G20 field reports: Amber Hildebrandt

amberoldlady.jpgA woman waits to cross as riot police march down Yonge Street. (Amber Hildebrandt/CBC)

By Amber Hildebrandt, CBC News

CBC's Amber Hildebrandt is on the the streets of Toronto and will be filing hourly updates during the G20 summit.

amber-hilderbrandt-52.jpgBeyond the masses of protesters and police and media, there is the contingent of curious onlookers, both citizens and tourists alike, who either get caught up in the madness or seek it out.

Finding it is not hard. Not only because following Twitter makes it exceedingly easy to track down the hot zones, but also because the entire downtown core has become a demonstration or standoff waiting to happen. Listen closely and you will hear the cop walkie-talkies screech the latest news or you'll see a protester waving people in the "right" direction.

Among the people I have met are a 16-year-old who secretly came down to the protest by the security fence and an 80-year-old woman on Bay who asked the riot police to let her through to go to the pharmacy (the answer was no). She simply sat down on her walker to wait it out, unperturbed by the protesters shouting expletives at the riot police in front of her. She mumbled something about them not having money, but having too much time.

I also met a trio of tourists from Cincinnati in Toronto for three days, who had no idea the G20 was here. Until they arrived this afternoon and noticed Pearson was abuzz with unusual activity.

Joan Blumberg, 71, said she came down with her friend Nancy and Nancy's daughter, Martha, for a fun-filled weekend and decided to check out some of the action at Wellington and Simcoe, where police were evacuating folks away from the fence.

"I keep thinking about the criticism the police are getting for not taking charge. But it doesn't look that way to me. I appreciate the restraint," said Blumberg.

blumberg.jpgTourists Joan Blumberg, her friend Nancy, and Nancy's daughter Martha, saw some of the protests. (Timothy Neesam/CBC) 

Amber is reporting from @CBCReporters

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