Here's a video that everyone pissed off over the idiots in black should watch.
A peaceful crowd of protestors is standing around, singing O Canada. As soon as they finish, the riot squad charges:
Here's an overhead view:
Staff Superintendent Jeff McGuire of the Toronto Police Service held a press conference to address questions about police actions this evening at Queen and Spadina. He said that police took the actions that they did (roughly: charging the crowd and detaining many people for hours on site without charge or explanation) because they have received information that Black Bloc protesters were in the crowd as well as "people who chose not to disassociate themselves" from them
This editorial strikes me as spot on. A childhood buddy, now in the RCMP, was on duty in T.O. I'll be interested in his take.
Toronto Star wrote:G20 EDITORIAL: BRUTAL SPECTACLE FAILED A CITY AND ITS PEOPLE
June 28, 2010
The G20 security strategy has been spectacularly successful at cocooning the world’s leading politicians and staggeringly ineffective at protecting the property and peace of mind of Torontonians. And the one, inevitably, led to the other.
By bringing in thousands of heavily armed strangers and throwing up barricades everywhere to regular traffic, frightening off good and decent citizens, Canadian authorities created a ghost town in the heart of our city.
Perfect for the political leaders. Protesters were kept blocks away from where the deliberations were going on.
And most protesters conducted themselves faultlessly as the global good and great met behind rings of gulag-like fencing and battalions of police beating Plexiglas shields with batons in a primitive show of might.
It was, however, less than perfect for the city, its businesses and its inhabitants. The only force that can prevent vandalism and mayhem in a city is the presence of its population. Surely that was the lesson every urban planner learned from looking south to the hollowed-out urban war zones of the United States in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
No police force, no matter how large, how well armed, how empowered to limit the civil rights of citizens, can stop vandalism in the empty shell of a city. Canadian authorities have proved that two days and nights running.
The strategy that ensured G20 leaders would never have to see a Canadian who wasn’t a politician, a police officer or a waiter lacked even a glimmer of common sense when it came to the security of Toronto and Torontonians.
They took our city to hold a meeting and bullied us out of the core, damaging the commerce of thousands of merchants and inconveniencing the entire population. Then, they failed to protect our property. Along Yonge St., as self-described anarchists were smashing stores unopposed, terrified merchants and their staffs sought shelter behind counters and in basements. If these establishments had been set alight, all of the thousands of fearsomely equipped police would have been able to do little more to save our citizens than they did to save their burning cruisers.
For the last few days, the city has looked like a vast reality TV set, where heavily garbed gladiators in black, burdened under bullet-proof vests, guns, walkie-talkies, shields and batons, try to chase down a wild, quick-footed band of anti-gladiators in black sweat suits and bandanas. And it cost us $1.2-billion to stage and choreograph this grossly unequal contest.
Canadian authorities knew that this overweening show of paramilitary hubris would draw the violent dregs of nihilism from around the world. Previous summits offered stark and certain warnings. Given that, the attempt to provide security for the city and its inhabitants has been a sad and disturbing failure.
What is the critical lesson?
Don’t even try to hold international political conferences with this kind of explosive ideological charge in the heart of a major urban centre. You sacrifice either the safety of the politicians or the safety of the city.
The idea that this was an effective way to show off Toronto to foreign guests is bewilderingly stupid.
Canadian authorities created a city no citizen could recognize and no visitor could admire. Then, they allowed a pack of brutes to trash it.
In another move to bring the RCMP and Toronto Metro Police a well-deserved black eye:
(Steve Paikin is a very serious, well-respected journalist.)
CBC wrote:Freelance journalist Jesse Rosenfeld says police beat him Saturday night in Toronto as he covered a G20 demonstration.
A second journalist who witnessed the incident said it was "not a great night for democracy."
Steve Paikin, host of TVO's The Agenda public affairs show, was watching protesters on a downtown Toronto street, the Esplanade, on Saturday night.
In a message posted on Twitter, Paikin wrote that the demonstration was peaceful. "It was like an old sit-in. No one was aggressive, and yet riot squad officers moved in."
Police told him to leave, and "as I was escorted away from the demonstration, I saw two officers hold a journalist."
"The journalist identified himself as working for the Guardian," Paikin tweeted. "He talked too much and pissed the police off. Two officers held him. A third punched him in the stomach. Totally unnecessary. The man collapsed. Then the third officer drove his elbow into the man's back."
The man was Rosenfeld, 26, a left-wing freelancer from Toronto who is now based in the Middle East.
"An officer came up to me, looked at my ID, my alternative media centre press pass and said: 'This isn't a legitimate press pass. Put him under arrest!'" Rosenfeld said.
"At which point I was immediately jumped and beaten. The officer grabbed my arm, ripped it behind my back. I was punched in the stomach to make me go down to the ground. I was being hit in the ribs.
"All the time I was saying 'I am not resisting arrest. I am a journalist. Why are you beating me?'"
According to Paikin, "this guy is about 5-foot-4, 140 pounds. I later spoke to his father and found out he's only got one kidney, and he's an asthmatic. Hard to see how he was a threat to anything."
"Not a great night for democracy in our city, the way I saw it."
Toronto police said Rosenfeld is welcome to file a complaint. He has hired a lawyer.
Rosenfeld was not the only person whose arrest perturbed Paikin.
On Sunday, he said he had heard from author and academic Valerie Zawilski. She had just been released from jail after being arrested for breaching peace during the Saturday night demonstration. "Gimme a break," Paikin tweeted.
Toronto Star wrote:A Toronto veterinarian says he awoke around 4 a.m. Saturday to the sight of a gun pointed at him by a black-clad police officer standing at the foot of his bed.
Then, says John Booth, he was told to keep his hands visible and to produce identification, asked questions about a man named Peter he had never met, detained on his lawn in handcuffs for half an hour, and informed he would be charged with the crime of conspiracy to commit mischief — before being released by apologetic officers who belatedly realized he had no connection with the alleged anarchist organizer they were seeking.
“There was a gun in my face. I’ll never forget that,” said Booth, 30, of an incident he and his wife described as exasperating, traumatic, and at moments terrifying.
“I woke up to two people in the hallway opening Finn’s room,” said Hanna, 31, who was sleeping in a different room from John to be close to her 6-month-old son. “And I didn’t believe they were cops, even when they showed me their badges. I thought, ‘That looks official, but how could a cop be in my home?’ Not ringing the doorbell — they’re in my room. I’m in my panties and a tank top, my kid’s screaming his head off, he’s so scared, the tension in the house — it was just the most horrible and absurd thing.”
The officers, John Booth said, were apparently unaware that his three-storey High Park-area house is split into two apartments. Booth, a vet at the Richview Animal Hospital, lives in the upper apartment with Hanna, a vet on the Toronto Humane Society board of directors, and their son. Organizers with the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, which is assisting G20 protest groups, live in the lower apartment.
John Booth said the officers, who entered through an unlocked door, sidestepped repeated requests to show him a warrant. He said they alternately promised to produce it later, claimed to have showed it to someone else, or simply said no.