06.27.2010 07:04 AM

Two G20 questions

Over the years, I’ve worked in politics and as a cops reporter, so I can confidently report this: precisely no one at the G20 summit gives a rat’s ass about what is being said this morning on blogs and web sites like this one. They just don’t.

That said, I have two questions, which I offer in my capacity as a Toronto taxpayer:

1. When they knew there was always going to be trouble (which they did, which is why they spent $1 billion on security), why did the Harper government continue to insist that the centre of Canada’s largest city would be the preferred location for the summit – when it clearly could’ve, and should’ve, been held somewhere else?

2. Out of that billion dollars, couldn’t a few bucks have been set aside to hire some police officers to prevent the violence and destruction taking place elsewhere in the city – as seen, to cite just one example, in this disturbing raw footage (click “Anarchist Tear Apart Yonge Street” in CTV News Video Player) showing not one cop (not one) intervening to stop mayhem on Canada’s biggest and busiest street?

Those are my two questions. Nobody, as I say, will be the least bit interested in them. But, as Sunday morning gets going, I suspect a few other folks may be looking for answers, too.

83 Comments

  1. Sandra says:

    I wonder if possibly the police were trying to avoid the usual nonsense about policie brutality, being accused of egging on the violent idiots, etc.

    In doing so, perhaps didn’t act fast enough.

    Certain folks want to blame the police for everything. They were too harsh, weren’t harsh enough, etc., etc.

    Why on earth did Harper insist on a business, residential area with so many streets and arteries and underground subways and shops? How stupid is that.

  2. William M says:

    Which part of the burning city is the tourism showcase?

  3. Steve T says:

    While I agree with you, ultimately it is the scumbag violent protestors that caused all of this in the first place. They caused the need for $1B to be spent, and they of course caused the problems that are occuring right now.

    These protestors are no better than violent criminals or violent terrorists. They want something, and they will do anything to get it – including destroying innocent public property or risking injury to innocent people (and that includes police who are innocent).

    While I agree it would have been better to hold the meetings somewhere other than downtown T.O., it is ultimately the terrorist protestors who are to blame.

  4. Cath says:

    What bothers me is that rather than reporting on the two latest soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan, each time a news network or media pundit pays attention to the thugs and the damage they did to the city, they overshadow those to soldiers who gave their lives on the other side of the world trying to help forward democracy.

    It bothers me also that for weeks the media have been telegraphing the possibility of violence. They got what they wished for and quite frankly got their stories in the end.

    • Brian says:

      With all due respect, Cath, maybe you haven’t noticed the fact that nearly every single international summit in the last fifteen years has attracted the same sort of activity, different only by degree? And that’s Warren’s point: this wasn’t a media invention. Everyone knew this sort of thing was coming, and everyone knew doing it in downtown Toronto would give the anarchists a target rich environment.

      So, it’s not provocateurs fault now, it’s the corporate medias?

      • Cath says:

        I think many had a hand in ramping up the confrontation further. Peaceful protest doesn’t sell papers or make dramatic footage. Media thrives on this stuff.
        Are you suggesting that we should have spent more on security?
        At least one things for sure, anyone looking at Toronto now will think twice about hosting an international event here. Where have we gotten the idea that Toronto was a world class city? Is it or isn’t it?

        What does that even mean.

        I see your point Brian, but there is a sick lot out there feeding and counting on the violence and disruption. I mean the fake lake story can only take the media so far.

        Could TO of handled the Olympics? I’m pretty sure many of the same conditions would have existed.

        • Brian says:

          I don’t think we should have spent more on security. I think we should have thought more about security – which is why I agreed months ago that it was a dumb idea to put the G20 event in Toronto, and a good idea to put the G8 in Huntsville.

          Re: the sick lot and the media, I’ve been watching the coverage of these things (the summits, not the violence) for years. And it’s just hard for me to accept that the media was wrong to report on the likelihood on violence on the one hand, and yet stand up and say violence in Toronto was predictable on the other. It was predictable *because* it was predictable, not because the media said it would be. Whether some reporters feed on that or not, I don’t know. I think one or two I’ve read actually seem to empathize with the stupidity, but I’m not seeing legions of reporters doing so.

  5. Trev says:

    Hear, hear.

    A few people need to be resig-fired for this, starting with Mr. Harper.

    • Helen says:

      You have lost your mind?

      The media in this country have a lot to answer for…
      The Globe and Mail ..Toronto Star…Ctv…and especially the CBC…have for weeks and weeks done everything to destroy anything that is positive about Canada.

      It’s a guarantee that the NDP and their union goons had a LOT to do with organizing these anarchists

      • Scott Tribe says:

        Oh c’mon, now it’s the NDP’s fault?

        Not every protestor out there was breaking windows, Helen.. much as some on the conservative side will try to paint it as that.

        • Cath says:

          You may be right Scott but where are the peaceful protesters speaking out against the Black Bloc tactics. If they’ve been wronged by the violence are they speaking out against how the thugs are overshadowing them?

          • mark says:

            They are speaking out every chance they get. The problem is that the media want fire and chaos and violence. The truth is that there was very little mayhem. Turn off the T.V. and walk down Yonge St.and you’ll see. There are about twenty five windows smashed and the cop cars were most likely sacrificial offerings. Yesterday I walked around the city observing and noticed some thuggery from some protesters and from some of the cops as well but for the most part all were well behaved.

            What I don’t get is that people seem to think this is an outrage, that it shouldn’t happen here. It’s all part of the game. The G20 sets up for confrontation and the massive security infringes somewhat on our rights and those who bristle at that push back and some cause mischief. Seriously, turn the news off, watching a cop car go up in flames 100 times makes it seem like the city’s on fire, more like closing night of the Calgary Stampede.

      • Trev says:

        True, however we’re not at this point if Harper doesn’t put it in the convention centre.

        That said, Mr. Layton could equally be in resig-firing country.

  6. Sean says:

    I think the Tories want this kind of attention… makes them look like tough guys… makes it look like their detractors are out of control lunatics… I’d expect their poll numbers to go up in the next little while.

  7. Bryan says:

    Love the ones screaming “No cameras.” You’re on the biggest street in the biggest city in the country acting like two year olds throwing a temper tantrum. Nowhere near the summit either. What does this accomplish? It’s an opportunity for people with low IQs to go out and act out in public and (probably) not get in trouble. These people should be ashamed of themselves, but they won’t be. They’ll take pride in acting like fools. And at the end of the day, will have accomplished nothing but making the rest of the country believe they are fools. They’re protesting nothing here.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Warren,

      From the G8-G20 Integrated Security Unit Web Site:

      Information for Demonstrators

      Legal Information

      The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees certain rights and fundamental
      freedoms, including the freedoms of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly.

      Section 2 of the Charter states:

      2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

      freedom of conscience and religion;
      freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
      freedom of peaceful assembly; and
      freedom of association.
      The Integrated Security Unit (led by the RCMP and supported by Canadian Forces, Toronto Police Service, and Peel Regional Police) recognizes the importance of these freedoms and of all other protections in the Charter.

      Limits

      The rights and freedoms contained in the Charter are not limitless. The Supreme Court has recognized that “freedom of expression does not extend to protect threats of violence or acts of violence. It would not protect the destruction of property, assaults, or other clearly unlawful conduct.” In addition, in some cases, the reasonable limits prescribed by law will also apply.

      A Designated Demonstration Area is anticipated for the Event, in a manner respecting the findings of the Hughes Hearing (2001), as well as in an effort to best organize for this reality.

      Section 1 of the Charter, which provides for limitations on rights and freedoms, states:

      1) The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it, subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

      The Criminal Code of Canada contains various provisions that limit individuals’ rights. The following is a list of some of the relevant Criminal Code sections that limit certain activities.

      blocking or obstructing a highway (Section 423(1)(g))
      causing a disturbance (Section 175)
      common nuisance (Section 180)
      interfering with transportation facilities (Section 248)
      mischief (Section 430)
      offensive volatile substance (Section 178)
      riots (Sections 32, 33, 64, 65, 67, 68, 69)
      unlawful assembly (Section 63)
      breach of the peace (Section 31)
      Breach of peace: An arrest for breach of the peace, whether under the Criminal Code or the common law, does not result in a charge. The purpose of an arrest for breach of peace is to end the breach and restore order.

      There are numerous other Criminal Code sections that may also apply to protest situations.

      In addition to the Criminal Code, limitations on activities that may be contemplated in protest situations are also contained in provincial statutes, such as the Highway Traffic Act, and in municipal by-laws.

      Duties of Police

      Police officers have, among other duties, a sworn duty to preserve the peace, prevent offences, enforce the law, protect property, preserve life and protect against serious injury, among other duties.

      These duties have their basis in common law and statutes, including the RCMP Act, Ontario Police Services Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

      The G20 Integrated Security Unit remains committed to ensuring that Charter guaranteed rights and freedoms are upheld, while ensuring that police officers carry out their sworn duties.

      The Unit advises demonstrators to familiarize themselves with their legal rights and responsibilities to ensure their actions are within the boundaries of the law. The ISU also encourages groups who are planning to voice their opinions at the Summit to reach out to the Community Relations Group in order to work with the police in planning their protests within the legal framework.

      The Community Relations Group (CRG) can be reached at 1-888-446-4047 or by e-mail at crg-grc@g8-g20isu.ca.

  8. Sandra says:

    Con, Lib, NDP, Green supporters aren’t afraid to show their faces. I think the faces of these punks should be shown everywhere.

    I think some parents would be surprised what little Billie is doing.

    The police know who they are – show their faces to the public.

  9. Cath says:

    So far for every interview with police and “security expert” I’ve watched on TV they all say that this type of violence was planned for, expected as a sideshow that comes with the hosting of a summary of this nature.

    I found it rather funny that in the first few hours and on the heels of a very peaceful G8 in Huntsville the media gathered there had nothing but great things to report.

    What would the same media have had to report this morning had no destruction taken place?

    I also have to wonder if in making the decision to have the G20 in Toronto Harper’s people didn’t contact both McGuinty and Miller to make sure their world class Toronto could deal with the summit?

    I’m told that the Jazz Festival went on as planned and the FC still played to their fans.

    • james smith says:

      Cath,
      – Did you read the attachment?
      – Why the Eff did police leave cruisers abandoned for hours? -Just to attract Punks to vandalize stuff?
      – Huntsville or Tea-Ho the choice is a no brainer – reporters just have to show up at the office to cover the G-20. CBC is in the zone Globe/CTV just meters away.
      – you might want to read about the medics Kristal Giesebrecht, and Andrew Miller their lives should be mourned & celebrated
      -Mayor donuth’n Dave for several months said we didn’t want this thing, or should be held at the CNE – ( already a fence around it)
      – Wonder how folks in the East end got to see the FC as GO Transit texted me telling me I could not go east of Exhibition or West of Main

      People who share the present PM’s POV do not believe in a positive role for government. Like a former Ontario premier, the plan is to squander resources on vested interests & tax cuts (same thing) in a plan to undermine the finances of the government. Once achieved this plan precludes the ability of a government to act any progressive way in the future. The people of Ontario will take at least another decade to right the wrongs of the last bunch of dogmatic lame brains. This G20 was just another example of creating a crisis for the benefit of the few libertarians close to this person who is presently the PM.

      • Cath says:

        I hear what you’re saying James. I’ve also heard that sometimes the police leave decoy cars to distract in one area while they contain somewhere else.

        I’d be happy for our country never to host this circus every again.

        • james smith says:

          Cath,
          If this is a tactic I have one word:
          FAIL!
          Just ask the kids who work in the Starbucks who were cowering in the basement as Punks smashed their store’s windows.

          Amen to saying goodbye to this circus.

  10. Ariella says:

    What annoys me is that people keep asking “Where were the cops?”

    Why were the 9000 other protesters just standing around taking pictures when the rotten kids were trashing things?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Ariella,

      The anarchists are professionals — many of them are not even legal residents in Canada. They are well organized and extremely effective. Joe and Jane Canadian are simply not trained to take them on. They would do so at tremendous risk to their own safety.

      My first concern: leave it to the professionals — the cops. My second: whatever you do in the way of response, don’t kill people. One person died at the Summit of the Americas here in Quebec City — and that is never a good thing even when the alleged perpetrator is a so-called anarchist.

    • james smith says:

      Ariella,
      Why would that annoy you?
      Police left at least one cruiser ABANDONED for hours on EFFING QUEEN WEST – ever hear of a tow truck?
      Just so you know, this is hypster central full of shops, the 501 Street Car (busiest in the city) & lots of sketchy people with nothing to do but be sketchy.
      I work close by, (I guess this raises the sketchy factor) on Friday there were lots of Police present moving through the neighbourhood some shops (including McD’s) were boarded up. I know the West Queen West BIA administrator the BIA has been asking for information & extra police presence for months, so I think asking WTF were the cops is more than ligt.
      BTW, fire trucks are running down Queen St all day, every day, there are two fire stations close by to where the cruiser burnt & shops vandalized, in fact one station is RIGHT AROUND THE EFFING CORNER! & the fire department was not brought in until this cruiser was burnt to the ground? – Please!
      From what I saw on the news, most of the Cops showed a great deal of restraint & prevented a bad situation from getting worse, but someone made a tactical decision not to address some fundamental problems. Questions need to asked about the wisdom of this event coming to Tea-Oh in general, & the responses in particular.

      Just an observation.
      From what I saw on the news on Saturday the only riot police acting provocatively were at Queen’s Park (drumming their shields in unison), & they all had OPP shoulder flashes. This is where protesters were truncheoned during another protest many years ago, & those who used their truncheons then & there – were from the same organization. Questions need to be asked about training & discipline in this organization.

      • james smith says:

        Update to my observation-
        The Huffington Post headline is:
        POLICE ATTACK PROTESTERS & JOURNALISTS AT G20 SUMMIT
        “After a large march and rally in protest of the G20 summit, police attacked a crowd of peaceful protesters in Queens Park. The following clip shows police attacking and arresting protesters. At 1:02, video journalist Brandon Jourdan is thrown to the ground and beaten by police while shooting video.”
        The video attached to this story clearly shows shoulder flashes of OPP officers doing the beating. This organization makes me sad & embarrassed.

  11. Chris says:

    Warren –

    Point #1: I am in agreement with you and I have been of the belief that the G20 should be held yearly on the same remote secluded island in the Caribbean where a) flight travel to the island could be restricted prior to the event and b) securing the island/event would be easier than downtown of a major urban city. The G20 nations could split the cost 1/20th each year and have the G20 organizing committee manage the logistics of such event. It should be noted that for the $1 Billion dollars spent on this G8 G20 we could have built a secured compound/resort with hotel, conference facility and amenities on this Caribbean island to be used annually going forward.

    Point #2: I totally disagree – good policing stems from using a measured patient and methodical response. The Toronto Police are called the Toronto Police Service not the Toronto Police Force (which the media keeps incorrectly using). Using force to combat force only leads to more violence and I know that had the ISU used more aggressive force against some of the trouble makers this would only have escalated the situation. For the most part the trouble only really intensified and was sustained for a few hours as opposed to a situation in which the battle would have surely continued on endlessly. The police must stick together at all times and splintering off trying to ‘capture’ these trouble makers is extremely dangerous for the safety of the officer and their units. The police either know who these individuals are will soon enough and arrests will be made after the summit.

    Chris.

    • Warren says:

      Chris, thanks. My point is was there not just a few cops who could have been patrolling Yonge Street? If you were a small business owner who was targeted, you’d be asking that question this morning.

      • Chris says:

        Agreed – This goes to point #1 holding in a major urban centre such as Toronto was not the best of ideas. I know alot of small business around John & King area where I work suffered due to loss of business alone not to mention those that have also had thier stores vandalized.

        I’m still in disbelief on how short both the G8 and G20 are as meetings – what really is the usefulness? It comes across as nothing more than a social club for political leaders.

        Chris.

      • Cath says:

        Chris – I like your first point very much. It almost has a Survivor feel to it. Makes all kinds of sense and maybe will save folks cents?

        Warren – I didn’t get that you were talking about Yonge St. specifically but now that you mention it in what I saw last night the police must have been further down Yonge past Dundas Square. I did also see that that group was peaceful at first.

        • Cath says:

          Warren I’ve pretty sure that if Mr. Chretien were the leader of the LPOC right now that he’d not hesitate for one minute to denounce the thugs and violence. What do we get from the Ignatieff brain trust? ?We don?t comment on events as they unfold.?

          http://pragmatictory.blogspot.com/2010/06/liberal-party-we-dont-comment-on-events.html

          If the leader can’t take a position on this….geez. I mean both Miller and McGuinty managed to muster comments.

          That’s just embarrassing.

          • Chris says:

            CATH – Liberals by nature have a tough time communicating things in bit sized media/consumer edible pieces it comes with trying to be too ‘intellectual’ with everything. Ignatieff may not be charismatic but generally is a great communicator and has started to take some tough bold positions with things. Maybe they’ve determined it’s best not to get caught up too much with this one since it’s gotten a bit crazy for everyone involved – though they sure would look smart and timely if they came out with a policy position on how future G8/G20’s should be held (i.e Point #1 in my previous posts!)

            Chris.

  12. Riley Hennessey says:

    This is an awful post Warren. How about placing the blame at the feet of these ridiculous protesters? Or should we just blame Harper for everything? Are we to just throw our hands up in the air and say that Toronto is unable to host a real summit?

    I am so tired of media and bloggers blaming Harper for the violence. Why do we support outrageous protests like this? Disgraceful.

    • Warren says:

      Who the Hell is supporting the protestors? They are criminals and deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest, etc. But big, big mistakes have been made this weekend, and not just by black-clad “anarchists.” It was EPIC STUPID to have a summit in a big city in the Summertime. That’s why I posted the Kananaskis link – there’s a better way.

      Now, stop being such a Conbot. It’s unbecoming.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Warren,

        Agree with you that we have to move these things away from large population centers in the future. I guess that will mean cruise ships for sleeping because hotels are likely to be a problem at The Quebec Citadel, for example. Why can’t we move this to the United Nations, the European Parliament, or some other permanent venue?

        Also agree that the merchants and other businesses must be compensated as was done in Quebec City. Cannon seemed to be moving in that direction on CTV’s QP this morning. Good on him.

        As for the actual choice made — downtown core, Toronto, if logistics and lead time allowed for moving to another venue — no question it will be a negative for the Harper government. But I have no expertise in this matter to pronounce further on this particular point.

        • allegra fortissima says:

          Brussels??? No way, we don’t want these things there either!

          My suggestion: Heligoland. A perfect location: a refuge for revolutionaries only in 1830 and 1843. The last bombing took place in April 1947. And road restrictions are already in place…

          The European media has been mocking the location “Toronto” for months – referring to the riots in London in 2009.

          But Harper knows better…

      • Chris says:

        Warren – Please don’t make hasty generalizations. The week leading up to the G20 there were 2-3 peacefull protests a day. Protesters and anarchists/thugs are not always one in the same. Most protestingg was done peacefully.

        • Warren says:

          I know. But nobody is going to remember any of that, now.

          • Cath says:

            but they might remember it had the media covered these peaceful folks. Good news and people behaving themselves just doesn’t sell ink or attract viewers in the same way that mayhem and rioting do. Given the coverage I’ve seen I can’t tell whatever happened to those peaceful demonstrators in all of this.

            I’ve seen very little coverage even of the meeting of the leaders…which is what brought the nutjobs here in the first place.

            Meeting? What meeting?

          • Chris says:

            CATH – Well stated. I personally enjoy the media/journalists taking a moralist approach to the destruction: “look at what protesters are doing to your City Toronto” while they lap up the chaos, sensationalize the destruction, stir up emotions and reap the viewership because of it. Watching the TV journalists act as if their doing a community deed by documenting the violence is laughable…so dis in-genuine.

    • Trev says:

      With due respect, that comment makes you the disgraceful one, sir.

      It’s not a Toronto thing, this would’ve happened in ANY big city. Yet the decision was made to not only put it in not only the heaviest commercial district in the country, but to put it in a not insignificant residential part of town.

      I get that Harper doesn’t care about Toronto, but there is something seriously wrong with this city if we don’t collectively demand his resignation tomorrow morning for this farce.

      • Philip says:

        I don’t blame Harper for the violence. I blame him for being a complete and utter moron for holding the G20 in downtown Toronto. I get that Harper hates Toronto and everyone in it. I truly get it that trashing my great city plays very well in Alberta and rural Canada. That said people live downtown, they make their living downtown. Scoring petulant political points off the backs of those you are supposed to represent is just sad.

  13. jbro says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMsqEph7a8I

    anyone remember this ad? doesn’t seem so hysterical in retrospect.

    king steve wants it this way, and is more than thrilled to squander our money and liberty in exchange for feeling like the real deal for a few days.

    let’s all remember that years from now, during the sequel to the mulroney/shreiber inquiry.

    • jbro says:

      http://transformingpower.ca/en/blog/toronto-burning-or-it

      this article speaks to your question, warren, about the businesses being undefended.

      it does seem that the police accidentally on purpose facilitate certain acts that allow them to justify subsequent police tactics. ie it’s always easier to do what you want when you have a convenient enemy to blame it on.

      i’m not a usual tinfoil hat type, but from many people’s tweets this seems like a legit concern.

  14. Namesake says:

    [apoologies if this got sent twice; didn’t seem to take 1st time]

    I don’t think it was meant to turn out this way; it’s just this gov’t’s usual ham-fisted execution that worsened it (like Stockwell Day’s careless, provocative, self-fulfilling comments to Evan Solomon the other day seemingly tarring all demonstrators as “thugs.”)

    I do think it was Harper’s vanity & ego behind the decision. He clearly revels in being perceived as being able to “rub shoulders with world leaders,”* and like some pathetic “Rags to Riches” or “Non-Entity to Major Player” movie, wanted to throw a major party/event in the grandest setting he could think of to demonstrate to one & all that he’s come a long, way, baby. The fact that it’s backfiring is, of course, due to his hubris, as in all such movies.

    *(even though, truth be told, its more like barking at the big boy’s shins, if we couple the relative size of the economies —

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29

    esp. the chart we don’t even appear on, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nominal_GDP_IMF_2008_millions_of_USD.jpg

    — with his attempts to lecture the others on what they should do based on (ha!) ‘his’ Canadian model / success story)

  15. Richard says:

    Check out this story on rabble.ca: http://www.rabble.ca/news/2010/06/g20-police-let-rioters-run-amok-and-then-struck-back-hard-all-activists

    And read the comments that follow. Here are a few samples from the comments:

    Observer521: “At Queen and Spadina, for probably close to an hour, the group of vandals dressed in black, were getting ready to do something, right out in the open. People watching the crowd could see them in a group. They were right in the middle of the crowd, getting their covering gear on, talking, and getting ready.

    Even untrained regular people could see that. Near to the time they were ready, one of them held up a roman candle fireworks.

    They then charged east on Queen, and the police simply just let them pass. The police had uncrossable police lines to protect the “fence” to the south, but left the east flank on Queen wide open.

    Why was there no proper police lines on Queen St to the east? The police had triple lines the day before to prevent anyone going south, but that day they had nothing to the east, they were all to the south.
    The vandals then charged East on Queen, and then up Yonge st, exactly like the last serious riot in Toronto years ago. They were allowed to run amok.

    So its clear that the police made a decision to leave Yonge St wide open. Again, Yonge St was left wide open, not one single cop, not one single police line anywhere on Yonge for miles, all the way up to College and beyond. (they of course were protecting their own police building, just no one else).

    The police chief has said the vandals said they were planning on attacking the fence, and would vandalize the downtown core to draw the police away from the fence, and the police would not allow them to draw the police away from the fence.

    So that is an admission by the police chief that they allowed the vandals to attack Yonge St. without any interference.

    Later on, there literally was not ONE police officer on Yonge St. Not one, all the way from College to the bottom. Not a single officer, even after all the violence. It was totally lawless.
    So that was a police order, from the police planners, to not have a single cop on Yonge St. Nothing, just lawlessness.

    Meanwhile there were hundreds and thousands of police safe behind their fence, which could not be breached by an army.

    They left the shop owners and citizens of Toronto wide-open to be attacked by a few vandals.
    Why did the police abandon police cars in the middle of the protest area? They abandoned another on Queen just west of Spadina too. Why would the police abandon a number of police cars right in the protest area?

    There were countless hundreds of police safe behind their fence, and they knew full well a small group of vandals in black would vandalize the city core.

    And they let them do it. Even an untrained eye could see the vandals in black getting dressed on Spadina and Queen, of course the professionals in the police were watching that, and did nothing.

    Why did they police not have a series of police lines on Yonge anywhere, like they did further south?
    So the thesis of this article is correct. The police planners chose to leave Yonge St wide open.

    Then later, the police were ordered by the chief to arrest and attack peaceful sit-in protesters, and by then the vandals were long gone. Steve Paikin (twitter) @spaikin explains what happened. They did the same at Queens Park and elsewhere.

    That appears to be the new police strategy. Hide behind fences, let a few teenage vandals run amok for a while and smash windows and attack the city, then suppress all the peaceful protestors with aggressive violence.

    Why didn’t the police use some positive violence to stop the few vandals in black? 100 police could have dispersed them on Yonge St, or even Queen St, but they let them run wild. Again, there was NOT A SINGLE COP FROM QUEEN AND JOHN FOR MILES ALL THE WAY UP YONGE PAST COLLEGE. NOT A SINGLE COP. They left the vandals openly stated target area unprotected.

    Even in theory, if the police “tried” to protect, they failed miserably. The police strategy would have to be called a miserable failure. But its clear that it was not a mistake, they left the east flank on Queen wide open, and they knew the vandals would attack the downtown core, and they let them do it, with nothing to stop them.

    The police failed to protect those who work on Yonge St, and simply left them with no police protection whatsoever. The police were negligent and failed to protect Yonge St. Even after the attacks, there literally was not one single police officer anywhere on Yonge St, until the very bottom of Yonge.

    Why did the police abandon the shop owners on Yonge St, and fail to protect them? Why did the police stay behind their fence, and in front of the police headquarters, and abandon the Yonge St merchants and citizens?

    Notice how there was not one single mark on the G20 fence. The police protected the fence. But the police totally abandoned Queen St and Yonge St. They left it wide open, with literally not one single police office anywhere. Not one.”

    Observer 521:

    “Even the Sun actually shows how this is what happened.
    http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/joe_warmington/2010/06/26/1453

    There was ONE cop at Yonge and Gerrard, and he ran away, and left the store owner to have hiis store trashed by one punk, as can be seen in the video. One cop could have stopped the unarmed vandal, but they left the citizens to be attacked with no police protection. The police ran away.

    But he didn’t mention how not only did the police not arrest whoever torched the car on Queen, there were about 40 riot police right around the corner just standing there and letting the car burn, and a firetruck did not come for well over 30 minutes. Buildings could have burnt down. The police were horribly negligent.

    There were hundreds, even thousands of police behind the fence, but none on Queen. None.

    We asked the paramedics on Queen where the firetrucks were, as the fire was burning in the street, and they laughed sarcastically and said they were probably eating dinner. The paramedics were right there, as they could see the crowd was not a threat.

    Again, the firetruck would have been ordered by police to stay away. What if a building were torched? They would have let Queen St burn.

    http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/joe_warmington/2010/06/26/14531361.html

    “And no matter the excuse given in the aftermath of this dark and unnecessary day in Toronto’s history, they are not going to convince shop owner Zohrab Kilislian that up to 10,000 police officers suited up in riot gear could not have handled the 25 scumballs who caused all of these fires and mass destruction. He doesn’t get to leave this mess behind. “Where are the police?” said the shaken owner of Barclay Jewelry at the corner of Yonge and Gerrard Sts. as he cleaned the glass from his shattered from window. “There was one police officer here and he ran away,” said Kilislian.

    But Kilislian has been in business at that location for 30 years, paid his taxes and said when he needed somebody to protect his property, they were nowhere to be found. He wants to know why the people who did this were not arrested when they torched the first police cruiser at King and Bay Sts.
    He feels his store didn’t have to be vandalized and looted.

    While there were virtually no police on Yonge, there were copious amounts in riot gear strung all along Richmond St. and up at police headquarters on College St.”

  16. Dave says:

    Man, these G-20 type events have to be the photojournalists wet dream – they get their “war porn” type pics without having to deal with the messiness of being in an actual war zone.

  17. William M says:

    Hold this at the Calgary Stampede where running around is expected.

    Harper is a rodeo clown afterall.

  18. Toronto was a bad location for the G20 Summit. However, Toronto needs to be prepared for any major international event.

    Toronto Police Chief, William Blair, and other police officers made the mistake of treating all citizens like criminals. They should have developed ties to community/labour/protest groups to create a place close to the G20 Summit where citizens could peacefully protest within earshot of the G20 leaders (while ensuring their security at the same time). The riot police should not have been deployed near any peaceful protest. To see riot officers (even if they were located just behind the cops on bikes) present at Spadina and Queen made any citizen feel like a criminal. No person should have been asked for ID if they were present near the fence. The police do not ask citizens for ID; only people who get arrested get asked for ID. Also, had the police chief treated the people in Toronto as citizens, more people would have ventured downtown this weekend. The downtown core should have been a vibrant place where citizens could watch out for Black Bloc thugs. With Blair alienating the citizens, there were very few people to watch out or try to stop the Black Blog thugs who vandalized stores and other property.

  19. e says:

    Mr. Harper held the G20 in TO in hope of impressing TO voters.

  20. Cath says:

    Hey Warren – why haven’t we heard from the candidates for mayor on this issue yet? Seems it would be a fabulous one to get in a first response, no? Actually many silent Toronto politicians of all stripes now that I think of it.

      • Cath says:

        getting out ahead on this is prime for anyone of leadership fabric – I mean this is the city they want to lead for Pete’s sake, if not one of them comes out with an official statement or news release in the next 12 hours then none of them deserve the job.

  21. Wannabeapiper says:

    Off topic and probably juvenile on my part but a simple unsophisticated question-Why isn’t 1st Ave & E 44th St , New York, NY 10017, the regular home for the G20/8?
    I am sure there is a good reason-teach me!

    Also, will the 500-700 police charges get the revolving door at the courthouse?

    • Namesake says:

      Re: why not at the U.N.: Blame Canada! (specifically: Kiefer, who proved to the keen, can’t distinguish fiction from reality Reformatory minds like Stockwell Day, that just 1 determined Canarchist could get to any leader he wanted & compromise & derail top-level negotiations at that very site:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24_%28season_8%29

  22. Namesake says:

    You* still here? Seriously?! You wanna declare a victory out of this mess?

    Trouble with you fleas & ticks who feast on roadkill at S.D.A. & hail from places like Red Deer (see the breathless Roland Hedley tweets from the Wildrose Alliance Party convention two nights ago at http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/014304.html ) is: you carry West Vile Disease.

    You know, the mad cow ( http://www.medicinenet.com/west_nile_encephalitis/article.htm ;
    http://warrenkinsella.com/2010/06/anyone-anyone/#comment-5305 )

    Go darken someone else’s floor.

    * http://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/380*258/100624-mosquito_1.jpg

  23. JH says:

    WK – you are right what will and will not be remembered, moreso than you think perhaps. However I suspect a lot of the media types probably take a look at this blog. A mulititude of politicians I’m sure do as well. I think of myself as small town Canada and an average Canadian, as are most of my friends and acquaintances. I might add we vote for different parties at different times. Many of us agree with those on here who think the journalistic profession in this country has a lot to answer for. We also think that certain politicians who appeared to give comfort and support to thugs and criminals, for the sake of political expediencey, will pay a price in the future. In this case the pictures have been worth a thousand words and the rationalizations mean very little. Whatever ‘G’ decisions were made ( and yes some were very bad), it was incumbent upon those in positions of power and influence to behave responsibly when the rubber hit the road. Many did not and this will be remembered.

    • Cath says:

      well said JH.

      I met a woman yesterday at my local farmer’s market who told me that her daughter went down to the protests with friends just to be a part of the whole scene. Because she’d never been to a protest. She took her camera and just wanted to be there for the experience. It’s a good three hour drive to T.O. from me. I was shocked that what I was hearing this woman tell me was something akin to protest tourism – a bit of a sick idea but how many others went down there just to watch the happenings? And looking for what to happen exactly? Did the protesters put on a type of show for these folks?

      I have to wonder what may be the expectation of people attending the protests and if the media doesn’t maybe sensationalize things a bit much to make it sound like an appealing place to be?

      Ok…I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s when life for me was all about revolution and fighting the establishment so riots and protesting was just a part of growing up in that time.
      I sure don’t remember the destruction though unless in the race riots in Detroit, Buffalo.

  24. james smith says:

    Gord,
    1- Ever heard of New York? They have a thing you may of heard of it’s call the UN. This UN? They host something every autumn called THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY – something like EVER world leader comes to speak – you should check it out. Unless of course you like anarchists trashing stuff.

    2- Really? I guess if you’re store was vandalized you’d be happy that your livelihood was taken away ’cause hey, it’s a small price to pay to prove that punks are stupid. Oh, & BTW no insurance coverage – it’s a riot, sorry. Oh, & out of the X quad billion bucks spent – no pennies for victims of vandalism – sucks to be you. Read TVO’s S. Pakin’s blog, read the HuffPost, about how the Police beat some of those punk reporters, cause hey, who can blame a professional for loosing their cool & not doing the job they were trained to do? I guess if one accepts your POV, Instant Catharsis is acceptable, prob is, this cuts both ways it is generally called playground justice, ie he hit me, so I can hit him back.

    You may be sadden to know that at a party yesterday, many geezers like me with a variety of political POV’s the consensus was:
    1- This G20 cost is outrageous (most loudly expounded by Tories – sorry)
    2- Having it in Toronto was a colossal mistake
    3- This event is about political vanity
    Where folks differed was who was to blame cops or rioters, but most of the geezers tended to agree with the title of Mr K’s POST, ie, wither the COPS?

    • James Smith says:

      Gord,
      Funny story, used to live there (my Pop was born in Hells Kitchen – even know where that is boy-o without the Google?). To answer you question, yes many times, for example few years ago I sat in a crowd that included a couple of Senators who happen to later duke it out for president of them United States. The reason I mentioned the General Assembly is that I have been in the city a couple of times – another day in the five boroughs.
      I was in the city attempting to study art the summer the city was bankrupt in the 1970’s when the murder rate rivaled Detroit & Jerry Ford told the city to “Stuff it”. I know of lots of bad crap that goes on in the city second hand from two cousins who are cops in the city. So please, do not attempt to change the subject by lecturing me – armed only opinion about the big bad apple.
      The point is YOU OBVIOUSLY DID NOT READ THE ATTACHMENTS. Perhaps you like the idea of living in an unsheltered land where tear gas is a way of life, where hyperbole like yours is read as fact. I, on the other hand, have CHOSEN to live in a more peaceful & respectful place where the police have to answer for tactics like detaining scores of bystanders & protesters alike, in the rain, for three to six hours without charges being laid, or without statements being made to the media.

      Thanks Mr K for the forum, many folks like me are shocked at what we’ve seen in the past 36 hours. Shocked at the punks, shocked by images, & frankly shocked by some of the voices I’ve heard here. Now I’m just wondering how the honk I’m going to get from the GO Train to work tomorrow.

  25. Philip says:

    “getting physical with one of these punks”. Easy there Gord, this is a PG-13 blog. Not really the place to be airing your rough trade fantasies is it old chap?

  26. Brammer says:

    Watching CP24 since 5 PM – Queen and Spadina. Four journalists arrested, people not being told where to go, but are encircled by massive police presence. People being pulled out of the crowd and arrested at random. No black bloc here.

    This make me angry and scared. What the hell is going on?

    Sorry WK, but after secretly enacting new police powers, Harper’s new BFF, Dalton, is going to wear this one.

    • another Greg says:

      Indeed! The CBC website contains numerous reports, and photos, of the black-clad thugs on both sides donning and stripping their battle-gear.

  27. Jim Allen says:

    One can expect the lengthy critisms and the ongoing speculation as here in this provincial
    city we like to judge everything and everyone. It stands to reason we will be talking about this forever.

    Who cares because the world is all about the rich and the poor. Someone has to mediate it. The sad part is that Mr. Harper does not like Tornto but would he do something that stupid to make us look bad. The police did the best they could and what they may not have had up front was good information. It took a day or two to dig out the morons who did the damage. Whta di you expect for everything to be totally without incident.? The fact no one was killed or injurered is good enough and Chief Blair needs to be credited. Of course I think CTV asked for it, while they edited there take to make sure the police were no where to be found during a few takes.
    Media needs a spanking.
    They should not be surprised and they did take over city TV and they have not made it any more sophistigated than it was or will never be. Harper has nobody on the horizon that will touch him for years and he accomplished whatever his agenda was. We, the pooror former middle , are not powerful enough to do one thing about it.

    Jim Allen

  28. James says:

    Warren I don’t know how often you speak to Premier McGuinty, but for the love of god man, have him apologize for authorizing such a massive police presence + unlimited police powers. Read about what happened to people exercising the lawful right of protest. There is nothing Canadian about what happened. Dalton is too good of a dude to wear this.

    • JStanton says:

      …turns out that effectively, nothing happened. No casualties – just normal breakage and hurt feelings. Only 2 cruisers were torched, and, when measuring public dissent through my patented “flaming cruisers” scale, this means that we live in a free and stable society, and know it. Thanks Mr. McGuinty.

      In perspective, this is a similar footprint to students protesting fee increases in Paris or Rome.

  29. JStanton says:

    I’m just grateful that there are folks out there willing to make the effort to protest on my behalf. I went clubbing in Montreal all weekend and missed the whole thing. Nobody on St. Laurent seemed to be visibly affected by the G20 imbroglio, as they ate, drank and courted.

    From all of us ordinary folks who have been meaning to, but haven’t quite gotten ’round to it, thanks for torching those cop cars. Nothing quite underscores the enormous gulf between the government or their corporate sponsors, and the rest of society, like footage of flaming cruisers.

    It’s important to understand, however, that if the full impact of the nation’s unrest were to be manifested, in terms of torching cop cars, then just about all of them would be on fire.

    Cop Cruisers are like those expensive alcohol-laden coffees after a good restaurant meal – something has to burn to make it complete. In this case, flaming cruisers are how we measure our determination to keep our society democratic..

    Essentially, governments have agreed that working schlubs will backstop any compensation promises made to corporate executives, because they are “too big to fail”. That alone makes me want to slap the government severely, but all I have at my disposal is the ability to demonstrate my displeasure… um… if I petition them for permission.

    Its like asking the rapist for permission to decline their advances.

    I’m just surprised at our self restraint. Is it a matter of timing? When this goes down, you’ve got my back, right? …right?

  30. jenjen says:

    Its classic Mike Harris populism. Provoke fights with the ‘anti-globalization’ crowd by holding it in a place where there was obviously going to be trouble.

    Then he can galvanize his base- the ‘anti-anti-globalization’ crowd!

  31. Michael Behiels says:

    The clash between the 20,000 Police Force that was gathered in Toronto and the “Black-Glad” was highly predictable.
    Indeed, Mr Faggan, the Head of CSIS, made it amply clear to everyone that the threat of terrorism in Toronto was very low. But, the threat of Anarchism and Hooliganism was very, very high. So, it was no surprise to me that the violence clashes occurred.
    What was and is surprising is the incompetent manner in which the 20,000 strong Police Force handled the situation. The Police deliberately set a trap for the Anarchists and Hooligans, one located far from the Conference fortress and then moved in but only after the police cars had been torched and property damage had been done. There were no preventative measures taken!
    I agree with Warren that there needs to be an inquiry as to how and why the Police Force conducted itself in this very deliberate way.
    There is no doubt in my mind that PM Harper desperately needed cover for his questionable decision to move the G20 to Toronto and then his decision to deploy a robust Police Force of 20,000 with Armed Forces back-up.
    While the Conference venue remained intact behind two Fences – Fortress G20 – the Harper government still needed a direct conflict with the Anarchists and the Hooligans. These nut-bars fell into the trap!!
    Citizens around the world got to see only one side of Toronto: A city under siege by some 200 Anarchists and Hooligans confronted by 20,000 Police.
    The Mayor of Toronto was right. The G20 should never have been imposed on the citizens of Toronto by Prime Minister. Harper has nothing but utter contempt for Canada’s urban citizens and this was displayed in spades by what happened this week-end in Toronto.
    Harper got the photo ops that his government craved but Toronto and Canada’s finest got the photo ops they did not want or did not deserve.

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