Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Communication" as violence - Police bring tha noise to the G20

OTTAWA — Canadian police unveiled Thursday an arsenal for keeping protestors at bay at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits in the Toronto area, including sonic guns.

A demonstration of police firepower was held for media to let area residents know what to expect during the back-to-back June 25-27 summits in Huntsville, Ontario and Toronto.

Thousands of federal, provincial and municipal police will be deployed on horseback, in riot gear and on motorcycles escorting dignitaries. Special weapons attack teams (SWAT) and police snipers will be on standby, authorities told reporters.

A section of the downtown Toronto core will be fenced off with a three-meter (nine-foot) high metal fence and monitored by closed-circuit cameras.

Police also purchased four Long Range Acoustic Devices, also known as sound cannons, for crowd control.

The devices can emit ear-splitting pitches so loud -- up to 150 decibels -- that can affect people from more than 200 meters (650 feet) away. They can be heard several kilometers (miles) away.

Police insisted at a press conference they will not use the controversial devices as weapons, but merely as "communication tools" with protestors.

Similar devices were used for the first time in North America at last year's G20 summit in Pittsburgh.

Security costs for the Huntsville-Toronto summits are estimated to reach almost one billion dollars.



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