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Montreal in bid to unmask protesters

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posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:26 PM
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The last protest organized by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality saw fast-food outlet windows smashed, at least one car firebombed, and beer bottles hurled at heavily armed police. It saw a convenience store looted, and dozens of masked protesters wrestled to the ground.

Police say the march, which takes place in Montreal each spring, is always violent, and is an example of why they've persuaded Montreal city councillors to adopt a new bylaw prohibiting masks at protests.

The new law, which will come before city council tomorrow, is being met with increasing controversy. Some worry it's too draconian and will stifle dissent, while others think it's constitutionally untenable and is bound to fail a test of the courts.


I can't help but but think of G8 summits whereby all type of protesting occurs, both good and bad. The argument for is valid. Police want to positively ID troublemakers and eradicate the problem before the perpetrators slip back into the crowd and blend in.

On the other hand the argument against is valid. What's to stop police from profiling those who demonstrate peacefully. You have a fundamental right to protest provided your actions stay within the confines of the law. However you may be labeled and filed away as a "problem" because your not a typical drone even though you are law abiding. This could impact your lifestyle, your career and potentially bring about police abuse in other forms. Then there are well documented cases of agent provocateurs who purposely incite riots and chaos including from law enforcement.

I think this is a slippery slope and neither side is a clear cut winner. What say you ATS?

src

brill

[edit on 29-1-2009 by brill]




posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:33 PM
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I reckon if they can't use a mask they can still paint their face or use heavy makeup.

I personally think mask should be allowed. If the police catch one breaking a window, they can unmask the individual at the police station.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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I actually think the law is a good move. If you feel strongly enough about a cause to protest, at least have the balls to show your face while doing so. I don't believe concealing your identity and hiding your entire face behind a mask in a public place should be considered a privacy right. However, that said, they also need to ban burquas, SARS masks, and face scarves in all public places as well... not to mention bar the police from wearing concealment masks whose only purpose is to make it more difficult for a person whose rights have been violated by them to identify which cop did it.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by jam321
I reckon if they can't use a mask they can still paint their face or use heavy makeup.

I personally think mask should be allowed. If the police catch one breaking a window, they can unmask the individual at the police station.


Not sure about the specifics. I was thinking as well what's to stop someone from accessorizing to alter their appearance. I would agree though that I'm on the side that thinks this is wrong for the sake of basic rights. It just means the police have to do a better job, its expected of them.

However the police argue that the masked ones are the ones instigating chaos and use their anonymity to carry out something bad (ie. breaking windows) but then take the mask off once they blend back in.

Imagine what would have happened had this been law and applied to the Scientology protests.

brill



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:49 PM
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Far too much bitching about the issue of what people can and cant do what the police should and shouldn't do. One way or another, trouble is going to start, people will be arrested, property will be damaged. And its the police's job to minimize the damage done not magically prevent and control. You cant ask or persuade a fire not to burn...



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by burdman30ott6
I actually think the law is a good move. If you feel strongly enough about a cause to protest, at least have the balls to show your face while doing so. I don't believe concealing your identity and hiding your entire face behind a mask in a public place should be considered a privacy right. However, that said, they also need to ban burquas, SARS masks, and face scarves in all public places as well... not to mention bar the police from wearing concealment masks whose only purpose is to make it more difficult for a person whose rights have been violated by them to identify which cop did it.


I'll buy some of your argument
Hypothetically what if you felt very passionately about something and the only means you had to defend that view was by protest. What if the circle of friends/family or even your job held an opposing view. Would you not agree that masking your identity to prevent personal attacks or guilt by association stands as a viable option?

I agree with the police comment. If the protesters are face naked so to should be police.

brill



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:55 PM
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reply to post by burdman30ott6
 




You just have a hardon for all head wear huh? Why should anyone HAVE to show there face? It would be a totally absurd law, i would liken it to making a certain green vegetable being deemed illegal.. how does one make nature against the law? You cant and shouldn't be able to tell people what they can and cant do with there body, be it a green veg or fabric on your cranium.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by Retikx
 


Not at all. I find laws regarding the banning of hats or sunglasses to be ridiculous. As far as your comment about making nature against the law, unless people are being born with a mask covering their face, I fail to see how the nature argument pertains. It is unnatural to wear a face covering, thus the argument is moot.

I was opposed to allowing women to run around in Burquas 7 years ago when the issue arose, so for the sake of consistancy, I'm opposed to allowing protesters to wear masks.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 02:24 PM
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What happens when the cops start spraying their tear gas or any other chemials they want into the air for "crown control"?

The masks/bandanas/caps/glasses serve several purposes, not just to hide your identity, but also to provide some sort of protection from what gets thrown into marches, peaceful or not.

-JR



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 02:32 PM
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Don't you think it's the MASKED protestors who are sometimes the PROVOCATEURS?
The black-garbed, masked guys who ALWAYS start stuff and destroy property to shut down peaceful protests or discredit them?
The same ones given loose treatment by the police and even set up in hotel rooms near the G8?
Wear glasses, but don't wear a mask and wreak havoc!

What to do if they spray you? I don't know.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by Clearskies
 


Yeah, they normally are, but they aren't the majority (at least from my own experiences).

I know personally, back in the day I didn't have the money to get protective goggles, and I found out the hard way that your nose should be equally as covered if the need arises. Also I'd have to add for a lot of those masked protestors (peaceful and not) the act of covering your face represents something, it sends a message to those witnessing their acts and is done not only to protect their identity but to relay a message to the public, think guerilla and street theatre, commedia d'ell arte.

In this situation though, I think it might be a good idea for this law to pass, especially if this particular march happens to be extremely violent every year.

-JR



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by Clearskies
Don't you think it's the MASKED protestors who are sometimes the PROVOCATEURS


One would perhaps make that assumption, but then you have stories like this:
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What's interesting is that both stories deal with Quebec, Canada.

brill



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by brill

Originally posted by Clearskies
Don't you think it's the MASKED protestors who are sometimes the PROVOCATEURS


One would perhaps make that assumption, but then you have stories like this:
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What's interesting is that both stories deal with Quebec, Canada.

brill


Oh wow, didn't know that thread was around!

I also saw a video of protest where a police officer started the whole thing, I'll do some digging and see if I can find it again



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 03:55 PM
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Police often cover their faces to prevent backlash against them. Is that practice going to end?

I would wear a bandana over my nose and mouth when going to protest for the simple reason that I don't like the way CS gas tastes, and a wet bandana is a good way to keep some of that vile crap out of your lungs.

I agree that people should have the strength of conviction to show their faces in defense of their ideals, but c'mon - the police aren't know for their restraint when it comes to crowd control chemicals.



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