A short video on Toronto Star’s recent G20 coverage, technology and protests

Three minutes on technology and protests, focusing on the Toronto Star’s recent G20 coverage, especially Rosie DiManno’s articles.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.

2 thoughts on “A short video on Toronto Star’s recent G20 coverage, technology and protests”

  1. Problem Solved states now banning police brutality recordings
    Are Cameras the New Guns? The move to stop recording of police misconduct

    see: http://www.thefreemanonline.org/headline/are-cameras-the-new-guns/

    This thought seems to have occurred to Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois and other state police/judicial systems too! – which is why they are thoughtfully banning recordings of police doing illegal things, (though as the article notes – it is still cool to record officers doing heroic things without their consent – so no need to flush all those tapes of the Doughnut Patrol saving kittens/assisting the elderly across streets down the toilet just yet…)

    SNIP: “In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states (Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland), it is now illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

    The legal justification for arresting the “shooter” rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where “no expectation of privacy exists” (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized….” and so on…

    This part’s pertinent too: “Carlos Miller at the Photography Is Not A Crime website offers an explanation: “For the second time in less than a month, a police officer was convicted from evidence obtained from a videotape. The first officer to be convicted was New York City Police Officer Patrick Pogan, who would never have stood trial had it not been for a video posted on Youtube showing him body slamming a bicyclist before charging him with assault on an officer. The second officer to be convicted was Ottawa Hills (Ohio) Police Officer Thomas White, who shot a motorcyclist in the back after a traffic stop, permanently paralyzing the 24-year-old man.”

    When the police act as though cameras were the equivalent of guns pointed at them, there is a sense in which they are correct. Cameras have become the most effective weapon that ordinary people have to protect against and to expose police abuse. And the police want it to stop. Happily, even as the practice of arresting “shooters” expands, there are signs of effective backlash. At least one Pennsylvania jurisdiction has reaffirmed the right to video in public places. As part of a settlement with ACLU attorneys who represented an arrested “shooter,” the police in Spring City and East Vincent Township adopted a written policy allowing the recording of on-duty policemen.

    As journalist Radley Balko declares, “State legislatures should consider passing laws explicitly making it legal to record on-duty law enforcement officials.”

    1. OPP increasingly targetting indy media/activists for filming
      It is important that we continue to document police violence, although it should be noted police also resist this, through both legal and illegal avenues. As was evidenced at a Jan. 12 Jewish Defence League / English Defence League anti-racist demonstration and throughout the G20, Canadian police are increasingly targeting Indy media journalists and activists for arrest BECAUSE they document police violence. While it is not yet illegal to film public acts of police brutality in Canada (as long as you don’t interfere with police activities), it is illegal to destroy/alter/damage evidence, something police regularly do in confiscating cameras and deleting evidence.

      See cases below…

      From CSN:

      > Two arrests, including the one where one young activist was beaten in full view of the crowd, and the arrest of a peaceful Jewish community member, were filmed. Two videocameras were confiscated, both containing video evidence of these violent arrests. Those filming the arrests were themselves arrested, one for “assault” and one for “obstruct police”. Both charges were dropped, but one camera has not be returned and is being “held as evidence”, the other was returned but all video and images had been erased by the Toronto Police.

      Cases from Quebec, not sure whether laws are similar in Ontario…

      Abus de pouvoir: deux policiers épinglés par le comité de déontologie

      Arrestation abusive: un cas similaire récent

      Périlleux de photographier des policiers en action…

      Légal de filmer une arrestation

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