Just a mellow afternoon at the G20

Discuss

132 Responses to “Just a mellow afternoon at the G20”

  1. theCanuck says:

    Really!? “riot policeman shoots a woman at near point-blank range with a canister of tear gas”. This wording seems sensational, given that the gun doesn’t actually fire a projectile, but a “muzzle flash” of tear gas. In the video, you can also see the riot cop steps aside and aims behind the young woman. The other person we see lying on the ground at the end of the video however, may have been hit with a rubber bullet, which police were using as well. After watching continual coverage yesterday and today on Canada’s major TV networks, I have to say that this video and the brief footage I saw of riot police beating protesters with batons may have been the worst use of police force that I saw. A number of hooligans, however, saw fit to burn five or six police cars to the ground yesterday, between smashing windows. Overall, other than the obvious property damage, I think that police exercised considerable restraint. Because most of the violence appeared to be mixed in with demonstrators who had formally organized a peaceful march, the police did not rush into these situations heavy handed, but used crowd control tactics (mostly just by showing up in number, and banging their riot shields) that allowed them to extinguish fires and make arrests without risking harm to themselves or innocent civilians. Of course, I only saw what the media showed me, but here’s independent video (I have no affiliation) that captures some of the carnage, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-h-YIj4jRw Ironically, when most of this was going on on Saturday there was only one report of tear gas use, that I heard about.

    • dculberson says:

      Re: the video theCanuck linked to – Great, smash up businesses, you trust fund bottom feeders. Maybe mom should withhold the teat so you learn what it’s like to have to make a living.

      I’m all for peaceful protest. But what those “black block” people are doing is wrong, very wrong. They’re costing themselves and their fellow citizens more in freedoms and actual dollars than they could ever gain with their wankery.

  2. DeWynken says:

    And all this time I thought the Canadians were the good guys..

    • bersl2 says:

      People are mostly the good guys, wherever these things are held; it’s governments wanting to hold city centers hostage who are the enemies.

  3. mgfarrelly says:

    Here is the black comedy of it.

    All these G20 leaders are gathering to talk about austerity.

    Austerity.

    Spending a billion dollars to wall themselves off, shut down a major North American city for days at a time, and do all manner of damage to the reputation of that city by demanding draconian security measures.

    Add to that their fat expenses on luxury hotels, the finest food and drink plus an ungodly amount spent traveling to and fro.

    Austerity.

    In essence, these people will demand their citizens accept less basic civil services (hospitals, libraries, schools, infrastructure) while feting themselves behind of moat of policemen.

    Austerity folks, this is what austerity looks like.

  4. bersl2 says:

    I think there is only one clear message sent in all of this:

    Holding one of these huge summits benefits few in the place it is held. Probably the convention center and a few other hotels get paid a large sum, and the local government may get funding for their troubles, but few other businesses see any benefit, and with security being so insane as to (whether for good or for ill) force protesters to be far away from the VIPs, why bother?

    Seriously: if the Gn (where n is the number of countries represented) wanted to hold one of these in my city—and we’ve hosted a political convention or two, and host other large events all the time—I’d tell them to go fsck themselves.

    • straponego says:

      Every time the Olympics, Gn, GOP/Democratic conventions, etc. assault a city, they first install a comprehensive surveillance/video network. These networks are never removed. Also they get training crowd control, sniping civilians from rooftops/helicopters, etc.

      I don’t know why they want these things, but clearly they do. If they didn’t, they’d have their little parties in cheaper, more easily secured locations, which wouldn’t wreck the local economies for days on end. For example, why on earth was G20 not held at Huntsville, which they just used for G8?

  5. bwohlgemuth says:

    And our leaders keep holding these things in major metro cities…who are the criminals here?

    • Typhoon_ says:

      It was a big city, I just couldn’t help myself from trashing Tim Hortons. After all, it’s not my fault, I’m not responsible for my actions. It’s the fault of society and The Man.

  6. Micheal Kelly says:

    What would happen if the G8/20 decided to hold these events in seclusion though? Like on a remote island in the Pacific or something? Would we all be happier, or would we start complaining that the leaders were meeting in secret? Although, at least in that case we wouldn’t have all the damage to the city to deal with.

    • Anonymous says:

      They already have them in seclusion, though. They happen to do so in the middle of populous cities, but it’s not like the rabble have any eye or voice.

  7. Blackbird says:

    I don’t really have that much to say about this. I mean, I DO HAVE A LOT TO SAY…but I won’t burden you with it. I LIVE next to the zone and ended up being searched ONLY ONCE…mainly because I found a very small hole in their security.

    Last I heard they were still saying only 2 of those “muzzle blasts” were shot…video shows 3, and there’s already smoke from a 4th. They also yesterday denied using tear gas, and then never apologized to the public when they were proven wrong…

    I was in a lot of this, blogging ‘for’ CBC. Had a friend almost arrested for asking directions TO GET OUT of a protest which she didn’t intend to be in.

    That regulation that was past expires tomorrow. But…the cops will likely STILL think they have the right to do this (seeing as what they were doing elsewhere, NOT covered by the PWPA, was HIGHLY illegal). IANAL…but I did talk to one!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Let’s all elect more conservatives, yayyyyy!!!

  9. my2sense says:

    I was there and the police cars and streets that were savaged were purposefully left un-policed.

    • theCanuck says:

      This kind of argument defies logic. Are we then in need of a police state, to ensure that store windows don’t get smashed and cars don’t get burned?

  10. Blackbird says:

    I’m just now going through the days postings.

    Here’s finished video of a videographer being … well … assaulted numerous times by the police…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7OA920pbv8

  11. Anonymous says:

    These are the people who tried to make it happen peacefully, and whose voices aren’t being heard:

    http://www.blogto.com/city/2010/06/g20_protest_messages_overshadowed_by_violence_and_arrests/

    And why corral and hold people like animals, in the rain, for 3hours?

    http://www.blogto.com/city/2010/06/police_trap_g20_protesters_at_queen_and_spadina/

    Many questions need to be answered.

  12. Heartfruit says:

    No body wins.

    Store owners (many of whom were small family businesses not multinational corporations) get their stores trashed.

    Police are simultaneously accused of not doing enough and doing too much.

    The majority of protesters do were there to spread a message they care deeply loose any chance they have because they are over shadowed by the violence.

    Seriously, next year the G20 leaders should invest in some decent teleconferencing software and saved us all the trouble. I doubt any of them will live up to any commitments made at this weekend the moment they aren’t in their own country’s best interest.

    I am simultaneously outraged and saddened by what has occurred to my city this weekend. We didn’t ask for this. It’s not something we bid for or invited in.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is crazy. Even crazier, I wouldn’t of known about this from reading the major news sites. Why isn’t this in mainstream media?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Actually most Toronto PD have stood by a watched the place burn down. Nothing like a bunch of spoiled middle and upper class twits breaking other people’s stuff (and probably putting more than a few workers out of work for weeks.

    The police arrest and abuse Guardina reporters doing nothing and stand by and let the brave masked ones go on. Shameful.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It’s just shocking – I am appalled both by the (few) violent protesters and the actions of the police. I do have to wonder if some of the “black bloc” hooligans were actually undercover agents deliberately trying to instigate violence to take focus off the message of the peaceful protesters, as this is a tactic which has been used by Canadian law enforcement in the past. (link: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/08/23/police-montebello.html).

    On a lighter note, this video from yesterday’s G8 protests was quite funny and cute.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fhGneV6rQg

  16. magnetiquewolf says:

    I’m wondering what the political, social, and/or economic advantages were of holding the G20 in Toronto city centre.

    My guess: so the G20 and Harper could write-off billions of dollars in false/fraudulent expenses.

    If the meeting had been held in a smaller city – or in a rural location – the costs would have been minimal compared to the cost of holding such a meeting in a major north american city.

    The question is: assuming the leaders are laundering about half the cost of the expenses, WHAT, exactly, are they doing with the laundered money?

    That’s at least half a billion dollars in laundered cash. Where is it going?

  17. Anonymous says:

    For those wondering why Toronto wanted to have the summits here. We didn’t, our local government didn’t, it was decided by the Conservative Federal Government which has no love for Toronto or cities in general.

  18. Lordrabbi says:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/g8-g20/interactive/g20-protests/article1620462/

    Photo 18 of 30 shows the incident in the second video from a different angle. The young woman does not appear to target of the officer and as another person has pointed out it looks like a beanbag gun rather than a muzzle shot.

  19. Anonymous says:

    wow that looks like america! Good luck canada, you are going to need it. IT ONLY GETS WORSE FROM HERE BUDDY. Just wait until they start setting up fema camps for when they cause whatever huge disaster or disease outbreak that will cause you to flee into “safety” for “help”. In all actuality it will just be another notch in the belt of control. The iron curtain is falling down upon us all. Laws dont need to protect us from ourselves but from others. Police need not riot against peaceful protesters. The end isnt near folks, its now.

  20. bwohlgemuth says:

    I’m all for peaceful protest. But what those “black block” people are doing is wrong, very wrong. They’re costing themselves and their fellow citizens more in freedoms and actual dollars than they could ever gain with their wankery.

    The irony is most of them will be sipping lattes at Starbucks and wearing “multi-national” made apparel, using Apple computers, and generally scoffing at society while eating Dunkin (or Tim Hortons).

    It’s an excuse for teenagers to go and get their rage out. At insurance and taxpayers expense.

  21. retrac13 says:

    Ugh. Black Bloc and abusive riot cops deserve each other.

    If only they wouldn’t vandalize the communities and violate the rights of the rest of us.

    P.S. Regarding the censorship/freedom of press situation, we’ve still got it pretty good over here. Earlier today, I went through 20+ pages of photos from the protests on Flikr. And that’s just the photographers who got their shit together to upload first thing in the morning. Check out a film like Burma VJ if you want a reminder of how bad things can get journalism-wise.

  22. bytefyre says:

    “We had fed the heart on fantasies, The heart’s grown brutal from the fare” -William Butler Yeats

  23. delt664 says:

    Huh, that could have been footage of Iran’s recent protests. Its getting harder and harder to tell who the good guys are.

  24. hobbit_feet says:

    All the “peaceful protesters are doing is sitting around and singing as well as taunting the security officers… it seems to me like they are just asking for it….

    In the second video, if you look closely, the officer isn’t shooting at the lady; he is shooting at someone behind her.

  25. Dylan says:

    To see the streets of your home filled with police in riot gear is a surreal experience. The video Xeni posted – the protesters singing “O Canada” before the police rush them – really captures the essence of the situation. I used to have some kind of national pride, but there’s less and less to be proud of here – other than the citizens who have put themselves in harm’s way over these past couple of days to protest. I only hope that the heavy-handed tactics employed by the police will prompt people who aren’t normally activists to get politically involved.

    Meanwhile, at the artificial lake inside the summit centre…

  26. Blackbird says:

    If you want to see more, search the hashtag #cbcg20. There were a bunch of us out all over the place. Some in danger, some not. Also a few re-tweets of significant happenings… most are twitpics.

    http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23cbcg20

  27. PapayaSF says:

    So many fails. Canadian police seem to take a calm, detached, hands-off approach when stores are looted and police cars burned, but if you’re standing around or taking pictures, well, you better respect the authority! Priorities, people.

    Still, the sensible response when confronted with a line of riot police is to turn around and briskly walk in the other direction, possibly with a slight ducking posture. You definitely don’t want to argue with somebody pointing a weapon at you or somebody behind you, and you certainly don’t want to wave your arms as if you’re trying to block his shot.

    There are, at any large gathering, bound to be several thugs who see it as an excuse to engage in lawlessness and destruction.

    Yes, we all remember the vandalism, looting, and arson at the hundreds of Tea Party protests there have been since last year.

    • mindysan33 says:

      I would suspect that part of the point was to discredit the protest by highlighting the violence against property by some. It gives them a reasonable defense for any use of force used against the protesters. Let them smash up some windows somewhere without cops, safely away from the target area, and you have a nice bit of propaganda to show how “violent” the protesters really are. It also works to break up the coherence of the group, since the protesters all have different methods and agendas which they bring to the table. If one group goes off message, then other groups might get pissed, and then you have the beginning of fear uncertainty and doubt amongst the group as whole…

      You point out the peaceful tea party protest, but you could point to many other peaceful protests as well, who get much less media attention for their peaceful and lawful actions. A friend who protested the war was rather frustrated by the tea party coverage, while the only time the anti-war lot got coverage a few years ago was when violence occurred…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Still, the sensible response when confronted with a line of riot police is to turn around and briskly walk in the other direction, possibly with a slight ducking posture.

      If you’re deliberately trying to allow the rise of totalitarianism, that’s excellent advice.

      • PapayaSF says:

        If you’re deliberately trying to allow the rise of totalitarianism, that’s excellent advice.

        How often has totalitarianism been stopped by confronting riot police? And is Canada about to go totalitarian?

  28. SDukeEllis says:

    Heard a police organizer on the news say that the “goals were met,” with reference to protecting the security perimeter.

    After all, police were brought in from across the country to protect the G20 Summit, not the city or the people in it.

    Am I alone in finding it disgusting that these so-called “leaders” can disrupt an entire city, waste millions of dollars & man-hours (when a series of conference calls would have worked just as well) and manage to ignore the consequences of their actions to the city in which they’re meeting?

    Case in point: The Prime Minister of the UK and the Chancellor of Germany were able to take in a football match while the police cars were burning and peaceful protesters were being brutalized.

    It’s par for the course though. These same leaders can disrupt entire countries and kill innocent people the world over. And the most pressing issues facing humanity (i.e. destruction of the planet and the enslavement of whole populations) are completely ignored. Toronto is small potatoes after that.

    *There is clearly something systemically wrong with our political leadership when they have to literally hide from the people just to meet.*

  29. eviladrian says:

    Who are those window smashing guys?
    I don’t buy that in a city that’s been perfectly functional for years you can just have the populace go hog wild and wreck the shops where they’ll be buying lunch tomorrow, just because Ben Bernanke is in town.

    Are they some kind of travelling circus that follows the G-Number shows around North America?

  30. AirPillo says:

    Police officer or not, there’s no excuse for someone not to be jailed for coming up behind a peacefully sitting person and smacking them by surprise upside the head with a riot shield.

  31. adamnvillani says:

    Here’s what I don’t get: There seem to be many different kinds of protesters. A few are the anarcho-vandals who seem to exist only to make the world a worse place. Others have a message they’re trying to get out — that message may be vague, it may be not be well-thought-out, or it may be specific, intelligent, and directed at the leaders present. But at least it’s a message of some sort.

    My question: if everybody knows the anarcho-vandals will show up to these things and break windows, set things on fire, and try to provoke the police (as they have consistently done at least as far back as the “battle in Seattle”), why do the well-meaning protesters bother showing up?

    At best, you’ll be part of a massive, incoherent group united only by the fact that you have signs. Likely, your message will be lost in the crowd, onlookers will think of you and the vandals as one and the same, and nobody will pay attention. Worst case scenario, cops agitated by vandals and shouting will lose control and tear gas you, beat you, and/or arrest you.

    So what’s the point? How about a well-organized protest directed at the embassy of the foreign government you’re trying to influence instead, on a day when you’ll be the only protesters around?

    • AirPillo says:

      Well, giving up is hardly an effective alternative.

      • adamnvillani says:

        “How about a well-organized protest directed at the embassy of the foreign government you’re trying to influence instead, on a day when you’ll be the only protesters around?”

        Right. That’s why I suggested “How about a well-organized protest directed at the embassy of the foreign government you’re trying to influence instead, on a day when you’ll be the only protesters around?”

        There are ways to hold an effective protest. Anything involving the G20, World Bank, etc. does not seem to be particularly effective. Here are some helpful suggestions on holding an effective demonstration:
        http://www.pieandcoffee.org/category/how-to-hold-a-demonstration/

        • adamnvillani says:

          Sorry, I copy-and-pasted the wrong thing there. The first sentence, being replied to, should have been
          “Well, giving up is hardly an effective alternative.”

      • PapayaSF says:

        He’s not saying give up, he’s saying organize your protests in such a way that the violent anarchist types don’t show up, or at least so that you are clearly disassociated from them.

        And, frankly, “giving up” would be better than this. All most people will know about the protests is the violence. It’s a case of “stepping on your own message.”

  32. Baldhead says:

    I still don’t get what they’re protesting. Governments talking and trying to work out common goals? OMG THEY MUST BE STOPPED.

    And of course Black Bloc groups are only there to break stuff. They have no higher agenda.

    All that aside, what they hell was going on in these videos? no apparent motivation exists for the police actions. Hell half the time it seems like one cop decides to be a dick and the rest fall in because that’s their training.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone else catch the officer who fell flat on his riot shield after a failed attempt to slam someone?

  34. joeposts says:

    I live and work in downtown Toronto near Queen and Spadina. Even after the “riots” I really think the security threat was overblown, and I think the police tactics directly led to the damage and ‘loss of control.’

    Police knew vandals were coming, and they should have let them attack the fucking fence! But no – they wanted everyone north of Queen, leaving about two blocks of empty, boarded up businesses between protesters and the outer security perimeter.

    I checked out the fences (there are two) before the summit and there was no way that any unauthorized person could possibly reach the summit site. The ‘hundreds of black clad anarchists’ would have had to break down the fence, charge past the 10,000+ riot police, joust with the mounted police, break through a heavier fence/concrete barrier, dodge the snipers (Serpentine!), and kill the military personnel. Then, maybe, they could throw feces at Barack. If they could beat the secret service and Michelle Obama.

    Instead the police wanted to protect the precious chain-link fence and drove the vandals north towards the tourists and unguarded shopping districts, areas that had not been warned ahead of time and that didn’t have boarded up windows or security guards on duty. And it was part of the police plan! Tonight I saw an interview on CTV news with a Toronto police representative who said the police intentionally allowed the vandalism to occur to prevent the fence from being breached and to facilitate a crackdown. On Sunday shortly after I arrived at work I watched them surround a group of people, protesters and passersby, at Queen and Spadina. The police warned them to disperse but had them completely surrounded – this was a tactic they used a couple times this weekend. Then they arrested some of them after making them all wait for three hours in one of the worst thunderstorms of the year.

    And the “Free-speech zone” at Queen’s Park was ridiculous. Apparently the cameras and such that were supposed to be set up so that reporters at the media center could actually see protests were non-existent. Then the mounted police and a line of riot police cleared everyone out. This was the designated protest area. By Sunday they were stopping anyone wearing black. I’m assuming the anarchists switched to red.

    So 600+ arrests later, the fence is in mint condition and a billion dollars is flushed down the drain all so that our so-called leaders can slash government budgets, punish the poor and hobnob with other elites.

  35. Marja says:

    So another thread gets filled with knee-jerk denunciations of “violent” and “mindless” anarchists. If you are denouncing anarchists and at the same time denouncing violence, then you are a hypocrite. Every form of rulership depends on violence, and as long as you support rulership you support that violence.

    Anarchists have proposed non-violent alternatives ranging from general strikes to consensus process. Those borrowing from anarchism have copied these ideas or modified them toward satyagraha and other forms of nonviolence.

    Anarchists have not always been pacifists; some have fought. But anarchists *can* be pacifists, while the rest of you cloak violence in your laws.

    • adamnvillani says:

      “But anarchists *can* be pacifists, while the rest of you cloak violence in your laws.”

      I don’t support anarchism as a theory, but that’s not what I or anybody in this thread was arguing against. We were arguing against the specific expression of anarchism shown by the black bloc “protesters” whose protest seemed to amount to smashing storefronts and throwing feces.

      Face it, those vandals have become the face of anarchism. If you’re bothered by that, I would suggest taking it up with the vandals to try to encourage them toward a more productive form of protest.

  36. zikzak says:

    To the people who are perplexed at why black bloc activists use militant tactics and destroy corporate property, and to those who think said activists are nothing more than “thugs” or “hooligans”:

    You’re right, black bloc activists are not protesters. They aren’t there to protest, they’re there to take direct action against the machineries of oppression. Their actions are designed to cause material damage to oppressive institutions. But much more importantly, they’re intended as theatre. As a dramatized illustration that even in the face of an overwhelming police state, the people still have the power. That the cops and banks aren’t as omnipotent as they try to convince us, and it really is within our power to strike back if they turn against us. And that defying authority and subverting “law and order” doesn’t have to mean abandoning ethics, humanity, or care for your fellow man.

    These are vital lessons that the public needs to be reminded of now more than ever. Even if you disagree with the particulars, I hope most people can agree that those in power (be they CEOs, heads of state or police chiefs) should fear the public. From the reports coming out of Toronto of police blatantly and smugly disregarding people’s basic rights, it seems that they have lost that healthy fear. It seems they see the public as a docile mass to be herded and controlled at will. Militant protest is an effort to keep the threat alive in a way that standing around waving signs never will, and for that we should be glad of it.

    The more completely we forget our power to strike back at those who would dominate us, the more complete their domination becomes.

    • joeposts says:

      “it seems that they have lost that healthy fear. It seems they see the public as a docile mass to be herded and controlled at will.”

      I agree, but they also expect people to panic and react with anger, and get confused when they don’t.

      At the Queen/Spadina demonstration on Sunday the cops obviously expected the protesters to react once they were surrounded and threatened batons and the dreaded sound cannon. Surely someone in the crowd would rush the line or attack a cop. But they didn’t! They were a completely docile herd, and it turned into a weird standoff with the protesters singing the national anthem to the police and mainstream journalists stuck with the surrounded protest group.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Well yeah, but…
      We don’t want no war to end war, thank you very much.

      It don’t work, it’s been tried: these anarchists just want to control a mob to take power.
      A la Robespierre.

      Violence has never solved anything.
      Did Chritianity require violence to convert the Roman empire, and then its Barbarian conquerors, all in a century or so?
      No.

      I’m no Christian, but Christ pointed out the only way to defeat violence.

      It is through peace and love.
      Break the cycle.

      Violent anarchy may have its theory and practices, and its theoreticians and practitioners: but it is a stupid philosophy, with stupid tactics.
      And it insults and attacks those whom it would convert to their way of things…irremediably stupid, and funded by the State intelligence organizations, to boot.

      Ignore them, and/or turn them in.
      The so-called “violent anarchists” are as much the “enemy” as the State: and they are working together.

      And it’s obvious that they are doing so.
      Idiots.

      The best protest here, would have been no protests AT ALL (zap them with silence): but the opposition to the powers that are were, simply put, too stupid.

      • z7q2 says:

        > Violence has never solved anything.

        http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/violentsolution.htm

        “Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.”
        -Robert Heinlein

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          Don’t you mean to say – simply – that violence has killed a lot of people, and thereby enabled people to get what they want?
          Therefore, that it’s good and acceptable, praiseworthy, even, to use as a tool?
          In times of peace?

          One must bow to such mastery of moral philosophy.

          The same old sad song: The people most in need of being beaten, are invariably the strongest and largest people of all!

          • z7q2 says:

            > Don’t you mean to say…

            I already stated what I think about the pervasive G20-related violence problem in this thread, and proposed a way to solve it.

            The larger issue of what violence does and does not solve is a complex discussion for the ages. I pointed out a reasonable opposing viewpoint to your metaphysical absolutist statement. I would like you to consider that viewpoint, perhaps even read the web page I linked to which expresses the opposing viewpoint much better than I could.

  37. sheffeazy says:

    You show me a protest that ends “peacefully” and I will show you sensible riot-police.

    I am in no way condoning the actions taken here (although who is to know what the real reason behind the charge was as this video can only show us such a small angle) but really what do these protesters think that they are accomplishing?

    If I could see some G-20 protests that were organized, thought out, and had a common agenda with an offered solution to problems, then and only then would I feel a little more pity.

    I might sound heartless but I think stupidity is prevailing on every side in this issue.

  38. m2key says:

    G-20 Riot Fraud –

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19928

    - from the article –
    “Toronto is right now in the midst of a massive government / media propaganda fraud. As events unfold, it is becoming increasingly clear that the ‘Black Bloc’ are undercover police operatives engaged in purposeful provocations to eclipse and invalidate legitimate G20 citizen protest by starting a riot. Government agents have been caught doing this before in Canada.”

  39. bfly says:

    Why is anyone surprised at these obviously orchestrated dramas? Why are not the Black Bloc infiltrators outed as agent provocateurs? Obviously some Black Bloc are earnest in their beliefs, but at the same time their tactics are as cowardly as the police (who are the real rioters usually) in that the property damage they inflict is incidental and symbolic yet meaningless in the big picture.

    Want meaning? Take a moment to remember the Korean farmers at the WTO Cancun 2004 Ministerial and their compadre Lee Kyung Hae who killed himself in symbolic sacrifice on the fence that separated the WTO and the people they want power over. Those talks collapsed as fast as you can say “Seattle”. Thank you brave Korean farmers, your ropes tore that mighty fence down and showed that people honestly just want to be heard at the table, not just the elite and their corporations.

    My questions above are rhetorical. But I dare to think that my observations of the G20 governments are accurate in assessing that they are steadfastly and wholeheartedly embracing corporate fascism as their official policy and they just don’t want us to notice.

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/korean_wto.cfm

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUR20100627&articleId=19928

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/828876–porter-when-police-stick-to-phony-script

    http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/outside-makeshift-prisonfor-us-native-people-what-we-know-canada/3895

  40. loonquawl says:

    For all the ones ‘appalled’ by the ‘gruesomeness’ of it all: google you local Attac group, or other local G20 critic, and join in the local protests : absolutely no use going to Toronto, as many people here have commented that a) you do not disrupt the summit b) media is on protest-blackout anyway (untrue, the local papers do report on it, and yours would, too, if enough people showed up)

    Contrary to popular belief, not every kind of publicity is good publicity – Try to join into a protest led by seasoned protesters: They know how to hold the black bloc in check, weed out the agents provocateurs (i didn’t belive in them, till i saw them. incredible), and generally maximise publicity both in quantity and quality.

    @PapayaSF: While i search for the totalitarian systems preempted by confrontations with riot police, why don’t you go look for the totalitarian systems preempted by voting? And after you find none, breathe deeply, and try not to abolish democracy, just because it ‘never delivered’.
    Btw: my anti-bear deodorant works (i never saw a bear).

    @Xeni: Could you, in the first video, mark the time/space spot where the riot police “strike at” protesters? I saw a charge, which petered into a slow walk after a few metres, but no striking.
    And as some others have commented, the second video shows neither a cannister, nor a shot towards a woman, it shows some small-grain shot towards an unknown party outisde the frame, behind the woman. You corrected the cannister part – could you do the same brave thing for the aim?

    • PapayaSF says:

      loonquawl: I’m saying confronting riot police to prevent totalitarianism is like wearing anti-bear deodorant. It’s pointless.

  41. Anonymous says:

    These cops are no real cops. Real cops don’t protect corporations.
    These are modern gestapo.

  42. magpiekilljoy says:

    As one of the maligned “anarcho-thugs” with “no higher purpose” being discussed…

    anarchists do have a “higher purpose” and even the simplest look at wikipedia will get into detail of a 150 year old movement to decentralize power structures while maintaining social cohesion (avoiding the “war of one against all”)… the removal of the stateform that has ruled over us for quite a long time, and the removal of capitalism which is designed to move resources from the majority into the hands of the minority. (this is different than the removal of market exchange… economics are more complicated than our critics would like to claim)

    We anarchists don’t always agree on tactics. But the black bloc is intended as an intentional tactic, not a mindless swath of destruction. These are people brave enough to face the wrath of a billion dollar defense budget in order to confront global capitalism that, lest we forget, is in the process of completely destroying the world.

    There are many people who have no interest in lawful protest because they have no interest in impotence. If you believe that there are rich bastards who are conspiring to steal the resources of the developing world and the earth itself, and you just hold a sign, that doesn’t really point to you as the bravest of people, now does it?

    Anarchists and other radicals have no interest in appealing to the powers that rule us, and why should we?

    This past weekend, anarchists in Toronto torched a cop car, while anarchists in Bulgaria stood as security along the route of a gay pride parade that was being threatened by militant fascists. It’s less sexy but no less important.

    • loonquawl says:

      “[...] the black bloc is intended as an intentional tactic, not a mindless swath of destruction.[...]

      whether a swath of destruction is mindless or ‘intentional tactic’ is pure semantics.
      Could you expand on the role, violence against Starbucks windows is supposed to play?
      Is it the same as smashing a Starbucks window in any town, or does it have to be in the same area where more peaceful protest is taking place? Why? Discuss.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        Does it make a difference if such is done at 4 am with no one around, or do you call the press & police in advance to watch and do it at high noon?

        AS I said, irremediably stupid: so stupid as to bring on suspicions that these “anarchists” are cops, seeking by their secret action to justify the Conservatives’ theft of over 1000 millions of taxpayer’s monies for their friends in the “security industry” (for 72 hours “work”), who seem to be “creating a demand for their product (so-called ‘security’)” by this free advertising generated by “anarchists”.

        Canada has three aims set forth in our Constitution: Peace, order , and good government.

        We consider them to be inseparable….

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          I feel I ought to point out a corollary of my comment:

          The absence of peace and order on the streets of Canada’s largest city demonstrates that we are suffering through a time of bad government.

          Nothing more.
          Or less!

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        I think that the “role it is supposed to play” is the role which it in fact actually does play: increase public support for whatever tactics the police and state may choose to use.

        The “smashy-smashy anarchists” are either fools, or working for the State, or both.

  43. armybouy says:

    Yh sw th nws n CBC shwng th ths s-clld “nrchsts”. Wht jk. Ths nrchsts lk lk bnch f ft rtrds tht cldn’t gt jb t McDnld’s nd thr clthng nd hrstyls ddn’t mk thm lk ny bttr. Lk m gng t tk nythng tht ths dts d srsly? D thy vn knw wht thy’r prtnng fr n th frst plc? Sr, lk n gy 18 yr ld, wth shrt, rd-dyd hr nd ns rngs hs ny bsnss tllng scty tht smthng s wrng? LL. Thy nd t jn th rmy nd g s th wrld t grw p nd thn lt thm cm bck t tll s “wht’s wrng wth th wrld”. Bnch f lsrs!~

    • mindysan33 says:

      So, your sexual orientation, age, and hairstyle should decide whether or not you should be allowed a voice in society? Are only those who join the military are worthy of having a voice? I think you ignore the fact that joining the military, a giant governmental bureacracy, will only give you one kind of perspective of world problems – one that is privileged by massive state power. Your interactions in uniform with people on the ground are always going to be colored by that… Traveling around, meeting people as a civilian, not as a representative of state power, will give you a certain perspective as well, one that has just as much right to be heard as the folks who decide to serve in the military. Sure, some of those kids are trust fund babies, with no real perspective on the world. But some military folks are probably just as naive, even after their service. Just like we should not assume that criminal acts committed by men and women in uniforms (of whatever kind, military, police) are representative of all in uniform, we should not make broad assumptions about protesters by the actions of a few…

      • Powell says:

        Well said mindysan33.
        @armybuoy You need to cast aside that mindset. The army/military/establishment does not deserve your blind loyalty. I know.
        Honestly you nor anyone else has the right to decide what is legitimate to protest.
        Your arguments are Ad hominem in the extreme.
        I think the only thing you have accomplished is to enforce the stereo type that members of the military are mindless buffoons.
        I ask that other BB readers please keep in mind that not all military people think like this.

        Powell -ex Army infantry officer 101st.

        • mdh says:

          Believe me, most of us know that knuckleheads are the minority, and that they are everywhere. I very much like your approach to the knuckleheadedness on display above.

      • armybouy says:

        No, we’re not the only ones, but at least we move in line with authority with character, discipline, and honor. There is nothing horonable about standing on a fucking street throwing shit at cops. That is for pussies. If these folks want to fight, let’s see how big their balls are by going to Afhan and helping the rest of us out. And by the way, just what is the objective of trashing the G20 summit? I don’t see any great ideas or visions coming from these jobless twits doing nothing but causing chaos. I’d hate to be a wife of a cop that got killed at this so-called protest. Can’t imagine being called to my job one day only to die at the hands of some punk that still thinks life is from a storybook. Get a clue in reality. I wish the world were perfect but it isn’t. While these kids are “protesting”, we’re doing real work.

        • mindysan33 says:

          First of all, I never said you guys aren’t doing real work and I never said anything disparaging about the military or police, as a whole. However, the military/police are under the realm of the civilian establishment for a reason. Cops/the military aren’t always defacto good guys because they represent the state. And pointing out police oppression and mistakes or excesses in military operations is a needed part of the system. Like it or not, you guys work for us, to protect us, to allow us the freedoms and rights we enjoy. When you retire from the military, you will enjoy those too, and you did before you joined. Your (all too often underpaid) salaries come out of OUR collective taxes. The respect you deserve is indeed a 2 way street, and protesting like these is indeed part of what you are protecting. Painting the protests with a broadbrush is just as bad as painting cops/ military with a broadbrush… How do you know that all these protesters, even the anarchist, are clueless trust fund babies?

          Is working with authority ALWAYS the right thing to do? When is it proper to defy authority? What about when authority is corrupt? What about those within the military/police apparatus who are defying authority? Is it always the right thing to do to bow to authority?

          Did any cops get killed? Can you point to an article on that? I would feel sorry for the family and expect the perpetrators to be prosecuted. Ditto on any killed protesters.

          I think that if you look at the websites for the MANY organizations attending the protest, you’ll find a whole slew of legitimate protests, and some not so… but that is going to depend on your POV about the issues right?

          Just because a few kids “trashed” the summit (perhaps with the help of provocateurs in some cases?), doesn’t mean that anywhere near the majority did so. These groups, no matter who they were or what their goals were, were pushed far away from the meeting, where our leaders were meeting, yours and mine, where they could not be heard. The media also focused on this to the exclusion of anything meaningful regarding their goals. Of course, you have not heard what they are protesting, because the media will not report on that, because the media is little more than the public relations arm of the government at this point… And besides, “if it bleeds, it leads” right?

  44. pitkataistelu says:

    I’m a lot more upset with the folks who damaged windows all along Queen Street (fairly indiscriminately at that, but it would have been little better even if it was all Starbucks and American Apparel) and lit four or five police cars at our expense. They justified the security spending. The reason the police are hard on everyone including peaceful protesters is because they suspect the same vandals to be mixed up with the regular crowd, as they have shown this to be their strategy, dressing into and out of their black clothes at will.

    If anything, boo for hosting these summits in large cities where we know damage will be done and security costs will be through the roof. Have it all in Huntsville, and get rid of the media circus. Better still, use an online chat platform. The one decision to cut deficits in half needed no physical summit and no $1.2bln of security spending, not to mention all the wasteful travel involved.

    I’ll be avoiding Queen Street for weeks to come for fear of bicycle tyre punctures.

    • zikzak says:

      …lit four or five police cars at our expense. They justified the security spending.

      See, here’s the thing: If there’s militant action, the cops point to it and say “see, we told you these anarchists were up to no good, we were right to get all this security funding and violate your rights!”

      But then if there’s no militant action, the cops point to that and say “see, this would’ve been just like Seattle 1999, but fortunately all that funding for para-military toys and suspension of rights kept everything calm and peaceful.”

      The security state justifies itself without appeals to petty things like the actual facts on the ground. And if you think the way to end the security state is to act extra obedient to convince them that they don’t need to increase their funding and power, you’re going to be very surprised and disappointed.

  45. Typhoon_ says:

    The so-called anarchist Black Bloc are just little wannabe dictators with naive romantic delusions about revolution. Like the former Red Guards that they so admire [carrying banners of Chairman Mao] they believe that they are unquestionably right and would like nothing better than to impose their views by force. However, in a democracy, they will forever remain far and completely removed from the corridors of power, so they are left to vent their impotent rage against inanimate objects. Such actions are only good for the canonical dorm-room bullsh*t session about how one stuck it to The Man.

    The reality is rather different. The only thing the Black Block demonstrated is the capabilities and efficiency of capitalism. The mess they made was quickly cleaned up, the windows were boarded up and will all be replaced today. The police will put in an order for a few new vehicles. People are returning to work and the disruptions over the weekend are quickly being forgotten once the coffee-break discussions turn to other topics.

    As for the peaceful protesters, I watched some of their parades. Mostly a young, rather self-righteous lot, chanting hackneyed slogans. With a few oldsters reliving their youth. I’ll guess that they’re telling each other that there was a lot of “positive energy” at the “empowering” protest, but they’re just kidding themselves about any real or lasting influence.

    The impact of both the violent and peaceful protesters on the G8 and G20 meetings, policy and world events is less than zero.

  46. snsr says:

    Ths ffcrs shld b pt dwn lk th rbd dgs thy r.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      And you differ from the State’s indiscriminate use of violence by state agents solely by whom you would extirpate thus?

      You are as bad as they.
      Yin,meet yang.

      “He will win who knows when to fight, and when not to fight.”

      Or is that too deep for the anarchist smash & grab philosophy? I tell you, the so-called “anarchists” are as much a part of the problem as the blanket denial of ALL civil liberties by the “authorities”, whenever it suits them.
      “By Decree”, as it seems.

  47. Mantissa128 says:

    Thank you for posting this, Xeni, the truth has to get out.

    Like someone on YouTube said, it’s like a hockey game, as soon as the anthem’s over the violence starts. Why did the riot police rush them?

    I hate how the police state has been empowered since 9/11. It makes me want to assemble a crowd of suited-up, gas-masked, baton-wielding protesters and confront them. Yay civil war!

    Excuse me, I’m going to go be sick now.

  48. sparkdale says:

    From the Toronto Star, here’s a video of a woman getting shot at near point-blank range with a tear gas canister. http://www.thestar.com/videozone/829371–police-fire-muzzle-blast-at-protestors

  49. Genutz says:

    Shit’s crazy here in Toronto. A Black Bloc group has destroyed many business storefronts. Things have gotten way out of hand and this isn’t even about the G20 anymore, it’s stupid.

  50. Mope says:

    Dear G20.
    Next year – an army base somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
    Do not inflict this on another city.

    Sincerely, Toronto

    • z7q2 says:

      Precisely! These face meetings are all about grandstanding anyway, the figureheads are just there for the photo ops while the real deals have already been negotiated by back channels. It’s all theater with each side trying to get the most media coverage.

      They want austerity? Do the whole thing by networked videoconference, and broadcast it live on TV so we know what they’re talking about. This saves a ton of money and removes a centralized target for violent political statement.

  51. Mope says:

    For a bit of levity while my city and democracy are being disrupted:

    “Meanwhile, police at Union Station saw some action. At 11:30 a.m., a man was stopped as he stepped off the GO train from Whitby. He was wearing metal body armour and carrying jousting equipment, a graphite sword and a bow and arrow. Brian Barrett, 25, was on his way to a combat-based fantasy battle in Centennial Park, in the city’s west end. Police seized his equipment, but were not laying charges.

    “They said it was a case of bad timing. ”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/g8-g20/toronto/coffee-no-police-yes-giant-fantasy-swords-definitely-not/article1619573/

  52. Xeni Jardin says:

    HAHAHAH

    :-(

  53. dfornika says:

    I’m appalled.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never been a big fan of the cops, but this time around I think they did the best the could in a bad situation. Look at it this way – all weekend, nobody died and no one was seriously injured. I bet similar events in ANY other G20 country would have had very different results.

    As for this video, there were more than a dozen people in that crowd that put on masks and were carrying “sticks and bricks” in their bags. Based on what happened the day before, the cops successfully headed off another vandalism spree in my neighborhood.

    Bottom line – anyone who was at Queen & Spadina at that time was either that to cause trouble, or to watch the excitement – Me, I got the hell out as soon as I saw my first balaclava go on.

  55. Anonymous says:

    That’s not a canister of tear gas. That’s a sandbag gun.

    http://dailygunpictures.blogspot.com/2009/04/bean-bag-non-lethal-stun-gun.html

  56. Baldhead says:

    A quick note to those who defended anarchy: Want to see what anarchy looks like in practice? just look at Somalia. That’s pretty close. I personally don’t want to live in a state where the roads don’t get fixed and you need the approval of five different factions to remain alive while on my way to buy milk. True anarchy as an ideal is impossible due to simply human greed. Striving for it is a waste of time because it never gets beyond removing order. You’d be the first to be killed in an anarchy.

    • Marja says:

      Somalia isn’t anarchism.

      Some parts of Somalia have multiple states fighting over them. Of course, those parts suffer whenever the fighting breaks out again. Other parts of Somalia have no state, but the whole area has traditional hierarchies.

      Anarchism is about treating other people as your equals: peaceful, voluntary, egalitarian organization. So it opposes hierarchies.

      But most of Somalia is probably doing better now than it was doing during the dictatorship. I think the proper comparison would be with other third-world countries which were in similar positions in the seventies.

  57. MrJM says:

    Come on… What’s the point of tax-funded training of riot police to charge and strike at peaceful protesters if you’re not going to use that training.

  58. libraryboi says:

    Personally I feel sorry for the police. Where is the video clip of the police car that was smashed and set on fire that was shown on the local news. How are the police supposed to know that some nutbar isn’t going to attack them? As Genutz pointed out businesses have been destroyed. If you don’t want a confrontation, avoid approaching riot police.

    • millrick says:

      “Personally I feel sorry for the police.”

      13% of all Canada’s police officers and military are in Toronto ‘defending’ 20 world leaders. The 20,000 strong Integrated Security Unit is both armed and armoured, and by their own admission, the Unit is very selective about who they get into conflict with.

      My sorrow is for 10,000 peaceful protesters whose voice is going unheard.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/business/global/27security.html?ref=americas

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow you clearly do not understand what happened here at all, yet you seem to be so eager to spout your opinion. There is now an investigation into whether the police abandoned those cars with the intention of having the “Black Bloc” destroy them. Furthermore, there were two kinds of protests going on: Black Bloc anti-corporate anarchy idiots who were just destroying everything they could – and PEACEFUL PROTESTS. The video of the woman being shot with the sandbag gun was at a peaceful protest outside the detention centre where they were protesting shoppers, journalists AND CHILDREN were being held for hours in the cold rain with no amenities or food for absolutely no reason other than being in the zone that got completely surrounded by police and mass arrests and beat downs occurred. You feel sorry for police who violate people’s rights? You feel sorry for police who lock children up in the rain and separate them from their parents? You feel sorry for police who imprison journalists for absolutely no reason other than not wanting the story to go public? Sure, Saturday was riddled with violent protestors who did some awful things. We are ashamed of those people, but we are more ashamed and disgusted by the police’s actions on Sunday.

    • chip says:

      Do you really think it’s acceptable for cops to attack people because they MIGHT do something illegal? Do you really think it’s acceptable for cops to attack people because OTHER PEOPLE did something illegal? Are you honestly going to argue that random beatings are appropriate because the cops are frustrated?

      Clearly we need to dispatch a riot squad to your house so you can be beaten and arrested. I mean, how do the police know whether or not you’re going to attack them at some point in the future? I’m sure there’s at least one unsolved crime in your town. If the cops can’t find the person who did it, then they should just take it out on you.

      It’s different from town to town, and may not apply to Canada at all, but most police forces have a motto something along the lines of “To Protect and Serve”. Exactly who was the brute squad protecting by charging a group of people singing the national anthem? Exactly what community were they serving by mauling several people who were sitting on the ground?

      There is NO EXCUSE for what occurred in that video. NONE.

    • MrJM says:

      Of course you’re right.

      Those peaceful protesters, especially the ones just sitting in the street, might kill someone, someday, somewhere, so the police should just summarily execute them all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Notice how no guns were stolen out of the police car by the rioters?(there went any left in it.).Notice how the gasoline didn’t explode?(Gas tank was emptied out).I’m not sure if your from the area but also notice how they were the older models of police vehicles.

      Also note that the police were surrounding the vehicles and just watched as they were smashed and set ablaze. Didn’t use gas then. But used it when people were singing.
      Was awefull singing though

      So the question now remains, why did they purposefully let people run amok the first day but second day come down so hard? That I can only guess at.

    • jimh says:

      “How are the police supposed to know that some nutbar isn’t going to attack them?

      They can’t really be sure. But since they are the ones wearing body armor and carrying riot shields and batons, and have guns, it makes sense to me that they would at least wait and see if an attack came before they attacked an unarmed, unarmored group of protesters.

      Feel sorry for the police all you want boi, I’m sure they appreciate it.

  59. Krackatoa says:

    It was pretty crappy on both sides. There was a large group of folk there that were mostly just there to break things and cause problems (Though this would be where some would call conspiratory shenanigans).

    Local businesses got pwned. They torched cars aswell.

    That being said, you don’t just bullrush a crowd of protesters. That’s just dumb, and will cause more harm than good with all the panic generated.

    This whole thing was a bad idea. The government is going to be eating this for years. The opposition’s going to run with this for a while, methinks.

    • satchellmr says:

      First off, I’m not choosing sides due to the fact that both parties involved (the police as a WHOLE and the protesters as a WHOLE) have committed wrongdoings. I completely agree with your comment.

      I’d just like to bring up a point after watching the riot police rushing the protesters. The clip shown above is only 30 seconds long and doesn’t really display the lead up to the rush, and the aftermath.

      Watch this link:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkwazCJG0vc&feature=player_embedded

      The riot police actually do not seem to engage in any physical contact with the protesters (with the exception of one, visible in the first video, who lunges – misses his target – and falls on his face).

      It seems to me that the police chose to charge just to “push” the protesters back down the street. Not as it seems in the first video, to bash some skulls.

      In the second video (linked above), the charge comes to a close 10 seconds later and the riot police have resorted to standing in a line calmly.

      Personally, I would not have gone with this strategy, it just seems to invoke too much fear. Slowly walking down the street, gently encouraging the protesters to move back would have yielded the same results.

      My whole point in this comment is that the 1st video featured is very misleading and you must see what follows to get an idea of the whole event.

  60. middleclass says:

    As said by a bystander in one of the videos, the vandalism of Starbucks (& other businesses) is “pathetic”.

    Burning cop cars is one thing, but Starbucks?

    • mindysan33 says:

      Ya know… I just find it hard to be outraged by damage done to a massive multi-million (billion?) dollar business. It’s not right perhaps, but I just feel less sympathy for them (or any other multi-national that has the same thing happen to their windows) then I would a smaller business. How much do you think their replacement cost cuts into their bottom line? Probably not much, if any… Was the place open when the window was broken? Were the employees hurt? I’m guessing not…

      Besides, there was probably a Starbucks right across the street without a broken window!

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        It is indeed petty property damage.
        And were those cruisers destroyed, partly due to police negligence?

        • mindysan33 says:

          I’m not arguing that point — sure, it’s petty property damage – did I say otherwise at some point? I’m just saying I have a hard time feeling sorry for Starbucks or American Appearal or McDonalds. It’s not like these corporations are paragons of good corporate citizenship, are they? I have more sympathy for non-multinationals and local businesses, some of which suffered some property damage as well, according to some locals who posted here (thanks, guys — wait, are you from Toronto, too, Canuck?). If the black bloc was smart, they’d come back and help repair damage to local businesses, not that the press would pay them any attention, of course… But, the police intentionally wanted them there it seems (in a shopping district?), as someone else up the comments mentioned…

          You mean the two burnt cop cars, which might have been destroyed with the aid of provocateurs? I don’t know… it seems like an odd situation, with perhaps the same funneling going on regarding keeping the protesters out of the target area and giving them bad press to boot.

  61. cjp says:

    I am nearly in tears watching the live coverage. This is not my Canada. I will be in Ottawa on Canada Day as usual, but I will be wearing a black armband and talking to as many people as I can about this. These cops have just turned a forty year old, petite quiet painter into a political radical. Watching live here:
    http://www.justin.tv/g20cp24

    • SDukeEllis says:

      I hear you. Checked the link, and it’s an interesting window on the media’s fascination with this past weekend:

      “Riots are done. Feed is off.”

      Absolutely no interest in the real protests. Just the first rule of cable news coverage: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

  62. RevEng says:

    Good god.

    How is this not illegal? Those protestors were singing the national anthem and giving the police rude gestures: that’s protest, not inciting a riot. There was no need for the police to rush them. Why are police attacking the very people that pay their wages? Who is telling them that this is what we want from our protectors?

    And that woman with the camera… she’s lucky if she’s alive. Those gas canisters pack a punch and he clearly shot her in the chest. And for what? She had her hands up, she was well away from him, and he shoots her just as she turns away. You can even see the fear in his eyes. Really, is this what we want? Do we really need to spend millions of dollars so that rich diplomats can meet in the most populated city in our country while our own countrymen are being shot at by the police? I don’t know if this could be any more dysfunctional.

    All this injustice makes me want to protest. Oh, wait.

  63. nickelrocket says:

    if you watch the vid closely enough, the riot cop steps around the woman and shoots the tear gas at someone behind her that we cannot see on the video. Not condoning the action, just saying the photog wasn’t the target.

  64. TEKNA2007 says:

    I believe that should be, “If you don’t want a confrontation, avoid deploying riot police.”

    What, G-20 won’t come to a city unless they get riot police?

    And?

    ?

  65. benher says:

    Where’s Wendy O’ Williams when we really need her? She’d drive a burning school bus full of fuel canisters right through that porky bulwark!

  66. zikzak says:

    irremediably stupid, and funded by the State intelligence organizations, to boot.

    Ignore them, and/or turn them in.

    So on one hand you accuse militant activists of working for the cops, and on the other hand you encourage people to actively participate in the police state by turning in suspected militant activists.

    Hm…could be, could be. But while there’s no actual evidence that militant activists are trying to assist the police in their suppression of dissent, your recommendations make it pretty clear that you are.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Nonsense.
      If these guys are provocateurs, they need to be exposed.
      If they are damaging property to make a political point, they ought to sign the wreckage.

      Peaceful protesters need to be left alone.
      It was clear in this case in advance that the cops were looking for trouble.
      Why give it to them?
      Why walk into a buzzsaw?
      Who benefits from your actions?

      Here’s a clue from an Canadian establishment newspaper:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/g8-g20/opinion/kudos-in-order-as-pm-shepherds-g20-to-surprising-consensus/article1620986/

      Here’s another clue: Canada has NO history of urban tumults.

      And Canadian cops were black, just like these so-called “anarchists”.

      Speaking directly to those who would sympathize with those who with intent destroyed property:
      Gee, has it ever happened that some would use the anonymity provided by a large crowd as a cover for criminal actions? Or that these would wear masks to “prevent retaliation” (or to simply mask their identity while committing petty crimes…the crowd does not afford quite the protection, in this camera-mad age, for these cowardly vermin which it once did….)?
      Has criminal action ever occurred which has increased a police budget?

      Idiots.

      PS Black is the color which our Police forces wear. It is also beautiful!

      PPS Peace is always the answer.

      PPPS NOBODY’S bulletproof….and I don’t want your war!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxVVpcl1In8

  67. Anonymous says:

    @libraryboi #10

    There are, at any large gathering, bound to be several thugs who see it as an excuse to engage in lawlessness and destruction.

    However, that is no reason for police officers to use violence against peaceful citizens. Police officers are the paid and trained protectors of private citizens, not the personal army of the local gov’t, and certainly not that of any foreign gov’t.

    If the state or the police use the violence of a few as an excuse to crack down on the many, then they go too far are in violation of the principles of democracy and free society. It is the JOB of a police officer to place him or herself at personal risk in order to protect others. That is just plain fact, and anyone who disputes has a misguided view of the job. Any police officer who disputes it is a coward who should be removed from the force immediately.

    As a US soldier, I occasionally engaged in “riot control” and policing duties. At no time was I attacked. Why? Because I’m not a dick. Like most folks with proper training for such work, I was able to project authority through calm confidence, and able to diffuse potential confrontations through understanding backed by that same confidence.

    When police use force simply as a means of projecting authority, they are acting out of fear and mental weakness. They are showing themselves to be little better than the thugs who they should be in conflict with. But of course, when they face a large gathering of such thugs, they quickly retreat. It is only the peaceful citizens who they feel comfortable abusing.

    The primary fault lies with the commanders and the trainers, who almost certainly drilled into each officer’s mind that at any time, the peaceful protesters could spontaneously erupt into violent blood lust, hell-bent on killing every last officer, and their families, as well as destroying the gov’t of the city and perhaps even the nation. The only way to prevent this catastrophe is to use extreme force against anyone who appears to be a ringleader, to physically intimidate anyone who comes near, and to violently apprehend anyone who fails to immediately comply with any command, no matter how unreasonable.

    You can’t expect strength and authority from someone who has been trained to be a coward.

  68. arborman says:

    Fucking thugs.

    There were some subtle legal changes just prior to the event that made the cops think they have carte blanche. It probably won’t survive a Charter challenge, but that will take years – and meanwhile the purpose is served.

    Why is it always conservative governments – so called defenders of ‘freedom’ – that give anonymous suited uniforms so much power to oppress with impunity?

  69. Anonymous says:

    From the experiences of past conferences such as this we know that there will be some who will take advantage of peaceful demonstrators to cause trouble and destruction. Shame on them but they likely feel no shame.
    As for costs, I’m sure that other countries neglected to add the costs of military and special forces to the total costs (army, FBI, CIA, etc), and fake lakes included.
    I hope Canadians remember what Harper got us into during the next elections. I’m sure Torontonians will not forget.

  70. bytefyre says:

    There was a time, when I was younger (and I’m not that old now) when I wanted to be a police officer, but over the years I see shit like these two videos and hear the stuff people like Steve Paikin say they saw and want less and less to be associated with these “officers” if they even deserve that distinction, more like thugs with riot armor. I wouldn’t be surprised if the government just starts hiring private military companies to do security @ the next summits, they’d probably do it if the price is right, plus they get to shift any liabilities to whatever PMC they hire.

    • mdh says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the government just starts hiring private military companies to do security @ the next summits,

      Where would they ever find a the kind of psychologically damaged soldiers, with both he combat experience and training, with a proven track record of maintaining unit cohesion while treating people like animals and blindly following poorly defined orders which they would need in order to do such a thing?

      yeah, exactly.

  71. hobob says:

    what is the point of a peaceful protest?

    what you should be doing is not allow the bullies feel safe during a riot. even the playing the field.

    a riot police should NOT feel safe during a riot.

    do what the cops hate most – identify them.

    pick a random cop on the street, question them, identify them. do this every week. this is what it feels like to be a civilian.

  72. Micheal Kelly says:

    Xeni,

    Carrying an SLR around your neck automatically makes you a journalist? I’m not saying that she isn’t – but we have no proof other than that camera – and lots of protestors carry cameras with them for obvious reasons.

    The clip was also extremely short – we have *no* idea what may have occurred moments before that muzzle blast. It’s hard to get context from 9 seconds of video.

    Poster #16 is correct – the officer did not fire at the female photographer. Watch the video closely and you’ll see that she is protecting someone behind her. At 0:05 she looks over her shoulder as the officer tries to line up the target, and she is still standing at 0:06 after the muzzle blast was fired.

    I’m not saying that the officer was right or wrong in firing at the protestor – I’m just saying that you got it wrong – somebody else was the target.

  73. scout finch says:

    Hi, my name is Jenny James, I am the person you see in the second video. What I want more than anything else is to tell people that this was a peaceful protest; that we were attacked without provocation; that we were there to support our colleagues that had been illegally detained. We were not wearing masks, we did not carry weapons.

    In a CBC interview, the police in charge of the operation said that “we tried to storm the detention facility”. This is nothing but an outright lie. Yet It seems that the Toronto Star was the only mainstream media organization that dared report what really happened – its a shame. Thank you Toronto Star and thank you independent media and thank you Xeni…

  74. bwohlgemuth says:

    My sympathies for both sides are as close to zero as possible.

    Black Bloc’s festivities yesterday through Yonge Street can be viewed here….

    http://watch.ctv.ca/news/latest/summit-protest/#clip318869

    0:40 seconds into the video should tell you EVERYTHING you need to know. The crowd comes to the aid of the guy smashing the window. Enough said…

    • adamnvillani says:

      Wow, those black bloc protestors sure made a compelling argument! Golly, I was all for government until I saw them smash a bunch of store windows… now I’ve seen the light! Anarchy rules!

      Oh, no wait… when I was watching that video (the one on Yonge Street), I kept wanting for there to be *more* police, not less of a police presence. How on earth is it an argument *against* authority to show that when there are no police present, a bunch of masked vandals will throw newspaper boxes at stores? I think they need to work on their tactics if they want to be seen as anything other than a bunch of tantrum-throwing teenagers.

  75. cjp says:

    Detainees are being refused medical services, being told upon release ‘Don’t protest again’. Peaceful protest is not a crime. The coverage on CP24 (here… http://www.justin.tv/g20cp24) is absolutely shocking. Please spread the word about what is happening. The media has been arrested and moved out of visual range in many cases. No comments from any political or police figures.

  76. Knurm says:

    Yes. Charge and strike. More like jog towards and then slow down.

    Don’t get me wrong, Metro’s finest have made several missteps over the course of the week. But, in general, they’ve been doing a stellar job.

    I’m curious to find out where you were yesterday, when some bored kids decided they’d play anarchist and tear our city up to bits?

    There is a reason for the increase in police pressure on protesters as of late.

  77. Powell says:

    Xeni, thanks for highlighting this. This weekend I was having a hard time finding info/news on G20 protests.

  78. Suburbancowboy says:

    The video is really choppy for me, and the audio is way out of sync. All I can see is the first blast, then the smoke, then the girl is on the ground about 50 feet from where she was originally standing.

  79. Micheal Kelly says:

    Photo #2 on the following page shows another view of the same event – the female photographer is in the foreground and is obviously not in the line of fire.

    http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/article/839826–muzzle-blasts-deployed-at-detention-centre

    Muzzle blasts are supposedly *not* gas canisters – ie: a canister does not leave the weapon at a high rate of speed. They sound more like high-pressure versions of bear spray

    (Not that I’d want to get hit with a shot from one mind you!)

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