Protest clogs downtown


Protesters begin their march through downtown Toronto. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)

By Prasanna Rajagopalan, CBC News

pras-52.jpgBetween 150 and 200 protesters gathered at Allan Gardens in Toronto's east end Monday at 2:00 p.m. for what I thought was an anti-G20 protest.

It turns out that they had gathered to protest not only the G20 summit, but also a litany of other causes including, but not limited to:

  • Animal rights
  • Poverty issues
  • Maternal health
  • Native rights
  • Women's rights

Regardless of the cause, the rally brought out hordes of media and police officers.

The vocal band went on a long and winding march through downtown Toronto, snaking down Sherbourne, across Dundas, then up Yonge, much to the chagrin of motorists in the area. They yelled slogans like "This is what democracy looks like. This is what a police state looks like," and "Whose streets? Our streets!"

Police officers marched along with the protesters, closing roads as they progressed.

The peaceful protest finally stopped at the Children's Aid Society of Toronto on Isabella.

Two protest leaders entered the building to demand "accountability" for institutional abuse of children.

The protest then dispersed at around 5 p.m., although many in the crowd promised further marches in the days before the summit.

Here are some of the sights that I saw along the way:

Protesters walk down Sherbourne Street just after leaving Allan Gardens. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)

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About a dozen protesters enter and occupy an Esso gas station at Church and Dundas. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)


The protest approaches Dundas Square. The two men in the centre of the picture were later heard chanting: "We're here, we're clear. Anarchists will f--k you up." (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)

Yonge Street is completely clogged just north of Dundas as police try to free up the southbound lanes. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)


Police are able to open the southbound lane on Yonge near Dundas. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)

Police speak to protesters after one man is taken into police custody. A handful of protesters immediately confronted officers after his arrest, saying he had done nothing wrong. The police asked them to back away and did not come into physical contact with them. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)

A protest leader, who identified herself only as Kelly, speaks to the crowd outside the Children's Aid Society. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)