- The great majority of the protesters, seemingly ever-patient and self-controlled, stood for hours as police baited and yelled, shoved and provoked. A handful of protesters used well-placed elbows while banners were raised only in response to the brutality.
~ G20 police strike at Toronto’s heart, Paola Totaro, The Age, June 28, 2010
A journalist on assignment for The Guardian newspaper was arrested and beaten by police officers at the site of a peaceful demonstration on The Esplanade near the G20 security fence in downtown Toronto at approximately 11:00 p.m. 26 June 2010. Having been punched in the stomach and elbowed in the back by officers, it is believed that Jesse Rosenfeld, a 26-year-old writer from Toronto, was then taken to the temporary detention facility on Eastern Avenue in Toronto.
~ TVOntario journalist Steve Paikin witnesses beating and arrest of Guardian reporter at G20 protest, Chris Davenport, The ACTivist Magazine, June 27, 2010
Pretty much, yeah: same old story. Media demonisation; monitoring, infiltration and intimidation of activist groups; establishment of security perimeters; introduction of new / suspension of established laws; peremptory arrests; deliberate targeting of organisers and independent media; use of excessive force… blah blah blah. Now that the protests are officially over, the same events produce the same analyses. Otherwise, ruling elites agreed with one another that governments should increase taxes and reduce expenditure, cutting deficits in half by 2013. See : Sticking the Public with the Bill for the Bankers’ Crisis, Naomi Klein (The Globe and Mail), June 28, 2010 | UK budget 2010: New era of austerity in Europe?, Ben Quinn, The Christian Science Monitor, June 22, 2010 | wsws.org on World Economy.
Toronto is burning! Or is it? Black bloc tactics play into the state’s hands
It was a perfect storm. A massive police presence who were primed for “dangerous anarchists” after a week of peaceful protests. No more than one hundred, probably fewer, young men who think violent confrontations with the police will create a radicalisation and expose the violence of the state. A new generation of young people who are becoming activists believing they live in a democratic society and are shocked by the degree of police violence arrayed to stop them.
But it is the police that let the handful of people using Black Bloc tactics run wild and then used the burning police cars and violent images as a media campaign to convince the people of Toronto that the cost and the excessive police presence was necessary. They knew what would happen and they knew how it would happen. It is the police that bear the responsibility for what happened last night. They were responsible for keeping the peace and they failed to do it.
Toronto G20: The brutal face of capitalist reaction
Fightback Canada (International Marxist Tendency)
“The police and the black bloc are, in fact, two sides of the same coin.”
Toronto police violently suppress G20 protests, arrest over 600
“A police car was vandalized and set alight. A reporter noted that the gas cap for the car had been removed prior to the “Black Bloc’s” arrival. Shortly thereafter, at the corner of Bay and King—the centre of Canada’s financial district another police car was set ablaze.”
wsws.org : Divisions in G-20 open on summit eve, Nick Beams, June 24, 2010 | Massive police build-up for Toronto G20 summit, Paul Franklin, June 26, 2010 | G20 summit: Leaders try to paper over differences, Nick Beams, June 28, 2010.
A mostly-reasonable account of wtf is the black bloc:
York University political science professor David McNally talks to the CBC’s Carole MacNeil about Black Bloc tactics and anarchists
McNally refers to an incident in Montebello in Quebec in August 2007, in which three police infiltrators taking part in a black bloc were uncovered; the police were attempting to provoke others into violence, thus justifying — or, at least, providing a better pretext than might otherwise be the case — a police crackdown on the protests as a whole. See : Québec Police. Not Big. Not Clever. (August 25, 2007). Otherwise, see : The Black Bloc Papers: An Anthology of Primary Texts From The North American Anarchist Black Bloc 1998-2005, Edited and compiled by David Van Deusen & Xavier Massot of The Green Mountain Anarchist Collective and The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life, George Katsiaficas, 1997/2006.
See also : Appeal for broad political support for the G20 arrestees (Movement Defence Committee) | 40 Kiwis arrested in Toronto! (June 28, 2010) | Photo of the now / Toronto : G20 // G8 Summit Protest Reporting (June 27, 2010) | “Anarchy in Vancouver” (May 20, 2010).
Anarchy! Linchpin | Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC 2010) | l’Union Communiste Libertaire (French) … Miaow! Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) | Revolutionary Communist Party (Canada) … Reds! Communist Party of Canada / Young Communist League of Canada – Ligue de la jeunesse communiste du Canada (YCL-LJC) | Socialist Voice … Trot! International Socialists | Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialist … Also! “Upping the Anti is a radical journal of theory and action which provides a space to reflect on the state of political organizing in Canada.”
and the New Socialist Group: http://newsocialist.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=53&Itemid=68
My three posts on this topic since Sunday’s CBC The National Report, point to the real reason behind Harper’s show of police force at the G20 Summit. I look forward to your feedback.