Sunday, May 22, 2011

London life

The current issue of Toronto Life's cover story is the sad and perverse tale of Byron Sonne, a Toronto security researcher, hackspace stalwart, and anarcho-libertarian who decided to show up the security theatre at play in last year's billion-dollar-plus G20 preparations. Sonne published extensive accounts of the vulnerabilities in the preparations, taunting the police and officials who were putting on a kind of repressive, city-wide puppet show about security, rather than securing much of anything. Sonne was arrested and spent more than just under a year in jail, being held without bail on a variety of charges, almost all of which have been dropped (his bail conditions are nothing short of Kafkaesque).

IMO: That  shows how, even in Canada today, it is so easy to lose it all -- marriage, home,  livelihood -- just by daring to dispute with the authorities. Whether it will get much worse in the UK with Govt, judiciary and police as they are, is hard to say. There are so many difficult factors, such as kowtowing by the authorities to foreign powers like the USA and Saudi Arabia Certainly it is often alleged that the once harmless and possibly even constructive 'student demos' are nowadays frequently caused by cash-strapped Unis having to kowtow to Islamic nations. How far can freedom of protest go ? How far should it go ? Neither the judiciary not the Govt in the UK do more than wash their hands of these problems in a selfserving way, more remininscent of Judas Iscariot than of Pontius Pilate.

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