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G20 Capitalism is Attacked in the Streets of Toronto

Comment from Members of No One Is Illegal Montreal and CLAC 2010

by Jaggi Singh & Robyn Maynard

G20 Capitalism is Attacked in the Streets of Toronto

Originally posted at  http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com

TORONTO, June 26, 2010 -- The intersection of King and Bay is the financial capital of Canada. Within blocks of these infamous cross-streets, amidst iconic skyscrapers, are the headquarters of the banks, corporations, public relations companies and law firms that help drive global capitalism. King and Bay in Toronto is the heart of Canadian colonial capitalism, which projects its misery all over the world, through mining, forestry and other resource extraction companies.

While the G20 leaders planned to meet behind a steel cage and an unprecedented 1-billion dollar security operation, a contingent of thousands-strong protesters gathered to defy Stephen Harper’s Fortress Toronto.

An over 1000-person strong contingent, representing diverse movements of community-based struggles in Toronto, Ontario and across Canada converged in a bloc entitled “Get Off the Fence”.

Activists and community organizers represented rank-and-file labour, migrant justice, indigenous solidarity, anti-police brutality, ecological justice, anti-war, anti-occupation, queer and trans justice, anti-poverty, anti-capitalist, feminist, anarchist, and many more struggles and campaigns. We are united together, learning from each other and inspired by each other. We are rooted in our communities.

Today’s radical contingent separated from the “People First” Labour March (which would march in a circle from Queen’s Park, a police-designated and permitted “protest zone”). Led by the Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble street band of Montreal, the contingent took the streets, and occupied a large bloc within the labour march. Several times along Queen Street, protesters attempted to break through police lines, only to be met with riot police who hit and bloodied protesters with their batons and shields.

Undeterred, protesters waited for the People’s First march to continue its march up Spadina Avenue, the radical contingent doubled-back, and headed east along Queen Street, with some protesters engaging in corporate property destruction, including Starbucks and Nike stores along Queen Street. At times running, at other times waiting to gather together, the protest was able to march south onto Bay Street, and down to Canada’s financial capital at Bay & King.

Chanting “No G20 on stolen native Land”, and “No borders, no nations, stop the deportations”, there were cheers of support amidst the sounds of glass smashing, as targeted property destruction of well-known corporate criminals continued down Bay Street. The demonstration continued east on King until Yonge, and then marched up Yonge Street to Dundas Square.

Commenting on the property destruction, one Toronto Star reporter wrote: "For the most part, their targets are specific and symbolic: As the crowd tore across Queen St., they hammered police cruisers, attacked banks and other corporate companies. Yet they left a record store, a local tavern and an independent hardware shop untouched."

Most of the targets are symbols to many of the ethical backwardness of a society in which wealth is systematically stripped from poor and racialized people who produce it, and remains concentrated in the hands of a few corporations, banks, and global elites. Several police cars were destroyed by protestors as well, many of whom felt anger over a week of unlawful searches, arrests, and arbitrary violence that had hurt many, even on the peaceful demonstrations of Friday.

* * *

Earlier in the day, key community organizers and activists from anarchist and anti-capitalist groups were targeted for early-morning arrests (including at least two members of No One Is Illegal based in Toronto and Montreal, as well as organizers with the Toronto Community Mobilization Network). Despite the preventative arrests and the downpour of rain, organizers and activists regrouped and improvised together to take the streets of Toronto.

The repression of billion-dollar “Police State Toronto” has showed that civil liberties can be suspended at whim. They have been officially suspended within 5 metres of the G20 steel cage, but unofficially suspended everywhere else. Stephen Harper’s G20 police state has seen arbitrary arrests, beatings, searches and seizures (including a confiscated umbrella yesterday, now dubbed the “billion-dollar umbrella”).

The steel cages of Fortress Toronto are a microcosm of global apartheid, where the elite gather behind police lines, while the rest of us survive in a police state. Toronto has seen a taste of what much of the rest of the majority world experiences on a daily basis.

We live in a world which is defined by, and maintained by violence, a violence which self-interested G8/G20 leaders both perpetuate and deny. This violence is lived daily by those in the Global South. It is lived by indigneous people in 'Canada' and worldwide, who face continued destruction of their cultures and environments by mining companies, mega-dams, and other forces of on-going colonization. It is lived by racialized people who are harassed by the police. In the face of this extreme social violence that is day-to-day reality, there can be no tears shed for the cars and windows broken by those who have had enough with the forces profiting from their exploitation.

The fence did not come down today, but the interests that the G20 protects on Bay Street were attacked. We organize, daily, in our communities. But those community-based struggles also came together today, for a few hours, to courageously defy Stephen Harper’s billion-dollar Fortress Toronto and the G20 agenda.

by Robyn Maynard & Jaggi Singh, members of No One Is Illegal-Montreal and the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC 2010)

 http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com

 

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870 words

Comments

Continuing after G20 leaves

Will these anti-Capitalistic protests be continued in Toronto throughout the week of Pride Toronto?

To all you folks who showed

To all you folks who showed your true "Black Block" self at Toronto this weekend....Get a fucking life!!!!!

cops wanted that car to burn

props to the black bloc for representing, but cops definately wanted that car to burn. look at those flames and how black that smoke is. thats not (just) a flare or molotov. thats a car doused in kerosene and left purposely so that when it does ignite it provides an image to justify the police attacks all over the city that are not in response to property destruction (which would be an absurd response anyways) but have been planned for months.  global capitalism, the police state, and the cybernetic security apparatus continue to close their grip on us. down with the police state, down with capitalism, up the people!

What you just stated made no

What you just stated made no sense at all. An image to justify police attacks? There are idiots walking right into the police line when they are TOLD to stop. If they stopped, then there would be no police 'justifying' required. Those people are bringing it upon themselves.

Creating destruction and angry are not what some of the most peaceful people in the world do in order to make this planet better. So why are people walking around breaking things, getting into fights and causing so much trouble? They had an area set aside for protesting, which would have done a much better job at getting known.

The media is NOT going to report on anything peaceful when theres so much chaos going on. Everyone is going to want to make sure their friends and family are safe before knowing anything about why these idiots are putting lives into danger. If they stuck to what they had, better reviews and awareness would have been made by these protestors in the media.

You're such a conspiracy theorist to believe that a giant waste of money went into months of planning for EXPECTED riots by creating the perfect situation to give the police a reason to protect the city and everyone else.

What makes you think that it wasn't the protesters who doused that car in some liquid before igniting it? You're just making up random crap that has no proof, all theory.

 

Bottom line? If the protesters stayed in their area, everything would have been so much better. Why break such a good chance to make everyone aware of why you're there? What are they expecting to gain by destruction aside from jail time and fines? No one will remember their cause, they will remember a person who decided to destory. I would never follow someone like that.

 

 

The media won't cover peacful

The media won't cover peacful protests period. Atleast not to any great extent, and the politicians and business elites won't care much either.

Peaceful protest has its place, but it has only ever really worked a long side non peaceful protest, ghandi and king wouldn't have been taken as seriously were it not for their more radical comrades.

cops wanted that car to burn

props to the black bloc for representing, but cops definately wanted that car to burn. look at those flames and how black that smoke is. thats not (just) a flare or molotov. thats a car doused in kerosene and left purposely so that when it does ignite it provides an image to justify the police attacks all over the city that are not in response to property destruction (which would be an absurd response anyways) but have been planned for months.  global capitalism, the police state, and the cybernetic security apparatus continue to close their grip on us. down with the police state, down with capitalism, up the people!

legitimizing stupidity

Your attempt at justifying Saturday’s pointless violence in Toronto is bordering on the pathetic.
Drawing a comparison between the G20 police oppression and the “violence lived daily by people in the Global South” is utterly insulting to the people from the South you pretend to be in solidarity with.

The gratuitous violence of the mostly white kids of the black bloc only serves the interests of the police and the state. In fact, many of us are starting to wonder if people who defend those actions, such as you Robyn and Jaggi, are not actually on the police payroll.

It would be interesting to hear you explain why you think that breaking windows and setting a few cop cars on fire is such a great idea, or why you think those actions were justified although they allowed the cops to come down hard on all protesters in total impunity, although they allowed the government to boast that the billion spent on security was totally legitimate after all, although they caused a total shift in popular opinion from people being critical and angry at the government for spending all that money, etc. to being critical and angry at protesters in general. Please explain to us why we should be happy that pictures of burning cop cars and smashed store windows have completely overshadowed the real issues and taken over any real coverage of the reasons why people were protesting in the first place? What do the perpetrators think they accomplished by smashing windows? They were angry? Big deal! Couldn’t they think of a more imaginative way of venting their anger? And what do you think you are accomplishing by attempting to provide legitimacy for such actions? Are your egos simply inflated with the idea of playing hero to a group of black-clad angry white kids?

If you are so well rooted in your community as you say you are, then have at least the courage to face that community and explain yourself. Please, tell us why your own agenda is so important that it should be pursued to the detriment of everybody else’s agenda, including to the detriment of the people you arrogantly like to think you represent. Please explain to us why you think we should actually thank you for breaking windows and setting cop cars on fire in our name, and please explain why we should bother working with organizations like yours in the future when you’ve shown that you obviously have no respect for anybody else in the movement. Yes to a diversity of tactics, but this should never include the kind of sheer stupidity we saw on Saturday.

Thanks for nothing.

That's truth right there ^^^^^

While the CLAC and the Bloc sucrried off after provoking a police response, the rest of us were left to deal with the brunt of that response. Becuse of you, downtown toronto was essentally turrned into a no-go zone for activists and progressives who value their safty and their freedom.

Thanks for nothing ya bunch of heatscores.

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