guesses about how toronto police know when to send out a small contingent of bicycle cops and when to call in every riot cop in the GTA to cover protests circled back last week to the question of whether the police intelligence unit monitors activists' e-mails.The answer would seem to be yes, say those who were on the receiving end of a bizarre computer virus e-mail campaign that apparently emanated from a stricken computer somewhere inside the police intelligence unit's headquarters.
Bob Olsen of OCAP, Ritch Whyman of the Toronto September 11 Peace Coalition, Susan Stout of CAW and Anna Willats of the Committee to Stop Targeted Policing all received a flurry of virus-infected e-mails from email@example.com last week.
Olsen theorizes that a Toronto police intelligence computer got a virus called I-Worm/Sircam that then sent out an e-mail to addresses in the computer. "And so it sent an e-mail to me. Now I know I'm on the Toronto police intelligence computer list."
Intelligence detective Steve Irwin did not return calls from NOW requesting a comment on the alleged e-mail virus.
Also on the protest front, perhaps everything has changed after September 11. Anti-globalization activists who not too long ago provoked panic among the authorities merited little police presence when they gathered at Nathan Phillips Square on November 9 to protest the WTO meetings in Qatar.
After listening to speeches against the evil corporate agenda by Mob4Glob reps, the 200-strong crowd marched peacefully along the sidewalk to the Citibank building at the corner of University and Front. There they watched fellow protestors kick around a ball apparently symbolizing transnationals playing with the world.
The new face of protest might seem a bit less TV-worthy than Black Bloc-ers throwing Molotov cocktails.The mainstream media ignored the uneventful rally. But Council of Canadians spokesperson Brent Patterson says he was heartened by the turnout. "I think the anti-corporate-globalization movement is deepening.'