Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
G20 - One year ago this weekend, the fragile contract between the citizens of Canada's largest city and their police fractured and almost shattered.
The usual and delicate interaction between cops and civilians evaporated in a fog of tear gas, burning cars, police beatings, mass arrests and a controversial control practice called "kettling", which left hundreds of ordinary people surrounded by riot cops for five hours in a bone-chilling rain.
The G20 Summit riot pictures flashed around the world.
More than 1,100 people were arrested, a total larger than any other mass arrests in Canadian history.
They were kept in squalid conditions is a makeshift prison that came to be known as "Torontonomo."
Late in the week, the Toronto police chief admitted that his force was ill-prepared for what happened and overwhelmed by the actions of protesters.
This morning we examine what happened at the G20 Summit a year ago from a number of perspectives.
We will look at the actions of the police, hear from those arrested and detained and about what, if anything, has been learned.
In our First Hour Documentary Producer John Chipman focuses in on the strange crowd control practice of kettling.
The technique drew so much criticism and is so controversial that the police chief announced this week, his department won't use it again.
The G20----One year later in our First and Second Hours this morning.
Read more about hour one here
Read more about hour two here
Greek Debt Crisis - In our Third Hour, bailing out the Greeks. The debt crisis in Greece is wreaking economic and political havoc in the Euro Zone. We'll try to understand why and how the problem might threaten the global economic recovery.
Read more about hour three here
Elsewhere in the program: some end of school thoughts about teachers and a reprise of our award-winning documentary, Watch My Stick...Please.
Michael's EssayIn this week's essay, Michael thoughts on the much-maligned profession of teaching.
John Pruyn recounts what happened to him when he and his family attended one of the protests during the G20 Summit last year
Coming to a Boil
This time last year, downtown Toronto resembled an armed camp. Shop windows had been smashed. Police cars were set on fire. Businesses were forced to close, losing millions of dollars for which they have never been compensated. And in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, more than eleven hundred people were sent to a makeshift detention centre ironically dubbed "Torontonamo."
Dozens of amateur videos show protestors being beaten by police, as conflict raged on the streets of Canada's biggest city.
One year later, much is unresolved. Of the 1,118 people who were arrested, only 330 were charged. In 187 of these cases, the charges were dropped.
On this program, we will examine the legacy of the G20. How did things go so terribly wrong? What, if anything, have we learned?
We begin with a documentary about a controversial policing tactic that was used for the first time in Canada, during the G20.
Police call it "containment." Protesters call it "kettling." Human rights activists call it unconstitutional.
At the time, the police insisted it was an essential tool. But just this week, the Toronto Police Service changed its position, announcing it would not "kettle" again.
It was a different story, one year ago.
Here is The Sunday Edition's John Chipman, with "Coming to a Boil."
The officer who struck Jay MacDonald with his shield, as Jay was backing away from the line of advancing police, was wearing his badge number ... 11909 ... on his helmet.
OPP Sergeant Pierre Chamberland said the force will not release Officer 11909's name.
Jay MacDonald has lodged a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
Sergeant Chamberland said the OPP will co-operate with the office, if an investigation is launched.
Click the links below to watch video of the incident.
It was the worst violation of civil rights in Canada since the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. Worse even than during the October Crisis in 1970, when the imposition of the War Measures Act resulted in the arrests of 468 citizens, the vast majority of whom were released without charge.
Last June, during the G20 Summit in Toronto, security forces shattered that record and didn't need the War Measures Act to do it. Police arrested 1,118 people during the Summit protests. Only a fraction of those people were ever prosecuted.
As if the mass arrests weren't enough, there are also countless claims of police brutality and overkill. And the matter of the now infamous Eastern Avenue Detention Centre - "Torontonamo" - where detainees were submitted to what they call callous and inhumane treatment.
A shameful few days in the nation of peace, order and good government.
We invited three people to discuss the events of that June weekend and the many issues that it raised - about crowds and police and the often volatile mix of political protest and high-pitched security. And what if anything we have learned from the G20 debacle.
Nathalie Des Rosiers is the General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Tommy Taylor is a Toronto theatre director and writer who was detained for more than 24 hours at the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre. They were both in our studio in Toronto.
Dr. Mike Webster was in Victoria. He is a reknowned police psychologist and crisis management expert with more than thirty years experience consulting with the RCMP, the FBI and many other police forces inside and outside of Canada.
Mike McCormack is a 21-year veteran of the Toronto Police Force, and now the head of the Toronto Police Association -- the police union. Mr. McCormack represents fifty five hundred police officers in Toronto.
The financial meltdown of 2008 may have started in the United States, but it quickly weakened the economy of the whole world. Now a potentially contagious debt crisis in Greece is threatening our already fragile global recovery.
It's a complicated problem that's not only economic but also political. Earlier this week, thousands of Greek protesters tried to stop their government from slashing its spending. But in the end, after some strong-arming from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Prime Minister George Papandreou survived a confidence vote that could have derailed his austerity plan.
But can the cradle of western civilization really become the graveyard of modern Europe's economy?
Grant Amyot is a Professor at Queen's University who specialized in European politics and economic policy. He was in a studio at the campus Radio station CFRC.
It was a bit of a mad hatter gamble to sink a million dollars of the National Ballet's budget into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
But Karen Kain's risk is paying rich dividends - Alice is the highest-grossing main season production in the company's history. The co-production with London's Royal Ballet is a smash hit on both sides of the ocean.
Alice is a wordless - yet very witty - fresh take on the beloved 1865 novel by Lewis Carroll.
The ballet's choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, drew on the movies of Pixar and images from a Victorian childhood to create the production. It boasts wild sets and a cast that includes a tap-dancing hatter, and Rex Harrington doing a hilarious turn as the King of Hearts.
The ballet's score, which was composed by Joby Talbot, has been described as a percussion triathlon where as much is going on in the pit as on the stage.
This is a bit of the Alice score, courtesy of the Royal Ballet.
Watch My Stick, Please
In this band, the most common command from the conductor is SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
That's because at practice, the banter is as noisy as the bassoons, the talk as loud as the trumpets. People play in this band - not because they're virtuosos - but because they love to.
And the company 's no chopped liver either.
The band is called Resa's Pieces ... after its founder and conductor, Resa Kochberg.
In 1999, she was an itinerant music teacher with a dream - to bring people back to playing instruments they had left behind, often decades earlier.
At seven o'clock every Monday evening, the band members meet for practice in a room at a North York High School....knowing that every June, they'll have to rein in the kibbitzing, pay attention and play their very best at the annual gala.
Last year on The Sunday Edition, Alisa Siegel brought us their remarkable story. Now, as our regular season comes to a close for the year, we thought it was a good time to both bring back a great story...and to toot our own horn so to speak.
Watch My Stick, Please has won one of the most coveted prize in broadcasting...a Gabriel. Sponsored by the Catholic Academy, the Gabriels honour programs that "uplift and nourish the human spirit."
Congratulations to Alisa Siegel and to our documentary editor Karen Levine. this is "Watch My Stick, Please."