It’s official: rioting underway in downtown Toronto
The relative peacefulness of Toronto’s G20 demonstrations has been smashed like so many Starbucks windows. A group of people using black bloc tactics—instigating violence during demonstrations while dressed in black garments and scarves—has lit a police cruiser on fire near King and Bay streets and broken dozens of windows. Thick black smoke is rising into the air in the financial district, according to Newstalk 1010. As rain begins to fall, security personnel are trying to subdue and redirect activists who are reportedly determined to cause havoc.
The Sheridan Centre is reportedly in lockdown, as is the Eaton Centre. The windows of Starbucks, BMO and other street-level businesses have been smashed (pictures available here). Police are tightening lines around the riot, though it is unclear as yet if they are having success in controlling the crowd. Reinforcements are on their way—some speeding past the Toronto Life offices at Queen and Church below hovering helicopters. Reports are somewhat contradictory, but the general consensus is that despite initial intentions to get to the G20’s main venue, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the rioters are moving east and north. Newstalk 1010 confirms that the violence has spread from Queen and Spadina down to King, east to Yonge, and now back north towards Queen.