G20: Canada's lost soul(s)

The eternal flame of hope boarded up and extinguished for the G20 Summit in Toronto.
(Michael Chrisman/Torontoist
The G20 summit in Toronto fell far too close to Canada Day for my liking. The events tells us more about our global society than we care to admit. We are all more well-connected than ever as shown by the amazing live reporting of all the action via photos, videos, posts and real-time tweets, but we are also more divided than ever. Citizens vs. Citizens, Police vs. Citizens, Rioters vs. Protesters, Traditional Media vs. New Media, Protesters vs. Police wherever one looks these days lines are being drawn in the sand between us when we should really be working to listen and understand.





Destruction caught on tape (2 mins)


Here we are 10 years on from the famous Battle in Seattle and police systems have evolved for handling these types of large scale protests which often turn into riots. It's time for a new kind of protest, an organized counter culture summit alongside the other summit, everyone gathers there anyway. A summit about hope and people getting together to actual get things done on a global level collaboratively. The media would actually have something worthwhile to report on at a G20 summit. A chance for voices to be heard, for people to come together and for violent protesters to clash with police independently of the larger counter culture movement.





Protesters signing O Canada outside the Detention Centre are charged by riot police (30 secs)


Systems put in place to protect citizens went awry and pitted citizens against citizens. Police are citizens doing their job. The government dictates what the authorities are to do in order to continue archaic systems of control and bureaucracy that don't totally suck, seriously they are what has developed over all of human history to this point. The government is controlled by inadequate democratic systems which are not true democracy only representative democracy. People feel disenfranchised by old systems in this modern and technological age. That is shown during the G20 every year since London when Twitter streams are the best source.





Kettling at the Toronto G20 Protests (8 min)


What really disappointed me about the majority of what I read from the media - traditional, alternative and otherwise - was the obsession with the riot and the spectacle alone. I didn't read about anyone's causes or what they wanted to change about the world. I didn't read from reporters about the larger protest movement all I read about was the movements of the protest as it turned into a riot. It was disappointing but understandable; "if it bleeds it leads." That may be part of the problem and part of what encourages rioters to cause damage as they feel nothing else works.




Kettling is a disturbing tactic used by riot police. Kettling involves the police forces cordining off an area of the city and literally locking in all of the citizens within that space preventing them from leaving of their own free will. It is truly disturbing. Protesters have non-violent protest where riot police have not as violent as usual kettling.



Disturbing footage from inside the Toronto Queen and Spadina "Kettle" (10 mins)


The only way to get out of it is to be arrested. In Toronto according to various reports this tactic was used for a few hours robbing people of their freedom in a most grotesque way.




A citizen is caught in the middle of the Queen and Spadina kettle (5 mins)


In London during the 2009 G20 summit  protesters peaceful or otherwise were apparently 'kettled' for 7 hours without necessary food, water or facilities. The story of the man above is amazing and astonishing. He was detained for over three hours and at one point it began to rain. That's where the story picks up with the coverage below. This is what injustice looked like for the citizens of Toronto for one weekend a few weeks back and for a different city in the coming months and others in the coming years.




The sadness continues at G20 Toronto (10.5 mins)


When reporting refers to "protesters destroying property" it should really read "rioters destroying protest and property". These entire spectacle muddies the waters of protesters, rioters, police and criminals. In the mainstream media and elsewhere there is no difference drawn between these groups with the exception of the police who from the endless video do not seem very different when they are attacking citizens who are sitting peacefully in protest as seen above when protesters sang O' Canada. The actions of those dressed in black - on both sides - are part of Canada's and the world's lost soul.




A looter is tackled to the ground by a citizen and told "Don't steal" (30 secs)


During the G20 protests in Toronto a protester was much different from a rioter, but the police and main stream media did not see or write about the difference. Gawkers, reporters and citizens are very different from rioters.  Rioters are unaccountable mobs infused with a mob mentality. Rioters prey on the valid causes of protestors and de-legitimize important voices. They stand inside groups of protestors and hurl rocks at police, bricks at windows and ancient untargeted protest chants at no one.

On Sunday a few people come to protest the destruction of rioters.
(Emily Shepard/Torontoist)
They don't respect other human beings and then act in surprise when authorities treat them, their affiliates and those around them with no respect. Rioters are part of why governments create unjust laws; to prevent them from endangering citizens, attendees, property and themselves. Rioters are not protesters. Authorities can't prepare for numerous outcomes and officers make errors in judgement and common sense. There are no winners, only losers or people who want to shop.




A citizen not involved in the protests is denied access to Toronto's Eaton Centre (2.5 mins)


I am frustrated by mindless destruction of property and human rights.

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