I can't stop watching the footage of riot police at the G8 in Toronto. It is rivetting, sickening, beyond disheartening. I'm not entirely sure that I can in good conscience continue to teach my children that the police are there for their own protection. I can't stop wondering whether in 15 years, that will be my son or my daughter being herded like cattle, tackled, fired on with rubber bullets, dragged to the ground, pepper sprayed and tear gassed when they attend their first protest, when they choose to exercise their democractic right to participate in a demonstration. Or worse still, whether my children will even still have the right to publicly express their beliefs and their disagreement with government policies and actions.
The media is all over the rioters, the looters, etc. But keeping the entirety of coverage on these 50 or so people who acted appallingly (and yes, it IS appalling), serves as a pretty handy mask for other more pressing issues. Issues like government sanctioned (maybe even instigated) brutality against its citizens. Regardless of how people feel about our government, government in general, and the G20 in particular, I simply cannot imagine how we as a country have reached a point where this is not causing mass outrage. This goes way beyond party line and affliliation. And as we head towards Canada Day, I can't imagine I'm the only one wondering what exactly it is we're celebrating.