Sunday, June 27, 2010

G20 Protesters Torching Cop Cars in Toronto

Toronto seems an unlikely place for violence, but evidently it is not, at least when a G-20 summit is in session there.  Just in case you are fuzzy about just what the G-20 is, it is finance ministers of 19 countries plus the EU, meeting to discuss the world economy.  The G-20 comprises 85% of the world's GNP so this is important stuff.

So who, you might well ask, are the violent demonstrators who torched four police cars Saturday night and are set for more violence today? 300 of them ended up in jail . Their supporters quickly organized an all night jail solidarity dance party from midnight till morning via their website and social media.  Doesn't sound too violent does it?  Nor does the prayer vigil scheduled by the Student Christian Movement  or the "Bike Block" which calls for " hordes of cyclists to storm the streets of Toronto in a festive parade" today, Sunday, June 27th.

It smells like the '60's with  the rebellious and idealistic young insisting on "love not war." But this is not just some sort of 21st century Woodstock.  There are darker forces at work here because the world is more connected than it was then. Because of so many things, including the internet, we no longer think in purely nationalistic terms. We can't.  People flow over national  borders.  Workers in  India know what working conditions are like in Europe or North America and visa versa. Education is global and so are schools and friendships. The ground rules have changed a lot since the '60's  but human nature clearly has not. We have those same hunter/gatherer brains we had when we were living in caves and wearing bearskins.

How we are going to adjust to a world in which narrow national interests and  who has the biggest army are no longer appropriate ways to resolve conflict?  It requires a new way of thinking and frankly, torching cop cars and breaking windows is not helpful. It is just more of the same old angry victim crap  acted out by the less stable and more angry of every generation as they come of age.

 In most cases, it is deeply personal and not really very idealistic.  It is about feeling empowered rather than finding answers. Anarchy is not a new idea. Nor is Nihilism. Both are not very helpful in a day and age when the world economy teeters on the brink, the planet is warming, and the world population is growing as resources shrink.

Like it or not we are all in this together and the kids who are torching cop cars in Toronto should be turned over somebody's knee.  Message to protesters: Grow Up!

1 comment:

Paprikapink said...

I have heard a lot of folks throwing around the theory that it is not the protesters committing the violence. The theory I've heard is that the violence is coming from "agents provacatuers." Like the moles the FBI planted in the Black Panthers and other protest groups to incite trouble. Seems like a wild theory, but then again, it is pretty wild behavior.

I guess the best reports I've seen are from @vbussey. He seems to be aggravated that the police are overreacting *and* offended that protesters are destroying property. I've only seen his tweets so far. I hope he writes a thoughtful blog post like this one.

Thanks, PPR!