Canada feeds the haters...
David Harris looks at the rioting at the recent G20 in Toronto...
Businesses damaged. Cars aflame. It’s been two weeks and we’ve yet to take responsibility for Toronto’s G20 rioting. We should, because we laid the groundwork for it.
For years, our neglect, denial and self-censorship have prepared the conditions for this kind of mess. We citizens have elected, appointed and rewarded those who have all but telegraphed the message that it is open season on public order, peace and stability.
Toronto’s civic leaders and police management set the stage for the summit riots by advertising their self-paralyzing tendencies. Remember 2009, when the city signalled its willingness to be victimized by masses of Tamil Tigers’ terrorist supporters who flouted the law by blocking public thoroughfares? Ordinary citizens saw their constitutional right to free movement impinged, and had to get out of the way. Police high command met its own short-term convenience by refusing to act as police. This dereliction clearly had the support of city government. There were no consequences for Metro police and city managers who facilitated this lawlessness and public constraint. Meanwhile, society said little, and adversaries watched and took note.
The same thing unfolded contemporaneously in Ottawa in front of Parliament. Police bosses and city politicians, fearing offending radical vote-blocs, chose to smooth the way for disruption rather than enforce the law. In an appallingly graphic display of society’s malaise, smartly-uniformed Ottawa police were interspersed throughout crowds of people bearing Tamil Tigers flags. Some officers sported fluorescent vests emblazoned with the word, “Liaison”. What were police liaising with? Did it bother Ottawa’s mayor and police hierarchy that the visible presence of liaison personnel legitimized one of the world’s foremost terror organizations, the granddaddy of suicide bombers?
In major cities, disruptive terror-supporting elements have become emboldened. Hezbollah, another banned terror outfit, has had its agitators brandish their flags openly in our streets. This may be free expression, but it reflects a growing extremist conviction that there is nothing to fear from quaking authority. And little protection for average folk.
An exaggeration? Not to tourists attending Montreal’s charming Old Port district in 2006 for the international fireworks competition. Witnesses saw bearded and beveiled Hezbollah supporters take over an area near Place Jacques-Cartier in a solidarity moment with terrorists “back home.” Encircling and intimidating a lone busker, the yelling radicals ordered him to leave “their” territory. Frightened, the performer whimpered that he’d put money into a municipal permit to perform there, that he had a wife and kids to support.
Like any predator, Hezbollah recognizes helplessness – in society and people – and kicked out the terrified man. Two anxious police watched this extension of south Lebanese jurisdiction, considered the matter, and scrammed.
What are society’s enemies making of authorities’ betrayal of citizens and the rule of law? A great deal, and much of it spells licence. Why would the violence-prone be inhibited by non-existent consequences? And why should risk-averse police and city supremos change their ways when the public doesn’t discipline them?