G20 police let rioters run amok and then struck back hard at all activists

| June 27, 2010
This is what a rubber bullet wound looks like. Photo: Yee Guan Wong.

Alongside my neighbours from the Danforth area, I joined the large march on Saturday afternoon on the first day of the G20 Summit in Toronto. We felt proud to be there alongside over 10,000 other Canadians -- women, unionists, students, teachers, people of all ethnicities and backgrounds -- demonstrating our commitment to peace and social justice. We passed by hundreds and hundreds of police without an incident.

Soon afterwards, while catching a meal on the patio at Fran's Restaurant on College Street, we heard glass breaking on Yonge Street, and saw a mob of about 150 coming around the corner, hurling chairs into windows. Someone threw a bottle through a window showering me in broken glass. What was most striking was that there were not any police in sight.

Evidently this group had started rioting on Queen Street over half an hour earlier -- where the police drove one of their cars into the middle of the group then abandoned it. It was soon set on fire -- making a great photo op.

The group proceeded up Yonge Street smashing windows all the way up Yonge Street, at least eight blocks, without being stopped by police.

There were reported to be 19,000 security people on duty, and a senior officer told me they had 7,000 police.

As an academic and an activist, I have participated in numerous demonstrations in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America, and I have never seen such a dereliction of duty.

Normally, there are buses full of riot police right in the downtown core, ready to move at a moment's notice.

The police knew that they should focus their energies on the Black Bloc, especially so late on Saturday afternoon.

But when the rioters came smashing their way up the main street of Toronto, the police disappeared for half an hour.

It would appear that the security forces allowed this riot to happen in order to justify the $1 billion which appeared to have been wasted on security measures in Huntsville and Toronto.

They must not be allowed to discredit those of us who protested peacefully.

We must hold this government responsible for wasting $1 billion dollars on security measures, and then trying to justify it by allowing people to riot.

David Langille is the executive producer for Poor No More, a feature documentary on Canada's working poor.

 

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Comments

Why didn't you confront them. Oh well easier to criticize. If the police had moved in you would complain that they were heavy handed. No the protest movement has to start taking more responsibility for its members. Unions and advocacy groups need to step up and denounce these idiots, but they don't. everyone needs to confront these twits. If we all did and en mass protested peacefully we'd actually have a legitimate voice.

Comment deleted by author.

Of course the police tactic would be to do nothing:

 

1) perhaps they were agent provocateurs among the bloc, initiating violence.  this tactic has been used before and is not uncommon;

2) the more rioting and broken glass, the more justification for their jobs and budgets;

3) roiting gives them the appearance of the need to crackdown on otherwise peaceful protests and shut people up, the true goal of the state mechanisms of repression.

 

don't be so naive!

There is clearly something ineffective with the government's approach to holding an orderly summit like the G20 should be. The government spent a billion dollars, but did not prevent disruption and made matters worse. The government's current approach is failing.  Walling down the city, forming lines of militarized police and weakening of civil liberties are all the wrong ways of ensuring that a summit is orderly and transparent.

The entire approach - from building a billion dollar fortress, pushing protests far from the venue (as if protesting near a venue is the sole measure of insecurity) and dressing police in militarized gear - does not work and only makes matters worse.  This approach prevents ordinary people from voicing themselves in a democracy, marginalizes protest (which weakens democracy), shuts down the expression of diverse views, weakens civility and disrupts communities. The result of this failure is a community in shock, divided by distractions and afraid of what's next. The real issues don't get discussed. The government fails to do its job, and yet the next time around we get only more of the same bad ideas for how to conduct an orderly summit.

There are better ways to hold summit events like the G20, including by placing events in locations less disruptive, working in co-ordination with planned protests to ensure that voices are heard in a safe way that respects the rights and safety of summit neighbours and the protesters.  Staging a fight is not the right way to hold a summit, and if that is what the government wanted then we have spent a billion dollars to weaken our democracy. That would be a terrible shame! The responsibility for ensuring that summits are orderly falls on the government, which has the duty and resources to make sure that its meetings are transparent, safe and orderly.  Government has this duty and clearly this government is failing to live up to its obligations.

This is what happened.

 

At Queen and Spadina, for probably close to an hour, the group of vandals dressed in black, were getting ready to do something, right out in the open. People watching the crowd could see them in a group. They were right in the middle of the crowd, getting their covering gear on, talking, and getting ready.

Even untrained regular people could see that. Near to the time they were ready, one of them held up a roman candle fireworks.

They then charged east on Queen, and the police simply just let them pass. The police had uncrossable police lines to protect the "fence" to the south, but left the east flank on Queen wide open.

Why was there no proper police lines on Queen St to the east? The police had triple lines the day before to prevent anyone going south, but that day they had nothing to the east, they were all to the south.

The vandals then charged East on Queen, and then up Yonge st, exactly like the last serious riot in Toronto years ago. They were allowed to run amok.

So its clear that the police made a decision to leave Yonge St wide open. Again, Yonge St was left wide open, not one single cop, not one single police line anywhere on Yonge for miles, all the way up to College and beyond. (they of course were protecting their own police building, just no one else).

The police chief has said the vandals said they were planning on attacking the fence, and would vandalize the downtown core to draw the police away from the fence, and the police would not allow them to draw the police away from the fence.

So that is an admission by the police chief that they allowed the vandals to attack Yonge St. without any interference.

Later on, there literally was not ONE police officer on Yonge St. Not one, all the way from College to the bottom. Not a single officer, even after all the violence. It was totally lawless.

So that was a police order, from the police planners, to not have a single cop on Yonge St. Nothing, just lawlessness.

Meanwhile there were hundreds and thousands of police safe behind their fence, which could not be breached by an army.

They left the shop owners and citizens of Toronto wide-open to be attacked by a few vandals.

Why did the police abandon police cars in the middle of the protest area? They abandoned another on Queen just west of Spadina too. Why would the police abandon a number of police cars right in the protest area?

There were countless hundreds of police safe behind their fence, and they knew full well a small group of vandals in black would vandalize the city core.

And they let them do it. Even an untrained eye could see the vandals in black getting dressed on Spadina and Queen, of course the professionals in the police were watching that, and did nothing.

Why did they police not have a series of police lines on Yonge anywhere, like they did further south?

So the thesis of this article is correct. The police planners chose to leave Yonge St wide open.

Then later, the police were ordered by the chief to arrest and attack peaceful sit-in protesters, and by then the vandals were long gone. Steve Paikin (twitter) @spaikin explains what happened. They did the same at Queens Park and elsewhere.

That appears to be the new police strategy. Hide behind fences, let a few teenage vandals run amok for a while and smash windows and attack the city, then suppress all the peaceful protestors with aggressive violence.

Why didn't the police use some positive violence to stop the few vandals in black? 100 police could have dispersed them on Yonge St, or even Queen St, but they let them run wild. Again, there was NOT A SINGLE COP FROM QUEEN AND JOHN FOR MILES ALL THE WAY UP YONGE PAST COLLEGE. NOT A SINGLE COP. They left the vandals openly stated target area unprotected.

Even in theory, if the police "tried" to protect, they failed miserably. The police strategy would have to be called a miserable failure. But its clear that it was not a mistake, they left the east flank on Queen wide open, and they knew the vandals would attack the downtown core, and they let them do it, with nothing to stop them.

The police failed to protect those who work on Yonge St, and simply left them with no police protection whatsoever. The police were negligent and failed to protect Yonge St. Even after the attacks, there literally was not one single police officer anywhere on Yonge St, until the very bottom of Yonge.

Why did the police abandon the shop owners on Yonge St, and fail to protect them? Why did the police stay behind their fence, and in front of the police headquarters, and abandon the Yonge St merchants and citizens?

Notice how there was not one single mark on the G20 fence. The police protected the fence. But the police totally abandoned Queen St and Yonge St. They left it wide open, with literally not one single police office anywhere. Not one.

 

Even the Sun actually shows how this is what happened.

http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/joe_warmington/2010/06/26/1453...

There was ONE cop at Yonge and Gerrard, and he ran away, and left the store owner to have hiis store trashed by one punk, as can be seen in the video. One cop could have stopped the unarmed vandal, but they left the citizens to be attacked with no police protection. The police ran away.

But he didn't mention how not only did the police not arrest whoever torched the car on Queen, there were about 40 riot police right around the corner just standing there and letting the car burn, and a firetruck did not come for well over 30 minutes. Buildings could have burnt down. The police were horribly negligent.

There were hundreds, even thousands of police behind the fence, but none on Queen. None.

We asked the paramedics on Queen where the firetrucks were, as the fire was burning in the street, and they laughed sarcastically and said they were probably eating dinner. The paramedics were right there, as they could see the crowd was not a threat.

Again, the firetruck would have been ordered by police to stay away. What if a building were torched? They would have let Queen St burn.

 

http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/joe_warmington/2010/06/26/14531361.html "And no matter the excuse given in the aftermath of this dark and unnecessary day in Toronto's history, they are not going to convince shop owner Zohrab Kilislian that up to 10,000 police officers suited up in riot gear could not have handled the 25 scumballs who caused all of these fires and mass destruction. He doesn't get to leave this mess behind. "Where are the police?" said the shaken owner of Barclay Jewelry at the corner of Yonge and Gerrard Sts. as he cleaned the glass from his shattered from window. "There was one police officer here and he ran away," said Kilislian.

But Kilislian has been in business at that location for 30 years, paid his taxes and said when he needed somebody to protect his property, they were nowhere to be found. He wants to know why the people who did this were not arrested when they torched the first police cruiser at King and Bay Sts.

He feels his store didn't have to be vandalized and looted.

While there were virtually no police on Yonge, there were copious amounts in riot gear strung all along Richmond St. and up at police headquarters on College St."

police had the same strategy in 2001 Quebec City protests against the FTAA.

this has been mentioned before at babble.

thousands of police and riot police allow a few, provocateurs or not, to throw bricks at length.

later the police arrest passers-by simply overwhelmed with tear gas, sitting on street corners.

it was a way to claim arrests were made and order restored, having just provoked angry reaction with the fence, police state, and broad assaults on people and planet in the first place.

 

I returned to my hotel from the march and the cop at the door told me not to go out to Yonge street. I asked why? He said, "There are a thousand of them coming up Yonge street, smashing everything as they go".  I came in to the hotel to check out, but couldn't leave because the hotel was in lock-down.  After 20 minutes or a half hour, I heard glass breaking and watched from my balcony as a few people, maybe a half dozen, but not even that many threw things in the windows of small stores across from the hotel. They were accompanied by about 100 others and then there was a lull in the number of people coming up Yonge st.

There was not a cop in sight.  Nothing. No helicopters, sirens nothing, police cars, nothing. Finally 15-16 on horseback followed North on Yonge street, but changed course in front of the hotel and went across and up Bay street instead.  Time passed, stragglers walked up Yonge looking at the broken glass and the shop keepers cleaning up.  No cops. nothing. After an hour, passes the hotel is out of lock down - and I ask the cops as I'm leaving, what's the strategy, - aren't there 19,000 of you here? They say- "oh we wish- there's only 11, 000 of us and every officer in the city is where they are supposed to be right now".  Then they say to me, they have been wondering the same thing I have and will be very interested in the police press conference this morning.

My conclusion -- The decision not to arrest and confront the black bloc came from on high. It was justification for the $1.3 billion spent, an attempted diversion from everything we were saying all week long, and will be the justification for all the repression we faced yesterday and will face from now on.

 Craig Kielburger below, (diplomatically) also points out that there were no police anywhere stopping the few dozen vandals.

From the other comments, its obvious the police bosses ordered police to retreat and not do anything until it was too late.

If the police would have had even 100 police cruisers in the downtown area, they easily could have controlled the couple dozen vandals. Instead the police bosses clearly chose to let a few dozen vandals run amok.

The police failed to do their job.

There were riot police arriving in the vans later in the evening on King/Yonge area, getting out of their vans and getting dressed, with no one around. Some of us regular folks were standing literally a few feet away from the riot cops as they got dressed, and they were in a panic responding to the same group of peaceful protestors that Steve Paikin was with, who were a few blocks away.

We came from that group of peaceful protestors, and they were harmless, as said by Steve Paikin who was there.

Clearly, the police bosses on the police radio were exaggerating the problem, and treating the later peaceful protesters some kind of armed mob. For those who went into that "mob" the police went after by Novotel, its was exactly as Steve Paikin said. They were just a bunch of regular people engaging in their right to assemble.

The police should have been trying to calm the situation, and instead they made it worse by attacking peaceful protestors.

The police strategy is now very clear. Abandon the city, and let a few dozen vandals trash a large area with no police anywhere for miles. Then that gives the police a blank cheque. They already have the helicopters out, and can now justify anything. Its the police leadership who have failed to do their job, clearly as part of their strategy.

From now on, since the police allowed a few dozens vandals to vandalize, they can send in riot squads to attack any type of protest and lawful assembly.

If one thinks about it, its quite a clever strategy by the police planners, and their political bosses. After all, if the police presence had stopped the few vandals from damage, then the police would now be criticized for the billions wasted. But from now on, for any type of protest in the city, they will be able to justify thousands of riot officers costing $1,000 a day each, and new equipment, more technology.

In fact, what failed, was a total lack of local policing. This is a deliberate police strategy, and the citizens of Toronto are the victims. 

As Steve Paikin has said, its a sad day for democracy in Toronto. That is a deliberate strategy, as seen by the facts. Police pull back behind their fence, and allow vandals to vandalize,  then they are able to justify the suppression of lawful assembly and lawful dissent, as well a tripling police budgets.

Someone has thought that strategy up very carefully, and its not the police on the street, who just follow orders from their radios. That is coming from those who call the shots from those who run the police, and from those in the highest political office. Its frankly a simple, ruthless and brilliant strategy to suppress the rights of lawful assembly and protest, and to multiply security budgets.

Whoever planned this strategy in the police and political head-office, are having a champagne brunch today. Mission accomplished. Security budgets have now been doubled, or tripled, permanently.

 

 Quote:

http://www.thestar.com/news/globalvoices/article/829262--global-voices-at-g20-violence-steals-the-day-s-message

"What's truly unfortunate is that for blocks they walked unimpeded.

For the $1.2 billion the country spent on security, we saw very little protecting Toronto itself. This small group completely hijacked the peaceful message of the Saturday's demonstration. The police did little to stop them. In the wake of their damage, the only people picking up the pieces were the street medics."

Some of the most clever people in the protest movements need to think up a counter-strategy to counter-act what happened here.

Perhaps they should in future, just organize "sit-ins", and educate as many peaceful protestors as possible not to follow behind these small groups of vandals?

Its up the police to stop property vandalism, that is their job.

So the protest movement needs to change strategy, as marching seems to give cover for this to happen. If there was a large sit-in, concert, picnic, that was lawful assembly, then if the police attack, it would be more obvous.

Sadly, the police also know to wait until after dark to move in, and to remove all the journalists before they move in.

But why not instead have a peaceful lawful assembly with a sit-in in a high traffic area?

The police and political planners have picked up this new strategy of letting the vandals take over, which sounds like something a Karl Rove would think up.

Didn't something similar happen in Iraq, in a very extreme way? They allowed the city to be looted, and stood by and did nothing.

So perhaps the "protest march" concept needs to be modified to passive sit-in methods, which will not give cover to a few dozen vandals. Then if the police attack, it will be obvious.

Too bad for regular people that the political-police planners were so clever, they won. They also won the propaganda war too.

In the future, perhaps the legit protestors should not "march" on parade, and instead just use passive occupation? Time to switch gears.

This article is right on. I saw police literally run away from the black bloc yesterday. We were walking along College on our way home from lunch after the protest. There was a massive group of riot cops that had secured the College/University intersection. The rioters were coming along College in their direction. Inexplicably, the cops suddenly turned around and ran up University, leaving the intersection that was full of ordinary people totally unprotected. Three minutes later, the black block thugs arrived and wildly began smashing the TTC windows. If the police had stayed, they easily could have surrounded and arrested them, but instead they did nothing. The cops then came back a half hour later and brutally arrested peaceful protesters, journalists, and onlookers. The black bloc was long gone. I have no sympathy for the black bloc - ironically they behave exactly like the police - they dress in black, move in mobs, attack people with cameras, and have no respect for anyone. But the real story here is the bizarre actions of the police. They let the riot happen and now they're wantonly arresting everyone for no reason. I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but it's almost as if they wanted the black bloc to run amok to justify their crackdown.

Stephen Harper's office has just said this..

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829254--pm-s-of...

"the Prime Minister's office is insisting its billion-dollar tab for summit security was money well-spent, saying police officers saved the city from broader rampage."

There you have it from the top. The vandalism is the justification for the billions spent.

In fact, for those who were there, the "rampage" was caused by no police anywhere in the area, until it was too late.

You hate to say it, but those calling the shots at the top of the security establishment are geniuses. For example, they know that during a police strike, some vandals will take over, in a mob mentality, and start doing smash and grab.

So they create a police-free-zone, like a mini police-strike for a few hours, and let nature take its course. If Yonge St were lined with police like during a parade, there would have been little vandalism if any.

This is literally Mission Accomplished, from the top down. That is why they picked downtown Toronto.

Another intesting aspect, why did the police on the ground over-react so badly at the wrong places and the wrong times?

Because every single officer was wired-up with ear-pieces and behind their own lines, and face-masks and body-armour, being told how dangerous the "mob" was.

In fact, for any citizen who was there, common sense could show that 99.999% of the people were just regular people, with a few hooligans jumping on cars, like a hockey riot.

So again, its an absolutely brilliant tactic to have every single officer completely wired-up with earpieces, and told to only follower orders from the top. That way the local officer can't behave like police normally do, and exercise some personal judgement of the situation.

That is why the 40 police just stood around the corner on Queen St and did nothing. The orders from the ear-piece from head-office replaces their own judgement of the situation.

That leads to the outrageous over-reaction and arrests described by Steve Paikin. Anyone with common sense would have just given that group a perimeter for their sit-in near the fence, and sent in some negotiators, and just waited things out. Instead, the police were given the ear-piece order to immediately attack. They literally attacked within a couple of minutes.

That order clearly came from the police chief, as in his news conference he said they were going to clear the streets, and that would mean to aggressively arrest everyone.

So part of it is the security strategy, and the other part is that the people giving the "orders" through the ear-pieces actually had no idea of what was really going on on the ground, as they were too far away.

What the police did at Queens Park later, was another example of that. There were so many lines of police stacked up on College and University, it was unbelievable. Those police in the lines have no clue of what is really going on, only what they are told in their earpiece.

Meanwhile, at Queens Park you have unarmed people, students, children, and they start firing rubber bullets at them, and then attacking with horses, and the rest of it.

The police planners not only dehumanized the citizens, they also isolate and dehumanize their own officers, not only with the riot training, but more importantly by isolating every officer with their earpieces, which means the threat becomes grossly exaggerated, and out of touch with the current reality.

It would be interesting to see exactly where the police planners learned their "techniques" to use on their own officers, as well as the public, and the media.

Stop blaming left and right (police vs. black bloc). Seriously it is out of control intially, because of the Black Bloc. It MAY have been a set up as some of  you are speculating. However, as citizens we are responsible to act in a manner that would have resolved the commotion yesterday. One way was for all the peaceful protestors to go home or boot out the Black Bloc. I saw in a lot of pictures of the Black Bloc smashing windows, cars and banks- there were many witnesses but didn't do anything. You can't put all the blame to the police. They are humans too who have family, they were probably also shaken with yesterday's catastrophe. Hence, poor conduct.

We are all to blame. We are responsible for the event. We all failed. Why? Because we live in the city, and we let it all happen either a/b/c

Sam10: it's not up to peaceful citizens to stop violent hooligans. There are lots of videos of black bloc people assaulting other protesters with cameras. They are thugs who don't listen to anyone. It's the cops' job to arrest them, but they were totally derelict. They stood by and did nothing while people were engaged in clearly illegal actions and then went on to arrest the non-violent protesters. The police move in mobs and wear hard core riot gear. They could have easily stopped the rampage without getting injured. But instead they abandoned the city and thousands of helpless unarmed citizens who were unlucky enough to find themselves in the rioters path.

observer521, is this the same Craig Kielburger who's currently featured in those RBC ads on tv?

RS: It is. Some protestors continued to protest even though the situation was getting ugly.

 

All of this is just poiting fingers on who to blame.

 

If this was all planned, how funny that it turns out that the plan was to go against each other (citizens and police).

Sam10: Firstly, protesting peacefully is a right. Just because a few people are violent doesn't mean that all other protesters should suddenly shut up and go home. Secondly, seeing that over $1billion dollars was spent on "security", there needs to be finger pointing. The wider protest movement needs to criticize the black bloc. But even more importantly, Torontonians need to demand answers from the police. Yes, that means assigning blame. It's called accountability!

You would think it's peaceful, some would say it wasn't so. You would seriously continue to protest despite of the chaos that you see around you?

Yes, they should have all gone home. It wasn't safe for protesters to be there, you're up against the Black Bloc and the police that would find you on the offense.

Protesters were lucky enough that there weren't overpopulated by the Black Bloc, you would be more scared of them than the police.

The police are not to blame for everything.

I'm not quite sure if it's the police that should give the answer, but the government. After all, the police are just pawns like the rest.

 

 

And of course, 24 hours too late, Yonge St has police on every corner.

And today, the police are randomly searching the bags of anyone they feel like. (illegal searches, but no one notices anymore, as they are picking on youths walking down the street).

The only ray of light was the cycling protest today. The bikers cruised all over town, and somehow someone in the front figured out how to get around all the police roadblocks, and ended up right in front of the jail on 629 Eastern. There was minor police presence, and the cyclists started a peaceful protest.

Very soon thereafer, busses full of riot police started to arrive, and position themselves. The cyclists were smart enough to realize that the way to stop the coming police violence, was to sit-down and be peaceful, which they did.

Eventually, after some back and forth, more riot police moved in, and they threatened to arrest everyone in 5 minutes. The protesters on bikes, understanding they have the legal right to peaceful assembly, refused to leave, but did back up to open the street. The cyclists behaved very intelligently again.

They chanted..."this is what Democracy looks like" and it actually seems the police authority on the scene perhaps realized the cyclists were correct. People have a right to peaceful assembly, as Canada is not a police state. We don't have to follow police orders on command. The police also have to respect the law.

But the riot police continued to get ready, and an attack on the peaceful protest was coming. But for some reason, right before the police were clearly getting ready to strike out, the police got the orders to retreat a bit. They slowly moved people behind their fence, and began to slowly retreat their position.

Of couse, just before the 6:00 news, all the riot police were replaced with smiling multi-racial multi-ethic police. What happened to all the 6' 8" angry white riot cops with shields and clubs? Coffee break during the live news.

It seems the difference here was that there was an older senior police officer in control, right up front, assessing the situation. Imagine that, first assessing the situation, instead of just attacking the peaceful demo blindly.

Eventually, some people began to be released from the jail, a real bunch of dangerous criminals...that is...college students and young people looking dazed and tired with no shoes, who were arrested yesterday.

Since the police were forced to back down by the cyclists who knew their rights, and due to the media presence, the police were forced to back-down. And guess what, once the police backed down, then people calm down, then they move away on their own.

Part of the problem on Sat was that the police just came out with 100% power and attacked without notice. That upsets people in Canada, as most people know there is a right to peaceful assembly.

As well, the police were way to Gung-ho to use all of their aggressive training, toys and tactics. They could have put down an attack of 10,000 rampaging drunk soccer hooligans.

In reality, there were a couple hundred people acting out, a few dozens breaking windows, and a few thousand more who were just trying to engage in peaceful protest.

But for the police and their political masters...Mission Accomplished. They scared the hell out of the city, closed down almost every business in downtown. They were able to demonize legitimate protesters, by allowing some vandals to run wild. The officers also would enjoy making $1,000 a day and trying out their toys and training.

If the police are going to continue with their violent attacks on peaceful dissent, then perhaps new strategies are needed, like passive sit-ins, which would prevent the aggressive police attacks, or at least expose them. Of course, when people get attacked, they tend to want to defend themselves. But there has to be a way to defeat these new tactics being used by the police, on orders from their political masters. 10,000 people doing an organized mass sit-in, those who want to vandalize won't be able to, and the police are not going to be able to attack a huge sit-in, and get away with it as easily.

Poor David Langille! There's never a cop around when you need one!

And here I thought there were too many cops in downtown Toronto this weekend. Turns out the real problem was there weren't enough!

Not getting enough bang for our billion-dollar buck? Maybe next time we should spend $2 billion on security, eh David? Then we'd get to see some real head-cracking action!

As others have said, the police are obligated to STOP VANDALISM.

Its illegal for citizens to stop criminals, as seen recently with the shop-keepers getting charged for grabbing shoplifters. Its up to police to stop vandalism.

It was Craig Kielburger from Free The Children. He was there all night apparently doing some reporting. We saw him at each place, and he saw what was happening first hand, unlike the police, and unlike guys sitting in radio station booths.

You know what there was to be afraid of in the streets? Theaggressive riot police, and the lack of normal police.

The vandals, were long gone. The scary thing is that if some serious criminals had known the police were going to abdicate the city, there could have been hundreds of armed robberies. Guess what, if someone started to rob a store, and they called 911, no police would come. We spoke with many store owners, and explained that there were no police anywhere to protect them. They all freaked out, as they had no idea the police were going to abandon them.

So the city is very very lucky that the real criminals and robbers did not realize the police were going to leave the downtown core, and go behind the fence,  and sit on buses and in vans. Next time this happens, the real robbers might realize they can commit crimes for hours, and no police will come as they are all behind the fence, or sitting in a bus 20 feet down the street.

Believe it, someone could have been beaten to death 50 feet in front of a police bus full of police, and they would have just stayed in the bus. They were ordered to retreat, and leave the streets in chaos. Why?

Part of it is strategy, the other part is they were protecting themselves first. Their earpiece was telling them that there were thousands of crazy rioters, which was a lie. There was a few dozen vandals, and a few hundreds angry people here and there, with a few disturbed people mixed in.

All the rest were peaceful protestors. That is a fact, ask anyone who was there. But don't ask the police, as they were not there on the ground. There were in buses and vans, and stacked up in huge police lines by Queens Park, listening to their earpieces telling them a bunch of exaggeration, and ordering them to attack.

Who ordered them to fire rubber bullets? That is yet to be determined, and of course no one will ever know. 

But as far as being inside the protests, there was NO serious threat. It was safer than the nighclub area at night. How many reports of assaults were there? Not many, a few arguments.

The black block vandals were nothing to be "afraid" of, many of them weighed 100 lbs. Normal police could have literally TACKLED and ARRESTED the entire black block as soon as they started vandalizing. They could have just chased them down like they are trained to do, and arrested them for vandalism.

But the police retreated, also perhaps as they were afraid that perhaps some REAL terrorists would take advantage of the chaos, and strike out with some weapons? So instead, they literally abandoned the city to a few dozen vandals, and left the citizens to deal with it. The police were safe behind the fence. It was the citizens who were at risk.

You can believe this. Next time, those local store owners are going to go "USA" in self-defense, and take out their own baseballs bats on the vandals. They are not going to tolerate being stranded by the police, when the police are supposed to protect them.

Maybe that is also part of the Social Engineering project and fear tactics.

observer521 wrote:

Believe it, someone could have been beaten to death 50 feet in front of a police bus full of police, and they would have just stayed in the bus. They were ordered to retreat, and leave the streets in chaos. Why?

Part of it is strategy, the other part is they were protecting themselves first.

I think you're missing the point.

The police had one mission only, and it had nothing to do with protecting business premises, stopping bank robberies, or protecting citizens from muggings. Their mission was to protect the war criminals and plutocratic bandits meeting behind the security fence. Nothing else.

And nobody touched the Fence. So for the police, it's mission accomplished! The burned police cars and smashed windows are just collateral damage.

 

The Star posted a timeline.

It was actually way longer than 30 minutes. The police allowed the vandals to run amok for about 2 hours. The police abandoned the entire Yonge area for 2 hours to the vandals, and only later came up to Queens Park as riot police.

CP24 was getting reports by Bay/Queen that the vandals were going up Yonge, and defacing stores with feces, and they drove up to see. So the police knew exactly what was happening and where on Yonge for hours, and did nothing.

For 2 hours, the police let a few dozens vandals run wild.

And there were no police on Yonge for many more hours after that. That is a fact.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829454--riot-recap

3:18 p.m. - The anarchists charge east down Queen St. near University Ave. They throw bricks at a CBC van.

3:23 p.m. - Protesters are arrested near the Rivoli on Queen St. Those in black are chanting "f-k s-t up." They hurl pieces of plywood at riot police, who did not confront the offenders.

3:57 p.m. - Protesters say they're heading north to Yonge-Dundas Square, abandoning the goal of reaching the security fence.

4:40 p.m. - Protesters smash windows at police headquarters. Nearby riot officers do not respond

5:23 p.m. - About 30 people sitting on the median at University and College are confronted by police, who close in from the north. Some were pepper sprayed, and others were hit with batons.

The police spokesman was just cornered on CBC news, and he admitted that the police let the vandals take over the streets, and take control of what was happening.

He said the police's job was to keep the fence intact.

So its true, its a fact. The police abandoned the city, and just let the vandals do whatever they wanted for all those hours, to keep them away from the fence.

What'd I tell ya?

"It was Craig Kielburger from Free The Children."

 

I see. So it is the same Craig Kielburger from the RBC commercials.

The police are now "admitting" in an indirect way, that they allowed the vandals to run wild, and pushed the vandals north, to keep them away from the fence. That is all the police wanted to do, to keep the vandals away from the fence.

So they allowed the vandals to go north, and trash Yonge St for over 2 hours, with no police contact at all. After a while, they then pushed them further north into Queens Park, to pin them down for hours far away from the fence. That was all police strategy, to keep vandals away from the fence.

They knew if they allowed the vandals to trash the city, break windows, that would keep the vandals busy. Just listen to what the police are now saying, that is what they are saying in a coded way. The city was left open as a sacrificial lamb to keep the vandals busy and away from the fence.

In reality, the police could have EASILY arrested all of the vandals on Queen as they moved east. The police arrest scores of drunk idiots looking for a fist-fight every weekend in the club district.

This is now an established fact. The police strategy was to leave the northern downtown wide open, to draw the vandals up there. Its a win/win/win for the police. The fence was not touched, the trashed windows justified their billions, and that gave them a blank cheque to arrest everyone no questions asked. The people calling the shots for the police, are very clever, that is for sure.

Observer 521 must have been along side of me most of the weekend because our experiences are identical.  On Thursday and Friday Yonge street was literally coated with police.  Generally in groups of 6 on every corner and walking up and down the street.  On Saturday as I stood in front of the Cameron House a very nice police office suggested that I hurry out of the area as he thought things were about to "get ugly."  As my destination was out at Parliament and King and all the side streets were barricaded to keep everyone on Queen Street I had no choice but to continue or just stand there.  I took some pictures at Queen and Spadina and watched a relatively small group of people in front of me go from multi-coloured clothing to black with masks.  Obviously this does not indicate an intention to continue in peaceful demonstration.  Then they lit off what I thought was a road flare, but Observer 521 saw as roman candles, which actually makes more sense given the fireworks in all the stores this weekend.  Not wanting to be part of what happened next I continued on my Queen Street Hike.  To the back of the throng of protestors are a few hundred cops on bikes who get the call to put on their respirators and prepare for tear gas deployment.  Bikes are literally dropped and cops fall to one knee and gear up.  Riot geared officers block all side streets already making a long corridor along Queen Street.  At Yonge Street I'm allowed to cross the cop line and miraculously at Queen and Yonge there is traffic and cabs and I hail a cab and continue to my folk festival destination.

 

Coming home I have already been informed that Queen Street is a bad idea, so I decide to head up Yonge Street and then west on College hoping to catch some dinner in Kensington.  Yonge street is a ghost town.  Not a cop anywhere, lots of smashed windows and thousands of people walking up and down in near silence - almost like a funeral atmosphere.  We are all saddened that this has befallen our city.  At College and University the police have formed a line and you can't pass.  I'm told by an officer that the only way west is to go north and he isn't sure if Bloor is still open.  I circle up through the UofT campus and come into Queens Park, only a few hundred protesters in there.  Some of them are lying on the grass with their shoes off sunbathing.  Some are blowing the vuvuzela horns.  Rather festive.  Neither the riot geared officers or the protesters are doing anything and the way west is totally clear if you walk down the steps into the campus, around one building, and I've probably only added about a block to my walk home.  College street very quickly becomes normal again as people are drinking on patios and there is a hot dog cart and ice cream truck on the very next corner.

So in summary, it certainly appears to me that the order was given to let the vandals go east on Queen and north on yonge.  Hospital row (co-incidentally also the location of the consulates) was well protected as was the famous fence.  The employees and business people of downtown Toronto?  Not at all.  What would have happened if Black Bloc activity did not occur either legitimately or by agent-provocateurs?   It would have been a billion dollar boondoggle that Harper, Miller and Blair would not have been able to account for.  I have no proof of who the men in black were, but they sure saved the day for our politicians.

lisa_196 wrote:
It would have been a billion dollar boondoggle that Harper, Miller and Blair would not have been able to account for. I have no proof of who the men in black were, but they sure saved the day for our politicians.

I wouldn't be so quick to concede this point. It is a billion dollar boondoggle! I don't care if they arrested 10,000 people, it still wouldn't justify the obscene waste of money.

Does the city of Montreal spend a billion dollars on security for the Stanley Cup playoffs, which often result in more public displays of property damage than occurred in Toronto in the past week? Of course not.

How much property damage was done by the black bloc people? $100,000? $200,000? This justifies spending a billion? No way that's going to fly.

It's not as if the $billion was earmarked for dealing with vandalism by protesters anyway! In fact, protecting property from vandalism wasn't even on the police agenda. Their one and only mission was to safeguard the criminals meeting behind the security fence by keeping everyone else away from it. As it turned out, nobody touched the fence. But the government would have spent that billion even if they hadn't reckoned on vandalism. You don't think all that money went to the riot police do you?

No, there's no way the government can weasel out of the colossal waste of money by pointing to a couple of burned police cars and a bunch of broken glass.

The head of "security" on CBC news, showed that G20 security" was run out of a room in Barrie Ontario on computer screens!

No wonder the police leaders had no idea of what was really going on on the street, and were given such incompetent and ridiculous "orders" in their ear-pieces.

Some guy watching a TV screen in Barrie, is moving a few riot squads around like a chess game, and ordering them to attack! To him its a video game.

Meanwhile, tonight at Monday June 28, at Queens Park there were probably more than twice the numbers of people than before, and nothing happened, because the police were given new "orders" not to attack people.

Here is something outrageous. The protest march on Mon June 28, basically spontaneously went into City Hall. I was right at the front, and it was pretty spontaneous, people were walking there, standing, and then started to go into this tiny little entrance for the Jazz Fest.

Somehow, several thousand people managed to march into a tiny little entrance of the Jazz Fest, right past tables with trinkets. It appears that literally not one trinket was even bumped over by accident, by hundreds of people with bicycles, and thousands walking!

It was all the same people, sans the vandals. Since people were not attacked on orders from a remote control computer screen in Barrie, nothing happened.

Some people argued with the police about what happened on the weekend, and the police, humanly, argued back a bit. There was some communication, not a big drama either way. But some local communication.

But when the riot squad attacks a peaceful protest, they provoke people to resist. Give people some space, and let them be calm, and nothing usually happens. (not always of course).

Regardless, these Robocop remote-control police tactics have to end forever. Their job is maintain the peace, not to attack people and create riots! There is no question, the police attacks created ALL of the rioting, except when the bb-vandals ran down Queen St from Spadina. I was there, I saw those few vandals plan something, and then run down Queen, that was unprovoked.

That is when the police should have stopped them. But as proven, they let the vandals run for miles and miles, for over 2 hours. Too late.

Tonight, I even spoke with the head of police security right in front of the police station, as the protest gathered. I asked him why there were no police on Yonge for so many hours, as the few dozens vandals ran around. He said all his officers were "deployed" and that is why Yonge St was left unprotected for hours. Can you believe that, when they had thousands and thousands of them, no where to be seen, behind some fence.

I asked him why it took so long. He said they could not get around. I told him I could walk anywhere in minutes.

He actually said I personally should have arrested the vandals, as a citizen. This is the attitude of the head of police security, right in front of the police station for the protest today. That is his plan and attitude, let the citizens arrest vandals.

What a joke. They should have moved to contain any vandals right away, not let them run around for 2 hours. The only rational conclusion is that they police bosses decided to let the vandals trash downtown, to keep them away from their fence, and to justify their expenses.

As N. Klein said tonight, they send media releases out as the police car was burning, saying that justified their billions spent. The fact is they let it burn forever, so everyone could get a photo of it.

The bottom line is it was either a plan to hijack lawful rights to protest, or absolute incompetence by the police bosses, or both.

Thanks goodness the citizens marched tonight, and nothing happened. It actually shows that the aggressive Robocop police attacks are the thing which can create a riot. Police power must be control, and kept in check.

 

 

There is mounting evidence that Toronto police turned a blind eye to the vandalism along Queen, Yonge, College and vicinity on Saturday June 26 around 3-4PM. Lending credence to this view is the high number of police surveillance cameras installed in that area, which must have captured the unfolding events, but then were ignored. People report being surprised by the lack of police presence during this rampage, but the police can hardly have been unaware of what was going on and where the vandals were heading.

In preparation for the G20, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) reportedly installed 77 new surveillance cameras.  Along Queen between Spadina and Yonge, the main route the black block appears to have taken, the Globe lists 8 cameras - at Peter, John, Duncan, University North, University South, Sheraton Hotel (i.e. York), Bay and Yonge.  (Globe, June 2, 2010) The Toronto Star has provided a map showing these new camera locations and photos of many of them can be found at the 'G20 Surveillance' Flickr group.

These new cameras are addition to the 15 or so pre-G20 cameras installed in the Entertainment District and on Yonge between Dundas and College, also along the route of destruction.

The green signs that accompany police cameras state that they are "to promote public safety and reduce crime". Either the camera system was not functioning, or the police chose not to respond to what it revealed. There is scant evidence that surveillance camera systems are generally effective in deterring crime or enabling rapid police response to street disruptions. This situation would seem to offer the most favourable use case, but clearly it has failed.

At the very least, this failure to protect downtown Toronto suggests that an independent assessment of the TPS use of the surveillance cameras be included in a wider investigation of police actions during the G20. Without such an investigation refuting the apparent misguided non-response and demonstrating the capacity of the TPS to use video surveillance properly, not only should the TPS take the cameras down immediately, as they said they would do, but they should get rid of them completely.

Andrew Clement

References:
Globe and Mail,  June 2, 2010 3:14 PM, Yes, you’re now being watched, Siri Agrell http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/g8-g20/blog-local-view/yes-you...

Toronto Star map of the 77 additional surveillance cameras that the Toronto Police Service have installed. See: www.thestar.com/staticcontent/818472

'G20 Surveillance' Flickr group with surveillance camera photos and map: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1460975@N23/

What makes you think the cops didn't use the evidence from the surveillance cameras to select individuals as targets for arrest on Sunday?

I predict that if and when any of the charged individuals are brought to trial the cops will present surveillance video as evidence against them.

Using surveillance cameras is hardly "turning a blind eye" - quite the opposite!

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