Research and Analysis- Toronto 2010 G-20

Posted: November 10, 2011 by hgill24 in Toronto G20 2010

The Toronto G-20 summit was a meeting of 19 countries and European Union, it was the fourth such meeting of this kind and took place in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada in June of 2010. The meeting was a big deal with some of the most powerful people in the world; some the topics that were up for discussion were The Global bank Tax and promoting Open Markets. While this event was supposed to bring a lot of credibility and should be an honor that Toronto and Canada because this event is attended by powerful leaders from all over the world and they decieded to meet in Toronto over many other locations however; this event was more about the riots and the questionable tactics that were used by the Toronto Police in how they dealt with the situation about the protestors. There were those who rioted acting in damaging businesses, flipping over cars also theft but there was those peaceful protests where there wasn’t violence but chants by groups just wanting to get their points heard.

The topic of the way the Toront0 Police handled the protestors and was it necessary way to get a control of the situation. Some of the tactics that were used were that the police would ask for identification of those who were meters away and were not necessarily participating in the riots, the police have said that they were given “Special Power” from the government to ask for the identification which the government later rejected that claim by the Toronto Police. An article which I received in my Police Deviance and Accountability class “Intellegent Control” (Hudosn and Roach 2003, chapter 8 page 266) brings up the word Intelligent Control . I believe that one word describes the action by the Toronto Police during the G-20 summit meetings. In my opinion the police did not handle their duties intelligently and to this day are still being ridiculed for their actions through the internet, newspapers and other sources of media communications. From the police standpoint they understood the magnitude of this event because it was a meeting of a lot of powerful people from all over the world and were meeting up in Toronto and it is up the Toronto Police to make sure nothing gets out of hand and want to prevent anything that will endanger lives. I believe the pressure they felt from amongst themselves and possibly from the people above them led them to do the tactics that they did and I am  not defending them but I could see their point of view. I still do believe they were wrong in their actions because their actions are one of the reasons why participants of the riots and protestors are enraged and their behaviors are getting more violent. The Toronto police I believe had a very poor game plan that was executed very poorly. In the book by Maurice Punch’s book “Police Corruption” he points out many different types of typology and I believe the typology that relates to this topic would be noble cause, which means that it was necessary for the officers to use the amount of force that because it was the only way to control the situation . The article “Is the Whole World Still Watching? Explaining the Violence during the Toronto G20/G8 Meetings (Hodgkinson, 2011) I found online, which is very interesting because it states that in past G-20 and G-8 summits that have happened in the past where there are always protests and protests that turn into violence and yet the police are still not prepared for what is to come. I find this interesting because the people that are preparing these plans for the police haven’t been able to learn from past mistakes made by the host countries prior to Canada hosting the G-20 summit in 2010. The article also states because of the magnitude of the event also led to aggressive and unethical acts by the police and als0 the people that participated in the riots which turned violent not the protestors who want to get their point across peacefully and civilly which is the difference between riot and protest. I am also not blaming everything entirely on the Toronto Police that day but the people who participated in the riots which was only a small amount  also have some blame on themselves as well because as citizens it is up to them to know what type of behavior is acceptable and what type of behavior is unacceptable.

The next article that I have come across is one where a respected Toronto news reporter witnessed police brutality first hand and talks about how he feels about it. Steve Paikan says he saw a news reporter get beat up with elbows and punched by Toronto Police officers for having his credentials removed. Paikan says he was watching a peaceful protest when police starting beating on the reporter from England and that he himself was given a ultimatum of leaving or risk being thrown in jail. Two students who flew to Toronto from UBC Okanagan to attend the peaceful protests were held in jail for over forty hours with no food or water which in some cases can be life threatning to those who are diabetic and people with other health conditions. I think the opinion of someone who is known to the average person is important because if he can get his point of view out there and I also think it is great that Paikan is sharing what he saw and is personal encounter with the police during the G-20 riots.

The final article that I have reviewed is an article from the National Post stating that there have been seventy-eight complaints filed by rights groups against the Toronto Police for brutality. There is a story in there in which one woman was arrested for taking a photograph of someone being arrested and hauled off in a van where an officer was sitting on her and held or throat.  The article also states that over twenty thousand security personal where on site for the two day event and $1 billion was spent on security alone. During those two days over 1 thousand people were arrested and 278 people were charged. I think it is alarming about some of the stories of victims that I have come across during this time that I have been introduced to this topic and something needs to be done, which I believe is to have those who officers known to participate in these unethical acts to be held responsible and send message with a fine or suspension so other officers to think twice before engaging in unethical practices or else in the future the issues will only get more serious and continued to be ridiculed in the process.

As I have been reading online articles scholarly and ones from media outlets big and small, I have learned that there are a lot of articles that are questioning the police practices from the G-20 summits and barely if none defending their behavior. Articles from big companies such as CBC, Globe and Mail, The National post to name a few have all questioned the practices in a negative way by criticizing the officers and the people in charge of the operations. I agree that not every protest was a peaceful one, there were some protests that resulted in cars being flipped, objects being set on fire and businesses being broken into and robbed and those are the people that need to be dealt with not those peaceful protestors that were not aggressive and violent. Before studying this topic I was not aware of the magnitude of the events that took place inside the meetings and outside but I am glad that I have learned a lot about the importance of the Toronto 2010 G-20 summit.

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