I went out and wandered around during the G20 yesterday. Here’s what I saw
This is a view onto Yonge and Wellington at around 2PM yesterday afternoon:
At the intersection of Yonge and Wellington, this fellow told me that there was no access to Wellington unless you had ID permitting you to be there:
It became very clear after a few minutes of talking to him that this wasn’t the case at all. The police do not seem to have been particularly well co-ordinated yesterday – it was very easy to just walk around individual barricades. I walked north one block to King Street, which doesn’t usually look like this on a Saturday:
A block down Bay Street and I was on Wellington. That’s the controversial fence there in the background:
Here’s the sign on the fence. I went to the Jays-Cards game on Thursday night and none of these signs were up. One of my biggest complaints about the whole thing is the law that was passed quietly. I assume the reason that these signs weren’t up then was that the police and the government were trying to keep the law quiet:
This is looking north, up University Avenue. The police were setting shifting perimeters to try and keep the protestors away from the fence. If the cops didn’t identify you as a potential threat, you were able to move around pretty freely. It was kind of reminiscent of what you read about how hard it is to fight guerilla wars if you’re the superior power. The protestors made it sort of easy for the police by approaching downtown in a large group. If they had moved in in small groups of two or three, keeping some of the more obvious signs that they were protestors hidden, I don’t know how the police could have stopped them from making it to the fence.
Soldiers on the streets of our cities. In Canada:
Looking west on King, just east of Yonge. This is while the cop cars were on fire:
While the police were adamant that I couldn’t walk west on King on that point, they weren’t really securing things. I walked half a block south to Colborne Street, where there were no police, and walked west:
The police shut down this woman’s hair appointment and closed the salon:
Two Russian tourists out walking around Toronto with a bottle of tequila. Good guys, who figure that they’re going to get arrested:
The most intimidating thing I saw from the police was when the riot police advanced. They would beat on their shields with their batons in unison. Definitely not something I’d want to be on the other side of:
At the intersection of Bay and King:
CIBC’s unfortunate new motto:
Arrests on King Street. The girls being arrested said that they were arrested because they refused an order to move.
I zoomed in on the placard in the back of the unmarked police van. It looks to me like it’s a statement of rights of persons arrested, I guess to make it easier for the police to advise them of their rights?
After going home to watch the Ghana-USA game and charge my camera battery, I went out again. We quickly happened across a deserted Terroni, which has good food. So we stopped and ate.
These people had umbrellas in a convertible. They don’t seem to get how convertibles work:
The police were using Greyhounds to shuttle the riot crews around. I observed a lot of unmarked, unlighted police cars running red lights, which struck me as awfully dangerous:
It’s hard to tell what this vehicle is but it has mesh wire for windows and is completely unmarked. I’ve never seen anything like it:
This fellow, who I think was OPP, was taking pictures of people observing the police. I’m a little troubled by this – he clearly wasn’t filming any trouble, just taking pictures of people who happened to be there observing. One wonders what sort of files the police build and whether the pictures that they take will be shared with other police forces outside of Canada:
The police have rented a lot of vehicles for this. Judging by the driving I’ve seen, if you rented a vehicle to the police, they probably took at least that much value out of it. Lots of vehicles getting driven very hard. Also, the location of stickers has been unfortunate:
I have to admit, as someone with a UofT Scotiabank loan, I’m sympathetic to these people:
But then the bastards went too far:
One other point – I’ll probably write a longer point about this at some point but the police pretty obviously infiltrated what was going on. I observed some persons who I can only assume were police, at the northeast corner of Bay and King, stowing protest flags in a police van. They were dressed like protestors and had nothing on them to indicate that they were police, something that everyone else I saw had.