Cops Behaving Badly: Toronto Police’s Nazi Nürnberg moment

Pedant alert: Should read “Die Übermenschen”. The definite article in German is not only singular/plural, but also gendered — masculine, feminine or neuter — and also subject to declension. This concludes today’s free German lesson.

(Also, these are not actual Übermenschen, but just some depressingly ordinary Menschen. This concludes today’s interjection by Frau Kapitän Selbstverständlich. Meep!)

Isn’t this a lovely photo? Just goes to show you who supports actual, no-kidding fascism in the city of Toronto. A bunch of predictably unsexy dudes (taking time to brush off the Cheeto dust and crawl out of Mom’s basement just for the day), a bunch of other boring schlepps who also think they’re somehow a Master Race™, the neo-Nazi mayoral candidate Faith Fucking Goldy, and oh yeah: the police. Who made the following excuse for their presence at this fascist rally:

The Toronto Police Service is defending two TPS members who posed with their uniforms and vehicles for a group photo with a far-right mayoral candidate known for espousing pro-police, white nationalist and neo-Nazi talking points. “We get asked countless times a day to pose for photos with members of the public and that’s what they were doing.” said Mark Pugash, Director of Corporate Communications for TPS. “This was just a job.”

Well, now. Doesn’t that sound exactly like what the OG Nazis said during their trials at Nürnberg?

Why yes, it does!

Of course, it’s a good thing that wee Faith isn’t actually the mayor of Toronto just yet, because this sort of thing could prove massively embarrassing for the department:

Goldy, who has frequently participated in violent far-right demonstrations, announced her candidacy a year after being fired by The Rebel. That termination is widely believed to have occurred in response to her guest appearance on a neo-Nazi podcast and comments she made around the deadly protests in Charlottesville, North Carolina. A YouTube video shows Goldy proudly using the ’14 Words’ a slogan commonly used by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Goldy’s mayoral platform includes a call to reinstate the TPS ‘guns and gangs’ (TAVIS) task force, an increase to police funding, a reinstatement of the controversial carding practice and the forced eviction of refugees from community housing. Her campaign’s slogan is ‘Make Toronto Safe Again’.

The reinstatement of TAVIS and the practices of carding are platforms shared with current premier Doug Ford. Goldy and Ford have been pictured together at events. Ford also used a variation or allusion to the ’14 words’ in his June 7, 2018 victory speech. The Goldy campaign event took place in Premier Ford’s neighborhood.

So of course the cops turned out to “protect” her from a “credible threat to public safety” that didn’t actually materialize. She’s making a big show of sucking up to them for a reason, and it’s not because she’s some defenceless little woman constantly being menaced by “thugs”. She’s in no real danger of anything except being laughed at and losing her bid for public office (which she frankly deserves, just for the above-mentioned policies alone). No, the real reason for this photo is a lot more disturbing than what Mark Pugash is trying to sell to the public.

Cop-hugging is an age-old neo-Nazi practice. It’s been going on ever since the day the OG Nazi party died (and the US CIA started importing their old torturers to teach them those unholy techniques). It resurfaced here in Ontario during the 1980s and -90s, when the Nazi skinhead movement was mobilizing for its big breakout, and the Heritage Front was sidling up to the Reform Party (which has since been rolled into the federal Conservative party). It also came to public light after an infamous incident in Sacramento, California, where neo-Nazis tipped the police off to anti-fascist counter-demonstrators, resulting in mass arrests.

So no, this photo is NOT innocent. It has a purpose, and that purpose is to threaten the anti-fascists who will not only be voting against Goldy in the elections, but turning out to protest her wherever the hell she shows her insincere face. It is to threaten people who turn up to speak out against her with arrest…simply for showing up and speaking out.

In short, it’s a threat against actual freedom of speech.

I keep having to bring up the story my late grandpa used to tell, about how the Gestapo called him up on the carpet because he dared to complain that you couldn’t get decent shoes in Germany anymore since that shitty Austrian PFC came to power. And how they threatened not only him, but his four children, and his wife who got a Mother’s Cross just for having those kids. The Nazis didn’t just kill Jews and other ethnic undesirables; they also killed ordinary Germans who didn’t fall silently and obediently into line. The silencing tactic worked on my grandpa, and he was NOT an easy man to shut up, so that should tell you something.

Do I want Canada to turn into the sort of place where people get hauled to the cop shop just for speaking their minds against the ruling party? HELL NO. This country fought a war against that very shit. My dad immigrated here after war’s end because he wanted to live in a decent place where immigrants got a fair chance. My mom, who was a refugee to Germany from Yugoslavia in the dying year of the war, also did so.

I am a child of immigration, and a proud anti-fascist for that very reason. We are a country where immigrants, refugees and ethnic minorities are not forced (anymore!) to assimilate in order to integrate. If I don’t get stopped by cops just for the color of my skin or for not speaking English, then neither should anyone else.

And no, the police’s “just doing our job” excuse will not wash, either. If it didn’t wash at Nürnberg in 1945-6, it should never do so anywhere, anytime, ever again.

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