Sunday, May 07, 2006


The following account is written by a WPRM supporter and Critical Mass participant:

Police arrested 7 youth at May 3rd's Critical Mass bike ride protesting Operation Charging Bison. Since the Canadian military set up on Sunday there have been small but determined protests every day. The arrests indicate a new turn in the struggle to confront Canadian imperialism and its military.

When the 50 plus biking contingent assembled in Old Market Square, the 12 police vehicles and numerous bike cops seemed to foreshadow what was to come. The group had only biked three blocks when 3 people were arrested for alleged traffic violations.

The ride coasted down Portage Ave, then headed north toward "Camp Pioneer," where another series of confrontations would take place. As we rode within earshot of the troops the high energy group chanted "TROOPS GO HOME! CANADA OUT OF HAITI! OUT OF AFGHANISTAN!

Two blocks away from the camp a bike cop rode up on one person and stole a black flag. Protesters gathered at the car where the flag had been 'detained,' shouting "Legalize flags! Legalize flags!" causing even some cops to smirk uncomfortably. The flag was eventually given back after a 10 minute delay.

At the camp protesters lined up in front of the fence and started agitating to the troops. Police out numbered bikers, pinning them against the fence on the sidewalk. The police started pulling people off the sidewalk and off their bikes. They arrested four, and tried unsuccessfully to take others. People resisted by holding their friends and shouting at both the troops and the police.

Is this the type of democracy troops are being trained to enforce? Why, if it is freedom they are fighting for, would they not come to the aid of the protesters? Clearly it's because they're being trained to fight unjust wars against the world's people - and not to protect people when they are being repressed by police.

The ride rerouted to the Public Safety Buildings downtown, where people sat in front of the doors chanting for the arrested friends to be released. All were released with traffic tickets, but one young women was charged with assault on a police officer.

Now the task of exposing the world system of imperialism is greatly magnified. And in the coming weeks and months, mounting a legal battle against the political charges will be important in exposing the brutality and naked aggression of the police. Moreso, the protests this week in Winnipeg have taken on a new and increased significance in the struggle for a world where imperialist armies won't need training - because they won't exist.

North, East, South, West - UNITE THE PEOPLE'S STRUGGLES! local:


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