Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Time for Bill Blair to Step Down

Well the G20 is over and all the screaming and yelling is going full bore about what happened and what went wrong. Unfortunately when ever you have incidents of this magnitude it's going to happen. There will be recriminations, acrimonious debate, finger pointing, screaming and yelling, and maybe if we are lucky we will get a unbiased commission to review the whole mess. Aside from all that there is one issue that stands head and shoulders above all the mess. City of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair lied. What did he lie about? Well this news story says it all:
Police admit no five-metre rule existed on security fence law

[snip]...The temporary regulation, which was passed in secret June 2, did decree that all streets and sidewalks inside the fence were a public work until 11:59 p.m. Monday. Under the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, that allowed police to search people trying to enter that area.

But there was no power to search people coming within five metres of the fence, said ministry spokeswoman Laura Blondeau.

“The area designated by the regulation as a public work does not extend outside the boundary of the fence,” Ms. Blondeau said.

Asked Tuesday if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry’s clarification, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, “No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out.” ...[snip]

Smug Mr. Blair smiled when he said that. When is it justified to lie to the public? Even using the excuse to keep criminals out of the area isn't a good one. In fact most of the protesters took it as a challenge to force the police forces hands in coming downtown into the area around the security fences. There were many loonies and crazies out in force over the weekend and the story about the I.D. check came out in the newspapers just before the G8/G20 started.

The cries coming from the demonstrators and their legal counsels was tremendous. In fact some of the groups demonstrating and carrying "Police State" signs felt even more justified in their view points.

Mr. Bill Blair is supposed to lead and guide our city police force. If he's willing to lie and mislead like this, when can we trust him to tell the truth about minor situations? I try to trust the police I interact with when I do. In my job sometimes it's necessary. I know there's been screaming and yelling about how they did nothing and over reacted over the weekend, but that's neither here nor there. We need a police chief that we can trust at all times. I don't mean we need one that everyone likes because that's impossible. We need one that will stand strong, be truthful, and SERVE and PROTECT us from as much as possible. I know that means pissing off a large segment of the populace, it comes with the job. Just don't lie to us. We need to trust our police force more then ever these days, and Bill Blair has become extremely untrustworthy with this bold faced lie.

Behind the Fence at the G20: Part 3

Pictures from Saturday night and Sunday Morning

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Behind the Fence at the G20: Part 2

More pictures from Saturday.

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Behind the Fence at the G20: Part 1

Okay, after much teasing here are my pictures. They are mostly boring over all, but they are all I have.

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Enough With The Police Bashing: Part Two

Okay, I said I would have more to say and I will say it now. This rant will be a bit shorter since I have calmed down a bit. I am not trying to be an apologist for the actions of the police totally, I am just trying to give a different perspective of what they may have been feeling.

I have already talked about their lack of response on Saturday. A few pieces of information I was given on Sunday may help as well. I was talking to an EMS supervisor on Sunday morning and he told me that there were a few officers that had issues over the course of the previous day. Believe it or not a few police officers went down due to heat exhaustion and dehydration. I know Saturday wasn't that hot out in comparison to some summer days we had. The officers though were dressed in dark colours, were wearing heavy gear, and no matter how often they were supplied with water it just wasn't enough. To top it off they were at times running for blocks in their gear trying to keep up with different protest groups that were trying to breech the security zone. Standard military axiom, "Hurry up and wait", was in full effect over the course of the day.

Another thing was that on Saturday in the beginning they had to give the protesters the benefit of the doubt that they would be peaceful and act accordingly. Of course by Sunday all bets were off. The demonstrators had shown that they would be willing to use violence to get their point across so the police acted accordingly. On my way home Sunday morning I saw police searching young looking people with backpacks on Yonge street. I was a little worried about being stopped, but I guess I didn't fit many profiles. Also I was headed north instead of south. Not saying that I didn't have my share of difficulties earlier. I was approached by several RCMP officers after I was finished my shift and had to produce I.D. and explain why I was hanging around with a camera. As well when I finally left the security zone I had to do the same song and dance with the police controlling the gate. My fault though. I had my camera bag, a shoulder bag, a camera around my neck, and was wearing a old army shirt. I did fit a profile in a sense. My biggest worry was that my compact flash card would be confiscated with all the interesting pictures I had taken the previous day.

Now the police were getting rather short tempered with all the people downtown video taping and taking pictures of what was going on. Not to mention all the other idiots that came out to rubber neck and play "tourist" to all the mayhem. I say some of the video and pictures of the final stand off in the rain at Queen and Spadina where the police had corraled a group of protesters and wouldn't let them go anywhere. I think that was the smart thing to do. No use of equipment to restrain them, just let the weather do the job for them in making the demonstrators compliant. Unfortunately there were a few innocent bystanders in the group, but that was their own fault. You don't put yourself in a situation that could become violent if you can help it. Of course I am rather peaceful and don't like getting into fights. I have been in far too many for my liking and I like my skin intact. Not to say that if I had the chance I would have tried to document some of the craziness that went on. I would have made like a herd of turtles though when things started getting crazy.

Now did the police go a little overboard on Sunday with some journalists and citizens? Undoubtedly. Did they have reason to go overboard. Definitely. You see they were in a lose/lose situation. When they did nothing, they were criticized for it. When they did do something they were criticized for it. You also have to understand that the demonstrators were running around with video cameras and regular cameras, speaking of which a lot of the gear I saw them with was pretty high end. Their goal was to provoke the police into using force to prove their "police state" message and meme. Of course the police were doing the same thing. I guess you could say they were getting a little twitchy with all the cameras recording their actions no matter where they went. Anyway. I think I have said enough for the time being. Take care out there and no matter what be polite and calm when dealing with police officers. If it helps learn to talk fast and clearly.

It's Hard....

Well, yesterday was practically a write off with everything. I know I owe all the readers out there pictures. I apologize for the delay. I was tired and snappish with most people and had to get out to de-stress and get some dog therapy. I promise to have them up this evening sometime. I am feeling much better today and may rant some more about a few things. As well I may have access to some video footage from Spadina and Richmond taken on Saturday afternoon. It's over folks, and things have gotten back to some semblance of normalcy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Enough With The Police Bashing

Well, I have to vent and here and now is the time. As I have read through opinion pieces by bloggers, reporters, and commenters, I keep hearing about how the police failed in their duties in protecting the city. How the police started harrassing innocent journalists and citizens on the streets. The outrages over broken windows and trashed police cruisers while the police stood around and let it happen. I am sorry if I will be stepping on a few toes here, but that's just the way it is. Now this will entirely be an opinion piece from my personal experience and view points. I will try not to temper it as by blood is doing a slow boil here. It needs to be said and said bluntly.

It's time to look at what happened and how. The level of policing in the city has been at a high level for the past couple of weeks. The numbers thrown around have the total police putting in overtime at 15,000 plus. As well as the RCMP. First off the RCMP weren't dealing with any of the protesters at all. They were detailed with the actual security of the delegates in the security perimeter for the G20 summit downtown. There were actually two security perimeters, I will have pictures of that later on today, The interior perimeter was entirely controlled by the RCMP and only those people with approved security were allowed into that zone. It was set up around the Royal York hotel and encompassed access to the Metro Toronto Convention Center. I don't have any idea how far it went, I just know that it enclosed most of Front street from Bay all the way past John Street with portions north and south of Front street. Around that, up to Wellington and portions of other streets was the secondary perimeter controlled by the police. Many different regions involved with that security. A security pass was needed to gain simple access to that area.

Now lets look at those numbers of police, 15,000 for the low end estimate. Not all 15,000 troops were on duty at one time. From what I can guess, they were broken down into three shifts so you would have on average 5,000 police on duty at any given time. Union rules? I highly doubt that, more like common sense to try to keep as many of the police as fresh as possible for their duties and responsibilities.

Now lets use that number of 5,000 police on duty per shift. Unlike the protesters they couldn't gather together in one location to confront the rabble. They had to be deployed at the security barrier and in other locations to block the routes of march. They knew the main route, so they could block off intersections at key locations with back up. One rumour I heard was that there were three main groups of protesters marching from three different locations. Two locations were the protests at Queen's Park, and Allen Gardens. That splits the reaction force into two bodies at once. As well you have police doing escort duty along side streets with the protesters blocking traffic to keep the protest marching uneventfully.

Still with me here? I said I had a lot to say. Now, when the protesters got down to Queen street and University they met the cordon of police officers blocking them from reaching the first fence. Not only were they deployed at Queen and University, but all other North/South streets along Queen leading to the security zones. Figure about at least 200 police officers at each intersection going east to west from Spadina to Parliment. I will wait for you to get a map and calculator to figure that number out. (hint, think several thousand just for that blockage alone and I am guessing at the number needed at each intersection). You could probably halve that number and still end up with a couple thousand. Now, don't forget you need a speedy reactionary force to go between hot spots as they develop. Are you starting to get an idea of the logistics here yet?

You also must realize that the whole goal of the protesters was to get a large enough force down to the security fence to try and breech it. They said enough numerous times. The police force goal was to keep them out of there. Who had the easier task?

So when the protests finally got violent the police were scattered all over the place. As well the main groups broke up into smaller groups and started moving all over the place making the polices job a lot harder to contain them. When the police car was stopped and attacked at King and Bay streets there was a cordon of police just in the south side of the interesection. The complaint was that they did nothing. Of course they did nothing. If they had moved even 5 feet forward to confront the Black Bloc attacking and defacing the cruiser, the crowd would have overwhelmed them and raced down to the security fence. The same could be true for the incident at Spadina and Queen.

I know how crowd control works. I had the fortune for being trained for it as part of peacekeeping duties over twenty years ago. At the same time and era I participated in crowd control duties and know what happens when a line breaks. It's not a pretty sight or a fun experience. lucky for me the protesters weren't violent and when the reserve troops arrived we were able to contain the break. This weekend in Toronto, the police wouldn't have been so lucky.

I think I have said enough for now. I will continue this rant later on when I calm down a bit.

Update: Welcome Lumpy, Grumpy, and Frumpy readers and Five Feet of Fury readers.

Monday Morning, the Day After G20

Good morning everyone. Things have quieted down a bit. Sorry about the lack of updates this weekend, but as you have read I was a little out of sorts and communication. I don't have that much to say at the moment. I am still gathering thoughts, collecting news sources and marshaling my opinions of what went wrong and right during the protests. In the meantime I recommend the following sites and blogs with their experiences and opinions. I don't necessarily agree with all their opinions, but they are good starting points.

Blazing Cat Fur has some information and a video with his run in with the police

Scaramouche also has an opinion and a few links as well.

I will have pictures up sometime this evening or tomorrow morning. Depending on how my day goes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday, Finally.

Well, I finally got some rest at home and I have been trying to figure out how to post what I saw and experienced. As I am writing this the protests are still going on downtown Toronto in the pouring thunder storm. I don't care. I have seen the madness these ant-capitalist, anti-globalization poo flinging anarchists cause and I am pissed. Accusations are flying about the police inaction, the damage caused, and costs that didn't stop any of the destruction downtown. I will go over that later when I finally get caught up and truly up to date on what happened and where.

First off as I said previously I had to work downtown this weekend and that was an interesting experience in itself. I was under the mistaken impression that my shifts were from 6am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday. In a sense this was a good thing. I arrived at Wellington Street near to the site I was working at and it was an armed camp. Police were stationed at all the intersections only letting people in that had special security passes. Due to some miscommunications I didn't have one of these passes. None of the people working with me at the site it turned out eventually had them either. After calling my head office, talking with a roving supervisor and the supervisor at the site I was to work at, and begging with the police officers in charge at the entrance I needed access to I finally got in. 15 minutes before my shift was really supposed to start at 8 am. It had taken me about an hour plus just to cross that line with a lot of people vouching for me and showing my id and waiting patiently.

I was given my duties along with the other people that showed up to work and we stood around out side the building watching the police and delegate limos hang out waiting for any thing to happen. The morning was rather boring actually. We drank coffee, chatted amongst ourselves and watched things being set up.

At about 1 pm things started to happen. The main protest started at Queens park and the updates we were given said that there were about 6 thousand of them up there. As well we were told that two other groups were forming up and marching downtown to the security fences for the G20 delegates protection. At 1:30 the Queens park protesters started marching down University after being kicked out of Queens Park by the police. The slowly made their way down chanting and yelling about whichever cause they were for. This was where things started to get crazy. The police at this time locked all gates for any access to the secure zones to all people, including those with passes. About 100 protesters had gotten into the subway system on the southbound University line so all train service was immediately cut. The rumour was that they were planning to come out of either Union Station or St Andrew station. Either way, both stops would have put them behind the first line of police troops set up at all major downtown intersections at Queen street. I heard a little bit later that the subway service for the downtown core had been stopped at Bloor street on both north/south lines. This caused massive transportation problems for the residents of the city. Not that they would be wanting to spend the afternoon in the downtown core.

It was about 1:45 when President Obama and his support flew in from Huntsville. The two double rotored chinooks landing first, followed a few minutes later by Marine One and Marine Two. I had a good view of them coming in between the buildings. Alas I didn't have my camera on me at the time and missed some great opportunities for photos.

At this point and time all normal communications broke down. Our location was in contact with several other locations and all movements of protesters were radioed around and what was going on and any police presence, if any. Rumours of weapons, firearms, numerous police vehicles being torched. At one time we heard that there were 5 cruisers on fire. Turns out in the sober light of day when I finally heard the reality it was only 3. Yeah, I know, only three instead of 5. One person managed to get a live streaming of things as they were happening so we were still in the loop. I got a special hate on for CBC and their talking heads and man in the street reporters. Talk about a bunch of clueless gits.

The main crowds of protesters had been stopped at Queen and University and held back by the police. Eventually they broke up into smaller groups trying to get around the police lines to the security fences. The polices work was cut out for them trying to keep track of the smaller groups and anything that they were up to.

Reports of damage started coming in. Store fronts at Yonge and College being broken, cop cars burning at King and Bay, Queen street west. Police deploying tear gas, (we were directed to stay inside in case the wind shifted during that time).

Meanwhile the delegates kept moving around from locations in the inner perimeter to the Metro Toronto Convention Center. After awhile the main protests seemed to die out. We started seeing small groups of protesters moving around outside the security fence waving signs speaking on megaphones. Every now and then the police would run around in large groups through the secure zone probably being deployed to other locations where they were needed.

The rain came and went all day, alternating between humid and muggy to humid and clammy. Things seemed fairly calm where I was located over all and after about 6 pm things seemed to be quieting down a bit. I knew it was just the calm before the storm. I managed to get my camera out and snap shots here and there, always trying not to upset the police and RCMP. Got some pictures of Huey's flying through the downtown core and between buildings.

At about 7pm we knew things were going to go badly for us poor workers in the fenced area. The police were still on lock down and our relief was scheduled to arrive any time soon. If they managed to find away downtown. The subways were still shut down and TTC service into the core was sketchy at best. I was waiting outside smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee and listening to several megaphone weilding morons telling the cops to "turn around and arrest the real criminals". I heard one chick use the term "lamestream media". Another guy went on about arresting the real criminals and then went on a 45 minute rant about 9/11(caused by thermite exlposives), False wars, BP oil spill in the Gulf, and so on. I got a chuckle when he stated that Obama's name wasn't even his real name, and that he wasn't even born in America. For a couple years now some blogs on the left have pointed to the people that bring up Obamas birth certificate were from the crazy right. Well I can now say with a fact that this issue also comes up on the crazy left. As well this protester wanted Obama arrested for war crimes in the Middle East. Just goes to show that no matter who's in the White House, the crazy moronic left thinks they are war criminals just for existing. Oh, the crazy guy? Not alone. He had a group of supporters around with him well he was yelling through his megaphone.

Any way, 8 pm came and went and no relief arrived. The fence was still locked and no one was coming in or out. People that made it down, tried to get in but were turned back. I was told by another co-worker that he had seen a resident in a condo inside the security perimeter being refused entry as well. Things started heating up about now as well.

The marchers and rioters were on Yonge street moving south. As they marched they broke windows. Not just any window, targeted stores. MacDonalds, Starbucks, stores like that. Anything that seemed to speak corporation was struck at. The protesters made their way slowly towards the security fence and I saw a lot of action from the police up the street from where I was working. I saw several times riot police running back and forth. At one point, when the rioters were at Bay Street and Adelaide I saw them slowly marching east banging on their shields with batons. As well I saw several units of mounted officers waiting to move in. This went on in the rain up until about 10pm or after.

There was a variety store near by that I went to before I forgot or he closed to stock up on personal supplies. The poor store owner told me that he was stuck and wanted to go home. He was scared, nervous and upset. I felt sorry for him, being stuck behind the fencing and unable to leave. Shortly after I bought my smokes and caffeine, he was closed and gone as the police were starting to let people in and out.

The person in charge were I was working was still calling our head company trying to find out if there were going to be any relief for all of us stuck there. Nothing was forthcoming and we were resigned to staying the night, trapped downtown.

The rain was pouring off and on, I managed to take pictures when I could get away with it, and smoked cigarettes. Eventually though my body started to rebel against the constant abuse and I found a small corner to crash for a few hours sleep.

6am I was woken up and I went back on the line. The morning was fairly quiet and the police were moving in and out and we waited to be relieved. I saw some people with a arc welder spot welding a sewer cover near our building. I thought that this was strange and a little late. I later found out that a bunch of protesters had been caught earlier that morning emerging from a sewer access in the downtown core. Those idiots are sure focused.

there wasn't too much going on and finally at 10am our relief arrived and I packed up, changed and made my way back into the city. I wandered up Yonge street and looked for the damage caused by the rioters. I saw a lot of boarded up windows and contractors removing graffiti from buildings. The city was like a ghost town for a Sunday morning. Police presence was still high and I saw a lot of youths being searched on the street. I made it to Dundas Square and hopped the subway to home.

I do have some pictures and there is a lot of outrage on the net about what happened this weekend. I will be showing pictures when I get them downloaded and uploaded to the web. Then I will be doing a recap of what happpened.

These eyes need some rest.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Night G20 Update???

Evening folks. A lot of stuff has been going on here. Unfortunately I am having some technical difficulties. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to give you a full update. I am downtown still, I am very safe though. Stay tuned...

Saturday Morning G20 Link Dump

Good morning everyone. Today is going to be a fun and interesting day. I am up early and getting ready to head to work so this post will be brief. Needless to say I missed a great opportunity to capture OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) in action yesterday. They will be back today so things will be tense. OCAP caused a riot back in 2000 at Queens park so they are major instigators. Anyway on with the links sans comments by me at this time.

G20 protesters clash with Toronto police

Photo Essay: Riot Police Contain Crowd

Summit showcases "Canuckistan" (yes, that's the real title of the article)

Thousands expected Saturday in biggest summit protest
Organizers concerned labour march will be hijacked by those seeking confrontation with police


First ‘secret law’ arrestee plans Charter challenge
Lawyers say law’s creation is reminiscent of a ‘police state’
(there's that "police state" argument again)

Walkom: Dalton McGuinty provides rallying cry protesters
Once the erosion of rights begins, it is hard to stop


I think that's enough reading material for now. I will try and update later tonight after I get home...IF I make it home. Might get trapped downtown.

Friday, June 25, 2010

G8/G20 Friday Afternoon News Links

Okay, this will be it for me for today. Tomorrow I will try to get a post in before I have to head to work downtown. It's a little quiet out there right now, but there is stuff going on. I can feel it in my bones.

First off I will lead with the G8 summit in Huntsville.

G8 demonstrators take to downtown:
HUNTSVILLE - As world leaders landed in cottage country Friday, their look-alike demonstrators took to downtown Huntsville in all shapes and sizes.

A day after donning giant heads of the G8 leaders while clad in pregnant suits, Oxfam demonstrators hit the Huntsville dock beneath the downtown bridge Friday dressed as giant-headed G8 tourists.

Actor and Oxfam ambassador Bill Nighy was on-hand, calling on the leaders to fork over $20 billion to fight poverty as part of a promise made five years ago.

It's "not complicated stuff," said Nighy, fresh off a trip from Kenya. "We can do this stuff."

World Vision demonstators took to the stilts with their G8 masks and stuffed "Pregnant with Promises" bellies.[snip]
I read the rest of the article. Pretty quiet and no major incidents. I didn't expect much up there.

U.S. regulatory reform deal gives Obama pre-G20 win:

[snip]The G20 club of rich and emerging economies banded together at the height of the financial crisis and committed trillions of dollars to fight a deep recession. Its united front is widely credited with averting an even deeper downturn.

But as economies slowly heal, disagreements are piling up over the next steps and G20 unity is fraying, unsettling investors who fear splintering could undermine the recovery.[snip]

Doesn't sound as good as the headline does it? Well it's a summit and we will see what happens by the end of the weekend.

Meanwhile back in Toronto....

Protesters vow to disrupt G20
:
TORONTO -- Anti-G20 protesters vow to disrupt this weekend's summit in a bid to communicate their message and get the attention of world leaders.

About a handful of organizers from different groups were at Princes' Gates, at the CNE, on Friday to talk about a "Justice for our Communities" rally at Allan Gardens later today.

"We will make it damn hard for them (G20) to do their business as usual," said Liisa Schofield, of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. "It is not business as usual for us."

Schofield said buses carrying activists from Montreal and Ottawa will be joining the downtown protest.

She said a tent city with more than 40 tents will be erected at an undisclosed location and activists plan on staying there tonight.

"Our parks are public and we plan on staying in our tents," Schofield said.

Organizer Adonis El-Jamal said protesters may not follow a temporary law to keep five metres away from a G20 security fence.

"We can't tell activists what to do'" El-Jamal said. "Our protest will carry on as normal."

Syed Hussan, of Toronto Community Mobiliztion Network, called the law change "unfair and absurd."

"People are being criminalized before the law can be challenged," Syed said.

He refused to outline the route of the protest or the distance involved.

We will see what happens kiddies, we will see.

And here's the protesters plans of actions for today and the weekend. At least the ones that they are listing publicly. I am willing to bet that there is more going on in the shadows.

I think that should do if for now. I have things to do this afternoon, relaxing being one. Hopefully I will be home tomorrow evening with pictures of what happened downtown. I will be safe, and strive to keep safe no matter what happens.

I will be on watch

Sound Cannon Update: BANNED!

Well, here we go the protesters won their fight in court against the "Sound Cannon":

Injunction Granted, Judge Sides With Protesters On Sound Cannon Ruling

Protesters have won a temporary injunction banning authorities from using sound cannons as a crowd control device during the G20 summit.

Justice David Brown ruled that there was a real chance that the controversial long-range acoustic devices, or L-RADs, could cause hearing damage.

However, Toronto Police can use the devices for communication purposes or "voice function." As well, the OPP can use the alert function at more modest decibel levels and distances.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Labour Congress filed a court injunction earlier this week calling for a ban on the devices, which emit ear piercing blasts. The groups claim the blips can cause permanent hearing damage and fear police will use them as weapons against protesters.

Authorities insist they will used to broadcast messages in large and noisy crowds and insist the sound blasts are harmless if set to proper decibel levels and are used at a safe distance from protesters.

Toronto Police purchased four L-RADs last month.

There will be another hearing before October 30 to decide when the temporary injunction will end. At that time, Toronto Police may be able to adopt the standards of the OPP.

I have nothing to say on this.

Update: Oops, not totally banned. That's what I get when I am in a rush to read something and post it. Still the judge did side with the protesters on the whole volume setting.

Update 2: Okay, here's where I got confused and re-read the first article. The one I linked to said, "Injunction Granted, Judge Sides With Protesters On Sound Cannon Ruling". Now I went to another news site and their headline says, "Judge OKs sound cannon use". So the confusion isn't just me I guess. Still, I must learn to look before leaping.

Friday Morning G8/G20

Good morning everyone. Today is Friday June 25, 2010. The G8 has started and is off and running up in Huntsville. As well protesters and activists are starting to ramp up their activity for the G20 Summit here in Toronto tomorrow. Every one is on edge and twitchy like you wouldn't believe in the downtown core. The temperatures and humidity aren't helping matters. So let's get down to it.

Yesterday a man was pulled over and stopped in a "suspicious" looking vehicle and arrested. I was alerted to this by a friend on the net. Believe it or not Fox News broke this story before CTV up here. Go Canada.

Next, the Provincial Legislature passed a law on June 2 very quietly that gave police greater arrest powers:
The province has secretly passed an unprecedented regulation that empowers police to arrest anyone near the G20 security zone who refuses to identify themselves or agree to a police search.

A 32-year-old man has already been arrested under the new regulation, which was quietly passed by the provincial cabinet on June 2.

The regulation was made under Ontario’s Public Works Protection Act and was not debated in the Legislature. According to a provincial spokesperson, the cabinet action came in response to an “extraordinary request” by Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who wanted additional policing powers shortly after learning the G20 was coming to Toronto.

This was a new one to me. I though that if the police requested I.D. you had to show them. Then again, I have always been a law abiding citizen.

Of course the first person arrested under this law is screaming rights violations to the Toronto Star. And yes he's an activist that's been in trouble before.

Meanwhile in Huntsville. A couple of peaceful protests. Not to shabby considering. I am all for peaceful protests. Having people speak there minds is a good thing. I just hope it stays that way up there. I believe it will. It's too far away from all sorts of amenities for your typical run of the mill activist. We shall see though. The day is still young.

Here's an interesting article from the Toronto Star, "Violent protest at summits tends to backfire on the protesters". It goes along pretty good about how the violent confrontations seem to detract from the message. Then the message goes all wobbly when the writer interviews a professor that says the violent activism isn't terrorism:
The amount of violence, in other words, has come to denote the severity of the issue — a bit of shorthand some protestors clearly understand.

In that light, it may be tempting to see violent protests and acts of terrorism as part of the same continuum, which is what police officials did last month in equating the firebombing of a Royal Bank branch in Ottawa with terrorism.

But that would be an unhelpful simplification, argues Wesley Wark, associate professor with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. “There’s a lot of daylight between violent protest, even anarchist protest, and terrorism.”
I am sorry. The minute you use violence to punctuate your message and try to stifle other people from talking it is terrorism. There are people not going to work, businesses shutting down, and so on. No violence yet, but the history of the WTO conferences and other G8/G20 summits leads us to believe that it's coming.

And finally a video summation of yesterday from the Toronto Sun.

Ooops, almost forgot. The judge in a case about the "Sound Cannons" will be handing down his decision on the use of them this weekend. I will try to keep on top of this as well.
See you all later on. Got a lot of things to keep my eyes on.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Close Look at Two Protesters

Well during my perusal of the Toronto Star website I discovered two articles on protesters. One was a first person account of the start of the G20 Protests, and the other was an interview with a self stylized Poverty Protester. Sometimes you have to look at these things and try to understand how and why they think. I know for me it's difficult, since I am a self professed Right Wing Conservative, and getting into the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy(a little sarc there). The two protesters activists I will be looking at are Catherine Porter and Julian Ichim.

Porter wrote an article called Porter: I am a protester, not a terrorist. It's an interesting look into her thoughts as she starts off with the threat alerts being handed out by corporate and the differences between Haiti and here. Her first protest this week is the G20 Queer Callout protest and looks at some of the people that surround her.

She talks about a few of the Gay Activists and what they shout and have done for the G20 protest. She then goes on about how the government has over reacted with police forces, fences, and other items.
Or Savoy Howe, an actress and boxer, who wielded a loudspeaker, leading the group in a chant: “We’re queer. We’re fabulous. We’re against the G20. We’re straight, we’re fabulous, we’re against the G20. We’re differently abled, we’re fabulous, we’re against the G20.”

Terrifying stuff.

Now I went to that protest as well. Yes I admit it was rather tame and peaceful. This was also the start of the week, and the fireworks are still to come from what I have been reading on the main web page for the protesters. Now this person has called out the hype on security and preparation then segues into how she is a protester and has gone to a few demonstrations. Especially the one in Quebec against the Free Trade of the Americas. Yes, one of those violent protests that had tear gas and fencing.

Here's another tidbit from her:

I still haven’t decided if I will carry a home-made gas mask to the protests later this week. I was gassed in Quebec City, and remember how much it stung my eyes and burned my lungs. But the thought of carrying war apparatus to a protest appalls me. It is an acceptance of that post-9/11 corollary that links protests to battle. I am a protester, not a terrorist.

She then goes on to say how the large police presence terrifys her. I am sorry, but I wandered around downtown today's this week. Yes I saw a large police presence. I saw RCMP officers, Toronto Police officers, and patches from departments all across Ontario. Was I scared? Was I worried? Hell no. I felt safe and protected. I also knew that if an officer approached me and questioned me to be polite and calm and answer their questions. Especially carrying a camera around my neck. A person that is scared of Police or enforcement arms of the law usually have a reason. Read the article to get the full view point.

The next article, "Poverty sparked protester’s battle cry over spilled milk
Anti-summit activist has long history of speaking out"
, is even more illuminating. This young man, if you can call him a man, got his start in college by throwing milk on Stockwell Day. At the time Mr. Day was the leader of the Canadian Alliance party which eventually merged with the Progressive Conservatives. Mr. Ichim says that first act was the scariest of his life. He also says he was protesting the anti immigrant, homophobic policies of the party. He was arrested for assault. And he's proud of his first of 35 arrests...
The stunt also earned him a quick arrest, one of about 35 during his 15 years of social activism.

“I’ve spent a large portion of my life in jail, waiting for bail,” Ichim says, adding he’s had only one conviction, for the “very effective” dousing incident.

Well, this just screams unemployable to me. Most jobs require a squeaky clean criminal record. As well being able to show up for work on time. Being in jail tends to put a damper on punctuality.

This young male has been a political activist for quite awhile, in his words:

Prepared to “live and die” for his beliefs, the activist became political as a teenager when he did a Grade 9 project on the leftist Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), whose bombings and other violent acts in support of Quebec independence between 1963 and 1970 killed at least half a dozen people and injured dozens more
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Yes he received a failing grade for supporting a known terrorist organization that was active in Canada. He still thinks he was right over that. He did manage to graduate University with a B.A., other then that he's just been protesting and getting arrested. These are some of the people that show up to protests and organize them. Mr. Ichim is just a step away from being one of the violent groups, if he's not already.

So there you have it folks, in their own words. And as well actions speak louder then words. The temperature is rising in the city, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Saturday and Sunday are going to be interesting days.

Know your enemies, watch them.

Thursday Morning G20 News links and dumps

Good morning everyone. Things have been heating up here and there with all sorts of news. I will just give a few pieces and tidbits where I think appropriate.

from yesterday:
Highway to G8 summit closed overnight Curiouser, and curiouser. I know the area, and having the fire trucks from the three cities/townships isn't that much. About 6 maybe seven trucks in total.
Police, protesters both have a job to do Okay, I think this author is a bit over the top. Protesters don't have jobs per se.
Man awaiting deportation allegedly threatened Harper, actually I think the media is starting to look for a G20/G8 tie in almost all the small stuff now. It makes the news look sexier...
Some G20 hotel guests to face picket line no comment..

And I guess this could be from today. About that arrest and shut down of a street yesterday morning? Well there's been another arrest in that case. Wife of computer specialist arrested in G20 case.

I think that's it for the moment. I am searching for a in depth interview with a Canadian activist. I need to rip some electrons on his profile.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

G20 Morning News compilation

Morning everyone. Just trolling the local news and stuff seeing what made it onto the wires. First off here we have the local print and video news from CTV following the protest yesterday. I don't know how to embed their video on my page, so you will have to go to their page. I think their report of the protest was a little over blown. Then that's just me.

Now in other news, "Police make G20 related security arrest":


A security-related search warrant has led to the arrest of a man in midtown Toronto.

Elderwood Avenue, near Bathurst and Eglinton, has been locked down as police investigate and search the suspect's residence. A 30-year-old man was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon. Police have now revealed that his arrest is related to G20 security.

A bomb disposal unit was on scene but police have not released any information on charges.

The investigation in the area will last until at least Wednesday morning and could span until Thursday.

Two command posts have been set up in the area.

Things are getting quiet downtown here. All the sane people are taking off and quite a few businesses are closing up in preperation for the weekend.
"G20 to turn Toronto in[sic]a ghost town":
There are no tumbleweeds rolling down Bay St. just yet but the signs are everywhere: downtown Toronto is set to become a ghost town once the G20 takes over.

The summit is just days away and while protesters and police are beginning to flood the downtown core, the well-heeled and pinstriped are starting to flee.

Big banks have already kicked in their contingency plans, emptying their Bay St. towers as employees work from home or satellite locations. At the Bank of Montreal, about 20 per cent of its approximately 6,000 downtown workers are already offsite, with as many as 75 per cent expected to stay away Thursday and Friday.

Erika Degroot, a 36-year-old financial adviser, noticed a surprising change while taking the GO Train to work Tuesday.

“I got a seat this morning,” she said. “That’s rare.”[snip]

And the activists in their own words:

Part 1


Part 2


More to come during the day perhaps. Stay tuned.

Update on the police story this morning:
T.O. man charged with possessing explosives in G20 probe

CTV.ca News Staff

A 37-year-old man has been arrested and charged with possessing explosives after police raided a north Toronto home Tuesday as part of a G20-related investigation.

The suspect faces a total of six charges, including intimidating a justice system participant with threats and by watch and beset. He has also been charged with attempting mischief.

ISU spokesperson Const. Michelle Murphy told CTV.ca she could not explain the charges because they deal with evidence in the case.

"To protect the integrity of the investigation, further details will not be released," says a news release issued Wednesday morning. "This investigation is part of the Toronto Police Service's ongoing effort to ensure a safe and secure G20 Summit." [snip]

As well and unrelated:
No Subways Between St. George & Union Stations

Now this story from the Toronto Star, I don't know if it's serious or tongue in cheek:
G20 fashions for the militant and fabulous
Wear the wrong thing, get tear gassed


Another story about the use of sound cannons:
Lawyers in court to stop police from using sound cannons during G20

Civil rights groups will be in a Toronto court today, hoping a judge will stop police from using controversial sound cannons during protests.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Labour Congress are seeking a court injunction.

Toronto police have purchased four sound cannons, which can emit piercing noises similar to a smoke detector.

The civil rights groups say the devices can permanently damage hearing.

Police say they will use them to broadcast pre-recorded messages to protesters.

The two groups say they hope the judge will issue a ruling this afternoon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Queer G20 Callout Protest

Well I lucked out. The rain was fierce during the day, but by the time I got off work and headed downtown it had stopped. Where was I going? To a protest. Down at Yonge and Queen where the alphabet sexually confused community were organizing a rush hour street blockage/protest. Yes they planned it for rush hour on our city streets. At least it was publicized in advance for those of us who pay attention and watch. I got down there in good time while they were setting up on the north east corner.
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I took the opportunity to start documenting the action, or at this time lack of it. I estimate that there was about 50 people to start with, maybe 75.
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It wasn't hard to miss them. They were carrying signs, guys dressed in drag, and hot pink all over the place. Well they waited to get started, made nice with all the media that were covering it. At one point I think there were more spectators then there were protesters. Any way they got started and marched down Queen St. West.
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They took their time, shouted slogans the usual. One incident I missed, I was caught in the log jam of media and spectators, happened just west of Yonge street. Apparently someone was hit and arrested by the police and hauled off. That's what I heard from one of the protesters that was giving his eye witness account to a lot of media. I don't know what happened to cause it, I will be keeping my eyes on the news and will update what happened on the morning news post.

Anyway, they kept walking to Bay street and stopped in the intersection blocking traffic doing their small pieces of street theater. Made a few speeches and then moved on after about ten minutes of this.
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Slowly they wandered down Queen street, eventually making it to University Avenue where they blocked off the north bound lanes for some major street theater.

They had someone in one of those requisite puppet heads of Stephen Harper, our prime minister, who was pantomining all sorts of disgust and such. They appeared to have some technical difficulties with their portable stereo and ended up doing a acapella of "Harper Don't Preach". I am assuming from the off key singing that it was a parody of Madonnas "Pappa don't Preach".
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For some reason they are under the impression that Harper is taking away womens rights and squashing the gay community. One of the many things that I don't understand. After this small bit of bad street theater they made their way onto the center island and took up position on the base of the South African War Memorial there. I watched for a bit longer taking a few more pictures before calling it a day and going home.

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Over all as protests go I think this one was rather lame. All it did was annoy the rush hour commuters and did nothing. The police were out in force though and were well co-ordinated in directing traffic and keeping things in order. I hope that this is the worst of it. A forlorn hope I know, the worst is yet to come.

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G20: Tuesday morning news links and information

Okay, I have been browsing the news sites online looking for information generally and specifically on what's going on and on what's happened over the day and night. I found some news about the protest yesterday and there were a few arrests and a minor occupation of a Esso gas station.
G20 protesters try to take over downtown property

Just a paragraph or two from that article reported by the Toronto Star:

About 100 protesters briefly occupied an Esso gas station and convenience store at Dundas and Jarvis Sts. Monday afternoon in the first major protest of the G20 summit.

Some came with bandanas covering their faces. Others carried signs that read “Fake lake or human rights.” Most had a legal aid phone number scribbled across their forearms in case of arrest.

The main organizers, members of a Guelph-based anti-poverty group called Sense of Security, had vowed to “take a piece of property” in Toronto’s downtown core in an attempt to bring attention to lack of housing for the poor.

But their plans were stymied when a squad of about 50 police officers, many on bikes, redirected their march at Sherbourne and Dundas Sts.

The Toronto Sun has different details on the same protest that aren't really mentioned in the Toronto Star. Go figure

Toronto gets its first taste of protest:

a few interesting paragraphs here...
As they approached Allan Gardens, Barton said police seized one-metre tall bamboo sticks he and friends brought for Mohawk warrior flags a native in the group wanted displayed.

He said they felt “intimidated” by officers.

Barton expects larger protests when the G20 meets downtown Saturday.

“If I’m going to be corralled, I’m going to try and break out by any means as long as it’s not violent against a human being,” he said.

He added that smashing corporate building windows and expensive artwork would be reasonable.

Leaving Allan Gardens, up to 75 young people briefly occupied a gas station-variety store and — after being ordered out by police — headed towards Yonge St. where they went north.

So that's the protest that I couldn't find yesterday. Real shame, but some of us have to work for a living at real jobs.

I saw this news link and wondered if it was about the "rumour" I heard yesterday morning. I read it and not related. Still, some protesters are stockpiling weapons already. Kudos to our police and security for finding it. I just hope that there aren't other stashes out there undiscovered.

Cops find protest weapons:
Toronto Police have uncovered caches of the potential weapons that violent demonstrators used in past protests, says Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows.

Despite finding no links to suspects, he said “dilligent police work” during patrols throughout the downtown area where G20 leaders will meet this weekend uncovered staches of broken concrete blocks under bushes...
[snip]

Something in the area, I personally think it's totally unrelated, "Shots fired from car near G20 fence":

By The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The hunt is on for a black luxury car after shots were fired early today in downtown Toronto _ near the G20 security fence.

Several off-duty RCMP officers heard the shots that were fired near King and John Streets.

Police tracked the car at high speeds before it disappeared into the west Toronto area.

No one was hit, but a number of shell casings were found at the scene.

Meanwhile, demonstrators protesting this week's summit of world leaders say they will be back in downtown Toronto today.

Hundreds of protesters shut down traffic in parts of the city Monday _ marching through the streets while officers on bicycles moved alongside, blocking side streets as they passed by. (AM640, The Canadian Press)

And on another note, A Canadian soldier was killed yesterday in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers with him and his family.

Missed Protest

Well there was a protest scheduled at Allan Gardens yesterday afternoon. After a bit of digging and searching I finally found out that the time was set for 2 PM. Come on, don't these leftist dirt bags have real jobs? I found the schedule on the website that I posted last night and most of the stuff is during the afternoon through the week.

After I got off work I headed down to Allan Gardens hoping to catch at least the end of the protest. Nope, by 4:30 they were done, cleaned out, and gone. Oh well, one missed opportunity. The big ones are scheduled for the weekend and I will be at ground zero for those ones. I thought that they may have moved to other locations. Like where the security fencing is set up down town, Dundas Square, or Queen's Park.

Along the way the police presence was pretty visible. Standing here, standing there. Either in pairs or large groups. I noticed that they seemed to be placed in certain strategic locations. Sorry nutbars, you will have to work at figuring that out yourselves. I am sure that you already have. It's not like the police and security forces have gone out of there way to be secretive about it. An ounce of prevention comes to mind.

Well I did ask one officer if he knew if there were any protests going on and he just told me about the one at Allan Gardens. Damn, no luck it seems. So I made my way up to Queen's Park to the nearest subway entrance at the time. My luck turned a bit. At least for something of interest. At College and University, on the north east corner, there's a memorial to fallen firefighters.

The interesting thing was the security fence around it. You can tell it's a security fence. No construction, restoration, or gates into it. Just a straight fence.
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Well my curiosity was piqued at this. I wondered if any other statues/memorials/sculptures were similarly blocked off. Queen's Park was just there so I wandered up. Nothing. No fencing around the War Memorial, statues, or sculptures. Curiouser, and curiouser. I continued wandering north towards Bloor to see what else I could see. Sure enough I found another memorial fenced off. This one? The Ontario Police memorial.
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Unfenced Queen's Park statue...
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Hmmmmm, fascinating. If I didn't know any better I would think that the people setting this stuff up thought that these two memorials would be special targets for the protesters. Pictures snapped I continued up to Bloor and Museum station. Method to my madness here, you see I have walked this area a few times and know what to look for. Except for the OPP and firefighters memorial, all other sculptures in the immediate area were unfenced. Well, it looks like things will be very interesting this week, especially on G-Day.

See? My eyes are open.

Monday, June 21, 2010

From the "You gotta be kidding me file"

Lunar eclipse, astrology and protests. Seriously. This article is from the Toronto Star about a partial lunar eclipse on Saturday. If my reading of the timing is right we may see a partial one at about 1516 in the afternoon.

Just another link as well for those who want to follow what's going on and planned in the way of protests.

G20: Monday Links and Plans

Well it looks like things are starting to move out there. Places are starting to lock down and move items that will be considered damageable in the down town core. There's a protest planned downtown at a park called Allan Gardens. Police were doing a sweep earlier this morning. The protest is planned for this afternoon. I will wander down after work to see what is going on. I hope to see some stuff going on.

Finally for today, a news article with a small list of the players probably involved in the protests coming up. Small names, big names, and rabble rousers. The funniest group has to be The Zeitgeist Movement. May have to do some research on them just for grins and giggles.

Keep your eyes open and heads up. Don't want to be boarded by accident.

UPDATE: Just learned from a good source that some molotov cocktails were found when a person of interest was followed back to a staging point. No link, at the moment just hearsay. I do consider my source to be reputable though.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lead up to the G20/G8

Well I have been busy with other things so I have been putting off posting here for awhile. Besides a lot of other bloggers, news writers, and other people have been doing this better then I can. Needless to say the city is a little on edge with what's going to be happening this coming week. Why's the city on edge? Well there's been protests planned all over the place and veiled threats. Police have been shipped in from all over the province and city to deal with what may and probably will happen. A lot of people I have heard from plan on being else where for the actual weekend of the protests. Am I nervous? A bit, actually more then a bit. I won't say why at the moment. Protection of a sort is all.

The veiled threats here actually started a month ago in Ottawa. In a shocking incident, a RBC ATM was firebombed and threats left that the same would be happening in Toronto. The good news is that the offending parties have been captured and charged. That doesn't mean the threat is over. Most anarchist groups aren't really organized and tend to copy cat a lot. Like one person caught and charged here in Toronto after marking several ATM areas with graffiti.

We may breath a small sigh of relief that these offenders have been captured and charged. These are just a few of the people out there looking to cause mischief. One blogger/reporter for the Toronto Sun, Alan Parker, has been covering a few things in the lead up to the summit here in Toronto. His one post, "Yes Virginia, there will be G20 riots." lays out some of the game plans that people are setting up. All in all the whole thing won't be pretty.

At least things are being set up, and plans have been made. The question to ask ourselves is, have we done enough? What will happen, and finally, what will the final results be? I plan on wandering around a bit during the week and looking for things to document. Stay tuned it's going to be a busy week.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

N30 After Affects and Reprecussions

It's been awhile since I have done a post here. I have been trying to track down more information and find time to actually write something here. After all I did say this was a secondary blog for me.

The Seattle WTO protests or N30 as it became to be known was a turning point in protests the world over. Mistakes were made by the city and state in planning and implementation. One key mistake was ignoring what was being said on the internet at the time. The internet was looked upon by most in law enforcement as nothing that big. In fact, anarchists were using it to co-ordinate and plan actions months in advance of the protest. As well when the protests were actually in full swing the Seattle PD didn't have a clear plan of action for what to do and how to respond.

About 9 months after the incidents during N30 a report was issued by the city on what went wrong. Planning was at fault on more levels then just the police. From the mayors office down there were break downs in communication, planning, and expectations. The whole up shot was that the WTO conference ended up costing twice as much, and property damage in many areas exceeded $20 million dollars.

Dealing with the protest by the law enforcement and city was a failure. The anarchists, protesters, and anti-globalization crowd considered the whole event a total success. They got their message out and it was now a common topic in the media and politically.

Further protests at WTO meetings in democratic areas seemed to escalate each time they were done. The next big one was Montreal in the fall of 2000 for the G20 meeting.

(this will be updated with the Montreal protests when I can find for info. Needle in a hay stack approach)

Protests started erupting all over the world when ever nation leaders got together to discuss foreign economic policy. The anti-globalization movement seemed to think that these meetings were bad. I can't say much about where they learned their information from. I do know that they hadn't read any Keynes or Adam Smith economic papers.

Cities and governments started taking stringent security measures leading up to summit meetings. After what happened in Seattle, security barriers are now the norm at all summits. In fact, protesters have complained about this. I know silly really. You go out and create mayhem and damage and then complain when that activity is restricted. Go figure.

So lets just give a run down on anti-globalization protests here.
Seattle November 30, 1999 (WTO)
Washington DC April 2000 (A16)
Montreal October 23, 2000 (G8/G20)
Quebec City April 20 2001 (Summit of the Americas)
Genoa July 2001 (G8/G20)
Mar del Plata November 2005 (Summit of the Americas)
Honk Kong December 2005 (WTO)
London April 2009 (G8/G20)
Pittsburgh September 2009 (G20)

And now we are approaching the G8/G20 here in Toronto Canada. Things are heating up and will be interesting.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Anarchists, Anticapitalists, Protests, and Globalization Part 1

Okay, I have been doing some reading and researching looking for the key point when it all went to H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. I am looking at all the security preparations here in Toronto for the upcoming G8/G20 conference and listening to all the bellyaching and screaming of costs. Yes the security costs can be outrageous, 1 billion dollars is the figure being thrown around, but you have to ask the question. Why are security costs so high? I mean it's just a bunch of nations getting together to talk economics right?

Well there's a vocal group that doesn't see it that way. A bunch of groups of no real intellect, self titled anarchists, rightists*, and anti-capitalists think that something hinky is going on. Well they are right in one sense. They have protested things for years, corporations, profits, governments, democracies, you name it. They are right and the big guys are wrong. Somewhere in here you get the nutbars that believe all these meetings and conferences are going to usher in a one world government and one world currency. Lunatics, go figure.

Anyway I believe it all came to a head in Seattle in 1999. From what I can dig up that seems to be the breaking point of all the madness since. Any way there's been a lot of articles and blog posts written about what is known as N30. November 30, 1999 the opening of the WTO conference. It boils down to that about 30-50 thousand protesters showed up and started a chain of events that lead to a state of emergency been declared in the city by the Mayor.

Roll that number around your head for a moment 30,000 to 50,000. People in the streets, chanting, drumming, shoving, sitting, making nuisances of themselves. A small city in the streets causing mayhem. Even if in the beginning it was peaceful. Apparently early in the morning they seeked and actually managed to block off intersections to all traffic. I don't know about you, but here in Toronto that screams gridlock of the worst sort. It definitely did the same for the morning commuters for Seattle.

I could go into details here, but this post about the whole event by someone who was right there sums up the whole event quite succinctly. With pictures and personal points of reference the page is here.

One Billion Dollars for security. Is it enough? This wasn't the only bad protest. More to follow as I go. After all, it's two weeks till the fun begins here in Toronto. And the fun has just started with all sorts of scares and arrests already...

Keep your bloody eyes open people

Musings on the G8/G20

Okay, I have been working on doing some research on this whole mess that's coming to Toronto at the end of the month. I hope to be taking some pictures of the insanity that will be in full bloom when it happens. I do know that there has been a whole lot of screaming and wailing and gnashing of teeth by protesters already about certain security features. Let them scream as far as I am concerned. There's actually good reason for all the procedures that are being set up. I will be getting to that in the days ahead. A lot of history behind the protesters. As well there has been a few incidents and other items of interest that have made the news. Things will be hot in the city of Toronto.

It's so tight that Huntsville, a few hours north of Toronto, has also been put into a security lock down as well. I have been through that area a few times. Talk about the middle of nowhere. Good thing about that is that the locals will know who doesn't fit in and will be on high alert themselves.

Anyway, just a heads up about what's going on at the least. Like I said originally this blog won't be updated often. When it is though watch out.

Eyes open.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Unions, Left Wing Organizations, and Concern Trolls

Well I am going to finish this off tonight and start getting some research done on the next scheduled big event here in Toronto. I saw quite a few flags and banners at the protest. There were Palestinian, Turkish, and later on Irish flags (had to look that one up when I got home). There were a few other flags being waved as well. One was a Greek flag for some odd reason. If you know the history, you will know why it was odd.

Anyway, I know for a fact that if I belonged to a major union I wouldn't want them showing support for a bunch of terrorists. Or at the least have someone display my unions support. Seriously, how many union members know that their union is showing the flag like this?

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The two union flags are a little hard to read, being backwards and all. The one on the left belongs to CUPW, or Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The other is CUPE or Canadian Union of Public Employees. I know that the majority of CUPW members aren't very left wing. At least mostly. So I wonder what they would say about this? CUPE I don't know what there members are like. Do they endorse this sort of thing?
Here's another picture of two union flags. One is a "local" flag versus a generic flag.
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Left wing organizations always show up at these events. Seem to like revolutions judging from history. Anyway the Communist party showed up, the Trotskyist League, Bayan, and Migrante as well. Those last two were new to me. So I did a little digging on the net. Bayan is one of those groups that tries to help migrant labour. The site seemed serious and legit, no political message apparent. Unless you dug deep. Mention of "Big Corporations" hiring migrant labour to bust unions. Yep, a leftist organization. Migrante is just as bad. There last big event was May Day. May Day is celebrated world wide by unions and communist parties alike. It was a major festival in the former Soviet Union.

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Finally "Trolls" and "Concern Trolls". These are internet definitions. A troll is essentially some one who tries to out argue and raise such a ruckus most topics get disrupted. A "Concern Troll" is a sub-species of troll that tries to make an argument while not being loudly argumentative and bringing in "feelings". Well I was on the JDL side of the street, we got a few of the former, and one of the later. The first one was wearing a keffiyeh and Palestinian flag hat and scarf and walked by the counter protesters shouting at them and raising all sorts of ruckus. The police quickly surrounded him and moved him away from the JDL. The concern troll, wearing a keffiyeh as well with a shirt showing a map of Lebanon and Arabic script. Walked by and was shouted at by the counter protesters. He acted shocked and outraged that he, a Canadian for 40 years, would be subjected to such verbal abuse. Outrage, outrage, outrage.
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(Troll and then Concern Troll)

Here's how I knew the second guy was a concern troll. I have been living here in Toronto now for over a decade. I have been all over the city. The only time I seem to see the keffiyehs come out is at demonstrations. It's almost a flag in itself.
Anyway you also got the usual people driving by honking support for both sides. As well as people filming the protest as they drove by.

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I saw some drivers get mouthy with the police when they were told to "cease and desist" with shouting and honking. Lucky for the drivers the police were too busy to cause any traffic issues. (I did see a few officers write down plate numbers though)

anyway that's the last post of the protest and counter-protest. I will wave you out with flag shots. Keep your eyes open and on watch.

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