Sunday, June 27, 2010

Smashing my faith in humanity

G20 Violence Beamed Around The World.

This weekend, violent demonstrators took to the streets of downtown Toronto, supposedly to protest politically against the G20 summit. Apparently there were some peaceful protesters too, but they didn't get much attention. Videos of the vandalism are here.

I'm appalled by what I've seen. Dozens of idiotic and hateful people, dressed in black ninja-style disguises, wandered up Yonge Street* (Toronto's version of Main Street), followed by a crowd of media people toting cameras. I heard that hundreds of police officers had been dispatched to the city's centre, but not a single one was visible as the vandals, at their leisure, destroyed storefronts all along their path. They threw newspaper-vending boxes through plate glass windows. They kicked out the windows of a jewellery store. Then they used their bare hands to pry up paving bricks out of the sidewalk so they'd have something more to throw and smash with.

None of them carried signs stating any type of political message. It was a crowd of immature, angry social misfits, taking any handy excuse to get away with destroying private property. There had been at least 50 tents set up in a local park the night before, to accommodate "campers" who had come from all over Canada to take part in the orgy of violence. Wasn't it nice of so many people to come so far out of their way to smash up a bunch of relatively blameless businesses?

Yes, I've seen the movie "The Corporation", and there's a lot that's wrong with capitalism. That doesn't excuse this violence, or even have anything to do with it.

I can't wait until it's all over and these people go scurrying back to whatever holes they crawled out of.

*It's pronounced "Young". Hapless employees at call centres all over the world have pronounced it every which way to me when I managed a business that had a Yonge St. address. It does not rhyme with sponge. Don't ask me to explain it. That's just how we roll in Toronto.

14 comments:

whatigotsofar said...

"So, your address is Yawnj street, right?"
Took me a few moments to understand what the heck the person was asking me.

Sparkling Red said...

Yes, exactly! Thanks for coming up with a phonetic spelling for how non-Torontonians pronounce "Yonge". It's a tough one to pin down.

michelle said...

watching it from nova scotia, the coverage of the "protest" made me sick to my stomach ... i love toronto and seeing the violence and destruction was heart-breaking. my mom grew up on dundas and lived off of queen for years ... she kept asking me, "why are they doing this?"

DarcsFalcon said...

It doesn't sound to me like they were protesters, against Capitalism or anything else. I think they sound simply like a bunch of a$$holes thugs who found an excuse to trash some property and get away with it. Unfortunately, there always have been and always will be, such people.

Sparkling Red said...

Michelle: That's exactly how I felt. I love Toronto. I've walked up and down that section of Yonge St. more times than I can count. That was where I went to hang out with friends in high school and university. I still get down there almost every weekend. I hated seeing it trashed by a bunch of mean losers.

DarcsFalcon: Sadly, that's true. Too bad we managed to attract so many of them this weekend.

G said...

Unfortunately this is part and parcel for a G-20 summit meeting.

Like you, I don't have a problem with legitimate protests (even if they don't quite have all their facts straight), but I do have a problem with the random acts of stupidity.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Nothing like random violence against innocents to prove something to the Man!!! umm... just not sure what it proves other than stupidity.....

Jenski said...

The fact that it was not even apparent *why* they chose to be destructive makes it that much worse! Hope they are out of there so the city can go back to normal

Sparkling Red said...

G: They should meet virtually online, to save the host city all this trouble. OK, so maybe that oversimplifies the situation, but are the benefits of meeting face to face really worth all this destruction?

Ron: They proved that they're stupid and bloodthirsty. I would expect better behaviour from a bunch of squirrels.

Jenski: So far as I know things have gone back to normal as of this morning. It'll be up to each individual business owner to clean up the mess. Glass window salespeople all over the city are getting the biggest sales of their lives today.

LL Cool Joe said...

Violence never achieves anything. Sounds like a bunch of thugs looking for an excuse to cause destruction.

Very sad.

Ily said...

How awful! I'm surprised they were all able to get away with it!! That's even more shocking.

Ily said...

PS - I have wonderful memories of Yonge Street and The Plaza II hotel pool back in the early 80s!

Sparkling Red said...

LL Cool Joe: What makes it saddest to me is that it was all pre-planned and deliberate. The vandals came here with a clear destructive purpose in mind. It would be slightly less bad if it was something that just erupted in the heat of the moment.

Ily: Yonge St. was fantastic in the 80's! I hung out there all the time in high school, which would have been starting in '86. They've cleaned it up a lot now. I like the stretches that are still a little grimy, where you can buy bongs and extra-large clear stilleto heels for the glam transvestites. That's so much more interesting than The Gap.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

So, it's clear these vandals are nothing more than a bunch of criminals who deserve to be punished by law. But, what's equally as ugly? The fact the news media followed these people so closely. Do you think they'd behave so poorly if they knew they'd get no press for it? Stops and makes you think.