Parasite Politicians and Their Police
Canada, Linchpin* #13 - Parasite politicians & their police
By BRANDON GRAY; Tuesday, 03 May 2011 - Ainfos
I was the anarchist Doug Ford told to “get a job” at the People’s Delegation to City Hall – an action which resulted in a coalition of grassroots community organizations crashing a Toronto municipal budget committee meeting on February 10 to protest proposed cuts to social services. This exchange occurred shortly before I was tackled by his armed thugs and imprisoned in the basement of the notorious 52 Division – whose notoriety stems, in part, from a 2004 probe which implicated a dozen of its officers in drug trafficking and the operation of an organized crime network. As I was being led to a small room, one of the officers on duty taunted that he wished he could be the one to administer my strip search. Later that night, after loudly asserting that we were “spoiled” for being placed one person per cell, another of “Toronto’s finest” took sick satisfaction out of turning off the heat for the evening.
This particularly sadistic individual then proceeded to mock my requests to be given my coat – as I was wearing sweaty, thin, ripped clothing that left me shivering the hours away on a steel slab in a concrete cell during a cold snap of -16.3 Celsius. I was released after 30 hours of illegitimate detention with abrasions down the left side of my face, my wrists cut and bruised from tight handcuffing; my left knee, already sore from recent reconstructive surgery following a workplace accident, was badly inflamed from the attack, and my right shoulder and neck were aching from being choked and kneed in the back.
My arrest and subsequent imprisonment are criminal transgressions on my liberty and safety that have caused my family, friends, and supporters much trouble and grief. According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I am supposed to have the right to public protest without being attacked by the police, but in reality - as many realized this past summer during the G20 - no such right actually exists. During last summer’s protests my spouse received a concussion from riot police, who charged her as she peacefully stood outside the police kettle at Queen and Spadina that I had been trapped inside. One billion dollars was spent on beating my friends and fellow activists, kidnappings in unmarked vans carried out by plainclothes cops, illegal detainment, sexual harassment and military interrogation techniques, and throwing many lives into shambles through outlandish judicial repression.
Ford’s ‘get a job’ quip, subsequently seized upon by the corporate media, is a common crutch used by cops and right wingers to avoid responding intelligently to urgent social problems and the left-wing ideologies that set out to solve them. As an activist, I am quite familiar with this thoughtless rebuke – that is why I have made a habit of preemptively telling officers to ‘quit the force and get a real job’ at public demonstrations.
After Ford denied the quip, and was subsequently confronted with a recording, reporters then asked him if he would apologize. His response: “I don’t apologize to anarchists.” This is for the best. I would never accept an apology from parasites like the Ford brothers, who have used their father’s money to exploit, control and condemn those who lack the same privileges. After Ford told another protester “go fuck yourself ... you fucking prick”, I responded by asking him, “you think starving people makes you rich and your buddies richer? Is that how your budgets work?” He then made his dim- witted quip, stood smiling proudly and I called him out for what he is: a reactionary scumbag; a maggot that feeds off the excrement of a sick society by pandering to some of its more openly racist forms of white supremacy and fake working-class populism.
The budget being discussed by Ford and his fellow bureaucrats was a conscious attack on the working class that cut shelter space, thereby ensuring that ever more homeless human beings will freeze to death on our cold streets next winter, services for immigrants will be slashed and public sector union contracts eliminated. One of the only social services that didn’t take a cut was the city’s already bloated police budget – which is naturally sacred to someone like Doug Ford, who needs armed thugs to repress opposition to his war on the poor; that hallowed bulwark of institutionalized violence will get more money than they even asked for, bringing their share of the budget to nearly $ 1 billion. Apparently this is the government’s magic number for funding domestic repression.
Several years ago, Police Chief Bill Blair told a group of community youth representatives, in a meeting called by the Toronto Youth Cabinet to address police brutality, that he commanded “a paramilitary force”. However, he left out the crucial class element of this force – namely, who it serves and who it protects. I would suggest that readers consider the reality that Toronto is under armed occupation by a paramilitary force hostile to the political and economic interests of the majority of us who live and do real work in this city. This paramilitary force is a necessary evil only if those few who do not work, but rather feed off the surplus value of our labour, are to retain their role as dictators running our decaying society into the ground.
It is within this context that readers should understand Budget Committee chair Mike Del Grande’s statement that “disruptive activity really doesn’t advance anyone’s cause.” It is mindless to expect debate or dialogue to convince reactionary businessmen like Rob and Doug Ford to give up the monstrous unearned wealth that comes from being members of the parasite class that sits atop the pyramid scheme we call capitalism. These two are standing proof that government is a synthesis of the exploiting business class and their corresponding need for social control and coordination; the political expression of economic parasitism. The Ford brothers will never “get a real job” and stop stealing our surplus value - we must force them to, by building a militant working class movement that can seize political power and economic independence from the free-loading fat-cats in City Hall, Parliament and Bay Street.
Those of us who are forced to sell hours of our lives to our bosses should not only acknowledge the audacious irony and hypocrisy of the Ford brother’s obsession with demanding everyone but themselves ‘get a job’, but must also defend the dignity of those who are unable to sell themselves for a wage due to serious health issues. The hired guns that beat the homeless, shoot down our racialized youth, and rape women and trans people living on the margins are the same government bullies that have historically turned their batons on striking workers. We have the same interests and the same greedy enemies. We must make a common global front that fights for our collective dignity while maintaining our own unique voices. We must strike together while thinking for ourselves; our lands and minds are rich and fertile enough to abolish this miserable existence as beggars and wage-slaves — and we will have our goddamned dignity one way or the other.
* The newspaper of the anarchist Common Cause