Well, firstly, my position is HARDLY the position of most Canadians, as far as I know.
Secondly, my background does present a little bit of bias towards those I see as violators of the law, as well as the lax Canadian justice system. I
am a college graduate of a program in Law and Private Security. I have worked security for the better part of those two years, seeing how the industry
works. I am due to head to Canadian Forces Basic Military Qualification on the 30th of October.
That said, I continue. My cousins (both reserve force) have been trained in riot control. I have not. However, I have seen my fair share of protests.
I have watched Hamilton PD officers watch with arms folded as protesters sat and smoked marijuana for the cause of it's decriminalization. There was
zero arrests, zero injuries. This is what constitutes a peaceful protest to me. Similarly, the loud and generally protests of the supporters of both
Israel and Palestine/Lebannon during the recent conflict were peaceful, save a few assault charges. No police injuries, only a few minor scuffles.
Again, peaceful protesting.
The WTO, Summit of Americas, and native protests are not what I consider to be either peaceful nor suitable for police control. It took the better
part of a day for police in Seattle to clear a route -not the city, a route- for the delegates through blockades of people and debris. All the while,
the city was burning. After that, the ACLU came after the department with a pointy stick, despite the fact that they were facing very violent protests
and were severely undermanned.
Contrast that to the Quebec Summit, and the SQ and local police forces just barely held a perimeter. The reserves -if not the Van Doos- should have
been called out to aid police. Multiple times the security fences were breached.
To me, a riot that last more than about four hours is unacceptable, due to potential loss of life and property damage. If the riots cannot be
controlled after four hours, it's time to call in the calvary before someone gets seriously hurt. My assumption from your comments is that while the
National Guard is sort of equipped for these situations, they're not trained for it. They're soldiers with doweling, riot shields and helmets. Not
much good, but much better than nothing. Our soldiers are, at least, partially trained to detain, deploy teargas, etc.
Another item of note, and I'm not sure how much of this is common knowledge, but there is a culture of protest, for lack of better expression. It has
existed at least since the sixties, and borders on the militant. Lately, I have noted that it is indeed growing more militant. The introduction of
regular black bloc
groups, street medics,
growing organization among 'moblization groups' makes a case that indeed, militancy on certain issues, especially regarding globalization and the
Iraq war. the dissemination of anti-police tactics on the net is happening to unbelievable degree.
Not all protesters are violence, but there are groups of them that are both violent and destructively criminal. These groups often attack or injure
police, as well as fellow protesters either directly or indirectly. That said, I do believe that if current trends continue, either the police will
have to become more militant, or the military will ahve to be called down to help quell riots as they did (albeit far too late) in the Rodney King
riots. That was tradgic enough in itself, but police either haven't learned, or have learned and can't do much about it. There are only so many
boots they can put on the street, and they will ALWAYS be outnumbered by protesters.
While I envy the rights offered by your constitution -especially the second ammendment- it's also good to know that should I end up in policing (or
lord forbid, private security) that the army is available to help contain the violence.
Well, most of the time.