Toronto, Under Protest

Well, that was Toronto, Under Protest.

(“Where did they hold the G20 in June 2010?” “Toronto– Under Protest”)

It’s been a long and highly eventful six days since I started this mini-blog, Toronto. Protesters and anarchists, police and protesters, riots and arrests, rain and earthquake– we’ve had them all. And now the G20 leaders have left the city and Toronto is left licking its wounds and working out what went right and what went wrong.

Some important information is that the police presence, albeit relaxed, will remain in the city until Monday night. This seems sensible, given the number of arrestees yet to be processed and bailed (probably over 600)– no doubt there will be some solidarity protests at the jail and the courts. And after that– there will be legal battles and human rights complaints, and angry journalists asking angry questions.

I’ll keep adding to this blog here and there, and let me know if there’s any really good links I’ve overlooked, but I do actually have a real life that has been on hold since Tuesday and I need to see to it before it sees to me!

Here’s to returning to our lives and our Toronto, slowly but surely– and showing the world what Toronto is really like. Hint:

John A. MacDonald Statue at Queen's Park, Looking South

John A. MacDonald Statue at Queen's Park, Looking South

— Torontoite

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Sunday 27 Events

This is a record of major events that occurred on Sunday. Nothing like as detailed as yesterday’s, but I’ll give links to major events and photographs.

Early Morning – Police investigate and arrest individuals engaged in an apparent attempt to enter the subterranean sewer system, perhaps to get under the fence. National Post link. Globe and Mail interview with the security guard who saw them.

Stores along Queen St. W, Yonge board up their windows.

9:00 – Protesters gather at Jimmie Stewart Park on Queen to march to Eastern Ave. detention centre to show solidarity for protesters held there. Some protesters are released over the next couple of hours, including the arrested National Post journalist.

9:00-12:00 – Dozens arrested in police action at U of T, near forestry building. Onlookers questioned.

11-12:00 – Protesters ordered to disperse from Eastern Ave. Some arrests take place. Later, ISU clarifies:

Today police continue to arrest those who committed criminal acts over the past two days. #g8g20isu

From Torontoist on Twitter:

Star is reporting some protesting outside of Eastern Ave facility are being arrested, cops hit 2 with batons.

12:30 – Protesters off against police amid residential housing. Homeowners look on. Photo. Series of cellphone photos. Better quality photos from Torontoist.

12:45 – Protester’s Convergence Space on Queen St. W. is raided by police.

1:00 – G20Mobilize on Twitter:

the convergence space has NOT been raided. 5 cop cars just outside.

1:00 – Bikers gather at Bloor and Spadina for “Bike Block” protest. Police join them at around 1:10– police from Saskatoon. Initially, there is some resistance from the police about riding but the ride starts as scheduled.

1:50 – Cyclists diverted away from anywhere south of College.

Photograph of cyclists on U of T campus.

2:00 – Cyclists still riding peacefully around the city, with only minor skirmishes.A peaceful prayer meeting goes ahead at King and Church. Peaceful march in Kensington Market (photo).

2:30 – Torontoist on Twitter

At King and Church prayer vigil, “We’re actually WAITING for the cops to escort us” reports Emily Shepard. #g20

craigkielburger on Twitter

Bicyclist peacefully negotiating route with police. #G20

2:45 – Prayer Vigil proceeding east along King escorted by police riding in vans.

3:00 – Reports of arrests being made up at Avenue and Bloor.

Also, seen at Queen’s Park.

3:00 – Press conference from Toronto Mobilization Network, via Brian Fenlon at the Globe and Mail:

Spokesman says protesters picked up by police are being denied timely access to counsel, minimal food, often being held 6-8 to a cell for several hours. They want people to recognize that protesters are “being denied wholesale their rights under the Charter” of access to counsel.
3:15 – At a northwest Toronto Court, riot police assemble to protect the court where 220 arrestees are  for bail hearings in five courtrooms.
3:30 – National Post G20Updates on Twitter:
Police have arrested at least seven people on Yonge St., believed to be carrying black clothing in knapsacks.
ISU on Twitter in response to Toronto Mobilization Network’s accusations:
Prisoner Processing Centre was built to ensure that anyone arrested is treated professionally, & provided with services such as washrooms, food, telephones, access to lawyers & medical care.
Protesters were fed cheese sandwiches and water.
4:00 – Bike protesters have ended up at Eastern Ave. Detention Centre and are staging a sit in there.
From T Kiladze on Globe and Mail Timeline:

Bikers conflicted: someone pleads for them to back away from Eastern Ave. so that police will continue releasing detainees.

4:10 – Bikers move back from road outside detention centre as more riot police arrive.

Earlier, a bus bound for Quebec City was stopped by police at Queen and Noble, people taken off it and two or three people were “officially detained” (arrested.)

4:20 – Maggie Helwig, the woman leading the prayer vigil at Bay/King which remains peaceful has apparently been asked to leave but has refused.

4:30 – Compromise at Eastern Ave. Now protesters have backed off, police are continuing to release some of those arrested the night before.

4:45 – Things heating up at Bay and King as the peace vigil protesters refuse to leave and riot police move in. At the detention centre, a similar situation is occurring as police give the five minute warning for protesters to leave. Via Globe and Mail:

“Please leave now, or you will be arrested.” “You have five minutes”

Similar stuff happening at the protesters “Convergence Space” on Queen.

4:50 – Leaders begin to leave Toronto, closing major roads across the city not affected by protesters.

5:15 – Protesters at Eastern Ave. have remained where they are. Police continue to release people from the detention centre. At Jimmie Simpson Park, where anarchists were supposed to meet to protest prisons, there are a lot of riot police but few protesters. Some arrests have been made.

5:25 – Final, final warning issued at Eastern Ave.

5:40 – A disorganized march consisting of hundreds heads west down Queen where it is met with police at Spadina.

6:40 – A large number of protesters at Queen and Spadina are seated in the middle of the intersection and are surrounded by riot police. Police inform journalist they are going to use sound cannon and rubber bullets.

7:05 – Cops plucking people from crowd and arresting them. Weather’s turned bad– thunder and lightening starting, heavy rain.

9:00 – Two hours later, still raining, people at Spadina and Queen are still waiting to be arrested– absolutely soaked. I suspect that this last standoff will be the worst considered as we start to think politically and legally. The court system is already overwhelmed.

Photo of police at Queen/Spadina

Photo from above of crowd, police.

9:30 – Finally some movement on the onlookers/protesters still corralled (detained) by police at Queen and Spadina, although apparently official arrests finished hours ago. Protesters (onlookers?) zip-cuffed– although dozens are still there. National Post G20Updates on Twitter:

People stuck in police corral in the rain for hours at Queen/Spadina now starting to be loaded onto chartered #TTC buses. #g20

9:45 – Protesters/people stuck at Spadina/Queen since 5:30 and 6:00 and having not been arrested are finally released and head up Spadina. National Post reports that children aged 12-14 and pets were also held there. [Later reports said young children were released earlier Sunday 10:05pm] There was no violence. I this, above everything, will stick in the minds of people because it involved a lot of bystanders.

680 News Reporter Kevin Misener’s story about the Queen/Spadina experience.

Large photograph of those detained on Queen/Spadina.

10:00 – Police are to remain in Toronto another day, at least until Monday evening. Globe and Mail.

10:45 – Police Chief Blair speaks about tactics used at the Novotel Hotel on the Esplanade on Saturday night and at Queen and Spadina on Sunday Evening. He says that police officers saw that people in the crowd were donning facemasks and that media and bystanders were caught in the middle.Blair:

“I cannot apologize to [those who were detained and released without charges]. And I won’t.”

ALSO SEE:

Torontoist Sunday Timeline

Globe and Mail Real Time Updates

Photograph taken at Queen and University via the Torontoist

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Sunday Morning Update

Torontonians– I woke up to the normal sound of birds this morning before remembering the bizarro world alternate reality we’re living in right now.

Here’s the situation:

TRAFFIC/TRANSPORT

  • Union station is now open as of 10pm and regular Go Train and bus service will be resumed (until further notice– don’t count on it.)
  • Downtown normal Sunday TTC service resumes at 9:00am this morning.
  • Main artery-wise we’re likely to see lots of 427, 401, Gardiner and QEW closures as the G20 leaders– hurrah– leave the city towards the end of the day.
  • We do have some protests occurring today which may will take over the downtown streets between Parliament and Bathurst, possibly shutting down roads. If violence like yesterday occurs, we may see the entire downtown core south of Bloor closed to TTC and motorists. At 1pm, there is a Bike protest which starts at Spadina and Bloor, at 3:30pm there is a little money-burning planned for Queen Street West. Expect at least road closures in these areas, moving and radiating as the protest moves or changes.

ARRESTS

Over 400 people have been arrested. That’s a lot. I guess that Eastern Ave. detention centre is now full whereas its emptiness over this week had been a bit of a joke. People who are not released without charge will be bailed this afternoon.

Stores downtown who got their windows broken or not have now boarded up against further window-smashing violence. Hopefully this won’t be necessary, but I expect at least some drama to occur as those outside the jail, and possibly those bailed, will likely be a little angry at “the man” for imprisoning them.

What I recommend is you stay away from a bad situation. This includes police. They are likely not in their genial, advice-giving mood. Standing close to them, asking them for directions while they’re facing off against unpredictable protesters– these are things that are not good ideas. You will get yelled at, moved and possibly even arrested. These officers are on edge and whether you feel they should be more calm than they are or not the fact remains that they are not in a forgiving mood.

Stay out of their way.

I want Toronto to be safe and I wish fervently that today is a more peaceful day that yesterday.

— Torontoite

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Riot Tactics in Use in Toronto

In a world…

In a world like the one we downtown Toronto residents will be living in for hopefully just another 24 hours, it’s important for us to understand things like riot tactics. Mmm, things you’d never thought you’d need to know.

I’ve talked to someone who has experience in these things. He explained to me common riot tactics employed by police.

“The point of a riot,” says he, “is to break things and cause mayhem.” Police always meet a riot in full riot gear, as we saw today. They meet a riot in a strong formation– individual police officers is not a good way of meeting rioting protesters.

One strategy is to surround a mob and disperse it with tear gas. Tear gas was used once today, on Queen and Peter, in response to protesters throwing things at police with enough force to dismount them.Although police did have tear gas, they did not use it elsewhere.

Police can also use a more tricky tactic. Take a look:

Another option is to physically disperse a crowd – in some of the pictures provided [he had seen photos -T.], you see the riot control unit closing with the mob.  This is tricky because the strength of the LEO comes from a tight formation and the direct support of his fellow officers.  If the formation is broken, LEOs can find themselves individually surrounded and taken down by rioters.  Although once a mob has been “broken”, LEOs can begin to effect arrests.

Which is why LEO responses to riots always seem to be slow – every precaution has to be taken to keep a bad situation from becoming much worse.  They form a solid base of control and begin a deliberate advance when necessary – if it is simply a matter of property damage, the powers in command may opt to let the riot run its course, blocking the advance if necessary.

Please note this last paragraph. If rioting is simply a matter of property damage– as opposed to physical attacks on people– police often opt to regroup elsewhere. Sound familiar? As rioters were heading up Yonge Street, smashing everything, they were unmolested. Police formed elsewhere, eventually surrounding the group, corralling it, and then arresting members who were, we hope, responsible for the worst of the damage.

Many thanks to my acquaintance who furnished me with this insight. However, he is not a law enforcement officer and is not affiliated with the ISU (or even Canadian.) Keep that in mind when considering this information. However, he is a brave person who knows his stuff, so thanks.

— Torontoite

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Sunday 27 Protest Update

Gosh. What a day this has been. Smashed windows, burned police cars. 130 arrests so far and rising. I expect you can hear the helicopters overhead, still buzzing. If you missed the peaceful and violent parts of the protest, you can read my absolutely enormous timeline here.

So what’s coming for tomorrow? One thing I would recommend is staying away. Leave the camera at home, take a day in the park with the dog or a book. The police are fighting moving targets in an urban setting with a populace they are trying not to harm (thank you so much for what you are doing, police!) This never happens in Toronto. They were not trained to deal with it and mistakes will be made. I appreciate you want to get photographs but your presence confuses and complicates the issue– even real journalists are getting into trouble by standing nearby Black Bloc members.

Think of what it looks like and what your presence is doing, not what your intent is.

As before, bold protests are one which might turn violent because they say they will.

  • June 27 – G20 Mobilization – Jimmie Simpson Park (Dundas/Wardell) 10am – Jail Solidarity. Protesters plan to peacefully stand by their “comrades” in jail. Snacks are provided, says the site genially.

http://www.g20.torontomobilize.org/node/344

  • June 27 – “Getting Down to Business” All day – Everywhere. – Instructions for small groups to “show them [G20 leaders] who’s boss.” I do not like the sound of this.
  • June 27 – Bike Block Action (Spadina/Bloor) 1pm – Mass bike riding protesting automobile domination akin to Critical Mass.
  • June 27 – St James Anglican Church Park (Jarvis/Church) 2pm – Prayer March (religious affliation: Christian). Specifically says non-violent but road and building occupations expected.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=135104346505408

  • June 27 – 299 Queen Street West (CTV Building at John and Richmond) 3:33pm – Money burning. I’ve just made this one bold because burning money is illegal and involves fire on the already smashed streets of Queen. This will involve lots of police and hopefully no fire fighters will be required. Stay out of the way of the police and let them do their jobs.

http://sites.google.com/site/makebelieveteaparty/

  • June 27 – Fire Works For Prisons – Jimmie Simpson Park (Dundas/Wardell in East) 5pm – anarchists protesting prisons. They specifically say they will confront media (esp. photographers) and do not intend to make a statement for the media. These are possibly the people smashing and burning today so let’s hope whatever happens is brief and as peaceful as anarchist protesting prisons can be.

http://fireworksforprisons.wordpress.com/

Toronto, we are damaged, but one more day and it will be left for the courts and the politicians to fight over what happened this weekend. I talked to a friend in Pakistan today. What will leave our city by Monday is not rare in his city every weekend.

Wondering what I can do to help clear up when this is over. If someone knows– let me know.

Yours hoping for peace tomorrow,

— Torontoite

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Saturday 26 Major Protest Timeline

5,000-6,000 protesters for various causes gathered in the rain between 12pm and 1:30pm at Queen’s Park to protest the G20.They plan to march south on University, west on Queen, north on Spadina, east on College.

12:30 – A small fragment of protesters begins an early march down University Ave.

Torontoist on Twitter:

Rather, one group: “A group claiming crimes against humanity in the Ethiopian region of Ogaden” #G20

1:20 – Tweeter reports that police are already on Spadina, hiding from the rain in doorways.

1:25 – Protesters gathering en masse at Queen’s Park, representing all kinds of causes: labour, steelworkers, women’s rights, peace, environmental (green peace). Protesters outside US Consulate move north on University to join large group.

1:30 Large apache helicopters heading towards Conference Centre heard overhead– thought to be Obama arriving.

1:30 – March begins to move south on University Ave. led by women’s rights advocates. Photo. Photo from Craig Kielburger.

1:35 – National Post G20 Updates on Twitter:

CP24 reports that two protesters have been arrested, armed with what police say are incendiary devices #G20

1:45 – Police apparently blocking the road at Elm (where they blocked the protest yesterday).

National Post G20 Updates on Twitter:

Police have set up a blockade at Elm Street. Protesters threatening to go around and continue to security perimeter #G20

1:55 – Both University and Yonge lines south of Bloor closed, streetcars also not coming downtown and no replacement buses. Police also apparently not letting cars south of Bloor.

1:55 – Protest passes US Consulate giving wide berth, guarded by riot police and fences (Photo from Craig Kielburger).

2:00 – Police block University at Queen with bicycles. Secondary layer of riot police further down University at Richmond. Protest was planned to turn here so this is insurance against those who claimed they would march towards the fence.

2:00 – Protest is very large, five blocks long. Protest now headed west along Queen. Still peaceful.

2:15 – Group of protesters in black spotted headed along Peter at Queen, but police reportedly blocking every street south. Source: mediacoop (no link yet)

Reports that two lines of police – full-geared riot cops, and helmeted bike cops – blocking every road leading to the fence.

2:20 – Head of protest now turning north on Spadina, diverted by police.

2:35 – Head of protest turns east on College. Head of protest peaceful groups: Greenpeace, Women’s Rights, Amnesty International.

Peaceful Protesters from Amnesty Int'l on College

Peaceful Protesters from Amnesty Int'l on College

3:00 – Protest arrives at Queen’s Park to great gaiety and rejoicing, but starts to head back south again shortly after.

3:15 – Police take off en masse down University Avenue to deal with Black Block protesters (pictured in a peaceful moment) smashing windows at Scotiabank at Yonge/Duncan.

3:30-3:40 – Protesters smashing windows on Queen + Bay, including police car window. Now Toronto on Twitter:

windows smashed on queen, cop car window smashed too

erynweatley on Twitter (protester):

RT @mediacoop: RT @kavitabee: Standoff at bay and king help needed urgent #g20report

From National Post article, eyewitness reporter:

Their faces remain neutral as they endure an endless cascade of insults from amateur anarchists who know everything about Orwell and Brecht but probably never read them. “Nazis!” “Pigs!” “Your children are ashamed of you,” “Your fathers are ashamed of you.” What ever happened to putting flowers in gun barrels?

Photo of overturned mailbox from Craig Kielburger.

3:50 – Report of police car on fire at Bay and Wellington from. Two buses full of riot police arrive to move protesters away from fire. Protesters on University have sat themselves in front of Riot Police at Richmond.

4:00 – Black Bloc reported by Now Toronto heading north on Yonge from Adelaide.

4:10 – Two police cars on fire now. Eaton Centre on lockdown

FlashNewsGTA on Twitter:

Two TTC streetcars on Queen st have been damaged, spray painted. #Flashnews #G20 #Toronto #Protest #Police @CP24 #TTC

4:15 – Police letting protesters move east. Photograph of damage on Yonge. Smashed windows etc.

Wobbly video of violent protesters on Yonge, smashing windows. Courtesy of Globe and Mail.

4:25 – Protesters at Yonge and College, College and Bay. Throwing rocks at police outside Police Headquarters.

4:30 – Tweet from BradFrenette on Twitter:

Just spoke to officer who supports many of protest platforms and is member of Amnesty. Hates sitting watching damage to city. #g20

4:35 – Protesters heading west on College.

4:45 – Protesters at University and College, along with lots of Riot Police.

4:45 –MattBraga on Twitter:

Huge line of riot police on uni avenue now. Protesters have moved in and around QP, many changing out of their all-black to blend in #G20

National Post G20Update on Twitter:

CP24 reports that tear gas is in use at College and University. #G20

4:55 – Hundreds of police surrounding protesters at University and College. Tear gas use confirmed (first ever in Toronto) by Toronto Police representative Wendy Drummond [according to TrafficServices on Twitter at 5:20, no gas was deployed– possibly deployed by protesters since it was smelled] and rubber bullets reportedly also have been used. [Confirmed 5:35 by Toronto Police] Police in full riot gear in various places around the city.

5:05 – Police also reportedly surrounding protesters at King/Bay. Standoff continues. Police circling ~600 police at University/College.

5:10 – Police moving forward using horses, banging shields, moving protesters out of the intersection. College is clear by 5:15.

5:20 – Police trying to head off looting in broken stores downtown.

5:25 – Police closing in on protesters in Queen’s Park, pushing them to the ground and arresting them. The more violent ones have changed out of black clothes in order to blend in with the crowd and moved back.

Craig Kielburger on Twitter:

Violent protestors melted into crowd, leaving many others in front of police line. Must be difficult for police to determine who is who #G20

Photograph

5:45 – Protesters and police on Yonge from Dundas at least as far as College.

5:50 – About 1000 protesters amassed at Bay and Adelaide. Police to the south on King.

6:00 – Mayor David Miller has a Press Conference, via Globe and Mail:

“A small group of people deliberately decided to cause violence today.” They are “people who came to make it their business to cause these types of acts,” he said. “Am I angry? Absolutely.”

Also advised people to be careful downtown but to otherwise go about their business.

Melted Steve's Music Sign, taken Saturday evening.

6:05 – Protesters boxed in at Bay and King. At Queen’s Park, police are pressing protesters closer into the park. Fired pepper balls (containing pepper spray) into crowd. Protesters throwing shoes, bottles at police.

From Craig Kielburger on Twitter:

Police state ‘those who stay will now be arrested. Vacate the area’.

6:10 – Another police car on fire at Spadina and Queen.

6:15 – Reports of hundreds of relatively peaceful protesters gathering at the fence at Front and Bay.

Photograph from _bold.

6:25 – Two more police cars on fire east of Spadina on Queen.

6:30 – Protesters at Bay and Adelaide pull sod to spell out “No G-20”.

Photograph from joelduff.

~6:35 – Police “charge” the crowd with their horses at Queen’s Park causing many protesters to run.

6:50 – Lots of protesters on Twitter in denial about the violence, suggesting police burnt cars themselves.

6:55 – National Post G20Updates on Twitter:

A group of Black Bloc protesters were seen again donning the trademark black clothes and reloading video cameras with a fresh tape

7:05 – CBCNewsDesk on Twitter

G20 protest update: Integrated Security Unit #ISU says there have been 33 arrests since 6 AM ET this morning and expect more to come

7:15 – Due to Subway south of Bloor being closed, TTC is running free north-south bus lines on Bathurst and Parliament.

7:20 – Protesters at Queen and Spadina and at Beverly and Soho boxed in by Police.

7:30 – Police using their horses to corral protesters at Queen’s Park. People are afraid of fast-moving horses and are scrambling out of the way. Some arrests occur.

7:55 – Another Police car on fire on Queen east of Spadina. No police there.

8:10 – Police face off with protesters on Spadina at Queen. Police car on Queen still burning with lots of spectators and media watching/filming. Fence now very quiet. Roaming bands of protesters all over the city, which is difficult for the police to contain.

Police surround protesters near burning police car on Queen.

8:26 – ISU on Twitter:

Individual use of tear gas and pepper were used to respond to members of a group using violent behaviour.

Police car on Queen now being put out by fire crew.

8:30 – CTV Producer Farzad Fahtholazad has been arrested by police at Queen’s Park. Police are generally pushing protesters north (on Beverly) and east (on Bloor outside the ROM). Police have used rubber bullets and batons resulting in some minor bruises and cuts among protesters– but police haven’t escaped unscathed. No serious injuries.

8:40 – Fire out on Queen, police consolidating their position around protesters.

8:45 – Globe and Mail (Chris Hannay):

Just spoke to ISU: Police downtown are using “pepper-spray guns” that “deliver individual shots of OC spray.” OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) another name for pepper spray.

8:50 – Protest at Queen Street east of Spadina getting violent. Protesters are chanting, throwing objects at mounted policemen. One officer is struck and falls from his horse.

8:50 – Twitter from NatashaFatah

Confrontation happening on Queen West. And protestors on Bloor St. are shouting “Let’s Destroy Bloor” #g20 #cbcg20

8:15 – Protesters at Queen and Spadina still in (calmer) faceoff with police.

Matt Frehner/The Globe and Mail:

Outside a smashed in Starbucks on Queen Street near CP24 headquarters, those in apartments above the store are shouting at the protesters to go home.

9:25 – Bill Blair, Toronto Police Chief, gives a press conference. 105 arrests have been made and more to come– police have photographs of those they want to arrest. Although many people have tweeted about use of rubber bullets, they were apparently not used. However, tear gas was used at Queen and Peter after a warning because of violence. Quote:

We ask Toronto for its patience and support. We are working to restore order and rule of law.

9:30 – Protesters still at Spadina and Queen, walking south on Yonge at Queen.

Natasha Fatah on Twitter:

Friend’s report: Gerrard+Yonge small jewelery store completely smashed up. The poor old man/owner looked completely broken. #cbcg20 #g20

9:35 – Police getting out of vans at Yonge and Queen (or Bay and King, not sure), warning people that if they stay they will be arrested.

9:45 – Some protesters peacefully reach the fence and flash peace signs at it amid loads of police. All this mayhem, for that.

And here my comments end. Suffice it to say, this could go on all night.

Protest timeline and great photos at the Torontoist.

Photographs from Toronto Police of Protest violence, aftermath, employees already clearing up.

Article on Violence from Globe and Mail

This is Toronto? Photograph of car on fire, riot police.

Spray painted CIBC branch, courtesty of LBlenkinsop (Globe and Mail)

Photo from Chubbstar: A policeman and a protester, while a police car burns in the background.

Amazing peaceful and violent protest photos from Toronto Star staff photographers.

Article from Globe and Mail about the violence of the protesters.

Article from National Post about the violence of the protesters.

This crowd consists of whack jobs brandishing signs about the Bilderberg Group, 9/11 and corporate conspiracies. There are also the insurgent vandals who are unleashing a campaign of violence with the precision of a bank heist. And then there are the on-lookers. Thousands of people taking pictures and reporting to friends over their cell phones. “Yeah, I’m on Queen. It’s pretty scary right now.”

Torontoist article about Saturday: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

At that point, we saw a plume of white smoke at Queen and Spadina. As we ran towards it we realized that we weren’t choking on our own vomit, and so we walked over to some unmasked cops and asked them, “Hey, have you guys deployed tear gas?” To which one replied: “Fuck, I hope not.” Eventually, some other protesters walking past us on the way back said that the plume of smoke was a flare “that some Black Bloc assholes set off.”

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Saturday Traffic + Transport (+ Other)

Good morning! It’s a warm, grey day in Toronto– cloudy, with 100% probabliity of protests (also some afternoon rain, but I think we can guarantee protests).

Here’s your traffic/transport update for Saturday.

  • Roads closures: Take a look at Saturday’s protest list. The start times and planned routes are a hint (a hint!) at what roads might be closed when. We’ve got protesters gathering in Yonge-Dundas at 12pm, the US Consulate at 12:30 and Queen’s Park at 1:00pm. There are protesters camped at Allan Gardens (Carlton/Sherbourne) who are as of 9:15 being searched. Any and all of the connecting roads– Yonge, University, College/Carlton, Queen, Spadina, King etc. could be closed from noon onwards.
  • ISU Announcements Link— Useful information on roads.
  • Fence: The fence gates are closed. University Avenue is blocked off completely at Front. There is a surreal photo of people, shortly after they were closed, trying to get through.
  • TTC: Some excellent advice from Brad Ross at the TTC at 9:00 Saturday morning…
  • Expect significant delays in the downtown core today, especially on streetcar routes. Use the subway where you can. All lines/stns open
  • … but remember, bomb scares have caused some disruptions on these lines over the past few days, so you might be stuck.
  • GO Transit is up and running today and over the weekend. However, Union Station entrance access is limited to the Bay Street entrance (and York Street heading south). Front doors are fenced in If you usually travel through Union on the GO Train you will need to disembark at Union and get on a new train to continue.
  • Via Trains are running, but they are not going to Union. If your ticket takes you to Union, you will be able to get off your Via train and catch a continuing Go Train at Oakville, Oshawa, Brampton and Oriole to get there.
  • If you’re looking to shop this is not a great weekend. Food-shops normally open 24h were closed last night, and will continue to be closed at night until Monday. The Eaton Centre was evacuated yesterday due to a false-alarm bomb or weapons scare.

Let’s hope for peace and calm today for residents,visitors, police and protesters. We’re all affected by rising anger.

— Torontoite

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