Saturday, 26 June 2010

Isn't it Gr8

Below is what I would've submitted at around 2:30pm but things have changed since....

Intermittent rain, the helicopters are still buzzing around and the tally has certainly climbed since I last checked. So far we've got police cars torched, store fronts (BMO, Scotia Bank and even a Starbucks) smashed, 150+ people arrested and for what ?

Now I'm all in favor of people expressing their displeasure. Hell, a good protest march is a civic right and in some cases, almost a duty but this type of crap is a bit over the top. I could almost forgive some of the violence if it were directed with a reason (I said I could ALMOST..but not quite).

For example, I'm pissed at Starbucks. I think that the prices they charge for coffee is outrageous let alone one of their speciality drinks but smashing their window ? Same goes for the banks. Hell, I'm pissed at getting screwed by service charges but smashing their windows won't change a thing. Now if these protesters had any brains they would've left behind some kinda message other than shards of glass...Something like a spray-painted
"Give me cheap java or give me death !!"
"Service charge this....."
would've been fine with me but just smashing for smashing's sake is idiotic, not to mention un-Canadian.

One question I do have is why didn't the cops just build their fence and then put 5,000 coppers inside the perimeter and have the remaining 14,000 who've been called in for the G8/G20 doing their usual jobs around the country ? Would've been cheaper I think, less provocative, less invasive & imposing. With the fence up, tear gas guns at the ready and a clearly communicated stance that if you climb the fence you get gassed and arrested, things might've gone more smoothly.

But noooo.... Instead let's screw up the core of Canada's largest city, negatively impact the citizens, cost businesses thousands, cost tax payers hundreds of millions etc..etc..

Well, here's Toronto in the middle of a world summit.

Sitting here typing away and the sound of helicopters is droning overhead. Now for those of you who don't know me, I live downtown. Usually a buzz of traffic, people...the city is prevalent but not this time. The city's a ghost town, unless you count the HEAVY police presence.

Last night, after dinner with my mom we decided to take our respective dogs for a walk over to the Red Zone (Security nexus here in T.O.)

Again, for the un-initiated, Toronto is Canada's largest city. Total population is about 3.5 million. Friday nights are usually busy on the streets with traffic and people. Last night, nada. Sure, there were a few gawkers like my mom & I. People who strolled close enough to the summit venue to see the hub-hub if any but other than that, civilians were out numbered by a huge margin by the police, the roving mini-vans with tinted windows and I am sure by the snipers, surveillance cameras, heli-eyes in the sky and probably more than a few predator drones overhead.

Now I don't mind the security precautions being taken by the politicos. After all, theirs is a life fraught with danger. The proletariat might get close enough to touch them or god forbid, scold them. But 19,000 cops in a ghost town, 3m fences and a police-state law...sheesh....