Illustration by Matt Daley/Torontoist.
Upheaval. Anger. Confusion. Vivid welts. American Apparels with actual shit on the walls. But surely we must weigh these costs against what was accomplished this weekend. So, what’s that? We bade farewell to some police cruisers, of course, and the G20 security forces got such a good workout that we might make this fun run an annual event, if not bimonthly.
And speaking of vigorous constitutionals, the first person arrested under the unannounced regulation that empowered police to conduct warrantless searches and interrogations of anyone within five metres of the G20 security fence intends to file a constitutional challenge. And we say bravo! Technically a regulation, the so-called “secret law” that was passed by provincial cabinet without debate in the legislature, at the “extraordinary request” of police chief Bill Blair, can be summarized as follows: papers or jail time, now.
And throughout all the mayhem, we wish we had the patience of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who gave an unusual interview this weekend amidst the festivities to discuss one of the G8 summit’s most important, and more neglected, decisions. Speaking of Stephen Harper’s maternal health initiative, Moon said that “it’s encouraging that the G8 committed five billion dollars for the next five years. I welcome it. But my (action plan) asks fifteen billion dollars immediately.” Toronto police, take note: that is what we call restraint.
And while we’re speaking of Stephen Harper, he really drove home the point that the state has advanced far beyond needing agents provocateurs to justify security measures that any honest observer would admit went beyond insane and bordered on obscene, particularly in light of all the good that might have been done had our government been willing to spend the money on something constructive.
Which brings us to the so-called “Black Bloc” tactics deployed to such devastating effect against incidental targets and crowds of innocent protesters. It’s unfortunate that one of the major coups of the summit and protests was scored by a group of balaclava’d dorks bent on causing collateral damage and nothing else.
Oh, and we finally got rid of that unsightly Eternal Flame of Hope. The new Plywood Blunt Pyramid of Authority looks much nicer.
There are precisely two genuinely silver linings. Least but not last: the nearly naked guy who balanced on the war monument on University Avenue survived his puzzling stunt, and looked kind of cool (and assuredly pretty dumb—but we say that with love) all the while. And secondly: the fact that the next summit, just five months from now, is happening almost as far from Toronto as is geographically possible. How much is that one going to cost? Seriously, is the G20 really some sort of low-level stimulus program?
That about rounds out summit news, and leaves us a little time to talk about Toronto’s latest export. If rumors and an anonymous NBA executive are to be trusted, Chris Bosh is headed to Chicago. The Texas-born power forward may be headed moving south soon. LeBron James could join him, too.
Man, that was a pile of good news! But for those of you who require a chaser, Torontoist is all too pleased to provide the Little Sedan That Could. Happy Monday, everyone!