Sunday, July 22, 2007

Chilean soccer fans - get over yourselves or get out of town.

I was out of town over the weekend and while I had heard of the violent incident between Toronto Police and Chilean Under 20 soccer players and the subsequent diplomatic kerfuffle, I expected an investigation to closely query what happened to put our city's international reputation in the spotlight (drawing far more overseas media coverage than the tournament was getting I suspect) and the decision making of the police officers on the scene - this is not the first allegation of police overreaction at BMO Field.

However, on the way back into town, 680 News brought us their top story - a bunch of whiners protesting outside the 3rd place playoff game. Heads up boys and girls - Sepp Blatter refused to link this to any future Canadian bid for a FIFA tournament and if FIFA won't pick Chile over Canada we can't have been that far offside. But the infuriating bit was when protesters linked the incident with the policies of Augusto Pinochet:
"For many people, even for me, it was a kind of flashback to what happened to us," said Patricio Bascunan, president of the Casa Salvador Allende Cultural Society of Toronto.

He was referring to the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile with an iron first from 1973 to 1990. Many of Toronto's 10,000-plus Chileans, Bascunan said, came to Canada as exiles during Pinochet's regime.

"There are so many people here for political reasons. And we remember the repression of the police and the army," he said.

"The disappointment of the people is unbelievable. People say, `That reminds me what happened to me with the police in Chile. And I never thought it would happen here.'"
[Hat tip - Far and Wide]

Mr Bascunan, if you lived in Pinochet's Toronto you would have been "disappeared" for protesting this incident and the media would be forbidden to report what you were complaining about. Many of your compatriots living in Toronto are here because of Canada's grant of asylum to those who supported the Allende government.

This matter deserves and must get the fullest attention of the Police Services Board, and no doubt Ottawa has already "invited themselves" to the review given the diplomatic protest, but you honestly think you live in a Canada, even under the Harpocrite, which resembled the endemic corruption and disregard for justice that was perpetrated under Pinochet - there's the door. Don't let it hit you on the ass on the way elsewhere.
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