Arrested for blowing bubbles at the G20 in Toronto?

This video shows a police officer at the G20 protests in Toronto threatening to arrest a protestor for blowing soap bubbles ("If one of those bubbles touches me, it's assault") and then leading the protestor away, presumably for the aforementioned "offense." If the goal of the police at the G20 was to act pissy and escalate minor incidents into major ones in order to assert their authority, mission accomplished. If, on the other hand, their mission was to de-escalate, keep the peace, find rapport, and celebrate the democratic right to protest, this officer is an abject, total failure.

G20 Policing: From Bubbles to Bookings? (Thanks, Collin!)


    1. That guy shouldn’t really be doing this job. Don’t really like his short trousers either!

  1. I hope the crowd then went into a chorus of “I’m forever blowing bubbles…”

    Shame that we don’t see what immediately preceded the arrest – “Moments Later” could cover all kinds of stuff. I’m not trying to defend the police officer here, he clearly needs a cup of tea, but equally this kind of cut does the credibility of the film no favours.

    I felt sorry for the policewoman who clearly was thinking “My colleague’s being an idiot, when we could be having some pleasant banter to pass the time. How did I get stuck with him?”

  2. Whilst the girl seems incredibly calm and un-offensive and the officer seems like a total douche-bag that is escalating the situation incredibly I still sure would like to see that video without the ‘Moments Later’ cuts.

  3. The title of this post is somewhat manipulative, since the only possible answer for those of us who haven’t been there is “Maybe, we don’t have nearly enough information to know that”.

    By the way, blowing bubbles at the police? Seems like a provocation, and not like peaceful protest. Try blowing bubbles at someone’s face, see if they become joyful all of a sudden because of the pretty colours, or annoyed. Peaceful protest shouldn’t even have contact between police and protesters, and she’s the one who is making contact here, not them.

    All of that, again, judging by the highly edited footage.

  4. On the youtube comments for the video , there’s the girl from the video defending herself – she says that she wasn’t blowing the bubbles into the officer’s face but into the empty space beside them and that the video was cut because the police was arresting alot of people near her and they couldn’t film all the time. See for yourself it’s courtneyxx89

  5. @DenisVi sounds like you live in Singapore “Disneyland with death penalty”…

    Where are the happy mutants on BB?!

  6. This is a comedy sketch right?

    Best quote was “That’s terrible, my heart bleeds” by the officer! Great stuff.

    Too bad the “moments later…” cut destroys any credibility the video was going for.

    1. Okay…check this out.

      “what’s happening?”
      “There’s an armed guy barricaded in his house threatening to blow up the neighborhood”
      “We better get the SWAT team in here right away to stop this guy.”
      “Don’t worry, it’s all under control. We’re sending in the little broad with the bubbles.”

  7. Hey if anyone in Toronto ever has the pleasure of meeting Officer A. Josephs, please refer to him as Officer Bubbles.

  8. Without any video leading up to the arrest, it’s all just talk.
    This video is not about the arrest of a protestor.
    This video is about a policeman threatening to use powers of arrest on a girl blowing bubbles.
    Is that legal? I don’t know, I’m not Canadian.

    During times of protest, are police powers legally extended? Or are they either warranted or abused?

      1. They did invoke the PWPA. And then applied it without jurisdiction to, was told it did NOT encompass an area outside of the fence. Then, Friday, the police chief was told that the ‘new powers’ only applied INSIDE the fence, did nothing to correct this misinterpretation. When asked at a press conference after he smirked and said the reason why he didn’t inform any one was to ‘keep the criminals away’…or, in my case, illegally search me on my way home.

        There’s video out there of police telling people at various locations around the city that the PWPA gives them the right to search anyone. This simply isn’t true. There’s also one video out there (that officer IS under investigation)…where the officer said “you have no civil rights” and “this is not Canada anymore”.

        There is A LOT that was done wrong that weekend, and the calls for a public inquiry are so far being ignored and/or turned down by those who NEED investigating.

  9. The arrest itself… I can’t comment on. I don’t know what happened, “moments later”.

    That said, this kind of crap is the reason why we need to send police for public relations training. They are supposed to be “officers of the peace”, not ass hats. This asshole took a peaceful situation and desperately tried to escalate it. Thankfully, he was picking on a short physically diminutive hippie girl and some stoned hippies who were just chillin’ and supportin’ mother earth… man… rather than angry mob, so the risk of escalation was relatively minor. If he had just said in a polite way, “Hey honey, could you not blow bubbles in my face? It is kind of annoying.” I am pretty sure that would have been the end of it. Hell, instead of glaring at everyone I am pretty sure he could have made polite small talk. Nothing kills the will of a mob to rampage like small talk.

    I just find it deeply disturbing that this cop showed not only no ability to defuse and use words to resolve an extremely minor situation, but actually managed to take a non-situation and elevate it to the point where he gets a peaceful crowd of hippies chanting and mildly pissed.

    I have seen better conflict mediation skills in small children. Personally, I think that the cops need to spend more time re-learning the peace resolving skills they should have learned in kindergarten, rather than being given new weapons and techniques for breaking the face of hippies.

    That was such a massive display of incompetence that it annoys me that someone’s tax money is going to pay that assholes salary.

  10. I’m just curious what effect bubbles were supposed to have. “Another blow for surface tension!”

  11. Amazing, does the officer not realise he’s being filmed? He’s surely seen this video by now, must want the ground to swallow him up.

    And the female officer, she’s gotta be asking herself whatever did she do to end up working alongside this douchebag?

    Despite not seeing the reason for the arrest, this still serves as a reminder that you can be in a world of trouble if a jerkwad policeman just doesn’t like you.

  12. She should’ve been arrested, she’s spraying him with photons and UV radiation. You know how much damage UV radiation can cause?!

  13. Regardless of the cut undermining the case against the arrest (which it does), the thug in a uniform is clearly being both provocative, threatening, intimidatory and aggressive, quite unnecessarily (and pathetic, of course).

    It amazes me that the police who act like this don’t realise that they’re erroding trust, faith, support and goodwill amongst the populace for the police and thereby making their own lives more difficult, putting themselves and their fellow officers at risk and making society, by increment, less safe (because it needs a functioning, respectful and respected policing force to be so).

    But then some people get into the police because the uniform and the authority it confers allows them to be the c***s they really always wanted to be, but could never get away with otherwise.

  14. Unbelievable – that cop was acting like a frustrated teenager. An embarrassment to Toronto.

  15. What is really unbelievable is the number of cop apologists showing up on BB. If this cop’s behaviour doesn’t deserve the moniker of “pig” I don’t know what does. The guy in the video is right…he really should have gotten better service for 1 Billion dollars.

  16. Personally, I have just as little regard for the female officer as I do for the overbearing lout male officer. The female officer could have stepped in and mediated the situation as well. She obviously saw that her fellow officer was out of line but apparently did nothing. A cop is a cop. When it comes down to any situation they will always back up their own even when they are clearly out of line.

    Its the thin blue line. The police look at civilians as “Them”, as in not one of “Us”. Therefore, their rights come before our rights in their minds. Cops like that deserve the threat they perceive. I do not wish ill will on any of them, but when they behave as such I have absolutely no sympathy for their sorry lot when something truly bad happens to them. Much the way, they tend to look at us common folk.

  17. This just in: cop abuses his authority and acts like a schoolyard bully just because he can. If its not news, it’s!

    The question is, what can we do about it? If even the politest nation on earth is getting into the groove of police brutality, asking nicely isn’t going to cut it. We can’t simply vote the bastards out, because ol’ hope-onna-poster turned out just as power hungry as the last guy. Short of storming the Bastille with iPhones and Starbucks cups fashioned into crude weapons, what recourse do ordinarily peaceful citizens really have?

    1. Here in the politest nation on earth, we’re going to have a year’s worth of public inquiries into police behaviour. The process will be tedious I’m sure, but I hope that the results show that asking nicely does indeed cut it. ‘Douche-bag’ is a state of mind, and cops can be re-trained.

  18. Perhaps the officer was a Grungifarian, and soap goes against his lifestyle?

    More likely he has been convinced that he too (at 60K/year) is a capitalist, and is protecting his own, because he believes that could be him inside there, and that they have his best interest at heart.

    1. There’s no need to bring politics into it. The ability to kick someone’s ass and get away with it is a siren call that drowns out all other ideologies.

  19. I think the cop was being reasonable. He has no idea that those bubbles are not laced with acid- he’s no chemist, and he has a job to do.

    I think the real story behind this is the protestor/cop dynamic resulting in a great spectacle, distracting everyone from the policy being formed. Whether it’s intentional or not is beside the point- it’s just a real shame.

    1. You get distracted and you stay distracted and it’s somehow a shame on someone else?

      It is the G20. That man is a stormtrooper*. Pay attention.

      *-think carefully before you label me with Godwin.

      1. response to: mdh • #32 • “It is the G20. That man is a stormtrooper.[…]-think carefully before you label me with Godwin.”

        I thought you were actually making a Star Wars reference.

    2. Hmm…unless he’s seen bubbles before. I mean, really, how do we know the air this morning isn’t laced with tear gas? Are we sure the stove still burns our hands? Better test it.

      While the officer is right that it’s technically assault, I’m gonna assume that Canada has a de minimis provision meaning the courts don’t deal with trivialities.

      Also, arresting someone is an unwanted touch as well. The police are total jokes at this point. They’re intended to be by their commanders. “Find any excuse to arrest them, we want to piss them off. A pissed off protester forgets his Ghandi.”

    3. “I think the cop was being reasonable. He has no idea that those bubbles are not laced with acid- he’s no chemist, and he has a job to do.”

      Lol. Really? Lot of wildly preemptive “defense” will come out of such imaginative flights of fancy.

      Fuck this cop. Fuck him right out of a motherfucking job. “For a billion dollars….” Aye. Cept that he is what they want. Put the chill on. Protest is not welcome.

      Looks a lot like a global police state is emerging. Stock pile bubble solution.

  20. Christ, what an asshole.

    But yeah, with the cut it doesn’t seem legit. They should put up the full video.

  21. Canadian law appears to be very open to interpretation on this matter:

    265(1) A person commits an assault when
    (a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;

    A bubble landing on someone is a very small force – it’s easily possible to apply a larger force by noise…

    As for the officer, whoever let officers on duty wear sunglasses while talking to the public in a confrontational manner cannot be pretending their intention is to defuse tension. Hiding your eyes while acting authoritarian is designed to increase tension.

    1. Technically, she’s applying force just breathing in his general direction. If the bubble is sufficient force for arrest under that law, just facing his direction without holding your breath is too.

    2. @Grumblefish:

      “A bubble landing on someone is a very small force – it’s easily possible to apply a larger force by noise…”

      Or by breathing in someone’s vicinity, or from the gravitational pull of one’s body…

  22. This video should cost officer A. Josephs his job. He works for and is paid for by the same public he is threatening. “To serve and protect” my ass. More like “to harass and intimidate”. This abusive behavior cannot go unanswered and must be punished.

    1. your comment does appear justified at first glance, and although this guy has been named… well.. many different names-none good.

      he may appear to deserve it but is he really behaving so out of line for the sake of it or could there be something more to the situation to what we see?

      I mean by the way you can tell he has himself heavy breathing and hiped up before even the first sentence is spoken suggest his aggression isnt purley towards the peacefull hippy- although he wouldnt know other wise.

      how do we know that later on that day he went home to complete he process of a mental breakdown?

      as we never know the 100% details of all peoples life and situations we must be careful to judge too quickly, as when we need help the most we might be judged harshly too.

      in a nutshell- he needs help!

  23. I am once again embarrassed by the behaviour of our police forces.

    Bubbles are about as harmless as you can get.

    Many of these cops are from other parts of the country, shipped in for a few days of brutality. We’ve got some runaway police forces in Canada lately (RCMP included). It has to be stopped, somehow.

    Meanwhile the majority of MPs in our parliament is pushing for an inquiry into police actions at the G20, and the (minority) government is protecting something with a fucking filibuster.

    Why is it conservatives get all in a lather about their right to guns, but seem to have no issue with blocking people from their right to protest, assemble or otherwise be democratic citizens.

  24. The cop is clearly a douchebag (even his colleague looks uncomfortable while he overreacts) but the so-called “peaceful protester” isn’t protesting anything – she’s just trying to provoke the cop. That’s her only purpose. There was a lot of that going on – especially on the day after the rioting.

    If she was doing it to me, I’d be using stronger language that the cop did. And who knows what she did or said during the “moment’s later” gap. My bet is that she continued to try to bait the cop and crossed a line.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m totally on side with the *actual* G20 protesters, but these spoiled little twits need to grow up.

    1. She may well be trying to bait the police, but if the act of blowing bubbles is successful in producing an over-reaction, there is a problem. Within limits, it is legitimate to test public employees to be sure they are acting in the public’s interest. Arresting someone for the public blowing of bubbles serves no legitimate public interest.

    2. the so-called “peaceful protester” isn’t protesting anything – she’s just trying to provoke the cop. That’s her only purpose

      You say that like it’s a bad thing. That’s a perfectly good purpose. We need people who are willing to put our rights and freedoms to the test. To put the police in situations where they have to chose between respecting our freedom and asserting their authority.

      Having the freedom to express my reasoned political views in the local periodical of note is well and good, but if I can’t drive by the police station shouting “fuck the cops!” without getting pulled over, we don’t really have free speech after all. Someone has to test that boundary to keep the cops honest.

      The cop accuses the protester of “baiting the police”. If you know you’re being manipulated into making a stupid/illegal move, why would you take the bait? The idea that a cop could be goaded or pressured against their will into violating someone’s rights is preposterous. The cops know full well what they’re allowed to take action on and what they have to stoically tolerate. And they have plenty of experience stoically tolerating much more outrageous things than this.

      When a cop goes off the deep end like this, it’s not a loss of control, it’s a deliberate aggression, an abandonment of restraint. In this case, restraint is abandoned due to the cop’s knowledge that there will be no real consequences for his and other officers’ behavior, even if caught on film.

      1. Actually, it IS a bad thing. The idiots that were there just to piss off the cops, or destroy property, or set things on fire (and I fully acknowledge that the former group is largely a different population from the later two) totally hijacked the message of the legitimate protesters. They made the story about them.

        Like the saying goes: Your right to swing your arm ends where my nose begins.

        And like I said, the cop was a douche, but he most certainly did NOT take the bait, nor did he go “off the deep end”. Several cops DID go off the deep end that weekend – and this is not one of those times.

        And yeah, you do have the right to drive by the police station and shout “Fuck the police” but what are you – thirteen?

        1. let’s not forget the cops themselves, in plainclothes, carrying rocks, starting trouble to justify their budgets.

        2. The idiots that were there just to piss off the cops, or destroy property, or set things on fire (and I fully acknowledge that the former group is largely a different population from the later two) totally hijacked the message of the legitimate protesters. They made the story about them.

          You weren’t a protester at the G20, nor does it seem like you’re involved in the movements which were represented there. Who are you to decide what their message or agenda was? To the vast majority of people involved in these protests, police repression is a significant part of their message. Even though they’re protesting in different ways about different particulars, they all support each other. You’re trying to separate a unified protest into discrete groups along the lines of what you personally think is desirable behavior so that you can imply that one group is at odds with another…but in practice, they’re not.

          And yeah, you do have the right to drive by the police station and shout “Fuck the police” but what are you – thirteen?

          Well here’s the thing: if I do something silly like that (or like blowing bubbles at a protest) and the cops just look at me, blink, and go back about their business, then you get to roll your eyes and say “What are you – thirteen?”. And everyone will roll their eyes with you. But when doing that silly thing results in police aggression, I’ve exposed official misconduct which would’ve otherwise gone under the radar. So in that case my “immaturity” is more like a public service.

          1. Even though they’re protesting in different ways about different particulars, they all support each other. You’re trying to separate a unified protest into discrete groups along the lines of what you personally think is desirable behavior so that you can imply that one group is at odds with another…but in practice, they’re not.

            I was not a protester, you’re right. But I *was* there, and I’m friends with a lot of people who were protesting. And they DO want to separate themselves from the anarchists and lesser shit-disturbers; they are most definitely are “at odds” with those types. As for the ones who identify as “peaceful” protesters but DO support “protesting in different ways” (e.g. violence, looting, arson, property damage, etc.) Well, I’m quite happy with those people being “repressed”.

            And bear in mind, even though the police response for the rest of the weekend was a completely incompetent (even criminally incompetent, I believe) clusterfuck, the repression you are referring to didn’t happen until after the violence started. Queen’s park was pretty peaceful early in the day on Saturday, even with a ton of cops around. Lots of the cops that I saw were smiling. Then it went bad fast.

            So, are YOU pro-anarchist/rioter? If you are, then I guess we don’t have anything we can agree on.

            I’m a little unclear about the purpose of posting the BB link about the twit who likes to flip off cops. Your characterization of his actions as resulting in “police aggression” is a tad hyperbolic… they wrote him a ticket. He’s suing. Good for him. I wonder if he’ll win (he probably will), but I don’t much care. It’s rude, deliberately provocative behaviour, and he’s just doing it because he’s a pathetic ass… it’s hardly a public service. I’d like to see him try it in a biker bar. Now THAT would result in an aggressive response.

  25. Agreed on the editing thing.

    In this case, I don’t really see how this officers’ actions constitute abuse. He didn’t use any abusive language and didn’t threaten her with any other than arrest if she continued blowing bubbles.

    Of course we cannot say for certain one way or the other with so much of the video missing.

  26. Yay cops! Stay classy!
    Look how ‘puffed’ up and argo that cop is, what a real man. And to you people who infer that the bubble-blower is provoking the cop, give me a break.. Dont you think it would be better if the cop was someone who could not be so intimidated by f’in bubbles? I mean these people carry weapons, is it a good idea to have a bunch of ill tempered-yet super sensitive people with such responsibility. And who gets to decide what is ‘provoking’?, hmm oh yeah its the cop. What happens when no provoking happens, and the cop decides they were provoked… Oh silly me, that could never happen. This sort of thing will continue unless abated by people who wont stand up for such nonsense. What happens when typing a comment on boingboing is considered ‘provoking’ to some authoritarian?

  27. Hmmm, I’m usually fully on board with these posts, but this time I’m not sure. Sure he was being a hard ass, but he wasn’t loud or insulting or threatening anything except legal process. And I think he was justified in demanding she not get bubbles on them – as he said it’s a detergent, an though commercial bubble fluid is pretty okay to get in your eyes, he might not have known or thought of that at the time. I agree he could have made things easier for everyone, including himself, by asking nicely and being more jovial, and that is a valid critique of his job performance, but morally or ethically I don’t see anything wrong this time.

  28. Only one question: if she put the bubbles away like she said she was doing, then what happened during the “cut”? I’m guessing she continued to “bait” the cops, maybe even bringing her bubbles out again. She was warned (though not very nicely) and probably pushed it too far. Children do that.

    1. actually, i put the bubbles away, and then the entire group of us were surrounded by officers and about 20 or so arrests were made. i was the first one grabbed, so thats why there isnt a huge line up of other people being arrested in the video. this was not the case of one single arrest being made. it was a group arrest of innocent bystanders, considering this wasn’t even a protest or a demonstration. we were watching police activity across the street. as for the “children do that” comment, I am actually an adult, working as a Social Service Worker. My intent was not to bait these officers, but to keep the mood of the crowd light, as happy people tend to insight less violence.

      1. So was everyone released, or what? Surely no judge would be convinced by anything the cops might have invented in their report… Tell me they just arrested people to inconvenience them, and then set them free without charges.

  29. How dickish can a cop get? This guy is closing in on it.

    Brings up the question – Canada/Toronto reportedly spent $1B on security for G20. I highly doubt they have enough people on the regular payroll for this, so where did the extra goonage come from? Dyncorp? Xe/BlackWater?

    The reports of sexual threats and abuse in custody would suggest Dyncorp.

    The increase is aggro dicks for security is sickening. The growth of high profit legitimacy for mercenaries (by some reports 70% of US military staffing) threatens democracy.

  30. So next time they should bring an army of 5-year-old girls with bubble wands and film Officer Tough Guy taking them down.

  31. Jail cells are simply not meant for people who won’t shut up and blow bubbles at your riot gear.

  32. The girl in the video seems to be on youtube and replying to comments as courtneyxx89. Some examples:

    “i wasn’t blowing bubbles on the cops, i was blowing them all around, and just happened to be filmed while i was turned in their direction, and making a point to blow them where NO officer was standing. camera angles can be decieving. and i was not arrested for anything related to the bubbles. i was arrested because i am a medic, and charged because of my medical supplies.”
    “actually, i was blowing bubbles originally because there were children around PLAYING with the bubbles. i was not blowing bubbles in any officers face, and in fact, the officer that approached me was standing about 30 or 40 feet away before he came over. i am a medic, and i never went to intentionally provoke officers. i was keeping the mood light to prevent a violent outbreak from the crowd.”

    Based on the video alone she seemed a little foolish and immature, but that pales in comparison to an aggressive and wired police officer who completely overreacted.

  33. Jail cells are simply not meant for people who won’t shut up and instead of cowering in fear choose to blow bubbles at your riot gear.

    How many commentators in this thread are really just upset that she wasn’t appropriately afraid?

  34. I love the way anyone can justify someone’s arrest in this case. It’s a clear case of a cop amped up for a conflict and finding one where none exists. What an idiot.

    1. The sad thing is that it seems the female cop and the protestor were all set to have a friendly little conversation when Mr. Macho intervened with his “if one of those bubbles touches me” crap.

      1. Agreed the female cop was acting like a complete human being. In general, women do defuse conflict more than they create it.

        Will say I like Mr. Macho’s shaved head. You can see the muscles tense and pump as he just stands there. What a well of wound-up rage that guy is!

  35. I can’t believe the quislings on here defending this thug with a badge. The G20 resulted in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history and people want to skewer a young protester for blowing bubbles.

    Let’s be clear the girl was NOT “blowing bubbles in the cops face” — she was simply blowing bubbles.

    Why, you may ask? Well, I don’t know her personally, but I have studied strategies of resistance. Acts like blowing bubbles, tossing flower pedals, drawing chalk “peace signs” on the sidewalk, dressing in colourful costumes, etc., are deliberately playful, purposefully child-like acts of disruption and “peaceful protest”. They are a form of protest purposefully intended to dissipate violence — not provoke it. Blowing bubbles (etc.) is used to give those confronting you a sense that they have nothing to fear but perhaps slight embarrassment. Does anyone honestly believe the cop was worried about his eyes being damaged by a bubble(covered by sunglasses, no less)? Such tactics are also employed by some as a means of highlighting the inherent violence of the system. Why is $1Billion worth of armour needed to contain contain harmless beings offering joyful, peaceful expressions of dissent(an embarrassment of contrasts which I believe this video captures nicely).

    The only person being bated here is the girl by the provocative bully with the sun glasses, gun and a badge. She should be commended for her courage for being there and blowing bubbles in the first place and secondly for keeping her cool and not falling for his pathetic trap.

  36. This wasn’t part of a protest. the cops stormed into the Parkdale neighbourhood to make preemptive arrests.

    I think the female cop may have been trying to be personable by asking the girl’s name so she could ask her to stop blowing bubbles. But officer “Bubbles” Josephs just had to be a dick. To me the female officer looked embarrassed to be next to the guy. Her body language was very open and comfortable until he showed up.

    At first I thought he had a point with the detergent thing. But then I realized bubbles are children’s toys. And if the girl had mixed her bubbles with mace or something dangerous she would have been taken down in a flash.

    Mixing bubbles with dangerous chemicals would be the stupidest terrorist plan ever! The bubble wouldn’t even form because of the impurity.

    Even children have natural instincts to blink if bubbles get to close to their eyes. And professional police don’t?

    The cops were just throwing their weight around and provoking people.

  37. Wow, that cop seems to overcompensate for deep, deep self-esteem issues. Or he’s Grumple Gromit in disguise. Or both.

  38. She says that she wasn’t blowing bubbles in the cop’s face. But, for argument’s sake, let’s assume that she was.

    FFS, do we really want police that feel threatened by **bubbles**? Do we think the officer **actually** felt threatened?

    (And, the acid-in-the-bubbles thing is such a laughable idea that I’m dismissing it out of hand, for so many reasons.)

    Do you want to live in a world where blowing bubbles in the face of an officer is presumed to be sufficient justification to threaten arrest? Because I sure as hell don’t.

  39. If he can’t control his anger-he should not be a cop! I surmise that many people go into the policing profession for the rush. There are those who wish to control others, and if you can do it and get paid, well, why not? I would not want to be one of this guys kids or for that matter his significant other.

  40. zygote, are you just trolling, or do you really think blowing bubbles was intended as a deliberate provocation? Normally I’d write your post off completely, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Look at her face when the cop goes aggro on her – she’s completely stunned by his reaction. It looks like she’d been having a friendly chat with the female cop next to office Bubblephobe – they were both smiling.

    For just one minute here, think of this possibility with an open mind (you can dismiss it later, but take a moment to put yourself in someone else’s shoes with an open mind please): She thought she should do something to make a clear, visible, point that she’s friendly, not threatening, not aggressive. Handing out flowers? Nice, but costly. Candy? Paranoid cops might suspect poison. Playing quiet tunes on an instrument would be nice, but if you need musical talent, plus people will be calling out slogans and protest songs, drowning you out. Bubbles! Everyone likes bubbles, they’re pretty, they shimmer in the sun, they don’t even create litter, you can share the little want and let the cops blow bubbles, which will make them seem sympathetic to all the nearby protesters. Bubbles are perfect!

    Now, if it really, honestly, seems to you more likely that she meant to provoke the cops, then
    a) you’re some kind of grumpy old man, even if you’re young and female
    b) don’t you think she could have found something more effective, something that would have provoked the female officer as well? A vuvuzela is only a couple of bucks after all…

    1. I completely agree.

      He is afraid of bubbles. She could have pointed out that both she and the female cop would protect him, he doesn’t need to be afraid, either would take a bubble for him.

      I would love to see this video remixed.

  41. As for the ones who identify as “peaceful” protesters but DO support “protesting in different ways” (e.g. violence, looting, arson, property damage, etc.) Well, I’m quite happy with those people being “repressed”.

    Justifying police repression in response to “thoughtcrime”. That’s pretty scary.

    The rest of your comment kind of rambles into other arguments, and I don’t have time to get into each of the points. Suffice it to say that your evaluation of the events of the G20 shouldn’t be taken at face value by anyone else reading this exchange.

  42. Look, since people are still oddly defending the bubble blower’s arrest, let me just say the only thing that should have been BLOWN was that uptight cop.

    Not by the bubble blower or the female cop, but by someone trained to deal with animals.

  43. Man, this thread reads like slashdot. What, with all the boot-licking, wannabe fascist apologists.

    /sigh. time to calm down. I would not have kept my cool is well as she did. I hate it when MY EMPLOYEES treat me like that. She did well. Good luck, lady.

  44. The cop is using a commanding tone designed to make himself appear superior. It can be difficult for the public to hear that tone because it is so out of place from anyone but one’s own parents. It usually works — people are stunned to hear that kind of tone coming from a stranger. He also makes a point to talk over her replies, to demean her status further.

    It’s all intended to get a rise out of the person, to inflame the situation, and end in arrest.

  45. Those bubbles are made of soap!
    Did you ever get soap in your eyes?
    It stings!

    /sarcasm off

    When someone asks “Do we understand each other?” I like to ask them if they understand me?

    “This is what I understand you to be saying [paraphrase their statements]. In your own words, what am saying? That will answer your question of whether we understand EACH OTHER or not…”

  46. is it just me or is it just incredibly amusing to watch canadians try and be intimidating?

  47. This is clearly an officer that takes himself very seriously. Too seriously and I would hate to see how he would react in a truly serious situation. He needs to be retrained and if that doesn’t work, he needs to find another line of work. Clearly his attitude is not conducive to dealing with the public and he could actually endanger himself and others with behavior such as this. He seems very angry and full of himself. I think he should be suspended and required to attend some anger managment classes before he gets someone hurt or killed. He also seems like a first class a-hole.

  48. The problem is the short pants. The undignified uniform makes a cop of a certain personality type go all roostery. See the famous Baltimore Cop videos.

    1. Unfortunately, if an undignified uniform makes a cop act like a bully, tests have also shown that a cop-y one does too (google “stamford prison experiment”). Worrying, that.

  49. She was not actually arrested for blowing bubbles. It was worse than that – the police arrested EVERY protester at the site, just for being there.

    Just for being at a protest.

    Some they let go at the scene, some they detained for 13-24 hours and then let go without charges, some they kept for 48 hours and charged with various bogus offenses like “conspiracy to commit mischief” for having medical supplies because the bubble blower was a medic. They were targeting medics.

    So the bubble blowing was not the charge.

    Although Officer Bubbles did walk up behind the bubble blower and my daughter when they were up against the wall to utter more inanities. “That’s what you get!”

    Compensating for something, Officer Dipstick?

    – Signed Jan, mother of the girl in the orange shirt

  50. It has always amazed me how some people seem to expect people whose job is to exert violence in the name of a state ( for the clueless) to be cute and cuddly. Those attributes don’t appear in the job application, you know?

    Snide remarks aside, I totally want to meet that girl; she seems quite awesome.

  51. What harm could she have done with bubbles? Blow a bubble on the white house and send it floating to space? He provoked the situation more than she did o.O Imagine what would have happened if that was her using that tone or body language? What happened to PROTECT & SERVE??..pshhh..over exaggerating americans as’d prolly get arrested for farting in public too o.O Not a country i’d like to visit EVERRRR.

    Tiny bubbles, in the world, make me feel better, makes me feel sad..TINY BUBBLES :P

  52. I saw an ACLU video with tips on how to deal with police confrontations and how to hopefully avoid arrest. The representative in the video stated that when you are a suspect and accused of an offense that may warrant your arrest- if you want to avoid arrest, you should remember that- in such a scenario, the officer’s job is not to have friendly, understanding dialogs with you. Their job is to find,(fine?) arrest, and convict. They are not interested in your opinions about the role of law enforcement, or your philosophy about your civil rights and so on.

    The best strategy is to try to not escalate the situation by not saying more than you have to. Assert yourself and your position if you must- but do so in a calm and polite manner. Do nothing impulsive or sudden to give them cause. Make no gestures or moves that could be considered offensive, suspicious, or threatening, or construed as an assault. Try not to have any objects in your hands, and keep your hands where they may be plainly seen at all times. People have been shot by police while holding things like soda cans, car keys, while retrieving articles, or undoing seat belts. It can wait, and its not worth your life. Do not admit to anything or consent to searches. Exercise your right to not incriminate yourself by remaining silent if at all possible.

    Do not be confrontational, debate with, or provoke police officers. If you are arrested, do not resist. Do your best to follow instructions, comply, and co-operate- again without acts of self incrimination. (Assuming you aren’t shot in the back by an officer who doesn’t know the difference between a tazer and a firearm- or that it is unlawful to use a weapon on a prone compliant suspect in handcuffs!) If you believe your rights have been violated or you are a victim of police brutality, take it up later and report it when you have obtained a good lawyer. Talking to or doing much of anything around police is generally a bad idea, and can only make matters worse.

    In this case we have the unfortunate edit with ‘moments later’. We don’t know what else was said and done later by her or the officers. We have no way then of knowing what actually led to her arrest- aside from the threat of arrest for ‘assault through the deliberate act of blowing bubbles’ He really, really hates those bubbles! Bubbles as an offensive weapon- who knew? Officer down!- soap in the eyes!

    At events like protests, tensions are already high. Remember, a police officer’s job is to find, arrest, and convict. In such situations, the police will try to use ANY excuse, no matter how trivial or ridiculous it may seem. It’s a tactic of provocation on their part- raising their voice/ being more forceful in their speech than the situation may call for, or baiting you with insults and sarcasm. They are looking for a confrontation and ANY excuse to find probable cause for your arrest. Be smart by not giving them one.

  53. Absolute power corrupts…They have the powers to beat the hell out of you, shock the piss out of you, bruise with bean bags and rubber pellets, deafen you with intense noise, make you feel as though you are being burned by intense heat, dazzle you with explosions and flashing lights, gas you, break your bones and dislocate joints, speak to you in any way they wish, and if all else fails- kick your teeth in, or blow your brains out while you are in their custody. All tactics may be done before you have ever been convicted of a crime. Whatever floats their warped sadistic boats. What are you allowed to do to them in retaliation legally other than try to fight them in court? Absolutely nothing. To the police everyone is a potential criminal and whatever you do around them will be on the wrong side of the law and used against you. When confronted with a raging angry charging bull elephant- the last thing you want to do is try to talk to him reasonably or cheer him up by blowing bubbles. It’s a dangerous world we live in- made frightening by the insane thug police. Protect and serve? Yeah, right.

  54. The “OMG WTH are you freaking kidding me??” look on the photographer’s face is priceless- as is the stunned reaction of Bubble Girl. Thank you, Sir for telling that cop to pick on someone his own size and respect women. The scary part is that the cop wasn’t kidding. “Those Bubbles (big bad awful life threatening detergent bubbles) better not touch me! PUT THEM AWAY! -GRRRRRRRR!!” What a loose wingnut! I feel so much safer with ticking time bombs like him on the job.

  55. Yep it takes a big man to intimidate a woman and try to make her cry. Go pick on someone your own size- and no more caffeine for you!

  56. Remember when 1000 photographers planned to descend upon the LA subway system to protest the police’s arbitrary harassment of citizens taking pictures in public? Maybe this will inspire 1000 Toronto residents to blow bubbles in the streets. That may be fun to see- unless the po-po’s feel threatened by all the dangerous detergents…

  57. It takes a big man to intimidate a woman and try to make her cry. Why don’t you pick on someone your own size? A little soap might actually make you smell better. No more caffeine for you!

  58. This here is am extreme case of douchebaggery. The police officer politely asks the EVIL DEVIL WOMAN who is VIOLENTLY BLOWING BUBBLES into the FACE of an officer to stop. He warns her of the IMPENDING DOOM that will follow if she does not stop her CONSTANT ASSAULT OF BUBBLE HARASSMENT. Although the DANGEROUS BUBBLES did not cause any SERIOUS harm to the officer it did NOT make him all bubbly inside thus forcing him to arrest her. Later and not shown in the video all the protesters and police were arrested for excessive CO2 pollution.

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