The G20 protestors facing off against hundreds of well equipped police at Queen’s Park are an unimpressive bunch.
I jogged over to Queen’s Park today to check out the G20 protests and what I observed is worth commenting on.
To start with, imagine about 200 wickedly armed riot police with gas masks, tear gas guns and what looked like high powered paint-ball guns. Directly in front of them is a crowd of about 1000 individuals who you think would be protesters but in fact one third are journalists, another third are onlookers, and the final third are protesters.
What transpires is both fascinating, boring and at times scary. Basically, the ‘protestors’ taunt the police and call them names. Stuff like “You guys are one billion dollar rent-a-cops” and “Shame on you”. Then the police answer back, “Sir! Move back for your own protection.”
This goes on for about 30 minutes at which point the police pull out their fancy moves that they must have spent the last several months practicing. What they do is they charge. The charge happens without any real warning and if you’re in its way it’s not pleasant. Its rapid and as soon as it starts everyone (myself included) runs away as fast as possible.
If you’re slow on your toes and the charge catches up to you, you get tackled, maybe smacked with a baton and then arrested.
At one point the police pulled out their fanciest move of all, “horse charge”. This move is taken from 17th century warfare and is fascinating to watch. Basically, at one point the crowd became too rowdy and so all of a sudden the police line opened their ranks and 20 cops on horseback came galloping up from the rear and literally trampled over the crowd! I wish i caught a picture of it but I was running too fast in the opposite direction.
All in all what I took away from the protests was that the protesters themselves are not an impressive bunch. They are not organized. They are very rude to the police. There are not that many of them. They are really just a rag tag bunch of idiots wasting our city’s money on riot police.