Jump to content
Aveyond Studios Community
Sign in to follow this  
Aeternus

Reflections on G20 2010: Citizen Rights v.s. Law and Safety

Recommended Posts

For those of you who don't know, the 2010 G20 recently finished in Toronto, Canada.

 

I will try to be brief but it will inevitably be long ^^;;

 

Previous G20 summits were marked by peaceful protests gone violent, particularly by so-called anarchists dressed in black. So, during the weeks leading up to this year's summit, Toronto was turned into a "fortress" - massive gates and walls were erected, roads were closed, and police (both local and brought in from elsewhere in the province) were literally everywhere.

 

To make matters worse, the government reportedly spent $1 billion on the summits (G8 summit included, which took place in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada), mostly due to security measures. The government was very heavily criticized for spending "obscene" amounts on this summit. The government defended the spending by saying the security was necessary.

 

Things only escalated when it was discovered a law was passed secretly, unknown to the public, that gave police the power to arrest anyone who refused to show identification if they got anywhere within 5 meters of the fence/wall.

 

On Saturday, June 26 - the first real day of the G20 summit - most protests went on just fine. In the afternoon, though, things turned violent - four police cruisers were torched, windows were smashed, stores looted etc. We watched live shots of the violence on the news and it often looked as if police presence was minimal at best, thus the violence went uncontrolled for a while before police came in to do something about it. Thus, the police were criticized for being too lax and/or unorganized, leading to so much destruction within Toronto's central financial district.

 

The next day, on Sunday, police were met by more protests but more peaceful ones. However, an incident at the Queen & Spadina intersection is causing considerable controversy. Reportedly, the protest was peaceful but the

and boxed them in before taking them in one-by-one to be detained. Even reporters on the scene (with valid G20 passes) were arrested.

 

Most people were released a few hours later, but I know plenty of people who are questioning the police's tactics that day, even saying the police were (in contrast to Saturday) being too heavy-handed. Even Amnesty International Canada seems to have gotten involved in regards to the police force and public civil rights. However, there are reports that the police did find people with weapons and gas masks within the crowd they managed to box in.

 

So, basically, it seems it's a matter of finding the right balance between ensuring people's rights and freedoms are maintained while ensuring public safety. Was the high cost for security justified considering the violence on Saturday? Were the police justified in taking on stronger measures on Sunday or did they wrongly ignore people's rights and freedoms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it hard to have an educated opinion of the events since the reporting has been so-so.

 

If you formed an opinion of how the protesters have been behaving based on the images that they keep showing from Saturday, you'd think that it was very violent but it was only a small portion of the protesters that were actually violent. Personally, I think those protesters are a bunch of idiots.

 

As for the actions of the police, or at least the reporting of it, the journalists can be petty at times and the tone of the reporting of the police actions changed very quickly once they got caught up in the arrests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it hard to have an educated opinion of the events since the reporting has been so-so.

 

If you formed an opinion of how the protesters have been behaving based on the images that they keep showing from Saturday, you'd think that it was very violent but it was only a small portion of the protesters that were actually violent. Personally, I think those protesters are a bunch of idiots.

 

As for the actions of the police, or at least the reporting of it, the journalists can be petty at times and the tone of reporting of the police changed very quickly once they got caught up in the arrests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mizzou

I know what you mean. I've heard so many differing reports on the G-20 that it's hard to tell which ones are being more truthful than the others. As always, events are subject to bias, so I'm eager to see/hear what comes out of it.

 

I noticed, too, that once media personnel began to be detained, the tone of the reports changed drastically. At the same time, I'm still unsure what to make of what the police did on Sunday during a supposedly peaceful protest. It seems like the most they were doing to provoke the police was to sit down in front of them, but from the looks of Saturday, the police took such actions (relatively) in stride.

 

So, you know, at this point, it's just a bunch of questions.

 

Another issue that I heard today: business owners are only being compensated by the federal government for the amount they would have lost due to a lack of business from the G-20. They will, so far, receive no compensation for the damages inflicted on their shops from the idiot vandals posing as protesters. It seems rather unfair to me >.>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen much about the compensation issue but I also tuned out the media coverage. At least the government is willing to compensate for the loss of business during the G20 but it would be better if they helped with the cost of damages. Do you know if they compensated damages after the Summit of the Americas when it was in Quebec City? There was a large riot during that one and that would at least set a precedent for compensation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

can't have much of an opinion bout the protest since don't know how much is fact and how much is exaggeration.

 

It's like when my campus had protests: The protesters insist they were non violent yet the police and school claims they were violent, and both factions' reputations are dubious.

 

As for compensation: well, technically its the protesters who should pay, not the gov as its not the police rioting and whatnot so its not really unfair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rather the police err on the side of caution, than be too lax and let everyone run amok.

 

People's rights and freedoms? No one has the right to burn, destroy, and loot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@arggie: hmm so as long as the police don't actually kill the protesters (ie, no tanks, gassing, real bullets) everything's a good to go on the police side (which could possibly include beating, waterhosing with firehydron, dogs trained to not to kill though the bite hurts obviously, rubber bullets, etc.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@arggie: than what do you mean? :P

 

Where/what is the line?

 

As for the nazi, I'm only using it since they are probably the most agreed/well known upon example of police/dictatorship/etc. gone horrifically bad.

 

Though I guess the civil rights' firehosing/dogging event might have been a better analog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's just assume the security is lax. A forein delegate dies thanks to a protestor. What happens then??

When there is a huge event, I would'nt mind a large amount of security

Secondly, the nazi example is dumb and stupid.

Nazi's spied on people's conversations and then killed traitors. Driving protestors away before they arouse violence is not "nazi like cruelty"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@theone: did I say anywhere that I'm comparing G20 to nazi? No I didn't. I was asking about where's the line between caution and nazi. There is a difference.

 

Or here is it even further explained: It's easy to pick what is clearly extreme behavior for both ends.

 

On one end of the spectrum, you have the police who don't do anything and let whoever is rioting go. Or worst yet, the police join the rioters. I think the lynchings during Jim Crow era would count for this.

 

On the other end, you have nazi, dictatorship, police state, facism, etc. where the police will by any means necessary keep the people silence.

Near or at this level, you have Tiananmen Square results.

 

Below this, you have civil rights firehosing/dogging.

 

Now that the extremes are outta the way, where is the line in all the gray area?

 

Let's see what police can do in this gray zone: rubber bulleting, gas canning, beating, rushing protesters, boxing, tasering, arresting, preemptive strike ie invade and arrest would be protesters in their own home before they protest, etc.

 

The police would obviously say its all justified and all are appropriate actions. The protesters would obviously claim police brutality.

 

So, where's the line?

 

And in a summary chart:

 

Police join rioters

Police don't do anything

 

-------start of gray zone

rubber bulleting, gas canning, beating, rushing protesters, boxing, tasering, arresting, preemptive strike ie invade and arresting would be protesters in their own home before they protest,etc.

-------end of gray zone

 

Firehosing/dogging

Tiananmen Square

nazi, police state, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, North Korea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...