Well, well, fellow, Toronto Residents. This is going to be a weekend to remember. Today’s (Friday’s) march was a taste of what was to come. Although mostly peaceful, there were a few moments where tempers rose. The Police’s tactic seems to be to corral protesters along a route that they deem appropriate. perhaps if protesters have already set a route, the police might be more lenient– Friday’s protest didn’t seem to have much direction.
Inevitably, protesters and police will have a difference of opinion (so to speak). Hopefully, things stay as calm as they have so far (UPDATE: Hahahaaha…). However, If you do go down to protest or to observe, I would advise keeping a close eye on the level of anger among the crowd and the police, and keeping a safe distance from those individuals if tempers do start to flare.
UPDATE Saturday morning: some reports coming in of searches of tents at Allan Gardens, and warrants issued for protester’s actions at the Friday Allan Garden’s March, so things are going to start early over there.
If you’re in a building next to the protests, you may find yourself hemmed in by police while protests pass. If you need to leave your building, take a different (but appropriate) door or keep track of where the protest is and leave before it arrives. You will not be able to push your way past riot police and they will likely not be polite if you attempt to.
Allan Gardens (Carlton + Gerrard/Sherbourne) is presently where man protesters from Friday’s protests have decided to pitch their tents. This will be a hub of activity all weekend unless the police decide to move them on– in which case it will be full of angry protesters.
Protest in bold lettering is the protest which, judging from use of language and stated intent, as well as giving itself a 3-star rating (of 3) on the G20 Mobilization site for level of “police interference”, is unfortunately most likely to turn violent.
This is everything publicly scheduled. On other days, there have been a few small surprise events throughout the day– such a press conferences following marches, but usually days have been fairly consistent with their announced events.
There is one major march made up of several groups scheduled to amass in Queen’s Park at 1pm. The Toronto Star has a good article on this protest.
- June 26 – G20 Mobilize – Allan Gardens (Carlton/Gerrard @ Sherbourne) 10:30am – Press conference.
- June 26 – G20 Mobilize – Film Studios Detention Studio 629 Eastern Ave. (Eastern/Pape) 12pm – Jail solidarity for those protesters arrested on Friday night.
- June 26 – G-420 (Toronto Cannibis Community) – Yonge-Dundas Square (Yonge/Dundas) 12pm – Legalize Marijuana. Intends to march from Yonge-Dundas square north on Yonge and then across to Queen’s Park by 2pm.
- June 26 – Canadian Peace Alliance – US Consulate 360 University (University/Queen University/Armory) 12:30pm – Rally against anything militaristic, but focusing on Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. NOTE: On Friday, police seemed unhappy to let protesters pass the US Consulate. This may impact the gathering point of this protest.
- June 26 – “People First Demonstration” – Queen’s Park John A. Macdonald Statue (South end) 1:00pm – Women’s Rights – Intends to march south on University, west along Queens St. W, north on Spadina and then back along College to Queen’s Park. Again, police may interfere with this planned route.
- June 26 – “Get Off The Fence” – Queen’s Park 1:00pm – Intends to march south with the People First Demonstration, but then continue towards the security fence. Intends to be militant, so expect battles. From the description of the protest:
“When the People First march turns back, we invite you all to continue on with us to confront the self-proclaimed G20 leaders and the security apparatus that will have occupied our city. We will take back our city from these exploitative profiteers, and in the streets we will be uncontrollable! This is a militant march where many forms of resistance and tactics are welcomed and respected.”
- June 26 – Labour Unions/NGOs – No place for rally start announced, but times say 1pm-5pm. Expect this will be connected with the above two marches (also starting at 1).
- June 26 – Saturday Night Fever Party – No place yet, time “Late Until Dawn” – Street Party. Given the pitching of tents at Allan Gardens (between Carlton + Gerrard at Sherbourne) it seems likely that at least some of this partying will occur there. Queen’s Park may also be a favourite. This event also receives a three-star rating of “police interference” on the G20 Mobilize site but is hopefully going to be focused more on the positive.
- Saturday Night Fever Party has become a Jail Solidarity Dance Party starting at 12am at the Detention Centre on Eastern Ave. (at Pape). Hopefully this is peaceful.
- June 26-27 – Regenesis – 1555 Dupont St. (Dupont between Landsdowne and Dundas) 5:30pm – Sleepover + breakfast.
And that’s everything. Let’s hope that everything goes calmly and smoothly and that Toronto– and its people– stay in one, relatively happy, piece.