Tuesday, June 29, 2010

G-20 Summit Toronto 2010: Summarized--Part II Riots, Amnesty International, and an Unfinished Agenda

Part I Fake Lake and Fiscal Responsibility, Indeed explored the pre-assessment of the upcoming G-20 2010 Toronto Summit. This Part II is a post-evaluation.

The official G-20 Toronto 2010 Summit outcomes are documented here. They include:

Final Documents
G-20 Toronto Summit Declaration
Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion

Supporting Documents
See the International Monetary Fund report
See the World Bank report

My own, non-specialist, summary follows.

Summary alla Chiara

"Clash of economies": spending vs restraint in a recession

The USA wants the world to keep spending; the Europeans want fiscal restraint
Canada wants deficit reduction goals
Each country will follow its own kinder gentler deficit reduction plan with a promise to try to reduce deficits by 50% by 2013

Bank Taxes: to make banks responsible for risk taking and economic damage

France, Germany, and Britain, yes
Canada, Australia, India, China, no
USA, maybe (yes in theory, no in practice)

Maternal Health (from the G8): improving maternal-infant care in Africa

Initial proposal didn't include birth control; Harper was forced to include it; and it still has no elective abortion option as a family planning method of last resort (though Canadians do have it).
A half measure for a very real and important problem; one that follows an underlying religious and domestic agenda

Major disruptions prior and during:

In the banking, corporate, legal, and provincial governing centres of Toronto for the week prior
Hospitals discharged patients to clear space/ free personnel for casualties for week prior
6 Public and Catholic schools closed early for the summer
St George Campus of University of Toronto closed for 4.5 days

Major disruptions during and since:

1st ever use of tear gas in Toronto
>900 arrests
Major extra disruptions to traffic, public transit, commuter transit
Tertiary care hospitals on lockdown
Major shopping areas on lockdown
Vandalism of stores (particularly American chains) and banks
Riots after the close of the summit
Protests at police headquarters on the days since
New inquiry into security, and errors made, civil liberties breached


$1.1 billion Cdn (~50% for Security) to be paid by the Canadian tax payer
+Lost productivity
+Lost business
+Lost wages (many workers in the security zone were told to stay home without pay; or paid to stay home without working)
+Lost liberties

Bottom Line:

Poor Value For Money


Hold in a more easily secured, less prominent location, one that is a prestigious retreat/ conference centre

What others are saying

It wasn't worth it

“Why would you bring this terror to downtown?” “Next time have it on an aircraft carrier” “I felt like a rat in a cage.”--Omar Habib, 28, actor, waiter, resident downtown core

Amnesty calls for summit security review

The police did have a difficult job to do, said Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada's secretary general, but he questioned the extent of the security buildup.
"We're concerned that both the extensive lead-up to the summit — the heavy, heavy police presence — [and] all of the talk of new weapons and unclear laws really led to quite a considerable chill."
"Everything that our officers did in the Toronto Police Service was for the safety of the law-abiding citizens in this city, and we did the best we could," said Staff Supt. Jeff McGuire. "I'm not suggesting we're perfect."
McGuire said the city faced "very trying circumstances" that neither citizens nor many police officers had faced.
"[Police] didn't do things maliciously, they did them with the intent of providing public safety for the citizens of Toronto."
McGuire added that in some large gatherings Sunday, people were initially detained but later released at the scene without charge.

Toronto cleaning up from G20 vandalism

Toronto Mayor David Miller says he and his office long said that the downtown's convention centre was not the appropriate place to host such a large event.
"From the beginning, the city said to the federal government, ‘You shouldn't host an event like this downtown because of the complexities of policing it. You should host it at a place like Exhibition Place; it's a place that's self-contained.' I think unfortunately some of the challenges we saw this weekend came from that decision," Miller told Canada AM Monday.

Torontonians try to make sense of G20 vandalism

“It’s been a really eerie feeling down here all weekend” “I’m just kind of in shock as to what’s gone on.”
--Ray Bonfoco, resident of a Front Street condominium, 80% of his neighbours left the city for the Summit

TTC chair Adam Giambrone said they were instructed by the Integrated Security Unit to shut down the TTC system just before 2 p.m. on Saturday, leaving the city without public transit for several hours.
“A decision was made that we could not guarantee security across the whole downtown,” he said.

Residents of the neighbourhood near Eastern Avenue, where a temporary jail was established by police, were forced to contend with protesters, as were the Parkdale neighbours of the Toronto Community Mobilization Network’s Noble Street convergence space.
A Sunday morning raid on the University of Toronto campus brought the action adjacent to the Annex, and even areas far from the action saw their weekends disrupted.

With police and security guards stationed in hotel lobbies and on street corners, Yorkville felt drained of the spirited energy that makes it such a destination on a summer Saturday night. The upside: Scoring a table at one of the tony bars or clubs was not a problem; towards 10 p.m., both Avenue at the Four Seasons and the Roof Lounge at the Park Hyatt appeared to be only half full, with no sign of mingling delegates.

The sounds of the Toronto Jazz Festival were also muffled by violence.
Patrick Taylor, the event’s executive director, said concerts away from the downtown were sold out, but the main stage at Nathan Philips Square was definitely affected.
“It has a strange aura about it. There’s not a lot of walk-up business,” he said. “That vibe’s gone.”
Mr. Taylor said he was disappointed by the “ugliness going on” around him. On Saturday, he saw black-clad vandals race past, pursued by police in tactical garb.
“You could hear the sirens going by and see the smoke coming up through the city,” he said. “It’s a very noticeable difference.”

G20 crowds, police engage in standoffs

Police said they decided to box in a large group of protesters who were making their way on Queen, heading for Peter Street, because there were militant Black Bloc members donning masks while weapons were found along the way.
But only a small number in that boxed-in crowd were arrested for a breach of the peace and taken to the makeshift detention centre in the city's east end, said Toronto Staff Sgt. Jeff McGuire.
Most were detained at the intersection in a heavy downpour for several hours until Toronto police Chief Bill Blair ordered them released without any charges at about 9:40 p.m. Several people told local media they were innocent bystanders who had been waiting for buses, walking their dogs and minding their own business.
"It was unfortunate they found themselves in the situation," McGuire said. "But the officers had a right to detain them."

Const. Rob McDonald told reporters it was his understanding that people from across Canada had been arrested: "They were found in possession of bricks and other items that could compromise the safety of the citizens of Toronto."
Four other people were arrested in the early morning after they were caught coming out of a sewer in the financial district on Queen Street West between Yonge and Bay streets.
Toronto police spokesman Sgt. Tim Burrows told CBC News that the four were arrested at 2:25 a.m. ET "while leaving a maintenance hole cover, after being in the underground infrastructure of the tunnels."
Burrows said no explosives were found and "the security plan is well intact."
All day, a heavy police presence continued in the downtown area near the convention centre, a day after dozens of businesses, as well as police cars and other vehicles, were damaged.

WRAPUP 2 Do-little G20 summit leaves markets unperturbed

The Toronto summit exposed issues that are harder to resolve when countries loosely united in the G20 are emerging from the downturn at different speeds and with divergent priorities.
Analysts said the meagre summit outcome raised doubts about the G20's value as a forum for managing the world economy. "The G20 is fragmented as it transitions out of its role as
a crisis-fighting committee," said Tom Bernes, vice-president of the Center for International Governance Innovation in Toronto. "While G20 leaders agree on the need for stronger financial
regulation, actual details continue to be vague and lacking a solid deadline.... There is a huge unfinished agenda."

Boxed in and arrested on Queen Street West

It began as a peaceful rally, the most peaceful I had seen in the three days of demonstrations. It ended with roughly a hundred people – the elderly, shoppers with bags of groceries, people walking dogs or just curious to see a protest – held in torrential rain for four hours, penned in by rows of riot police. Slowly, one by one, they were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit public mischief, handcuffed and led to buses headed for a prisoner detention centre.
I [Globe and Mail journalist Lisan Jutras] was among those arrested.

1,000 protest G20 police tactics

Peaceful demonstration begins at police headquarters and ends at Queen’s Park for a dance party
More than 1,000 loud but peaceful Torontonians – furious at police tactics, the G20 and seeing their city hijacked – converged on Toronto Police headquarters on College Street late Monday afternoon. Parents, businessmen, protesters and grandparents chanted and drummed in front of dozens of police officers before marching through downtown and converging on Queen’s Park for a dance party.
“Whose city?” they yelled, walking down streets that days ago had become scenes of tense and often violent confrontations with the police now flanking them on bikes.
“Our city!”

Toronto Police announce review of G20 tactics

Facing criticism over G20 tactics, the Toronto Police Service will review “all aspects” of summit policing, Chief Bill Blair announced on Tuesday.
The review, which will be conducted by the force’s Summit Management After Action Review Team, will provide an “assessment of the strengths and weaknesses in the G20 plans, and their execution,” the force said in a news release.
[The Government of Ontario has declined to review the security measures taken]

Did the Summit impact you in any way? How?
What is your final summary of the G-20 Toronto 2010 Summit?
What would be your bottom line?
What would be your recommendation?
Any other comments, thoughts, impressions?

All posts on the G-20 Summit:
The G-20 Meet the GlBTQ
The G(irls) 20 Summit: Part I--Background
The G(irls) 20 Summit: Part II--The Delegates
G-20 Summit 2010 Toronto: Protesters vs Demonstrators vs Rioters; Another Brilliant Harper Idea
G-20 Summit 2010 Toronto: Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, and Young Saudi Delegates
G-20 Summit Toronto 2010: Summarized--Part I Fake Lake and Fiscal Responsibility, Indeed
G-20 Summit Toronto 2010: Summarized--Part II Riots, Amnesty International, and an Unfinished Agenda

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