The Toronto G20

Posted on January 3, 2013


In Toronto in June 2010, the G20 (a summit of the 20 most powerful governments in the world) met to further organize our exploitation and misery and the destruction of the planet. The city of Toronto was militarized, but people organized to fight back against the G20 and the riot cops protecting them. Organizers agreed on a diversity of tactics, meaning that different people could participate in the protests however they saw fit, without stepping on each other’s toes, using different methods and strategies, as long as they did not denounce one another. It is a diversity of tactics, and not pacifism, that the government fears most. In retaliation, they launched an anti-terror operation to arrest the organizers of the protest before these had even started. Those arrested would spend weeks or months in prison, and a number of them were convicted.

At the protests, the police successfully defended the conference site, but Black Bloc anarchists were able to break away from the main march and cause significant damage in Toronto’s financial district, targeting the same financial interests that are behind the G20. They were spontaneously aided by hundreds of Toronto residents, and in the rioting, several police cars were burned. The peaceful protestors, meanwhile, were also able to carry out their protests and actions, though they were brutally attacked by police (a common occurrence, even when there is no rioting going on elsewhere in the city– unfortunately, today’s pacifists want a comfortable protest experience without any of the sacrifices or inconveniences incurred by the historical figureheads they so often manipulate, like King and Gandhi. g20-black-bloc-police-car2-300x202

Subsequently, a number of NGOs, journalists, and commentators took advantage of the fact that the anarchist organizers were in prison and they violated the diversity of tactics agreement, denouncing their fellow protestors as “provocateurs”. Because they weren’t interested in an honest debate, they did not make any criticisms of the Black Bloc’s participation in the protest. Rather, they made baseless accusations that the Black Bloc members were cops, trying to delegitimize them and make any debate impossible. They worked to divide and pacify the movement, unscrupulously taking advantage of the situation created by the cops, and some of these conspiracy theorists directly helped police identify masked protestors. It’s important to note that a number of masked anarchists were arrested and imprisoned for rioting. In other words, they weren’t cops.

The accusations against Toronto anarchists are numerous. Conspiracy nut Alex Jones’ proof is that the anarchists who torched the police cars are wearing Nike and looking relaxed. Never mind that anarchists are likely to steal the clothes they will later ditch after a riot, or that not all anarchists believe boycotting Nike can accomplish anything since nearly all clothes are made in sweatshops. And never mind that many participants in the riot remarked on the sense of euphoria in the streets, and hundreds of Toronto residents felt so safe, they spontaneously joined the riot even though they didn’t have anything to cover their faces with. This kind of flimsy evidence is typical of Jones.

The people who brought us the Truther movement, who think the system will collapse if only people realize that Bush and Cheney concocted 9-11, and who care infinitely more about 2,900 Americans killed in what might have been a conspiracy than over a million Iraqis killed in what was definitely a conspiracy, came out with their own documentary about the G20 protests, with their usual conspiracy theories resembling castles made out of sand.

One website claims to have proof about police complicity with the Black Bloc, and they site an article in the mainstream Toronto Sun.The way this conspiracy nut sees it, the Sun article exposes “a stand-down order to facilitate a false flag operation” and “the covert official allowing of the protected “Black Bloc” to rampage through Toronto to provide the pretext for the later assault of the peaceful protesting citizens.” But if you read the actual article, there is no mention of official protection of the Black Bloc or a false flag operation. In fact, the Toronto Sun journalists writes about extreme confusion, disorganization, and miscommunication among the police, with orders being given to engage, and then not to engage, and then to engage again, and finally to not engage, with officers talking over one another and contradicting each other. “Nobody seemed to know what to do. It was just a mess.” This is a far cry from a covert government operation. What these conspiracy hacks don’t want you to know is that the government used to believe it was always best to use a heavy hand to stop rioting (see Kristian Williams’ Enemies in Blue) but after analyzing their failures in the ’60s and ’70s, they realized their heavy hand often provoked rioting, and sometimes it’s better to be more permissive.

A couple other conspiracy hacks didn’t even offer any evidence, they just claimed that the anarchists were provocateurs, made the false claim that police did nothing to stop them from rioting, and made the ridiculous claim that the government is much more afraid of protestors being peaceful.