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Want to see me shamelessly print some stuff I’ll talk about on the podcast in the near future? I’m basically just expanding my notes at this point. Work smart, not hard.
A date to keep in mind for a few moments - Tuesday, November 2, 2020. That’s the day that council took a vote on a motion to skim a few fractions of a percent off the police budget. This is partly in response to legions being killed by armed police all over North America since forever, and partly because the Calgary Police Service receives some crazy percentage of the overall Calgary municipal budget. Those monies could, perhaps, be used to take care of populations at risk of coming into contact with the arms of the carceral state but, phew, I don’t think the cops see it that way. Shame. Okay, you have that date in your mind? Hold it there for a second.
On Wednesday, November 3, 2020, a couple of CPS officers bought some groceries. Just a few hours after was a Facebook message making the rounds via the usual uncritical conduits about these groceries. Look at this, it said. Look at what I just witnessed. I just saw a guy shoplifting. Then a cop came and bought him like a bajillion dollars in groceries. This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Groceries. Heh, defund the police am I right? What a bunch of LIBERALs. By the way I couldn’t get a good picture of the license plate or car number of the officers involved. I guess they’ll just have to come forward and be humble! So weird our budget was just (not really yet) cut yesterday. Shame!
The day after the vote, an incredible feat equaled only by Superman and Wonder Woman and Eisenhower combined. the Calgary Police, managed to take down not one, not two, but five hundred dangerous criminals. They were “busted”, whatever that means. They are suspected of perpetrating over eighty violent crimes. Before you think this was just boom kaplow policing, they were some people involved that will for sure “deal with their current matters before the courts, before being connected with support services” Wow, amazing, so good. After a six month investigation it’s amazing that these arrests came just three days after council voted to cut our budget. What a coincidence!
The cherry on top was the most shrugging threat of all. If the budget to the CPS is cut, mused one detective, would of course have to come from non-core mission parts of the service. You know, like our efforts to include more minorities among our ranks. So, be careful what you woke for. Give us the money or the racialized person gets it! The money might have to come from “demands” made by our “community” which include “increased training, increased use of body-worn cameras and making police services more diverse through improved recruiting methods”. All the things that you have been clamouring for to decrease our bodycount? Those aren’t internal desires and they’ll be the first to go.
Taken one by one these might not register, but in a chain on our timeline they reflect a rattled CPS, one that now feels the need to remind the public of just how much we really need them. Copaganda is no new thing, but seeing their response laid so bare over a piddling sum is a mite concerning.
In the past we have seen Back The Blue work-to-rule actions and plainsclothes actions, but are we ready for a CPS in such a petulant stance? Druh Farrell was present when cops rolled in en masse and intimidated council, how does that look in 2020?
Teased apart rationally (nobody will do this) each story actually bolsters the arguments of defund proponents. Grocery boy, if he actually exists, did a good thing. Someone was shoplifiting for actual subsistence purposes. Okay, fine, maybe. On the off chance that someone was caught by loss prevention, and the store didn’t insist on charges, they just so happen to land the a CPS officer who wants to burn some cash? They shouldn’t have to, and the fact that this is the mechanism that fed this shoplifter/unhoused person doesn’t say anything good about how we fund and construct our social safety net.
The big organized crime bust went to great pains, without conviction in court, to paint The Family gang as a sprawling Indigenous conspiracy to threaten the city, and while they arrested some even more were referred to healing lodges and Bear Clan members for referral to social services. The winking racism inspires nausea but if defunding police and funding preventative social services were the norm for the last couple of decades lost to carceral flailing, would The Family exist at all? How can we pretend at efficacy and justice for at-risk populations if we can’t support and rebuild the first?
The threat is where things are and where things will go, I think. You’ve gained some ground, but thus far you haven’t gone after our money. That’s a nice body camera you have there. Would be a shame if someone drew on the lens with a sharpie and did some misconducts. The self-protecting local armed forces abides, but only for so long and for such a distance. Then it protects the paycheques and jobs of all members, crimes aside. Are you ready?
🧚🏻♂️The Calgary mayoral slate looks like shit, with critical apologies to the weirdo who wants to defund the police for lower taxes.
🔏Lowest bidder app works like shit but, come on, it’s not life or death, right?
🐅Your local sports arena is a towering monument to how bad you’re getting screwed.
🌌Man who did a whoopsie and lost $2.1 billion dollars of Alberta pension money gets shitcanned. Enjoy your huge bonuses, dickhead.
🧲Does anyone have a line on Jason Nixon’s whereabouts during this incident?
🥟You want some brownshirts? Shit, Turkey has you covered my friend.
🤿Exxon pays extraordinary amounts of money to advertise the oil industry on Facebook.
⛏Dying man worried people will piss on his headstone with great frequency.
🌹Disney coming out with an extraordinary reading of copyright law, saying if they buy the rights to the proceeds of various novels and works that they are not, in fact, purchasing the liability of having to pay the creator of those works. Truly Scrooge-brain shit.
🎂The English are fucking at it again.
🛀🏻Finally, a president man enough to tell whales where to stick it.
🦄I predict the next two decades will see an extraordinary amount of revelations about war crimes in Afghanistan. Canada is just waiting it’s turn, I suspect.
👩🏽💻The global supply chain during a crisis is a ripe fruit if labour organizers can pluck it.
☣️The Biden win is a cautionary tale for Canada, not a how-to guide.
🏊🏽♀️They said we couldn’t both say nice things and also do nothing to achieve stated goals. They were wrong! Probably!
🦕Alberta is on the cusp of a general strike, but whether we follow through remains to be seen.
📉Advantage lifer Tyler was on Sweater Weather as it launches on YouTube.
🎧Oh captain, our captain Andre was on The Jason Rigden Show talking about why we rule and stuff.
🔇Alberta Advantage went long on why Canada is a source of misery for the world and Ukrainian nationalism in the heartland, the coasts…everywhere.
🎚️The Progress Report went into poppy poppycock with the inimitable @socialistraptor.
🧖🏾♀️Nothing sinks good ideas like a crisis, so write to your representatives with other Canadians during COVID to make sure they take their hands off public transit.
🕵🏿Psst. You wanna defund police? Get in here.