Did G20 Toronto Black Block Get Green Light to Rampage?

question markThis video features Joe Wenkoff, a photo journalist who describes his experience following the black block as they rampaged through the streets of Toronto during the G20 Summit.

Watch it now, then meet me after the jump.

20,000 police and security officials and a $1 billion security budget were not enough to stop 75-100 black block anarchists from smashing windows and torching police cars during a 1.5 hour rampage. The Black Block were able to rampage through the street for 24 blocks until they reached the 'official protest zone' where they quickly changed clothes dispersed through the crowd of peaceful protesters and then left the site.

The police were fully aware of the rampage and watched the black block from a distance at a number of locations. It wasn't until they had dispersed into a crowd of peaceful protesters who thought that they were in a sanctioned area that the police took action beating innocent people with batons and spraying them with pepper spray.

Why was this allowed to happen? Police abandoned police cars at Bay and King when they didn't need to, why? Was this allowed to happen so the Harper government could justify an outrageous security bill when there was no credible terrorist threat (according to CSIS)? Who led this group of vandals? Were they infiltrated by government paid provocateurs as was the case in Montebello where police with masks and rocks attacked their own riot squad?

Compare and contrast how the police dealt with the black block with what went down at Queen and Spadina. It doesn't make sense to this Torontonian. Something's rotten...

If you read this blog, you know I rarely get political. Most of my entries are about our local sports teams, radio, television, movies or interesting and funny slices of the interwebs and every day life. I just can't shake this feeling in the pit of my stomach that the security cost was justified by letting the black block burn a few cars and break a few windows. Then, in a horrible juxtaposition, we watched peaceful protesters and innocent participants forcefully shut down and detained.

I can't be the only one who thinks something stinks here...


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Rotten Indeed

Police accused of displaying fake G20 weapons

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/06/30/g20-weapons.html

June 30, 2010 @ 7:44 PM

sam

I'm still pissed about Bill Blair's 5 metre law lie.

No integrity - Blair has to resign. This entire G20 $1B security campaign was a giant clusterfuck.

June 30, 2010 @ 7:51 PM

_Justink

@Sam, that 5-metre law lie was bullshit. No integrity is absolutely right. Sure he was trying to "keep the criminals out" but lying to the public is no way to do that. I'm not sure he should go so far as to resign, but I think a public apology should be in order.

As for this whole letting the black block rampage thing... It's a very outlandish accusation that I doubt is true. I don't think the government would put the safety of citizens at risk just to help justify a bill. That's really, really outrageous. If it is indeed true, I wouldn't be surprised though. All governments are corrupt and this would just be another example of that.

June 30, 2010 @ 8:15 PM

Satya

Not only does it justify the budget and give rationale to the violence against the peaceful protester, it distracts from the many valid reasons most of the protesters were there in the first place. Let's not forget that added convenience for Harper and his backwards political priorities.

June 30, 2010 @ 8:57 PM

PrisonPlanet

The long and short of this is that the Chief of police in Toronto knowingly misled his officers about a secret law granting them unfettered powers of arrest, which those officers then put into force aggressively, setting a new record for the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.

Further reports of the extreme threats and abuses those arrested, including journalists, were subjected to by police have also exacerbated the situation.

Despite multiple opportunities to set the record straight, Chief Blair opted to publicly state that such powers were necessary and allowed officers all over the city to detain and arrest people under laws that never existed

Given that this activity is in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and tramples over the right to peacefully protest, there needs to be an immediate investigation into the matter, and Chief Blair should face the consequences that go with such a violation.

June 30, 2010 @ 9:11 PM

elvis

A police officer emailed into 640 the other morning to suggest they were given orders by their superiors to stand down on Saturday - the Mayor and Chief did not want to appear too aggressive and were more concerned about their image than public safety. Once the damage was done on Saturday (to both their image and the property), he (Blair and Miller) gave the go-ahead to do what was needed to prevent more.

Believe what you will but it's another theory to fuel the fire.

June 30, 2010 @ 9:17 PM


Ryan

I am with you too Mike. I think we are with the majority on this one......

No matter how poorly they handled this and what the reasons were, nothing bothers me more than the fact that they won't answer the questions being posed.

June 30, 2010 @ 9:27 PM

elvis

Oh oh Mike.

June 30, 2010 @ 9:29 PM

David

Well the Black Bloc and the Police did one thing, they shut the protesters up. Did you hear about one cause during the G20?

Did you know what the various groups mandate was?

Could it be the G20 summit actually set that up...to silence the protesters and focus on the violence of the Black Bloc?

Me thinks there is some smoke around this fire...good for you Mike for posting the video...you've got courage to speak up and I salute you!

July 1, 2010 @ 3:58 AM

Bone Chain

I want to hear from the TPS why they thought it was reasonable to drive two police cruisers to that location on Saturday.

There was no possible benefit whatsoever, the cars were immobile and unable to retreat due to the size of the crowds, and TPS knew that the black block were heading to that location because they saw them at every checkpoint between the US embassy and there. It seems like the car was sacrificed to justify the TPS actions. After all if there was no damage what would justify a $1 billion price tag?

The driver of that car (according to the media - Sgt. Queen) could shed some light on the decision making process here.

July 1, 2010 @ 9:11 AM

Bone Chain

'that' location being Queen and Spadina...

July 1, 2010 @ 9:50 AM

Cambo

I am so sick of these tired conspiracy theories. Are you also the same people that believe we DIDN'T land on the moon and that was faked? Or the BS that we only use 10% of our brains??? Or that some UFO landed in Roswell??

Come on. Use some common sense. These summits have ALWAYS been the subject of violence, and it has nothing to do with the police setting it up and what not. If violence broke out in the stands of a Leafs game you'd hear about it too, even if you didn't know there was a game. People love a train-wreck, it's our primal obsession with violence and tragedy. It has absolutely nothing to do with government/police setups.

July 1, 2010 @ 1:17 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I'm honestly not a conspiracy guy... I don't believe a UFO landed in Roswell or that the moon landing was staged... but I think we should keep asking questions here, because something doesn't sit right with me.

July 1, 2010 @ 1:20 PM

Neville A. Ross

@Cambo: I guess that sheeple like you can't kiss police ass hard enough, or suck police cock fast enough, huh? Where you there, or or are you just repeating whatever neoconservative bullshit is being spewed from the Sun and National Post?

July 1, 2010 @ 2:39 PM


Il Duce

@Toronto Mike

Forget about the Police conspiracy theory, the real question you should be asking is why did they name themselves the black bloc?

From a fashion point of view, although black is a slimming colour it attracts the sun and is extremely hot. I think in keeping with true Toronto tradition and as pride week approaches, this group should have somehow implemented the colours of the rainbow. This would be seen by all who oppose these protests, that this group is very fashionably responsible and therefore really good people.

July 2, 2010 @ 7:06 AM

Cambo

@Neville - If you're able to put up some quantifiable evidence, and actually depict out a thought-out argument without using teenage language such as "Ass", "Cock" and "bullshit" then I'll respond.

Otherwise, have a nice day.

July 2, 2010 @ 9:13 AM

Freddie P.

Yea.. You're winning me ove Mike.. with Canada's long and horrible history of human rights violations, our patheic history of police brutality and a Prime Minister who likes to eat babies, there must be something rotten behind all this.
But give the cops credit for keeping a big secret amongst 19 thousand officers.
Maybe they were told if they said anything, they'de be hung by the balls in a secret downtown location where Black Bloc tactics were rehearsed.
What has happend to our Canada.. how we couldn't hold a G-20 summit without a few broken windows a couple of burned police cars is beyond me.
And look at the terrible injuries that people suffered.
Oh, wait a minute, there were none. Scratch the last point.

OOOhh I'm so mad at what this country has become.

July 2, 2010 @ 9:52 AM

Tom

Well lets see what takes place in Seoul, S. Korea in November. Probably the same tactics by the same DOUCES that call themselves police officers.

It seems to me, these meetings are controlled not by any country but by a higher power. Canada was told to spend $1B cause out of all the G8 countries, Canada was in much better shape going forward.

Harper is a stooge, probably kissing the Queens ass as we speak.

July 3, 2010 @ 3:30 PM

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