons from items available in the area. At 4:10 p. m., corrections staff entered the area and secured the inmates involved without incident.

Police say no corrections staff or inmates were injured during this disturbance. About $2,000 in damages was caused to the facility by inmates.

Police and the detention centre say the public was never at risk. No one from the Niagara Detention Centre was available for comment late Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services website, the facility has a capacity of 260 inmates.

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Man shocked to find his car set ablaze
Police call act random vandalism

By: Gabrielle Giroday
Winnipeg Free Press [Manitoba]
March 26, 2009

HE survived a war in Bangladesh in the early 1970s.

However, the most shocking personal experience Canadian immigrant Selim Momtaz said he’s had was waking up Saturday to learn vandals ignited his car and three others on his street.

Police said there was about $40,000 damage to the vehicles parked around Raber Road and Hume Street around 6 a.m. Saturday. Three of the vehicles are seriously damaged.

Police are looking for more information about who caused the blaze.

“I can’t even think of how people break windows and just burn cars. We’re living in 2009, and still there’s people burning cars?” said Momtaz, 40, who moved to Canada in 2002 and works in Winnipeg.

He said his seven-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter were terrified to see their family’s only car, a 1997 Toyota Camry, ruined after suspects lit the fire and ran off.

He said he’s shaken by what he said he sees as an attack on his family.

The vehicle is now sitting in a Plessis Road car lot, a write-off.

“My daughter, she was crying,” he said.

“This incident is totally unacceptable. I still can’t imagine people would do that.”

According to a Manitoba Public Insurance spokesman, there are about 20,000 vehicle vandalism claims submitted a year, including about 100 to 120 for vehicles wrecked by arson.

Sgt. Derrick Todoruk of the Winnipeg Police Service Arson Strike Force said the vehicle fires Saturday caused “mindless, senseless damage.”

The Arson Strike Force is so busy with investigations he said the top priorities for officers are fires affecting two or more vehicles.

“It appears at this point it wasn’t linked to any planned event. You could equate it almost to kids walking down the street causing mischief,” he said.

He said anyone with information on the fire can call Crime Stoppers at [stop snitchin’]

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Arson suspected in blaze at home of Manitoba Mountie

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
CBC News

The home of an RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] officer in northern Manitoba was deliberately torched early Wednesday morning, police say, the second arson of a Mountie’s residence in less than a year.

The officer’s trailer was empty when another RCMP officer, who was off-duty at the time, noticed smoke pouring from the residence around 1:45 a.m. on the remote Pukatawagan First Nation, 820 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

The RCMP officer who spotted the fire quickly got help from other Mounties at the detachment. Armed with fire extinguishers and a garden hose, the officers attempted to control the flames until the Pukatawagan Fire Department arrived and extinguished the fire.

The damage to the doublewide trailer is considered extensive and likely a total loss, RCMP stated in a news release.

The Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner has been called in to help the RCMP investigate the fire, which is being labelled as arson.

Last spring an RCMP officer was lucky to get out alive when his trailer was torched on the Shamattawa First Nation, located about 200 kilometres east of Thompson and just south of Hudson Bay.

A smoke alarm woke him up at about 4:30 a.m., according to RCMP. The trailer was destroyed. One man was charged with arson and endangering life in connection with that incident.

A year earlier, in August 2007, an RCMP detachment under construction on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation at The Pas was burned down. Four male teens were arrested for the crime, which caused $1.4 million in damage.

The detachment was rebuilt and the Mounties have since moved back in.

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Calgary Herald, March 21, 2009

Calgary Herald, March 21, 2009

Calgary Herald, March 21, 2009

Calgary Herald, March 21, 2009

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Protest groups upset over rally violence

By KATIE SCHNEIDER, SUN MEDIA
The Calgary Sun [Alberta]
March 23, 2009

CALGARY — Anti-Racist Action Calgary is condemning the violent actions of protesters demonstrating on their side of the line who clashed with the Aryan Guard at a weekend rally.

Three protesters were arrested Saturday when the anti-racist group confronted members of the Aryan Guard who were marching to celebrate White Pride Day.

The rally of several hundred people became violent when demonstrators began tossing water bottles, cans of food and signs at each other.

The chaotic clash injured two people, including Sun columnist Rick Bell.

But Jason Devine, spokesman for ARA, said the group does not condone violent protesting.

“We have said from the beginning it was supposed to be confrontational but not violent,” he said.

“We have never called on people to physically assault the Aryan Guard — our job was to ostracize them, getting the message out there are Nazis in our community.

“The signs are there to get the message out not there to bust people’s heads open.”

Devine said those who resorted to violence and were arrested were not associated to the ARA and had just joined the march off the street.

And once the debris was thrown, he said he tried to stop it.

“We immediately said to people ‘don’t do that because this is not what it’s about’,” he said.

“We in no way condone random people attacking them.”

But he said he doesn’t feel the ARA’s image has been tarnished with the violence that erupted from its side of the line.

“If people look into the situation … the ARA has not and is not advocating violence,” he said.

“They (the Aryan Guard) are the ones advocating violence.”

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Protest turns violent as Calgary Aryan Guard, anti-racism activists square off

By Jamie Komarnicki, Calgary Herald [Alberta]
March 21, 2009

A white pride march through Calgary’s core quickly deteriorated into a violent melee Saturday as protesters flung rocks, aluminum cans and other projectiles into a crowd of people taking part in the demonstration.

Several fist fights broke out at the Aryan Guard rally and at least two people were treated for head injuries after being hit by the projectiles, although the injuries weren’t serious.

Police arrested three people, and charges are pending.

More than 400 anti-racist protesters confronted about 60 members of Calgary-based white supremacist group, the Aryan Guard.

The white pride marchers began their route near Mewata Armouries and planned to make their way to city hall.

The Aryan Guard waved white pride flags and chanted slogans as they zigzagged through the inner city. Their path was blocked at several turns by the raucous anti-racist activists, who first clashed with the marchers at 7th Avenue and 6th Street SW.

A strong police presence formed a human barricade between the two sides.

Authorities broke up several fights between the two sides along the way.

At one point, the Aryan Guard marchers brought traffic to a standstill on 6th Avenue as they threaded their way through vehicles.

“It freaks me out,” said one motorist, recording the protest on his cellphone through his car window.

The protest ended at about 4:30 p.m. when the Aryan Guard boarded a city bus and were shuttled out of the core.

Earlier in the day, the group of anti-racist activists held a “celebration of diversity” on the steps of city hall as part of efforts to overshadow the Aryan Guard’s event.

Several hundred people, many waving anti-racist signs and some of them masked, gathered for a series of speeches and songs promoting multiculturalism.

Rally organizers lashed out at the Aryan Guard.

“The message has to get out there, they’ve got to be exposed,” said Jason Devine.

“This rally isn’t going to get rid of the Aryan Guard, but it is a blow to them.

“This is a springboard we have to build of off. We have to take the energy of this rally and go further.”

Kelsey Mills learned of the event after reading an article in her high school newspaper. A similar event last year — which saw throngs of white supremacists and anti-racists clash on downtown Calgary streets — was shocking, she said.

“I just think that it’s not right. The Aryan Guard shouldn’t be around,” said Mills, 17.

Harmohinder Plaha, president of Calgary’s South Asian Canadian Association, called for Calgarians to stand up against racism.

“We don’t like racism. We are totally against it,” he said.

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International Day Against Police Brutality – Vancouver – March 15 – 2007

Woodward’s Squat –  Vancouver – 2002

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$400,000 deal to end plant blockade

By Donald McArthur, The Windsor Star [Ontario]
March 19, 2009

Aradco and Aramco workers received $400,000 from Chrysler to end their blockade of two shuttered auto parts plants in Windsor and will go after the plants’ U.S.-based owners for outstanding severance monies.

The offer from Chrysler amounts to eight weeks vacation pay for each of 80 laid off workers and doubles the offer workers rejected by a margin of 64 per cent Monday. The amount falls far short of the $1.5 million in severance and termination pay legally owed workers by Catalina Precision Products, which closed the plants abruptly last Tuesday.

“It’s a victory that we ended up getting something for them more than what they had from day one when they first walked out, which was nothing,” said CAW Local 195 President Gerry Farnham.

“We ended up getting them $400,000 that they wouldn’t have normally been entitled to. Unfortunately, we had to get that through a third employer, which really bothers me.”

Should Catalina end up declaring bankruptcy, workers should receive an additional four weeks pay under the federal government’s wage protection program.

Aradco and Aramco workers, who now have no jobs and face a bleak job market, said the Chrysler money was better than nothing. They called on Catalina to provide them severance and termination pay and urged the government to introduce legislation to protect workers.

“We go what we could get,” said Joel Elschner, 38, an 11-year employee at Aramco. “It’s not all we’re entitled to but it’s certainly more than Catalina was going to give us.”

The deal with Chrysler ended a union blockade outside the two shuttered plants, which had prevented the automaker from retrieving tooling vital to vehicle production at multiple North American plants. Trucks were seen removing Chrysler tooling from the plants on Thursday.

Catalina maintains it has no money to pay the severance to the workers and that Chrysler owes it money. Workers expressed fears that any money paid to Catalina would be paid to banks and creditors and dry up long before workers saw even a penny.

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Workers occupy Aradco factory

By Donald McArthur and Chris Thompson, Windsor Star
March 18, 2009

A handful of workers intent on stopping Chrysler from removing parts and tooling until they receive termination and severance pay occupied the Windsor Aradco plant Tuesday.

“Their resolve is pretty strong,” said CAW Local 195 president Gerry Farnham.

“It’s a shame we have to do this.”

Shortly before 6 p.m. about half a dozen workers appeared on the roof of the Charles Street plant, which shut down last week. One planted a CAW Local 195 flag near the front of the roof.

The workers managed to gain entry to the secured plant, setting off the alarm system and thereby notifying police.

A dozen officers arrived but workers gathered outside managed to keep them from entering the plant.

A call was made to CAW president Ken Lewenza and, with the assistance of other senior CAW leadership, a lawyer for parent company Catalina Precision Products was convinced to contact Windsor police.

“The lawyer for Catalina didn’t want us to cross the line either,” said Sgt. Tony Garro.

“We are just going to stay back and make sure nothing further develops. If there is something blatant we’ll deal with it.”

Farnham climbed on top of a pile of wooden pallets and delivered the news to workers, who responded with cheers.

Earlier in the day Rick Laporte, president of CAW Local 444, which represents workers at Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant, was among a blockade numbering more than 100 that stopped a flatbed truck, which was backed up by Chrysler security vehicles, from entering Aradco, one of two Chrysler suppliers that abruptly closed last Tuesday.

“It’s a delicate situation,” said Laporte. “This is not a good situation for either side.”

Complicating matters for the union is that Chrysler wants to move the tooling equipment from two plants represented by CAW Local 195 to another plant, Narmco, represented by the same local.

The truck was denied entry about 2 p.m. as Chrysler sought in a Toronto courtroom to add teeth to an injunction it obtained last week. The injunction stipulated the company owned and had a legal right to retrieve parts and tooling from Aradco and Aramco on Walker Road.

The impasse could stall production at several North American Chrysler plants by next week and as early as today at the Wrangler plant in Toledo, said Chrysler spokesman Dave Elshoff.

[…]

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International Day Against Police Brutality in Montreal

March 15, 2009

Undercover cops attacked after making arrest

Demonstration and barricade building

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17 to be arraigned today

Montreal Gazette [Quebec]
March 16, 2009

MONTREAL – Seventeen people are to be arraigned at the Montreal Municipal Courthouse Monday afternoon on charges related to Sunday’s chaotic march through downtown Montreal against police brutality, in which police arrested 221 people.

Police estimated protesters caused $200,000 in damages to store and hotel windows, cars and police cars. Two police officers suffered minor injuries.

The 17 were detained Sunday night for charges including assault, mischief, theft and possession of a weapon with dangerous intent, Montreal police Constable Laurent Gingras said. Fifteen others were arrested on Criminal Code violations but were released and will probably appear in court at a later date.

Monday morning, workers at two adjacent hotels on Sherbrooke St., the Hitlon Garden Inn and the Mariott Courtyard, were preparing to replace large windows that were cracked during the march. A twisted garbage can lay not far away on Sherbrooke St. Police said the damaged police cars were removed to garages, but they could not say how many were damaged.

Another 189 people were given tickets for municipal by-law infractions, mainly for unlawful assembly. They will probably receive tickets of $144 in the mail, police said.

Of the total 221 arrested, there were 198 men and 23 women. Forty-one of those arrested were minors. Two minors are among the 17 expected to be arraigned Monday.

Police ruled the demonstration illegal shortly after it began at 2 p.m. Sunday near the Mont Royal métro station because some marchers held objects that could be used as weapons, police said.

About 400 protesters marched along St. Denis St. and Sherbrooke St. toward downtown. Police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets at people throwing rocks and bottles. By 9 p.m., police filled four buses and several police vans with those arrested.

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