PSA: November 24th: Solidarity and Justice for Robert Dziekanski

by matttbastard

Via Getting It Right:

Rallies in support of Robert Dziekanski and family have been organized (for next Saturday, November 24th, 2007) in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto. Here’s an overview:

Vancouver: Protest against RCMP using excessive force on Robert!
Host: Facebook Group – “Petition against RCMP officers involved in YVR Tazer Death”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Downtown Vancouver, Art Gallery (Georgia Street side)
City/Town: Vancouver, BC

Description:
A protest against the brutality shown in the video, which resulted in the death of new immigrant Robert Dziekanski, 40. Please express your interest by showing up next Saturday November 24th, downtown at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Georgia Street side. Rally will commence 12pm. Please try to wear the red/white colors of the deceased’s Polish heritage, in his memory. Remember, this is about awareness of the tragedy and a protest against the excessive use of tasers, _NOT_ an anti-police rally. THIS WILL BE A PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION!

More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=8636840125

VICTORIA: Solidarity and Justice for Robert Dziekanski.
Express your outrage and show supprt for his family through a peaceful demonstration

Host: Facebook Group – “Petition against RCMP officers involved in YVR Tazer Death”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
City/Town: Victoria, BC

Description: PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION – come along and express your outrage and your disgust at the recent events resulting in the unlawful killing of Robert Dziekanski. Show Solidarity for the Dziekanski family and demand Justice so that this kind of thing NEVER happens again

More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=6187158110

TORONTO: Defend Robert Dziekanski Toronto Queen’s Park Protest Nov 24
Protesting Unreasonable Force/Showing Solidarity with Vancouver BC Protest Nov 24

Host: Facebook Group – “Protesting the use of Excessive force on Robert Dziekanski”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: Queen’s Park
Street: University Avenue
City/Town: Toronto, ON

Description: This Protest is designed to continue raising media awareness about the mistreatment of Robert Dziekanski and protest the unreasonable use of force. We want the government to know that Canadians, regardless of their location in Canada are disgusted and heartbroken by the handling of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver Airport. This situation involves issues of race, nationalism, violence and most significantly ethical human behaviour of kindness, patience and compassion.

More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6407280731

Please show your support!

All events in memory of Robert Dziekanski

Update: also see skdadl @ pogge and April Reign

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Axes And Allies

by matttbastard

Gene of The Cylinder, bumped from comments:

I think that we’ve got to be careful here. This is absolutely not a comment to clear the RCMP of any wrongdoing. There is an urgent need to fix it. “Fix” is the operative word here.

A while ago I read a Ron [Dart] post in which he wrote about “legitimate criticisms” of the world order and I believe it applies in the current context as well: “The much more difficult question to answer is this: what is the best and wisest way to oppose such an order, and, equally important, how do we create a just and equitable world order and standards that serve a nation well?” (See also here)

I think that it may be well to keep in mind that while many of us would like to see the RCMP fixed, there are many others who would truly, really like to see the whole apparatus destroyed … to be replaced by the likes of Blackwater. Dart gets it.

JFTR, Dawg contends that he would like to see the RCMP replaced with “a new national police force, one not only sworn to uphold the law rather than break it with impunity, but under a civilian review board with the power to ensure that the oath is kept: one that can actually bring errant officers, and indeed the Commissioner if need be, to account.” To me, that can be defined as ‘fixing,’ in a “destroy in order to rebuild” sense. I still think, qua Greg Weston, that before any creative destruction takes place a public enquiry first needs to be convened post haste, if only to take full stock of just how corrupted the force has become; then we can most effectively begin mulling diagnoses (including the scorched earth option).

But I’m unsure where the likes of (eg) Terry O’Neill stand on this issue, beyond agreeing that the system is, in fact, broken.

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Quote Of The Day: Becoming Evil

Via Daev @ Designated Protest Zone, Dana nails it:

“People become evil by doing evil; it is rare that a person is evil by nature alone. Evil does not exist so one can make use of it. Evil does not flow from a place of power but one of weakness”.

You have become evil by doing evil. You are weak and you are above all cowards.

You fit right in with todays RCMP.

Related: The Vancouver Sun on the funeral of Robert Dziekanski, including full text of the eulogy, delivered by family friend Jurek Baltakis:

Now, I would like to conduct a small experiment here.

[Speaks a short sentence in Polish, and a few dozen audience members raise their hands.]

Well, I see that most of you are confused, and cannot follow this simple instruction. I just asked you to put your right hand up. So simple. Looks like you do not understand Polish. This is how Robert felt for over nine hours at the airport — lost, confused, thirsty and hungry, and ignored by all. I made the same trip over 20 years ago. With two small children, Maria and I, we arrived at Vancouver airport tired and our hearts were pounding. We were so uncertain and afraid. Fortunately, people from immigrant services welcome us and help us … at the Vancouver and Kamloops airports. They were like guardian angels for us.

Robert was not so fortunate. At the airport, the airport services and RCMP failed him and Zofia. There were no guardian angels or any other helpful human being working there to prevent this tragedy. There are many questions that need to be answered, and I am certain that one day, they will… that one day, Robert’s tragic death will leave us this legacy, and this will never happen again.

Share your condolences with Mrs Csowski and family here.

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Macleans: “The RCMP is in ruins.”

by matttbastard

Via Terry O’Neill @ The Shotgun Blog (the preceding still seems like it should be a typo), this week’s issue of Macleans features a must read cover story by Jonathon Gatehouse and Charlie Gillis, What’s really killing the Mounties.

Sample:

This past summer, David Brown, the Toronto lawyer charged with investigating the mishandling of the RCMP’s pension and insurance funds, lifted the lid on a much more serious problem, declaring the force’s culture, governance and management structure “horribly broken.” (A new task force he is chairing will deliver recommendations on how to fix the problems to the Harper government next month.) As a constitutional challenge over legislation that denies RCMP officers the right to unionize looms, the divide between front-line members and their “white shirt” bosses seems wider than ever. According to the results of an internal 2007 survey, only 50 per cent of RCMP employees now believe they are treated fairly by the force; just 54 per cent feel “respected and trusted” by their superiors; and a feeble 26 per cent agree that the force develops capable and competent senior leaders. Much has been made of the recent appointment of William Elliott, a former bureaucrat and “new broom” commissioner who replaced Giuliano Zaccardelli, who resigned in disgrace over the Maher Arar affair. But even with a civilian at the helm, the force’s taste—or capacity—for the type of reforms needed to address such widespread concerns remains an open question.

As O’Neill notes, the report was apparently written prior to the release of the Robert Dziekanski Taser video, but still provides an exhaustive rundown of the overall disarray afflicting all levels of RCMP culture, of which the Taser incident is the latest (if most visceral) example. Read the whole damn thing; maybe Dawg is right.

PS – Never forget.

Related: After 34 days, the four officers involved in the death of Mr Dziekanski were finally reassigned. Took ’em long enough, eh? Accountability, thy name is “Elliott”.

Oh, and Dave @ the Beav reports that suggestions the use of its product may have actually resulted in someone keeling over (again) has given TASER Int’l the vapors. Not quite at the level of excited delirium, thankfully. Still, company security best keep close watch on the executive offices, just in case.

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