G20 diary: Live from the streets - Macleans.ca

G20 diary: Live from the streets

Protesters and police clash in downtown Toronto



A burning police car at Bay and King—the riot flares up (ha!).


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G20 diary: Live from the streets

  1. These violent protesters are nothing but serial terrorists with no serious issues to put on the table than just plain destruction. They are one of the lowest scum of society. To use idiots , stupid, and vile is not enough to describe these rat like thugs … comparing them to rats is even more of an insult to rats. They have done this during the olympics but what made the difference in Vancouver, is that civilians came out to chastize these thugs and help desperse them. Due to that and the police, serious mayhem was avoided. People even took pictures of some of the thugs faces during clothing change over. In Toronto, people just watched – what a shame. Every one of us are responsible for ensuring peace, not only the police. Silence and indefference can be taken as an assent to what these terrorists are doing. If you have any camera on your cel, take pictures of these thugs while they are changing – usually near garbage dumps – and submit them to the police. I thought Toronto as the suppose to be self describe intellectual capital of Canada are more mature when it comes to protesting – what a let down.

    • Now that is a good fascist reaction to social protest. Sounds like what many "law-abiding" German citizens would of also said about Jews 60 years ago…… before they were carted off to death camps.

      When violent protests happen in other "non-democratic" countries, where citizens protest and sometimes riot against unfair political, social and economic regimes, then we applaud the participants and, we understand their actions, and sometimes even extoll their virtues.

      "Oh, but Canada is a democratic country where everyone is treated fairly" you say. "No need for social unrest here".

      Well, my friend, democracy is for those who can afford it. And those who can't? Well, they have the democratic freedom of choice to live on the streets, eat in soup kitchens, be malnourished, have shorter life spans, have limited access to medical care and education, just to mention a few.

      Where is the democracy and freedom of choice for those that live in poverty in our society, effectively silenced by the lack of access to public media, which rarely champions their cause. How is their voice heard?

      What you see on the streets of Toronto today is simply a reaction by people who feel that this so called democratic sociopolitical regime we live under is not as just and equal as it purports to be. And that sometimes a shake and a shock to the powers that be is the only way that anyone listens to those who have no voice in our society.

      All great, just and lasting social change; all our democratic rights that we uphold so loudly today, have come about through civil disobedience, civil violence, and ,more often than not, all out war.

      Unfortunately, it's mostly only in these extreme situations that governments really take their citizenry seriously, and are thus forced to change.

      Maybe one day it will all be different. When we can live in a democratic society that is truly just for all, and all have the same freedoms.

      • You should be arrested and imprisoned your self. There is no justification for this crap. NONE!

        • Very informative, thank you.

      • Wrong. The majority of these terrorists belong to rent a riot. Many have rich parents and most have a good education as well as enough money to travel from B.C. to Toronto instead of working and paying taxes like the rest of us.

    • thats you not use. yeah you are stupid. the word was not spelled wrong, just used wrong!!!!!

  2. There have been 2 or 3 dozen arrests today. Now let us see what the system of justice does to those arrested. Any ideas?

    • All I know is that everyone seems to be buying in to this frenzy to become a police state.
      "Security threat" is on the mouths of all politicians these days, and they are convincing the public that more police, more prisons, more armies, more wars, are what is necessary to keep us all safe. Isn't that how Hitler convinced his citizenry?

      What we need to become a safer society is to become more socially and economically just to everyone not only in our country, but also around the world.

      With every successive Economic crisis, like the one we are still crawling out o, what happens is the Rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. When stocks plummet those who suffer aren't the rich, it's the medium to lower classes who get economically wiped out, have to sell stocks at ridiculously deflated rates, and and guess who buys them at bargain basement prices. It ain't the poor. It's those who can afford it.

      When they try and tell you that we all suffer in these economic depression, it's just not so. It's the medium to lower classes that suffer. The upper classes are unfazed, and eventually profit from everyone's loss.

      Unless we seriously look at the economic injustices of the present world order according to the G8, and find a way to distribute the wealth more equitably, you'll only see more and more of what you are seeing on the streets of Toronto today.

  3. I never thought I would say this, but I agree with Miller. The vast majority of protest groups were well organized, professional, and used their democratic rights to signal their concern. But the anarchists are a collection of yo-yo's likely single, with no responsibilities, and wanting to live in a world of absolute freedom. Well such a world exists in Peruvian prisons , such as Castro Castro, where the guard simply police the outside perimeter, food and supplies tossed into the open concept prison, and the prisoners have to organize themselves. Each year 10% of the prisoners are murdered.

    • I see, so you're suggesting it much better in democratic countries?

      Why not try the following statistic on for size, instead of just mouthing media propaganda.

      The U.S that has the highest per capita prison population in the world (roughly 2 million people behind bars, or about 701 per 100,000 population… almost 1% of americans are in prison) as opposed to Peru with 104 per 100,000 people. link: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri_per_cap

      In 2001, nearly 6.6 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year end. That number represents 3.1% of all U.S. adult residents or one in every 32 adults. link: http://www.pbs.org/now/society/prisons3.html

      Nearly 17 percent of African-American men had some prison experience, compared with 7.7 percent of Hispanic and 2.6 percent of white men. According to Human Rights Watch link: http://www.pbs.org/now/society/prisons3.html

      link: http://www.pbs.org/now/society/prisons3.html

      • Damn, you're just so oppressed here in Canada.

        Quit whining

  4. Come on what is this about?! You would expect this kind of reaction if the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup but Canadians rarely get this hyped up when hockey is not involved. They should have held the summit in the Kananaskis Country like they did last time. Lots of helicopters buzzing over Calgary but no violence.

    • Or take the money they would have saved on security and build them a lodge for all the delegates in the middle of the alberta the tars sands. Much more apropos and certainly a lot safer.

  5. The smallest bit of common sense should have told Mr. Harper that it was unwise to hold the G20 summit in downtown Toronto. Things went off without a hitch in Huntsville (perhaps the "hooligans" couldn't find it on a map) during the G8 portion of the summit, in fact, according to the CBC there were only 2 arrests, one for possession of weed and the other for shoplifting.

    Let's hope whoever is in charge the next time Canada insists on hosting one of these things (and I hope the G20 fades to oblivion) thinks a little more deeply about the location of the meeting and the repercussions that might be involved.


    • You aren't seriously suggesting that we shouldn't hold meetings of state in populated areas because we can't be expected to control our own populace are you?

      • You aren't seriously suggesting that we shouldn't leave our car unlocked while we shop because we can't be expected to think that people might break the law, are you?

    • Even if they hosted the whole thing in Huntsville, the protesters would have assembled in the nearest city they had heard of (ie. Toronto).

  6. Attacking Harper and tacitly or even explicitly excusing/condoning the violent car burning police assaulting thugs.

    Is there any vile group on this planet today's left won't align itself with in order to score cheap political points?

    After spending months watching taliban monsters be turned into precious innocents worthy of mobilizing our entire nation to protect…I'm thinking no.

  7. What the hell was that car doing empty in the middle of the street to begin with?

    • And what was that Starbucks doing there on the street corner. It was just asking for it.

    • Oh right, what a good excuse to burn it.


  8. Perhaps somebody should picket the homes of these protesters. I am sure that most of the picketers would behave themselves – and yeah – a few radicals might get out of hand and blow up somebody's car, but you know, its like, we gotta fight the man, maaan.

    Incidentally, the origins of the massive security budget are becoming entirely clear…

  9. This is exactly what could have been predicted.

    Stephen Harper has gotten what he deserves.
    Stephen Harper gave the finger to Canadians by spending more that $1.2 billion for little more than a photo opportunity that would make him look good.

    Stephen Harper gave the finger to Canadian society when he announced a maternal health initiative that contained an ideologically driven ban on abortions that was counter to long standing laws and expectations.

    Stephen Harper gave the finger to aid agencies by announcing a maternal health initiative that is in direct conflict with his very recent budget, showing that he has not intention of funding the initiative.

    Stephen Harper gave the finger to the city of Toronto when he insisted on holding the G20 summit in a location where all sensible security advice dictated it should be held elsewhere.

  10. Stephen Harper gave the finger to the municipal government in Toronto by refusing to consider more magical locations for the summit in Toronto.

    Stephen Harper gave the finger to the police forces by putting them in an impossible position just for his photo opp.

    Stephen Harper gave the finger to legitimate protest by installing an obscene security fence that brings back images of East Berlin.

    Stephen Harper gave the finger to legitimate protesters by bringing in 20,000 police officers to Toronto, essentially baiting radical protesters to take unruly action.

    Stephen Harper gave the finger to other G8 countries by promoting a maternal health initiative that was ideologically driven and expected them to join his ideology.

    Stephen Harper gives the finger to everyone and now he is getting what he deserves.

  11. I would say my reaction to these criminals could be attributed to my getting older, but even when I was younger such ignorant acts offended me. I think the police have shown restraint in many situations. I watched the TO Chief of Police last night and was impressed by his responses to some of the media questions. There were protesters who were able to march, but the young thugs prevented their mesaages from getting across with their criminal actions. I, too, think the summit though should have been held at a resort where the perimeter could have been more easily managed by the police.

  12. the police say they know who the members of the anarchists are.

    I suggest they put their photos out to the public. Perhaps some parents would be surprised at what their kids are doing.

  13. I see.