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.

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