Sunday, June 27, 2010

G8 G20 June 2010

The Real News: "G20: Doves on finance reform, hawks on austerity"
Rob Johnson: Real cause of massive debt was caused by finance sector, not people's social programs

Russia Today June 25, 2010 : Hundreds of protesters have gathered in one of Toronto's public parks to march against the G-8 and G-20 summits. RT's Lauren Lyster reports from the scene.

AFP: Thousands of Canadian police threw a tight security net over eastern Ontario province Thursday as world leaders began arriving for key summits focused on economic recovery and development. Leaders from the Group of Eight leading economies will meet Friday in Huntsville, before joining up with other officials from the Group of 20 developed and emerging nations in Toronto on Saturday and Sunday.


CNN: Violence, vandalism rock G-20 protests


"These criminals rely on the anonymity of hiding in a larger group of the curious and the naive," he said. At least four police cars went up in flames and smoke during hours of confrontation. Protesters left behind broken windows and graffiti. [Bill]Blair said police used tear gas after warning a group of protesters "engaged in acts of destruction" Saturday.

However, not all encounters between police and protesters were hostile. At one intersection, the crowd danced and chanted, "You're sexy, you're cute, take off your riot suit!"

More aggressive groups of demonstrators moved from intersection to intersection, trying to circumvent police and get to the security fence protecting the summit meeting."The fence is a symbol that they can build a fence and spend a billion dollars on their agenda. Everywhere the protesters went, police were waiting to head them off, in some cases with individual blasts of pepper spray, tear gas and bean bag pellets, according to the summit's security unit.

OK, so they burned four police cars. The video actually makes it seem like they torched just one car, which doesn't strike me as a big deal if nobody was hurt, and naturally one hopes that was indeed the case. I'm guessing the bill for just the hors d'ouerves at the summit would be enough to pay for one or even as many as four Toronto P.D. squad cars, easy. The cameraman seemed less interested in the shirtless guy we glimpse briefly, who looks like he's bleeding, and I note cameraman chose a vantage point behind another person partially blocking the line of sight. (Although to be fair that may have been per police restriction. Maybe the girl standing between the camera and the guy on the ground is also with the authorities.)

see also

Michael Olsen, The Motley Fool, June 17th: "Profit From the BP Debacle and Eurozone Crisis"

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At June 28, 2010 9:14 AM, Blogger rob payne said...

You would think that with 20 scum bags in one spot at the same time it would invite a very large meteor to fall out of the sky.

At June 28, 2010 3:53 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

I'm just curious if anyone out there thinks the protests actually accomplished anything. Anyone?

At June 28, 2010 5:39 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

I don't understand your first comment.

Actually, I do think protests accomplish something. A lot of people's perceptions, when they are confronted with the unfamiliar, is formed by people measuring their behavior and attitudes against how others behave and what others appear to believe.

If there is not protest, and you tell people that the decisions the G8 and the G20 make are uncontroversial, many people will buy this, and dismiss any half-formed qualms they may feel as foolishness.

On the other hand, if you're measuring the effectiveness of organized protest in terms of getting the conference attendees to fundamentally change their attitudes, that might be expecting too much.

(I don't automatically assume that I share the values of the protestors, nor that they share each others' values, and all want the same thing. But obviously that's not the same as approval for a heavy-handed security state.)

It's difficult to measure "gnawing questions" given a pilot light so that they are not extinguished altogether, but I'd argue that is one function of protests, so that ordinary middle class folks watching on TV wonder what the fuss is about. And if only 8 or 10 out a hundred investigate further, maybe that's still an accomplishment.

Jay Taber can probably articulate better reasons than that.

At June 28, 2010 7:57 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

My first my comment I was merely ruminating on what a tragedy it would be if a meteor had fallen on the G20 leaders. Sorry if I wasn’t clear, it was hardly worth explaining, my bad.

I’m not arguing for or against protests, I’m just curious to see if anyone thinks they accomplish anything. Personally I think people ought to protest, it’s a good thing in my opinion. But I think the bottom line is that there is no coordinated grass roots movement for moving toward a more progressive (I hate that word) society and I also think that protesting just isn’t enough. It should be part of a more broad and cohesive movement that employs a variety of tactics.

I think the fact is we are actually moving deeper into a military state every day. When I was younger and participated in protests they were in the streets and we marched. Today they herd protesters into pens, they don’t even get close to the object of their ire. Then there is the, shall we say, social pressure not to say the wrong thing like Helen Thomas for example. It’s almost like a physical gag over your mouth. I think our culture has evolved to the point where kids are more completely brainwashed than at any time in the past so a lot of people just really don’t feel like they should protest. Obama is an integral part in defeating a peace movement by castrating the existing organizations that work toward peace or whatever. Keep in mind I’m speaking in general terms, I’m aware of exceptions.

Another aspect of protesting is that the news media can take a protest and present it in any manner that they choose. They can lie about the number of people, they can choose just not to report the protest period. The News Hour reporting on the Three Mile Island made the protesters look like idiots by leaving out the important fact that it actually had leaked radioactive material. Those people had a valid reason to protest since they were in danger of radioactive poisoning but it was blunted by the reporting.


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