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'I have lived in toronto for 32 years. have never seen a day like this' Journalist Steve Paikin's twitter account of protest

| June 27, 2010

Journalist Steve Paikin, calling it an awful night for democracy, witnessed quite a bit in yesterday's demonstration(s), including being "escorted" away by police, and you can read his series of tweets right here. 

Some highlights:

i have lived in toronto for 32 years. have never seen a day like this. shame on the vandals.

so the police just started arresting people. i stress, this was a peaceful, middle class, diverse crowd. no anarchists

the demonstration on the esplanade was peaceful. it was like an old sit in. no one was aggressive. and yet riot squad officers moved in.

i saw police brutality tonight. it was unnecessary. they asked me to leave the site or they would arrest me. i told them i was dong my job.

ppl standing around with hands in air. this was peaceful. it won't be now. unprovoked attack by police

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oh, and by the way Steve, many many anarchists come from the middle classes and from very diverse communities. You should get out more and shed the stereotypes.

Not sure where else in the world Steve Paikin has lived but this was mild by international standards. I think the infringement of rights to freedom of assembly and expression should be those most loudly condemned, along with the unprovoked aggression and over reaction by police. I would say that activists everywhere have to re-visit the tired tactics and inject some fresh and innovative approaches to undermining the status quo. I personally have no problem with symbolic burning of police cruisers (which were placed there by police for that very purpose me thinks) or shattered windows of a few Starbucks and banks (hardly shatters their profit margins) but nothing new on the last 10 years. The other problem is the very biased mainstream television coverage (which the vast majority of Canadians tune into for their information) of such events and the hysterical over reaction by reporters to some arguably mainstream violent protest. The opinions of protesters never feature and the analysis is so mind-numbingly narrow. We should be calling for heads at the public broadcaster - terrible terrible coverage by the CBC. CTV no better!

I'm glad that Steve Paikin had opportunity to witness first hand what has been going on at every protest for the past ten years.

The police/riot squads try to contain peaceful protesters, then bash/arrest them.

in Quebec City amongst the many alleyways they tried to form lines, you had to have a sense of the movement and outlet routes very quickly.  they did this in US protests, at the Bush protest in Ottawa, in Montebello, in fact i can't think of one protest where they didn't use this approach.  they usually wait until the main body of the march has moved away to circle round.

you really don't want to get caught in that circle.  the cd's always get trashed. (peaceful civil disobedience-ground sitters.)  the provocateurs get off scott-free and go for a round of beers behind the fence. same old.

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