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G20 Update: It's Crazy in Toronto tonight!

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 10:12 PM
  • 5 Replies

On my way to see my friend from India, in town to report on the G20 I got stuck in the middle of the mayhem. Vandals smashing stores and lighting police cars on fire. I was on the subway when it got stopped. No one allowed into the core of the city...my friend now in lockdown at this hotel, I feel ashamed that this is his first view of Canada.

It's a good thing that I didn't reach my friend's hotel (the place we were meeting for dinner) or else I would be staying over at his hotel. Very crazy in Toronto tonight. I assure you this is not the norm!

sh

by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 10:12 PM
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smurfiest
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 10:17 PM

"A group of G20 protesters roamed Toronto’s streets Saturday, lighting police cars on fire and laying waste to city blocks, and much of the destruction could be blamed on a protest tactic known as Black Bloc.

While the Black Bloc has been cited as an organization in the past, it’s actually a tactic, according to websites devoted to the method.

The Black Bloc strategy is simple: show up at demonstrations and attack symbols of capitalism. The hope is that police will react, while the protesters shed their black clothes and melt into the crowd.

One website claims it is used as a “security and safety measure.”

The idea of wearing the all-black uniform is that everyone in the “bloc” looks alike, so when a brick is tossed through a store window or a car is set ablaze, the group disperses, making it next to impossible for police to identify the perpetrator of the crime.

It also prevents them from being singled out in media photographs or television coverage."

smurfiest
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 10:21 PM

"Toronto police Chief Bill Blair, speaking at a 9:15 p.m. news conference, said 75 arrests were made during the day.

Blair also confirmed that tear gas was deployed by authorities for the first time in Toronto.

"It was used after a warning was given to the public about its impending use."

Toronto Mayor David Miller said a small group of "thugs" were to blame for the violence.

“People are calling them protesters. That is not fair to the people who came to protest,” he said.

In a statement Saturday evening, federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the images of violence are "truly shocking to Canadians" and he condemned the attacks by radical protesters.

"We are taking all measures necessary to ensure Canadians, delegates, media and international visitors remain safe," Toews said.

As the demonstration started just after 1 p.m. ET at the legislature, the mood was upbeat and peaceful. Protesters danced, clapped and chanted while carrying signs, flags and umbrellas as they first moved from the legislature grounds down one of the city's main thoroughfares, University Avenue.

But the mood turned ugly as members of splinter groups broke away in attempts to move toward the summit site. They used a tactic commonly known as the Black Block, in which protesters wearing black hoodies, masks, balaclavas and skateboard helmets engage in violent behaviour."




MPWifeJessicia
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 10:23 PM

That's so scary! I'm glad you are okay!

TrishKing
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 10:31 PM


Quoting MPWifeJessicia:

That's so scary! I'm glad you are okay!

Thanks but some people are still stranded - they had to shut the subway down. I simply got lucky - was too late for one protest and too early for when things got really crazy! Toronto is NEVER like this. I feel really bad for my friend but he has covered worse. He was at the taj mahal when it was invaded and bandits shooting out the window. This is nothing for him! LOL

TrishKing
by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 10:33 PM


Quoting smurfiest:

"Toronto police Chief Bill Blair, speaking at a 9:15 p.m. news conference, said 75 arrests were made during the day.

Blair also confirmed that tear gas was deployed by authorities for the first time in Toronto.

"It was used after a warning was given to the public about its impending use."

Toronto Mayor David Miller said a small group of "thugs" were to blame for the violence.

“People are calling them protesters. That is not fair to the people who came to protest,” he said.

In a statement Saturday evening, federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the images of violence are "truly shocking to Canadians" and he condemned the attacks by radical protesters.

"We are taking all measures necessary to ensure Canadians, delegates, media and international visitors remain safe," Toews said.

As the demonstration started just after 1 p.m. ET at the legislature, the mood was upbeat and peaceful. Protesters danced, clapped and chanted while carrying signs, flags and umbrellas as they first moved from the legislature grounds down one of the city's main thoroughfares, University Avenue.

But the mood turned ugly as members of splinter groups broke away in attempts to move toward the summit site. They used a tactic commonly known as the Black Block, in which protesters wearing black hoodies, masks, balaclavas and skateboard helmets engage in violent behaviour."




Thanks for the updates! I watched the live broadcast - I know Cheif Blair. A really good guy but he is pissed! Don't blame him. Torching police cars is shameful but there are 12,000 army personal in the wait if things really get nuts - it's gonna be a looong night!

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