On the G20

I was much more consumed yesterday by the International Fleet Review in Halifax and touring a number of ships (maybe I’ll post some pictures if I get around to it sometime) than anything else, but I did at least catch snippets of what’s been going on in Toronto for the G20 summit.  When the summit was announced, it was clear that there would need to be a lot of security, that there would be protests, and most sadly, that there would be violence, vandalism, and destruction, mainly at the hands of “anarchists” also referred to as the “Black Bloc”.

In the run-up to the summit there was much to-do about the amount of money spent on security measures, which are causing a lot of inconvenience in downtown Toronto, including the massive security fence, the extensive police presence, and the behind the scenes stuff as well.  Many left-leaning types who planned to protest/demonstrate were concerned about the nature of the temporary “police state” that was being formed.

I don’t agree with most of these lefties.  I don’t share their views, but I do believe they have a right to demonstrate, to make their views know, to be heard.  That is one of those rather sacred values of a free and democratic society, after all.  I don’t think most of them had any interest in any sort of violence, vandalism, or confrontation with the police, who are there to do their job and keep the peace.  There are certain groups I know were involved in planning to protest the summit like the “Ontario Coalition Against Poverty”, which is an organization that I think is a great one to point out to the RWNJs who bleat about “Cloward & Piven”, because they tried a sort of strategy like those men discussed and it failed very, very miserably.  OCAP, which is a ragtag bunch of professional rabble rousers, has been quiet lately, I think, but their past protests were almost always marred by violence, and the sort of idiots who throw rocks at police, then claim brutality when they get roughly arrested.  I had to deal with some of these morons in university.

What’s happened yesterday was that some good, normal, peaceful (if generally incomprehensible) demonstrations happened, and then the knobs in black turned up, set fire to cop cars, and started smashing windows, and then it all went downhill.

I don’t get it.

It makes no sense.

What are these Black Bloc people advocating?  Getting rid of the state altogether?!  Sounds just fine, except for all of it.  They claim they are protesting the “police state”, but they are really justifying the existence of all the security measures and making dramatically clear why they are necessary.  They have nothing of value to offer to any discussion at the summit, no ideas, no interest in anything remotely resembling the democratic process, and they’re even undermining the ability of those with legitimate concerns to be heard just by acting the way they do.

This stuff is just sad to see, because it’s neighbourhoods I used to spend a lot of time in getting smashed up by thugs with nothing to say of value.  I don’t know how the police are managing to show the restraint they are, because I think most of them must be itching to just crush them.  There’s no negotiation, no reasoning, nothing with them.  They are there for a fight and part of me wishes they could met with the ferocity they are inviting by doing so…

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