According to me…..


It was a chore just to get there.  🙂  I got on the subway and they had closed from Woodbine to Broadview.  This meant waiting on a shuttle bus – that never came.  Luckily I know my way around the city and went around.

I really enjoyed this!  The rally was peaceful, there was music and laughter… people coming together with hopes – a gathering of like minded souls.  There were some incredibly creative methods of getting messages out there.

Women and Maternity Rights Women and Maternity Rights
Women and Maternity Rights

This guy had a body attached to his behind.. with the head vanishing up the..ahem.

This guy had a body attached to his behind.. with the head vanishing up the..ahem.

Drummers

Drummers

All Sort of Music

All Sort of Music

Then we got to hear John Clarke speak – and I just adore him!  He is one of THE best speakers I’ve ever heard on ANY topic.  He is so motivating and I’m lucky to have heard him three times now.

John Clarke, OCAP
John Clarke, OCAP

The march began!  We all knew it was risky going in, and everyone was ready.  The police presence was huge, as was expected – but I was surprised there weren’t any police on horses or bikes – the last march saw them in abundance.   The march was incredible.  We took the same route as the last march – which means up Carlton, past Yonge… and through there – if you know the area – it’s like a huge wind tunnel with all the tall buildings on either side.  This time was magnificent.  The chanting echo climbing up the buildings, empowering.  People gathered on their balconies and on the sidewalk, cheering and taking pictures.

The March

The March

Once we were about to cross Yonge Street the problems started.  The police had – unbeknownst to us until a whispered rumor trickled down the line – started forcing the marchers back to from whence it came. lol  But the back, where we were close to, was still going forward.  I noticed a lot of police bicycles suddenly pull up all along the sides of the parade.  The police got off their bikes, put the kick stands up and removed their helmets.  Then they put on riot helmets.  I nudged my two partners (we all went with partners) and advised them of what was going on and that I felt something was afoot.

Just then the people who had come to the rally and dressed all in black (Black Blok), hiding their identities, came along side the marchers – in a long procession – single file, carrying black cloth, all sewn together, to hide behind.  Right beside us.  On the other side we had some guys with bandanas over their faces.  We know this was in case of pepper spray, or tear gas.. but the police beside us were discussing who they were keeping an eye on.  We were basically in the worst place possible. lol  I pointed these facts out to my partners and we all agreed that maybe we should pull out.  The police wouldn’t let us leave… so we went to the very back of the march and were finally allowed out.

Black Group - Hidden Identities

Black Group - Hidden Identities


As we stood watching the rear of the crowd – a row of guys got in front of the – suddenly there – row of bicycle police.  The guys with the signs kneeled down on the pavement in front of the police on bikes and were chanting… then they got up and did a group hug.

Police PUSHING Protesters Forward
Police PUSHING Protesters Forward


In front of the police on bikes was a row of police on foot, in riot gear… these officers started to advance, pushing the row of sign laden guys up to Yonge Street… slowly… and the guys were dancing and frolicking in front of the police, taking their time, unconcerned….poking the bear, as it were.  Luckily no one got hurt there.

Police at the Rear

Police at the Rear


They pushed the entire crowd up past Yonge Street… and – we didn’t know this until after – but the crowd had stopped because the police had arrested a man.  A man that tried to cross their barrier… he wanted to go to the store –  he was deaf.  They took him to the newly created Jail holding cells on Eastern.  His friends knew what happened and stayed at the jail through the night chanting and demanding his release.

The police had brought in two big trucks that are used for moving prisoners from jails to courts, and back.  They then backed them out.  Pure intimidation.  Then they brought in the horses… these police officers followed the march.

The march that I was in later returned to Allan Gardens – where we had started – and built a tent city to protest homeless issues.  They slept there, chanting unill about 11:00 pm, peacefully, and had breakfast in the morning – with the intent of returning to today’s march – “Get Off The Fence”.

I was going to go today, but I’m exhausted. lol  It didn’t take much to be talked out of it – since it was raining and I am starting to feel rather run down.  Tomorrow is the hard core march – the militant march – where groups will confront the G20 at the fence that was built to protect them.  I won’t be part of that.  In fact, my daughter just called to make sure I’m not there…there’s pure mayhem downtown right now.  Today was supposed to be peaceful, there are children there – but someone blew up a police car, apparently. 😦


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Comments on: "June 25th Rally and March!" (7)

  1. drachenlady said:

    Good to hear that you are alright.
    Sometimes I find myself wishing for some more protest around here. Most people complain to their friends but nobody really tries to make a difference.
    Today is not one of those days. Peaceful demonstrations and protests can easily be turned into violent riots by only a few people. The only thing you can do then is to clearly distance yourself from those people and try to show how it is done.

    But aside from how it turned out there were a lot of peaceful people stating their opinion. Even if just one person changes their mind because of that – it was a success.
    I hope things will cool down soon and the authorities won’t make any rushed decicions because of it.

    “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
    – Mahatma Gandhi

    All the best wishes
    D

    • It’s actually getting worse. 😦 I’m so saddened by that.
      I hope that you are right and people will still hear the real issues.
      Toronto has never been like this… I don’t think. Not to my knowledge.

      I would still, for the record, partake in another rally. The only reason I’m not there today is because I’m exhausted. My daughter has no idea how close I was to being there. lol

      Thanks D. 🙂

  2. I think it’s also a lot of people that aren’t even from here.
    Normally Toronto doesn’t do this. But this even drew in folks from all over…

    • That should be *this event*… flappy fingers.

      Well, it was a long night. Protesters went until 3 am.
      The police chief got on tv and lied to everyone – saying they never used tear gas or rubber bullets, when they did.
      From the get go police have been pushing the crowds. I’m not surprised there was resistance, but I am shocked about the extent of it. The Black Blok started this violence, but I think it started many others on the same path. Mob mentality.
      I wonder what today will bring.

  3. There is graffiti and bricks being thrown at shops, news people, police… There are crowds shifting back and forth through the city. They were all spread out for a while, but it appears they are grouping together now. They now have rubber bullet guns and of course, the sonic boom…

  4. Jeez!! That’s sound pretty hardcore stuff there sis – I’m not surprised you didn’t fancy the second day – It’s sounds pretty rough – I’ll check out the news later and see what’s doing!
    I just hope the politicians actually consider the message you’re sending and that it’s not spoiled by the militants; blowing up police cars ain’t gonna change the world!!
    Much Respect and Peace!!
    @dam

    • It’s pretty scary downtown right now.
      The rally and march was peaceful until a small group broke off and started the violence. I think it’s the Black Blok….the guys we saw dressing to hide their identity. It’s a mess down there right now. My daughter works for a cab company and called me to make sure I wasn’t down there. She can’t move any taxis anywhere – and downtown is under lockdown. The police have used tear gas three times… it’s pretty hairy. ;(
      It’s awful that these few violent people are ruining everything… any message that might have been heard will now be tainted.
      😦
      The police cars, by the by – are thought to have been plants..by the news here. Which I wouldn’t doubt given what I saw yesterday. They were pushing for a reaction from the crowd in order to say they were right… that their presence and money spent. were for a reason. It’s very sad.

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