Reaction roundup: the papers respond to the cops’ “lies,” protestors’ “weapons” and the “wimps” of Toronto

Reaction roundup: the papers respond to the cops’ “lies,” protestors’ “weapons” and the “wimps” of Toronto

Black bloc tactics used in the "city of wimps" (Image: James Helmer) 

Yesterday was not a great day for the Toronto police. First, they unveiled the stash of weapons that they confiscated over the weekend, but not all is as it appears.  The “weapons” include the chain mail and model swords they took from a LARPer who was passing through town, as well as such ferocious things as tennis balls. Then they announced that—oops!—they never really had any of the sweeping powers to arrest people close to the fence, as no less than Bill Blair himself had claimed. None of this looks particularly great for the force, and reactions from around the city have been swift and sour. Here, a roundup of what media types are saying about the G20 security fallout.

Probably the most damning is the Globe‘s Adam Radwanski, who lays the blame at Queen’s Park’s doorstep, saying Premier Dalton McGuinty is washing his hands of the police oversteps. He even brings up the spectre of Ipperwash, where protestor Dudley George was killed. Aside from Radwanski, the Globe is curiously silent on the revelations yesterday, with its editorial saying only that we need “clarity” on the laws used during the G20.

The Toronto Sun‘s editorial staff is divided, with William Wolfe-Wylie questioning the police tactics over the weekend and calling Blair out for “fail[ing] his city.” The main editorial says an inquiry would be a waste of time and money.

The Star comes out for an inquiry, saying, “Canada’s laws do not allow the police to trample the rights of the law-abiding to apprehend the law-breakers.”

The Post, its finger clearly on the pulse of the town, calls us all a bunch of wimps and says this is why the rest of Canada hates Toronto. This is wrong on two counts: one, everyone hated us before this; and two, the rest of the country still gets mileage out of the army plowing our streets for us. They didn’t need another reason.

• McGuinty washes his hands of police mistreatment allegations [Globe and Mail]
• ‘Weapons’ seized in G20 arrests not what they seem [Globe and Mail]
• Bring clarity to vague summit laws [Globe and Mail]
• G20: Police need to take responsibility [Toronto Sun]
• G20: No need for public inquiry [Toronto Sun]
• Why inquiry is needed [Toronto Star]
• Jonathan Kay: Toronto, city of wimps [National Post]