Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Police use UV ink at Occupy Montreal

Bouncers tricks and bass lines at the eviction of Occupy Montreal:

'Occupy protesters “branded” with UV ink: Montreal police borrow tactic from club bouncers to stop protesters from returning to public square

Occupy protesters in Montreal were dismayed to find they had been marked by police with a special ink that is only visible in UV light after being arrested during a raid of Victoria Square Friday. Police told CTV Montreal they borrowed the technique from bouncers at clubs and bars and it is meant to mark protesters who might return to the square.

But they apparently weren’t so forthcoming with at least one protester. “They wrote on my hand with a permanent marker and then after I felt something pointy and metallic scraping across my skin,” wrote protester Nina Haigh on Facebook, continuing: 'I immediately asked “What are you doing” and they simply said we wrote on you with a pen and showed me a bunch of various pens in her hand. I didn’t argue about it and I was unable to look at my hands as they were tied behind my back with zipties. As soon as I was released I looked at my hands and there was no ink on them from a pen. …

This morning we tested my hands under a black light and sure enough there was a number 2! The freaky thing is this is IN my skin, washing my hands and scrubbing with abrasives will not get this off…. perhaps in several months of my skin cells renewing themselves if will eventually fade.What ever ink that is in there is irritating my skin slightly and its a very terrible feeling that they put a substance in my body with out my consent and then later lied about it' (Salon, 30 November 2011).

This took place during the eviction of the Occupy Montreal camp on 25 November, as reported in The Link, 29 November 2011:

'In the end, Occupy Montreal didn’t go out with a flash bang, but with a bass line. Exactly six weeks after the global Occupy phenomenon came to the city, Victoria Square was a place transformed, then transformed again.  Gone was the intricate maze of shelters and structures. Gone were the kitchen and library areas. And gone were many of the inhabitants of the tent city, kicked out by members of the Service policière de la Ville de Montréal on Nov. 25.

Still, despite the naked landscape of the square compared to the bustle and crowds that had been a mainstay for the past month and a half, on Saturday afternoon, a few hundred people came back to the site to discuss what they had been a part of, and where the movement will go now.  Unlike the violent end to the Occupy camps in New York, Oakland, and UC Davis, Montreal’s version didn’t end in clashes with the cops—instead, it ended with a concert. Local legends Bran Van 3000 performed a stripped-down set marked with the refrain, “Love is in the air.” [Bram Van 3000 are best known in the UK for their track Drinkng in LA]...

Today, the tents have been torn down, and the inhabitants have all gone back to wherever they came from. All that’s left is the question that’s been levied at the movement since the beginning: what’s next? What do you do when a protest predicated on the physical occupation of a location no longer physically occupies that space?

“That’s a good question,” said di Salvio. “Even in the middle of summer we were wondering what was going to happen in the winter. We’re human, and it gets very cold". Rather than look at the winter as a time for bonds to weaken, di Salvio, who had also paid a visit to New York City to check out Occupy Wall Street, thinks that breaking up the camp will result in different kinds of organization—digital and physical—that will lead to bigger things when the temperatures rise again in the spring...It’s almost like a tour: you go and reinforce and recharge to meet up again next summer.”

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