A bunch of excellent officers, keeping my street corner safe.
The recent G20 summit in Toronto, truth be told, was only a minor inconvenience to me. Which makes me lucky.
However - there has been a lot of idle chatter about the police response to protests, with various discussions of whether the police arrested the right, or wrong, people, how they responded, and whether Human Rights(TM) were violated.
I am completely uninterested in being drawn into these debates. However, let me just throw out a few personal observations for you:
- Every police officer I saw was armed with (at least) a handgun, and a taser. Nobody was shot, and nobody (to my knowledge) was tasered. Nobody died. This seems a sharp contrast to numerous local business owners and innocent citizens from the Queen St. West area, whose property was damaged or destroyed.
- All the protests that police are widely shown to be rushing, disrupting, and attempting to shut down - were in illegal areas. There was a designated area for peaceful protests, which to the best of my knowledge was not used. At all. Even by "peaceful" protesters.
- The smashing, looting, and burning that ocurred on Saturday and in small part on Sunday, was propagated by people hiding inside "peaceful" protests. Given this, doesn't it make sense that the police broke up such supposedly peaceful protests when they occurred on Sunday?
- If you're going to illegally block downtown streets, providing a haven for hooligans to hide in your ranks, don't you think the police might decide that the best course of action for public safety would be to break up your little soirée?
- If you're going to defy riot police, shouldn't you expect to be arrested? Just a little thought.
- On Monday, the day after the G20, there was a legitimate, peaceful protest outside Toronto Police headquarters on College Street. Nothing was broken. Nobody was hurt. Kudos to the protesters, and to the police.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Toronto Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and various other police forces, Fire Departments, and EMT services - well done, all of you. You did a sterling job.