The Battle of Toronto

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219 Responses

  1. Kate says:

    Thank you for posting this.
    Usually when something makes me really fucking maaad I can walk away for a bit and calm down and ignore it and return to a zen state of mind, but it’s really hard when it’s HERE. In TORONTO.

    The shit going on in the detention centre is going to send me postal. Equally infuriating are all the “DURP IT’S JAIL WHATCHA EXPECT” comments. Like you mentioned, people were being denied water, legal help, phone calls, medi-fucking-cation – there was reportedly a 17 year-old girl with a heart condition who couldn’t access her meds. Apparently LGBTQ detainees were segregated, homophobic slurs, etc wtf.

    http://vimeo.com/12925239
    Journalist Amy Miller was told she was going to be repeatedly raped and gang-banged, women were strip-searched by male officers, one girl had an officer’s finger up her. ARE. YOU. FUCKING. KIDDING. ME.

    “DERRR AT LEAST YOU AIN’T IN IRAQ!”
    No fucking shit. This is CANADA for sodfihadspfijknelr 34jw’sifoshdjnv’s sake, this isn’t supposed to happened.

  2. Wow. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Buddyhead. I’ve been reading the site for years and I’ve never seen a post like this. Disgusting behavior from the police and the Black Bloc.

  3. Jameson says:

    @Tania your article rules.
    @Kate thank you for your links, that is disturbing testimony.

    The police proved they will show their true colors regardless of Black Block, and just like every protest that doesn’t involve severe Block Bloc tactic the police go unpunished for their crimes. I think peaceful protest in our countries have really done nothing as far as getting media attention. Everytime this fucking G20/G8 comes to town some elderly or handicap person gets hurt and arrested, the Black Bloc is demonized by the moderate democrats and self described “liberals” to the point of being a shill. None of this is new. The only thing that surprised me was the Black Blac demonstrators TELLING camera people to fuck off instead of bashing their heads in like the police. Compare that again, police punch, kick, beat to shit without answers and the Black Block demonstrators say “fuck off, we’re trying to commit a crime.. [cameras are] part of the spectacle” Is he wrong? The media is constantly working against the left and the journalists are demonizing them to get their shit published.

  4. Marat says:

    7th-grade me would have been so stoked on this. Jello for President ’00!

  5. Lorène says:

    Absolutely excellent journalism. Kinda agree with Jameson though: the Black Bloc tactic is basically an answer to police brutality. As usual, some bastards get on the wagon to commit pure vandalism and theft but the real issue here is how the people is considered as a nuisance by the G20. Peaceful protest seems to achieve nothing. The powers-that-be won’t give a shit. I don’t condone the Black Bloc actions in Toronto, but I can understand why it happens.

  6. mick says:

    good on ya buddyhead. I’m pretty disgusted by whats been happening in my city this weekend, especially considering we’re all paying the billion dollar price tag for police brutality and the stripping of our fundamental rights. Here’s yet another sickening article:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829921–i-will-not-forget-what-they-have-done-to-me?bn=1
    excerpt:
    “I was told I was going to be raped, I was told I was going to be gangbanged, I was told that they were going to make sure that I was never going to want to act as a journalist again.”

  7. XIAN says:

    This is why I no longer identify with the so-called “anarchist” movement.

  8. john says:

    ok…….i really hate reading stuff like this and its not for the same reasons that every one else is pissed off. now i say this while realizing that it is within everyone’s civil rights to gather in a peaceful protest…..but when shit starts to hit the fan and it is no longer a peaceful protest because of the people around you, really what do you expect?

    the sad thing is that the people had a choice to be there. and when they saw shit exploding and vandalized and the looting they stayed there. if it was me and i had the choice between putting up with cops, who i’ve learned from past experience do not take this stuff lightly no matter what city or country, or cut the losses and realize it’s not worth it since “the man” doesn’t listen anyway and thats not worth my time in jail. but then again i am an adult almost in my 30’s and waiting for my parents to bail me out is not an option. responsibilities will win over telling “the man” to fuck himself any day for me.

    come on………this is nothing new.

  9. Jameson says:

    @ John I’m at that same point now, I have no sympathy for the people putting themselves there, watching shit get violent, then standing around like dorks waiting to get arrested or beat up, then crying “foul” while it happens. We’re way past taking this shit anymore.

  10. john says:

    @jameson you’re exactly correct, at some point we have to realize that these people are adults and no one forced them to be there. it’s not like they were sitting in their homes writing strongly worded letters and were dragged out and beaten in the streets, or firebombed by police at voting booths. these people were there of their own volition and knew the risks involved. it reminds me of a video i saw years ago of a similar situation in portland where the filmmakers tried to evoke sympathy by pointing out that children were being hurt when the police moved in on the rioters. well, i’m sorry but the parents who brought their kids should have known a whole lot fucking better. same with these people, the only surprising thing about this is that people are surprised that this did not turn out to be a cheese and wine party where everyone politely discussed what they are not happy about.

  11. mick says:

    @John and jameson…. Toronto is a big ass city and there have been dozens of protests going on for the past week. There was really only the one protest that got violent, when less than 100 people started black bloc tactics and burned the police cars, smashed windows, etc. Yeah, that protest was obviously fucked and maybe cops can be forgiven for mistakes that might have been made in the confusion of those couple hours.
    But almost all of the protests were peaceful, many happening hours or days after the black bloc riot and blocks away from where it happened, engaging in 100% peaceful protest, and were still subjected to police brutality and arrest. I think its reasonable to say that people maybe knew there was always a risk of being arrested, but judging by the protests I saw (because of the semi-positive vibes and totally peaceful nature of it all) people really were very surprised when police violence and arrests started out of nowhere.

  12. john says:

    @mick did the “arrests and brutality” start after the black bloc tactics or before? i know for a fact that all was well and fine at the seattle wtc meetings until a few ruined it for everyone else. after that all hell broke loose and it never really came back together. and thats the problem with these things, there is always a few people who ruin it for everyone involved. and after that there is no way the cops are just going to sit back and let it happen. i mean can you imagine if anyone got killed while this shit was going on? in an instant it would go from a melee cry of “i’m being brutalitized!” to “why weren’t the cops keeping people from dying?” like i said i have no problem with peaceful protests when they’re peaceful. and a lot of times its not as peaceful as the people on that side want you to believe. i’ve seen the videos from other protests and the antagonistic nature of the “peaceful protesters” is enough to drive one mad. i’m not going to sit here and say that everything that cops do is perfectly ok, but i’m not just going to pretend that these people are not at least a little fault here and kinda brought it on themselves by being there in the first place.

  13. Captain Gayhab says:

    I had no idea of the extent of the police violence until I read this. I knew that the G20 summit was taking place/had taken place and I expected there to be the usual nastiness but not on this scale.

    Also, Anarchists trashing an American Apparel store, wtf? American Apparel is supposedly vertically integrated i.e. all the profits get evenly distributed. The damage to the shop will also come out of tax money, which working class/poor people have to dig deep for. Solidarity in action right there. Cheers comrades.

    I didn’t expect to read about this on Buddyhead (no disrespect intended)! Until recently there’s been nothing about this on the major UK news outlets.

    Stumbled across this on Twitter: http://lexgill.com/2010/06/28/urgent-conditions-at-629-eastern-ave-illegal-immoral-dangerous/

    Good luck to both of those guys.

  14. commodore sixty four says:

    i hate cops as much as the next person and i hate hippies too but you have to pull some shit to get a canadian police officer to beat you they are actually helpful and even tempered for the most part

  15. Alex Buckley says:

    Thats fucked. The worst bit is the police chiefs blatant denial of what was going on despite available video footage. What can you do when someone puts their fingers in their ears and pretends everything’s ok?

  16. Bob Vila says:

    DON’T TAZE ME BRO!!! Yeah I’m with John and Jameson. I used to be very passionate about that kind of thing, but when you get to your late 20’s you have plenty of other crap to be pissed off about that you have more control over than the G8 summit. I guess if people are really passionate and peacefull thats cool, but I sometimes wonder about their intentions and if they’re really knowledgeable about the whole situation. Good article though, Tania.

  17. WOOGIE WONDER says:

    This is the question I have: Why were people standing there recording violent acts and not taking action when the police were not around to stop them? By not standing in and by being nihilistic they became part of the problem. “Oh hey man that guy is throwing a chair through starbucks, fuck capitalism YA! I’m just going to stand here and record it because I’m a pussy piece of shit who can’t stand up for myself or common ideals such as knowing anarchism is just plain bat shit crazy and doesn’t solve a thing, but hey at least it looks cool up on my facebook page.”

    People can organize to protest, but can’t organize to stop violence and destruction. Good for them… oh wait isn’t that what the police are there for, they should just stand back and let them do their job. Oh no? they should stand there and get in the way… because if they do that they can record more chaos.

    Rant/

  18. Kate says:

    Because unarmed civilians are supposed to stop armed vandals. And the heavily armed riot police aren’t.

  19. Eric says:

    People find the Black Bloc and police tactics revolting because they are one and the same.






  20. mick says:

    @john, to be fair, most of the police aggression did begin AFTER saturday’s black block riot, but more information and accusations are coming forward to show that police intimidation started well before then. People (mostly known activists, protesters and community organizers) have accused the police of kidnapping them in unmarked vans, driving them around the city for hours, only to drop them off on random street corners very away from where they were first kidnapped (sometimes in different cities or suburbs), all without receiving arrest reports or the badge numbers of the offending officers. All this was done in attempts to scare away and tire out peaceful activists.
    There were also unnecessary arrests made under a ‘new law’ which prohibited civilians from coming within 5 metres of the security fence. Of course the police chief has since come out and admitted that this law never existed, and was made up by the police and the province to allow for these bullshit arrests of people who just wanted to check out this multi-million (tax) dollar temporary fence.
    so yeah, the weekend was hella exciting!!!

  21. Bunge says:

    Where the fuck’s my beer!!!

  22. Bob says:

    After all the blood dried and the rubble was cleared, what has changed? Great protest. Gotta be ready for the consequences kids! You should have gone to work instead. While you were getting your face smashed in at your convoluted protest, I was leaving work early in my new muscle car, heading home to my spacious new house. Now I’m drinking a beer. Capitalism is awesome! Grow up losers.

  23. TheJakalope says:

    Nobody was on the “right” side. I thought we where done with this rage against the machine bullshit.

  24. Mark says:

    Here’s an idea.

    When the Black Bock shenanigans started happening why would the peaceful protesters not then disperse? Why in holy hell would it be a good idea to stick around after such obvious crimes were committed in front of hundreds or potentially thousands of people. Do you think the police have time to start interviewing people to see if they are “nice” or not? If some dumb fascist redneck and his buddies just tried to beat me up, I’m swinging until I’m in the clear. It’s all about common sense – can’t cry wolf for putting yourself in a dangerous spot whether or not you are in the right or wrong.

  25. Sooo.... says:

    The Black Bloc smashed a few windows, burned a few cars, punched a couple of cops and pretty much destroyed a whole fucking town, and you start of the article bitching about the conditions that they were being detained in?

  26. charlesincharge says:

    Get fucking jobs, student losers. Once you start having to pay bills and mortgages and taxes and insurance and shit, you’ll feel pretty differently about violent destruction. We all felt like charter members of Rage Against the Machine in our 20s too, then we grew the fuck up.

    They need to hold the G20 in the American South. Or Texas, or Arizona. It’d be open season on vegan pussy protesters.

  27. WOOGIE WONDER says:

    I love where this discussion has gone!

  28. E-Brah says:

    I think a lot of people forget that a lot of rights have been won by acts of protest in the past, whether on our own turf or elsewhere. Maybe this day and age it accomplishes less and less since organized resistance has been atomized. I’m just sick of this “blame the victims” attitude that too many people have. We’ve been domesticated and our thoughts and desires deliberately influenced by the powers that be. That’s no big surprise, and perhaps a consequence of evolution. I’ve lost a lot of faith in this world…probably because people would rather gloat about their blessings than have humility. Humans are a like a virus and they’re filthy fucking creatures if morality means anything. Go drink your beers in peace, you assholes.

    Anyway, here’s the cops being pricks again.






  29. XIAN says:

    Buddyhead needs more articles like this. I love seeing the “just give up/you had it coming” pro-brutality, hypocrite, right-wing pussies slit their own throats with the comments they post!

    Thanks for the line in the sand, losers!

  30. Tania Cinque says:

    thanks, ebrah and xian and all the others who understood. i’ll have to update this to make the truth more evident to certain people and also because more facts are coming to light every day. i’m still stunned that the american news media is ignoring these abuses almost uniformly. but for the “rah rah police, get a real job student tree hugger” types, a Toronto Transit Employee was arrested and detained for 36 hours because he tried to go to work on Saturday. he was in his uniform and provided id, but was still detained. even after a TTC supervisor came to the detention center to vouch for him, he was not released.

  31. Ash says:

    It’s an exercise of one’s human rights to protest. Of course it was a choice to be there; why is it any less unjust to be wrongfully arrested, harrassed or sexually / assaulted when conducting a lawful, legal protest than when at home writing letters or articles? Proactive people engaging in marches etc are surely not the sort to engage in dispersal at the behest of improper and inhuman establishment behaviour, block arrests and the like. I feel that if you are well-informed about the causes you are marching for (and I am aware from experience that many protesters aren’t), your presence adds weight to the positive. I just hope that the awful treatment of the innocent detained gains greater exposure, not that it would go any way at all to justify the actions of either the Black Bloc or their common-ground cousins in the police force.

  32. TheJakalope says:

    Right wing vs. left wing who the fuck cares? Whatever happen to common sense?

  33. JC says:

    Wow. Buddyhead goes to to WTO/North by Northwest. Apparently nothing has changed since 1999, only a new generation of protestors. Who under 30 would have seen that coming?

    Where’s my beer?

  34. OMG! The Man! says:

    In the immortal words of Clara Peller, I say:

    “Where’s the beef?”

    Seriously, this is so lame. This whole Rage Against the Machine, my parents are paying 10,000 a year for my college but I still hate capitalism, bullshit is so retarded now. Someone said it before, to piss of Toronto cops is a fucking accomplishment to begin with.

    Here’s an idea, get a job, get laid, make some money, have a family, go to a movie or listen to Jesus and Mary Chain. Anything but this stupid protesting crap. Yay for Capitalism!

  35. Jameson says:

    “Jameson @ John I’m at that same point now, I have no sympathy for the people putting themselves there, watching shit get violent, then standing around like dorks waiting to get arrested or beat up, then crying “foul” while it happens. We’re way past taking this shit anymore.”

    I’m saying peaceful protest is a waste of time. There should be destruction and there should be no arrests because everyone should be participating and getting the fuck out of there and assisting in the resistance of arrest. The police are there to serve private property owners who are supporting the G20 summit (lets be clear, the G20 is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 economies, 19 countries plus the European single currency, with involvement of The Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission and The Bilderberg Group, since 1999. The Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, called the G-20 “one of the greatest setbacks since World War II.” “The G-20 is a self-appointed group. Its composition is determined by the major countries and powers. It may be more representative than the G-7 or the G-8, in which only the richest countries are represented, but it is still arbitrary. We no longer live in the 19th century, a time when the major powers met and redrew the map of the world. No one needs a new Congress of Vienna”
    Thats just from the wiki entry, you can find a ton of other material.) These people are not elected, they are self appointed and have the power to manipulate a world economy. The black bloc anarchists see themselves as being on the (local) front lines to this resistance to financial powers. They are symbols and demonizing them or apologizing for the police is a disservice to the working class.

    @mick
    “maybe cops can be forgiven for mistakes that might have been made in the confusion of those couple hours.”

    No, they can’t. They should not be treating assembly as a crime in full militarized riot gear, it is a spit in the face to the citizens.

    @Bob Vila “I used to be very passionate about that kind of thing.. ..you have plenty of other crap to be pissed off about that you have more control over than the G8 summit. ”

    I’m still passionate about it and I’m still pissed about the G8-G20.

    @WOOGIE WONDER “Why were people standing there recording violent acts and not taking action when the police were not around to stop them?”

    I’ve seen several videos of people tackling black bloc vandals and throwing the merchandise back into the stores

    @TheJakalope Nobody was on the “right” side.

    Totally agree

    @charlesincharge “They need to hold the G20 in the American South. Or Texas, or Arizona. It’d be open season on vegan pussy protesters.”

    The “libertarian,” bible-thumping, cousinfucking right wingers aren’t too happy about bankers controlling the world either. Holding the summit down south wouldn’t be as big a spectacle because y’all are ignorant trash and wouldn’t understand whats happening. :D

    @E-Brah “I think a lot of people forget that a lot of rights have been won by acts of protest in the past, whether on our own turf or elsewhere. Maybe this day and age it accomplishes less and less since organized resistance has been atomized. I’m just sick of this “blame the victims” attitude that too many people have. We’ve been domesticated and our thoughts and desires deliberately influenced by the powers that be. That’s no big surprise, and perhaps a consequence of evolution. I’ve lost a lot of faith in this world…probably because people would rather gloat about their blessings than have humility. Humans are a like a virus and they’re filthy fucking creatures if morality means anything. Go drink your beers in peace, you assholes.”

    Totally agree

    @Tania Cinque “i’m still stunned that the american news media is ignoring these abuses almost uniformly.”

    I’m stunned when U.S. media acknowledges Canada or Mexico at all, honestly. :/

    @TheJakalope “Right wing vs. left wing who the fuck cares? Whatever happen to common sense?”

    I assume you’re directing that @charlesincharge? This is completely public vs corporate fascist struggle, right/left makes no sense anymore.

  36. Jameson says:

    correction, the private property owners aren’t “supporting” the G20, the city is though.

  37. john says:

    @xian way to generalize there buddy. i’m definitely not a “pro-brutality, right-wing, hypocrite pussy” but thanks for showing that in 2010 there are still judgemental prejudiced idiots out there. the only way you could have written a more idiotic post is if you threw in a few racial slurs in there too. like i said in my first post, i am an adult. and i act as such. i am almost in my thirties and this “fuck the man shit i don’t have anything better to do because my parents have got everything taken care of for me” bullshit just doesn’t fly anymore. i’ve got shit tons of responsibilities along with a four year old son. getting arrested to “stay true to the cause” is not worth it. there are always two sides to a story dude. and i’m stating that these people were not completely victims because they made the choice to be there when the shit hit the fan. but thanks for proving to me once backed into a corner and unable to actually defend what you believe in, people still revert back to childish name calling. when you grow up a little, then we’ll talk.

  38. john says:

    @jameson i’m sorry i cannot agree with you. the only people that would be hurting would be ourselves. who do you think pays for the destruction, vandalism, and theft? the people who are footing the bills for these companies? or the consumers and the people who work for these companies and buy the products?? i don’t know about you but i’m not rich. i also realize that the ceo of any company would rather cut a thousand jobs then take any paycut whatsoever, so i’m going to be on the side of the people who are in my situation (you know the ones who work hard to make ends meet cuz they have bills to pay). and peaceful protests do work, when they’re smart and when whats at stake for the other side is big enough. look at the civil rights movement if you don’t believe me.

  39. Amber says:

    Woah.

    Just working my way down the comments and I really have to say that Jon and Jameson Are wrong in the fact that the people should have known better.

    If your young or old, republican or liberal the idea that POLICE are being crazed LA type cops that just beat for the fuck of it is the issue.

    This was an article that was by far the best news and info that god knows would never catch the eye of the police loving protect our children media.

  40. WOOGIE WONDER says:

    @Amber You’re joking right? If the best news is slapping together a bunch of stories that don’t tell both sides of any story AT ALL – How is it even news worthy? This is not news it is a opinion piece on bunch of things that happened over the course of a day which most didn’t even coincide at the same time or during the same day. Some battle eh? When no one is fighting for anything at all.

  41. john says:

    @amber your comment was really amazing in the fact that it showed two things: 1. that you don’t know fuck all about anything. and 2. that if you can’t even get the correct spelling of one of the most common names in the world (john) correct, then how can we even trust you did anything more than skim over some buzzwords in this article?

    the fact is every person there had a choice. and it’s even been admitted that, for the most part, the shit didn’t hit the fan until the black ops went around like a bunch of crazed lunatics just set free from a mental hospital. my point was and still is and will always be this: if you’re actively participating in something that runs the risk of getting you arrested. and you get arrested, don’t come crying like a bitch when it happens!

    i don’t understand why that is so hard to understand!

    @woogie wonder that was put perfectly!

  42. XIAN says:

    I stand by what was expressed in both my posts 100% and would like to add that that “line in the sand” was not drawn by me, John. I’m quite surprised, really, that my cavalier statements would wound you so, seeing how yer like some grown-ass man and all! To all others, if you also think that my “name-calling” was out of line, re-read your own fucking posts then re-evaluate your own culpability in the matter. Having said that, my hat is off to Jameson, the only dude here I don’t completely agree with who has actually kept it classy!

  43. Jen Rad says:

    I was hoping to see a band at the Horseshoe Tavern that night, called These United States. I did not go, because it just really seemed completely stupid to go anywhere near the BlackBlocAsshole action. Especially coming kinda drunk on my bike from a Ping Pong party.

    The show was cancelled, but the band made a kinda cool homemade video, and got it posted on Huffington Post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-elliott/how-i-spent-my-summer-g20_b_629944.html

  44. alexxx says:

    nice to see this posted on buddyhead and people diggin on it. hopefully more shit like this to come.

  45. scott says:

    fantastic work here.

    one point about the black bloc’s saturday actions and the police’s supposed ‘reaction’ to it on sunday. why, with $1,000,000,000 and 19,000 officers did they not attempt to stop the roughly 100 black bloc before they could rip up the most famous street in canada? why is no one asking this question? there is a considerable amount of footage online showing groups of riot police off to the side while they ran amok. i was present on sunday at queen and spadina during the o canada incident and i witnessed first-hand how easily they could control a crowd, so the inaction on behalf of the police on saturday baffles me.

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