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06/26/2010

Peaceful beginnings, violent ending as G20 protests grip Toronto

A look at a full day of G20 protests across the city through the lenses of five staff photographers.

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RICHARD LAUTENS - Protesters have a bit of a love-in following the initial march. Tens of thousands came out to protest the G20 meetings this afternoon.  They marshalled at Queen's Park and marched through the streets.  Originally very peacefull, the protest turned ugly with smashed windows and the police public order unit finally coming in to quell the crowd at the intersection of College and University. 

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STEVE RUSSELL - Falun Gong and Falun Dafa practioners protest peacefully in the rain as a variety of protests directed at the G20 Summit are held at Queen's Park in Toronto.

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STEVE RUSSELL - A Uygur protests against China at Queen's Park get ready to march during a protest of  G20 Summit.

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BERNARD WEIL - Flowers were thrown at the riot police on Spadina Avenue.

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CARLOS OSORIO - Riot Police, some with flowers, stand their ground on Queen Street during the G20 protests.     

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STEVE RUSSELL -  Police in soft hats watch protesters walk by on Queen Street West. The police are backed up by officers in riot gear.

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STEVE RUSSELL - Police in riot gear watch over protesters of  the G20 Summit in Toronto. 

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CARLOS OSORIO - A protester weeps infront of a line of riot police, she said that she just wishes to be let through and have her right to protest in peace in Toronto's downtown core.

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BERNARD WEIL - Police guard Queen and John Streets.

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BERNARD WEIL - Protestors block police that surrounded their police car on Queen Street west.

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LUCAS OLENIUK - An anarchist attacks the media on Queen Street West.

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LUCAS OLENIUK - An anarchist group broke away from the main protest at Queen and Spadina and began to vandalize police cars, media trucks and storefronts throughout the city.

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LUCAS OLENIUK - Anarchists vandalize a police cruiser on Bay Street before setting it on fire.

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LUCAS OLENIUK - Protesters attack a police car at Bay and King during the G20 in downtown Toronto.

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LUCAS OLENIUK - Police regroup as Anarchist protesters wreak havoc in Toronto's downtown core during the G20 protests.

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LUCAS OLENIUK - Anarchists terrorized Yonge Street Saturday smashing windows and vandalizing anything that came into their path.      

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CARLOS OSORIO - A man finds a spot to rest after Anarchist protesters wreaked havoc in Toronto's downtown core during the G20 protests.

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STEVE RUSSELL - A security Guard rescues a customer from the ATM area of the TD back at Queen and Bay after Anarchists broke the window.

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LUCAS OLENIUK - An anarchist group travelling north on Yonge Street smashed windows.

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RICHARD LAUTENS - A window of Winners on College street gets smashed by a woman.Tens of thousands came out to protest the G20 meetings this afternoon.  They marshalled at Queen's Park and marched through the streets.  Originally very peacefull, the protest turned ugly with smashed windows and the police public order unit finally coming in to quell the crowd at the intersection of College and University.

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RICAHRD LAUTENS -  A chair get thrown through the window of  Tim Hortons near the corner of Yonge and College.

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RICHARD LAUTENS - Police fire into the crowd on University at College.

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LUCAS OLENIUK - The riot ended at Queens Park but there were little outbreaks across the downtown.

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RICHARD LAUTENS - A man tries to talk to one of the officers in the line at college and University.

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CARLOS OSORIO - Protesters clash with police at Queen's Park during the G20 protests.

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STEVE RUSSELL - A woman is overcome by emotion on Yonge Street after violence broke out in protests for  G20 Summit.

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STEVE RUSSELL - Police arrest a pair of protesters on College Street near Queen's Park.

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STEVE RUSSELL - A protester breaks up a police car at Queen Street West near Spadina, two damaged police cars were left on the street during a protest of  G20 Summit.

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STEVE RUSSELL - A protester is overcome by smoke after attempting to put out a fire in a police car at Queen Street West near Spadina.

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STEVE RUSSELL - The first of two cruisers burns on Queen Street West near Spadina, two damaged police cars were left on the street.

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CARLOS OSORIO - Demonstrators clash with police at College and University as the sun sets.     

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RICHARD LAUTENS - The police finally move in on protesters who refused to move, kicking some to get up just south of the Legislature.     

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STEVE RUSSELL - The window at the Starbucks at Queen and John is broken during a protest of  G20 Summit.        

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Fantastic photos! Well done!

You anarchists are a disgrace to my proud city. Send them all to jail.

Outstanding pictures....well done. I think I saw the Montreal Riot squad in there. Thanks for the help!

Just think - if the anarchists (or Black Bloc) applied their energies and ability to plan & execute in a more positive and constructive way, what a difference might be made then? For example, what if they did a guerilla soup kitchen for the poor and destitute who depend on the meals provided at various locations, which are currently shut down for the G20? Or had the patience to stand in a line opposite the police, as long as possible, showing positive energy instead of destruction? Or did open-air plays to depict the social problems here, and elsewhere? Human graphs and grids to show the numbers of those needing aid? There are so many other things than violence, which doesn't solve anything at all. If anything, the bill for the police cars will come from our pockets. Also, those who wore all black and ran amok, were intimidating to the peaceful protestors, turning their experience into a nightmare that they neither wanted nor deserved. Shame.

the cops were absolutely dressed up as protesters, compete with bandannas around their faces. If you look at the coverage of one of the burning cop cars you will see a number of shirtless face covered "protesters" moving through the area BEHIND THE POLICE LINES and none of the cops do a thing. A tad suspicious, no? And in other footage you can see a "protester" showing two cops pictures on his camera. Not a real stretch to think that perhaps this "protester" has been mixing with the crowd snapping pictures of others in the crowd, which the cops use to identify people to arrest.

Anyone seen Kyle?

"This is not my city. This is not Toronto."

Once again people: THE G20 is scheduled for South Korea in November. All of this nonsense in the streets of Toronto is the result of a certain Canadian politician wanting to buff his already inflated ego.

How sad to see that some groups believe that destroying the livelyhood of the people who work/run/own the shops that they destroyed, could bring around change. You've done nothing but hurt ordinary people. You've caused thousands of dollars in damage to the businesses that they depend on to keep them fed and warm. Perhaps you have now given these people a home on the streets, and a life of poverty that you protest against so much. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You're voice is better heard when not clouded by the noise of burning cars, and broken windows.

Good point Mona.

How does any sort of VANDALISM OR DISTRUCTION get any PEACEFUL MESSAGE ACROSS !!!!!!

" A protester is overcome by smoke after attempting to put out a fire in a police car at Queen Street West near Spadina."
The guy in the photo with this caption was NOT putting out any fire. The POS was wreaking havoc. I hope he's in prison. Here's a pic of him hanging from a streetcar wire: http://twitpic.com/207t4b

I guess $1 billion worth of security was money well spent after all.
I am shocked, saddened, and embarrassed.

"The police finally move in on protesters who refused to move, kicking some to get up just south of the Legislature"
Finally move in? Those at queen's park were peacefully protesting in the designated protest zone that was given to us, and we were forcibly removed from our own public space. And people were not kicked to get up, they were simply arrested for sitting down. Those that weren't run over by constant charges from cops on horses, that is. It's disgusting to think that a group of people peacefully protesting, which we have to right to do, in the designated area, could be attacked, and arrested for simply standing on a public university campus. The media is spinning this entire thing the wrong way. Those who committed acts of vandalism should be held responsible, but that was a very small number of people in a group of thousands who were then all treated like criminals, and denied basic civil rights.

Guess that money spent on security is justified. To those that are not violent and are upset at not getting thru to express yourself.,.blame the violent protesters, authorities cant tell the difference, and I would like to see someone take responsibility if people did get inside, and it then turned violent and someone got hurt by letting protesters inside. now some say their not violent they only want to be heard...I can see that by the burning police cars...pardon me for doubting you..

What ticks me off the most about these idiots from the Black Bloc is that they handed Harper exactly what the Macevelian thug wanted. Violence will prove the necessity of his billion dollar photo-op, and it will galvanize his anti-crime fear driven base to Republicanize Canada even more.

If anyone is still wondering why Harper chose Toronto for his billion dollar G20 photo-op read “The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli. And if you’re still not concerned or interested in what is happening to your country you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Fantastic photos. What's with the Toronto cops though? No shots of them taking on the Black Bloc anarchists, just the white kids who were likely peacefully protesting, certainly not smashing windows and burning cars. Maybe the police need some lessons in what a real bad guy looks like?

This is exactly what the government wanted to justify the expenditure of millions in "security" costs, and the media wanted to up the importance of the "story".
The protestors would have been much smarter to be quiet, peaceful, and away from the large provocative forces of police and therefore not support the excess of the security expenditure making the government look wasteful, and ridiculous.
Now it is said and done, all the news, images and damage will give them the exact thing they needed, and we as taxpayers are on the hook.
All we can hope for now is that these meetings actually mean something.

To S Hussey,

Had you been anywhere close to that area yesterday you would know that there were bullets. Hundreds, possibly thousands of people saw and heard what was going on. There were rubber bullets found on the ground, which Bill Blair denied came from police guns - one of the more idiotic things he could have said. The police deployed both tear gas and rubber bullets and it's not exactly difficult to discern between them. So perhaps you should listen to the people who were there and not the police chief who was probably sitting in an air conditioned office somewhere, pretending to keep his hands clean.

The only thing the anarchists accomplished were media coverage.... the exact people they were targeting. Looks like the anarchists need the media in order to accomplish what they came to do.... generate more publicity for themselves. Well done you bunch of losers!!!!!!

These pictures are amazing and do capture the "craziness" our great city is experiencing. Yet again, we, the tax payers, will be footing the bill for the damages caused by a small group of reckless individuals, health care costs for those who were silly (and stupid) enough to get injured...hmmm

Some of the arrests of ordinary protesters seems to look as it if it's unwarranted.
As citizens of Toronto, we have a right to protest peacefully and have our voices heard. The amount of force used to arrest non-violent protesters or just ordinary people is disgusting. No one should have to endure a beating by police for making themselves heard. Interestingly enough, it does not appear that these pictures are taken within 5 meters of the fence. Or, that there has been violence initiated against the police.

The police claim they are using these disgusting measures and tactics against innocent people for our own protection, when their cruisers are being torched down the street.

I love this city, and generally respect the people who keep us safe, but not today. Bill Blair should be ashamed of his poor leadership.

Toto, it looks like we're not in Toronto anymore.

I commend the Toronto Police and other police agencies for taking the abuse that they did and not getting caught up in the gorilla tactics of some of the protesters. In fact watching the footage on television, I think they could have and should have exercised more force. As the protesters have a right to free speech and demonstration, the police have a right and duty to uphold the laws and protect people and property. The police were spat upon, screamed and, and projectiles thrown at them, and had bottles of urine spayed upon them, and at all times simply held their ground and did not react which really diminished the conflicts and the number of people getting hurt. Keep up the good work and hope as many of the hooligans are caught and held to account.

People who express their disagreement with violence acts are those whose INTELLECT level ain’t so advanced. If your brain is not ready to deal in a constructive way with the “problems” as you see the issues, sure the only way is to destroy everything around… Everything: cars, bussiness, windows - that does not really affect those issues you protest against. Get smart, come up with intelligent ways/suggestions to improve, and world will listen to you… Besides, if you think that you are right in your intentions, why do you cover your face, and hide your identity? This is cowards’ way, or elements/thugs' who know that what they are doing is not right…
I saw a slogan in a crowd: “They are rich, because we are poor”. Not really... They are rich, because they are/were determined. They’ve got a goal and work towards it. Most of those who are poor, do nothing, but desire what hard-working people have. Turn off your TV, put aside your pack of beer/pot, and go to work… Don't want to work long hours, work smart way... But don't waste your time on protesting...

Send the anarchist's the bill, Most of them I'm sure could be easily identified.

Go to youtube to see the video of the blond man covered in red paint that you claim was "overcome... attempting to put out a fire in a police car"... he CLEARLY was the one who STARTED the fire... excellent photos but please modify your incorrect caption please.

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