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(en) US, Boston Anti-Authoritarian Movement BAAM #36 - P. 5 - The G20 and Kkkanada

Date Fri, 27 Aug 2010 18:11:56 +0300

On June 24th-June 27th the G20 summit was held in Toronto, Ontario. As planned, an outpouring of protest filled the city in an attempt to stop the economic policies of the world’s elite powers. I was fortunate enough to cross the border and witness the demonstrations, when most activists from the US were denied entry into Canada for obvious reason. ---- What I saw throughout the demonstrations was a great amount of solidarity between people from various struggles and a fairlysuccessful militant march that brought positive and negative perspectives to the table. ---- In the days leading up to Saturday, I saw an escalation of militancy against the G20, but also an escalation of police presence. Downtown Toronto became a pretty much like prison. A fence that was eight or nine feet tall with concrete barriers was erected through out downtown. It was literally miles long.

These fences combined with being in a for-
eign country, at the height of state repression,
manifested an unsettling apprehension in me.
Thursday saw a march for indigenous rights
that brought out over 2,000 people. There was
a great show of solidarity from various na-
tions, and it did a lot to shed light onto the
history of the Indigenous struggle in Canada.
On Saturday was the biggest march. Be-
tween 30-40,000 protestors showed up in
Queens Park, the free-speech zone for speech-
es before the march. It was raining before
noon, but the skies would clear soon after.
Folks from Unions, LGBTQ communities,
anti-poverty groups (like OCAP, Ontario Co-
alition Against Poverty),
anarchists, anti-capital-
ists, and other radicals,
were present. Some of
the more radical groups
present were No One is
Illegal (an anti-capital-
ist immigration justice
group), SOAR (South-
ern Ontario Anarchist
Resistance), and CLAC
(en francais: an anti-
capitalist convergence).
Not long after I arrived,
everyone started march-
ing on the pre-planned
march route.
It was already known
amongst those marching
that a militant break-
away march was going
to happen at some point, the question
was when and how? Then, someone
lit up a flair. That was the signal that
the breakaway march had begun. The
march began zig-zagging its way
through downtown Toronto towards
the convention center. Police started
showing resistance immediately af-
ter the group attempted to get to the
convention center. There is a plethora
of video footage where people are
smashing corporate businesses and
burning cop cars.
For a while it seemed like the group
owned the streets and the police sim-
ply could not stop them. Only after
the march returned to Queens Park
did the police begin to detain and ar-
rest people. It seemed at that point
most of the people being arrested
were not presently partaking in any
violence, but rather the police insti-
gated the violence. The police started
to fire pepper balls and snatch people
in the crowd who were “agitators.”
If the bloc was bent on property destruc-
tion then surely they met their goals, but also
with that brought massive repression by the
state in the following days. More than 1000
arrests where made in total. For the rest of
the day and for the rest of my stay in Toronto
I didn’t see anything even close to a militant
protest in comparison to Saturday. What I did
see was a police state. The days after Satur-
day saw unnecessary policing such as picking
people off the street and questioning them,
unwarranted searches and harassment. As the
arrest count increased, solidarity demos were
planned. At a jail solidarity demo on Sun-
day, the demonstrators were attacked by po-
lice, who fired teargas and more arrests were
made. Reports have surfaced about the poor
conditions of the makeshift jail in Toronto in-
cluding accounts of molestation, depravation
of food, withholding legal council, and lack
of sleeping space.
The taxpayers of Toronto were perhaps
shorted the most. The police spent over
$1 billion on security for the G20, only
to have a community even more upset in
the long run. The G20 recommended that
Toronto spend about half as much money
on security, but that was clearly not the
case. There is a growing militancy in the
US and Canada, which will certainly make
cities such as Toronto more weary about
hosting the meetings. The anti-capitalist
movement is certainly very strong in Can-
ada. Many things can be learned from the
broad network of organizers who coordinated
the resistance.
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