Monday, 6 August 2012

Two  rioters  who  were  severely  punished  

The 2010 G-20 Toronto summit protests began one week ahead of the summit of the leaders of the G-20 on June 26-27 of June in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  More than 20,000 police, military, and security personnel were involved in policing the protests, which at its largest moment, numbered 10,000 protestors. The protests were for various causes, including poverty and capitalism.

Protests mainly consisted of peaceful demostrations and rallies but later some became violent and destructive as some  protesters using black bloc tactics caused vandalism to several businesses in Downtown Toronto.  While there were no deaths and only three reported injuries, all of which were inflicted upon protesters by the police, at least 40 shops were vandalized, constituting at least $750,000 (Canadian) worth of damage. Over 1000 arrests were made, making it the largest number of mass arrests  in Canadian history. Most of the arrestees were later released without charges being laid against them.

A black bloc is a tactic for protests and marches where individuals wear black clothing, scarves, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding, or other face-concealing items. The clothing is used to conceal marchers' identities, allow them to appear as one large unified mass, and promote solidarity. The tactics of a black bloc can include offensive measures such as street fighting, vandalism of corporate property, rioting and demonstrating without a permit, but mainly consists of defensive tactics like misleading the authorities, assisting in the escape of people arrested by the police.

 One of them during a Paris riot was quoted as saying; “When we smash a window, we aim to destroy the thin veneer of legitimacy that surrounds private property rights.” What garbage. It was obviously stated by someone whose brain hadn’t yet matured.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for rioters. They are scum of the earth. They should be severely punished if they harm anyone, damage property or cause undue inconvenience to society in general.

 Now I am going to tell you about two rioters who caused damaged to private property during the G20 Summit in Toronto. These two thugs were not only criminal, they were also very stupid—but then, that can be said about all rioters.

Kelly Pflug-Back was a 23-year-old Wilfrid Laurier University student who came to Toronto to participate as a member of the Black Bloc so that she could riot and cause damage to private commercial property in downtown Toronto. She was one of the most destructive of all the Black Bloc vandals participating in the Toronto G20 summit. Throughout the G20 rampage, Pflug-Back and her fellow rioters cowardly covered their faces with masks and effectively damaged the cause of legitimate protesters.  

She was subsequently arrested and charged with and later convicted of seven counts of mischief and one of wearing a disguise after pleading guilty to those charges in February of this year. The damages included the breaking of windows in stores. She wielded a pole to smash windows and directed fellow rioters to avoid smaller stores. The damage included lost sales at the targeted corporate establishments such as McDonalds, Adidas, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and CIBC bank. The damage amounted to $160,000 in Canadian funds. A police officer sitting in a squad car under attack feared for his life and was about to use deadly force to defend himself while clerks and shoppers in the targeted big businesses were traumatized.

The judge said Pflug-Back was notable for being in the riot from the beginning, when violent protesters donned black clothing and facial disguises at Queen Street W. and Spadina Avenue and marauded up Yonge Street and along College Street before finally removing their disguises and blending into the crowd.

At her trial, Judge McMahon said at the sentencing aspect of this stupid rioter;

“Pflug-Back was the only G20 accused who participated in the June 2010 riots from start to finish, contributing to more than $160,000 in damage to police cars and businesses. She also guided other black-clad protesters to target larger businesses, displaying a callous disregard for the employees within.” unquote

The air of quasi-celebrity surrounding Pflug-Back who terrorized local businesses and smashed police cars during the masked rampage through the streets of Toronto two years ago underscored Justice John McMahon’s conclusion that general deterrence and denunciation must be paramount as sentencing concerns in such cases. What prompted him to give her such a severe sentence was her senseless acts and apparent lack of remorse.

The judge said in part; “Society’s abhorrence for those employing the Black Bloc tactic is clear [and] the message of this court must be clear.  She was not simply a follower caught up in the moment. Unlike many others, Pflug-Back's culpability runs throughout the entire rampage. The activities of this criminal element, including the accused, left our downtown Toronto looking like a war zone,” he said, citing “a significant level of planning and sophistication” in the Black Bloc’s operation. He also said; Pflug-Back showed zero remorse for the harm she caused, acting disinterested throughout several court appearances and, when given the opportunity to address the court, she spoke only of her future academic ambitions.” unquote

  She didn’t offer any apology to anyone while addressing the court at her sentencing. In fact, Kelly Pflug-Back calmly smiled at friends after Ontario Superior Court Justice John McMahon denounced her leadership role, in the June 26, 2010, rampage. The judge noted that during previous sentencing sessions the 23-year-old social activist had appeared indifferent by yawning and playing with her hair. When previously asked if she had anything to say, instead of apologizing, she only mentioned wanting to attend an internship in Ghana and university in the fall. That won’t happen this fall. Her lawyer had called for a conditional sentence, but the judge said jail was necessary to deter others and reflect society’s abhorrence for turning downtown Toronto into a war zone.

The sentence that this thug got was clear enough. She was sentenced to jail for 15 months on July 19th of this year.  With four months credit for pretrial custody and restrictive bail conditions, Pflug-Back has 11 months left to serve in jail. Under Canadian law, she will be released after serving two-thirds of her sentence if she behave in jail. She certainly won’t be attending university in the fall of this year.

Kelly Pflug-Back, who attended court in a tight red sweater and black skirt, grinned at dozens of cheering supporters before being led away in handcuffs. Even after she left the room, many of those dozens of foolish supporters remained standing with their fists still in the air yelling to her, “We love you!”

Crown attorney Elizabeth Nadeau, who had called for a sentence of 18 to 24 months, lauded the judge’s ruling as “well-reasoned and fair.” She emphasized the need to deter the public from similar acts.

She also said; “This is becoming a very fashionable crime and I’m not sure that it’s politically motivated by most people.The court had to send a pretty clear message to protect the public, and I think that’s what the judge did today."

Defence lawyer Steve Gehl declined to comment on the judge’s the ruling, by saying that his client had n ot yet decided if he will appeal. What would be the basis of her appeal? Even if an appeal court heard her appeal, this stupid woman would get about as much sympathy from that court that a hairless dog could expect after purposely stepping into a flea convention.

Asked outright whether Pflug-Back was sorry for what she had done, Mr. Gehl responded: “I think she very much realizes that she wants to continue her social activism in ways that are more effective.” unquote

Give me a break. His stupid client thought that vandalism was the way to get the public’s attention. Judge McMahon said at this woman’s sentencing;

“Ms. Pflug-Back appears nonchalant and has not acknowledged that her actions were not an appropriate way to get her message across.” unquote

Does anyone really believe that she has changed her way of thinking?  I for one, do not.

Now I will give you the details of the second rioter.

Ashan Ravindhraraj is 27-years old and should know better but like all stupid people, he chose to be a rioter at the G20 Summit in June 2010.  

He admitted he did some stupid, goofy things during the G20 protests, including jumping up and down on the cruiser in order to post photos on Facebook. One of those photos shows Ravindhraraj standing on the hood of a cruiser with his foot hovering above its cracked windshield.

This rioter pleaded guilty to two counts of mischief to property but pleaded not guilty to arson in connection to the torching of a Toronto police cruiser parked on Queen Street W just east of Spadina Avenue. Now this is where his stupidity rises like cream in a bottle of milk.

I am going to tell you why he denied setting fire to the police vehicle. Brace yourself for it because after you read what he said in court as to why he claims he didn’t set fire to the vehicle, you will wonder if all his brain cells are near death.
He said; “The paper was not on fire when I threw it in the car.”

He said that notwithstanding the fact that Crown attorney Catherine Rhinelander introduced a series of images of Ravindhraraj, including a photo showing his hand holding a piece of paper and reaching into the cruiser through the passenger-side window. Another image, taken moments later, appears to show smoke coming from the passenger seat of that cruiser.

Now normally if someone wants to leave a written message for a motorist when the motorist’s car is parked, they leave the note on the windshield—not on the passenger’s seat. What he left on the passenger’s seat was a piece of paper that was on fire. His jury also convicted him of attempted arson along with the offences of mischief.

Now what has this man’s stupidity cost him?

He was sentenced to jail for 14 months but he was given credit for having to live under strict house arrest while out on bail. Under Canadian law, if he behaves in jail, he will only have to serve two thirds of his sentence in jail. He was also placed on three months probation following the completion of his sentence.

But now here is the real punishment he has to suffer from. He got a job doing data management for the Toronto Transit Commission. However, when the TTC learned that he was the rioter they saw on television doing all those stupid things at the G20 Summit, they immediately fired him. What are the chances of him getting a good reference from the TTC when he applies for a job elsewhere?

What these two stupid people should have realized when they committed their crimes is that they are now barred from entering the United States permanently. That means no vacation in Hawaii or cruise to Alaska. In fact, they can’t even board any cruise ship from any American port. Not only that, they cannot even fly direct to Mexico from Canada because they would have to fly over the United States and they won’t even be permitted to do that. If they want to visit the Caribbean, Central America (other than Guatemala direct) or South America, they have to first go to Nova Scotia and fly from  there because flying anywhere else from Canada would take them over the United States. Further, they take a cruise that would stop off in the American Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico and they can’t fly to Asia from Canada going west because the aircraft first have to fly to Alaska for refueling. Further, they can’t fly to Australia or New Zealand from the west of Canada because their aircraft have to refuel in Hawaii and later Guam in the South Pacific.

Does this punishment look good on these two thugs? To quote a word that was repeatedly sung at the end of one of the Beatle’s songs, All You Need Is Love.—“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”

Severe punishment is necessary. In London, England, a large number of the rioters in London in 2010 were given lenient sentences. Now those same rioters have returned to London and they are rioting again. Are we learning anything about recidivism?

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