A Sign of the Times
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A Sign of the Times

Photo by Stephen Michalowicz/Torontoist.

Perhaps you’ve seen Conrad Martin in and around the downtown core this weekend, pushing a large sign that reads: “American Jobless Wanted.” Martin first caught our attention when police pulled him aside early Friday morning at King and Yonge Streets to ask if he intended to use the American flags on the top of his sign as weapons. His conversation with the officers was brief, but courteous—a far cry from some of the conflicts we witnessed on Saturday—and he was quickly given permission to carry on.
We asked Martin about his sign, and he told us that he hopes it will snag President Obama and the rest of the summit leaders’ attention, though he concedes that that’s probably unlikely.
Martin, a carpet salesman and inventor, believes that the governments of the world need to “nationalize innovation” and provide inventors—like himself—with more accessible loans if they want to end high unemployment levels. As incentive, he says he’ll give the country that adopts his plan access to the “hundreds of products” he’s created.
Martin’s plan may sound vague and unrealistic, but like most protesters here at the G20, there’s more to him than meets the eye. We didn’t quite believe Martin when he told us about his slew of inventions, but it seems that he’s actually designed some interesting stuff, including a cost-effective disposable paper coffee cup that dissipates heat, so it’s always cool to the touch.
When is the last time the G20 leaders designed something as practical?