Ibelieve it is a dangerous sign that all too often when there is civil disobedience and breaches of public safety, there are labour unions, principally public sector unions, at the core of the illegal activity. We saw it the 2010 G-20 Toronto summit and we see it again at the recent “Occupations”.
Workers belonging to public sector unions are among the most privileged in the land. Their paycheques, vacation allowance, sick-leave and pensions are the envy of the private sector, and yet they seem determined to cast themselves as victims, and more particularly, victims of the capitalist system. And I wonder how many of the union leaders are themselves—by virtue of their income—in that detested 1% we hear so much about.
It will be interesting to see what, if any, role they’ll play in the eviction of Occupiers from St. James Park at Toronto. Will the unions stand down and allow the city to take control of its public space, or will they join the—as Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington phrases it—“urban warriors mustering and recruiting to put up a massive battle to prevent this?”
As Warmington rightly says:
Toronto Police, the bylaw people, the fire department, as well as the mayor’s office, have been very respectful toward the occupiers. There has been patience shown, discretion, integrity and, if anything, too much leniency. No one can say there has been an over the top response because there hasn’t been. There has been no pepper spray, rubber bullets or unnecessary kettling or arrests.
Now that the court has ruled if police do go into and remove the tents and structures from the park, as well as anyone not complying with bylaws, they will not be deemed unreasonable if these tactics are used, should they become necessary.
Surely, at some point, the rule of law must prevail. Let’s hope our public sector unions see it that way and let the city agencies get on with their jobs.