It’s been said that most people’s view of what went wrong during the G20 depends on what images s/he was first exposed to during the summit weekend and thereafter. So, for most people, if the first images one saw of the protests was that of burning police cars and property-damaging “protesters,” then that person would be more likely to be sympathetic to the police and would find police actions of detaining hundreds of innocent persons justifiable. However, if the first images that a person saw were those of innocent protesters or by-standers scared and trapped in police kettling or being roughed up by the police, then that person would likely be critical of police actions.
I believe that most people can be more rational and reasonable than that. I hope that most people, when faced with a more comprehensive report of the events, will open their minds and modify their views.
To further our understanding of that weekend, I provide you with a list of what I believe are the must-see videos relating to that weekend. For those who somehow also missed the infinitely played videos of burning police cars, I will provide those links, too (though I ask you to consider why the police, who had planned for months for this summit and had, according to them, deep knowledge of any clandestine activity, had left their cruisers in the middle of major intersections and abandoned them there.)
Here is the list:
1. IF YOU ONLY WATCH ONE VIDEO, THIS MUST BE IT…
Queen and Spadina kettling: On Saturday, June 26th, at the corner of Queen and Spadina, the RCMP and other police forces formed several “kettles,” advising people to go in a different direction while trapping them and leaving them no choice but to stay in ever more ominous and tightening police squares. This is a video from the earlier part of the kettling (before the skies opened up and it started to pour.) This video is posted by Jason, “thedigitalliberty,” who attended the protests with his sister. It is a telling account of the desperation and innocence of the people who were caught in the Orwellian nightmare.
2. THIS IS NOT CANADA
To see an example of police abuse of powers and of search and detention way beyond the security fence perimeter, watch this video of a mixed police team (appears to be a team of York Regional police and Toronto police). When questioned about his authority to search and turn away people from public streets under Canadian law, one officer quips, “This isn’t Canada, this is G20 Land” (at 3:59). At 1:37, an officer physically handles a pedestrian in a manner that would almost certainly result in an arrest, were it the civilian who grabbed the officer. The officers then keep moving in a line to push the peaceful pedestrian back, until he is caught between the police and the subway steps behind him. At 3:23, an officer claims, “This is our area.” The pedestrians keep insisting that they are not even near the “5 metres,” but relying even on this fallacious and police-declared rule does not get them anywhere.
3. PROTESTERS OR AGENTS PROVOCATEURS?
One of the first and repeated images that the public saw of the demonstrations in Toronto was of supposed Black Block members damaging property and setting police cars on fire. Yet it is a known fact that the police sometimes plant “agents provocateurs” among crowds of demonstrators. These are undercover police officers who act like a member of the public in demonstrations, but then may instigate or encourage violence, after which uniformed police make arrests of citizens who may have joined the undercover cops. The maker of this video examined some suspicious activity and appearances by alleged “Black Block” members, and complied a montage. Although there is no conclusive evidence, the question of which “protesters” and instigators were the police and which were real demonstrators is a valid one…one that may never be answer unless we have a full public inquiry.
4. MORE HARASSING OUTSIDE OF THE PERIMETRES OF THE SECURITY FENCE..THIS TIME SEVERAL KILOMETRES AWAY.
An independent film-maker is harassed and asked for ID in a location more than 3 km away from the summit location.
5. DETAILED ACCOUNT OF ONE PERSON’S EXPERIENCE
Tommy Taylor’s account was one of the first to be circulated
6. EVERYONE’S A TARGET:
Jesse Freeston of the the Real News reports on police attacks against a deaf person, journalists, and other protesters.
7. RANDOM GRABBING AND THE REACTION OF THE CROWD AT QUEEN’S PARK:
8. FOR ACCOUNTS ON THE CONDITIONS IN THE SO-CALLED DETENTION CENTRE:
9. DETENTION FOR HOURS IN A CROWDED POLICE VAN, WHILE HANDCUFFED, WET, UNABLE TO GET FRESH AIR:
10: BURNING POLICE CARS
There are many major news reports as well as YouTube videos which shows images of burning police cars. Here is one:
If you believe that there is a video which is a “must-see,” you may write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org