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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. 

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.

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.     

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

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.

BERNARD WEIL - Police guard Queen and John Streets.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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


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How un-Canadian!!! This disgusts me to no end. Peaceful protests are one thing but burning police cars, smashing windows, fighting with the police. these things are not Canadain. Shame on you for this.

THANK YOU to all the Police Officers who risked their lives this weekend and ever day they go to work to keep the people of the cities where they work safe. Every officer did a commendable job over the weekend and are all heros in the hearts and minds of a great many. Your hard work and dedication to do a job that is faced with so much negativity and danger is unimaginable to most. We are lucky that there are people like you who sign up to do it. It is a shame that a number of people this weekend took the focus away from legitimate causes that wanted their voices heard.

The Chief never stated that rubber bullet guns were not on the street, he stated they hadn't yet at that time been used to shoot rubber bullets. In the photo, Police fire into the crowd on University at College the officer isn't shooting a rubber bullet it is a muzzle blast.

My only problem with this colelction of photos is the word 'clash' used in a few pictures; as in, 'police and protestors clash...' But in those photos, there is no clash - no struggle. They depict an unarmed populace being trambled by an armed police menace.

To call those criminals in black "Anarchists" is a slur on the concept of anarchy regardless of how ill-founded the concept is!! I was surprised that the several thousand good protesters didn't beat the crap out of the thugs who completely ruined any chance for their causes to be show cased.

that "proof" of rubber bullets are tear gas guns

These people accomplished nothing except to make themselves and our Country look bad to the world. That and a huge repair bill for both the city and private citizens who own businesses in the area. Interesting that Marijuana is illegal, but the protest against our weed laws that thousands took part in this spring, was TOTALLY peaceful...just a lot of smiling, laughing and munchies. Maybe if some of these people had smoked up before they went, things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand. It's hard to be angry when you're giggling.

The pictures are excelent but the captions are terrible. Protesters did not "clash with police" they were attacked and arrested at random. The black bloc where the only violent ones, with a few minor exceptions.

Current score at the end of the first quarter: Police State: 8, Dumb Hippies: 4

"We thought the car was worth 3 points", offered a disappointed anarchist,"...but apparently if you dont flip it, its just worth 1. Plus they said Coffee Shops windows are worth less this year than back in Seattle. Banks are now worth double. Man, I can never keep track of the rules. But I think its a good start."

"We're thrilled to be hosting the event this year," Toronto's Chief of Police said. "We feel our police are as least as capable of senseless brutality as London, Seattle, and other previous winners. Canada has kind of an unfair reputation as being passive, hands-off kind of guys. Well, I promise you, that's going to change! We even got some women in the riot gear this year, which I think speaks well for our diversity program. They have real talent kneecapping with the batons."

While the G20 Summit has often been criticized for an overabundance of "economic" and "fiscal" commentary by organizers, distracting fans from the action on the field, this year promises to maintain its reputation for infuriatingly-inarticulate anti-capitalist slogans, and quality truncheoning of self-righteous teenagers. "I've been a fan of protests since Chicago '68", said one new participant this year. "I mean, I wasnt born yet, but I watched it on TV. That one was a classic. I finally got my parents to let me come to this one because, they were like, 'Canada? That place is harmless! Go for it.' They even got me a new Che T-shirt. I havent washed it in a month. The 'new shirt' look is very uncool."

Police for their part appeared to be enjoying the event, although some criticized the quality of the opposition. "These guys used to be serious. Its not like they even have a plan anymore. They send in the wave of old hippies, which is usually like a blocking strategy, and then the black-shirts go for the Starbucks windows. Duh! These punks have nothing on the Greeks. Those guys burned *whole buildings*. These kids are pushovers. I think its all the video games, junk food. They dont exercise."

Asked to explain their banner, "Money is Bad", one group, Vegan Lesbians For the Liberation of Palestine, explained that they'd traded socks filled with rocks for it. "We're going passive-agressive this year. We're going to chain ourselves to mailboxes and sing Rage Against the Machine songs". When questioned on points of international fiscal policy, one offered, "I keep reading about this thing being about economics. What the hell did economics do for anyone! This is about the people, and the spirit, the good times, getting high on tear gas, and the after party!" Asked about their opinion on the role of the global leadership summit, there was a universal complaint that, 'they should be more involved'; "Its not fair they all just sit up in those offices and watch. One, I think they should sell the box seats to anyone, not just politically-connected people, and two, i think it would be awesome if they went at it too. Dude, if we can get Chavez to play with us, you think Obama would throw down?"

I hope those who feel black block tactics are somehow cowardly spread that logic to the other group that happens to be dressed in black. The riot police enjoy the same benefits that any "uniform" provides: anonymity and group cohesion, to name just two.

How is it that the "good citizens of the world" always feel so much outrage that others are outraged. If there were no resistance power would have nothing to fear. Government systems are not so stable as they appear and must contend with the difficulty of maintaining a consensus.

Here is my cousin's story regardinwhat happened there, and interesting an eye opening reading I may say myself

What happened to the Stockaids of old... I bet that would stop those roudies. Put them in a Public Stockaid for people to see and throw eggs and tomatoes at. That kind of Humiliation goes a long way.

I agree with whasayu. wearing black clothes and smashing things doesn't make you an Anarchist any more then wearing a suit and tie makes you a Conservative. The media's consistent use of the word Anarchist to describe anyone and everyone commuting acts of property destruction is dishonest, disingenuous, and just plain lazy. Having been an active participant in the anarchist movement for over 14 years I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that many of the peaceful protesters are anarchists (and many more would identify as such if they had a better understanding of what that word actually means), and many of the people in black are nothing even close to being anarchists (though of course many are). making blanket assumptions about people's ideologies based on their clothing is pretty much guaranteed to result in inaccurate reporting.

In other words the world is a complicated multifaceted place and reporting on it accurately requires at least a basic understanding of who and what it is you are covering. It's a sad statement on the state of north american journalism that so few news organizations bother to do so

Why doesn't anyone know what anarchy is???

>hippies, druggies, lazy bums who just want to smash and steal

Looked like a determined group to me. Not condoning what they did, but I doubt they were any of what you listed above. Well, except for the smashing part.

I am a nonviolent person and teach my children that violence is wrong. But I understand what Anarchists protest- it's authority over society, whatever the source (statism and corporatism cover most of it). They're angry. Their reaction is misguided, but it's the sort of thing people do when words don't suffice. Especially when their words question things a lot of us simply accept as the way things are.

You can let yourself understand something without condoning it.

Yes that man in the 27th photo really looked like he needed immediate subduing. What a brave and heroic officer, pushing an old man to the ground while hiding behind a gas mask and riot helmet. Careful officer! That newspaper he's holding could be a dangerous weapon!

Black Blocs like that Give anarchists everywhere a bad name, we're not all like that, most of us are just normal people who go about normal lives while asserting that the world probably doesn't need government or a ruling class. However, even though the anarchists started it, the police did continue the violence on innocent peaceful protesters, which is unforgiveable.

the black-clad 'anarchists' at these types of events have often been shown to be police officers. this is why you never see pictures of them getting a good ol' hippy beat down from the cops. whether they are trying to incite the peaceful protesters to join in the mayhem, or just giving the guise of a need for riot police flooding the streets and interfering (often violently) with a peaceful protest against globalization the misrepresentation of the protesters is appalling. sort of an ass-backwards version of The Yes Men.

Anarchists are a joke. What are they trying to prove? Just a bunch of punk kids wanting to smash windows and feel big about themselves. Oh, yeah, what a great movement you have going on... people are bound to support you!

I had seen a rather different story of the Black blockers the so called "anarchists" , that 'they' were in part perpetrated by police officers to get reason and pretext for shutting down the legitimate protesters. I don't see any why the public opinion accepts state violence against protesters upon the basis of damaging property to be met with state organized violence.

Oh this is corporate media, so we must do some public relations work as well,

This isn't anarchy, it's chaos. Anarchy means "without leaders", not "without order".

Those "anarchists" are not true anarchists. They are simply vandals. Anarchists don't indiscriminately destroy property. They want order without a government, not random chaos. Maybe a real anarchist would destroy a building or property, if it was a government building or property. But even then, that's a very extremist anarchist. The captions are painting anarchists in a terrible light (as the media has done for very long due to misunderstanding anarchy and anarchist views), and should be edited to read "vandal(s)," "criminal(s)," or "rioter(s)" in place of the word "anarchist(s)." While I do not agree with anarchist views, I think they ought to at least be shown correctly and not have a bastardized form of expressing oneself masquerading as anarchy.

The people that you call "anarchists" represent the thought patterns of maybe 1% of those who believe that government is not necessary, and in fact gets in the way. The majority of us do not believe that violence is necessary to effect the changes we seek. Instead we need to spread our message, inform the People, and help them to understand that the way things are right now is not the way it should be.

What do you call government, if not wrong and immoral? They write laws, which are nothing more than words on paper, and these laws are not passed by the common man or woman. They are passed by the so-called Elite, those with the wealth to buy their positions. If you think I am wrong, try running for Congress without accepting money from anyone.

The common man and woman are the majority, yet the minority of those with wealth and power make our decisions for us, and we let them do it. We smile, and applaud, and cheer at the loss of our personal freedoms for so-called security.

Anarchists think this is not the way it should be, that everyone should make the choice, and you call us wrong, and violent, and losers. You think we are cowards, and rejects, and imbeciles.

The United States Government, supposedly "For the People, of the People," can come to your home and tell you to leave. Though you've paid your taxes, and bought the land, they can come and kick you off of it, claiming Imminent Domain, that your property must be seized for the betterment of the American People. Sure, you get paid for your land...but often not what it's worth. That does not even mention uprooting your family and leaving all your memories behind.

The idea of "Property" is inherently flawed anyway. You can say "I own this land" all you want...but your "ownership" is nothing more than paper and ideas. You will not "own" it when you are dead. You do not "own" it now.

I am an American. I was born here, and raised here, and have lived here all my life. My government is no better than crooks and bandits. They steal from us, take what we have gained as our own, beat us, imprison us, and send us to die.

Ever been to court? Have you ever tried to voice your honest opinion, and your beliefs, and been told "you're out of order" or "shut up or I'll have you imprisoned?" Oh...sorry, the term is "held in contempt." They are one and the same, it seems.
What makes a judge so special? Sure, they are elected...but when was the last time you saw an honest-to-gods blue-collar worker as a judge? Someone who sees life from the (general) level of those being brought in to court? Someone who knows what it means to work for your money, to earn your living with the sweat of your brow and the strength of your back?

The difference between our government and bandits is...the bandits don't generally use the "it's the law" excuse. That's about the only difference.

Do not mistake me, there are good things about our government. I just can't, for the life of me, figure out what they are.

I hate when violent protestors are automatically called ''anarchists''.
They may be anarchists, but anarchists are not all like them.
It's only a tiny part of the anarchist movement that causes the trouble.
The vast majority of anarchists are normal people who won't set your car on fire in the name of their ideology.
But even a peaceful, quiet and honest anarchist won't be taken seriously because the public thinks that anarchists are violent, lazy and disturbing. I can understand the people who think like that: that's what the see in the media, and when the media is your only source of information...

The captions on these photos are ridiculously stupid and assuming. Anarchists? thats a ridiculous statement to make obviously trying to make anarchy look bad. does anyone want to mention the police brutality!? who cares about some massive corporation's shops thatll be fixed up with all the money of everyones they have, what about these corporate funded pigs using violent force on people.

stop calling the protestors anarchists.

i was there and i saw very few anarchists, the the majority of the black bloc was anarchists either, nor am I.

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