Day One: Scenes from outside the summit - Macleans.ca
 

Day One: Scenes from outside the summit

Protesters, police, and a security perimeter—what happened to downtown Toronto?


 

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

5:59 pm [Stephanie]

Still at University and Elm, where more police have come in. Helicopters are overhead, with police on horses and sirens going. Follow me on Twitter: SJFindlay

5:47 pm [Stephanie]

The scene at Elm and University.

5:36 pm [Stephanie]

Dallas Goldtooth (left), 27, and Adam Thomas, 24, are up from From Minneapolis, Minnesota to protest oil drilling in B.C.

5:12 pm [Josh]

Saw at least one protester detained by police near the Winners at College and Yonge. I didn’t see what he did, but protesters say he was shoved by police and that the female with him was also arrested. Police won’t cofirm anything.

4:47 pm [Stephanie]

"G20 policies of supposed open market are just bad for women, indigenous people... everyone," says Lacey MacAuley, climate change activist visiting from Washington, D.C.

4:18 pm [Josh]

Carlton St. & Jarvis St.: Crowd stops police car with sirens on who tried to drive through the crowd. About 50 cops at the front of the parade, almost all with bikes. Parallel lines of cops on bikes flanking protesters at the front. “I think Canada is an illegitimate concept,” says one person dressed as a clown, when I ask where she’s from. Front of protest approaches Yonge St.

4:04 pm [Josh]
Carlton St. & Sherbourne St.: Protesters are shouting “Free Palestine” and using vuvuzelas. The median age is about 20. Everyone looks confused, but people are starting to March east along Carlton St. Now big band tuba music is drowning out the free Palestine chants. Shouts of “no one, no one is illegal.”

4:00 pm [Stephanie]

"I'm here today because history has shown us that protesting works," says Jonathan Allan. It's an "opportunity to send a message to the leaders of the G20."

3:56 pm [Stephanie]

Kate Chung, of Raging Grannies, on the G20: "The criminalization of dissent has become really bad," she says. "Regular people who don't know about the issues are afriad...we need to speak up because Canada is tending toward facism." Raging Grannies started in the eighties in Victoria, BC. Chung has three grandchildren.

3:28 pm [Stephanie]

Mr. Turmer, an engineer, protests against interest

2:07 pm [Julia]

Jane Rozell is a grandmother who has never protested anything in her life—until today. "One day, you realize you have to get out there and speak up," she says. She's upset there are children going to school hungry, and that while abortion is legal, it's difficult to get one. But most of all, she wants the "sane" voice of a mother and grandmother to be heard by the mostly male G8/G20 delegates.

1:45 pm [Jane]

Free massages and hugs for all at Allan Gardens.

1:40 pm [Jane]

Allan Gardens is over-saturated with journalists and photographers more so than actual protesters.

1:30 pm [Jane & Julia]

At the midday protests in Allan Gardens, we caught up with a group of women who were peacefully calling for gender equity. Sonya Sangster, a Vancouverite who paid for a flight to Toronto and took time off work to attend G20 protests, says, “We want to remind leaders to keep their promises, and to make sure women are a priority when they are making decisions.”

She also made the trip to demonstrate her solidarity with the cause. Though sometimes “the cause” among protesters in the park was a bit blurry or unclear—there were anti-capitalists, gay rights activists, communists of Iran, and people asking for an end to the tar sands—Sangster was quite adamant that her main concern is maternal health: “I would like to see if they are going to offer a maternal health package that includes abortions because women die from illegal abortions everyday.”

Another protester, Torontonian Jen S., sat nearby in a red casket decorated with coat hangers. The word “CHOICE” was painted on the side of the casket, making clear her feelings about abortion. In addition to maternal health, the G20’s billion-dollar price tag also roused her because so many Torontonians are living in poverty.

“I live in a rooming house, and there’s people who just got off the street and are living in sub-standard housing, including myself, while they’re spending tons of money having $700 lunches. I don’t have $700 to spend for the whole month.”

1:12 pm [Julia]

Ali Fida, another toronto cab driver, says, "I don't even see people downtown, except for cops." He pays $80 per day for his cab, but today he has only made $15. "I'm just killing time." In six years of driving, he says this is the worst business has ever been. "All cabbies are very angry and upset, but we can't do anything about it."

12:59 pm [Julia]

Another shot of the pop-up jail on Eastern

12:56 pm [Julia]

"Business is very, very bad since yesterday," says cab driver Ali Khan. "Nobody's in the city." He estimates business is down 40 to 50 per cent, because of it, he plans to take the weekend off. "I'm just going to relax Saturday and Sunday and hope it picks up by tuesday."

12:53 pm [Jane]

The front of the pop-up jail at Eastern and Pape

11:42 am [Julia]

The TD branch at Queen and Bay is closed for the G20.

11:27 am [Jane]

Police officers congregating at Queen and John streets.

11:26 am [Julia]

The scene just north of the fence.

11:07 am [Jane]

Little Nicky's Coffee on Peter St. had a slow morning as most of its regulars skipped town for the G20 summit. Owner Renee Bonise says a slow trickle of customers have come into her shop since she opened at 7:30 a.m. "A couple of regulars had to work," she says of the few businesses open in the area. Bonise says she plans to close the coffee shop for the weekend as more people flood into the downtown area.

11:06 am [Julia]

Ed McVeigh of the Toronto police expects today to be a long day—walking around when he usually drives, and working a 12 hour shift when he usually works 10 hours. While he is staying in a downtown hotel to avoid the commute, he says this is a regular day shift, just longer and hotter. "There's nothing in this for us. People think we enjoy this—we don't. The last thing we want are any problems." A passerby wishes the cops good luck today. Ed says, "for years we've been promoting for cops to be more approachable." This group of Toronto police is just one of many gobs of security forces sprinkled around the quiet downtown streets.

10:32 am [Jane]

Police officers on horses on Peter St.

10:19 am [Julia]

WTF! The cops seem bored.

10:16 am [Julia]

The Chaudry family is visiting from New Jersey. They say that when they planned their vacation six months ago, they didn't realize it would coincide with the G20. So far, there have been few interruptions, except for the fact the CN Tower is closed. "That's a bit disappointing, but we understand," says daughter Fatima.

10:08 am [Jane]

Toronto resident Adam Abudu sat at the corner of Front and Simcoe streets to bring awareness to the testing and use of vaccines of humans. "Most of them are not tried on humanities," he says. "It's all clinical trials." Abudu said his father and mother lived to be 94 and 93, respectively, and depended on natural foods rather than vaccines. Abudu said he would be walking around the downtown area promoting his message for the rest of the day.

9:50 am [Julia]

Andrea Pushka, a Queen St. resident, says her morning walks with her dog haven't been hampered by the G20. In fact, she enjoys the spectacle. (In the photo, she is taking a picture of a motorcade near the convention centre at Front and Simcoe streets). "The cops are super friendly. There's been no problem walking around. It's like a ghost town."

9:26 am [Julia]

Outside the Royal York on Front St.

9:13 am [Julia]

Store owners on King W. prepare for the onslaught.

9:06 am [Julia]

Tasha, a Torontonian and first-time protester, brought her megaphone and a sign on her way to work on Bay St. "I don't think the government should use millions of dollars of our money to buy weapons to use on us." She was particularly peeved by the sound cannons and tear gas. "Here we are, swimming in national debt, and they spend money on a fake lake."

8:50 am [Julia]

Cops say it's been quiet so far today.

8:44 am [Julia]

Police officers are hanging out and chatting on a quiet morning at King and Yonge. The subway was nearly empty—I got a seat for the first time in a while.


 

Day One: Scenes from outside the summit

  1. I'm glad to see people peacefully protesting. I'm sure its not fun for the police either. Here's hoping everyone stays calm.

    • their not peacefully protesting! a lot of people are killing other people for no reason! and their breaking buildings. THEY HAD TO CLOSE THE EATEN CENTER WAIL THE G20 WAS GOING ON IN TORONTO!!

  2. Did a single one of those protesters genuinely think through what they have to say or are the just their because something should be protested? I'm guessing it's the latter, because anyone but an idiot knows that there are many ways that are more effective methods of bringing attention to a cause than waving posters miles from the leaders. And there are things to protest, but it's silly to act like Canada is a police state or a third world dictatorship. Real change takes articulation and persistence not petty gatherings where you can't distinguish the activists from the anarchists.

    • Protesting is just one part of organizing change. Combined with other techniques, change happens. If protests are not your cup of tea stay at home.

  3. What drama queens these protesters are!

    A summit is held, a few blocks get fenced off by cops and suddenly we're a "police state?"

    These people need to spend some time in North Korea or Saudi Arabia in order to get some perspective in their lives.

    • So you are saying we should be content as long as we are not as bad as North Korea or Saudia Arabia? We protest so we do not become like North Korea or Saudia Arabia. You sit at home and allow your rights to be chipped away little by little and very soon, you will not have the right to the opinions you so freely put forward today.

  4. Yes, you are in a "police state" when the police use weapons like sound cannons to stop protesters from protesting. You live in a police state when the State has turned all inherent rights into paid-for privileges. Traveling, earning a living, having a business – just to name a few. The judge may of hushed the use of the sound cannon this time, but who's to say it won't be used in the future. This device can cause a person to go deaf – what a way to hush up protesters and frighten others from protesting. It should bother most people that it required a court order to prevent the police from willy-nilly using this thing on innocent people. We've seen the damage tasers have caused in the hands of police. This is a taser on a mass scale. The term "police state" applies to other variances, not just protesting. When you are unable to assert your rights when in the presence of police without fear of being jailed, maimed, or killed – you live in a police state. The G20, itself, encompasses slavery and the oppression of people by governments. Who's interest do you think police are protecting, exactly? Yours or the governments? Wake up!

    • Yeah somebody needs to wake up. If it's so damn important, then get off your ass and get to the countries in the world that are actually suffering and do something useful instead of sitting at your computer pontificating. Protesting in this instance means NOTHING! Go protest in China and see what happens.

  5. To Tasha, holding the sign that says "THIS IS WHAT A POLICE STATE LOOKS LIKE", a couple of tips.
    If this were really a police state:

    (1) The news wouldn't be showing you. At all. It would be censored.
    (2) You would not be allowed to hold that sign in a public place.
    (3) You would not be allowed to use that megaphone in a public place.
    (4) You would currently be in jail for protesting the police state.

    Canada isn't perfect, and we're definitely not as free as we once were (progress!) but neither are we in a "police state". It's an insult to the many courageous people actually fighting for their rights in real police states that you would make this comparison. Like Cuba, for example. Or China. Or North Korea. By the way, do you notice a common trend shared between these actual police states? Perhaps that is what you should be protesting.

    • You're making too much sense for them to understand what you're saying… try less logic next time!

      • Agree.. I am very thankful that we live in a country where we are allowed to protest,(peacefully ) and voice our own opinions !

  6. Does anyone remember Trudeau and his use of the War Measures Act? We'll get through this too.

    • Exactly what is there to get through?

  7. Looks like a bunch of homeless hippies with nonthing better to do… my 2c….

  8. Do these people have jobs?

    I bet the same people would blame lack of security if something happened.

    What a total waste of time – protesting. No one pays attention. Actually, there are protests going on regularly in TO an no one pays attention unless they are blocking a subway exit or something.

    Do these people get the okay, if they work, from their employers to take a day off for this?

    • The "Get a job" jibe is tired and old. People take time off work to do this.

      If you think that the world is just peachy then you have obviously taken the blue pill. It's just a dream, go back to sleep.

      • Oh get over yourself. As if people don't know the wrongs in the world – geez.

        Name me one protest that's made a difference.

        The only one I can think of is the Martin Luther King march – and it was non-violent and peaceful.

        I have no problem with the right to protest, but smashing property, etc. is wrong. It only hurts Joe Citizen, not government people.

        Grow up

        • Suffrage? South African Apartheid? India?

          Protests have caused a great deal of social change in this world. Granted most protesters at the G-20 probably have a very superficial view and their opinions would be altered if an open mind + a knowledgeable expert was added but that is besides the point.

          No one is defending the right to do the destruction we witnessed. We still need to realize the very delicate balancing act of civil liberties vs. public safety. It is a complicated and very important debate that both sides will be wrong on. We can only hope to minimize the wrong.

  9. Regardless of your political position I hope as Canadians we can all agree that curtailing civil liberties should not be a decision taken lightly. Doing it in secret, even if it is, "on the books" is not an excuse.

    The law that is being exercised is not restricted to this situation. Right now it is set for 5m, what is stopping 10 meters? 20 meters? Entire streets? Neighbourhoods? Because a law is on the books in a broad sense does not mean that it is constitutionally valid in this implementation. Frankly I think protesters are often treating issues very one-dimensionally, I generally support globalization, but I don't care what they are saying, they could be demanding politicians wear funny hats to work, it doesn't matter.

    A government reducing our personal freedoms for the sake of security, in secret, is something we should all be offended by.

  10. To give this farrago media coverage is to incite disturbance. In a democracy everone has an opportunity at a general election to make his/het voice heard, but to indulge in such brainless breaches of the peace as these "demonstrations" is to sabotage democracy, to promote anarchy. If as a result anyone is injured he/she has only himself/herself to blame. The police are charged with keeping order and anyone resisting them is guilty of a crime. That is not establishing a "police state" but merely preserving civilised authority enabling citizens to go unhindered about their lawful business.

  11. I'm glad they got a picture of John Turmel in there. I don't agree with him, but he really is a colourful character (I have a soft spot for social credit, since my Albertan grandpa was a fan).

  12. what ignorant comments about protesting not making a difference! I can name a few protests that have made a difference ,how about the womens right to vote protests in the 60's and 70's? how about animal rights groups protesting the inhumane ways animals are killed.Women now have the right to vote and alot of animals are being treated better.Alot of these people in this protest have been to third world countries and seen first hand the people suffering that is why they are protesting G20! My sister is one of these people protesting for change in this world she has also been to uganda and is helping a whole town have a better way of life!the women of uganda are being educated about choices they have and being trained for better jobs to support their families. she has done this un selfishly with her own time and money. How many of you on here bashing what these courageous people are doing can actually say you have helped others? I mean truly helped others?These people are making a difference evey day .voices are being heard and changes are being made.it may take time for some of these changes but they will happen.I am very proud of my sister and her accomplishments so far both personal and economical!

  13. can someone please describe to me what the definition of hippie would be….I see alot of well educated middle class folk in the pics making a stand.I am sure these people have jobs.

  14. Dear broadcasters and publishers,

    Full coverage of the riots happening at the G8 and G20? Really? What happened to paying attention to the real issues, the reasons that these forums are happening to begin with? The G8 and G20 aren't about protests, they are about the political issues, about appearing at our best as we are displayed on the world stage, and about making important decisions for our world, for our children, and for our futures. But instead of covering these events, you act as a display for a gory form of reality television. Those police officers that you are broadcasting live are people. They are parents, they are children, they are siblings, they are friends. You have no right to be forcing the people who care about them to watch them every single time they turn on the television. Have some respect. Those police officers are out there doing their jobs: trying to protect us, and those around us, including world leaders. It must be scary for them, and it's certainly scary for those watching. So stop salaciously sucking in the drama, strife and struggles; and start paying attention to the real news: the politics. Every moment that you show those riots in the media is another moment of satisfaction and fame for the protestors, and another moment of pain for those of us watching at home.

    Thanks,

    Kate

    • Regardless of your political view you should expect police to follow almost any orders given to them. It is needed to keep us safe. Media, however, is a very important tool of checks and balances for police officers. They are people, they are husbands, wives, mothers and fathers but as you pointed out they are people. People under stress will do things they may not normally do. Unless we have an independent media there won't be accountability and the rights of peaceful demonstrators will be trampled upon. I'm not talking about a global conspiracy but the fact that "mob mentality" exists on both sides of the badge. Trust but verify.

      • I'm perfectly fine with "trust but verify" as long as it's within reason. What I am not fine with is the fact that the police are always portrayed as the bad guy in these moments. The media, instead of allowing us to make up our own minds, replays particular footage over and over again, analyzing it to pieces and telling us what to think about it. The police are either going to be in trouble for doing too much, or for doing too little. It's a lose lose situation for them, and either way, the media gets sensationalism. Keep it to a minimum, don't replay footage over and over again with analysis and commentary, it's sickening. And shouldn't the amount of media be limited? Can you imagine how much easier those mobs would have been to control if all of those reporters and photographers hadn't been mixed in with the mob and police, getting in the way?

  15. Not all protesters are violent.The ones rioting are not protesters they are anarchists they are not protesting they are only causing harm to others and vandalizing.almost all of those people protesting are doing so in peace.

  16. people who are protesting, are losers who have nothing better to do, go and get a job and take responsibility for yourself.
    Stop blaming the rest of the world, make your own choices.

    • I hope you realize it is very likely that many of these people have jobs and believe in something so strongly that they take time off in order to be part of something like this so that they can express themselves and their beliefs. It is a very bad assumption to think that they are unemployed. If people didnt stand up for what they believed in we still very well could think slavery is alright (which many people once did).

      Not everyone agrees with what their governments are doing and this is their way of expressing that and to assume that this is their only way of expressing that again, is a very bad thing to assume. Not everyone is a sheep who will just do what they are told.

  17. Toronto the good becomes toronto the disgrace. Shame on the police for beating innocent people. The people who were beaten and arrested with out a cause should sue the police department. FUCK the police. I HAVE NO FUCKING respect for COPS anymore.

  18. the only losers are people that sit around doing nothing for anyone but themselves.alot of the protesters have great jobs and are out there helping other people on their own time and dollar.They are taking responsibility for themselves and they are taking resposibility for millions of others as well. without protesting you wouldn't get a voice a choice or freedom.

  19. Protesting what exactly? I watched a video of someone holding a sign protesting bailouts. Yep 80% of the leaders in the actual summit also disagree with bailouts. So, the person holding the sign isn't actually protesting the summit, just agreeing with 80% of the people inside. On this site alone, there is a woman who thinks open global market is bad for women. My guess is her logic is this, India wants an open global market, so there is fair trade for third world areas, India also does not have equal rights for women, therefore global markets are bad for women. What about all the other countries that do have equal rights for woman that also want global markets, so fair trade is established, to help end third world poverty. You would think a protester would be pro-fair trade. Also, these "protesters", by showing up have now established themselves as human rights activists, without educated themselves on the actual issues involved. Meanwhile, the One Campaign, a constructive human rights group, put in actual time and effort to get Africa included in the G# summits, because Africa wants to establish a stable economy with fair trade, so they don't have millions of people dying in third world areas for no reason. But these "protesters" want to piss all this hard work away, because they don't take enough time to educate themselves on the issues, and only contradict real human rights activists.

  20. Jct: I was protesting the positive feedback malfunction that is destroying our planet and suggesting the solution: Abolish Interest Rates and restrict banks to a pure service charge like LETS. See the "Abolish Interest Rates" message I've been picketing with for almost 30 years and the LETS diskette logo on my lapel? So who says there are no protest-instructors offering solutions among the protest-obstructors whose main goal is climbing a fence.
    John The Engineer Turmel

  21. Yes, I agree that there will be some protesters there for good reasons. I'm sure the One campaign doesn't agree with how the police treated the people there, just as I don't. My comment is only to point out a lot of the people are just simply showing up. The G20 summit was meant to be constructive. And I feel there are many more events to protest that would be more constructive than protesting the G20.