Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toronto's Security Theatre

Is there anything in Toronto's history to suggest that fencing off most of downtown Toronto was even remotely necessary to adequately secure the G20 conference or to provide due protection for visiting world leaders?

Plainly, the answer is no.

The Harper security kabuki was bound to be taken as a constitutional affront by Toronto's law-abiding citizens and as a provocation by peaceful protesters who have every lawful right to make their voices heard.

That speaks for itself.

Even so, to my eyes, it looked like most of the "demonstrators" downtown were there for a street party, not a violent clash with authority.

With hindsight, we will be left wondering whether it was an overreaching security plan, rather than the G2o conference itself, that was the lightning rod that ignited so much of the commotion we have witnessed over the weekend.

Tellingly, the imposition of a virtual security regime in Toronto for the G20 weekend may have given the so-called "anarchists" (who look mostly to be youthful, attention-seeking thugs, rather than genuine political activists of any colour) a stunning victory by default, if the mere fear of their arrival could purport to justify locking down so much of our vital inner city.

That's a pretty serious accomplishment for a bunch of misdirected kids armed with sticks and stones and matches and spray-paint.

And an embarrassment to our nation.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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