Steelworker Official Condemns Police Tactics at G8/G20 Protests

Oppose the Police Tactics at the G8-G20 Protests
By Rolf Gerstenberger, President, Local 1005 USW

Local 1005 congratulates its members and pensioners who participated in the protests against the agendas of the G8 and G20 in Toronto last week, especially in the Saturday Day of Action. So too we congratulate the members of the Hamilton unions and, most importantly, the youth from our city who together with thousands of others courageously defied the campaign of fear which sought to persuade them not to take a stand against the G8/G20 agendas and in defence of their right to protest and express their views.

As many of you know, Local 1005 USW stood firmly with the youth. As a matter of principle we chose to stand with the sons and daughters of the people to defend them against the wild and vicious police attacks and obstruction.

The truth is that the police attempted to bloc the demonstration from proceeding towards the security fence way before any alleged vandalism took place. Even though millions were spent to build a security fence and the public was prohibited from entering anywhere near the G20 proceedings; even though on top of this a secret regulation was passed which prohibited the public from entering an additional area of five metres from the fence, on the actual day of the demonstration the arbitrariness of the authorities was such that the police in fact blocked the demonstration from accessing an area larger than the security zone the public knew anything about.

We opposed this arbitrariness and clearly condemn both the outrageous police tactics and the justifications for those tactics. Prime Minister Harper says they are justified to provide security. The activities of what he calls demonstrators who he says use “black bloc tactics” show it is worth it. This is what, in our opinion, Canadians will have to make up their minds about. What are called “black bloc tactics” are like the tactics used by none other than the Special Forces of the U.S. and Canadian armies. The fear mongering and threats of the police, repeated by the media, are right out of the manual on how to conduct a dirty war. We directly witnessed such things both in Quebec City and Montebello. Attempts to identify these tactics with the protestors is mischief making with the explicit aim to justifying a police state. To their great merit, all those who stood their ground at the protest on Saturday represent the great hope that Canadians will never agree with such things.

The government and police are creating a climate of anarchy and violence and the media are feeding it. Nothing they have done can be called the rule of law. The police are making the law and Canadians who refuse to agree to this are targeted for attack. The problem is not only those caught up in the web under the hoax that they are collateral damage. We must specifically defend the fighting forces. This is what the war against fascism taught the world.

Once again we congratulate all those who stood their ground and oppose the anarchy and chaos caused by the police in Toronto so as to justify a police state. It must not pass.

For more information: call 905-547-1417 or e-mail or visit