Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Anti-Climactic Walk Through Toronto's G20 Protest Sites
One of the hot spots (and where one of three cars were torched) of Saturday's G20 protests in Toronto was at Queen and Spadina, so I walked over there after dinner around 9 p.m. I met Horseshoe Tavern door guy Roger and assistant manager Joe, who told me they had shut the bar (which is located at that intersection) down for the night and that the bands that had been booked to play were told to stay home.
At the intersection, a small group of non-violent protesters were sitting in the middle of the street facing an intimidating lineup of police in full riot gear that had blocked off Queen. 
"You're sexy, you're cute, take off your riot suits," the protesters chanted at the cops.
It was relatively quiet, so I moved west, weaving on and off of Queen Street depending on if I was allowed access or not, since it wasn't completely shut down. I walked up University Avenue past the U.S. consulate, which was fenced off and had a large police presence guarding it.
About a block north of that, a female officer yelled at me to stop. 
"You don't look like the type of person who should be pregnant," she said, before asking to see what the bump was under my jacket. 
It was raining lightly and I had my shoulder bag with my camera and notepad hanging over my neck and resting on my lower chest underneath my jacket. I unzipped and showed her that I was harmless. She laughed and seemed quite nice, and was also cute, so I continued to talk and joke and flirt with her for a couple of minutes before she said she had to return to the police lineup.
I continued north to Queen's Park, which had been designated as an official protest area, and it was deserted. There weren't even any police around. I could have easily done something destructive to the home of the Ontario government had I wanted to, despite the billion-dollar security bill that has been racked up for the G20 events.
Television reports before I left my house said protesters were moving north to Bloor Street, but there were none there by the time I arrived. I continued west on Bloor to The Beer Station, where I had a pint of Strongbow and watched more news coverage.
Then it was time to head a couple of doors down the street to see Ted Leo & The Pharmacists at Lee's Palace. You can read the review of that show on on Monday.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Strongbow? You? WTF?