By Jesse Kline
Last weekend in Toronto, G20 summiteers agreed to cut deficits in half by 2013 and "reduce government debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016." And it only cost them a billion dollars and a few breaches of civil liberties to achieve this result.
Here's your G20 wrap-up, with bonus late-breaking news of violence against journalists:
The big story from the event was not what the leaders did, but the police state that downtown Toronto was turned into.
The government had prepared for the event by spending an exorbitant amount of money on security. Police were given additional powers inside the security zone by a secret law passed by the Ontario government, which allowed them to arrest people for failing to produce identification. Police also told the public they had these powers around the perimeter of the zone, but later admitted they made this up.
All these measures did not stop a roving band of lefty anarchists from destroying private property and lighting a police car on fire. As one journalist noted, the protesters did not seem to have a coherent message.
Police responded with what appears to be excessive force and serious violations of the constitutional protections that Canadians usually enjoy. In total, police arrested 900 people—the largest mass arrest in Canadian history—many of whom were held overnight in temporary jails and released without charge.
Police had an equal disdain for the media. Today J-Source has a roundup of journalists who were harassed, beaten, and arrested for trying to bring the story to the world. Although not reporting at the time—or even within the security zone—the Western Standard's Mike Brock tells about how he was tormented and illegally searched, apparently for wearing a black shirt and talking on the phone.