Activism

Byron Sonne, Canada's Political Prisoner

By RTH Staff
Published May 17, 2011

The following article was written by David Harvey, a member of Hamilton's think|haus.

People accused of murder get bail.

Accused rapists get bail.

Senior members of the Mafia facing weapons charges get bail.

But Byron Sonne, who set out to embarrass the authorities by pointing out the deficiencies in their very expensive G20 security apparatus, has been held without bail for nearly a year. He has not been convicted of anything.

Byron is a computer security consultant. His job is to protect computer networks. And the way you do that job is to find holes - you figure out how to break in. Then you tell your clients how to plug the holes.

I've never met Byron, but we have mutual friends. Friends I trust, who vouch for him.

Byron became increasingly frustrated at the "security theatre" during the build up to the G20 summit. He saw massive amounts of public money being spent on security systems with obvious holes. So he set out to draw attention to the problem, by making the weaknesses public. The point of this is simple: if he could figure it out, so could the real bad guys. He wanted to draw attention to what he saw as a wasted money and incompetent security, and to the intrusions on civil liberties the authorities were perpetrating in the name of security.

Byron did get attention. Four days before summit began, the police massively overreacted, arresting Byron and his wife, searching their home and the cottages of both of their parents. The crown vastly over-charged, as shown by the fact 5 of the six original charges were dismissed at the preliminary inquiry. He was treated as a dangerous terrorist, even though the most dangerous weapon they could find was a potato gun at his parents' cottage.

The authorities were embarrassed and angered by Byron, because he was right.

The charges that remain are thin: explosives charges based on his possession of common household chemicals, and a charge added after most of the original charges had been dismissed, the rare and somewhat bizarre counselling the commission of an offence which was not committed.

Byron was put in jail because he angered and embarrassed those with power. He remains there because they have no way to save face. They must continue to insist that he is a dangerous criminal, because to admit the truth is to admit what Byron, and others, have been saying all along: hosting the G20 in downtown Toronto was ridiculous, the security expenditures were outrageous, and the actual security provided had obvious flaws. So Byron becomes the leading example of the most disturbing aspect of G20 security - the suspension of and disregard for civil rights.

Byron has paid a great price to reinforce Benjamin Franklin's famous quote: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

If only the authorities could have had the wisdom and grace to follow one of Franklin's other quotes: "Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults."

Byron had another bail hearing today. Let's hope everyone comes to their senses, and he is soon released. He is not a terrorist, and never was.

For more on Byron's case, read the cover story in Toronto Life.

To follow the progress of his case, see FreeByron.org.

153 Comments

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 17, 2011 at 18:44:49

I've known Byron for a decade - yes, he's a sh!t disturber but he's also a consummate professional who knows more about evaluating risks and understanding the ways in which one can do "security theatre" when /actual security/ is required than most of our industry. Regardless of what kind of person he is, in this case, what has been done by the Crown is the kind of thing that we accuse other countries of doing.

Read the article at Macleans today written by Jesse Brown: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/05/17/byron...

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By Lothar (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2011 at 22:25:05 in reply to Comment 63625

Byron Sonne wasn't trying to do anything except perhaps make fun of the g20 security measures. That's all.

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By Digimer (anonymous) | Posted May 17, 2011 at 23:04:14

I wish this would be carried in mainstream media. You've succinctly summarized exactly what is going on here.

Byron will be released from jail tomorrow, but he is far from free. We can't stop fighting until the charges are dismissed, and the government, crown and police are held to account for the wrongs they have committed. Not just against Byron, but against the 1,100 others like him who were thrown in jail, charged, beaten and abused by the officers with no numbers and officials with no sense.

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By AudioNut (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 00:37:15

I'm sure there's more to the story than we've heard, but I'm a little disappointed that his wife has left him. This is, no doubt, more than she bargained for in the relationship, but women have forgiven men for doing far worse.

I hope her actions aren't based on anger which should be directed at misbehaving authorities. I also hope she didn't commit any wrongs against Byron in exchange for getting her charges thrown out.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 07:41:12

I hope that he is innocent of all the charges and if so gets his bail and then his freedom.

Security consultants are paid to find and fix problems in their customers security. Not in security networks in general. If you or I simply decide to find out how good the security at corner bank is. Then start trying to find a way in or around their network just to see how good it is, figuring we would tell them about it afterwords. Think maybe if the bank caught us doing this they might charge us? If you did it to my business I sure would.

That's what your friend did only instead of a bank he picked a bigger more paranoid entity, the feds. Not only did he decide to antagonize the feds he did so when they were at their highest state of alert and corresponding lowest sense of humour, with the whole world watching. As a citizen of this country I expect the feds to keep me and the rest of the populace safe from all kinds of threats in general and terrorism in particular. I expect them to arrest and detain anyone found to be trying to break into or through their security, for any reason. Makes me sleep easier at night knowing that they do.

A lot of protesters did things very similar to your friend. They went and antagonized the security forces to see what it would take to get arrested. They found out. Now a lot of them are complaining. The police were looking for someone to arrest, the protesters were looking to get arrested. Everybody got what they wanted, no reason to compain.

I think we all know that the state can and will detain suspected terrorists without bail and without conviction of any charges for a long time. I am sure that Mr. Sonne is not a stupid man. He knew full well that he was playing with fire, unfortunately for him he got burnt. Was that not inevitable considering all that was going on at the time?

Like I said earlier I hope he is innocent (homegrown terrorists are the worst) and that if he is this will all get cleared up. The ones I feel very bad for are his extended family. His parents and in-laws had their cottages searched simply because Byron had access to them and might have stored things there. If he were a terrorist that is exactly what I would expect the police to do, and possibley a whole lot more.

If you look back at the time and all that was happening here and around the world can you really imagine any other outcome to his actions? I sure cannot, and in fact I would be very upset if the police did not arrest someone who did all the things he did since he was in fact helping anyone who wanted to commit a terrorist act at the conference. At this point with all the time that has gone by I honestly believe that he is being used as an example to deter others from doing the things he did in the future. That to may not be a bad idea.

If you keep poking the dog you will get bit. Let us hope that he has learned his lesson and that he makes a complete recovery.

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 10:26:13 in reply to Comment 63632

Mr. Meister,

I agree with you but there are two key differences.

1. The government is our client, they are paid with our tax dollars. As a matter of public security, it makes sense that its stakeholders (the public) be able to audit it at SOME REASONABLE level.

2. There's a difference between releasing proprietary information about a system that compromises its security, and identifying a glaring security flaw. To follow your analogy, Byron didn't point out a flaw in the bank's vault security, he walked past the bank one night after-hours and noticed the front door was wide open. He's pissed, because his money is invested in that bank and thus he helped pay for the security!

"I think we all know that the state can and will detain suspected terrorists without bail and without conviction of any charges for a long time"

I don't disagree, but this is NOT right and we shouldn't be complacent about this state of affairs. "Those who would sacrifice a little liberty for a little security deserve neither and will get neither." -B.Franklin.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 13:03:40 in reply to Comment 63639

I beg to differ with your viewpoint. In your analogy he walked by the bank and saw the front door was open. Would the reasonable thing to do not be to call the bank or the police? Instead he took a video of it and posted it online for all to see. If a crook sees that and enters the bank and steals he then becomes an accessory to the theft.

He did not notice the door was open, he took videos of supposed weaknesses in the security and broadcast them to anyone, friend or foe, to see and use. I am sure if he had taken his concerns and brought them to the attention of the police without publishing them his fate would have been different.

I am very fond of that Franklin quote that you used. One of the reasons I like it so much is because since the dawn of time that is exactly what man has done. We continually sacrifice freedom for security. What we as a society also continually do is try to find that narrow elusive point where the freedoms we surrender are a fair price to pay for our security. Since this point is open to personal interpretation at no point will every one be happy. What he have is a continually evolving balance so that most of the population is happy. Not long ago I had the freedom to smoke inside a store, now that is no longer the case. Instead that has been replaced by the security to many peoples health. As a society we have deemed this to be a fair trade off. In other places in the world that is not the case.

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 14:23:48 in reply to Comment 63655

"He did not notice the door was open, he took videos of supposed weaknesses in the security and broadcast them to anyone"

Videos of public places, of things that were plainly visible to anyone and everyone. Have you read his twitter feed? For anyone with eyes and the slightest bit of deductive reasoning, the door was wide open.

I or anyone with half a brain could have told you that those fences could easily be climbed, those cameras could easily be disabled. Anyone with with malicious intentions already knew all the things Byron published, and likely more.

IANAL, but AFAIK, taking pictures in public places, and publishing those pictures, regardless of intention, is legal in Canada. I would expect that attaching commentary to the pictures you took receives the same protection.

"I am sure if he had taken his concerns and brought them to the attention of the police without publishing them his fate would have been different".

Undoubtedly. But in doing so he would guarantee that the weaknesses would remain not remedied, the injustices covered up.

I'm sorry, but if I've paid the bank $1 billion dollars to secure themselves and they've left the door open, I'm going straight to the press.

Bringing public attention to the misspending of public money is the only way to exact change in these types of bureaucratic organizations. He's paid a dire price for it, but I remain hopeful that it's not been in vain.

"We continually sacrifice freedom for security. What we as a society also continually do is try to find that narrow elusive point where the freedoms we surrender are a fair price to pay for our security."

The balance point is definitely subjective, as you say. I think we can all agree however, that sacrificing liberties for security *theater* (instead of actual security), as in the case of the G20, is not a noble thing.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 17:25:49 in reply to Comment 63661

I do not believe that you can publish pictures for any intent even if those pictures were taken in public. Intent is the key. Any time someone publishes pictures and or words with the intent to promote terrorism (or other crimes)that act itself is not allowed and becomes a crime.

Even when these pictures are legal to publish should we not use some sort of decorum when we do so? I am an avid photographer. Over the years I have taken more than a few pictures that paint people in a poor light. Makes them look fat, finger in their nose, making an obnoxious face etc. I do not ever publish these pictures. I destroy them if they are digital or simply get rid of the print if it is film since trying to destroy one frame of a film can be a pain. I bet the people whose dignity I protected are appreciative of that even if they are not even aware of my decision. I bet you would be too.

That fence and any fence can be climbed, the fence is like a lock it only stops honest people. If you want to scale any fence you can surely do it, however it becomes very noticeable, takes time and exposes the climber to other harsher measures. Think of a prison, yes they have fences but they also have armed guards to back them up.

Any camera can be disabled, I believe that, pretty much every one knows that. Showing others and possibly helping and or encouraging them to do it is another story entirely.

As far as our reaction if we see the bank doors are open is where we will never see eye to eye. You have every right in the world to call the media, but to what end? Will that do any more than calling the bank or the police? In fact the door will locked a lot quicker if the bank is called directly instead of them learning about it on the 11 o'clock news. Why do we need to embarrass someone simply because we can? Even if the front door is left open the money itself is probably very safe inside the vault. The news however would undoubtedly not portray it that way though. The bank wants to keep their premises safe nothing you or I can say or do will change that. I am not happy about the $1 billion price tag for security at the conference. Did Byron do anything to mitigate those costs? or did he in fact raise those costs through his actions?

At the conference there was indeed some theater, more than necessary by my standards. However none of the attendees was harmed so it at least met its goal in that respect. Was it possible to do it for less? I suspect it was especially considering a year earlier the costs in London were reported to be around 10% of that, but I am not a security expert. But then again there was no bank firebombed in England in the weeks leading up to the conference with the responsible group threatening to show up at the conference too.

In the end it comes down to personal judgment. Many people protested the summit and yet he is the only one still under detention. These things seldom happen randomly. How many made videos aiding and encouraging others to commit terrorist acts? By all accounts Mr. Sonne is a shit disturber and has been for a long time. This time he picked the wrong victim. Sure I feel a little sorry for him if this was all it was but it sure can be taken in a different light judging strictly by his actions.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 14:29:59 in reply to Comment 63661

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:21:37 in reply to Comment 63662

What one is arrested for and what one did are often very different things.

Wait until the trial is over until you pass judgement. Byron is to be considered innocent until such time as he is proven guilty. That's still the law in Canada.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:52:44 in reply to Comment 63666

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:33:02 in reply to Comment 63639

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:25:30 in reply to Comment 63644

He has a history of being a rambunctuous and smart kid. His adult life is one of abject professionalism in the service of people like me and you. If your computer uses "signatures" for anything (AV, IDS, etc.) then Byron's work is part of your protection.

Supporting an arrest is one thing.

Supporting the detainment for over 300 days of someone accused of NOT murder or rape or other violent crimes --while those people do get bail-- is not reasonable.

You seem ready to give up a whole lot of freedom for a little bit of "safety." I would suggest that you've put yourself in a position of having neither.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:54:58 in reply to Comment 63667

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:27:10

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:32:17

Seems a lot of people learned nothing from the mass arrests

That's awesome. You should make that your tagline.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:35:39 in reply to Comment 63643

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:55:22 in reply to Comment 63645

Gotcha. So your tagline should be:

I learned lots from the mass arrests

That would totally rock.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 12:10:25 in reply to Comment 63648

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By Dessmond (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:52:26

Someone who breaks the law should suffer the consequences.

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:27:28 in reply to Comment 63647

Agreed. After a trial and a conviction.

Pre-trial detainment for over 300 days while not accused of a violent crime is not reasonable. It is the act of a government desperate to cover up $1.2 billion in spending.

Also - have you never broken a law? Really?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 12:12:42 in reply to Comment 63647

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 12:40:59

So, with 1100 arrests, many for crimes as simple as having a black article of clothing (many of whom weren't even protesters), these people all "got what they deserved"?

There aren't enough crimes to go around here. All evidence points to about 50 people at most breaking windows (suffering an alarmingly LOW arrest rate). Perhaps a few more setting cop cars alight. But where do the other 1000+ people come in? Especially since many were already in jail at this point...

You can't blame everyone at a protest for crimes committed by "all protesters". That's the law of this land. Don't like it? I hear there's lots of work in Saudi Arabia these days....

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 13:13:05 in reply to Comment 63651

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By Genko (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 13:55:21

Listen to yourself.

You're advocating a society where people need to be concerned about what they wear for fear of persecution.

You are an insult to the thousands of people who fought and died for our liberties. You should be ashamed.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 07:55:12 in reply to Comment 63658

We always need to be aware of what we wear and the message it sends. Try wearing a swastika and see how you are received. Or something as simple as a red or blue bandanna can get the wearer into big trouble. It is not that you should not ever wear black but if you are going somewhere and you know that there will be troublemakers there wearing black clothes as their uniform, would it not be prudent to wear something else.

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:39:06 in reply to Comment 63721

Wearing a swastika won't get you arrested though, because of free speech/expression rights. There's a difference between morality and law.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 22, 2011 at 00:10:42 in reply to Comment 63738

Absolutely, but it might get you killed,as might a red or blue bandanna. Sometimes being arrested especially in Canada is the least of your worries.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 08:53:36 in reply to Comment 63721

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 14:54:44 in reply to Comment 63658

Hear hear!

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 14:14:12

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:03:57 in reply to Comment 63659

Except that some people were arrested for having black clothing in their backpacks.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:58:05 in reply to Comment 63677

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By Grapes (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 17:14:01 in reply to Comment 63690

You're something else, buddy.

Black clothing is a uniform? Chick just got on the bus wearing a stylish black leather jacket and black omega leggings. I should warn her not to go to any G20 protests in her uniform!

Oh man, too much. You need to take a chill pill.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 17:50:31 in reply to Comment 63691

Oh damn, I'm dressed in black down to my shoes today. I must be up to no good. Must get home and change before I throw a brick or question authority.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 07:36:43 in reply to Comment 63695

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 17:16:45 in reply to Comment 63691

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted May 19, 2011 at 00:37:14 in reply to Comment 63692

Do you mean uniformed or uninformed? Lots of police wear black. Hmmm.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 07:37:44 in reply to Comment 63710

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By just me (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 14:15:05

Um, hasn't troll SAY WHAT been negatived off threads, many times? I'm still not sure how the blue [+] [-] signs work: who decides? I've occasionally seen some useful positive comments negatived, though I think their purpose is to diminish presence of irrelevant 'junk'.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:09:34 in reply to Comment 63660

The theory is that registered users can up or down vote a comment based on its content. If it is insulting or derogatory that kind of thing it is supposed to be down voted. If it is well written and a good argument it is supposed to be up voted. That happens sometimes but a lot of times the voting is based on who wrote it and if the users agree with it. For example any post by Ryan (founder and curator of the site)automatically gets up voted no matter what he has to say. Others automatically get down voted no matter what they say. It is turning into a popularity contest. Reminiscent of High School.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 22, 2011 at 00:12:34 in reply to Comment 63816

Here is a classic case of what I was referring to. Read Comment 63748 and try to figure out why it was down voted except for the name of the poster. If almost anyone else had posted that it would have a positive comment score. If Ryan had posted it that comment score would be even higher.

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:34:46

Byron was released from detention this afternoon at 3pm after an entire day of last ditch arguments from the Crown.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/9932...

There are stringent conditions on his release (much more stringent than those applied to accused murders, rapists and mafioso) and he will be attempting to live as normal a life as possible until the trial in November.

I encourage all to keep their eyes peeled for the Auditor General's report and for the details which will be released from the publication ban subsequent to the start of the trial in November.

If you are a citizen who believes in Canada and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you will be very upset when you hear what cannot be published yet.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:20:01 in reply to Comment 63669

I am very interested in what will be released when the publication ban is lifted especially since it was imposed at the request of the defendant not the crown. As for the last ditch arguments by the crown I believe they were strictly about the conditions not about whether or not he was getting bail. Even in this perhaps one of the most sobering things any person can go through here he is in court playing disappearing thumb tricks. Most people would take the whole thing a little more seriously.

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:42:40 in reply to Comment 63669

Thanks Myrcurial, for keeping us posted. I'm glued to this story now, and am deeply troubled by everything that's happening.

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:02:03 in reply to Comment 63671

Thanks for following it - this is important stuff.

The Crown is desperate to offer a scapegoat to cover for the $1.2billion spent on "security".

How many times does the Chief of Police get to lie before he's no longer fit to wear the uniform?

How come the police stood by while the bad actors in the crowd did their work along Queen and Yonge (see the CBC documentary for details)?

There are too many "why's?" in the G20/Toronto issue - and they need to be answered.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:44:42

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:10:28 in reply to Comment 63672

This calls for a thought experiment!

Joe is a mastermind at framing people he doesn't like for plotting to commit terrorism.

One day, you look at Joe the wrong way. This pisses Joe off.

Joe successfully frames you for plotting to commit terrorism. You are detained for several years without bail, you are blacklisted from ever practicing your profession again, and your name is smeared all over the news. Some guy named Say What on a web forum says "AMEN! THANK GOD that dude is behind bars, even if they haven't proven his guilt."

You are innocent, are having your rights violated, but that's okay, because you were suspected of terrorism?

I sure as hell wouldn't want that for myself, and I'll take the small risk of becoming a victim of terrorism over giving the government a carte-blanche to stamp out my rights.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:12:02 in reply to Comment 63681

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2011 at 15:58:39 in reply to Comment 63672

Interesting. I'm troubled any time a citizen voluntarily gives up their franchaise and accepts tyrrany in favour of the sense of safety.

If you're older than 40, you'll remember why the Charter was written the way that it was.

And if you're older than 60, you'll remember the people who stood and died for the freedom that you would so causually give up.

I'm ashamed on your behalf for your complete disrespect of what this country represents and those who literally gaveup their lives to make yours as comfortable as it is.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:08:00

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:09:35

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:20:55 in reply to Comment 63680

I'm wondering which sides they served on.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 16:27:24 in reply to Comment 63684

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 26, 2011 at 13:36:31 in reply to Comment 63687

Given your willingness to throw people in jail for the colour of their clothing, I believe it is a perfectly valid thing to question.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 17:49:59 in reply to Comment 63687

Sorry Allan Taylor AKA Say What AKA Turbo, but you sir are a bona fide quisling.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:21:53 in reply to Comment 63694

Does that mean that say what is going to get his head shaved?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:35:40 in reply to Comment 63820

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 22, 2011 at 00:03:34 in reply to Comment 63823

Sorry if that offended you, it certainly was not meant that way. I found the entire post to be Z jones referring to you as a quisling to be rather silly and makes me wonder if she has any idea what it means. I am sure very few people these days have any idea of the word. In France after it was liberated that was the typical punishment in the day it could be seen as traumatic but these days having your head shaved would not draw any attention to you even if you are a women. Kind of defeats the purpose does it not?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 22, 2011 at 19:11:31 in reply to Comment 63885

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 07:30:40 in reply to Comment 63694

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted May 19, 2011 at 00:33:21 in reply to Comment 63694

I just think of him as Say WTF? Massive flaming troll. Not that interesting to read either. Read once. Vote down. Ignore.

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By ItCouldHappen2U (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 20:54:40

It's 9 o'clock at night, when suddenly a heavily armed SWAT team busts down your door. As you lie face down at gunpoint on your living room floor, the police search your house. They find in your garage a can of gas for your lawnmower, a case of empties you've not yet taken back to the beer store, a hedge trimmer, an axe, and some rags you use to wash your car.

That night, on the 11 o'clock news, your picture is everywhere, with video of bomb squad members going in and out of your garage. The newscaster reads:

"Tactical officers tonight found and dismantled a Molotov cocktail factory in a local residence. Numerous weapons were also removed from the premises. Police say, from the volume of materials found, that a major terrorist act was being planned, and could have been launched at any time. Possible targets include City Hall, the Courthouse, and a local daycare."

Many months, and tens of thousands of dollars later, you are able to prove that you didn't do anything wrong, and all charges are dismissed. But you will always have a cloud over you.

What protects us from a scenario like this is the good faith of the police, crown attorneys, Justices of the Peace and Judges. If any of those actors lacks good faith, the power of the state can destroy an individual. Given the enormous power players in the justice system have, we are right to demand an extremely high ethical standard. They must all rise above anger, embarrassment, and spite. And they must have the humility to realize when they have made a mistake or overreacted. Our freedom rests on their integrity. And usually, we can rely on it. In Byron's case, I'm not so sure.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 07:33:21 in reply to Comment 63700

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By ItCouldHappen2U (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 08:08:22 in reply to Comment 63717

Did you bother to read my whole comment?

In the last paragraph, I said usually we can rely on the police. You said I think the police are always wrong.

So did you not read it, not understand it, or do you just have no interest in having an intelligent debate?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 08:35:10 in reply to Comment 63723

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:24:23 in reply to Comment 63724

We must absolutely question their good faith. History has shown repeatedly that power corrupts. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I learned my history, DID YOU?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:27:33 in reply to Comment 63734

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 26, 2011 at 13:40:40 in reply to Comment 63736

We need to have faith but remain vigilant.

That's not what history teaches. Sounds more like theology to me.

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 01:46:16 in reply to Comment 63700

I will agree with WallEye, well said and the scenario you presented could indeed very well happen.

I was in the process earlier of responding to say what's posts when my cat climbed on my keyboard and I lost the entire post. In a nutshell, I read every accessible piece of information available regarding this prior to jumping into the fray, which included the twitter post were the word bomb arises. I have no idea how anyone could read that and come to the conclusion that he was preparing to bomb the G20 summit.

I'm seeing only bits of what he posted on twitter being published in the media and being attributed to quotations of those in authority. The problem is those bits were within his posts, which are searchable online, so much within his posts that it would be impossible to actually read any of them without the rest unless one cherry picked specific works and ignored the rest. And well the idea of allowing that to occur without question is quite frightening.

If allowed to do something like that to one person, then it sets a president which could have further reaching consequences. No one online would be able to consider themselves 100T safe no matter what they posted, because almost anything can be picked apart pieced together in a way that would benefit anyone with an axe to grind.

In response to say what's post's I additionally wanted to mention that him/her holding up their age as an indicator of their wisdom was a bit offensive. I myself fit somewhere in that same age range and was an adult before home computing existed, let alone the internet. I am personally thrilled that I can responsibly research any subject and reach my own conclusions, rather than basing my credibility on what someone else tells me, and I would expect that of others who did have have such a fantastic resource at their fingertips.

Finally, in reference to your scenario, it really could happen to anyone, I saw the media references to the type of bomb he was "allegedly" intending to create and having a strong background in chemistry (I spent 12 years as an analytical laboratory technician) I decided to see what I could find out how complicated it would be to perform such a task....thinking in terms of lab equipment, chemicals that might or might not be restricted, etc.

Much to my surprise, what I discovered is that a large portion of the households in the industrialized world, if investigated right now, could find themselves charged with possessing the materials required for making this type of bomb. I won't disclose that information here, people are free to do the research and find out for themselves, but it's well.....staggering.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 08:48:46 in reply to Comment 63711

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:47:25 in reply to Comment 63725

I did not blow it, your posts were condescending, as if your age were a factor in the veracity of your statements.

On the other hand your posts definitely indicate that rather than attempting to research the facts available right at your fingertips, you instead based your stand on media hype, and quotes from authorities who's actions are in question, not just because of this case but because of what was caught on the security cameras during the protest. Outside groups on examining them have determined that members of the law enforcement were reacting in a manner that was excessive towards some protesters were not acting our in an aggressive manner that would call for it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with holding those trusted officials up to scrutiny, they are only human and are just as subject to human frailties as the rest of society. They are not reigning super hero's. If they take actions that are sufficient to raise questions about their integrity, it would be a failing on the part of the citizens NOT to question and take steps to ensure those officer are in fact performing their duties, as opposed to using the power of their positions to become something more dangerous than the average criminal, they become a criminal with a badge and gun that allows them to get away with anything.

Take a moment to indulge me, and pull up0 this site, it is a US government site, and read what happened.in a nutshell...11 years in prison for the brutal rape and murder of 10 year old, convicted by the local courts between 2 and 3 times and sentenced to death, over turned by the state supreme court in between each. Local courts were basing a good amount of faith in their trusted officemate who were the primary witnesses to statements supposedly made by one of the men accused. The entire time this was happening, they had the actual murder in custody, he had confessed to them "hypothetically" so it could not be used in court, the crime followed the same pattern as the 2 rape murder cases he was in custody for. Yet they allowed these two men who were not guilty to remain on death row...so much so that after the higher court reversed their sentence, the local courts found them guilty and again sentenced them to death, the primary witnesses were trusted law officers after all...and I'll let you read the rest.

And if that isn't enough for you, then I got one more for you that hits me where I live. My daughter was raped by an upperclassman over the age of consent at 1i7 on the lat day of her freshman year in HS 15 years old, she he actually threatened to harm ME while she was at her fathers over the summer and I was along sand he did know where we lived as it was no more than a 10 minute work from the school. She was so traumatized by the experience she couldn't talk about it, couldn't face thinking about it, Over next 2 years I watched my6 beautiful daughter fade away, initially constantly weak, pale , sick the doctor ran every test imaginable but couldn't find anything. I felt like I was watching her die. It wasn't until she started having panic attacks that we realized that something had traumatized her, we got her to a good psychiatrist right away for help but we didn't now what it was and she wasn't telling us. then she developed agoraphobia, so from Junior year forward she had no social life, her schooling was done online and she was just getting worse. Then 2 days before Christmas at 1i7 years old she broke and it all came flooding out. I held her and cried with her until she was calm enough to call the police. The first officemate were wonderful, I can't say enough about them,, but the detective that was a different story. I had no idea that the guy that raped her, was the nephew of another police officer, who was in college planning to be a member of the FBI. The male detective took her in a room...just him and her...no advocate, no female, no video recorder, no audio recorder. Just his word against hers. She tried her best to cooperate and be strong because she wanted to make sure no other girls went through this at his hands, and he sat in that room and accused her of getting together with her girlfriends and plotting ruin this poor guys life, literally he accused her of that, he know she hadn't seen her girlfriends in over 6 moths, but it didn't matter. He told us he was going to bring the guy in....in a couple of days...when he finally called me back he said and I quote. "He's just a duface, he says it was consensual and I believe him, anyway your daughter has had consensual sexual contact prior to this. I was outraged that he would even stay that. It was something I was aware of, it was not casual she had been seeing this boy for 2 years, I found out shortly after and sat them both down and talked to them about them not being emotionally mature enough to handle the that level in the relationship and impplemeented stiffer adult supervision. It had no bearing on the rapist raping my daughter, they did't even like each other. the symptoms she suffered through after, were literally text book response found in minors sexually assaulted who hold it in and can't deal with what has been done to them, this information is literally in their police manumit , WE had DNA Evidence she hid came home that aright and hid her clothes hoping I might forget about them, so she would Nevile be faced with wearing them again, he refused to even consider it. he had been barred from one of the clubs in school for molesting another girl, and they were aware of it......and they wouldn't do anything. The police refused to even perform any investigation aside from the interviews. Unable to do anything legally she couldn't;t even feel safe now at home she was afraid of afraid of the police and what they could do and get away with under that guise, so within days she moved away from me nd went to live with her father. I was destroyed, we were very close I missed her horribly, I was angry I called everyone I could find to call but kept urning into road blocks no one seemed to know wher I could go from here. finally I found a legal advocate and talked to her about it, and found out that her being 15 and him being 17 made the act illegal and my daughter had up to ten years to prosecute. The thing is, by the time I found someone that could have helped us, she was starting the healing process and we had been through too much to put her through it all over again. I moved closer to her as soon as I could, there is a sexual predator in the town I used to live in holding a position of public trust.

How do you go up against a criminal with a badge, when you know that badge makes them feel so untouchable that rather than take someone they knew was a repeat sexual offender off the street and away from the public trust, they decided my daughter was expendable.

It happens, not all police officers act a according to the trust we put in them, and the consequences of blindly trusting all actions they take can destroy the livers of their innocent victims.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:03:27 in reply to Comment 63748

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:00:23 in reply to Comment 63748

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 13:04:09 in reply to Comment 63751

BTW it's important for me to point out something about the first case I mentioned in the above post. That case started before we had the internet, a huge resource of information that can at times provide a person with information that the media does not present, as they present what the authorities tell them.

I lived in that area, the community was both devastated and outraged, such a crime was virtually unheard of there. with our police, our trusted officials the primary witnesses, it seemed cut and dried....I can say that the general population wanted death in this case.

And I was right there with them. I was horrified when the realization hit me that my trust had been abused to the point that depending on that trust could have left me with innocent blood on my hades. They told me, I trusted them, they were deadly wrong, so far wrong that at the final trial, in with Rolondo Cruz was acquitted, one of those 3 primary witnesses, a sheriff department lieutenant recanted his testimony stating he had actually been in Florida on the date he had sworn he had witnessed what the guilty verdicts were based on. 11 years on death row and I backed the lieutenant I believed he committed the crime I wanted the death semitrance for him.

It was a real wakeup for me, and I swore at that point I would not let anyone take control of my op0inion again, that I would rather say northing than voice someone else's opinion and leave my credibility in their hands.

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:17:55 in reply to Comment 63751

Yes I do read what I write, and what I write is based on truth, facts and eduucation. It's important, blind faith in public officials can cause more harm than good.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted May 21, 2011 at 13:18:27 in reply to Comment 63758

Kat, "say what" is a troll, plain and simple. You'll get nowhere arguing with him. He isn't seeking to engage with you on the basis of facts or opinions, he's just trying to get a rise out of you. The best solution is to ignore him, as you would any cretin who lacks compassion and intelligence.

I'm truly sorry for what you and your daughter have gone through. You have my sincere sympathies.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 22, 2011 at 19:09:23 in reply to Comment 63881

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:41:59 in reply to Comment 63758

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 07:16:00 in reply to Comment 63711

I went back over everything again and I must retract one thing I stated. The reference to the bomb did not occur on twitter. Articles about his arrest state that members of HackLab TO stated that he made such a reference on their forums the previous fall. I went as far back as I could on their site site, which was September 15, 2008 and was not able to find anything to that effect.

I then did a full Google search, groups, web, blogs, news and was unable to find any such statement other that those quoted in the articles. I then searched the internet archives and again came up0 with nothing. So I am retracting that bomb reference.

Regarding the materials, a number of articles state that the materials indicated a bomb like the shoe bomber used, including an in depth article on torontolife.com in which the author states that she was able to interview Byron. This article does not refer to the type of bomb they were accusing him of intending to make, instead it lists 2 our of 3 of the ingredients required to do so, which was consistent with my search.

For that type of bomb, small and compact in size, the amount which could be considered sufficient by officials to create a bomb is easily well within the range consistent with normal use.

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By WallEye (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 21:34:28 in reply to Comment 63700

Well said, sir!

These days I'm far more afraid of the ill intentions of my government and the authorities than I am of terrorists. Terrorism is such an overblown threat.

On a side note I'm sick of hearing the word "terrorist". Before 9/11 its use was far less common, and it would be nice to return to those days.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 08:52:38 in reply to Comment 63701

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:44:01 in reply to Comment 63726

You unpleasant git.

The entire point of this article is to show you in graphical terms just how far our government and police forces will go to "abuse people's civil rights in the name of fighting terrorism."

Maher Arar -- sent away to a foreign country to be tortured by our government and denied the remainder of his life because our government knowingly lied.

Byron Sonne -- incarcerated for 330 days based on evidence so flimsy the crown was unable to sustain 80% of their charges through a preliminary hearing.

"Chief" Blair and Dalton -- lying and sneaking around the very concept of democracy, being caught - repeatedly - and still pretending to hold the moral authority to keep their jobs.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:52:07 in reply to Comment 63739

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:32:03 in reply to Comment 63726

You, sir, are paranoid and have no faith in humanity.

Vigilance against terrorism has very little to do with the lack of its occurrence. A true and cunning terrorist could easily circumvent the surveillance and counter-terrorism measures that exist today. The terrorists will always be ahead in this regard, it's the nature of terrorism.

Even before they implemented all the measures they now have, more people died each year in America from falling off ladders than from terror-related incidents. You're a victim of the media. Grow some balls and learn to question what they spoon feed you. Read some books written by intellectuals on the issue.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:49:00 in reply to Comment 63737

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:23:57 in reply to Comment 63741

Much of the evidence in this case appears to be publicly available. Have you read his twitter feed, for example?

To any rational human his communications imply no intention of hurting anyone. Only when twisted and taken out of context do they take this form.

He clearly challenged the integrity of the authorities, and they've taken the bait. This is about suppressing a dissenter, a misfit, an abnormal, not about keeping the public safe.

I believe dissent should be encouraged, provided of course it does not harm anyone. Harm in this case does not include damaging the reputation of the government, or the credibility of the authorities.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:34:50 in reply to Comment 63745

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:30:47 in reply to Comment 63745

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:07:58 in reply to Comment 63746

Well, since information that was used to initiate the investigation was based on hiss posts there, in this case it is reliable as that on twitter. in this case that information was reliable enough for the police, so you should be able to consider it reliable enough for you to read.

By the way did you note what I said about the bomb making materials?

That said, d you have a bottle of peroxide in the house? How about some nail polish remover>>

If so you have sufficient quantities, to of the primary ingredients to be considered a terrorist, you have gatherer the primary ingredients to make a bomb like the one the shoe bomber made and a danger to the pubbed make a bomb..... with Cohn more ingredient..that appens to be a small amount of one more ingredient...which happens to be food related and again something most houshold keep on had, your all set.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:35:33 in reply to Comment 63755

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:11:09 in reply to Comment 63755

I apologize for all the typos, prior to my last post I found one of my pets had died, he was 14 years old and my eyes aren't exactly clear right now.

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By ItCouldHappen2U (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:06:02 in reply to Comment 63726

I think Maher Arar might take issue with your comment.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:24:40

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:46:40 in reply to Comment 63735

How much money is enough to pay for torturing someone?

Should we have given him less because, well, torture isn't so bad and he might've been a terrorist?

Why were the employees of the civil service - people who work for you and I - not charged with "accessory to torture."

You and I and every other Canadian carry the moral and ethical guilt of permitting one of our citizens to be tortured at the hands of our government.

Is that acceptable to you?

It is NOT acceptable to me. Under any circumstance.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:42:15 in reply to Comment 63740

Just why did Canada give him $10.5 Million? Usually the state only does that when they have done something wrong. From what little I know about the case Canada did nothing wrong. In fact Canada was not involved at all. Strictly the USA and Syria.

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:34:29 in reply to Comment 63740

I agree with you wholeheartedly. The problem is, sty you or I attempted to address this issue with our governmental officials... would even let us get our foot through the door....as just one person speaking out, highly likely.

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By Kat (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:35:34 in reply to Comment 63760

Wait! Highly unlikely man my eyes ..sorry.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 09:55:10

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 25, 2011 at 01:32:57 in reply to Comment 63744

Before you call for others to "Think about it." You should think about it yourself. Canada did nothing wrong. He was detained in the USA and deported to Syria where he was allegedly tortured. Where does Canada's blame come in? What did Canada do wrong?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 25, 2011 at 08:36:49 in reply to Comment 63952

If memory serves, the RCMP and/or CSIS provided US authorities with at least some of the information that they used as the pretext for detaining Arar - information that obviously turned out to be false - so Canada actively aided and abetted his detention.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 25, 2011 at 09:03:08 in reply to Comment 63954

Not to mention the fact that we did next to nothing to fight for the release of a Canadian citizen who was detained, deported, and tortured, all without charges.

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:55:57 in reply to Comment 63744

I have, but I won't settle for being better than terrible.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:07:07

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 14:48:03 in reply to Comment 63754

I don't think it's healthy for that kind of respect to exist.

The degree of power that we give should be limited to the bare minimum that we need in order for society to function. Those powers should be heavily overseen, and they should be revoked and re-assigned frequently due tot he fact that power always corrupts over time.

It can not be made illegal to challenge and audit those entrusted with power. It needs to be assumed that those given power will eventually abuse it. The system must ensure that once the abuse begins to occur, that the abuser can be promptly stripped of power.

All the while, those in power need to protect us from legitimate threats. It's a lot to ask, but it can be done, at least a lot better than it currently is.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:39:29

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 14:32:51 in reply to Comment 63764

"I have no reason to think the police AND the crown would still be pursuing the charge otherwise".

That's where we differ. The types of people who vie for jobs where they are put in a position of power very often over-react when they are challenged by someone they are "supposed to" have power over.

This happens over and over, not just in legal circles. I've seen it countless times in corporate structures, parent-child relationships, etc.

We should all challenge authority when it is appropriate. Wasting $1 billion is an appropriate time to do so.

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By kAT (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 13:33:13 in reply to Comment 63764

Well, your opinion is based on the information that the police have provided the media with, and the media is reporting.

The media is reportig on many sites that the officials stated that bomb they had determined he was intending to make was the same type of bomb the shoe bomber had. If you are puting your blind trust in the information streaming from those sources than yes a bottle of nail polish remover, a bottle of peroxide and that one food ingredient I won't mention is all it would take. The amounts that a normal person would have in the ir house hold.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 13:42:34 in reply to Comment 63777

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:48:20

It does happen.

I have personally witnessed people hauled off for crimes they didn't commit because police and the government had a political axe to grind with them. I've seen evidence ignored, people abused, and no end of thoroughly laughable court cases.

The impact this has on people as individuals, their families and communities is horrific. Even a short stint in jail is much more than most "strong" people can handle without acquiring lifelong scars. It costs thousands of dollars to defend against, and trials can drag out for years.

I've seen undercover cops infiltrate groups and try to goad people into rioting and other crimes. I've seen the terror which spreads when nobody knows who's going to be dragged off next, and when.

Moronic hotheads like Say What only make things much worse by providing a public voice for these injustices. It's nothing but cheerleading for repression, and it has real consequences. Allan, shut the fuck up, for you know not what you say.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:57:15 in reply to Comment 63766

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted May 19, 2011 at 16:17:45 in reply to Comment 63769

...made certain that anarchy ruled the day...

Love it! An oxymoron that's fittingly reminiscent of political bafflegab.

By the way; how many anarchists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:44:49 in reply to Comment 63788

2 but don't ask me how they get in there.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 16:22:53 in reply to Comment 63788

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 26, 2011 at 13:49:06 in reply to Comment 63790

See this is the thing about you Say What. The things you say that you believe make you smart or witty, actually reveal your total ignorance.

It really is somewhat interesting to behold, sort of a can't win for losing type thing.

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By Katk (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 13:11:40 in reply to Comment 63769

Well not all protester came to cause anarchy, but thee Black Blok was there and did intend to do so, Brian Sonne though is not a member of that group

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 13:13:51 in reply to Comment 63772

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By zLsy (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 14:22:00 in reply to Comment 63773

Well that depends on how much you read.

The security measures implemented in preparation for G20 cost the public over a Billion dollars. A Billion dollars that would be justified to protect such important foreign dignitaries.

Bryan Sonne saw the vulnerabilities which were not small vulnerabilities, and knew that for a Billion dollars those vulnerabilities should not be there.

Now you tell me...how done one person get thee governmental authorities to even give him a moment of there time, when the message he is bringing is that they spent a billion dollars to secure the dignitaries attending, and while a billion to ensure their security could b considered acceptable a billions dollars spent that did not ensure the security of those dignitaries and left them venerable to risk of harm was not something the government or the people should accept.

Do you really think he would have a snowballs chance in hell of them listening?

So he took pictures and video's and did so in from of them, but at first they paid no attention then he posted them online and they still did not pay attention.

Surely you and I would both agree that the attendee's of the G20 deserve to be safe and secure, and we probably would agree that for a billion dollars the government had the right to expect that security measures im0plimented to be solid and a responsibility to the pubic to ensure the money was well s0pent and a responsibility to the dignitariesw of g20 to provide the security that was promised.

So what does one do when they see glaring vulnerabilities that should not be there for a billion dollars. Just keep their moth shut and let the public foot the bill, and the government officials to assure the dignitaries that they are secure and free of any vulnerabilities in the security that might leave them at risk for harm?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 16:24:06 in reply to Comment 63781

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 13:01:48 in reply to Comment 63769

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 16:29:40 in reply to Comment 63770

And it's scenes like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZwSewQxj... that put the lie to the whole concept of dangerous anarchists were the only ones being detained.

In this day and age people video tape everything.

Must be difficult when you're used to having your words shape the message to have the internet to compete with.

Here's a separate incident of four police assuring us that they took correct measures in taking down a dangerous person. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPe_hf7aB...

I'm not saying all police are bad by definition as there are plenty of good ones, but when they close ranks around people like this it makes it hard to take them at their word.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:11:19 in reply to Comment 63793

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 15:32:24

The handling of hte G8 and G20 summits, including the extensive number of arrests and relatively few charges is something that should garner the attention of every Canadian. I'm surprised it's not more of an issue frankly.

Canadians have a right to peaceful protest, yet it's a thin line between protest and the crime of unlawful assembly, which is what many protestors were arrested for (but not charged with afterwards). Go look up section 63 of the criminal code on CANLII, and see what a fine line we walk. Police make the call as to when a protest crosses that line, but ultimately the courts determine if they were right, and where that line is supposed to be. When police officers ignore the courts, or try and move the line forward unilaterally, we end up with the situation here - lots of arrests but few charges because the Crown knows they don't have a chance of a successful prosecution.

The fact that so many protestors were arrested but not charged leads me to believe the police made many arrests as a preventative measure "to ensure that trouble didn't happen". It's a dangerous slippery slope, and one that we ought to recognize and discuss, not ignore.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 16:29:31 in reply to Comment 63785

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:21:54 in reply to Comment 63792

I disagree that the system is designed to operate in a manner whereby thousands are arrested and few are charged. That's not the way it applies on a daily basis in Canada, and I think the day to day functioning is more indicative of what the system is designed for.

Perhaps you see this as an "exceptional situation" where such methods were warranted. This is where I see the slippery slope. If the G20 is an excuse for the police to arrest a greater number of people with little or no evidence to back up the charges, what's next? Protestors in front of Parliament Hill? Libyan-Canadians protesting in front of the Libyan Embassy? People planning a protest?

Perhaps it won't get quite that far in the near term, but if we want our right to peaceful protest to mean something, then we have to question situations where so many arrests are made but so few charges laid, if for no other reason than to ensure that such situations remain exceptional.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 14:35:10 in reply to Comment 63856

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted May 23, 2011 at 13:59:18 in reply to Comment 63863

But it was not all rioting - Montrealers arrested while sleeping in as school gymnasium are not "rioters" protesters marching at queen's park where Premier McGuinty asked them to protest are not "rioters" and if people were rioting, the police would have ample evidence to lay charges.

Also, civil disobedience is not a crime.

Your statement that "the lack of widespread charges confirms my belief that the police were being diligent in trying to round up the criminals and letting the rest go" is particularly puzzling since no one was "let go" until a day or two later, and the majority of people ended up being released. If I may, I would suggest that you would see 100 arrests of innocent protesters as acceptable if it resulted in the arrest and prosecution of 1 "rioter"?

Similarly do you think it alright to search 100 random residences "in the area" of a kidnapped child if it means you catch one kidnapper?

You might feel these actions are acceptable, but Charter and the Courts say otherwise. You know, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, right NOT to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

This will be the last I have to say on the matter. I think the two of us clearly understand where our opinions differ, and where there are commonalities, and I think it's equally clear that neither of us will convince the other to change their position.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 23, 2011 at 14:27:45 in reply to Comment 63899

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 16:44:57 in reply to Comment 63792

"I prefer this outcome to that of even more violence and destruction than what we witnessed"

You prefer that innocent people be physically harmed en-mass in order to prevent the damage of a little bit of inanimate, easily repairable property?

Your priorities are disturbing.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 17:03:42 in reply to Comment 63795

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 16:34:27 in reply to Comment 63792

The problem is that in Canada, you shouldn't be arrested until you actually DO something.

And sometimes the police don't wait for you to start something, they try and start it themselves....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St1-WTc1k...

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 16:59:35 in reply to Comment 63794

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By XVII (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:27:31

So if I operate a ceramics / kevlar manufacturing business, I should go fire off a couple of .338 Lapua Magnum rounds at the RCMP to point out the flaws in their vests? I'm a taxpayer... I helped pay for those vests.

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By WallEye (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 20:47:24 in reply to Comment 63822

No, but if the vests were publicly available then you should be able to test them safely in your own environment and publish the results, regardless of if they are damning.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 21:09:45

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By LaFarge (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 21:12:18

They should bring back the guillotine for people like this fellow. He is a disgrace.

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 23:47:46 in reply to Comment 63828

I'm so glad you're not in charge of this country.

North Korea called, they're looking for their supreme leader.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:20:03 in reply to Comment 63838

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:26:13 in reply to Comment 63849

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:00:46 in reply to Comment 63850

Or maybe we're just passionate about our country. Sarcasm often doesn't come across on the Internet - this is a pretty well known phenomenon.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 14:40:35 in reply to Comment 63852

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:54:35

I can't help but feel how so many of the comments in this thread-

Well, first off, it's not hard for me to read them as surreal, well-articulated comebacks typical of kids. The stuff of a summer popcorn movie. You know, curmudgeonly old men (I'm willing to bet, almost to a one that the 'players' here are men) who have been changed into eight year olds. And I'm not talking about the clearly disparate stances presented. I love a good dichotomy, I love it when opposing notions go head-to-head.
I'm talking about the way these stances are expressed. As someone who believes fervently in a better way regarding governance, changing the paradigm to something wholly more workable, effective and humane, based on bringing citizens into the actual process, I despair after reading some/most of the comments: THIS is what civic discourse looks like?!? Ugh.

Secondly, I'da thunk RTH held more potential for discourse than this. I'm not saying I see it as the repository for great discussion, where an exchange of well thought out ideas articulated nicely takes place regularly...but maybe that's always been my naïve hope.

(I came across a reference to Magic Johnson having had some protracted training for broadcasting some time back...because he was just so terrible at being a commentator. I wonder how some of our loudest, most strident voices would benefit from such input.)

Finally, and I know I keep throwing this out there, but how I'd love for Ryan et al to begin having 'town halls', the Hamilton equivalent of 'salons', where some of the mainstays of RTH would do what they do here, in person. I'd pay to see what would unfold...

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted May 20, 2011 at 13:22:41 in reply to Comment 63851

I don't agree that everyone posting on here is as inarticulate as Magic Johnson, however I like the idea that people get together once in a while. The intertubes let's us collect our thoughts in a way that one cannot in a face to face. It also allows anonymous dorks to shill hatred and spout fallacy as just as easily. I feel that most everyone here that is registered and findable (like me) knows each other. The anonymous hateful trolls won't show up anyways. :)

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 14:25:39 in reply to Comment 63858

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By Fred G (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:23:28 in reply to Comment 63851

Your post will likely confuse some since it doesn't clearly take one side or the other.

I personally try to only write things here which I would say in person. I've repeated many of these things to family and friends for example in order to judge their logical sound-ness. I'll admit I'm not perfect in this regard, but I like to think this is the exception rather than the rule.

On the whole though, I'd agree with you. The maturity level could be much higher but the fact that we have the ability to have this kind of exchange from the comfort of our own home is positive. Society is better for it.

Maybe we need to raise the difficulty level of the skill testing question in the post fields :p

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By you can't handle the truth (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 13:36:06

Just came into this foray. So say what, are trying to say that peope who organize are the bad guys, when they try to develop wedge strategies to the public relations BS, we get everyday.

If you are a public sector worker( cop), I would be paying attention to what is going on is the US, you know ripping up union contracts. In the very near future you could find yourself competeing with then temp market,having no benefits or even pensions. Could you imagine working for minimum wage?

If this issue came to the forefront, would lie down or stand up and fightback?

Pay attention boy!!!!







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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 14:21:07 in reply to Comment 63859

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 20, 2011 at 17:46:23 in reply to Comment 63860

People who peacefully organize against government policy get arrested all the time.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 18:18:12 in reply to Comment 63874

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By you can't handle the truth (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 15:30:34

Ohhh, I hit a nerve, I am not a troll, just a person expressing their viewpoint. But of course my rant about union contracts is relevant, considering what the G20 truly represents, the interests of big business which is continually pushing for the privatization of all things, to have complete control over all resources and assets of the public.

Too bad you are locked into a mindset, that does not even allow for recognition of the real truth. I guess as long as things are moving merrily along in your life, who cares about others in our society who struggle, becuase of the oppressive policies imposed on us.

Remember now, it was the blood of the workers before you who stood and even died so you could have benefits and pensions and more then a living wage, if you are a working police officer.

Nothing will change your mind until, you are down in the dregs with the rest of us who struggle, for shelter, food, jobs and a live of dignity.

Are you a thinking person or a drone?

Peace bro







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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 20, 2011 at 15:46:47

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By Lothar (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2011 at 22:20:36

Byron Sonne wasn't trying to do anything except perhaps make fun of the g20 security measures.

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