Monday, June 28, 2010

What's the Point?

As many of you are aware of, unless you've been living under a rock; the G-20 Summit were held in Toronto over the weekend. It was for the most part very successful. Toronto did a fantastic job of keeping the world's government leaders safe, there were no security incidents at all around the summit. However, there were some very real and very abhorrent incidents in downtown Toronto Saturday. Just to give you a very brief overview, a very fast moving and very violent crowd of over 1000 people, led by a main core of black clad "anarchists"; descended on the commercial district of Toronto. They smashed everything they could find, graffitied buildings, cars, booths, windows, etc. Police were forced to drop back temporarily and their cars were set on fire, or badly damaged. They were pelted with rocks, bricks, spat upon, hit with bottles, and bags full of urine, cursed at, assaulted, until they finally came back strong and hard to restore order. By days end there were millions upon millions of dollars of damage to a very popular and beautiful district of Toronto, and nearly 400 arrests, with more to come apparently. With all this it begs me to ask the question Therefore What?
Therefore what, people? What was the point to this, besides a bunch of idiotic misfits getting of on destroying property. What was to be accomplished by this? What was the platform that they were "protesting"? What attention do you think it got their cause? And does anyone care what their cause was? Lastly what do Torontonians think of all this?
The G-summits of world leaders always attracts protesting wherever they go. You get the whole mixed bag from extremely intelligent, passionate protesters, who want to bring attention to their issues, to the down right moronic idiots who are out their to just get their 15 seconds of fame. Some are true believers in their causes, and desperately want their voices heard, some are just paid to be a warm body on the lines, and others are just their to act like a fool.
I believe in free speech. I believe that if you have a cause you are married to, you have a right to speak out. However I also believe that you should be prepared to accept the consequences of your speech. Sorry folks, it's not a free pass. Just like it's your right to free speech, it's others rights to disagree or ignore you if they don't share the same views. It's also the laws right to reprimand where laws are broken. What happened on Saturday is very unfortunate, I think for the most part, there were people who had their protests going, with no intention of violence, they are overshadowed by the smaller minority of idiotic, knuckle draggers who "Just want to break stuff."
Gandhi, Martin Luther King, The Dali Lama, just a few examples of world changers who did not use violence to move their cause forward. It took time, but they are more revered in our day as influential fighters of freedom, than the black clad criminals who took to the streets of Toronto, along with the fools who were influenced to go along. Violence usually sets you back in your fight to be heard. Nobody cares anymore what you were trying to promote, all that is known now is that you were a bunch of organized criminal who set out to cause destruction. "Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals."- Martin Luther King, Jr.
If I were the other protesters at the G-20, I'd be angry. Your messages have been drowned out now, due to the actions of a few. Now your message as fallen on deaf ears because we're all distracted by the chaos. Maybe next time try and prevent this kind of garbage, or distance yourself from it, rather than follow the mob. More than anything I want to know what is going on in the minds of the people of Toronto. At first when the chaos erupted all your heard was complaints that the police weren't doing enough. Then as the crackdown began, and its aftermath, all you hear is complaints that the police were too heavy handed. Which is it people? Let me try to put this into perspective for you. Who's tax payer money is going to go into the clean up, and repairs? Who is going to have to pay more of their hard earned money to compensate for the lost business store owners will have due to them having to repair their stores, replace looted inventory, etc. It all ends up coming back to the tax payers in the end. Who's money is going to pay for the increased riot force that had to go out to restore order? Whose tax dollars are going to have to be used to prosecute all of these thugs who chose your city to have a good time in? Imagine being the little mom and pops jewelry store that had it's windows smashed and goods looted. That's your lively hood, how easily would you recover? Imagine being a police officer, and walking away with bruises all over, smelling like urine from projectiles tossed at you, and the toll of the physical, emotional, and mental abuse you took not only from the protesters, but stupid citizens whom you were only trying to keep safe. How would you react? When cowardly masked thugs come running at you throwing projectiles and wielding sticks, bats, bricks etc, how would you defend yourself? How does the normal citizen of Toronto feel walking down some of their favorite markets today seeing shops closed, and windows smashed? Does it make you angry? I sure hope so. It makes me angry, and I only lived there for 4 years!
Toronto became a second home to me, and I loved seeing the diversity and culture that existed there. When I see something like that happen to a place I grew fond of, it makes me angry, that someone would care so little about something I care for. I applaud the police who but their personal safety at risk to try and protect the average ungrateful citizen. I hope they gave the knuckleheads a few extra slaps to the back of the head for me.