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G20-Toronto property damage is a good thing

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Busted bank machine at G20 Toronto.
Busted bank machine at G20 Toronto.

Why should unelected and parasitic banks, insurance companies, and corporations run our lives? They shouldn’t but they do.

And why should politicians, lawyers and judges work for banks, insurance companies, and corporations? They shouldn’t but they do.

How can individuals obtain some measure of democratic influence? Tried voting? Surprise – doesn’t work huh? It’s like it’s a fixed game or something?

We are told that we “vote” with our “consumer choices”. Problem is the “choices” are pre-determined, like with political candidates and corporate media coverage, and the prices are fixed…

The next level beyond consumer choice is a boycott and we are told that boycott’s are legitimate. Problem is… the economy is quickly becoming a monopoly – so how do you boycott? Want to be a hippy living out of a dumpster and avoiding rent, mortgages and taxes, growing your food on the strip of land between the road and the sidewalk? (How come the working poor didn’t think of that?)

The purpose of a boycott is to inflict financial damage on a delinquent corporation to pressure it into compliance with moral behaviour.

Similarly, the purpose of targeted material damage to banks and corporations is to inflict financial punishment to force compliance with moral behaviour.  History shows it to be vastly more effective than a consumer boycott. It is controlled directly by the individual in the purest form of democratic participation (you don’t need to be unionized), gives measurable immediate results, is psychologically empowering, and is a brave act for the common good with real associated risks. It also generates jobs and provides a visible public critique.

It is not a personal attack on personal property or livelihood. It is a political act; one that does not physically harm persons but instead aims to pressure undemocratic organizations towards change. It is an act motivated by love, vitality and self-preservation, not hate. It is not insane aggression. It is sanity. It is a noble form of taking one’s responsibility as a citizen. We have a duty to take back democratic control from the banksters and their corporate collaborators.

Any just legal process in prosecuting such cases would objectively consider the misbehaviour and criminality of the bank or corporate entity and would consider the mechanism whereby the property damage provides societal improvement. It would also consider the motivation and intent of the individual actor. It would then reward the individual actor for his/her risk, inconvenience, and service to society.

Similarly, when at G20-Toronto the police disregarded constitutional and natural rights actors had a duty not to let them and to resist arrest. Any criminal charge of resisting arrest in such circumstances, in a just legal system, would be disregarded and the resister would be compensated for his/her risk, damage, and service to society. WTF. The cops corral peaceful bystanders and protesters, intimidate, retain and selectively assault without cause or explanation, in the hope that some will resist in order to crush those with will. WTF. Those sane individuals are then to be prosecuted for resisting arrest – for questioning illegitimate authority? Violation upon violation in the true spirit of a fucked up system.

In these circumstances pacifism is pathology. Not the true pacifism of Gandhi but the pseudo pacifism of deference to illegitimate authority and deference to absurd context-blind and justice-blind laws that serve undemocratic power.

The only crimes at G20-Toronto were committed by the cops and their bosses.

It is not a crime, in a protest battle zone created by a militaristic police occupation, to spontaneously destroy police property offered as bait to encircled pro-democracy protesters for the benefit of corporate media propaganda that serves the police and its bosses in wrongly justifying tax-funded mass aggression and organized civil liberties dismantlement.

The division between “violent” and “peaceful” protesters is a divide-and-conquer tactic intended to neutralize and dismantle democratic expression and popular leverage. The crimes of the financiers, their corporate collaborators and their government servants, designed in secret behind closed doors at G8 and G20 and in all the boardrooms of power, are too great to let them divide us. 

Free all political prisoners now!


They’re not just pigs -

Dalai Lama pacifism -

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Denis Rancourt (Denis Rancourt)
Ottawa, Ontario
Member since July 2009


709 words


Well stated!

Thanks for the post. I agree 100% about naming this as a valid tactic. Whether others agree or not I am sure will be discussed as a way for some to avoid doing anything constructive. I agree with the sentiments expressed in this article but will not engage is useless "dialogue" about who is better or more righteous than another. There`s too much work to do... Once again, thanks for expressing what so many of us know to be true.

To what end?

Hi Denis,

Do you think that enough people are going to attack the banks and police stations and such that they actually will be turned into rubble and ashes, or are you just saying that you appreciate the symbolism of the odd window smash and cop car burning?

The banks and the other status quo systems have insurance, so they weren't even dented by the smash-and-burn attacks in Toronto... obviously.

Do you think more and more people are going to start rioting though? 

It would take a lot of people to destroy all of the police cars, and bank buildings, and so on.  Do you see that happening in the immediate future?

Seems to me that there's only a teeny demographic for that sort of action. And a lot of those folks are going to be dealing with legal heat (e.g. bail conditions) from the Toronto area police for at least a year.


By the way -

Do you have any examples of  "targeted material damage to banks and corporations" that has effectively inflected "financial punishment to force compliance with moral behaviour" ?

Canadian examples would be the most appropriate here, of course.

American examples would be almost as relevant.


one thing we know for sure, more neoliberalism is not the cure for neoliberalism.  green capitalism is not the answer to the ecocidal base our culture rests upon.

what we know from the abuses of civilians at the hands of state security forces during the g20 is that demanding things (without defence) from our so-called leaders does not work.  goonish drones are prepared to attack us on command.

current examples to your query are found in greece, italy, Six Nations, el salvadore and guatamala, iran, taiwan, and kyrgyzstan.

where people are teaching us how to resist in their daily lives against destruction of their futures.

we need to take back our lives, take back our power and hold those destroying the planet responsible. 

give us an example from canada where pacifist methods have worked.  give us an example of where collaboration has not disempowered the people it was supposed to help. when was the last victory for the marching in circles crowd (and im not talking about stopping something bad, im speaking of taking something back - ie. gaining freedom)?

The majority?

I could agree with the first few sentences there (though I'm sure we'd look at it differently).

Without getting into everything else.... I'll ask this -

Should we be trying to draw people into movements (for feminism, against fossil fuels, etc) that end up being big enough that the majority of people are in them?  And should we be trying to draw people in quickly?

I'm not saying that any movement is a good movement... and we'd have different visions of what a movement should be and do... but, if we can set those questions aside, I'm asking -  is rapid growth of movements important?

I say - definitely... absolutely.

Some people who are into smash-and-burn tactics and armed struggle don't agree.

reply - Toban Black

hi toban,

Any corporation which has insurance must pay insurance premiums. For insurance companies to make profit these premiums are high. The premiums go way up at any sign of a new or increased risk.

Therefore, a boken window actually costs much more than the simple repair cost. In addition there are the significant costs of negative corporate image and lost customers. There is also the costs to the police-legal system. All this is a heavy cost to the oppressive system, all from just a broken window. And there is the cost (risk) to the system from exactly the present discussion which would not occur without the broken window...

This is why the system must deter this "violence" with great force and resources. The latter (on the face of it, disproportionate) deterance is more proof of the effectiveness of the broken window.

And if the corporation decides to opt out of the insurance then the insurance company suffers real consequences.

It's a simple equation: You hit them and it hurts them. The cops understand this well.

I leave you to find the historic examples. They're as big as an elephant in the room.



Denis: Most people have no

Denis: Most people have no idea what is going on out there, the monopolies are growing at a rapid pace. But this is skewed because they keep their name Company A but are owned by Company B.

So in my own community, a call for a boycott went out but when one looked at all the brands under the head company, it is almost impossible to boycott. It takes a lot of research to know for sure who owns what.

Inusrance: In my own community people have been experiencing much flooding of their homes, some people have been flooded out numerous times and can no longer get insurance.

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