Netanyahu demo screw up all cops’ fault
This post was written by MJ on 9th Sep, 2002
Expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the next couple of days over the inhospitable welcome Benjamin Netanyahu recieved from a couple hundred student demonstrators at Concordia this afternoon. While there’s no defending their display of thug justice, the real blame for Netanyahu being muzzled should be laid simply at the feet of the Montreal police.
The Montreal police have known for weeks, probably months, that the former Prime Minister of Israel would be speaking at Concordia. They would have worked with Concordia security and Netanyahu’s security — probably some version of these guys — to devise an exhaustive security plan and probably thought, for more than a couple of minutes, about opponents a bit more armed and determined than campus radicals. They are familiar with the building — after all, it’s the site of one of Montreal’s most famous riots. Given the stature of the guest — and the date on the calendar — they would have had something approaching near unlimited resources and human power.
So, ah, can someone explain just how close to 200 demonstrators managed to get into the Hall building, mere steps from where Bibi was due to speak? How did they get into a building the police told media repeatedly would be sealed to anyone after a certain hour, with or without a ticket or accreditation?
Short answer: They fucked up.
After Quebec City and other major protests in Montreal, we have always been treated to the police and officials congratulating themselves on a job well done — not because demonstrators were able to freely express themselves without undue worry of tear gas, pepper spray, cavalry charges of wholesale police repression, but because the high and mighty were able to meet, canapés and all.
Now that’s broken down. Plans were disturbed. But don’t expect any candour from the cops.