Find Out What Happened at the Toronto G20

Please find out what happened during the Toronto G20. It’s scary as hell.

The articles I’ve found most informative:

Straight Goods:
“Things Changed at Queen Street”
“Leaders Play, People Pay”

Mostly Water:
Journalists Illegally Detained and Searched en Mass
Bedlam Continues to Reign in Toronto

Montreal Gazette:
‘Secret’ law lets police arrest for failing to show ID near summit

The Globe and Mail:
Toronto police knew they had no extra arrest powers
Bill Blair admits there was no outside perimeter law – G20

The Cliff Notes version goes like this:

Downtown Toronto was selected as the location for the G20 when there are a number of more suitable locations and venues easily available. Toronto could be locked down enough to disrupt normal life, but not enough to prevent intentional violence. The security budget for this G20 was over 900 million dollars, which is outrageously large in comparison to similar security budgets for G20s held in the UK and US. A “secret law” was passed stating that anyone within a 5 metre distance of the security perimeter could be arrested if they did not present ID (It later came out that there was no law that gave the police that authority, but they did not inform the public of this). During the summit and protests two police squad cars were parked near Queen St. and Spadina and abandoned by the police with their windows rolled down. Later that day one of the cars was set on fire. Police and the fire dept. responded, surrounding the vehicle and putting out the fire. Hours later the second squad car was set on fire and allowed to grow into the tower of flames that has by his point become iconic. Curious on lookers were attracted to the smoke. Police in riot gear responded to the fire, but instead of simply surrounding the vehicle and waiting for the fire dept. they aggressively pushed all onlookers back and into an active intersection. In the evening an entire intersection full of protesters and those going about their daily lives was surrounded and held for several hours during a rain storm before being arrested and detained. Buses were brought in to give police shelter from the rain. Ultimately, over a 1000 people were arrested during the summit, many of them detained for hours or days in makeshift holding facilities. During these events the black bloc, as the black clad vandals have come to be known, seemed to move and act with impunity. The police primarily focused on confronting and detaining large groups of people, as opposed to actually stopping the small groups responsible for the ongoing vandalism.

The ultimate result of the events surrounding the G20 work in the favor of Canada’s present Conservative government. The images of burning police cars and vandalized stores will serve to paint political activism and anything else which confronts its rampant hyper-capitalism as criminal and unworthy of respect.


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