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A report from a London based activist on the ground at the G8 Summit in Toronto, Canada.

After London, hot reception for G8/G20 in Toronto

Tagged as: g20 g8 protests repression social_struggles summit
Neighbourhoods:

The G8/G20 jamboree rolled up in Toronto Canada last week. Not to be outdone by the authorities in London last April, over a billion dollars has been spent on security, $4million alone on fencing, and 20,000 cops on duty to stomp on dissent. After the third day of protests on Saturday, the arrest figure stood at around 400. By the end of Monday it exceeded 900 - the highest level of mass arrests in the countries history (but still a long way off the mass arrests experienced in Copenhagen during COP15).

An appeal for support for the G20 arrestees has been made, and there is a call for a solidarity demo outside the Canadian embassy in London this saturday 3rd July.

G8_toronto_streets-medium

A London based activist is over there and has been on the streets over the last four days of protests which have left chain stores and banks smashed while police cars burn...

Like the G20 protests in London last April, activists have experienced preemptive raids of homes and convergence spaces in the days leading up to the protests and during the protests themselves. After driving by the Alternative Media Centre several times the previous night, police showed up to intimidate and search people there, claiming they could not be sure that those inside the space had broken in or were squatting. Many alternative journalists have been assaulted or detained. One was arrested for filming police doing searches at a convergence space where many activists were preparing to return to their home cities. Over 200 cops raided the space arrested at least 20 people and trapped more inside for many hours. Twitter was buzzing with reports of severe overcrowding, repeated strip searches and denial of food and water in the massive detention centres set up to imprison those arrested. A prisoner solidarity demo outside on the detention centre was violently broken up by cops firing into the crowd (video/audio). Tear gas and rubber bullets were used againsts protesters who were also charged and herded by mounted police and of course beaten with batons and shields.

The mainstream media has been full of stories about 'violence' by protesters . In one article police justified mass arrests and kettling tactics on the basis of them being caught off guard by the speed of the black block during Saturdays protests. Another article compared the police tactics to those used in Europe during similar summits. Some media covered the summit itself but obviously the paps have had far more fun publishing stuff about people smashing windows and burning police cars . 

"Don't believe corporate media hype. The streets of Toronto were full of thousands of informed individuals who care about the lack of legitimacy of the G20, their undemocratic backroom deals, their instance on continuing to privatize the commons and socialize risk. Harper has tried to criminalize dissent by spending $1billion for this summit but lots of people demonstrated today that he has gone far beyond the pale of acceptability - his attempt to peddle his neo-liberal austerity measures to the rest of the G20 in order to pay for the banking bailout will destroy social progress it took decades to build. But dissent is what will save us and I am glad to report that lots of people in this town are not having it!"

"Demo was amazing. Huge, multicultural, labour movements, environmental movements, justice, loads of people from everywhere. Press here is a shit storm. black block are being vilified, lots of broken stuff but no looting - very canadian." 

 - report from London based activist on the ground in Toronto

Photos here:

Some videos here 

Audio interview here:

You can expect some good coverage in the Guardian as it has been reported that one of their journalists was assaulted and arrested there - http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/guardian-journalist-assaulted-arrested/3865

 

Unfortunately Indymedia is pretty much a dead project in Canada with most of the regional sites now gone or no longer maintained. There is no IMC Toronto but some coverage is being posted to http://ottawa.indymedia.org/ and http://quebec.indymedia.org/en/

For example:

 

There is a mobalising web site set up with info about the various demos etc here  http://g20.torontomobilize.org/

Additionally there is a social media aggregation site set up by the Toronoto Media Coop (http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/), pulling in content from youtube, flickr and twitter etc with the tag #g20report see http://2010.mediacoop.ca/.

 

UPDATE:

http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com/2010/06/g20-capitalism-is-attacked-in-streets.html

 

Additions

The Toronto G20 Riot Fraud Fraud - 'protesters' engage in purposeful revision of history

It happens all the time, a revision of history that claims protesters are always peaceful and the cops provoke or instigate any violence or property damage that happens.

In 2007 police admitted placing undercover cops (holding rocks) within a protest against the summit near Ottawa about the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. (see great photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/emiliep/1206638928/ and corporate media coverage here http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2007/08/22/ot-police-070822.html). It appears to be a clear example of cops engaging in purposeful provocation.

This week we see people saying the same thing has been happening in Toronto during protests against the G8/G20 summit. Blurry lowres video and photos are being presented as proof that the actions of the black block against corporate stores, banks and police cars are infact the work of undercover cops.

The article by Terry Burrows on the Global Research site is a good example - The Toronto G20 Riot Fraud: Undercover Police engaged in Purposeful Provocation
(http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19928). It claims that cops and black block are again wearing the same shoes and therefore the black block are in fact cops. Despite the claim, the photos fail although the photos fail to even demonstrate conclusively that the same shoes are being worn, let alone that the black block are actually cops.

This behavior is nothing new, I have seen it many times, a convenient revision of history to suggest that we a purely peaceful and would never dream of smashing up a bank or cop car (or indeed kick a fallen cop in a scrum). But come on, that's nonsense and it does us no favors to disown the acts of property damage done by our comrades.

WE BREAK SHIT! Be it pulling down fences or throwing a brick through McDonald's windows - that is us, our anger, our voice, our desire and our strength. Disowning the 'black block' is a pathetic act of division which helps only our enemies.

Even if the cops have infiltrators among the black block in Toronto (which of course they do), and even if they are smashing windows and cop cars - they doesn't mean that it's only cops doing these things and it doesn't mean that doing thee things is bad.

If smashing stuff up or rioting is bad in terms of media, then perhaps we should work towards improving the image of these acts instead of trying to deny or disown them. Property damage is an valid and powerful tool used to great effect by protesters through the ages, be it the suffragettes or the french resistance.

The false 'violence/nonviolence' debate in activist circles is guaranteed to make us impotent. Constantly claiming the moral high ground for positions of non-violence only helps the state and I would not be surprised if the authors of these revisionist histories are actually wearing the same boots as the ruling classes spin doctors.

Doh, typical conspiracy shit

That Terry Burrows is clearly just trying to make a name for himself. His article is now copied in hundreds of places around the net, including quality sites such as <a href="https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/06/454462.html">IMC UK</a>, <a href="http://911blogger.com/news/2010-06-27/toronto-g20-riot-fraud">911blogger</a>, <a href="http://info-wars.org/2010/06/28/toronto-g20-riot-fraud-undercover-police-engaged-in-purposeful-provocation/">InfoWars</a>, <a href="http://thesurvivalistforum.com/index/?tag=the-toronto-g20-riot-fraud">Survivalist Forum</a>, and <a href="http://www.whitenewsnow.com/forums/canadian-news/7735-violence-mars-g20-protests.html?9b7069f8">White News Now</a>.

Those reposting this shit don't appear to have taken any kind of critical look at the 'evidence' being presented.

Have a look for yourself. Burrows described the footwear in this photo as a study combat boot (http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/g20burrows4.bmp) while it is clearly a shoe. He goes onto claim it is identical to the boots worn by the cops in further photos (http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/g20burrows11.bmp).

Now take a look at a better photo of the police footwear (http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/06/27/article-1289952-0A38A4B2000005DC-501_634x456.jpg) and it is clear that they are steel toecap boots which extend above the ankle unlike those shown on the person smashing the window or jumping on the police car.

It's shocking that the Global Research website would publish such obvious fabrication. Check out another crappy piece on same subject by Rady Ananda
"G20 Riots: Is the Black Bloc a Police Psyops Group?"
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ANA20100628&articleId=19940

Appeal for broad political support for the G20 arrestees

The Movement Defense Committee's (MDC) Summit Legal Support Project is appealing to the movements it supports to mobilize a show of political strength and solidarity for the nearly 500 people arrested in the last four days. The Toronto Police and the ISU appear to have lost control of their ‘prisoner processing center’, denying arrestees meaningful and timely access to counsel while beating and arresting those peacefully protesting their detention outside.
Appeal for broad political support for the G20 arrestees
June 27, 2010 - 3:00pm | by movementdefence

http://movementdefence.org/G20appeal

The MDC’s Summit Legal Support Project is appealing to the movements it supports to mobilize a show of political strength and solidarity for the nearly 500 people arrested in the last four days. The Toronto Police and the ISU appear to have lost control of their ‘prisoner processing center’, denying arrestees meaningful and timely access to counsel while beating and arresting those peacefully protesting their detention outside.

Despite assurances to the contrary, only a handful of people have been released, including those held for many hours without charge. Arrestees are given incorrect information about the bail process they will be subjected to, and friends and family members gather hours early at the courthouse, located far from the city center and inaccessible via transit.

Our lawyers call in and are told that there is no one available to make decisions or wait for hours at the detention centre, only to be denied access to their clients. Almost 500 people are in custody and we know from experience that the vast majority of those charges will disappear and yet the cell doors remain shut.

We need to step it up and build a political response. We need many more voices – especially prominent ones – to say that the abuse and incompetence at 629 Eastern Avenue must stop. We must demand that all levels of government take control of the police forces under their command. We need to ensure that courts and crown attorneys act to enforce constitutional rights rather than collude in their violation.

Free the Toronto 500!

The Movement Defence Committee

Saturday 3rd July 12noon, Canadian Embassy protest over G20 arrests

A mass protest has been called outside the Canadian embassy for this Saturday the 3rd of July in protest at the violent repression and arrests of G20 protesters in Toronto. Meet outside the Canadian Embassy on the west side of Trafalgar Square at 12noon.

Please spread the word about this as far and wide as possible. Lets send a message to the Canadian government that their repression of legitimate protest will not be tolerated. The number of people arrested for protesting against the G20 summit is still rising and is over 600 so far. Many of the arrested have been badly treated and beaten. Bring banners.

Please post an event on imc-london

Hi there, if there is a solidarity demo planned, please post an event on Indymedia London, so that our readers know about the exact time and place. Thanks!