Wave of boredom hits downtown Toronto as it waits for G20 chaos

Wave of boredom hits downtown Toronto as it waits for G20 chaos

José Lima and Abudu Adam get an early start on their protesting (Image: Jon Sufrin)

Compared to the ruckus caused by World Cup revellers on College Street this morning, the area around the G20 security zone was eerily silent. We could almost hear crickets on University Avenue, and the Tim Hortons at Bay and Richmond—usually thronged by caffeine addicts—sat completely empty. In fact, the only people noticeably populating the area were police officers, though none of them tried to evoke their new superpowers on us (we brought extra ID, just in case).

A handful of independent, early-bird protestors hawked their respective messages with varying degrees of lucidity. Bored media types, eager to show that something was happening, were quick to give them some attention. “I’m protesting to help the young people,” said José Lima, 79, a retired TTC repairman who sat just outside the security fence, which was still open. “They pay too much to insurance companies. As soon as they get their licence, they should pay like anybody else.” Lima’s accompanying collage laid the blame for this on everyone from Brian Mulroney to Queen Elizabeth II to Pope Benedict XVI.

“I’m protesting against the use of vaccines against the human population,” said Abudu Adam, 50, a Guyanese-Canadian. “My daughter died from an H1N1 vaccine shot. I want to get a message out to all leaders and all citizens of the globe.” Police allowed Mr. Adam to quietly display his sign within the security zone.

As for the expected chaos, we continue to wait. If nothing else, the current silence seems to be the calm before the storm.