Sunday, June 27, 2010

G20 Experience: Michael

Here is my blog about yesterday's march.....

I heard at some point that there were an estimated 10,000 persons attending the protest rally.  I am not the best estimator, but at one point it seemed to me that if everyone taking part had gone to the Skydome it would have filled the place up....that's more like 50,000.  I have been to lots of Toronto rallies and this was by far the largest...and since Toronto is the largest city in Canada perhaps this was Canada's largest rally ever....despite pouring rain at the beginning.    And yes it was peaceful.

It's really too bad the media have decided not to play it that way.  When I returned home and watched the TV coverage it was constant replays of youths breaking windows, and burning police cars...they could actually have taken the real event covered it like a Santa Claus parade....."next we have Oxfam with their colourful banners...and after them the Council of Canadians demanding water as a human right....judging from their posters they don't like the G8/G20 leaders much do they?..."  you get the idea!  

Of course they don't like our message and don't want to give us air time.

Now what about the violence?  It seemed a bit staged to me.  There was no one on Yonge street where a group was supposedly on the rampage, it wasn't part of the rally, and why in earth didn't one or two policemen stop them?  Same with the burning police cars...lots of photographers were there taking pictures of a small flame inside...that took quite a time to develop into a bigger one...why didn't the police put it out?  they were all around.  Funnily enough while I was in the College/University area, just as the march was starting, I saw a policeman move his car right into the middle of the intersection, open the window about 6 inches and then walk away....I thought that rather strange at the time, but didn't think about it again till I saw the TV coverage later.  Maybe it was meant to be there as a provocation.

The media coverage, at least the TV I saw, was either grossly incompetent, or, more likely, dishonestly skewed....

Why didn't they show high shots of this massive rally from say Queen and University stretching North and West as far as the eye could see?  It was a truly impressive sight...even the newspaper today didn't seem to want to show the size of what really happened.

Yonge street is only a couple of blocks away, why didn't they have cameras over there to show really what was going on?  In fact many of the reporters were huddled behind police lines....they have had months to prepare for this...where were the roving cameras with the marchers?  Canadians should have seen the Darth Vader like storm troopers surrounding the American Consulate.

Instead of 10-15,000 police, dressed for trouble, squaring off against perfectly peaceful marchers, all that was needed was an enlarged, normal policing operation, perhaps with a swat team in the background for emergency use.  Off limits areas could probably have been marked with black and yellow police ribbon, and would have been just as effective.

But I don't expect to hear that in the media.