Final thoughts: Some perspective on the protests

Protesters march on College Street at a June 25 demonstration. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)

By Prasanna Rajagopalan

pras-52.jpgMuch has been made of the violent scenes that erupted during Saturday's G20 protest, the police crackdown the following day and the transformation of much of downtown to something resembling the setting of a zombie horror film.

But as the shattered glass is swept up, the clouds of tear gas clear, and the security fence is dismantled, it's worth taking note of what got lost in the chaos -- the thousands of people who marched peacefully through the streets of Toronto looking to do nothing more than ask that their leaders do better.

I spoke to dozens of protesters who passionately and articulately demanded accountability from our public institutions on a variety of issues, including the environment, native rights and poverty issues.

These protesters were no violent mob. Rather, many of them appeared to be knowledgeable and engaged members of the electorate -- the vast majority of whom had no part in the weekend's vandalism.

Instead, much of our attention is drawn to the debate between those decrying police brutality and those railing against thuggish anarchists.

Will the demonstrations be remembered for the issues they brought up, as many protesters hoped? Unfortunately, that question now seems laughably naive.

Listed below are the major peaceful protests that took place in Toronto the week leading up to the summit:

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