G20 Crossing the line

Posted: April 2, 2013 by glaw74 in Toronto G20 2010

The documentary produced by the CBC called “You should have stayed at home” provides us with insight on the incidents that occurred during the G20. Although it focuses mainly from the point of view from the protesters, it also tries to get the perspective of the police. However, most of the information that was gathered were mainly from “victims” of the G20 riot. The documentary gives an impression that police officers of the G20 acted like one single body. By single body, I mean that it seemed like all the officers were given the same order, or treated the riots and protests like it was a scenario the police had practiced for. The officers treated all protesters and civilians as if they had the potential to be a terrorist.

Issues arising from the G20 incident are mainly directed towards police accountability. Aside from the obvious fact that the police infringed the rights of the people. It feels as if that the police officers knew that whatever action they took during the G20 would go without punishment. This be due to the fact that name tags and badge numbers were removed from their uniforms. This makes it incredibly hard for the public to issue any forms of complaints due to the animosity of the police officers. It is simply impossible to complain about someone if you do not even have that person identity. Another contributing factor that allowed for the police officers behaviour was the employment of the private police. By giving private police bodies peace officer status, it becomes hard for the public to know whether the officer was RCMP or a private policing officer.

I feel that the documentary of the G20 shows that the public is really at the mercy of Policing bodies. There were some footage in the documentary that showed the police arresting and detaining people based on suspicion that was determined by a “point-of-view” standard. For example, during the arrests that took place within the gymnasium, the police officers arrested the people based of “intelligence” that they had gathered. Also they had suspected and believed that the people residing in the gymnasium had the potential to commit mischief. This provides us with the range and way that police can exercise their authority and that it feels like does not allow for any means of challenge.

With regards to the Last statement of the documentary, “you should have stayed at home”.  It implies that the public are pretty much at mercy of policing bodies. It’s almost as if the statement could have been said from the point of view of the police. It implies that the authority that the holds are above the rights that the people have.



The Fifth Estate. (2011, February 25). You should have stayed home: G20 untold stories. CBC news. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2010-2011/youshouldhavestayedathome/

  1. Mike Larsen says:

    A solid post. I have argued that public order policing events can be regarded as bellwethers – indicators of the current and emerging trajectory of state-public relations. If this is correct, what do you think that the Toronto 2010 G20 tells us about the relationship between the state (and police) and the Canadian public?

  2. glaw74 says:

    I think that it gives the public an impression that the state sees itself as a ‘mother figure’ with regards to the public. what I mean by this is that the state tends to do what they think is right for the public rather than asking the public what they want.

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