G20: A day of chaos
- June 27, 2010 11:18 AM |
- By G20 Street Team
Smoke rises from burning cars as protests turns violent in the Queen and Spadina area. (Zach Bussey)
By Zach Bussey, G20 citizen blogger
Good Morning Toronto! How are you feeling? A little hung over from yesterday's chaos I bet.
But ultimately, I think it's what we all wanted. We wanted the chaos, we wanted the violence, we wanted the destruction, and we can breathe a sigh of relief that it all came without any major injuries.
You don't believe me? Hmm, OK, let me elaborate.
Leading up to these meetings, the story was the billion-dollar budget to secure the G20 and to secure the streets of Toronto. Everyone was up in arms over it (not literally of course, police secured any arms in the area). Friday, the first major protest took to the streets of Toronto and peacefully moved about the city, then settled back in Allen Gardens to establish the tent city. The story then was, "High-tension moments between protesters and police." Still peaceful, though. Phew!
Then, yesterday, when thousands gathered at Queen's Park and took their voices to the street, the story was, "Everything peaceful. Marching along Queen, going north on Spadina."
This is where I realized how people wanted things to change. I stuck near G20 accredited journalists as they spoke with police. The most common questions asked: "Where are the police saying it might get violent?" and, "Are police dealing with any violence right now and if so, where?"
A downtown Starbucks was damaged during Saturday's protests. (Zach Bussey)
Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., I heard this same line of questioning from reporters from La Presse, the Toronto Star, CTV, the Montreal Gazette and others.
So when violence erupted, things got good for the media. They finally had something that would sell papers and keep people glued to their seats watching live coverage. The protests became the violence and though this violence was executed by a small group of people (estimates put it at 300-400), they got the airtime they craved.
I'm guilty of this too! I admit it. I took many pictures of the aftermath (and tweeted during it). So I'm not saying I'm some golden boy who's above it. No, absolutely not. The difference is I'm admitting to wanting to see/cover the violence. A controversial thing to say, I know, but there are enough videos on YouTube and enough stories leading up to the G20 that we all knew violence was likely. We were all just waiting for it to happen. Sure we've all said, "Those violent people ruined it for all, I hate them," but secretly, we can all agree, the violence was interesting.
Make no mistake Toronto, we got what we wanted. We're just happy no one was seriously injured in the process.
I do want to single out the Integrated Security Unit though; they did a good job showing restraint with protesters as a whole. I'm very glad there were no major injuries and I want to commend them on a job well done. I personally never felt threatened and while I was scared at times, it was as a result of putting myself in a scary situation (in front of a group of horses, for example). So a big thumbs up!
About the Blog
CBC News Your Voice has assembled a team of citizen bloggers and CBC staff to bring you a street level view of Toronto during the global conference. From residents who live inside the security perimeter to business owners and students eager to share their perspectives, the G20: Street Level team will provide you with a 360-degree view of the summit's impact.
All News blogs
G20: Street Level
- G20 Street Level: A look back
- Police encircle and detain a crowd of protesters during the G20 summit in Toronto, on Sunday June 27, 2010. (Chris Young/Canadian Press) By Kim Fox, CBC NewsAs police erected barriers, world leaders descended on Toronto, and protesters prepared to capture... Continue reading this post
- G20: Highlights from our reporters
- Reporters sit next to the fake lake at the G20 media centre in Toronto. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)Leading up to and during the G20 summit in Toronto, CBC News' Street Level blog brought readers extensive reports from around the city. Our... Continue reading this post
- G20: Highlights from our citizen bloggers
- A man stands in front of the security fence outside Union Station in Toronto on Monday, June 28 as city life returns to normal following the weekend's G20 demonstrations. (Chris Young/Canadian Press) Leading up to and during the G20 summit... Continue reading this post