Callout for the 14th International Day Against Police Brutality

collectif oppos..., Sábado, Febrero 20, 2010 - 13:28


To commemorate the 14th International Day Against Police Brutality,
the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP) invites everyone to
march in the streets of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

Callout for the 14th International Day Against Police Brutality
Demonstration: Monday, March 15 at 5pm at Pie-IX métro

To commemorate the 14th International Day Against Police Brutality,
the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP) invites everyone to
march in the streets of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. We choose to march in
Hochelaga to denounce the systematic social profiling that occurs
here. For the past several years, police repression has increased in
Hochelaga. Not content with chasing the homeless, street youth and sex
workers from downtown, the police has also increased their operations
in those neighbourhoods where the marginalized have been displaced.
Whether by mass ticketing, no-go zones or just plain police violence,
it’s clear that the goal of this repression is to “clean up” Hochelaga
in order to attract another type of affluent resident for a new
gentrified ghetto. In Hochelaga, like elsewhere, the police are in the
service of property developers, and not everyday people in need.

On this International Day Against Police Brutality we will also march
on the streets to express our outrage at police impunity. Ever since
the death of Fredy Villaneuva, killed in Montreal-Nord by police
officer Jean-Loup Lapointe, Quebec society has continued to learn more
troubling facts about this affair in particular, and about the police
in general. Not only did the Montreal Police take the life of an
unarmed youth, but we now know that police investigations of other
police are characterized by innumerable irregularities that show their
bias in favour of killer cops. In Vancouver, the Dziekański case --
involving Robert Dziekański who was tasered to death three years ago
by four RCMP officers -- reveals the same problems.

These “peace officers” abuse their powers and sometimes even kill
innocent and unarmed individuals without the least worry of being
punished, since they know the system is there to protect them. This
situation has a name: impunity.

The most well-known cases of police abuse – such as Villaneuva,
Dziekański, Barnabé and many others – are just the tip of the iceberg.
Since the killing of Anthony Griffin in 1987, 60 people have been
killed by the Montreal police. Daily, in the streets of
Hochelaga-Maisonneuve like those of Montreal-Nord, St-Michel and
downtown, we are victims of intimidation, profiling, harassment,
aggression and police violence. Rarely are charges laid against the
police and just a few go on to receive ridiculously weak penalties
that are often appealed anyways.

The police tend to target the neighbourhoods where people are poor,
marginalized or racialized. Both social and racial profiling are a
reality that has been documented by the Commission des droits de la
personne et des droits de la jeunesse. Predictably, the SPVM and their
employer, the City of Montreal, continue to deny these proven facts
and worse, they are trying to sabotage the work of the Commission by
using delaying tactics with the objective of reducing the
investigative capacities of the Commission.

This technique is employed by the police brotherhood as well. When
they’re not trying to introduce new regulations to increase public
police powers, they’re trying to cancel public inquiries, as is the
case currently with Anas Bennis (a Montreal resident who was killed in
2005 in Côte-des-neiges). The police brotherhood always works to
excuse and protect killer cops.

It’s well known that the police protect each other, and that formal
mechanisms are incapable of protecting the public from police abuses
and the denial of justice. The police ethics board is an insufficient
recourse that does not have any weight against the powerful machine of
the police brotherhood. For years, the number of complaints against
the police has achieved record levels. However, the number of police
officers brought before the ethics board as well as the recognition of
guilt has lowered. Since the reforms of 1997, conciliation has become
an obligatory step for dealing with complaints against police. This is
a very practical recipe to clear the police because with conciliation
not ends up in the courts or in the files of the Commission.

In front of all of this, we have the right to ask: who protects us
from the police?

With the brotherhood, an employer, prosecutors, the law and
politicians all on their side, the cops can continue to act like
cowboys without any regard for human rights. That’s why we need to
create our own solidarity that is stronger than theirs. In the
Villaneuva case, friends and family, neighbours and activist groups
have mobilized and managed to advance the cause of justice and truth.
If we want to really overturn current trends, we must do the same for
all victims of police abuse. We must rise and bring to an end the
silence in order to stop the impunity. That’s why the Collective
Opposed to Police Brutality invites everyone to come demonstrate on
March 15.

Together let’s break the silence and denounce police abuse!

CMAQ: Vie associative

Collectif à Québec: n'existe plus.

Impliquez-vous !


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