Note: this clip was posted on Youtube by Mk Millard. I'm assuming its ok to share since embed code was provided. If not, please let me know and I'll remove. The full version by Meghann Millard can be found on Vimeo.
By most media accounts – there are a few exceptions - the G20 protests started off peaceful but took a violent turn when a group of ‘black bloc’ protesters decided to ‘up the ante’ setting fire to police cars, breaking store windows and generally wrecking havoc in Toronto’s downtown core.
I was not downtown and do not have first hand knowledge of the situation. I have read that the ‘black bloc’ was a relatively small group of young protesters. I don’t condone their actions and feel that their anarchist tactic drowned the peaceful, well-intended, important protesters whose messages deserved and needed to be heard.
The media focus on the destruction caused by the ‘black bloc’ has allowed politicians to justify the 1.3 billion spent on security. 1.3 billion! Huh. The G20 members haven’t all lived up to agreements hashed out at the last summit…..
Bet that 1.3 billion could have helped to reach some of those Pittsburg promises.
Regardless, the G20 happened, there was dissent. We were all expecting that – with the exception, perhaps, of the cops??? While media reports suggest police forces used restraint, civilian protest reports are starting to suggest otherwise.
Having not ventured downtown this weekend it’s very hard to know what really happened. Did the ‘black bloc’ provoke police enough for them to take a more aggressive stance against all protesters? Or did the police do a reasonable job? Was the 20,000 strong security force justified?
What is clear is that things downtown were tense. Over 600 protesters were arrested. Police cars were burned. Shop windows were broken. There were reports of the use of tear gas.
Raids, riots, and resistance pursued.
The messages put forth by peaceful protests should have been heard over the violence and police security, but ended up being downplayed.
On the other side of the three-meter security fence, Harper apparently made some deficit headway, and all the leaders had a nice dinner.
Was it all worth it? I’m not so sure.