Bleeding ink: a roundup of G20 reactions from home and around the world

It’s been a pretty wild 74 hours for Toronto. We’ve had world leaders, riots and some questionable police tactics, all for—well, it’s not entirely clear. Either way, the press the world over has weighed in with reactions to Toronto’s weekend of G20 bedlam. We present some of the highlights.

Colour us shocked: A Toronto Sun writer finds a reason to disagree with the police. Joe Warmington says of yesterday’s showdown at Queen and Spadina, “It was slippery and dangerous... It bordered on sadistic.” The Sun‘s Rob Granatstein is less sympathetic, writing, “Take this as my invitation to a large number of people whining about their treatment by police over the weekend to join us in the real world.” The paper’s unsigned editorial oozes authoritarianism, saying black bloc-ers should be held without bail, and “lose them in the system instead.”

The Toronto Star‘s John Cruickshank comes out blasting the G20, saying, “The idea that this was an effective way to show off Toronto to foreign guests is bewilderingly stupid... Canadian authorities created a city no citizen could recognize and no visitor could admire.”

The National Post‘s Peter Kuitenbrouwer waxes despondent: “But seeing my proud city on her knees, knowing that the photos sent around the world show Toronto not at her finest, but rather in flames and shards of glass, I could feel nothing but sadness.” Cue some Springsteen—we’re thinking “My City of Ruins.”

Also in the Post, Rex Murphy fails to disappoint: “Yesterday’s mini-riot had one irony that will be very hard for some to digest. It gives at least partial cover for the extraordinary $1-billion cost that went into security for the G20 meeting here in Toronto... The black bloc, and you can bet they will love this, is Stephen Harper’s best political friend today.”

The Globe and Mail‘s Marcus Gee adds his contempt to the smash-and-grabbers, writing, “‘This is what democracy looks like,’ chanted the black-clad mob moving along Queen Street past City Hall as its smashing spree began. No, this is what idiocy looks like. What, many Torontonians were asking, was the point of it all? What kind of people would do something like this?” Also in the Globe, Naomi Klein shocks exactly two people by blaming big business.

Further afield, the Guardian‘s John Hilary hopes no city ever goes through this again: “Unbelievably, the G20 is scheduled to hold its next summit in just a few months. If the Canadian experience has taught us anything, it is that such meetings are simply not worth the candle.”

And after all this, the verdict of the German Deutsche Welle is that we need to wait until Seoul’s G20 meeting to see if this was all worth it. Thanks, Germany.

• This time, the cops were out of line [Toronto Sun] • Mistreated by cops in riot? Tough luck: Granatstein [Toronto Sun] • G20 suggestion: Try China [Toronto Sun] • G20 editorial: Brutal spectacle failed a city and its people [Toronto Star] • Sadness remains on Toronto’s streets [National Post] • Hooligans coddled for too long [National Post] • They took Toronto’s streets, but for what? [Globe and Mail] • May Toronto’s G20 be the last [Guardian] • Opinion: The real test of G20 summit meetings is yet to come [Deutsche Welle]


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