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

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