Protesters: my view
- June 19, 2010 12:00 PM |
- By G20 Street Team
Mother and daughter protesters are covered in a cocoa and vegetable oil to resemble a human oil slick during a G8 protest organised by Oxfam Canada. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)
By Bob Dunkin, G20 citizen blogger
I do a lot of reading online, including comment forums. One thing I haven't quite been able to grasp is why most people do not differentiate between violent protesters and regular protesters. I'm really not sure why this is. There isn't really any reason why those who follow the law should be lumped in with those whose sole purpose appears to be to defy the law.
While it can be said that both groups of protesters disrupt travel through the city, it should be noted that doing it legally is... well... legal. There are rules that have to be followed, and some groups are quite good at making sure everyone knows what the rules are. It's like driving. Everyone has the same sets of rules and follows them. Red lights disrupt the flow of traffic too, but we have to abide by them. By and far, the vast majority of the protesters are going to be peaceful. Sure, they may yell and scream, but so long as no violence follows (or is incited), there is nothing wrong with enjoying this right as a Canadian citizen.
It's when a handful of violent individuals are able to get into a crowd of peaceful protesters that the trouble starts. You see the same thing following major sporting events. They don't all come there to be violent, smash windows, set cars and garbage cans on fire, or loot. They do it because others are and some people can feel as if they can get away with it or are somehow justified in taking such actions. There are various explanations as to why this happens, and it happens in any group. From large organizations down to the family unit, all of them can suffer from these sorts of things.
An easy non-violent example: One of my pet peeves is standing ovations. Not the real heartfelt ones; those are fantastic. But the ones where only a few people stand up, and then the rest of the audience feels obligated to follow along, lest they feel like they just didn't get it. I've been in those audiences, and even I begrudgingly stood up. Did I want to? No. But I did anyways, because everyone else was doing it.
Another example would be a haunted house. You're with a group of friends in a haunted house. One gets scared by something (real or imagined), then another, and another. Soon, all the people in the house are scared by mundane noises, which everyone blames on the paranormal, even though it's just the wind outside, or the floorboards creaking because you're walking on them. If you weren't told that the house was haunted, would you be as scared? Probably not.
And then there are soccer riots.
Related: Meet the team
Related: G20 Flashdance
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