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When All Else Fails

Protesters burn cop cars, break corporate windows and taunt police line at Anti-G20 Toronto

by Isaac Oommen

King St. protesters
King St. protesters
When All Else Fails
People wandering around on a nearly-car-free Yonge St. after the protest
People wandering around on a nearly-car-free Yonge St. after the protest

Also posted by isaac:

An unusual calm settled over Yonge street around 6pm. Bits of glass lay strewn through the street as the this-far-persistent clouds parted to let in some sun.

"I don't know what happened, but they called us out an hour ago," said a muscular security guard in a white uniform outside a Starbucks that was having its windows restored.

Starbucks was not the only shop(s) on Yonge St. that had the unfamiliar presence of security forces out front. A number of outlets that had been targeted had brought out security guards onto the streets as the city's population confronted several "closed" signs. American Apparel had it's windows smashed and fecal matter thrown into the building. A number of pornography and strip club establishments also had their windows smashed.

At 1pm on the same day a large number of organizations ranging from unions to non-profits organized a thousands-strong rally at Queen's Park called People First. The march to Queen St. included several anti-capitalist groups, from No One is Illegal to unaffiliated anarchists and Maoists.

"We're working closely with the organizers (of the rally) to facilitate a peaceful protest," was the standard line from a member of the riot police stationed at an early point of the the march.

The police had not coordinated with the black bloc and other groups, which after three attempts broke away from the larger protest and ran through downtown Toronto, breaking anything associated with capitalism along the way. Two of the first targets were police cars, which had their windows smashed and doors battered. Shouting out against capitalism, authoritarianism and fascism, protesters smashed every bank they could find as well as fast food outlets, large fashion stores and telecommunications companies. The police museum was also a target.

At one point during the run through downtown, Sikh restaurant owners came out of their establishment to make sure it did not get smashed. As the restaurateurs raised their fists in solidarity with protesters, members of the black bloc ran around them to smash the windows of a fast-food chain next door.

The rampage through downtown Toronto came after weeks of marches, talks and other peaceful actions on the part of thousands of organizers.

Running through several blocks of downtown, hundreds of protesters got to three police cars that were being hastily evacuated at King W. and Bay St. Just a few minutes later one of the cars was totaled and slowly beginning to smoke as flames ruined the upholstery.

"We're here in solidarity with those going to the fence," said a pink-clad CUPE marcher. "We're not going to smash anything but we'll help out in any way."

These were refreshing words from a representative from some of the select unions that followed anarchists and other protesters through downtown. Other union activists chose to march in a circle back to the starting point at Queen's Park.

After the protest Toronto residents and visitors looked shocked and rather disoriented. People walked on the streets as well as the sidewalk on Yonge, taking pictures of broken glass. Transit had stopped, leaving some waiting at stations or hailing cabs.

Even as the first protest of the day winded down, another one gathered strength at Bay and King W. St., calling once again to be able to go to the fence keeping the G20 contained. The entire city of Toronto knew that the G20 was in town.

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Fantastic story Isaac!!

Wow man!

What a great story!
Impressive and inspirational!.

Thank you for being there and sharing a well balanced and thoughtful piece of decent journalism on this.

Gives one hope for the future of Canada.
That not all media is totally full of shit and spin for their corporate masters and the all mighty dollar.


Safe journey my friend & brother.
(see u soon)



What happened??? didn't, like all of the other news media, call the black block "a bunch of violent thugs and hooligans". What's going on Isaac? Does this demonstrate a roundness to your article? Does this mean that you aren’t scapegoating any particular group? I think so.


Well written, witty article Isaac.


I’ve been watching the news on CTV. What a bunch of crap. Not impartial, very one sided and you can tell which side they are truly on.


I was looking for your face running across my TV screen. I figured you’d be in the thick of it.


I’ll see you when you get back to Van town.  



Totally predictable Sham Slam revisited

    It's always about the haves and have nots.The diversity of protesters' politcal ideologies and willingness to engage in praxis is a reflection of the general population breakdown during these difficult economic times. Black-clad anarchists  probably haven't got a pot to piss in.  Vulnerable union members wondering if they'll still have their jobs, given the amount of privatization and outsourcing (look at my ip provider, telus for instance: when you phone a local number for assistance, it sends you to the Phillipines.) they must endure.

    However, the added suffering experienced by educated souls like myself during this depressing recession has reinvigorated my desire to succeed. I now have four (4) part-time jobs: webcam tutoring, selling luxury items on the street , Commercial Drive; getting my book published at a cost of $ twenty ($20.00) an hour, and doing my M.A. (crim./Is.) online at Cambridge.  My goal is to challenge Libby Davies Vancouver East riding as an or independent, if or when a federal election is called. She had refused to apologize to me for her disparaging, specious comments on the State of Israel's so-called "occupation" of Palestine beginning with the 1948 establishment of the jewish state.  Lies designed to provide fuel to Iran, Russia, Hamas and  Hezbollah.

    This mayhem in Toronto serves to reinforce the validity and reliability of the left-wing academic community's predictions, specifically emanating from  the School of Criminology 1980's. They told us the world would be like this in the new millenium, ie. mushrooming private security firms, Orwellian social control,organized terrorism, and most importantly, a defining moment when capitalism implodes through the brave efforts of organized resisters.  The resistance is alive here , and will continue to mount despite the arrests, since G8/G20 leaders are not listening to us

    What will it take next......???




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