Aging Agitator James Laxer, who is constantly on the look out for a demonstration to attend, entered the red zone of the G20 summit this morning.
He rose early to be sure to make it to downtown Toronto before day's end. Much to his surprise as he pointed his ten-year-old vehicle southward, traffic was exceptionally light. He later reported that he had never seen such non-existent traffic in the city. "It looked like downtown Calgary," he uttered. "That's one more achievement the Harper government can claim. They've killed Toronto, long regarded by them as a menace."
Laxer's car sped past Queen's Park where he hoped to find some fellow mal-contents. On the south lawn of the legislature -- with heavily armed policemen, wearing flack jackets, standing by -- he saw a tiny group of people waving their arms rhythmically. His hopes were dashed, however, when he realized they were doing Tai Chi.
The drive down University Avenue was even faster. Hospital employees at Mount Sinai were sitting outside drinking coffee (and puffing on cigarettes, oh dear) and serious looking spooks in bullet-proof vests with ear pieces in place were standing at the ready in front of the U.S. Consulate.
At every intersection, the cops were in place, as Laxer sailed toward the Fake Lake. He noted a sign that warned that traffic would be halted south of King St. Not deterred, he drove south of King and then Wellington and found himself surrounded by chain fences on all sides. At Front St., he turned right and drove down a corridor with chain fences on both sides. Heavily armed police and paramilitary watched warily as his vehicle passed. Laxer later said it looked like they were prepared for anything, except maybe an earthquake or a tornado. A great weekend for donuts and overtime for thousands in uniform, he figured.
As he drove past the front door of the Convention Centre, where world leaders will meet, he muttered to himself that with the fence in front it looks like the air force base at Plattsburgh, New York. "Shit," he exclaimed. "The Guardian newspaper is going to make mincemeat of Canada again."
Having carried out his one-person protest inside the red zone -- with the slogan: "Workers of the World, Give Me a Call" -- he drove up Spadina still on the hunt for action. He parked on Bloor (no problem finding a parking spot), and went to Book City, where many revolutionary screeds are for sale. A woman in her forties was the only other customer. She said she loved the ease of getting downtown today and hoped there'd be many more summits held here.
Laxer went for a coffee, spied some Brazil fans, and shook his head in disbelief. "Well at least I got past the fence," he told anyone who would listen.
(Photo above: Laxer stands in the centre of deserted Bloor St. and gestures to no one.)
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