A few years ago, an international group was formed to respond to the growing economic crisis. The G20. Twice a year they meet to coordinate their efforts to end this global recession. Makes sense, it’s a shitty situation, and the problems can’t be fixed by one nation alone. All nations need to work together to save the economy, and get us all back to work, making money. Which is why they meet twice a year, and more specifically, a week ago in the nearby city of Toronto.
Twenty-seven government representatives (twenty-one are part of the G20 including two from the EU and the remaining six are from the “invited” nations), mostly heads of state, along with the UN Sec-Gen and the heads of six international economic organizations, gathered in Toronto over the weekend to hopefully put an end to this recession. That’s right, they devoted their weekend to this. That’s commitment! Anyway, economies around the world are still in tatters, others are just beginning their recovery, and still others are almost finished. The G20 is an opportunity for these world leaders to share their recovery strategies, as well as what they have learned from this recession, with the rest of the planet.
Who could possibly have a problem with that?
Yes, there was no shortage of opposition to the summit, protesters of all kinds, screaming all sorts of things were in full force that weekend, and it made me loose all faith in humanity.
Reading all the stories of violence, vandalism, and police misconduct, made me so ashamed to be a Canadian that I was tempted to set a maple tree on fire and murder-fuck a beaver, and there were many reasons.
First, the protesters. I got a few questions: What the hell are you protesting? How exactly is the G20 connected to that? Finally, how is breaking windows and setting cars on fire a reasonable response to that?
As I said during my piece on the Olympic Games, I rarely understand what exactly protesters are protesting. So I did some research and found a few possible reasons why, which I will
try struggle to explain.
In a nutshell, this is big business’ influence on government. Of course, no one is for this. But it raises the question, what specifically does this have to do with the G20? I’m sure some of the members of the G20 have this problem, the government in the pocket of big business, but why precisely the G20? Why not protest outside of Parliament Hill while they are in session? Besides, how is this productive exactly? Maybe you should protest through your vote. Every election, vote for the politician that refuses to take financial contributions from businesses. If there is no one running under that campaign, maybe you should. Unless it’s too much work…in which case, you really don’t care about ‘neoliberalism’…do you?
This one makes sense, especially in light of the current bullshit going on in the Gulf of Mexico. But again, why specifically the G20? Are you complaining that they haven’t come up with a solution to global warming? Well maybe that’s because they are currently concerned with making sure their citizens have a roof over their heads and food in their belly. It’s easy to criticize when you don’t have to worry about it. The G20 was formed to deal with the economy, not the environment. I don’t think they are ignoring it, they are simply changing their priorities to the more urgent problem…in their mind. Now if you are specifically complaining about the Deepwater Horizon spill, then I’m with ya. But maybe we should be protesting in front of a BP station instead…wait…they don’t have any in Canada…FRAK!
Globalization is essentially the integration of all the world’s economies into one. Am I the only one who notices the hypocrisy in this? Anyone who is against globalization needs to realize, they are also against the Internet, computers, cell phones, television (specifically those stations that are exported around the world, like all of them), and coffee. All those things are a product of globalization. I mean think about it, the Internet would not be international if we weren’t integrating our economies with other nations, most cell phones are from foreign companies and coffee is not grown in North America, I can tell you that. So if you want to keep having your double soy frocaccino or whatever, you’d better hope globalization is here to stay.
Now it’s possible that I’m misinterpreting their grievances, and instead these people are only protesting Globalization when it’s mixed in with big business. So, global companies which do business across the earth is their problem. They think all businesses should remain small…why? As I said before, there is no company on the planet that doesn’t want to become bigger. Your favorite local family-run pizzeria may be nice to go to, but do you doubt that if they were given the opportunity they would open another branch on the other side of town, and another the next town over, and then another and another and another until they are bigger than Domino’s? Don’t kid yourself, the only reason those small town businesses are so small is because they don’t have enough money to get bigger.
The Police Presence
Okay, this one is 100% irony. I wonder if they know exactly why the Police were out in full force that weekend, because it wasn’t for the fresh air. Protesting that there is too much Police at your protest is like blowing up an oil rig in the gulf coast in opposition to oil spills. Which some people think actually happened, the nuts. Yes, you have the right to protest, but at the very least protest something worthwhile. Don’t protest that they won’t let you protest. Now you can protest wrongful imprisonment of your peers, that makes sense, but not the police simply being there. Plus, those people vandalizing storefronts and setting cars on fire isn’t really helping your cause…but I’m getting ahead of myself here. Some may say they were going overboard on security…WELL I SHOULD HOPE SO! Did you forget the heads of state of at least twenty different nations are in town? If security wasn’t airtight I would be much more concerned.
The Cost of the Summit
Yes! The summit cost over a billion dollars. All twenty countries pitched in, but Canada handled most of the bill, most of which was spent on security. That’s right, look at my last paragraph to see how I feel about that. Some may complain that money could be spent on other things, like cheap housing and welfare. But they forget what really matters in a recession, stimulus. Now, what qualifies as stimulus? The government spending money on anything, and in this case, all the money, from all these governments, are being spent in Toronto. It’s a good thing…at least for Canada.
The G20 in and of itself
Okay, so you think they shouldn’t even hold the G20 and any coordination can be done through email and phone calls. See, this is why I’m beginning to hate technology. Just because a technology is available, doesn’t mean you should use it all the time. Looking at someone face to face means they can’t walk away or procrastinate or just straight up avoid. We need to ensure they spend as much time as possible working on this together, and putting them all in the same room and saying “TALK!” is the best way to do that.
But in reality, I don’t really care what you are protesting about, as long as it’s peaceful.
Son of a bitch-alright, we need to talk about this. I want to be clear: I do not think shit like this is representative of the majority of the protesters, but a very small minority. Specifically this group is known as the Black Bloc, and I’m not sure, but they may be the same group responsible for the fire at an Ottawa RBC the week before. Which I believe they did to protest the existence of banks. Which…makes…sense?
Anyway, it’s bullshit like this that makes all the protesters look bad. These criminals, that’s right, criminals, deserve to be locked up for their stupidity and their cowardice. How exactly are they stupid and cowardly? Well it’s simple, and I think these actual photos from the protests illustrate it very well.
Civil disobedience is one thing. But this is not civil disobedience. They are attacking private businesses and trying to hide from it. That makes them criminals. One of the core tenets of civil disobedience is you don’t try to avoid prosecution. But these guys seem to have missed that. Also, you don’t disobey laws you agree with, and if you disagree with personal property laws, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to step outside. How would you like it if it was your house that had it’s windows busted in? Hmmm?
You know, I got a theory, I think the Black Bloc was paid by our corporate overlords to make the other protesters look bad…or they are simply complete idiots. Either one is possible.
You know, I’m no psychiatrist, but I think I know why these people are doing this. Not just the Black Bloc, but all the protesters in general, because I have a hard time believing every single person there completely agreed with, or completely understood, why they were protesting. Perhaps many did. Perhaps most did. But not all, certainly not all. So why did they participate? The reason is simple: It’s good to be in a group. They had friends who cared passionately about this, so they ‘care’ passionately so they won’t lose their friends. OH! COME! ON! You don’t need to be in a ‘group’ and if your friends would drop you for disagreeing with them, I’m sorry, but they are arrogant solipsists and you are better off without them. I have several friends who I disagree with on many things on a regular basis. I agree with them on some things, but other things…not so much. We do talk about it, but we never take it personally. Which I think is the number one problem with politics in the modern age…people take it too personally. Stop it, and let everyone think for themselves.
You know, I almost forgot to talk about the police misconduct. Yes, they were full of shit for arresting people randomly without provocation, setting up a detention centre for those arrested, not giving them food or water, or even arresting a guy who wasn’t a protester, but a LARPer on his way to a LARP…thing. I hope they get sued for it. But I don’t think it’s that surprising, especially when you have assholes breaking windows and setting cars on fire. They were probably afraid. You do stupid shit when you’re afraid.
Everyone pissed off someone after this, but I remind you, it takes two, or in this case three, to tango. If it wasn’t for the protesters tolerating the Black Bloc and not stopping them, they wouldn’t have set cars on fire. If it wasn’t for the Black Bloc setting the cars on fire, and busting windows, the police wouldn’t have overreacted. Finally, if it wasn’t for the police overreacting, the protesters probably wouldn’t have been so pissed off with them that they would allow someone to set fire to a cop car. It’s the circle of dipshit.